Category Archives: Biblical Studies Resources

TH Ink, Issue 2 is now Online

Read it here.

In this issue

We speak to people who’ve taken the plunge to learn New Testament Greek or Old Testament Hebrew, and find out about the exhilaration of reading the Bible in its original languages.

Plus…

… What is the Septuagint and why is it important?

… What are we to make of “gospels” other than Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

If you live in the UK and would like to receive a free copy of each issue through the post, you can sign up here. Or register to receive a notification each time an e-edition goes live.

The Invention of the Alphabet: Historical Sleuthing and the Power of Naming

Enjoy it- over at Bible and Interpretation.

A Bargain- The Tyndale House (Cambridge, so the Real One) GNT for a Just $14

Get it whilst thou canst.

If you wish to learn a bit about the edition you can visit this post.  And you can also check out my earlier observations on a sample of the Gospel of Mark and other posts.

Commentary ‘Super Sale’ for Lent- $75 for the Entire Bible Commentary

Available till April 18th- at a special price- you can get the PDF edition of the entire series for a shockingly low $75.  Normally it’s $199.  The books are all available by clicking my PayPal Link.  When you send your payment include your email address please and the books will be sent along quite quickly.

Give up unfamiliarity with the meaning of the Biblical text for Lent this year!

***

Endorsement

I have already read the Pastoral Epistles portion entirely.  I read the same way as I eat; first portions I just worry about satiating my hunger; then the following portions I really savor the food, and slowly digest it taking the most of its nutritious benefits. Right now, reading Jim’s commentary, I am at the second phase of “my eating habits”. I am loving the new information, not the run-of-the mill type of commentary, not the customary supporting material, but every point is perfectly didactically placed and scholarly supported.

As one of the demonstrations of God’s sense of humor and “uncommon management” skills, He made me a pastor (now temporarily in modern terms, without a flock, other than only a few people who seek me for guidance) and I think Jim’s commentary will be most valuable as I take this interval as a unique opportunity for further preparation for when God places me back in full pastoral ministry. 

– Milton Almeida, Oklahoma, USA.

A New Critical Approach to the History of Palestine

It’s an exceptional volume and it sets the stage for an exceptional series.

A New Critical Approach to the History of Palestine offers a comprehensive, evidence-based history of Palestine with a critical use of recent historical, archaeological and anthropological methods. This history is not an exclusive history, but one that is ethnically and culturally inclusive, a history of and for all peoples who have lived in Palestine. After an introductory essay offering a strategy for creating coherence and continuity from the earliest beginnings to the present, the volume presents twenty articles from 22 contributors, 16 of whom are of Middle Eastern origin or relation.

Split thematically into four parts, the volume discusses ideology, national identity and chronology in various historiographies of Palestine and the legacy of memory and oral history; the transient character of ethnicity in Palestine, and questions regarding the ethical responsibilities of archaeologists and historians to protect the multi-ethnic cultural heritage of Palestine; landscape and memory, and the values of community archaeology and bio-archaeology; and an exploration of the “ideology of the land” and its influence on Palestine’s history and heritage.

The first in a series of books under the auspices of the Palestine History and Heritage Project (PaHH), the volume offers a challenging new departure for writing the history of Palestine and Israel throughout the ages. A New Critical Approach to the History of Palestine explores the diverse history of the region against the backdrop of twentieth century scholarly construction of the history of Palestine as a history of a Jewish homeland, with roots in an ancient, biblical Israel, and examines the implications of this ancient and recent history for archaeology and cultural heritage. The book offers a fascinating new perspective for students and academics in the fields of anthropological, political, cultural and biblical history.

I read an early draft, and like it very much.

Introduction : Bible hébraïque et Ancien Testament. Comment peut-on dater les textes bibliques ?

Go here– to hear Thomas Römer of the Collège de France;  the audio lecture is on the right of the page.  You’ll see it.

Die letzten Könige von Juda: Eine narratologische und intertextuelle Lektüre von 2 Kön 23,30–25,30

Die letzten Könige von Juda führen das Gottesvolk direkt ins Exil und in die Katastrophe der Zerstörung des Ersten Tempels. Wie dies geschieht, wer die Verantwortung trägt und welche Rolle Gott in diesem Drama spielt, sind die Fragen, denen Benedikt Collinet nachspürt. Die Könige sind nicht, wie die Erzählweise nahelegt, Hauptdarsteller des Dramas, sondern Antagonisten zu Gott. Dieser verwendet die Nachbarvölker und Babel als Strafwerkzeuge. Der Grund für die Strafen ist der systemisch gewordene Bundesbruch des Gottesvolkes. Die Bemessung der Strafen ist vertraglich geregelt (Dtn 28). Die Geschichte ist eine durchkomponierte Dekonstruktion der göttlichen Heilszusagen. Die Heilsgaben werden zurückgenommen, die Verheißungen aber bleiben intakt. Das Volk braucht einen Neuanfang, der in Anspielung auf den Exodus, einzig in der Begnadigung Jojachins angedeutet bzw. vorbereitet wird (2 Kön 25,27-30).

