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Well here we are once again, having persevered for many years inviting you to join us on our tour of the best of the best postings from the world of biblical studies which appeared in the month of June in the year of our Lord, 2017. Our Carnival’s theme? Bringing the Heat! The posts are HOT and the bloggers are HOTTER. Except for Watts.
Hebrew Bible / Related Ancient Lit Heat
Not to be missed is this on fire post on the Book of Enoch. The Enochic corpus known as 1 Enoch or Ethiopic Enoch is a composite pseudepigraphic work written in the name of the antediluvian patriarch Enoch from Genesis 5:21–24. The corpus is extant in its entirety only in an Ethiopic (Ge’ez) version that was translated from a Greek translation of an Aramaic original between 4–6th century CE in Ethiopia. Et cetera.
There’s a very cool, I mean hot, post on the Torah about the vestments of the High Priest. Very, very neat.
The hottest of all the bibliobloggers did us the favor of drawing our attention to the impending publication of the next volume of BHQ- Job. That’s one prolific, witty, clever, fun loving, informative, and beloved blogger right there.
The Samaritans get a rare bit of notice this month. You remember them. They had a different Pentateuch and the Ezra crowd hated them and Jesus was ok with them and even talked to one of their womenfolk…
Martti Nissinen has some reflections on the CSTT Annual Meeting that are not to be missed because it’s hot without air conditioning. The CSTT Annual Meeting of this year took place in the most beautiful environment of the Zoological Station of Tvärminne in Hanko, Finland. The days were sunny, chilly, and full of action. And then someone with another Finnish name that I don’t even know how to type reported on the CSTT meeting in Hong Kong. Textual scholars often work with small textual variants and single incidents of change. A detailed analysis of the evidence is important; however, there is an increasing need to understand the broader processes of textual change in the context of ancient Judaism. Could the evolutionary theory, systems approach, or Star Wars saga illuminate the textual history of the Hebrew Bible?
The Bird Man thinks systematic theologians ought to use the Old Testament some more. Okie dokie.
No one does OT like A-J. ‘Nuff said. Read it.
Phil Long had a bit to say about the ‘Testament of Simeon‘. It’s another one of those pseudepigraphal texts so in vogue these days. Hippies. The heat has gotten to the guild my friends… it’s like we’re becoming Floridians or Texans.
If you’re of a mind to do it, you can read the Old Testament in Sahidic Coptic online now. Here’s the very informative post which very informatively posts the information.
Christian Brady is writing for emergents. I never thought I’d see the day… emergents… ‘so sad’. I need a moment…
Jim Davila has a bit to say about the Shapira scroll, particularly in connection with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Oh Shapira… who are you and why are you pretending to be a DSS?
Weirdest post of the month Award goes to this one on the Rainbow… It’s the kind of thing NT Wright might write if he wrote about the Old Testament. So why is it included? Because some of you are weird and you might like it. Because you’re weird.
Stephen Cook has been burning it up! He last blogged a year ago!!!! Keep ’em coming, dude! Also uninvolved in June, the great Bob Cargill. Must be making a movie… or doing a BibArch Fest. Also making a movie, Ed Cook, who has been lying dormant even longer that Stephen. Blogging the Hebrew Bible is hard. Just ask Bryan Bibb. Speaking of doing things that are hard, Josh Mann may or may not be blogging. He’s got his blog behind a paywall. If you’re out there, Josh, tell us what you’ve been posting! Along with these slackers, Peter Kirby has been ignoring his responsibilities for the longest time of all. Kids these days, AmIRight….
Michael Langlois had an interesting post on the 70th anniversary of the DSS. I like that guy. He’s super bright and very engaging as a lecturer. My one regret about skipping SBL this year is that I won’t get to see him. He also held a conference on the Scrolls but you missed it because it was in June. Another good soul celebrating a big event is Claude Marriottini, who’s retiring… Bummer.
Brian Davidson- Exodus. Genesis 12. He sees a connection. Maybe he will convince you. Maybe… or just meh… You decide (and then ask and I’ll tell you if you’re right). Meanwhile Dr Duckbill also sees some merit in Pete Enns’s musings on the Old Testament. Why? Your guess is as good as anyone’s. Maybe the heat down in Houston has done him wrong.
Will Ross interviewed Bob Kraft about LXX-ie stuff. What. Fun.
