Fascinating stuff. I need to get his book.
If you’re fortunate enough to be in the vicinity, you can register for the lecture here.
Thursday 19th January
5.00 pm (GMT [12:00 Noon EST]) virtually on Zoom
Prof Yonatan Adler (Ariel University)
The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal
Zoom access will be available from 4.45 pm (GMT [11:45 am EST]) and the lecture commences at 5.00 pm (GMT [12:00 Noon EST]).
Our first lecture of 2023 will be held on Thursday 19 January at 5.00 pm (GMT [12:00 Noon EST]) when Prof Yonatan Adler will be speaking about The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal, followed by a Q&A session (see attached poster). To register, please write to email@example.com and the link will be sent to you approximately 48 hours prior to the lecture. If however you haven’t received it by the morning of the lecture please check your junk/spam box.
Throughout much of history, the Jewish way of life has been characterized by strict adherence to the practices and prohibitions legislated by the Torah: dietary laws, ritual purity, circumcision, Sabbath regulations, holidays, and more. But precisely when did this unique way of life first emerge, and why specifically at that time? In this revolutionary new study, Yonatan Adler methodically engages ancient texts and archaeological discoveries to reveal the earliest evidence of Torah observance among ordinary Judeans. He examines the species of animal bones in ancient rubbish heaps, the prevalence of purification pools and chalk vessels in Judean settlements, the dating of figural representations in decorative and functional arts, evidence of such practices as tefillin and mezuzot, and much more to reconstruct when ancient Judean society first adopted the Torah as authoritative law. Focusing on the lived experience of the earliest Torah observers, this investigative study transforms much of what we thought we knew about the genesis and early development of Judaism.
Yonatan Adler is an Associate Professor at the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Ariel University, where he also heads the Institute of Archaeology. Recent excavations include the sites of ‘Einot Amitai and Reina in the Galilee. In 2018, he was appointed by the Minister of Culture to the Israeli Council for Archaeology.
He has written extensively on the subject of archaeological evidence relating to the observance of Torah law, covering topics such as ancient ritual immersion pools, dietary laws, ancient tefillin found in the Judean Desert, and chalk vessels. His latest book, The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal, was published by Yale University Press in November 2022.
This talk is free to members and non-members.
Via both Jack Sasson and Joseph Lauer.
An Accidental Archaeologist: A Personal Memoir, by Eric M. Meyers.
This personal and professional memoir recounts the author’s formative years and the family influences that propelled him forward. The experience of anti-Semitism in grammar school and college played a major role. The centrality of music and family were especially influential. His partnership with Carol Meyers allowed him to have a successful career in academic archaeology and in teaching at Duke University. Other endeavors, however, kept him grounded and focused on everyday matters: singing, golf, social activism, teaching, and writing. But it was teaching most of all that imbued his life with special meaning as both student and teacher confronted the riches of the past in a search for a better future.
Sounds super interesting. Eric is a great scholar.
You read that right, friends. This Carnival isn’t just the best biblioblogging posts for the month of December. It’s the best of the entire YEAR!
The best of the footballers… He’s not in the Carnival, but he would be if this were the best of the footballers, 2022.
Usually, posts are divided into major groupings. But this Carnival the best posts in all categories from 2022 will be found below, by month!
Every year there are dozens of ‘the best of the year’ lists. And this one is no different. Well it is a little bit, because it actually IS the best of the best.
So friends, pull up a chair, relax, sit back, and enjoy the very best material (with extensive annotation and commentary from your beloved Carnival host, me) from your biblioblogging friends month by month for 2022.
The best post of January was, by far- Taking Stock of the “First-Century Mark” Saga: What can we learn from the overzealous excitement about the earliest known copy of our earliest Gospel? By Elijah Hixson. Honestly friends, if you missed this post you missed a real gem. It is exceptionally conceived and brilliantly executed.
The Second best post of January was this little review of a very fine book titled Family and Identity in the Book of Judges. Super book. Super review! There are some really excellent women scholars and there need to be more of them.
Sadly our SOTS colleague and friend John Sawyer died at the start of the year. You may not be as familiar with him as you are other Hebrew Bible scholars but believe me, he was a giant in the field.
The very happy news was shared in February that the Tyndale Bulletin is now completely freely available! Who shared it? I did. You’re welcome!
And in February A-J Levine discussed her book at a symposium held in Rome. You can watch it here if you missed it then:
Chris Rollston took the claims of a ‘Mount Ebal Curse Inscription‘ to the woodshed and beat it silly, It was the best archaeological post in March and it was in all likelihood the best Archaeological post of the year. Though I don’t know that for sure since I haven’t seen or read every post on the topic this year and unlike those weirdos who do ‘best of’ lists without even so much as a blush of shame, I don’t make untrue claims.
That said, it was in March that I recalled the greatest of the Biblioblog carnivals, by Deane Galbraith. 22 years ago. Gosh, that’s a long time. Anyway, this end of year glance back would be profoundly incomplete if it didn’t urge readers, as I did in March, to take a look at Deane’s Carnival. Seriously.
Sam Perry and friend had their book on Christian Nationalism reviewed and, believe me, if you haven’t read it yet, your ought to. It is an important topic for biblical scholars and theologians and church historians. And even though Perry is just a sociologist, with not always the best understanding of, or grasp on, matters theological, his analysis, from a social-sciences perspective, is pretty good. If you keep in mind that Perry isn’t a theologian or biblical scholar his book will not annoy (if only he had stayed completely in his lane).
Joan Taylor is an absolute genius. If you missed her discussion on Mary Magdalene in April you missed a treasure. And you can correct your evil neglect right now:
James McGrath wins the prize for the best post in May (sure, it was from May, 2019, but let’s be honest, most of the time newer isn’t better, is it). James is, if you aren’t familiar with him, the nerd’s nerd. He loves everything Sci-Fi and he loves biblical studies and he loves Classical music and he is as sharp as a tack. And, again, though the post is older, it is still very much worthy of inclusion in this End of the Year Carnival. And if you don’t like it, do a Carnival yourself! Otherwise the sage remark of Kierkegaard applies: ‘Critics are like eunuchs. They know what should be done, but they can’t manage to do it themselves’.
