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Peace in Middle East? Not Likely…

26th January 2006

With Hamas winning a majority of seats in the Palestinian parliament yesterday, it looks like peace hopes in the Middle East are dashed, at least for now.

ש×?Ö·Ö­×?ֲלוּ ש×?ְלֹ֣ו×? יְרוּש×?ָלִָ֑×?

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God and Sinners

24th January 2006

Came across these wise words today:

They queried Wisdom, “What is the sinner’s punishment?”
and it told them, “Misfortune pursues sinners” (Proverbs 13:21).

They queried Prophecy, “What is the sinner’s punishment?”
and it told them, “The person who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20).

They queried the Torah, “What is the sinner’s punishment?”
and it told them, “He shall be forgiven upon presenting a guilt offering.”

They queried God, “What is the sinner’s punishment?”
and he told them, “He shall be forgiven upon repenting.”

- Jerusalem Talmud Makkot 2.6 (adapted from Sasson, Jonah, 240)

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Hebrew Bible Related Reviews from RBL (15 & 23 January 2006)

24th January 2006

There are some interesting books in the field of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament recently profiled in the Review of Biblical Literature. Some books and reviews that I took special note of include fellow Canadian Mark Boda’s review of Kalimi’s recent work on Chronicles as well as the two reviews of Miller’s Chieftains of the Highland Clans. While both reviews of Miller’s work highlight similar weaknesses and are both ultimately unconvinced of his thesis, they both underscore the wealth of archeological data contained in the study. Finally, I would be remiss not to note Joseph Cathey’s review of Kawashima’s work on biblical narrative.

Hebrew Bible

  • Barré, Michael L., The Lord Has Saved Me: A Study of the Psalm of Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:9-20). Reviewed by Ingrid Hjelm
  • Birch, Bruce C., Walter Brueggemann, Terence E. Fretheim, and David L. Petersen, A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament: Second Edition. Reviewed by Gregory Glazov and Henning Reventlow
  • Fidler, Ruth, “Dreams Speak Falsely”?: Dream Theophanies in the Bible: Their Place in Ancient Israelite Faith and Traditions [Hebrew]. Reviewed by Michael Avioz
  • Hendel, Ronald, Remembering Abraham: Culture, Memory, and History in the Hebrew Bible. Reviewed by Athalya Brenner
  • Kalimi, Isaac, The Reshaping of Ancient Israelite History in Chronicles. Reviewed by Mark Boda
  • Kawashima, Robert S., Biblical Narrative and the Death of the Rhapsode. Reviewed by Joseph Cathey
  • Kunin, Seth D., We Think What We Eat: Neo-structuralist Analysis of Israelite Food Rules and Other Cultural and Textual Practices. Reviewed by Athalya Brenner
  • Miller, Robert D., II, Chieftains of the Highland Clans: A History of Israel in the Twelfth and Eleventh Centuries B.C.. Reviewed by Diana Edelman and Pekka Pitkanen
  • Perdue, Leo G., Reconstructing Old Testament Theology: After the Collapse of History. Reviewed by Erhard Gerstenberger
  • Strawn, Brent A., What Is Stronger Than a Lion?: Leonine Image and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. Reviewed by Bruce Power

Second Temple Studies

  • Boccaccini, Gabriele, ed., Enoch and Qumran Origins: New Light on a Forgotten Connection. Reviewed by Thomas Kraus
  • Campbell, Jonathan G., The Exegetical Texts. Reviewed by Thomas Kraus


  • Faley, Roland J., From Genesis to Apocalypse: Introducing the Bible. Reviewed by Tobias Nicklas

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The TRUE Freshmaker

24th January 2006

A friend emailed this to me:

Hmm… I’m still a bit under the weather… perhaps I need a Mentos!

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Call for Submissions: Biblical Studies Carnival II

21st January 2006

This is a call for submissions and nominations for the second Biblical Studies Carnival, a monthly carnival showcasing the best of weblog posts in the area of academic biblical studies. I will be hosting the next Carnival here at Codex on February 1, 2006.

While I will be giving preference to blog posts published in the month of January 2006, since the last Biblical Studies Carnival was in April 2005 (hosted by Ebla Logs), I will allow posts since that time (consider these the best posts of 2005).

Please read on for information about the Biblical Studies Carnival and how to submit an entry or check out the Biblical Studies Carnival Homepage for more information.

