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a blt Biblical Studies Carnival

November 13, 2012
B is for bacon,
for the biblical studies carnival blogpost,
for books:
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for books like that old near-forgotten A. J. Jacobs tome, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible.
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And for books like that new testament, Rachel Held Evans’s A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master.
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Remember how he explained or sort of complained on page 48: “… Christians can eat bacon … with impunity. And … they don’t need to blow a trumpet to the new month.” So note, she in her month of November when practicing biblical domesticity and biblical hospitality explained, or sort of complained in her new way on page 31, also about strange bacon: “And if that weren’t enough, I decided to go ahead and purchase all the ingredients for Martha’s beef and stout stew that same day, which gave me a grocery list that came to three pages, typed and single spaced, whose contents included unfamiliar items like cipollini onions, cremini mushrooms, slab bacon, and horseradish root, three of which proved wholly unavailable to residents of Rhea County.”
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We all know that one of these two book writers is still complaining. Here’s something he recently wrote in a somewhat post-biblical fashion while touting his new book:
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“I was very good at sitting,” Jacobs says. “But I just read so much research about how horrible sitting is for you. It’s like, it’s really bad. It’s like Paula-Deen-glazed-bacon-doughnut bad. So I now move around as much as possible.”
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Now, with all that complaining out of the way, we’d like to invite you to sit and to read. And to be very good at it.
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We ourselves, in fact, have been sitting, sitting on this very post for quite some time. We might apologize that this November biblical studies blog carnival is so late, noting that last month was so long ago and, for many complainers, now, might seem post-biblical. (I do want to apologize to my co-bloggers Craig, Suzanne, Theophrastus, and Victoria for some of the things I’ve done to slow this all down; and they deserve thanks for their good blogging and their work in various ways — the good things in this post here are theirs.)
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But this has been an election year with a storm, both of biblical proportions, at least in North America. And quite a few biblical studies bloggers really have written noteworthy October posts deserving a mention.  So here we go.  Here are a few.
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Lettuce remember then.
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If September was the month of Jesus wife, then October was the month of her passing, her obituary reported by James McGrath, James Tabor and Mark Goodacre, here, here, here and here. Writing on the Talpiot “Jesus Tomb” are Tabor and Goodacre, also here in dialogue with Richard Bauckham and others. The tomb now has its own website. Loren Rosson reflects on the passing of “Q”.

Claude Mariottini writes about the Jehoash Inscription. Steven Caruso is blogging again on The Aramaic Blog and posts on a gospel pun in Galilean Aramaic in He who lives by the Sword. Timothy Law brings attention to a video of Sebastian Brock speaking on the Syriac tradition in Christianity. Brian Davidson writes about Echoes of Cain in the Story of Jonah. Brian LePort is blogging on The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns.

Several bloggers, Mark Goodacre, Bob Cargill, Thomas Verena, Jim Linville, Chris Heard and James Tabor, write in support of Christopher Rollston, who may be subject to discipline at his institution for expressing views on the marginalization of women in the Bible. Paul Blower responds here and Timothy Law provides a reflective roundup here. Anthony Le Donne writes about bible blogging on the new Jesus Blog by Keith and Le Donne. Michael Pahl is also leaving his institution. Jim West provides a list of responses. It’s clear that this is a crisis of some proportion and my heart goes out to those affected in such a way. Phil Snider asks Americans to stand on the right side of history. HT Scotteriology.

In historical and literary commentary, Phil Long writes on the Triumphal Entry and Palm Branches, Deane Galbraith cites the article, Bitenosh’s Orgasm on the “double seed” theory of conception and Chris Heard cites the Hebrew poem, My Heart is in the East.

As noted, Rachel Held Evans releases A Year of Biblical Womanhood; it’s reviewed by Kelly Youngblood, Peter Enns, Pam Hogeweide, Ashleigh Slater, Sarah Flashing, Allie Compton, Beverly Molyneaux and Mark Baker-Wright. Libby Anne contributes to a similar discussion in her posts on Who Owns the Bible? and A Few More Thoughts on the Bible. Nijay Gupta is reading a new book on biblical literalism, with a relevant illustration!

Judy reports on Tim Bulkeley’s book Not Only a Father. Stephen Cook brings Hebrew to the blog in chant and song, also in three different transliterations. I really enjoyed this video, chuckling at how it feels to hear the song of Miriam in the voice of a male professor and a male chanter/ cantor. I welcome posts about women written by men. I just wish there w ere more women blogging in this arena as well.

Kait Dugan, a graduate student in theology at Princeton, writes about her exit from complementarianism in one of the best posts on feminism and theology that I have read recently. On the Good of Self-Possession by Erin Kidd, at Women in Theology, confronts the intersection of theology and trauma. Lorie Winder, at Feminism and Religion, blogs on the TV documentary Half the Sky. women blogging in this arena as well.

More posts and books that inspire and intrigue – Peter Enns on Forgiveness, W. E. B DuBois: American Prophet by Edward Blum HT Political Jesus, Ivy Helman on Teshuvah, also Is This Not the Carpenter, Coptic Biblical Fragments and The Color of Christ, HT Political Jesus. Judith Shaw writes on Why are we drawn to the Black Madonna.

