Free 30 Day Trial Access to the Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, and Other Important Volumes

Test EBR Online, HBR, JBR, ZAW, ZNW and SBR yourself and activate your 30 days of free online trial.  Your access token: ebr0197820.  How to get access:

Additionally, you can find additional information here, including brief ‘reviews’ of certain articles. Other article reviews from Volume 15 are available here.

One simply cannot be working on any aspect of the Bible and its Reception and ignore these volumes safely or wisely.

The Anniversary of Julius Wellhausen’s Birth

There’s no question at all that Julius Wellhausen has been far more influential in the field of Old Testament studies than most others.    I mention him now because it was on the 17th of May in 1844 that he was born.  Today is the anniversary of his birth.

Wellhausen was born in the northern German city of Hameln on May 17, 1844. His father was a Lutheran minister; Julius was to follow in the same vocation. Wellhausen was sent to Gottingen during the period 1862-65 to study under Heinrich Ewald, a Hebraist and Old Testament scholar. However, Wellhausen and Ewald had a gradual falling out during the years 1866-70. The two quarreled over the proper interpretation of the Old Testament and about Prussian politics. Wellhausen received his Ph.D. in theology in 1870 and then taught for two years at Gottingen. In 1872, Wellhausen received a professorship at Greifswald, located on the Baltic Sea. He resigned in 1882 because he believed that his teachings were having a dire effect on theological students destined for the ministry, and because he had become a figure of controversy over his published views on the Old Testament.

There’s more here.  Of course it isn’t at all surprising that he was so influential- his initials were, after all, J.W.  Happy Wellhausen Day!

#ICYMI: NT Wright Ascends to Heaven From Bible Conference in Houston!

Witnesses say that just before he was seen to fly skyward without a rocket pack, he spread out his arms, and then up he went, shouting ‘buy my giant book which is very much like all my other less giant books or the wrath of God will descend onto your unrighteous heads… sinners…’


Witness stories diverge at this point but many swear that as he disappeared out of sight through a giant hole in the ceiling created by the hurling of his new book through it that he was received either by Chuck Norris or Ryan Seacrest.

He promised to return.  Oh that we will all still be alive when he does…  Meanwhile, many will come in his name, proclaiming his gospel and urging souls to follow Tom’s teachings (also known as TT).  If you want to get to heaven, and spend eternity with Tom, you have to embrace TT.

The May Biblioblog Carnival of British Biblical Goodness

amenThis month’s carnival has a British flavor:  every post is by a British scholar (or one who has been to Britain or who has family from Britain or ancestors therefrom or who has flown over Britain on their way to Europe or who has seen Britain on a map in the fifth grade).

Hebrew Bible From a British Point of View

Jim Davila, who blogs on Hebrew Bible from the land of the Britons, posted the following interesting snippets: Major grant for the Early Manuscripts Electronic Library.  He also had a snippet on the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Eva Mroczek has words to say about the literary imagination in Jewish antiquity in a “Frankely Judaic” podcast from the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies. The host of “Frankely Judaic” is Jeremy Shere.

Will Ross, a student of Jim Aitken’s at Cambridge, posted an interview with Tov.  Meanwhile, Tim Bulkeley, who says he’s British (so why does he live in Australia then?), posted on David’s story.

He’s just across the channel from Britain, so he’s nearly British.  He?  Michael Langlois, who posted about a DSS conference that also includes talk of the Samaritan Pentateuch.

trump_johnsonTripp Fuller illustrates the tragic state of biblical studies as publicity questing in a post nearly everyone should visit (to see an example of biblical studies as publicity questing) since it features some of the best questers in the ‘business’ of biblical studies… on the devil.  The post title?  Devilpalooza.  Of course.

The Dutchlanders have a review of a new edition of an older book that if you’re a reader of Dutchlandish or English you may want to read.  I’ll just leave it at that.

Matthew Lynch informs us that he has posted an interview with Brennan Breed on his book ‘Nomadic Text: A Theory of Biblical Reception History’ on his blog along with a six part blog series on violence in Joshua for another blog.  Here’s a link to the 6th post, which includes links to the others.

