costumed street crowd

Biblical Studies Carnival #203

Welcome, One and All, to the January 2023 Biblical Studies Carnival!

As a first-time host, I have followed the time-honored liturgical practice of looking around to see what everyone else was doing, and trying to follow along, without getting more than a syllable or two behind in the responses.

In that spirit, here’s some of what appeared online, related to Biblical studies, during the month of January, 2023, in the major categories of:

A Class by Itself

The year kicked off with Jim West’s “End of the Year Biblioblogger Extravaganza: Collecting the Best Posts of 2022”.

masked carnival figures

Tanakh / Old Testament / Hebrew Bible

The Society for Old Testament Study held its Winter 2023 meeting in person January 3-5. This was the program. Anne E. Thompson attended, and kindly provided an overview of some of the papers. Jim West attended as well, took lots of pictures (see here and here and here and here and here), bemoaned the discipline’s “drift into obscura,” and bought more books, most in English (see here and here and here and here and here and here).

Elizabeth Backfish compared Deborah and Moses on key prophetic criteria.

Richard Beck shared an exposition of the existentialism in the book of Ecclesiastes (Parts 1, II, III, & IV).

Ben the Amateur Exegete reviewed the physics of Joshua’s long day and analyzed the textual evidence of plagiarism in a recent effort to deny it.

BibleMapper added four annotated maps of events in the former prophets, including this one of the battle between David and Ishbosheth.

Robert D. Cornwall shared commentaries on lectionary texts, including Isaiah 42 and Micah 6:1-8.

David Curwin resolved an ambiguity between Hebrew and Algonquin references to “persimmon”.

John Ellis shared an introduction to a study of the Psalms, suggesting the compilation incorporates narrative into its poetry.

Kathleen Goldingay wrote:

John is responding to questions from you about Law in a paper you can find on the Pentateuch page:
A basic 4000-word introduction to Law: in Deuteronomy, in Exodus, and in Leviticus, then something on the chronological relationship between them, then something on the Torah as a whole.

Link to the Pentateuch page at the Goldingay Bible Clinic

Jim Gordon explored the book of Jonah and commentaries thereon, including recent feminist contributions; the multipart-series begins here. [Particular thanks to Bob MacDonald for bringing this to light.]

Lyn Kidson, in Part I of a two-part series, reviewed Basil of Ancyra’s reading of Genesis 2 on gender, sexuality, and marriage.

David Koyzis shared the story of (and some music from) the Romanian-language Psalter Cântările Psalmilor.

Bob MacDonald made available a comprehensive collection of his transcriptions of Hebrew Bible text-to-music on pdf.

Claude Mariottini announced his forthcoming book Job and the Problem of Suffering, considered the available evidence (textual and traditional) about Abigail-David’s-sister; and offered an Introduction to the Book of Haggai and an analysis of the prophet’s message.

Vance Morgan took on “Mansplaining in the Bible” with a contemporary reading of 1 Samuel 1.

Marg Mowczko re-issued her analysis of why “Ezer is not a gender role”.

Hanna Tervanatko considered Miriam’s prophetic credentials as expanded by Qumran texts.

Aron Tillema reviewed Gideon R. Kotzé. Images and Ideas of Debated Readings in the Book of Lamentations. (Mohr Siebeck: Tübingen, 2020).

The Two Cities interviewed Dr. Eric Harvey on blindness in the Hebrew Bible. (podcast)

Tzemeh Yoreh examined Moses’ ethnicity in “Moses the Midianite”.

New Testament / Greek Scripture

JK Abram explored why Paul didn’t use parables.

Mike Aubrey pointed out the implications of the size of the New Testament corpus for grammatical analysis.

Rob Bradshaw announced the recent online availability of George R. Beasley-Murray’s commentary on Mark 13.

Bart Ehrman announced that his new book, Armageddon, on the Revelation of John, is coming soon.

Matthew Everhard at Logos shared a wordstudy of oligospistoi.

Paula Fredriksen discussed significant intellectual influences on her work, with Derek Lambert.

Philip Jenkins considered the light shed on the making of the New Testament by the story of Lazarus and the rich man.

Craig Keener analyzed the book of Hebrews.

