Tag Archives: Biblical studies

The Leningrad Codex in BibleWorks10

One of the most impressive aspects of BW10 is its inclusion of photographs of Codex Leningradensis, a 10th century manuscript of the complete Hebrew Bible.

To be sure, there are a lot of transcripted editions of Leningradensis, but to have the ability to examine both the text and the marginal notations of this incredibly important manuscript is priceless.   Accordingly, in what follows, I’ll offer my perspective on the features of the module which may be most useful to students of the Old Testament.

First, it’s very easy to access the material:


Simply clicking the Leningrad tab pulls up the image.  The verse tabs can be toggled on or off and the text itself can be enlarged or diminished depending on the researcher’s particular needs:


In addition, one can see any text in the Old Testament in Leningrad by simply choosing the verse in the “browse window” whether one is reading the Hebrew Text:


Or an English version:


It is this feature that may prove to be the most useful.  As one is reading through the text one has at hand in the right column the actual manuscript from which the transcription (if one is reading the Hebrew text) or translation (if one is reading the English) has been made.

Finally, it’s worth noting, especially for scholars and teachers, that simply by clicking a copy to clipboard tab one has an image, in full size, of the complete page where the passage under consideration is located.  This is ideal for presentations and lectures.


The features of BW10 are impressive.  But the inclusion of this codex and the ease with which it can be consulted and utilized is the most impressive of all.

[Other segments of this multipart review can be found here at the review series home page].

Consensus? Where?

Joel Baden writes for Bible and Interpretation

Recently, one of my students, inquiring about the relationship between two biblical texts, asked me, “What’s the consensus on this?” A common enough question, especially from students who are just starting in the field. And, indeed, a common enough concept, one that appears with some regularity in scholarly works. But “consensus” is a problematic word, especially in biblical studies.

There hasn’t, it seems to me, been consensus in anything for centuries.  The days of consensus are long gone and here’s why:  it isn’t because there aren’t hard facts and sensible conclusions aplenty, it’s because everyone thinks they’re an expert.  In such a climate, consensus is impossible.

Add to that the fact that many academics make their living by offering counter-consensus views (contrarians all) and voila, the sure and certain death of the consensus has appeared.

Synchronic and Diachronic Readings of the Bible Need to Have Coffee Together More Often

The Gutenberg Bible displayed by the United St...

Joel Baden writes

The diachronic and the synchronic nod pleasantly to each other, and occasionally make small talk, but basically have little to say in the way of substantive conversation. (Later, each will go to its friends and badmouth the other for being so rude.) Since we are, however, all stuck in the same relatively small elevator known as biblical studies, it would be more interesting, and certainly far more pleasant, if a way were found for the two sides to have a friendly chat now and again.

His essay titled Connecting Literary-Historical and Final-Form Readings is online at Bible and Interpretation. Great stuff.

Now Greenspoon And I Certainly Agree About One Thing…

We are far too inclined to forget the giants upon whose shoulders we stand.  Greenspoon writes, in part-

Not long ago I received an email that read: “The American Schools of Oriental Research awarded Oded Lipschits and David Vanderhooft the 2012 G. Ernest Write Award for the book The Yehud Stamp Impressions: A Corpus of Inscribed Impressions from the Persian and Hellenistic Periods in Judah (Winona Lake, Eisenbrauns,2011).

 This award is given to the author(s) of the most substantial volume dealing with archaeological material, excavation reports and material culture from the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean.” There is something terribly wrong with this announcement, and I don’t mean the award-winners, who I am sure are well-deserving. Rather, it is the title of the award itself: As I am sure many BAS members know, “G. Ernest Write” never existed, at least to my knowledge, as a major figure in biblical archaeology and biblical theology. His name was G. Ernest Wright.

The wrong spelling of his name is more, I fear, than the result of inattentiveness. It seems, to me at least, that we—all of us who care about Biblical Studies—are in danger of losing our individual and collective memories about major figures in our field. I had the honor and pleasure of studying with Wright during his final years of teaching at Harvard University (he died in August 1974), and I can tell you that he was never more alive or animated than when he held an archaeological artifact in his hands.

