Its the ‘Pandemic / Societal Apocalypse / Is June Finally Over? / Ugh What a Miserable Month’ Edition of the Biblical Studies Carnival

Welcome to the ‘Pandemic Pandemonium’ Biblioblog Carnival

Put your mask on and come on in.  There’s plenty to see and you won’t have to touch anyone or even come within 6 feet of someone else.  And the only thing you’ll be infected with is joy.  Unlike last month’s Carnival where you were infected with niceness.  Indeed, you can’t visit that carnival without leaving it a nicer person.

That’s about to change.  😉  Prepare to be en-joy-ed.

Hebrew Bible/ LXX

Larry Schiffman has a great essay about the ‘Washington Pentateuch‘ and the Museum of the Bible that you’ll not want to miss.

Robert Gnuse has a very interesting sounding book coming out, an excerpt of which can be read at the Bible and Interpretation site- Greek Literature and the Primary History.

The First Gaster Bible makes an appearance on the British Library Blog.  If you aren’t familiar with it-

Named after its distinguished last owner Dr Moses Gaster (1856–1939), the spiritual leader of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation in London, the manuscript was most probably created in Egypt. The colophon – a statement at the end of a manuscript giving details about its production – is missing, and so, nothing is known about the original commission. Its estimated date and place of production have thus been determined by comparing it with extant Hebrew Bibles copied around about the 10 th century in Egypt and the Middle East.

Konrad Schimd and a panel of experts discuss the creation of the Bible in this fantastic 90 minute video.

News of a Festschrift for Diana Edelman hit social media in June. The Hunt for Ancient Israel: Essays in Honour of Diana V. Edelman.  You can find all the details of this fascinating sounding book here.

The British Association for Jewish Studies will hold an online conference in July.  The details and the papers to be presented are available here.

Brent Niedergall pitted HALOT against DCH and offers his rationale for preferring one to another.

Michael Langlois was interviewed by Figaro Magazine about bible hunting.  Don’t worry, though, it’s not with guns.

Peter Enns has a friend (shocking, I know) named Jared Byas who Pete lets write on his blogg.  So who better to tell us how to read the bible with respect?  He begins

I don’t know about you but I grew up with this nagging thought in the back of my mind when I read my Bible: am I doing it right?

Gary Yates is interviewed on a podd cast about his new book on stuff from the Old Testament and whether or not it’s for real.  You’ll enjoy it if you enjoy things.

There’s a VERY interesting post on the Golden Calf that is simply must reading.  It’s one of the most engaging posts of the month.

James Crossley has a very engaging post on The Bible and Trump.  Give it a read.

New Testament

One of this generation’s greatest scholars died on June 26; James D.G. Dunn.  Jimmy to those who knew him.  Many mourn for the loss.  He was a wonderful scholar and one of the nicest people you could ever run into at any Conference.  He was a genuinely decent man.  May he rest in peace.   There were a number of remembrances, but those by Loren Stuckenbruck and James Ernest stand out as the best of them.

Mark Goodacre’s podcast on 1 June featured a discussion of historical Jesus criteria.   I didn’t get to listen because I was otherwise occupied but I’m sure it solved every problem, as podcasts often do.  Give it a listen.  It’s poddy.  And it won’t give you a disease.

Was Jesus born in Bethlehem?  Gary Greenberg talks about the question.

Christoph Heilig is working on a Greek grammar and he’s seeking your help.

A self described layman (he doesn’t include his name anywhere on his commentary page so I don’t know who he is) discusses a bit of Matthew 5 (on divorce).  But he quotes academics.  So is it really the observations of a layman or the compilation of scholar’s insights?  You decide.  I only include it because I was asked to by a third party.  And I’m nice that way.

Mike Bird reflected on Jesus and parables.  Give it a look if you missed it earlier.

Gary Greenberg is doing a series making a case for a ‘proto-gospel’.

Ben Witherington 3rd teaches the entire history of ancient Greece in a mere 18 minutes.  You’re welcome.

Christian Brady has some thoughts on the Fatherhood of God as it’s portrayed in the Bible.  Worth your time.

According to Mike Bird, NT Wright knows what the New Testament has to say about women preachers.  Enjoy.

Mike Aubrey has some 12th Anniversary reflections over at his blog, Koine Greek.  Give it a look.  And good luck to Mike and his wife as they begin a new, and valuable work.

Christoph Heilig (who probably knows more about the intricacies of Koine Greek better than anyone on the planet) has a post on Greek verbs you’ll want to read.

The BNTS meeting this year is fully online.  So if you’ve always wanted to go, this is your chance to sit in.

Bishop Yu (Hong Kong) offers a withering response to NT Wright’s article on Christianity and the Coronavirus.  Withering.  You may have missed it, but you should definitely read it.

