The March Biblical Studies Carnival

Old Testament Stuff That is The Most Interesting Sort of Thing Because The Old Testament Was the Bible of the Early Church


First off, happy 13th Anniversary to Jim Davila’s Paleojudaica.  Jim was the first biblioblogger and Mark Goodacre was mere moments behind.  Since Jim focused on the Hebrew Bible and Mark on the New Testament, I thought a blog concerned with both Testaments was in order and thus were born, within weeks, the three original biblioblogs.  You’re welcome world, you’re welcome.  (And I suppose if it’s Davila’s anniversary it’s Goodacre’s and mine as well- so happy 13th to the three of us).  (And for a short history of biblioblogging you can read this).

Chris ‘The Epigrapher‘ Rollston (who was seen hanging out at SBL in Atlanta with the notoriously wicked ex-believer angry atheist Hector Avalos) has some thoughts on a couple of recent discoveries in Jerusalem. I hope Chris wasn’t corrupted by any evil inclination flowing from Avalos.  That would be sad.  Sad and tragic.  Goodness, after all, isn’t communicated as easily as evil just as wellness isn’t communicated as easily as disease.

Should women limit themselves to the role of ‘helpers’ of men?  You’ll have to read the tiny essay to find out I suppose.  For me, I wish someone, anyone,would help me with my feet.  What’s wrong with them you ask?  Well let me tell you…

Daniel Boyarin is interested in Enoch and Metatron (who, if I remember correctly, was the arch foe of the Power Rangers!)  Yet another interesting bit showing that the Old Testament is really the source from which all interesting things flow.  Naked Cowboy Bible guy is interested in Enoch too.  I am too.  I love a disappearing act!

Alex Joffe takes Tom Thompson to task over an essay the latter wrote for Bible and Interpretation in Bible and Interpretation.  Clash of the Titans.

William Ross (who seems to be a genuinely good guy) interviewed Jan Joosten (who is a genuinely good guy) on matters Septuagintal.  A pleasant experience will be had by all who read it.

Don’t miss this fun podcast on Sinai.  It’s a fun podcast on Sinai.  That’s a phrase you don’t often hear.  And then, just to make the fun times funner, there are videos on Jim Davila’s site dealing with high priests and taxes and other such sorts of things and then over on Ancient Jew Review there’s an interview with the person who was also in the videos.

Even the Catholic folk enjoy the Hebrew Bible. So, be sure to look at this, where a Catholic (or as they prefer, Papist) discusses something Old Testament-y.  The Catholics truly do love the Old Testament and to prove it they’re having a conference on the text of it.

New Testament Stuff That Isn’t as Interesting as The Hebrew Bible, But Christian Folk Find it Endearing


What’s more fun than psychologists babbling on about the Historical Jesus? That’s right, nothing.  Unless it’s a new film made available to the Patheos Movie Club (yes, apparently there is such a thing.  Who knew) of which James McGrath is a member (who knew) and because of which said club said McGrath got to watch a film about a young messiah.   [NB- When the film came out it didn’t do well at the box office.  What a shame… I reckon Hollywood is about played out on exploitation of Christianity films.]

I asked above what would be more fun than psychologists babbling about Jesus. Well how about the ramblings of a biologist who taught herself Hebrew so she could really learn about the Jewishness of Jesus and thereby discover some interesting things….. and who posts three pieces shedding ‘new light’ on his last week…  Good times… good times.  [But why is it always the folk with degrees outside biblical studies who discover these ‘new insights’?  These things no one in the history of Christianity has seen till they have come along…][I’ll tell you why… because… projection].

More Jesus stuff here about Communist Jesus.  And related to Communist Jesus is Nag Hammadi Jesus, an interest this month of Larry Hurtado.  The fantastical Jesus of the imagination superimposed on a template of fantastical jello.  What’s not to love.

Unlike the failed ‘Young Messiah’, people just can’t get enough Paul… or can they. The Corinthians sure could!  So could the Galatians.  And John Mark.  And Barnabas.  And everyone Paul actually met.  In any event, Paul is posted on more than Jesus.  So I’m boycotting him and just including one Paul post in protest.  Jesus is Lord, not Paul!

Ok, two Paul posts.  But this one is really only half a post about Paul because it’s really a post with two parts about two books.  One on Paul and one on Jesus.

Ok- darn it.  Three.  A podcast.  On Paul.  And the gift.

Speaking of the Historical Jesus again, here are a couple of posts which discuss the eternally burning question- did Jesus have brothers? The answer is yes, he did. And sisters too. But a brutha’s gotta make a living yo.  And boy is Gupta making a living with a virtual avalanche of Historical Jesus posts this month and an interview with Helen Bond on how she studies and Craig Blomberg on how he does research.  Millennials, bless ’em, have a hard time learning how to do something if you don’t spell it out step by step for them.  ‘Pick up the book.  Open it to the first page.  Read it until you get to the last page.  Close the book.’  You know, stuff like that.

