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

Welcome to the ‘Pandemic Pandemonium’ Biblioblog Carnival

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

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

Hebrew Bible/ LXX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Testament

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Archaeology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tweets You May Have Missed

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

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

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

@eu_are — #EuARe2020 Digital Book Fair📢 all members are welcome to visit @degruyter_lib virtual booth 👉bit.ly/2C8OSgW and if you want to discuss a future project you can get in touch here 👉bit.ly/2Cainis

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

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

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

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

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

@ccsahner — Appalling: Report documents severe damage to Syrian heritage and museums @AJENews   aje.io/4duct

@Plong42 — From Brill Open Source: Roald Dijkstra, editor, The Early Reception and Appropriation of the Apostle Peter (60-800 CE) – buff.ly/2N2y4dU

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

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

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

And the best tweet of all?

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

Miscellaneous

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

***

Finis

Phil Long (the ringmaster of the blogging world) wrote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call For Submissions

The June Biblical Studies Carnival (posting 1 July) will be hosted by yours truly.  If you see a post in any of the following categories, please do pass them along:

  • Hebrew Bible
  • New Testament
  • Archaeology
  • Books
  • Miscellaneous Things

Thanks, in advance.

Call For Submissions

The Official Carnival will appear here on 1 July, so if you see interesting biblical studies posts between now and the end of the month, send them along.  It’s going to be hot!

2020: The Carnival

In the past, Carnivals have been ‘uneven’ or even perhaps ‘nearly non existent’.  But 2020 is a new year and kicks off with The Carnival to Beat All Carnivals.  Titled simply 2020: The Carnival, it serves as the template for all the Carnivals to come this year:  Fully stocked, cleverly curated, and vividly presented.

Carnival attendees will not have to suffer entries that consist merely of a link and a two word descriptor.  Gone are the days of hum-druminess, dear friends.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad!

Let’s visit the attractions from January and start off this new year of Carnivals right now!*

Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East

Jan Assmann has a very intriguing essay in The Torah dot Com about the blackening of Egypt’s image through the tale of the Exodus.  It’s a great read to start off the Carnival.

Are you a bit odd?  Do you enjoy really obscure, odd things in the Masoretic Text?  Things like accent marks? Then, my friends, have I got the post for you.  Enjoy.

Roberta Mazza has some news about Brill’s publication of some Museum of the Bible unprovenanced artifacts.  Give it a read if you haven’t already.

Phil *The Exterminator* Long takes a look at the ‘main themes of Daniel.’  Mainly.  And gets taken to the woodshed for his suggestion that Daniel’s statue was an obelisk.

What’s that?  File footage of Dead Sea Scrolls stuff from the early days ya say?  Well who wouldn’t want to see that?

Otherwise, the HB/ OT people must have had January off.  Lucky devils.

New Testament and Early Christianity

Phil Long offered some interesting observations on 1 John.  On several occasions. Take a gander.  There was an interesting podcast (I know, I know…) interview with Deb Saxon about heresy and in particular heretical women that appeared early in the month.

Can we trust the text of the New Testament?  Dan Wallace and Bart Ehrman debate the question.

They’re already issuing calls for papers for sessions at SBL.  Here’s one for the text critics.

The Call for Papers for SBL Annual Meeting in Boston (21–24 November) is now open until 11 March. This year we will focus on the ECM of the Gospel of Mark which will be published soon (hooray!).

Robert has a brief look at the diversity among the 12.  Give it a read.  And Brent announces that there’s a new edition of the Freer Codex.  But it isn’t free.  It’s yours for a mere $100.

Leave it to Rick *The Papyrinator* Brannan to find out some obscure this or that about some New Testament personage from some obscure and relatively unknown papyrus.  This time it’s about Miriam’s Tambourine.  Whatever, dude.  What.  Ever.

Peter Gurry has a nice essay-let on the KJV and a passage in Matthew and versification.  He posted it on twitter too in 2023 separate tweets so be glad he collected it all in one place here so as to spare you the scrolling of a thousand scrolls.

Mike Bird wonders if it’s possible to put into play today the so called ‘Haustafeln’ from the NT epistles.  I say sure, why not.  I’m game.  I also would like to see other bits of the Bible taken seriously.  Alas, those days are past now for most Christians (who have zero interest in doing anything remotely related to biblical ideas).  Mike also wondered how theological New Testament theology is.  I sense a new book in the works…

How do NA 28 and THGNT compare?  Well naturally the TC geekers have been on the question and come to some interesting conclusions.