The survival of a statue inspired this post by James McGrath, Breezy Point Theology, which in turn inspired Bob MacDonald to remind us of Lamentations 1:1 in song.

The fall of another statue inspired Bob Cargill to write about The “Will of God” and the Fallen Idol.

The annual bibliobloggers dinner venue is announced here. Four upcoming colloquia on the Biblical Studies List are announced here.

And there are so many many things to remember and to make meaning of. Rod the Rogue Demon Hunter (formerly known as Rod of Alexandria) is re-reading Clement of Alexandria and he looks at those “family values” that Dinesh D’Souza was tempted to follow. The bible blogger known as perfectnumber628 continues her series on the gospel of Matthew recalling the temptations there (even in a new comic book version). Amanda Mac goes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the Apocalypse. Kristen Rosser remembers with us Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, one of the Forgotten Women in Church History, and she calls into question Al Mohler’s view of Atonement bringing in the views of James McGrath. Joel Watts looks at the “biblical values” of one Richard Mourdock. Deane Galbraith looks at just one word as the possible means for the invention of the biblical King Og.

Speaking of words…

What would a biblical studies carnival be without good posts on translation of words and phrases and paragraphs and passages? It’d be like a BLT sandwich without ντομάτες, עגבניות, tomatoes, toemahtoes.
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Here are a few translation-focused posts that many of you, our readers, liked the most.
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Jennifer Sharp guest-posted at the blog Feminism and Religion just how “Translations of the Bible (and Translators) are Important to Women.” Bob MacDonald at his translating blog Dust minced no words when he declared, “Dynamic equivalence sucks.” What seems to suck for Dannii Willis posting at Better Bibles Blog is the English phrase “Out of the mouth of babes,” as he wonders out loud why “the New Testament has followed the Greek Septuagint rather than the Hebrew text. Why though did the authors of the Septuagint translate this verse as they did?” Joel M. Hoffman, at his blog God Didn’t Say That, did manage to say just “How Similar Words Lead Bible Translators Astray.”
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And Joel Hoffman asks Daniel B. Wallace: “If Jerome Jumped off a Cliff, Would You?” (And Joel brings in the Talmud and Rashi to suggest a “Jewish approach” to Bible translation that “the Christians are bewildered by”). Well, speaking of the Jerome and the Vulgate, Whitney Fahnbulleh at her blog Cosplay English suggests that “Jerome’s anti-feminist views interfered with his accurate translation of [the biblical] text,” and yet “Jerome’s version of the Bible became the most widely read book in the Middle Ages.” Her post is “Saint Jerome and the Wickedness of Women.”
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Brian LePort at Near Emmaus gave us “The wit and wisdom of Amy-Jill Levine.” In Part 2 of 2, he recalls what she says about “How Jews and Christians Read Scripture Differently” (in which she, or he, suggests that there’s the classic Christian/ Jewish mismatch of the LXX παρθένος for the Hebrew text עלמה and that Hebrew and Greek lack of clear punctuation allow for Jewish/Christian difference in English placement of “the comma in translation”). On Greek and Hebrew, Abram K-J at Words on the Word gave us reviews of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia and the Göttingen Septuagint, and other critical editions, with “a basic orientation to what they are“; then he gave his own suggestion for learning Hebrew, together with direct lessons from “N.T. Wright on learning Greek, and a review of A Reader’s Hebrew and Greek Bible by Zondervan.
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You recommended Drian Davidson’s “Dead Sea Scrolls LibGuide” at his blog LXXI and Bob MacDonald’s “Psalm 44 – the ‘we’ are in trouble” at his blog Dust.  We found early, if adding late, Duane Smith’s musing how “the few letters” may be stuck on sticks.
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And we started this post with that new book, you know the one we started our commenting with.  And yet who could miss what Rachel Held Evans herself and Rachel Barenblat were posting? Doesn’t this all have to do with whether one reads, and translates, biblically, and perhaps feministically?
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The former Rachel noted all of our questions about her book (that seems to some of us a counterpart to A. J. Jacobs’ book); and she answered them at her blog Rachel Held Evans: “‘A Year of Biblical Womanhood’ – Frequently Asked Questions” And how an MSN blogger represented Held Evans’s book was a horrible misrepresentation, as Kristen Rosser of Wordgazer’s Words noted in her post that is “A Rant: MSN, Rachel Held Evans, and Slapdash Journalism.
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The latter Rachel, the Velveteen Rabbi, wrote for her primarily Jewish audience how she’d written “A few words about Esther for a Christian audience.” And we find those words in the guest post “Esther Actually: A Jewish Perspective, by Rabbi Rachel” in which she says, to the Christian audience, “I don’t think any Biblical figure can or should be read in only a single way. But I like to read Esther as the hero of her own story — and also the hero of the story shared by the whole Jewish people.”