First, I’m glad I didn’t send the email with the misspelled word.  And second, again, I agree that we are too forgetful as members of the biblical studies guild when it comes to those who have come before.  That’s why it has been my longstanding practice to remind folk of them via the ‘Lest We Forget’ series of posts.

We do need to remember those who have done so much work in our discipline and we do need to appreciate them more.  As, hopefully, we ourselves will one day be appreciated and potentially even remembered.

On The Anniversary of Otto Kaiser’s Birth

https://zwingliusredivivus.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/otto_kaiser.jpg?w=116&h=150The Old Testament scholar Otto Kaiser was born on November 30th, 1924.   A Bultmannian, Kaiser’s many volumes are articulate and insightful.  His most important work, in my estimation, is Der Gott des Alten Testaments. Theologie des Alten Testaments in 3 vols.

He’s a fine exegete and his commentaries are some of the best.

He was celebrated on his 80th birthday in 2004, and rightly so.

Colloquium with Avraham Faust

I’ve mentioned this before but it’s certainly worth repeating-  Avraham Faust has agreed to join us on the Biblical Studies List for a colloquium scheduled for December 2-10. His book just published, Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period, is available from SBL.  There’s ample time to get the book.  And there’s even more time to join the list so that you can take part in the discussion.

Free Access to SAGE Journals

From SAGE-

To coincide with the AAR/SBL conference, SAGE is offering free access to our extensive range of journals in Theology, Biblical Studies and Religious Studies throughout November.  You can access them for free by signing up here – including two major special issues, commemorating the bicentennials of two great institutions: 

Interpretationcelebrating 200 years of Union Presbyterian Seminary

Theology Todaycelebrating 200 years of Princeton Theological Seminary

The Celebration of the 65th Anniversary of the Biblical Studies Department at Sheffield Continues

29th October 2012 – Emeritus Professor J. Cheryl Exum, ‘A Role for the Arts in Biblical Studies’, Jessop West Exhibition Space, 2pm-4pm- This lecture is open to all, attendance is free and there is no need to book.

And then

7 November 2012 – Dr Mark Finney, ‘Resurrecting Jesus: Pauline Thought in Sheffield and Beyond’, Humanities Research Institute, 6.30pm.

You can download all the cool upcoming lectures here. The Department’s 65th Anniversary page is here. And of course the main page of the Department is here.

And here are some photos of Sheffield (just because I love it there as I do) –

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(yes, the photo of the white building with the two blue doors is the Department home and Philip Davies requested to be able to use my snapshot for the Department page- which I was more than thrilled to grant).

The Launch of ‘Fortress Academic’

Comes this email today-

Building on a rich publishing history, Fortress Press is launching Fortress Academic—a new imprint for today’s academic landscape. With its launch, we’re expanding our publication programs and deepening our commitment to both the established and the emerging generation of authors. Our editorial team is actively seeking proposals for scholarly works in theology and biblical studies!  The best way to be published at Fortress Press is to start by answering four questions and submitting a few sample pages of your work. That’s all it takes.  Click below to start a conversation with our editors.  Are you ready to be read?

Publishers and their ‘Expiring’ Digital Review Copies

I’ve done a few reviews of books sent electronically and I really don’t mind doing so but I don’t think I’ll do any more.  Why?  Because publishers are now in some cases sending electronic editions which expire after 30 or so days.

So what ends up happening is that one receives an electronic copy and works through it only to end up, when all is said and done, with ‘nothing to show for it’.

Publishers send books to reviewers, to journals, and to biblical studies specialists because they want word getting out about their newest offerings and with the implicit understanding that the work of doing the review is recompensed by retention by the reviewer of the book reviewed.

When one reviews electronic books to which access is cut off after a month the publisher, in effect, gets the book publicized gratis.  It’s very clever, but it leaves me cold and, again, I think I will bypass any future offers to review books I’m not going to be able to use beyond 30 days.

An Open Letter to the Emmanuel Christian Seminary Concerning Christopher Rollston

To Whom it May Concern,

I cannot, at the present moment in time, imagine why Christopher Rollston has come under fire from certain quarters simply because his views are intelligent, refined, dignified, honest, truthful, insightful, brilliant, and recognized around the world as authoritative.