The CSNTM is very keen to get you to read a book about Myths and Manuscripts.  In fact, if you don’t read the book in question, they’re going to send someone to your house and they will say ‘Ni’ to you from behind bushes until you do!

Nyasha Junior and Sarah Bond have a very good entry on how one of the Magi became Black.  Or, in the words of their thesis- The story behind the rise and decline of the popularity of the black magus during the Renaissance has been largely forgotten, but at one time, the tale was used to explain the perceived need for conversion to Christianity, the three ages of man, as well as emerging theories of race.

There’s also this post about Sappho.  Some text something or other found on some day in 2012 and there seems to be a debate about it.  It’s connected to the Museum of the Bible… so, there’s that disclaimer.  Sappho-ites, enjoy it.

The low point of the month came when word arrived that J. Ramsey Michaels had died on the 18th.  That news took 9 days to seep out.  Obviously Michaels wasn’t ‘famous’ enough for the world to hear of his passing instantly.  But he mattered more than any celebrity ever has.  Rest in peace, good sir.

Archaeology

Todd Bolen posted this in the waning hours of 2019 but I’m going to include it in spite of the fact that it wasn’t technically posted in January.  It’s still worth a look.  It’s what he calls the top 10 discoveries in 2019.

The ‘figural world of Judah’ is the topic of this lecture at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem.  Posted here.

Interested in olive farming in the ANE?  Well then this is the post for you.

How do archaeologists decide on dating a find?  Israel Finkelstein answers that question in this interesting interview.  Watch it.  And also watch Israel and Thomas in a YouTube video about their archaeological escapades.

Roberta Mazza has a not to be missed post on the ongoing Obbink scandal.  Do give it a thorough read.

ETC has a piece on the bedouin who discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It’s a sort of ‘thanks, guys’ piece.  And speaking of the Scrolls, Andrew Perrin has a post about them and fakes and frauds and such.  Give it a look, for sure.

Don’t miss this essay, buried under a mountain of internetness, about the perennial problem with the excavation of ancient sites, unprovenanced junk, and related matters.

And finally, ANE Today hits another one out of the ballpark with this exceptionally well written essay on the alphabet.  There are other Archaeology magazines out there but they pale in comparison to ANE Today and, to be quite straightforward, they have more interest in fluff and self promotion than they do in facts and science.  Save your money, don’t waste it on substandard magazines, and instead use your time wisely and read ANE Today.

Books

Pick up your free book from Logos!  And read Mike Bird’s review of ‘Pagans and Christians in the City‘.  Mike says

This is definitely one of the more interesting books I’ve read of late.

That’s not the whole review.  There’s more.  There’s more to, to Brian Leport’s review of a book called Gospels Before the Book.  Mark Baker reviewed ‘Paul and the Giants of Philosophy‘- for those of you are into all that Paul stuff.  John is better.  (The Johannine Literature is far more engaging and enthralling.  Admit it.  Or be wrong.  Up to you.)

Prof Stuckenbruck pointed out the publication of a thing.  Some of you will be interested in that thing and some of you won’t.  But you won’t know if the thing is of interest until you look at the thing.

Paul Moldovan (is that his real name???) reviewed (briefly) Doug Harink’s commentary on 1-2 Peter.

I enjoyed the author’s short treatment of Satan in Peter’s epistle (1 Peter 5:8: “Be alert and of sober mind: your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”). Harink finds that Satan is on the constant prowl against God’s people–the local community of faith–to disrupt its shalom.

Chris Tilling constantly disrupts my shalom.  That makes him Satan, right?

Tim Mitchell, a student (and helicopter mechanic), has written a book review for JETS and he’s posted it on his blog too.  The book is Larsen’s ‘Gospels Before the Book’.  Here’s the sentence that stood out-

Though most of the work remains unconvincing, there are one or two aspects of Gospels Before the Book that might commend it to those who lack knowledge of ancient publication.

