Friday 30 November 2012

Welcome to the Biblical Studies Carnival November 2012

no noyse nor silence but one equall musick

Up to those Patriarchs...

November 2012 is a month to be remembered for storm and devastation. The opening Sabbath d'var Torah from Rachel Barenblat outlines trouble, consequences, and responsibilities.

Simon Halloway continues reflection on the Sabbath and violations of halakah on behalf of those in trouble. "Better to transgress a serious prohibition once than it is to transgress a mild prohibition several times". One might note this workaround also from Jim Davila.

Chris Heard cites Abraham Ibn Ezra as an alternative to Wellhausen on the references to the Divine in Genesis 1-2:4.

J.P. vd Giessen provokes a question on how to translate Genesis 1:2.

Tim Bulkeley speaks in 4 and a half minutes on Bonhoeffer and Genesis 3.

Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed reflecting on Genesis and John, contrasts the will of the male with the will of God.

Libby Anne gets a horde of comments on her essay - what is a "help meet"?

Rebekah has begun a TubeTestament aural and oral commentary on Genesis.

James McGrath reads Philo on Genesis and the number 6 and how 'number is akin to arrangement'.

James Pate studies the Decalogue in Jewish and Christian Tradition edited by Henning Graf Reventlow and Yair Hoffman, a two-day book. He continues mid-month with notes on Enoch and the Mosaic Torah by Lutz Doering.

Suzanne at BLT eavesdrops on Dinah.

Cynthia Edenberg releases her pre-publication paper on Editorial Revision in the Deuteronomistic History.

Academia also drew attention to an Arabic dissertation on Deuteronomy 18:15.

Carnival: a taste of horror, fraud, deception, special pleading, (and other safer rides suitable for children). Listen also to the sound of the axe grinder.
Deane Galbraith notes a translation of 'turgid fiction' into Hebrew under the title, Mered HaNephilim. J.P. vd Geissen notes theories about the Nephilim. They get a mention by Adam Kotsko. More on gender later...

Dr. Pinchas Roth gives us a taste of Biblical Studies in Medieval Provence. His subject examples are marriage laws and kosher wine in Languedoc - מקום יין טוב.

Roland Boer speculates on the use of knucklebones.
fragmentary rubbidge
For the worlds beauty is decai'd, or gone
Beauty, that's colour, and proportion

Up to those Prophets...
David's Lament on the death of Absalom
from 2 Samuel 18:33 [19:1].
David and Goliath get a dig from Yigal Levin, reported by Deane. "What Levin proposes is that the ma’gal (מעגל) mentioned in 1 Sam. 17.20 refers to the Israelite encampment and should be identified with Khirbet Qeiyafa."

Jim West asks where the kings are buried.

Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai reports on the parable of the vineyard.

Danny Zacharias draws attention to The Structure of Zechariah 8 and its Meaning by Elie Assis.

Tim Bulkeley applies Obadiah to current affairs.

But pause, my soule; And study ere thou fall
On accidentall joyes, th'essentiall.

John Bergsma reveals the cosmic mountain with stick figures. (A "gate liturgy in a similar fashion to Psalms 15 and 24".)

Kurk Gayle BLT posts on Mary Herbert. Psalm 74 gets a careful read (again at BLT) and introduces a favored eyelid-fluttering beastie.
Blake's Behemoth watching Leviathan's sneeze and fluttering eyelids

Prof. Gianni Barbiero highlights the Psalms:
"Attualmente io mi dedico soprattutto allo studio dei Salmi e vorrei dire che se c'è un libro particolarmente in sintonia con il Nuovo Testamento è proprio questo libro, non per niente è il libro dell'Antico Testamento più citato nel Nuovo."

The laurel tree (bay) of Psalm 37 and the willow of Psalm 137, each get a mention by J.P. vd Giessen who also considers Psalm 83 in a time of war. This is a poem that is noted by your host.

James Pate continues his weekly discipline on the Psalms, 101, 102, 103, 104. David Koyzis posts a robust performance of Psalm 104 of the Genevan Psalter, here sung in Korean. On the Sunday next before Advent, David has two Psalms: 50 and 93.

Jim Gordon gives us haiku on Psalm 23 and the sea.

Joel Hoffman at God Didn't Say That wants to recover the erotic in the Song. He is taken to task for his profession by a comment: ללמד תרגום זה כמו לנשק את הכלה דרך צעיף. Perhaps the veil is torn. James McGrath walks the Song into class. Duane Smith responds with Sumerian metaphor.

At Jesus Creed, Walton's Iyov and Longman's Iyov are compared. Will that be wisdom or justice? A subsequent post by RJS places Iyov as a 'thought experiment', asking for comments on Job's speech in chapter 3. Dana's comment linked to Brahms. And here from Academia is Jakub Slawik's Job before God. An Exegetical Study of the Book of Job, a two part monograph. (in Polish).