And if you missed this lecture, now’s your chance to watch it. It is a brilliant discussion of what archaeology has to tell us about the part women played in earliest Christianity:
Not to seem inappropriately boastful, but in June I passed along word of the final book Philip Davies published (in 2018) – for those who had not seen it yet (because apparently more people read stupid novels and sci fi garbage than substantive biblical studies books… Pillocks). Anywho, I pass along word of it once more, here at the end of the year, because it deserves a wide(r) readership. If you haven’t read it in 2022, read it in 2023.
And though it appeared first in June of 2021, this post on bullies in academia deserves another read. Especially by those who have to endure the attacks of the flying monkeys sent out by the behind-the-scenes manipulators whose lives are empty and minds are full of schemes and plans to undermine and undo anyone who dares disagree with them.
Somewhat along the same lines of academic bullying is the topic of anti-expertise. Both bullies and dilettantes have as their aim the overriding of expertise, for their own particular reasons. If you missed Nina Burleigh’s brilliant discussion concerning the forsaking of expertise, watch it now:
June is the 6th month. It’s a good time to look back just as January provides the same opportunity. The year is half done, and so is our End of the Year Extravaganza of Biblioblogging delightfulness.
Posted in July, the best of the lot for that searing month was this gem on ‘The Myth of the ‘Ignorant’ Fishermen’. It takes a look at the widely held belief that the disciples of Jesus were just backwater rednecks who probably didn’t know how to read, or think, and just were happy to ‘know Jesus’ so they didn’t need ‘to know no doctrine’ (just like certain Christians today who don’t need doctrine, they just need Jesus). If you missed it, now’s your chance.
And now for something completely different- for conference attendees who have a ‘question’ (that isn’t a question at all now is it, precious…)
The good Christian Brady tweeted that gem in July. Worth sharing for sure.
Chris Rollston, always worth reading, posted a rebuttal of claims made by Gershon Galil about the so called ‘Jerusalem Stone’. Chris is THE go to guy for epigraphy.
Linear A decipherment and a recent debate were the events provoking this post from August. Linear A huh. Fun. Where else will you find posts about long abandoned languages if not in the most beloved of all the biblioblog carnivals? Nowhere. You’re welcome.
There were two books published in Open Access in August. Both Aramaic text sourcebooks. The first, A Handbook of the Aramaic Scrolls from the Qumran Caves, and the second, Aramaic Daniel. In case you missed them.
Who doesn’t love free books?
Because it’s important to remember such things when you’re an academic:
Chris Rollston, again, wins the prize for best archaeological post by urging us to tap the breaks back in August about the much ballyhooed ‘Ishmael Papyrus’. Don’t recall the ‘big news’? Alas, that’s because so many claims turn out to be nonsense that it’s hard to keep them all straight. You don’t need to remember the fragment and the absurd claims made of it to enjoy Rollston’s ripping of it.
September was the 10th anniversary (I know, right?!?!?!?) of the publication in HTR of Karen King’s false claim that a new ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ was probative for biblical studies. Ariel Sabar showed, in his excellent book on the subject, that the artifact was a fraud and the entire process of its publication was riddled with wrongs. Here he provides a super thread on the twitter on the anniversary.
Do you like wet bread? Probably not. Anyway, you’ll like this post by Brent Niedergall about wet bread in Qoheleth. Wet bread… it’s gross isn’t it.
Nick Posegay posted one of the most interesting threads to appear on twitter in 2022, on the Cairo Genizah. Don’t miss it again. It’s really terrific.
The second award winning post from the month of October is – Uncovering the Dead, Dethroning the King: Divine Embodiment in 1 Samuel 28:14.
1 Samuel 28:14 describes the appearance of the ghost of Samuel, who, upon King Saul’s request, was raised by a medium. We identify four key elements of the ghost’s visage, all of which relate to the living Samuel or King Saul, or their relationship, and all critique King Saul and foreshadow the loss of the kingship and his demise.
We were all saddened to learn of the death of Gordon Fee in October. 😦 So did John Meier. 😦 😦 I had chatted with John about historical Jesus stuff at CBA many times. His ‘Marginal Jew’ will now, it seems, remain forever unfinished. 😦
It’s grippingly good. Those two offerings are the best of the month, and may even be the best of the year. But I’ll let you decide that for yourselves.
A super lecture was offered by A-J Levine on the interesting topic of Life After Death:
If you didn’t watch it in November, take a few minutes and watch it now.
Incredibly useful and exceedingly worthy of your good attention is the new site – Biblia Hebraica transcripta.
Sad news of the death of E.P. Sanders circulated among the guild. Google will pull up numerous obituaries. Also passing from this life in November was the amazing linguist and Hebrew Bible scholar Ernst Jenni. He was, and will forever remain, an extraordinarily important contributor to the field of biblical studies.
… das ist das ganze Alte Testament transkribiert, mit Satzeinteilungen versehen, morphologisch, morphosyntaktisch und syntaktisch analysiert, sodann mit Funktionen für Dokumentation, Kommentierung, Suche, Analyse und Visualisierung bereichert.
Eric Meyers published his long awaited autobiography this month. Eric is a fascinating person and an excellent scholar/ archaeologist. In fact, I think I can say this without fear of contradiction, he is the greatest American archaeologist of all time (so far) and teamed up with his wife Carol they are the greatest American archaeologists ever! I’m sure his memoir will be incredibly interesting.
Also archaeologically themed, this incredibly important public statement by many of the leading archaeologists in Israel regarding the constant flow of un-examined, non-peer reviewed ‘discovery’ announcements was posted by Aren Maeir (with a follow up here). It is ESSENTIAL reading and may well be the most important (long term) blogpost of the year. It is time for archaeological discoveries to be subjected to peer review before being published. There’s just too much garbage out there claiming to be ‘earth shattering’ that turns out to be pure trash (see the ‘Tomb of Jesus’ Midwife‘ rubbish from December for a relevant example).
