For most of us 2017 probably could not come soon enough. From Trump to Aleppo, to the stream of beloved celebrities passing, a constant refrain in the latter half of 2016 was “I’m done with 2016.” Hosting the December Biblical Studies Carnival has a bit of an “inaugurated eschatology” feel – by the time you read this it will already be 2017, the new year we’ve all been eagerly waiting for; but the period of time this post covers is in the “not yet,” under the shadow of a difficult and tense year.
It seems like many celebrities passed away in 2016; at one point I noticed that when a new passing was announced, many people posted the news with the note “2016 took another.” Death is always sad, but I wasn’t familiar with any of the celebrities who passed away. However, December “took” someone from “my” world, someone probably deeply respected by all who are reading this – Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J. I expect that more tributes will surface in the coming months, but for now, here are a few brief tributes to a giant in biblical scholarship. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!
Over at the Biblical Archeology Review is a post on a recently discovered stone block that reveals who the Roman governor of Judea was during the time leading up to the Bar Kokhba. There’s also a post noting the top ten biblical archeology discoveries of the year. At HAARETZ there’s a list of the best archeological finds in Israel of 2016, including new Dead Sea Scroll fragments.Breaking Israel News posted about the discovery of a coin from the Hasmonean Era that depicts the face of Antiochus Epiphanes IV.
Peter Head mentioned the SBL panel review of Peter Lampe’s From Paul to Valentinus: Christians at Rome in the First Two Centuries and shows images of the gemstone mentioned by Jutta Dresken-Weilend as an example of early evidence for Christian presence in Rome not known to Lampe.
Marg Mowczko wrote about who crushes the Serpent’s head in Genesis 3:15.
Craig Keener continued blogging on Genesis, tackling whether Joseph’s brothers changed in Gen 44, the testing of Joseph’s brothers in Gen 44, Judah in Gen 44, and Joseph revealing himself to his brothers in Gen 45.
At the Bible and Interpretation blog is an excerpt from Helen Paynter’s Reduced Laughter: Seriocomic Features and their Functions in the Book of Kings (Brill 2016) on Elijah and Elisha.
Bob MacDonald wrote a post on Proverbs 31. He posted translations and diagrams of various chapters in Deuteronomy, 2 Kings, and Jeremiah, so browse his blog Dust and check them out! Finally, he posted about his new book Song in the Night.
Over at OnScript Matt Lynch interviewed Mary Hom about the Assyrians and the OT (though it’s a podcast and not a blog post, I think I should be allowed an exception since the biblioblogosphere is not very active in December!)
Daniel O. McClellan posted the abstract of a proposal he submitted to SBL 2017 for a paper entitled “‘Now You See Me, Now You Don’t’: The Vanishing of YHWH.”
Torrey Seland posted about the papers from a session on Wisdom and Apocalypticism at SBL. He also posted about the retirement of David Runia and the festschrift that was presented to him at SBL, The Studia Philonica Annual XXVIII.
New Testament/Early Christianity
In response to a flurry of posts about where Jesus was born, Wayne Coppins at German for Neutestamentler took a look at what Michael Wolter had to say on the matter in “Michael Wolter and the Meaning of κατάλυμα in Luke 2:7.” Brice Jones blogged about Stephen Carlson’s 2010 NTS article on κατάλυμα in Luke 2:7
Chris Keith at The Jesus Blog posted about a session at SBL in which Jennifer Knust presented some of the research she and Tommy Wasserman have completed on the transmission history of the Pericope Adulterae.
Phil Long continued to blog through Romans, with “Who are the Weak and Strong in Romans 14?” and “The Problem of Sacred Days and Clean Foods – Romans 14:5-9.”
Mike Bird posted a quote from Helmut Koester on the provenance of 2 Timothy.
Leading up to Christmas, the Center for the Study of Christian Origins blog posted a series of videos on the birth narratives through the centuries. You can easily find the whole series on their website, but two particularly noteworthy ones are Helen Bond on the discrepancies between Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts and Matt Novenson on what, if anything, Paul had to say about Jesus’s birth.
Jonathan Bernier blogged more in December than everyone else put together. He continued working through John A.T. Robinson’s Redating the New Testament, with posts on the Petrine Epistles and Jude (Part 1| Part 2), 1 Timothy 5:18, Hebrews, Revelation, the Gospel and Epistles of John (Part 1 |Part 2), Epistle of Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, Didache, and 1 Clement. He also wrote on why Robinson is still important.
