Category Archives: Bible

The Anniversary of the Birth of Kurt Aland

It is the anniversary of the birth of that great Text Critic and Church Historian (yes, he wrote an extensive history of Christianity which spanned two large volumes) Kurt Aland.  He was born on 28 March, 1915 (and regrettably passed away on 13 April, 1994).

I corresponded with him a bit in the late 80’s early 90’s and he was always terribly congenial.  I regret that I never did have the chance to meet him though.  And that makes me sad.

Aland surely needs no introduction, does he?  Here’s a smattering of his impressive publications, just in case you aren’t familiar enough with him.

Here’s a tiny little interview which aired on German tv in which he explains in the briefest of terms the importance of textual criticism.

And here’s a great little explanation of the institute for textual criticism for which he was responsible.

Happy birthday, Professor. All of those who know your work, treasure it, and you.

Jeremiah Had One of These At the Entrance of the Temple…

The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, ‘Stand at the gate of the Temple of Yahweh and there proclaim this message. Say, “Listen to the word of Yahweh, all you of Judah who come in by these gates to worship Yahweh. Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Amend your behaviour and your actions and I will let you stay in this place. 

Do not put your faith in delusive words, such as: This is Yahweh’s sanctuary, Yahweh’s sanctuary, Yahweh’s sanctuary! But if you really amend your behaviour and your actions, if you really treat one another fairly, if you do not exploit the stranger, the orphan and the widow, if you do not shed innocent blood in this place and if you do not follow other gods, to your own ruin, then I shall let you stay in this place, in the country I gave for ever to your ancestors of old.  

Look, you are putting your faith in delusive, worthless words!  Steal, would you, murder, commit adultery, perjure yourselves, burn incense to Baal, follow other gods of whom you know nothing? –  and then come and stand before me in this Temple that bears my name, saying: Now we are safe to go on doing all these loathsome things!  Do you look on this Temple that bears my name as a den of bandits? I, at any rate, can see straight, Yahweh declares. (Jer. 7:1-11)

[Image nipped from Ken Leonard on FB]

I Just Can’t Pull Myself Out of The Vortex…

Of Jeremiah’s astonishing

“Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, and don’t beg me to help them, for I will not listen to you. (7:16).

And again

“Do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress. (11:14)

And again

Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for these people anymore. (14:11)

אַל־תִּתְפַּלֵּ֣ל – that’s the theme. Maybe it’s exactly the advice God would give to us today. Maybe it’s time to stop praying for a country inhabited by a majority of people who are sickeningly disinterested in God in the same way that the people of Judah were in the era of Jeremiah.  People are more than happy to play religious.  But let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment- most Christian’s ‘religiousness’ ends the second they are out of Church (if they even bother going there at all).

Ben Sira Has Something to Say to You

Give to the devout, do not go to the help of a sinner. Do good to the humble, give nothing to the godless. Refuse him bread, do not give him any, it might make him stronger than you are; then you would be repaid evil twice over for all the good you had done him.  For the Most High himself detests sinners, and will repay the wicked with what they deserve. Give to the good, and do not go to the help of a sinner. (Sir. 12:4-7)

Micah Has Something to Say to You

Kindly listen to this, you leaders of the House of Jacob, you princes of the House of Israel, who detest justice, wresting it from its honest course, who build Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity!  Her leaders give verdicts for presents, her priests take a fee for their rulings, her prophets divine for money and yet they rely on Yahweh! ‘Isn’t Yahweh among us?’ they say, ‘No disaster is going to overtake us.’  That is why, thanks to you, Zion will become ploughland, Jerusalem a heap of rubble and the Temple Mount a wooded height. (Mic. 3:9-12)

Jeremiah Has Something to Say to You

Rove the streets of Jerusalem, now look and enquire, see in her squares if you can find an individual, one individual who does right and seeks the truth, and I will pardon her, Yahweh says. Although they say, ‘As Yahweh lives,’ they are, in fact, swearing a false oath. Yahweh, do your eyes not look for truth? You have struck them; they have not felt it. You have annihilated them, for they ignored the lesson. They have set their faces harder than rock, they have refused to repent. I thought, ‘These are only the poor! They behave stupidly since they do not know Yahweh’s way or the ruling of their God. I shall approach the great men and speak to them, for these will know Yahweh’s way and the ruling of their God.’ But these, too, have broken the yoke, have burst the bonds.

