Aug 24, 2019

The Cemetery at Bab edh-Dhra

David Graves has some nice maps, illustrations and photos of the cemetery Bab edh-Dhra here. Bab edh-Dhra has been identified by some as biblical Sodom.

Aug 23, 2019

The Latest Issue of the Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Jean-Noël Aletti, The Birth of the Gospels as Biographies: With Analyses of Two Challenging Pericopae
Reviewed by Alexander Thompson

Amnon Altman, Political Treaties of the Ancient Near East [Hebrew]
Reviewed by Shalom E. Holtz

Mark R. Glanville, Adopting the Stranger as Kindred in Deuteronomy
Reviewed by Carmen Palmer

Frederick E. Greenspahn and Gary A. Rendsburg, eds., Le-ma‘an Ziony: Essays in Honor of Ziony Zevit
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Sehyun Kim, The Kingship of Jesus in the Gospel of John
Reviewed by Deolito V. Vistar Jr.

Ilse Müllner and Barbara Schmitz, eds., Perspektiven: Biblische Texte und Narratologie
Reviewed by Jean Louis Ska

Michael P. Naylor, Complexity and Creativity: John’s Presentation of Jesus in the Book of Revelation
Reviewed by Alexander E. Stewart

Jesús Peláez and Juan Mateos, New Testament Lexicography: Introduction – Theory – Method
Reviewed by William A. Ross

Robert Rollinger and Erik van Dongen, eds., Mesopotamia in the Ancient World: Impact, Continuities, Parallels: Proceedings of the Seventh Symposium of the Melammu Project Held in Obergurgl, Austria, November 4–8, 2013
Reviewed by Uri Gabbay

Herman J. Selderhuis, ed., Psalms 73–150
Reviewed by Sue Gillingham

Myrick C. Shinall Jr., Miracles and the Kingdom of God: Christology and Social Identity in Mark and Q
Reviewed by Sarah E. Rollens

Thomas A. Vollmer, “The Spirit Helps Our Weakness”: Rom 8.26a in Light of Paul’s Missiological Purpose for Writing the Letter to the Romans
Reviewed by Channing L. Crisler

Aug 22, 2019

The Meaning of Abba

Gary Shogren has a brief but helpful discussion here of the Aramaic term abba which is transliterated and used three times in the New Testament (Mark 14:36; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6).

Aug 21, 2019

Was Christ Born in Bethlehem?

Rob Bradshaw continues to serve us all by making out-of-copyright biblical studies resources available as free PDFs. His most recent offering is one of Sir William Ramsay's lesser know, but still helpful, works, Was Christ Born in Bethlehem? You can access the volume here and do take a look at the rest of Rob's website and see the plethora of resources he has made available.

Aug 20, 2019

Capitalizing Headlines (or Titles)

Although this article relates specifically to headlines, the advice and handy flowchart could be applied to titles of articles, sermons, etc.

Aug 19, 2019

The Ethics of Joseph’s Famine Policy

Interpreters often express some trepidation related to Joseph's policies regrading famine relief (Gen 47:13-26). Some view his approach as being exploitative at best and unjust at worst. While such concerns might owe more to reading Joseph's actions through the lens of the current populist ethos reflected in such movements as the "we are the 99%," it is an issue that should be addressed in preaching and teaching this text in Genesis. To this end at least four observations should be kept in mind.

  1. There is no explicit criticism or embarrassment concerning Joseph's policies or actions in the text. 
  2. Joseph’s actions are portrayed positively as life-saving (vv. 15, 19, 25). There is no indication of popular resentment in the text.
  3. There is no indication that Joseph’s actions were self-serving or self-enriching. 
  4. Although, one might argue that the terms were unfair, Joseph's policies involved meaningful exchanges and therefore, not merely one-sided.
  5. One must exercise caution in viewing the past in light of present cultural and ethical concerns.