Coming Soon: An Interview with the Editor of the New Edition of the Zurich Bible

This new edition of the Zurich Bible came out in January and the editor has agreed to ‘sit down’ for an interview about the volume. I’m looking forward to sharing our exchange with you. More anon.

Die Ausgabe für das persönliche Bibelstudium und die Arbeit in der Gemeinde. Neu mit deuterokanonischen Schriften.

• mit deuterokanonischen Schriften
• mit Einleitungen und Glossar
• einspaltig
• Schriftgrösse 100 %

Andere einspaltige Ausgaben: Schulbibel rot, Leinen grün
Einspaltig mit grösserer Schrift: Leinen dunkelrot, Kunstbibel, Leinen rubinrot

2019, 2251 Seiten, 12.9 x 20.0 cm, Hardcover
ISBN 978-3-85995-256-0
ca. 19,90 €

It also comes in red.

‘God Is Love’

This is one of the most Johannine of all biblical phrases and, interestingly, it is exclusively Johannine.  And while the Bible talks a LOT about our love FOR God it doesn’t describe God’s love FOR us, outside John and one verse in Deuteronomy (23:5).

I find this interesting primarily because the bulk of the biblical writers have no interest in talking about God’s love.  They evidently don’t feel compelled to bang on about it.  John, though, does.

So the question is why.  Is it because John feels the need to discuss God’s love in circumstances which seem to indicate the contrary?  Does John mention God’s love for people because he doesn’t see evidence of that love in his world?  Does John insist on it because he doesn’t see it?  Is John like the guy who has to convince himself that his girlfriend loves him by repeating ‘she loves me’ over and over again because she never shows him any love?

I’m just wondering aloud.  Again, most of the biblical text is not at all concerned with the topic of God’s love for folk while it is very concerned for folks love for God.  So why not?

Quote of the Day

And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. (Lev. 18:21)

And

“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, “or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. “For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. (Deut. 18:10-12)

And

And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.’  “Now therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say,`It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence’. (Jer. 32:35-36)

And

“Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore to Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter,  “that you have slain My children and offered them up to them by causing them to pass through the fire?  (Ezek. 16:20-21)

And finally

“For when you offer your gifts and make your sons pass through the fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols, even to this day. So shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I will not be inquired of by you. (Ezek. 20:31)

Let the reader understand.

The Zurich Latin Bible of 1543

13582131903In 1543 the Zurich reformers produced Latin translations of the Old Testament and the Apocrypha together with a revised edition of Erasmus’ New Testament. The Biblia sacrosancta was a beautiful volume, Froschauer’s finest work. The work on the Old Testament was primarily done by Leo Jud, though it was completed by Theodor Bibliander and Konrad Pellikan after his death in 1542. The translation, together with the textual apparati, and the extensive prefaces form the most complete expression of the theological and ecclesiastical vision of the Zurich church under Heinrich Bullinger. Printed twelve years after the death of Huldrych Zwingli, the Bible embodied the ideals of a restored church that had to turn its back on its fallen founder. Zwingli was never mentioned and the model for a new, proud, and confident church was St Jerome, represented in the figure of the translator Leo Jud. This essay explores the relationship between biblical interpretation, identity, and church building for the second generation of the Reformation.

The essay, by Bruce Gordon, appeared in Zwingliana a few years back.  Get it.  Read it.

A Warning

Yahweh says this, ‘Accursed be anyone who trusts in human beings, who relies on human strength and whose heart turns from Yahweh.  Such a person is like scrub in the wastelands: when good comes, it does not affect him since he lives in the parched places of the desert, uninhabited, salt land.  (Jer. 17:5-6)

Metathesis in the Hebrew Bible: Wordplay as a Literary and Exegetical Device

Why did the biblical writers choose the specific words they did? In order to explore this question, this book investigates the use of literary-stylistic metathesis in the Hebrew Bible.

By way of introduction, Metathesis in the Hebrew Bible first discusses the related phenomena of linguistic metathesis, in which letters or sounds are unintentionally inverted during the historical development of a language, and textual metathesis, in which the letters of a word are accidentally inverted during the transmission of a text. The discussion then moves on to the widespread use of literary-stylistic metathesis in the Hebrew Bible, in which two or more words that use the same letters in opposite orders are deliberately juxtaposed within a sentence. This device appears in various literary genres within the Bible and in diverse forms, which demonstrates that a number of biblical authors and editors used it as a compositional device, for a variety of purposes: whether for literary, aesthetic, or rhetorical effect; to make a theological or exegetical point; to connect or contrast particular words with one another; or to emphasize a specific viewpoint.

