Biblical Studies Carnival for September 2017

Welcome to the Biblical Studies Carnival for September 2017.  This month I have the privilege to host the carnival, next month Doug Chaplin will host his first carnival at his blog, Musings of a Christian Humanist. The next three carnivals are set:

  • October 2017 (Due November 1) – Doug Chaplin, @dougchaplin
  • November 2017 (Due December 1) – Jim West, @drjewest
  • December 2017 (Due January 1) – Jennifer Guo,  @jenniferguo

I have included a link to the site hosting as well as a twitter account so you can nominate posts during the month by sending them directly to the host. If you do not have a twitter account, contact the host via their blog. As always I am looking for volunteers for 2018. I have two months spoken for but I would love to get January and February covered as soon as possible. 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. Please email me  (plong42 at or direct message on Twitter (@plong42). You can also leave a comment here with your contact info and I will get back to you.

In personal blogging news, Reading Acts celebrated its ninth year in September and recently hit the 1.5 million hit mark. When I began the blog in 2008, I rarely saw more than a few hundred hits per month, now I see over 1000 per day. Thanks to the many faithful readers of this blog, as well as the hundreds of spammers who pad my stats.

If you use FlipBoard to read blogs, consider following my Biblical Studies magazine. The Web-based version is OK, but Flipboard is an essential app for your iOS device. I use it on my iPad for news and other special interests. Follow me on twitter (@plong42) as well.

Old Testament


Michael Satlow asks, “What are the Ten Commandments?”

Peter Enns talks with Jon D. Levenson on the topic of “Resurrection in the Hebrew Bible” on the Bible for Normal People podcast.

Bob MacDonald interacts with a recent article, Mark Leuchter, “The Ambiguous Details of the Blasphemer Narrative,” JBL 130 (2011), specifically on the details of Leviticus 24.

Preaching Source posted some “preaching pointers” for the Minor Prophets this month, including Steve Lemke, Preaching Pointers from Jonah; Kevin Jordan, Preaching Pointers from Nahum; Jared Musgrove, Preaching Pointers from Zechariah  (advice: “keep it epic”); Matt Beasley, Preaching Pointers from Haggai.

On the ASOR Blog, Richard Elliott Friedman, The Exodus in Archaeology and Text.

Second Temple Period Literature


In a fascinating long-read, Martha Himmelfarb reflects on her work Ascent to Heaven in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses after 25 years on the Ancient Jew Review. She says “I no longer see the ascent apocalypses as an unbroken tradition emanating from the Book of the Watchers as I did in Ascent to Heaven.”

Daniel Stevens at the Logos Academic Lab has some great advice on “How to read Josephus in Greek like a boss.”

Ferrell Jenkins has a nice post on Barclay’s Gate at the Western Wall.

Wayne Stiles offers some tips on using your Bible’s Maps.

From the blog The Lying Pen of Scribes, Post-2002 Dead Sea Scrolls-like Fragments Online: A (Really Exhausting) Guide for the Perplexed. Let me just say this is my new favorite blog, if only for the name. It is administered by the University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway and is the source for the photograph of a new Dead Sea Scroll included here.

New Testament


Ian Paul asks “How do we make sense of the Beatitudes?”

Bill Heroman at NT/History, How Jesus Redefined “Kingdom” and Todd Scacewater wonders “Why the Apostles Rarely Mention the Kingdom.”

John Meade at LXX Studies makes a few observations about Mark 1:13 and Allusions to the Old Testament.

Michael J. Caba offers some thoughts on Luke & Acts and John the Baptist.

Steve Walton at Acts and More, Sean Adams on the ‘Being Jewish, Writing Greek’ conference.

The long dormant blog on Galatians maintained by Thomas woke from its slumber to note two dissertations on Galatians from the University of Durham. I hope this blog is more active in the future.

Ian Paul contributed a detailed article on why ‘Head’ does not mean ‘leader’ in 1 Cor 11.3. He also has a nice long read on Paul’s pastoral strategy (or lack thereof).

When the Overthinking Christian asks “Does the ‘New Perspective’ muddy the waters?” James Dunn Responds.

Lucy Peppiatt imagines a new scenario in “Women and Worship in Paul’s Churches: Apostles, Prophets, and Teachers”

Willy Wonka - Oh, you get all your info on the bible from the internet? You must be quite the biblical scholarDavid Corder has been working his way through Jerome Murphy-O’Connor’s Paul: A Critical Life, so he offers a short reflection on Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” as opposition to his ministry.

Tavis Bohlinger interviews Williams and Jongkind on the Tyndale House Greek New Testament.

Michael Kok (The Jesus Memoirs) has started blogging through Hebrews, the link goes to the first post in the series. So far he has touched on external evidence for authorship, internal evidence for authorship, the date of Hebrews, and the audience of Hebrews. This is an extremely high quality series of posts and I look forward to reading Michael’s work as I prepare to teach Hebrews in the spring semester. Brian Small included these are other posts in his Hebrews Highlights for September.

Michael Bird has a few comments on the Opponents in the Epistle of Jude. “The short of it is that we do not know for sure who these wicked persons are, but we can gather that Jude is thoroughly disgusted by them.”

