‘Twas the night before the new year when all through the house,
not a creature was stirring… except me and my laptop’s mouse.
Smart phones and iPads were set by the nightstand with care,
with hopes that the Biblical Studies Carnival would soon be there.
The bibliobloggers were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of end-of-the-year top ten lists danced in their heads.
And professors, students, bloggers, and more,
had just settled their brains for a two-week to month-long snore…
except for grad students because everyone knows we never sleep.
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014, the year we all finally keep our new year’s resolutions… here’s hoping! Before we take a look back at December and all the bloggy goodness it contained, I wanted to remind you of the most exciting thing happening in 2014:
Houston Baptist University is hosting a conference on “Paul and Judaism” on March 19-20, 2014. Our keynote speakers include N.T. Wright (St Andrews University), Beverly Gaventa (Baylor University), and Ross Wagner (Duke Divinity School).
In addition to the keynote speakers, we are inviting papers in the area of Paul and Judaism, representing a variety of approaches from scholars and graduate students. Participants will have 30 minutes to present papers (inclusive of Q&A). Please submit a 200-300 word abstract to Dr. Ben C. Blackwell at bblackwell[at]hbu.edu by January 15, 2014, and you should receive notification regarding acceptance by January 31. Registration by February 15 is required for those who will present at the conference.
For more info: www.hbu.edu/theologyconference
This conference is going to be AWESOME so be sure to get your paper submissions in by January 15th and/or register for the conference! Hope to see y’all there.
Now, on to the feast of December blog posts!
Advent, Christmas, and the Incarnation
Since this month’s carnival covers December it seems natural to start off with a sampling of Christmas-themed posts.
- David Capes on Xmas: Is it Taking “Christ” out of “Christmas”? and considers Mary’s role in the incarnation here.
- Krista Dalton Jesus and the Promise of Redemption: An Advent Story
- Anthony LeDonne on An Alternative Christmas Nativity with a nod to the infancy narrative of the Proto-Gospel of James.
- Mike Skinner discusses theology (or lack thereof) in Christmas sermons here.
- Rick Brannen recommends you Read the Protoevangelium of James this Christmas. Don’t worry, there’s still time – Christmas isn’t over until January 5th… I think.
- Roger Olson asks Is the Son of God Still a Human Being? Olson writes,
“One item of folk religion is the belief among Christians that the incarnation was temporary—a mere interim and perhaps even a charade in the life of the Son of God, God’s Word, the Logos. For many evangelicals (and others, I suspect), the incarnation was simply the Son of God ‘putting on human skin’ for thirty-some years in order to teach us how to please God and then to die for our sins. Either at the moment of his death or at his resurrection or at his ascension he shed that human skin and returned to his glorious pre-incarnation existence as God’s purely spiritual Son in heaven who also, somehow, dwells in every Christian’s heart.
This is, of course, an informal form of the ancient heresy of Gnosticism. It is a docetic Christology. Most of the time I find that people who believe the incarnation was temporary don’t really believe in the incarnation at all! That is, they tend to think of Jesus’ humanity as an act, an outward performance, not a real human nature and existence like ours. To many Christians ‘Jesus’ was Clark Kent to the Son of God’s super-human glory.”
- Ben Witherington has a seven part series on Worship at Christmas: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
- Michael Bird on the slap-happy St. Nick in Keep the Spirit of St. Nicholas This Christmas, Slap Down a Heretic.
- Amanda MacInnis responds with “That’s Jesus!” to Megan Hill’s Why Jesus Doesn’t Belong in Christmas Decor.
- Brian Zahnd writes Plato’s Cave: A Christmas Story.
- Phil Long asks Why Did the Gospel Include the Birth of Jesus?
ANE, Hebrew Bible, OT Theology, and More
- Christian Brady links to the new BenSira.org which is now live. Ancient and medieval manuscripts, y’all! Go here to view them.
- Jonathan Watson discusses “Deuteronomy, aprons, Sabbath, Chris Wright, and more…” with Daniel Block over at the Logos Academic blog.
- Brian Davidson’s Dashing Babies or Regimes? on interpreting Psalm 137:9
- James Bradford Pate has several posts on the Psalms: Psalm 137, Psalm 138, Psalm 139, and Psalm 140.
- Some questions and comments from Njiay Gupta on Lamoureux’s chapter, “Evolutionary Creation and No Historical Adam,” in Four Views on the Historical Adam.
- Peter Enns also wrote on the historical Adam here.
LXX, DSS, Apocrypha and More
- Abram K-J informs us that Greek Isaiah in a Year is happening again, lead by Brian Davidson here.
- Mark Goodacre wonders Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife?
- C.D. Elledge with Olivia Yeo on Rethinking the “Qumran Community”: Recent Approaches.