A short history of ancient beams of the cedars of Lebanon is noted by Todd Bolen.

An image of Naomi surfaces from Stephen Cook at Biblische Ausbildung.

Jim West, anticipating a northern spring, points out the Michael Avioz article on 2 Chronicles 36:10 and the Chronicler's sources.

Nor are, (although the river keepe the name)
yesterdaies waters, and to daies the same.

John Hobbins blogs again with a dissertation on ki.

Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel ponders revenge in the TNK and Jewish tradition.

Joseph Kelly points out his OT Resource Guide.

Dogs are in trouble in the created order per Harry McCall at Debunking. But Stephen Smuts points out that dogs can be useful.

Abram K-J teaches how to read the Göttingen LXX.

Michael Kok points out a new blog - with a delightful lecture about some tidbits on Hebrew. I wish I understood Polish! [Ed. how can it be delightful if you don't understand? Go see for yourself. And listen to the music too - Cherubini Requiem - fabulous.]

Chris Heard has a new page עִבְרִית מִקְרָאִית on Biblical Hebrew resources for teaching.

Airton José da Silva (whose blog is now a teenager) has a downloadable course on Biblical Hebrew described here. (In Portuguese). Airtonjo also notes a new site with articles reaching way back even to an article of his on Psalm 12 from 1988 in Brazil.

Timothy Stone from Zomba Theological College in Malawi reviews David Carr's The Formation of the Hebrew Bible, a New Reconstruction, "a new synthesis that nevertheless is deeply rooted in the global discussion".

Emanuel Tov sums up his conversation with Marc Brettler: "more and more I've started to realize that we should base our exegesis, because that's what we do with textual criticism, ... not only on the Masoretic text but also on the Septuagint, Samaritan Pentateuch, and certain Qumran scrolls."

Suzanne at BLT comments on the history of versification of the Biblical text and notes the Paginus Latin Bible online. Read this one for notes on the Kabbalah as well.

At Jesus Creed, Preston Sprinkle writes on Militarism and Idolatry. And there is an RJS series on The Bible and the Believer: How to read the Bible Critically and Religiously, by Mark Brettler, Peter Enns, and Daniel Harrington.

Robert Holmstedt gives us a summary of what he and John Cook have been up to in the last year. Every link looks like a good read for anyone with an interest in Hebrew.

Morgan Guyton's review of the review of The Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans is noted by Henry Neufeld. Kathy Keller considers that RHE ignores "(actually, by pretending you did not know about) the most basic rules of hermeneutics and biblical interpretation that have been agreed upon for centuries."

Rachel Marie Stone writes on the Hermeneutics of Love and Rachel Held Evans' book. Amanda MacInnis has one post on this subject as does BLT here and here and as the lead story in the October Carnival. R.H.Evans is wary of adjectives.

Ashleigh Bailey has a review here. "Evans has struck a magnificent balance, managing to challenge the status quo in evangelicalism without arrogantly dismissing women who understand their faith differently from her."

Pete Enns takes on inerrancy, which he calls "a high-maintenance doctrine..., a fragile theory in need of constant care and tending". Such a struggle for textual authority is not exclusive to Jews and Christians as illustrated here. (Some rides are slightly off-kilter.)
on the Inner Harbour, Victoria BC,
an abnormally interesting place
the shoes are in charge
And new Philosophy calls all in doubt
The Element of fire is quite put out
Andrew Perriman p.osts on Lloyd Peitersen, Reading the Bible after Christendom, warts and all. Andrew also outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the narrative-historical approach to interpretation.

Joel Hoffman writes on Zechariah 12:10 and the nice 'matching' which governs some citing of the OT in the NT. And he notes the limitations and opportunities in learning the original languages. Scot McKnight explores how the early Christians read the Bible.

Prison chaplain Jeremy Myers has a large project on the go, a new translation and commentary for the whole Bible, online and freely available. (It's in the early stages...)

Roland Boer reads Adam and Christ through conservative and radical lenses.

Up to th'Apostles...

Bill Heroman writes on the irony of Matthew 2:22 and muses on orality, literacy tradition, FAQ's on Jesus, and asks if there is deliberate use of irony in other parts of Matthew.

James Oakley ponders the structure of Matthew 6. Kristen writes on the dogs and crumbs of Matthew 15:21.

Michael Kok mulls Evidence for the longer ending of Mark in Tatian.

Phillip Long questions selling in the temple. He follows with an interpretation of the ten virgins, the anointing at Bethany, his paper for ETS on Matthew 8:11 exploring majority and minority views on who are the many from the East and from the West, and the character of Thomas. Johnson Thomaskutty writes with a positive attitude to Thomas.

James Pate, in time for Christmas, muses on arbitrary apologetics around the genealogies. Sonja touches on the annunciation in the Pope's third volume of Jesus of Nazareth.