One of the most, if not the most, interesting biblical studies related posts of the month was the zoom lecture on Money in Judea: From the Bronze Age to Bar Kochba. You’ll be able to view it on the facebook page linked here. If you missed it, that is.
The best mention of a new book was made by Nijay Gupta whose fantastic book will come out in early 2023. Seriously friends. Seriously. His book is fantastic. If you don’t read any other book in 2023, read his. (And when ours on Martin Bucer comes out read it too). Ok, read two books in 2023. (I’m pretty sure you’ll need to read more than that, but you have to start somewhere).
James Spinti doesn’t burden readers with long posts as though he were writing a book and each chapter is its own post. Thankfully (since long posts are annoying and silly). Instead he gives short but very thoughtful snippets of insight. And he did so again in December. Enjoy.
Mike Aubrey has a bibliography of conditionals in Greek. You can check it out, conditionally. The condition being your willingness to do it. If you’re a Greek language nerd, you’ll want to. If you’re still eating playdough and / or glue, though, you probably won’t care to.
December was the month during which the sad news that David Clines died arrived in our inboxes. He was fondly remembered by many and a Symposium honoring his life and work has been scheduled for April. He will be missed.
And the best series of the year was posted by Michael Kok titled Mark Was not a Pauline Gospel. It’s tremendous. Take a little time and give it a read through.
Thanks for stopping by. And consider putting together a Carnival yourself. As Phil Long notes
Contact me via email, firstname.lastname@example.org or DM on twitter (plong42) to discuss hosting a Biblical Studies carnival. If you are a new BiblioBlogger, this is a good way to get your blog some recognition. And, to quote Jim West, ”if you do one, it makes it unlikely that I will!”
We, the undersigned, archaeologists and historians from research institutions throughout Israel, of various backgrounds and worldviews, wish to make a public statement.
Occasionally, and up until recent days, archaeological finds and discoveries (that are at times presented as revolutionary and game changers in the history of the Land of Israel) have been published in the popular press and on social media, prior to peer review, and to the full presentation, with high quality illustrations, of these finds in scientific publications, even long after the initial public notification.
As is clear to anyone dealing with science and research, one of the foundations of all research and discovery is that results must go through a process of peer review prior to publication, to check for quality, suggest improvements and comments, and in some cases, reject a suggestion. Without this process, research is conducted without proper checks and balances. In addition, research colleagues (in this case archaeologists and historians) cannot properly ascertain, and if need be disagree, with these claims.
We cannot but stress that until the publication of finds or research results in a scientific and peer-reviewed publication, any claim made should be related to as unfounded, and is also unworthy of publication in the popular press.
Signers of the Petition (alphabetically)
- Prof. Oren Ackerman, Ariel Univ.
- Prof. Yonatan Adler, Ariel Univ.
- Dr. Shira Albaz, Bar-Ilan Univ.
- Dr. Ella Assaf Shpayer, Tel Aviv Univ.
- Prof. Yoram Cohen, Tel Aviv Univ.
- Dr. Amit Dagan, Bar-Ilan Univ.
- Dr. Uri Davidovich, Hebrew Univ.
- Dr. Adi Eliyahu, Ariel Univ.
- Dr. Avner Ecker, Bar-Ilan Univ.
- Mr. Daniel Ein Mor, Israel Antiquities Authority
- Prof. Esther Eshel, Bar-Ilan Univ.
- Prof. Yuval Gadot, Tel Aviv Univ.
- Dr. Asaf Gayer, Ariel Univ.
- Prof. Isaac Gilead, Ben-Gurion Univ.
- Dr. Shai Gordin, Ariel Univ.
- Prof. Yuval Goren, Ben-Gurion Univ.
- Prof. Naama Goren-Inbar, Hebrew Univ. and Israel Academy of Sciences
- Prof. Dan’el Kahn, Univ. of Haifa
- Dr. Ido Koch, Tel Aviv Univ.
- Dr. Assaf Kleiman, Ben-Gurion Univ.
- Prof. Gunnar Lehmann, Ben-Gurion Univ.
- Prof. Yigal Levin, Bar-Ilan Univ.
- Prof. Oded Lipschits, Tel Aviv Univ.
- Prof. Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan Univ.
- Prof. Ofer Marder, Ben-Gurion Univ.
- Dr. Haggai Misgav, Hebrew Univ.
- Prof. Nadav Na’aman, Tel Aviv Univ. and Israel Academy of Sciences
- Prof. Steve Rosen, Ben-Gurion Univ.
- Prof. Joel Roskin, Bar-Ilan Univ.
- Dr. Omer Sergi, Tel Aviv Univ.
- Prof. Itzik Shai, Ariel Univ.
- Dr. Deborah Sweeney, Tel Aviv Univ.
- Prof. Zeev Weiss, Hebrew Univ.
- Prof. Boaz Zissu, Bar-Ilan Univ.
I simply CANNOT agree more.
She is a scholar. Not a sensationalist.
This is the story she is referencing (and yes, it is frustrating!) A number of scholars could do with a good dose of anti-sensationalizing.
The period between the Roman take-over of Egypt (30 BCE) and the failure of the Jewish diaspora revolt (115–117 CE) witnessed the continual devaluation in the status of the Jews in Egypt, and culminated in the destruction of its Jewish community. This volume collects and presents all papyri, ostraca, amulets and inscriptions from this early Roman period connected to Jews and Judaism, published since 1957. It is a follow-up of the 1960 volume 2 of the Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum. It includes over 80 documents in Greek, Demotic, and Hebrew, both documentary and literary.
The expansion of the scope of documents, to include languages other than Greek and genres beyond the documentary, allows for a better understanding of the life of the Jews in Egypt. The documents published in this volume shed new light on aspects discussed previously: The Demotic papyri better explain the Jewish settlement in Edfu, new papyri reveal more about Jewish tax, about the Acta papyri, and about the developments of the Jewish revolt. The magical papyri help explain cultural developments in the Jewish community of Egypt. This volume is thus a major contribution to the study of the decline of the greatest diaspora Jewish community in antiquity.
