Biblical Studies Carnival LX (February 2011)

[Matthew Crowe, A Fistful of Farthings, March 3, 2011, original URL:]

February 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival

Welcome to the Carnival! Here is a list of links to the “best of the best” biblioblog posts from last month (who am I kidding…it’s really anything I found interesting).  Let the games begin!

Hebrew Bible

Dr. Claude Mariottini posted on the passibility of God. Doug Chaplin respondedwith gusto.

John Hobbins discussed divine and human agency in the book of Exodus.

Philip Davies briefly discussed Psalm 137.

John Hobbins discussed the primacy of faith in Genesis 22.

Claude Mariottini concluded his study of Amos.

John Hobbins linked to a 90 minute outline in a course called “The Bible and Current Events” hereherehereherehere, and here. *whew* He provided links for courses on the Bible and slaverydisabilities,  abortion, and suicide.

Bob Cargill and Ferrell Jenkins noted the 62nd anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

John Byron posted weekly on the topic of infertility in the Bible: the Defective WifeRejected by God and SocietyOptions Available to the ChildlessMagic and Medicine, and Adoption.

Joel Watts interacted with scholarship on the subject of dating Deuteronomy.

Tim Bulkeley started a series on Yahweh’s command to exterminate the Canaanites. Discussion ensued (naturally) and Gavin Rumney replied. Tim continued his discussion in part 2, examining 1 Sam. 15. John Hobbinsresponded.

Peter Enns blogged the story of Cain hereherehere, and here.

John Hobbins interacted with Michael Horton regarding justification.

Claude Mariottini posted about Hannah and her sacrifice.

Jeremy Thompson posted a couple of times on textual criticism in Wisdom Literature and then shared a quote from Pope Pius XII on the subject.

Duane Smith examined the command for Lot’s wife not to look back in light of Mesopotamian medicine and divination.

Seth Rodriquez discussed ANE slinging techniques.

Michael Barber asked if Sirach was part of Scripture in Judaism.

New Testament

Daniel Kirk reconfigured “the Noble Boroeans.”  He also noticed how certain women in Mark’s gospel had eyes of faith to see the “upside down economy of the gospel” here and here.

Peter Enns made an analogy between the parables of Jesus and the tools of an artist.

Kevin Brown doubted that Jude is “early Catholic” but that it has a Jewish-Christian “apocalyptic worldview.”

Ken Schenck, using George Ladd and C. H. Dodd as examples, reminded us that historical Jesus research is often guided by the theological circumstances of the scholars involved.

James McGrath continued to blog about mythicism. He asked if some forms of mythicism are inherently self-contradictory. Tom Verenna responded, as didNeil Godfrey. McGrath interacted with their responses here. Both Verenna andGodfrey responded again.

Bill Heroman suggested a different explanation for the background of the tax issue in Matt. 22 and Mark 12.

Daniel Kirk reasoned that Jesus had his own faith, not only to be human, but that we may also be truly human.

Jim West observed that Bart Ehrman is a boring deceiver. Similar disdain for Ehrman has even brought two rival bloggers into agreement here and here (it was the month of love, what can I say? ;-) ). Bob Cargill, however, took issuewith the “Ehrman Project” and Doug Chaplin commented.

Speaking of “Erhman Antagonists” (or should it be protagonists?), Dan Wallacereported the presence of the Comma Johhanneum in an overlooked manuscript.

Larry Hurtado commented on a study that assessed the textual stability of NT documents.

Joel Watts discussed the nationalism symbolized in palm branches as seen in Revelation and intertestamental literature.

Matthew Malcolm pondered the reason for Jesus anger with the leprous man (Mark 1:40-45). While Matthew treated the passage contextually, John Byronlooked at it text-critically.  Malcolm also had a word to say about epilepsy and demon possession in antiquity.

Bill Heroman expressed interest in Quirinius, census controversy notwithstanding. He also outlined the history between the testaments from Gabriel’s appearance to Daniel to Gabriel’s appearance to Zechariah.

