Do you attend scholarly conferences? If you said yes, then you need to print this up, laminate it, and take it with you to sessions. Via Michael Barber, eminent scholar and all around good guy-
It’s Carnival time! Enjoy the midway and all the rides, the funhouse, the bizarre and strange attractions, the food, and of course, the animals! Stay around for a while. it will take some time to make your way through all the attractions. But it will be worth it. Not because all the posts linked are good, but because they range across the whole spectrum of biblioblogging, from the good, to the bad, to the ugly. And you get to decide which you like! Because, freedom!
And, to the many who sent links (a portion of which are included below), thank you! This was, I think, the first Carnival I’ve run that has included so many links from so many different people.
The Funhouse (Hebrew Bible/ OT/ LXX)
Ken Schenk has a little video where he presents Genesis 1. Or talks about Genesis 1. Youtube, you say? If I’m going to include podcasts (those godless examples of what used to be called ‘radio shows’) then yup, Youtube will make it in too. #Bam.
Robin Parry is doing a series on ‘Creation’. He posted the third installment in early January. Find the earlier ones on his page.
The inestimably brilliant John Barton has a response to the question, ‘What is Scripture?‘ If you don’t read any of the other links in this Carnival, read that one. And then read the rest of them. Or most of them. Some of them are rubbish but you won’t know which till you read them.
The good folk at the University of Goettingen have put together the ‘Ugarit-Portal‘. You definitely need to take a look.
Brian Davidson briefly suggests that the imprecatory Psalms can be seen as prayers in the context of personal struggles. I’m not my own enemy, so I prefer to pray them against the wicked people out there. Amen.
Gary Greenberg was all about Exodus in January:
- Part 3: Why Can’t We Date the Exodus? Part 3: The Problem of Solomon’s Chronology – Bible, Myth, and History (biblemythhistory.com)
- Part 4: Why Can’t We Date the Exodus? Part 4: The 430-Year Sojourn – Bible, Myth, and History (biblemythhistory.com)
- Part 5: Why Can’t We Date the Exodus? Part 5: The 400 years of slavery – Bible, Myth, and History (biblemythhistory.com)
He had a couple of posts before January but I can’t link to those for obvious reasons. You can find them over at his place.
Joel Baden lectured on Exodus. The first session happened on January 10th. Each Monday in January had another session. If you missed it, you missed a treat, but you can watch the videos. Here’s the first. Here’s the second. Here’s the third. You can track down the rest at the Yale Divinity School Youtube channel.
Bart Ehrman discusses the partitions of the book of Isaiah. I’m one of the ‘Isaiah, Deutero-Isaiah, and Trito-Isaiah’ sort. Gimme three Isaiahs!
The Hawarden ‘Old Testament in the New Testament’ Conference is still on track to be held in person this year. The Conference organizer, Susan Docherty, has a reminder that the interested register as they can.
Speaking of ‘The Old in the New’, Stephen Carlson tweets
@sccarlson- Old-in-the-New folks, after you’ve gone through and done all this detailed work distinguishing between quotation and allusion, then what? What’s the point of this classification?
I suppose the answer is ‘what’s the point of Gospel source criticism? What’s the point of any textual investigation aside from textual criticism?’ Because, it seems to me, some things are just interesting in and of themselves. Not everything has to be done for some grand utilitarian purpose, does it? No. Some things should be done just for the sake of doing them. Did John quote Isaiah or just allude to him? That’s worth looking into even if you can’t sell it on Ebay.
Brent Niedergall reviewed a book on the Psalms.
The ‘dry bones’ passage from Ezekiel has evidently provoked a dance. Who knew.
Claude Marriottini has a new book on the Violence of God. He talks a little bit about the topic here. Claude is a good scholar and a reliable teacher. Give him a read.
150 Men at Nehemiah’s Table? The Role of the Governor’s Meals in the Achaemenid Provincial Economy. It’s an essay. By Liz Fried. She’s fantastic. Go read it.
I- yours truly- blogged the sessions of the SOTS Winter Meeting. You can drop in on them here. Others tweeted parts of it. Chiefly you can follow the papers as delivered from the tweets of Nathan MacDonald.
