Biblioblog Carnival—October 2013

Fall—the most wonderful time of the year for biblical scholars! As the cool breeze refreshes our soul, anticipatory delight lifts our spirits and carries us over the mountains of unmarked papers. The road to the annual meeting is filled with sleepless nights, and the gutters flow full of blood-red ink. But fear not, my fellow laborers! Baltimore is on the horizon! Lift your drooping head, and take heart! SBL is less than a month away!

2013Baltimore_400SBL Information

Twitter Hashtag: #SBLAAR

Annual meeting app: New to the app? See Brian Renshaw’s introductory tour de force.

Jim West can help you get to the Baltimore Convention Center from the BWI airport.

This year’s Bibliobloggers Gathering will be on Monday evening. You have an opportunity to vote on where we will meet. Many thanks to Brian LePort for organizing this!

E-listers meeting info via Jim West

The Evangelical Textual Criticsim dinner will take place on Sunday night at the Hard Rock Café in the “Beatles’ Library.”

One more note: the family of SBL fonts is now complete with the release of SBL BibLit, a new unicode font that combines SBL Greek and SBL Hebrew with a new latin font designed to meet all your transliteration needs. If you download and install the font correctly, you will see all the English, Greek, and Hebrew on this site in SBL BibLit. If you have not installed this font, the English on this site appears in Georgia.

ANE / OT / Intertestamental Literature


Hands down, the blog post of the month goes to Deane Galbraith, who has summarized every post which has appeared on the Remnant of Giants blog over the past three years—jaw-dropping work.

Tom Verenna, in the spirit of Halloween, points us to “a few examples from Classical, Jewish, and Christian sources that involve tales of the haunted, the horror-ible.”

Joseph Kelly posted a “core bibliography” for understanding “intertextuality in biblical studies.” Hint: it’s a theory, not a method. Joseph states,

Writing an “intertextual” analysis or using the “method of intertextuality” has become a veritable rite of passage for scholars in biblical studies, as though this were a well established critical practice in our discipline. Unfortunately this is not the case, and those who use the term are entering, often unwittingly, into an academic battleground for which they are ill equipped. Intertextuality is a contested term, and those who use it would do well to understand the nature of the controversy at hand. The literature on this subject is vast, spanning countless works in literary theory and biblical studies. Below, I have compiled a core bibliography that represents essential studies within the two fields.

46270_10151138990855662_693194002_n (1)Seth Sanders posted an abstract of his forthcoming paper on how and why Mesopotamian exorcists embodied their ancestors.

Jim West links to Thomas Römer’s “The Creation of Humans and their Multiplication: A Comparative Reading of Athra-Hasis, Gilgamesh XI and Genesis 1:6-9.”

James Tabor reflects on the portrayal of Yahweh in Genesis 18 as “three men” and ponders how this might affect our understanding of divine communication in other passages. He also provides a selected bibliography of ancient and modern apocalypticism.

Strawberry patch planted by Deane Galbraith and his daughter

Abram K-J graces us once again with his monthly Septuagint Soirée. Thanks, Abram!

Jim Hamilton posted some thoughts from Jason Parry on the development of the OT canon, and a fascinating discussion ensued. The conversation continued with a follow-up post, which has a long comment thread of its own.

Jim Hamilton and Patrick Schreiner also had a multi-post conversation about authorial intent and the NT’s use of the Old Testament. See Jim’s original postPatrick’s response, and then here and here.

Lawrence Schiffman finished his four part series on “Body and Soul, Purity and Impurity” and began a new series looking at “Purity as Separation.” He also made available two pdf e-booksThe Jews in Late Antiquity and Challenge and Transformation: Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism.

Jim West links to Jacob Wright’s freely available online course on the Bible’s prehistory, purpose, and political future.

Jared Calaway asks and answers the question “Does 1 Maccabees critique the Hasmoneans?” (ht: Jim Davila)

Language / Textual Criticism

51HdXnODDrLIn five short posts, Stephen Carlson takes a look at A.T. Robertson’s view of the Greek verbal system.

Rod Decker summarizes an article by John Lee, in which Lee critiques three lexica: Trenchard’s, Newman’s (rev.), and Danker’s.

By the way, Rod also notes that Danker’s Concise Lexicon is more than half-off right now. I missed this sale last year and kicked myself for it. Didn’t make the same mistake this time. Thanks for the heads-up!

Kris, over at Old School Scripts, considers to what extent linguistics can inform our exegesis and wonders whether there is any pragmatic motivation for the switch from clause initial παντα ταυτα to clause initial ταυτα παντα in Matthew 6:31. He would also like to hear your thoughts on how to best translate into good idiomatic English πασαν χαραν in James 1:2.

