Biblical Studies Carnival – October 2015

Typical Blogger

Typical Blogger

Welcome to the Biblical Studies Carnival  for October 2015. This is BiblioBlog Carnival 116. The first BiblioBlog carnival was Joel Ng at Ebla Logs in March 2005. That blog is not long gone, but you can read an archive of it at Peter Kirby’s Biblioblog Top 50.  I took over as the “keeper of the list” in summer of 2012 when Jim Linville of Dr. Jim’s Thinking Shop retired from blogging. This marks three and half years of cajoling people into volunteering to host carnivals. I guess that is half-a-tribulation period, for the dispensationalists in the audience. in fact, 116*6 is 696, and if you flip the middle number, well, there it is. Another blood moon prophecy fulfilled.

I looked over the Carnival I hosted in July of 2012 and was surprised how many blogs have disappeared, but also how many new, active bloggers have arrived recent years. There are still many solid, scholarly blogs out there who do the Christian community a service by doing at least some of their work in public for all to share. I am happy to see so many publishers supporting BiblioBloggers and urge them to continue to look to scholarly blogs as reviewers.

Before I get to the links, next month’s carnival will feature Jim West (@drjewest) uniting all the BiblioBlog Carnivals under one ecumenical roof for the November carnival. I expect to hear all the SBL gossip and AAR skinny from Jim on December 1, 2015.  Jennifer Guo (@jenniferguo ) will celebrate the completion of her first semester of Seminary with the December carnival on January 1, 2016. Tim Bulkeley has January 2016, Jacob Prahlow (@prahlowjacob) has February, James Pate has March 2016. This means I have April 2016 (Due May 1) through the rest of the year open. Carnivals are a great way to attract attention to your site if you are new blogger, but more importantly it gives you a chance to highlight the best and the brightest in the world of bibliblogs. Contact me via email (, DM on twitter (@plong42) or a comment on this post and I can contact you.

If you are heading to SBL, the annual Bloggers’ gathering at SBL/AAR is set for Sunday night.  In honor of SBL/AAR, The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing. If anyone is still finishing their paper, here is an academic paper name generator to save you some time. While on the topic of white guys meeting together, J. K. Gayle comments on White Male Bibliobloggers and “rape threats as a matter of course.” She laments the ongoing dearth of women in BiblioBlog carnivals, in ranked biblioblog listings, and at biblioblogger dinners and social functions around academic conferences.

I have noticed a few non-English BiblioBlogs over the years, but I am not sure anyone has made any index of these resources. One of the best is Manuel HG at Estudio Biblico Online. He is collecting audios and videos by biblical scholars of Spanish speaking countries. His site is an excellent resources for Spanish language scholarship.

Over the last few Biblical Studies Carnivals, several hosts have lamented the decline in quality posts. Some of the older BiblioBlogs have closed or merged, newer blogs have yet to gain momentum. Blogs were once thought to be a place to experiment with ideas and get feedback from like-minded colleagues. I do see quite a few good posts coming through at Christian Origins, but it is a fact academic blogs are less active that three or five years ago.

One factor in the decline of the BiblioBlog may be the availability of academic papers at I regularly find excellent papers on this site and while the ability to discuss a posted paper is not ideal, It seems to me has become a place for the discussion and publication of ideas in a way blogs cannot. Papers include recent and older journal articles posted by the authors as well as links to their work elsewhere. Here are some examples posted in the month of October, others are placed in appropriate sections throughout this post.

Hebrew ScribeOld Testament 

Randy McCracken examines four stories about stomach-stabbings in 2 Samuel. I bet that’s the only stomach-stabbing biblioblog post for October!

Here is an interview with Bo H. Lim on Love and Violence in Hosea.

“Head” and “Headship” in Genesis 1-3 from Marg Mowczko (@MargMowczko). Marg also had a nice piece on “Are Men Accountable for their Wives’ Actions?” (my wife votes no, by the way).

David Corder comments on “Hezekiah – Crisis and Trust” at The Outward Quest.

Gili Kugler, “The Dual Role of Historiography in Psalm 106: Justifying the Present Distress and Demonstrating the Individual’s Potential Contribution” ZAW 126(2014):546-553.

William Hart reviewed Ken Brown’s The Vision in Job 4 and Its Role in the Book: Reframing the Development of the Joban Dialogues (FAT/2 75. Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2015), concluding “an essential development in Joban studies which all scholars working with Job must take into consideration.”

20 Archaeology 09Archaeology 

This has been in the news for most of the month: Sunni extremist group IS blows up ancient Arch of Triumph in Syria’s Palmyra…unless it was all a Jewish conspiracy (which it is not).

