September 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival – Early Edition

September 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival – Early Edition August 15, 2011

Due to a truly impressive amount of blogging about matters related to the Bible, I have decided to offer an early edition of the September 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival, which provides a round-up of posts from August 2011. Here is a carnival featuring the posts from the first half of this month. I have tried to include all sorts of things that are related to the academic study of the Bible, or should be of interest to those who focus a lot of attention on that subject, even if somewhat tangentially or indirectly. If you have a post that you think should have been included but wasn’t, please send it to me or leave a comment about it here, and I will include it in the second part of the carnival at the end of the month.

Given the time of year, I’ve decided to give the carnival a back-to-school theme…

Opening Reception

Musical settings of Biblical texts are often neglected in considerations of their reception history. Deirdre Good offered an analysis of Bach’s interpretation of the Magnificat.

And under the heading of reception in art, for Tisha B’Av, Heddy Abramowitz shared several artists’ receptions of Biblical tales.

Kristin Swanson blogged about Rembrandt’s Face of Jesus.

The British Library shared a digitized image from the Bible Historiale. David Withun blogged about Orthodox art in Romania.

The Sefer ha-Aggadah also relates to the reception of the Bible, and was blogged about on the Talmud Blog.

Rebekah M. Giffone connected Hebrew Wisdom literature and a poem by Tennyson to make a point about mourning in American culture.

And of course, there is the new journal about the reception of the Bible which was announced this month.

Textbooks and Literature

Jeffrey Garcia discussed whether Jesus rejected the oral law.

Simon Holloway blogged about the essence of Torah.

Cultural Property Observer discussed the repatriation of the Aleppo Codex.

Shawna Atteberry shared a classic blog post on the 12th century BCE career woman.

Seth Sanders discussed things we don’t know, and would like to know, to help us situate the activity of the Priestly authors of ancient Israel.

John Hobbins blogged about seeking the historical Moses.

James Bradford Pate continued blogging through Rainer Albertz’s History of Israelite Religion and David Carr’s Reading the Fractures of Genesis, including the latter’s discussion of the non-P source and final form.

David Lamb asked whether God micro-manages Gideon and whether the badly-behaving God is legalistic or gracious.

Joseph Kelly asked how many commandments make up the famous Ten.

Stephen Cook shared a news clip about the Wicked Bible.

James Tucker discussed the Hebrew University Bible Project.

Krista Tippett interviewed Walter Bruggemann.

Neri Livneh wrote about Aliza Shenhar’s book about women in the Bible.

Jim Davila blogged about the oldest Irish manuscript ever discovered, which contains Biblical psalms. The Talmud Blog mentioned the discovery of a new fragment of Ben Sira.

Rafael Rodriguez shared some thoughts on the criteria of authenticity and redaction. I explained to him why he was wrong. He responded. I explained to him why he was probably wrong. Rafael continued to offer a “challonge.” Bruce Springsteen had the last word and declared it a tie. But Rafael continued interacting with Dale Allison’s Constructing Jesus.

Mike Kok started a series on form criticism, continuing with a bibliography and part one.

In guest posts at Near Emmaus, Craig Evans discussed Jesus’ Jewish background and whether he was an original thinker.

Ben Witherington blogged about A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus.

Jeffrey Garcia touched on a parallel in the Talmud to a saying attributed to Jesus in the New Testament.

Ken Schenck and Mike Heiser discussed the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament and whether the NT authors were “hermeneutical hacks.”

Andrew Perriman asked whether Gehenna was a burning rubbish dump, and whether it matters. Daniel James Levy also addressed this in relation to the book Erasing Hell. Andrew followed up with a post explaining why attention to context is not “liberalism.” Richard Beck discussed universalism in conversation with Daniel Kirk, who this month engaged in storied Bible reading and briefly falsely claimed to offer the lowest price for Cialis.

Michael Patton discussed textual variants in Matthew 18:15.

Christopher Skinner continued his series on the World as character in the Gospel of John with part three, part four, part five and more.

JohnDave Medina blogged about the oneness of Jesus and God in the Gospel of John.

Diglotting reviewed The Remembered Peter.

D. Miller suggested that simply replacing problematic legalism with problematic ethnocentrism may not take the new perspective on Paul and a more positive understanding of ancient Judaism far enough. Jason Staples then contributed his thoughts on the subject. Miller also discussed the notion of Paul as A Former Jew.

Mike Bird blogged about church and state in Romans 13.

Jonathan Robinson discussed the “slogan” in 1 Corinthians 6:12.

Richard Beck dicussed sarx and soma.

Tim Gombis discussed Evangelicals and the Gospel in relation to the Bible.

John Shuck discussed Jude’s status as a forgery.

ROTC (No, wait, sorry, they said canon)

Val Webb discussed Bible verses we wish were never included in the canon.