Fast forward 20 centuries and Jeff Carter learning from apocalypse, ode, and pseudipigrapha tries his hand at some alternate nativity stories well in time for Christmas pageantry.

The Lord's prayer reconstructed in Galilean Aramaic is noted by Steve Caruso.

Leon Zitzer has a question on conscience and history - that of the first century. What does it mean - to tear one's robes?

James McGrath introduces the Synoptic Problem, and it was recommended by Anthony Le Donne. Then he speaks in 20 minutes on the themes of the four gospels. James' Jesus SeM&Minar is tried out by Keith Reich. He walks on the wings of the wind. (There's a rumour that dark chocolate kills cancer stem cells. Vote black. Mind you, red wine is good too. Vote red.)

Mark Stephens ponders the Gospel (of Mark). Michael Pahl asks "Did Jesus preach the gospel?" Dated August? - but perhaps recently updated. Michael's other posts at rustlings this month deserve a read.

Andrew Byers posts on the resurrection and hopeful realism.

Mary Coloe is featured by Matthew Montonini. He also introduces Mickey Klink, Associated Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Biola University.
Titian - St John the Evangelist
For the worlds subtilst immateriall parts
Feele this consuming wound, and ages darts.
Ben Witherington features Andrew Lincoln on John where the adjective 'spiritual' may fail to satisfy. The series continues.

Alex Poulos explicates on ἄλλος, John 14:16, and Gregory of Nazianzus.

Phillip Long ponders the question of betrayal and the first witness to the resurrection and what would a carnival be without Noli me Tangere?
Noli Me Tangere, Graham Sutherland,
1961 Chichester Cathedral
Phillip then asks "Did John know the synoptics?" and writes a short note on the purpose of John's Gospel. He begins a series on the signs...

Bill Heroman asks about Galilean anti-imperialism.

Andrew Perriman p.osts a political interpretation of the Lordship of the one who died and on the great commission.

Tim Gombis reminds the reader that Romans is a pastoral letter and shares his paper on Paul and politics and a note on Galatians (citing Mark Nanos' Four Views on the Apostle Paul).

Peter Head takes issue with N.T. Wright on Phoebe.
per Nijay Gupta and Scot McKnight
The worlds proportion disfigured is
That those two legges whereon it doth rely,
Reward and punishment are bent awry.
Via David Stark, Dan Wallace digests the SBL meeting discussion of the recently announced Romans fragment in the Green collection.

New Life takes on 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. Ivar at BBB raises the question mark question and continues with the trust question here.

Tim Bulkeley podcasts an introduction to gapping. One can hear the birds of NZ in the background. And then there's the dog who did not bark.

Lori Wilson applies a paper by Larry Hurtado on the unity spoken of in Ephesians.

Doug Chaplin writes on the invisible women bishops of Philippi.

Andrew Perriman hosts a discussion on Colossians 2:13-15 and extends the note to forgiveness of sins in the Gospels.

Marg Mowczko compares Paul and Plutarch and their advice to men and women.

James Tabor outlines four different Pauls, the authentic, the disputed, the pseudo and the legendary.

Paulo e il suo mundo (Helmut Koester) is reviewed by Walt Lewis of the University of Bologna. William Mendez hears the command Guillermo escribe, escribe, escribe.

JP vd Giessen pictures olive tree grafts loten van een wilde olijfboom seemingly having little trouble with one Paul.
Nicholas Moore gives a review of The Mysticism of Hebrews by Jody Barnard. "Barnard challenges the terminological parallels and exegetical traditions that are cited in support of a Platonic background, arguing that the traditions underlying Hebrews’ treatment of the heavenly tabernacle are too widespread to be called ‘Platonizing’".

Brian Small notes specifics from the latest Tyndale Bulletin on Hebrews and an article on apostasy.

Mike Sangrey at BBB re-translates 2 Peter 3:16.

Andrew Byers posts on the resurrection and hopeful realism.
J.McGrath explores the 144000 and asks about Revelation 17 as the Key to Interpreting the book. Academia (Elizabeth Follette) finds the Harlot of Babylon in Utah.

Bible-X summarizes Bauckham on names in the NT. Ben Witherington mulls over mathetes, and the unconventional Jesus and has a multi part series reviewing Paul Trebilko's Self-Designations and Group Identity. For the November feast he notes Paul's Thanksgivings.

A. Le Donne ponders the adjective 'great' as applied to Bultmann, "missionary to the children of the Enlightenment."

Up to those Martyrs, who did calmly bleed
Oyle to th'Apostles Lamps, dew to their seed.

Timo Paananen reviews Heikki Räisänen's The Rise of Christian Beliefs, a book that puts Jude in its place as "another letter written in the name of a brother of Jesus, perhaps toward the end of the first century. It consists of a vicious attack against some other Christians". (Imagine that!) He also discusses Baptism in the Early Church by Everett Ferguson.