Lyn Kidson, in an ongoing series, compiled historical resources for the study of Mark. The first post is here; she has worked through Mark 9 (here); later chapters are forthcoming. Additionally, Kidson rebutted Thomas Schreiner’s exegetical arguments about 1 Timothy 2:12.

Michael J. Kok offered a multi-part search for the earliest reference to the gospel of Matthew (links to the first substantive article).

Phil Long at Reading Acts offered a multi-part consideration of the plot to kill Jesus in Matthew, includinga consideration of textual references to Caiaphas, the role of the anointing at Bethany, the preparation of the Upper Room, and the suggestion that Jesus “told Judas to betray him”. (This series appears set to continue into February.)

Travis McMaken published edited transcripts of an adult spiritual formation group’s consideration of Galatians, along with some bibliography. (Links to the index to the four-session series.)

Marg Mowczko analyzed the grammar of pronouns used for the Spirit in the gospel of John.

Ian Paul considered divergent readings of Matthew’s Epiphany account at length, analyzed key exegetical points in Matthew 4:12-23, discussed the historical significance of details in the account of the Wedding at Cana, and more.

Andrew Perriman answered Mike Bird on the reading of 1 Corinthians 8:6 (“all things”).

Alastair Roberts offered an intertextual discussion of Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus in the context of the whole gospel as part of PloughCast (the discussion begins about minute 35:00).

Brandon D. Smith discussed the Trinity in the book of Revelation (and his new book) with Madison Pierce.

James Tabor announced his newly available online course on the gospel of Mark (not free). And spoke with Paul Williams at Blogging Theology on his conclusions about Jesus, Paul, and emerging Christianity (all three parts free on YouTube).

The Two Cities explored “Hell and Disability in Early Christian Literature” with Dr. Meghan Henning. (podcast)

Ben Witherington interviewed Matthew W. Novenson, author of Paul Then and Now, in a multi-part discussion of the book and its implications (Part I, Part II through Part XIII). Matthew Thiessen critiqued the q&a on Twitter. [I am a Tweetotaler, so am praying that link will get Everyone to the relevant thread. And before Anyone asks, no, Matthew and I are not related, except insofar as all Thiessens are related if we go back far enough.]

masked carnival figures in parade

Septuagint, Apocrypha, etc.

Bart Ehrman discussed the significance of the early Christian text “the Martyrdom of Polycarp.”

The Enoch Seminar announced an upcoming online conference, “Enoch Studies in the 2020s,” June 26-29.

Michael Kok published an article on the Christology of the Gospel of the Ebionites in Scottish Theological Review.

Phil Long held forth on 1 Enoch and related matters with Talk Junkies.

James McGrath shared his revised reconstruction of an infancy account of John the Baptist.

J. Richard Middleton announced the availability of his online course on Biblical Eschatology.

William A. Ross compiled recent offerings related to the Septuagint.

Jim West extolled Jack Levinson’s The Greek Life of Adam and Eve.

All Together

The Enoch Seminar is inviting papers on the Sybilline Oracles for its 13th Enoch Nageroni Meeting, June 5-8, 2023, Naples.

Rick Brannan explained how Bible software resolves versification discrepancies.

The Society of Biblical Literature called for papers for this year’s annual meeting, November 18-21, 2023, in San Antonio. Amy Balogh encouraged scholars to respond to the call of The Comparative Method in Biblical Studies Consultation (on its last year).

masked costumed carnival figures

Text Criticism, History of Reception

Rob Bradshaw promoted (free online) Frederic G. Kenyon’s The Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, and William Oesterley’s Sacrifices in Ancient Israel, now in the public domain.

Peter Gurry encouraged taking a look at a Westminster Divine who preferred Codex Alexandrinus to the Textus Receptus (courtesy of Stephen Steele), and commended a recent article that reconsiders GA 239 and 304 as evidence for the shorter ending of Mark (with link to the article).

Signe Marie Hægeland released a three-part podcast on the identification of false and missing Dead Sea scrolls, for beginners. (In Swedish)

Peter Head called to students’ and their professors’ attention a summer school in Greek papyrology.