If I may, to help you see things from a broader perspective, point out to you several facts which you should certainly be aware of:

1- Professor Rollston is widely and universally positively regarded and highly respected by his peers, colleagues, and even opponents in the academic world.  You are, and I assure you of the truth of this fact, blessed, in every sense of that word, to have him on your faculty.  Let me say that again, you are blessed to have him there.

2- His anemically unintellectual attacker should be ashamed of himself for his cowardly and underhanded manipulative attempts to persuade you otherwise.  No one brings more to the table than Chris when it comes to honest and genuinely useful interpretation of the linguistic facts.  Certainly not his enemy in this case!

3- If you were to survey people in the field of epigraphy and ask them whose opinion and interpretation they trust, Chris’s name will come up, I guarantee, in the top three every time and most likely his will be the first name mentioned.

In this, a humble – open – public – and plain letter I appeal to you to see with open eyes that the only motivation behind this scurrilous, shameful, scandalous attack on Prof. Rollston is crass and disreputable sub-Christian jealousy, impure and simple.

Therefore I urge you, in the plainest language possible, to stand up for Prof. Rollston publicly, loudly, and immediately.  Your reputation as an institution of higher learning is at stake.

If you stand by and allow this contemptible attack to continue unanswered, I can faultlessly assert that you will be seen as a school where petty jealousy determines policy, and that, dear friends, would be a true and authentic tragedy.

Yours most sincerely,

Jim West, ThD
Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies, Quartz Hill School of Theology
Pastor, Petros Baptist Church

[Please do feel free, dear reader, to send a letter of your own to the Dean and the President and others at the Seminary as you see fit.  You can contact them here].

Lecture Announcement: The Bible and the Arts

Likewise, from Viv,

On Wednesday Oct 24th, Cheryl Exum will speak on ‘A Role for the Arts in Biblical Studies‘.   This lecture will be held at Sheffield University, as part of the ongoing series celebrating the anniversary of the school. The full programme can be seen at: http://www.shef.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.200076!/file/65th_Anniversary_Programme_Updated_July_2012.pdf

Those Attending SBL / AAR in Chicago Must Go By the University of Chicago Library…

For a special exhibition

Swiss Treasures: From Biblical Papyrus and Parchment to Erasmus, Zwingli, Calvin, and Barth:  Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, September 21, 2012 – December 14, 2012

This exhibition displays historical Biblical texts and modern manuscripts in Biblical studies drawn from eight libraries and archives in seven Swiss cities (Fribourg, Cologny, Lausanne, Geneva, St. Gallen, Zurich, and Basel). The display of highlights from these Swiss institutions marks the joint annual meetings in Chicago in November 2012 of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion.

With many thanks to Adrian Schenker for mentioning it.

A Noteworthy Day

Today marks the birth anniversary of that brilliant, gutsy, pugilistic, and uncompromising scholar of the Hebrew Bible, Niels Peter Lemche.

Surely you know his work.  Surely you must.  And if you don’t, well now, you must familiarize yourself!  Off with you then- go buy and read one of his many informative and provocative publications.

And until you do, here are some slides of my friend and his environment:

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(Photos are copyright me, and may not be reused or duplicated in any way)

It’s The August Biblioblog Carnival! The ‘Look, There’s a List of Biblioblog Twitterers’ Edition

Naturally what that means is that posts from August are herein featured and perforce so too are some of those who twitter.*

I hope I’ve not missed any of the best of the best but I may have so I recommend that you skip on over to this Twitter list of bibliobloggers and you can follow them in real time as they post their golden nuggets of wisdom and insight.  [And if you’re a self declared biblioblogger and twitter-er and wish to be on the list, drop me a note][NB- Inclusion on the list isn’t a personal endorsement by yours truly.  Some of those on the list are just purveyors of rubbish nonsense but you might like them (if you have a sadly twisted sense of truth and falsehood or enjoy the self promoters)].

Hebrew Bible

You may not be familiar with Chuck Grantham but he does ‘notes’ on biblical texts which folk ought to drop in on.  In August his set on Judges is nicely written.

