Welcome to the Biblical Studies Carnival VIII !
As the month of August was named for the first Augustus, so this Biblical Studies Carnival, covering July 2006 but being posted on the first day of August, is dedicated to the last Augustus: Saint Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos Dragazes (9 Feb 1404 – 29 May 1453), who ruled in Constantinople from January 1449 until his death defending the walls of that city, the “City of Churches,” capital of the Roman Empire and of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, on the day it was taken by the Turks.
Though it seemed earlier that we’d have slim pickings for this carnival, many bloggers being on vacation or taking well-deserved and refreshing breaks, it has turned out to be quite a busy month! So we’ve been treated to a number of excellent posts, and I’ve had to keep my commentary to a minimum, which I’m sure you’re all as distraught over as I am…. Anyhow, here we go!
Firstly, in the general category of blogs and blogging, we have the following.
Also, this month we welcome the following, with many a hearty backslap, to the Biblical Studies blogging community:
David Ritsema with his New Testaement Studies Blog
James Darlack and his James the Just
Rick Sumner and his Dilettante Exegete
Julian (Something)’s Text Crit, covering the application of computer technology to Biblical Studies, and textual criticism in particular.
(The latter two actually opened up shop late in June, just missing the last carnival, so they’re mentioned here.)
Finally, on the general subject of blogging, though not strictly a Biblical Studies subject or blog, Joe Carter of Evangelical Outpost, one of the most-read blogs around, re-posted his series How to Start a Blog: Tips and Suggestions for Launching a Successful Blog. Such helpful information from a successful blogger can only be thankfully very well-appreciated.
In the general category of publication, Peter Head posts somewhat humourously on How not to compile an index. Computers can’t index properly without proper human supervision, is the lesson we need to learn.
On the Latinitas front, we’ve been treated to a number of fun things (or so I’ve been told):
Brandon Wason of Novum Testamentum has created a beautiful and helpful chart of Latin prepositions
And Kevin Edgecomb (that’s me!) has been busy at biblicalia, providing the following translations of Latin texts:
Victorinus of Poetovio’s Commenary on the Apocalypse, the earliest fully-preserved commentary on the Apocalypse (or Book of Revelation, if you prefer) written by a man known to St Jerome and others as the first Biblical exegete in Latin.
Jerome’s Prologues, contained in the Vulgate, to Genesis, Joshua, Kings, and Paralipomenon/Chronicles, with the rest to follow. Most of these, for one reason or another, have either never appeared in English before or haven’t been translated recently or very well.
Bog book blooper blogged! Say that ten times fast! The recent and amazing discovery in an Irish bog of an ancient manuscript containing at least one Psalm in Latin made for a flurry of news reports, which, like this report from CNN, mixed up the Psalm number and content, in which confusion some saw, perhaps quite understandably, an interesting coincidence in subject matter and recent world events. But never fear! Bibliobloggers promptly burst that charming little bubble! The different numbering of the Psalms in the Latin/Greek and Hebrew traditions are covered by Tyler Williams at Codex, who also explains the whole kerfuffle (as Jim Davila points out in his blog ’bout the bog book, it’s kerfuffle, not kerfluffle).
Several “memes” made their way through Biblical Studies blogs (and further!) this month.
First, originating with Rick Brannan at ricoblog was the delightful “Opposite Day,” in which various fictitious “guest bloggers” posted on various blogs posts which were typically entirely contrary to the positions of their hosts.
Second, and still ongoing, is the explosively popular “One Book Meme” begun by Ben Meyers at the ever-enjoyable Faith and Theology blog. As it seems no one has done a roundup of these, and there is a vast and growing number of respondents, far too many to list here, see Google for all of them. Congratulations to Ben for a particularly fun and enlightening meme!
Third, the very interesting Blogging as Theological Reflection was started by Mark Goodacre of the New Testament Gateway blog. At least one further respondent not noted in Mark’s roundup is David Ritsema. Someone else surprised me by noting that Mark Goodacre has not appeared in any of the Biblical Studies Carnivals, a shocking oversight now remedied! See his New Testament Gateway website, and pay special attention to his materials on the Synoptic Problem. As Mark is the author of The Case Against Q, read it all, as it’s all exceedingly well done! See there also the interesting summary of the not-suspiciously-named-at-all-Mark-says article by E. W. Lummis, The Case against “Q.”
On Hebrew, Old Testament, and Ancient Near Eastern subjects, we have the following:
First and foremost, we were all treated this month to the extraodinarily excellent series on Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, by the resurrector and most capable facilitator of the Biblical Studies Carnival, Tyler Williams at Codex. The individual posts are:
Part One: An Introduction
Part Two: Resources
Part Three: Hebrew Witnesses to the Text of the Old Testament
Part Four: Early Versions of the Hebrew Bible
Part Five: Codex Sinaiticus: A Profile
Part Six: The History of the Biblical Text
Part Seven: The Goal(s) of Textual Criticism
Part Eight: The Practice of Textual Criticism
This series is ongoing, so keep checking Codex or the TCHB roundup page (upon seeing which an ancient Hebrew cowboy might shout:יִ־הַו) for further installments.
Another greatly fascinating series is coming from Duane Smith at Abnormal Interests, which series is called How to Recognize a Scribal School: Part One: Formal Scribal Training, Part Two: The Use of Literature and Myth Along with Specialized Akkadian Scribal Training in Late Bronze Age, and Part Three: Training in the alphabetic writing system from Ugarit and training in a second language in the Late Bronze Age. Absolutely well-done, great, and fascinating! We want more!
Furthermore, Duane, having excavated at Gezer in the past, has also written a good post on Early Reports from Gezer Excavation, mentioning a couple of other posts on the Baptist Press reports from Jim West and Joe Cathey (who, of course, was excavating at Gezer this year and even put up the Tel Gezer Blog, with some nifty photos).
