Biblical Studies Carnival XLVII

Welcome to the 47th edition of the Biblical Studies Carnival.  It was certainly a busy month around the blogosphere.  I applaud the recent carnivals for their creative approaches to the subject.  However, rather than devise a clever scheme for presenting this month’s carnival I have opted to divide the carnival by subject. 

Audio and Video resources

Audio and visual resources are multiplying quickly.   With the amount of non-specialists interested in Biblical Studies these resources are especially useful.  It seems reasonable to assume that the average person would rather listen to a golden tongued Brit talk for 8 minutes about Paul’s conversion read a monograph on the subject?  This month there were a number of excellent new entries and/or discoveries of audio and visual tools.

Mark Goodacre continues to produce high quality podcasts and treated us to three new entries this month: The Gospel of Thomas, the length of Jesus’ ministry, and Paul’s conversion on the Damascus Road.

Higgaion has also provided 5 excellent entries covering topics such as the divine council.

Nijay Gupta highlights a high quality, free, New Testament lecture series by Dale Martin.  After listening to one of the lectures I highly recommend the series especially for any commuters out there.

This month a blog specializing in audio learning for the Old Testament, Free Old Testament Audio Website Blog,  has come to my attention (and apparently many others as it has soared up the Biblioblog top 50 chart) .  The blog links to several useful audio resources including both the Old Testament and scholars commenting on the Old Testament.

Michael Bird brought to our attention  a video of “a performance of the earliest extant copy of a Christan hymn with musical annotations sung from a papyri fragment discovered in Oxyrhynchus (P. Oxy. XV 1786).  Totally cool!”

Cafe Apocalypsis posted links to a number of excellent videos posted by St. John’s Nottingham.  The videos feature top notch scholars such as Larry Hurtado, N. T. Wright, and Ian Paul.

Chris Brady posted a podcast he created on the Jewishness of Jesus.

Ignatius’ letter to the Philadelphians is now available in audio form thanks to Michael Halcomb.

Book Reviews

Nijay Gupta provided a brief review of Cousar’s new Philippians/Philemon commentary.  The commentary weighs in at a scant 120 pages.  Nijay states that “With this new commentary (WJK, 2009), I am having trouble coming up with reasons (or even a reason) why someone would buy it.”  As much as I share Nijay’s sentiments concerning book reviews “I am a pretty glass-is-half-full kind of guy, so I usually am able to spin a new book in a positive direction,” I would have to agree with his assessment.   Nijay also provides a brief review of fellow blogger Michael Bird’s book Are You the One Who Is to Come? and describes it as “… well-designed, well-researched, and once in a while you get Bird’s typical wit and tell-it-like-it-is sass.”

Loren Rossen tackled Douglas Cambell’s massive new work The Deliverance of God.  Loren provides a lengthy review of the book before concluding with “My head is still spinning. It’s a milestone in appraising three decades of a new approach to Paul which has blinded as much as illuminated. It demands that we think outside the box, get outside the box, and seize new possibilities.”  Loren’s conclusion alone should provoke people to read Cambell’s work as any book that causes one to “get outside the box” is worthwhile even if after reading it we choose to get back in our respective box.

Josh Mann provides an annotated list of “… introductory textbooks on the NT deal with synoptic problem.”

Brandon Wason reviews New Testament Theology by Caird and Hurst.  Wason’s review is lengthy and positive.

Peter M. Lopez reviewed the Holy Mosaic Bible complete with many photos of the work.  Additionally, Peter includes extensive links for anyone seeking further information concerning this Bible.

Although not a book review, Ben at Dunelm Road finished his four part series on BibleWorks 8.  Nearly every reviewer will agree with Ben’s final conclusions. “If you’ve got BW7, I’d say it is worth the money to upgrade. If you don’t have any Bible software, I can’t compare BW to Logos or Accordance, but it’s definitely a good value for money, so check it out.”

Old Testament

There were a number of posts this month on the book of Genesis some of which were responses to Robert Crumb’s new graphic novel.  Bob MacDonald provides a summary of some of these posts here which include two posts by John Hobbins on Human Sexuality and the Image of God.

There was an interesting discussion concerning the length of King Saul’s reign.  Tyler Williams sparked the discussion with his post: Saul the King Who Should Never Have BeenDr. Claude Mariottini followed Tyler’s post with an examination of the various proposals concerning Saul’s reign and concluded that a 12 year reign is most plausible.  Christ Heard also provides a detailed examination of Saul’s reign and the timeline given by Accordance.

John Anderson engaged with the work of Walter Brueggemann’s in a number of posts.  John examines Brueggemann’s new work An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible (Fortress, 2009) and defends Brueggeman against Bruce Waltke here.

Ecce Homo continues its messiah in the making series this month with the question “what do we mean by messianic?”

Biblica Hebraica had a number of interesting posts this month including Genesis Rabbah I.I: The Pre-Existent Torah and Creation in Rabbinic Literature.

