Biblical Studies

Biblical Studies Carnival XL

This 40th edition of the Biblical Studies Carnival was originally posted on my former blog, James Gregory’s Blog ( I obtained it from Google’s caches, since I forgot to archive it prior to deleting that blog. It took me a while, but I was able to copy and paste all of the text into this blog post, and then make all of the links active. Some blog posts that were linked in the original version are no longer available. Therefore, I marked those links that used to work with a black underline. As a result, there are two things to look for, active links (example) and inactive links (example). Inactive links are not really links, but they mark where a link used to be.


Welcome to the 40th edition of the Biblical Studies Carnival, which is, needless to say, extra large this month! This edition is packed with biblioblog posts from all over the web. All who are hungry and thirsty for biblical studies blog posts should consider themselves filled and quenched, for this edition of the Biblical Studies Carnival is one hefty feast. We should simply cut to the chase and get started with the carnival due to its size.

There are several areas to peruse. There is a section with a variety of posts regarding linguistics, text, and translation. There is a section devoted to the Hebrew Bible and Judaic studies. Much discussion focused on the New Testament and the Early Church. There is also a section concerning the broader theological threads of the Bible. A portion of the carnival is devoted to books and resources for biblical studies. And, finally, there is a section for everything else.

A) Linguistics, Text, and Translation

Tyler F. Williams over at Codex discussed an understanding of Cain and Able’s offerings in light of Hebrew grammar. Tyler’s post seems to have inspired a post by Simon Holloway at Davar Akher. Simon looked at the use of the anterior construction in Nehemiah 2:1b.

Accents can be confusing for some people, right? Maybe these two posts will be of comfort: post 1; post 2.

Mike Aubrey posted some thoughts on voice in Greek over at ΕΝ ΕΦΕΣΩ. He came back to the subject later in the month. He also published a post covering word order and translation in 4 Maccabees 11:12. Also, read this post that considers another word order issue. Additionally, Mike noted a special function of οὐ/μὴ μόνος . . . ἀλλὰ καὶ . . . in 4 Maccabees. He noted that this construction is used to essentially say, “Replace the one thing I said previously with both these elements together.” In reference to linguistics, pedagogy, and vocabulary, Mike proposed to have students work through a portion of Scripture and then be examined on the content of the text in place of vocabulary quizzes that remove the words from the context. But would it work? ΕΝ ΕΦΕΣΩ also had a two-part series on the Greek morphological tagging systems in Logos software. Click here and here. Mike also noted that participles are easier to determine in function in classical Greek as opposed to Biblical Greek.

John Hobbins addressed the issues of translating assertive language in 1 Kings 12:10-11. In addition, John discussed the issues in translating metaphors in this post. John also gave a translation of Ezekiel 33:30-33.

Bill Mounce continued the “Monday with Mounce” series at Koinônia, which addressed various Greek translation issues. Bill discussed elders and divorce in 1 Timothy 3:2 at Koinônia. Additionally, at the same blog he discussed “swear by God” in Mark 5:7. Furthermore, Bill discussed a semantic-contextual issue in his post, “airo in John 15:2”. Mounce also considered John 3:13 and the translation and importance of ei mê, as well as John 15:2-3 in relation to translating puns and metaphors.

Bob MacDonald started a series in which he will be translating the book of Job. Here is his translation of Job 1. He also translated Hebrews 1:1-4. At another blog of his, Bob blogged on the use of the english word “lion” to translate several Hebrew words in the Psalms.

Dan Reid took a look at Colossians 2:15 and the interpretation of apekdysamenos. Michael Bird mentioned Dan’s post and commented on it here. Michael takes it to be a deponent, whereas Dan takes it to have a reflexive sense.

There is now a German translation of the LXX.

Sinaiticus offered some constructive feedback on the ESV translation.

Click here to learn about the production and publishing of the TNIV/NIV.

Christian Askeland discussed a textual variant in John 13:2-3 at Evangelical Textual Criticism.

Dirk Jongkind posed a question regarding Acts 19:40 and 41, where, for example, NA27 and the Vulgate differ from TR and the NRSV.

Speaking of textual variants, in terms of percentage, how reliable is the text of the New Testament? According to Dr. James White, as reported by Matthew Burgess, it’s 95%. Read more.

While we are on the topic of variants, several new manuscripts have been discovered. With all this talk of variants and manuscripts, take a moment to reflect on Greek reader versions of UBS GNT without the apparatus. Would utilizing such editions further marginalize the apparatus?

And what of J. Harold Greenlee’s latest book, The Text of the New Testament? Ricoblog had a few good words to say about it.