Shai Heijmans (in Ramat Gan, Israel, who has been called to active duty!) at Hebrew and Aramaic Theology wrote, most helpfully, if briefly, A note about the pronunciation of the shwa, and how it differed in different times and places. Who knew? Keep Shai in your thoughts and prayers. Be safe, Shai!
Jan Pieter van de Giessen at Aantekeningen bij de Bijbel posted the really fun Hebreeuws Zomercursus. It’s from his Hebrew Summer Course, and will help those who know Hebrew to learn some Dutch (not Hollandaise, as one wag called it) words and phrases, or vice versa. Not knowing a lick of Dutch, but knowing Hebrew well, I found it great fun! But don’t quiz me….
And now we move on to the seemingly inexhaustible font of Greek, New Testament, and early Christian subjects covered over the course of the month, some in ongoing series, in no particular order. As I mentioned before, and as I think most will agree, this has been a remarkably prolific month for blogging on Biblical subjects.
Stephen Carlson at Hypotyposeis has posted several goodies in July:
A very helpful roundup of his posts on the Testimonium Flavianum, which he’ll update as necessary, so that’s definitely a link to bookmark!
Another very helpful roundup covering his posts on Secret Mark.
And lastly but not by any means leastly, Stephen covers in quite a bit of detail the article by Scott Brown, “The Question of Motive in the Case against Morton Smith,” JBL 125 (2006): 351-383, in an introductory post, followed by parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, with more to follow.
Chris Petersen at Resurrection Dogmatics wrote Jesus the Rabbinic Sage?, touching on the similarities and differences between some of Jesus’ sayings and Tannaitic halakhot. It’s a fascinating subject!
Also from Chris’ tasty buffet of posts is his excellent series on The Value of E.P. Sanders’ Jesus and Judaism: Parts One, Two, and Three, and his Conclusion. The series is by way of explanation for Chris finding Sanders’ Jesus and Judaism to be his number one work in historical Jesus scholarship. He’s got some good points, and explains Sanders’ work well for those who are unfamiliar with it.
Clifford Kvidahl at Theological Musings raises a question that needed to be asked: Are there Echoes of Paul in the Didache? I’m not spoiling the surprise, so you’ll have to click the link and read it to find out!
Loren Rosson at The Busybody, mentioned above, posted his intriguing Functional Outline of Romans. Loren describes it thus: This outline/commentary on Romans focuses on the function of each section of the letter, with an eye on audience, Paul’s shifts in thought since Galatians, and his own personal theological dilemmas. Following Philip Esler, Loren sees a contrast between Paul’s strategies in Galatians and Romans, the former attempting to reconcile Judean outsiders and Gentile insiders, and the latter attempting to reconcile Judean insiders and Gentile insiders in the Roman church. It’s definitely worth the enlightening time spent in sitting down with this outline and reading through Romans again.
Following on Ben Witherington’s post Misanalyzing Text Criticism–Bart Ehrman’s ‘Misquoting Jesus’ at his autonymic blog Ben Witherington, Charles Halton at Awilum decries a Scholarly Lack of Transparency, prompted by some of Bart Ehrman’s statistical shenanigans which are misleading to the uninformed.
And Matthew Thomas Hopper at Historical Jesus and Paul has a great series on Ginomai in Paul: Parts One, Two, Three, and Four so far, with more to follow. I love this kind of thing. Digging in and learning a particular writer’s usage of a verb, noun, adjective or phrase is what learning a language and a particular author’s style is all about. Let the baby cry, Matthew, and get back to work!
Richard H. Anderson presents dokeo kago grapho soi kratistos Theophilos: Something Happened posted at dokeo kago grapho soi kratistos Theophilos, noticing some interesting things about how the miracles of Jesus are related in the different Gospels.
David Ker, linguist and missionary, at Lingamish, posts on Who knows whom in 1 Cor. 8:3, in which, inquit, “I make an analysis of the meaning of 1 Cor. 8:3 and then reverse my interpretation after further study.” You just gotta love watching scholarly integrity in action!
Jeremy Pierce at Parableman writes a thought-provoking post on Mark, Luke and Pseudonymity, in response to Gospel Authorship by Mark and Luke: Some Implications by Mark Roberts, discussing the traditional ascriptions of the Gospels, and how they may actually be correct.
Finally, so that we might end on a chipper note, levity raises its silly head! In a fun post, only vaguely related to Biblical Studies, if at all, but really just more egregiously, gratuitously silly and strange, there is Jon Swift’s Looking at the Bright Side of World War III, describing a kind of bizarre glee, in certain corners long unswept of improper eschatology, in response to current disturbing world events, a glee that, as one might most appositely pronounce in an “Oh those wacky down home fundamentalists” accent: “The end times, they is upon us!” Ed Cook at Ralph the Sacred River, has an absolutely hilarious post related to this, which still has me giggling.
Thus endeth our Biblical Studies Carnival VIII! Thanks to all the great bloggers and all those who appreciate their work, we’ve had a great festival this month. Thanks for stopping by, all you who don’t regularly frequent biblicalia. I’ve got a whole lot of updating of my blog roll to do, for which I’m grateful to all you great bloggers mentioned above.
Biblical Studies Carnival IX will be hosted by Stephen Carlson at Hypotyposeis in early September, 2006. Look for a call for submissions and nominations on his blog soon.
Nominations (which should be blog entries posted in August 2006) for the next Biblical Studies Carnival may be emailed to biblical_studies_carnival <at> hotmail.com or entered via the submission form provided by Blog Carnival here.
For information about the Biblical Studies Carnival please consult the Biblical Studies Carnival Homepage. Have a swell month!