Jan 11, 2020

On Writing a Book

Carmen Imes writes about five things they didn't tell me about writing a book here.

Jan 10, 2020

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.

David P. Barshinger and Douglas A. Sweeney, eds., Jonathan Edwards and Scripture: Biblical Exegesis in British North America
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Morrow

Stephen L. Cook, Ezekiel 38–48: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
Reviewed by Tova Ganzel

Katharine Dell and Will Kynes, eds., Reading Proverbs Intertextually
Reviewed by Timothy J. Sandoval

Ralph J. Korner, The Origin and Meaning of Ekklēsia in the Early Jesus Movement
Reviewed by John H. Boyles

Nina Nikki, Opponents and Identity in Philippians
Reviewed by Scott S. Elliott

Hannah M. Strømmen, Biblical Animality after Jacques Derrida
Reviewed by Brandon R. Grafius

Karel van der Toorn, God in Context: Selected Essays on Society and Religion in the Early Middle East
Reviewed by Lester L. Grabbe

Francis Watson and Sarah Parkhouse, eds., Connecting Gospels: Beyond the Canonical/Non-canonical Divide
Reviewed by Garrick V. Allen

Jan 9, 2020

1 Thessalonians 4:4: "Possessing One's Vessel"

Gary Shogren has a good discussion on the meaning of 1 Thessalonians 4:4 here. I tend to think he is right having been persuaded by Jay Smith's Bulletin of Biblical Research article, "1 Thessalonians 4:4: Breaking the Impasse" (BBR 11 [200], 65-105). You can access Smith's article here.

Jan 8, 2020

Non-Traditional Seminary Students

Christianity Today has an article on non-traditional seminary students here. I can only speak anecdotally, but in my experience this is not really that new. What has changed is that seminaries are paying more attention to non-traditional students.

Jan 7, 2020

Online Resources for the Corinthian Epistles

Michael Kok provides his list here. To these I would add the following.

Background and Archaeology:

  • Bob Utley on 1 and 2 Corinthians here
  • Thomas Constable for 1 Corinthians here and 2 Corinthians here
  • Precept Austin has a number of links for 1 Corinthians here and for 2 Corinthians here

Jan 6, 2020

Are Dreams and Visions Describing the Same Phenomena?

Laura Quick doesn't think so.
The tendency of many standard reference works to equate dreams with visions (Bergmann, Ottoson, and Botterweck 1973: 427) is a reflection of the indistinct line of demarcation between these phenomena in the biblical account: it is not always clear whether a dream or a vision is taking place. This is particularly true when visionary experience is detailed to have occurred during the night (e.g., Gen. 46.2; Job 4.13; 20.8; 33.15; Isa. 29.7; Dan. 2.19; 7.2, 7, 13; Mic. 3.6), and consequently some scholars have tended to treat these ‘night visions’ as ‘dreams’, even without textual support. Yet the equation of dreams with prophetic visions is actually quite rare in the Hebrew Bible, occurring only three times in the prose of the MT (Num. 12.6-8; Jer. 23.25-28; Dan. 7.1). At the lexical level, the terminological categorization of these revelatory experiences indicates a distinction in perception and classification by the biblical writers: the terminology is always carefully distinct. To ignore this classificatory schema is to make assertions about the phenomenological content of such experiences, a largely redundant endeavour. In particular, it is observable that while visions as a source of revelation are usually ascribed to prophets (Jepsen 1973), dreams are ‘not ascribed to prophets except in denigration’ (Miller 1990: 401). (The earlier distinction posited by Ehrlich [1953], according to which visions are clearwhereas dreams are always confused, can no longer be maintained.) ("Dream Accounts in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Jewish Literature," in Currents in Biblical Research 17 [2018]: 10-11).
I have tended to view dreams as visions as basically different vehicles of revelation but had not given much thought as to any qualitative differences between them. This article might suggest that I need to think a little more carefully about that.