There’s a neat little treatment of Jesus’ hyperbole that you should read over here.  It’s by one John Squires.  He’s Australian, but he isn’t Mike Bird or Ben Myers!  (The only two other Australians).

A letter from Abbott to Gardner-Smith made an appearance on Mark Goodacre’s blog.  He remarks I was recently noodling around for some biographical information on Percival Gardner-Smith who is well known in the field of NT studies.  Life in the fast lane noodling!

Into textual criticism?  Enjoy the esoterical aspects of it such that you crave more discussion of ‘the initial text’?  Well this post is right up your alley!  You’ll be transported to geeknerd paradise upon the reading of it.  And if papyrology is your groove, you’ll love this.

What were the early Christians like?  A citation from Pliny and a few photos address that question.  They don’t answer it, though.  You’ll have to read a bit more to get the full answer.

Crossley took on Ehrenkrook in an epic smackdown on the ‘American Bible’.  There’s something in the discussion for everyone: maiming, yelling, violence, dogs, a kitten, a baby goat, and much, much more!  Tune in!!!

Nijay Gupta gave a lecture on the household codes in the New Testament (what we old timers call the Haustafeln).  You can view it (it’s a video) here.  He was also on a podcast.  Talking about Jude and James and how they are in the Bible too!!!!   Nah, I’m kidding.  He was talking about….  Paul…

Phil Long is blogging through Revelation.  He’s made it to the war on the dragon bit.  Tune in and scroll through to catch up.


DNA an interest of yours?  The DSS?   The DNA of the DSS?  Well here’s something for your very particular niche interests.   Speaking of the DSS- there’s a nifty interview about the latest scrolls news with the inestimable George Brooke.  He’s fantastic.

Also Scrolls related- a conference on the discovery of fragments.  It took place mid-June but you can catch up anyway.

Bible and Interpretation had a neat essay on Moab.  If you missed it, be sure to give it a read.  Candida Moss has a good piece on the story of the discovery of cannabis at an ancient religious site.  Very much worth a read.

The Museum of the Bible is back in the news.  See why.

BASOR is getting a new team of editors effective 1 January, 2021.  Four new folk will replace Eric Cline and Chris Rollston.

Chuck Jones mentions an open access excavation volume– from Tall Zira’a.  The results of the excavations at Tall Zira’a (2003–2011) and of the surveys will be published in english on this site.

Jim Davila has the story of an ancient winery discovered in the Jezreel.  With followup info.

A little something was found in Sepphoris.  That’s the story.   And that’s pretty much the whole story.  No photos.  No details.  Just the barest fact.   Ah journalism….

The story of the Palestine Exploration Fund is told in a new book, excerpts of which are available now on the Bible and Interpretation site.  Take a look.


Bob reviewed Gupta.  I don’t know who Bob is or what he does (his blog doesn’t include any CV or the like), but he reviewed Gupta, so there you have it.

Will Ross writes- Tuukka Kauhanen and Hanna Vanonen have edited The Legacy of Soisalon-Soininen: Towards a Syntax of Septuagint Greek in the DSI series with V&R.    Get a copy for yourself and your spouse!

If Food Taboos in the Hebrew Bible are of interest to you, this open access book is something you may want to look into.

Larry Hurtado’s ‘Texts and Artefacts’ is reviewed here.  And I’m still gutted that he’s gone.  Too many wonderful people are gone and the horrible ones just stay around forever.

Mike Bird has a very useful post which describes forthcoming biblical studies books by Black scholars.  It is right and good to amplify these important voices.  Give it a read.  And more importantly, read the books of Scholars of Color.

Jodi Magness’s excellent ‘Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth‘ has been reviewed by Karen Stern, here.

Bob MacDonald shares some of the things he’s been reading whilst in lockdown.  Some of it’s good, some of it’s bad, and some of it’s poetry…   Ick.  Poetry.  To each his own I guess.  If I were desperate enough to read English poetry (as opposed to Hebrew) I’d plead for the world to end.

Hey, guess what, there was a book about Paul published in June!  WOW!  Nice!  Paul!  You never hear about Paul anymore, what with all the books on Hebrews and James and Jude that get published these days.  Anyway, this book about Paul (the guy we seldom hear about anymore) gets a nice review over on The Sacred Page.  Give it a read if you haven’t yet.

Carmen Joy Imes does a wonderful job reviewing Stewards of Eden.  Give it a well deserved read.

Jim Gordon runs through his lockdown reading.  At least he’s keeping himself out of trouble…

If you haven’t had your fill of thinking about misery, there’s a new book sure to help satisfy your thirst.  Tornado God.  It’s what we old timers used to call a ‘theodicy’.

Andy Judd reviewed ‘Jewish Literature: An Anthology‘ on Mike Bird’s blog.  He calls it ‘a delightful and useful window into second temple Judaism’.