Larry Hurtado posted on the early Christians as atheists the early Christian roots of religious freedom.
Mike Bird posted a quote from an essay by Armin Baum on pseudepigraphy as non-deceptive fiction.
Anthony Le Donne at The Jesus Blog got in the Christmas spirit and wrote about why Christmas is on December 25.
William Ross posted an interview with LXX scholar José Manuel Cañas Reíllo as well as a video of Peter Williams’s lecture at the ETS Septuagint Studies session, “On the Invention and Problem of the Term ‘Septuagint.’”
Linguistics Jedi Kris Lyle wrote a detailed post defining and summarizing the benefits of corpus-driven cognitive semantics.
Simon Joseph posted on his paper in NTS entitled “‘I Have Come to Abolish Sacrifices’ (Epiphanius Pan 30.16.5): Re-examining a Jewish Christian Text and Tradition”
Max Lee posted about the panel review of Exploring Intertextuality from SBL and shared about where the “Intertextuality in the New Testament” section is going in the next two years.
Paul Foster and Matt Novenson both shared some brief reflections on SBL.
Jim Davila mentioned a new journal from Brill: Brill Research Perspectives in Biblical Interpretation.
At the Bible and Interpretation blog there is a great post by Jeffrey Morrow on biblical scholarship and bias.
Reviews, Interviews, and More
Lindsay Kennedy reviewed The Destiny of the Righteous in the Psalms by Jerome Creach
Phil Long reviewed The Book of Isaiah and God’s Kingdom by Andrew Abernethy
Phil Long also reviewed Acts (NTL) by Carl Holladay
Todd Scacewater reviewed Pauline Churches and Diaspora Jews by John Barclay. Phil Long reviewed The Apostle Paul by Stanley Porter.
Chris Keith noted the RBL review of fellow Jesus Blogger Christine Jacobi’s Jesusueberlieferung bei Paulus?
Scott McKnight interviewed Beverly Gaventa on her new book “When in Romans” and mentioned Cindy Westfall’s new book Paul and Gender as well as the recently completed four-volume Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical & Post-Biblical Antiquity.
Nijay Gupta blogged about Larry Hurtado’s latest book, Destroyer of the Gods. He also mentioned Paul in the Greco-Roman World.
Paul Robertson reviewed Paul’s Letters and Contemporary Greco-Roman Literature at Reviews of Biblical and Early Christian Studies.
Over at Ancient Jew Review Beth Berkowitz, Jonathan Klawans, and Paula Fredriksen interacted with Christine Hayes’s What’s Divine about Divine Law? as part of a panel review for the SBL History of Rabbinic Literature section. Christine Hayes responded.
I reviewed Charles Lee Irons’s A Syntax Guide for Readers of the Greek New Testament.
The Center for the Study of Christian Origins posted and interview with Timothy Lim about his research as well as an interview with Meredith Warren on her book My Flesh is Meat Indeed: A Nonsacramental Reading of John 6:51-58.
Over at the Zurich New Testament blog, Christoph Heilig posted an annotated list of books they published in 2016.
This month the Syndicate Theology symposium was on Grace Ji-Sun Kim’s Embracing the Other: The Transformative Spirit of Love.
Anthony Le Donne posted an excerpt from his new book Near Christianity: How Journeys Along the Jewish-Christian Border Saved My Faith in God.
I read just about everything Mike Bird publishes, and I am particularly excited about the next two books he has coming down the pipes (how in the world does he write so much, especially without coffee??). Mike also announced that the Fortress Press reprint of God and the Faithfulness of Paul is now available for preorder.
Favorite Books of 2016 Lists
The January 2017 Carnival (posting February 1) will be hosted by Cassandra Farrin at Ethics and Early Christianity. February will be hosted by Jacob Prahlow at Pursuing Veritas, and July will be hosted by Ruben de Rus at Ayuda Ministerial/Resources for Ministry. If you’re interested in hosting March-June carnivals, please contact Phil Long (@plong42).
Apologies for a belated and slim (did the bibliobloggers have something better to do in December?) carnival, especially in Hebrew Bible and related fields! If you have favorite bloggers in those areas please link them in the comments!