John Gentry showed that Sirach prophesied modern America’s gluttony and described how to avoid that particular sin…  🙂

Tim Bulkeley investigated a bit of Jeremiah (the best prophet of them all and way, way more interesting than Paul or Peter or James or Matthew or Mark or Luke…).  Tim also has a new book out you might want to take a look at titled ‘Not Only a Father‘.  It is…

… a new kind of book. (Though paperback copies of Not Only a Father are available.) A book you discuss with others, and with the author, as you read. It is available as a print edition (conventional “book”).  You can if you wish read a paper copy and then write comments or ask questions here :).  In each chapter and section there are small blue speech bubbles to the right of every paragraph. Click on them to see what others have said or to comment or ask questions yourself. If you have friends reading this book you can use the “Comments by user” link in the top menu to see what they have contributed to the discussion.

James Tabor discussed the recent attempts of a Jewish scholar to ‘correct’ the biblical text.  An essay worth reading, and considering.

The current edition of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament appeared, with a number of interesting contributions, blogged here.  Reading journals is a great way to keep up with the current thinking on various subjects.  Every scholar and interested lay-person should be an avid journal reader (and book-reviewer, I should also add).

Julian Freeman offers Christians some guidelines for reading Old Testament narratives.  I don’t think our Jewish friends will find them very useful, but relatively conservative Christians may well do.  Although I have to say, if taken too seriously his suggestions may tend to eisegesis; so maybe these are really ways of reading the Old Testament that should probably be used only with the utmost care.

Dave Jenkins gives the theodicy question a go.  A long go.  A very long go.  Very, very lonnnggggggggg…..  But you should set aside a couple of days to read it.

Christian Brady took a look at the two fellows who went down to Moab-land and found themselves some foreign type wives and what God did to them for their Wanderlust…  Nice work, young Mr. Dr. Prof. Brady.

Jose Ayrton de Silva recommends some things that Erhard Gerstenberger has published.  Gerstenberger is fantastic and anytime anyone points folk to his work, I’m thrilled to pass it along.

Giant Remnants have a look at the upcoming film about Noah.  It’s a gigantic(ly) interesting (for the most part) post.

Otherwise, the Hebrew Bible people were pretty quiet.  They must be taking a Summer Sabbatical.  שבת-שלום  to them.

New Testament

Craig Benno did a little ‘review-let’ of Witherington’s commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians.  He seemed to like it.  Evidently in it Witherington suggests that Saul changed his name to Paul because “Saulos has connotations of how a prostitute walks”.  Such a reading really makes no sense at all and seems to have first come into the mind of Leary and seen the light of day in an essay in New Testament Studies.  I prefer Lumby’s sane explanation (and, yes, that does imply that Leary’s isn’t) –

At this point we first meet the name by which the great Apostle is best known throughout the Christian Church, and many reasons have been given why he assumed this name, and why at this time. Some have thought that the name was adopted from the proconsul’s, his first convert of distinction, but this is utterly alien to all we know of the character of St Paul, with his sole glory in the cross of Christ. Far more likely is he to have been attracted to it, if it were not his before, by the meaning of the Latin word (paullus = little, see Ter. And. 1. 5. 31; Adelph. 5. 4. 22), and its fitness to be the name of him who called himself the least of the Apostles. But perhaps he did only what other Jews were in the habit of doing when they went into foreign lands, and chose him a name of some significance (for the Jews were fond of names with a meaning) among those with whom he was about to mix. Dean Howson (Life and Letters of St Paul, I. p. 164) compares Joses—Jason; Hillel—lulus, and probably the similarity of sound did often guide the choice of such a name, and it may have been so with the Apostle’s selection.  J.R. Lumby, The Acts of the Apostles. Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (241–242). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Furthermore, if you want to read a real commentary on 1 Corinthians, I highly recommend this one.  (Oh don’t look so surprised, you knew I was going to work him in somehow).  Another great commentary is Gordon Fee’s.  Coincidentally, Joel Green likes Fee’s volume a lot as well, as he mentions in an interview he gave on the Logos blog.

The always precious Carl Sweatman wrestled with Wrede.  You may not know this but Wrede was a German so he could easily take any pasty skinned Brit coming his way or even easier, an ex-pat American turned pasty skinned Brit.  It’s a fine post, truly.

