Biblical Studies Carnival 174 for August 2020

August is always a slow month for the Bibliblog community. University professors struggle with the tail end of summer combined with the sudden realization they really should think about prepping syllabi for the fall. This year, a healthy helping of ever-changing COVID-19 policies made planning for the fall quite an adventure.

I have already taught an August intensive class face-to-face. Sort of. Everyone wore masks at sat six feet apart, half my class was in another room watching via Google Hangouts, and I lectured from behind a plex-glass shield. Sadly, it was not bullet proof, but it did save students from encountering in the diseased contents of my lungs. But the fact it is September 1 and I am teaching real live students in a classroom is something of an improvement over March 15.

University of Zoom Meme

In biblio-blogging news, Brent Niedergall is hosting the next carnival, Jim West hosts in October 2020 (due November 1), and Bobby Howell will do November 2020 (Due December 1).  I am desperately seeking for December 2020 (Due January 1), and any month in 2021. Please contact me via email, or DM on twitter (plong42) to discuss hosting a carnival. I would love to see some veteran bloggers step up, but at this point I cannot really be too picky.

I have edited the Biblical Studies Carnival Master list and posted it to a tab at the top of this page. It is not perfect and I will continue to tweak the look and feel. You can click an older carnivals, although many of the earliest blogs are no longer online. I might be able to find those using the Wayback Machine, but I did not have time to run down all the dead links. More to come.


Teaching with COVID

Zoom Call memeJames McGrath comments on Michael Peppard’s article on why educators must reimagine remote learning and provides a collection of links to other articles on remote learning. McGrath also had a post on Gamifying for a Better Fall Semester. To be clear, McGrath defines gamification as “adopting of a points-based approach to grading, not to specific activities that might be game-like.”

Brian LePort has a new blog (to me at least), Google-Hermeneutics and Wiki-Exegesis: Studying and Practicing Religion in the Information Age, with some helps for remote learning, including a link to AAR’s ‘A Proven Practice’ series.

AWOL maintains a list of Active Open Access Journals. If you are not on a university campus with access to JSTOR, you may be interested in their online database, now with free access until the end of the year. “To support researchers during this challenging time in which many are unable to get to physical libraries, we have expanded our free read-online access to 100 articles per month through December 31, 2020.” You have to register (which is harmless) in order to access this otherwise expensive database.

David Turner reflects on Matthew 14 and doing ministry in during COVID.

Michael J. Kruger posted his annual reposting of Is It a Waste of Time for Seminary Students (and Pastors) to Learn the Biblical Languages?  [narrator’s voice: it’s not]

Hebrew Bible/LXX

At, James Diamond, Discerning False Prophecy: The Story of Ahab and the Lying Spirit and Naama Golan, The Statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream and the Golden Calf. Robert Eisen asks, What Is the Basis for the Draft in Jewish Law?

Jonathan Laden describes a Military Fort Discovered from Time of Biblical Judges. Here is a news story on the site. This fort also makes Bryan Windle’s Top Three Reports in Biblical Archaeology for August.

Jacob L. Wright, Rahab: Between Faith and Works.

Bob MacDonald continues his exploration of music and the Hebrew Bible with The Ubiquitous Silluq, Ga’ya, and Metheg. Bob is also celebrating his 75th birthday with a fundraiser for the Hebrew Bible Music project. There is just a week left to help him reach his goal, so click through to the fundraiser page and be generous.

Theodore J. Lewis, The Fascination, Challenges, and Joys of Being a Historian of Ancient Israelite Religion. Based on his recent The Origin and Character of God: Ancient Israelite Religion through the Lens of Divinity (Oxford University Press, 2020).

William Ross interviews Mark Awabdy who recently published a commentary on the Greek text of Leviticus. Ross also has a quick note on Seth Ehorn’s volume in The Baylor Handbook on the Septuagint (BHLXX).

In other LXX News, Brent Niedergall continued his Battle of the Lexicon series, pitting Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint by Lust, Eynikel, and Hauspie (LEH) and A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint by Takamitsu Muraoka (GELS).


The discovery of a rare stash of pure gold coins from the Abbasid Caliphate period, dated around 1,100 years ago made the news. The coins are made of pure gold, the total weight of the hoard is about 845 grams of pure gold. The cache was found in an archaeological site by a volunteer.

Recordings from Dead Sea Scrolls in Recent Scholarship: A Public Conference, which took place virtually on May 17-20, 2020 are now available.

Megan Sauter on Anastylosis at Machaerus, Where John the Baptist Was Beheaded.