There’s a book coming out about sexual violence against men in the Bible.  If this is of interest to you, so will be the interview with the author.  One Chris Greenough.

I reviewed a book introducing inscriptions.  Here.  Enjoy!  And one on Revelation in a fantastic new series that far surpasses any recent New Testament Commentary comprised of several contributors.

Like mercy?  Then you may like this book and the interview with its author.

Faith & Culture presents an interview with Fr. Daniel P. Moloney, Ph.D., chaplain at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of Mercy: What Every Catholic Should Know (Augustine Institute & Ignatius Press, 2020).

Phil Long reviewed Sidnie White Crawford’s new book on Scribes and Scrolls at Qumran.  I’m glad to see Phil making good use of his time.

There’s a review of a book about comic books something something something and Batman, I think, over here at Pop Culture and Theology.  I admit to not knowing anything about comic books.  I don’t recall ever reading one. Ever.  But I do like the Avenger movies, if that counts.

The Spirit of Christian Teaching is a book soon to appear that Patristics scholars and students may wish to learn more about.

Michael Austin has a book coming out titled ‘God and Guns in America’.  He’s put together a little YouTube video that you might find enjoyable and informative.

T&T Clark have something called an ‘ecological‘ commentary on Hebrews.   Up next I hear there’s to be a zoological commentary on Hebrews.  Followed by a whole series of various -logical topics.  I’m most looking forward to the Interpretive Dance Commentary on Hebrews slated to come out in a few years.

David Instone-Brewer’s ‘Bible Contexts’ is being posted chapter by chapter.  This week chapter 19 appeared.  Give it, and the whole, a look.

Tweets You May Have Missed

@AnguloGP7 — New Testament scholar friends, I’m no expert on the NT but I will be teaching an Intro NT class for the first time with @joshchristvevo. I would like to include readings on NT related to race, gender, & power written by women and scholars of color. Any suggestions where to begin?

@AnummaBrooke — Hebrew Bible scholars, what critical issues and methods would you be sure to include in a doctoral/PhD survey seminar on HB/OT History? (I’ll need to overhaul Fall 2020 anyway in light of available resources, so I’m rethinking the whole thing.) Please RT.

@ChristophHeilig — I’ll give you a 200$ book for free (well, make it OA) and you look at my index – sounds fair? 😉 I’d be grateful if you flagged up everything that might seem fishy to you (such as chapters/verses that don’t exist in the work in question)

@eu_are — #EuARe2020 Digital Book Fair📢 all members are welcome to visit @degruyter_lib virtual booth 👉 and if you want to discuss a future project you can get in touch here 👉

@CSNTM — #textcritictuesday The German philologist Karl Lachmann (1793–1851) is recognized as the first scholar to depart decisively from the Textus Receptus with his edition. His aim was to reproduce, not the original text, but the text current in the East at the end of the 4th century.

If you aren’t following @CSNTM, you ought to.

@bormann_lukas — Rudolf #Bultmann besuchte im WS 1905/06 bei Paul Natorp eine 4 stündige Logikvorlesung. In B.s Nachlass findet sich ein Foto von der Aufbahrung N.s. Bultmanns Wissenschaftsverständnis war von #Neukantianismus geprägt.

If you don’t follow Prof. Bormann you’re really missing out. He has the best tweets. Always SO interesting.

@tryBibLing — Never believe a ‘new method’ will make language learning ‘easier’ or ‘faster’. There are no shortcuts. Language learning is challenging work. Discipline — not talent — is your greatest asset.

@ccsahner — Appalling: Report documents severe damage to Syrian heritage and museums @AJENews

@Plong42 — From Brill Open Source: Roald Dijkstra, editor, The Early Reception and Appropriation of the Apostle Peter (60-800 CE) –

@FSSLatin — As I make tweaks to my Roman Women course for next year, I’m wondering if anyone can help me out with some bibliography for women in Egypt, Carthage and the Kingdom of Kush. Thanks in advance for any sources you can offer!

@ImmanentFrame — NEW | Susannah Heschel (@dartmouth) contributes to our forum on “Pandemic, religion, and public life,” by looking at the Jewish ritual of shvartze chasene, the “pandemic of nightmares accompanying Covid-19,” and the epidemic of racial terror in the US.

@chriskeith7 — Due to unforeseen circumstances, Monday’s CSSSB 2020 Online Discussion Series featuring @LorenStuckenbru is canceled. That gives us an extra couple weeks to advertise our July 6 event with @adele_reinhartz: “Are the Jews Cast Out of the Covenant in the Gospel of John?” Join us!

And the best tweet of all?