And so, a lion from the forest will slaughter them, a wolf from the plains will despoil them, a leopard will be lurking round their towns: anyone who goes out will be torn to pieces — because of their many crimes, their countless infidelities. ‘Why should I pardon you? Your sons have abandoned me, to swear by gods that are not gods at all. I fed them full, and they became adulterers, they hurried to the brothel. They are well-fed, roving stallions, each neighing for his neighbour’s wife.

Shall I fail to punish this, Yahweh demands, or on such a nation to exact vengeance? Scale her terraces! Destroy! But do not annihilate her completely! Strip off her branches, for Yahweh does not own them! How treacherously they have treated me, the House of Israel and the House of Judah! Yahweh declares. ‘They have denied Yahweh, they have said, “He is nothing; no evil will overtake us, we shall not see sword or famine.

And the prophets? Nothing but wind; the word is not in them; let those very things happen to them!” ‘ Because of this, Yahweh, God Sabaoth, says this, ‘Since you have said such things, now I shall make my words a fire in your mouth, and make this people wood, for the fire to devour. Now I shall bring on you a nation from afar, House of Israel, Yahweh declares, an enduring nation, an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you grasp what they say. — (Jer. 5:1-15)


Put yourselves to the test to make sure you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Do you not recognise yourselves as people in whom Jesus Christ is present? – unless, that is, you fail the test. (2 Cor. 13:5 )

Quote of the Day

The house of the wicked will be destroyed, the tent of the honest will prosper. (Prov. 14:11)

What If…

Yahweh then said to me, ‘Do not intercede for this people or their welfare. If they fast, I will not listen to their plea; if they offer burnt offerings and cereal offerings I will not accept them. Rather, I shall make an end of them by sword, famine and plague.’ 

‘Ah, Lord Yahweh,’ I answered, ‘here are the prophets telling them, “You will not see the sword, famine will not touch you; I promise you true peace in this place.” ‘  

Then Yahweh said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I have not sent them, I gave them no orders, I never spoke to them. Delusive visions, hollow predictions, daydreams of their own, that is what they prophesy to you.  (Jer. 14:11-14)

What if the Lord means to say it again…

Straight talk From Jeremiah to Spiritual Adulterers

A wild she-donkey, at home in the desert, snuffing the breeze in desire; who can control her when she is on heat? Males need not trouble to look for her, they will find her in her month.

Beware! Your own foot will go unshod, your own throat grow dry!

But you said, “It is no use! No! For I love the Strangers and they are the ones I shall follow.”

‘Like a thief ashamed at being caught, so will the House of Israel be: they, their kings, their chief men, their priests and their prophets, who say to a piece of wood, “You are my father,” and to a stone, “You gave birth to me.” For they turn to me their backs, never their faces; yet when trouble comes they shout, “Get up! Save us!”

Where are your gods you made for yourself? Let them get up if they can save you when trouble comes! For you have as many gods as you have towns, Judah!  Why make out a case against me? You have all rebelled against me, Yahweh declares.

 In vain I have struck your children, they have not accepted correction; your own sword has devoured your prophets like a marauding lion. (Jer. 2:24-30)

And Now For Something Completely Different: A Half of a Carnival

This month I thought for the fun of it I’d do a half carnival.  I.e.,  offers readers the more interesting posts from across the globe as posted in the biblioblog universe for just the first half of the month.  Enjoy!

Hebrew Bible

Claims concerning a little ‘artifact’ inscribed with the name of Darius burst on the scene at the beginning of March with even the IAA itself declaring the little snippet of text ‘authentic’.  Some were rightly sceptical, as the fun little trinket was found on the surface and not in a controlled dig.  Others wanted to see for themselves before accepting the IAA’s verdict.  But at the end, it turns out that the thing was a modern piece of classroom instructional material completely invented by a Prof who put it on the ground and forgot to pick it up again.  Boy does the IAA have egg on its face now.  Perhaps going forward they will be a little more careful about vaunting unprovenanced materials.  Though to be fair with all the fakes discovered in recent years you’d think they’d know better by now.  Alas…

Much more edifying and scholarly is Sidnie Crawford White’s brilliant essay titled ‘My Journey With the Dead Sea Scrolls’.  Give it a read.  Turns out the Scrolls are cheap when it comes to paying for travel and lodging and food.  Sidnie had to pay for everything!  If she were Gen-Z she would set up a go fund me but she’s not so she’s a decent human being.