The book also demonstrates that literary metathesis is not limited to the Hebrew Bible but that it also appears in post-biblical Jewish Hebrew compositions, such as The Wisdom of Ben Sira and the rabbinic literature. This leads to the conclusion that the use of this literary tool by the rabbis in the midrashic literature is not a late, artificial approach to Scripture but rather one that has deep roots in the biblical texts themselves and that continued to develop in the writings of the Second Temple period and in later Jewish writings.

A review copy has arrived.

One Carnival to Rule them All: January, 2019

Introductory Matters

January is always an exciting month.  It kicks off a new year and it begins with a celebration of the greatest of all the Christian theologians and exegetes, Huldrych Zwingli.  But, believe it or not, I’m not going to talk about Zwingli.  Or Luther.  Or Calvin.  Or any of that historical theology stuff.  Instead, this Carnival is restricted to things biblical studies.  So hold on to your knickers, friends, because this Carnival is the One Biblical Studies Carnival to Rule Them All.

Hebrew Bible/ Old Testament

Science and Bible, again.  And yes, I realize that it’s a topic near and dear to many but I just don’t get it.  Science has to do with science and Scripture has to do with theology/ metaphysics.  They don’t play on the same playground, they aren’t neighbors, and they don’t sit down for coffee and chat about what they think about the other.  You never really hear about scientists fretting as to whether or not Christian theology will take it seriously but you have loads of Christian theologians who act like 13 year old girls craving the approval of the boy who won’t pay them any attention.   Nonetheless, if the whole science game is your bag, good for you.  You are Legion.

Archangels.  Where did they come from?  The remaining giants discuss.

Where did archangels come from? How did we end up with archangels in Jewish and Christian tradition?

Find out.

The LXX Reader’s Edition contest that ran in November… has announced the two winners…  here at the end of January (the 25th to be precise).  (3 months.  That has to be a record)(Bless their hearts)(They have political careers ahead of them if this LXX research thing falls through).

Someone wants to argue with Deane Galbraith about giants.

Over at Bible and Interpretation

Hendel and Joosten’s book  [on dating Biblical texts in Hebrew] is chock-full of insightful observations on a multitude of linguistic, textual, and cultural/historical phenomena, and they argue cogently that the best method for dating biblical writings should include all three of these data sources. Nonetheless, their answer to the question, “How Old is the Hebrew Bible?,” is unoriginal because they do little more than offer a sophisticated repackaging of the traditional linguistic dating approach and results, and it is also unsatisfactory because they eschew literary criticism in the formulation of their model of consilience for determining the ages of biblical literature.

Read the full essay.

Septuagint reading can be fun.  Or so we’re told.

There’s a super essay in B&I by Hendel and Joosten on the Hebrew Bible’s age.  You MUST read it (or else).

Many scholars, largely disregarding linguistic data, insist that most or all of the Hebrew Bible was written in the second half of the first millennium BCE, during the Persian and/or Hellenistic periods, and draw the inference that there is little or no historical content that predates this era….The ages of the books of the Hebrew Bible span a vast chronological range, from the early Iron Age to the Greek age, which we can discern at different degrees of focus. There is much that we can know about these topics, more than most scholars are willing to grant.

Oh boy.

Internet Monk is thinking along with Peter Enns about the Bible.  A bad decision on the best of days.  But anyway, he’s doing it.  And you may to give his thinkings a read.

Robert Alter’s really wonderful translation/ commentary on the Hebrew Bible gets a thorough going over in this ‘symposium’ on it in the Jewish Review of Books.  It is a substantial review by a good raft of scholars, and you should most definitely read it.  I was given a copy of Alter’s work for Christmas and I really love it.

Septuagint Summer School.  You know you want to.  It’s in the Summer.  In Europe.

New Testament

An Orthodox Priest named Stephen has a very interesting take on Jesus and social justice.  He opines

Secularism is the forgetting of God, or remembering Him in a manner that is truly less than God. This is the cause of all injustice. Indeed, it is the great injustice: that human beings forget their Creator and the purpose of their existence. When we forget God, everything is madness.

I recommend his intriguing essay.

Joel Watts tells us how the New Testament canon was actually formed.  Who knew…

Larry’s right.  Paul wasn’t ‘converted’.   He simply reformed.

Bill Mounce asks if ‘all’ the translations are wrong at Mark 1:16.  To which I reply, the ones most people use are, but the REB is right.  The REB proves itself over and over again the most reliable version in English and here it does so yet again.

Ian Paul discusses, naturally, the historicity of the visit of the Wise Men.  What the world needs is more Bultmannians.