- Tony Burke discusses History Channel’s new documentary Bible Secrets Revealed and its affect on biblical scholarship.
- Christian Brady reflects on suffering with an excerpt from The Rabbinic Targum of Lamentations: Vindicating God on Lamentations 5:20. On a similar note, Brady also writes Why I am Disappointed in Doctor Who.
New Testament, NT Theology, and More
- Tim Gombis on N.T. Wright’s thoughts on Ephesians.
- Matthew Ryan Hauge and Craig Evan Anderson have an ongoing podcast series on the Gospel of Mark. Check out the podcast on The Baptism of Jesus.
- Michael Bird points us to a segment from his interview with N.T. Wright on the place of justification by faith in Paul and the Faithfulness of God.
- Michael Kok asks Can Jesus Traditions Be Extracted from Their Gospel Contexts?
- Judy Redman on the “blow up in Baltimore” at SBL: Memory and the Historical Jesus (SBL session recording) Part 1 and Part 2.
- Brian LePort links to several posts on the SBL “blow up” here.
- Johnny Walker interviews Jesus Scholar Chris Keith.
- Krista Dalton discusses Jesus and the Judean Subversion of Masculinity.
Early Christianity and Patristics
- Joshua Smith on Five Things Contemporary Worshipers Could Learn From the Early Church.
- Marg Mowczko on two of my favorite topics, Gender Equality in Second Clement.
- Jacob Cerone has begun a a weekly series titled Translation Tuesday in which he will be working through Chrysostom’s homilies on Philippians. He describes it as a “community project” so head over to his blog and dive on in. You can read the first one here.
- Jackson Wu has begun a new series on interpreting the Bible with only the Bible. His first post is How Do We Interpret a Bible? followed by his second post What Does the Text Mean? and Other Unhelpful Questions.
- Two great posts from Joel Willits on Women and Church ministry and how his developing hermeneutic influences his view.
- Brian LePort on A (Video) Parable for Exegesis/Hermeneutics.
- Michael Bird on Words for “Inerrancy” and “Infallibility” in Languages Other than English.
Language, Linguistics, Textual Criticism, and Translation
- Randall Buth on Word Order, Focus-CC (Contextualizing Constituent, Topic) Inversion, Enclitics in Greek.
- Jacob Cerone on Learning Biblical Greek with some helpful advice.
- Brian Renshaw lists 4 easy steps in his Daily Greek Reading Setup. I know this sounds crazy, but for #4 I highly recommend (for those lucky enough to live in Texas) HEB’s 100% Columbian coffee. I’m no coffee connoisseur but I do know what I like, and I like that coffee.
- Marg Mowczko on Barbara Aland and the Nestle-Aland Greek NT.
- Suzanne McCarthy on translating the tetragrammaton in her post Everlasting One.
- Peter H. Davids contemplates the use of emotive labels in language in his post When Language is Emotive Rather Than Enlightening. David’s writes,
“I say to my students, ‘Check your sources.’ I tell them,
‘Look up the works in the footnotes and read them.’ I warn them to get beyond the slogans and labels of ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ or ‘evangelical’ or whatever and to discover the substance of the argument. In this day of uncounted online ‘“news’ sources (not to mention on air news sources), many of which are propaganda for various positions and/or sensationalism, some of which being not just junk but worse than junk, this admonition is even more important than it has been in the past.
- J.K. Gayle ask on Was David a Virgin When His Soul Was Pregnant? and He Kept Her a Virgin.
- Jeremy Thompson on collocations and Biblical Hebrew.
- Kris Lyle poses some questions on instincts and lexicography.
- Gretchen McColloch’s post on the Benedict Cumberbatch name generator is lots of language fun.
- Biblical Arcaeology’s Top Ten Discoveries of 2013 at by Gordon Govier at Christianity Today.
The “I wasn’t sure where to put it but you should definitely read it” Category
- Rod Thomas on Musical Jesus: Race & DC Talk’s Colored People #PlanetCCM.
- Rachel Held Evans gives us a list 101 Christian Women Speakers.
- Chad Chambers on Adoption: Doctrine or Practice.
- Victoria Gaile Laidler writes on Noting Abusive Theologians:
“One of the differences between ‘theology’ and ‘religious studies’ is that theology is carried out from within the perspective of the believer, while religious studies takes a strictly historical/sociological perspective. I am enrolled in a theological program: perhaps this is why my immediate response to learning of this theologian’s persistent sinful patterns of behavior was to question whether and how it reflected on the value of his theology. It seems a screamingly obvious question to me.”
- Laidler also wrote on Pope Francis, Discipleship, Fandom, and Factionalism as well as a close read of the Vatican questionnaire on the family.