Chiara Peri blogged a bit about the Festschrift presented to Prof. Giovanni Garbini.  There are also, additionally, some photos of the event at the Pontifical Biblical Institute here.  Garbini has deserved a FS for a very long time.  I’m thrilled he finally got one.  And it’s an excellent one at that.

Chris Heard posted on the Walking Dead.  Oh that’s right.  That’ll get you over there.  (And yes, Chris is British.  Or at least his name is…  That’s what I Heard).

William Ross has started reviewing a grammar of the Septuagint.  He begins by stating Septuagint scholars everywhere are rejoicing to finally have a brand new, full grammar of the Greek Old Testament at hand.  He’s right.  Just last night there was a parade here in the middle of our small village and everyone was carrying their copy raised above their heads saying ‘forget the atv ride this weekend, we’re going to read this book!’

The New Testament as Seen Through British Eyes

09dvd-1-650Richard Goode posted this invitation on the Newman University blog.  Of course it’s too late for you to go now but if the St. John’s Bible is ever in your neighborhood, you should make seeing it a priority.

Brant Barber exegetes the Pentecost passages in a video production that’s far more engaging than Trek Wars or any of the other SciFi stuff spewed from Hollywood these days.  And he does it in English just like the British speak.

Phil Long(bowstockinghatnessshire) reviewed a book by someone with an initial and then a name and a last name (those are the important folk don’t ya know- the three name people) on 400 questions about the historical Jesus.  It’s a good review.  The book, though, sounds like rubbish.

James *The Editor* Spinti posted a neat little series of Greeky goodness:

Ben Myers (who usually dabbles in Church fathery sorts of uninteresting things except when he’s talking about Jerome, the only Church Father worth reading) has posted a guest review of Hays’ fairly recent book on the Gospels.

R.R. has continued his multi-segment examination of Bart Ehrman’s latest book.  Read all five parts.  I think a 6th is coming soon as well.

Matt Lynch declares that there’s an “OnScript podcast” interview with Joel Green on his book ‘Conversion in Luke-Acts’.

Ninja Gupta has some interesting observations about Clarke’s book on literacy in the Roman world.  Don’t pass it by.  It’s silent, but deadly interesting.

The Brits are having a Brit at a Brit conference with Richard ‘The Brit’ Bauckham on Jesus at St Mary’s in London.  June 10-11.  All the details are here.  And here.

Mid May was the anniversary of the publication of Westcott and Hort’s Greek New Testament.  And a pretty nifty blogpost resulted.

wrightA-J Levine lectured on Jesus and gender at Vanderbilt and Deane, who is sort of British (because he lives in New Zealand) posted the video of it.  Whilst I’m a big fan of A-J I continue to be unimpressed by the present spate of discussions about Jesus and sexuality.  It’s all nothing but the purest (and in too many cases, puerile) speculation.  We know Jesus was a male and that he opposed sexual impurity.  That’s it.  Everything else that anyone says about his gender or views is rank guesswork and always says more about the guesser than history or Jesus.

Mark Goodacre (he’s British, that’s why he doesn’t believe in Q like godly people do) was recognized, justifiably, by Duke for his excellent teaching skills.  Congrats, Mark.  Mark hasn’t actually blogged anything in months, though, so his appearance here is merely congratulatory and not blog-commendable-icative.

Larry Hurtado has some ideas about the Messiah and the ‘Divine Son’.  Classic Hurtado.  Good stuff.  And he doesn’t even have a British accent!  (As we all know, if you speak with a British accent people in America believe everything you say even if you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Larry knows what he’s talking about.)

The Jesus Blog people (all of them are Brits) posted a bit on- surprise- Jesus.  And liberals and anti-semitism.  Read the post, skip the comments.  Someone over there needs to apply the fine sieve filter to keep the mythicist nutbaggers out.

Tragically, word of the demise of Dennis Nineham in early May caused sadness across the world of New Testament scholarship.  As did the tragic news of D. Moody Smith’s death as well.  And at the end of the month we were all very saddened by word of the death of John Webster, one of the most impressive of all theologians.  One of his colleagues posted this remembrance.


Do Brits Do Archaeology Blogging?

The Palestine Exploration Fund does.  Just not a lot.  And Jim Davila does.  Sometimes.  Like this- where he has a note on the ‘great revolt’ and an archaeological discovery connected thereto.  And sometimes when he points to stories like this about Israel’s IAA cracking down on looters.