Oh boy…  Now that’s funny.  Here’s what Leonard Greenspoon thinks of the volume-

“[an] elegantly written volume … An invaluable resource for those seeking a clearer understanding of ancient literature, including (but by no means limited to) religious texts … Highly recommended.” — L. J. Greenspoon

So, whose word on the work will you take for ‘gospel’.  A beginner’s or an expert’s?  Read Mitchell’s entire review and I think your decision will be very easy…

This young fella named Matt Cover (if that’s really his name) reviewed the Lexham English Septuagint.  He writes

I highly recommend Lexham’s LES! This resource will allow Christians to see the translation that many in the early church used.

I had NO idea that many in the early Church read the Lexham English Septuagint!  There’s other stuff to learn from the review too!

Richard Hess also reviewed the Lexham English translation of the LXX.  He misses out though and doesn’t call it the ‘translation that many in the early Church used’…

An anonymous, unnamed blogger calling herself the ‘Christian Classicist’ reviewed Jongkind’s introduction to the Tyndale Greek New Testament.  [I searched high and low on the blog for some name, but alas…]

Bob Cornwall reviewed a commentary on Mark.  Review his review for yourself, here.

Chris Tilling took a moment to blog in January.  Just a moment though, and then he returned to cheese.  His first and greatest love.  He wrote, in part

I am delighted to hear of Prof. Rainer Riesner’s forthcoming book, Messias Jesus, for which more information can be found here.

Oh boy!

Scot McKnight reviewed Nijay Gupta’s book on… wait for it… Paul, in a post titled ‘Gotta Have Faith, But What is Faith?’  And the revolutionary conclusion?  ‘Faith’ means different things in different contexts!  Who knew….  [I don’t mean to sound snarky, but when will enough books about Paul be enough?  What can possibly be said that hasn’t already been said by someone somewhere?  I beg you NT people, pick something else to write about besides Paul.  He’s tedious and boring and no one liked him and we know that because no one ever went with him on more than one mission. Even Luke got sick of him.  Move on, friends, to something else.  There’s a whole Bible to think about.]

Jimmy Roh reviewed the T&T Clark Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism.  Ruh Roh….  (get it?)

Hebrew Discourse analysis.  Nuff said…

The discipline of discourse analysis is applied to Biblical Hebrew in Zondervan’s recent syntax, Basics of Hebrew Discourse.

Conferences

The Society for Old Testament Study met at the University of Nottingham in January.  You can see what happened there at the hashtag #SOTS2020.  It’s one of the best conferences around.  If you are into the Hebrew Bible, you should most certainly consider applying for membership.  You’ll need proficiency in Biblical Hebrew and two sponsors who are active members.

Origen as Philologist will be held in Phoenix in November.  Sign up now or you may be cut off…

The Museum of the Bible (yes, that MOTB) is hosting a conference in June on textual criticism and related sorts of stuff.  It’s aimed at grad students and other gullible sorts.  Do attend if you are inclined that-way-wards.

Interested in the LXX?  Well then get thee to WuppertalThe 2020 event will be the eighth such conference, and will take place from Friday, July 24th through Monday, July 27th.

I posted a pretty good sampling of events at SOTS Winter Meeting 2020.  Here’s the link. And of course you can see what others had to say about the meeting at the twitter hashtag #SOTS2020.

The Newman Conference which focused on ‘The God Who Speaks’ was a fantastic event with amazing sessions.  2020 is the ‘Year of the Bible’ and this event was the launch of that celebration in the United Kingdom.

Will Ross issued a call for papers for the Linguistics and the Biblical Text Conference.  Don’t confuse this useful conference for the one Chris Tilling announced titled ‘Linguini and How it Changed My Pasta, Present, and Future.’

Tweets and Tweeters

One of the twitter folk you should follow is David Creech.   He tweeted this on 1 January

@DyingSparrows — On the eighth day after his birth Jesus was circumcised. 1,300 years later St. Catherine of Siena would be given his holy foreskin as a wedding ring (she had small fingers or it was super elastic). Y’all should study religion more.

‘Nuff said, right?

Peter Gurry tweeted this mysterious bitlet-

@pjgurry – So, it seems that @ivpacademic has recently changed their review copy policy for the worse but @BakerAcademic just changed theirs for the better.

What’s he mean?? As a big fan of books, I need to know the back story. Tease-tweeting needs an explanation, people!

Looking for a job? This tweet’s for you: @nt4ox – Asst Prof in Theology (field of specialization open), St Catherine University (St Paul/Minneapolis). FT/TT. Deadline Feb 15.

