I’m sorry this Carnival is a bit late. January was supposed to be a quiet month, but it wasn’t and February is always horrific and my wretched internet connection at home keeps dropping out.
Comings and Goings and Things Slightly Off Topic
During the course of January, NT Wrong announced the end of his postings, although he leaves us with some fascinating material and intends to continue the Top 50 biblioblogs of the month listing. Voice of Iyov also finished, but its author has taken it down, so we can’t go back to read our favourite bits. :-( Also during January, the Review of Biblical literature launched its blog, a very good reason for subscribing to a feed aggregator if you don’t already! What a pity it happened too late to be listed as a pink blog in the NT Wrong bibliblogs directory. We also got the welcome news that Peter Kirby’s Early Christian Writings site is back.
Although not strictly speaking biblioblogs, the OnLine Christian Colleges blogsite posted its guide to the Top 100 Theology blogs during January. They also published 100 Free and Useful Online Tools to Study the Scripture – not quite what I would have called it, but those who know me well know that I have serious grammar tragic tendencies.
And although not strictly speaking orthodox biblioblog subject matter, the most popular topic of the month would have to have been Barack Obama’s inauguration. I am currently trying to work out whether I can successfully adapt the first part of Gene Robinson’s prayer for use next time I’m on the intercessions roster in church.
And hey, while I’m doing “not strictly biblical studies”, those who preach as well as doing biblical studies and would like to get some insight into the way one rabbinical student deals with her Scriptures, I’d recommend a visit or three to Velveteen Rabbi. Rachel Barenblat, its author, posts more preaching-related than straight exegetical material, but I really like her Radical Torah posts .
Real Biblical Studies Posts at Last!
Hebrew Bible and related posts
Over the course of the month, Suzanne McCarthy has produced an 11- part Babble from Babel series, which she describes thus:
a light commentary on comparative features of Jerome’s and Pagnini’s Latin translation of the Babel story from Gen. 11. Attention will be given to any unusual or usual features of this text including imagery, alliteration, gender, brick-making and so on. It is written in the spirit of my earlier Lindisfarne series and resembles the underside of an embroidered tapestry.
Suzanne has also been blogging about women Bible translators, but I suspect that I’m not supposed to link to the index post because it came out on 1 Feb.
Jan Pieter van de Giessen offers a series on scribal oddities in the Hebrew Bible at Aantekeningen bij de Bijbel. They’re in Dutch, but you could always use Babelfish to get the gist of them: Afwijkende letters in de Hebreeuwse Bijbel – part 1; part 2; Part 3 and Part 4.
Jim Davila has, as usual, done a great job of highlighting media reports about Ancient Judaism-related items over on PaleoJudaica. The one I’ve chosen to link to is about the capital of the Queen of Sheba which provides the text of an article from the Yemen times, plus links to a range of other relevant items.
A relative newcomer to biblioblogging is Martin Shields at Shields Up. He has a four part series on a foreignising translation of Genesis 1: Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV. Duane Smith looks at *’nk/tin”, a wide spread Ancient Near Eastern lexeme for “tin” and how its meaning helps us understand Amos 7:7-8. There is also KAI 25, “An Amulet for Rakab-El”, the first of a series of posts on inscriptions from Zincirli. The series is in preparation for Pardee’s publication of the much discussed new Kuttamuwa Inscription.
I am also told that Claude Mariottini has an interesting post on transvestism in Ancient Israel in which he argues that “Deuteronomy 22:5 is prohibiting a specific kind of transvestism, one in which men dressed as women and women dressed as men would identify themselves as servants of Asherah, prostitute themselves in the temple of Yahweh, and thus bring ritual impurity to the worship of the God of Israel.” Unfortunately, Claude’s site hangs my browser, so I am passing this on, sight unseen.
Update: I have just discovered that Claude’s site only hangs my Firefox – it works in Internet Explorer and is, indeed, an interesting post!!
Jim West on his eponymous blog (sounds better than the “self-titled album” of the music industry, doesn’t it?) ask for recommendations to put in a more centrist annotated bibliography for Old Testament Studies.
During January, on the NT front Mike Bird got more skeptical about Q. Quite a number of people drew attention to the two part Premier Christian Radio debate here and here between Mike and James Crossley based on their book about how Christianity began. Note that these are direct links to podcasts of the radio broadcasts, not to a blog.
James and April DeConick also posted on The Jesus Project on their respective blogs, Earliest Christian History here and here and The Forbidden Gospels Blog here and April also began a series with the provocative title The Jesus Seminar is Bankrupt which she has continued into February.
As usual, Mark Goodacre’s New Testament Gateway offers a good overview of New Testament related posts around the web.
Bill Heroman of Bible/History Blog asks “did Drusus’ Death Hurt Herod?” I don’t know but others might have an opinion.
Lots of people also posted on Christian theology, but these posts fall outside the guidelines for this Carnival, so I haven’t included them.
David Lang who blogs at Accordance 8 Bible Software has a great series of posts against something he’s dubbed “Strongnosticism” – the tendency to use tools such as Strong’s numbers to look for “secret knowledge” in the original Hebrew and Greek. The three posts discuss how to use language study tools properly and how to avoid common exegetical mistakes. While it focuses on the use of Strong’s number resources in a specific software program, the hermeneutical principles it covers apply to the use of all basic language study resources. Look here, here and here.
One of the good things about biblioblogs is that almost all their authors are bibliophiles, prone to putting up book reviews. While generally not as erudite or formal as the ones you find in RBL or the reviews section of your favourite biblical studies/theological journal, they have the advantage of being written by someone whose approach to the discipline you know something about. All you need to do is to read some of the rest of their blog and you will have some idea about whether their “totally excellent, highly recommended” book will actually meet your needs. And if the review doesn’t answer your burning question, many of them will respond if you ask them. Here are two examples from January:
Stephen L. Cook, Conversations with Scripture: 2 Isaiah (Harrisburg, PA: MorehousePub., 2008) reviewed by Tim Bulkeley of Sansblogue, in a three part series here, here and here
James Dunn’s 1 Corinthians (London: T and T Clark Study Guide, 1995) reviewd by Chris Tilling on Chrisendom
Next month’s Carnival will be hosted by Darrell Pursiful over at Dr Platypus. Despite the name, Darrell is neither Australian nor living in Australia, unlike Mike Bird of Euangelion, Ben Meyers of Faith and Theology or Roland Boer of Stalin’s Moustache. Unfortunately, only one of them blogs biblical studies rather than theology.
Update 2: I forgot to mention that in the three plus years since the Carnivals began, this is the first one to be done by a woman. I looked fairly hard and found that very few women blog biblical studies – a significantly lower proportion than the proportion of women who do biblical studies. Funny.