And the folk at Tell Halif do.  So be sure to follow the doings there this summer.

Want to know how NOT to reference archaeology in connection with biblical studies?  This Norwegian Prof of Communications and Worldview (whatever that is) shows the not-way.  He enfleshes absolutely everything that’s wrong with ‘biblical archaeology’ including circular reasoning, outmoded methodologies, and amateurism.

Not, strictly speaking, from a Biblioblog- but worth noting because the practice of looting antiquities and selling them to collectors continues to be a massive problem  And Roberta Mazza pointed it out.  So, for that reason alone…  enjoy.

Don’t miss this post: mapping terrorist destruction of archaeological sites.  It’s must see.

Miscellaneous British Observations

titanicJames Crossley interviewed someone who is a satirist about something related to politics or something.  It’s totally British. He also launched a revised edition of his chaotic book where things are harnessed and politicians examined in great detail.

Helen Ingram has some salient observations about Higher Ed in the UK.  It’s must reading.  And Helen Sarah Bond (no relation to Helen Ingram or James Bond) has put together a list of women in Classical studies.  It’s something to behold.

Darryl P. had some really interesting things to say about translations of the Bible.  Well not actually Darryl, but Scot.  But I found it on Darryl and so he is the one what must be cited.  Darryl is the British spelling of Darrell or Darrel.  I think.  Who knows.

Til Magnus Steiner (a hearty British name if ever there was one) pointed out an essay which has some interesting ideas about clericalism in the early Church.  Practice your English and give it a read!

Lloyd Pietersen gave a lecture on the loons of Munster.  This is relevant for biblical studies and belongs in a biblical studies carnival because the loons of Munster show what happens when dilettantes who shouldn’t be allowed within 10 miles of the Bible not only get access to it, but convince others that their reading is the right one.



insideThere’s a so called ‘official’ carnival over here at some guy named Brian’s site.  Visit it if you must and you don’t love God and the truth (which can only be found here).

Well that’s it.  We have examined every worthwhile British biblical studies post as they appeared during the month of May from absolutely everywhere on the interweb.  Tune in next month for our next Avignonian Carnival.  It’s Summer, so we’ll be diving into the pool…

St Luke, The Artist

weyden_lukas_grtMost folk are familiar with the tradition that Luke was a Physician.  But did you know that he has also been, in the history of Reception, an artist?

Rogier van der Weyden 1399/1400 – 1464

St Luke Drawing the Virgin
oil and tempera on panel (137 × 111 cm) — 1435
Museum Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Also known as the St Luke Madonna.

The scene is not mentioned in the Bible. Luke probably was not even born at the time of Jesus’s birth, let alone that he could have painted the Madonna as the panel suggests. Centuries later a legend developed telling that Luke once painted the Virgin. For that reason he became the patron of artists. There are several copies of this panel. The one in Boston is considered to be the original.

Fun, right?

So, At CBA I’m Doing a Paper on The Reception of the Bible in Catholic/ Protestant Diatribe in the 16th c.

I know, you can hardly stand not being able to hear it.  Go to CBA in August in New Orleans.  Anyway, researching the material has been super fun because I get to acquaint myself with gems like this:


As you can tell, this is a Protestant swipe at the Papacy which is portrayed as the Beast in Revelation.  Particularly charming are the feet and the tail of the creature.  The godly Protestant is on the right and looks downright sad (because the Papacy is so evil).

Fun times my friends, fun times.

Down in Atlanta This Week…

This is what’s going on at Emory

For those of you in the Atlanta (GA, USA) area, Dr. Christopher Rowland, recently retired from the Dean Ireland’s Professorship at the University of Oxford, will be presenting two Reception History lectures.

The first is entitled, “From Impulse Not From Rules: Jesus and His Radical Followers,” and it will be at Oxford College of Emory University, Tuesday, March 24, 7:30 p.m. in Williams Hall.

Chris’s second lecture, “How William Blake Can Help Us Read the Bible,” will be at All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Atlanta) on Thursday, March 26, at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel.

Dr. Rowland is this year’s Pierce Visiting Scholar, a faculty exchange program between the Pierce Institute of Oxford College of Emory University and the University of Oxford.

Via David Gowler on FB.