Rabbi Ruttenberg provided an interpretation of the ‘hardening of Pharaoh’s heart’. It’s quite enjoyable.
Interested in Job’s family? Who isn’t. So here you go:
La famille de Job dans les différents livres de Job. Le texte hébreu, la Septante et le Testament de Job en comparaison, in: ThZ 77, 2021 [published 2022], 290-307, by Walter Buehrer. You’re welcome.
What the…. But why? Why? Why??????????
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The Food Court (New Testament)
Interested in Matthew 2? This may either satisfy that interest or cure you of it altogether, forever. It’s a post by Ken Schenck.
Jim Tabor has a new post up about the Roman world of Jesus. It’s a post worth your time. Unlike that book about Jesus you picked up at Barnes and Noble written by the latest fad mega-churcher.
Do you love old manuscripts? Do you love Greek? Do you love? If you do, then you’ll love this:
@CSNTM– #ManuscriptMonday New year, old manuscript! Papyrus 52, held at The John Rylands Library in Manchester, is a fragment of the Gospel of John dated by many to the 2nd or 3rd cent. This tiny artifact has received much attention and investigation by scholars. buff.ly/3D8J0OJ
Do you also like manuscripts touted as a big deal that turn out to be total garbage like the ‘first century Mark’ fragment? Well good. Here’s Elijah Hixson on the farce of first century Mark.
Did you miss SBL in November? Are you sad that you couldn’t sit in on a paper about the Apocryphal Acts? Cheer up. Tony has put the paper online. So you can read it yourself. Or, if you want to re-enact the live experience, just ask your spouse to read it to you while you doomscroll twitter just like you would if you had attended SBL!
Just when you thought the ’empire’ trope had suffered the fate of ‘form criticism’ it rears its head once again! That’s the great thing about biblical studies fads, they live on, somewhere, forever. Like covid-19….. After slogging through the pop-ups festooning the page you’ll be able to read Philip Jenkins’ nostalgic piece.
Jay the anonymous software engineer shared some thoughts on Mt 27:1-2. It’s brief, and carries on some of the usual tropes that are historically questionable. Cf. Barrett ad loc.
Are you curious about the interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12? Would you like to read an exceptional bit of exegesis? Then you’re in luck. Margaret Mowczko has it.
Do you like the Carpocratians? Are you also a fan of Morton Smith? well Mike Kok is about to make your day with his essay Morton Smith and the Carpocratians. Mike is a Canadian, but don’t hold that against him. Do you like mysticism and initiation into Hellenistic mysteries? Well once again, you’re in luck, because James Tabor has a post for you.
Pete Enns group blog has a new contributor, Jennifer Bashaw, and she’s posted her first post on Peter’s group blog and it’s about why Paul’s letters aren’t enough if you want to understand ‘salvation’. Amen.
Matthew and Luke have different genealogical listings. Alex Krause takes a look.
Andrew Perriman drafts Jesus as a participant in the climate crisis debate. Jesus is drafted for every cause. He’s drafted more than the lead car at every NASCAR race. I wonder how many of these drafts he turns up his nose at. I wonder how often in heaven he’s like ‘For pete’s sake, leave me out of this!’. Quite a lot I imagine.
The Good Samaritan and the prophet Oded… Do they have elements in common? Probably not I suspect, but the anonymous blogger who posted the thing might have other thoughts. You may enjoy the post if you 1) like anonymous posts; and 2) like literary intertwinings even if they are imaginary.
Mike Bird on Romans 8 and the assurance of God’s love in hard times. Job would like a word.
Jesuscreed has a bit of a discussion about the Pharisees. His springboard is A-J Levine’s new book on that subject. Scot is pro-Pharisees. Enjoy his post.
Scot McKnight has a post on the Pharisees. But you’ll have to pay up. It’s for ‘paying subscribers’ only. Conversely, you could just buy A-J Levine and Joseph Sievers’ book and get a lot more bang for your buck.
