Biblical Studies Carnival #212 for November 2023

Welcome to Biblical Studies Carnival #212 for November 2023. For most of 2023, Jim West and I have been trading off carnivals. We both enjoy doing the carnivals (it is hard to know what Jim thinks, he is so shy about sharing his feelings). But I really want to have a few more volunteers in 2024 to keep the Biblical Studies Carnivals going.

Bernie Biblical Studies

Old Testament

Christoph Levin at The Torah, Dinah and Shechem: A Story that Biblical Authors Kept Revising. This is a fascinating study of the growth (and interpretation) of a tradition in the Torah and beyond (Testament of Levi and Jubilees).

Contributors at A Place for Truth started a nice series on the Minor Prophets, “Majoring on the Minors.” Here is Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Jonah, Nahum. Subscribe to their blog for the rest of the series in December.

“Earliest Hebrew inscription” on Mt. Ebal is a fish weight?

Here is an incredible resource: Official Inscriptions of the Middle East in Antiquity (OIMEA).

For the entire month of November, Bob MacDonald has worked through the Psalms (starting here with Psalm 62:10). He calls these posts a “PsalmTweet.” Following his method of creating music for the Psalms, these are fascinating snippets of his larger project. Follow him on Twitter (or whatever they are calling it these days), @drmacdonald.


At the Text & Canon Institute, Pat Sanders discusses Dating Ancient Greek Manuscripts with the Help of Modern Software.

Brent Nongbri tries to sort out some confusion over The Robinson Papyri, and the Mississippi Papyri, and William H. Willis.

Over at Evangelical Textual Criticism, Peter Gurry asks, “Where should textual criticism be discussed in systematic theology?

Tommy Wasserman revisits Peter Head’s 2009 SBL paper on “The Marginalia of Codex Vaticanus: Putting the Distigmai (Formerly known as ‘Umlauts’) in Their Place.” He summarizes Ira Rabin’s SBL 2023 paper. He concludes: “To come full circle, we are back to Peter Head’s paper from SBL in 2009, in which he presented a comparison of the location of the distigmai with the published text of Erasmus reflecting MSS available in his time and he had found that in the gospels there was a 92% match between Erasmus edition and the distigmai

New Testament

Ian Paul, Is the ‘coming’ of Jesus in Mark 13 all about the end of the world? Paul contrasts the traditional view with Tom Wright and Dick France. Here is a link to a video discussion of the topic. Ian Paul also discusses The parable of the ‘talents’ in Matthew 25, and The not-parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. Come for the article, stay for the video, but have nightmares about that goat picture.

Daniel Williams at the Anxious Bench on The Philosophical Assumptions behind Historical Criticism of the Gospels.

Heather Anne Thiessen (the hermeneutrix) studies 1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1 and then reflects on the passage.

B. J. Oropeza goes Beyond What the Bible Says: How Did the Apostle Paul Die? Oropeza also posted a short introduction to his new book, Scripture, Texts, and Tracings in Galatians and 1 Thessalonians.

Brian Small posted book notices on Sigurd Grindheim’s new Pillar Commentary on Hebrews, Gareth Lee Cockerill, Craig Bartholomew, and Benjamin T. Quinn, eds. Divine Action in Hebrews and the Ongoing Priesthood of Jesus (Zondervan Academic, 2023), and Wolfgang Kraus, Studium zum Hebräerbrief (Biblische Zeitschrift – Supplements 6. Leiden: Brill, 2023.

John MacDonald asks, “Does Christ Mythicism Deserve A Seat At The Table?” His answer is in the form of a video.

Marg Mowczko collects data on the names Miriam, Maria, Mariamne, and Mary in the Bible (and Josephus).

Non-Canonical Writings

Tony Burke, “What More Do You Need? The Next Wave in Christian Apocrypha Texts and Translations”.  This is Burke’s paper presented at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. This paper assesses the impact of the More New Testament Apocrypha series (Volume Two, reviewed here; Volume Three, reviewed here). “Will there be an MNTA 4 or 5 or, God help us, 6?” Burke teases us with a list of possible apocrypha to appear in future volumes. Burke also posted a list of Christian Apocrypha sessions at the 2o23 SBL sessions.

The End of the Coptic Magical Papyri Project and the Beginning of the Papyri Copticae Magicae.

Did the Deuterocanonical books influence the New Testament? Spoiler: “It is probably impossible to determine definitively whether the Deuterocanonical books influenced the writers of the New Testament.”

