Biblical Studies Carnival 148 (June 2018)

Melania Trump jacketJune is usually a slow month for Bibliobloggers. Academics disappear for three months, pastors go on vacation and some strange people go outside and enjoy warm weather. nevertheless there was quite a bit activity of interest to biblical studies blogging, especially at the end of the month.

Just in time to be included in this carnival is the return of Peter Kirby’s The Biblioblog Top 50 return for a Top Fifty List. Although the site is celebrating ten years, there has been nothing new on the site since January of 2016, and the last “top fifty” list was April 2015. The June 2018 list is dated; many of the blogs on Peter’s list have not posted more than a handful times in 2018. I notice Marg Mowczko is missing entirely (perhaps Peter did not notice she moved from New Life to a new URL), yet Mark Goodacre’s NT Podcast is included although it has not been updated since January 18, 2018. Dr. Platypus is on the list, even though he has posted only once in 2018 and that a link to Jacob Prahlow’s carnival in February. Why Jacob’s fine blog Pursuing Veritas is missing is another mystery. Dan Wallace’s blog has two (albeit significant) posts in the first half of 2018 and makes the list, but Conciliar Post has four years of quality post and does not crack the top fifty. Bart Erhman does post regularly, but most of his posts are behind a paywall. There are other long time, active bloggers missing as well.

Peter also updated the list of Biblioblog Carnivals and corrected an error (or textual variation, which sounds better). Since January the Carnival numbers have been off. I blame the shift away from Roman numerals (which no one really understands when the are too large). [Update: Peter’s list was off, Bob MacDonald did an exegetical study on the original Hebrew numbering of the carnivals and conclusively demonstrated the proper numbering. This means this is carnival #148 after all].

James McGrath is thinking about starting a podcast. He is asking for suggestions for topics and potential interviews, so follow the link and offer a few suggestions.

Long time Grand Rapids Theological Seminary prof David Turner has launched a new blog. He made two posts in May then went on vacation, but I am expecting good things.

I have the next three carnivals scheduled: Karen R. Keen (@Keen_KR) is hosting the July 2018 carnival, so feel free to send her some links. Karen is a Ph.D. Candidate in Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity at Marquette University, with a specialization in Old Testament. Kevin Turner at Monday Morning Theologian has the August 2018 (Due September 1). Jim West will be our host for the September 2018 carnival (Due October 1). In the six years I have been organizing the Carnival, Jim has hosted ten times and always does a great job (even if he never spells my name right). [Late Edit: Jim likes doing carnivals so much he went ahead and did one even though he was not on the list until September! Senior Moment?]

If you would like to host a Biblical Studies Carnival, now is the time to volunteer. Please contact me via email (, twitter direct message (@plong42) or comment here in this carnival. Whether you are a relatively new blogger or you have hosted a carnival in the past, do not hesitate to contact me. October, November and December are open as of July 1. I tis not too early to volunteer for a 2019 carnival.

In other news, despite the typical June-swoon for traffic, Reading Acts hit a milestone this month by passing the 4000 follower mark. If you use FlipBoard to read blogs, consider following my Biblical Studies magazine. The Web-based version is good, but FlipBoard is an essential app for your iOS device. I use it on my iPad for news and other special interests (including biblioblogs). If you are looking for a more wild biblical studies experience, stop in at r/AcademicBiblical or  r/AskBibleScholars at Reddit. Reddit can be a scary place, but these two subreddits are often quite good for academic discussions (trolls are quickly moderated out of existence).  If you are into twitter, follow me @plong42. I am less interesting than the president’s twitter account, but I also promise to not impose tariffs on you.

Before starting this month’s carnival, I will take a moment to mark two significant events in June for Biblical Studies. First, Philip Davies passed away on May 31 and many bloggers offered tribute to Davies, if I missed yours feel free to add it to the comments below.

Another sad recent passing this month is Bibleworks, which is shutting down after 26 years. The software will continue to work, but support will shift to the community (forums and knowledge base). Many bloggers lamented this and offered tributes to their favorite Bible software.  Mark Hoffman offers some advice on what to do if you are invested in Bibleworks and points out some migration offers from Accordance.  Abram K-J laments the passing of Bibleworks, saying “BibleWorks has been a big part of my ongoing journey through the Bible via Hebrew and Greek.”


Old Testament


Old Testament Meme Game of Thrones

For links and commentary on the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature, check out James Davila’s PaleoJudaica. If you are looking for the real #1 biblioblog, PaleoJudaica is it. Another daily source of links to similar resources is The Ancient World Online (AWOL). You need to bookmark/subscribe to both of these sites.

Claude Mariottini comments on Pharaoh and His Army and Nebuchadnezzar and the Fall of Jerusalem.

Konrad Schmid, Who Wrote the Torah? Textual, Historical, Sociological, and Ideological Cornerstones of the Formation of the Pentateuch.

Tim Bulkeley has several interesting podcasts this month, including Arguing with God (Jer 12:1-4) and another on the audience for Genesis.

Joshua Schendel, Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken (Psalm 46).