The Animal Exhibition (Archaeological Stuff)
Have they found the birthplace of Mary Magdalene? No. But no doesn’t sell papers or drive tourists to visit sites in hopes of touching some holy relic or standing in some spot where some biblical personage may have stepped. Which reminds me, the relic quest is as alive and well, under the guise of ‘science’ as it ever was in the 16th century when Erasmus derided all the fraud and mocked the relic hunters by pointing out that if all the fragments of the cross on display in Europe were collected the wood would be more than is found in all the forests of Bavaria. Anyway, as always, Candida does a super job explaining the situation. She’s tremendous. Read anything she writes.
Bob Cargill interviewed Shua Kisilevitz, the director of the Tel Moza excavation. It’s a text piece and a video that you’ll want to take a look at. And be sure to check out the website’s News page. It lists archaeological stories chronologically and is pretty thorough.
There was a Dead Sea Scrolls conference this Summer sponsored by NYU and they posted it on Jan 5 for all the folk who missed it. So it was blogged. Here.
A lecture by Tel Aviv University archaeologist Yuval Gadot on Iron Age and Persian Era Jerusalem is slated for Feb 17 at noon EST. Sign up.
And, speaking of signing up, Candida Moss tweeted
Birmingham Biblical Studies Seminar @PTRBirmingham is delighted to welcome @catebosh from @UCLA to discuss “Aramaic and Empire” in Bilingual Inscriptions. Come learn about archeology, language, and identity! Register here.
Just how much can the most famous of the Dead Sea Scrolls prove? Isn’t that a good question? It’s asked here. By someone named Anthony Ferguson.
Avraham Faust has three new articles out this month. Some online. Track them down. He’s such an exceptional scholar.
- Faust, A, and Safrai, Z., in press, Toward a Quantitative History of Ancient Israel: Burials as a Test Case, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 65 (published online).
- Faust, A., and Sapir, Y., 2021, Building 101 at Tel ‘Eton, the Low Chronology, and the Perils of a Bias-Perpetuating Methodology: A Response and a Proposal for the Study of All the Phases in the History of Buildings, Palestine Exploration Quarterly 153: 304-334.
- Faust, A., 2021, Cyprus and the Land of Israel: The Mediterranean as a Bridge and the Diverse Consequences of Cultural Contact, in J. Charlesworth and J.G.R. Pruszinski (eds.), Cyprus Within the Biblical World: Borders Not Barriers, London: T&T Clark, pp. 26-40.
Israel Finkelstein uploaded a boatload of papers to his Academia.edu page in January. Yes, literally, a boatload. And, just in case you didn’t know, he also has a YouTube channel. It too has a boatload of material. Yes, a literal boat load.
Finally, Todd Bolen does a weekly roundup of archaeology related stuff. It’s a very worthwhile post each week, though mildly annotated.
The Strange and Bizarre (Books and Reviews)
Jennifer Neyhart blogs about books of all sorts, including biblical studies and theology. If you aren’t familiar with her blog, give it a visit. She’s super.
Adele Reinhartz wonderful Bible and Cinema is out in a new second edition. I mention it because it’s something you should know.
Taming The Beast: A Reception History of Behemoth and Leviathan. Reviewed here. It’s a MUST read volume.
Some hearty soul purportedly read the two volumes of the new Cambridge Greek Lexicon and wrote a review! NOTE- said review will only be available freely till the end of February, so read it whilst you can. The reviewer seems fixated on sexual terms and the entries for race and ethnicity. I guess it takes all kinds, doesn’t it…
Kara Slade’s new book is reviewed here. Kara is a delight, and it sounds like her new book is as well. I don’t have the time to read it right now though…. Maybe soon….
Paul Davidson, amateur Bible enthusiast, reviews The Dismembered Bible. It sounds like a fun book.
Liz Fried’s new commentary on Nehemiah was reviewed here. The commentary features a very unique additional online ‘tool’. You’ll have to read the review to find out what it is.
Mike Bird reviews a commentary on Jonah and calls it ‘splendid’. Aussies and their fancy words.
Rick Brannan has a book out (or it will be momentarily) titled ‘Fragments of Christianity‘. It may be of interest to you. Or it may not. I don’t know. I can’t read your mind.
Understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity is reviewed here by someone who’s name I can’t find on their ‘about me’ page. I guess that’s ok. Maybe he or she just doesn’t like fame.