Mike Kok, the Canadian Carl Sweatman (if you have ever met Mike you know what I mean) is taken with the Gospel of Mark and he posted in August this interesting piece on that little book.  He’ll give you something to cogitate.  (And yes, that’s the little fellow.  We invited him to have lunch in Sheffield a couple of years ago when I was passing through for SOTS).

Anthony LeDonne announced a Conference on the Historical Jesus.  Sure, he did it here, but honestly where else is he going to do it where it will be seen?  Joel’s Blog?  Bahahahahahaha….  But seriously it looks like a great opportunity so if you’re in Ohio you might want to show up.

Andrew Fulford has some interesting things to say – in dialogue with Winter – about 1 Cor 7.  It’s here.

Brian Davidson has news of a new Greek Grammar coming soon.  He seems to be very excited about it.  I like Robertson’s huge 1100+ page monster but kids these days don’t have attention spans sufficient to grapple with that one.  Kids these days….

Also in the ‘things Greek’ category, Dan Wallace had an interesting snippet on the proper pronunciation of Koine.  You know, the old ‘Erasmian’ pronunciation v. some other silly system thing that seems to make the rounds every decade or so.  His remarks about Blass are especially noteworthy.  Wallace also makes the sad, sad announcement that codex 1799 has died.  Or rather, has suffered demise.  Demisement?  Demising?  It’s shuffled off this mortal coil.

The good folk at Oxford have initiated a new project to get those mountains of Oxyranchus Papyri transcribed and translated.  And they are asking for your help.  You can discover the details here.

The vaguely familiar Nijay Gupta (whom I always, in my mind, call Sanjay but not Sanjia) wrote a fine, albeit brief, review of a book about some guy named Paul.  Ugh.  With Chris Tilling’s book on Paul appearing this month it’s just all more Paul than any of us should have to endure.  More John, less Paul!

Dom Mattos ran a contest (and if you RUSH right over you still might have a chance to enter) on the T&T Clark blog.  I’ll let you find out for yourself what it’s about.  Just a hint:  think Jesus, and his milieu.

Luke Wisley (not to be confused with Ron Weasley) posted a short notice on a roundtable discussion of Michael Licona’s book on the resurrection of Jesus.  I’ve added a link to the blogroll to Luke’s page- he’s moving to Edinburgh to study.  We’re expecting big things from him.

Cliff Kvidahl posts ever so briefly on the forthcoming edition of the Greek New Testament called NA28 and its adoption of a reading in Jude which Cliff is overjoyed with (over, about).  It does indeed look like a fantastic revision.  And it even has its own website.

Johnson Thomaskutty has an intriguing post on Paul and women (featuring Dom Crossan). If you missed it (and face it, you probably did), give it a read.  You may well have not read James McGrath’s post on the scanner as mark of the beast lunacy  (and that suggestion has been around as long as scanners have been around) but you should.  Just don’t trip over the popup ads which festoon Patheos.  And after you read it, be sure to run your virus scanning software because popups are evil and are probably themselves the mark of the beast.

James Crossley made an indecent proposal.  Vintage James.  It’s just got to be read.  And yes, it has to do with Biblical Studies.

Larry Schiffman addressed the always intriguing question of ‘who is a Jew’.  And speaking of Larry…

Dead Sea Scrolls

In August Lawrence Schiffman took up the blogging pen and the twitter quill and commenced to join the happy family of biblioblogging twitterers.  He’s – it goes without saying – worth reading.  He also posted a document on the whole Raphael Golb fiasco which you can, and must, read here.

Jim Tabor (who recently seems to have come to the conclusion that regular blogging is something worth doing- because he’s been doing it a lot) took a look at a phrase in the Scrolls also alluded to by, he asserts, Jesus as, he asserts, recorded by Q.  It’s a quite interesting thought.  He may be on to something.

Geza Vermes appeared on BBC Radio with Paul McCarthy, as we learn here.

And ASOR announced that in September on the ASOR blog the focus will be the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran.  Jodi Magness and James Charlesworth are contributing, along with Stephen Pfann.  It will be worth checking out.