Ian also talks about the notion that the Gospel can be funny at spots…  He’s apparently writing a book on the humor in the Bible….  But he’s British…

Philbert *The Traveler* Long had a bit of something to say about the Theology of Acts.  He remarks

There is a third element of the book of Acts which…

Bart Ehrman asks about early Christians and the belief in reincarnation.  He writes

It is often said today that reincarnation was a widespread teaching in early Christianity as well.  In fact, the evidence for it is ….     To see the rest of what I have to say, you’ll need to belong to the blog.  It’s easy to join, and costs less then fifty cents a week.

I don’t know what he says about it.  I’m not a blog-liever.  If you are, you’ll know.

James McGrath thinks Jesus was a hugger.  It’s an interesting and not altogether impossible reading of the text he is looking at.  Why not, I guess.  But Jesus also had a beard and there’s no reason to think that having a beard is required just because he had one…  ergo…

Richard Bauckham lectured at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem on Jesus Christ as the Alpha and Omega.  You’ll enjoy it.

Bart Ehrman answers a reader’s question about the Jewishness of the New Testament authors.  Someone (the questioner) has been reading the Nazi sympathizing New Testament scholars in Germany in 1930 again…  Fortunately Deane has the good sense (along with many others) to point out the absurdity of it all (and Bart pulled his post down… but you can still read it here).

Mike Bird writes a thing about ‘Apostle Paul’ and some early Church person thing.  What intrigues me about the post is the practice among some of saying ‘Apostle Paul’ instead of ‘The Apostle Paul’ as though ‘the’ is now out of fashion.  It’s weird.  Stop it.

And, finally, your ‘eyeroll of the month’- a post suggesting that the Sermon on the Mount has a dark side because it ‘others’ the pharisees….

This means the Sermon on the Mount is, in large part, constructed upon a negative “othering,” or stereotyping of rivals – namely, the Scribes and the Pharisees. The “righteousness” of the Scribes and Pharisees provides a foil for the higher righteousness of the Sermon.

Archaeology and Texts

Two biblioblogs took notice of the appearance of a website devoted to the polyglots:  Bible and Tech and ETC.  Who doesn’t like polyglots?  And websites?  And polyglot websites?

If you haven’t run across mention of it yet, there’s a Text criticism conference in Birmingham.  Bookings close in mid February.

Belarus text display?  Ok.  I guess a text has got to be somewhere.  Why not Belarus?  Though if I were a text I’d definitely prefer to be in the Zurich Central Library.  Or the British Library.

ETC also took notice of some dead sea scrolls stuffity stuff.  It’s madness though so you should probably just let is slide right on by.   Here’s a snippet just so you know I’m trying to be a blessing:

The texts preserving Psalms from Qumran classified by scholars as biblical texts are significant for the fluid/standard text debate because they preserve large-scale differences that designate them in the mind of many scholars as an alternative tradition or edition of the Psalter.

I hope they get Denzel Washington to play the lead when they make this DSS post at ETC into a movie…

Big news from Brent– the John Rylands texts are online.  Now that’s some useful material for sure.

Israeli looters want to beat Bedouin looters to the loot to be found, they hope, in the region of the Dead Sea around Qumran.  Looting Wars should be the title of the essay here reported.  One set of looters is state sponsored and the other individually driven.  But looters are looters.  if it isn’t your land, it isn’t your loot.

Interested in a digital library of text critical things?  Look no further.

At the time of writing this, we currently have images of or links to more than 1500 manuscripts in our library.

Aren Maeir has a new post on the Philistines and their war-y-ness-hood.  It’s a lot of fun.  The post, not the war-ness-ness of the Philistines.  They were such Philistines.

Michael Langlois lectured at the Ecole Biblique on bible forgeries and the like and it was recorded.  You can view it here.

Bob Cargill wrote a piece for BAR on the so called ‘Jerusalem Column’, noting

The Jerusalem Column is the first inscription from the Second Temple period where the full spelling of the Hebrew name of Jerusalem (ירושלימ) appears. By “full spelling,” I mean a spelling of Jerusalem that includes the letter yod (י) between the lamed (“l”; ל) and final mem (“m”; מ) at the end of the name.

Unfortunately he doesn’t actually use a ‘final mem’, as the article suggests, but a medial mem.  Final mem looks like this: ם.  Not like this: מ.  If BC just meant that the word on the inscription ended with mem that’s what he should have said, without calling it a ‘final mem’ because the two mean different things to people who study Hebrew texts. BAR’s readers won’t notice the difference, but there is one.

