January is always an exciting month. It kicks off a new year and it begins with a celebration of the greatest of all the Christian theologians and exegetes, Huldrych Zwingli. But, believe it or not, I’m not going to talk about Zwingli. Or Luther. Or Calvin. Or any of that historical theology stuff. Instead, this Carnival is restricted to things biblical studies. So hold on to your knickers, friends, because this Carnival is the One Biblical Studies Carnival to Rule Them All.
Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament
Science and Bible, again. And yes, I realize that it’s a topic near and dear to many but I just don’t get it. Science has to do with science and Scripture has to do with theology/ metaphysics. They don’t play on the same playground, they aren’t neighbors, and they don’t sit down for coffee and chat about what they think about the other. You never really hear about scientists fretting as to whether or not Christian theology will take it seriously but you have loads of Christian theologians who act like 13 year old girls craving the approval of the boy who won’t pay them any attention. Nonetheless, if the whole science game is your bag, good for you. You are Legion.
Archangels. Where did they come from? The remaining giants discuss.
Where did archangels come from? How did we end up with archangels in Jewish and Christian tradition?
The LXX Reader’s Edition contest that ran in November… has announced the two winners… here at the end of January (the 25th to be precise). (3 months. That has to be a record)(Bless their hearts)(They have political careers ahead of them if this LXX research thing falls through).
Someone wants to argue with Deane Galbraith about giants.
Over at Bible and Interpretation
Hendel and Joosten’s book [on dating Biblical texts in Hebrew] is chock-full of insightful observations on a multitude of linguistic, textual, and cultural/historical phenomena, and they argue cogently that the best method for dating biblical writings should include all three of these data sources. Nonetheless, their answer to the question, “How Old is the Hebrew Bible?,” is unoriginal because they do little more than offer a sophisticated repackaging of the traditional linguistic dating approach and results, and it is also unsatisfactory because they eschew literary criticism in the formulation of their model of consilience for determining the ages of biblical literature.
Read the full essay.
Septuagint reading can be fun. Or so we’re told.
There’s a super essay in B&I by Hendel and Joosten on the Hebrew Bible’s age. You MUST read it (or else).
Many scholars, largely disregarding linguistic data, insist that most or all of the Hebrew Bible was written in the second half of the first millennium BCE, during the Persian and/or Hellenistic periods, and draw the inference that there is little or no historical content that predates this era….The ages of the books of the Hebrew Bible span a vast chronological range, from the early Iron Age to the Greek age, which we can discern at different degrees of focus. There is much that we can know about these topics, more than most scholars are willing to grant.
Internet Monk is thinking along with Peter Enns about the Bible. A bad decision on the best of days. But anyway, he’s doing it. And you may to give his thinkings a read.
Robert Alter’s really wonderful translation/ commentary on the Hebrew Bible gets a thorough going over in this ‘symposium’ on it in the Jewish Review of Books. It is a substantial review by a good raft of scholars, and you should most definitely read it. I was given a copy of Alter’s work for Christmas and I really love it.
Septuagint Summer School. You know you want to. It’s in the Summer. In Europe.
An Orthodox Priest named Stephen has a very interesting take on Jesus and social justice. He opines
Secularism is the forgetting of God, or remembering Him in a manner that is truly less than God. This is the cause of all injustice. Indeed, it is the great injustice: that human beings forget their Creator and the purpose of their existence. When we forget God, everything is madness.
I recommend his intriguing essay.
Joel Watts tells us how the New Testament canon was actually formed. Who knew…
Larry’s right. Paul wasn’t ‘converted’. He simply reformed.
Bill Mounce asks if ‘all’ the translations are wrong at Mark 1:16. To which I reply, the ones most people use are, but the REB is right. The REB proves itself over and over again the most reliable version in English and here it does so yet again.
Ian Paul discusses, naturally, the historicity of the visit of the Wise Men. What the world needs is more Bultmannians.
Ian also talks about the notion that the Gospel can be funny at spots… He’s apparently writing a book on the humor in the Bible…. But he’s British…
Philbert *The Traveler* Long had a bit of something to say about the Theology of Acts. He remarks
There is a third element of the book of Acts which…
Bart Ehrman asks about early Christians and the belief in reincarnation. He writes
It is often said today that reincarnation was a widespread teaching in early Christianity as well. In fact, the evidence for it is …. To see the rest of what I have to say, you’ll need to belong to the blog. It’s easy to join, and costs less then fifty cents a week.
I don’t know what he says about it. I’m not a blog-liever. If you are, you’ll know.
James McGrath thinks Jesus was a hugger. It’s an interesting and not altogether impossible reading of the text he is looking at. Why not, I guess. But Jesus also had a beard and there’s no reason to think that having a beard is required just because he had one… ergo…
Richard Bauckham lectured at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem on Jesus Christ as the Alpha and Omega. You’ll enjoy it.
