Wednesday 31 January 2018

The January 2018 Biblical Studies Carnival 143

"We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it. ..."
"Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
"Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."1

Keep on blogging2

R David Moster is beginning a weekly series on the Hebrew Bible.
Deane Galbraith asks if Genesis was authoritative for the Book of Watchers.

Jim Davila has a number of notes:
Jim Davila also points out an extensive article by Wil Gafney on Reading the Bible through Marginal/ized Female Characters.
Reading the stories of the monarchies of Israel and Judah from the stitched together fragments of the royal women reveals very different nations than when read from the perspective of the male characters.
On this subject area, Ian Paul cites the work of Marg Mowczko on women in the Bible.
Marg posts on Deuteronomy 22:28-29.

A note from the Mishnah via John Hobbins via Facebook:
These are the things that have no measure [the more one enlarges and increases them, the better]:
The corner of the field [which is left for the poor], the first-fruits [offerings of income for God’s work], appearances [visits to the house of God, attendance in worship], acts of kindness, and study of Torah [the precepts and examples found in the Bible and tradition].
Bob MacDonald (your host) continues his reading project in Exodus 4 pondering our dependence on Zippora for the emergence of Torah, wondering about sibling rivalry in Numbers 12, and speculating on the music behind qinah rhythm in Ezekiel 19.

Painstaking efforts to improve the biblical text by Carolingian scholars are briefly described here at the Medieval Manuscripts blog.
"Correct carefully the Psalms, the signs in writing …, the songs, the calendar, the grammar …, and the catholic books; because often some desire to pray to God properly, but they pray badly because of faulty books"
David Koyzis invites us to listen to Psalm 1. Here is a preacher's pondering of Psalm 139 (in 4 parts) and its recent reception history. Psalm 25 music again contrasts with the agonies of the preacher who also has a series on Jonah. Andrew Perriman writes on Psalm 82. And here is an example of interpreting the music of the accents in Psalm 82.

And here's a book review. Psalter Mark reviews BW III Psalms Old and New.

John Meade notes alternative readings of Job 24:25b.
Symmachus has read the text differently. He appears to have understood Job’s question not as directed to his three friends but to someone else who could deliver a speech to God on his behalf.
And here's a delightful review of Elaine James,  Landscapes of the Song of Songs, including your host's favorite verse.
Life in the Song is fragile. Life in the Song is also rhythmically, reliably flourishing. This duality is captured beautifully in an interlude in Song 2:15 that James contemplates, “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes who are ruining the vineyards. Our vineyards are in blossom” (22–23). She observes that the foxes, though destructive agents in biblical literature, are here qualified as little. “Despite this destructive potential—and increasing the sense of urgency about the foxes—the vineyards are budding … the poem presents a world that is still coming into full fruition” (22). Humans are inextricably linked in the poem to this landscape, invoked by the term “our” and charged with catching the foxes. In the Song, “the celebration of flourishing in light of fragility creates a fuller sense of goodness as a precious, even threatened possibility, and heightens the need for human responsibility and care”
A throwback from Tim Bulkeley to 2012 - conversations then at and 2018 on Facebook.

Winston McHarg fathoms "further, fuller and final fulfillment in the future", a note from the reception history of the little horn of Daniel.

Peter Leithart writes on Calendrical Patterns in 2 Chronicles.

Michael Langlois has a series on the saga-semitica.

Airton José da Silva is revising and updating his curriculum in 2018. (See the full set of posts for January.)

A throwback to the National Geographic's 1920 magazine: the last Israelitish Blood Sacrifice (via David Moster).

Michael Heiser points out a new open access journal: Hebrew Annual Review and highlights an article on intermarriage.

Jacob Prahlow reviews The Old Testament Case for Nonviolence by Matthew Curtis Fleischer here. Jonathan Esterman also reviews it here.
In the beginning chapters, the author offhandedly refers to the violence of Torah as mere jealousy of HaShem, which discounts and dismisses the decision of the Creator to end life.