Workshop on Exodus in Film

At Exeter

Bible films are currently undergoing an intriguing renaissance. 2014 saw two big-budget representations of the Hebrew Bible in the form of Noah and Exodus:Gods and Kings, and more cinematic treatments of biblical material are on their way: Mary and Last Days in the Desert in 2015, and Redemption of Cain, Ridley Scott’s follow-up David and a host of Jesus films all currently in development. In one sense the Bible’s representation in film had never really disappeared, with biblical allusions and archetypes scattered across 21st century cinema. However, Noah, and more recently, Exodus: Gods and Kings are of a different order, using A-list Hollywood stars to directly depict Bible stories for a contemporary multiplex audience.

Etc. for all the details.  Bible films in a word?  Rubbish.  Conferences in a word?  Paradise.

The De Gruyter Prize

The De Gruyter Prize for Biblical Studies and Reception History call for submissions is open. This prize has been established to encourage biblical scholars at the early stages of their careers. De Gruyter will support this award with an annual cash prize of $1,500 for the best recent unpublished dissertation or first monograph in biblical studies with special attention to submissions in the field of reception history. Winning manuscripts will be published in an appropriate De Gruyter book series or, if no appropriate series exists, as stand-alone titles.

In order to be considered for the 2015 prize you must e-mail an Intent to Submit by Saturday, January 10, 2015 with a manuscript submission deadline of March 1, 2015.  Please follow this link for all relevant information.

Ham, and Cheesy

downloadAt the Creation Museum, it is the season when staff in biblical garb greet visitors next to dinosaur skeletons and volunteers portraying Joseph and Mary cradle a baby Jesus doll while real-life camels, sheep and donkeys graze in the grounds of a Nazarene house.

Part theme park, part Christian fundamentalist propaganda, Christmas Town plays a key role in promoting the creationist credo for America’s most high-profile champion of the message that the Earth and mankind were created in six spectacular solar days just 6,000 years ago.

Inside the main auditorium, the Kentucky museum’s founder Ken Ham delivered his nativity story presentation to a delighted audience of parents and children, untroubled that this account of man’s origins flies not only in the face of science but also the beliefs of most Christians.

For Mr Ham, a soft-spoken Australian who moved to the US as his homeland was “too pagan”, the target was not just his bête noire – legions of atheists waging a relentless war on Christmas – but also Christians who do not believe the literal account told in the Book of Genesis.

Etc.  Merry Christmas…  And what’s Christmas without a cheesy ball?

The ‘I Can’t Believe SBL is Just Around the Corner’ Biblical Studies Carnival

This month’s Carnival is a chronological overview of the best posts of not just the month, but of each day of the month.  And they all lead up to the ginormous festival we lovingly call the SBL Annual Meeting.  It’s the glorious event we all love to attend (for different reasons).  Some go to give papers.  Fewer go to hear papers.  Most go to visit the book hall.  And all go to see friends and schmooze and do sightseeing.  Me, I go to hear papers by friends and hang out at the book hall and eat with folk.

Consequently, as an aid to building up to the climactic excitement of you getting to see me in the flesh in San Diego, here are October’s best posts, day by day-

1 – On the very first day of the month Mike Skinner posted the ‘Official’ Carnival.  I’m sure you read it but in case you haven’t, there you go.  It’s all up in your grill with a football theme because Mike is a Texan…  a Texan….

2 – News of the Hawarden OT in the NT Conference was posted here.  It’s a long running gathering of those who are interested in the relationship of OT texts to NT.  It’s on my bucket list.

3 – Some unspeakably silly soul sold to the devil of mythicism has suggested, again, that Jesus never existed.  Antonio takes him to the cleaners in this justifiably brief post.  It’s so easy for these dilettantes to get a hearing thanks to the general ignorance of the masses.  Fortunately the only people who take them seriously are those who, like them, are mentally deficient.  (And yes, you have to be mentally deficient to believe Jesus didn’t exist).   And, OK, I said one a day but you have to listen to this podcast interview by Dom Mattos with Chris Keith.  Even if you already have.