@ymiller419 — Prof. John Collins: “Specialization is the boon and the bane of Second Temple Studies.” He calls for a need to “broaden out” or risk becoming a “rabbit hole.” #originsofevil2020


It’s no exaggeration to say that June began with the US more divided than ever and with a pandemic raging and rioting, burning, and looting taking place thanks to the murder by police of yet another in a long line of Black men.  Unsurprisingly many took the opportunity to offer some thoughts on it all.  Scot McKnight among them, asking ‘how shall we respond’.  So did Steve Wiggins.  So did the SBL Executive Board.  So did Phoenix Seminary.  So did the Society for Old Testament Study.  So did Randy *Blackadder* Blacketer.  So did Aaron Koller.  So did Alen Bevere. So did Peter Enns. So did a group of Black Deans and Presidents of theological faculties.  Logos Bible Software did.  Christian Brady did.  And his is the best of the lot.  Even Liberty University Alum have had enough of the terrible racism of Jerry Falwell Jr.  They’ve put together a petition to rid the campus of Falwell.  The school is in dire straits because of Falwell Jr’s racism.

Steve Wiggins wondered what it all would mean for the Fall (Autumn) and university and college education.

Hey, should Christians get tattoos?  Michael Berra has some thoughts on the topic in his podcast.  Be sure to follow Michael’s blog too.  He’s a good kid, doing his PhD on Brunner, so naturally he’s very bright.

The ETC blog has a post on profanity.  I guess they were spending a lot of time watching cable tv or something.  Or maybe an AAR conference video.  Anyway, if you’re prone to use bad words then you should read this if you missed it.

In another vein, if you’re looking for a job teaching Early Christianity and Historical Theology, this may interest you.

Allen Bevere wondered if Bible translations can be trusted and then he enlists Bill Mounce to answer the question.  Speaking of Bible translations, a grad of Bob Jones University (so I think you already know where this is headed) has some thoughts about bible translations used in church settings and he’s not at all happy about the growing number of them.  He pines for the wondrous days of the KJV in every hand and every pew.

Awful news in the middle of the month that Jan Joosten had been arrested and sentenced to prison to a year in prison for possession of child pornography roiled social media.  He provides his own statement on the matter here.  Taylor Lord had some thoughtsRon Hendel and Jean-Sebastien Rey had some important input on how we could best respond.

Mike Bird shares some wisdom. Dead Sea Discoveries issued a statement, as did the IOSCS, as did SOTS and the SBL.  Along the same lines there were plenty of posts on social media asking whether or not Joosten and others convicted of crimes should or should not be cited.  Here’s one guy’s answer.  And here’s another.

The most thorough reaction came from the Shiloh Project at The University of Sheffield.  It is definitely worth reading.

Most others kept their thoughts to twitter (where all social justice warfare goes to die) and within just a few days the subject had withered on the social media vine and died.  As all things on social media do.  There’s a moment of outrage followed by a flurry of condemnation followed by silence until the next issue grabs attention.  Let’s hope this time people take a bit more time to consider how they can make the world a better place than usually happens after such revelations.




Phil Long (the ringmaster of the blogging world) wrote

Here are the upcoming hosts. No hosts for October 2020 (Due November 1) and after. I am willing to take a later month if someone wants August. July 2020 (Due August 1) – Bob MacDonald  @drmacdonald

August 2020 (Due September 1) – Phillip Long, Reading Acts @plong42

September 2020 (Due October 1) – Brent Niedergall’s blog.  @BrentNiedergall

Are you new to blogging? Are you a lapsed biblioblogger? James McGrath has some encouraging words for you.

Would you like to see your posts included in a future carnival? Start by writing a quality academic post, perhaps a book review. Then send the link to the upcoming host. It is entirely their decision to include your post in their carnival, but you can at least nominate yourself for inclusion. Sometimes you have to toot your own horn.

If you have questions about what writing a carnival involves, contact me via email, or twitter DM @plong42. I would be happy to answer any questions.

Do one.  Especially if you’re one of those precious souls who never likes anything anyone else does.  Prove your skill!

5 thoughts on “Its the ‘Pandemic / Societal Apocalypse / Is June Finally Over? / Ugh What a Miserable Month’ Edition of the Biblical Studies Carnival

  1. Um. Didja read my ETC article, or just my byline?

    I pine for the days when Paul’s principle in 1 Corinthians 14—edification requires intelligibility—removes the KJV from pulpits (though not private study) because of its “dead words” (obsolete lexemes) and “false friends” (obsolete senses). Listen to my interview with John McWhorter on Slate’s Lexicon Valley for a rundown:

    Or check out my book, which was “highly recommended” by D.A. Carson:

    Or watch my Faithlife infotainment documentary:

    Or just read the article. =)


  2. Funny; I don’t *feel* very welcome… Gotta work on feeling welcome when summaries of my work on prominent biblioblogs say precisely the opposite of what I think. Working… working…

    No, still not feeling welcome.


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