Teaching Carnival: Backstory (and New Carnival)

The newest Teaching Carnival (4.8), by Annie Vocature Bullock, is available!

Linking to this edition of the Carnival, ProfHacker Jason B. Jones also fills us in on where it began, and how one can host or contribute to a Teaching Carnival.

It is through the Teaching Carnival that I began to get to know most of the blogs in my Academic Blogroll. (See my right sidebar, underneath my regular Blogroll.) While I don’t love the other Carnival in my life less, it is the Teaching Carnival that most often makes an immediate difference to my daily practices of teaching and writing.

You can always find past Carnivals on the Teaching Carnival Home Page.

[Teaching Carnival: Backstory (and New Carnival) was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2011/04/04. Except as noted, it is © 2011 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

Hey, the Teaching Carnival is Back

The Teaching Carnival had been (once again) defunct for a while, but look: it has been back and thriving since September 2010. The current teaching carnival is 4.05, hosted by Sara Webb-Sunderhaus.

The Teaching Carnival is a carnival of blogs in higher education. Because many of us who blog in biblical studies are also teaching in institutions of higher ed, I would love to see (and try to embody) some more explicit overlap between “Hebrew Bible” and “Higher Education.” The blogging going on out there about teaching and learning with undergrads and with grad students is amazing. Carnivals come and go, but in my experience, the bloggers in higher ed form a stable blogging community characterized by mutual support and penetrating reflection on learning, teaching, and academia.

If you can, try to put down that article on narrative in the ancestral tales, or that Akkadian hymn to Ishtar (just for a while!), and enjoy a visit some of our fellow educators in the Teaching Carnival or in my “Other Academic Blogs” blog roll (right sidebar, below my regular blog roll).

[Hey, the Teaching Carnival is Back was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2011/01/21. Except as noted, it is © 2011 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

Biblical Studies Carnival LI

I dub this month’s Biblical Studies Carnival to be the “Blogroll Amnesty Edition,” because it embodies in part God’s preferential option (on February 3rd, anyway) for the smaller blogs. I had asked that contributors give special consideration to the smaller blogs in this carnival, and several did. So, to the small fry linked herein: happy hit counts to us!

In accordance with venerable tradition (i.e., Duane did it), I am offering this Carnival in two parts. The first part is “Your Carnival,” and includes posts nominated to the carnival. The second part is “My Carnival,” and includes posts that I rounded up on my own. Again, “My Carnival,” in the spirit of February’s “Blogroll Amnesty Day,” will comprise mostly (but not only) posts from blogs that are sub-Top 50.

Your Carnival:

Old Testament and Suchlike:

The bloggers (in the persons of Darrell Pursiful and Tsalampouni Ekaterini) called our attention to Richard Hess on personal names in Gen 1–11.

Suzanne at Suzanne’s Bookshelf looks at Gen 3:16 (“and thy desire shall be to thy husband,” KJV), specifically the meaning of the woman’s desire.

Busybody Loren Rosson looks at Israelite/Judaean land ethics in the context of Philip Esler’s review (PDF) of Ellen Davis’ Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Claude Mariottini takes a closer look at the Song of Solomon, including Song 1:5 (“I am black and/but beautiful”).

David Stark at NTinterpretation is engaged with Martin Abegg on the meaning of “works of the Torah” for the Qumran community.

The New Testament and Suchlike:

Cynthia R. Nielsen at Per Caritatem has written a well thought piece on Eschatological Developments Within the Pauline Corpus.

Stephen Carlson at Hypotyposeis looks at the translation of σαρξ in Galatians 3:3.

On NT pod, Mark Goodacre lays out some of his case against the hypothetical Q source.

The Pistis Christou debate is alive and well at James Gregory’s All Things Ephesians, as he reviews a portion of Bird and Sprinkle’s The Faith of Jesus Christ: Exegetical, Biblical, and Theological Studies (Milton Keynes, U.K., and Peabody, Mass.: Paternoster and Hendrickson, 2009).

As a part of his series on Foucault at Political Jesus, Rod of Alexandria defends deconstruction and looks at the concept of Pauline “authorship.” See, too, the response by J.K. Gayle at Aristotle’s Feminist Subject.

(I have taken the “mythicism” conversation out of the NT section and given it its own area: see further below.)

Teaching and Writing:

Karyn at Boulders2Bits writes a thorough pre-publication review, with excerpts, of Jo Ann Hackett’s A Basic Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (with CD) (Hendrickson, 2010). How much would you pay for Karyn’s review? Don’t answer! There’s more! She has also reviewed Bordreuil and Pardee’s A Manual of Ugaritic (Eisenbrauns, 2009).

