Daily Archives: 1 Dec 2016

Call For Submissions: The Purely Biblical Studies Avignonian Carnival

The next Carnival, which will post on 1 January at midnight plus 1 minute will be exclusively devoted to posts on either the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament and the New Testament.  Book reviews of books on those particular topics, posts of exegesis, and that sort of thing will make up the entire carnival’s offerings.

So for the next 31 days or so if you see an interesting post (or post an interesting post) on either the OT or the NT please do send them along.  And thanks.

If This Doesn’t Infuriate You, You Lack a Soul, and a Heart

These are the kinds of people Donald Trump is surrounding himself with.

Donald Trump wasn’t the only person to see opportunity in the 2008 housing collapse. As the economy recovered from the rubble of failed banks, foreclosed homes and government bailouts, Steven Mnuchin emerged a winner.

That success is coming back to haunt the hedge fund manager and Hollywood producer who is Trump’s choice for Treasury secretary. OneWest, a bank Mnuchin and his partners established during the collapse, has taken steady fire from regulators and consumer advocates for myriad failures ever since.

In Florida, the company foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman after a 27-cent payment error. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo singled out the lender for squeezing Superstorm Sandy victims. Last month, the company’s successor, CIT Bank, was accused of discriminating against minority borrowers.

Behold, the face of greed and the incarnation of the truth that the love of money is the root of all evil.

Our Book is Now Available!

9780567670595James Crossley and myself have edited a volume and today it became available for ordering.  So do.  It’s a fantastic collection of essays by a gang of gifted scholars:

  • Introduction: Keith Whitelam in Context – James Crossley, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, UK and Jim West, formerly of Quartz Hill School of Theology, USA, presently at Ming Hua Theological College, Hong Kong
  • 1. Maximalist and/or Minimalist Approaches in Recent Representations of Ancient Israelite and Judaean History – Ingrid Hjelm, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2. The Emergence of Israel Again – Robert B. Coote, San Francisco Theological Seminary, USA
  • 3. A Plea for an Historical Anthropology of Ancient Palestine – Emanuel Pfoh, National University of La Plata, Argentina
  • 4. Mapping Palestine – Philip R. Davies, University of Sheffield, UK
  • 5. A Sectarian Group Called Israel: Historiography and Cultural Memory – Niels Peter Lemche, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 6. The History of Israel – Without the Bible: A Thought Experiment – Jim West, Quartz Hill School of Theology, USA
  • 7. The Present Crisis in Biblical Scholarship – John Van Seters, University of North Carolina, USA
  • 8. The Perpetuation of Racial Assumptions in Biblical Studies – Deane Galbraith, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • 9. Made in Sheffield – David J.A. Clines, The University of Sheffield, UK
  • 10. God and the State: The Bible and David Cameron’s Authority – James Crossley, St Mary’s University, UK
  • Bibliography
  • Index

“Elusive Scrolls: Could Any Hebrew Literature Have Been Written Prior to the Eighth Century B.C.E.?”

Read it here.

More Christmas “prestigious” auction alerts

Take note!

Roberta Mazza

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-15-59-20 Screen shot of the vintage souvenir of the Rylands fragment of John on sale through Sotheby’s New York on December 5th

Christmas auction madness never ends surprising me this year. In few days, Sotheby’s New York will auction an awful vintage reproduction of our P.Ryl. III 457 (P 52), with an estimate price of $ 300-500. By the way, the other side of the facsimile fragment is BLANK. So this really is a super-crappy souvenir.

To maybe add an ironic touch, the catalogue specifies that provenance (whatever they mean through the term…) is unknown, and date is 19-20 century. You bet.

The lot is part of the sale of the Bible Collection of Dr Charles Caldwell Ryrie, on which see Brice Jones’ blog.

Are you thinking to buy this “souvenir”? You should really be a bizarre collector full of money to throw away: consider donating to the poor instead, it’s Christmas time…

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Free Access to EBR Essays

DeGruyter tweets – 

Blogger’s Choice – free access to EBR articles recommended by biblioblogger Jim West @drjewest. degruyter.com/dg/page/765/ebr

The Carnival-  SBL: The Run Up to The Annual Meeting, the Experience of, And the Aftermath


This month’s carnival is divided in three segments:  Before SBL, During SBL, and After SBL.  It features posts on facebook and twitter leading up to the meeting, posts written during the meeting, and posts summing things up after the meeting.  Enjoy!1

Before SBL

The month of SBL joyfulness kicked off with a series of tweets attached to the official hashtag of the conference – #SBLaar16.  Here are some of the tweets inviting participation and offering information-

[Guess what]…

  • Will you be @ ? Interested in the intersection of hermeneutics, theol. interpretation & dogmatics? Check it

[Check it?  What is this, 1990?]