Please feel free to advertise this call for submissions as you see fit.

The Goal of the Carnival

The goal of the Biblical Studies Carnival is to showcase the best of weblog posts in the area of academic biblical studies. By “academic biblical studies” we mean:

  • Academic: Posts must represent an academic approach to the discipline of biblical studies rather than, for instance, a devotional approach. This does not mean that posts have to be written by an academic, PhD, or professor — amateurs are more than welcome! Nor does it mean that posts must take a historical critical approach — methodological variety is also encouraged.
  • Biblical Studies: Broadly focused on discipline of biblical studies and cognate disciplines, including Ancient Near East, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Christian Origins/New Testament, Intertestamental/Second Temple literature (e.g., LXX, Dead Sea Scrolls, Philo, Josephus, etc.), Patristics, Biblical Criticisms and Hermeneutics, Biblical Studies and popular culture, among other things.

The Biblical Studies Carnival will be published on the first of each month (see the Biblical Studies Carnival Homepage for a listing of past and upcoming carnivals).

The Biblical Studies Carnival is patterned after the History Carnival, the Philosophers’ Carnival, and the Christian Carnival, among others.

A blog “carnival” is a blog post where a host blogger links to and sums up the best blog articles in a given subject area in specific period of time. The host typically rotates among a number of different bloggers ensuring diversity and different perspectives in the subject area. Some carnival hots will group entries following different themes, while others go through the entries in order of submission (the former is preferred, though not required).

Contributors and Contributions

Biblical Studies as a discipline has a long and distinguished history. We hope that each carnival will represent something of this variegated history by showcasing a wide range of blogs and topics so that there will always be something for everyone.

As noted above, the Biblical Studies Carnival is not just for academics and specialists and entries certainly do not have to be hard-core scholarship (Hebrew and Greek are not required!). Posts should, however, take a credible academic approach to the subject matter and should not be partisan or polemical. The goal is inclusivity and credibility.

While there should be a fair degree of latitude in what is considered an appropriate post, entries should go beyond posts that consist only of web links or of quotes from other sources with little or no discussion or evaluation. Polemics and overly argumentative posts will not be accepted.

All submissions will be vetted by the host, whose decision is final.

Submitting Entries

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 make sure “biblical studies carnival” is selected and fill in the rest of the information noted above.

Hosting the Carnival

If you’re an established blogger who knows your way around the biblical studies related blogs (dare I say, “biblioblog”), you may volunteer to host a future Biblical Studies Carnival. Email the coordinator either at biblical_studies_carnival AT or at the email noted in the footer.

Please note that the Carnival coordinator has absolute discretion in approving, assigning and scheduling Carnival hosts. Hosting requires some work, but it also highlights your ow blog in the process. The goal is to rotate the Carnivals among a variety of different people.

The only additional requirement is to ensure that full contact details for the next host are included in your Carnival and to send the coordinator an email immediately after posting the Carnival so that this page can be kept up to date.


Tyler F. Williams, Codex Blogspot

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Under the Weather and Somewhat Irritated

21st January 2006

I have been fighting a bug or something this week — aches, no energy, and a developing cough. To top it all off, Friday when I left work to ride my mountain bike home I discovered someone had ripped it off! Talk about irritating! And I just had the front tire studded to give me more traction on the icy roads up here in Edmonton.

Talk about a bummer!

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Jim West’s Biblical Theology Blog No More!

16th January 2006

No, I don’t think the rapture has happened (and even if it did, I imagine Jim West would be down here with me!). No, maximalists haven’t kidnapped Jim (right, Joe?). What has happened is that Jim West has pulled the plug on his Biblical Theology Blog.

Do not dismay, however, Jim has started up a new blog connected to the church he pastors: First Baptist Church of Petros weblog. Here is what Jim says in regard to his decision to shut down Biblical Theology and start up the new blog (I quote his post pretty much in full):

… Readers of various weblogs will know that most recently I redacted the Biblical Theology blog. That blog, it seemed to me, had run its course and it was time for a re-evaluation of its purpose, and my own efforts in the use of this important web communication tool.

So today I laid the Biblical Theology weblog to rest. It’s time had come. Though enjoyable, and I believe useful to many, I thought it important to refocus. It has been my very strong feeling since my College days that people in the pew are in need of serious, disciplined, concise, and well researched biblical and theological information. Hence, with the new year comes a new direction in my own efforts in the blogosphere. The former blog focused on Biblical Theology for the academic community — and this blog will focus on biblical and theological studies for the Church itself — the community of faith.

