This is Biblical Studies Carnival no. 69 – showcasing the best of biblical studies blogging for the month of November 2011: 
Giants, Conferences, Important Issues in Biblical Studies, Early Judaism, Early Christianity, Text and Translation, and Biblioblogging.

Have fun!


Biblical Gigantology is, today, one of the major emerging subfields in Biblical Studies – more complex than the Synoptic Problem and the composition of the Enneateuch combined; more trendy than those endless Religious Studies analyses of the “spirituality” of tying one’s shoelaces or of hackey sack circles or other equally desperate attempts to maintain the ongoing relevance of religion; and boasting practitioners even more sexy than the unreasonably attractive members of the Helsinki School of Septuagint Studies.

69 Giant Skeleton[Giant fossils] Long-time gigantologist Michael Heiser (PaleoBabble) notes that there is a new edition of Adrienne Mayor’s The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman TimesMayor’s book suggests that ancient Giant myths and legends were inspired or perhaps created when ancient Greeks found extremely large fossilised bones of mastodons and whales which they mistook for long-dead and very tall people. Michael also provides the link to a 24-page PDF that is the new introduction to the 2011 edition.

[Anakim] Deane Galbraith (Remnant of Giants) examines Jeffrey Tigay’s adventurous claim, made in his 1996 commentary on Deuteronomy, that the Anakim are an historical nation of giants. Tigay’s claim is based, in part, on the “fact” that there are, apparently, among the “Watusi” people somewhere in eastern central Africa, a great number of people about 7-feet tall.

[Gog and Magog] Rob Bradshaw notes an addition to which will be of great interest to gigantologists: Nicholas M. Railton’s “Gog and Magog: the History of a Symbol”. The article explains how the biblical Gog and Magog evolved into Giants.

[Goliath] Derek Murphy (Holy Blasphemy) wonders if the story of David and Goliath was plagiarised from Homer’s Iliad.


November sees the staging of the major annual academic conference in religious and biblical studies: the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). These two, formerly estranged, lovers were reunited in that non-judgmental city of San Francisco. (N.b. November also marks the annual conference of the Evangelical Theological Society [ETS] – who are actually kind of cute when you stop to think about it. I mean, the ETS is sort of like a bunch of kids pretending to be grown-ups, forming their own play-academic society, travelling from their make-believe institutes of higher learning [with imaginary names such as Something-or-Other “Seminary” or Such-and-Such “Baptist University” or “Wheaton College”], and spending three days mimicing what the real academics do later in the week at SBL. Awwwwwww – you guys!!!)

[SBL/AAR] For day-by-day updates and overall summaries of the 2011 SBL/AAR Annual Meeting, you could have a look at:

(There are more posts on specific SBL/AAR papers below. And even a couple of ETS papers [there is, after all, treasure to be found everywhere])

69 Tintin[ETS] Michael Bird (Euangelion) calculates that of about 700 papers at the Evangelical Theological Society conference, about 1% are presented by women. Probably still far too many, in the opinion of the Southern Baptist Convention, I’d imagine. Deane Galbraith (The Dunedin School) compares gender percentages at the SBL and AAR annual meetings, and questions Bird’s defence of the ETS.

[B&CT] The Bible and Critical Theory Seminar – in a meritorious attempt to short-circuit the separation of daytime and evening conference activities – is held each year in an Antipodean pub. This year, B&CT was held on 5-6 November at the Boundary Hotel, West End, Brisbane. Roland Boer (Stalin’s Moustache) provides abstracts for each of the papers, as well as a review of events.

[Dead Sea Scrolls] Simon Holloway (Davar Akher) gives a brief rundown of a conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls which was held in honour of Alan Crown at the University of Sydney.

Important Issues in Biblical Studies

Biblioblogs are not afraid to tackle the big issues of the day, and this month is certainly no exception, with blog posts on race and racism in Biblical Studies, Jacques Berlinerblau’s Pentecostal experience at SBL, sex, slavery, secularism, and the importance of tracking down those elusive references.

