September 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival Episode III: The Final Frontier as the Carnival Strikes Back

You’ve presumably seen episode I and episode II. The final installment of this carnival, like the later seasons of LOST, unveils what some of you suspected all along, its sci-fi character. And of course, fans of this carnival, like LOST fans, will debate endlessly whether the writer had this in mind from the outset or was just making it up as he went along…

Frankenstein

Steve Wiggins blogged about bad eggs…and Prometheus.

The Matrix

In the world of the Matrix, things seem real but are simulations. Tom Verenna pointed out that in David Elkington’s virtual world, real scholars don’t blog or use Facebook. Steve Caruso created a page with information about the simulated (i.e. forged) lead codices, showed derivation from known sources, and offered careful, detailed analysis of the characters on them. Dan McClellan highlighted Facebook dishonesty related to the Jordanian lead books, offered photos of the codices, and said that Steve beat and punched him…or something like that. One site about them has a definite sci-fi feel to it. It is also worth considering that buying lead codexes may be a bit like buying a wooden iPad.

Judy Redman blogged about the way the internet is changing research.

Luke Timothy Johnson recognizes the limitations of our knowledge of the past, and offers a vision of how to live in that matrix.

Jonathan Robinson blogged about Paul and Trinity. Ian Paul is reloading his matrix.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Suzanne discussed women, work and childbearing as well as the hoe culture. Scot McKnight discussed gender and social distinctions in the Bible. Danut Manastireanu blogged about complementarianism and egalitarianism. Aristotle and Genesis also had something to say on the subject, as J. K. Gayle blogged about sexism in Genesis. David Lamb discussed the debate between two men about gender on Her.meneutics.

April DeConick blogged about her forthcoming book, Holy Misogyny, and mentioned that it is available for Kindle.

Josh McManaway discussed Paul’s interpretation of the Ishmael and Isaac story.

Claude Mariottini blogged about honoring one’s mother. Michael Bird briefly considered Roman divorces. And gender in sci-fi and fantasy was also discussed, as was Dominionism.

Doctor Who

Without travelling back through time to understand the old perspective on Paul, you might not understand the new. Hence Phillip Long’s trip in the TARDIS. AKMA did some time travel too. David Pettigrew went back to look for the historical Erastus.

Some ancient things still come to light without time travel, such as the ancient churches in a BAR article which Andie linked to, and the Miriam ossuary which appears to be authentic (although that doesn’t mean that Fox News is reporting about it accurately). Others have been damaged and would require time travel to ever visit them again.

Paul Flesher discussed what a synagogue would have looked like in Jesus’ time. And a book by Ben Witherington began to get reviewed.

Planet of Giants

David and Goliath is going to be made into a movie; Remnant of Giants unsurprisingly provides many details (and brought Jonathan into the picture). Jim West picked a side in this famous fight.

Silence in the Library

Steve Caruso announced major innovations in the Biblioblog Reference Library, including a new journal and a new press! Bill Heroman blogged about Jesus’ so-called silent years.

The Rebel Flesh

An interaction with Klyde Snodgrass on the subject of identity in the New Testament.

The Impossible Astronaut Bible

Continuing the extensive blogging that took place throughout this month about The Bible Made Impossible, Scot McKnight responded to earlier reviews, such as that by Peter Leithartto which the author, Christian Smith, also responded.

Let’s Kill Hitler

Joel Willits had two posts on giving the wicked hell. Bob Cornwall discussed Paul’s universalism in Philippians (and Henry Neufeld discussed publishing the book Bob was reviewing).

Chris Heard had previously asked the oldest question in the universe (and really did care what you think). Bob McDonald and John Hobbins answered it. Silence will fall.

TRON

Flynn was digitized in a matter of seconds. Rome, on the other hand, wasn’t digitized in a day. Daniel Kirk had God become part of the story rather than remaining outside of it.

Battlestar Galactica

Undeception discussed why Protestants (but not others) demand a literal Adam and Eve (neither of whom was a Cylon). Mason explained why he cares about this. Genetic evidence should not be ignored or fuzzed up in considering the topicDanut Manastireanu considered the disagreement between Scot McKnight and Al MohlerRemnant of Giants also discussed a book surveying quests for Eden. And Religion Nerd mentioned several topics, including Adam and Even and the religion of Battlestar Galactica (on the latter see also this additional post). Matthew Malcolm could have illustrated his point by talking about church members wanting Gaius Baltar to be their pastor, but he went with Pontius Pilate instead. There will be a conference on the Christian Moses.

Dune

In the future envisaged by Dune, the Orange Catholic Bible serves as Scripture for some. Larry Hurtado blogged about the distinction between Scriptures and canon. Ricky Carvel discussed the question of how Paul’s letters may or may not have been edited to produce the form in which we know them today. Michael Patton discussed textual issues in Romans 5:1Mike Kok introduced redaction criticismThe British Library posted about the New Testament in Codex Sinaiticus. Eis Doxan mentioned scholarly editions of the Bible both in print and online. Andrew McGowan explained that the Bible is not a book. Randall Rauser ironically got accused of being a “Bible-hater.” Henry Neufeld discussed the importance of context.

