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Archive for November, 2007

Biblical Studies Carnival XXIV – Call for Submissions (Pretty Please!)

30th November 2007

So, as it turns out, the individual responsible for this month’s Biblical Studies Carnival had to back out last minute (today). As the ever-faithful coordinator of the carnivals (lol!), I am going to step in and do the Carnival for this month. I will not be able to get it uploaded for tomorrow; but I am aiming for early in the week (probably Monday).

What you can do to help me out is nominate some posts. I know I won’t be able to do much of anything tomorrow (my sister is in town and my son and I have hockey — he plays, I coach), so if you can get nominations in today and tomorrow, that would be great. I will spend some time Sunday and Monday putting the Carnival together. Please don’t be shy — nominate one of your own posts, or you can nominate a post written by someone else — don’t forget that the post needs to fit into the general category of academic biblical studies and cognate areas and needs to have been written sometime in November 2007.

You can submit/nominate posts via the submission form at or you may email them to biblical_studies_carnival AT hotmail DOT com.

For more information, consult the Biblical Studies Carnival Homepage.

Thanks in advance!

Posted in Biblical Studies Carnival | 2 Comments »

In Remembrance

11th November 2007

Today is Remembrance Day (11 November) in Canada (as well as in the UK, Australia, and other Commonwealth nations), a day that we remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war and peacekeeping.

All schools in Canada will have Remembrance Day assemblies and one of the traditions is to recite a famous Canadian poem about World War I, “In Flanders Fields.” Here is the poem:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
— John McCrae

One of my favourite Dire Straits songs is “Brothers in Arms,” a haunting ode to the foolishness of war.

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you’ll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And youll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
Ive watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

Theres so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the suns gone to hell
And the moons riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But its written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
Were fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

May we never forget.

He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more (Isa 2:4)

Posted in Holidays, Remembrance Day | 1 Comment »

A Major Pet Peeve: Writing in Library Books

9th November 2007

I really really hate it when I take out a library book only to find that some doorknob has written in it — I don’t care if it is just neat little underlines or asterisks in the margin or dumb comments. I also don’t care if you intend to erase your pencil marks when you are done — it still damages the book. If you want to fold, spindle, or mutilate a book, then buy it yourself!


If you write in library books considered yourself on notice! And stop it!

(And for what it is worth, I personally only make very minor marks in pencil in my own books)

Posted in Personal | 4 Comments »

Commentaries on Chronicles Galore!

9th November 2007

There has been a resurgence of scholarly interest in Chronicles, which is evident in the number of commentaries recently published on this oft-neglected book. There is truly a wealth of resources in English for those interested in studying this theologically facinating book of the Bible. My division of the commentaries into those for “Scholars and Teachers” and “Pastors and Students” is admittedly somewhat artificial. Assiduious readers will glean much excellent information from most of the commentaries listed below.

Commentaries for Scholars and Teachers

With recent publications by Klein and Knoppers, there is no shortage of academic commentaries on Chronicles — especially 1 Chronicles. The academic heavyweights for 1 Chronicles are clearly Gary Knoppers‘s Anchor Bible volumes and Ralph Klein‘s Hermeneia commentary. Knoppers is second to none in terms of text-critical analysis, while Klein’s work is solidly academic, though also easily accessibly for pastors and students. I find Johnstone‘s analysis of the Masoretic text of Chronicles to be rather refreshing and original.

Other commentaries geared more for scholars and teachers include the excellent WBC volumes by Braun and Dillard (perhaps the best from an evangelical perspective) and De Vries, who is quite insightful in his analysis (but is limited by the format of the FOTL commentary series). Another commentary that is hampered by the format of the series, yet is invaluable for scholar and student alike, is Williamson‘s NCB commentary. Other scholarly volumes worthy of perusal include Jarick‘s interesting reading of Chronicles that “tunes out” other competing traditions, Dirksen‘s thorough historical critical study, as well as Curtis and Madsen‘s more traditional (albeit dated) philological commentary.

Finally, pride of place for academic commentaries on the book of Chronicles still has to go to Sarah Japhet‘s majesterial volume, not only because it covers both 1 and 2 Chronicles in one volume, but more importantly, it is both insightful and thorough in its exposition.

Commentaries for Teachers and Pastors

There have been a number of new commentaries published on Chronicles from a popular perspective in recent years. Selman‘s two volumes are quite good, as are the works by Thompson and Tuell. Pastors will find Allen‘s and Hill‘s commentaries quite useful, though I find Allen’s discussions of modern applications to be closer to the mark. Out of all of these more popular commentaries I would probably give the strongest recommendation to McKenzie‘s volume. I have used it for seminary and undergraduate classes and have found that it both represents the state of current scholarship and is theologically sensitive.

I would welcome your comments — what commentaries on Chronicles do you find most useful and why?

For more commentary recommendations, see my “Old Testament Commentary Survey.”

Posted in Chronicles, Commentary Survey, Old Testament | 2 Comments »

Biblical Studies Carnival XXIII online at Ancient Hebrew Poetry

5th November 2007

John Hobbins over at his Ancient Hebrew Poetry blog has uploaded Biblical Studies Carnival XXIII.
John has done a superb job highlighting academic biblical studies in the blogosphere for the month of October 2007. He has even posted a follow-up post, “What I Left out the First Time.”

The next Biblical Studies Carnival will be hosted by James M. Darlack over at Old in the New in the first week of December 2007. Make sure to regularly nominate posts you read around the blogosphere this month.

For more information, please consult the Biblical Studies Carnival Homepage.

Posted in Biblical Studies Carnival | 2 Comments »