An English version of this carefully written work is in process.  The author provides a helpful abstract of the contents in an appendix:

This dissertation thesis deals with the ending of 2 Kings in recent literary studies. It asks what and how 2 Kgs 23:30–25:30 narrate the Fall of Jerusalem and the reign of Judah’s last kings with help of narrative analyses and intertextual references in special shape for Biblical texts. The focus is on the books of Gen to 2 Kgs.

Before these two parts a discussion of the history of interpretation from ancient exegetes until recent studies is done. Not only Christian but also Jewish writers and commentaries were read so that an overall survey on the academic reception is given. A translation of the Hebrew text (mainly MT) combined with text critical comments on the OG version and Ant/Luc opens the interpretation on the text.

The narrative analysis begins with time and space and deals afterwards with the characters in the intratextual (isolated) chapters 23:30–25:30. Open questions are answered in part D. The context helps to understand the story better, so the whole complex of what2Kgs 25 might be the end is used for an intertextual study. Lexematic work, word groups, names and motives get analysed to understand the literary and theological meaning of the text.

Two very important questions are why and to what extent does the character »YHWH« judge and punishe his people so hard?What is the use of the last Kings of Judah?

An important point, the study worked out, is the composed judgment and deconstruction of the kindgom in the people of YHWH. On the other hand YHWH strenghtens his salvation promises by keeping them and the Torah – even if this meens a curse for the people of Israel (Dtn 28). God is true to his people even if they fail, but when they fail salvation becomes curse.

The kings of Judah have to show the peoples that YHWH is the one and only God in the world, because they got this mission for the whole people of God latest after the Fall of the Northern Kingdom. They were not able to fulfill their mission, so that injustice becomes systematic and YHWH makes himself to chose the ultima ratio to rescue a rest of his people. He punishes in the way of his contract (Dtn 28), because the people failed, esp. the kings (Dtn 17 vs. realtiy of 1.2 Kgs).

All salvation gets lost, but the promises are still intact. In the end a new perspective for Israel in the HB/OT is looked for. Jehoiachin, so the thesis, is like Joseph (Gen 41) preparing the people for a new Exodus. He prepares, but he will never see it. An English translation of the thesis is planned.

I couldn’t have said it better or more concisely.  I can add, though, that the work is carefully written and it is utterly thorough in its presentation.  No stone is left unturned, no issue left aside, no scholar ignored.  The work is a virtual reception history of the passage under investigation.  As such, it is an indispensable volume for students of the Deuteronomistic history.  I cannot but recommend it.

Semantics of Ancient Hebrew Database

One to add to the ‘Useful Sites’ section of the sidebar.

The Semantics of Ancient Hebrew Database project aims to provide a structured and critical survey of scholarly literature on the vocabulary of classical Hebrew. As it grows, it will offer an in-depth resource to complement traditional dictionaries, and also provide pointers to further research. This international, cooperative project involves a growing number of research centres with coordination provided by Leiden.

Very Thrilled…

To announce that the latest work titled Jeremiah in History and Tradition (edited with my friend and colleague Niels Peter Lemche) has been sent off to the publisher.  We’ll let you know when you can grab a copy.  Stay tuned!

Papyri News

From the Egypt Exploration Society

In response to recent queries about results of the review initiated in 2016 to identify unpublished New Testament fragments in its collection of Oxyrhynchus papyri (https://www.ees.ac.uk/news/poxy-lxxxiii-5345), the EES reports as follows:

Some twenty New Testament inedita have been identified, none of them apparently earlier than the late 2nd to early 3rd century AD. They have all been assigned to editors, and will be published in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series as the editors complete their work over the next few years. There may be more small fragments still unidentified because, like the Mark fragment recently published (LXXXIII 5345), their identity only emerges from much more detailed study than is feasible when cataloguing. We note that Grenfell and Hunt were particularly keen to find New Testament texts, and so sorted out possible cases as they processed their finds in Egypt and back at Oxford, and published many of them.

