30th June 2008
Ahem, a funny thing happened on the way to the carnival… I stopped by a garage sale and then got bogged down with the selling of my Mom’s house and various administrivia related to my paid employment (unfortunately, and perhaps surprising to some, blogging is at the lower end of the list of priorities — just ask my wife! -)). And when I did do some work on the carnival, I was reminded about all of the work it takes to put one together since hardly anyone submitted blog posts for it (which is regular problem which we really have to remedy). At any rate, I am heading out for holidays in a couple hours and knew that if I didn’t get the carnival finished today, it wasn’t going to get finished (and that would not be a good thing). So without further ado (!), here is the Biblical Studies Carnival XXX in all its glory…
The month of May was busy as far as biblical studies in the blogosphere goes. There were a number of interesting posts as well as some engaging discussions.
We’ll start the tour with some techie stuff. Tim Bulkeley of SansBlogue fame had an interesting post on how to add a daily audio Bible chapter to your WordPress blog. This is pretty cool; what would be even more cool is if you could do it in the original languages (I imagine it is possible since it is based on MP3 files).
Moving from the techie to the linguistic, C. Jay Crisostomo over at MU-PA D-DA started a series on linguistics in biblical studies, ancient near eastern studies, and classics. The first post in the series may be found here, while you can see the entire series (which is ongoing) by following this link.
In the field of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament there were a number of interesting posts. First up, and in honour of Mother’s Day, Claude Mariottini had a couple posts at his eponymous blog. He started it out with his The Sons of Rizpah: Reflections on a Mother’s Love and then followed it up with a few posts on the biblical motif of a mother of seven. He first looks at the reference to the mother of seven mentioned in Jeremiah 15 and other biblical texts and followed it up with a look at the reference to a mother’s seven martyred sons in 2 Maccabees 7:1-40. Duane over at Abnormal Interests also posted on this theme with his abnormal post, Enkidu, Jeremiah, and the Mother of Seven. Duane suggests an allusion between the harlot in Gilgamesh (Tablet VII iv:10) with the woman in Jeremiah 15:5-9. Any takers?
Chris Heard and John Hobbins had an interesting back-and-forth about John Walton’s functional understanding of the first creation story in Genesis chapter one. Chris started the conversation with his Genesis 1: functions and structures post, while John responded with Genesis 1 is also about making things: John Walton’s thesis revisited. Chris then looked further at the Hebrew verb bara in Genesis one, while John Walton himself had earlier written a fuller discussion of his views over at Hobbin’s blog. (I’m also not sure I can entirely buy Walton’s argument.)
Danny over at Samson Blinded has an interesting discussion of lex talionis in his post, An eye for an eye doctrine in the Hebrew Bible. Based on Exodus 21:22-24, Danny argues that the “eye for an eye” retaliation in Hebrew law applies only to harming the pregnant women. In an interesting move, he further argues that the Exodus law is a later narrowing of the broader application of lex talionis found in Lev 24:19-20 (“Anyone who maims another shall suffer the same injury in return: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; the injury inflicted is the injury to be suffered” NRSV). Most would argue the opposite; the Priestly laws are more than likely later than those found in the Book of the Covenant. Either way, it is an interesting post.
Moving to the prophets, Stephen Cook has an engaging post, Interpreting Zechariah through Art over at Biblische Ausbildung. The post is based on the work of one of his students in his spring seminar on the Prophets. It reminds me of an excellent paper one of my students did on the portrayal of King David in art history.
In connection with the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Septuagint, Richard Anderson over at dokeo kago grapho soi kratistos Theophilos was on a bit of a LXX kick in May. He uploaded a number of posts on the significance of the LXX for early Christianity. His first post, The Role of the Septuagint provided a general introduction to the LXX. He followed it up with a short post on The Role of the Septuagint in Redemptive Almsgiving that sets the trajectory for his other posts: The Role of the LXX in the Theology of the Early Church and a final post teasing out the Implications of the role of the Septuagint with respect to the notion of redemptive almsgiving.
There was a little debate among Loren Rossen, Mark Goodacre, and April DeConick, among others, surrounding the nature of oral vs. literate culture in antiquity. Way back when Loren Rosson over at The Busybody, posted “Back to Oral Culture: The World of Hypertext and recently followed it up with Back to an Oral Culture (II) in response to posts by Mark Goodacre and April DeConick. Mark Goodacre over at NT Gateway Weblog thinks contrasts between literate and oral cultures are exaggerated, while April DeConick seems to think otherwise in her post, What is Orality?, over at The Forbidden Gospels Blog. The debate continued with a number of other posts, including Judy Redman’s useful contribution Orality and Literacy. Mark’s posts may be found here, while April’s may be found by following this link.
There were a number of posts in the area of New Testament/Early Christianity in the month of May.
There was an impressive series of posts by Thom Stark on Hidden Transcripts in Romans 13:1-7 over at semper reformanda. The series of posts started in April and finished in May. An index to all the posts may be found here.
Bill Heroman over at the Bible/History Blog uploaded a two-part series on Paul, Aretas & Damascus, over at his . His first post, Aretas and Damascus – Discussion looks at Bowersock’s discussion of Paul and Aretas in his 1983 book, Roman Arabia, while his second post, Paul Fled Damascus Twice! is a fictionalized reconstruction of Paul’s second flight from Damascus, in which men from the Damascene church successfully repeated a previous tactic – the basket over the wall trick! As an illustrative exercise, the imagined dialogue between Paul and Ananias weaves together historical detail reviewed in Post 1, showing connections with scriptural events. An expository section follows discussing the logic of blending the various accounts (from Acts, Galatians & II Corinthians) without assuming similar details are non-independent events.
Rick Brannan (aka “Rico”) posted a review of David Scholer’s Social Distinctives of Christians in the First Century: Pivotal Essays by E.A. Judge over at ricoblog. He also uploaded a series of posts on instances of non-negative αλλα. See his posts, αλλα in MT 9.18 (and parallels), αλλα in 1Pe 3.16 and his The Symbol of Chalcedon: On the Difference Between αλλα and δε..
James McGrath published a number of interesting posts over at his Exploring Our Matrix blog, including Sticking Up For The Sadducees, Apprehending Jesus’ Apprehension, and Jesus: Of the Line of David?.
Wrapping up biblical studies, Alan Lenzi wrote an interesting article on the writing of commentaries, Writing Commentaries and the Life of a Biblical Scholar.
More in the are of theology, Nick Norelli uploaded a multi-part review of the book Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory Christology. The index to his review may be found here over at Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth.
Finally, on the lighter side, Jim Davila had a review of the new Indian Jones film over at paleojudaica. While it was posted in June, you should also make sure to check out Scott Bailey‘s post BS Carnival XXX: Triple the BS (and yes, he is one of my students).
The next Biblical Studies Carnival will be hosted by James R. Getz over at his Ketuvim blog, and should be coming in the next day or two (and I assume he will be far more prompt than I!)