Ken Dark  on The Archaeology of Nazareth in the Early First Century.

John DeLancey visits Lachish and Masada, with videos. Here is a video interview with Jodi Magness on her new book, Masada.

Robin Ngo on a Canaanite Fortress Discovered in the City of David.

It seemed like the Givati Parking Lot Excavation at the City of David was in the news several times this month. For example, the ashes of Jerusalem’s biblical fall still show at dig near Old City.

Paul Anderson, John: The Mundane Gospel and its Archaeology-Related Features. This one is from July, but it is a good article so I included anyway.

Carl Rasmussen posted on Samothrace, Seldom Visited by Tourists, BUT Visited by Paul (Acts 16:11). Carl also posted A Fortress on Patmos and Nazareth: Perfect Crusader Capitals — Scenes from the Gospels and Acts.

Not really a bibliblog, but Atlas Obscura has an excellent article on The Strange Afterlife of a Mysterious Tomb Inscription at Beit Guvrin. Although the Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park is not a popular tourist site for Christians to visit, the site is fascinating.

More geology than archaeology, World’s Longest Marlstone Cave Discovered in Israel Near Dead Sea. Ferrill Jenkins asks the question on all of our minds these days, “How would Bet Guvrin look during a pandemic?

Posted July 30, a Gold diadem found in Roman-era sarcophagus in Izmir, Turkey (biblical Smyrna).

New Testament

Commenting in Brian J. Wright’s book Communal Reading in the Time of Jesus, Timothy N. Mitchell asks some questions about Burning Magical Books in Ephesus (Acts 19:20).

Καταπέτασμα at Scribes of the Kingdom posted The demonized Gerasene and the paganized Greek: eschatological allegory in Mark 5:1-20. “For Mark and the early Christians, this central hope of Christ’s victory over the paganized world at his parousia was dramatized in the legend of the Gerasene demoniac.”

Marg Mowczko posted a nice piece on Romans 14 and the Divisive Issue of Women Pastors. She says, “The church at Rome was experiencing conflict and division over a few issues, but the issue of female pastors, or ministers, does not seem to have been one of them. Still, I believe it’s useful to think on our issue in light of Paul’s teaching about not judging the weaker brother or sister. This principle in Romans 14 of not judging has applications beyond different attitudes about diet.”

Bobby Howell added two more installments to his series on the phrase “test the spirits to see whether they are from God…” (1 John 4:1, ESV).

Chuck Bumgardner at Pastoral Epistles posted a series of links to important studies on the PE.

Laura Martin at Enough Light rules out a possible interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Is there a timeless foundational principle that women are more easily deceived?

Brian Small suggests reading Hebrews in a Time of Pandemic by providing a link to Andrew T. Lincoln, “Reading Hebrews in a Time of Pandemic: Heroism and Hope in the Face of Fear.” Expository Times 131.11 (2020): 471–79.

Reading Acts read Revelation this summer, and darn near finished it: A Lament for Fallen Babylon – Revelation 18:1-3, Three Woes against Babylon – Revelation 18:9-20 and The Rider on the White Horse – Revelation 19:11-16.

James McGrath reacts to Jason Staples’ recent guest posts on Bart Ehrman’s blog.

Brent Nongbri updates a recent talk on early Coptic books with even more recent data, New Radiocarbon Calibration Curve and Early Christian Manuscripts.

The Institute for New Testament Textual Research (INTF) Blog published a guest post from Gerd Mink responding to Stephen Carlson’s article, “A Bias at the Heart of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM),” in Journal of Biblical Literature.

Rob Bradshaw has added George Milligan, Here & There Among the Papyri (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923) to his site. Rob has maintained for many years and he has an excellent collection of hard-to-find journals and other resources.

The Zondervan Academic posted five new podcasts to promote N. T. Wright and Michael Bird’s the New Testament in Its World.

  • Craig Keener, Beginning New Testament Study, and a Conversation in Jerusalem
  • Lynn Cohick, Canonization, and N.T. Wright’s Reading and Research Habits
  • Jeannine K. Brown, the Jewish Context of Jesus, and “Faith in Christ” vs. “Faithfulness of Christ”
  • Nijay Gupta, the Story of Paul’s Life and Ministry, and N.T. Wright’s Favorite New Testament Book
  • Esau McCaulley, The Afterlife in Greco-Roman Thought, and Teaching the New Testament


James McGrath shares a link to the Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio program whose latest episode features me talking with host Miguel Conner about the topic “The Shared Origins of Monotheism, Evil & Gnosticism”.