Regarding Quirinius, John Byron critiqued Darrell Bock’s handling of the census problem.

Daniel Kirk questioned categorizing “Abba” as an intimate term, preferring  to classify it as “cruciform royalty.”

James McGrath published an article on the ending of Mark in The Bible and Interpretation.

Michael Bird posted an excerpt from an upcoming book of his (does he write in his sleep?), discussing the variant in Mark 1:1.

Bill Heroman taught a good lesson regarding the “Wannabe Non-Leader” Tiberius, the Scooby Doo of antiquity (or was that Claudius? Or Josephus?).

Doug Chaplin presented a few problems with the Pericope Adulterae. He also placed Jesus’ statement, “It is finished” in the context of new creation instead of “evangelical dogma.”

Matthew Malcolm compared Dio Chrysostom’s picture of Corinth with Paul’s.

Brian LePort said “caught up together” (1 Thess. 4:17) does not refer to the popular idea of the “Rapture.” Joel Watts posted similar thoughtsMatthew Malcolm suggested that discussing what happens after the “meeting in the air” may be more profitable than immediately denying the rapture. Jim West linked to a video “debunking” the Rapture.

Bill Heroman shed light on Josephus’ statements about the date of Herod’s commencement to build the Temple.

Michael Barber discussed the Davidic Christology in Matthew here and here.

Daniel Kirk “surprised” us with a post about Jesus, the unlikely Messiah, and thetrue firstborn Son.

Derek Leman discussed the problems of dating the crucifixion in Mark and Johnhere and here.

Bill Heroman provided links to videos of Richard Bauckham on the Gospels as History.

Early Christianity

Jeremiah Bailey suggested that Ignatius’ Letter to the Philadelphians contains an early conflict between Spirit and Scripture.

Kevin Brown made my day by beginning his own translation of the Didache(such a neat document!)comparing it with Holmes’ translation and adding notes. It is here and here.

Rod Decker provided a cross-reference table for the old and new reference systems for the Shepherd of Hermas.


Kevin Brown briefly critiqued the invocation of the saints in prayer.

Mark Stevens pondered why so many Christians are “disenfranchised with church.”

After the Super Bowl, Steve Wiggins reflected on the religion of sports.

Richard Beck posted some thoughts on church giving hereherehere, and here.

Brian LePort, quoting Barth, questioned the need for apologetics. He alsorethought (or is rethinking still ;-) ) how to read Scripture as it relates to Christian theology and how theology relates to the church. Later he blogged about assuming the truth of Scripture.

Joshua Smith blogged that God Himself is the authority that is normative and Doug Chaplin responded.

Daniel Kirk questioned the rising tide of secularism.

On the 46th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, Rodney Thomas posted several quotes (with his own commentary) from the famous leader and noticed a connection between him and the Tea Party (some references to the Sermon on the Mount led me to group this post here).

Pat Roach asked if apostasy could be a sign of a healthy church.

More than a few conversations regarding women in ministry took place in February. Michael Heisler contributed. John Hobbins responded here and here.Out of Ur began a series on the subject.

Jeremy Thompson shared a video that illustrates the common abuse of the doctrine of retribution.

Daniel Kirk commented on a summary report by Christianity Today of a Pew Study that indicated how Evangelicals view the national budget. The findings are not incredibly surprising (Kirk’s reaction was a little surprising ;-) ) but they are certainly scary. Or sickening. Both, really.

Larry Hurtado was reminded of a book published 45 years ago, The Wrath of Heaven by Calvin R. Schoonhoven, that challenged popular conceptions of Heaven and, as far as Hurtado knows, has not been refuted or adequately noticed.

Michael Barber posted an interview he did in which he argued that archaeology is not an enemy of faith.

Quoting Brevard Childs, Brian LePort blogged on the function of a normative canon.

Doug Chaplin doubted the perspicuity of the Scriptures.

T.C. Robinson asked what is the center of Paul’s theology and later, quoting Dunn, suggested Romans may be an outline of Paul’s theology.