"It's a very funny thing," said Bear, "but there seem to be two animals now. 
This...whatever-it-was...has now been joined by another...whatever-it-is... and they are now proceeding in company. Would you mind coming with me, Piglet, in case they turn out to be Hostile Animals?3

New Testament
The Benedictional of St Æthelwold c 963-984 CE 
Marc Goodacre gives us podcast #81 on Schweitzer and the Historical Jesus.

Kurk Gayle reflects on the Women who taught Jesus.
Gentle strokes in an ongoing brawl on the carnival grounds:

Related studies

Jim Gordon embarks on a year of lectio continua with Mark and a commentary by Boring.

A touch of reception history in a Deflt tile from Jim Gordon at Living Wittily.

Locating the pericopae adulterae, some detailed manuscript evidence from Chris Keith.

Deane has a host of lectures here. Just need to find time to listen to them. This month, note the Yale Divinity School lectures on the Gospel of John.

Yet another Jesus movie. via Jim Davila. “The Young Messiah” is the best Jesus movie ever. Based on Anne Rice’s historical novel, “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt,” it combines the latest and best in filmmaking, the dramatic arts, mature biblical scholarship, theology and imagination...." ¿que?

Todd Bolen notes the next 6 episodes of Following the Messiah.

The exegetical strategy for John 21 of Aquinas as a "master of the sacred page" is noted here, via Ekaterini G. Tsalampouni.
The first single motif explained by Thomas in John 21:1-6 is “after this” (Greek: meta tauta, Latin: postea). First, he exposes its literal sense: “after what the Evangelist has just narrated,” and then he continues: It is significant that he says this for it shows that Christ was not with them continuously, but appeared to them at intervals. The reason for this was that he had not risen with the same life as before, but with a glorious life, as the angels have and the blessed will have: “Except the gods”, that is, the angels “whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
This out of context assumption of the authority of the Chaldean theology of Daniel 2:11 is thoroughly explored in the article along with a clear description of medieval exegetical procedures.

James Tabor writes on The Earliest Harmonization of the Endings of the New Testament Gospels. Speaking of the ending of Mark he writes: this ending merits careful reading and is a precious and illuminating look at the history of interpretation of the gospels.

Ian Paul has two articles on Paul's understanding of resurrection.
C.D.Elledge reviews the literature on Resurrection in Early Jerusalem.
Phil Long on John Barclay, Pauline Churches and Diaspora Jews, and on Jerry Sumney, Steward of God's Mysteries.
Todd Scacewater reviews William Varner's Linguistic Commentary on Philippians.

Jude seldom makes it into a carnival, so here is a take on Jude as invective. via Jim Davila.
And Michael Kok has a series of posts on 1 Peter.

Brian Small points out new articles on Hebrews. Ken Schenck is outlining Hebrews in detail. Phil Long asks about Hebrews to Revelation. And follows his question up with a series of posts on a problematic combination of terms, e.g. his description of Neusner, Jews and Christians, The Myth of the Common Tradition. Phil asks why not Paul as the author of Hebrews. Summarized links for the month are in Brian's highlights here.

In assessing Hebrews’ understanding of the relationship between the old covenant sacrifices and Christ’s new covenant sacrifice, many scholars conclude that Hebrews takes a negative view of the old covenant cult. Ribbens challenges this position by contending that Hebrews affirms the efficacy of the old covenant sacrifices while also asserting the superiority of Christ’s sacrifice.
Andrew Perriman explains (again) the purpose of narrative historical criticism. He asks also what to do with the second coming and continues the apocalyptic imagery here?
The people of God has stopped telling the dense, prophetically inspired story of its engagement with the God of history and instead lines up in ranks reciting its beliefs, like school children running through the 9x table.
David Bentley Hart replies to NT Wright on translation of the NT.
"Interpreting Paul’s meaning here may be difficult, but translating his language is not. It is a tiresome fact of theological history that, generation upon generation, Christian exegetes choose to draw a veil of delicacy over some of the more jarring claims made by Paul. I fully understand the impulse; but I am no longer as patient with it as I once was."
(via FB and Bill Heroman). Comments from Doug Chaplin here, Christian Century here.
When texts are so close together,
script size and style are essential:
Harley MS 46, f. 7r

Predicting the future of translation, by Jonathan Orr-stav at Autumn Light.