Be sure to give the lecture by Israel Finkelstein at the Ecole Biblique a watch if you haven’t already.  It’s way more fun than a pillar.

Important series-es for new testament textual criticism.  Brought to you by the good people of Evangelical Textual Criticism (as opposed to and in contradistinction from non-evangelical textual criticism).

The Nabatean stronghold of Sela gets a great writeup in the Jordan Times, blogged here.  An interesting site with an interesting history.

Paul Barford posted an interesting snippet on Israel’s display of looted archaeological finds.  He notes, though, that

International law bars an occupying military from displaying antiquities outside the occupied area. But (Nir Hasson, ‘Israel Displays Archaeological Finds Looted From West Bank‘ Haaretz Jan 01, 2019). The exhibition is part of the Israeli story invoking the need to preserve culture as a justification of their activities as occupier. Through their media they constantly promote the narrative that archaeological remains in the occupied territory must be ‘saved from’ the Palestinians.

Aren’t they nice to break the law to save artifacts from those awful terrible expansionist Palestinians……  Such humanitarians…

Green papyri.  Again.

Larry Hurtado is thinking about Jesus this month… indeed, something different about Jesus this month…  Be sure to read the whole and don’t cut any of it short.

Books

A new Theology of the Old Testament was reviewed at the very beginning of the month.  It is, seriously, a very good and useful volume.   Rick Brannan announced his writing schedule for 2019.  Have you ever seen such a thing?

Eric Harvey posted a list of books he has read this year.  That may not sound like anything special, until you read the post and realize that these are books for the blind and that there are theological / biblical studies tomes among them.  I suspect that a lot of good could be done if books in biblical studies for the blind were published more purposefully.

Philbert Long reviewed Carl Holladay’s commentary on Acts.  He begins, justifiably:

There have been several significant…

Leander Keck has a book on Inerrancy and the text of the New Testament that gets a mention (I don’t know why) by the ETC folk.  I guess they’re just catching up on book reading.

JB Lightfoot left unfinished his commentaries on several of Paul’s letters.  But he left notes.  Rob Bradshaw has them digitized.  And you can read the notes here.

Someone reviewed a book about following Jesus.  Read it if such things are of interest.  Joel Watts saw a book about Jesus by some Methodist and he was compelled by his Methodist sympathies to make his readers aware of it.

Are you having trouble with translating German?  Tavis Bollinger offers some help if you’re a Logos user.  Or, alternatively, learn German.

James *Not Jim, Don’t Use Jim* Spinti reminds us that editing book covers is just as important as editing book contents.  Otherwise things just look wrong and thus bad.

Larry Hurtado reviews a review of his book.  I’m looking forward to someone reviewing Larry’s review of the review so that then Larry can review the review of the review of his review of his book.

Carl *Hideous* Sweatman shared his reading list from last year.  It’s an interesting mix of bilge, rubbish and a few interesting works.  Send Carl recommendations for stuff that’s worth reading, please.  So that his 2019 can be better than his 2018 was.

Two books are reviewed here having to do with the Bible: Amos, in the Anchor Bible Commentary, and The Jesus Movement in its Expansion.  Scroll down to page 4 of the reviews embedded.

Lexundria.  Books. From antiquity.  Digitized.  Visit it.

Women Biblical Scholars (a blog you should definitely follow) announces the appearance of a monograph on women in Ephesus.  They point it out on the twitter

Dr. Elif Halal Karaman (@elflal) has an exciting new book out on Ephesian women. She tells Women Biblical Scholars (WBS) about it.

Miscellaneous Things

The CenSAMM has announced a conference scheduled for this Summer.  This will be of interest to many.

The 2019 Conference: The Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements: Critical and Interdisciplinary Approaches will take place on 27-28 June 2019 at the University of Bedfordshire (Bedford Campus).

Mike Bird has a great quote by Thomas Cranmer on abused wives and divorce.  I’m going to use it.  A lot.

Ben Witherington was interviewed by a guy at a Church and Ben is pleased to share the video of Ben’s interview on Ben’s ‘one stop shop for all things biblical and Christian’.  If you’re as into Ben as Ben is, you’ll enjoy Ben’s discussing Ben.

Brian Davidson has some thoughts on Logos 8.  It’s bible software.  For bible nerds.  Who don’t like real books.  But do like e-books.

Rick Brannan is going to send out a newsletter and he wants you to sign up for it.

Christian Brady had some really important things to say about death.  Give it a read.