The Sultry New Testament
And what’s more sultry than Pilate? What is truth? The complicated characterization of Pontius Pilate in the Fourth Gospel. (It appeared at the end of May but wasn’t announced as a free read until 5 June, which is why it’s listed in this Carnival though not linked to because they’re being punished).
Greek wisdom by non Greek Jason. A nifty citation from ancient days. CK Barrett wisdom is spewing from Ben Witherington’s blog the way water spews from Old Faithful. And it’s hot water. Because geysers are hot. Water.
Mike Bird on Steve Walton on doing theology ‘Lukewise’. #ArentNeologismsFun! #TheWorldNeedsMoreNeologisms. #AndBetterGovernments. #ButThatsBesideThePoint. #TheHungerGamesIsStupid.
Exegetical Tool had a nifty interview about Greek in Luke. Imagine. Greek, in Luke! The Gospel of Luke in Greek has Greek!!!! We recently featured Alan Thompson’s new Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament on Luke’s Gospel and we’re happy that he was able to conduct a little interview with us. You’ll learn much here about the exegetical process, about Greek, and about Dr. Thompson and his labors for the kingdom. [They don’t specify which Kingdom they mean but it must be the Kingdom of Sparta. Because they used Greek there].
Greek grammar. Oh, it’s gripping. It’s not as boring as you think. Gripping I tell you. Grip. Ping.
Mike Kok had some interesting things to say about Peter in Rome. Those Canadians… so cool even in the Summer.
Some Borg (i.e., group) blog blogged on a NT conference after virtually years of silence. So in celebration of their resurrection from the blogging dead, I give you, without further ado, it.
Geza Vermes is discussed in this very interesting article. His understanding of Jesus was really quite engaging. June 22, 1924, is the birthdate of Geza Vermes, the Hungarian-born scholar who was among the first to study Jesus as a Jew, and was also one of the first academics to write about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Vermes himself also had an unusual spiritual journey, which included a spell as a Catholic priest before his return to Judaism.
Mark Goodacre barely scraped into the Carnival with his near end of the month invitation to join him and Cargill at BAR’s Arch Fest in Iowa or Wisconsin or Tokyo or some such place. BAS has the best fests. They’re Yuge. The Yugest. And they only cost a small fortune so they’re aimed at students…
[NB- the NT folk must have taken the month off. NT Wright must not have said anything or published a new book or they would have had something to talk about… poor things].
The Tyndale folk are on a roll with their discussions of textual decisions connected with their new edition of the New Testament. This time they dive in to Romans 1. Fun times will be had by all.
Bill Mounce has some fun thoughts about the ESV and the NIV… Good stuff. Most people say there are two translation camps, formal equivalent and functional equivalent (or dynamic equivalent). The longer I am in translation work, the more I see how simplistic this division is. There actually are five methods on translation with three sub-categories for the handling of gender language.
William Ross attended a high falootin’ Finnish LXX conference and he posted about it just to make us all burn with envy. He’s a very bad person.
Some madman thinks there are textual reasons to print ‘god’ in Bibles instead of ‘God’. Geesh. Someone’s brain has melted.
Sweltering Book Reviews
Larry *The Anti-Tilling* Hurtado wrote a short review on a new book about sin. And atonement. I’m not personally acquainted with sin so I’ll have to take his word for it. The book sounds enjoyable and may induce a bit of sweat for its readers on the beach (or maybe it’s the sun that will do that. I don’t know, I’m not a physicist).
Greek magical papyri… you’ve already left. Come back when you’re done there. Nothing is hotter these days than learning how to turn Joel Watts into a newt.
Scot McKnight turned the high intensity inquisitorial heat lamp onto Greg Boyd’s recent dive into Jesus theology. I’ve not read Boyd’s work but if you have you’ll have to decide if McKnight is Wright. Or Wrong.
Matthew’s New David… looks to be a lot of fun! Matthew’s use of the Jewish scriptures—particularly his fulfillment citations—has long perplexed modern readers. Has the evangelist ransacked his scriptures in a contorted effort to justify his Christology? Or is there another principle guiding his selection of scriptural source material? In this revised version of his 2013 Wheaton College dissertation “Scripture and Community: The Socio-Rhetorical Effect of Matthew’s Prologue Quotations,” Nicholas Piotrowski mounts a fresh and compelling argument for the latter.
Phil *Longshanks* Long reviewed a book on why Christians should rethink Israel. I sure hope it isn’t endorsed by John Hagee…. that would make me weep.