New Testament

There were some interesting posts concerning Q this month.  James McGrath examined Mark Goodacre’s work The Case Against Q: Studies in Markan Priority and Synoptic Problem. Upon completing his reading, James came away with the following conclusion concerning his views on Q, “I’m not sure I can truthfully claim to have one!”  Well stated James.  Any serious examination of Q should leave one with their head spinning.  Mark Goodacre follows James’s post with some further thoughts on Q.  James McGrath later in the month wonders if he could disprove the existence of Mark if we only had Matthew and Luke.

Clifford Kvidahl provides an interesting analysis of Hebrews in relation to Old Testament accounts of wilderness journeys.

One of the benefits of running the monthly carnival is discovering blogs that had somehow escaped your attention.  While I was aware of Koinonia, I did not realize Philip Payne was a contributor to the blog.  This month Philip summarized some of the evidence for his theory that there is manuscript evidence to support the conclusion that 1 Corinthains 14:34-35 is an interpolation.  I have read Payne’s work and in conjunction with the work of William O. Walker the case is quite strong.  Start with this post, but be sure to read some of Payne’s papers in which he presents his theory in more detail.

Mark Goodacre and Michael Heiser both posted on the topic of statistics and the Talpiot Tomb.

One of the positive outcomes of the recent women and biblioblogging debate was my own discovery of Suzanne McCarthy’s blog Suzanne’s Bookshelf.  This month Suzanne examined two important issues for Pauline scholars, the role of Phoebe and Paul’s use of the word kephale.

One of my personal favorites, Evangelical Textual Criticism, got me excited this month with their post concerning a translation of portions of p46 which “… has been prepared in such a way as to highlight instances where the text of P46 diverges from the most recent critical edition of the Greek New Testament. [i.e. NA27]”  For any Pauline scholar this translation is certainly noteworthy.

Pseudepigrapha, Archaeology, Greco-Roman, and Nag Hammadi

The prolific writer of the  Church of Jesus Christ blog posted a number of times on the Psalms of Solomon examining issues such as resurrection, messianic expectation, and theology.

Philip Harland provides extensive information about the goddess Artemis.  For any instructors in the audience take notice of the many excellent photos accompanying Philip’s three posts. Part 2; Part 3.

Mark Goodacre posted three times this month concerning the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts.  In two posts he notes the different accounts of the discovery and voices his doubts concerning the accepted account of the discovery of the documents.  Furthermore, Goodacre questions “The Growing Jar at Nag Hammadi.”  April DeConick provided a bit of fun for everyone by posting the quiz Are You a Gnostic?  So the question is, how do you score on the quiz?  

 class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=””>Aren Maeir provided an update on the  Qeiyafa inscription.


Vita Brevis provides an incredibly insightful multi-post guide into getting accepted into a PhD program.  This guide does not hold back on the discouraging odds of actually getting into a program and is a must read for anyone thinking about heading down this road.  As he accurately states, there are no “safety schools” in this discipline.  The odds are stacked against anyone applying to any program!

Mike Koke asks how much others use post-colonial criticism in their work.  This post is especially useful because he provides some background for the discipline and a number of the fundamental texts.  This topic is important as anyone who has looked at the current job postings has certainly noticed that many schools are seeking applicants who have expertise in this emerging discipline.

Duane Smith engages the work of Richard Caplice and Cuneiform literacy.  Duane employs statistical data to challenge Caplice.

The blogosphere was buzzing this month with the revelation that Sheffield University was planning to close its Biblical Studies Department.  Many such as Jim West, Stephen Carlson, A. K. M. Adam, and Cafe Apocalypsis,  posted on the subject.  Websites were erected to protest this closure and even a Facebook page was created in the hopes of halting the closure.  Thankfully, it looks as if the crisis has been averted.  However, comments made by representatives of the university sparked a strong response by Simon Holloway wanting to emphasize the status of Biblical Studies as an academic discipline., run by Brandon Wason and John Hobbins, is in the process of retooling its blog roll.  In an effort to include only academic blogs, the proprietors have established a list of eight criteria which blogs must meet to be included in the biblioblogs blogroll.  In order to complete the transition Wason and Hobbins are soliciting help from their fellow bloggers.  Thus, if you’ve ever wanted to be part of the legendary now is your chance!

Congratulations are in order for Stephen Carlson who celebrates the six year anniversary of his blog Hypotyposeis.  Let’s all raise our glasses to six more years of productive blogging, huzzah!

Final Thoughts

I hope everyone enjoyed this month’s carnival as much as I have enjoyed working on it.  I certainly have a newfound appreciation for all hosts of the carnival, past and present.  Thank you to all who submitted their posts for the carnival, your contributions were quite helpful.  While I have attempted to be as thorough as possible I’m sure I missed many posts that should have been included in the carnival.  Please mention any posts that were overlooked in the comments section below so that all are not punished for my oversight.  Finally, I apologize for not having the carnival complete on the 1st of the month.  I did not realize the amount on anxiety I would generate by taking another day to finish up.

Next month’s carnival will be hosted by Doug Chaplin on his blog clayboy.  Please make his job easier by submitting any interesting posts you come across throughout the month.