There were A LOT of posts about Rob Bell’s book Love Wins and Joel did a great job linking to them (why invent the wheel here?).

Language, Translation, etc.

Daniel Kirk nicely illustrated the objective genitive vs subjective genitive debate in Gal. 2:16.

Mark Goodacre pointed out a useful video on accenting biblical Greek.

Mike Aubrey said some really advanced stuff about Greek deponency (little of which I understood!). Matthew Malcolm brought it down to my level.

T.C. Robinson pondered if Dynamic Equivalence may occasionally avoid confusion.

Daniel Kirk asked some pertinent questions regarding how to translate “Son of God” for a Muslim audience.

Sean the Baptist reminded us (via John 21) of the actual value of reading NT Greek. In a related post, Bill Heroman argued that phileo beats agape.

Ben Myers offered some personal remarks on the KJV and its 400th anniversary.

Daniel Kirk gave some good tips for using Greek in research.

Adam Couturier, out of disdain for flashcards, created some nice images for learning Hebrew prepositions. He later gave some grammatical aids for Middle Egyptian.

Mike Aubrey asked if exegesis should be the “end goal” of grammatical research.

Rod Decker contrasted the frequency of passive verbs with a stated agent in classical and koine Greek.

In light of the controversy surrounding Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, John Byron asked related questions about how we should handle archaisms in the Bible.

Larry Hurtado suggested that the title “scribe” has been overused and should be replaced with “copyist.” Tommy Wasserman made a poll on the question.

Dirk Jongkind noted a scribe with a very long life.

Darrell Pursiful gave his notes on a talk about the history of the English Bible.

Rod Decker started compiling a list of verbs with first and second aorist forms.

Matthew Malcom took a poll to find if learning culture aided learning that culture’s language, provided some thoughts of his own on the issue, and then explained how he implements this in the classroom.

Matthew Montonini found some free online Hebrew resources.

The LSJ Greek-English lexicon is now online and, even better, free!

Robert Holmstedt applied textual criticism and linguistic principles to Lev. 1:17and then presented a solution for the textual variant in that verse. John Cook argued for the relevance of diachronic linguistics in biblical Hebrew to which Ian Young responded, as did John Hobbins.

Michael Bird informed us of a new Greek grammar by Porter, Reed, and O’Donnell.

James McGrath informed us of an online Mandaic lexicon.

Book Reviews

Kevin Brown concluded his review of Maurice Casey’s Jesus of Nazareth.

Shaun Tabatt reviewed several neat-looking activity books for children (ages 4-7) by Catherine Mackenzie in the “What God Says” series hereherehere, andhere. With our son Amos on the way, stuff like this catches my eye!

Larry Hurtado responded to Christopher Tuckett’s review of his book, The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins.

Kevin Brown critiqued C. S. Lewis’ faulty trilemma.

Claude Mariottini reviewed Jennifer Knust’s Unprotected Texts.

Daniel O. McClellan continued his review of Dunn’s Did the First Christians Worship Jesus? here and here. In a related post, Daniel Kirk asked somepertinent questions on the subject.

Sean Tabatt reviewed the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture CD-ROM.

Nick Norelli reviewed Pennington’s Heaven and Earth in the Gospel of MatthewSiecienski’s The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversyand Pitre’s Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. He also filled us in on somebook making terminology.

Michael Barber also reviewed Pitre’s Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist.

Joel Watts responded to some essays in From Every People and Nation.

Tommy Wasserman posted links to reviews of Houghton’s Augustine’s Text of John.

Nick Norelli reviewed Leithart’s Deep Exegesis: The Mystery of Reading Scripture.

Claude Mariottini linked to Adam Kirsch’s review of Robert Alter’s The Wisdom Books.

James McGrath and Nick Norelli reviewed Bart Ehrman’s latest book, Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are.

Announcements, etc.

Michael Bird relayed the announcement of the University of the Highlands and Islands being granted university status.

Jim West noted that some devotional books by Andrew Murray are available at CCEL.

Jim West said that the tomb of Zechariah may have been found…or maybe not.