First century Judaism is best accessed not in the literature of the elites but in the fragmentary remains of the regular people who lived their lives in that significant era. The present volume collects every documentary papyri and literary papyri from 30 BCE to 117 CE left by Jewish Romans or rather Jewish inhabitants of the Roman empire. There are tax receipts, bath receipts, poll tax receipts, various sorts of ostraca, lists of names, letters, and all of the sorts of things you might find if you rummaged through your neighbor’s paper trail trash.
There is also an additional Jewish papyrus in an appendix and another appendix features early Roman inscriptions and finally a list of non Jewish documents not included in the collection.
There are indices of literary sources, papyri, ostraca and inscriptions, Roman rulers, Months, Names of Jews, Ethnica, Titles, professions of Jews, geographical locations, technical terms, and religion. There is also a table of measurements.
Also included are a list of abbreviations, a short explanatory note on the reconstruction of the text, and a very, very well written introduction to Papyri of the Early Roman Period.
Each text is thoroughly described including date and provenance. Each also offers a brief bibliography and a short description. The text itself is either reproduced in transliteration or the font of its original language. Side by side sit that original text and an English translation. Textual notes and explanations of readings follow that.
That sounds like rather a lot, so to illustrate I will simply offer a photo of one of the texts:
There simply is nothing in scholarship as important as primary sources. Any collection of primary sources is worth shelf space in your personal library and most certainly in your school’s library.
This collection opens a window on the Roman world in the first century as seen through the eyes of Jews. For New Testament scholars, historians, interpreters, and exegetes the value of such a collection is clear. As is the importance of such a collection for scholars of early Judaism. How regular folk lived their lives; what they bought, sold, and traded for, how they occupied their days, all are incredibly valuable for those who wish to understand an era.
This volume is efficient, precise, and engorged with details. It is the sort of reference volume you will probably not sit down and read through. But it is certainly a reference volume you will turn to again and again and again.
Via Jack Sasson from Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme:
Join us for the sixth and final lecture in the digital lecture series Ancient Attire.
Friday 16 December at 3pm (local time in Oslo).
The lecture ” Dress, Adornment and the Material Language of Power: Royal Textiles in Assyria” will be presented by Dr. Salvatore Gaspa, University of Padua. Sign up here: https://bit.ly/3iQePXS
The lecture is open for all, but registration is necessary.
About the lecture: Elite textiles documented from texts and visual art of first-millennium BC Assyria represent a valuable source of information on the rich textile industry that developed during Assyria’s political dominion in the ancient Near East. The lecture will explore Neo-Assyrian royal textiles, their components and peculiarites combining textual and visual data. The analysis will also address the question of how royal textiles were an integral part of the power narrative of the Assyrian kings, playing a role of manifesto of the royal ideology.
Ancient Attire is a digital lecture series on Dress, Adornment and Vestimentary Codes in the Ancient Mediterranean World. The aim of this series is to investigate vestimentary codes in ancient cultures, and to explore how these concepts relate to gender, hierarchy and power.
How did money work before the invention of coinage? And what happened when coins suddenly arrived on the scene? Come and explore the history of money in ancient Judea with renowned numismatic expert, David Hendin.
Before coins existed, exchanges took place using metals of various standards, which market traders weighed using ancient scale weights in a range of shapes. Coins were introduced to ancient Israel gradually from the seventh century BC onwards — with local issues appearing during the Persian period.
The Jerusalem mint became the source of coinage of Antiochus VII, going on to produce coins for the Hasmoneans, Herodians, and Prefects and Procurators of Judaea, as well as through the Jewish War. Judean coins were also struck during the Bar Kokhba revolt, but not in Jerusalem.
David Hendin is author of Guide to Biblical Coins 6th Edition, and 16 other books. Hendin is first Vice President and Honorary Curator of the American Numismatic Society, which granted him the ANS Trustees Award in 2022. He has participated in fieldwork at Sepphoris in 1985, 1986, and 2011 with Duke/Hebrew Universities.
Email to register: email@example.com
Human–Animal Encounters on Early Iron Age Stamp Seals. Near Eastern Archaeology 85 (4): 296–305.
The article was published as part of a special issue of Near Eastern Archaeology, The Environment We Share: Human–Nonhuman Animal Interactions in the Ancient Near East, edited by Romina Della Casa and Lidar Sapir-Hen.
Abstract: Human–animal relations are manifested in encounters that range from confrontation and subjugation to harmonious co-existence. For thousands of years, these encounters have triggered diverse associations that at times have been materialized into visual languages which, despite spatial and chronological particularities, share scenes and protagonists. Several animals seem to be the focus of topoi that have been circulated, distributed and developed over millennia, such as lions and bulls, in scenes that transcend time and space in their association with deities or rulers. This essay deals with the depictions of these and other animals in these and other scenes on early Iron Age stamp-seals from the southern Levant. It provides an overview of three typical scenes: figure atop an animal, figure confronting an animal, and figure alongside an animal (which is conventionally understood as a hunting scene). Four animals are depicted: the lion, the bull, the ibex, and the ostrich. The former three have been conventionally depicted as divine attributes since the second millennium BCE, while the latter was not introduced until the early Iron Age, only appearing for a few centuries. Each was appreciated for its physiology and behavior, which triggered a range of associations in the minds of the southern Levantine beholders. At the same time, the Iron Age was the last phase of such animal-based iconography, after millennia of development. During the 9th and the 8th centuries BCE, additional images became popular, mostly of Egyptian stock. Eventually, during the 8th century BCE, these new images became widespread, and the animal encounters lost their importance.
Welcome to the 200th Biblical Studies Carnival! Here you’ll find all the best posts from October, 2022 from all your favorite biblical studies bloggers and tweeters and youtubers and the rest of social media.
And yes, I’ve stepped outside of the usual carnival parameters and included stuff that isn’t on blogs alone. This because just as biblical studies changes over time, so have the means by which biblical studied discussions are promulgated. Blogs are supplemented by videos and tweets and facebooks and tiktoks and other methods and all serve the grand purpose of getting the word out concerning the field we love.
