The Biblical Studies Carnival – December 2014

Happy New Year! And what better way to start 2015 then by enjoying a Biblical Studies Carnival!

Step right up! Right this way! Boys and girls! Men and women! Beyond the marvels and wonderful of the Biblical Studies Carnival for December 2014! We have articles galore! Reviews for days! Audio that will make you scream for joy!

Okay, enough with the ringmaster stunt. I would like to express my thanks to Phil Long for inviting me to host this event. I am also happy to report the early line up for hosts in 2015. The January Carnival will be hosted by Vincent (@VincentArtale, Talmidimblogging –, February is Jennifer Guo (@jenniferguo, and March 2015 is Jacob Prahlow ( Jim West has also organized his own Biblical Studies Carnival for December on his blog.

Enjoy the carnival!

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In a piece for the Boston Globe, Alex Beam wrote a reflective piece entitled, “Jesus, the reluctant bridegroom,” on the new drive by writers, scholars, and hustlers to present Jesus of Nazareth as a married man. Dr. Joel Baden (Yale Divinity School) and Dr. Candida Moss (University of Notre Dame) also add to the discussion about the modern interest in the “married Jesus” in their piece for the Atlantic entitled, “The Curious Case of Jesus’s Wife.” 

Dr. Simon J. Joseph (California Lutheran University) offers insights into the death of Jesus within the Gospel of Mark as a conspiracy and assassination.

Mark Oppenheimer for the New York Times wrote a fascinating piece called, “Setting Aside a Scholarly Get-Together, for the Planet’s Sake,” writing about the president of the American Academy of Religion, Dr. Laurie Zoloth, desires to cancel the annual AAR-SBL’s annual conference due to rising costs and carbon emissions.

Dr. Mark A. Chancey (Southern Methodist University) in a piece for The Bible and Interpretation on “How Public Schools Began Offering Bible Courses,” studies the horrifying lack of curricular guidelines of any type for Bible Courses with North Carolina. These courses require no learning objectives, course standards, or recommended resources.

MV5BMjI3MDY0NjkxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTM3NTA0MzE@._V1_SX640_SY720_With the release of Ridley Scott’s new film Exodus: Gods and Kingsactor Christian Bale, playing Moses in the film, according to the Hollywood Reporter stated that Moses would have been, “absolutely seen as a freedom fighter for the Hebrews, but a terrorist in terms of the Egyptian empire.” In an article by MSNBC, several scholars have responded to Bale’s comments. Dr. Candida Moss (University of Notre Dame) also added her comments to the discussion in a piece for the Daily Beast entitled, “Christian Bale: One Man’s Moses Is Another Man’s Terrorist.”

Dr. Jim West of Zwinglius Redivivus has pointed out a fascinating new development between De Gruyter and MyBestseller, launching their own academic self-publishing company aimed at younger academic: Publoris. You can read De Gruyter’s press release here.

Given the surge in interest in the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, Dr. Lawrence Mykytiuk (Purdue University) weighs in on the non-Biblical sources about Jesus for Bible History Daily, in his piece “Did Jesus Exist? Searching for Evidence Beyond the Bible.”

According to Melissa Terras from the Guardian, a survey shows the monograph is still central for shaping and sharing scholarship in the humanities. Check out her article on what advice, tips, and warnings she offers for budding academics and publishing their thesis work, in “Want to be taken seriously as [a] scholar in the humanities? Publish a monograph.”

Brice C. Jones announced the exciting news that a new papyrus fragment of a letter which contains strikingly similar language as 1 Thessalonians has been discovered in Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists on his website but you can read his briefer blog post, here.

HeForShe_Logo_Badge_withTagline_Use_On_WhiteDr. Chris Keith (St. Mary’s University) from The Jesus Blog comments on “#HeForShe, Sexism, and New Testament Scholarship.” A second post was added by Dr. Helen K. Bond (The University of Edinburgh), reflecting on her experiences with “Sexism and New Testament Scholarship.” In a guest post on Dr. James Crossley’s (University of Sheffield) blog Harnessing Chaos, Michelle Fletcher (PhD candidate for King’s College) added her voice into the ongoing discussion about New Testament scholarship and Gender in the post, “Reading with Fresh Eyes: #HeForShe, New Testament Scholarship, and Sexism.”

Dr. Robert Myles (University of Auckland) from The Bible & Class Struggle has written a fascinating post focusing on “Jesus’ Exploitation of Servant Labour” within the story of Jesus and Wedding Feast at Cana in John 2.1-12.

Dr. Julia M. O’Brien (Lancaster Theological Seminary) suggests that our modern fantasies about biblical women, even fantasies produced by and largely for women, may not always serve us well in her piece, “Biblical women and Lifetime’s The Red Tent.”

In a free article for Currents in Biblical Research, Dr. Graham H. Twelftree (Regent University) discusses “The Miraculous in the New Testament: Current Research and Issues.”

James Pate (PhD candidate for Hebrew Union College) as written on “II Maccabees and the Afterlife” on his blog, James’ Ramblings.

Margaret Mowczko (MA student for Macquarie University) offers A Sympathetic Look at Bathsheba” on her blog NewLife.

jesusIn the discussion about the historicity of Jesus, Raphael Lataster (PhD candidate for the University of Sydney) had a piece published by the Washington Post entitled, “Did historical Jesus really exist? The evidence just doesn’t add up.” In response, Dr. John Dickson (University of Sydney) replied with a piece for the ABC, “It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas … Mythicism’s in the Air.” Dr. Michael F. Bird (Ridley Melbourne) also responded to Lataster in his piece, “Yes, Jesus existed … but relax, you can still be an atheist if you want to.”