 Theology, Church History

At Pursuing Veritas, Jacob Prahlow has been pondering The Liturgy of the Ordinary. Things like sitting in traffic, calling a friend, or drinking tea. These were originally part of a message at Arise Church where Jacob serves as lead pastor.

David Swartz celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Chicago Declaration, the evangelical left’s founding document with many links to Ron Sider-related articles. Follow the link, read the list of signees, and ask yourself if any name on that list would be considered an evangelical in today’s America.

Thomas Albert Howard on “The Most Important Theological Work of the Twentieth Century.” Spoiler Alert: It’s Barth.

The Secular Frontier continues a long series on Kreeft’s Case Against the Swoon Theory. This goes to part 16 (Evaluation of Premise), you can backtrack for more.

Adam Renberg, Gregory of Nyssa and C.S. Lewis: On the Need to Read (and Write) Across Genres. Adam suggests, “we need to read broadly across genres in each thinker’s corpus, if we are to arrive at a fuller picture of their ideas.”

Lynneth Renberg on Israel, Palestine, and Medieval Bias in Modern Headlines. This is an excellent essay tracing medieval discrimination like blood libel and Bernard of Clairvaux. De Laude Novae Militiae, which argued Muslims were malefactors– agents of evil.

John Dickson’s Undeception podcast, hosted Michael Bird to discusses the question: “how Jesus was like and unlike the many gods of antiquity.”

Jacob Randolph has a timely two-part essay: “What About the Palestinians? Southern Baptists vs. Southern Baptist Missionaries.” Part One and Part Two. The article is on the history of Southern Baptist perceptions of Palestinians after the creation of the state of Israel.

Book Reviews

George Guthrie, Philippians (ZECNT; Zondervan, 2023). Reviewed by Jimmy Reagan.

John Goldingay, Proverbs. Commentaries for Christian Formation; Eerdmans, 2023. Reviewed by Phillip J. Long; Jimmy Reagan)

Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (2nd ed. IVP Academic, 2023). Reviewed by Gary Burnett

Jim West on Takamitsu Muraoka’s Why Read the Biblical Languages?

Megan S. Nutzman. Contested Cures: Identity and Ritual Healing in Roman and Late Antique Palestine. Edinburgh Studies in Religion in Antiquity. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press, 2022. Reviewed by Mika Ahuvia).

Christopher Watkin, Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible’s Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture. Zondervan, 2022. Reviewed by Spencer Robinson. Here is a link to Watkin’s website with a video review of this book at SBL and at ETS this year in San Antonio.

Steven D. Fraade, The Damascus Document, Oxford Commentary on the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. Reviewed by Tianruo Jiang).

Oscar E. Jiménez. Metaphors in the Narrative of Ephesians 2:11–22: Motion towards Maximal Proximity and Higher Status. Linguistic Biblical Studies 20. Leiden: Brill, 2022. Review by Kai Akagi.

Constantine Campbell, The Letter to the Ephesians, Pillar New Testament Commentary; Eerdmans 2023.  Reviewed by Thomas Creedy.  Creedy also overspent at ETS/SBL.

James McGrath has a new book, The A to Z of the A to Z of the New Testament, published by Eerdmans. Here’s Jim West’s comments on the book. I received a review copy just before I left for SBL, so look for a Reading Acts review soon. For now, just know it is a fun read, and you should buy a copy.

Jim West has a new book coming on Beza (here is a link to the cover so you can prepare yourself to buy several copies).

A Few Open Access Academic Resources

When Jim West isn’t making Luther memes, he posts some valuable links to open-access resources. This means you can download a PDF copy of a very expensive volume for free. Here are a few highlights from this month:

Jenny Stümer and Michael Dunn, eds. Worlds Ending. Ending Worlds: Understanding Apocalyptic Transformation. Volume 1 in the series Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies. De Gruyter, 2023.

Michael Bird, Ruben A. Bühner, Jörg Frey, and Brian Rosner, eds. Paul within Judaism: Perspectives on Paul and Jewish Identity. WUNT 507, Mohr Siebeck, 2023.

Anders Runesson, Judaism for Gentiles: Reading Paul beyond the Parting of the Ways Paradigm. WUNT 494, Mohr Siebeck, 2022.