Mike Bird kicked off January with a list of books he is going to read in 2022. Not once, though, did he say ‘God willing’!!!! Gasp. Astonishing behavior from someone who is surely familiar with James’ clear dictum- ἐὰν ὁ κύριος θελήσῃ καὶ ζήσομεν καὶ ποιήσομεν τοῦτο ἢ ἐκεῖνο. (Jas. 4:15)
I reviewed a new little book titled ‘The Rewards of Learning Greek and Hebrew‘. You’ll enjoy it and the book.
Will’s book is out. Get it. Your kids don’t need to eat. Or skip the rent:
Sandra Jacobs posted her review of Sovereign Authority and the Elaboration of Law in the Bible and the Ancient Near East on her academia.edu page. Give it a read. Academia.edu you say? Yup. Because if I’m going to include podcasts and youtube stuff I’m going to include Academia. Because, frankly, blogging manifests itself in many formats these days.
Not, strictly speaking, a book review, but related thereto I think-
@candidamoss — Birmingham Biblical Studies Seminar @PTRBirmingham : @FordhamNYC professor Sarit Kattan Gribetz will discuss her award winning @PrincetonUPress book “Time and Difference in Rabbinic Judaism” on Wed Feb 2 at 8am PST/11am EST/4pm GMT. Register here.
Rob Bradshaw has posted an oldie but a goodie: Studies in Matthew by BW Bacon. Lot’s of you are fans of Bacon, or so you say. So surely this will be of interest.
Phil Long (the Carnival Ringmaster) reviewed a book on Israel’s Wisdom Traditions. Why do we need another book on Wisdom when we have von Rad and RBY Scott? Phil writes
McLaughlin’s Introduction is an excellent introduction to the biblical wisdom books with a few added features to distinguish itself from other introductions. Including Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon extend the introduction into the Second Temple period and his chapter on the continuation of these traditions beyond the First Testament is helpful, even if too brief.
Brent N. interviewed the author of some book or other about some New Testament related thing. Part one of the interview is here. Part two, here. The title of the book is New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity. New documents ya say? How relevant could they be if they’re new? Anyway- there ya go. He also reviewed another NT themed book. It’s some sort of student’s guide. I didn’t really read the review or the book. But you can if you want to.
Carl broke his decades long blog silence and posted on books he’s read in the last year. See you next January, Carl….
William Ross reviewed A New Hebrew Reader for the Psalms. William makes this horrifying confession at the outset of his review: It’s been a while since I did a book review, but I want to make sure to highlight a great new resource that is likely to interest my readers. Hendrickson Publishers has just produced A Hebrew Reader for the Psalms: 40 Beloved Texts, compiled and edited by Pete Myers and Jonathan G. Kline. Shameful. The failure to review, not the review itself.
The Midway (All the Miscellaneous Stuff)
Phil Long did a super job with the December Carnival (appearing 1 January). Phil is a really great guy. A perfect way to start the New Year.
Jim Eisenbraun is blogging! Welcome to biblioblogdom, Jim!
Elijah Drake’s tale of attending a megachurch made me sick. What a fraud of a ‘church’. Ιησους….
Sometimes text critics have a reputation for being boring. And, truth told, they usually are. And sometimes they themselves get so bored with what they do that they wander cemeteries looking for graves… Or at least the graves of other text critics. If you’re ever stuck next to a text critic at a party, flee. You’ll be overcome with boredom if you don’t. You’ve been warned.
The EABS has issued it’s call for papers for its next meeting. The deadline for submissions is February. Here’s the info page.
There’s something called the ‘secular’ web and someone called John McDonald who seems to be a very nice person. He mentioned this site. Frankly I prefer John’s sort to the ‘Molechgelicals’.
Newman U. is hosting a conference titled Language and Religion. If you’re in the area you ought to arrange to go. It’s in June, so covid will be over by then. Or at least the obsession with it will be.
People are bizarrely still trying to define the Trinity. It’s like watching mice run through a maze that has no exit. And Tertullian’s mocking of philosophy is justified once more. So it’s fun for that reason alone. As you listen to the podcast, just keep repeated in your mind ‘Philosophers are the patriarchs of heretics’ and it will be super enjoyable.