David Stark kept us up-to-date on Zotero improvements, as well as of NT resources from India.

Mark Goodacre linked to a BBC4 program(me) on Ancient Bibles. It is not available in my area but, hey, perhaps it will work for you (is Alabama on the BBC blacklist? I smell conspiracy!). He also informed us that two of William Wrede’s books are available online.

Brian Fulthrop lost nearly all his books due to toxic mold. The biblioblogosphere showed itself to be a community indeed by spreading the word about Brian’s situation. Won’t you help him restore part of his library by sending him a book on his wish list?

NT scholar Alan F. Segal died after a long illness. Larry Hurtado reflected on his friendship and scholarship.

Brian LePort informed us that Ancient Faith Radio is podcasting C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.

Logos 4 users are able to download the NIV 2011 at no cost, provided that they have the old NIV.

Jim West sent word that Professor Anson Rainey passed away. West later posted some memorializations.

Michael Bird announced The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism.

Daniel Kirk mourned the deaths of two Fuller Seminary alumni who were killed by Somali pirates.

Brian LePort provided links to a series lectures by Richard Hays on “Reading Scripture Alongside the Gospel Writers.”

Danny Pierce discovered 13 free lectures of Moises Silva on Galatians (through WTS) available on iTunes. Danny posted this in January but I found it last week so, there ya go.


Bob Cargill saw a few problems with “fun” youth groups. He also had a great suggestion for SBL on how to increase its revenue (I couldn’t afford SBL if this were enacted).

Tom Verenna gave us a much needed glimpse of the humanity and solidarity in the Egyptian revolution.

Joel Watts wished Dietrich Bonhoeffer a happy birthday, commenting on Bonhoeffer’s espionage in WWII. Brian LePort questioned Bonhoeffer’s martyrdom as his legacy while Rodney Thomas reviewed his Ethics and noticedthat Bonhoeffer’s life shows racial reconciliation is possible. Andy Rowell linkedto several book reviews of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.

Rodney Thomas started a fun meme: CCM Praise Sons We Have Trouble With.

Marc Cortez shared his thoughts on the impossibility of theological education.

Jim West said that people should not give God a chance. For reals.

T. C. Robinson said he’s giving Francis Chan another shot.

Ben Myers gave some encouragement from the past on why scholars should not give up on their jobs.

Darrell Pursiful explained via video why the best pastors start out in children’s ministry. The priest should’ve told the kid that Jesus WAS a shapeshifter…just read John 20!

Nick Norelli pondered the salvation of various superheroes. I would add that Captain Planet’s immodest little speedo is also sending him straight to the torments of gehenna.

A new study reported that there have been 270 martyrs every 24 hours for the last decade. Wow. Steven Robinson contrasts the martyrs of old with the new martyrs of America.

Jason Staples provoked thought in his multi-post series on the Civil War between the Church and the gay community.

T.C. Robinson gave some handy tips for preventing blogging burnout.

Marc Cortez provided an interesting graphic that maps the spread of the printing press in 1450-1500.

Bob Cargill showed us the things they don’t teach children in Sunday school (WARNING: you may pee your pants when you view this).

Jim Linville showed us a side of Jim West we’ve never seen.

Joel Watts and Rodney Thomas both addressed (in conversation) the issue of the Bible being taught in public schools.

Eisenbrauns had their annual Ancient Near Eastern Valentine Contest with some interesting entries. James “Casanova” McGrath took first place with his Mandaean Valentine song.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, John Byron blogged about the ol’ Saint himself.

Marc Cortez mentioned a few things worship leaders should stop doing. Upon further reflection, he blogged about how these issues were faced and handled in the Middle Ages.

Jim West linked to Paul Anderson’s reading guide for the Gospel of John in preparation for Easter.

Bill Heroman (who, incidentally, has the coolest last name ever, though I’m probably mispronouncing it) reminded Christian shepherds that “their” sheep are not their sheep.

Ken Schenck gave us a nice reminder about the dangers of ideological isolation.