Michael Satlow is putting together a resource page which assembles digital humanities materials on Judaism in late antiquity:

This is not meant to be comprehensive, but contains a number of sites and links that might be of interest to those interested in working on digital humanities projects relating to Jews and Judaism in (particularly late) antiquity.  I am happy to add and correct this list, so please feel free to send me your suggestions.  Over time, I may well annotate it as well.

The Center for Apocalyptic studies that Crossley runs has assembled a raft of podcasts and videos that may be of interest to persons interested in them.  Such things as one might find interesting.  Potentially.

Animals and the BibleCall for papers.  Check it out.

Dirk remarked on the twitter

ORBIS.  Larry Hurtado mentions it.

ORBIS is primarily intended to serve historians of the Roman Empire, the main questions shaping the project having to do with how Rome managed such a far-flung empire.  So it is “top down” in orientation, more amenable to questions about how trade or governance operated, and at what cost and time involved.

Larry Hurtado has some guidance on what to call people in various international academic contexts.  Give it a look, ye undergrads.

If you are interested in a gathering at Tyndale House, take note of this call for papers:

The 2019 NT Study Group will be meeting at Tyndale House from 26th to 28th June 2018Our theme this year is Writing, orality and the composition of the NT. We would welcome proposals of papers on any issue of scholarly debate on issues relating to this, including writing in ancient world as it affects the NT, memory theory and orality, and canonical composition and dating of NT documents.

Closing Thoughts

Well there it is, the most important official Biblical Studies Carnival of 2019 (so far).  Be sure to go over and grab the Logos free book of the month.  And check out the listing of upcoming Carnivals.

I’ll next be reporting from Zurich where I’m off to attend the Zwingli Conference (celebrating his arrival in Zurich 500 Years Ago) and where there are loads of cool activities planned.  Stay tuned.

Zürcher Bibel um neue Texte erweitert

Es war ein episches Projekt: Rund 35 Jahre lang arbeiteten Übersetzer an der Neuausgabe der Zürcher Bibel, nun ist sie endlich vollendet. Am 20. Januar wurde die ergänzte Neuübersetzung im Zürcher Grossmünster präsentiert – am Festgottesdienst zum Reformationsjubiläum.

Eine neue Ausgabe mit dem Alten und dem Neuen Testament war zwar bereits 2007 erschienen. Nicht darin enthalten waren aber die sogenannten deuterokanonischen Schriften. Diese galten als «apokryph», als dunkel, weil ihre Herkunft ungeklärt ist. In der abschliessenden ­Ausgabe sind sie nun integriert.

Etc.  Well done, TVZ!

Impoverishing Yourself Doesn’t Help the Poor

It is not that you ought to relieve other people’s needs and leave yourselves in hardship; but there should be a fair balance- your surplus at present may fill their deficit, and another time their surplus may fill your deficit. So there may be a fair balance; as scripture says: No one who had collected more had too much, no one who collected less had too little.  (2 Cor. 8:13-15)

If you have the means to help others, do it.  If you don’t, don’t.  But do be honest with yourself concerning your abundance.

Quote of the Day

Woe to those who devise iniquity,  And work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, Because it is in the power of their hand.  They covet fields and take them by violence, Also houses, and seize them. So they oppress a man and his house, A man and his inheritance.  Therefore thus says the LORD: “Behold, against this family I am devising disaster, From which you cannot remove your necks; Nor shall you walk haughtily, For this is an evil time. (Mic. 2:1-3)

Remember…

“You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. “You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. “If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; “and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. (Exod. 22:21-24)

Reminder

The cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8)

You’re welcome.

So, Again…

Refrain from anger, leave rage aside, do not get heated — it can do no good; for evil-doers will be annihilated, while those who hope in Yahweh shall have the land for their own. A little while and the wicked will be no more, however well you search for the place, the wicked will not be there; but the poor will have the land for their own, to enjoy untroubled peace. (Ps. 37:8-11)

If only the wicked could be exterminated now…

My Current Mood Is…

I am full of Yahweh’s wrath, I am weary of holding it in.

Then pour it on the children in the streets, and on the bands of youths as well, for husband and wife will both be taken, the greybeard and the man weighed down with years. 

Their houses will pass to other men, so will their fields and wives. Yes, I shall stretch my hand over those living in this country, Yahweh declares. For, from the least to greatest, they are all greedy for gain; prophet no less than priest, all of them practise fraud. 

Without concern they dress my people’s wound, saying, ‘Peace! Peace!’ whereas there is no peace. 

They should be ashamed of their loathsome deeds. Not they! They feel no shame, they do not even know how to blush. And so as others fall, they too will fall, will be thrown down when I come and punish them, Yahweh says.  (Jer. 6:11-15)

Right there.