If you’re a scholar of Syriac, or just beginning your studies, this conference may be your thing. The deadline is Jan 31 but I bet if you send yours in in the next few days it will make the cut. The Department of Theological Studies at Fordham University and Dorushe invite proposals for the Eighth Dorushe Graduate Student Conference on Syriac Studies, to be held at Fordham University (NYC) on June 9-10, 2022. The deadline for abstracts is January 31, 2022.
2022 is the 500th Anniversary of the publication of Luther’s famous ‘Septembertestament’. The folk at @Sept_testament are celebrating and they invite you to do the same:
Dieses Jahr feiern wir 500 Jahre Lutherbibel. Im @ zeigen wir ab Mai die Ausstellung <das man deutsch mit ihnen redet> 500 Jahre Lutherbibel. Das Zitat stammt aus Luthers <Sendbrieff vom Dolmetzschen> von 1530. Luther erklärt hier, wie die Bibel zu übersetzen sei, nämlich, <man muss die mutter ibm hause/die kinder auff der gassen/den gemeinen mann auff dem marckt drumb fragen/vnn den selbigen auff das maul sehen/wie sie reden/vnd darnach dolmetzschen/so verstehen sie es den/vn mercken/das man Deutsch mi jn redet.>
Sadly news came in January that the text critic Robert Hull Jr. died. May he rest in peace. Also, sadly, January 26th the Old Testament scholar John Endres, SJ passed from this life. He was an amazing mind.
Brent posted his least popular posts of 2021…. I would do that but all of my posts are popular. Amen. Better luck in 2022 Brent…
@NijayKGupta I am looking for help from a few people who recently completed PhDs in biblical studies. I have a project I am working on, and I need feedback. Message me, if you are interested in helping me out.
Tweet him if you want to help.
The ‘Text and Canon Institute’ is advertising Fellowships and some of you may want to apply.
@TextandCanon – ACCEPTING APPS for 22/23: TCI Fellowship is a 1-yr scholarship & mentoring program for a student in the @PhoenixSeminary ThM program who intends to pursue further study in Old or New Testament textual criticism, canon studies, or ancillary disciplines – youtu.be/39YSH8mpMiI
Visit Phil’s master list of past and present carnivals. Phil also lists the upcoming carnivals:
It was 13 years ago that I paid my first visit to SOTS. It was in Cambridge, at Fitzwilliam College. We visited the Genizah Unit at the University and I met some superstars, like Professor Lambert (who sadly passed some years ago) and Cheryl Exum. Peter Williams was there as well and it was he himself who told me that I had been voted in, sponsored by Philip Davies and seconded by Keith Whitelam.
The glory days. SOTS remains my favorite professional society and the Conference is always the best to attend. The Society is comprised of real superstars in Hebrew Bible studies, but you will never meet a more collegial, more genuinely friendly and helpful group of people.
God willing, next January we will be able to be back in person.
Hindy’s paper began with a moment honoring our new President and her dear friend, Charlotte Hempel. We all raised a glass to her.
She then moved on to her presentation, which was powerpoint free but featured a spiffy handout.
It was a fine presentation capping a day of fine papers and enjoyable banter. I regret we couldn’t gather in Nottingham but this was the next best thing and I’m grateful for it.
Tomorrow has another slate of papers that look super. So, more from Virtual Nottingham and the #SOTS2022 meeting then.
Gary’s presentation was a very wide-ranging and comprehensive look at the reasons for which monarchic texts appear in Genesis. He draws a lot from Mazar.
He suggests Gen 38 is a critique of David.
And the David stories attracted other critiques.
And other interesting points were made. It was a fun time even if not thoroughly convincing. It was about Genesis less than about other things. It was like a cappuccino: lot’s of milk, but not much coffee.
With the subtitle- From Assyria to the Battlegrounds of Sparta. Which immediately made me think of ‘We are Sparta’ or something like that (from the movie, The 300).
Anyway, her paper was extremely enjoyable and incredibly interesting. Especially her discussion of Dt 25:11-12.
And more. Honestly, if you missed it, you missed a real treat.
He discussed the construction of the Tabernacle and the rise of Priestly hegemony.
He provided ample evidence and bolstered his case excellently. Since this is part of a forthcoming project, I’ll leave it to the book to divulge the argument. Suffice to say, when the book comes out you’ll want to read it.