Jim West commented on the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther, whom he called a “drunken devil.” A website called What Would Jesus Brew (witty, I must say) examined beer in the letter of Martin Luther. Someone (not who you think!) recommended this book on the subject.

Marc Cortez informed us of a smartphone app that creates bibliographic citations by taking a picture of books’ barcodes.

Rodney Thomas compared several bibliobloggers to the cast of NBC’sCommunity.

Rachel Evans invited ministers to tell the truth…about a lot.

Jim Linville began a contest that Jim West saw as indicative of Linville being the Antichrist. The contest is now closed but why not head over and vote?

Blake White shared N.T. Wright’s message for the next generationJim West, not exactly fawning over Wright’s advice, thinks it is not so simple.

Mike Duncan linked to NY Times article about (among other things) how ancient Greeks used memory efficiently.

Mark Stevens suggested that topical preaching is an abomination.

Daniel Kirk brought word of the recently published LOL Cat Bible.

At the end of Black History Month, John Byron gave a tribute to African American biblical scholars.

Christian Brady passed along 10 Reasons History Will Forget You.

Doug Chaplin advocated honesty in funerals.

Rodney Thomas wrote a letter to his Catholic friends.

JP informed us of the latest stamps about the Bible.

Logos Bible Software posted an interview with N.T. Wright concerning “digital tools for Bible study, the importance of original language study, his favorite books and authors, and a whole lot more.”

Christopher Hays told Christians to calm down (HT Daniel Kirk). Kevin DeYoung provided twelve marks of a contentious person. Brian LePort suggested that some Christians are “only happy when it rains.”

Rod Decker linked to an illustrated guide to a Ph.D.

Well that was fun, wasn’t it? Next up to host the carnival: Darrell Pursiful on April 1.

4 bloggers like this post.

42 Responses to February 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival

  1. Wow – my goodness, it took me ages to read that – have you managed to do anything else in the last month besides keep track of it all?! Thanks for all the work – some very interesting stuff that I hadn’t noticed in the last month :-)

  2. Pingback: Biblical Studies Carnival is up « Cryptotheology
  3. The question I have is did anyone discover anything of major importance to our understanding of the first 300 years of Christian history? If so, could they email me?

    Cheers! http://RichGriese.NET/about

    • Nothing “major” that I noticed, but there was some interesting stuff. For a lot of good historical stuff, check out Bill Heroman’s blog. I linked to him several times.

      • Dear Matthew,

        Excellent, thanks. I have been studying Christian history for I guess over ten years now. I am pretty up to date with all the fundamental knowledge of the period I am interested in, and am looking to move to some kind of less time intensive method of staying up to date.

        I have gone though periods where I have followed lots of sites and then other times when I don’t. When I stay up on things, I tend to get frustrated on how little if anything is actually discovered, and how it takes time to even just hit, NEXT, NEXT, NEXT… on the RSS reader. Yet, when I just abandon the RSS subscriptions, after a month or two, I go “maybe something got discovered”. In the back of my mind I figure if some major discovery is made, that it will make the news papers. Or at least their religion sections. Sometimes I figure I should just subscribe to something like the NY Times Religoin RSS and call it good. But… who knows.

        Maybe you could give me some advice. What I am looking for is some kind of alert mechanism. That can alert me if some big new discovery happens in the field of Christian history. I am talking about stuff that affects our understanding in some fundamental way up till say the time of Tertullian. Things like “hey they discovered there really was a Jesus”, or “wow, they demonstrated that Luke is definately the first gospel written”, or “wow, they found some complete gospel before the Chester Beatty Papyri”, or “hey, they demonstrated that the Pauline writings were written after GMark”, hopefully you get the idea. I am talking about big things.

        So what would your advice be for some kind of alert system. So that I don’t have to read any nonsense on a day to day basis, but can go to sleep at night knowing that if some major discovery occurs I will be alerted?

        Sometimes I think the best way would simply be to call the local college and ask the department head to email me if anything big happens, and that might be the best way. But… I thought I would pick your, and/or some other people’s brains for suggestions.

