September 1, 2007

Biblical Studies Carnival XXI

That Abnormal Interests ClownCome one, come all to the Biblical Studies Carnival XXI. Boys and girls of all ages will find pleasure, intrigue, excitement and, with a little luck, insight within the posts featured in this month's carnival. Here you will find links to posts, published in August, that focus on the academic study of the Bible and cognate disciplines.

I want to thank all of you who suggested August posts. Your efforts made the task of setting up this carnival so much easier than I thought it would be. Thanks!

Perhaps the most difficult decisions I had to make were which of the several book review posts to include in the Carnival. After careful consideration, I decided that, unless someone other than the author nominated such a post, I would be capricious and arbitrary in my selection. Some may feel I used the same high principle in all my selections and I'm not sure I would argue with anyone who tried to make that point. For what I thought might be a slow month, August produced many abnormally interesting posts.

But before you head to the Midway, a little warning is in order. Several bloggers have found that both individual posts and virtually everything on their site has been stolen by for profit online outfits. Claude Mariottini has a post on the subject with links that contain fuller discussions and useful ideas on how to combat this theft. But be prepared, it will take some time and effort. For the record, I have been able to assert my creative commons license in one particularly flagrant case by following the steps listed by Lorelle on WordPress.

[A note on links: If there is an underline, it is a link to something. If it isn't bold and blue the link takes you directly to the referenced post. Most of the time, if a link is bold and blue the link takes you to the home page of the blog. Once in a while, if there is not another link, a bold and blue underline will link directly to the post.]

While the web may be full of thieves, the Midway is safe and full of delights. There is something here for everyone. So head on down the Midway and stop at every concession.

The Hebrew BibleThe Hebrew Bible

Dave Beldman at Tolle Lege is reading Job. His second, third and fourth posts are on the structure of Job. His first post on "Reading Job" was in July but I don't think it would be cheating if you looked at it too.

Suzanne McCarthy at the Better Bibles Blog, reflected on "Angels and Gender." Among other topics, Suzanne commented on two papers by David Stein (you can find links to Stein's papers in Suzanne's post.) Suzanne followed up by posting a lengthy comment by Stein. Suzanne also shared some "Notes on Jerome's Hebraica." She's wants to know "if knowledge of how to read these notes is being kept alive or not."

The Nabû-šarrussu-ukin Tablet just keeps giving. John Hobbins at Ancient Hebrew Poetry had two significant posts on this tablet and Jeremiah 39.

Claude Mariottini presented an introduction to a larger paper by one of his students, Maggie Cole, on the "Witch Medium of Endor" in two parts. Why do I often feel that the work of the student is better than the work of the teacher? Happy Face.

Mid month, in a post called “'God for us is a refuge and strength:' Psalm 46,” John Hobbins turned his attention to Psalm 46 of all things.

Phillip W. Dennis has trouble with the documentary hypothesis at AGKYRA and it takes him two interesting posts to explain his problem.

Chris Heard at Higgaion used recent news about Wiley Drake of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park to provide an important lesson on "Imprecations, exegesis, and hermeneutics." Among other things, Chris took a hard look at Psalm 109.

Over at deinde, Jason Hood examined "Social Location and Interpretation: Wealth in 1 Kings 10-11."

John Hobbins also asked us to consider "Symmetry, Asymmetry, and Word Play in Genesis 3:14-19" And John followed this up with two posts on Genesis 3:14-19 and 4:6-12, "The War to end all Wars: Genesis 3:14-19 and 4:6-12" and "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in Genesis 3:14-19 and 4:6-12."

James McGrath at Exploring Our Matrix discussed genetics, and Israelite origins as an exercise in critical thinking.

Bob MacDonald at Bob's Blog has been "drafting" the Psalms. Late this month he posted an index to those he has completed. If your favorite Psalm is one of the 50.6% he has completed, you can link to it and see the Hebrew text and his translation with color colour coding.

All carnivals have at least one concession that is lewd and unseemly. I've decided to take that concession for myself. So now, I direct your attention to my "An Echo of Divination in Biblical Hebrew" and "What do Dogs, Boys, Adult Men and Polluters Have in Common?"