Larry Hurtado has several posts on Textual Criticism this month, starting with Early Textual Transmission of Christian Texts. He suggests “The second century may well have been a time of “uncontrolled” copying (i.e., no ecclesiastical structure controlling the process), but it does not appear to have been a time of particularly “wild” copying of the biblical texts.” In Textual Stability and NT Studies he repeats this, “no one should deny textual variation, right from the start of the textual transmission of the Gospels (and all other ancient texts).  But it’s an exaggeration to characterize the earliest transmission of these writings as “wild” and chaotic, or to suggest that we can’t know what the authors actually wrote.” In another post he responds to some of his commenters by asking “Is a Paradigm Shift Now Called for?”  “In short, it is time for us to consider whether the notion (seemingly cherished by some) that there was an initial period of “wild” handling of writings that later became part of the NT, followed by a supposed fixing of texts sometime in the latter part of the 2nd century, now should be laid aside in favour of a “paradigm” that more adequately reflects the evidence.”

Biblical Studies Online has returned from the summer with a few links to video lectures by Dale Martin on Ancient, Biblical, and Modern Families, Carolyn Osiek on Women Disciples, Leaders, and Apostles: Mary Magdalene’s Sisters, and Barbara Reid on Mary Magdalene and the Women Disciples in the Gospel of Luke.

Peter Gurry responds to Paolo Trovato’s comments on “why we need to face the ‘awkward problem’ of conjectural emendation.” Read Gurry’s interview with Trovato here.



On Travis McMaken’s Die Evangelischen Theologen, Juan C. Torres comments on David Congdon’s recent The God Who Saves. David Roberts offers a few insights on the same book under the intriguing title, Ents, Hobbits, and Salvation in the Shadow of Charlottesville.

David Congdon responded with Reversing Theology—A Personal Reply to Torres and Roberts. The Slacktivist chipped in another theological morsel to chew on from David Congdon.

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The Evangelical Pulpit explains “Why Heaven is NOT the Ultimate Destination”.

Michael Bird reflects on the Nashville Statement. “More than ever, we need to develop an orthodox anthropology that is capable of engaging the issues of the twenty-first century. Sadly, I do not think the Nashville Statement does this.”

Ian Paul asks “Is it true that ‘God is love’?”

There is a new blog in town, Augustine & the 21st Century. It launched with essays from Miles Hollingworth, Joanna Leidenhag and Anthony Dupont.

In response to a recent Pew Research study, Michael J. Kruger asks “Are Protestants Closer to Catholics than Martin Luther?” – part 1 and part 2.

Biblical Languages


Jonathan Homrighausen comments on his book written with J David Pleins, Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories: A Student’s Guide to Nouns in the Old Testament three months after publication. I reviewed the book and found it a useful tool. Jonathan responded to my review, so stick around for the comments.

Book Reviews

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Lindsay Kennedy at My Digital Seminary, Jonathan Griffiths , Preaching in the New Testament (IVP)

Bryan Dyer reviewed Hebrews in Contexts (edited by Gabriella Gelardini and Harold W. Attridge, eds. Hebrews in Contexts. Leiden: Brill, 2016). This volume is a collection of papers presented in the Hebrews section at the SBL annual meetings from 2005 to 2013.

Oxford University Press has a Q&A with Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, the editors of the new second edition of The Jewish Annotated New Testament.

I reviewed Michael F. Bird, An Anomalous Jew: Paul among Jews, Greeks, and Romans (Eerdmans).

The Christian Humanist podcast interviewed Jonathan Pennington focusing on his new book The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing.

Garet Robinson interviews Michael Bird on his new book, Jesus the Eternal Son.

Carson Bay reviews Elisa Uusimäki, Turning Proverbs towards Torah: an Analysis of 4Q525. Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah 117. Leiden: Brill, 2015. “Uusimäki’s work is overall a solid and welcome addition to scholarship. Her book takes a necessary closer look at 4Q525 and provides a framework for understanding this text both in its physical fragmentary features and in its intellectual context.”

Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay reviews Nina E. Livesey, Galatians and the Rhetoric of Crisis: Demosthenes – Cicero – Paul. Salem, OR:  Polebridge Press, 2016.

Joshua Matson reviews Hanan Eshel, Exploring the Dead Sea Scrolls: Archaeology and Literature of the Qumran Caves, edited by Barnea Selavan and Shani Tzoref. Journal of Ancient Judaism. Supplements, 18. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015. “The volume itself is a testament to the legacy of Hanan Eshel in the field of Qumran studies and the history of the Qumran caves. Additionally, this volume serves as a gift from his closest friends and partners in scholarship to the world as a lens through which to view the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

Jonathan Pennington, The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing (Baker, 2017), reviewed by Nijay Gupta.

Sarah E. Rollens reviews Heidi Wendt, At the Temple Gates: The Religion of Freelance Experts in the Roman Empire. Oxford University Press, 2016.



Jonathan Pennington, “The Life of the Professor” — My Talking Points for our New Faculty Workshop. Sure this was posted in August, but I didn’t read it until September and it is really well done.

Russell Moore says goodbye to Hugh Hefner.

John Fea offers some thoughts on Calvin College philosopher James K.A. Smith plenary lecture at “The State of the Evangelical Mind” in an essay entitled Evangelicalism as a Mission Field for Evangelical Scholars.

Esteban Vázquez digs for Hidden Treasures in Festschriften, in agreement with Eric Smith of the Iliff School of Theology who recently opined edited volumes and Festschriften “often contain better, more interesting work than juried articles [and] monographs.”

Roberta Mazza expresses some frustration towards sellers of archaeological artifacts after eBay offered two papyrus fragments.

The remains of nine headless toads discovered by archeologists inside a well-preserved jar placed in a 4,000-year old tomb in Jerusalem. I wonder what a Middle Bronze Age Canaanite was thinking when he buried his dad with a jar of chopped toads.




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