Brandon Hurlbert analyzed the editorial decisions in the early 1807 “Slave Bible” in “The Slave Bible: For Slavery or Salvation?”

Drew Longacre and Brian Rickett reported on the current status of the work of MIKRA and their work in Hebrew paleography in a two-part interview with Tim Mahoney

Ariadne Marketou, at EthiCodex, introduced a study of imaging and ink analysis of ancient papyri under glass, including first steps of making iron gall ink and carbon black and red earth inks for purposes of comparison using a new quantitative technique. (Stay tuned for more results.)

Brent Niedergall reviewed (favorably) John D. Meade & Peter J. Gurry’s Scribes and Scripture: The Amazing Story of How We Got the Bible.

Brent Nongbri shared more digital images of papyri at the Bodleian Library, and commented on the implications of “Buying Papyrus in Roman Antiquity”.

Archeology – Antiquities – History

Yonatan Adler lectured on the evidence and argument presented in his recent book The Origins of Judaism: An Archeological and Historical Reappraisal, to a fascinated audience (an online recording has been promised); also interviewed with Jacob Berman of History Valley, going into more detail about the relationship of his social historical project to the history of ideas as captured in Biblical text.

Michael F. Bird explored the phenomenon of belief in Greco-Roman religion.

Todd Bolen kept a detailed compilation of recent developments and announcements in this area. (links to the most recent)

Center for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements (CenSAMM) shared a Call for Papers by the Brethren Archivists and Historians Network, for the International Brethren History Conference, July 4-6, Staffordshire.

Paul Davidson reassessed Jezebel’s “murder” of Naboth.

Jim Davila commented on the find of a complete Book of the Dead scroll at Saqqara.

De Cupere B, Van Neer W, Barba Colmenero V, and Jiménez Serrano A published results of their find of mummified remains of Nile crocodiles (reported by the New York Times here).

Giulia Gilmore compiled medievalists’ attempts to map the Garden of Eden.

Tim O’Neill at History for Atheists interviewed PZ Meyers on his growing acceptance of a historical Jesus

Jonathan Orr-Stav answered a question about the development of modern from Biblical Hebrew.

James Tabor suggested the Ebionites may provide clues about the earliest Jesus movement.

costumed carnival figures

Biblical Theology

Volume 8 (2022) of DeGruyter’s Open Theology made its complete appearance online, including the topical issue “Cultural Trauma and the Hebrew Bible,” edited by Danilo Verde and Dominic Markl.

William Brown reviewed and critiqued T.M. Luhrman How God Becomes Real: Kindling the Presence of Invisible Others in light of thoughts on Biblical narrative.

David Galston defended the project of defending Plato and almost convinced me.

Peter Goeman considered whether household baptisms in the New Testament support paedobaptism.

Ben Mathew sketched out a Biblical theology for reflecting on immigration issues and developing multi-cultural ministry (Part II of a three-part series on “Loving the Aliens” – introduced in Part I, concluding recommendations in Part III)

James McGrath, in “God’s Ideal for Human Flourishing,” responded to Suzanne Nicholson, “Love that Transforms …” in Firebrand, and to Ian Paul’s open letter in response to Bishop John Wignor’s statement on celebrating same-sex marriages. The exchanges displayed, once again, some of the commitments that produce the range of divergent views on this matter.

Andrew Perriman offered some “hazardous thoughts” on the Trinity for the New Year, followed up by an interview on his new book (In the Form of a God), which he expects to appeal to Unitarians.

Ted Peters addressed the question of “Are the Bible and Big Bang Consonant?” and determined they are.

New Books announced / reviewed

Ammann et al., Authorship and the Hebrew Bible – Jim Davila

Bahl, Chad (ed.), Deconstructing HellDave Matthews

Berthelot, Katell, Jews and their Roman Rivals: Pagan Rome’s Challenge to Israel – Philonica et Neotestamentica

Bloch, René, Ancient Jewish Diaspora – Jim Davila

Cordova, Nelida Navaros, Philo of Alexandria: A Sourcebook – Philonica et Neotestamentica

Fröhlich (ed.), Science in Qumran Aramaic Texts – Jim Davila

Gupta, Nijay, Tell Her Story: How Women Led, Taught, and Ministered in the Early Church (forthcoming – prepublication readers being sought) – Nijay Gupta