There was yet another round of ‘the Lead Codices’ from Jordan need a fresh view’ led by Margaret Barker (whose various idiosyncratic views stand to gain support if the codices are legitimate).  But Jim Davila expressed himself rather forcefully on the subject to the contrary.

In Israel an archaeologist discussed what she believes to be the discovery of the oldest matches yet uncovered.  It’s a really interesting story and it proves that sometimes things aren’t what we first imagine them to be.  And a young guy who dug this Summer shares his experience on the ASOR blog.  See, digging in dirt isn’t just for 3 year olds!

Bob Cargill shared a video with the gang- it’s an impromptu lecture at Azekah on lmlk seals.  Alas, poor lmlk, we knew him well…  Oh, and Bob also posted a cooler video– of his little boy taking those important first steps.    He’s a smart little guy and adorable too.  He gets all that from his mom.

David ‘The Canuck’ Meadows had a great post titled ‘The iPad in Archaeology‘.  Who knew that Goliath didn’t just have a big bowl and spoon, but an iPad too!  (At least, I think that’s what the post is about.  You’ll have to read it for yourself).

Antonio Lombatti says, concerning Bethsaida- Bethsaida, la città di Andrea e Filippo citata diverse volte nel Nuovo Testamento e promossa a polis da Erode Filippo I nel 30 d.C., è al centro di numerosi scavi. E si cercano sempre fondi per finanziare la costosa campagna archeologica.  I like Antonio and his work.  I call him, when I’m sitting in the living room and watching ‘Mythbusters’, “Antonio the Mythbuster Lombatti”.  #Fact.

Aren Maeir announced the good news about the City of David excavation report.  I sure wish they’d find a seal with a great inscription about David at an undisturbed layer in an untouched square.  Seriously.  He also announced the dates for the 2013 Gath excavation season.

Miscellaneous Stuff

Phil Long is now the master host of the Biblioblog Carnival and he kicked off his reign as Lord and Grand Potentate on 1 August with this really brilliant contribution.

James Crossley offered a conference announcement at Leeds.  Ah, Reception History, you’re all the rage.   There’s another conference announcement that was made in August (for something happening 1-2 September, so there’s not much time for you to fly to Australia for it) by the Mustache that looks like a giant ferret.

Brian LePort discussed Jack Levison’s book on the Holy Spirit.  Who doesn’t love a good discussion of the Holy Spirit (except the pentebabbleists who would rather babble and blather about their only interests- pseudo-healings and pseudo-languages).

Mark Goodacre looked upwards, and sideways, in order to discover how blogs, or more particularly, biblioblogs, interact these days.  These dark, dark, dark dreadful days of darkness and, I might add, nightfall.  How we all pine for the grand old days when there were only 10 biblioblogs and none of them were authored by those pesky ‘feel good’ women folk or the angry atheists or the rabble rousing trouble-making political activists.  Darn-it I’ve digressed.  Mark’s post is thoughtful and forward looking and it deserves your attention.  As does everything Mark writes.  Except, of course, for his dismissal of Q.  THAT’S just the crazy talk of a man who spends too much time watching cricket!

Dave Jenkins takes a brief look at the history of the church and the process of the canonization of the biblical books.  It’s pretty good, though a bit too fawning of the Church Fathers.  (The Fathers, except for Jerome, what a wretched lot of weirdos).

On the ‘mythicist’ front Joel Watts takes someone named Dick Carrier to the woodshed for his (apparent) dreadful inability to comprehend basic ideas concerning texts.  The ever-growing discussion of the mythicists and their bad thinking will, I think, be finally put to rest when Maurice Casey publishes his book on the subject.  I hope so anyway.  Mythicists are as tiresome as the peddlers of the ‘Lead Codices’.

Speaking of the bizarre, Rod Thomas’s post on some comic book (and his ability to wrest something worth discussing from the most banal rubbish) is ‘interesting’ reading.  Why, you ask, do I mention it if I think little of it?  Because, tiny pilgrim, I understand that what doesn’t interest me may – for some godless reason – interest others.

And when it comes to the really bizarre- we have the angry atheists.  Christian Brady, always a delight and a half to read, offers some observations on the atheist on atheist violence taking place these days.  The fetid angry atheists; they’re devouring themselves.  I can’t really say it saddens me (but that’s a strictly editorial comment).