4 – No one posted anything- so here’s a quote from Jerome instead:  ‘Men invariably worship what they like best’.

hhschmid5 – Pete Enns talks about George Washington, Deist.  On the same day the IRG blog posted news of a forthcoming conference in Leuven.  It seems like the ‘one post for each day of the month’ plan is falling by the wayside.  Sadly, on the same day Hans Heinrich Schmid died.  Two notices of the sorrowful news are here.

6 – Mike Bird likes Karl Barth and suggests that no one has said something about the righteousness of God that’s better.   Psssaaahhhaawww.

7 – Pete Enns is at it again, suggesting that being disdained is something he’s not uncomfortable with.  I hope one day that I too become desensitized to the negative views of others concerning myself.

b111bd6d-d93a-4218-8358-df5a7e955fb98 – Not, strictly speaking, a blog post- but still some very useful information from Hendrickson: they’re publishing a reader’s edition of BHS.  This will be very helpful to beginning students of Hebrew and a great improvement over the only other Reader’s edition, that of Zondervan, which really is more a text assembled to support the readings of the NIV than a true Hebrew or Greek reader’s text.

9 – Phil Long reviewed a book.  By Zondervan. On Greek.

10 – Eerdman’s posted it’s ‘All Over‘ entry.  Not knowing your life, I don’t know if you keep up with Eerdman’s on their blog or twitter or facebook or somewhere else, but they have some pretty useful avenues of scholarship.    You’d benefit from taking advantage of them.

11 – This is the anniversary of Zwingli’s murder by the vile papists on the field at Kappel where our dear friend was serving as a chaplain to the Zurich troops.  In his honor, pause a moment and remember him.  It’s also James Crossley’s birthday.  I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

12 –  No one posted anything.  Except me.  I posted this.  It’s an essay by Julia Fridman that you should read about archaeology and the tendency of some to ‘cry David’ just to make the headlines.  No one else did anything.  Anywhere.  Which is really both sad and sad.  The merry band of blogging brethren and cisterns have sprouted up overnight and withered nearly as fast as Jonah’s Gourd (which, by the by, would be a great name for a biblioblog!)

baal_temple_burna13 – John had a very fine post on Jesus’ real attitude towards marriage and the views of the Pharisees- and who really is being Pharasaical when it comes to an ‘open’ view of marriage.  And Tom Bolin had an essay on the ASOR Blog.  Since Tom doesn’t blog and I like his work (and him), I’m mentioning it as today’s second entry.

14 – Antonio Lombatti pointed out the discovery of a Temple of Baal at Tel Burna.  Interesting stuff indeed.

15Shlomo Sand and Judaism.  That’s the post of the day for today.  It’s also the debate of the decade- because it asks ‘who really is a Jew, and what does it take to be one’.

The month is half over.  Here’s a little musical interlude for your listening pleasure.

16Philip Davies uploaded a paper on the last 50 years of biblical research to his page.  It’s not technically a blog post, but since it’s my carnival I’m free to include whatsoever source I wish, aren’t I?  😉   And Larry Hurtado posted a right interesting piece on theological labels.  And got blasted for it.  I have no idea why.

17 – The World of the Bible had a brief report of the reopening of a Bible themed museum.  It’s worth a look.  By the way, the World of the Bible is an excellent, excellent publication.

18 – You’ve probably heard about the General Theological Seminary firings- well these folk have a take on it that’s worth your consideration.  And Akma does too.  It’s a real shame when political maneuverings and economic manipulation takes precedence over education.  Such are the times, though, in which we live.

19 – Everyone took the day off to watch football.  Well almost everyone.  Matt posted some Markus Barth lectures.  Markus is Karl’s son.  Also occupied with something besides football was Christian Brady– who had some great thoughts on temptations and trials.

jjsswer20- If you missed this scathing critique of the SBL employment service at the annual meeting- read it now.

21 – Brian LeDoor announces that there’s a new Journal out there – The Journal of the Jesus Movement in Its Jewish Setting.  Everything is so specialized these days.  I’m looking forward to the appearance of The Journal of the Pharisees’ Attitude Towards Jesus in the Years 28-29 CE.  Indeed, every journal should now be revamped so as to cover just one year of whatever.  Like- The Journal of Biblical Literature, 1214 CE.  Etc.   The market could expand amazingly that way!

One month exactly until SBL begins!  YaY!