NRSV to be revised.

Medieval Manuscripts presents some 12th century designs for studying the Bible and its authoritative traditions.
Designing the layout was not easy before the age of print, especially when it meant positioning three different closely related texts of unequal length.
John Meade reflects on the Canon and its definition and function.
"The evidence for an authoritative list of (authoritative) books is not strong in the early period. Not only did early Christians refrain from speaking of their lists this way, but the variance between the contents of the lists themselves manifest that there was no single authoritative list of scriptural books."
OUP also writes about canon, on the origins of the reformation Bible.
And Todd Scacewater lectures on it with fine coffee here.
Ian Paul has a how-to series on interpretation.

Matt Page reviews 2017 Bible Films.

Christopher Robin finished the mouthful he was eating and said carelessly: "I saw a Heffalump to-day, Piglet." 4

Conferences, Archaeology
For Ge'ez grammar lovers, everyone's going to Regina for a conference on Biblical tongues, via Robert Holmstedt.
Ge'ez, it's a real tongue
Theology on tap at the Sail and Anchor pub in Perth - sounds like a good idea, via Michael Kok.
The Macquarie Ancient Languages School  You missed the summer workshop but there is also a winter week in July, via Marg Mowczko.

Free conference March 11-13, on Truth, Lies, and Language in the ancient Mediterranean.

Airton José da Silva on Israel Finklestein's address at SBL/AAR, "I went to dig at Kiriath-jearim with a theory, and right at the beginning of the project I ostensibly found support for it in the field. This was terrifying. I was relieved when later things became confused."

Bob Cargill, XKV8R, is the new editor of BAR. via Jim Davila as is the following: Recovering the text of a charred Biblical codex - astonishing technology soon to be a TV show somewhere near you.

Can you identify fragment C from Oxyrynchus here, via Jim Davila. Jim West reports a possible solution. Jim Davila has a response here via Richard Steiner.

Deciphering the Rosetta Stone, as Jim Davila says, an oft-told story, but always worth hearing again.
Deciphering one of the cryptic scripted DSS, JBL 136, no. 4 (2017): 905-936 - PDF also available via Academia as noted here. Lots more - endless reading - on the DSS here.

And here is some reconstructed music from ancient Egypt by Heidi Kopp-Junk. Sounds very tonal, even with a sequence.

AI and deciphering ancient codes. Was the Voynich manuscript written in Hebrew?

In Memoriam
J.Z.Smith, Richard NewtonRussell McCutcheon.
Lawrence Stager, Jim Davila.
Donald Verseput, d. millar.
Joachim Gnilka, Ekaterini G. Tsalampouni.

A comment from Kierkegaard on scholarship from Stephen Westerholm via d. millar.
A note via OUP from Louis Rosenblatt on the question Are the gods indifferent?
A conversation among the talking snake, the burning bush, and Toni, the talking donkey..

"It is hard to be brave," said Piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal."5

Next Carnival 144 - 12 years of monthly carnivals, stretched over an elapsed time longer by a year, for the early ones were less regular.

Upcoming carnivals are coming from:
February 2018 (Due March 1) – Jacob Prahlow (@prahlowjacob)
March 2018 (Due April 1) – Jim West (@drjewest)

Winnie the Pooh, In which Eeyore has a birthday.
thanks to Jim Gordon at Living Wittily on his purpose re blogging.
Winnie the Pooh, In which Pooh and Piglet go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle.
Winnie the Pooh, In which Piglet Meets a Heffalump.
Winnie the Pooh, In which Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest and Piglet has a Bath.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in the linked posts are not necessarily congruent with your host's opinions. Each selected post should represent critical engagement with the canonical text and its sources and may also represent reception in art, culture, religion or liturgical practice of any age where such engagement and reception is recorded. Critical in this context implies a good question from the post author's point of departure.

Acknowledgement: without people named Jim, the carnival would be a less interesting place.

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