May 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival

May 2017 Biblical Studies Carnival June 5, 2017

Thanks to Jeff Carter for hosting the latest Biblical Studies Carnival – and apologies for not mentioning it here until today.

As always, Phil Long has details about upcoming carnivals.

The carnival includes this image of what happens when you ask an overworked grad student to do the index for your book:

belief on every page




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  • Jeff Carter

    no apologies necessary. I was in the Black Hills of South Dakota until late last night myself, and didn’t see any posts anyway.

  • John MacDonald

    I want to view the video of Jim Bakker taking on Colbert, but there are other people in the room and I don’t want them to think I’m weird for watching Jim Bakker. I’ll wait until later.

    • Gary

      You’re not weird watching Jim Bakker. Only weird if you send him $2,800 for his advertised “end of times” food storage supply. His point of allowing pastors to endorse political candidates from the pulpit without losing IRS tax exemption seems valid, considering contributions to politicians thru PACs are tax exempt too.

      Speaking of food storage, I find it much more amazing that there was an actual conference on how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, and other Mormon scriptures. The amazing part, it was hosted by Utah State University, a state supported school. I could save them a lot of travel expense for the conference, by mentioning that the Book of Abraham, part of the Pearl of Great Price, was discovered to be a bogus translation, when pieces of the text were found and translated by actual Egyptologists. Nothing to do with Abraham. The Joseph Smith translations were not loose or tight, only bogus. And Utah State tax payer funds were used in this conference? Simply amazing. BYU should have hosted it. At least Mormon money would have been used.

      • John MacDonald

        It’s not like Joseph Smith was exactly “trustworthy” on face value anyway – finding Golden Plates from Heaven. Just another example of “Noble Lies” in faith traditions.

        • Gary

          Except, that there was a gathering of Mormon scholars at Utah State to discuss his translation techniques/models, loose or tight. I find this rather remarkable. Considering that the original texts (Golden Plates), don’t exist, and the papyrus pieces of the Book of Abraham have been proven to have nothing to do with Abraham. It’s not exactly like a gathering of Old or New Testament scholars discussing text translations from Nag Hammadi texts. It’s like vapor ware. I hope at least the donuts at the conference were real.

          • John MacDonald

            So you consider Joseph Smith to be a liar? Say “yes” so I can invoke the principle of analogy with other faith traditions lol ! For instance, In the Pro-Muslim book ‘The Spirit of Islam,’ Afif A. Tabbarah writes, concerning the mandates of Muhammed, “Lying is not always bad, to be sure; there are times when telling a lie is more profitable and better for the general welfare, and for the settlement of conciliation among people, than telling the truth. To this effect, the Prophet says: ‘He is not a false person who (through lies) settles conciliation among people, supports good or says what is good.’”

          • Gary

            Call a dead guy a liar? Now that would be just plain mean. Mormons call believe whatever they want. No skin off my nose. But scholars getting together to analyze translation methodology when there is no foreign, ancient text to look at. I have to question their sanity. They can analyze it as English literature. But translation? Translation from what language? I would think we could invoke the criteria of Embarrassment upon the Utah State scholars.

          • John MacDonald

            That’s religion for you:

            1. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image.”
            2. Jesus said “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
            3. O’Brien said “”Power is tearing human minds apart and putting them back together in new shapes of your own choosing.” (George Orwell’s 1984)

            You see, Gary, the difference between a finite mind and an infinite mind is that when the finite mind looks at someone they see an “Other,” while when an infinite mind looks at another person they see a mirror.

  • Gary

    Another article of interest. Another Trump slam.

    “Dear Mr. President, You Really Should Have Gone To Visit Masada”

    Probably not. Although I doubt that the Trump people realized the valid reason not to.

    Today, it is not such a good idea to celebrate religious fanatics that kill innocents.

    Bart Ehrman, “Jesus Before the Gospels”:

    In a section entitled “The Collective Memory of Masada”, Ehrman described how Masada started out as an embarrassment. Failure by a group of Jewish assassins, involved in killing fellow Jews who were seen as collaborators with the Romans. They committed horrible acts of violence against Jews. In modern times, they became heroes, in a modern myth.

    To quote the book, “But the tale about the event still in wide circulation today is not giving – and is not particularly interested in giving – the historical past as it really happened. It is interpreting the event in light of the present situation.”

    So, Sicarii were effectively terrorists that slit innocent people’s throats. More than likely, they killed their own women and children, but tried to call it mass suicide. As evidenced by the fact that a couple women and children hid from the killing, so as not to be assassinated.