As John the Baptist was one crying out in the desert, pointing people to the one who was greater, so too I, as a mere Amateur Exegete, am pointing to people who possess far greater knowledge of the biblical texts and related subjects than I have. So without further ado, the August 2019 Biblical Studies Carnival.
HEBREW BIBLE, LXX, AND ANCIENT NEAR EAST
- Claude Mariottini highlighted the music of the Yamma Ensemble which, among other things, puts the ancient psalms of Israel to music in beautiful renditions.
- A new edition of the book of Job is out from Yale University Press which includes a fresh translation by Edward Greenstein (PhD, Columbia University) as well an introduction and notes.
- And over at The Atlantic, James Parker has some thoughts on Greenstein’s new edition of Job.
- Jim Davila quotes from Paul K.-K.Cho’s Myth, History, and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible concerning the role of myth in the texts. I finished reading this book just a couple of months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.
- Should Transjordan be included as part of the “Promised Land”? Angela Roskop Erisman argues that the author of Numbers 32 would probably have said, “Yes!”
- Marg Mowczko compares the Holy Spirit and Eve in their role as “helpers,” concluding that things that are different are not the same. I’ve seen some try to equate the HS’s role as “helper” as Eve’s role as “helper” to make some profound spiritual point. Mowczko is a helpful correction on exegetical grounds.
- E.J. Pond resumes her analysis of the book of Genesis in the LXX, including diagramming the text. I first learned to do sentence diagramming in high school Honors English and then relearned it for Greek during my sophomore year in college. Tedious but useful!
- Andrew Perriman discusses the interpretation and reinterpretation of the Hebrew scriptures in the Second Temple period and beyond using the model of William Horbury. That model, Perriman writes, “is valuable because it highlights the importance of historical context both for the production and for the interpretation of the Jewish scriptures.”
- Jacob Prahlow continues his series examining the commentaries of the early Church father’s on the Psalms.
- William Ross reviews A Proverb a Day in Biblical Hebrew. Conclusion: buy it. Phil Long also reviewed it last month. Looks like it’s going on the wishlist!
- Twitter user @bibhistctxt continues his series on ancient Israelite origins, this time on the population decline and subsequent explosion during the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age. Also, if you haven’t checked out his YouTube channel, you’re missing out on some great videos of sites in the Holy Land.
- Neil Godfrey has been discussing/reviewing the monograph From Adapa to Enoch by Seth Sanders.
- Madeleine Mumcuoglu and Yosef Garfinkel talk about Solomon’s temple, a tenth century BCE shrine model found at Qeiyafa, and a ninth century temple found at Motza.
- Peter Gentry’s recent work on Ecclesiastes in the LXX is out and William Ross has an interview with him!
- Bob MacDonald, grieving the loss of a friend and having to help his son recover from an accident, contemplates Ecclesiastes and includes his own musical understanding of Psalm 24.
- Seth Price of the Can I Say This At Church? podcast interviews Robert Alter on biblical narrative, translation, and literalism.
NEW TESTAMENT AND EARLY CHRISTIANITY
- Last month, Larry Hurtado wrote a post indicating that he was continuing to battle leukemia and that he would not have time for blogging or scholarly endeavors. But he recently posted his contribution to a forthcoming volume on the origin of devotion to Jesus. More importantly, he stated that he is “still around and actually feeling better than expected, at least for now” and says “thanks” to those who had sent encouragement through the blog. This is certainly a welcomed development!
- Bill Heroman conducts a thought experiment concerning Jesus’ birth with the assumptions that 1) there is no God, 2) Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father, and 3) Joseph really tried to believe Mary’s account that God was Jesus’ father. As an atheist, I found this though provoking!
- Rob Bradshaw briefly discusses John Anthony Hort’s incomplete commentary on 1 Peter and quotes a section of it regarding the recipients of the epistle. And because of its “detailed exegesis,” Bradshaw contends it is a volume still worth consulting. (If only KJV-Only me from 15 years ago could see me now!)
- James McGrath has some thoughts on the Pericope Adulterae, including some comments on how this story has circulated in the Islamic world.
- J. David Stark has posted links to lectures from the Christian Scholar’s Conference hosted by Lubbock Christian University. He highlights two: John Fitzgerald on Greco-Roman and Christian advice on child rearing, and Brian Daley on Christ as the Wisdom of God as considered by the early Greek fathers. Heavy and heady stuff!
- If you aren’t a subscriber to the YouTube channel Koine Greek, you are missing out on their ongoing series dramatizing the Gospel of Mark with narration directly from the Greek text. I’ve really enjoyed it so far.
- Ian Mills has reviewed Margaret Mitchell’s Paul and the Emergence of Christian Textuality: Early Christian Literary Culture in Context.