Scot McKnight discussed how plurality of interpretations is a problem for Biblicism, part of a continuing series with multiple parts this month. So too did Tim Henderson, also with more than one part, noting as well that Irenaeus was not a biblicist. Chris Heard joined in as well, as did Peter Leithart, all of them interacting with Christian Smith’s book The Bible Made ImpossibleKevin DeYoung offered a defensive response, which Nick Norelli liked. Joel Watts, Danut Manastireanu and Jerry Coyne discussed a piece by David Lose in the Huffington Post about literalism. Mark Noll’s piece at BioLogos is also related.

Pete Rollins discussed conservatives cutting up the Bible in the same way they accuse liberals of doing.

Otagosh discussed the role of Scripture in Luther’s anti-Semitism.

Ken Schenck talked about his class on the Bible as Christian Scripture.

Near Emmaus was caught with a larger group talking in the hallway with N. T. Wright.

Career Placement

Carol Howard Merritt discussed aspects of the relationship between the academy, seminary and clergy.

Rachel Bomberger explained how a(n Eerdmans) book is born.

Gender Divides

Suzanne McCarthy took on the mighty men of the NIV, demonstrating real מענטשלעכקייט.

Not all discussions of gender and biblioblogging were private. Suzanne posted on women in the blogosphere and other institutions, and Baptist Women for Equality, Amanda MacInnis, Julie Clawson and Waneta Dawn also posted on the issue of gender inequalities which arises not only in connection with Biblical interpretation, or in the church or the biblioblogosphere, but also in the academy and throughout the workforce, as seen graphically in the chart shared by Kay Steiger. Hopefully more biblioblogs will tackle this topic more regularly.

Suzanne also blogged about how the Bible not only established hierarchies but also overturns them, connecting it with The Help, which was also the focus of several posts by J. K. Gayle. Suzanne also blogged about the very notion of help, and Wayne Grudem apologized, and Rachel Held Evans interacted with Donald Miller.

Ann Fontaine discussed how Mary Magdalene, viewed in a more historical light rather than through the lens of later tradition, can serve as a role model.

Ann Fontaine discussed the trend of women leaving churches, including loss of belief in the Bible and the practice of reading it (also mentioned at Unreasonable Faith, Jesus Creed and Her.meneutics).

J. K. Gayle shared how classical Greek experts translate Ephesians 5.

Marc Cortez asked how clear the Bible is about gender roles.

John Dominic Crossan wrote on what the historical Paul thought about women.

John Byron discussed Junia and defended the way her name is rendered in the new NIVHe also found a helpful book – albeit somewhat late for his own benefit – on navigating the practical aspects of engaging in academic study of the Bible and religion.

Foreign Language

Bibliobloggers offered Biblical language-learning resources, such as Tonya and Daniel’s video series, Jeremy Thompson sharing his dissertation, Mike Aubrey reviewing volumes about Greek prepositions, and advice from James Tucker.

Danut Manastireanu tried to answer the question which is the most faithful Bible translation to the original texts, concluding with a post about the versions he actually uses. John Hobbins discussed denominational reactions to the NIV. Theology for Women described the experience of moving beyond KJV-onlyism.

Scott Bailey highlighted quite possibly the worst Hebrew Bible “translators” ever. Bob MacDonald, on the other hand, discussed transparency in translation.

Charles Halton discussed a Hebrew Bible for Kindle and other eReaders, interviewing Drayton Benner and Chip Hardy.

Michael Halcomb pointed out that “there’s an app for that.”

Bathroom Break

Where else is the appropriate place for dung and spit?

History and Classics

N.S. Gill asked what we remember about the first century B. C. E.

Dorothy King blogged about a crucified Republican man as well as a crucified man in Jerusalemevidence for the temple menorah, the Parthenon in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, the question of proto-Christian iconography in third century Rome, and the travel not just of ideas but artifacts (and deities) along the Silk Road.

David Meadows was one of several who shared the news about a Roman sword found in a Jerusalem drain. Jeffrey Garcia mentioned it as well as a five-branched menorah that was found, as did William Hamblin, Ferrell Jenkins, Jim Davila and John Byron, among others.

Deirdre Good was among those who shared the news of plans to digitize the Loeb Classical Library.

The Oriental Institute was excited that the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary reached 100,000 downloads.


AMIR shared Holy Land maps.

AWOL shared a databank of Palestine archaeology and topography.

Study Abroad

Celucien Joseph started off the month thinking, reading and writing about the Bible in Haiti and liberation theology.

Joel Watts began reviewing The African Memory of Mark. He also continued blogging through N. T. Wright’s book Scripture and the Authority of God, continuing through chapter three.

Andrew McGowan blogged his version of Guy Stroumsa’s lecture on Abrahamic religions at the Oxford Patristics conference.

Sheffield Biblical Studies blogged about the 2011 British New Testament Conference.


Joel Watts explained that young-earth creationism is a recent creation, as far as its understanding of the Bible is concerned Joel also chimed in on the discussion of the NRP piece noting changing views on Adam and Eve among Evangelicals, which also got discussed at Jesus Creed, BioLogos, Undeception, New Ways Forward, and The Biblical World.

In astronomy class, Brian LePort fixed his telescope on the star that is the Messiah in second temple Judaism.