Some ten patristic texts have also been identified and assigned to editors, and over eighty Septuagint and related texts are currently known to us and will gradually be assigned and published (some in the forthcoming volume LXXXIV). In the volumes of the Oxyrhynchus series we normally aim to publish a variety of texts, including literary fragments and the far more numerous documentary texts which are the primary interest of many of our readers.

Fun if legit.  But given the usual pace of the publication of these things, don’t expect to live to see them.  Perhaps your great grandchildren will.

A New Critical Approach to the History of Palestine

A new volume by Ingrid Hjelm and Thomas Thompson, et al-

A New Critical Approach to the History of Palestine offers a comprehensive, evidence-based history of Palestine with a critical use of recent historical, archaeological and anthropological methods. This history is not an exclusive history, but one that is ethnically and culturally inclusive, a history of and for all peoples who have lived in Palestine. After an introductory essay offering a strategy for creating coherence and continuity from the earliest beginnings to the present, the volume presents twenty articles from 22 contributors, 16 of whom are of Middle Eastern origin or relation.

Split thematically into four parts, the volume discusses ideology, national identity and chronology in various historiographies of Palestine and the legacy of memory and oral history; the transient character of ethnicity in Palestine, and questions regarding the ethical responsibilities of archaeologists and historians to protect the multi-ethnic cultural heritage of Palestine; landscape and memory, and the values of community archaeology and bio-archaeology; and an exploration of the “ideology of the land” and its influence on Palestine’s history and heritage.

The first in a series of books under the auspices of the Palestine History and Heritage Project (PaHH), the volume offers a challenging new departure for writing the history of Palestine and Israel throughout the ages. A New Critical Approach to the History of Palestine explores the diverse history of the region against the backdrop of twentieth century scholarly construction of the history of Palestine as a history of a Jewish homeland, with roots in an ancient, biblical Israel, and examines the implications of this ancient and recent history for archaeology and cultural heritage. The book offers a fascinating new perspective for students and academics in the fields of anthropological, political, cultural and biblical history.

A Short Note About Logos 8

I’ve recently been enjoying the most recent update to Logos and I have to say, quite sincerely, that I like it very much.  It is, for me, much easier to navigate and much more intuitive in its layout and presentation.

It seems to load faster, it seems to execute updates to books and datasets faster, and it seems to consume less of the computer’s CPU whilst running than earlier iterations.

Now, mind you, I am not a computer scientist nor trained geek.  I can only relate, anecdotally, how things seem to me as I use the program each day (and I do use it each day).

That said, again, it seems much faster and less resource consumptive.

They have a little video you can watch, which explains all the new aspects of the program for you. And I’m sure there are still lots of things for me to discover about it as I use it. I will say that exporting texts and printing them is a lot easier in 8 than previously. Which I appreciate.

Anyway, I wanted to say that, in my so far limited experience with the program, it’s super. I quite like it.

Theologie des Alten Testaments

Konrad Schmid has a new volume- Theologie des Alten Testaments.

Unter den Teildisziplinen der alttestamentlichen Wissenschaft galt die Theologie des Alten Testaments lange als deren vornehmste Aufgabe. Doch in den letzten Jahrzehnten wurde mehr und mehr undeutlich, was eine Theologie des Alten Testaments eigentlich zu leisten habe. Konrad Schmid wendet sich zuerst der historischen Klärung des Theologiebegriffs in Anwendung auf die Bibel zu, diskutiert dann die Vielgestaltigkeit vorliegender Hebräischer Bibeln und Alter Testamente, um dann die theologischen Prägungen der Bücher und Sammlungen des Alten Testaments anhand prominenter Leittexte zu erheben. Weiter schließt der Autor eine Skizze zur Theologiegeschichte des Alten Testaments sowie eine thematisch orientierte und historisch differenzierte Darstellung wichtiger Themen alttestamentlicher Theologie mit ein. Der Band versteht sich gleichzeitig als eine gewisse Synthese der gegenwärtigen Forschung am Alten Testament in theologischer Perspektive.

See the Mohr website for the table of contents and other details.

Just Because, Again

The participle is found still more abundantly used as an additional clause in the sentence, either referring to a noun (or pronoun) employed in the same sentence and in agreement with it (the conjunctive participle), or used independently and then usually placed together with the noun, which is its subject, in the genitive (the participle absolute). In both cases there is no nearer definition inherent in the participle as such, of the relation in which it stands to the remaining assertions of the sentence; but such a definition may be given by prefixing a particle and in a definite way by the tense of the participle (the future). The same purpose may be fulfilled by the writer, if he pleases, in other ways, with greater definiteness though at the same time with greater prolixity: namely, by a prepositional expression, by a conditional, causal, or temporal sentence etc., and lastly by the use of several co-ordinated principal verbs.*

______________
*Friedrich Blass, trans. Henry St. John Thackeray (London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1911), 247.