The most productive blogger of the month is Bob MacDonald. He continues his detailed analysis of Hebrew texts as music. This month he has done: Genesis 43; Isaiah 24; Jeremiah 4; Judges 7; Psalms 9-10; Nehemiah 5; 2 Chronicles 13; Genesis 44; Ezekiel 39; 2 Samuel 16; Jeremiah 10; Psalms 20; 1 Chronicles 24; Deuteronomy 25; Isaiah 27; 1 Samuel 16; Judges 6; 2 Chronicles 24; Psalms 113; Numbers 35; 1 Samuel 23; Genesis 38; 1 Chronicles 23; Ezekiel 26; Jeremiah 12; Psalm 81; 2 Samuel 21; and Judges 18.

William Brown at The Bible Review asks “What is Akkadian?”

Lindsay Kennedy at My Digital Seminary has been producing The Psalmcast, episode #09 launched in June, Jesus, the Psalmist.

Brian W. Davidson calls attention to Critique textuelle de l’Ancien Testament Online.



Archaeologist Meme


Not exactly a BiblioBlogger, but an interested long-read in Hyperallergic by Michael Press, An Illegal Archeological Dig in the West Bank Raises Questions About the Museum of the Bible.

This Times of Israel article on “Upstart carbon dating study could force rewrite of Holy Land’s biblical timeline” should spark some discussion.

Ticia Verveer posted an excellent piece on the 2,000-year-old synagogue at Gamla with some photographs.

A small head dating from the late Iron Age IIA (9th century BC) was put on display this month at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The head was discovered in a joint excavation by Azusa Pacific University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem at Tel Abel Beth Maacah. “Despite the head’s small and innocuous appearance, it provides us with a unique opportunity to gaze into the eyes of a famous person from the past.”

eBay, Organized Crime, and Evangelical Christians: The Ethical Minefield of Studying Ancient Civilizations.

Three fourth century BCE Jewish-minted coins found in Jerusalem and a Bar Kochba coin in a cave near Modiin.

Second Temple Period

Tim Chastain at Jesus without Baggage looks at The Fall of Satan in the Book of Enoch.

Jones Mendonça at Numinosumteologia discusses Philo’s view of Jewish law on the lawfulness of certain sexual practices.

Reading Acts has a series of posts on Second Temple Literature:

Punishment for Self Citation

New Testament


Hopster Jesus Meme

Benjamin Corey, What Jesus Talked About When He Talked About Hell.

Matthew W. Ferguson (doctoral candidate in Classics at the University of California, Irvine) asks “Should Legendary Development Have Occurred More Rapidly for Alexander the Great than Jesus?”

Tim Chastain At Jesus Without Baggage asks How Dependable are the Books of Matthew and Luke?

David Watson on The Real Message of Romans 13

James McGrath, Jesus: A Gluttonous Drunken Disobedient Son?

Paloma Herrera at The Two Cities (A collaborative blog on theology, culture, and discipleship) examines a “new trend” in Biblical theology: The Apocalyptic Perspective.

Tim Chastin asks, Did Jesus Send Demons into a Herd of Pigs?

At The Jesus Memoirs Michael Kok has been hard at work this month in the book of Acts.

Marg Mowczko had several fascinating posts this month: Junia: The Jewish Woman who was Imprisoned with Paul, Paul on Gender Roles in Ministry and Marriage, and  “Must manage his own household well” (1 Timothy 3:4-5)

Ian Paul offers The historic reading of 1 Tim 2 at his blog, Phiszo. He interacts with a Kevin Giles atrticle EQ from 2000. Congratulations to Ian as his commentary in the IVP Tyndale Series was published this month.

Dan Wallace did a mea culpa on p137, “First Century Mark” Fragment: Second Update and Elijah Hixson offers a summary and update on this interesting (but not as interesting as first claimed) papyri. James McGrath has additional links, summary and commentary on the issue as well, see his The Fragment Formerly Known as “First Century Mark.”  Here is the Christianity Today new roundup on the manuscript.

The Complete Series on Σκύβαλον. Mike Aubrey shares everything you ever wanted to know about Σκύβαλον in four posts.

Keith Giles on The Mark Of The Beast.



Theology Meme

June marks four years of blogging for the Conciliar Post.  Contributor Caleb Little (doctoral student at Baylor University) has an excellent piece on Gregory of Nazianzus and the practice of silence as a spiritual discipline:  A Humble Silence.

John Bergsma on The Nativity of John the Baptist at The Sacred Page.

Kayle Curley, contributor at The Two Cities, Augustine, Original Sin, and a Lesson on Friendship

Timon Cline, Power Perfected in Weakness: Luther on Politics and the Church. Cline also compared Andy Stanley to Erasmus in A Modern Erasmian. “Andy Stanley’s vision of the Christian life, and indeed church reform, mirrors that of Erasmus. . . Like Erasmus, Stanley, though he has never said it outright, seems to think that those who insist on doctrinal rigidity exhibit a hostile, unwholesome attitude that founders the Church.

Andrew Perriman offers ” a simple schematic overview of the history of interpretation” – Alexandria and Antioch: a revised tale of two cities.

D. G. Hart points out Reformed Does Not Equal Calvinist.

Ian Paul asks, “Should we proclaim that ‘God is love’?”