Laura tells us what is wrong with this umbrella diagram representing Christian marriage.

The Amateur Exegete has been posting excerpts from his reading along with a four part series, Contradictions in the Empty Tomb Narratives: A Response to Erik Manning, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

On Scribes of the Kingdom, An apocalyptic Trinitarianism? “When the apocalyptic flood had at last been dried up and the nations woke up in a new world, only the cult of the Christ-god remained.”

Jim West reminds us of Emil Brunner’s Rejection of the Heresy of Universalism.

Book Reviews

Brent Nongbri has some first thoughts on Ariel Sabar’s Veritas (Doubleday, 2020). Sabar “clinically dissects the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife episode in a way that reflects pretty poorly on parts of our guild.”  Tony Burke at Apocryphicity has a long post on the book as well. Peter Gurry collects some press releases and early reviews. Robert Mazza looks at the dark side of truth in his review of the book. Here is an hour-long video from The Poisoned Pen Bookstore interviewing Sabar.

Greg Carey reviews The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump: 30 Evangelical Christians on Justice, Truth, and Moral Integrity. Edited by Ronald J. Sider (Cascade Books, 2020).

Andrea L. Turpin at The Anxious Bench offers a survey of recent books on Recent Books on Women & Gender in American Religious History.

Brent Niedergall reviews John A. L. Lee, The Greek of the Pentateuch (Oxford, 2020) and the new Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: Mark by Joel Williams (B&H 2020).

Chuck Bumgardner posted a convenient overview of recent articles and book reviews on the Pastoral Epistles.

Reading Acts read (and reviewed):

Reviewing Kristin Kobes du Mez, Jesus and John Wayne. How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, Matthijs Schuurman on evangelicals’ militant masculinity and reminds everyone the president rules the country, not a church.

Nijay Gupta shares his list of the Top 10 New Books in New Testament Studies published in August and September 2020. Grab your credit cards and head to your favorite bookstore to order them all. Nijay has been running a great series on “The Editors behind the Great Books in New Testament Studies,” here is Katya Corvett from Zondervan.  He posted the announcement of the new Commentaries for Christian Formation (CCF) from Eerdmans, including a new commentary on Galatians from N. T. Wright. Nijay is working on the Galatians commentary in the Story of God series from Zondervan, but there is really only one commentary on Galatians everyone needs, right?

Andrew Keanan has a short note on Christoph Helig, Paulus als Erzähler? (BZNW; De Gruyter, 2020).

Kenson Gonzalez reviewed Peter J. Gentry, How to Read and Understand the Biblical Prophets (Crossway, 2020) and Richard Bauckham, Who is God? (Baker, 2020).

If you are looking for an early birthday present for me, the first volume of Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint is now available.

News of the Day

ASOR took the word “oriental” out of their name.

Karen Swallow Prior has words for Jerry Falwell. Jr.

Ben Witherington discusses The Difference between Critical and Sceptical [sic] Thinking.

Women’s Classical Committee: Classical Blogs and Sites by Women (updated August 2020)

When Baptists Believed in the Bible—and Bourbon, the sort of Church History we really need.

Chris Gerez on The Religious History of the 19th Amendment. That’s the one about women’s suffrage for you white male evangelicals.  Tony Keddie on U.S. Republicans and the Fallacy of Biblical Capitalism.

Why White Christians Need Hip-Hop.

Eric Metaxas became a meme. Again.

News you can use: This Is How They Wiped Themselves in Ancient Rome. “A very gross but extremely informative look at the archaeology of toilet hygiene.”

6 thoughts on “Biblical Studies Carnival 174 for August 2020

  1. Thanks for featuring two of my posts! I appreciate it. My Gothard umbrella critique has broke all records for my blog (heavy traffic) and I have blogged almost 10 years. Despite Gothard really being a relic of the past, that umbrella diagram lives on – I regularly see it shared on social media, endorsed as the biblical order of the family.

    • I confess…I attended a basic youth conflict seminar in Long Beach in 1979. I was a junior in HS and was under pressure from a particularly cute girl to go. I remember feeling very out of place….he did not brain wash me at all.

  2. Thanks, Phil, for including my post about Romans 14, division and female pastors. I received a lot of flak on Facebook for that article, I was accused of tampering with scripture, so it was nice to read your kind words.

    • Based on my interactions with people on FB these days, I am not surprised about that at all. What one person calls “tampering with Scripture” another person calls “proper exegesis.”

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