My musings on Biblical Studies, Biblical Hebrew, Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Popular Culture, Religion, Software, and pretty much anything else that interests me!

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Live from the SBL

20th November 2006

Just wanted to post a quick note about the “biblioblogger” podcast over at Targuman. A handful of bloggers got together yesterday here in Washington and had a round table discussion about a number of things related to our blogs. So, if you want to listen to a bunch of blog nerds discuss blogs, U2, and other such things, I encourage you to check it out. You can download the mp3 here.

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Visitor 100,000 Please Stand Up!

3rd November 2006

codez-100000served-arches.jpgAt precisely 8:18:05 am on Friday 3 November 2006 my 100,000th visitor happened upon this blog. As I mentioned earlier, this lucky visitor gets a free book. The reader was from Jacksonville, Florida. If you think it was you, then email me at codex [at] biblical-studies [dot] com and let me know your IPS and your computer and monitor and we’ll discuss your book prize!

To everyone else, I just want to say, “Thank you for visiting!� I added the counter on July 7th 2005, so it took about 15 months to reach the 100,000 mark.

I am pleased and humbled that so many people have visited my blog (and that says nothing about my companion Codex website).

As I have mentioned before, I have very much enjoyed the blogging experience. I have enjoyed the camaraderie between bloggers and the virtual relationships I have developed with others. I look forward to meeting some of you at SBL in Washington later this month.

Again, thanks for visiting! (I hope it was worth your time!)

Posted in Blog News, Milestones & Visitor Recognition | 1 Comment »

Approaching 100,000

31st October 2006

As I mentioned last week, in honour of reaching the 100,000 visitor mark on this blog, I am giving away a book to lucky (providential?) number 100,000. Since the magic (ordained?) number is fast approaching, I have changed the image on Site Meter so that people can’t tell how close they are. If my calculations are correct, the 100,000 visitor should visit this site on Friday. At that time I will post the time of their visit as well as other identifying marks and wait in anticipation for the visitor to contact me.

Stay tuned!

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Approaching 100,000 — Time to Give Away A Free Book!

27th October 2006

OK, I know some bibliobloggers think contests, recognizing milestones, and other such stuff is cheesy. But I don’t care.

As this blog approaches its 100,000th visitor, I want to give away a book. So here’s the deal: if you are number 100,000 I will send you a free book (I’ll give you some options and you can choose).

I figure that number 100,000 should visit around the middle of next week.

Thanks for visiting and good luck!

Posted in Blog News, Milestones & Visitor Recognition | Comments Off

Blog Cited in RBL Review

28th August 2006

Bob Buller, the Editorial director for the Society of Biblical Literature, emailed me Sunday to let me know that one of my blog posts was cited in a book review for the Review of Biblical Literature. This is what Bob wrote:

While preparing the next batch of RBL reviews for publication this morning, I encountered what I believe is a first: a reviewer cited for further reading a blog entry from a biblical studies blog. It was your part 3 of the discussion of the LXX psalm superscriptions. I hope that this will become more common, since a number of the blogs offer excellent discussions, but you are the first (to my knowledge).

This is kind of neat, IMHO.

The citation is to my post “The LXX Psalm Superscriptions (Part 3) – Liturgical Notices and the Psalms for the Days of the Week” and may be found in Eileen Schuller‘s review of Peter L. Trudinger, The Psalms of the Tamid Service: A Liturgical Text from the Second Temple (Leiden: Brill, 2004; Buy from | Buy from The review — which is very good –  may be found here.

Posted in Blog News, LXX Psalm Superscriptions, RBL, Reviews & Notices | Comments Off

Acronyms and Spam Plugin Update

19th August 2006

Since Kevin Wilson showed his, I thought I would show mine — of course I’m talking about my list of acronyms for the Acronym Replacer plugin for WordPress. My list is also incomplete, but feel free to copy and paste whatever you want! (see list below)

In regards to another WordPress plugin, I noted a bit ago that I added a plugin for spam protection on comments. Since adding “Peter’s Custom Anti-Spam Image Plugin for WordPress� I have not had a single spam comment get through. So if you are looking for a basic spam protection program that catches what Akismet misses, I can recommend this one.