The Carnival is divided into sections so that you can quickly locate your field of interest and then move on to the other parts. Links are ‘curated’ (people love that word these days don’t they. Even sandwiches are curated now…) with appropriate (and sometimes inappropriate) commentary by your host. Me. Enjoy! And if you have complaints, do see the management. Me. Your complaint will be filed immediately.
An international conference on Otto Dibelius was held in October. There will doubtless be a conference volume forthcoming.
Wido van Peursen shared his thoughts in a post titled Impressions of the Tenth Meeting of the International Organization for Targumic Studies. A good time was had by all.
David Stark wants you to use Unicode when you type Hebrew or Greek (and honestly, he couldn’t be more right). I like David. He seems like a nice kid.
One of the original bibliobloggers, Torrey Seland, offered his readers a snippet of info on three Philo related essays.
100 years of excavations at Ur will be the topic of a 2 day conference in November. All the details and how to sign up (it’s online) can be found here.
The Katz Center is sponsoring a series of lectures on messianism and the one on Nov 1 is titled Jewish Messianism in the Time of Early Christianity. Go sign up now. It’s at noon!
On 9 Nov at 13.30 GMT @CamDivinity is pleased to host a pubic debate between Simon Gathercole (Cambridge) and Francis Watson (Durham) from their recent books on canonical and noncanonical gospels, discussing ‘What’s the Difference?’ You can tweet the tweeter directly for the link.
Roberta Mazza had a genius discussion of the sale of the Colker manuscript collection. Do not skip it. She brings her usual brilliance to the task.
James Crossley will be chatting about Jesus in November. It’s a live, in person event, so if you want to attend, you’ll have to register. Explainers talks return this November with a new topic- The Historical Jesus. Speaker: CenSAMM Academic co-Director James Crossley. The talk begins at 1.30pm in the Chapel, in the museum Gardens.
Brent Niedergall reviewed Logos 10. The main takeaway for me of his review is- it’s faster than Logos 9. But there’s a lot more to the review, so give it a read. Brian Davidson reviewed it too. So did one J. David Stark. Doubtless others did as well as Logos seems to have carpet-bombed the interweb with review copies (dotting all the t’s and crossing all the i’s I reckon).
Do you like the Bible? Do you like violence? Well then this project on the Bible and violence may be just the thing to make you happy.
And speaking of violence, Steve Wiggins runs a blog with the title ‘sects and violence in the ancient near east’. He posts a lot about horror and stuff mostly, but every now and again, on a blue moon, he’ll have something related to biblical studies. I mention it merely because it’s a good one to drop in once a month or so to see if he’s produced a text with a theme we care about. (His blogroll, though, is sadly nearly totally out of date. Most of the links are dead or deactivated or haven’t produced anything for years).
Nijay Gupta has some advice if you want to be a writer. My advice if you want to be a writer? Be yourself and find your own process by discovering what works for you. Everyone is different and one size definitely does NOT fit all
Peter Gurry had a nifty post (from May) on the strangulation and burning of William Tyndale, which anniversary took place on 6 October (which is why it is appearing in this Carnival). He also points out that the last thing Tyndale requested were several Hebrew volumes so he could continue his work on translating the OT. See, that’s scholarship. No video games for Tyndale. He worked till they choked the life out of him. Go be like Tyndale!
A-J Levine, one of my absolute favorites, discussed her latest book at this video link. Join Dr. Amy-Jill Levine as she discusses with writer Rob Simbeck her new study, Signs and Wonders: A Beginner’s Guide to the Miracles of Jesus. Do it!
The awful news that John P. Meier died on October 18th saddened all who knew him. His work on the historical Jesus is unsurpassed (and sadly, even at 5 big volumes, incomplete). He was a fixture at CBA and the funniest guy to talk to. What a quick wit. He will be sorely missed. The CBA remembered him here. Jona Lendering remembered him here. He also was remembered by Jose Ayrton, Avvenire, MSN, some Spanish ‘Skepticism‘ site, Religion News Service, The University of Notre Dame, and Church Leaders. Doubtless others have as well. As is but right. All should.
October also was the month during which Gordon Fee died. (On October 25). This is a sad loss for all who have been helped by his insightful work. Peter Gurry shared his own feelings on the news. So did Nijay Gupta.
Tweetings of Note
@alexichantz After a few big submissions yesterday, I decided to have a down day and read Martin Sanfridson’s PhD dissertation on gentile cults in 1 Cor 8 and 10 (@ ’s recent student). I’m really enjoying it! Congrats to Martin for his great work. Can’t wait to see it in print.
Another tweet about a book forthcoming-
I know what you’re thinking: ‘what, another historical Jesus quest????’ But who knows, this one may not end in participants gazing lovingly down a well where they see just what they’re looking for- themselves. [Narrator: it won’t end with the historical Jesus].
James Crossley tweeted this little gem- @JGCrossley Replying to @bormann_lukas I still think Theissen and the Stegemanns were superior to Malina and his circle. So say we all.
Joseph Scales tweeted this notice about his essay on Saul and ghosts. On October 31. So sort of appropriate.
Sheffield’s Department of Biblical Studies along with Sheffield Phoenix Press are having a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Bibs Studs Dept. at SBL in a few weeks. You can still sign up to join in.
A tweeter worth following is this chap- he’s an Italian biblical scholar in the making. He tweets at @BenattiJonathan and remarks “I submitted a proposal for my thesis at the Waldensian Faculty. I would like to explore the theme of the “suffering God in a groaning world” and how the Old Testament informed the theology of the New Testament on this topic. Let us see if it makes sense.” Yes, lets!
@jnsbstn — Wonderful news, the Qumran Dictionary of the Göttingen team is online in alpha version. A huge thanks to Annette Steudel, Ingo Kottsieper and Reinhardt Kratz. This is the result of many years of incredible work. Thank you. https://lexicon.qumran-digital.org. How completely cool is that?