Looking for a conference? Oxford NT tweeted this:

@nt4ox — Oxford day conference “Martyrdom on the Margins” (JW van Henten, E Castelli, M Edwards, C Sahner et al), 20 February. Registration (free) required, Deadline 3 Feb. ow.ly/QcqI50xXVcV

Think that apocryphal materials are no longer appearing? Think again, my friends, for what is more apocryphal than this tweet?

@TBurkeApoc — This seems to be the first significant effort to incorporate a large mum eat of MSS into an edition, right?

‘Large mum eat’ huh? Apocryphal to the max.  Follow Tony.  He’s great fun.  And very informative!

I saw this and liked it and think you will too-

@laurajeantruman – Therefore I will put up with this Church until I see a better one; and it will have to put up with me, until I become better. Erasmus

Laura Robinson had a great thread on the malleability of the ‘end time signs’ people.  I posted it here (having collected the thread into one post).

Chip Hardy, @drchiphardy, tweeted news of a ‘Ninth-century Inscription bearing a Yahwistic name found at Abel Beth Maacah’. Ha’aretz is less restrained, with its willfully exaggerated “Hebrew Inscription on a 3,000-year-old Jar Could Redraw Borders of Ancient Israel”. Papers have to exaggerate I suppose, which is why you should never believe a headline.

If you don’t think twitter has something to teach you, think again.  It holds ‘gems’ like this…

@ShammaBoyarin — You guys- I think this does not look good for the Democrats’ case: Parnas פרנס is 80+200+50+60=390 in gemateria. And so is Schiff שיף-
300+10+80=390

How can you not believe someone who calls ‘gematria’ ‘gemateria’????

From the Palestinian Exploration Fund, this tweet announcement-

@PalExFund – We are pleased to announce the first event to be held in our research centre in #Greenwich: a talk given by Dr. Salman Abu Sitta on “The Survey of Western #Palestine Revisited: The Visible and the Hidden” on Feb 26. Book by emailing collections@pef.org.uk.

By the by, I’ve put together a list of biblical scholars who tweet.  If you would kindly let me know if there are folk I missed and need to add to it, I would be grateful.

Miscellaneous

Scot McKnight has some things to say about ‘singleness‘.  You’ll want to give it a look.  Also, on the 21st, Scot’s blog moved to Christianity Today.  Here’s the new location.

But don’t despair, lovers of Patheos’s festooned with ads blogs, Nijay has moved his blog from wherever it was to Patheos! He tweeted-

@NijayKGupta — Here is the big news: My blog has moved to @PatheosEvang. Bookmark, b/c old site will be removed soon. Here is my first post, check it out.

Good news!  James Spinti is not an impostor!  Hooray!

Carmen Imes has been blogging for a decade and she’s posted her top 10 posts.  I have unbridled respect for people who can choose their favorite of anything.  My favorite things change by the day and by circumstances.

There’s a post-doc in biblical studies waiting for you at Wellesley College.  Details here.

Computer geeks and textual criticism geeks intermingle (like the sons of God and the daughters of men in Genesis 6) and what is born of that unholy union is something called the  Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM).  Interested?  Of course you are, because you’re weird.  So here’s the story.

An essay concerning the recording of classes appeared mid-month and the author, a law professor (of course) has a small list of reasons why he doesn’t like it.  He’s worried, among other things, about his students being digitally surveilled.  And he thinks it has a chilling effect on classroom discussion.  I guess lawyers are always afraid they might run for office and can’t ever risk saying something that might show up on Youtube at some point in their lawyerly future.  One thing’s for sure, we live in the ‘Age of Fear’.  And kids are being taught to be afraid of everything.  No wonder so many are so miserable.

If you are concerned about the fact that women are not yet represented fully in academia, this post is for you.  Give it a read.

Need preaching guidance?  Why not get it from someone who preaches every now and again but isn’t engaged in full time pastoral ministry?  He’s got advice for you from the sidelines.  And what better advice is there besides from a person who doesn’t actually have to do what they suggest that you do?

You know you’ve reached peak academic self-importance when you have your students answer your email.  Like Wayne Grudem.  Don’t be like Wayne.  Answer your own email.   [Why would I include this bit?  Because it’s good for us to remind ourselves that we are scholars and not celebrities.  And when scholars begin to act like celebrities, they need to be reminded of their calling.]

