I dub this month’s Biblical Studies Carnival to be the “Blogroll Amnesty Edition,” because it embodies in part God's preferential option (on February 3rd, anyway) for the smaller blogs. I had asked that contributors give special consideration to the smaller blogs in this carnival, and several did. So, to the small fry linked herein: happy hit counts to us!
In accordance with venerable tradition (i.e., Duane did it), I am offering this Carnival in two parts. The first part is “Your Carnival,” and includes posts nominated to the carnival. The second part is “My Carnival,” and includes posts that I rounded up on my own. Again, “My Carnival,” in the spirit of February’s “Blogroll Amnesty Day,” will comprise mostly (but not only) posts from blogs that are sub-Top 50.
Old Testament and Suchlike:
The bloggers (in the persons of Darrell Pursiful and Tsalampouni Ekaterini) called our attention to Richard Hess on personal names in Gen 1–11.
Suzanne at Suzanne’s Bookshelf looks at Gen 3:16 ("and thy desire shall be to thy husband," KJV), specifically the meaning of the woman's desire.
Busybody Loren Rosson looks at Israelite/Judaean land ethics in the context of Philip Esler’s review (PDF) of Ellen Davis' Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Claude Mariottini takes a closer look at the Song of Solomon, including Song 1:5 (“I am black and/but beautiful”).
David Stark at NTinterpretation is engaged with Martin Abegg on the meaning of “works of the Torah” for the Qumran community.
The New Testament and Suchlike:
Cynthia R. Nielsen at Per Caritatem has written a well thought piece on Eschatological Developments Within the Pauline Corpus.
Stephen Carlson at Hypotyposeis looks at the translation of σαρξ in Galatians 3:3.
On NT pod, Mark Goodacre lays out some of his case against the hypothetical Q source.
The Pistis Christou debate is alive and well at James Gregory’s All Things Ephesians, as he reviews a portion of Bird and Sprinkle’s The Faith of Jesus Christ: Exegetical, Biblical, and Theological Studies (Milton Keynes, U.K., and Peabody, Mass.: Paternoster and Hendrickson, 2009).
As a part of his series on Foucault at Political Jesus, Rod of Alexandria defends deconstruction and looks at the concept of Pauline “authorship.” See, too, the response by J.K. Gayle at Aristotle’s Feminist Subject.
(I have taken the “mythicism” conversation out of the NT section and given it its own area: see further below.)
Teaching and Writing:
Karyn at Boulders2Bits writes a thorough pre-publication review, with excerpts, of Jo Ann Hackett’s A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (with CD) (Hendrickson, 2010). How much would you pay for Karyn’s review? Don’t answer! There’s more! She has also reviewed Bordreuil and Pardee’s A Manual of Ugaritic (Eisenbrauns, 2009).
Alan Lenzi at Feeling Finite asks, “When Should Editors Step In and Say ‘Not on My Watch,’” concerning William Barrick’s review of Hill, Andrew E., and John H. Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament. What ideas about the history of ancient Israel or the composition history of biblical texts is an academic journal obliged to entertain? What ideas is it obliged to dismiss as unsupportable?
(Late breaker: the question is raised anew in Alan’s space in response to another RBL review, this time Bruce Waltke’s review of Michael Fox’s Proverbs 10–31: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary [Yale University Press, 2009]. What is the role of confessional assertions about the Bible in peer-reviewed review articles representing the Society of Biblical Literature?)
ZOMG! Mythicism! And Stuff!
The Big Conversation of the month, though, had to have been that started and maintained by James McGrath on the subject of "mythicism," or the claim that the person Jesus Christ never existed in history. In a month-long dialogue spawning thousands of comments and dozens of responsive posts elsewhere, James found himself in a polygonal conversation with (caution: overlapping categories ahead) mythicists, creationists, atheists, and his fellow bibliobloggers.
I’ll offer links to James’ posts, then to some of the responses that I found. There is just no way for me to be comprehensive about this, but I figure that 1) if you were in the conversation, you will have caught what I’ve missed, and 2) if you are new to the conversation, this is more than enough to get you immersed.
Here is James, with the titles often paraphrased. If you would rather see all these on one page (albeit in reverse order), just search for “mythicism” on James’ blog. Here we go: mythicist misunderstanding (Feb 6), the discussion spreads (Feb 8), microexistence v. macroexistence (Feb 9), accusations and assumptions (Feb 9), more creationist parallels (Feb 10), creationism and ID (Feb 11), death of mythical messiah (Feb 11), Tacitus on mythicism (Feb 12), publishing on historical Jesus (Feb 14), YECs are like mythicists (Feb 14), yet more mythicist/creationist parallels (Feb 16), unreasonable faith and Jesus’s existence (Feb 17), not all atheists are mythicists (Feb 18), is there evidence for mythicism (Feb 19), mythicism and John the Baptist (Feb 20), mythunderstanding the criteria of authenticity (Feb 21), mythicism and historicism as theories (Feb 22), mythicism and paradigm shifts (Feb 23), at long last I understand mythicism (Feb 24), mything links (Feb 27).
