2021: The ‘Let’s Hope It’s Not Another 2020, but it Started Off Pretty Horribly And Ended Better’ Edition of the Biblical Studies Carnival

Carnival: The word is said to come from the Late Latin expression carne levare, which means “remove meat”; a folk etymology derives it from carne vale, “farewell to meat”. The etymology of the word Carnival thus points to a Christian origin of the celebratory period.

In keeping with the word’s meaning, this month’s carnival is vegan.  There will be no dead flesh in it.  None.  That said, welcome to the Carnival!

Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament- The Bible of  Judaism and of Jesus and the Early Church

Wish to learn about Huldah?  Claude is your guy.  Phil Gons is your guy if you want to think about the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart.  And he has a lot of pictures festooning the post so Joel Watts and Chris Tilling will be able to enjoy it too!

Michael Langlois has a post on the Bible and Hebrew that you’ll hate missing.  Je serai virtuellement à l’université de Strasbourg la semaine prochaine pour parler Ancien Testament et autres textes hébreux.

Gary Greenberg is doing a series on the flood narrative that you’ll want to take a look at.  This is the third part.  Scroll his blog for the others in the series.

John Fea has a post discussing false prophets.  In today’s world it’s worth a look.

A call for papers has been issued for a conference on gender in the Ancient near East.  All the details are available here.

Bob MacDonald has a piece on one of the Psalms.  It’s some sort of analysis or something of Ps 55.  I’m sure you’ll either enjoy it or you won’t.

Claude Marriottini has a multi part series on Ex 34.  Give it a look.

Were Ancient Israelites really monotheists?  So asks Bart Ehrman.  I think it’s fair to say that no scholar of the Hebrew Bible thinks they were or has thought they were for a very long time.  Henotheists, surely.  Monotheists?  Not till the Maccabean era, if then.

Steve Walton (one of my favorite scholars) has a two part overview of the Book of Ruth you’ll want to take a look at.

James Aitken will be lecturing on the LXX at Oxford as the newly appointed Grinfield Lecturer.  Congratulations to Jim on this impressive appointment.

Joseph and Aseneth are the topic of this podcast which is a youtube video.

Charles Jones has provided a list of corrections to Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.  Including a mockup of a page that has somehow managed to be lost from the second volume from the second printing onwards (since sometime in the 1980s or 1990s). The reader can print the page and cut it out to insert it in their copy if it is missing.

Michael Langlois discusses Baal in this useful to read post.  Phil Long discussed Ahikar.  Fun times.  Fun times indeed.

William Ross announces the TWU LXX Summer School and its details over here.  And Phil Long wonders what the Letter of Aristeas is.  Here’s my answer: a letter.   You’re welcome.

Phil Long wonders what the Book of Judith is.  Spoiler alert… it’s a book.  Amen.  You’re welcome.

If you reside in the European Union (or maybe just Germany) you can watch this interesting looking film until March 9 on the ark of the covenant, featuring Israel Finkelstein and Thomas Romer: Von Engeln bewacht: Die Bundeslade.

New Testament- With Scant Mention of Paul Because He Gets Too Much Mention as it Is

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to YouTube, along comes an interview with Chris Tilling about…. yes… you guessed it…. Paul….  What a harbinger for the new year…

A conference took place in November in Marburg which examined the life and work of Gerhard Kittel, Nazi Sympathizer and New Testament scholar.  Those unable to attend can now read a summary of the proceedings and the conference volume, which is forthcoming, should make the papers all available sometime in the hopefully not too distant future.

Jesus in the news…. and other unfortunate-nesses, by Todd Brewer.  A perfect reminder that journalists as a group are as horrible at biblical studies as pentebabbleists.  Ergo, get your biblical scholarship from biblical scholars, not news outlets.

The Enoch Seminar met in January and the focus of its online gathering festooned with leading scholars was John the Baptist.  James McGrath did a fine job of summarizing each day’s doings.  Visit here for the first day and then scroll his blog for the others.

T-C oddities and such like are the subject of Elijah Hixson’s recent post in the ETC blog.  Give it a look.  Another T-C thing of potential interest is the the deadline for the Logos Summer workshop.  Peter Gurrie (I know it’s Gurry but I prefer my spelling) tells the tale.  Still another T-C post, the topic of which I hope they make into a movie and they get Tom Cruise to play the starring role is about a family of Greek manuscripts by a guy named Post.  So gripping… stirring… eye-opening… non stop action from start to finish… etc.

Nijay Gupta wants to help you find New Testament resources to read.  Some of his recommendations are good.  Some aren’t.  That’s the problem with lists: they are always biased and limited because people are biased and limited in what they know, have read, and have wrestled with.  He also wants to share his use of Accordance bible software with you in a series he kicked off at the end of the month.

Archaeology and Such Things

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott talks about archaeology and the Bible.  You won’t want to miss it.  Even though it’s a podcast.

The last living member of the Dead Sea Scrolls research team, Prof. Dr. Claus-Hunno Hunzinger, died on January 6 in Hamburg.  There’s more about this sad passing here.

Craig Evans discussed the most important archaeological finds of 2020 in this podcast thing.  What are the top 10 discoveries in 2020 related to the Bible?  Funny you should ask, because there’s a list of them here.