The earliest known abecedary.

More Canaanite evidence found by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s dig team that the ancient water system at Tel Gezer is Canaanite.

Thomas L. Thompson argues Israel Finkelstein and William Dever are not all that different than the “biblical archaeology” of William F. Albright.

Randy McKraken interviews archaeologist Luke Chander while Michael Smith asks “How can Archaeologists Make Better Arguments?” (From the September issue of The SAA Archaeological Record).

Non-Canonical Writings 

Here is a seven minute video from Craig Keener on Lost Gospels. In the seven minutes it takes you to watch this video, Keener wrote 314 pages of a new commentary.

Myths of the Apocrypha, Part 1 and Part 2.

Richard Goode asks (and answers) “Which book of the Apocrypha did Paul use most?

April DeConick shared the news about the new journal, Gnosis.

Brian W. Davidson comments on Andrew Perrin on the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls, and his new book, The Dynamics of Dream-Vision Revelation in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls (V&R, 2015).

A new Saturday series on the Pseudepigrapha from William Hart Brown, Pseudepigrapha: A Brief Introduction

Hebrew and GreekNew Testament  

From The Jesus blog, The Modernist Controversy and the Excommunication of Alfred Loisy.  At last check, The Jesus Blog is now home to six scholars (Le Donne, Keith, Pitre, Crossley, Jacobi, Rodríguez). Like the Borg, resistance is futile.

In The Historically Theological Jesus Simon J. Joseph argues “our disciplinary distinction between history and theology leads us to think that history and theology are methodologically incompatible, with scientific “history” representing the disinterested, neutral pursuit of knowledge and “theology” representing confessional conviction.”

A 40+ minute presentation on Historia de Jesús by Xabier Pikaza and another on Jesus by Antonio Piñero (both in in Spanish).

Jeannine Brown posted her 2004 Word and World article on “Silent Wives, Verbal Believers: Ethical and Hermeneutical Considerations in 1 Peter 3:1-6 and Its Context.”

Neil Godfrey has a nice summary of James Dunn’s interest in Historical Jesus Studies.

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) interviewed textual criticism scholars at the Society of Biblical Literature conference in San Diego, California in 2014. They are available from  CSNTM at iTunes University.

Michael Bird asks “Why Did the Romans Persecute Christians?” “Most likely Christ-believers were singled out because they were regarded as committing national apostasy.”

Larry Hurtado continues to argue for  Early Christian Diversity, “This early Christian diversity, however, was not a number of totally separate communities or forms (hence, my dissatisfaction with “early Christianities”). As I contend in a recent article, the diverse expressions of early Christianity seem to have been in vibrant contact with one another, sometimes conflicting, at other times seeming to agree to overlook differences, at other times seeking to persuade others of their own views/emphases.”

Ronald V. Huggins wonders if the “High Christology of the First Verse of the Earliest Book in the New Testament?” Huggins thinks Galatians 1:1 is arguably the earliest Christian text it has a “high Christology.” James McGrath briefly responds.

Paul Davidson comments on The Development of the Lord’s Prayer.

James Snapp, Jr. on “The ESV versus the ESV”. “The ESV released in 2007 was not the same as the ESV that was issued in 2001, and the ESV that was issued in 2011 was not the same as the ESV that was issued in 2007.”

Michael Kok gives us a sneak peek at his SBL paper on Markan Christology.

Bill Mounce on Relative Time in Participles.

Lindsay Kennedy finishes his series on Romans 7. He concludes the “I” in Romans 7 is clearly. . . [spoiler alert]. Lindasy also started a new series in October on Mark 13, working through Stein, France/Wright, MacArthur/Pettegrew, and Bolt.

Richard Fellows, “Thomas Schmeller, the unity of 2 Corinthians, and Titus-Timothy.”

Exegetical Tools interviewed  Joseph Hellerman, author of Philippians in B&H’s Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament.

Wayne Coppins has a very nice translation/summary of Christine Jacobi on Social Memory and Jesus Tradition in Paul.

James McGrath discussed neglected aspects of 2 Timothy 3:16.

Deane at Biblical Studies Online offers a handy set of links to the Syndicate Symposium on Chris Keith’s Jesus against the Scribal Elite.

Sound TheologyTheology & Church History

Alyssa Hall comments on The Relevance of Sola Scriptura for the Modern Church.

Marg Mowczko asks, “Is all sin equal in the eyes of God?

Austin Channing comments on Sin Problems and the Skin Problem.

Scot McKnight makes a proposal for “honest tension” as a model for Egalitarians.

Claremont School of Theology associate professor Grace Yia-Hei Kao comments on how she came to find (or claim) her scholarly voice.