T&T Clark tweeted Andrew M. Mbuvi destabilises dominant white Euro-American approaches to biblical studies, positing the need for biblical interpretation that is anti-colonial and anti-racist.
One of the best twitter threads that appeared in October is by Nick Posegay of Cambridge- So there’s this box in the Genizah Research Unit at @theUL. It’s labelled “Worman Archive.” It’s supposed to be full of stuff associated with Ernest James Worman, a librarian who catalogued the #Genizah collection 120 years ago. Yesterday I found out that’s not all true. Read the whole. Nick also posted a great thread on a letter of Solomon Schechter on the discovery of the Hebrew text of Ben Sira.
Here is some really important news via the twitter-
@AbernethyOTProf — Check this out. I’m super grateful for the work of Every Voice, led by @drandrewmking, @charlie_trimm, @brittanydkim. They’ve created a database for bibliographies on works by Black and Arab OT Scholars…Asian and Latino/a are to come. https://database.everyvoicekingdomdiversity.org
This is a bit of fantastic news for the Oxyranchus Papyrus project: @Papyrus_Stories — The Oxyrhynchus papyri have a new online database! https://sds.ox.ac.uk/oxyrhynchus-papyri Images of papyri are included with links to other databases that provide further info. Hopefully one day translations of the material can be added to increase accessibility beyond non-Greek papyrologists.
And again, something noteworthy- @WillKynes Proofs from a forthcoming chapter in Fifty Years of Wisdom: Gerhard von Rad and the Study of the Wisdom Literature (ed. Timothy Sandoval & Bernd Schipper; @SBLsite Press). I argue von Rad’s interpretation of Job was ahead of its time.
I absolutely enjoy the snippets posted by this tweeting account on New Testament manuscripts. Always fascinating historical tidbits. Most definitely worth following is @greekntestament.
SBL/AAR meets in November and because there are so many boozy beer swillers who attend, there’s a craft beer get together. You’re urged to bring along your favorite sort of Satan’s urine and enjoy an evening of swilling it with like minded swillers. See, you thought twitter was pointless…
Twitter can truly be crap sometimes, but sometimes it’s also the source of very good things. You just have to claw through the manure to find the gold.
Books People Liked
Emily Gathergood recommends Grant Macaskill’s new volume on the New Testament and something called intellectual humility. Wut?
Deane Galbraith enjoyed James Crossley and the Marxist radical Robert Myles’ new book on Jesus. Which, I’m disgusted to say, isn’t even available here in the gulag of America until March of 2023. What insanity. I’m very keen to read it.
UPDATE on the previous paragraph: Deane was kind enough to send a for sale copy of the Crossley / Myles book and I’ve been spending time reading it. Enjoyable time. It’s a great little book. There’s good chunks that biblical scholars will be familiar with but there’s also lots to learn about seeing Jesus through their particular lens. I recommend it. (I didn’t review it because I paid for it; but I did make Robert sad by annoying him with a ‘why you should have sent a copy’ post).
The inestimable John Barton has a new book coming out (in November in the UK and not till May in the US… ugh….) Nuff said really. John is incapable of producing anything that isn’t superb. He is the greatest scholar of our day working in Hebrew Bible.
Phil Long reviewed John Goldingay’s commentary on Jeremiah. Few better exegetes than Goldingay presently exist and there just aren’t any books of the Bible better than Jeremiah. Put the two together (with a generally skillful reviewer) and you’re bound to have a delight.
Heather Thiessen likes several books which she, thankfully, shares her thoughts concerning here. I.e., the three volumes of A People and a Land (Vol. I The End of the Beginning; Vol. II The Road to Kingship; Vol. III The Land and Its Kings; 2019 & 2020, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company). Give it a look.
Torrey Seland has a new book out on Peder Borgen. Not sure who that is? Well that’s a good reason to read the book isn’t it!
Very exciting news- a new volume on the fantastic work of Gerhard von Rad is out.
I reviewed a book about Julius Wellhausen’s dissertation that I want to make sure you hear about if you already haven’t. The book is AMAZINGLY good. I also reviewed a very differently organized volume titled Conversations on Canaanite and Biblical Themes. You’ll have to see it to believe it. Finally, I also reviewed Kenosis. A genuinely great book with an assemblage of great essays (with the exception of one, which was rather weak because its author tried far too hard to be clever rather than helpful. Consequently, the essay was only clever by half).
Candida Moss liked Jeremiah Coogan’s book on Eusebius (even if the headline is a tad click-baity). The Daily Beast gotta get eyes on essays somehow. The book itself sounds engaging enough. Pity people can’t be urged to read things just because they merit reading and instead these days have to be ‘bribed’ to do it by excessively overstated headlines. Candida also talked with the Jesuits about hell and death and demons and other fun stuff. Excellently too. She’s such a talented thinker. Grateful for her every contribution.
Rachel Wilkowski is on a podcast thing talking about Children’s Bibles. She’s a PhD student at Trinity College, Dublin, so she has to be smart. Give it a listen.
A forthcoming volume that will be of interest to a large number of people titled Misusing Scripture: What Are Evangelicals Doing with the Bible? I’ll tell you what they are doing: misrepresenting it.
Also forthcoming are two books by Konrad Schmid. One on the Priestly writings and another a collection of his essays on numerous things. Both from SBL Press.
Siebenthal’s Greek Grammar is now available, for free, to download in PDF and other e-formats. (I bought a print copy last year. I really like it).
Someone called Dean Flemming has a new book on Revelation titled Foretaste of the Future: Reading Revelation in Light of God’s Mission which he describes on Nijay Gupta’s blog. Here.
Eric Van Den Eykel has a new volume on the Magi (it’s a reception history of the Magi since there isn’t enough material in the New Testament itself to actually write a book length treatment of a few guys who show up in a few verses). A friend of his is thrilled to announce it here. If you like wise guys, it looks like a book you’ll love.
Jennifer Guo reviewed a book titled A Spiritual Economy: Gift Exchange in the Letters of Paul of Tarsus. It must be a real barn burner because she read it in two days! What better endorsement could there be for a book than that it was literally unputdownable!