I hope that those who valued the previous incarnation will also enjoy visiting here. Many things will remain the same. Many things will change. Stay tuned!


I am exceedingly hopeful that amidst the sea of biblical and theological mis-information presently online this page and the companion Biblical Studies Resources pages will be an island of what the author of Timothy had in mind when he described Pastor’s as those who “rightly divide the word of truth”.

Jim’s Biblical Theology blog was informative and insightful (and controversial at times!). I wish Jim all the best on his new blog and as you can see, I have updated my blogroll to reflect the change. I for one will be a regular reader of the First Baptist Church of Petros weblog. (Otherwise, how will I know about significant days in the life of Zwingli?)

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Hebrew Bible Related Reviews from RBL (12, 19 December 2005 and 8 January 2006)

12th January 2006

I have been negligent in my posting of new reviews in the Review of Biblical Literature (bad Tyler!). I almost decided to forego the ones that I missed, but I just couldn’t do it! So here they are in all of their glory — this post brings me up to date.

Take special note of the the review of Hossfeld and Zenger’s new Psalms commentary (I have sung their praises often on this blog), a review of the latest editions of the new French translation of the Septuagint, La Bible d’Alexandrie, as well as Joe Cathey’s review.

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

  • Britt, Brian. Rewriting Moses: The Narrative Eclipse of the Text. Reviewed by Mark Mcentire
  • Chapman, Cynthia R. The Gendered Language of Warfare in the Israelite-Assyrian Encounter Reviewed by Mayer Gruber
  • Eschelbach, Michael A. Has Joab Foiled David?: A Literary Study of the Importance of Joab’s Character in Relation to David Reviewed by Regine Hunziker-Rodewald
  • Fischer, Irmtraud (Translated by Linda Maloney). Women Who Wrestled with God: Biblical Stories of Israel’s Beginnings. Reviewed by Athalya Brenner
  • Freedman, Amelia Devin. God as an Absent Character in Biblical Hebrew Narrative: A Literary-Theoretical Study. Reviewed by Walter Brueggemann
  • Gass, Erasmus. Die Ortsnamen des Richterbuchs in historicher und redaktioneller Perspektive. Reviewed by Uwe Becker and Ernst A. Knauf
  • Grabbe, Lester L. and Alice Ogden Bellis, eds. The Priests in the Prophets: The Portrayal of Priests, Prophets and Other Religious Specialists in the Latter Prophets. Reviewed by Henrietta Wiley
  • Hossfeld, Frank-Lothar and Erich Zenger (Edited by Klaus Baltzer; translated by Linda M. Maloney). Psalms 2: A Commentary on Psalms 51-100. Reviewed by Thomas Kraus
  • Lessing, R. Reed. Interpreting Discontinuity: Isaiah’s Tyre Oracle. Reviewed by W. A. M. Beuken and John Engle.
  • Lo, Alison Job 28 as Rhetoric: An Analysis of Job 28 in the Context of Job 21-31. Reviewed by Leo Perdue
  • Lohfink, Norbert. Studien zum Deuteronomium und zur deuteronomistischen Literatur V. Reviewed by Anselm Hagedorn
  • Moatti-Fine, Jacqueline and Isabelle Assan-Dhote, eds. La Bible d’Alexandrie: Baruch, Lamentations, Lettre de Jérémie. Reviewed by Innocent Himbaza
  • Rogerson, John (Edited by M. Daniel Carroll R). Theory and Practice in Old Testament Ethics. Reviewed by Denis Müller
  • Simundson, Daniel J. Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah. Reviewed by Joseph Cathey
  • Wright, Richard M. Linguistic Evidence for the Pre-Exilic Date of the Yahwistic Source. Reviewed by Christoph Levin