        What do you think?


      • Hmm…that would be quite convenient. My guess is that is something really major were discovered it may even be mentioned by the media but, quite honestly, I don’t know if some of the things you mentions will ever be found! ;-) Have you found the “Bible and Interpretation” blog? It usually has announcements of things similar to what you mentioned (some tomb was found, etc.). Other than that, I don’t know of anything that weeds through the less important stuff (though I’m interested in those things, too!). Requesting to be put on a university’s mailing list would not be a bad idea.

      • Dear Matthew,

        Yes, I have seen that site that you mention, although it does not have any kind of RSS mechanism. Actually… it might not be a bad idea to simply contact a local college (now moved up in status to university). I could take the department head, or some guy in the department out to dinner once a quarter, and would probably get all the info I need.

        That university has proven useful in the past. When I first became interested in Christian history, I called them, and asked to talk to one of the professors that knew about Christian history. They ended up hooking me up with Dr. Robert M. Price, and I ended up becoming friends with him, and pretty much getting free tutoring, and guidance on how to approach the topic. So, I ended up getting off to a good start.

        Who knows… perhaps I can go back to the well again.


  4. Thanks for a good job

  5. Pingback: The new Biblical Studies Carnival is up
  6. Pingback: February 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival | eChurch Christian Blog
  7. Pingback: Biblical Studies Carnival (February 2011) « Faith in Hand
  8. amazingly thorough. nice job kid. you might as well plan on being asked again next year.

  9. Pingback: Biblical Studies Carnival – February 2011 | Dr. Platypus
  10. A very excellent carnival! Good work!

  11. Pingback: February 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival at A Fistful of Farthings | Unsettled Christianity
  12. Excellent work, Matthew.

  13. Pingback: February 2011 Biblioblog Review « New Testament Interpretation
  14. Pingback: February 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival at Matthew Crowe’s blog | Political Jesus
  15. Great work, and thanks for all the link love. The money has been deposited in your account, as agreed…

  16. Good round-up!
    Toda rabba.

  17. Pingback: February Biblical Studies Carnival Posted | Participatory Bible Study Blog
  18. Matthew,

    Thanks for the plugs. Great job!

    • No prob, man. Thanks!

      • I notice you’re reading Silva’s Philippians. How is it? I’ve been thinking about it for a while now.

      • I’m still working through it but I like it a lot. Upon receiving it, I was disappointed at the size because it is quite thin and, having heard much about Silva (and reading his book with Kaiser on Biblical Interpretation), I was expecting more. However, since I began reading it I realized that Silva is very concise but has quite a bit of detail, as well. I’m using it with Fee’s IVP commentary on Philippians (as the images in the sidebar indicate) and have found them to be complimentary. I’ve appreciated their varying viewpoints on different passages.

  19. Pingback: Februrary 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival « συνεσταύρωμαι: living the crucified life
  20. Pingback: February 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival at A Fistful of Farthings | THE PROPHECY BLOG
  21. Doug

    Very good. Really enjoyed, especially the book by a Jim West about a history of drinking in the church.

  22. Pingback: The Biblical Studies Blog | Pastoral Musings
  23. Pingback: The Biblical Studies Carnival and a list of beloved bibliobloggers | Near Emmaus
  24. Pingback: Biblical Studies Carnival is up « Ketuvim: the Writings of James R. Getz Jr.
  25. Late to the party, but what a great job. Thanks.

  26. interesting issue. On a few of the blogs I brought up the question. Has anything been demonstrated to show that the pauline letters MUST have been written before all the gospels? While a number of people have responded by “all (or virutally all) scholars think that”. But nobody has been able to come up with specific arguments why it must be the case. Or know of others arguments that indicate that it must be the case.

    Could this be a case of prior Church dogma simply have been being accepted and assumed by the religion industry? Or has it been conclusively been demonstrated that the pauline writings MUST have been written before all the gospels?


  27. Pingback: Biblical Studies Carnival, febr 2011 « Arne Berge

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