Mar 19, 2016

Gospels and Greek-wear

Some might be interested in two different kinds of products.

First up, Credo Courses is offering 50% off of a course by Craig Blomberg  on "The Historical Reliability of the Gospels." You can purchase DVDs, audio, and workbooks all at 50%-off. You can check it out here but the sale ends tomorrow.

Second, the Conversational Koine Insitute is offering a number of Greek-themed t-shirts for sell here.

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Purim

This is a fairly interesting list but but most Bible students are aware of #3 (and it might not be correct depending on one's translation of Songs 8:6).

Mar 18, 2016

Akkadian Prayers

Alan Lenzi has an interesting article on the ASOR blog entitled, "Akkadian Prayers in Ancient Mesopotamia." Here are a couple of excerpts just in case you can't access the article.
The Mesopotamians never defined “prayer,” though they had a number of words that we translate with the term (e.g., Akkadian supû, teslītu, and ikribu).

A preliminary definition of prayer (as found in texts) might run something like this: when a text records an appeal to some supra-human, benevolent being who is presumed to be powerful enough to assist in granting the appeal.

Complaint is another common feature in prayers. One particularly poignantly example complains “(My) life has become like that (of someone) beaten with wooden poles.” Supplicants often voice their woes, laments, and confessions to the being to whom they are appealing. Sometimes these occur during but also after the expression of praise. Complaints may also be interlaced with the supplicant’s petitions, yet another common feature in Akkadian prayers.

The ancient Mesopotamians prayed for the same general reason people pray today: they needed something that the gods could supply. This might be a response to a query, forgiveness for a sin, the restoration of health, renewed prosperity, help against an enemy, or deliverance from the threat of an announced evil (in the form of an ominous sign), among other things. Ritual officials assisted supplicants in making petitions by providing the proper, pre-formulated ritual to enact that included the prayer to recite (e.g., a shaziga for sexual impotence, a namburbi to turn away the announced evil of an ominous sign, or a dingirshadabba for the quelling of the wrath of a personal deity). Occasionally, a ritual instructs a person to speak from their heart, which seems to be a reference to extemporaneous prayer.

Mar 17, 2016

Craig Evans on the Jewish Roots for a Divine of Messiah

Craig Evans recently spoke at Southwestern Seminary for the first annual E. Earle Ellis lecture series on the topic of the Jewish roots for a divine of Messiah in early Christianity. You can read about it here or access the message through free video (here) or audio (here) through iTunes.

Mar 16, 2016

Books for Being More Productive

Some might find this list of books for helping one to be more productive helpful.

1 Samuel and Hermeneutics

If you have not read it yet, the Eerdword blog has this good interview with Stephen Chapman. The blog is about the new commentary,1 Samuel as Christian Scripture, but it actually has more to say about hermeneutics.

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

Here are the articles to the forthcoming issue of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament. The links will take you to an abstract.

Demonic Symposia in the Apocalypse of John
Robert M. Royalty, Jr

Hearing the Word and Seeing the Light: Voice and Vision in Acts
Brittany E. Wilson

The Seams and Summaries of Luke and of Acts
David L. Mealand

The Narratives of the Gospels and the Historical Jesus: Current Debates, Prior Debates and the Goal of Historical Jesus Research
Chris Keith

Mar 15, 2016

New Bible Study Website

The Israel Bible is a new, or at least new to me, Bible study website focusing on the Hebrew Bible wend of things. The website claims that,
The Israel Bible is the world’s first Bible to highlight the Land of Israel, the People of Israel, and the unique relationship between them. The Israel Bible provides an original commentary which seeks to explain God’s focus on the Land of Israel. In doing so, our commentary features comments pertaining to the Land of Israel, the People of Israel and the language of Israel.

Features of the website include:

  • Full text of the Tanakh in English and Hebrew. The English text is based on the 1917 JPS English translation, which has been preferred by individual Jews and synagogues for nearly one hundred years. The Israel Bible follows the traditional Jewish ordering of the books and the customary Hebrew division of chapters.
  • Unique commentary on Tanakh focused on the Land of Israel, the People of Israel and the Hebrew language.
  • Transliteration of select Hebrew verses, most of which focus on the Land of Israel, so that they can be read by everyone in the original Hebrew.
  • Proper Hebrew pronunciation of key biblical names and places in order to stay as Search The Israel Bible for words and phrases
  • Study the weekly Torah portion with The Israel Bible Reading Plan
  • Register for a personalized daily reading plan of each of the books of Tanakh
  • Video courses on each of the books of the Tanakh (Coming Soon)
  • Maps, charts and related resources for an enhanced learning experience

A Bibliography on Studying Marcion

As many Bible students know, Marcion of Sinope was a second century "Christian" heretic whose ideas concerning the Old Testament and New Testament were ultimately rejected. Michael Kok has provided a brief bibliography odf secondary sources on Marcion here.

Mar 14, 2016

Fortress Press Sale

Fortress Press is offering 50%-off of many of its titles from now until March 31. Keep in mind that you need to factor in postage and taxes but it might still be a good deal. You can access the sale here.