Mid-month, Mike Koke at the Golden Rule took time to gather the links to date and offered a response with reference to 1 Thess 2:14-15, and also with reference to an earlier “historicity of Jesus” post of his own.
Neil Godfrey at Vridar was a steady interlocutor, arguing for the validity of questioning the historicity of Jesus (Feb 4), against misunderstandings on the part of historicists (Feb 9), and against circular arguments on Jesus’s historicity (Feb 11). (The dates should help you cross reference to James’ posts listed above.)
John Hobbins at Ancient Hebrew Poetry offered some considered judgments on the analogy from King Arthur (Feb 9) and on whether Albert Schweitzer can be called a mythicist (Feb 13).
Undoubtedly I have only scratched the surface on this topic. I assure you that I have left no-one out intentionally. I invite readers (and writers) to supplement my links to the “mythicism” conversation in the comments to this carnival.
Tim Bulkeley at SansBlogue wants to know what biblical scholars could do with an online information visualization tool.
Language, Linguistics, and Translation:
Peter Bekins of בלשנות literally had the audience drooling over linguistics at the Midwest SBL.
Crescat Graffiti blesses us with three great words that sound great together: Hieroglyphic…sex…graffiti.
In the “No, no, you can’t do that!” department, Doug “Clayboy” Chaplin alerts us to Preachers! Using! Greek! Claptrap detectors out, everyone.
(Oh, and speaking of claptrap, Jason at Εις Δοξαν reminds us that we can never, never get tired of the comedic preaching stylings of Steven Anderson.)
Tim at SansBlogue is reading Seth Sanders’ The Invention of Hebrew (University of Illinois Press, 2009). Join him for first impressions, the introduction, the first and last ’graphs, chapter one, and chapter two.
On the perennially favored topic of apologetic translation, David Ker at Better Bibles engages a post by Daniel Kirk at Storied Theology on theological manipulation in a translation of Gal 5:6.
Timothy at Catholic Bibles wants to hear you state your case for your favorite Bible translation (h/t to Qohelet at the Bible Critic).
Inscriptions and ancient texts:
Steve Wiggins of Sects and Violence in the Ancient World sees only “escapees from Flatland” (awesome literary ref there, Steve) in a bit of iconography claimed to represent Yahweh and his Asherah.
With a work in the hands of the printers, Alan Lenzi of Feeling Finite is now “off and running” on Reading Akkadian Prayers.
Speaking of reading Akkadian poetry: Beware of abnormal side effects! Duane is having Crazy Thoughts About Blindness and Reading Clay Tablets.
At כל־האדם, Joseph has continued to read The Context of Scripture. Here at Anumma, I have tried to do my part. We’re reading CoS in a year at the January 1st invitation of Charles Halton at Awilum.
Paavo at מה יתרון has been working through Perdue on empire in Proverbs and in Job.
In response to Julia O’Brian’s piece in The Bible and Interpretation, “Biblical Scholarship and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” Phil Sumpter at Narrative and Ontology has been reflecting on Biblical Scholarship and the State of Israel, and on ethnic Israel and Esther.
Qohelet’s church accidentally made a comedic case against (or for?) lectio continua. Or, at least against randomized selections from Deuteronomy.
Genesis and Stuff:
Thomas Verenna is one of several who observed Darwin Day on their Bible-related blogs.
Steve Wiggins finds that the scientific fact of evolution is, in the United States at least, still Out of Reach.
At כל־האדם, Joseph Kelly reacts to Strimple’s Historical Adam essay, calling it on the fallacious “argument from abbhorent consequences.” (It is fortuitous, then, that a related lecture came to Joseph from Princeton Theological Seminary.)
At Biblia Hebraica, Doug Mangum follows up on Joseph’s post, with a related word on the similarly fallacious “argument from the NT.”
Nijay Gupta offers recommendations for reading on Genesis and theology.
Wright on Paul, now made easy! See N.T. Wright for Everyone: The Apostle Paul, by Nijay Gupta.
Qohelet (The Bible Critic) endorsed the “analogy from Arthur” that was offered by Eric Reitan beginning with a comment to the historical Jesus discussion. (Above, as a respondent in the “mythicism” section, John Hobbins also weighs in on Arthur).
Also relating to the Historical Jesus, Phil Harland (Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean) continued his podcast series on Studying the Historical Jesus with parts two and three.
At NT/History Blog, Bill Heroman is thinking on “Synagogue” in James 2:3.
Little help now! Patrick McCullough at kata ta biblia is looking for assistance on NT manuscript preservation as reception history, and also needs a good title for an SBL session (not a paper, a session).
Well, I’m about wiped out. Don’t delay to begin nominating posts to the next Biblical Studies Carnival (instructions for nominating at that link). I will edit this preliminary information upon confirmation, but unofficial rumor has it that the redoubtable Jim West will take next month’s Carnival into his own strong hand and outstretched arm. [That’s a ’firm.]
Thanks for the opportunity to steer the ship this month, and I hope that everyone who enjoyed the Carnival will consider hosting when they may.
[Biblical Studies Carnival LI was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/03/01. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]