Oh… books… Here’s a post on a book on the reception history of the parables in Shakespeare and here’s another on the same subject.  Because, remember, Reception History is the best way to be involved in biblical studies without ever having to actually study the Bible because you’re studying ABOUT the way the Bible has been thought about and not the text itself!!!  After all, why study the Bible when you can study how the Bible has been misused and abused in art and film?  “The Bible is a Rorschach book it’s treasures long ago…” (sung to the tune of ‘The Bible is a Treasure Book).

Another book matter- what’s the longest footnote ever?  This post seeks an answer.  And Loren also wants to think about parables.  Parables and long footnotes: the things which occupy New Englanders for $300 Alex.

It being March, the burning question among many has been, did Bart Ehrman post an entry for an atheist forum?  Of course he did!  Twice!  And did angrier atheists opine about the gospels?  Yup.

Mike Bird had some thoughts on a new book by Morna Hooker.  He’s not an angry atheist but he used to be until Predestination caught up with him.   And David Congdon had some thoughts about some things people say about something or other but he thinks it’s a misquoted quotation.  I didn’t really pay much attention to it because it was a guest post and you can’t really trust guest posts.  The guest post-er should have their own blog.  Amen and Amen.

And then there’s a whole gang of posts, a veritable flurry of them, from a blog calling itself Jesus Memoirs, about the formation of and background to the gospels – from this lot: here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.  Wow.  Busy as little bees.

Don’t miss Steve Wiggins’s very engaging essay titled ‘Sleepy Hollow’s Apocalypse‘.  Great work Steve, great work!

Miscellaneous Stuff That Isn’t Directly Scriptural But Sill Mildly Interesting and Not Utterly Boring. Mostly.


This month includes an entry from Marginalia: It’s a book review site where books are reviewed because before it appeared there weren’t any books being reviewed anywhere and where books were being reviewed the poor sad and tragic reviewers weren’t really up to snuff. Thank heavens, then, for MRB! Their Carnival-worthy entry this month is about a book (their expertise) and an obit (who doesn’t love a well written obit and who knows more about death than the writers of Marginalia??).

And, proving the premise of the preceding wrong: Richard Goode reviewed a couple of volumes you’ll be interested in hearing about.  I like Richard.  Have you ever seen his fantastic video?  Oh, you must.  Let’s have a little interlude just now so you can!

Conference calls for papers and announcements abounded in March, including this one on ethnicity,  and this one at Cambridge on Ben Sira, and this one on ancient synagogues.  I really wish I were one of those rich guys who could just hop in his jet and go wherever he wanted.  I’d definitely go to the Cambridge conference on ben Sira.  The BNTS folk are also meeting soon.  Go.

And there are still other conference offerings to take advantage of, like this one.  And this one.  Two for the price of one, as it were.  Yes, go check.

Surprisingly, Larry Hurtado blogged this month but it’s not really related to the Bible. Some Roman historian blabbity blah whatever (Romans were boring.  They built stuff.  And killed a lot of people.  And made gladiators fight until the Emperor made the mistake of getting in the forum with Russell Crow and he gutted the wretch).

Have you ever wanted a list of German New Testament scholars?  Yeah, me neither.  But it exists.  Here’s the rationale for it-

As a new feature for this blog, I have spent the last two weeks compiling Bibliographies of Neutestamentler/innen in the German Language Sphere (BNGLS). This task has greatly expanded my own understanding of what is going on in the German-speaking world, and I hope it will also prove beneficial for others who are seeking to engage with the ‘German’ tradition. A distinctive feature of this new resource is that I have provided a separate bibliography of the English publications of each German-language-sphere scholar as well as a link to their full bibliographies, webpages, pages etc. For the bibliographies themselves see the BNGLS tab of my blog or click here.

That’s a lot of work.

Alin Suciu posted a couple of times on Coptic stuff things.  One on a paper he is presenting at a Coptic conference.  And one offering the program for said Coptic conference. Give them both a read if you are interested in that sort of thing.  Not that there’s anything wrong with it if you are… mostly.

SOTS Summer Meeting registration info and programme (for the Brits) is up and available.  SOTS- the best meeting of the year, always.  Admittedly I’m a Winter meeting attender though and not a Summer attender.  It’s just grand.

Simcha thinks Jesus appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Nope.  Pure unadulterated fantasy.  The Remnant pokes the appropriate amount of fun at it.  Simcha also thinks that Paul – yes Paul – can be found in the Scrolls.  And that Paul was – according to Christian tradition – crucified in Rome.  Oops- so very wrong.  But nice try.  Give it another go when you earn a degree in Biblical studies, mkay?


The ‘official’ Carnival is being hosted by our old friend NT Wrong.  You can visit it here.  I hope they’ve provided some interesting links.  Knowing NT as I do, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were a good lot collected.

Happy April 1st.

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