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.
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.
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”
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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