A Canticle for Leibowitz

ETC reported on a fragment of 1 Corinthians that may be very early.

The Talmud Blog mentioned Hebrew manuscripts galore.

LOST

John Anderson published a book about Jacob. Deirdre Good has begun blogging about the Others (other scholars, that is).

Comic Books

Scientific Blogging compared Solomon to Shazam. Respondents to a survey attributed a Bible verse to Captain America.

G. I. Joe: The Revenge of Cobra

Stephen Prothero suggested that we need to disconnect God from natural phenomena.

Godzilla

Nicholas to Myra blogged about mythical creatures in the Bible and Church Fathers (HT Rantings of the Biscuitnapper)

Night of the Living Dead Bibliobloggers

Diglotting discussed the infamous zombies in the Gospel of Matthew. Thom Stark discussed ancient Judean concepts of afterlife (with the dead, much too quietly).

Star Wars

The Phantom Menace

Jeffrey Garcia told the back-story to the New Testament, focusing on Pharisees and Jesus & the Law.

Attack of the Clones

Doug Chaplin asked how unique Jesus’ summary of the law was.

The Empire Strikes Back

Marc Cortez offered advice from Yoda, as well as from himself, for students and padawans.

Kenny Paul Smith blogged about the blending of Star Wars and traditional terrestrial religions such as Christianity.

Star Trek

In a world where we have yet to develop replicator technology that could give us whatever we ask for and so eliminate poverty (the relationship of which to the Gospel got some discussion), Weekend Fisher pondered the relevance of the “reset” model provided by the Jubilee year. Even so, it may not lead to an egalitarian society.

After the invention of the universal translator, will everyone switch to using Greek and Hebrew Bibles? Until then, we still need translations, and BW16 blogged about Tom Wright’s not quite universal translation, followed by Sheffield Biblical Studies. Eis Doxan mentioned the REBOn the Main Line shared a Hebrew review of the Jerusalem Bible from 1956. Joel looked for Matthew’s assChris Heard asked which translations people are using in academic classes.

Language-learning resources likewise remain crucial. Chris Heard shared a poster explaining Hebrew prepositions. Dirk Jongkind blogged about Greek particles. Larry Hurtado discussed Martin Hengel’s emphasis on the importance of languages in New Testament study. And will technology ever be able to translate poetry?

If StarFleet already existed in San Francisco, Jim West could have appealed to them to provide space for our bibliobloggers’ gathering.

JohnDave Medina blogged about the mission of the Word in the Fourth Gospel to explore strange new worlds.

“Mirror, Mirror”

C. Sterling Bartholomew blogged about an alternative reality reading in Ezekiel. Michael Barber discussed theology as exegesis and exegesis as theology.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Brian LePort blogged about the Genesis device motif in Romans 1. Ken Ham turns out to take a cafeteria approach to Genesis after all, as many of us have long known.

Deep Space Nine

In Biblical studies, when reference is made to “the Prophets” it usually has in mind those of ancient Israel, or perhaps early Christianity, rather than interdimensional beings who reside within a wormhole. Lauren Anders seems to have learned more about the ministry from the former than the latter, and continues blogging about it.

Total Partial Recall and Johnny Mnemonic

Brian LePort blogged about chreia in the New Testament, and Nick Norelli responded.

John Hobbins remembered Eugene Nida, while J. K. Gayle remembered and compared Nida and Pike.

Mark Vernon blogged about the Bible and doubt. Allan Bevere discussed orthodox doubt. Randall Rauser considered William Lane Craig’s advice about doubt to be rather bad.

Avatar

Mark Noll shared thoughts about Christology and science.

Behold the Man

Deirdre Good mentioned Rembrandt’s portrait(s) of Jesus (which was featured in the NY Times). Richard Hall quoted Käsemann on not knowing what to do with Jesus. Andrew Perriman discussed 1 Peter as a “revelation of Jesus.” Tom Verenna discussed Jesus possibilianism.

The Golden Compass

John Anderson discussed the morality, immorality and/or amorality of God.

1984

Duane Smith, Jim West and Roger Pearse blogged about the keeping of academic publications in the hands of an elite (and wealthy) few. James Pate asked who can interpret the Bible. Joel discussed the authority of God and Scripture in a book review.

The Fountain

RJS reflected on immortality as divine gift. Nick Norelli appealed to Highlander to make a point about immortality – a theme that also was a focus of an episode of Torchwood.

Starship Troopers

Paul used military imagery – was he a pacifist?

Apocalyptic End of the World Blockbusters

Matthew Crowe shared a preterist cartoon that many scholars of Revelation will appreciate:

James Pate began the Dawn of Apocalyptic.

Mike Bird blogged about a new book about new creation in Revelation. And Mike Beidler brought eschatology together with protology into the range of his blogging interests.