Stephan Huller observes some implications of Origen's against Celsus concerning the origins of the terms Judaism and Christianity. His focus continues following the trail of the dog. More on Marcion in the Annali di Storia dell'Esegesi via Jim West.

hanging from a chain from heaven
entangled charm
via James McGrath and Nick Norelli
Kyle Essery and B.C. Hodges and Jim Davila.
Man hath weav'd out a net, and this net throwne
Upon the Heavens, and now they are his owne.
Anthony Le Donne ponders genre and revisionist history and is himself reviewed here. More in the series here and here. And comment from Michael Kok here and response from A. Le D. here.

Prof. Lawrence Schiffman talks with Rabbi Barry Schwartz, JPS Director, about his role as Editor of Outside the Bible, a comprehensive collection of texts comprising ancient Israel’s excluded scriptures and earliest biblical commentary.

בְּרָן־יַ֭חַד כּ֣וֹכְבֵי בֹ֑קֶר
וַ֝יָּרִ֗יעוּ כָּל־בְּנֵ֥י אֱלֹהִֽים
So, of the Starres which boast that they doe runne
In circle still, none ends where he begun.
From Johnson Thomaskutty at NT Scholarship Worldwide comes a story of Cochin, Kerala, God's own country, a timeline of contact from Solomon to the establishment of an historical museum in 2012, and the announcement of a lecture series on Revelation in January 2013.

Mark Goodacre podcasts on the Gospel of Thomas and posted a 'movie' of GThom. David Stark links to a pdf on Early Apocryphal Non-Gospel Literature. James McGrath notes his SBL paper on Mandeans with additional musings and questions and the relationship of the book to Jerusalem. Kurk Gayle at BLT posts on the language of Paul's beatitudes in the Acts of Paul and Thecla.

Larry Hurtado brings Cinderella to the carnival. He is seconded by Mike Bird, who notes that there's lots to be learned from the second century. Kaestli explains the "mystery" of the Apocrypha. Dierdre posts an aural review of the New New Testament. Nehemias ponders the burial place of Philip at Hieropolis.

Dr. Jim Linville thinks he might become a meta-martyr. His difficulty is c-ts. No clue here. You should read this one.

Up to those Virgins, who thought, that almost
They made joyntenants with the Holy Ghost...

The Naked Bible announces the online Bulletin for Biblical Research. 1991 to 2008 are all available online. Rob Bradshaw at announces the Melanesian Journal of Theology online (1985 - 2005). At Bible Places are links to three free years of the Palestine Exploration Quarterly.

Jim Gordon introduces Jonathan Sacks' The Great Partnership. You could turn a head or two with this book, (via Eric Vanden Eykel) with a title true to Donne's Litany: The Life of the Virgin Maximum the Confessor. And there are many book reviews: e.g.

Writing on Air - Mantra by Eveline Kotai,
co-winner of the 61st Blake Art Prize
via Roland Boer at Stalin's Moustache
John Hobbins presents a paper on industry standards for online reviews.

Jim West points out the NT Virtual Manuscript Room.

Two links Standing on one foot and Qumran and the DSS from Jim Davila, convinced me to put his blog back on my reader. More on Qumran here from Mladen Popović of the Netherlands. And just as musical and poetic style may introduce us to ancient performers so also handwriting may have discovered an ancient scribe. Honesty in incarnation forbids me neglect Tabor on toilets (via Jim West.)

Ben Witherington discusses literalism in translation. Wayne Leman find's advice that rings true in Edith Grossman's Why Translation Matters. In a comment via Mike Tisdell, the Rain in Spain in Hebrew will bring a smile to your face. BBB is alive with a host of comments on whether translation and trust go together. And while we are on translation, dogs get another word here at BLT in a curious series of posts I, III, and 2. And finally, BW posts a dog gone mistake.

Steve Runge has some thoughts on discourse analysis here. (Constructing a carnival is an exercise in discourse -- just what might be carefully or carelessly juxtaposed.)

Larry Hurtado points to the online open access Journal Relegere, and his conversation on Biblical Studies with James Crossley. On the political front again and in a self-defining essay on who is a biblioblogger, Le Donne points out that Crossley admits he is not Wrong but BWIII might be wrong for what he does not say. Duane in an interesting twist on epistemology knows we know wrong.

Jim West links to livestreamed lectures from ETS (some still available as podcasts).

Amanda asks for more contact between Biblical Studies and Theology. (Admin at St Andrew's says 'watch this space'.) A subsequent post from ETS suggests modern evangelicals could use some historical awareness of the theologian, in this case, Barth. A new blogger, Travis O'Brian, a philosopher and pastor, has appeared in the Theology area. He is developing a series on belief.

Deeksha Sivakumar applies Boyarin's Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash to Hindu Sanskrit texts like the Purānā (“old stuff”).

