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Biblical Studies Carnival – December 2015


Welcome to the December 2015 Biblical Studies Carnival! I hope everyone’s had a great holiday season. If you’re reading this on January 1, then your new year is off to a great start! As is typical of December, the biblioblogdom was pretty quite last month. However, surprisingly, there was a mountain of book reviews and interactions. Looks like we all decided to catch up on reading!

Before we get to some of the best and nerdiest of the past month in the biblioblogosphere, here’s what’s coming up in the next few months: January (Due Feb 1) will be hosted by Tim Bulkeley, and February (Due March 1) will be hosted by Jacob Prahlow (@prahlowjcacob). The rest of the year is wide open, so if you’re interested in a carnival, especially for March or April, please get in touch with Phil Long (@Plong42). Hosting a biblical studies carnival is a fun way to highlight some of the best of biblioblogging as well as connect with the vibrant community.

Alright, let’s get the party started! But…we must start off on a sad note.

In Memoriam – I. Howard Marshall

On December 12, 2015 we lost one of the NT greats of our time. Many bibliobloggers wrote tributes to I. Howard Marshall, including Mike Bird, Stanley Porter, Steve Walton, Nijay Gupta, Darrell Bock, Ray Van Neste, and Mark Goodacre. Beeson Divinity School posted words from several of their faculty (Timothy George, Osvaldo Padilla, Frank Thielman, Paul House, and Gerald Bray). I have never had the privilege of meeting Dr. Marshall, but from what everyone says it’s obvious that he wasn’t just a prodigious scholar but also a devoted churchman and all around great person. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

As I was finalizing this post I got word that Robert Mulholland passed away on December 20 and Heikki Räisänen passed away on December 30. I haven’t caught wind of any details or tribute post yet, but maybe some will appear next month. May these two scholars also rest in peace and rise in glory!


ANE/Hebrew Bible

At the Biblical Studies Blog, Rob Bradshaw posted a PDF of Rick Wadholm’s master’s thesis, “The Theological Meaning and Significance of Yom in Genesis 1″. Rob’s website is truly a remarkable resource; here are his reflections on where the site has been and where it’s going.

Michael Heiser linked to a PDF of what he says is the best article he has seen on the topic of the genealogies of Genesis 5, mathematical approaches, and theological messaging – Biblical Math as Heilgeschichte?

Christian Brady at Targuman posted a paper originally presented at the 2010 Mid-Atlantic SBL meeting entitled “Boaz: Centrally Marginalized.” Interestingly, Brady argues against both against traditional commentators that the book of Ruth presents Boaz as a marginal figure, and against those who seek to  further marginalize Boaz. What Brady argues for is a kind of p’shat, a simple reading of the text.

Over at The Bible and Interpretation, Brian R. Doak has an article entitled “The Embarrassing and Alluring Biblical Giant” that looks at five ways of thinking about giants in the Hebrew Bible.

Bob MacDonald at Dust is quite the prolific blogger and posted more on HB passages than everyone else on the blogosphere combined; if it piques your interest, check out his thoughts on Genesis 10, Exodus 25, Exodus 37Joshua 1, Judges 17, Ruth 1-4, 2 Chronicles 27Nehemiah 2, Job 38, Isaiah 17Daniel 12, Hosea  3Amos 1, Micah 4 and the “ban”, and Zechariah 13. These appear to be reflections as he is putting parts of the HB to music.

Bible Studies Online posted the videos for the papers delivered at the 2015 Seminar in Thomas Römer’s series The Hebrew Bible and Its Contexts at The Collège de France entitled “Representing gods and men in the ancient Near East and in the Bible (Représenter dieux et hommes dans le Proche-Orient ancien et dans la Bible)”

Ancient Jew Review has a fantastic piece by Timothy Lim entitled “Understanding the Emergence of the Jewish Canon” in which he discusses his theory of the “majority canon.”

AWOL announced the digitization of Hebrew manuscripts at the Library of Congress.



George Athas wrote an extensive post on the discovery of an ancient ‘bulla’ bearing the name of Hezekiah, found in situ. He also commented on the recent article in Forbes about the only piece of skeletal evidence for crucifixion. To thank you for making the arch section possible, I’ll make sure someone buys you a venti Starbucks at the next SBL 😛 #warongeorge2016


NT/Early Christianity

Biblical Studies Online posted a lot of great video resources this month:

At The Bible and Interpretation, Paul Anderson and Jaime Clarke-Soles posted a PDF essay introducing volume 3 of John, Jesus, and History coming out soon from SBL Press.

James McGrath gave pithy point-by-point responses to 5 bad reasons to be a mythicist.

At the Jesus Blog, James Crossley announced that he and Anthony Le Donne have taken over as editors for JSHJ. Congratulations!

Bill Heroman shared some thoughts on Jesus research in conversation with Syndicate Symposium entitled Jesus and the Chaos of History.

Larry Hurtado mentioned a new essay of his on P.Oxyrhynchus 1228 and linked to a pre-pub version.

Nijay Gupta at Crux Sola linked to a video in which John Barclay talks about Paul and empire.

Phil Long wrote two posts on Paul and Apocalyptic (post 1, post 2). And while we’re on the topic of apocalyptic, Scott McKnight had a few words to say on Wright vs. apocalyptic.

Christ Illing wrote a short post on reading Paul in response to frustrating results of a Twitter poll.



Bob MacDonald at Dust wrote about doubling in Hebrew and asks whether it’s just idiomatic usage.