Pop Culture and Other Random Stuff

Not surprisingly, James McGrath has something to say about the new Doctor Who. For those who do not know, Doctor Who celebrated its sixtieth year on November 23.

Michael Bird reviews his week at ETS and SBL. I appreciate that he overlooked me when I ran into him in a restaurant. I nearly knocked him into a table of appetizers. #SorryMichael

Jim West turns Luther into a meme.  Melanchthon gets a similar treatment.

Biblical Studies Carnival #211 for October 2023

Marie Kondo Biblical Studies Carnival #211

Jim West hosted a minimalistic Biblical Studies Carnival #211, celebrating the (a few) biblical and theological studies posts in October 2023. If Jim wants to convert to Marie Kondo’s lifestyle, he needs to read what she said about books. For those afraid to click that WSJ link, she says you should own no more than 30 books. I have more than that in my “to be read” pile. Jim also reposted his November 2022 Carnival, so you can go back and see what a Marie Kondo offending carnival looks like. It is positively cluttered with links to excellent posts.

In other news, I discovered Jim West has a Wikipedia page (there are an impressive number of references on his page). Someone needs to do a Wiki for me.

If you are a blogger who would like to spark some joy by hosting a carnival, contact me, and we can discuss what hosting a Carnival looks like. Here is Biblical Studies Carnival #210 if you want to see another example.




Biblical Studies Carnival #210 for September 2023

Welcome to Biblical Studies Carnival #210, celebrating the best biblical and theological studies posts in September 2023. Jim West will probably host next month, but if you are a blogger who would like to host a carnival, contact me and we can talk about it

P.Oxy. 5575

Oxford, Sackler Library, Papyrology Rooms, P. Oxy. 5575 – NASSCAL

The big news for Biblical Studies in September was the new volume of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (LXXXVII). This long-running series has published papyri found at the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus since 1898. About 10% of this material is literary, and only a fraction of that contains Christian writings. Even so, there are many Christian fragments, including canonical (Septuagint and New Testament) and noncanonical books (for example, Gospel of Thomas, Shepherd of Hermes). If you are interested in just the Christian material, get a copy of Christian Oxyrhynchus: Texts, Documents, and Sources, edited by Lincoln H. Blumell and Thomas A. Wayment (Baylor 2017).

Included in this new volume is P.Oxy. 5575, a fragment likely dated to the second century containing sayings similar to Luke 12:22/Matt 6:25a (lines 1-5), the Gospel of Thomas 27 (lines 6-10), and Luke 12:24/Matt 6:25b–26 (lines 11-14).  Mark Goodacre shared a PDF synopsis of the text of the fragment. Mark discussed this fragment on his resurrected NT Podcast with the ironic title, “Has Q been discovered?” This podcast is only 14 minutes long and is an excellent place to start. (Spoiler: Not surprises: Goodacre says this is not Q).

Naturally, this fragment created a media frenzy for a day or two. Rarely does New Testament papyrology make headlines in the Daily Beast. See this article by Candida Moss tracing the history of the fragment, including its brush with Dirk Obbink and Scott Carroll (associated with the Green family’s Museum of the Bible). Brent Nongri posted a photo of the fragment in December 2018. To be fair, he posted a photo of Indiana Wesleyan professor Jerry Pattengale pulling the fragment out of his pocket during a 2012 lecture by Scott Carroll. On the one hand, the association with Obbink, Carroll, and the Green family might raise red flags for many scholars, but the inclusion of the fragment in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series.

At the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, Dan Wallace (one of the editors of the fragment) discusses his work and states all scholars working on the fragment “independently dated the MS to late second or perhaps early third century, making it the oldest manuscript with text from Matt 6 (Sermon on the Mount).”

Michael Holmes also worked on the fragment posted at Text & Canon, What’s the Big Deal about a New Papyrus with Sayings of Jesus?  Holmes says “What makes this a big deal? This is the first known occurrence of the weaving together of material similar to Luke and Matthew, on the one hand, and material similar to—and otherwise known only from—the Gospel of Thomas, on the other. In this significant respect, 5575 is unique among all known papyri.”

On September 9, Brent Nongbri posted The Date of the New Oxyrhynchus Sayings of Jesus P.Oxy. 87.5575.  This is a detailed post comparing the handwriting of P.Oxy 5575 to other papyri to evaluate the date suggested by the editors. He concludes, “I tend to agree with the editors about the similarity of the scripts of 5575 and 4009, but in my first look at the proposals for dated parallels (for both the pieces), I cannot say that I find any of them especially compelling. This is not to criticize the work of the editors. It is very difficult to find good, securely dated comparanda for scripts like these. A more detailed evaluation will have to wait for another occasion.”