And A. le Donne is looking for Scholars from the Southern Hemisphere.
Forgery and counter-forgery is now a book by Bart Ehrman. Tim Henderson gives a response. Tommy Wasserman notes other views on Ehrman's work. Mike Bird adds notes on the proto-orthodox textual diversity.

More on Jesus' wife from Peter Williams (via Jim West), and via Mark Goodacre, the redactor's fingerprints by Andrew Bernhard. Ekaterini Tsalampouni points to the Boston Globe interview on του Ευαγγελίου της Συζύγου του Ιησού. A certain Le Donne is part of a team including Coptic expert, Caroline Schroeder, and religious ethicist, George Randels that will present on this subject, December 5th in "a spirited discussion". Perhaps we will hear more in the next carnival.

From Jim Davila, Philip Davies says of the Jordan Codices they are close to proving "both that they are ancient and that they are modern", a story (via Jim West and Joel Watts) that goes on and on. And on. And don't forget the ossuary.

And there is also the mysterious shroud, created by an unknown artist with knowledge of "light negativity, light spectometry, microscopy, radiology, human physiology, pathology, hematology, endocrinology, forensics and archaeology."

Star-child (2001 Stanley Kubrick)
What Artist now dares boast that he can bring
Heaven hither, or constellate any thing?
Le Donne seconded by McGrath search out the oldest Science Fiction. James mentions some unscientific fiction too. And not to be out done, Le Donne reminds all of an amusing agraphon, the toothless who are required to grind teeth with be provided with dentures. Some axe-grinders touch a truth known neither by forger, skeptic, nor duped.

Sarah Coakley assesses the debate over presbyter and episcopos with a focus on incoherence and on intentional and mandated silence becoming the means to Christ-like episcopal authority. See also the notes on this debate at Euangelion.

John Allister has further links. Chris Tilling has a pictorial response. Ken Schenck comments on the state of the question. Doug Chaplin notes the effect of Biblical Studies on 16th century England and its continuing impact, a seriously over-realized eschatology.

Bosco Peters notes the Anglican commnon, where the u and i are missing and gives 10 reasons why men should not be ordained.

Mark Goodacre is dismayed at the disgrace of Cedarville University and the dismissal of Michael Pahl. Pahl is not alone as Robert Cargill points out in being subject to such pressure from the fearful and the compromised. Independent report here (bf from October by the Jesus Blog).

In other news, Michael Kok has a summary of SBL Blogger posts. Bart from the Amsterdam NT Weblog posts a novice's reflections on SBL. Cory Taylor comments on the Sociology of Biblioblogging (via Joel Watts).

Notes from other attendees: Mark Goodacre, Peter Head, Daniel Streett, (with a focus on the mandatory oral-aural in learning language) Nijay Gupta, James Tabor, Robert Holmstedt on Biblical Hebrew Pedagogy.

James McGrath comments on Crossan's presidential address. SBL-AAR, "polyglot eccentrics" clutching "biblical concordances, Hebrew lexicons, Gospel commentaries" makes the New York Times. For some highlight pictures, check out Stalin's Moustache.
So many weedlesse Paradises bee
Which of themselves produce no venemous sinne
Except some foreign Serpent bring it in
And Jim Davila's paper on the Angelic Revelations of John Dee reveals a creative linguist. "The project of inventing the language, composing the texts, and providing coherent translations of them must have been extraordinarily time consuming and must have required a rare creativity and imagination."

AKM Adam reissues a 49 point essay on technology and religion.

Henry Neufeld notes: Bible Gateway has added the RSV and NRSV. This addition comes by agreement with the National Council of Churches.

Thou art the Proclamation; and I am
The Trumpet, at whose voyce the people came.

There are plenty of links to follow in the above posts and more posts at each of the links -- if you want to get into the dark places of any particular ride in the carnival. ---- Beware the dogs.

Still short of clicks, tune in to the weekly meanderings at Jesus Creed or the weekly roundups at Bible Places or the blog posts of note at Political Jesus who introduces here our next carnival host. For the kids, here's a regular Bijbelquiz at notes on the Bible - and you can learn Dutch while you do it. This is neither your host's tradition nor is it strictly Biblical Studies, but his closing word, apart from the small print below, is a pastoral word on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Vatican II obrigado novamente a Airtonjo.

And now I am done (and Donne I am not). Let Amanda (kaas dragen, che porta formaggio), live blogging ETS here and here (a second witness incorporating Tom Verenna's Zombies into the carnival), have the last image and its word:
As to our eyes, the formes from objects flow...

And that the world should notice have of this,
The purpose, and th'Authoritie is his:

The December 2012 carnival will be hosted by Abram K-J at Words on the Word.

Up, up, my drowsie soule...