- The Left Behind crowd has used and abused 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 over the years. But what does the text mean? Alex at the website Scribes of the Kingdom considers this text along with other passages from the NT and Hebrew Bible that speak of “gathering” people. For him, 1 These 4:15-17 is a “functional eschatology” and that the gathering is to separate the godly from the ungodly and to evaluate believers. An interesting take!
- Is the New Testament antisemitic? This is the question taken up by Shmuley Boteach, a Jewish rabbi, in a recent piece over at The Jerusalem Post. Shmuley debated the ever-controversial evangelical Michael Brown recently on this question which can be viewed here.
- Speaking of antisemitism in the NT, Nijay Gupta addresses that question w/regards to 1 Thessalonians 2.
- Craig Keener graciously links to the work of Yeshaya Gruber and Keener’s discussion with him regarding the historical Jesus and his most recent book on the reliability of the Gospels.
- Nijay Gupta interviewed Keener too!
- Paul D. explains how ancient cosmology affected one’s theology. He begins with the view of the writers of the Hebrew Bible and their ANE counterparts and works his way down to the Second Temple period and the New Testament writers. A great summary and introduction to the topic!
- James McGrath responds to mythicist Raphael Lataster in the cleverly titled piece “Exorcising Mythicism’s Sky-Demons.”
- Jonathan Wright interviews M. David Litwa about his new book How the Gospels Became History: Jesus and Mediterranean Myths.
- And Michael Bird interacts with Litwa’s latest, offering some points of agreement and disagreement.
- Over at my blog, Chris H. wrote a piece comparing Inanna and Jesus in response to some fairly common Mythicist arguments.
- John Ehrett reviews the documentary Calvinist, a film which, among other things, portrays the resurgence of Calvinism among young evangelicals as a very positive thing.
- In keeping with the theme of Calvinism (sort of), Ben Blackwell linked to a YouTube video of clips from Forrest Gump that highlight the conflict between random chance and a sense of destiny. I’ve been watching Forrest Gump wrong all these years.
- Pete Enns interviews Cheryl Bridges John over at his podcast.
TEXTUAL CRITICISM AND BIBLICAL LANGUAGES
- Peter Montoro writes about the instability of Chrysostom’s text of the book of Romans, observing that “there is actually more variation between the various manuscript clusters of Chrysostom’s Romans Homilies than there is between the Textus Receptus and the NA28.” Wow!
- Daniel Wallace alerts us to a recent essay on decorated New Testament manuscripts.
- Michael Palmer links to some new dissertations on the conjunction γάρ.
- Bill Mounce has started a series about his work translating for the New International Version. His first post is a complaint of the overuse and misuse of the word “literal” with regard to Bible translation.
- Brent Nongbri alerts us to a recent collection of papers on the dating of ancient manuscripts which include his own work entitled “Paleographic Analysis of Codices from the Early Christian Period: A Point of Method.” As he notes, the papers are available for those with institutional access, but for the rest of us plebes, well, we will have to email him to get his paper.
- Ken Schneck has been reflecting on his years at Indiana Wesleyan University now that he is moving on to Houghton College. His first post in the series stands out (to me at least) because of his discussion of some time he spent in Sierra Leone as well as his brief encounter with Mr. Rogers!
- James Tabor invited me to go with him to the Israel next year! Okay, he invited everyone. But let’s not ruin a good story with the facts.
- Enemy of the Christian faith, Bart Ehrman, wrote a personal piece on his blog about how and why he is sometimes referred to as an enemy of Christianity.
- Eerdman’s posted an excerpt from A Christian and a Democrat: A Religious Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt by John Woolverton and James Bratt. In it, the authors compare and contrast the faith of Abraham Lincoln with that of Roosevelt, highlighting that Roosevelt’s God was not as remote as Lincoln’s.
- Tim O’Neill of History for Atheists takes popular New Atheist Aron Ra to task on the views of Augustine, particularly with regards to whether the author of City of God was a flat-earther.
And now, a word from Phil Long, the curator of all things Carnival:
Since I took over as the “keeper of the list” of Biblical Studies Carnivals in August 2012, I have tried to encourage new bloggers to host carnivals. I have tried to draw in more women as hosts, although that has not always been successful. If you are a new blogger, a graduate student or established scholar who is actively blogging, I would love to have you host a future carnival. Contact me if you are interested or have questions. Seriously….PLEASE email me (plong42 at gmail.com) or direct message on Twitter (@plong42) to volunteer.
October 2019 (Due November 1) – Gary Greenberg, Bible, Myth, and History
November 2019 (Due December 1) – Derek DeMars, Theology Pathfinder
December 2019 (Due January 1) – NO ONE! Wouldn’t you like to volunteer and get your website out there for all to see? Phil is always looking for someone to host future Carnivals and it is a great way to get your website/blog out into the aether!
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons.