Biblical Studies Carnival 66 – “According to Mark”
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.
Biblical Studies Carnival 45 – Bible Theme Park
This is a repost and was originally posted on “The Golden Rule” blog on September 1, 2009. Unfortunately, some of the links are no longer active as much has changed in a year and a half. For the rest of the biblical studies carnivals, check out The Biblioblog Reference Library.
Move aside Disney Land. There is a new Bible Theme Park in town, the Biblical Studies Carnival XLV. Those who do not have any desire to go to the Holy Land Experience in Florida can now experience all the exciting family-fun and biblically-based attractions just at the click of the mouse. So drum roll please…
In honor of his 125th birthday, Rudolf Bultmann lead the annual Parade of Biblical Scholars. For the Bultmanniacs out there, Jim West has the ultimate anniversary celebration, with tributes from Maurice Casey, Roland Boer, Stephanie Fisher and James Crossley. Chris Tilling celebrates Bultmann’s breathtaking vision, James McGrath highlights Bultmann’s hypothesis on the relationship of John to Mandaeism and Mark Goodacre has an article on Bultmann’s skepticism that we can write a Jesus biography. Bultmann was not the only super star of August. John Anderson interviews his favorite scholar Walter Brueggemann. Matt began a great series of scholar interviews including John Kloppenborg, Larry Hurtado and Andreas Köstenberger. Mike Bird interviews Kavin Rowe on his work on Luke-Acts. Rob Kashow had 10 questions for Daniel Wallace. Chris Tilling found a goldmine of conservative scholarship. Stephen Smuts links to a video with Chris Forbes on the references to Jesus in Josephus’ Antiquities, but the site also has a good interview with the late Martin Hengel. Nick Norelli links to a number of articles by Scott Hahn. Some scholars took a bit of a beating in August. Kevin Edgecomb argues that Wellhausen and other giants of German Liberal Protestant scholarship built on a rotten foundation of anti-Semitism. Shocking as it may sound, not everyone is fond of the good Bishop Wright. Paul Helm and Gerald Bray expressed their critiques, but the latter provoked some critical responses.
What better to follow up a parade than fireworks!!! An article that draws sharp distinctions between Religious Studies and Theology and denies the latter advances knowledge lighted up the blogosphere (though a late July post, Chris Heard deserves credit for getting the ball rolling on this one). This conversation continued with thought-provoking posts by Tyler Williams, Jim Linville, Flávio Souza, Douglas Mangum, David Miller, Art Boulet, Missive from Marx, Deane Galbraith and Roland Boer. Closely related is Joel Willitts’ reflection on what it means to be a Christian academic. So what is the relationship of Religious Studies and Theology and is there room for Theology, one time the ”Queen of the Sciences,” in the academy? I will leave that for the reader to decide. But the theologically inclined should check out Joseph Kelly and Doug Chaplin debate divine impassibility, Michael Halcomb’s theology of prayer or Rod, Aaron, Nick and Michael discuss the Trinity.
Step into The Time Machine, a state-of-the-art virtual reality ride that lets you travel back to the ancient world. Go as far back as the last century of the 3rd millennium BCE to the ancient Sumerian Third Dynasty of Ur with Charles Halton. Or live among the Israelites: Julia M. O’Brien writes on how to eat like an Israelite and Claude Mariotinni on how to dress like one. Fundamentalists who think Deut 22:5 is about who wear the pants may be in for a surprise. Witness the rise of Judea and Jerusalem under Assyrian hegemony and then let Neil Godfrey know whether Finkelstein or Thompson got it right. Fastforward through Jewish history spanning from the return from captivity in 538 BCE to the Jewish War in 66-73 CE with Ken Schenck as a guide. Josh Mann lets you see the Roman Empire through the eyes of a slave. Phil Harland has podcasts on the gods in the Roman Empire, the historical Jesus or issues in the Pauline churches. Doug Chaplin focuses in on the Corinthian congregation. You might never guess Paul had a sense of humour. Get acquanted with the Beloved Disciple, whom James Tabor identifies as Jesus’ brother James. Bill Heroman defends the historicity of John while April DeConick explores the soteriological paradigm of the Johannine community. Don’t stop there but continue with her on the road to Nicea. If you visit Alexandria or Antioch, try to spot the hermeneutical differences with Joel Watts. Learn about the historical processes that led to canonization and the creeds on Quadrilateral Thoughts. If the proto-orthodox church isn’t your cup of tea, hang out with the Rabbis and catch Simeon ben Gamaliel’s amazing juggling act on C. Orthodoxy. There are a number of biblical adventures to choose, for Daniel McClellan reminds us the Bible is not univocal.
The full-scale model of Noah’s Ark has live animals such as lions and tigers and bears (oh my), but don’t let the children feed the bears. David Ker proposed a creative meme and asks how to preach on Elisha and the Bears (2 Kgs 2:23-24) (don’t make fun of bald people??) and several bloggers joined in on the fun including JohnHobbins, Doug Chaplin, Douglas Mangum, Peter Kirk, Henry Neufeld, James McGrath, Matt Page, Tim Bulkely, Bob Macdonald and Sam Norton.
The Scriptorium has a fine collection of ancient manuscripts. A panel of experts oversees the exhibits to prevent dubious claims like the recent ones about the copper scroll that irritate Robert Cargill. In introducing the Hebrew Bible , it is important to note it was not written in a cultural vacuum. There are interesting points of comparison with the Akkadian prayers and prayer for healing to Shamash translated by Duane Smith. Alan Lenzi’s introduction to Ludlul and following interpretive summary has parallels with Job and shows that Theodicy is a really old problem. Tim Bulkeley has a series of OT Podcasts. Reception History was in this month and James Pate presented different interpretations of Adam becoming “like one of us“ (Gen 3:22) or Cain as a repentant sinner (Gen 4:13) while Slaveofone looks at different views on the fate of Enoch (Gen 5:24). John Anderson posts on the composition of the Pentateuch and debunks the Documentary Hypothesis. Daniel McClellan shows that sons of god and angels have been conflated in Deuteronomy 32:43 LXX. John Hobbins has a series of exegetical notes on Psalm 1 and Phil Sumpter has a number of posts on Psalm 24. Tyler Williams continues his series on Psalm 151 with a look at the evidence from Qumran, the Septuagint and retroverting the text. Alan Knox studies the 26 uses of kērussō (“preach”) in the Septuagint here, here and here. But if you struggle reading the LXX, both John Hobbins and Mike Aubrey review Muraoka’s Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint.
The NT and Christian literature is next. Matthew Burgesshas some thoughts on dating one of the earliest textual fragments papyrus 52 and Tommy Wasserman posts on new NT fragments. I am pleased to announce that one newly discovered manuscripts is the elusive Sayings Gospel Q… ok that part is a lie but the next best thing is Chris Zeichmann’s posts on academic reconstructions of Q. There was alot of exegesis of Paul: Esteban Vazquez weighs in on the pistis Christou debate, Con Cambell exegetes Gal 1:10, Alan Bandy reflects on different interpretations of Rom 1:17 and Michael Heisler looks at what Rom 5:12 might say about universalism. And if you think Paul’s use of ioudaismos (usually “Judaism”) and euangellion (usually “gospel”) is self-evident, take a look at Steve Mason’s recent article. Daniel and Tonya count the number of occurences of Temple (hieron or naos) in Paul and John. Over to the Gospels, Tony Siew looks at the chiastic structure of Mark 1:21-28. Stephen Carslon suffered from a case of exegetical whiplash from a commentary on Mark 9:1, but recovered to provide a translation of Philip the Side. Rod comments on the Logos in John 1. Finally, Jared Calaway blogs on eschatology and cosmology in Hebrews, Rick Brannan takes a closer look at passages in the Didache and Suzanne McCarthy has a three–part–series on Syriac traditions that represent the Spirit as feminine and as a Mother.
Beware the (biblically-themed of-course) Haunted House. Some posts may literally scare the Gehenna out of you! Watch out for the spirits of disembodied giants on Scotteriology or my follow up post on demons. Steve Wiggins posts on storm gods, sea monsters and the devil. If you find cats a little creepy, do not check out Jim Linville’s Review of Biblical Literature. Mark Goodacre put up a video and a podcast discussing the mark of the Beast and it turns out it may not be 666. One video incites fear in gullible Americans that Barack Obama is the Antichrist, but J.K. Doyle, James McGrath, G. Brooke Lester, Mike Heiser, Bryan Bibb, Ken Schenck and Dan Wallace on Parchment and Pen reveal that what is even more scary is the awful exegesis (or rather eisegesis) and popular assumptions behind this film. And scariest of all, Matt Dabbs uncovers that the real antichrist is Big Bird. Doctors prescribe a healthy dose of Alan Bandy’s guide to apocalyptic symbols and imagery or an understanding of the historical context of Revelation to cure Mass Revelation Hysteria.
Before you leave don’t forget to browse our Blogger’s Gift Shop. We have tons of Bible translations, but the TNIV received the most attention this month as Suzanne’s roundup reveals. Many bloggers wrote book reviews for the month of August. See Josh Mann’s review of Jesus in An Age of Terror, James McGrath on Jesus and the God of Israel or my review of The Only True God. The Lost World of Genesis One had multiple reviews from Joel Watts, James McGrath, Scot McKnight and Jason. New Testament Text and Translation Commentary was reviewed by Matthew Burgess and Nick Norelli. Jim West has not yet finished his rolling review of The Historiographical Jesus. Trevin Wax reviews Are You the One to Come and gets a bonus interview. Pat McCullough,who is also indexing a book for Ra’anan Boustan, also pointed out Interpreting Biblical Literature. Kevin Scull recommended Ancient Letters and the New Testamentwhile while Brante Pitre questions the inconsistency over the Gospel’s genre in Geza Vermes’ classic Jesus the Jew. Ben Witherington III gives readers a taste of his new book The Indelible Image. More people need to read J. Brian Tucker’s blog for his helpful reviews of authors ranging from Edward Adams, Mark Nanos, Denise Buell, Caroline Hodge, etc.
THANK YOU to so many people who responded by submitting posts. I tried to include everything I received unless it was a tad too homiletical rather than academic (you can try submitting it for the Christian Carnival). The next carnival will take place at Hebrew and Greek Reader, so make sure to continue lending a helping hand by submitting your posts to them for the month of September.