New Testament Stuff
I have a confession to make: of all the posts I read in October this one by Elijah Hixson was my favorite. It’s on the misrepresentation of Dan Wallace’s remarks in the preface to a fairly recent book on, you guessed it, Textual Criticism. It is a carefully constructed very erudite and yet perfectly clear blogging. Elijah is quite the explainer / investigator / clarifier / and misprision destroyer. You simply must read it. It is both art and science. It is a thing of beauty.
Dan McClellan has some thoughts to share on a TikTok video about an Icthys Wheel. Not sure what that is? He’ll tell you.
Michael Barber continues to blog at The Sacred Page where he generally provides essays concerning the RCL each week. Mike is an old time blogger like Tilling and Goodacre and Seland and Davila and yours truly.
If the issue of hapax in NT texts is an interest of yours, you’ll enjoy this: Death by a Thousand Cuts: Examining Biblical Hapax Legomena One Word at a Time.
Nice work over at ETC on the missing verses in the KJV. Peter Gurry is a good and competent explainer. And Peter Head is miffed at a problem with a manuscript of Mark 10:45. And Elijah Hixson wants you to know that scribal scribbles in margins can find their way into the text itself.
Mike Bird talks about the Didache. For 20 or so minutes. If you like Australian accents, this may be right up your alley.
wasted time spent some time debating the Jesus Mythicists on the Associates for Biblical Research site. It illustrates perfectly why the entire ‘apologetic’ enterprise is a Sackgasse. Barth was right about a lot of stuff (though not as right as Brunner); but his view of ‘apologetics’ as the defense of the faith against atheists and agnostics was spot on. God doesn’t need people to defend him, and it’s hubris to think he does. Besides, Maurice Casey (may he rest in peace) obliterated once and for all the entire Jesus Myth rubbish. PS- no one changes their mind because of such things. On either side.
Lauren Larkin posted a sermon she preached on Luke 17:11ff. Give it a listen if you are so inclined. And she posted one she preached on Psalms. Because she isn’t a Marcionite. Ok, fine, it was on Luke too. But she cited Psalms. So she isn’t a Marcionite.
Stephen Carlson had good things to say about an unread uncited dissertation on the Majority Text that he thinks should get more notice. It’s for the text crit people.
Ken Schenck talks about Acts 10. Did you know that there are things about the passage you may not know?!?!?! Ken says you don’t. So he wants to fix that.
Someone named Will on twitter mentioned one of those podcast things. This one’s about Paul using clay to make people or something. I don’t listen to podcasts but you might. The pod people weird me out, so I avoid all of them. Rambling on like loonies in the bin to invisible ‘friends’. So weird.
Another podcast On Early Christian Magic showed up in October. Sounds like it was an intriguing discussion. You may want to check it out. It’s an interview with Shaily Patel.
Oh, speaking of podcasts… @CSNTM noted Our founder Dr. Daniel B. Wallace spoke with @PrestonSprinkle on his @RawTheology podcast. Check out their conversation on your favorite podcast platform!
The text and canon people took a look at the place Revelation found itself in in various manuscripts of the New Testament. You’ll enjoy it (as much as one can enjoy anything by Clark Bates).
How did Jesus pronounce his own name? Did he go with Yeshua, or did he deviate from the norm and use Yehoshua? Well there’s a post that appeared at the end of September but which I didn’t hear about until it was tweeted in early October. So since it showed up (for me) in October, here it is. It’s super.
Hebrew Bible Stuff
The always gracious ever learned Claude Marriottini has a brief but cogent and useful introduction to the book of Joel on his blog this month. Give it a look. He also had a very interesting look at Job and his BFF Bildad.
Cynthia Schafer Elliott wrote a gem of a piece on the literary context of the Hebrew Bible on the ‘Bible for Normal People’ blog ( which is usually festooned with Peter Enns’ stuff but this time it’s an excellent post!) Excellent!
Jim Davila had some thoughts on the implementation of the latest archaeological craze- paleomagnetic archaeology. Who doesn’t like magnets? They’re cool! And if they help us learn that the Bible is a newspaper report of ancient doings in Israel, who are we to be skeptical?
Do you like illustrated manuscripts? Do you like the Psalter? Well then you’ll love both as they are discussed here. Among the treasures housed in the British Library is the Luttrell Psalter. It is a lavishly illustrated early 14th century manuscript commissioned by Sir Geoffrey Luttrell.
Like witches? Like Old Testament witches? Like Old Testament witches who are nameless and are only known because they come from Endor? Well Bible Odyssey posted a thing on the Witch of Endor you’ll enjoy.
Peter Williams directs your attention to a neat little video on the you tube discussing how Hebrew pronunciation has changed over time.
Yonatan Adler wondered when Jews started observing Torah. Hint, it wasn’t under Moses…
The planet is mad at you! Justifiably really. To find out why, read this great piece titled Qoheleth: The Earth Versus Humanity.
Logan Williams is leading a reading group looking at unpointed Hebrew texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Particularly, at the Damascus Document. You can sign up and sit in on zoom., but it’s also in person if you’re in Exeter.
Yonatan Adler’s new book on the origins of Judaism has now been published. He makes the announcement here.
Emily Gathergood announced the good news that the Nottingham Biblical Research Seminar was returning. It kicked off mid October with a session on reading Jonah’s song intertextually, but more sessions are coming. Sign up info is at the link. You still have time.
There’s a new site called the Armstrong Institute of Biblical Archaeology. AIBA’s mission is to showcase Israel’s biblical archaeology and to make it available to the largest audience possible, most especially to the people of Israel.
AWOL posted news of a new Open Access resource called Abgadiyat: Journal of Ancient, Modern and Digital Scripts and Inscriptions. Surely something that will be useful to many. PS- AWOL is one of the old guard blogs. One of the few still operating (along with Jim Davila’s and my own. Goodacre seems to have sadly moved away from it, having only posted in June of this year and way back in 2020 before that. And Tilling too seems to have withered among the stones. Both a great loss really. They made academia a much better place).
