It’s a Kinder and Gentler Avignonian Biblical Studies Carnival

PsychoKittyThis month’s Carnival will place its emphasis on the kinder and gentler side of academic biblical studies.  Away with the debates; begone, foul disagreements.  In what follows the only things you’ll find are those upon which everyone in biblical studies agree.  You’re welcome.  And now, let’s begin.  That is, only if you want to.  If it’s ok.  Please.  Thank you.

[No animals (or feelings) were hurt in the production of this Carnival][Except the test cats that I used to test the occasional driblets of mockery on… most of them didn’t make it I’m sorry to say].

So- off we go, to Kindness and Gentleness Land!

Hebrew Bible (If it’s alright to call it that)

George Athas noted an interview the gifted Ken Penner gave about Hebrew in the Dead Sea Scrolls and a book he’s written on the subject.

Bryan Bibb provided an interesting classroom resource for those teaching the Bible.  If you use it, be sure to give BB the credit.  He’s credit worthy.

emmaPeter Emma wrote a post which, as is common in these troubled times, asks the burning question- why can’t God be more like me?  Indeed!  Why can’t God do things the way I want him to?  Oh sorry, He/She/Gender Neutral/Undefined/All/None.  If only God were more like Emma and the rest of us (which I suppose would cause serious problems since we’re all different and now God has to decide which one of us to be like… Poor God- to disappoint so many for so long because he (oh shoot- I mean He/She/Gender Neutral/Undefined/All/None) hasn’t been like them.  We need to be kinder to God and more accepting of who he (oh shoot- I mean He/She/Gender Neutral/Undefined/All/None) is…

hqdefaultRichard Goode, who always provides the most interesting materials, has an entry on Egypt in Israel in ancient times.  Palestine was, it seems to all appearances, little more than an Egyptian buffer zone which was always under the firm control of that ancient power.  In the eyes of the Israelites, their ’empire’ under David and Solomon was quite the thing.  To everyone else in the ANE it was as impressive as a goat.

Proverbs.  Music.  McDonald.  Check-it.

LXX (and I’m Not Being rude by abbreviating)

John Meade provides a load of great thoughts in an interview on the LXX here.  The interviewer is one William Ross at Cambridge.  I wonder if he knows Jim Aitken- the greatest Septuagintalist of our day or any day 421557145_5811b73d4d_bsince Alfred Rahlfs.

Posts on the LXX were so rare in August that I have been reduced to listing those which sometimes mention the LXX in order to help the LXX section have more vigor.  So, here’s AKJ’s.  He sometimes talks about the LXX and sometimes it’s even interesting!

Rick Brannan has some software news for LXX-ologists.  Sounds fantastic. Really.

Tyler Williams used to blog LXX stuff but I think he has moved away from doing such things and taken up professional wrestling.  His cage match name is ‘The Septuaginator’ and you can find him in Canada every weeknight taking on the likes of ‘The LXXinator’ and ‘TheXLXXLXXXer’.

New Testament (Without wanting to divide anyone by using the word ‘new’.  No supercessionism Implied)

Chief among the NT posts this month was that of Mark Goodacre who utterly dismantles the so called ‘Jesus Wife’ fragment and line by line, word by word, shows it to be nothing but a patchwork fraud.

Chris Tilling is working on a world record streak on his brilliant blog by refusing to post anything new until the Angel Gabriel descends from heaven with a new scroll in his hand which describes Paul’s affection for Tilling’s book.  I know, it’s strange, but there it is.  Check out a very dated entry.  It’s the kind thing to do.

zombiecatthumb200Phil Long reviewed a new book by Gundry which suggests that Matthew was not a fan of Peter.  It’s a good review of a very provocative book.

Alin found the names of the two thieves crucified with Christ!  Mind you, it’s in a Coptic text postdating the event by centuries but, hey, I think Bill and Ted make perfect sense.  Fun stuff indeed.  Give it a read.  Speaking of things mythical, James ‘The Star Trek Jedi Knight’ McGrath has another entry in Bible and Interpretation of his mythicist series.  I don’t want to try to predict the future, but after the mythicist madness peters out it’s not hard to imagine that an entire cottage industry will rise up investigating whether or not Jesus likes Swiss Cheese or American.  I. Can’t. Wait.

Larry Hurtado discusses the debate about heresy and orthodoxy in early Christianity.   He’s right, you know.  And when he writes “In short, it’s high time for us to move on from earlier overly simplified notions and gain a more sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the early dynamics and developments in question” he simply could not be more correct.

kiJeffrey Gibson’s dolcet tones are the highlight of this interview about his new book on the Lord’s Prayer (or as he calls it, the disciple’s prayer).  It’s a good-un.

Richard Goode (because he can’t be mentioned too often) posted an entry on a presentation on Romans 13 which includes a video which follows below:

Brice Jones had a very interesting essay on a  6th c. Greek manuscript which was reused by a Persian author.  Great stuff.  Did you know that Rudolf Bultmann reused letters and notes in very much the same way?  He was a frugal lad.  I suppose he had to be.

hqdefaultAlso along the ancient manuscript train of thought, Dan Wallace spent his Summer in Greece looking through manuscripts.  I can’t help but feel that his Summer was more interesting than mine.  And that makes me sad.  Very sad.  I need comfort and a hug.  Will someone hug me?  Ok hold on, I need a minute.  This being kinder and gentler comes at a heavy cost…

Ok I’m a little better now.  Anyway, James Crossley interviewed Chris Keith about – you guessed it – the historical Jesus and social memory stuff.  Whatttttt????  Yup- that’s the topic.  It’s a kind and gentle interview kindly and gently reported and even kinder-er and gentler-er noted here just now.