Here’s my acronym list:

“NT”=>”New Testament”,
“SP”=>”Samaritan Pentateuch”,
“DSS”=>”Dead Sea Scrolls”,
“OT” => “Old Testament”,
“HT” => “‘Hat tip’, i.e., original source”,
“LXX” => “Septuagint”,
“MT” => “Masoretic Text”,
“Syr.” => “Syriac Peshitta”,
“Tgs.” => “Aramaic Targums”,
“Vulg.” => “Vulgate”,
“BHK” => “Biblia Hebraica, ed. R. Kittel”,
“BHS” => “Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1977)”,
“BHQ” => “Biblia Hebraica Quinta (2004-)”,
“NA27″ => “Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland, 27th ed.”,
“UBS4″ => “The Greek New Testament, United Bible Societies, 4th ed.”,
“ASV” => “American Standard Version”,
“CEV” => “Contemporary English Version”,
“GNB” => “Good News Bible”,
“JB” => “Jerusalem Bible”,
“KJV” => “King James Version”,
“LB” => “Living Bible”,
“NLT” => “New Living Translation”,
“MLB” => “Modern Language Bible”,
“NAB” => “New American Bible”,
“NASB” => “New American Standard Bible”,
“NAV” => “New American Version”,
“NEB” => “New English Bible”,
“NIV” => “New International Version”,
“NIVI” => “New International Version: Inclusive Language Edition”,
“NJB” => “New Jerusalem Bible”,
“NJPS” => “Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures: The New JPS Translation according to the Traditional Hebrew Text”,
“NKJV” => “New King James Version”,
“NRSV” => “New Revised Standard Version”,
“REB” => “Revised English Bible”,
“RSV” => “Revised Standard Version”,
“RV” => “Revised Version”,
“TEV” => “Today’s English Version (= Good News Bible)”,
“TNIV” => “Today?s New International Version”,
“Gen” => “Genesis”,
“Exod” => “Exodus”,
“Lev” => “Leviticus”,
“Num” => “Numbers”,
“Deut” => “Deuteronomy”,
“Josh” => “Joshua”,
“Judg” => “Judges”,
“1 Sam” => “1 Samuel”,
“1 Kgs” => “1 Kings”,
“1 Chr” => “1 Chronicles”,
“2 Sam” => “2 Samuel”,
“2 Kgs” => “2 Kings”,
“2 Chr” => “2 Chronicles”,
“Neh” => “Nehemiah”,
“Esth” => “Esther”,
“Ps” => “Psalm”,
“Pss” => “Psalms”,
“Prov” => “Proverbs”,
“Eccl” => “Ecclesiastes (or Qoheleth)”,
“Qoh” => “Ecclesiastes (or Qoheleth)”,
“Cant” => “Song of Songs (Song of Solomon, or Canticles)”,
“Isa” => “Isaiah”,
“Jer” => “Jeremiah”,
“Lam” => “Lamentations”,
“Ezek” => “Ezekiel”,
“Hos” => “Hosea”,
“Obad” => “Obadiah”,
“Mic” => “Micah”,
“Nah” => “Nahum”,
“Hab” => “Habakkuk”,
“Zeph” => “Zephaniah”,
“Hag” => “Haggai”,
“Zech” => “Zechariah”,
“Mal ” => “Malachi”,
“Matt” => “Matthew”,
“Rom” => “Romans”,
“1 Cor” => “1 Corinthians”,
“2 Cor” => “2 Corinthians”,
“Gal” => “Galatians”,
“Eph” => “Ephesians”,
“Phil” => “Philippians”,
“Col” => “Colossians”,
“1 Thess” => “1 Thessalonians”,
“1 Tim” => “1 Timothy”,
“2 Thess” => “2 Thessalonians”,
“2 Tim” => “2 Timothy”,
“Phlm” => “Philemon”,
“Heb” => “Hebrews”,
“Jas” => “James”,
“1 Pet” => “1 Peter”,
“2 Pet” => “2 Peter”,
“Rev” => “Revelation”,
“ABD ” => “Anchor Bible Dictionary”,
“ISBE ” => “International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia”,
“CE” => “Common Era (AD)”,
“BCE” => “Before Common Era (BC)”,
“SBL” => “Society of Biblical Literature”,
“RBL” => “Review of Biblical Literature”,
“MS” => “Manuscript”,
“MSS” => “Manuscripts ”

Posted in Blog Maintenance, Blog News | Comments Off

Comment Spam Protection — Please Test

21st July 2006

Since switching to WordPress a number of months ago, I have been getting quite a bit of spam in the form of comments on posts. Most of the comments have been innocuous enough, but some are rather x-rated. It hasn’t been too difficult to delete them, since I get a notice of all comments emailed to me. That being said, I have been thinking of adding some extra spam protection to my blog for a while. (Note that my spam filter — Akismet — has also caught 5,425 spam since switching over to WordPress! These are comments that I don’t even see).