None of them change anything we know about the Bible or add to our knowledge of its world.  But what the heck, lists gotta be made…

A post on the flooding of the Tomb of Cyrus was posted here.

The Palestine Exploration Fund blog has a very interesting essay on Polish Exiles in Wartime Mandate Palestine.

A new project was launched by our friends at St Mary’s, Twickenham, titled The Critical Dictionary of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements.  Add it to your useful sites list.

@PalExFund tweets – The latest edition of PEQ is a special 50th anniversary edition marking the start of the new excavations at Tel el Hesi in 1970. https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ypeq20/current?nav=tocList& If you like what you see, why not subscribe & access the complete back issue run of PEQ back to 1865!

Books- Because Little Else Matters

Logos is again offering a free book of the month.  January’s was Feskos’ commentary on Galatians.  Only time will tell what February’s turns out to be.  But I’m sure it will be a good one because they generally are.

Karin Maag offers some ‘end of the year’ reflections on books and their publishers.

Avraham Faust has a new book out on history and archaeology and it’s free!  Also free is Becker’s commentary on Philippians!

Nijay Gupta takes a look at a book on the spirituality of Jesus. Or rather, the author of the book, Catherine Wright, gives an overview of it.  It sounds, honestly, like an interesting book indeed.

Gupta reviews Hagner’s NT Intro.

Chris Woznicki offered readers of his blog a list of the books he read in 2020.  Some of them may be things you’d find interesting as well.  Will Ross does the same.

The German Bible Society has published, just this month, a new edition of the Bible.  There’s a good piece here about it.

A History of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Judah by Edward Lipiński has been reviewed here.  Looks fun!   And ‘Rudolf Bultmann- Hans Jonas Briefwechsel 1928-1976‘ was reviewed by this adorable guy here.

Craig Evans’ new book ‘Jesus and the Manuscripts’ is reviewed here.  Let me just say, it’s a really important and useful book.  Craig is also interviewed about the book here.  Listen.  If you dare.

Scott Kellum’s Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament is reviewed here by Bobby Howell.  No relation to Bellend Howell.

A new book titled ‘The Moses Scroll’ was announced by James Tabor.  It’s not what you think.  Take a look.

I reviewed a new book on the biblical theology of Martin Kähler here.  It’s a genuinely fantastic volume.  If you aren’t familiar with MK’s work, you really ought to change that.

Phil Long reviewed David Peterson’s commentary on Hebrews here.  He calls it a welcome contribution to the study of this difficult book. The commentary is a model of generally conservative, evangelical scholarship in the tradition of F. F. Bruce.   I guess that’s either a good thing or a bad thing according to your perspective.

Mike Bird reviewed a commentary on the Pastorals.  It’s short.

Mark Goodacre chats with A-J Levine and Mark Zvi Brettler about their incredibly useful book, The Bible With and Without Jesus.  It’s very much worth a listen.

James Spinti, bookman, had a post that’s just a bit of humor – quite needed in these dark times.  Enjoy.

Miscellaneous- Or, Stuff That Doesn’t Really Fit in The Main Categories

Bob MacDonald started the month off with a New Year’s wish for one and all.  Optimist.  And Pete Enns wrote a list of resolutions that he probably has already forsaken.

Jonathan Robker has a series of posts interviewing George Kiraz.  It’s good stuff.

And someone named Jonny Gibson interviewed Peter Williams (who’s actually smiling in the website photo) about the importance of learning the biblical languages.  I didn’t listen to it because I don’t listen to podcasts.  But it may be interesting.

Ian Paul shares his experiences in the gulag we call lockdown.

The Institute for Biblical Research has issued the call for papers for its Annual Meeting.  Visit the Research Groups page and then the section which interests you.  And the SBL has opened its call for papers and the details are available here.

As happened throughout 2020, Covid impacted the Winter Meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study and it went virtual, meeting January 5-7 online.  As always, the papers were fantastic.  Hopefully next year it will be in person again.

Call for Papers (EABS Wuppertal, August 3-5, 2021): Miracles and Paradoxography in Late-Antique Literature of Biblical Reception. All the details are here.


I can’t close the Carnival out without reminding you that the month saw a group of domestic terrorists attempt a coup.  Russell Moore responded in the most precise way and so I cite him here to memorialize his sentiments and engrave them here:

And Heather has some very useful thoughts on the situation.  Let’s hope that somehow the evil that has been unleashed by the past administration is flung to the dank pit from which it sprang.

Denver Seminary offers some really helpful remarks and reminds us that truth, character, and decency matter.

Arnold, though, gets the last word on the events of January 6:


Last month’s Carnival was posted by Peter on 1 January, so if you missed it, give it a look.  Upcoming:

180 February 2021 (Due March 1) Bob MacDonald at Dust  @drmacdonald
181 March 2021 (Due April 1) – Amateur Exegete,  @amateurexegete
182 April 2021 (Due May 1) –  Ruben Rus, Ayuda Ministerial/Resources for Ministry@rubenderus
183 May 2021 (Due June 1) – Bobby Howell, The Library Musings  @SirRobertHowell
184 June 2021 (Due July 1) –   Brent Niedergall,  @BrentNiedergall

So yay.  Enjoy!