Chris Tilling gives readers a chance to take a quiz; because, heaven knows, students don’t take enough quizzes and Profs don’t have enough of quizzing either.  Still, it’s a fun quiz because it includes Bultmann- the greatest New Testament exegete of all time bar none.

Sadly, Marvin Meyer passed away in August.  First mention came here.  Shockingly, the Telegraph posted an obituary that was gross plagiarism!  Mark Goodacre has all the sordid details.  We also lost Carlo Martini, a very, very fine biblical scholar and a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.  He will be missed by progressive Catholics and biblical scholars alike.

But on the up side, August 20th was the anniversary of the birth of the greatest New Testament scholar of all time, Rudolf Karl Bultmann.  And that’s the way life is.  We celebrate birth’s and we lament deaths.  Even in the realm of biblical scholarship (and even if the media doesn’t ever notice, given, as it is, to it’s fawning over pseudo-celebrity).

Your friend and mine Eric Cline celebrates his birthday today- September 1.  ‘Great Archaeology’ has a little bio….  (see here for the backstory to this little tiny snippet of mockery… you’ll see what I mean- for this is the picture of Eric that that silly site posted.  I reduplicate it here in case they have by now changed it.  Which they should have done!).  Anyway, happiest of Birthday’s, Eric!

Finally it grieves my tender, gentle spirit to note the passing of Maire Byrne’s blog.  It died on August 19, 2011.   Mit Brennenden Sorge

But it gives me cause to rejoice that Michael Pahl (all the old timer bloggers know him) is back to blogging.  Yeah.

Gentle souls and wandering pilgrims, fleeting swallows and rampaging ravens- I hope your visit has been a delight.  Now off with you.


*Naturally all who feel slighted or offended, or who are hurt in any way whatsoever either because they were included or ignored or because some of the descriptions above are ‘colorful’, need simply file a complaint with the BBC’s Standards division for a full refund of their purchase price.

It’s The Birth Anniversary of Sigmund Mowinckel

Sigmund Mowinckel, Scandinavian Old Testament scholar extraordinaire, was born on the 4th of August in 1884.  Most famous for his work on the Psalms, he authored many very useful volumes my favorite of which is The Old Testament as Word of God.  It’s what we call down here a ‘page-turner’.  Brittanica writes

Educated at the University of Oslo (then Kristiania), Mowinckel spent his life from 1917 teaching there. His greatest contribution was in cultic-religious history. He conducted substantial research into the motivation for the psalms and in the practice of worship in ancient Israel. He wrote Psalmenstudien, 6 vol. (1921–24; “Studies in the Psalms,” later popularized as The Psalms in Israel’s Worship, 1962), one of the major works of biblical commentary of the 20th century. Depicting the psalms in their concrete cultural milieu, he emphasized the cultic nature of their origin and development.

My first encounter with Mowinckel was in a grad school, in OT Introduction.  His ‘Psalms in Israel’s Worship’ amazed me.  It still does.  And so do his other works.  Give him a look if you’ve not heard of him.

40 So Far

As of a few minutes ago the ‘Biblioblogger’ twitter list includes 40 self described bibliobloggers.  You’re, again, welcome to let me know if you’d like to be included.  The list is here.  Feel free to subscribe.  And if ANYONE knows how I can add myself to the list I’d be grateful.

I’m aiming for the list to be as inclusive as possible so that everyone (who seems sane and who has a blog related to the Bible) is added.  This list may, I think, help those interested in biblical studies and related things keep up with what the bibliobloggers are doing.

So, again, if you’d be so kind as to help spread the word- both of the list’s existence and the ‘open call’ for inclusion I’d be indebted (though not so indebted as to send you money).

Some New Arrivals for Review

These have all been sent by the goodly Niels Peter Lemche for review in the Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament.  The reviews, when they appear in due course, will appear there (in the pages of the best Journal for Old Testament studies).

The Politics of Pessimism in Ecclesiastes (I have the paperback SBL edition).
Reading Daniel as a Text in Theological Hermeneutics.
Gender Issues in Ancient And Reformation Translations of Genesis 1-4.

They all look like great fun.  More in due course in the pages of SJOT.