***

Thanks for coming!  Next month the Carnival will be hosted by, as Phil puts it – “veteran Biblio-blogger Bob MacDonald is hosting the February carnival (due March 1) and newcomer Brent Niedergall hosts in March 2020 (Due April 1).  I am looking for volunteers for the rest of 2020. If you hosted in 2019 feel free to volunteer again, but I am also interested in getting new bloggers and podcasters involved. Six of the hosts in 2019 were first-time hosts.

Carnivals are fun to write and a good Carnival draws attention to your blog. The Amateur Exegete posted his year in Blog Summary last week, his August 2019 carnival was his second most popular post of the year.  I would love to hear from a few volunteers and fill out the 2020 Biblioblog schedule, so contact me at plong42@gmail.com or twitter dm @plong42 to volunteer to host!

***

Finis

_________________________
*I’d like to thank the many people who sent along submissions for this month’s Carnival. In all the years I’ve been doing these Carnivals I’ve never received as many excellent submissions. So, thanks!

Time is Almost Up…

For you to send in your Carnival submissions.  So far, this has been the best Carnival I’ve hosted in terms of people sending submissions.  The response has been both amazing and gratifying.

Send along those submissions.  The best will be included.

Call For Submissions- Just One Week to Go

Yours truly will host the January Biblical Studies Carnival (posting 1 February).  I request, therefore, that you send along your submissions.  Either from your own blogs or from ones you’ve visited.

In the past, Carnivals have been ‘uneven’ or even perhaps ‘nearly non existent’.  But 2020 is a new year and will kick off with The Carnival to Beat All Carnivals.  Titled simply 2020: The Carnival, it will serve as the template for all the Carnivals to come this year:  Fully stocked, cleverly curated, and vividly presented.

Carnival attendees will not have to suffer entries that consist merely of a link and a two word descriptor.  Gone are the days of hum-druminess, dear friends.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad!  And send in your submissions!

The Incredibly Hot June Biblical Studies Carnival, Including Lots of Scandal Because of an Unprovenanced Manuscript…

Hot Hebrew Bible / Old Testament Posts

Ayrton da Silva mentions Hosea and an article on Hosea 4-14.  Who doesn’t love Hosea?

The fear of God is the subject of this posting over at B&I.  Acknowledging the linguistic and geographical breadth of comparable terminology is a good starting point for seeing how this conception of “fear” does, and does not, overlap with the conception of “fear” that modern readers may bring to ancient texts. These terms from antiquity can and do indicate a feeling of fear. Yet they regularly go beyond feelings, and they convey a conception of feelings per se in ways that reveal taxonomical challenges.

Who were the Patriarchs?  Michael Langlois has the answer.  Or, does he?  😉

Father’s Day is observed in June.  Christian Brady is a person who observes about Father’s day.  Is it coincidence?  It seems not.  So what that it’s a post from 2016.  He reposted it this month and so it’s fair game for carnivalizing.

Is water wet?  Is the Pope Catholic?  Is NT Wright publishing a book this week?  Is Mike Bird?  Do you even have to ask?

Bart Ehrman has a post on the OT and the early Church that may whet your appetite enough to join his network so you can see the whole thing.  I’d join up myself but to be honest all of my income goes on books, food, and clothes.  And food and clothes only if I have a little left over from book buying.

ANEE is looking for a doctoral candidate.  If you’re studying the Hebrew Bible and other ancient Near Eastern kinds of things and you’re interested in living in Scandinavia for awhile, you should apply, thou lowly undergrad.

Tavis has apparently been having interactions with Marcionites (or Andy Stanley- but I repeat myself) as he feels compelled to mention the fact that it’s ok to preach from the Old Testament.  Why yes, Tavis, it is.  It always has been.

Apparently Lego contests don’t like depictions of biblical scenes of violence.  Who knew…  Deane has the story.

A new volume in the ‘Alexandrian Bible’ is out.  William *The Septuagintialist* Ross shares the fun facts.

Has God cursed the earth?  Is climate change a result?  Here’s a post on the topic.

Ian Paul wonders if the Bible is clear about marriage.  Or anything.  Interesting question, isn’t it.

Hot New Testament Posts

James Tabor is following discussions concerning the Last Supper and the Passover and has some cogent points to make.  Mike Aubrey is on a tear about verbal aspect theory.  Apparently he doesn’t like Aktionsart as well.  What has the world come to?  What next, no Santa?  No Easter Bunny?