David Opderbeck released the trailer for Reading Revelation Responsibly: The Motion Picture. Daniel Levy found a video of N. T. Wright addressing the political ramifications of Revelation (John Byron and Jonathan Robinson also had things to say about the political interpretation of the NT). Clifford Kvidahl reviewed a book on the connections between Eden and Revelation.

2012

Joel Willits blogged about the Noachide laws. Steve Wiggins blogged about attributing hurricanes to deities (which many had been discussing due to Bachmann’s quip). Richard Anderson discussed Jesus not walking on the sea. Randall Rauser asked whether songs about cataclysms are appropriate for a children’s choir.

Knowing

Rod discussed Ezekiel’s oracles (including the racy bits).

The Road

Ferrell Jenkins blogged about travelling in Israel.

Signs

At Unsettled Christianity, a blog post about portents in the NT and Josephus.

Quantum Leap

A Republican, a Democrat and an illegal immigrant leaped back through time to become part of a famous parable of Jesus.

Transformers

Unreasonable Faith mentioned the flexibility of religion and the Bible to become different things and serve different purposes.

Parable of the Talents

Roland Boer discussed the cultural and economic context of this famous parable.

The X Files

Otagosh blogged about ghostwriting PaulMatthew Malcolm discussed the soulish and the spiritual in Corinth. Jim West compared a BAR article to the things Mulder tended to investigate.

Death Race 2000

Duane Smith blogged about a Bible targeted for a particular audience.

Stargate

A book from 1877 attempting to connect the pyramids and the Bible got reviewed.

VALIS

JohnDave Medina blogged about metaphysics and Scripture.

Video Games

American Jesus and Matthew Paul Turner blogged about El Shaddai, an Enoch-based video game that Jim Davila has also mentioned often, and Kristin Swenson more recently blogged about:

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The Twilight Zone

Some New Testament scholars performed classic rock:

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Fred MacDowell shared 18th century prayers to Mary in Hebrew.

Directors’ Cuts, Special Editions and Reviews

Commentary tracks were offered for the following films and TV shows: 1 Peter 2:13-17 and Romans 1-3. Philip Tite offered advice on writing book reviews. I would have included Jim Davila’s golem post, but Lord of the Rings isn’t sci-fi.

I’m not sure whether this was the first Biblical Studies Carnival in history to have a full-blown science fiction theme. Either way, it is over now, although you can have fun seeing whether you can figure out why posts were connected with the sci-fi works that they were.

Stay tuned to Scotteriology for next month’s carnival!

  • http://undeception.com/ Steve Douglas

    Appreciate the mention, but you perhaps misrepresented my position a bit: I am not at all confident that Cylons were not involved, only that more than two of them were necessary (which is compatible with the evidence from the BSG archives).

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    “Silly, silly me.”  

  • Emmaus_60

    What no comment on the Ghouls(?),[from Star Gate SG-1 or the Raths from Star Gate Atlantis and the infamous evil religion also from Star Gate SG-1 that if you don't believe and accept their theology your,[or we are] all wiped off the face of the earth and possibly the earth is destroyed as well. Where does this leave ‘Darth Radar? Are these proto types of or from the Apocalypse or from Revelations or both? Either way they are certainly, very quid pro quo images of a reality of Evil in its’ most vile form and manifestations from which we could take heed from the ‘ancient fathers and mothers’! And what about the ancients mentioned only with a slight type of pause in the N.T. Then where to we connect the dots herein with that of the O.T. leading us to the N. T.Also their is the possibility that such imagining could well be a prophetical imposition of our current malaise in our current fight against the Jihad and that of Islamic World Theocracy and domination! Something to give pause and to think about?  Finally, the ancients describe a type of ‘Ascension’ that is likened to deification of which may be granted to potential aspirants desiring such blessed light! That is if one can escape or out wit the dark forces of these evil proponents thinking that their message to us is salvation! Far from it! 
    All the best…enjoy
    Thomas 

  • John Hobbins

    James, this is an amazing roundup. Thanks very much. 

    I love the “it all happened in AD 70.” It’s a (half-)truth that is worth emphasizing. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/jkgayle J. K. Gayle

    Wow. A carnival in III highly-inclusive episodes.  The carnival that sets the bar so high it’s just in outer space!  Well done.  Wow!

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath
  • Doug Chaplin

    I am almost speechless. Excellent job.

  • Craig Benno

    I really enjoyed that… well done! 

  • Anonymous

    thanks for the link, i must confess the carnival was already so epic it never occurred to me to submit.   also such a prodigious output lays you open the accusation that your interest in sci-fi might be more than academic, have you actually melded your mind to a biblioblog search engine? 

  • http://blog.amberlbaker.com Amber Baker

    Um, how do I get into the loop for doing these Biblical Study carnivals. Can we do Fantasy next???

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    Just offer to do one – and then make it whatever theme you like! 

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath
  • http://profiles.google.com/noble.noneuclidean Alan Noble

    You might be interested in the interview we did with the studio that made “El Shaddai”: 

    http://www.christandpopculture.com/featured/interview-el-shaddais-daring-origins/

    We specifically asked questions that addressed the “religious” aspects of the game.