Nov 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.

Jan N. Bremmer
The Rise of Christianity through the Eyes of Gibbon, Harnack, and Rodney Stark
Reviewed by Brent Nongbri

Giovanni Garbini
Letteratura e politica nell'Israele antico
Reviewed by Dempsey Rosales Acosta

Randall Heskett and Brian P. Irwin, eds.
The Bible as a Human Witness to Divine Revelation: Hearing the Word of God through Historically Dissimilar Traditions
Reviewed by S. D. Giere

Benno Jacob; ed. Ernest Jacob and Walter Jacob
The First Book of the Bible: Genesis (Augmented Edition)
Reviewed by Joel S. Baden

Dale Launderville
Celibacy in the Ancient World: Its Ideal and Practice in Pre-Hellenistic Israel, Mesopotami, and Greece
Reviewed by Pancratius C. Beentjes

Erle Leichty
The Royal Inscriptions of Esarhaddon, King of Assyria (680-669 BC)
Reviewed by Paul Sanders

Frank J. Matera
Reviewed by Pablo T. Gadenz

Lauren A. S. Monroe
Josiah's Reform and the Dynamics of Defilement: Israelite Rites of Violence and the Making of a Biblical Text
Reviewed by Ovidiu Creanga

Rob Starner
Kingdom of Power, Power of Kingdom: The Opposing World Views of Mark and Chariton
Reviewed by Tom Nelligan

Stephen O. Stout
The "Man Christ Jesus": The Humanity of Jesus in the Teaching of the Apostle Paul
Reviewed by Tony Costa 

Nov 23, 2012

6 Deadly Lies We Believe about Church

Some might be interested in Nicolle Cottrell article, "6 Deadly Lies We Believe about Church." The six lies are:

1. Church is optional.
2. We go to church.
3. The church exists to reach the lost and unsaved.
4. A small group or Bible study is a perfectly acceptable replacement for “church.”
5. Hanging out with a group of individuals, just like us, is church.
6. We must grow the church.

I realize that some might not agree with this list, but make sure you read the entire article to understand what Cottrell is saying.

Nov 22, 2012

Bauckam on Names in the New Testament

Richard Bauckham presented an interesting paper last Thursday at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting entitled, “Naming Practices in Jewish Palestine in the late Second Period and their relevance for the New Testament.” Part of his presentation included a discussion of the variety of ways that people with common names are distinguished from others with the same names in the New Testament. Here is Backham's list.

James son of Zebedee
Levi son of Alphaeus

Place of origin (used when elsewhere)

Mary of Magdala
Joseph of Arimathea
Jesus of Nazareth
The Egyptian (Acts 21:38)


James the Little [not James the less]


Joseph the carpenter
Simon the tanner

Nickname used as family name

(Joseph) Caiaphas
Place of origin as family name
Judas Iscariot son of Simon Iscariot

Woman by husband

Mary (wife of) Clopas

Woman by son(s)

Mary mother of Jesus
Mary mother of James the Little and Jose
The mother of the sons of Zebedee

Nov 21, 2012

Hurtado on the Nestle-Aland 28

Now that a number of you have picked up your copies of the new NA28 at ETS or SBL, you might find it helpful as I did to revisit Larry Hurtado's review of it here.

Nov 20, 2012

Emanuel Tov Interview

The OUPBlog has an audio interview conducted by Marc Brettler with Emanuel Tov available here. There is also a written transcript of the interview here.

Here is one exchange from the interview (I have omitted the footnotes).

MB: This idea, of course, is seen in your book Textual Criticism of the Bible, which has gone through various editions over a number of years. Can you talk about the extent to which, and the manner in which your views have changed over the last 42 years that you've been publishing?

ET: Yes, my views have changed. I am not like my teacher John Strugnell, who had in his room at the École Biblique a large poster of a rhinoceros under which he had the text that said, “I have many vices, being wrong is not one of them.” So again, I’m not like Professor Strugnell, and I’ve changed my mind. I would have to mention certain areas in which I’ve changed my mind. I’ve not changed my mind in the overall view of textual criticism, I’ve’s become more sophisticated. And it’s like a puzzle in which you've inserted your different views and different layers of your views.

But I’ve changed my mind, I would say...while they may seem like small details, but there's an important text from Qumran, which I published, together with Sidnie White [Crawford. It's called “4QReworked Pentateuch.” It’s a long text and there are five different manuscripts and we've published those texts as so-called “Reworked Pentateuch,” which means it's not a biblical text. Although most of the fragments give us biblical texts. And it took me a while having studied more details and other texts—the Septuagint—to realize that basically these are biblical texts.