Also on the Jesus Myth theory and the existence of Jesus, Dr. Lawrence Mykytiuk (Purdue University) wrote on the subject for Biblical Archaeology Daily, “Did Jesus Exist? Searching for Evidence beyond the Bible.” The Humanist also joined in the discussion and published an article featuring Raphael Lataster, Neil Godfrey, and Dr. James McGrath called, “Savior? Shaman? Myth? Ink Blot? Why Christianity’s Main Man Remains so Elusive.”

Dr. George Athas (Moore Theological College) writes on whether or not, “Loanwords in the Hebrew Bible be the result of scribal updating?”

Dr. Michael Barber (John Paul the Great University) investigates the interesting thought experiment, “Did Jesus deliberately misquote the Old Testament?”

Blogger Stephan Huller spent a lot of time on Marcion in December and wrote on “The Marcionite Super Gospel of Paul” and “Wasn’t Marcion ‘Catholic’? The Protestant Misrepresentation of Marcion.”


51HNGg4vV-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Dr. Richard Bauckham of Ridley Hall (Cambridge), released a multi-part response to The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text That Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson featured on Dr. Mark Goodacre’s (Duke University) website The NT BlogPart 1: The Chronicle of Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor – Content and ContextPart 2: Misinterpreting EphremPart 3: Misreading Joseph and Aseneth (i)Part 4: Responding to Simcha’s Responses, Part 5: Misreading Joseph and Aseneth (ii), Part 6: On Mary Magdalene and Magdala, and Part 7: Conclusion and Pauline Postscript.

Dr. James H. Charlesworth (Princeton Theological Seminary) also had his own opinion on The Lost Gospel and uploaded a review called, “The Lost Gospel?” on his page.

Kevin Brown from Diglotting has some quick reviews on Stories from Ancient Canaan [Second Edition] by Michael D. Coogan and Mark S. Smith, The Figure of Adam in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15: The New Creation and Its Ethical and Social Reconfigurations by Felipe de Jesus Legarreta-CastilloEncyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics edited by Georgios K. Giannakis, and The Language Environment of First Century Judaea: Jerusalem Studies in the Synoptic Gospels – Volume Two edited by Randall Buth and R. Steven Notley.

9780521558266Seumas Macdonald of The Patrologist reviews the late Dr. Rodney J. Decker’s book Reading Koine Greek: An Introduction and Integrated Workbook in multiple parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Dr. Francis Young reviews Dr. Sarah Coakley’s God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay ‘On the Trinity’ for Marginalia.

The always humorous Dr. Jim West of Zwinglius Redivivus reviews The Jewish Study Bible: Second Edition.

Jason, a PhD candidate Dallas Theological Seminary reviews the HCSB Deluxe Ultrathin Reference Bible and The Greek New Testament (5th Revised Edition w/dictionary) on his blog Εις Δοξαν [Eis Doxan].

Dr. Phillip J. Long of Reading Acts reviews With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology by James HamiltonExegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: 1 Peter by Robert W. Yarbrough and Andreas J. KöstenbergerThe Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus by Michael F. Bird Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, and The Acts of the Apostles: A Newly Discovered Commentary by J. B. Lightfoot.

OHJwebIn his ongoing debate and dialogue over Dr. Richard Carrier’s Proving History and On the Historicity of Jesus, Dr. James McGrath (Butler University) has written several new posts, namely, “Ephesians 4:21 and Mythicism, Using Maths to Obscure Bad Arguments” and “Rankled by Wrangling over Rank-Raglan Rankings: Jesus and the Mythic Hero Archetype.”

Brook Wilensky-Lanford for the Boston Globe reviews Christ, Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age by James Carroll.

I reviewed Iesus Deus: The Early Christian Depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean God by M. David Litwa.

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The Westminster Theological Centre (UK) hosted a discussion and interview with Dr. Richard B. Hays  (Duke Divinity School) on the subject of, “Did all the Gospel writers believe and assert that Jesus is divine?” The discussion and interview was promoted by Dr. Hays’ new book, Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness.

During the recent 2014 San Diego AAR/SBL conference, Fortress Press had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Jerry L. Sumney (Lexington Theological Seminary) and a group of professors to discuss “Teaching Introduction to the Bible.”

JamesBoredModerated by Dr. James Crossley (University of Sheffield) and featuring presentations by Dr. Chris Keith (St Mary’s University), Dr. Zeba Crook (Carleton University), Dr. Rafael Rodríguez (Johnson Bible College), and Dr. Paul Foster (University of Edinburgh), a wonderful series of talks and discussions are hosted by the Jesus Blog on, “Memory Studies in Historical Jesus Research.”

A interview between Guy Raz and Dr. Bart D. Ehrman (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill) on his book, Did Jesus Exist? also has been released.

A public lecture by Dr. Christoph Markschies (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) on “Origen and Paul: The Example of Their Anthropologies.”

12 thoughts on “The Biblical Studies Carnival – December 2014

  1. You may want to consider editing, “Brice C. Jones announced the exciting news that a new papyrus fragment of the Apostle Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians has been discovered” because it not 1 Thessalonians, but rather a letter which contains dtrikingly similar labguage as 1 Thessalonians.


  2. You may want to consider editing, “Brice C. Jones announced the exciting news that a new papyrus fragment of the Apostle Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians has been discovered” because it not 1 Thessalonians, but rather a letter which contains strikingly similar language as 1 Thessalonians.


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