[History of biblical scholarship] [SBL] Michael Halcomb (Pisteuomen) links to a video of the opening night panel discussion on biblical scholarship over the last 200 years, featuring Dominic Crossan, Bart Ehrman, Amy-Jill Levine, and N.T. Wright. Michael doesn’t think much of Ehrman’s talk, but agrees with almost everybody that Levine’s talk was the stand out.

[Eurocentrism] Rod of Alexandria (Political Jesus) blogs on the continued racialisation of academic biblical studies, and related intersectional concerns: “Diversity Matters”: Part 1a, Part 1b.

[Journals] John Goodrich (Dunelm Road) discusses the length of time it takes various biblical studies journals to accept articles for publication.

[References] Duane Smith (Abnormal Interests) provides an example which illustrates the importance of tracking down references.

69 Berlinerblau goes Pentecostal[Secularism] [SBL] Jacques Berlinerblau got touched by the Holy Spirit at SBL. He summarises his experience of SBL session P21-291, sponsored by the Society for Pentecostal Studies, in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

[Secularism] [SBL] Jim Linville (Dr. Jim’s Thinking Shop) simlarly provides a critique of the excessive number of theological and confessional units of non-academic obscurantism polluting SBL.

[Secularism] [SBL] Roland Boer (Stalin’s Moustache) discusses some of the comments that followed the panel discussion on Secularism and Biblical Studies – a book released last year as a memorial to Roland’s own achievements in biblical studies, and edited by Roland. Comments are to be found concerning the nature of the Bible as a discursive construct and of the prevalence of style-over-substance in presentations.

69 Amy-Jill Levine[Sexuality] Ramone R. Billingsley (The Scribal Pen) notes Amy-Jill Levine’s article in the Huffington Post, “The Bible and Sexuality” (13 November 2011), which outlines how to go about more nuanced readings of what the Bible(s) say about human sexuality.

[Slavery] John Loftus (Debunking Christianity) provides a review of Hector Avalos’s new book on the (lack of any) role of biblical ethics in the abolition of slavery, Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship (Sheffield Phoenix, 2011): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. In Bible and Interpretation, Hector Avalos provides a foretaste of what is to come in his book, and asks the important question, “how is it that most Christian academic biblical scholars never see anything that Jesus does as wrong or evil?”

[Software] Doug Chaplin (re:fractions) poses a rather sensible question to “the three big beasts of the Bible software jungle”Bibleworks (Windows only), Accordance (Mac only) and Logos (PC and Mac). Why don’t you work together? Time to get compatible, just like AAR and SBL!

69 Defending inerrancy[Thom Stark] Conservative defender of the faith Mike Gantt (Current Events in Light of the Kingdom of God) provides a rather negative 12-part review of Thom Stark’s book, The Human Faces of God: What Scripture Reveals When It Gets God Wrong (and Why Inerrancy Tries to Hide It)Intro, 12, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Conclusion. In reply, Stark writes a comprehensive review of Gantt’s review of Stark’s book. In reply, Gantt writes a review of Stark’s review of Gantt’s review of Stark’s book. In reply, Stark writes a review of Gantt’s review of Stark’s review of Gantt’s review of Stark’s book. To be continued…

[Jefferson Bible] Theophrastus (BLT) provides a book review of the newly reissued facsimile of the Jefferson Bible.

[Weird Bibles] Theophrastus (BLT) reveals his collection of weird bibles: Weird Bible 1, Weird Bible 2.

[Women, Racial and Ethnic Minorities, and LGBTIQ Persons] [SBL] Kathy McFarland (The Bible Tells Me So) summarises proceedings at the Strategy and Action Workshop entitled, “Status of Women, Racial and Ethnic Minorities, and LGBTIQ Persons.”

[Yahweh] Jim Davila (PaleoJudaica) notes a story in The Jewish Daily Forward about the increased popularity among Christians of the use of the pronunciation “Yahweh” for the name of The-Jewish-god-formerly-known-as-Jehovah. In other news, the version of the divine name used at Elephantine (“Yahoo”) has been slower to catch on in Christian circles.