22– Tyndale House has been working on the STEP (Scripture Tools for Every Person) for a number of years now.  And until now, the resources have been available online only.  Until now.  Now you can download them and install them on your computer and use them even if you have not internet access.

23 – Phil Long had some thoughts on the political situation in Galilee.  Oh Galilee of the gentiles… land of the demoniacs… and swine.  And hills down which said swine run for miles and miles and miles and hurl themselves into the sea and drown even though pigs can swim.  Galilee, where the laws of nature seldom apply.  How oft I would have gathered… no wait that’s not right.  Carry on.

24 – A nifty book review of Chris Tilling’s favorite OT scholar, Walter Bruggemann’s book on the Psalms appeared penned by one Conrade Yap.  I remember with such fondness the joy Chris expressed at SBL when inspecting one of B’s books when, lo and behold, B appeared directly behind Tilling as he opined on said book.   It was – well – a life event.

25 –  Scribes and Pharisees, Pharisees and Scribes.  They weren’t all bad ya know…  They probably would have been as cool to hang out with as Mike Bird, and he’s pretty funny.  I can just see them cracking jokes and telling tall tales.

zur26 – A bit of info on biblical studies at Cambridge has appeared.

27 – Rob Bradshaw is to be thanked for posting the 2 Corinthians commentary of Plummer in pdf (it’s in the public domain).  And Matthias Konradt is the subject of this interesting post by Wayne Coppins.

28–  Eerdword commenced a new series titled ‘Rachel in Review’- and it has nothing to do with a journalist of that name who fancies herself (wrongly) a biblical scholar/ theologian.  This is a good Rachel with a good column.  Give it a read.

29Torrey Seland offered some thoughts on the new version of Logos just released.  Might I suggest you wait to get it if you want to get it if you’re attending SBL.  They always have conference discounts.  Bryan Bibb also reappeared, offering some thoughts on ‘The Voice Bible‘.  I’ve not heard of it.  I prefer my Bible pure and unadulterated by wicked translators.  Anyway, it would be hard to take seriously a Bible based on some lame NBC singing competition.  But Bryan’s post is good.

30 – Just in time for Halloween, some of the bibliobloggers got together and went out on the town.  The photos are here.  Be disturbed.  Be very disturbed.

31 – ASOR posted a neat podcast with Susan Ackerman on the state of Biblical Archaeology.

Well there you have it- this month’s best of the best from the Biblioblog Kingdom.  See you in San Diego!


Brennan Breed on Reception History

In Bible and Interpretation

Reception historians do not necessarily focus on art or literature. One could analyze the Bible’s role in advertising, politics, scientific discourse, historiography, hagiography, or anything in between. How could one decide whether to classify one of John Calvin’s sermons, or the philosophical system of Maimonides, for example, as either a creative production or a scholarly interpretation? Accordingly, Jonathan Roberts writes in his introductory essay to the Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible: “The reception of the Bible comprises every single act or word of interpretation of that book (or books) over the course of three millennia… No one and nothing is excluded.”


Call for Submissions: The History of Reception of Biblical Texts

Peter Lang Verlag has just launched a new series concentrating on Reception History:lang

Biblical reception history is an important modern methodological approach to understanding and interpreting the biblical text, not merely as it stands in the Bible, but as it has been utilized throughout the histories of Judaism and Christianity in literature, paintings, sculpture, film, music, community and other artistic and textual expressions. Volumes in this series will address particular aspects of those ‘appearances’ of biblical stories and tropes in the world outside the pages of the Bible.

If you have questions or a proposal, please do let me know.  You can mail me at

So Far, the Response Has Been Very Gratifying

The proposals so far sent for consideration of inclusion in the History of Reception of the Bible series by Peter Lang Verlag have been stellar.  We are in the process now of evaluating them and making further inquiries and recommendations.

We’d love to have your work for consideration, so if you are doing something in the area of Reception History (and, really, who isn’t these days) or you have an idea, please do send it along.  The series, again, is intentionally quite broadly defined (given the fact that the ‘reception’ of the Bible is universal in art, architecture, literature, etc.)

Why is SBL Marginalizing True Christians…

By being all about the booze and boozers…

It’s time for real Christians to take SBL back by making it the STL (society of tea lovers). It’s time for the revolution!!!!

You boozers have been warned!