Hanch, Kate, Storied Witness: The Theology of Black Women Preachers – W. Travis McMaken (Biblical studies adjacent)

Hinds, Jay-Paul, A Gift Grows in the Ghetto: Reimagining the Spiritual Lives of Black Men – Robert D. Cornwall

Hendrickson (series publisher), The Preacher’s Greek Companion – Nijay Gupta

Levinsohn, Stephen H. Self Instruction Materials on Narrative Discourse Analysis; Self Instruction Materials on Non-Narrative Discourse Analysis – Mike Aubrey

Runesson, Anders, Judaism for Gentiles. Reading Paul beyond the Parting of the Ways Paradigm – Jim Davila

Sechrest, Love Lazarus, Race and Rhyme: Rereading the New Testament – Greg Carey, in the Christian Century

Waller, Daniel James with Darota Molin, The Bible in the Bowls: A Catalogue of Biblical Quotations in Published Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Magic Bowls – Jim Davila

West, Jim and McKim, Donald, Martin Bucer: An Introduction to His Life and TheologyJim West

Popular Culture

Julia Dinn, “Piecemeal coverage of Benedict XVI death reveals ultra-thin ranks of religion reporters”.

Pew Research Forum released its report “Faith on the Hill”.

Francesca Stavrakapoulou’s appearances on the MythVision podcast excited accusations, counter-accusations, and dramatic academic exposures. Summarized here and here. Twitter subscribers might be able to see a little more here.

Results of experiments and conversations with ChatGPT began to appear: Bob MacDonald chatted about ancient music and musical notation systems and saw, in particular, potential for help refining research questions; James McGrath shared thoughts on its use in courses, background resources, and a conversation about faith, but did not think ChatGPT emulated his style as well as it thought or “thought” it did; Travis Pickell and Brian Doak advanced 5 ideas for life-support for college essays

In Memoriam

Amélie Kuhrt (September 23, 1944 – January 2, 2023), historian of the Ancient Near East. Announcement by her daughter.

Wayne Meeks (January 8, 1932 – January 10, 2023), distinguished voice in New Testament studies. Statements from Yale Divinity School and Yale University.

Future Events to know about now

It may not be too late to attend Avigail Manekin’s lecture on Aramaic Incantation Bowls and Social History: The Case of Slaves and Demons, Wednesday, February 1, 6:00 p.m. GMT, free online.

Sara Parks will deliver the Chester Beatty Annual Lecture 2023, “Fragments: Lost Stories of Ancient Women,” February 8, 6:00 p.m., online.

Upcoming Biblical Studies Carnivals …

February – appears March 1 – hosted by Ben, the Amateur Exegete.

MARCH (appears April 1) and subsequent Carnivals await hosts!!

Please please PLEASE contact Dr. Phillip Long at to volunteer!!

(for this fun and fascinating service to the larger blogosphere)

carnival masks

Images: “Busó-walking – Busójárás”, Arkinessa, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons; “Busó maszkok” Karoly Czifra, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; “Busójárás (Mohács), 2009” (cropped) Baráth GáborBennó at hu.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons; “Busós” Arkinessa, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons; “Busojaras-Buso and Son” User:Themightyquill, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons; “Buso masks” User:Qji, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

More about the particularly photogenic celebration of carnival that is Busójárás (“Busó-walking”) is available at UNESCO’s page “Busó Festivities at Mohács: masked end-of-winter carnival custom”, which features text and a brief documentary film (in English). Or, of course, there’s always Wikipedia. The celebration has nothing at all to do with Biblical studies, but IS one manifestation of carnival. Furthermore, the Busó are supposed to chase away winter. That seemed appropriate for the first of February in the northern hemisphere. North Americans may hope the Groundhog will do the same tomorrow.

5 responses to “Biblical Studies Carnival #203”

    • LOL Thanks, Ben – and you needn’t be, because I think I may have you to blame for getting roped into this in the first place … so if I’d included an “acknowledgements” section …

      Continuing best wishes in the long-running War on Plagiarism, too!

      Liked by 1 person

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