The host makes no claim, unless otherwise noted, concerning his agreement or not with the content of the linked posts in this carnival. He is equally aware that he may have missed many worthy and unworthy posts. If the carnival went to the dogs - that was, in the words of his mentor, accidentall and not essentiall. If your post did not to your joyes appeare or the host missed an important post ... please put the link in a comment. Occasionally, the host was simply overwhelmed. Occasionally, your link is subtly interwoven.

The Carnival inscription is from Donne's Sermon XV. They shall awake as Jacob did, and say as Jacob said, Surely the Lord is in this place, and this is no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven, And into that gate they shall enter, and in that house they shall dwell, where there shall be no Cloud nor Sun, no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light, no noise nor silence, but one equal music, no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession, no foes nor friends, but one equal communion and Identity, no ends nor beginnings; but one equal eternity in the habitations of thy Glory, world without end.

Carnival headings are from Of the Progresse of the Soule: The Second Anniversary, John (verily le) Donne, 1612. Some tension there was as to which of this universal Quire each post might be gathered. The 'virgin squadron of white confessors' and the 'sacred academy of doctors' (from the Litany) might also have found their place in the headings. Other random captions untimely snatched from their context are from An Anatomie of the World: The First Anniversary.

If the shadow of one link against another has offended, think but this and all is mended - that you have but slumbered here while these visions did appear and this weak and idle theme no more yielding but a dream. (Puck)

The number of this carnival's unknown.
83 p'rhaps, or more like 81.
If it's 81, then two months have been
missed since the 41st carny was seen.

Carnival is stuffed

Carnival is scheduled for 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.  That's 1 PM Pacific, 10 AM December 1st down under,

This is a compromise.  Australia doesn't need to wait all day, but November posts may be cut off early in North America.  Saturday is traditionally slow, however.

If you have any posts you think I might have missed - tell me in the next three hours.

This is a lot of work by the way.  And I have been over-generous to show the state of the disabled conversation among the religious. We would do well to read more psalms, particularly the prayer of the poor when disabled, Psalm 102.

Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my trouble
stretch to me your ear
in the day I call
swiftly answer me

Tuesday 27 November 2012

4-3-2-1 - whooppee

Well - can you wait? will there be posts tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeping in their petty pace to the carnival that awaits.  The trucks are packed and the carnival is approaching the city.
-Mommy. mommy. Can we go?
-You'll just get sick on the rides, dear.

Warning, some horrors, rides, and deceptions are unsuitable for children.
Hey - my book has more chapters than this has cars (but if you count the cars and the trucks...)

- you can place your order here.

Monday 26 November 2012

Five more days till carnival time

This is a meandering post. There's no need to tell me about posts. I've got posts a-plenty - approaching 300, doubling the BLT carny.  This post has no internal links.

What have I been doing all month? Reading lots of blog posts (and not reading some). It is a fascinating insight into the varieties of stuff out there. Rabid to rational, focused to perseverating, furious to turgid, Biblical studies, theology, social comment, and too many others to classify. The worst are the ones who shout their ignorance spewing words all over the screen. Eventually they ought to shut down.

What have I not been doing? My projects on music have stalled a bit
  1. to introduce the music of the Bible to the masses, and 
  2. to produce an English Psalter based on the Hebrew melodies, 
 - but I have introduced the concept to a dozen people in the arts, at the university, and among friends, singers, instrumentalists, and composers. The interest is high but the pace is slow. Even my atheist (but musical) friends are somewhat astonished. (No one who loves music can be an atheist.)

The projects need a good technological base. Either one has extreme discipline (as Suzanne Haik Vantoura had) or one has good technology.  I have yet to find an error in her transcriptions.  I have found plenty in mine.  And technology is to enable clear presentation: music + text for performance - and what not to present (theory, derivation etc) - these are large questions at the beginning of a project.

I am focused - my blog posts tend to be 90% on BS (Biblical Studies that is) with a heavy emphasis on the Psalms and more recently on the music - but not without some others.  My blog posts are for my learning also.  They are generally not finished products (excepting the carnival - wait for it...). It is possible that I perseverate as well - overly focused - unbalanced.

I tend not to be furious. Fury relates to fear and fear is non-productive. If others are wrong, well - pray - what else is new?  If others insist on one way or one century or some exclusive adjective or other, I could be seen that way as well, liberal fluff. I would really like to write some theology - but I am limited to reflection and  juxtaposition.  But I hope I am not scattered - like a news blog.

I just made this comment on a blog that perseverates:
Suppose I speak of bosonic string theory in 26 dimensions focused on cubic Open String Field Theory in the presence of two parallel D24-branes. If you are a scientist, you know what I mean - right? You are aware of the charm and colour of the metaphors.

Suppose I speak of ascension, that completion of the whole burnt offering that is a metaphor implemented through the incarnate God offering himself in the flesh to taste death on behalf of all. Ascend and burnt offering are the same single action, even the same word, Abraham's link to the only-begotten, a kind of singularity in history upon which history itself is built. Your timelines are all unidirectional and failing in radiation. You must 'know' about such things in your theories. Time (and all scientific laws work backwards as well as forwards) - so also the cross radiates in all space-time directions.