Joan Taylor gave a brief talk up in Canada about Jesus.  You can watch the YouTube video here.  It’s only around 25 minutes, so even thouse with tiny attention spans should be able to manage it.  And it’s very good.

James Tabor had some thoughts on the ‘virgin birth‘.

Gary Greenberg has some thoughts about the parable of the wicked tenant.  Give it a read.

So called ‘First Century’ Mark has returned…  blerg.  It is worth noting that the Green Collection, though having received title to the fragments (see point 10 of the purchase agreement), never took physical possession of the fragments. Instead, in accordance with other terms of the agreement (see points 10.1-10.2) the fragments were left in Obbink’s custody for research and publication (the intended venue of initial publication being specified in 10.3).  You’ll have to read the post and its attachments to figure out what all that is supposed to mean.  Blerg.

Larry Hurtado writes in connection with the scandal (this is as close to scandal as scholarship gets, unless you count Richard Pervo…):  This new evidence is personally dismaying, as it raises questions about the actions of Obbink, in whom I placed trust earlier (as in my blog posting here).  It now appears that my confidence may have been misplaced.  In a comment on Nongbri’s posting  [NB- It’s actually a comment on Elijah Hixson’s post, not Nongbri’s][JW], Peter Head says these developments now make me and Ehrman look “stupid”.  I’m not clear how he reached that judgment.  I may have been mistaken in my trust in Obbink, but trusting someone until there is reason to think otherwise is hardly stupid, Peter.  Also chiming in is Elijah Hixson over on ETC.  Enjoy the comments there too.

But the best analysis of the whole debacle is by Bart Ehrman.  His take is here.  And his response to demonstrably false claims and statements is here.

And then there’s this analysis of the receipt for the documents.  Gonzo work!  This first century (not) Mark thing will be made into a mystery film before long.  I suggest ‘On the Trail of Mark: Fraud for Profit’…

But if you want a more Obbink friendly take on the whole thing, don’t worry.  There’s this guy.  He seems to think the whole thing is a setup….  And Larry Hurtado thinks the fragment probative.  Allow me to remind you, however, that it is unprovenanced.

And, finally, as the month drew to a close, this shows up in Christianity Today.  What a bunch of shady characters doing shady things.  And worst of all, they knew they were.

Whew… That’s a lot of talk about an unprovenanced trinket.  Hey, you know how these problems and scandals can be avoided in the future?  Scholars can decide to have NOTHING to do with anything unprovenanced!  ‘Oh, hey Bob, you have a trinket you think is ancient and you want me to stake my reputation on it but you got it from some dude in a back alley?  Nah, hard pass, dude.  You go ruin your reputation, I think I’ll keep mine’.

On a happier topic- there’s, according to the title, a post about Paul here.  But I have to be honest, I didn’t read it.  Not because I didn’t want to, but because it’s a Patheos blog and I couldn’t actually find the post amidst all the pop up ads and advertisements on the page.  Or, I did find it, and Paul had hemorrhoid issues and a very bad case of eczema.  I hope you can hack through the weeds and find the fruit.

Joan Taylor was interviewed.  That’s always worth watching.

J.M. asks ‘what did Jesus learn from Mary of Bethany?’  Nothing so far as the NT is concerned, but that doesn’t at all hinder the speculation and the need of many to make women more and more prominent in the early Church, thus rendering history falsely and misrepresenting the facts.  But hey, there are ideological points to make.  So texts must be violated.  If trends continue, Jesus will soon himself be declared a woman.

Speaking of Mary and Martha… a Duke U scholar has discovered textual evidence of the practice of some scribes to remove mention of them.  It’s a fascinating report.

Nijay Gupta has a series of 16 posts on the topic of Women in Ministry.  Definitely worth taking a look at.  It’s a hot topic these days, along with complementarianism and egalitarianism and such things.  Women are big news, it seems.  It reminds me of what Paul wrote to the Galatians-  There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither slave nor freeman, there can be neither male nor female — for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:28)

Larry Hurtado has some thoughts on scribal harmonizations.  Can’t we all just get along?  And then he goes on to talk about scribal changes, which he views as mostly intentional reader’s adjustments to texts.   Hmmmm……..   It seems progressives were at work centuries ago, adjusting texts to suit their views……  And Larry also has some thoughts on the baby Jesus in artistic representations… and whether he’s Jewish (baby Jesus that is, not Larry).