Exgetical Tools posted an advanced Greek grammar video with William Varner talking about Acts 1:1.

Larry Hurtado shared a few snippets from Walter Ameling’s forthcoming essay “Epigraphy and the Greek Language in Hellenistic Palestine.

Thomas Hudgins posted some thoughts and questions on Greek pedagogy.

Jacob Cerone shared some thoughts about the New English Translation of the Septuagint in dialogue with Muraoka’s essay in the Festschrift in honor of John A. Lee. He also posted some insights on using Duolingo to learn German.



Jacob Cerone noticed a play on words in LXX Num 22:27-29.

At The Bible and Interpretation is an article addressing the Samaritans in recent research.

Will Hart Brown shared some thoughts on the Testament of Levi.

Marg Mowczko wrote on didaktikos in 1 and 2 Timothy and Theonoe and Myrte from the apocryphal Corinthian correspondence.

Shawn Wilhite posted his study schedule for academic languages and early Christian literature that’s inspiring and could be very helpful for students trying to create a study plan.

James Bradford Pate commented on transubstantiation and Sabbath in  “The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan.”


Bibliophilic Bibioblogging: Blurbs, Reviews, & Interviews

Will Hart Brown reviewed Ritual Violence in the Hebrew Bible (Saul M. Olyan ed.) and Priestly Rule: Polemic and Biblical Interpretation in Ezekiel 44 (Nathan MacDonald)

Eerdword posted a Q&A with Mark Boda on his new commentary on Zechariah in the NICOT series.

William Ross posted an interview on the LXX with his Doktorvater James Aitken.

Phil Long reviewed “What Does the Scripture Say?”: Studies in the Function of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity” edited by Craig Evans and Danny Zacharias (Part 1.1, Part 1.2, Part 2.1, Part 2.2. Volume 3 reviews appear to be forthcoming). Phil also posted on his top reviews of the year.

James Bradford Pate wrote a summary of Searching for Jesus: New Discoveries in the Quest for Jesus of Nazareth—-And How They Confirm the Gospel Accounts by Robert Hutchinson.

Matthew Ferguson has been critically interacting with Craig Keener’s two-volume Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts (part 1, 2, 3)

I reviewed Matthew Novenson’s Christ Among the Messiahs: Christ Language in Paul and Messiah Language in Ancient Judaism. I also highlighted a few notable new books published by my professors at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Rafael Rodriguez raved about Francis Watson’s Gospel Writing at The Jesus Blog. 

Larry Hurtado shared a few thoughts on Christian Oxyrhynchus:  Texts, Documents, and Sources

Nijay Gupta mentioned Bruce Winter’s Divine Honours for the Caesars and Christoph Heilig’s Hidden Criticism?

Ben Witherington posted an eight-part interview with Chad Thornhill on the latter’s new book The Chosen People: Election, Paul, and Second Temple Judaism (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

James Bradford Pate did a write-up of a new book entitled The Reality of God and Historical Method: Apocalyptic Theology in Conversation with N.T. Wright, the inaugural volume of a new series entitled “New Explorations in Theology. Scott McKnight wrote a post about the same book, focusing on how Adams gets Wright wrong (yes, I still think that’s fun to say!)

Exegetical Tools reviewed Barclay’s Paul and the Gift.

Joel Willitts and Joshua Jipp have been dialoguing about the latter’s newest book, Christ is King: Paul’s Royal Ideology at the Euangelion blog (Willitts 1, Jipp 1, Willitts 2, Jipp 2, Willitts 3, Jipp 3). Unless they’ve changed their minds, I believe they’re planning to interact through the whole book so keep your eyes open for more! I’m assuming they’re just taking a winter hiatus or maybe Jipp got distracted by a sports game.

Jonathan Homrighausen mentioned Has Anti-Semitism Roots in Christianity? by Jules Isaac.

Also at the Euangelion blog is a guest post by Con Campbell responding to Michael Aubrey and Nicholas Ellis’s Themelios review of his new Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament.

Rubén de Rus reviewed Integrating Exegesis and Exposition: Biblical Communication for Transformative Learning.


Best Books Lists:

Nijay Gupta

Lindsay Kennedy (Lindsay also posted a list of every book he read last year with links to his reviews where applicable)

Andreas Köstenberger

Brian LePort



Leave a comment


  1. You’re initiating a war on me for the next SBL from now?!?


  2. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Excellent carnival!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ack, I missed this one! Well, even without me, I enjoyed this carnival. Thanks for collecting all these links!


    • I’m so sorry, I don’t know how I missed you? I’ll add you in, based on passed stats hundreds more people will see it than have so far….especially with it being New Year Day.


      • Should clarify: I had hoped to get something written, but 2015 came and went and I didn’t get to it. My fault, not yours!


        • oooh!! haha. i added your review of Has Anti-Semitism Jewish Roots? I thought that was what I had missed. well, now you’re in 🙂


  4. Nice job Jennifer, now I have as many tabs open as you did the other day!

    So is Christ Illing the name of Tilling’s new hip hop project?


  5. jamesbradfordpate

     /  January 1, 2016

    Reblogged this on James' Ramblings.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on The Biblical Review and commented:
    The final carnival for the 2015 months!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you Jennifer for a great carnival. Michael Heiser’s patterns of numbers is fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry, I’m always late to these things – but really enjoyed it. Many thanks!!


  9. Jennifer & company, we just posted an In Memoriam by Jarmo Tarkki for Heikki Räisänen on the Westar Institute’s Ethics & Early Christianity blog, in case you would like to read that:



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