Early Judaism

This month in the study of Early Judaism, we have a whole lot of monotheism going on, as well as sex on Noah’s Ark, some Jewish demons, a little Jewish mysticism, and Antonio Negri.

69 Yahweh and Mrs Yahweh[Monotheism] David Burnett (The Time Has Been Shortened) interviews Michael Heiser on the latter’s views about monotheism and the Bible.

[Monotheism] [SBL] Daniel McClennan makes available his paper on Latter Day Saint interpretations of Psalm 82, together with an extended bibliography.

[Monotheism] William Hamblin (Hamblin of Jerusalem) discusses “the deep background to the idea of deification”: Sons of Gods; God of gods; The Holy Ones; The Host of Heaven.

[Monotheism] [ETS] Michael Heiser (The Naked Bible) makes available his ETS paper, “Does Divine Plurality in the Hebrew Bible Demonstrate an Evolution from Polytheism to Monotheism?” He also provides a response to Thom Stark on the same issue.

[Lilith] Michael Leo Samuel discusses Lilith, the first wife of Adam.

[Inscriptions] [SBL] Debate over the Tel Dan inscription gets reopened, after an SBL paper by Andrew Knapp argues that קדם in line 4 of the inscription is not the adverb “formerly, but a toponym. George Athas (With Meagre Powersresponds.

[The Dead] Kerry Lee (Biblical and Early Christian Studies) summarises a seminar given by Nicholas Wyatt at the University of Cambridge on 28 October 2011, “After Death Has Us Parted: Encounters Between the Living and the Dead in the Ancient Semitic World”.

  • Enneateuch

69 Adam and Eve[Creation] Peter Enns examines some of the spurious arguments sometimes raised to argue for the literal truth of the biblical figure of Adam and for creationism (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).

[Creation] Michael Leo Samuel asks “How ancient is the doctrine of Creatio ex Nihilo?”

[Creation] Craig Smith (BLT) considers the pun behind Genesis 1’s description of the primordial state, tohu va-bohu (תהו ובהו) – and offers “catawumpus” as a translation.

69 Lynx 2012 Advertisement[Flood] BW16 analyses the portrayal of Noah’s ark and its occupants in the Lynx 2012 “Happy End of the World” television advertisement. BW16 suggests that the Lynx ad takes up the implicit invitation of the biblical text “to visualize the ways in which sexual interaction would have taken place on the ark”.

[History] Jim West (Zwinglius Redivivus) notes that Israel Finkelstein has joined, and has made available some of his papers, here.

[Food ethics] [SBL] Joseph Kelly (כל־האדם) reads the food laws in Leviticus in relation to U.S. industrialised agriculture, foodways, and “biblical” diets, in his SBL paper.

[Deuteronomy] Claude Mariottini provides Part One of a paper examining “some of the laws in the book of Deuteronomy that reflect the social concern of the Deuteronomist for the poor and needy in Israel”.

[Name Theology] [ETS] Michael Heiser (The Naked Bible) provides his ETS paper on references to Yahweh’s “name”, “The Name Theology of Israelite Religion”, which includes a summary of the history of research on the issue.

69 Michael Aviano - Samson and Delilah[Judges] Caroline Blyth (Auckland Theology, Biblical Studies, et al) examines some of the afterlives of Delilah: her representation in film and art.

  • Erotica

[Song of Solomon] Ramone R. Billingsley (The Scribal Pen) explores the unrestrained, impassioned, and thrusting sexuality of the Song of Solomon, in a sensual series of posts: Introduction, SoS 1.2-8, Love Poetry and the Ancient World, Desire and Lovesickness, Images of Creation.

  • Apocalyptic, Enochic Judaism, Mysticism

[Daniel] Tim Bulkeley (5-minute Bible) continues his podcast series on humour in the Bible with a look at Daniel, engaging Hector Avalos on Daniel 3.

69 Orlov[Demons] Andrei Orlov announces that Azazel and Satanael are released. He’s not referring to the demons themselves, though, but his new book: Dark Mirrors: Azazel and Satanael in Early Jewish Demonology.