Gospel of Thomas scholar Martijn Linssen posted a paper to, “P.Oxy 5575 – an entirely fresh gospel.

Peter Gurry at Evangelical Textual Criticism posted a summary of the fragment with some photographs.

Here is a short video from Bible Unboxed summarizing the fragment. TextKit Greek and Latin forums posted hires images of the pages from Oxyrhynchus Papyri LXXXVII.

North American Society for the Study of Christian Apocryphal Literature (NASSCAL) added a page for the fragment.

Wesley Huff put together a nice Twitter, er, X thread on the fragment. For those weirded out by Twitter threads, here is the blog post version. He creates some cool infographics, so poke around his website and see what you can find.

Finally, Jim West points out the obvious in the Daily Beast click-bait headline: it is not a new papyrus at all. It is new to the people who write headlines at Daily Beast.

And one “not P.Oxy. 5575 related” post from Brent Nongbri, More Details on the Possible Codex at Graz.

Old Testament

What is an Etrog?

Emanuel Tov, On What Day Did God Cease Working? – Genesis 2:2

Sara Ronis and Travis Proctor discuss Writing about Demons at Ancient Jew Review.

Gad Barnea, Enforcing YHWH’s Covenant with Blessings and Curses—Imperial Style

Jeremy Hutton, Why Is David and Goliath’s Story 40% Longer in the MT Than in the LXX?

Was the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil an etrog? Rabbi Rachel Adelman sifts through the rabbinic tradition while American Christians try to figure out what an etrog is.

New Testament

Ian Paul continued his video and blog series on Matthew. Here is The uncalculating generosity of God in Matthew 20.

Brave New History posted a YouTube episode with James McGrath, The Many Problems of Jesus Mythicism.

Allan R. Bevere, The Apostle Paul and His Female Co-workers

Heather Anne Thiessen (the hermeneutrix) is studying John 8:1-11, 56-69 and  Romans 2:12-29.

B. J. Oropeza, What Everyone Ought to Know about Archangels

The folks at Place for Truth worked through the Fruit of the Spirit in September. Start with Love.

Brian Small reports on several new publications on Hebrews.

Jacob Prahlow discusses Submission in 1 Peter at Pursuing Veritas.

Καταπέτασμα at The Scribes of the Kingdom comment on Sons of God at war: Apollonian Christ and Pythian Caesar in Revelation 12.

Theology & Church History

Jim West really like Emil Brunner. #ManCrush

At The Bible Sojourner, Slavery—Why Does the Bible Allow It? Here is a related post by Daniel K. Williams, Why Did Jonathan Edwards Think That Slavery Was Morally Right? Posted at the Anxious Bench.

Marg Mowczko, A Christian Lady Teacher in Egypt  – a few short notes about SB 14 11532, a papyrus letter possibly written in the early 300s AD. Marg also posted on Submission in 1 Corinthians 15:28 and in Marriage.

Adam Renberg, Mothers of the Church: Blandina.

Andrew Case at the Text & Canon Institute continues his series on the name of God with How Was the Divine Name Translated in the Reformation?

Ian Paul, What is the connection between maths (and science) and Christian faith?

Sean Martin at New Reality Online, The Image of God and its Implications and The Image of God and Fredrick Douglass.

Bradley Bowen has an ongoing project critiquing Peter Kreeft’s critique of the Swoon Theory. Part ten and Part Eleven dropped in September at the Secular Frontier.

Philip Jenkins has been doing quite a bit of good Church History at The Anxious Bench, beginning with his How The Ancient Christian Heresies Lasted A Thousand Years Longer Than We Think. Philip also posted on A Storm of Images: Iconoclasm and Religious Reformation in the Byzantine World.


A Roman legion camp near Tell Megiddo, was built under Emperor Hadrian (117-123) and was abandoned in the late third century or perhaps the early fourth century.

Leen Ritmeyer on the Archaeological evidence for the Babylonian Exile. Ritmeyer also posted on The Middle Gate (Jeremiah 39.3), the place where the Babylonian princes came together to celebrate their conquest of Jerusalem.

What Are Clay Female Figurines Doing in Judah during the Biblical Period?