More Christological stuff is to be had over at Larry Hurtado’s place.  Podcast stuff.  It’s gentle on the ears.

Speaking of the historical Jesus… there are still people wondering if he even existed…  I know, right?  You know what doesn’t exist among the mythicists?  Common sense.

psycho-cat-11410-1303338127-48Over on Evangelical Textual Criticism they’ve been kind to us all and posted a great article on Eberhard Nestle and the first edition of his GNT.  And it, mercifully, is not merely a listing of things!  Well done ETC, well done!

Phil Long(shoreman) wrote a nice review on a book by Boda about repentance.  It’s a real word!  And a useful one which more folk need to put into practice in these troubled times of ours.

Hey- there’s a Priest talking Jesus in film, down at Emory.  I know a lot of you like films.  And some of you like Jesus.  When you put Jesus together with film, what do you end up with?  That’s right- super bad theology!  I’m sure that’s what the Priest, down at Emory, will say as well.

Justin Meggitt has a site which, according to those who have seen it, has stuff on it which may be of potential interest to persons who are interested in such things.  It sounds interesting, doesn’t it.  And it may well be of interest.  But it’s not for me to judge whether such things might be meaningful to others because to make a judgment, even in academic things, is to be all judgy and judgmental and we all know academics are disallowed opinions of their own lest they be deemed uncollegial or uncompromising.  In short, decide for yourself, ya self-aggrandizing judgmental beast.

Archaeology (with apologies to those who are offended when the dirt is disturbed)

petAntonio *Fan of Inter Milan* Lombatti brought us the story of the discovery in Jerusalem of a mikveh which featured an Aramaic and Hebrew inscription.  And, speaking of Lombatti, if you haven’t read his new book on God yet you ought to grab up a copy.  I love it.  Purely love it.

Jim Tabor posted a video about the Mt Zion excavation.  If you missed it, watch it.

Avi Faust posted a new essay on Judean chronology on his page.  Sure, it’s not a blog entry but that’s ok.  Let’s be inclusive and all encompassing and not narrow and exclusive, mkay?

Megiddo has rid itself of Eric Cline.  No, wait, that’s not right.  Megiddo is sad to see Eric leave for greener Kabri-ian pastures.  That’s kinder and gentler.  And since Eric is kind and gentle, they should be sad to part ways.

Azekah. From a digger there this season.  An interesting post.  Do take a look.

General (if that’s ok too)

Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries… I got very excited when I saw that post title because I thought it was going to describe downloada conference about angry atheists but, alas, it doesn’t.  Rather, it’s a conference on the apocryphal materials.  I suppose that makes more sense really.  After all, who would want to attend a conference about angry atheists?  So, go check it out.  I doubt you’ll be dismayed.

An honest description of Academia is offered here by Seumas Macdonald.  If you click any of the links in this carnival, be sure to include this one.  He’s really hit the nail on the head when he calls academia an honor/shame society and opines- It’s blindingly obvious that Academia runs as a microcosmic honour/shame society because the one thing that ranks just below actual scholarship in scholars’ concern is prestige or honour as accorded them by their peers. This is what drives almost all academic endeavours (beyond the actual desire to study): conference papers, journal and monograph publishing, etc..  DO NOT MISS IT.

Jona Lendering’s very useful Livius Newsletter has reached a mile-mark- its 10th anniversary!  Congrats Jona.  Jona is both kind and gentle so even the most hardened and wretched angry atheist will find him enjoyable.

Bob McDonald did some math number crunching something or other and came up with an interesting list of blogs mentioned in the last 17 official Carnivals.  I sure hope no one is offended because they aren’t listed.  That would be tragic in this non judgmental world presently under construction where the motto wipsych-kittyll be ‘if it feels good, do it’.

Dan Gullotta celebrated his first year biblioblogging.  He’s got the best hair in blogdom, so, naturally, you should read his blog.

Larry Schiffman wrote a timely and interesting piece on the Orthodox (Judaism) that you should take a look at.  It’s really an important reminder.

Ken Schenck is reviewing a book about scholars who have offered their testimony concerning their academic development.  Ken is a kind and gentle soul who every SBL sneaks up behind me in the book hall and gives me a wedgie.  #TrueStory [not really, I usually go commando at SBL just like Joel Watts] [but he is nice].

James Crossley announces that the British folk are meeting in a few weeks to discuss the Bible and its reception and such things at a pub.  In Birmingham, the Florence of Great Britain.  If you’re in the area, drop by.

Scary_catAnthony LeDonne raises an important question as we see more and more Religious Studies and Biblical Studies departments seeing the sharp end of the academic ax:  will Seminaries be the only place biblical / religious studies are done in future?

And now for some genuine warm fuzzies- a dose of Karl Barth on love.  Yes.  Barth.  On love.  Because if there’s one think I like it’s Barth and if there’s another thing I like, it’s love.  Love, love, love.  It’s a good post.  You’ll love it.


Well, I hope you found everything kinder and gentler.  This month no one should have been offended by anything or had their feelings hurt or experienced any sort of discomfort.  And if so, the carnival is festooned with kittens, and they make everything better… don’t they, precious.

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