[Mysticism] [SBL] Jim Davila (PaleoJudaica) provides a copy of his SBL paper, “Ritual Praxis in Ancient Jewish and Christian Mysticism“. William Hamblin (Hamblin of Jerusalem) provides a response. Rebecca Lesses (Mystical Politics) posts her panel response to papers by Frances Flannery, Istvan Czachesz, and Jim Davila.

  • Liturgy

[Psalms] James Bradford Pate (James’ Thoughts and Musings) examines various interpretations of Psalms 49, 50, 51, and 52.

[Psalms] Bob McDonald (The Poetry of Christ) examines word usage and construction techniques in Psalms 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, and 104.

    • Wisdom

69 Negri

[Job] [AAR/SBL] Adam Kotsko provides a copy of his paper, “Negri and Gutierrez on Job”.
[Job] Michael Leo Samuel discusses Maimonides’ interpretation of God’s answer to Job.
[Ecclesiastes] Suzanne McCarthy (BLT) wonders about the translation of Ecclesiastes 11:1 in the Bishops’ Bible, “Lay thy bread vpon wette faces”

Early Christianity

You are in Him and He is in You.

This month in Early Christianity we have some Nazi Christian scholars, the real reason Q is called “Q”, a Gerasene demoniac, Jesus Mythers, and the bioarchaeology of crucifixion. And that’s not all…

69 Gerhard Kittel[Nazi scholarship] Kate Daley-Bailey (Religion Bulletin) examines the contribution to biblical scholarship by New Testament Professor, Christian theologian, and Nazi, Gerhard Kittel. She asks whether – today, down at your local seminary – his scholarship should be used at all. Philip L. Tite makes a follow-up post on Hitler’s use of the Bible, contending that Mein Kampf tapped into “a well-established European understanding of the Bible”, and should not be seen as an abuse of Christianity, but as a product of it.

[Anti-Judaism] Matt Batluck (Centre for the Study of Christian Origins) provides the audio and handout from Paula Fredrickson’s lecture at the University of Edinburgh on anti-Judaism in early Christianity, entitled “Jews in the Head”.

[Intertextuality] Sean du Toit (Initial Explorations) outlines some of his methodological concerns about “intertextuality”: here, here, here, here, and here – although he employs the term in that non-Kristevan sense so widespread in biblical scholarship which is mere varnish on old-fashioned “allusion”.

[Jewish New Testament] John Hobbins reviews Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler’s (eds) The Jewish Annotated New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

69 Wright drinking again[Homosexuality] Having been exposed in September 2011 by BW16 for his highly idiosyncratic translation of 1 Cor 6:9 (“practicing homosexuals of whichever sort”), N.T. Wright is again taken to task for some further dodgy claims about so-called “homosexuality” in Plato. This time Richard Fellows (Paul and Co-Workers) provides the critique. Is Wright trying just a little too hard to fit his square peg in a round hole?

[Clark Pinnock] [SBL] Scot McKnight (Jesus Creed) provides the text of his tribute to Clark Pinnock in The Word Made Fresh group at SBL.

  • The Gospels, Acts, and Jesus

69 Tom Wright drinking[Gospels] Michael Bird (Evangelion) notes that N.T. Wright delivered his inaugural professorial lecture at St. Andrews on 26 October 2011. The Right Reverend Professor N.T. Wright delivered the now-hackneyed “Retreat to Commitment” lecture which gets trotted out by Christian biblical scholars or theologians about every other week: (1) Since [the Enlightenment / the Reformation / the Renaissance / William of Ockham / Epicureanism] the world seems to have got away from Christian faith; (2) but modernity has its own problems [as if nobody has ever noticed!]; (3) therefore, we should get back to Christian faith. Most nauseating line: “Perhaps, after all, biblical studies might be one place where the return of the Master … might begin to take place.” But in reality, Tom, the (theological/male) Master has never left the building.

[Kingdom of God] Mike Sangrey (Better Bibles Blog) questions what ζητέω means in the context of Matthew 6.33 (ζητεῖτε δὲ πρῶτον τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ), preferring “Make understanding God’s kingdom … a first priority” to the more traditional “And seek first the kingdom of God”.