Anthony Ferguson also shared some thoughts on the Scrolls: i.e., the evolution of Tov’s understanding of them.  It’s pretty interesting.

Mark Leuchter did a really interesting (34 part) twitter thread on the now constantly recurring debate about David’s rape of Bathsheba.  If you missed it, read it now.

Judges 19 is the focus for this post on ordination exams for Presbyterians by Jan Edmiston.  Honestly, any post that begins [This post will make some readers unhappy.] has to find a spot in any Carnival.

Who did Cain marry? Eva Mroczek offers some thoughts drawn from Jewish tradition. Enjoy!

Who are the Rephaim?  A riddle.  Jonathan Yogev gives solving said riddle a go.  He’s most likely correct.

Curious about Jonah?  Want to read Jim Gordon’s thoughts on the book?  Now’s your chance!  There’s nothing fishy.  (Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week.  Be sure to tip the wait staff).

Want to excavate in Israel at a very important archaeological site in the North?  Then Jezreel is the place to be.  All the details about volunteering are available here.  Or do you prefer to excavate where the Philistine’s roamed?  Well you’re in luck because you can do that too.  Find the info here.

New Testament

James Crossley talked about Jesus as product of class struggle in a piece about his new book on the subject (written with one Robert Myles.

If numismatics is your bag, you will be interested in this post regarding the portrayal of kneeling conquered folk depicted on Roman coins.  Really great info.  Eye opening, as it were.

A-J Levine discusses the story of the woman caught in adultery in John’s Gospel.  As she rightly notes, contra the usual reading of the text, In terms of the woman herself, what people fail to ask usually is what happens to her at the end?  Jesus never says, “I forgive you.”  It’s not about forgiveness, but she’s simply left saying you’re not condemned.

It’s nice to see a couple of publications by my old friend George Raymond Beasley-Murray pop up in March on Rob Bradshaw’s resources page.  Go download them now.  Everything George wrote was absolute gold.

Dan McClellan offers a tick tock mini lecture on the meaning of the word ‘Magdalene’.  My own forays into tick tocking focus more on my incredible dance moves and mashups of kids running over their dads on skateboards.  I guess Dan is putting the platform to better use.


March was Women’s History Month and DeGruyter celebrated by offering a raft of materials for free (till April 10)- so you still have time to get in on the free-ness-ness of it.

The ‘Gospel Coalition’ hawked a garbage book based on trash eisegesis by a chap named Josh Butler who, to be completely fair, knows less about biblical exposition than Joel Osteen.  The article in TGC and the book itself were obliterated by actual scholars.  One of the better obliterations appeared from the pen (keyboard I suppose is more accurate) of Amy Peeler.  Enjoy.  And always remember, TGC is theological garbage.

Scribes and Scripture by Peter Gurry and John Meade was reviewed by Peter Montoro.  Montoro remarks … a truly excellent book that will surely become a staple in churches and seminaries all over the English-speaking world.  High praise indeed for a book I haven’t read.  How important could it be, then, hmmm?

Lindsay Kennedy (an Aussie… so I apologize in advance for including his post) reviewed a book titled AN INTERTEXTUAL COMMENTARY TO THE PSALTER: JUXTAPOSITION AND ALLUSION IN BOOK I.  Intertexuality is something like reception history but it’s the reception of biblical texts within biblical texts.  Neat, huh.  It’s like Paul quoting Psalms or Psalms quoting Genesis, etc.  It’s all the rage among the Gen-Z kids.  (When they aren’t playing Fortnite that is).

Becoming Elijah‘ was nicely reviewed by Alan Brill (no relation to the German publishing consortium).  I think if I were to become any of the Prophets, it would be Elisha.  He’s the best.  Well, after Jeremiah.