Cognate languagesNear Eastern Languages and Cultures

Jim Getz at Ketuvim presented a thought provoking post on "Hospitality in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter" in which he draws an abnormally interesting comparison between the "Hymn to Demeter” and "Adapa and the South Wind"

John Hobbins not only studies Ancient Hebrew Poetry, he also studies ancient Ugaritic poetry. His post on KTU 1.10 and "The Prosody of Ugaritic Poetry" is a must read if you are interested in either Hebrew or Ugaritic poetry. I did try to give John a little help in one difficult place.

I also tried to provide something abnormal for this category but according to Jim Getz, I was only "horsing around." If you're not interested in the Bronze Age treatment of various ailments of horses or how an Ugaritc text about such things might inform us on other stuff, skip this and go on to the next concession.

ArchaeologyNear Eastern Archaeology

Join Claude Mariottini in looking at a National Geographic report of the recently discovered Egyptian Fortress near the Suez Canal.

Todd Bolen of BiblePlaces reports on a report of the discovery of "Sandal Print Found Near Sea of Galilee."

Christopher O'Brien at Northstate Science did a very thought provoking post on Syro-Palestinian archaeology and isolated artifacts. So I guess that's why he called it "Syro-Palestinian Archaeology and Isolated Artifacts." If both Jim West and Chris Heard recommend a post, it is sure to be an important read.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Jeremy O’Clair at Ancient Study wrote a thousand plus word essay on the Galilee Boat.

Todd Bolen of BiblePlaces and Leen Ritmeyer reflect on the 7 m. long wall uncovered on the Temple Mount. Leen thinks it is part of the Herodian Temple complex. To be, perhaps, too politically correct, this wall was not uncovered in the course of controlled excavations. But, as Jim West reported yesterday, this may be much ado about nothing. Like some wines, reports of "important" discoveries, particularly from uncontrolled settings, require more than a little aging. Even then, they often go bad.

Dead Sea ScrollsThe Dead Sea Scrolls

Iyov shared her or his impressions of the Dead Sea Scrolls EExhibit in San Diego.

Over at Ralph the Sacred River, Ed Cook wondered about Voldemort at Qumran. Ed doesn't see Lord Voldemort in 4Q544 but he does see something else that is "pretty terrifying."

Christian New TestamentThe Christian New Testament

Suzanne McCarthy of Better Bibles Blog and Doug at MetaCatholic spent some time last month wondering about words that are inserted in translations. If there were such an award, I'd nominate the title of Doug's post on this topic for best post title in the Biblioblog category: "On Not Being Spiritual."

Suzanne also asked us what we make of an entry in the Georgii Pasoris, Manuale Novi Testamenti, Ed. Christianus Schotanus. Amsterdam: Ex officina Elzeviriana, 1664. Perhaps we can all offer our ideas, that is, if any of us know anything about medieval shorthand. Give it a look and see what you think.

Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed did a five part series on "New Perspectives on Paul." This series generated many comments. Why doesn't one of my posts on the Ugaritic veterinary text generate this many comments?

The quest for the historical Jesus enjoyed considerable discussion last month. Scot McKnight of Jesus Creed wrote a series of five posts. All of them generated a considerable number of comments. Mark Goodacre addressed several of Scot's points at NT Gateway Weblog with his own series of three posts.

Michael Barber at Singing in the Reign asked, "Did Jesus come to establish a New Temple?"

Brant Pitre at Singing in the Reign reminds us that historical Jesus research is "often frustrating, sometimes funny, but always fascinating" while relating "Some Interesting Facts about Historical Jesus Research."

Richard Anderson at dokeo kago grapho soi , using the parable of the Wicked Tenants as an example, tells us, "The prophetic lawsuit with sentence omitted has the same purpose as a juridical parable."