Ron Kubsch has a brief little post that folk dabbling in Reformed theology (which is, of course, related to the Bible, unlike Unitarian theology or Catholic theology) will need to read. Need.
Rick Brannan offers a post about how Systematic theologians basically ignore the Bible or only operate from within a very small pool of references because they are so enamored of philosophy that they can’t really think theologically. Right Barth? Tillich? Bunhopper? In any event Rick’s post may not make that precise point, but it should.
Michael Pahl. Read it. Because I said so, that’s why. It’s hot.
Mac users will want to take a look at Brian’s post on Greek fonts for iOS. Whatever that is. Darn hippies and their darn weird non Windows craziness.
The Bible and Politics conference videos are online. Here. For the sleep deprived. (Just kidding) (Maybe).
Many of you are familiar with Turnitin. But you may not be as familiar with it as you need to be. You need to read this piece.
Since it’s Summer and people are hitting the beach instead of the bench at Church, a timely reminder that Attending Church Helps You Live Longer- And this study proves it:
A recent study by Vanderbilt University professor Marino Bruce has found that people who attend religious services live longer and are less stressed. The findings held true across faith traditions, said Bruce, the associate director of Vanderbilt’s Center for Research on Men’s Health, in a video posted to the university’s YouTube channel.
“We found in our study that actually attending church is actually good for your health, particularly for those who are between the ages of 40 and 65,” said Bruce, who also is a Baptist minister.
Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%. The Plos One journal published the “Church Attendance, Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” study May 16.
“For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.
See you Sunday. And we hope you enjoyed the Carnival. It was hot, wasn’t it. Oh, and here are the upcoming Carnival’s (so you have something to look forward to)
July 2017 (Due August 1) – Reuben Rus, Ayuda Ministerial/Resources for Ministry
August 2017 (Due September 1) – Jason Gardner, eis doxan
October 2017 (November 1) – Doug Chaplin, @dougchaplin
November 2017 (December 1) – Jim West, Zwinglius Redivivus @drjewest
December 2017 (January 1) – Jennifer Guo, @jenniferguo
There was a conference on Hosea that was video taped that Deane posted concerning. Various and sundry among you may find it to be worth checking out. It was at Wycliffe College so you’ll get to hear British accents AND none of them will belong to Ken Ham!
Richard Bartholomew shares a bit about the so called ‘Babel Stele’ and the tv special on it that isn’t.
Deane Galbraith has a very intriguing post titled ‘Canaanite Reconstructionism’. Apparently there are Canaanite Reconstructionists! Yes, among the small number of neopagans in Israel, there are some Israelis who are trying to ‘revive’ Ugaritic and Canaanite religion. They honour or worship Asherah, Anat, or Ba’al – goddesses and gods worshiped by ancient Hebrews. Weirdos.
Jim Tabor has a fun post on the shifting meaning of Pentecost. It’s not your Pentebabbleist friend’s holiday.
If Hebrew Grammar is your thing, this post by RH might be right what you’re looking for. Saturday morning a presented a paper at the annual Canadian Society for Biblical Studies. In the paper, I addressed some issues of poetic syntax. Why am I studying poetry? I’m not really that poetic or creative or literarily sensitive. (I will confess that much of passes for poetry mystifies me, but then I’d probably would have rebuked E.E. Cummings and told him to take a course in punctuation.) Don’t look down on him with contempt just because he’s Canadian like Justin Bieber.
The folk at Logos are producing a new kind of Hebrew Lexicon. It looks like something that would be and will be quite useful. And for under $20 the price is right. I remember when I bought a hard copy of HALOT from Brill I paid… no, hold on, I was sent a review copy. Never mind.
Many of Jan Assmann’s various works are now available online for you enjoyment. So enjoy.
Charlotte Hempel’s inaugural lecture at the U of Birmingham was video recorded and you can watch all 40 glorious minutes of it here. It’s titled The Dead Sea Scrolls: Isolationism, Elites, and Austerity. Scrolls? The Elite? What’s not to love?
The John Wevers Prize is in the news – and submissions are being accepted until August, so there’s time for you to send along the names of people you think deserve it like Jim Aitken and William Ross. Speaking of my Bestie Jim Aitken, he put together a list of LXX resources that folk need to take seriously and add to their personal collections.
Also related to LXX matters, this post by Brice Jones about the availability of Codex Sinaiticus at the Library of Congress, in digital form. Some good stuff there.