What about that Country Club Catholicism?

World Wide Communion Sunday Sermon from Jes Kast-Keat.

Tim Bulkeley at Sansblogue wonders what happens when conservatism and the Bible clash.

Reta Finger discusses biblical hermeneuticsinspiration and authority.

The Velveteen Rabbi comments on “The Specialness of the Ordinary” as well as a report from a Jewish Renewal Simchat Torah service.

Daniel Kirk on why “divine identity” Christology is like Biblical inerrancy.

Kendra Weddle Irons encourages us to take the Bible seriously and stop taking verses out of context.

Just a few Church History links: A historical perspective on Religious Liberty, and the Parables from Roger Williams (ca. 1603-1683). Jim West had some things to say about Zwingli’s Second Zurich Disputation. Joshua R. Ziefle observes that Some Things Do Change  as he begins to read Jaroslav Pelikan‘s five-volume The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine.

book reviewerBook Reviews

Jodi Magness reviewed James Charlesworth’sThe Tomb of Jesus and His Family? Exploring Ancient Jewish Tombs Near Jerusalem’s Walls (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013) and Ben Witherington comments on the review, the tomb, and anything else he darn well wants to.

Madison N. Pierce at Biblical and Early Christian Studies reviewed Matthew W. Bates, The Birth of the Trinity: Jesus, God, and Spirit in New Testament and Early Christian Interpretations of the Old Testament.

Mike Boling reviews the The Jewish Study Bible (Second Edition).

Jacob Prahlow reviewed A History of Christian-Muslim Relations by Hugh Goddard  (Chicago: New Amsterdam Books, 2000).

Ben Witherington has been reading John Barclay’s Paul and the Gift (Eerdmans, 2015). This looks like a great book, by the way and I will be reviewing here soon.

Andrew King at the Blog of the Twelve reviews John D. Currid, Against the Gods: The Polemical Theology of the Old Testament. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013.

James Pate reviews Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Tough Questions about God and His Actions in the Old Testament (Kregel, 2015) and Kyle Greenwood, Scripture and Cosmology: Reading the Bible Between the Ancient World and Modern Science ( IVP Academic).

Lindsay Kennedy reviews Graham Goldsworthy, The Son of God and the New Creation (Crossway 2015).

Neil Gofdrey interacts with Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening by Maajid Nawaz

Todd Scacewater at Exegetical Tools reviews Aposynagōgos and the Historical Jesus in John: Rethinking the Historicity of the Johannine Expulsion Passages, by Jonathan Bernier (Brill, 2013).

William Hart Brown (@willhartbrown) reviewed a few important books this month: Jeremy D. Smoak, The Priestly Blessing in Inscription & Scripture: The Early History of Numbers 6:24-26 (Oxford University Press, 2015); Eric M. Meyers and Mark A. Chancy, Alexander to Constantine: Archaeology of the Land of the Bible (Yale University Press, 2014); Travis DeCook and Alan Galey (editors), Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Form of the Book (Routledge, 2014).

Another BiblioBlogger

Another BiblioBlogger

Other Interesting Reads

Carl R. Trueman (Paul Woolley Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary) states Historical is Not Enough in response to Rod Dreher’s “The Struggle of Memory Against Forgetting” in the American Conservative.

Gina Messina-Dysert offers some commentary on the Pope’s address to US Bishops failing to mention women.

Scot McKnight on prayer in the early church.

8 Reasons the Worship Industry Is Killing Worship. (I’m looking at you, Chris Tomlin….)

Andy Naselli offers 3 Reasons for a Pastor-Theologian to Get a PhD, based on the book The Pastor Theologian: Resurrecting an Ancient Vision (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015).


By far the most theologically important post this month, Josh Ziefle on The Conversion of Han Solo.

Jim West points out an early “least necessary conference of the year” candidate, Orange is the New Bible Symposium at Sheffield, “An interdisciplinary conference for undergraduate and postgraduate students exploring the Bible and the cult Netflix TV series, Orange is the New Black.” I guess the Monty Python conference was such a success….

By far the least theologically important contribution of the decade, Benjamin Corey informs us Sarah Palin appears in a documentary opining on “What the Bible Really Teaches on Violence.” Benjamin also calls out Donald Trump for quoting parts of the Bible that do not actually exist.

In Conclusion…

Thanks for reading the whole Carnival, or at least scanning through the list for your own name and accidentally making it to the end. Seriously, go back through the list and click all the links (again). Head over to Jim West’s alt-Carnival and save yourself a seat for the 117th Biblical Studies Carnival at Zwingli Redivivus on December 1.




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