The so-called "Lost Tomb of Jesus" continues to inspire interests. Stephen Pfann of The View from Jerusalem provided a very interesting post on "Yeshua’ (?) ." He offers a color coded reading of the word that is often read "Yeshua." But Antonio Lombatti at Pseudoscienze cristiane antiche e medievale thinks Pfann made a couple of fairly significant errors. Stephen returned to the subject with a post showing some eight "Yeshua" inscriptions on ossuaries. Antonio posts a video clip of remarks by Frank Cross.

Jason Hood did a lengthy review of France's, The Gospel of Matthew, (NICNT) at deinde.

Layman at CADRE Comments reminds us of the importance of genre in "What a Difference a Genre Makes: Philo's On the Life of Moses."

Josh McManaway, A New Testament Student, reflects on the importance of Patristics for both understanding the Bible and understanding the Church.

Nick Meyer at Jesus, Paul, and Luke writes on "Why did Paul Persecute the Church? Four Types of Answers," "Paul’s Persecution of the Church: An Observation on the Four Approaches," and "Paul's Persecution: Thinking through the Issues"

Ben Smith looked at "Patristic Passages on the Four Gospels and the Cherubim" at Thoughts on Antiquity.

Over at Metacatholic, Doug considered "James and Johnannine sectarianism" as seen in John 7:1-10.

Rick Brannan of Ricoblog wrote a couple of very useful posts on Greek Readers. Not only did he give us "More on Greek Readers" he gave us "Even More on Greek Readers." You might also want to take a look at Rick's three part discussion of Stanley Porter's Hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament.

Early Christian ExpressionsEarly Christian Expressions: New Testament Apocrypha, Gnosticism and other Wonderful Things

Tony Chartrand-Burke at Apocryphicity gives us the "Top Faulty Arguments in Anti-Apocrypha Apologetics" spread over two posts. Mark Goodacre at the New Testament Gateway reflects on Tony's reflections.

Antonio Lombatti discussed Pagan Amulets as forerunners of Christian Relics at Pseudoscienze cristiane antiche e medievale. He even has a picture of a fifth century CE Christian amulet. That's why I put it in this section rather and with the Christian New Testament stuff. Also this section was a little light.


Ben Smith (for Ben's sake, I must report that he is not related to your current barker) at Thoughts on Antiquity is now on part 9 of his series on Canonical lists. You may well enjoy the one on "The Canon of Epiphanius."

John Hobbins at Ancient Hebrew Poetry puts his spotlight on Bernard Levinson who is thinking about canon. How is it that John shows up in almost every concession with something of interests to intrigue us?

Kevin Edgecomb at biblicalia also considers canon in a post called "Regula fidei scriptorumque."

Over at Blue Cord, Kevin Wilson discusses "Source Criticism and Theology." In fact, he does it twice.

MethodologyMethodology, Interpretation and Related Matters

In three posts, Claude Mariottini debunked typology as a legitimate interpretive methodology. Claude took his cue from a post by Pauline Viviano at American: The National Catholic Weekly who complains about this mythology in a review of a theological commentary on 1 and 2 Kings by Peter Leithart. Not surprisingly, Peter Leithart wrote a response to Viviano's concern but that was last month so perhaps I shouldn't have cited it. But Pauline Viviano restated her position in August so perhaps I am safe after all.

John Hobbins at Ancient Hebrew Poetry (there he is again) took up and put down "A High View of Scripture Falsely So-called." John also had an abnormally interesting post on "Authorship as a Hermeneutical Construct." I wasn't sure where to put this one so I put it here.

Hector Avalos' book The End of Biblical Studies created a bit of a stir. Several bloggers shared their thoughts. Loren Rossen at Busybody wondered, "Does Theology Bring Death to Biblical Studies?" and Chris Heard shared his second detailed post on Avalos' book at Higgaion.

I wasn't sure where on the midway to put Palimpsest's owner operator Shawn Flynn's multipart series on John Milton and "The Bible and English Literature." So I decided to put it here.