Just Because

The oblique cases of the Pers. pron. appear in the form of suffixes to nouns, verbs, and particles. (a) Suffixes to nouns are in gen., and are equivalent to our possessive pron. Gen. 4:1 אִשְׁתּוֹ his wife, 4:10 אָחִיךָ thy brother. This gen. is usually gen. of subj., as above, but may be gen. of obj., Gen. 16:5 חֲמָמִי my wrong (that done me). 18:21.*

________________
*A. B. Davidson, Introductory Hebrew Grammar Hebrew Syntax, 3d ed. (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1902), 2.

Logos 7 Has Become Logos 8

Which is a nice surprise.  It’s a much nicer layout I do admit and although I’ll now have to see what’s changed besides that, I do think it’s a great improvement so far.

Understanding the Gospels as Ancient Jewish Literature

Understanding the Gospels as Ancient Jewish Literature places the Gospels in the context of contemporaneous Greco-Roman Jewish texts (4th cent. BC–3rd cent. AD), a collection that includes the Dead Sea Scrolls and the literature of the early Rabbis.

While decades of research into the “Jewish backgrounds” of the Gospels have proven to be fruitful, little attention has been given to their function as a witness to the evolution of ancient Judaism. Comprehending this evolution sheds new light and meaning on the Gospel narratives, as well as on the core message of the Jesus movement. Understanding the Gospels as Ancient Jewish Literature argues that when viewed through the lens of ancient Judaism, the Gospels become a source for the geographical, historical, and religious reality of ancient Judaism, some of which would have otherwise been missing from the historical record. And in turn, the study of ancient Judaism clarifies some of the teachings attributed to Jesus by the Evangelists.

While slim (it’s just 38 pages in length plus endnotes) this little volume is filled with very important first class historical detail, and like all Carta volumes, richly, richly illustrated with photos and maps and charts and such.  Jeffrey Garcia offers details every student of the New Testament needs to have well in hand before beginning study of the text.

Garcia divides his work into these short major sections

  • Introduction
  • Sources for Understanding the Gospels
  • Geography of the Land of Israel in the Gospels
  • Jewish Political History in the Gospels
  • Jewish Life in the Gospels
  • Jewish Styles of Teaching in the Gospels
  • Charity, Deeds of Reciprocal Kindness, and the Image of God in the Gospels
  • The Gospels as the First Literary Witness to Jewish Practice

The work concludes, again, with extensive endnotes, rich in bibiographic references.

The sections above include sometimes few and sometimes many and in a few cases none when it comes to subsections.  The introduction is one page.  The sources for understanding the Gospels take up but three pages, etc.  Each topic is scraped across the surface and then Garcia moves on.

Each section serves, so far as I am concerned, as an introduction to the topic at hand and an encouragement to further, deeper reading on those topics which interest individual readers.

The little work is the ideal tool for classroom use and Sunday School students to find themselves face to face with the strange and foreign world of the New Testament.  I recommend it to undergrad courses and church workers as well as to interested layfolk of all levels.  It is a delightful volume.

The Early Reception of the Book of Isaiah

By none less than Kristin!

This volume brings together a lively set of papers from the first session of the Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature program unit of the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting in 2016. Together with a few later contributions, these essays explore a number of thematic and textual issues as they trace the reception history of the Book of Isaiah in Deuterocanonical and cognate literature.

Christoph Heilig’s Doctoral Dissertation: “Paul as Narrator/Paulus als Erzähler”

Christoph has posted the table of contents here.

I read through the book last year and in a very brief review would say of it that Heilig’s careful and meticulously crafted thorough examination of the work of NT Wright and Richard Hays is the clearest and most sustained critique of Pauline studies yet written.

Heilig’s masterful grasp of the material (both in its primary and secondary sources) is breathtaking. And whilst at times the pages turn slowly and readers are required to concentrate quite vigorously, such concentration is richly rewarded by the end of the tome.

It’s the work, in sum, of a genius and one of the most brilliant young minds presently at work in New Testament studies. Watch this young man, he is going to turn the theological world inside out.

And when his dissertation is published, and it will be, get it.

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.