Michael Bird talks about some books in his latest Books, Books, Books episode on the YouTube.  The only interesting one is the one by Nijay Gupta.  The rest look really uninspiring.  Church Fathers, toxic masculinity, universalism?  Ick.

Niels Peter Lemche’s excellent book ‘Back to Reason’ was nicely reviewed in RBL.  It genuinely is a super book and you ought to read it if you haven’t yet.

Nijay Gupta’s excellent little book was released on March 14. A few hours previously he tweeted

@NijayKGupta — Excited to see folks are ordering #TellHerStory @ivpacademic, official release is in about 8 hours (March 14, 2023). God blessed so many women to lead, teach, and do dangerous and difficult ministry, we need to listen to, learn from, and imitate them!

If you missed it I reviewed it here.

Miscellaneous Stuff

The SBL tweeted– Registration for the 2023 Global Virtual Meeting is open! The meeting will be online 27-31 March 2023.  Access the preliminary program book here.

The Catholic University of America is offering Summer courses in Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Georgian, or Syriac. And they are all online! All the details are available here.  This is an amazing opportunity!

Bible and Archaeology (an initiative of the University of Iowa) tweets

@biblearch- Sign up for free today at Bible & Archaeology: . We know it can be hard to stay up with the week’s news, so we’ve created a newsletter that recaps content from the Bible & Archaeology website and YouTube channel.

This will doubtless be of interest to many.

The most exciting bit of news to come out in March was the announcement that the famous and the infamous NT Wrong will come out of retirement to host a biblioblog Carnival on April 1, after seven years of silence!  It will appear here.

And finally, if you’d like to keep up with the tweetings of most of the biblical scholars who tweet, you can follow this list.  If you know of others please drop me a note and I will add them.  Email



I hope you’ve enjoyed this half carnival.  The official carnival will appear on April 1, again, hosted by NT Wrong!  I’m very excited.  Maybe he/she/they will finally unveil the mystery of their identity!


Common people are only a vapor;
important people, an illusion.
Together on a scale,
they weigh less than a vapor.  — Ps 62:9

Zwingli’s Translation of Jeremiah

On March 11th, Zwingli issued his translation of Jeremiah with annotations, and dedicated it to the city of Strassburg, in further recognition of its entering into the Christian Burgher Rights. – S. Jackson

The full title is Complanationis Ieremiae Prophetae Foetura prima, cum Apologia quur quidque sic uersum sit per Huldrichum Zuinglium.

It remains one of the finest commentaries on Jeremiah ever written.

Another Quote of the Day

I shall strike such fear into the hearts of those of you who survive in the countries of their enemies that the sound of a falling leaf will set them fleeing; they will flee as though fleeing from the sword, and fall when no one is pursuing. (Lev. 26:36)

Quote of the Day, Again

“Accursed be anyone who violates the rights of the foreigner, the orphan and the widow.” And the people must all say, Amen”. (Deut. 27:19)

Still Sage Guidance

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck.

My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,”

My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, For their feet run to evil. And they hasten to shed blood. Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors. — Prov 1

Quote of the Day

Sin is the oracle of the wicked in the depths of his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.  He sees himself with too flattering an eye to detect and detest his guilt; all he says is malicious and deceitful, he has turned his back on wisdom. To get his way he hatches malicious plots even in his bed; once set on his evil course no wickedness is too much for him.  (Ps. 36:1-4)

Call For Contributions

The Carnival is coming to town on April 1.  If you see any great posts on the topics of Hebrew Bible, New Testament, books, miscellaneous stuff, or the like related to biblical studies, do let me know so I can include them.

Especially if they are from lesser known blogs.  So that they can be popular.  Like me.

Happy Birthday to the Bible Museum of Muenster!

Wir haben heute Geburtstag 🎈

Am 8.3.1979 wurde das Museum von Prof. Kurt Aland, Bischof Hermann Kunst und dem damaligen Bundespräsidenten Walter Scheel eröffnet. Zunächst war das Museum in der Georgskommende und seit 2006 an der Pferdegasse untergebracht.