Bart Ehrman answers a reader’s question about the Jewishness of the New Testament authors. Someone (the questioner) has been reading the Nazi sympathizing New Testament scholars in Germany in 1930 again… Fortunately Deane has the good sense (along with many others) to point out the absurdity of it all (and Bart pulled his post down… but you can still read it here).
Mike Bird writes a thing about ‘Apostle Paul’ and some early Church person thing. What intrigues me about the post is the practice among some of saying ‘Apostle Paul’ instead of ‘The Apostle Paul’ as though ‘the’ is now out of fashion. It’s weird. Stop it.
And, finally, your ‘eyeroll of the month’- a post suggesting that the Sermon on the Mount has a dark side because it ‘others’ the pharisees….
This means the Sermon on the Mount is, in large part, constructed upon a negative “othering,” or stereotyping of rivals – namely, the Scribes and the Pharisees. The “righteousness” of the Scribes and Pharisees provides a foil for the higher righteousness of the Sermon.
Archaeology and Texts
Two biblioblogs took notice of the appearance of a website devoted to the polyglots: Bible and Tech and ETC. Who doesn’t like polyglots? And websites? And polyglot websites?
If you haven’t run across mention of it yet, there’s a Text criticism conference in Birmingham. Bookings close in mid February.
Belarus text display? Ok. I guess a text has got to be somewhere. Why not Belarus? Though if I were a text I’d definitely prefer to be in the Zurich Central Library. Or the British Library.
ETC also took notice of some dead sea scrolls stuffity stuff. It’s madness though so you should probably just let is slide right on by. Here’s a snippet just so you know I’m trying to be a blessing:
The texts preserving Psalms from Qumran classified by scholars as biblical texts are significant for the fluid/standard text debate because they preserve large-scale differences that designate them in the mind of many scholars as an alternative tradition or edition of the Psalter.
I hope they get Denzel Washington to play the lead when they make this DSS post at ETC into a movie…
Big news from Brent– the John Rylands texts are online. Now that’s some useful material for sure.
Israeli looters want to beat Bedouin looters to the loot to be found, they hope, in the region of the Dead Sea around Qumran. Looting Wars should be the title of the essay here reported. One set of looters is state sponsored and the other individually driven. But looters are looters. if it isn’t your land, it isn’t your loot.
Interested in a digital library of text critical things? Look no further.
At the time of writing this, we currently have images of or links to more than 1500 manuscripts in our library.
Aren Maeir has a new post on the Philistines and their war-y-ness-hood. It’s a lot of fun. The post, not the war-ness-ness of the Philistines. They were such Philistines.
Michael Langlois lectured at the Ecole Biblique on bible forgeries and the like and it was recorded. You can view it here.
Bob Cargill wrote a piece for BAR on the so called ‘Jerusalem Column’, noting
The Jerusalem Column is the first inscription from the Second Temple period where the full spelling of the Hebrew name of Jerusalem (ירושלימ) appears. By “full spelling,” I mean a spelling of Jerusalem that includes the letter yod (י) between the lamed (“l”; ל) and final mem (“m”; מ) at the end of the name.
Unfortunately he doesn’t actually use a ‘final mem’, as the article suggests, but a medial mem. Final mem looks like this: ם. Not like this: מ. If BC just meant that the word on the inscription ended with mem that’s what he should have said, without calling it a ‘final mem’ because the two mean different things to people who study Hebrew texts. BAR’s readers won’t notice the difference, but there is one.
Be sure to give the lecture by Israel Finkelstein at the Ecole Biblique a watch if you haven’t already. It’s way more fun than a pillar.
Important series-es for new testament textual criticism. Brought to you by the good people of Evangelical Textual Criticism (as opposed to and in contradistinction from non-evangelical textual criticism).
The Nabatean stronghold of Sela gets a great writeup in the Jordan Times, blogged here. An interesting site with an interesting history.
Paul Barford posted an interesting snippet on Israel’s display of looted archaeological finds. He notes, though, that
International law bars an occupying military from displaying antiquities outside the occupied area. But (Nir Hasson, ‘Israel Displays Archaeological Finds Looted From West Bank‘ Haaretz Jan 01, 2019). The exhibition is part of the Israeli story invoking the need to preserve culture as a justification of their activities as occupier. Through their media they constantly promote the narrative that archaeological remains in the occupied territory must be ‘saved from’ the Palestinians.
Aren’t they nice to break the law to save artifacts from those awful terrible expansionist Palestinians…… Such humanitarians…
Green papyri. Again.
Larry Hurtado is thinking about Jesus this month… indeed, something different about Jesus this month… Be sure to read the whole and don’t cut any of it short.
