The Beginning of the Carnival of Biblical Studies [of the bibliobloggers].
My original plan was to go all out on the Markan style with kai euthus, sandwich techniques, historical presents, odd gar explanations (“for it was not the season for figs”) and so on. But after a week packed with social events, moving, 9 hour flight and 7 hour time zone change I just needed to get it done, plus I thought the joke might get a little old after the 10th “and immediately,” so please if there are any critics be gentle :) Anyways, on to the carnival…
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah…
There were a number of posts on the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, or what scholars in the area might call the real Bible before the Greek appendix. Chris Heard has reloaded his Exodus Decoding on his new blog so we all can enjoy the debunking all over again. Yosef Garfinkel challenges the low chronology paradigm based on the recent excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa in BAR and Philip Davies responded; Claude Mariotinni also gives an overview of the so-called minimalist-maximalist debate. William R. Osborn, Jim West, Timothy Michael Law, John Hobbins, Nick Norelli and Drew Longacre all call attention to the Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament. John Hobbins looks at the particular type of historical narrative offered in Exodus-Numbers. Jared Calaway looks at the image of Moses in Philo and in Josephus. Steve Wiggins further problematizes the story of Noah’s flood and, in a similar vein, Robert Cargill and Scott Bailey upload a cartoon about Numbers 15:32-36. Rabbi Rachel Barenblat describes some theologically rich Jewish traditions on the priestly blessing and carrying of the ark of the covenant. Kevin Brown has a post on the witch of Endor in 1 Samuel 28. Charles Halton provides access to a prepublication article on the book of Ruth (see the positive comments of Tim Bulkeley) and Christian Brady is in the final stages of preparing his article on Targum Ruth. Ekaterini G. Tsalampouni links to a conference on Elijah. James Bradford Pate has been blogging through the Psalms so see Psalms 79, 80, 81 and 82. Shawna R.B. Atterbury provides a poem and several links to feminine images of the divine in passages such as Proverbs 8 and 9. Duane Smith looks at the relevance of Manfried Dietrich and Ozwald Loretz reading of the Tiryns Alphabetic Inscription to Hosea 4:12a. Cory Taylor has some text critical analysis of Isaiah 40:3-8. James McGrath asks why the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14:12 and Jesus in Rev 22:16 were compared to the “bright morning star” (Venus). Abram K-J looks at whether Michah portrays a God of mercy or wrath. Joseph Kelly interacts with blogger Charles Halton among others in his helpful review of articles in the IVP Dictionary on the Old Testament: Prophets. James Tabor reflects on the differences between the Testaments and his preference for the open-endedness of the Hebrew Bible.
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins
Did we discover the bones of John the Baptist? Well, probably not, but do not worry because several bloggers set out to correct the typical media hype such as Mark Goodacre (noting Robert Cargill’s post 2 years ago), John Byron, Jim West, Michael Heiser, Claude Marionette, Dienekes, Christopher Rollston and James Tabor with a nice round-up of posts by James McGrath. Meanwhile Michael Barber has a post on the canonical portrait of John the Baptist and I explored the possible meaning and implications of the baptism scene in Mark.
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee…
What is the fun of a month of biblioblogging without the endless debates about mythicism? After May’s launch of the Jesus Project (courtesy of Maurice Casey, Steph Fisher and R. Joseph Hoffman), Hoffman continued with posts about the arguments of Shirley Jackson Case and a post providing one explanation for the silence of Paul and an interpretation of Galatians 4:4. Mark Goodacre asks how Jesus would have went about proving his own existence. Ben Witherington conducts a series of interviews with Bart Ehrman on the historicity of Jesus here, here, here, here, here, here, here (also noted by Bart Ehrman here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here). If interested in the other side, last I checked Vridar got to Part 23 (!) on a response to Ehrman’s popularizing treatment. James Tabor discusses his reconstruction of the historical Jesus here, here and here. James Bradford Pate asks if Jesus spoke Hebrew. Of course, questing after the historical Jesus involves a question of sources. In the study of Jesus and Christian origins we need to be wary of fake sources or artifacts so thankfully Daniel McClellan continues to debunk the Jordan Codices. When one turns to the Synoptic Gospel sources and the problem of their literary relationship, Joel Watts has a fun solution and James Bradforth Pate notes Brad Young’s interesting take on the Synoptic Problem. Mike Bird discusses the relationship of John to the Synoptics and posts an excerpt from the late Martin Hengel’s Johannine Question on whether the same elder who allegedly wrote the Johannine corpus or his school produced the book of Revelation, while Matthew Montonini has put up some Marianne Meye Thompson videos on John’s distinctive theology. Judy Redman and Christopher Skinner asks those to drop the line about “the burden of proof” on one’s debating partners when discussing the complicated question of the relationship of the Gospel of Thomas with the Synoptic tradition (see also Stephen Carlson’s perspective from his law background).
Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men
No one can properly study the distinctive narrative presentation of the disciples in each of the four gospels without engaging redaction and narrative criticism; Ron Naiweld provides a useful parallel from the study of rabbinic literature as the Rabbis are redactors in that they both inherit and interpret older sources and create new ones (see also Jim Davila on this point that this description of redaction applies to ancient literature in general). Christopher Skinner appears in an interview on the increasing attention to literary approaches to Mark over at New Testament Perspectives. Christopher Skinner also has a four-part series on narrative characterization in the Gospel of John. John Bergsma makes the case for Petrine authority based on the text from Matthew and for Paul’s solidarity with Peter. Moving on to “disciples” throughout Christian history, Larry Hurtado proposes that one of the successes of “proto-orthodox” Christianity was its inclusion of diversity of Jesus followers against a narrow sectarianism (see also the positive comments on the article by Charles Halton). Josh Mann has a series of interviews with a number of modern scholar-pastors about the relationship of academy and the church such as Jim West, Darrell Bock, Andreas Köstenberger, George Guthrie, Terry Wilder, Todd Chipman and Con Cambell. Peter Enns empathizes with the plight of evangelical scholars who are caught between a rock and a hard place, between the demands of academia for innovative research and the appointed gatekeepers of theological orthodoxy. Diedre Good noted a conference on engaging the Bible in mainline churches.
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins.
A few new publications were announced in June. Stephen Carlson made his new PhD thesis available online. Chris Tilling also announces the publication of his PhD thesis on Paul’s divine christology (with endorsements from Jim West, Nick Norelli, Mike Bird). Roland Boer has some new publications worth checking out and Jim West announces his copy of James Crossley’s new Jesus in an Age of Neo-Liberalism has arrived, the latter of which Tom Verenna has begun a book review. A new blog worth checking out, Ecclesiam Et Rabbanan, by a friend Simon Lasair who did his PhD in the Targums and aims “to offer both theological and practical suggestions as to how Christians and Jews can start rethinking their ongoing relationship” and “promote the cause of reconciliation and growth for all who follow me here.” Professor Vernon Robbins is famous for introducing “socio-rhetorical” interpretation into biblical studies and is apparently not happy with its usage by another scholar. Matthew Malcomb and Danny Zacharias note a very critical RBL review, but the debate about the origins and correct application of the term really heats up in the comments section of Michael Halcomb’s Pisteuomen.
To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables
Since Mark 4:11 and parallels was a favourite of Origen’s to justify his allegorical method, this seems to be a good lead in to the number of posts on Origen this month. Markus Vincent announced at the Oxford Patristics site the discovery of new homilies on the Psalms by Origen, which was also recounted by Roger Pierce (also here, here; Pierce also blogs on Origen’s comments on Genesis and Titus), Alin Suciu (also here, here, here, here), P.J. Williams, Dirk Jongkind and Michael Barber. Rod of Alexandria has a few thoughts on Origen on the 3rd commandment or on Free Will and Joel Watts links to an article showing that Origen had a very different understanding of “inerrancy” of Scripture than some modern advocates.
Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?