Are you headed to ? Drop by the  booth, buy some books and grab one of these…

The always very prolific Mike Bird made some suggestion about the meeting and things to do at it.  Of course it’s too lat to do anything about it this year, but next… in Boston…

Some folk, though, aren’t interested in attending a conference in Texas…

Not attending #sblaar16 in San Antonio, where @TX_Legislature passed Campus Carry Law. Not spending my $ where guns are forced on campuses.

God loves the activists…  God also loves the heavy drinkers in AAR too, evidently…

@AARWeb is so generous to provide 12-step meetings at #sblaar16! Look for us under “additional meetings.” One Panel At A Time!

Okie dokie then.

ASOR always meets the three days leading up to SBL and this year Michael Langlois attended.  He writes During this meeting, I will chair the two “Ancient Inscriptions” sessions together with my colleague Heather Parker, as I did last year.  I will also give a paper on “Mobile Multispectral Imaging of Ancient Ink Inscriptions” in the “Ancient Texts and Modern Photographic and Digital Technologies” session on November 19 at 9:25.

Ninjay Gupta posted the best series of rules for SBL attendees that I’ve yet seen.  Perfectly practical and absolutely on target.  It’s too late to use them this year, so put them into practice next.

The day before SBL commenced there were a lot of these:

On my way to #sblaar16 and #asor16. See you all in San Antonio.

Me too!

During SBL

Nursing Mother’s lounge on street level (level 1) of convention center near registration and exhibit hall #sblaar16

That’s nice, but what about the nursing father’s lounge?

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And then this happened on the twitter-

I don’t know why, but I’ve had “Welcome to the Jungle” playing in my head every since I got to this conference #SBLAAR16.

Ha!  So true!!  But academic things go on as well at SBL-

McLaren: Mason’s War is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the conflict(s) between Rome and Judea #sblaar16

And then of course

Join us for a review of Hendel’s Steps to a New Edition of the Hebrew Bible. S21-351a. #sblaar16.


After SBL

People posted things on facebook like this:

My Uber driver this am told me that the mass exodus of #sblaar16crashed SA’s Uber site.


So at this meeting, I found out that Muslims cancelled papers for fear of being hassled in the US AND the U.K. And Turkey have issued travel warning for their citizens traveling to the US – WTF? Totally embarrassed! #sblaar16 

Sarah Heroman (Bill’s better half) offered a sort of ‘outsider’s’ take on the annual meeting in a post you really need to read in its fullness to see how you’re viewed by someone who isn’t a biblical studies specialist.  In part-

For everyone asking- SBL stands for Society of Biblical Literature and AAR stands for American Academy of Religion. Bill has gone to this thing four years now, and I just returned home from my first.

What is it? I can’t really say anything about the AAR side, but for the SBL side, as far as I can tell, it is a conference for all of the very smartest people who study the Bible (and associated texts) to get together and present papers on new, developed or re-thought information regarding the texts. Some of these papers are part of dissertations, some of them are part of books, some of them are ideas that a committee thinks should be brought to the table.

Enjoy it all.

Bill Heroman (Sarah’s worser half) had some play by play of the fun along with a series of links to other posts on the conference.

And naturally the Aussie Bird posted his own reflections on both ETS and SBL.  Do give it a look.  Will Ross also shared a bit about ETS (on the LXX).  I’m only including it because Will’s a good kid and his blog deserves a bit more attention than it gets- not because I care about ETS.

Christoph Heilig and the Zurichers had some interesting things to say about the early Christians and their Caesars.  Not, strictly speaking, SBL related but it’s my carnival and I’m tossing it in for good measure.

Richard Goode announced the next big thing in the world of biblical studies conferences/ lectures.  It’s yuge.  There’s nothing like it ever anywhere before or after.  What is it?  It’s so fantastic it can’t even be described in a few words, so you’ll have to read Richard’s post.



Well friends, that’s it for this month.  Next, I return to my Avignonian ways.  Stay tuned…  And as you prepare your hearts and minds for Christmas, just remember, NT Wright’s books make perfect yuletide firelogs. #ProTip




1Please note that the names of tweeters and facebookers have been left off simply because many of the accounts I follow are not public and accordingly, I wish to protect the privacy of the post-ers.