The End of the Matter…
Apparently no one posted Carnival 199 in October so I did by posting a previous Classic Carnival. So I’m still counting this as number 200 because it is and should have been and should still be. Phil writes
I still need a volunteer for November 2022 (Due December 1), and December 2022 (Due January 1). Or, if you are into long term planning, any month in 2023.
If you have thought about hosting, now is the time to step up and contact me via email, firstname.lastname@example.org or DM on twitter (plong42) to discuss hosting a Biblical Studies carnival. If you are a new BiblioBlogger, this is a good way to get your blog some recognition. And, to quote Jim West, “They are fun to do!”
And, as an added bonus, if you do one, it makes it unlikely that I will!
NB– Zwingli was butchered on October 11, 1531 by the papists at Kappel-am-Albis. And since this carnival covers the month of October, I am duty bound to make mention of it. Sure, it’s not ‘biblical studies’ per se, but daggnabbit it’s my carnival. When you do your Carnival, you can include lesser persons.
Every time some ‘discovery’ is made in Israel that ‘proves the bible’ people go crazy. What they don’t do, though, is read.
The most recent example of this is the hubbub about the ‘Hezekiah inscription’ being ‘deciphered’, finally… Problem is, it was deciphered a decade ago. No one paid attention.
Peter van der Veen, a top rate scholar, notes on facebook-
Since yesterday colleagues are claiming that an inscription was found in Jerusalem, which mentions king Hezekiah. But this inscription was already found about 15 years ago and I wrote an article back in 2009 about it, also suggesting that the name Hezekiah can be read. Of course back then the problematic zayin was seen too, but its stance was considered somewhat problematic. It still is today but this is only a minor point. For the name Hezekiah is really the best choice. Here is my 2009 article, unfortunately in German.
His article is available here. Go read it. And please remember, journalists and news outlets are awful at scholarship.
Misusing Scripture offers a thorough and critical evaluation of American evangelical scholarship on the Bible. This strand of scholarship exerts enormous influence on the religious beliefs and practices, and even cultural and political perspectives, of millions of evangelical Christians in the United States and worldwide. The book brings together a diverse array of authors with expertise on the Bible, religion, history, and archaeology to critique the nature and growth of ‘faith-based’ biblical scholarship. The chapters focus on inerrancy and textual criticism, archaeology and history, and the Bible in its ancient and contemporary contexts. They explore how evangelicals approach the Bible in their biblical interpretation, how ‘biblical’ archaeology is misused to bolster distinctive views about the Bible, and how disputed interpretations of the Bible impact issues in the public square. This unique and timely volume contributes to a greater understanding and appreciation of how contemporary American evangelicals understand and use the Bible in their private and public lives. It will be of particular interest to scholars of biblical studies, evangelical Christianity, and religion in the United States.
Part 1. Introduction
1. Introducing Misusing Scripture: What Are Evangelicals Doing with the Bible?, Robert Rezetko, Mark Elliott, and Kenneth Atkinson
Part 2. Inerrancy and Textual Criticism
2. The Error of Biblical Inerrancy—The Bible Does Not Exist!, Kenneth Atkinson
3. Building a House on Sand: What Do Evangelicals Do When They Do Textual Criticism of the Old Testament?, Robert Rezetko
Part 3. Archaeology and History
4. Christian Fundamentalism, Faith, and Archaeology, William G. Dever
5. The New York Times and the Sensationalizing of Archaeological Stories from the Holy Land, 1920–1930, Mark Elliott
Part 4. The Bible in Its Ancient Context
6. “Your Eye Shall Have No Pity”: Old Testament Violence and Genocide, Joshua Bowen
7. Avoiding the Apocalypse in the Book of Daniel, Ian Young and Thomas J. Elms
8. A Resurrection Fallacy, Bruce Chilton
Part 5. The Bible in Its Contemporary Context
9. Why Academic Biblical Scholars Must Fight Creationism, Hector Avalos
10. Second-Amendment Exegesis of Luke 22:35–53: How Conservative Evangelical Bible Scholars Protect Christian Gun Culture, Tony Keddie
11. Virginal Blood of the Marriage Covenant: Deuteronomy 22:13-21 in Evangelical Purity Culture, Joy A. Schroeder
12. Essentializing “Woman”: Three Neoliberal Strategies in the Christian Right’s Interpretations on Women in the Bible, Susanne Scholz
This looks like it will be an amazing volume.
Please join The British Institute for the Study of Iraq for its upcoming online International Conference:
Wednesday 16th November and Thursday 17th November 2022
11.00 GMT – 19.00 GMT on both days
This international conference marks the centenary of Sir Leonard Woolley’s first season of excavations at the city of Ur in 1922. It is organised by the British Institute of the Study of Iraq in collaboration with the State Board for Antiquities and Heritage and Penn Museum, Philadelphia.
The programme will cover the full range of Woolley’s discoveries, both archaeological and epigraphical, and alongside them more recent work at Ur and neighbouring sites.
A full list of speakers and lectures will be published in the coming days.
To register your place for free please click here.
Registration and all details and program are here.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2022 AT 12 PM – 1:45 PM EDT
- 1 hr 45 min
- Event by Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society
- Public Anyone on or off Facebook.
Excavations at Tel Kedesh in the Upper Galillee, near the Lebanese border, reveal how interactions between imperial powers, provincial administrators, and local elites changed over 350 years from the 5th C BCE onwards as control of the area shifted from the Achaemenid Persians, to the Ptolemies of Egypt, and then the Seleucids of Syria. Key finds include 2000 clay bullae used by local elites and the largest hoard of gold coins found in Israel. Andrea Berlin will reveal exciting finds from the site! Email to register: email@example.com
It’s by Nick Posegay-
So there’s this box in the Genizah Research Unit at @theUL. It’s labelled “Worman Archive.” It’s supposed to be full of stuff associated with Ernest James Worman, a librarian who catalogued the #Genizah collection 120 years ago. Yesterday I found out that’s not all true.
Via Joseph Lauer-