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With respect to translation for worship, there were a couple of noteworthy posts, both bringing in Aramaic. In the one (“Praising God through Academic Biblical Studies: Less Hypermodernist Objectivism, More Affect!“) Abram K-J confesses he’s “not overly fastidious about Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic,” In the other, Marcia Bedard, guest posting at Feminism and Religion, writes “Like Rain on Dry Land” tells her story of somewhat reluctantly joining a Women’s Bible Study Group and hearing the pastor reading the Lord’s Prayer Translated from Aramaic (A Translation of “Our Father” from Aramaic into English).
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You also recommended a number of posts that review Bible versions. Updating the news on a translation we reviewed briefly here, Sarah Kante gave her take on the “Bible translated into Patois: Jiizas and Mary better ‘Lisn Op!’” in a post at Planet Ivy.
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Jolene Barto wrote the promo post for Thomas Nelson Corporate, which is selling its “Sisters In Faith Bible: A New Journey through the Good Book for African-American Women“; Boyce Watkins for his blog Blue Black Dog did not seem amused (and wrote the review,”New Bible Released To Target African American Women” to say so); and Briana Myricks at blackandmarriedwithkids.com seemed to agree with Watkins (writing “
A Bible Specifically for Black Women“).
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Many many women, it seems, were sent free review copies of the new NLT study Bible for women, to review of course. Mary Jackson at The Mary Reader gives it only a positive review and starts a giveaway contest to those who share what version they prefer. J. R. Seaman at Regina’s Family Seasons does confess in her “Book Review” how she more likes to read “the (NKJV) New King James Version, the (AMP) Amplified Version, and the (NIV) New International Version,” but she finds the NLT just fine in the Hendrickson Publishers’ everyday matters Bible for women. What Seaman does have difficulty with is the”small print” (maybe too small) and that the “pages appear to be made of rice paper or bamboo paper or something equally as thin and delicate” (which causes all sorts of problems for a study Bible, difficulties her review enumerates). Angela at In His Name gives reviews of various “Versions of the Bible” including “a Devotional Study Bible for Women (NIV) which contains devotionals written by women”; but guess which version she reads most since “[f]or sheer poetry and imagery it cannot be beat”?
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A number of you noted several posts on how translation might be exclusive or even, like the biblical languages themselves, rather inclusive of peoples. And so in this biblical studies carnival we include these:
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Kristen Rosser at Wordgazer’s Words asks, “Is God’s Nature ‘Father’ and not ‘Mother’?” Marg Mowczko at her blog New Life considers Bible translator “Karen Jobe’s scholarship and expertise in understanding and explaining 1 Peter 3:19-20″ (in Marg’s post “The Righteous for the Unrighteous – 1 Peter 3:17-22“). Marg also startles us and expresses how she herself “was surprised recently to read Mark Driscoll’s statement that, in his opinion, the best commentary on the book of Esther is the one written by Karen Jobes” (and she explains why in her post, “Complementarians and Women Bible Commentators.” In a related post, on equality and gender issues, Marg asks important “Questions about how to implement 1 Timothy 2:12.” Likewise, Retha at Biblical Personhood, asks, really, just “How often does the Bible say men should be the heads of their households?” And Lesley, a priest in the Guildford Diocese, at the blog Sermons in Hale with Badshot Lea preaches a good sermon called “Bible Sunday” in which she has us looking at translation and our biased interpretations “to explore what we mean by the Bible being ‘True’.” Our own Victoria Gaile Laidler at Gaudete Theology goes a bit beyond the canon of the Bible to recount “Sexual Assault and Women’s Agency, or, Desire and the Disrupted Mob: The Story of Thecla and Trifina” (and she offers excerpts of these Acts of Paul and Thecla, in the translation of the Greek into English by Jeremiah Jones, about which we shall have to say a lot more a little later).
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While reading posts you recommended on translation and inclusion, we find two more to be most pertinent to one of the argued questions today, biblical marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Pseudonymous blogger Mommyp00ka at Daily Kos offers a “Biblical Argument for Marriage Equality.” Our own Victoria Gaile Laidler at Gaudete Theology offers a considerably thoughtful post, noting “Things to think about as you prepare to vote on gay marriage.
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And so there you have it. We thank you for the many posts you sent us to review.
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There’s always more, of course.
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So we urge you now to get over to Bob MacDonald’s blog to help get him set for the next carnival. (And head over to Phil Long’s blog to get set for Abram K-J’s carnival after that; or get in line to host one).
11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2012 12:49 pm

    Wow! What a full and wide list :) And so much material that I have not seen to catch up on, thank you.

  2. November 13, 2012 1:15 pm

    Wow, I’m very gratified to have so many of my posts here! Thank you so much! “Kristen Rosen” to “Kristen Rosser”? Thanks!

  3. November 13, 2012 1:17 pm

    Mmm. This list has made me very hungry, on multiple levels. Thanks and yum!

  4. November 13, 2012 1:35 pm

    Thanks Tim, Kristen, and Katmarie, for stopping by! We certainly relished your posts and are grateful for your nominations. Kristen, thanks for pointing out the typo – as if that’s our only one. Well, at least this one’s corrected now! Katmarie, hope you enjoy it multiple ways!

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