All of April – biblical studies on the web – (Biblical Studies Carnival 29)

All of biblical studies on the web in April (Biblical Studies Carnival 29) has been brilliantly highlighted by the the very king of biblical blogdom (Jim West).

He begins:

The Biblical Studies Blogging World has expanded from a dozen or so blogs just a few years ago to literally hundreds and has become more a Universe than simply a small planet. ‘Carnival’ doesn’t really convey the extensive activity of biblio/biblica-bloggers during the month of April; and ‘circus’ just seems a bit too derogatory- so someone wiser and brighter than I will have to come up with an appropriate term which expands “Carnival” to something more accurate.

And ends: “[n.b.- from time to time in the preceding you may have sniffed just a whiff of sarcasm. If so, good nose! If not, well there’s no help for you. A Carnival is supposed to be full of fun. So, humorless soul, begone with ya to read Oprah’s website]”

It’s all way more than any of us has time for, but I’ll pick out a couple just for fun.

Stephen Cook talks a little bit about those bizarre chapter and verse divisions in the Bible. What was Stephanus thinking? That’s why, personally, I like the Zurich Bible of 1531. Just Chapters. No verses. And if I could get by with it, I’d abandon those chapter divisions too. If only there were some other way of getting around in the Bible without them…

There is t there is no solution to the synoptic problem (April DeConick.) Jim counters with the solution.

Chris Spinks asks a very good question when he asks, what should a New Testament Introduction course introduce the students to?

It has been my experience that NT surveys spend an inordinate amount of time discussing authorship, dates, and the like. . . . I’m more inclined to emphasize the books’ narrative/argumentative arcs, the important themes and topics, and the inter-relationship of these things among the various NT voices.

Tyler Watson responds: give Revelation enough time. This book needs to be taken back from the Left Behind interpretations. Show how this book when properly understood affects how we live now. I know many pastors who don’t want to step into the minefield created by strange interpretations of Revelation — I have this temptation myself — so as a student I found it extremely helpful and inspiring to walk through it in a way that respected its historical context.

Finally, Michael Pahl let’s all the PhD holders in on a little secret, and Mike Bird has a little advice to PhD students of his own (something about Greco-Roman something or other). Meanwhile, Tim Brookins too has something to say to PhD wannabes.

– – –

Here’s a couple more I was interested in this week.

New NT Manuscripts researched in Albania (CT)

Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes (A review of Bailey by Kruse)

Bailey’s thesis is that Arabic culture, at least in rural villages, has not changed radically over the past 2,000 years. Furthermore, Arabic is a sister language to the Aramaic spoken by Jesus and his contemporaries. Therefore, by examining how Arabic Christians have interpreted scripture over the millennia, both in terms of language and in terms of assumptions about cultural norms, we might find a lens through which to view the scriptures that more closely approximates the culture of Jesus day than our Western lenses. Bailey maintains that the witness of Arabic Christianity (separating from the Western church in the fifth century) has been all but ignored in Western Christianity.

Jesus was a metaphorical theologian. That is, his primary method of creating meaning was trough metaphor, simile, parable and dramatic action rather than through logic and reasoning. He created meaning like a dramatis and a poet rather than like a philosopher. (279)

20 enjoyable books from Chris Tilling.

From last month, but still interesting:

How Jesus Died: A Physician’s Point of View (Wichita March 15)

Larry Hurtado – That Curious Idea of Resurrection on Slate.com (March 20)


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