Mysterious 3,800-Year-Old Canaanite Arch and Stairway Unearthed in Israel (link to Smithsonian Magazine article). This is at Tel Shimron.

Paul A. Himes, In praise of the more “literal” translation style.

A Glimpse into the Difficulties of Conducting Archaeology in Jerusalem.

Israeli youth finds Roman-era ring in national park. I never find cool stuff.

Book Reviews

Mark DelCogliano, Christ: The Cambridge Edition of Early Christian Writings Vols. 3 and 4. Cambridge University Press, 2022. Reviewed by Shawn J. Wilhite.

James Riley Strange, Excavating the Land of Jesus: How Archaeologists Study the People of the Gospels. Eerdmans, 2023. Reviewed by Phillip J. Long.

Henze, Matthias and David Lincicum, eds. Israel’s Scriptures in Early Christian Writings: The Use of the Old Testament in the New. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2023. Reviewed by Jim West.

James D. Nogalski, The Books of Joel, Obadiah, and Jonah. New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Eerdmans, 2023. Reviewed by Phillip J. Long.

The Dictionary of Paul and His Letters. IVP Academic, 2023. Reviewed by Spencer Robinson.

Constantine Campbell, The Letter to the Ephesians, Pillar New Testament Commentary; Eerdmans 2023.  Reviewed by Spencer Robinson.

Strauss, Mark L. 40 Questions about Bible Translations. 40 Questions and Answers Series. Grand Rapids, Mich. Kregel, 2023. Reviewed by Phillip J. Long.

Mark Heerink, Esther Meijer, Flavian Responses to Nero’s Rome. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2022. Reviewed by Johanna Leithoff at Bryn Mawr Classical Review.

Mazzinghi, L. O Pentateuco sapiencial: Provérbios, Jó, Coélet, Sirácida, Sabedoria. Características literárias e temas teológicos. São Paulo: Loyola, 2023. Reviewed by Airton José da Silva (in Spanish).

N. T. Wright, Galatians. Commentaries for Christian Formation. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2021. Reviewed by Thomas Creedy.

Clive Bowsher, Life in the Son. New Studies in Biblical Theology 61Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2023. Reviewed by Bob on Books.

James McGrath has a new book coming out: The A to Z of the New Testament. James made a few promotional videos with the help of George Lucas. It should be available by the time you read this. He also reported that his book What Jesus Learned from Women is being translated into Romanian.

David Swartz comments on a Mennonite novel.


James Davilla observes the passing of Professor Robert A. Kraft passed away on. See also William Ross’s 2017 interview with Kraft.  James also noted the passing of archaeologist Amnon Ben-Tor. Here is a Times of Israel news story on Ben-Tor.

Janine Giordano Drake, Who are Woke Christians and Have We Seen them Before? This is an introduction to a new series in which she will “read through these books and analyze them as a historian of socialism, Christian Socialism, and liberal Christianity. Who are “Woke Christians” and how do they differ from the socialist, liberal, and Social Gospel Christians of the past?”

Benjamin Gladd is joining D. A. Carson as the new editor of NSBT, so IVP asked him eight questions.

Rick Brannan celebrates 30 years at Logos by moving on to a new project.

Michael Bird offers some suggestions on what makes a good teacher.

For those visiting Cairo, the Egyptian synagogue once home to the famed ‘Cairo Geniza’ completes extensive renovation. The last time I was there, it was closed.

Although this was posted on August 31, I will include it in this month’s carnival since I really enjoyed it: Jared Stacy reflects on Beyond Left Behind: The Lost Legacy of Tim LaHaye.

How to Spot an Academic Bully.



Biblical Studies Carnival 209 for August 2023

Jim West hosted the 209th Biblical Studies Carnival for August 2023 at Zwingli Redivivus. He calls this the “The Climate Change Catastrophe” Biblical Stidies Carnival, and hopes to answer the burning question, “Why is it so hot?” (Spoiler Alert: he does not answer that question). He says, “Enjoy the waning decades of life here on Earth before it all turns into a giant ball of 2000-degree molten misery.” Cheery guy, that Jim West. August is a busy month for academics (prepping for classes, sobering up, etc.) yet Jim has a great collection of links to important and interesting hot topics for August.

In case you missed it, here is the combined Biblical Studies Carnival for June and July (#208).