Alan Lenzi at Feeling Finite asks, “When Should Editors Step In and Say ‘Not on My Watch,’” concerning William Barrick’s review of Hill, Andrew E., and John H. Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament. What ideas about the history of ancient Israel or the composition history of biblical texts is an academic journal obliged to entertain? What ideas is it obliged to dismiss as unsupportable?

(Late breaker: the question is raised anew in Alan’s space in response to another RBL review, this time Bruce Waltke’s review of Michael Fox’s Proverbs 10–31: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary [Yale University Press, 2009]. What is the role of confessional assertions about the Bible in peer-reviewed review articles representing the Society of Biblical Literature?)

ZOMG! Mythicism! And Stuff!

The Big Conversation of the month, though, had to have been that started and maintained by James McGrath on the subject of “mythicism,” or the claim that the person Jesus Christ never existed in history. In a month-long dialogue spawning thousands of comments and dozens of responsive posts elsewhere, James found himself in a polygonal conversation with (caution: overlapping categories ahead) mythicists, creationists, atheists, and his fellow bibliobloggers.

I’ll offer links to James’ posts, then to some of the responses that I found. There is just no way for me to be comprehensive about this, but I figure that 1) if you were in the conversation, you will have caught what I’ve missed, and 2) if you are new to the conversation, this is more than enough to get you immersed.

Here is James, with the titles often paraphrased. If you would rather see all these on one page (albeit in reverse order), just search for “mythicism” on James’ blog. Here we go: mythicist misunderstanding (Feb 6), the discussion spreads (Feb 8), microexistence v. macroexistence (Feb 9), accusations and assumptions (Feb 9), more creationist parallels (Feb 10), creationism and ID (Feb 11), death of mythical messiah (Feb 11), Tacitus on mythicism (Feb 12), publishing on historical Jesus (Feb 14), YECs are like mythicists (Feb 14), yet more mythicist/creationist parallels (Feb 16), unreasonable faith and Jesus’s existence (Feb 17), not all atheists are mythicists (Feb 18), is there evidence for mythicism (Feb 19), mythicism and John the Baptist (Feb 20), mythunderstanding the criteria of authenticity (Feb 21), mythicism and historicism as theories (Feb 22), mythicism and paradigm shifts (Feb 23), at long last I understand mythicism (Feb 24), mything links (Feb 27).

Mid-month, Mike Koke at the Golden Rule took time to gather the links to date and offered a response with reference to 1 Thess 2:14-15, and also with reference to an earlier “historicity of Jesus” post of his own.

Neil Godfrey at Vridar was a steady interlocutor, arguing for the validity of questioning the historicity of Jesus (Feb 4), against misunderstandings on the part of historicists (Feb 9), and against circular arguments on Jesus’s historicity (Feb 11). (The dates should help you cross reference to James’ posts listed above.)

John Hobbins at Ancient Hebrew Poetry offered some considered judgments on the analogy from King Arthur (Feb 9) and on whether Albert Schweitzer can be called a mythicist (Feb 13).

Undoubtedly I have only scratched the surface on this topic. I assure you that I have left no-one out intentionally. I invite readers (and writers) to supplement my links to the “mythicism” conversation in the comments to this carnival.

My Carnival:


Tim Bulkeley at SansBlogue wants to know what biblical scholars could do with an online information visualization tool.

Language, Linguistics, and Translation:

Peter Bekins of בלשנות literally had the audience drooling over linguistics at the Midwest SBL.

Crescat Graffiti blesses us with three great words that sound great together: Hieroglyphic…sex…graffiti.

In the “No, no, you can’t do that!” department, Doug “Clayboy” Chaplin alerts us to Preachers! Using! Greek! Claptrap detectors out, everyone.

(Oh, and speaking of claptrap, Jason at Εις Δοξαν reminds us that we can never, never get tired of the comedic preaching stylings of Steven Anderson.)

Tim at SansBlogue is reading Seth Sanders’ The Invention of Hebrew (University of Illinois Press, 2009). Join him for first impressions, the introduction, the first and last ’graphs, chapter one, and chapter two.

On the perennially favored topic of apologetic translation, David Ker at Better Bibles engages a post by Daniel Kirk at Storied Theology on theological manipulation in a translation of Gal 5:6.

Timothy at Catholic Bibles wants to hear you state your case for your favorite Bible translation (h/t to Qohelet at the Bible Critic).

Inscriptions and ancient texts:

Steve Wiggins of Sects and Violence in the Ancient World sees only “escapees from Flatland” (awesome literary ref there, Steve) in a bit of iconography claimed to represent Yahweh and his Asherah.

With a work in the hands of the printers, Alan Lenzi of Feeling Finite is now “off and running” on Reading Akkadian Prayers.