B) Hebrew Bible and Judaic Studies

Jim Getz discussed Numbers 6:14 and the Nazirite sin-offering. In another post, Jim reported and commented on one commentary’s position on the Nazirite vow to abstain from wine. In yet another post, Jim considered Roy Gane’s thoughts on the Nazirite offering in Numbers 6. He questioned whether Amos 2:11-12 tells us anything about Nazirites as Susan Niditch claims in her book, “My Brother Esau is a Hairy Man:” Hair and identity in ancient Israel.

Koinônia offered some background information for Leviticus 16. Also, see what Koinônia had to say about the teraphim. This blog also provided background information regarding tabernacle worship.

Over at Ancient Hebrew Poetry, John Hobbins started a series on Habakkuk. First, he provided an introduction to Habakkuk. Second, he wrote about Habakkuk as intercessor. Third, he discussed faith-based religion and the example of Habakkuk. Fourth, he considered vessels of wrath in relation to Calvinism, the Talmud, and Habakkuk. Fifth, John translated and commented on Habakkuk 2:1-4. Sixth, he specifically treated Habakkuk 2:4. Sixth, he examined Habakkuk 2:1-8. Seventh, John wrote about imperialism and how Habakkuk (among other texts) relates to it. Eighth, he blogged on Habakkuk 2:9-14. Ninth, he included a post called “Homosexual Rape as a Metaphor for Imperialism”.

Furthermore, John Hobbins posted about Psalm 137 and Ezekiel as well. He considered the angry yet loving God as depicted in Ezekiel (reference § A for the corresponding translation of Ezekiel 33:30-33), and he commented on the scandal of the Psalter, Psalm 137. Additionally, he looked at the Parable of the Banquet in the Talmud here and here. John also offered some comments on the new siddur for Jews in Great Brittain. Still more, he included a post on complementarianism and orthodox Jews.

Several bloggers discussed Qumran and the Essenes. In this post, John Hobbins stated his position and defended it, and he stated the opposition and critiqued it. He continued with additional comments in a separate post, appealing to the work of Jodi Magness, arguing that archaeology supports the general consensus that the literature found at Qumran is associated with the Essenes. Alternatively, Jim West seemed to admire the opposition. Jim had 7 posts on the topic (post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, post 5, post 6, and post 7). Doug Magnum had a good roundup of the conversation and posts regarding this topic at Biblica Hebraica. By the way, Rachel responded to her critics, to which John gave a reply on his blog in this post.

Since we are on the topic of Qumran, check out David Stacey’s article at The Bible and Interpretation, called “Three Notes on Qumran”. It does not directly address the Qumran and Essene relationship, but rather, it makes archaeological notes about the dam, slaves, and basketry at Qumran.

How do we understand the stories of the patriarchs in Genesis? Is Genesis chronological history? John Hobbins maintained that these narratives provide much history without being written as a strict chronological history. Click here for more information. For the background that led to John’s post, click here, here, here, and here. Bishop Alan’s Blog touched this subject in its post about literalism and the Bible prior to Darwin. It made note of the fact that Origen did not take Genesis literally. In a similar vein, RJS questioned how we ought to understand and interpret the Bible.

Robin Perry showed us what Calvin wrote on Lamentations 3:33 and offered a couple of thoughts.

Chris Heard commented on a recent archaeological claim in his post, “Throwing Caution to the Winds”.

Jim West took a look at a book that attempted to use performance criticism. The book is called Twice Used Songs: Performance criticism of the songs of ancient Israel, and it is written by Terry Giles and William J. Doan. Jim also commented on an archaeological issue concerning Abraham and a gate made of mud. Jim was not pleased with the statement of the report, which claimed that it is uncertain whether Abraham had walked through this gate of mud.

Katagraphais reviewed Immanuel in Our Place: Seeing Christ in Israel’s worship, by Tremper Longman III. In connection with Bill Mounce’s post on elders and divorce (reference § A), Matthew Burgess at Confessions of a Bible Junkie posted about polygamy in Second Temple Judaism.

Awilum quoted Carolyn J. Sharp in this post: “Biblical Interpretation is Difficult”.

Hesed We ‘Emet described the debate surrounding high and low chronology for the extent of the kingdom of Solomon, saying, in the end, that the proposal of low chronology addresses some issues in the high chronology view that must be addressed before low chronology can be dismissed. Eric Meyers’ article on the subject was posted at The Bible and Interpretation here.