Speaking of texts- over at ETC they have mentioned a series available from de Gruyter and concerned with texts and textual studies.

What happens when a publisher of ANE texts and related books posts on the Letter of James?  This does…

Stephen Carlson made a rare guest appearance on Bart Ehrman’s blog!  It’s like sighting a Yeti, a UFO, and an intelligent and honest politician all on the same day!!!!   Oh and he talks about Mark.  Or something.

Q.  Steve Wiggins.  Q.

Michael Kok on pseudonymity.  At least he says he’s Michael.

Hot Archaeology Posts

Sarah Bond posted a gem about museum exhibitions.  It includes – These are just a few of the colorful objects that caught my eye in this luscious exhibition. There is is no doubt that there are problems of provenance and museum acquisition glimpsed at within World Between Empires; a fact noted by Press in his Hyperallergic review. But there is also a potent message to visitors throughout, one which asks viewers to consider the impact of the looting of cultural heritage today in places like Iran, Iraq, and Palmyra.

Michael Langlois posted on the Norwegian ‘Lying Pen of Scribes’ folk and their work.  In case you haven’t heard of it-  “The Lying Pen of Scribes” is the name of a new research project led by my Norwegian colleague Årstein Justnes.  The title comes from the biblical Book of Jeremiah, chapter 8 verse 8. The idea was born after I suspected the presence of modern forgeries in the Schøyen collection of Dead Sea Scrolls. Our international core team—Torleif Elgvin, Årstein Justnes, Kipp Davis, Ira Rabin and myself—conducted additional research, which confirmed my suspicions. Etc.

John the Baptist died.  In fact, he was killed.  And stuff from where he was killed has been brought to light.  And Chris Rollston is involved with deciphering it.  And that means that whatever comes to light will be reliable and accurately described.  Because Chris is a true scholar.

A new project regarding stamp seals in the southern Levant has been announced by Ido Koch.  Take a look.

Jodi Magness’s work on Masada is discussed here.  It’s also a book review.  But since it’s both, I’ve posted it here, on the cusp of the book review section.  You’re welcome.

Hot Book Posts

First off- if you are a fan of open access books in religion, there’s a new twitter account to follow.  Announced here.

Heather Thiessen blogged a review of a book on Judges. It’s a good review and hers is a delightful blog.  If you aren’t familiar, you should most definitely check it out.  I don’t know if she is related to Gerd Thiessen but if she is, it would make me UNNATURALLY and GLORIOUSLY happy.

Bart Ehrman has a book in preparation and a couple of book ideas percolating.  And he discusses them here.  Hartmut Leppin wrote a book on the Early Church.  It’s reviewed here.  You’ll find it quite enjoyable.

A new volume on the Psalms is available, in Open Access, by V&R.  Give it a look, and see if it’s something you’d like to read.

I don’t want to be one of ‘those’ people, but I reviewed John Barton’s new book.  It’s wonderful.  And so is the book!  😉

Bird reviews deSilva on Galatians.  MB remarks I’ve finally been able to read over David A. deSilva’s long-awaited Galatians commentary in the NICNT series and it is definitely one to put on your shelf. The commentary is characterized by deSilva’s eye for exegetical details, historical investigation, interest in background, and awareness of socio-cultural factors.   Yes, but what does he say about the ‘if cutting off a little helps, hack the whole thing off’ bit????  Inquiring minds…

Anthony Royal reviews a book on Paul’s use of the Old Testament in Romans.  It’s a nice review and the book looks very interesting.

The Coptic Dictionary (Berlin U. project) is online.  “The “Database and Dictionary of Greek Loanwords in Coptic” (DDGLC, Freie Universität Berlin), the research project “Strukturen und Transformationen des Wortschatzes der ägyptischen Sprache ”Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae” (TLA, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften) and “Coptic Scriptorium: Digital Research in Coptic Language and Literature” are happy to announce the release of version 1 of the “Comprehensive Coptic Lexicon“.”

Andrew Judd reviewed a book introducing the Hebrew Scriptures.  An Introduction to the Scriptures of Israel.  An Introduction to the Scriptures of Israel offers a fresh way in to the Hebrew Bible as a work of literature and theology.  Says the reviewer.  Fresh.  Or as the kids say it, Phresh.