A couple of bloggers illustrated why Ken Ham’s views shouldn’t be in a science classroomor mentioned in a carnival on the academic study of the Bible.


Ben Witherington’s post about his new book on his path to becoming a Bible scholar shows him rock climbing.

Retiring Teacher

Larry Hurtado announced the beginning of his unending research leave, resulting in leadership change at the Center for the Study of Christian Origins. Larry also blogged about a volume on early Christian manuscripts and classic hoaxes that unfortunately never seem to grow old.

Paternity Leave

Bob and Roslyn had a baby, and if you think that doesn’t fall within the domain of biblioblogging, then click through and see what sorts of things are already being read to young Maclaren Grey Cargill. And don’t forget to say congratulations!

Outbreaks of Violence

Claude Mariottini reviewed a book about rape in the Bible, and talked about the struggle for David’s throne. He also shared a link to and an excerpt from Norman Gottwald’s retrospective essay “Revisiting the Tribes of Yahweh”.

Several bloggers linked to New Testament scholar Margaret M. Mitchell’s piece on Anders Behring Breivik, the Bible and Christian violence. Also related, Rita Nakashima Brock tackled the connection between atonement theology and Christian terrorism. If you don’t see the link, then take a look at this post by Arni Zachariassen.

Matt and Madeleine discussed the slaughter of Canaanites.

Peter Kirk responded to Jim West on the topic of the wrath of God in Romans, while Miley Cyrus simply gave him the finger!

Reversing the word order, Rachel Marszalek considered the God of wrath, interacting not only with the Bible but also the Qur’an, Rabbinic tradition, and Steve Chalke’s preaching.

Richard Beck dicussed Christus Victor in the Bible and the subsequent theology of the church.

Nurse’s Office

Claude Mariotini blogged about the Balm in Gilead.

Duane Smith gave birth to a post about giving birth to wind.


ETC discussed reading elitism in antiquity.

Nick Norelli shared a link to Notre Dame’s online collection of dissertations.

Scott Bailey vowed to pay more attention to the Book of Jubilees on his blog.

Oxford University placed papyrus fragments online and asked for help transcribing them. John Byron was one of several to mention the new Gospel fragment that has already been found among them.

Tony Burke offered some thoughts related to Mark Goodacre’s blog post last month about his International SBL paper on the Gospel of Peter, in which he proposed an emendation.

Torrey Seland shared the latest in Philo studies.

Alin Suciu shared a draft of a paper on pseudo-Athanasiana.

David Warkentin asked what if the Bible were still being written?

Pete Enns continued his blog critique of the CSBI statement on the doctrine of Scripture, bringing text criticism and matters of translation to bear on the topic.

Nijay Gupta saw the first review of his thesis-book.

Wintery Knight shared a lecture by N. T. Wright on seven resurrection-related “mutations” in early Christianity.

Martin LeBar talked about John Walton’s The Lost World of Genesis One.

Liberal Arts

Ken Schenck looked at global Christian history, including why Liberal Christianity is a natural development out of the Reformation.

Kurt Willem blogged about coming out of the theological closet, as well as three posts on Genesis 22 as a test case for open theism.

Rod of Alexandria discussed faith as defined by Paul Tillich.


Michael Patton posted on Roman Catholic scholars, and Jeremy and Brian responded.

Reading Acts blogged about the role of biblioblogs in educating Evangelicals.

Anna Blanch updated her list of Christian scholars’ blogs, and in so doing discussed the distinction between that list and the list of biblioblogs.


On the topic of mythicism, Tom Verenna started the month off by addressing mythicist attitudes to peer review. He also responded to Steve Caruso’s suggestion about peer-reviewed biblioblogging. Otagosh liked the approach to the conversation about mythicism that Tom and I were taking. Synoptic Solutions also shared some thoughts relevant to this topic.

Anyone who can connect the Bible with the Ents from Lord of the Rings, as Nadia Bolz-Weber did, deserves a mention.

Only one post this month, to my knowledge, featured a picture of King Og riding a unicorn behind the ark.

Otagosh unveiled Behemoth.

Brain Teasers

D. Miller quoted Morton Smith on forgery.

Do note that I have tried to include a range of posts from blogs not always included in the carnival, and have tried to include posts that intersect with or will be of interest to those who engage in academic Biblical studies. I have not attempted to winnow out posts because of frivolity, humor, a more casual approach or a failure to meet some standards or other of scholarly rigor. These are blog posts, and blogging even on the blogs of academics covers the range from directly blogging about research, to reflecting on its significance for today, to connecting it with Doctor Who. You are under no obligation to agree with any post linked to, nor do I necessarily approve of all their contents. If you would not have included a post in the carnival, then please host a carnival and, when you do, don’t include posts of that sort.

This Biblical Studies Carnival early edition is not intended for use by young children. Its claims have not been tested by the FDA, and thus it should not be administered to prevent or treat a diagnosed medical illness. Side effects include drowsiness, fits of laughter, and compulsive link-clicking. If after reading the Biblical Studies Carnival you experience an interest in Biblical studies which lasts for more than four hours, please consult with a PhD supervisor.

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