I haven’t been posting the regular updates to the Review of Biblical Literature lately, but I certainly wanted to note the one that was just came today because it has a review of blogger Tim Bulkeley‘s Amos: Hypertext Bible Commentary by fellow Edmontonian Ehud Ben Zvi.
The review is quite positive, though Ehud does note some way that the commentary could be improved. Here is his conclusion:
We all owe a debt of gratitude to Tim Bulkeley for all his work in this important project. I see this Amos commentary as a version 1.0 that will, I hope, lead to further and better versions in which many of the problems mentioned here will be solved. I am aware that even this version represents an improvement over previous versions (notice, e.g., the wise removal of the term â€œpostmodernâ€? from the title of the series; cf. http://bible.gen.nz/), and I confidently hope that this process will continue and even accelerate.
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).
I have not been posting the weekly Review of Biblical Literature publications lately, but I did want to note a rather thorough and positive review of a recent book by one of my colleagues from the University of Alberta in the 18 July edition:
Over the centuries, the task of making sense of the book of Hosea has not only been difficult but has also has sparked much controversy in the interpretive communities. Ben Zvi has made an enormous contribution to Hosea studies and the understanding of this enigmatic prophetic book. His readings of Hosea are arguably cutting edge and deserve the careful attention of those who wish to keep current in Hosea studies and recent methods of interpretation. I found here much to employ in my future work. Likewise, as the methods Ben Zvi advocates are further refined by the academy, his work will undoubtedly be viewed as an enduring contribution to this endeavor.
This week’s Review of Biblical Literatureincludes a few interesting reviews. Of particular interest to me is the review of Kofoed’s Text and History, which is quite positive (perhaps too positive; it would be interesting to read a review by someone more skeptical of reconstructing Israel’s history from biblical texts). There are also a couple of good reviews of Dever’s Did God Have a Wife? (see here for a previous post on Dever’s book).
This week’s Review of Biblical Literature is kind of sparse. Judging from the reviews I read, I’m not sure there will be much I will run out and buy! (How’s that for a ringing endorsement!). There are a couple more positive reviews of Brueggemann’s Theology of the Old Testament and Fretheim’s work looks like it is worth a gander. My interest was piqued in Min’s The Levitical Authorship of Ezra-Nehemiah due to my work in Chronicles, though from reading Grabbe’s review a inter-library loan will suffice. I should also note that philo-blogger Torrey Seland’s book is reviewed.
Like clockwork, the latest Review of Biblical Literature has appeared and there are a few reviews of books in the area of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and cognate disciplines — though pickings are a bit sparse this week. I would recommend the work on John Allegro — he was truly an interesting character in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the biography by his daughter is a facinating read. Magic mushrooms anyone?
Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
Carasik, Michael (ed. and trans.), The Commentators’ Bible: The JPS Miqra’OT Gedolot: Exodus. Reviewed by Adele Berlin
Kiuchi, Nobuyoshi, A Study of HÌ£Ä?tÌ£Ä?â€™ and HÌ£atÌ£tÌ£Ä?â€™t in Leviticus 4-5. Reviewed by Reinhard Achenbach
Matthews, Victor H. and James C. Moyer, The Old Testament: Text and Context. Reviewed by Phillip Camp
The latest Review of Biblical Literature is now out and has some interesting reviews relating to the Hebrew Bible and Dead Sea Scrolls. Especially noteworthy considering the recent interest in historiography among bibliobloggers is a favourable review of Kofoed’s Text and History: Historiography and the Study of the Biblical Text. The review itself is fair and highlights some of the weaknesses of Kofoed’s work. That being said, that Kofoed’s work “represents a substantial effort toward ending the impasse that has gripped the debate over the use of biblical texts in the study of the history of ancient Israel” is a bit ambitious. As evidenced in the recent discussion on the Biblical Studies discussion list, the impasse is still alive and well. Also worthy of mention are the reviews of Vermes’s recent work, which is a collection of his essays on the New Testament and Qumran.
Carol M. Kaminski,From Noah to Israel: Realization of the Primaeval Blessing After the Flood. Reviewed by Martin Leuenberger
Jens Bruun Kofoed,Text and History: Historiography and the Study of the Biblical Text. Reviewed by D. Matthew Stith
Jack R. Lundbom,Jeremiah 37-52. Reviewed by John Engle
Thomas RÃ¶mer, Jean-Daniel Macchi, and Christophe Nihan, eds., Introduction a l’Ancien Testament. Reviewed by Andre Lemaire
There are a number of reviews in this week’s Review of Biblical Literature that will interest Hebrew Bible specialists. Note the two positive reviews of Campbell’s FOTL commentary on 2 Samuel (one in French), while Romer gives the Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible a mixed review. I should also note that Auld’s work on Amos is a reprint of his 1986 Guide. For those interested in translation issues, there is also a review of Poythress and Grudem’s theologically conservative opposition to the TNIV.
Special note should be made of Jodi Magness’ massive (and decisive) 15 page review of Hirschfeld’s Qumran in Context. She concludes: “Hirschfeld’s interpretation and other alternative interpretations of Qumran are contradicted by the physical connection between the scroll caves and the settlement and by the presence of numerous features that are unparalleled at other sites. These features… “—are physical expressions of this community’s halakah, which involved maintaining the highest possible level of ritual purity. This accounts for the absence of these features at other sites. Rarely does archaeology so clearly reflect a system of religious beliefs and practices.” I encourage you to read her full review.
Rainer Albertz, Geschichte und Theologie: Studien zur Exegese des Alten Testaments und zur Religionsgeschichte Israels. Review by Manfred Oeming
A. Graeme Auld, Amos (T and T Clark Study Guides; previously Sheffield Guides). Review by Nahum Roesel
As has become my custom of late, below are the Hebrew Bible (full, unedited, and even with a few bonus reviews from the “other” section!) entries from the latest Review of Biblical Literature, as well as some sundry comments by yours truly.
I was curious to see what Kraus said about The Book of Psalms: Composition and Reception, as I am reviewing it for another journal (Kraus evidently enjoyed the volume since he notes no shortcomings). If the recent recovery of the Leviticus scroll fragments has whet your appetite, then judging from Nitzan’s review, Secrets of the Cave of Letters sounds like an interesting read. There is also a very positive (albeit not very techincal) review of Logos Bible Software Scholar’s Library Silver Edition (for more on biblical studies software, go here). Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t draw your attention to the review of Mowinckel’s He That Cometh by Jim West of the Biblical Theology Weblog. (Note the other review of Mowinckel’s classic is by Heinz-Josef Fabry, not Fabry Heinz-Josef as in the email and on the webpage).
Stephen L. Cook, The Social Roots of Biblical Yahwism. Reviewed by Kenton Sparks