Second Temple

  • Anderson, Robert T. and Terry Giles. Tradition Kept: The Literature of the Samaritans. Reviewed by Stefan Schorch
  • Aune, David E., Torrey Seland, and Jarl Henning Ulrichsen, eds. Neotestamentica et Philonica: Studies in Honor of Peder Borgen. Reviewed by Gregory Sterling
  • Barclay, John M. G., ed. Negotiating Diaspora: Jewish Strategies in the Roman Empire. Reviewed by Pablo Torijano Morales and Allen Kerkeslager
  • Efthimiadis-Keith, Helen. The Enemy is Within: A Jungian Psychoanalytic Approach to the Book of Judith. Reviewed by D. Kille
  • Regev, Eyal. Ha-tsdukim ve-hilkhatam [The Sadducess and Their Halakah]: al dat ve-hevrah bi-me bayit sheni [Religion and Society in the Second Temple Period]. Reviewed by Sagit Mor
  • Runia, David T. On the Creation of the Cosmos according to Moses: Introduction, Translation and Commentary. Reviewed by Claudio Zamagni


  • Barmash, Pamela. Homicide in the Biblical World. Reviewed by Assnat Bartor
  • Foster, Benjamin R. Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature. Reviewed by Alan Lenzi
  • Hill, Robert C., trans. Diodore of Tarsus: Commentary on Psalms 1-51. Reviewed by Martin Albl and Human Dirk
  • Moore, Stephen and Fernando F. Segovia, eds. Postcolonial Biblical Criticism: Interdisciplinary Intersections. Reviewed by Jeffrey Staley
  • Schertz, Mary H. and Ivan Friesen, eds. Beautiful Upon the Mountains: Biblical Essays on Mission, Peace, and the Reign of God. Reviewed by Christoph Stenschke
  • Stichele, Caroline Vander and Todd Penner, eds. Her Master’s Tools?: Feminist and Postcolonial Engagements of Historical-Critical Discourse. Reviewed by Mary Coloe
  • West, Gerald O. and Musa W. Dube, eds. The Bible in Africa: Transactions, Trajectories and Trends. Reviewed by Alistair Wilson

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Satan is Alive and Well… on Harland’s Blog

12th January 2006

Phil Harland over at Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean blog has started a series of posts on the History of Satan, inspired by an undergraduate course of the same name he is teaching this term. In his first post (Satan 1), Phil describes the upcoming series as follows:

Welcome to ongoing discussions regarding the origins, development, and significance of personified evil — Satan and his demons — in early Judaism and in the history of Christianity. We will be tracing the history of Satan (a.k.a. the Devil, Beelzebul, Beliar, Mastema, Lucifer, Mephisto) and his minions from ancient Mesopotamian chaos-monsters to early Jewish and Christian fallen angels to modern portrayals in music, television, and film.

His second post (Satan 2) looks some at important predecessors of Satan from the Ancient Near East which help us to understand the rise of the figure of Satan, such as the different chaos monsters like Lotan/Leviathan. His third post (Satan 3) covers some terms often associated with Satan in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, including the term satan “the adversary” often translated (perhaps incorrectly) as “Satan.”

The series is off to a great start and looks to be a very interesting series of posts. I have some ideas about the development of Satan in the Hebrew Bible (especially 1Chronicles 21) as well as the influence of the Septuagint translation to the notion of Satan that I may blog on in the near future if time permits. Of course, it would be interesting to look at Satan in popular culture, as well.

Make sure to take a look at Phil’s blog. You can always say the “Devil made me do it!”

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Macworld Wonders and Windoze Laments

10th January 2006

OK, in my heart of hearts I am a Macintosh user. I get excited on days like today when Steve Jobs announces new screaming fast Macintosh laptops and iMacs (all running on Intel chips!). While I wondered about the move to Intel (see here), it looks as if Jobs pulled it off! Read CNET news for up-to-date reporting from Macworld here.

And then there’s my Dell Laptop. I like my laptop (Inspiron 8600), though sometimes I wonder if I got a lemon! I have had to replace the harddrive, motherboard, memory, DVD drive over its 2.5 years lifespan (I’m just glad I bought the extended warranty!). I am in the process of doing a complete re-install of Windows XP. I am hoping that this will get rid of the demons that have been plaguing my system for the last month or so. I don’t know if I picked up some malware or something, if I did I couldn’t find it with all of the spyware programs I ran! At any rate, part of me is really tempted to return to the Macintosh whole-heartedly and forget this cross platform stuff. (I am typing this on my dual processor Mac G4)

But, alas, my workplace is a Windows workplace and I do have a bunch of software that is Windows only which I find indispensable — not as indispensable as my Accordance Bible Software for the Macintosh! — but indispensable nonetheless!

Well, Windows XP has finished re-installing. Now to rebuild my configurations…

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