Scot McKnight has a fantastic post on bible translation tribalism.  It’s witty and humorous and if you missed it, don’t miss it today.

Bible Gateway did an interview with a chap who wrote a book on the bigness of God.  It’s big.

Rick Wadholm reviewed a book about the antichrist.  Enjoy it, if you dare.

Larry Hurtado wrote the world’s shortest (so far) book review.  David Allen’s recent study of the appropriation and influence of OT texts on NT references to Jesus’ death is very much worth noting:  According to the Scriptures:  The Death of Christ in the Old Testament and the New (SCM Press, 2018).  I’ve just finished a short review of the book for Expository Times, and I can commend it.   I don’t know if that means he can commend the book or his review of the book.

Ian Paul excerpts bits of a book review by Mike Bird on transgender children.  Talk about a hot subject… it’s sure to engender loads of angry, letter-writing-campaign-generating discussion.

Hot Miscellaneous Posts

James McGrath made mention of the 20th anniversary of ‘The Matrix’ and reminisced about the title of his own blog in its first incarnation.  James is still worth following as he continues to explore the matrix we all inhabit.  Michael Langlois discusses the events of the intertestamental period.  By the by, if you want to know anything about the Scrolls or epigraphy Michael is your guy.

Helen Bond offered some thoughts on Mary Beard’s Gifford Lectures.  A must read.

Travis Bohlinger is at Cambridge for the Tyndale House conference and he’s posted some super photos that make me wish I were back in Cambridge right now.  I guess I will just have to pine and long for it till I get to return in January for SOTS.

James Crossley’s lecture from down in Australia is online.  It’s about English people and the Bible.  Loads of fun.

Christian Brady reminds us that the hard right has no interest in faith- it simply sees faith as a means of manipulation.  Give his post a read.  It’s quite timely.

Roberta Mazza has a post about Josh McDowell and his co-conspirator’s Russian appearance.  My favourite duo, Scott Carroll and Josh McDowell, is still around; this time, they went to Russia pretending as usual to be manuscript experts. Incredible as it may seem, there are people happy to join their show. 

🙂

The First Jewish Studies Society Conference is ongoing at this very moment.  ML has the deets.  The 411.  The skinny.

Charlotte Hempel talks about the job of journal editing.  It’s a behind the scenes description.

There will be a digital papyrology workshop in Parma in 2020.  Details here.

Oh Larry… no.  Just no…  We don’t encourage people to visit ‘wikepedia’ or wikipedia.  In a number of publications over the last several years, scholars have drawn attention to the ground-breaking work of several early scholars who date from the late second through the early fourth centuries AD.  In particular, the massive and innovative projects of Origen (ca. 184-253 AD) are noteworthy (see, e.g., the lengthy entry on him in Wikepedia here).  Nor do we encourage appreciation for Origen, who, according to the blessed Saint Jerome, is the chief of all heretics.   No, Larry.  Bad Larry.  Bad.

Spend a bit of time reading the Newman Research Blog’s 30 days of biblical wildness.  There’s a post for each day of June on an aspect of wildlife and environmentalism.

Steve Walton wants to help you be a better writer.  So, to that end, he has uploaded slides he used at a writing workshop that may be of interest to you.

Claude kicked off the month with his hosted Carnival.  Take a look if you missed it earlier.

***

Well friends seeking relief from the oppressive heat of summer- thanks for stopping by.  And look for the next Carnival in about a month.  And if so inclined, host one yourself.  They are a lot of fun.  As Phil ‘the Host’ Long writes

If you are a new blogger, a graduate student or established scholar who is actively blogging, I would love to have you host a future carnival.

As you can see there is no one for the rest of the year (September through December are wide open). I have a few asks out there, but there is still time for you to volunteer as Carnival Host. Hosting the carnival is a great way to draw attention to your work, so consider hosting in the near future.

Seriously….PLEASE email me  (plong42 at gmail.com) or direct message on Twitter (@plong42) to volunteer. You can also leave a comment here with your contact info and I will get back to you.

You can also review older carnivals by browsing this tag. Follow me on twitter (@plong42) if you are into that sort of thing. I have a Biblical Studies magazine on Flipboard, an essential app for your iOS device. I use it on my iPad for news and other special interests (including biblioblogs).

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.