T.R. wrote a really great essay on Qeiyafa that’s must reading. It’s full title is “Khirbet Qeiyafa – Some Thoughts of a Biblical Scholar. Response to Yosef Garfinkel and Aren Maeir”. Get ’em, Thomas.
Phil *The Traveler* Long posted on the Apocalypse of Abraham. Now before your head splits open because the Apocalypse of Abraham isn’t in Hebrew and isn’t in the Old Testament allow me to remind you that I don’t have a category for Pseudepigraphal materials and never shall because they’re not worthy of a separate listing. So if it’s an OT personage their text covers, they’re in the OT section of the Carnival. So there. And enjoy.
The big news of May is, of course, the announcement of an edition of the Greek New Testament being published by Tyndale House, Cambridge. The actual Tyndale House and not the publisher of that name what foisted in the world the wretched nonsense of Mark Driscoll. They also posted this one, which discusses the route of textual choice.
Mike *Smeegal* Svigel writes If you could travel back in time to the year 100 to visit several of the small Christian communities scattered across the Mediterranean world, what would you find? Separate clusters of squabbling devotees with wildly divergent ideas of what it means to be Christian? A loose network of communities with a lot of love for each other but only fuzzy ideas about Jesus? Or perhaps tight-knit churches with standardized rites and a strong sense of belonging to the Catholic Church? Ohhh… fun times ahead!
Brill’s Linguistic’s blog has some intriguing things to say about the Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek. It’s not a review, but rather an ‘apologia’ which describes the methodology of the Dictionary’s invention.
Mike Kok (the Canadian Wunderkind) wrote a spiffy review of a book called ‘Peter in Early Christianity’. He remarks I attended the conference which lead to the book and the book does a great job of assembling a number of specialists in a variety of areas to cover different aspects of Peter’s life and legacy. In short, he was an eyewitness to the papers he reviews in the volume which sprang from the conference! An eyewitness!!! Richard Bauckham will be so proud.
Ian Paul. Ascension Day. What could go wrong?
Talking crosses. Deane Galbraith. What could go wrong?
An Orthodox Priest guy has some thoughts on Jesus. It’s worth giving a read if only so that you can say you’ve actually read something from a biblical blogger who isn’t Lutheran or Reformed. Let a little Orthodox interpretation into your cold and darkened heart, you pagan.
Pete Enns talked about the New Testament instead of the Old. He has some interesting ideas. He concludes “How do we understand Israel’s story in light of Jesus?” Tracing the theme of “land” throughout the Bible is an entry point to observing this pervasive transformative process. [An earlier version of this post appeared in July 2013.] Sounds a lot like NT Wright.
Books and Book Reviews
Phil Long reviewed a book on the Book of Revelation. And not once did he write ‘Revelations’ (because if he had, his post wouldn’t be included and he would be the object of much imprecatory praying).
Have you ever read a review of a review? Well now’s your chance… You can read a review of a Hebrew grammatical thingy book thing. It’s on the relative clause! WOW!!! Calm down, Hebraists~~~ All that excitement may kill you.
Chris Le Keith mentioned the second edition of Bauckham’s ‘Jesus and the Eyewitnesses’ and the fact that Eerdmans is giving a copy away. It’s nice to see the ‘Jesus Blog’ people carrying on without Crossley.
Sarah Dixson runs an interesting site devoted exclusively to book reviews on biblical studies and early Christianity stuff. In May she posted two reviews: one on a book by Fretheim and one on a book by someone named Mugridge.
I reviewed a volume titled ‘Salvation by Allegiance Alone’. I have to say, I wasn’t unduly persuaded by the argument. I tried to like it. I really did. I tried really, really hard. I failed. 😦
Brill made available, for free, a copy of the very engaging volume ‘Women in the Bible, Qumran, and Early Rabbinic Literature.’ If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, do so ASAP.
Not reviewed yet but a volume that should be on your radar is this one titled ‘Revelation as Pastiche‘. I don’t know what a pastiche is but it sounds spicy.
Here’s a new volume worth a look- Texts, Practices, and Groups. Multidisciplinary approaches to the history of Jesus’ followers in the first two centuries by the lovely Italian team of Destro and Pesce.
Whenever someone wants to know what version of the Bible is ‘the best’, I always point them here. You should too, because it’s the truth.
Finally- hey RBL- what’s the deal with hiding behind a paywall? Robert’s miffed and he isn’t alone.