[Heresy] [AAR/SBL] Philip Tite (Religion Bulletin) critiques the meta-narrative of “orthodoxy and heresy/heterodoxy – i.e., ‘authentic’ and ‘inauthentic’ religion” present in so many of the papers on early Christianity presented at AAR/SBL.

[Q] Sheffield Biblical Studies recalls the spurious claim of Cambridge scholar Armitage Robinson to have been the first to name Q – not, as usually thought, as an abbreviation of Quelle – but because it came after P in the alphabet. In response, Mark Goodacre (NT Blog) becomes a Mythbuster, reaffirming that, originally, Q was an abbreviation of Quelle.

[Q] Brian LePort (Near Emmaeus) provides his notes on some of the Double Tradition pericopae, and asks for feedback.

[Mark] Ben Witherington (The Bible and Culture) discusses Latin terms in Mark’s Gospel, and what this may mean for the book’s provenance.

[Mark] On 11-12 November, Mark Goodacre attended a conference on ancient and medieval works that do not exist, called Erasure History. Mark considered “A World Without Mark”, and makes the draft available here for your reflections (pdf). Tony Burke (Apocryphicity) provides comments.

69 Legion of pigs[Mark] Michael Kok (Euangelion Kata Markon) examines the meaning of the Gerasene Demoniac narrative (Mk 5:1-20).

[Thomas] Justin Mihoc (Biblical and Early Christian Studies) provides a report on the seminar given by Simon Gathercole on 31 October 2011 at the University of Cambridge, “The Religious Outlook of the Gospel of Thomas”.

[Acts] Suzanne McCarthy (BLT) notes the tendency of evangelical translations such as the ESV to leave ἄνδρες untranslated, including in the idiomatic phrase ἄνδρες ἀδελφοί, and argues for its explicit translation.

[Jesus] Ben Witherington (The Bible and Culture) provides a series of posts on literacy in the time of Jesus: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. Jeffrey García (Helek Tov) replies that the evidence concerning Aramaic is not as clear as Ben contends.

[Jesus] James McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix) notes an article by James McGrath in the 15 November 2011 issue of Christian Century. It’s on that group that makes David Icke’s Reptilians-are-controlling-the-world conspiracy look relatively feasible: the Jesus Mythers. See: “Fringe View: The World of Jesus Mythicism”.

[Jesus] Larry Hurtado points out that historical Jesus research since the seventeenth century has always had a theological basis: scholars appealed to their reconstructed historical Jesus in order to support a theology that differed from that of the institutional church of the time (alternatives such as deism, liberalism, etc). Larry also claims that, even if there were a difference between Jesus’ own representations about his divinity and subsequent Christian theological claims – and presumably even if Jesus never taught such a thing or even taught the opposite – it is of no account, because the affirmation of the divinity of Jesus is a theological claim which the New Testament bases on its decriptions of the actions of God rather than anything Jesus did or didn’t say. Larry notes that these New Testament assertions about what God allegedly did may be accepted or not. Yet it may be added that we only have access to these assertions and claims, not to the alleged event-in-itself or non-event, and therefore any academic approach must still judge the theological claims made in the New Testament in light of the evidence that the Jesus of the Gospels differentiates himself from God – in theology, theological claims may trump the weighing of facts, but not in academic work.  Moreover, there is a simple solution to there being too much theology in past reconstructions of the historical Jesus, and a solution far more satisfying than the retreat to theological commitment which is strongly implied in Larry’s post. That is, let us – as best we can – aim at getting rid of theological interests altogether, of whatever stripe, from the academic study of Jesus.

[Jesus] Jim West (Zwinglius Redivivus) reviews Encounters With Jesus: The Man in His Place and Time, by Mauro Pesce and Adrianne Destro (Fortress Press, 2011).

[Jesus] Klaas Spronk notes an article he wrote in Christelijke Weekblad about visual representations of Jesus and Moses and other biblical characters, and the recent book by Cees Houtman on childrens’ book representations: Bijbelse geschiedenis herverteld: Woord en Beeld – Vraag en Antwoord (Uitgeverij Groen: Heerenveen, Dec 2010).