I am always looking for volunteers to host a Biblical Studies Carnival. If you are a newer blogger, I would love to talk with you about hosting. I would love to have someone host a carnival who is more aware podcasts than I am. Even YouTube and other social media are sources for academic Biblical Studies.

Please contact me at, and we can schedule a month for you to host. And if you are a long-time blogger, please consider hosting again.


Biblical Studies Carnival 208 for June and July 2023

Welcome to Biblical Studies Carnival #208 for June and July 2023. What happened to the June Carnival? I skipped it, hoping that by combining June and July, I would have a good-sized collection of posts for the summer. That’s my excuse. Not that I was traveling hither and yon all summer. I realize this messes up the cadence of numbers, but that’s how it is.

Jim West will host the August Carnival, but I do not have any volunteers after that. Contact me at to discuss volunteering to host a Biblical Studies Carnival.

Old Testament

Erica Mongé-Greer at Scholarly Wanderlust, Genesis 1, Bereshit, and the Big Bang.

Claude Mariottini comments on Job 19:20, “I have escaped by the skin of my teeth). In June, he finished up his excellent series on Habakkuk. Go back and read his whole series on this overlooked minor prophet.

Sara Milstein on The Levirate Law: A Marriage Contract Clause That Became Legislation.

Naama Yahalom-Mack in The History of Iron in Ancient Israel and Erez Ben-Yosef and Aaron Greener Edom’s Copper Mines in Timna: Their Significance in the 10th Century.

Jeremy Hutton on Why Is David and Goliath’s Story 40% Longer in the MT Than in the LXX.

Jeffrey Stivason, The Message of Isaiah is a Message to Us.

Who is The Daughter of the King of the South (Daniel 11:6)? Marg Mowczko will tell you.

The Power of Genealogies and the Promise of Seed in Scripture. (The Bible Sojourner)

Is Leviathan a Fire-Breathing Dragon? B. J. Oropeza ruins fundamentalist preaching on Job 41 by correctly reading the text. Read this list on Biblical Monsters at Bible History Daily.

New Testament

Andrew Case ( posted part 3 of this series on Why Didn’t the New Testament Authors Use God’s Name at Text & Canon Institute.

B. J. Oropeza, Should Women Keep Silent at Church? Rereading 1 Corinthian 14:34–35. “Paul would seem to agree that in worship assemblies, distractive talking is shameful and runs counter to Scripture. As such, the Corinthian wives were disrespecting the speakers and the Spirit who inspired them. The inspired speakers, I should add, could be either men or women. Paul did not prevent inspired women from speaking in the Corinthian churches; he only prevented uninspired chatterers from speaking.” He also has a great post on Wrongly Translating Romans 8:29–30.

At Scribes of the Kingdom, Last of the disciples: John’s death and the Johannine relocation.

Marg Mowczko on “Uncover-Cover” Words in 1 Corinthians 11:2–16.

Ian Paul has been busy in Matthew: Good and Evil in the Parable of the Weeds in Matthew 13, The kingdom as treasure, pearl, leaven, and net in Matthew 13, and The Feeding of the Five Thousand in Matthew 14.

Not to be outdone, Heather Thiessen (The Hermeneutrix, a.k.a., HAT) posted a study on Matthew 13 24-30, 36-43, then a reflection on the text. She followed this up with a study on Matthew 13 44-52, then a short reflection on that text.

Peter Goeman reads Matthew 13 and asks, “Do Jesus’s Kingdom Parables Support Postmillennialism?” I won’t spoil this one for you, but Peter is right.

Carl Rasmussen says the “Gate to Hell”  (the Plutonium) in the ancient Greek city of Hierapolis is open. Like Carl, I have been disappointed by those chain-link fences around the site. Carl also has a post on the new work on a possible “prison of Paul” at Caesarea Maritima. I noticed this in May, about a month after work began on a cistern turned into a prison. I agree with Carl: Rome would unlikely keep a citizen in this underground space for two years!

Sean Martin is a new blogger at New Reality Online. In June, he has been focused on discipleship, posting on Michael J. Wilkins, Following the Master: A Biblical Theology of Discipleship and Costly Community in Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship.  In July, Sean also wrote a five-part series on Spiritual Formation for LGBTQ+ Christians (part 1, establishing the discussion; part 2: Expositional and Theological Foundation; part 3: A Brief Ecclesiastical History; and part 4: Importance and Consequences of the Issue. You will just have to subscribe to Sean’s blog for part five (which was not published when I wrote this).