Polemical science has the same problem as polemical theology - too many people think they can explain everything and that their syllogisms are the only ones in town.
So perhaps I do get a bit impatient at times. It would be curious to gather my out-takes and make an anti-carnival.... but no. --- effort and return, value for time...  I would suggest one thing perhaps: every second year, every BS blog should be required to re-register and in so doing, indicate the focus of that blog for the coming period. Blogs without any posts for a year should be dropped from the list. The guild of Bibliobloggers is very open, but each blog syndicate ought to have a purpose roughly in line with the social imaginary of BS - no sermons, no polemics over conversion, a confessed confessional bias - hah!  A discipline. No one needs to like it, but it ought to be there and it's better than aught. And a relationship to the content of the Bible and its surroundings (impact, liturgy, tradition, reason, history, reception, etc, etc, - it's still wide open.)

Hey Bob - what's yours? Good question. I am Anglican by tradition. I write from within a liturgical and believing context. My faith is in the Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ (and that's not his second name). I am a scientist with a degree in Mathematics and Physics. There's plenty of room for angels and archangels in my multi-dimensional reality.  Science is grounded in the incarnation.  What do I plan to do? I study the TNK in Hebrew. I am working in The Bible as if it were a Love Song - the music projects I have outlined. I joy in reaching across the tremendous bridge of time. That and offshoots will likely occupy the remaining years of my immediate time. (It's a big subject.)

I have been getting a bit of exercise almost every day - today we walked to the voting station. Once a week, tennis, and golf if the fairways are not too sodden. Last week we went to Vancouver for the day, a visit to a forensic psychiatric institution. The children are always on my mind of course, two of them disabled in one way or another, and one - the organist born on St Cecelia's day 44 years ago and who is at the top of her field. The third, a long way away (Winnipeg). We will go to Hawaii with violinist son and yoga-teaching dancing daughter-in-law in early January for a week.

Some days I cycle to the University for the CSRS coffee times. A great community. This month - an introduction to the Shi'ite festival of Moharam, a conversation on John Donne's Anniversaries - the only two poems he published in his lifetime, and an introduction to the ancient oral and written history and philosophy in Hindu thought and the Buddhist reactions. The question of which came first generated some discussion. Liturgy and word were also discussed - I reflect on how easy it is to prioritize abstraction over experience!

Every week, every month... - Eucharist at the high church down the street, Compline there too, Evensong at the church down the hill, lots of Bach there too, with top-notch teachers and world-class performers, Studies around the Deanery and at the Synagogue.

So - a meandering post - a call to discipline, perhaps. And there is a need for exercise - bodily exercise is of some value and should not take second place to godliness as if there were no incarnation.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Psalm 83 in a time of war

J.P. vd Giessen considers Psalm 83 in a time of war. He links also to a study he did on this Psalm in past years.

How do we deal with war and enemies? This is a theme in my new book on the Psalms, Seeing the Psalter. Here is a sample chapter extracted from the database, one of 50 chapters that note this theme of enemies.

Psalm 83 - A psalm of Asaph, no, not silence.

מִזְמוֹר לְאָסָף
1A song
A psalm of Asaph
אֱלֹהִים אַל דֳּמִי לָךְ
אַל תֶּחֱרַשׁ
וְאַל תִּשְׁקֹט אֵל
2O God not mute for you
do not be silent
do not be quiet O God
כִּי הִנֵּה אוֹיְבֶיךָ יֶהֱמָיוּן
וּמְשַׂנְאֶיךָ נָשְׂאוּ רֹאשׁ
3for behold your enemies snarl
and those hating you lift up a head
עַל עַמְּךָ יַעֲרִימוּ סוֹד
וְיִתְיָעֲצוּ עַל צְפוּנֶיךָ
4over your people they craft secret counsel
and they conspire against your treasure

אָמְרוּ לְכוּ וְנַכְחִידֵם מִגּוֹי
וְלֹא יִזָּכֵר שֵׁם יִשְׂרָאֵל עוֹד
5they have said, come now and let us conceal them as a nation
and the name of Israel will not be remembered ever
כִּי נוֹעֲצוּ לֵב יַחְדָּו
עָלֶיךָ בְּרִית יִכְרֹתוּ
6for they conspire as one heart
over you they cut a covenant

אָהֳלֵי אֱדוֹם וְיִשְׁמְעֵאלִים
מוֹאָב וְהַגְרִים
7the tents of Edom and Ishmaelites
Moab and Hagarites
גְּבָל וְעַמּוֹן וַעֲמָלֵק
פְּלֶשֶׁת עִם יֹשְׁבֵי צוֹר
8Gebal and Amon and Amalek
Philistines with those sitting in Tyre
גַּם אַשּׁוּר נִלְוָה עִמָּם
הָיוּ זְרוֹעַ לִבְנֵי לוֹט
9Even Ashur is allied with them
they have become the arm of the children of Lot