The Bible and Politics conference paper lineup looks pleasant. It’s a shame it’s in England because I’d like to attend, but as Trump has taught us, England is a land rife with Islamic terrorists and you can’t even walk the streets without being killed.
Jim Davila brings this conference to our attention: Law as Religion: Religion as Law. Take heed lest thou breakest the law.
Konrad Schmid posted news of a conference in Vienna. Ah, Vienna…. Ah, Conferences on the Old Testament. All my conferences this coming conference season are related to Church history. So it will be nice to return to SBL in 2018 in Denver.
Brian Davidson had a post about writing and taking notes using some sort of fancy nancy software thing. This will interest the 8 among you who actually write and it may be of eventual interest to those of you who one day stop playing with your PS2 and do some actual work.
Also related to the issue of scholarship- a post about pedagogy. And a very insightful one it is at that. You’ll enjoy it. Unless you’re a Barthian. Then you won’t be able to read it.
James Crossley wrote a piece for the Bulletin of Religion which speaks volumes to the present political environment. And yes, it includes bits of Scripture so it deserves a place in this hallowed Carnival. [Yeah, ok, you’ve read it and not seen a Scripture reference anywhere in it… so sue me. I enjoyed it and I figured you would too].
Bob Cargill thinks Trump should have visited Masada. Worth mentioning because it has to do with Masada, not Trump. Who, you’ll recall, acts like this:
The latest issue of Relegere came out in May. It’s got a little bit of everything (OT/NT/Theology) so surely within its cyberpages you’ll find a snippet to enjoy. Surely.
James McGrath wrote a post about something. I didn’t read it. It may not even be on something about the Bible. But I like James (all appearances to the contrary notwithstanding) so I wanted to include him in the Carnival so that someone, at least one or two people, would visit his blog this month.
Here’s a heartwarming tale of conversion from atheism to Christianity. It includes this gem: One afternoon, I noticed that my usual desk in the college library was in front of the Theology section. With an awkward but humble reluctance, I opened a book of sermons by philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich. As I read, I was struck at how intellectually compelling, complex, and profound the gospel was. I was attracted, but I wasn’t convinced. Not surprising, is it, that Tillich isn’t very theologically fulfilling. Enjoy the essay.
Here’s a list of people who haven’t blogged in a long time and who need to.
- Joel Watts
- Roberta Mazza
- Antonio Lombatti
- JK Gayle
- Mark Goodacre
- Dan Wallace
- George Athas
- Tim Bulkeley
- Helen Ingram
- Krista Dalton
- Women Biblical Scholars
- Erik van den Eykel
- Jason Staples
- Richard Goode
- Christoph Heilig
- Chris Tilling
Looking to the Future
- June 2017 (Due July 1) – Jim West. Here.
- July 2017 (Due August 1) – Reuben Rus, Ayuda Ministerial/Resources for Ministry https://ayudaministerial.wordpress.com
- August 2017 (Due September 1) – Jason Gardner, eis doxan, https://eisdoxan.wordpress.com/
- September 2017 (October 1)
- October 2017 (November 1)
- November 2017 (December 1) – Jim West, @drjewest, https://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/
- December 2017 (January 1) – Jennifer Guo, @jenniferguo, http://jenniferguo.wordpress.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to join in the fun, contact Phil. We (the royal we) hope you had a good time at our (the royal our) Carnival. Send along monetary tips to your Carnival host via paypal to his email address. See ya in July. And November. And if you want to read the ‘official’ carnival it’s here.
*And if you’d like to take advantage of a special ‘Carnival’ sale, I’m offering the Commentary in PDF to readers of this Carnival the special price of $100. Just mention the carnival (and your email address) when you place your order.
Wir berichten live von der Tagung zum 50.Todestag von Emil Brunner. Auch bei twitter mit dem Hashtag #emilbrunner50 @drjewest @refpunktch
@admaiora_semper: @drjewest it’s lightning and below: ‘Fulgur rerum mutationem portendit’
Accordingly, it is the United Biblioblog Carnival. And it will be a bit different. To be specific, it will be tweeting-centric.
So if you see a great biblical studies tweet or one particularly helpful about or from SBL 2015 (AAR need not apply, this is a biblical studies carnival, not a look at the underbelly of weird hinterlandish ‘theology’ in its various bizarre manifestations) would you be so good as to pass it along or even better, tweet it to me @drjewest. Thankya.