Mar 24, 2012

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below.
Clinton E. Arnold
Reviewed by Gregory E. Sterling
Anthony Heacock
Jonathan Loved David: Manly Love in the Bible and the Hermeneutics of Sex
Reviewed by John Barclay Burns
John R. Levison
Filled with the Spirit
Reviewed by Mark Batluck
Maynard Paul Maidman
Nuzi Texts and Their Uses as Historical Evidence
Reviewed by Ronan Head
Thomas W. Mann
The Book of the Former Prophets
Reviewed by Trent C. Butler
David Miano
Shadow on the Steps: Time Measurement in Ancient Israel
Reviewed by Spencer L. Allen
Anathea E. Portier-Young
Apocalypse against Empire: Theologies of Resistance in Early Judaism
Reviewed by Benjamin E. Reynolds
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz
Karlheinz Schüssler, ed.
Biblia Coptica: Die koptischen Bibeltexte. Vollständiges Verzeichnis mit Standorten 4.3
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Mar 23, 2012

How to See Esther

Preston Sprinkle has some interesting thoughts here on how we should view the character of Esther. Although, framing the options in terms of harlot or heroine is a bit too strong (as Sprinkle acknowledges), I believe that his analysis is basically correct. One point raised in the post, namely the Jewish canonical placement of Esther next to Daniel, is something I have not thought about before. It is an interesting point.

Mar 22, 2012

Forgiveness and Reconciliation: David and Absalom?

Forgiveness and reconciliation is like being pregnant. You cannot really sort of be forgiven or reconciled. You either are or you aren’t. I was reminded of this recently when I came across these words from Pete Wilcox concerning the faux reconciliation between David and Absalom in 2 Samuel 14:1–33. Wilcox writes:

“There are three bowings before David in this episode: first the wise woman (verse 4), then Joab (verse 22) and finally Absalom (verse 33) prostrate themselves before David and do obeisance. The series is climactic and only Absalom is received with a kiss.

“Yet the reconciliation described in the final verse of the episode is threadbare. Statutory categories take precedence here over personal ones. This is the king becoming formally reconciled to a troublesome subject rather that David becoming reconciled to a wayward son. There is no dialogue (which, in Hebrew narrative, is always a mark that what transpires is somehow superficial and fails to engage the emotions). There is no real meeting of minds or hearts here even when Absalom gets the face to face meeting with the king that he has waited two years to achieve. No forgiveness has truly been offered by David or received by his son.

“The consequences of this will be tragic. Absalom will dominate the next few chapters, and his actions will plunge the kingdom of Israel into costly civil war.”

Pete Wilcox, Talking the Talk: The Fall of King David for Today: A Dramatic Exposition of 2 Samuel 5:11 to 1 Kings 2:11 (Cambridge: Lutterworth, 2011), 95–6.

Mar 21, 2012

Dan Wallace's New Blog

Dan Wallace has his own blog here.

The Capture of Beersheba: October 21, 1948

This is not exactly a biblical item, but I was fascinated to come across this article from the October 21, 1948 edition of the Pittsburgh Press.

Mar 20, 2012

Biblically Kosher?

Although I disagree with at least some, if not most, of the conclusions in this article, it is still an interesting read. I have not read the book mentioned in the article, so I cannot evaluate how its interpretations of key texts are argued, but my interpretations and applications of at least some of the texts raised would likely be different (e.g., Exod 23:19;  34:26; Deut 14:21; Mark 7; Acts 15). 

Mar 19, 2012

Thoughts on Job

Brian Marchionni has some helpful thoughts on the Book of Job here.

Mar 18, 2012

Twenty-Five Charges in Jude

William Brosend has identified twenty-five charges leveled by Jude against false teachers in the Book of Jude. If this is correct, it is remarkable in that there are only twenty-five verses in Jude. In any case, here is Brosend's list.

1. intruders who have "stolen in among you"
2. long ago designated for "this condemnation"
3. ungodly
4. pervert the grace of God
5. licentious
6. deny "our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ"
7. dreamers
8. defile the flesh
9. reject authority
10. slander "the glorious ones"
11. slander "whatever they do not understand"
12. like animals
13. destroyed by "those things . . . they know by instinct"
14. blemishes on love-feasts
15. without fear
16. feed themselves (only)
17. waterless clouds, fruitless trees, wild waves, wandering stars
18. grumblers
19. malcontents
20. indulge their own lusts
21. bombastic in speech
22. flatters to their own advantage
23. worldly people
24. devoid of the Spirit
25. causers of division

William F. Brosend II, James and Jude, New Cambridge Bible Commentary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004),186.