Various approaches to reading the Bible continue to be a hot topic of conversation. Chris Hallquist of The Uncredible Hallq, Claude Mariottini, Doug at MetaCatholic and your intrepid barker had another round of discussions on atheists and reading the Bible last month. And while this was great fun, I thought the exchange between Kevin Edgecomb of Biblicalia, John Somebody at Ancient Hebrew Poetry, Chris Weimer of Thoughts on Antiquity, Doug at MetaCatholic and Shawn Flynn of Palimpsest on C. S. Lewis and historical criticism far more instructive.


Chris Heard or Higgaion, here, here and here and Jim West of Dr. Jim West, here, here, here and here both reported on the Catholic Biblical Association meeting in Santa Clara.

Roger Pearse at Thoughts at Antiquity reports on the XV International Conference on Patristics studies at Oxford (6-11 Aug. 2007).

Cognate Carnival of the monthCognate Carnival of the Month

Some guy at Ancient Hebrew Poetry made the following great suggestion in one of his posts,

It might be helpful for Biblical Studies Carnival roundups to include a section that cross-references cognate carnival roundups of the month previous insofar as they highlight posts of multidisciplinary relevance.

I took the liberty of taking John up on his suggestion here in Biblical Studies Carnival XXI. If you don't like it, blame John me. As far as Biblical Studies go, my own abnormal interests center around cognate cultures and languages and archaeology. One carnival that I have found helpful in these pursuits is Four Stone Hearth. This carnival brings together posts on anthropology broadly defined. Jason Fox at Hominin Dental Anthropology just posted the late August edition. Four Stone Hearth appears about every two weeks. While all the posts in this carnival are worthy of your time, I found "Jason and the Argonauts, the Golden Fleece, and Gold" by Afarensis and Martin Rundkvist's post "Howard Williams Studies Memorials" abnormally interesting. But Eric Michael Johnson's "The Evolution of Metapopulations and the Future of Humanity" may be most relevant to this "community of strangers."

SanBlogueBiblical Studies Carnival XXII

Tim Bulkeley will be your host for Biblical Studies Carnival XXII over at Sansblogue. Tim’s carnival will be published around October 1, 2007. Please submit your candidate entries as soon as you see them. Biblical Studies Carnival looks for blog articles that make a contribution to academic biblical studies.

As Tyler Williams, our hard working advance person, reminds us,

"Individuals may nominate multiple suggestions or may nominate their own writing. Please refrain from submitting more than one post by any individual author for each Carnival, with the exception of multipart posts on the same topic. The posts should have been published recently, certainly within the previous month, and preferably since the date of the last Biblical Studies Carnival.

To submit a blog post for inclusion to the Biblical Studies Carnival you may do one of the following:

  1. Send the following information to the following email address: biblical_studies_carnival AT If you’re not sure whether a post qualifies, send it anyway and the host will decide whether to include it.
    • The title and permalink URL of the blog post you wish to nominate and the author’s name or pseudonym.
    • A short (two or three sentence) summary of the blog post.
    • The title and URL of the blog on which it appears (please note if it is a group blog).
    • Include "Biblical Studies Carnival [number]" in the subject line of your email
    • Your own name and email address.
  1. Use the submission form provided by Blog Carnival. (This is probably the easier option if you only have one nomination.) Just select "biblical studies carnival" and fill in the rest of the information noted above."

Have fun next month!

Posted by Duane Smith at September 1, 2007 8:28 AM | Read more on Hebrew Bible |

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» Biblical Studies carnival XXI is up from Metacatholic
Kudos to Duane Smith for the 21st Biblical Studies carnival. It introduces me to a number of new blogs, which is always one of the treats of the carnival. Thanks Duane for all your hard work. ... [Read More]

Tracked on September 1, 2007 11:15 AM


Brilliantly well done, Duane. Excellent.

Posted by: Jim at September 1, 2007 9:35 AM

Dare I say, abnormally interesting? Thanks.

Posted by: Doug Chaplin at September 1, 2007 11:17 AM

Great job on this one.

Posted by: Shawn at September 2, 2007 9:02 AM

Well done, to find/mention so many articles in the vacation time.

Posted by: JPvdGiessen at September 7, 2007 9:49 AM

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