Abnormal Interests included a post that brought an edition of the Oriental Institute Seminars into the light concerning the relationship between tribes, nomads, and states. Duane Smith also linked to a blog post over at Chronologs, adding in a few thoughts of his own. The blog post at Chronologs is in German. Peter van der Veen was writing to defend the position that a newly discovered fragment possibly contains a reference to King Hezekiah. Duane was quite skeptical about Peter’s defense.

Ad Cummulus blogged on the deluge, the source of the post comes from The Bible with Sources Revealed: new view into the five books of Moses, by Richard Elliot Friedman. This post argued that the Genesis flood consists of two sources, J and P, and attempted to show that they are two versions of the same account. This post is in Portuguese.

While looking at the end of Esther, Velveteen Rabbi expressed discomfort with the text. Despite her discomfort, she maintained that it is important to keep it because of its reminder to address oppression and the anger that oppression yields. This post inspired a response from Michael Carden. Michael agreed with Velveteen Rabbi, and underscored the importance of not excising uncomfortable texts, and highlighted that we do receive and read texts in a community. Michael followed his response with further reflections on Esther.

Has the location of the Garden of Eden finally been found?

C) New Testament and the Early Church

Joel Willitts discussed the subject of Paul’s thought in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. Joel argued that Paul was not concerned in this instance with defining the gospel, but rather, he was concerned with proclaiming the reality of the resurrection.

Michael Bird suggested a change to the old adage, “Once saved, always saved,” by appending, “if saved!” Read his post, “Perseverance in Hebrews”, to find out more. In a separate post, he also provided F. F. Bruce’s thoughts on the warning in Hebrews 6:4-6. Anyone studying Romans 9:5 should consider Michael’s reference. He also questioned whether Galatians reflects Paul’s raw and radical theology more than Romans in this post. Possibly in connection with the pistis Christou debate that transpired last month, Michael posted an interesting quote from Christ and the Antichrist by Hippolytus, concluding that it is the earliest patristic witness for a subjective reading. Read the quote and his brief comment here. Michael not only discussed Hippolytus’ Christ and the Antichrist, but he also discussed Ebionites in relation to Irenaeus’ Against Heresies. Also, check out Michael’s thoughts on Seyoon Kim’s book, Christ and Caesar: The Gospel and the Roman Empire in the Writings of Paul and Luke, his thoughts on Craig Koester’s book, The Word of Life: A theology of John’s gospel, and his thoughts on Ched Myers’ commentary, Binding the Strong Man. Michael also questioned why Paul persecuted the church. He seemed to think that Mark Nanos had the makings of an answer.

James McGrath reviewed Jesus, the Voice, and the Text, edited by Tom Thatcher. He posted some of his thoughts on homosexuality and Romans 1-3. In this post, James looked at the context of Romans 1-3, not merely Romans 1, and he also distinguished between contemporary and ancient homosexual practices. While also mentioning that no one today practices biblical marriage whatsoever, James also emphasized the fact that most Christians do not even adhere to the biblical view of divorce. In the end, he was essentially asking, “Should we exclude the divorced from the church or fellowship in the same way that we do homosexuals?” In addition to this post, James reviewed Bart Ehrman’s latest book, Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them).

In light of a fellow-blogger’s post, Matthew Burgess made an observation on the Lukan Jesus. He also, in this post, questioned whether Clement of Alexandria read the Acts of the Pagan Martyrs and other similar Greco-Roman texts. Also over at Confessions of a Bible Junkie, the author of Luke has been said to be one of the greatest geniuses in the early church.

Josh McManaway made some comments regarding Margaret M. Mitchell’s book, The Heavenly Trumpet: John Chrysostom and the Art of Pauline Interpretation

Craig L. Blomberg considered the uniqueness of sex in connection with 1 Corinthians over at his blog, which is hosted at the Denver Seminary web site. He also blogged about pacifists and activists in relation to Romans 12 and 13.

Café Apocalypsis offered some thoughts on the angels of the seven churches in Revelation. Ben Witherington III gave a few words regarding the recent introduction to the New Testament.

Philip Harland posted a two-part podcast series (part 1, part 2) regarding the Apocryphon of John, one of the Nag Hammadi texts. Philip also included an introduction to Gnostic worldviews here.

Speaking of Gnosticism, April DeConick led us down a three-post trail (post 1, post 2, and post 3), trying to classify Gnostics as either transtheists or supratheists in an effort to forsake the terms “gnostic” and “gnosticism” for heuristic reasons. She was attempting to come up with a name for the specific phenomenon she wants to study. In her second post, she addressed other people’s comments, but in the end she settled upon the term “transtheism” to describe the specific phenomenon she wants to study as a historian of religion.

Covenant Theology considered the eucharist and made some observations, including, but not limited to, that many mystical errors have been made in understanding the Lord’s Supper, that the eucharist belongs to the community, and that it is not intended for substantial physical nourishment.