This gallery contains 15 photos.
A reminder from the Hospitality Secretary that the final booking deadline for the Winter Meeting in Nottingham is 1st December – which is next Wednesday!
All bookings should be sent to her <firstname.lastname@example.org> to arrive by the deadline. Anyone who has made a late application for a bursary should send a message to her by Wednesday to this effect (so that a provisional room booking can be made).
Hoping to see many of you in Nottingham in the New Year.
With all good wishes,
The Revd Dr Janet E Tollington
SOTS Membership Secretary
The day started with a paper on the LXX. Or more, a history of the LXX, and Romanian translations of the Bible.
The second paper I heard (having missed the actual first one of the day due to time zone issues – i.e., I was still asleep) focused on critical readings of the Bible in the 19th century.
The next paper was on ecofascism and ecological criticism and biblical scholarship.
Fascinatingly, the alt-right is engaged in ecological issues, and the Charlotte rioters were even chanting ‘soil and blood’ as part of their mantra not only as a reflection of their neo-nazi tendencies but as part of their concern for environmental issues.
It was a fascinating presentation indeed. The left is not alone in ecological concerns. Christian nationalism and ecofascism go hand in hand in many quarters.
Utterly fascinating indeed.
And the final session-
SOTS is the absolute best conference, followed by CBA. If you are a student of the Hebrew Bible you should most definitely consider joining. Here’s how.
Another great day of interesting papers. Admittedly, I missed the first one (because I didn’t wake up in time) but from the second on I was alert….
(insert raised eyebrow here)
The business meeting is always cordial and informative.
And the report of the review committee was very enlightening.
Mark Brummitt on Jeremiah. Delightful paper.
And the last paper of the day, Matthew Coomber’s on ‘Contempt in the Hebrew Bible’. It was extraordinary.
The day was filled with great discussions as well as super papers. Looking forward to tomorrow’s.
Photos by me. Please do not re-post.
(I took a photo of Joseph Fitzmyer at SBL one year and the next thing I knew, someone had used it on their own website upon his death)(rude).
In person meetings are much better than online. But online meetings are better than no meetings at all.
The meeting is totally online this year. I normally attend the Winter Meeting, so it’s nice to sit in on the Summer gathering. The full schedule is here. Take a look.
Here are some of the folk present this evening, for the opening lecture. There were 86 in total but of course there’s little point in screen grabbing little empty boxes.
Martti’s lecture was super.
Now, if we’re true to form for the SOTS meetings, we’re all off to the reception. So I’m going to go eat some snacks and pretend that I’m chatting with Matthew Coomber and Hugh Pyper.
Mat Collins wrote on the SOTS facebook page on 29 June, 2016-
For those interested in that sort of thing, it was 100 years ago today (29th June 1916) that the first proper planning meeting for SOTS was held. Nine scholars met in the rooms of R.H. Kennett at Queen’s College, Cambridge, and resolved to move ahead with the proposed “British Society for Old Testament Studies” and to hold an inaugural meeting in London (at King’s College) at the start of January 1917.
According to the minutes, those in attendance were: Rev. Prof. W. Emery Barnes, Rev. Principal W.H. Bennett, Rev. Principal W.E. Blomfield, Stanley A. Cook Esqr., Dr. G. Buchanan Gray, Rev. Canon R.H. Kennett, Prof. A.S. Peake, Rev. T.H. Robinson, and Rev. Principal John Skinner.
Happy 105th Anniversary, SOTS. Fantastic beginnings for the best learned society in the world.
SOTS Summer Meeting to be held online
In light of continuing uncertainty regarding the appetite for and feasibility of gathering in person or, in hybrid form, in July this year, the Committee of the Society for Old Testament Study has approved a recommendation from its Programme Sub-Committee that the Summer Meeting under the presidency of Professor Hugh Pyper will be held fully online from the 12th – 14th of July, 2021.
While this news will be disappointing for many of us who are missing meeting in person, the excellent attendance at our first ever online meeting this past January – and a very promising programme for the July meeting – augurs well for a successful Summer Meeting, the details of which will be forthcoming shortly.
Via the Society’s Secretary.