Speaking of reading Akkadian poetry: Beware of abnormal side effects! Duane is having Crazy Thoughts About Blindness and Reading Clay Tablets.

At כל־האדם, Joseph has continued to read The Context of Scripture. Here at Anumma, I have tried to do my part. We’re reading CoS in a year at the January 1st invitation of Charles Halton at Awilum.

Old Testament:

Paavo at מה יתרון has been working through Perdue on empire in Proverbs and in Job.

In response to Julia O’Brian’s piece in The Bible and Interpretation, “Biblical Scholarship and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” Phil Sumpter at Narrative and Ontology has been reflecting on Biblical Scholarship and the State of Israel, and on ethnic Israel and Esther.

Qohelet’s church accidentally made a comedic case against (or for?) lectio continua. Or, at least against randomized selections from Deuteronomy.

Genesis and Stuff:

Thomas Verenna is one of several who observed Darwin Day on their Bible-related blogs.

Steve Wiggins finds that the scientific fact of evolution is, in the United States at least, still Out of Reach.

At כל־האדם, Joseph Kelly reacts to Strimple’s Historical Adam essay, calling it on the fallacious “argument from abbhorent consequences.” (It is fortuitous, then, that a related lecture came to Joseph from Princeton Theological Seminary.)

At Biblia Hebraica, Doug Mangum follows up on Joseph’s post, with  a related word on the similarly fallacious “argument from the NT.”

Nijay Gupta offers recommendations for reading on Genesis and theology.

New Testament:

Wright on Paul, now made easy! See N.T. Wright for Everyone: The Apostle Paul, by Nijay Gupta.

Qohelet (The Bible Critic) endorsed the “analogy from Arthur” that was offered by Eric Reitan beginning with a comment to the historical Jesus discussion. (Above, as a respondent in the “mythicism” section, John Hobbins also weighs in on Arthur).

Also relating to the Historical Jesus, Phil Harland (Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean) continued his podcast series on Studying the Historical Jesus with parts two and three.

At NT/History Blog, Bill Heroman is thinking on “Synagogue” in James 2:3.

Little help now! Patrick McCullough at kata ta biblia is looking for assistance on NT manuscript preservation as reception history, and also needs a good title for an SBL session (not a paper, a session).


Well, I’m about wiped out. Don’t delay to begin nominating posts to the next Biblical Studies Carnival (instructions for nominating at that link). I will edit this preliminary information upon confirmation, but unofficial rumor has it that the redoubtable Jim West will take next month’s Carnival into his own strong hand and outstretched arm. [That’s a ’firm.]

Thanks for the opportunity to steer the ship this month, and I hope that everyone who enjoyed the Carnival will consider hosting when they may.

[Biblical Studies Carnival LI was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/03/01. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

Why We Love the Top 50 Bibliobloggers

What do I love about the Top 50 Bibliobloggers?

5. They know who they are.

4. They support academic blogging on the Bible by nominating posts to the Biblical Studies Carnival.

3. They honor the spirit of Blogroll Amnesty Day by linking “down,” where possible, to blogs that are smaller than theirs.

2. They support academic blogging on the Bible by nominating posts to the Biblical Studies Carnival.

1. They know who they are.

The upcoming, February-edition Biblical Studies Carnival will be hosted here in the first few days of March. See the previous BSC over at Duane’s. Nominate posts for the next so it can be as good as the last!

[Why We Love the Top 50 Bibliobloggers was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2020/02/16. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

Reminder to Biblioblogging Top 50 and the Lower 50s Alike

Remember that the 51st Biblical Studies Carnival will be hosted here. During this month February, while you are reading blog posts anywhere on biblical studies, nominate your favorites to the Carnival so I can include them (on linked page, scroll down to “Submitting Entries”).

February 3rd was Blogroll Amnesty Day, in which bloggers “link down” to smaller blogs instead of “up” to the A-list blogs. In the spirit of Blogroll Amnesty Day:

  1. You Big Dogs in biblioblogging—you know who you are—could keep an eye toward reading and linking to the Littler Dogs where you may.
  2. You Little Dogs in biblioblogging: remember that when anybody nominates posts during February, I will find opportunity to link to the nominator’s own content before the Carnival. It’s not like car keys under your seat, but you don’t pay taxes and insurance on my humble linky love, either.

Eighteen nominating days left: vote early, and vote often.

[Reminder to Biblioblogging Top 50 and the Lower 50s Alike was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/02/10. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

This Week in Context of Scripture

[Reminder: support Blogroll Amnesty and the Biblical Studies Carnival by nominating posts this month.]