And this makes a big difference, I’m not alone in this view because I have those who’ve criticized me. And they said, a few years after we published the text, they said, “No, this is wrong, this is a biblical text.” I've not revised my views because of the arguments they gave, but because of other arguments that I realized much later. I’ve changed my views with regard to, again another detail, the relation between the Septuagint and Samaritan Pentateuch which, as I now see, are much closer than they are to other texts. I have not changed my mind with regards to the Qumran scrolls and the Septuagint, but I should say more and more I realize that those two texts are extremely important. Often more important than the Masoretic Text. And more and more I’ve started to realize that we should base our exegesis, because that’s what we do with textual criticism, that we should base our exegesis not only on the Masoretic text but also on the Septuagint, Samaritan Pentateuch, and certain Qumran scrolls.


Esther in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

It is commonly noted that Esther is the only Old Testament book not found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. One might argue that this is technically correct since the text of Esther has not been discovered. But as William Varner suggests in this post that there is evidence to indicate that Esther is mentioned in some of the fragments.

Nov 19, 2012

Consuming Blood: A Roman Catholic Perspective

See this blog post from the National Catholic Register.

Nov 18, 2012

On the Writing of New Testament Commentaries: Festschrift for Grant R. Osborne on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday

Some who attended the recent Evangelical Theological Society meeting may be aware that Grant Osborne was surprised with a Festschrift entitled On the Writing of New Testament Commentaries: Festschrift for Grant R. Osborne on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday edited by Stanley Porter and Eckhard Schnabel and published by Brill. It will be too pricey ($228) for most of the readers of this blog but here is the table of contents for the volume.

Part I: Commentaries and Exegesis

1. Eckhard J. Schnabel – On Commentary Writing

2. Stanley E. Porter – Linguistic competence of New Testament commentaries
3. Craig L. Blomberg – Genre in Recent New Testament Commentaries
4. Douglas J. Moo – Translation in New Testament Commentaries
5. Douglas S. Huffman – Historical Competence of New Testament Commentaries
6. Craig A. Evans – The Historical Jesus and New Testament Commentaries

Part II: Commentaries and the Hermeneutical Task

7. Richard S. Hess – The Use of the Old Testament in New Testament Commentaries

8. D. A. Carson – The Hermeneutical Competence of New Testament Commentaries
9. Daniel I. Block – Who do Commentators say “the Lord” is? The Scandalous Rock of Romans 10:13
10. David W. Pao – The Ethical Relevance of New Testament Commentaries: On the Reading of Romans 13:1-7
11. Robert W. Yarbrough – The Pastoral Relevance of Commentaries
12. Walter L. Liefeld – The Preaching Relevance of Commentaries
13. Scott M. Manetsch – (Re)constructing the Pastoral Office: Wolfgang Musculus’s Commentaries on 1 & 2 Corinthians

Part III: Commentaries and theology

14. Kevin J. Vanhoozer – Theological Commentary and ‘The Voice from Heaven’: Exegesis, Ontology, and the Travail of Biblical Interpretation

15. Daniel J. Treier – Christology and Commentaries: Examining and Enhancing Theological Exegesis
16. Linda L. Belleville– Christology, the Pastoral Epistles and Commentaries

Part IV: Commentaries on the Gospels, on the Epistles, and on Revelation

17. Darrell L. Bock – Commentaries on the Synoptic Gospels: Traditional Issues of Introduction

18. Stanley E. Porter – Commentaries on Romans
19. Scot McKnight ¬– Commentaries and James
20. Lois K. Fuller Dow – Commentaries on Revelation

Part V: Commentaries and publishers

21. Daniel G. Reid – Commentaries and Commentators from a Publisher’s Perspective

Maybe the kind Brill folks will see this and send me a copy of this volume but I doubt it! 

Doctrinal Preaching

"To avoid the vapid moralizing into which we preachers so easily slide, we need the bracing doctrinal axioms from the lips of our Lord or the pen of the apostles. Of course we must be exceedingly wary of strong-arming a theology on a narrative such as the esteemed brother who wanted to illustrate the five points of Calvinism out of the story of Mephibosheth at King David's table (2 Samuel 9). Now depravity may be in the narrative in the crippling of both feet, but where is limited atonement?"

David L. Larson, Preaching the Old Testament Today," in Preaching the Old Testament, ed. Scott M. Gibson (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006), 179.