Jim West reports the discovery of a “curse tablet” in Jerusalem, via Antonio Lombatti, who links to the original article found here.

originalChristian Brady shows us some extraordinary scribal marginalia.

Alin Suciu shares some thoughts on editing Coptic literary fragments (ht: Jim Davila). Alin also hosts a guest post in which Nils Arne Pedersen and John Møller Larsen describe (high-res pics included) some newly (re)discovered Manichaean fragments in Syriac.

Dirk Jongkind had several noteworthy posts this month. He wonders whether ms. 197 (pictures included) might not be better classified as a majuscule, rather than a minuscule. He asks for feedback on an idea that he had to cut from his SBL paper: Do the global stemmas produced by the Coherence Based Genealogical Method imply that manuscipt groups have a single voice, one of the very things this method intends to avoid? He illustrates several instances of peculiar grammar in Revelation and wonders how to effectively introduce this to beginning Greek classes.

Minuscule 2077 Rev 9 2 Sun

Dirk also showed us manuscripts in which “a curious little drawing” is used instead of the word ηλιος.

Brice Jones notes a textual variant in John 17:1 that is not included in NA28. He reports the recent discovery of a Coptic Gospel fragment at Yale and shows us the newly discovered earliest manuscript of Justin Martyr P.Oxy. 5129. Images are included in each post.

Jim West links to Greek and Coptic fonts and keyboards for papyrologists.

NT / Patristics

100_2119.jpgShawn Wilhite has posted a list of journals related to New Testament and Christians Origins. He lists them according to the categories used by Nijay Gupta in his book Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guide For Getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and Beyond.

Philip Jenkins asks and answers the question, “What is a gospel?

Anthony Le Donne discusses modern perceptions of Jesus’ view of women.

Michael Kruger considers whether the Gospel of Mark present Jesus as God and concludes,

In the end, Mark’s use of these OT passages is rather stunning.  Rather than seeing Jesus as merely human, Mark wastes no time presenting Jesus as the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise to come visit his people.

This post incited a response from James McGrath (Kruger responds and McGrath one more time) and Joel Watts.

565px-CaravaggioSalomeLondonBrian LePort links to several posts on the Synoptic Problem (including Nijay Gupta’s Was Matthew Trying to Replace Mark?). Brian also highlights Luke’s unique take on the relationship between  John and Jesus (and their disciples) and discusses several books about John the Baptist.

Larry Hurtado introduces English readers to Jens Schröter and highlights the significance of the work of H. A. A. Kennedy. Be sure to check out Hurtado’s post “Peer Review and Biblical Studies Scholarship.” Regarding peer review, he concludes,

It’s not glamorous, and it doesn’t typically hit the press or TV. It doesn’t typically generate big royalties or public speaking fees. But, for those who care to follow discussions of a given subject that are more reliable and worth the time, this is the kind of work, and these are the kinds of people who count.

Hurtado discusses his views on early devotion to Jesus in two posts this month: Did Jesus Demand to be Worshipped? and Earliest Jesus-Devotion and Putative “Parallels”. Last but not least, be sure to check out his dropkick of a response to the speculation that the Roman government invented Christianity.

FantasmiIn fact, the words “Joe Atwill” haunted the blogs this month. Tom Verenna and others responded. See “No, Joe Atwill: Rome Did Not Invent Jesus” and the links at the bottom of the post.

Mark Goodacre relays his initial reaction to Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson’s forthcoming “lost Gospel” book. In a follow up, he and Richard Bauckham consider whether this “lost Gospel” might not in fact be “a section from Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor featuring a Syriac text of Joseph and Aseneth as well as the correspondence that prefaces it.”

Abram K-J wonders about the similarities between Sirach 35 and Luke 18.

Tony Burke has a host of posts introducing and reflecting on the 2013 York Christian Apocrypha Symposium.

Mike Skinner has a two part response to Mark Driscoll’s interpretation of violent imagery in Scripture. See here and here. Daniel Motley shares some thoughts on “new pacifist” readings of Scripture.

Chad Chambers posts on Paul’s apocalyptic imagination: the “Martyn school.”

Ferrell Jenkins describes (pictures included) an inscription discovered (ca. 1929) in Corinth that might shed light on the name Erastus in Acts 19:22, Romans 16:23, & 2 Timothy 4:20. Several of his other posts from this month describe and illustrate places related to the Bible.

Anthony Le Donne, Chris Tilling, et al. demonstrated the type of scholarly conversation that can take place on Facebook. Chris wonders how Jens Schröter’s historiography moves beyond Bultmann’s position on the historical Jesus, tags a few people, and there you have it.