עֲשֵׂה לָהֶם כְּמִדְיָן
כְּסִיסְרָא כְיָבִין בְּנַחַל קִישׁוֹן
10Do to them as Midian
as Sisera to Jabin in the torrent of Kishon
נִשְׁמְדוּ בְעֵין דֹּאר
הָיוּ דֹּמֶן לָאֲדָמָה
11they were exterminated at Endor
they became compost for the ground

שִׁיתֵמוֹ נְדִיבֵימוֹ כְּעֹרֵב
וְכִזְאֵב וּכְזֶבַח
וּכְצַלְמֻנָּע כָּל נְסִיכֵימוֹ
12set their princes like Oreb
and like Zeeb and like Zebah
and like Tsalmuna all their libations
אֲשֶׁר אָמְרוּ
נִירְשָׁה לָּנוּ
אֵת נְאוֹת אֱלֹהִים
13who said
let us dispossess for ourselves
even the loveliness of God

אֱלֹהַי שִׁיתֵמוֹ כַגַּלְגַּל
כְּקַשׁ לִפְנֵי רוּחַ
14My God set them as a whirl
as stubble in the face of the wind
כְּאֵשׁ תִּבְעַר יָעַר
וּכְלֶהָבָה תְּלַהֵט הָרִים
15as fire kindling wood
and as a flame blazing the hills
כֵּן תִּרְדְּפֵם בְּסַעֲרֶךָ
וּבְסוּפָתְךָ תְבַהֲלֵם
16so persecute them in your tempest
and with your storm-wind vex them

מַלֵּא פְנֵיהֶם קָלוֹן
וִיבַקְשׁוּ שִׁמְךָ יְהוָה
17fill their faces with disgrace
so they will seek your name יהוה
עֲדֵי עַד
וְיַחְפְּרוּ וְיֹאבֵדוּ
18They will be ashamed
and they will be vexed
for ever and ever
and they will be disappointed and will perish
כִּי אַתָּה
שִׁמְךָ יְהוָה
עֶלְיוֹן עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ
19and they will know
that you
your name יהוה
you only
are Most High over all the earth
Hebrew words: 130. Percentage of Hebrew words that recur in this psalm: 29%. Average recurring words per verse: 2.

5come now ילך (ylk) lit. walk, compare 80:3.
14whirl גלגל (glgl) DCH suggests tumbleweed.
17disgrace, קלה (qlh) only here and in 38:8. Note that the poet admits disgrace and yet is healed. Why should he not wish it upon his enemies?
Selected recurring words
Word and gloss * first usage1234567891012VsRoot
כי for
עמך your people
* ויתיעצו and they conspire
אמרו they have said
שׁם the name of
כי for
* נועצו they conspire
עם with
עמם with them
היו they have become
היו they became
שׁיתמו set
כל all
אמרו said
שׁיתמו set them
לפני in the face of
תבהלם vex them
פניהם their faces with
שׁמך your name
יהוה יהוה
ויבהלו and they will be vexed
עדי for ever
עד and ever
כי that
שׁמך your name
יהוה יהוה
כל all

Psalm 83 begins with a direct plea for whatever is considered not to be silence. The threefold plea is reminiscent of Psalm 28. Of the 5 requests, 4 different words are used (hence 4 different words representing quiet, silent, becalmed, mute, are required in English). Verses 3 and 4 give the reason for the request, and it is different here from Psalm 28. Verses 5 and 6 extend the explanation for the prayer. Verses 7 to 9 name the adversaries. The second half of the poem spells out the action that God should do. The request for vexation for enemies recalls the opening psalms of David especially Psalm 6 where the poet recognizes his own sin. So the prayer for the enemies turns into a plea for their salvation. This is spelled out in verses 17 to 19.

The poem splits into 2 sections: verses 1 to 11, verses 12 to 19. These two halves are linked by what the enemies 'said'.

This poem pushes back the history rehearsed in Psalm 78 to the children of Lot. These are the Moabites as noted in Ruth. The impact of these generations on the history of the world has not yet been completed. Not only are they enemies but they were among the progenitors of the Messiah! Perhaps our impact is more than we imagine.

That the enemy should perish and then know God is an indication that the poet prays beyond simple vengeance. Do we ever pray for our enemies recognizing that shame, disgrace, and repentance are good? There seems to me always to be a knife edge of self-sufficiency in this possibility. I think this must be part of the prayer for enemies, but it is not the whole prayer. When we can restore life, perhaps then we can wish its destruction. Pending such an improbable situation, we can pray for the consecration of our enemies in the sufficiency such as is displayed in the death of Jesus. For such a purification will be to their good and ours.