A new Theology of the Old Testament was reviewed at the very beginning of the month. It is, seriously, a very good and useful volume. Rick Brannan announced his writing schedule for 2019. Have you ever seen such a thing?
Eric Harvey posted a list of books he has read this year. That may not sound like anything special, until you read the post and realize that these are books for the blind and that there are theological / biblical studies tomes among them. I suspect that a lot of good could be done if books in biblical studies for the blind were published more purposefully.
Philbert Long reviewed Carl Holladay’s commentary on Acts. He begins, justifiably:
There have been several significant…
Leander Keck has a book on Inerrancy and the text of the New Testament that gets a mention (I don’t know why) by the ETC folk. I guess they’re just catching up on book reading.
JB Lightfoot left unfinished his commentaries on several of Paul’s letters. But he left notes. Rob Bradshaw has them digitized. And you can read the notes here.
Someone reviewed a book about following Jesus. Read it if such things are of interest. Joel Watts saw a book about Jesus by some Methodist and he was compelled by his Methodist sympathies to make his readers aware of it.
Are you having trouble with translating German? Tavis Bollinger offers some help if you’re a Logos user. Or, alternatively, learn German.
James *Not Jim, Don’t Use Jim* Spinti reminds us that editing book covers is just as important as editing book contents. Otherwise things just look wrong and thus bad.
Larry Hurtado reviews a review of his book. I’m looking forward to someone reviewing Larry’s review of the review so that then Larry can review the review of the review of his review of his book.
Carl *Hideous* Sweatman shared his reading list from last year. It’s an interesting mix of bilge, rubbish and a few interesting works. Send Carl recommendations for stuff that’s worth reading, please. So that his 2019 can be better than his 2018 was.
Two books are reviewed here having to do with the Bible: Amos, in the Anchor Bible Commentary, and The Jesus Movement in its Expansion. Scroll down to page 4 of the reviews embedded.
Lexundria. Books. From antiquity. Digitized. Visit it.
Women Biblical Scholars (a blog you should definitely follow) announces the appearance of a monograph on women in Ephesus. They point it out on the twitter–
Dr. Elif Halal Karaman (@elflal) has an exciting new book out on Ephesian women. She tells Women Biblical Scholars (WBS) about it.
The CenSAMM has announced a conference scheduled for this Summer. This will be of interest to many.
The 2019 Conference: The Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements: Critical and Interdisciplinary Approaches will take place on 27-28 June 2019 at the University of Bedfordshire (Bedford Campus).
Mike Bird has a great quote by Thomas Cranmer on abused wives and divorce. I’m going to use it. A lot.
Ben Witherington was interviewed by a guy at a Church and Ben is pleased to share the video of Ben’s interview on Ben’s ‘one stop shop for all things biblical and Christian’. If you’re as into Ben as Ben is, you’ll enjoy Ben’s discussing Ben.
Brian Davidson has some thoughts on Logos 8. It’s bible software. For bible nerds. Who don’t like real books. But do like e-books.
Rick Brannan is going to send out a newsletter and he wants you to sign up for it.
Christian Brady had some really important things to say about death. Give it a read.
Michael Satlow is putting together a resource page which assembles digital humanities materials on Judaism in late antiquity:
This is not meant to be comprehensive, but contains a number of sites and links that might be of interest to those interested in working on digital humanities projects relating to Jews and Judaism in (particularly late) antiquity. I am happy to add and correct this list, so please feel free to send me your suggestions. Over time, I may well annotate it as well.
The Center for Apocalyptic studies that Crossley runs has assembled a raft of podcasts and videos that may be of interest to persons interested in them. Such things as one might find interesting. Potentially.
Animals and the Bible. Call for papers. Check it out.
Dirk remarked on the twitter
ORBIS. Larry Hurtado mentions it.
ORBIS is primarily intended to serve historians of the Roman Empire, the main questions shaping the project having to do with how Rome managed such a far-flung empire. So it is “top down” in orientation, more amenable to questions about how trade or governance operated, and at what cost and time involved.
Larry Hurtado has some guidance on what to call people in various international academic contexts. Give it a look, ye undergrads.
If you are interested in a gathering at Tyndale House, take note of this call for papers:
The 2019 NT Study Group will be meeting at Tyndale House from 26th to 28th June 2018. Our theme this year is Writing, orality and the composition of the NT. We would welcome proposals of papers on any issue of scholarly debate on issues relating to this, including writing in ancient world as it affects the NT, memory theory and orality, and canonical composition and dating of NT documents.
Well there it is, the most important official Biblical Studies Carnival of 2019 (so far). Be sure to go over and grab the Logos free book of the month. And check out the listing of upcoming Carnivals.
I’ll next be reporting from Zurich where I’m off to attend the Zwingli Conference (celebrating his arrival in Zurich 500 Years Ago) and where there are loads of cool activities planned. Stay tuned.