NT WrightTox_deadly.svgN.T. Wright’s new tome on Paul is shipping, but as Chris Tilling explains, BEWARE! This publication is deadly.

Nijay Gupta posted a link to a lecture in which Wright discusses the project.

Joel Willitts wonders if it is appropriate to say Paul “reconfigured” Judaism around Jesus.

Mike Heiser surveys “morning star” in the OT before turning to the use of the phrase in 2 Peter and Revelation.

Lawrence Schiffman discusses New Testament texts that speak to the topic of “purity as separation.”

Peter Kirby posted a table of christological titles in early Christian writings. Peter also argues that, throughout Revelation, “the great city” is Rome. One more: see this post where he notes several characteristics of 1 Clement.

Smoke’em if you got’em!

As he is working through Peter Martens’ Origen and Scripture, Brian Renshaw reflects on the role of prayer in Origen’s exegetical endeavors.

James Tabor cites a host of primary sources showing ways in which Romans thought about Christians.

The University of Edinburgh School of Divinity posted a video of Judith Lieu’s recent lecture on “Marcion and the Corruption of the Gospel” (ht: James McGrath).

Shawn Wilhite highlights a few resources on “patristic intertextuality.”


Krista Dalton reflects on a connection between the pope and ancient rabbis.

Michael Bird links to Lynn Cohick’s CT interview in which she discusses the pros and cons of being a female biblical scholar.

Peter Kirby posted the top 225 biblioblogs by linkage.

Jim West links to the report of a newly discovered Hittite Tablet and notes that Israel Finkelstein’s new book The Forgotten Kingdom: The Archaeology and History of Northern Israel (SBL, 2013) is freely available online as a pdf. Jim points us to the John Rylands Library online collection of Genizah manuscripts and Tyndale House’s listing of online journals for biblical and theological studies. He has also posted his monthly sectarian edition “minimalist edition” of the biblioblog carnival 🙂 Do check it out. It seems our carnivals are quite complementary this month.

tel danOn the ASOR blog, George Athas highlights (with pictures!) what’s new in biblical inscriptions.

Joshua Mann interviewed fourteen scholars about their take on the pros and cons of academic blogging. A link to each interview is available here.

Lea Mazor’s blog features Emanuel Tov’s updated list of electronic tools for the study of the Hebrew Bible.

Accordance for Windows is finally here! See Rod Decker’s blog for a glowing endorsement. I’ll be posting a review here on LXXI in a few months, as well.

Book Reviews

lxx.na28Abram K-J reviewes the new Biblia Graeca (Rahlfs LXX + NA28 bound together).

Michael Bird posts a portion of Craig Evans’ review of Hal Taussig’s New New Testament (there is no typo in this sentence).

Dan Wallace describes his forthcoming Reader’s Lexicon of the Apostolic Fathers.

Joel Watts reviews the NA28-NRSV-REB diglot.

Michael Bird reviews Anthony Le Donne’s The Wife of Jesus: Ancient Texts and Modern Scandals. Jim West frames the book as a masterful work of reception history. Brian LePort considers it a model of sound historical scholarship.

Bird also shares a few thoughts on Michael Law’s “Septuagint Bonanza,”

Jim considers the IVP Concise Atlas of Bible History a helpful, but not scholarly, work. Joel Watts is a little less critical, and he includes more pictures.

iranian-talmud-book-image-198x300Alan Brill interviews Shai Secunda about his new book The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli in Its Sasanian Context

Brian LePort posted several reviews: volume 2 of The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. James Charlesworth) in Logos Bible software, Catherine M. Murphy’s John the Baptist: Prophet of Purity for a New Ageinitial thoughts about Michael Bird’s recently released Evangelical Theology, as well as a round-up of scholarly journals and reviews.

Shaun Tabatt interviewed David Baker about his new Isaiah volume in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary.

In two posts (Part 1Part 2), Joshua Paul Smith reviewed Larry Hurtado’s At the Origins of Christian Worship.

curridMike Heiser reivewed Candida Moss’s The Myth of Persecution.

Nijay Gupta reviewed Scot McKnight’s Sermon on the Mount commentary and introduces the second edition of The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels.

Andrew King reviewed John Currid’s Against the Gods: The Polemical Theology of the Old Testament.

I commented on the benefit of having Robert Doran’s 2 Maccabees Hermeneia commentary in Logos Bible Software.

Until Next Time

101_2432 (1)Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the show. As you can see, I certainly did! If you would like to host the carnival on your blog, contact Phil Long—the grand master of the carnival. A complete listing of biblioblog carnivals is available here and every official biblioblog is listed here.

Be sure to check out last month’s carnival if you missed it.  Mitch Chase will be our host next month.

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