John Hobbins, in relation to Michael Heiser’s post reflecting upon canonicity, wrote about the inclusion of Revelation into the canon.

Chris Zeichmann reviewed James Crossley’s book, Jesus in an Age of Terror: Scholarly projects for a new American century, over at Thoughts on Antiquity. It is a thorough review.

Anthony Delgado attempted to summarize the book of Matthew while making a few comments of his own in his post, “A Quick Read Through the Gospel of Matthew”.

Brian Small wrote up his exegesis of Hebrews 2:16. In addition, Brian also had a Hebrews roundup of posts from the blogosphere, including Michael Bird’s aforementioned post on perseverance in Hebrews, James Gregory’s Blog reference to Michael and other material, Bob MacDonald’s translation of Hebrews 1:1-4 (reference § A), Tony Siew’s comments on faith in Hebrews, and the Better Bibles Blog posts, “The Word of His Power” and “His Powerful Word”.

Richard Anderson made a connection between Qumran and the Lucan Jesus.

Nijay K. Gupta shared some of his thoughts on ascribed honor and Jesus in the Gospel of John, which pertains to an article he had published last year, “A Man of No Reputation: Jesus and Ascribed Honor in the Gospel of John”, in the Ashland Theological Journal.

Beware of the National Geographic.

The Jesus Creed blog was busy as usual. Scot McKnight continued his study from the Epistle of James. During the month of March, Scot had these 18 posts for this series: A Brother’s Wisdom 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26. Scot also discussed a book that is important for Early Church studies, Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why it matters what Christians believe, edited by Ben Quash and Michael Ward, in five posts throughout March (post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, and post 5). He also blogged about Junia in Romans 16 in his post, “A Woman in the Footnotes”, concluding that Junia was a female and not a male apostle. RJS looked at Romans 5 (part 3) in relation to sin and Romans 8 in relation to creation. In connection with Romans 5, RJS also questioned whether the concept of original sin is original to Paul.

D) Biblical Theology

What do we mean by “heaven”?

Katagraphais gave us Geerhardus Vos’ thoughts about eschatology and the new creation. Katagraphais also provided some thoughts on the church, the body, and “one another” language in his post on American individualism. In connection with this post, katagraphais also re-thought the miraculous in light of Matthew 16:1-4 and Mark 8:10-13.

Jeff Kluttz posted part one to a multiple-part post, entitled, “The Great Falling Away”. The emphasis of this post is on the teaching of demons. No, he does not claim to be taught by demons, but he warns that in the last days believers will be led astray as though they were taught by demons.

Exploring Our Matrix discussed G. K. Beale’s book on inerrancy, which in turn inspired a post over at Ancient Hebrew Poetry. John Hobbins posted a second set of thoughts on the inerrancy of Scripture in relation to Michael Heiser’s post on the subject. He also considered how much of Scripture was dictated by the Holy Spirit.

Ryan Perry wrote about the futility of human freedom. In his view, human freedom is not of ultimate importance, and, as a result, we should not base our theologies on this concept.

Ben Witherington gave us a sneak peak at his primer on worship. In this post, Witherington wrote about the role of music in Christian worship.

E) Books and Resources

Studying Hebrew or Aramaic? Reference this post at Ancient Hebrew Poetry. And John Hobbins gave another helpful source for DIY Hebrew studies.

Here is a host of material from the RBL blog:

  1. Bird, The Saving Righteousness of God
  2. Charlesworth, The Historical Jesus
  3. Clarke, A Pauline Theology of Church Leadership
  4. Davidovich, The Mystery of the House of Royal Women
  5. Dove, The First English Bible
  6. Flood, Peter of John Olivi on Genesis
  7. Flusser, Judaism of the Second Temple Period
  8. Hess and Martens, eds., War in the Bible
  9. Hunter, An Introduction to the Psalms
  10. Newman, The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader’s Edition
  11. Norich and Eliav, Jewish Literatures and Cultures
  12. Wright, The Psalms of Solomon
  13. Adams, From Literal to Literary
  14. Anbar, Prophecy, Treaty-Making and Tribes in the Mari Documents
  15. Bergant, Scripture: History and Interpretation
  16. Fonrobert and Jaffee, Cambridge Companion to the Talmud
  17. Habel and Trudinger, Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics
  18. Heskett, Messianism within the Scriptural Scrolls of Isaiah
  19. Huber, Like a Bride Adorned
  20. Jackson, Wisdom-Laws
  21. Leuchter, The Polemics of Exile in Jeremiah 26–45
  22. Niditch, Judges: A Commentary
  23. Scholz, Introducing the Women’s Hebrew Bible
  24. Soloveitchik, Abraham’s Journey
  25. Talbert, Ephesians and Colossians
  26. Virkler and Ayayo, Hermeneutics
  27. Webb and Kloppenborg, Reading James with New Eyes
  28. Ahearne-Kroll, The Psalms of Lament in Mark’s Passion
  29. Berlin, The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism
  30. Boccaccini and Collins, The Early Enoch Literature
  31. Craffert, The Life of a Galilean Shaman
  32. Dominique, Reimaginando los orígenes del cristianismo
  33. Dübbers, Christologie und Existenz im Kolosserbrief
  34. Eskenazi and Weiss, The Torah: A Women’s Commentary
  35. Garfinkel and Cohen, Middle Bronze Age IIA Cemetary at Gesher
  36. Hogan, “No Longer Male and Female”
  37. Le Roux and Otto, South African Perspectives on the Pentateuch
  38. Middlemas, The Templeless Age
  39. Plisch, The Gospel of Thomas
  40. Ska, Introduction to Reading the Pentateuch
  41. Wells, The Law of Testimony in the Pentateuchal Codes

The Evangelical Textual Criticism blog pointed us towards some recent textual critical articles in several journals. Peter pointed out a good overview of the textual witnesses to Josephus’ works in this post, and in another post he linked to A. N. S. Lane’s work concerning B. B. Warfield’s view of humanity’s effect on Scripture. Tommy pointed us to several works here. Martin Heide pointed us to a couple of intriguing articles in this post.

Here are some book resources that may be of interest. And here. Also here. And also here. What’s more is here. Don’t forget here, here, here, here, here, or here.

Anyone literate in Hebrew and interested in Rachel Elior’s challenge against the role of the Essenes at Qumran would find this book interesting.

Nijay K. Gupta offered some thoughts on commentaries that are worth reading. He also gave us the table of contents of the forthcoming book, The Epistle to the Hebrews and Christian Theology.

Biblia Patristica is partially available for reference online. Ben C. Smith provided a list of his posts concerning the various New Testament canons. This post was a conclusion to a series on the blog, Thoughts on Antiquity.

Hokhma linked to several video resources, which are in French.

Confessions of a Bible Junkie linked to two transcripts of Bart Ehrman’s latest debates, one with James White and the other with William Lane Craig.

F) Miscellaneous

Welcome the following blog to the biblical studies blogosphere: Thomas’ blog on Galatians.

Also, welcome a new contributor to Evangelical Textual Criticism, Peter Rodgers.

Now’s the opportunity for someone to purchase and own (or donate) Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1353 (0206) with 1 Peter 5:5-13.

Consider going to the Scriptorium in Orlando, FL.

Got unicode? There’s a new unicode font for papyrology and textual criticism. For more information, click here.

John Hobbins also posted an intriguing interview. He also pointed out a new all-German biblical archaeology blog.

Michael Bird included a series of interviews at Euangelion with Douglas Campbell here, here, and here.

Ben Witherington included a post with questions for N. T. Wright. See Wright’s answers here.

Ken Schenck included a five-part interview series with Peter Enns (post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, and post 5).

What would God say about the economic stimulus plan? According to Craig L. Blomberg, the economic stimulus plan is not a biblical solution to the issue. Read more about Craig’s thoughts on the plan and what he believes Christians should be doing here.

Mark Goodacre was having issues with Duke hosting his web site materials. He gave us an update on his blog. Speaking of Mark, he linked to an informative post and conversation regarding the difference between a PhD and ThD at Duke.

Golb. Unbelievable. More info here and here. In light of Golb’s story, read Mark Goodacre’s post, “The Ethics and the Practicalities of Blogging in the wake of the Raphael Golb affair”.

Also unbelievable is this picture and its caption.

All who are attending SBL’s 2009 Annual Meeting in New Orleans should read this information. Attendees could win 1 of 3 prizes, the first prize of which gets registration fees paid! See content information for more details.

The Biblical Studies Carnival is looking for women who would like to host an upcoming edition. Find out more information here.


Thus concludes the 40th edition of the Biblical Studies Carnival. Hopefully everyone’s hunger and thirst has been satisfied and all have had their fill of biblical studies blog posts from all over the blogosphere from March 2009. If not, feast upon last month’s carnival, Biblical Studies Carnival XXXIX. The Biblical Studies Carnival homepage is always available with past editions for further reading as well. Biblical Studies Carnival XLI will be hosted a month from now over at Exploring Our Matrix, James McGrath’s blog.