Henry Neufeld has some problems with church buildings.

Joshua Gillies at Theologians Inc., Against Pure A Priori-ism

Book Reviews


Book Review Meme


Ashford, Bruce. Letters to an American Christian (B&H 2018).

Albertz. Rainer. Pentateuchstudien. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018. Reviewed by Airton José da Silva at Observatório Bíblico.

Beitzel ed. Barry J. Lexham Geographical Commentary on the Gospels (Lexham 2018). Reviewed by Phillip J. Long.

Beitzel ed. Barry J. Lexham Geographical Commentary on the Gospels (Lexham 2018). Reviewed by Randy McCraken.

Brannan, Rick. The Apostolic Fathers in English (Lexham 2018).

Brannan, Rick. Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha. (Lexham 2017).

Couey, J. B. Reading the Poetry of First Isaiah: The Most Perfect Model of the Prophetic Poetry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Crossway ESV Archaeology Study Bible (2018). Reviewed by Mark Hoffman at Biblical Studies and Technology Tools.

Hurtado, Larry W. Honoring the Son (Lexham, 2018). Reviewed by Phillip J. Long.

Hurtado, Larry W. Honoring the Son (Lexham, 2018). Reviewed by Randy McCraken

Myers, Ben. The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism (Lexham 2018).

Schreiner, Thomas R. Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They Matter (B&H 2018).

Wenham, David. From Good News to Gospels: What Did the First Christians Say about Jesus? (Eerdmans 2018).

Wenham, Gordon J., Exploring the Old Testament, Volume 1: A Guide to the Pentateuch. (IVP Academic, 2016). Reviewed by Kevin McKissick.

Zoccali, Christopher. Reading Philippians after Supersessionism (Cascade, 2017). Reviewed by Lindsey Kennedy.

Book Notes

Nijay Gupta is crowdsourcing a revision of his Prepare, Succeed, Advance: A Guidebook for Getting a PhD in Biblical Studies and Beyond (Wipf & Stock, 2011). He is asking for your advice on navigating a PhD program. Follow the link and offer him a few suggestions.

John Fea’s Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump was published by Eerdmans at the end of June and is generating some good discussion. Fea himself answers ten questions about the book, and Chris Gehrz thinks you should read the book. Kevin Turner at Monday Morning Theologian has already posted a review.  Salon has a lengthy and mostly friendly write up of the book: “Fea’s individualist focus truncates his analysis repeatedly throughout his book, despite his clear understanding and concern for the importance of community. This does not detract from his stated intention in writing the book, to “spur conversations and initiatives born out of possible answers.” Hopefully there will be some engagement with this book in the next month or two.

Jacob Cerone announced the publication of his 1 & 2 Clement Greek Reader (Glossalia, 2018) in March, and gave away a copy in June. I have used these readers for classes in the past and they are very handy for reading the Greek Apostolic Fathers.

Culture, Politics, and Etc.  


V for Vendetta Meme

Keith Giles welcomes us to Post Christian America.

Neil Carter, Evangelicals and the Whitewashing of Jesus. “Simply put, there is no natural place for social justice within white evangelical theology.” James McGrath posted a follow-up, A Social Justice Shaped Hole in the Evangelical Church.

Methodist biblical scholar Jeff Sessions offered some exegesis of Romans 13 as applied to the current US border debate. Other (actual) scholars disagree. Craig Keener on Families Separated at the Border—Genesis 12 and Romans 13ConsiderFaith also has a few comments about Jeff Sessions and Romans 13, “For the Bible tells me So (Well, at least those parts that support my politics)” and suggests Peace and Honesty Can help Solve Our Immigration Problem. John Fea has a few words on Sessions use of Romans 13 as well.  Fea aslo commented on Evangelicals and Immigration: 4 Views.

Ian Paul, Should we always obey the government?

Melania Trump wore a particularly controversial jacket.

Benjamin Corey, Trump’s Dehumanizing Language Is An Assault Against Our Christian Foundation. “Regardless of how one interprets the book of Genesis, the Christian foundation ultimately begins with the belief that human beings were created in the image and likeness of God.”






11 thoughts on “Biblical Studies Carnival 148 (June 2018)

  1. Thanks for the mentions! ~Tim at Jesus without Bagage

  2. Phil – thanks for the encouragement. I am on the last laps of this enormous puzzle some call the OT – reading in Hebrew writing in English 929 chapters. just over 100 to go – hoping to finish.

    Now about carnival numbering – yours actually is 148 not 149. The Library has a missing number between March and April 2014. So my number games are correct.
    Biblical Studies Carnival XCIX (Jim West, Zwinglius Redivivus – April 2014)
    Biblical Studies Carnival XCVII (Bob McDonald, Dust – March 2014)
    Does anyone think I would not have grabbed 144 as a carnival theme in January. It is the perfect gross of Biblical numerology?

      • I left him a comment on the scandal page. Fortunately we live far apart. Those Roman Numerals, as you point out, are really hard to check. I noticed that my numbers were out with his (and other people’s numbers too) by 1 all the way back to 2014.

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