[Jesus] Kurt Willems (The Pangea Blog) reports a YouTube interview with N.T. Wright about his recent book, Simply Jesus.

[Christology] Brian LePort (Near Emmaus) gets excited by a textual variant in Acts 20.28 which refers to ἡ ἐκκλησία τοῦ θεοῦ, because it reflects “a very high Christology”. Unsurprisingly, conservative scholars such as Bruce Metzger have raised arguments trying to defend the very high Christology as original. In reply, James McGrath (Exploring Our Matrix) makes the more sober observation that “there has been nothing, absolutely nothing, in Luke or Acts that has depicted Jesus as God”.

[Son of Man] Larry Hurtado highlights the seminal importance of Ragnar Leivestad’s “Exit the Apocalyptic Son of Man” (New Testament Studies 18 (1971), 243–67) in problematising the contention that there is a pre-Christian titular usage of bar (e)nasha.

[Birth of Jesus] James Bradford Pate (James’ Thoughts and Musings) considers the date of the death of Herod: here, here, and here.

69 Lenin[Parables] Roland Boer  (Political Theology) presents Lenin’s interpretation of the parable of the tares and the wheat.

[Crucifixion] Kristina Killgrove (Powered by Osteons) examines the Bioarchaeology of Crucifixion, and the light that field of inquiry sheds on the nature of the ancient Roman practice of crucifixion.

[Secret Mark] Tony Burke (Apocryphicity) discusses two recent works which refer to Secret Mark, Robert M. Price’s Secret Scrolls: Revelations from the Lost Gospel Novels (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2011) and Edward Reaugh Smith’s The Temple Sleep of the Rich Young Ruler: How Lazarus Became the Evangelist John (Great Barrington: SteinerBooks, 2011).

  •  Paul and Pseudo-Paul

[Baptism] Kevin Brown (Diglotting) reviews Michael Hull’s Baptism on Account of the Dead (1 Cor 15:29) (Brill, 2005): Parts 1, 2, 3.

69 Stage props[Tent-Maker?] Codex Lovaniensis (Biblical Studies at Leuven) interprets Paul’s occupation not as a “tent-maker”, as is the usual translation of σκηνοποιός, but as “stage-prop maker”. The question naturally arises: How might we reinterpret Paul if we understand his letters not as written to real people but as stage props for some ancient play?

[Jewish Law] James Bradford Pate (James’ Thoughts and Musings) thinks and muses about Andrew Das’ discussion about the concept of blamelessness in Second Temple Judaism, in Paul and the Jews.

[Christology] [SBL] Jim West (Zwinglius Redivivus) lets us know that James Waddell’s SBL paper, “The Enochic Son of Man and Pauline Christology” is available online.

[Soteriology] Joel Watts continues his review of Ryan Jackson’s New Creation in Paul’s Letters: A Study of the Historical & Social Setting of a Pauline Concept (Mohr Siebeck, 2011): Ch 1, Ch 2, Ch 3, Ch 4.

[Women] Kristen (Wordgazer’s Words) provides a five-step analysis of Pseudo-Paul’s “Let a woman be learning in quietness with all subjection” instruction to Timothy, in 1 Timothy 2.11-15: Here, here, here, and here.

[Authenticity] James Bradford Pate (James’ Thoughts and Musings) considers the authenticity of 1 Thessalonians 2.13-16, with especial reference to Andrew Das’ Paul and the Jews.

  • The other letters

[James] [SBL] Daniel Streett (καὶ τὰ λοιπά) summarises his paper, titled “Food, Fellowship, and Favoritism: Early Christian Meals as the Setting for James 2:1-9“, and provides a copy of the paper and his handout.

[1 Peter] Suzanne McCarthy (BLT) considers the meaning of “submission” in relation to 1 Peter 5:2-3.

Text and Translation

The basic building blocks of sound biblical scholarship: Hebrew, Semitics, Greek, Coptic, and … Cornish.