As you may know, Charles Halton had published a reading schedule for Hallo and Younger’s The Context of Scripture (three volumes; Leiden: Brill, 2003). This week, we have been into Hittite archival documents. Two things have my attention: the scribal “postscripts” in the letters from the king to one Kaššu (a provincial leader dealing with local harassment; 3:13-29), and the letters between the royalty of Hatti, Egypt, and Babylon (the superpowers of the day; 3:30-31).

A charming feature of the king’s letters to his subordinate Kaššu is the “postscripts” that the king’s scribe writes to his counterparts serving out in the provincial center, whom he calls his “dear brother[s].” The king’s scribe reassures the provincial scribes about the well-being of their families, so we can see that the provincial scribe has left his family in the monarch’s city (Hattusa?). I wonder if this was common practice, and if it reflects a relative danger or discomfort in the provincial center. In the last of the letters to Kaššu, the scribe writes his postscript, not to another scribe, but to the three military men for whose ears the king has written the body of the letter. Since one regular scribal assignment was to accompany campaigns (see, e.g., 3.2, the Egyptian “craft of the scribe” letter), a picture of profession-crossing cameradarie begins to suggest itself.

The letters between royalty (3:30-31) offer an accessible illustration of the “parity” relationship as I describe it to my students when they learn “covenant.” In 3:30, the queen of Egypt repeatedly calls her counterpart in Hatti “my sister,” acknowledges inquiries concerning her health and well-being, and offers such “greeting-gifts” as, here, twelve linen garments and a gold necklace.

It’s never too late to begin reading COS in a year: just pick up where we are, and follow through to the same point next year. The pace is generally easy, and the rewards steady. Thanks again, Charles!

Blogroll Amnesty and the Next Biblical Studies Carnival

It must be kismet. Today is Blogroll Amnesty Day, and what is more, I find that Duane informs me that I am hosting next month’s Biblical Studies Carnival: in other words, this be the month in which I collect nominations for said Carnival.

So, in the spirit of Blogroll Amnesty Day, in which Wee Little Blogs get the attention they deserve—and, might as well face it, all biblical studies blogs are Wee Little Blogs scurrying ant-like on the smooth, concave, mobian surface of teh intertubes—I will reward nominators throughout the month of February by providing links to their own content.

That’s right: send me a nomination for the upcoming Carnival, and I will go to your site, find something link-worthy, and link to it in a post here. Literally scores of eyeballs will be drawn to your site (or, as you like to think of it, The Hardest Working Site in Blog Business).

Bonus offer: for those who nominate posts more than once during the month, I will do my best to find legitimate cause to festoon my link with high-value search term context words like “Tea Party,” “Lady Gaga,” “iPad,” and “DADT.”

Run and see the current Carnival at Duane’s, and also go see the instructions for nominating posts.

Blogroll Amnesty means linking to the smaller blogs. Send me anything at all you find Carnival-worthy, but let’s keep a special eye on the little folk. Have fun, and keep ’em coming.

[Addendum: you big ol’ biblioblogs can support Blogroll Amnesty Day and the Biblical Studies Carnival even further simply by linking to this post: Thanks!]

Carnival. Noun. (2)…

…“An exciting or riotous mixture of something.”

That about sums it up. Yes, yes, yes: the latest Biblical Studies Carnival is up! Go see it at Duane’s.

I may be hosting the upcoming Biblical Studies Carnival right here at Anumma: announcement coming when I get a ’firm.

Feed the Beast: Biblical Studies Carnival

Bragging rights for feeding the beast: get ’em here! Nominate anybody’s post(s) to Duane, come back here, and tell us in the comments that you fed the beast.

Each month, a volunteer blogger hosts the Biblical Studies Carnival: she posts an entry that links to the best posts in academic biblical studies from the previous month. “Best” is determined simply: whatever posts readers nominate to the host, subject to the host’s vetting.

The carnivals themselves are a hill of fun.

It is not unheard of for good carnivals to die, because they run short of volunteer hosts, especially when readers are slow to nominate posts and the hosts have to chase around choosing posts on their own. There has been some talk about how to ease the burden for Biblical Studies Carnival hosts.

So: I have dedicated this post to bragging rights for nominators. Go find a post in biblical studies from January—something you thought good enough to bookmark, or to link to on your own blog or on Facebook, or that sparked some other kind of activity in your life—go find that post and nominate it for the January Carnival.

Then come back here and post a comment. Do not tell us what you nominated, but simply tell us with pride: “I fed the beast!”

Biblical Studies Carnival XLVIII

Biblical Studies Carnival XLVIII (“48” to the Arabists out there) is up, hosted by Doug Chaplin at Clayboy. And, it starts with a section on media resources! A great carnival: take a look.