I have decided to add a plugin called “Peter’s Custom Anti-Spam Image Plugin for WordPress.” This plugin makes users identify a random word displayed as an image in order to block spambots that cannot read the image. This means that there is an extra step for you to leave a comment on my blog, but I think it is worth the effort! What I liked about this plugin is that I get to choose the words that you have to identify! So I decided to add a bunch of words that relate to the content of my blog (and no, I did not include “useless trash” as one of the words!).

Feel free to test out the comment feature on this post and PLEASE let me know if it didn’t work for you! Thanks in advance to any testers!

Speaking of spam… check this out.

Posted in Blog Maintenance, Blog News | 7 Comments »

60,000 Visitors and Counting!

19th July 2006

Codex60Served.jpgI just noticed that by blog counter hit the 60,000 mark. I just want to say, “Thank you for visiting!” I added the counter on July 7th last year, so it has been just over one year. I am a bit humbled that 60,000 people have visited my blog (and that says nothing about my companion Codex website).

What is even more amazing is the number of visitors I get from all around the world. Case in point: the 60,000th visitor was from Minsk, Belarus. Privet Belarus! I sure hope it was worth the trip!

My average visits sit at about 230 per day, which means in the next year I may have 84,000 visitors. Gee, I guess I better start writing about more than ancient toilets and tattoos!

Thank you for visiting and making blogging an enjoyable and meaningful experience.

Posted in Blog News, Milestones & Visitor Recognition | Comments Off

Thanks, Jim West!

9th June 2006

Jim West held a contest of his own today, and guess what? I actually won something. I don’t win things very often, so I am pleased as punch! (OK, what does that mean, “pleased as punch”? How can a liquid be pleased?).

At any rate, I happened to be Jim’s 170,000th visitor at his site, and because of that I get a free book — to be more accurate, I get free “books.” Jim, who will now be known to me as “Jim the Generous” will be posting me the Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls edited by Lawrence H. Schiffman and James C. VanderKam (Oxford, 2000; Buy from | Buy from With 450 articles by an international team of scholars, this two volume work offers the most comprehensive critical synthesis of current knowledge about the Dead Sea Scrolls — and their historical, archaeological, linguistic, and religious contexts. Written in non-technical language this reference work provides authoritative answers and information for all readers. This is a pretty expensive set — at least up here in the Canadian hinterlands. All I can say is, “Sweet!”

Thanks, Jim!

Posted in Blog News, Dead Sea Scrolls, News, Personal | 7 Comments »

50,000th Visitor Who Are You?

2nd June 2006

OK, OK, I know I said I wouldn’t have any more contests for a while. But I was grabbing some books from my office today and noticed that I had duplicate copies of a couple books. I also noticed that I hit the 50,000 visitor mark this evening. Then I combined those two insights and decided to give away a book to lucky number 50,000.

So here it goes. My 50,000th visitor was from Thornhill, Ontario, and is running a Macintosh computer with OSX. S/he visited my blog at 9:17:11 pm.

If you think you are the lucky visitor, then send me an email at codex [at] biblical-studies [dot] ca with some revealing information about yourself (like your ISP or IP address!) and you can pick one of the two books below and I’ll send send it to you for absolutely nothing! Here are the books:

  • Robert Alter, Genesis (New York: Norton, 1996). This is a superb literary translation of the book of Genesis with an introduction and insightful commentary.
  • Frederick Buechner, The Son of Laughter (New York: HarperCollins, 1993).  This is an absolutely amazing novel that retells the story of Jacob in a way that is both profound and well-researched. You will never think about the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in quite the same light after reading this book!

Congratulations to the winner!

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