- Mike Skinner with You Might Be a Prophet If…
- Michelle Mikeska shares some thoughts on Clarence Jordan’s An Ancient Heresy Incarnate.
- James F. McGrath asks Could the Problem of Evil Become a Thing of the Past?
- Jerry Walls on the C.S. Lewis we never really new… but really we did in his post Sinful, Scandalous C.S. Lewis, Joy, and the Incarnation.
- Holly Ordway gives A Report from the CS Lewis Memorial Service.
- Steven L. Jones on Anfractuosity: The Case against Christianity as Wish Fulfillment.
- Joel Watts links to N.T. Wright on The Church of England’s Plan for Women Ordination and offers Five Ways for Institutions to Embrace Student Blogging.
- Cars, Planes, and Gospel Grenades: Women Evangelists Settle Down by Priscilla Pope-Levison.
- Ben Myers tells us Forty Things He Likes about Christianity.
- Peter Enns on Doing Church Without Singing (or, Getting Out of Our God Rut).
- Scot McKnight with The Church’s Biggest Problem?
- Phil Long’s lists his Top 10 Ways to Fail a Bible Paper.
Good heavens, December was the month of book reviews!
- Naomi Krueger reviews Sarah Bessey’s new book Jesus Feminist.
- Bob MacDonald reviews N.T. Wright’s The Case for the Psalms: Why They Are Essential at his blog Dust.
- Abram K-J reviews First Bible of the Church: A Plea for the Septuagint by Mogens Müller
- Brian Renshaw reviews How We Got the New Testament: Text, Transmission, and Translation by Stanley E. Porter.
- James Bradford Pate reviews S.G.F. Brandon’s Jesus and the Zealots and Warren Carter’s Matthew and Empire.
- Brian LePort reviews Walter Wink’s John the Baptist in the Gospel Tradition.
- Doug Chaplin reflects on the second part of volume 1 of N.T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God in his post Paul and the Mindset of N.T. Wright.
- Chris Tilling critiques R. Michael Allen’s understanding of Campbell in his book Justification and the Gospel: Understanding the Contexts and Controversies.
- Phil Long reviews Daniel B. Wallace’s A Reader’s Lexicon of the Apostolic Fathers, Allen P. Ross’ A Commentary on the Psalms, Vol. 2 (42-89), and James Dunn’s The Oral Gospel Tradition.
- Nijay Gupta offers up a reflection, not a review, on the book Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy.
- Marc Cortez reviews Michael Bird’s Evangelical Theology here and here.
- Jim West reviews Alistair McGrath’s Emil Brunner: A Reappraisal.
- Jacob Cerone offers an indepth review of Puzzling Portraits: Seeing the Old Testament’s Confusing Characters as Ethical Models by A.J. Culp.
- Joel Willits summarizes the main arguments of Bonhoeffer the Assassin?: Challenging the Myth, Recovering His Call to Peacemaking.
- Brave Reviews on The Baker Academic Jesus Studies collection on Logos.
The Biblical Studies Carnivals of 2013
Since it is the end of another year, I thought I’d include a link to all of the previous Biblical Studies Carnivals of 2013 compiled by The Biblioblog Top 50.
- Biblical Studies Carnival XCIII (Mitch Chase, Soli Deo Gloria – November 2013)
- Biblical Studies Carnival XCII (Brian W. Davidson, LXXI – October 2013)
- Biblical Studies Carnival XCI (Chad Chambers, Cataclysmic – September 2013)
- Biblical Studies Carnical XC (Brian LePort, Near Emmaus – August 2013)
- Biblical Studies Carnival LXXXIX (Jim West, Zwinglius Redivivus – July 2013)
- Biblical Studies Carnival LXXXVIII (Andrew King, The Blog of the Twelve – June 2013)
- Biblical Studies Carnival LXXXVII (Jeff Carter, That Jeff Carter Was Here – May 2013)
- Biblical Studies Carnival LXXXVI (Jacob Cerone, ἐνθύμησις – April 2013)
- Biblical Studies Carnival LXXV (Philip Long, Reading Acts – March 2013)
- Biblical Studies Carnival LXXXXIV (Drewe Zenki, Delving into the Scriptures – February 2013)
- Biblical Studies Carnival LXXXIII (Jim West, Zwinglius Redivivus – January 2013)
And of course, Jim West is hosting his ‘Wright Free Zone’ carnivalat his blog… but is a carnival without Wright really a carnival at all? We here at Cataclysmic love us some N.T. Wright… well, most of us (wink, wink)… so to start off the new year with lots of joy, here’s Tom-foolery: 12 Epic Facts About N.T. Wright from Out of Ur.
The next Biblical Studies Carnival (Jan 14, Due Feb 1) will be hosted by Brian Renshaw at NT Exegesis. See y’all ’round the blogosphere!