James McGrath and Tony Burke co-chair a new SBL consultation on John the Baptist.

The Transmission of Mark’s Endings in Different Traditions and Languages: Papers presented at the International Workshop, Lausanne, 2–3 June 2022; ed. by Claire Clivaz, Mina Monier, and Dan Batovici. Peter Gurry at Evangelical Textual Criticism also points out Three New Essays on Theology and Textual Criticism.

Peter Goeman asks, “Do a Pastor’s Children Need to be Believers? A Look at Titus 1:6.”

A Short* note on an article by Michael W. Martin and Jason A. Whitlark, Reconsidering the Context of Hebrews 13:7–14.    *Yes, that pun was intended.


At least 125 tombs were discovered at Roman-era cemetery in Gaza.

Brent Nongbri rounds up the news on the (alleged) Oldest Codex (P.Hib. 113) and later asks: What Do We Mean By “Codex”?

Jim Davilla points out a Times of Israel story on a Half-shekel coin from revolt against Romans uncovered in desert cave.  I never find cool stuff like that.

Book Reviews

Mark Ward explains What Makes a Bible Translation Bad and  What Makes a Bible Translation Really Bad.

Joshua L. Harper, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Haggai: A Handbook on the Greek Text (Baylor, 2023). Reviewed by Brent Nierdergall.

James D. Nogalski, The Books of Joel, Obadiah, and Jonah. (Eerdmans, 2023). Reviewed by Jim West.

Marc Van De Mieroop. Before and after Babel: Writing as Resistance in Ancient Near Eastern Empires (Oxford University Press, 2023). Reviewed at The Biblical Review. Here is Sophus Helle’s review at BMCR.

Noah Hacham, Tal Ilan, Corpus papyrorum judaicarum, Volume 5: The Early-Roman Period (30 BCE–117 CE) (De Gruyter and Magnes Press, 2022). Reviewed by William Horbury.

Charles Marsh, Evangelical Anxiety (HarperOne, 2022). Reviewed by Ansley Quiros.

I reviewed the following books here on Reading Acts:

I also reviewed two volumes of IVP Academic’s ESBT series: Edward W. Klink III, The Beginning and End of All Things: A Biblical Theology of Creation and New Creation and M. Jeff Brannon, The Hope of Life After Death: A Biblical Theology of Resurrection.

When St Jerome Writes a Book Review…

Omnium Gatherum (miscellany or stuff I didn’t know what to do with)

On the anniversary of Rudolf Bultmann’s death, Jim West celebrated with a series of Bultmannian posts. Here are Jim’s two picks for the best book on Bultmann and a short note on Makers of the Modern Theological Mind: Rudolf Bultmann.

Thomas Creedy, On the Reading of Commentaries and Journey Deeper – Using Commentaries Devotionally.

Simonetta Carr introduces us to Elisabeth Cruciger – The First Lutheran Female Hymnwriter.

Why I am not (quite) an anarchist (HAT).

Who Can Be Called “Pastor”? On Southern Baptists, Ancient Bishops, and What Goes without Saying (Jacob Randolph at the Anxious Bench).

Philip T. Morrow at The Biblical Mind, Systemic Evils Aren’t Your Responsibility, They’re Ours. “I might be personally innocent of transgression, but my collective is not. And I can bear the (shared) responsibility of facing the problem without bearing its guilt as my own.” Listen to the Center for Hebraic Thought podcast for more.

Adam Renberg at the Anxious Bench, Where are the Mothers of the Church? On Patristic Theology and the Visibility Problem.

Why Are Most Ancient Roman Statues Headless? Spoiler: interchangeable heads.

The Faithful Politics discusses “QAnon, Chaos, and the Cross: Christianity and Conspiracy Theories,” a new book edited by Michael Austion and Gregory Bock.

Joey Cochran, Facing Fears with an Evangelical Faith.

John MacDonald concludes a long series, “No, Jesus Did Not Believe in the Inerrancy of the Bible: In Awe Of Jesus On The Cross.” The post includes links to John’s (many) posts on Trump’s propaganda.

Claude Mariottini liked Indiana Jones and the Antikythera Mechanism.

Can Orthodoxy Hide Heresy? On Apollinarius of Laodicea and Mark Driscoll (Adam Renberg at the Anxious Bench). If you read one article on Apollinarius of Laodicea and Mark Driscoll, it should be this one.

Imago Barbie.