  • Hebrew

69 Creation[Relative clauses] Peter Kirk (Gentle Wisdom) outlines John H. Walton’s argument for interpreting בראשׁית in Genesis 1.1 as a section header (“In the beginning”). Walton’s not-altogether-convincing argument is that בראשׁית would be a natural choice for the first element in a series to be continued by the תולדת formulae. Peter also makes some remarks about Robert Holmstedt’s 2008 article in Vetus Testamentum (“The Restrictive Syntax of Genesis i 1” VT 58 (2008): 56-67) in which the latter argues on grammatical grounds for its interpretation as a restrictive relative clause: “In the initial period in which [God created]”. A vigorous exchange ensues between Robert and Peter, during which Peter resorts rather desperately – within a single comment – both to assert his own right to free speech and to deny Robert’s right to freely quote from Peter’s blog (a right, of course, which is clearly allowed by the “fair use” exception)! Robert (Ancient Hebrew Grammar) then provides a clear summary of the grammatical considerations involved in interpreting the opening words of Genesis 1.1: בראשׁית ברא, addressing also the relation of that verse to what follows in Genesis 1.2-3. In a further post, Robert provides further parallels to בראשׁית ברא in ancient Hebrew which involve “a Topic-fronted Prepositional Phrase that is located before the wayyiqtol”, and analysis of the use of ויהי in Genesis.

[Manuscripts] Roland Boer (Stalin’s Moustache) discusses Vladimir Lenin’s contribution to Hebrew textual criticism.

  • Other Semitic languages

[Pedagogy] Robert Holmstedt (Ancient Hebrew Grammar) reports the results of his survey on the Agade list, about teaching styles for “the less-commonly-taught ancient Northwest Semitic languages (that is, courses in Hebrew epigraphy, Phoenician and Punic, Aramaic, and Ugaritic).” Robert asks for further comments and suggestions on his blog.

69 RS 1.20[Ugaritic] [SBL] Duane Smith (Abnormal Interestsprovides his own interpretation of two as yet unpublished Ugaritic tablets, RS 94.2965 and RS 94.2391, described by Pierre Bordreuil at SBL – the latter including the term qdš.

[Ugaritic] Jim Linville (Dr. Jim’s Thinking Shop) notes an overview of Ugarit which he wrote for the Lethbridge Herald (12 November 2011): “Similarities between Ugarit tablets and the Bible”.

69 Tiryns Inscription[Ugaritic] Duane Smith (Abnormal Interests) is looking for feedback on a working draft of his paper on the Tiryns Cuneiform Inscription.

  • Greek

[Pedagogy] Daniel R. Streett shares a song in koine Greek about body parts, providing lyrics and audio.

[Books] Roger Pearse provides an index of Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller (GCS) volumes which are available online.

[Translation] Jim West (Zwinglius Redivivus) notes a video presentation in which the translators of the Common English Bible (CEB) explain why they translate υἱὸς τοῦ ανθρωπου (lit. “son of man”) with “The Human One”.

  • Coptic

[Dictionary] Alin Suciu notes the publication of a concordance of the Sahidic New Testament.

[Acts of John] Alin Suciu pieces together four fragments from the Metastasis Johannes (from chapters 106-115 of the Acts of John).

  • Cornish

69 Cornish BibleSuzanne McCarthy (BLT) informs us of the publication of the first Cornish Bible. Cornish studies scholar Bernard Deacon thinks it would have been more worthwhile to have translated the Harry Potter books.


And to finish off the Carnival this month, a couple of posts featuring bibliobloggers talking about themselves.

[Biblioblogs] [SBL] Mark Goodacre (NT Blog) presented “Engaging the ‘Wired-In Generation’: Knowledge and Learning in the Digital Age”, and blogged his presentation.

69 Bibliobloggers[Bibliobloggers’ Dinner] [SBL] The annual bibliobloggers’ dinner was held at The Press Club. Reviews and photos from Chris Brady (Targuman) and Jim West (Zwinglius Redivivus).

Next month’s Biblical Studies Carnival (December 2011) will be hosted by Jim Linville (Dr. Jim’s Thinking Shop). He is also looking for volunteers to host Biblical Studies Carnivals in 2012; so if you are interested, please let him know.