It is well known that one of the dominant emphases of the first half of Mark in on a Christology of Power. On the subject of Christology, Larry Hurtado links to and agrees with Peter Schafer’s fairly critical review of Daniel Boyarin’s The Jewish Gospels. Tony Burke speaks on some of the alternative versions of Jesus in week 5 of his NT Apocrypha Course. Turning to healings such as reported in the Gospels, my friend and fellow-Sheffieldian Naomi Jacobs looks at the relevance of the Bible and Christianity to people with disabilities from the perspective of a sociologist. David Stark interprets the story of the man born blind in John. James Bradford Pate looks at earthquakes and whether these are perceived as supernatural occurances in Mark and Seneca.
You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you…
Rachel Held Evans began a wonderful series called the Mutuality 2012 Synchroblog with all the links to several bibliobloggers who participated and I would happily add the voice of my blog for full egalitarianism in society and the church against the continuing patriarchy advocated in some Christian quarters. On that note Amanda MacInnis and Leslie Keeney encourage more women to get involved at ETS. Suzanne McCarthy corrects some misleading notes in the NET Bible that seek to downplay the prominent leadership roles of Phoebe and Junia. J.K. Gayle has an interesting interpretation of a problematic passage, 1 Timothy 2:11-12, on mutual learning in quietness. In the debate over marriage equality, Peter at the newer blog “Biblical masculinities“ stresses that we should stop attributing agency to a book (the Bible) when it is flesh-and-blood readers who actively interpret it in oppressive or liberating ways.
But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’
Also going back to “the beginning,” Brian LePort has been doing an ongoing series where he read the story of Adam in Genesis alongside Collins and Enns with parts 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 during the month of June. Ken Schenck discusses how to interpret this famous passage above on divorce (he also discusses issues of practical interpretation for today here).
And the gospel must first be preached to all nations
There were a number of posts on the “apostle to the Gentiles.” Phillip Long lists his top commentaries on Romans, Corinthians, Galatians or Philippians. Andrew Perriman interprets the epistle to the Romans as well as his sermon at Pisidian Antioch according to Acts. Suzanne McCarthy looks at the meaning of the term ethnos in Paul’s letters. Richard Fellows discusses the Antioch incident and dispute with Cephas in light of a textual variant ἦλθεν (aorist singular “he came”) in Galatians 2:16. Tom Gombis continues his series on election in Paul with parts 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 in June. John Byron looks at the role of the letter-carrier as the first interpreter of Paul’s letters. Tony Burke looks at the reception of Paul in week 6 of his NT Apocrypha course. Moving on from specifically Pauline congregations in the Empire, Phil Harland’s podcast studies the degree of assimilation and acculturation of Christian groups in Asia Minor based on 1 Peter and Revelation.
For the Son of Man will go as it is written of him…
Doug Chaplin asks if Paul knew the Gethsemane story that became incorporated into Mark’s Passion Narrative. This is relevant to the discussion about mythicism above, but there was quite a debate over whether there was a pre-Christian tradition about a suffering Messiah by Richard Carrier and Thom Stark (here, here, here, here, here), with others such as James McGrath, Tom Verenna and Loren Rosson adding their own insights. Scott McKnight has written a lot at the scholarly and popular level on a theology of the atonement so his thoughts are worth checking out.
He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him
Is it a bird or a plane… or a fish? The online activity about Talpiot Tomb B, “the Patio Tomb,” seems to have died down considerably, but James Tabor defends his view here and here. James Charlesworth also put forward his views in a paper at the Bible and Interpretation and Mark Goodacre responds with a helpful overview of his own and several other critiques. Jonathan Pearce questions whether the early Christians knew the site of Jesus’ tomb because it was not a site of Christian veneration early on. JD Kirk posts on the theological meaning of Easter here, here, here and here.
The Earliest Editions of this Carnival and some ancient witnesses do not include this ending
I have tried to publish everything that was sent me in the comments of the blog or by email as well as search through as many of the blogs I can find, but the number of blogs has grown so big even since I last did the carnival. If you feel I missed your post or if I made a mistake on your name or the subject of your post, please feel free to share it in the comments and I will try to update this accordingly. If they are not related to academic biblical studies in some way, another option might be to check out the Christian Carnival, the latest of which is to be found on Tyler William’s blog which was revived from the dead. That is all, so thanks to Jim Lineville for taking on the duty of carnival organizing on board and please pass on your submissions for July to the next carnival host Phil Long.