Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Semester's Worth of Work Reduced to Two Links... Sigh...

The usual insanity which accompanies the end of any semester, coupled with the preparation of a number of excruciatingly detailed doctoral applications (almost all of which are now complete, thank goodness), has severely curtailed my posting over the past few weeks. However, thanks to the virtually infinite capacity of the internet, I am able to share something other than mere publication announcements and RBL links: my recent term papers for Sibling Rivalries (Prof. Joel Kaminsky) and Exegesis of Hebrews (Prof. Harry Attridge). If any of you are dying to explore the complex historical and hermeneutical relationship between Jesus and his siblings or the contribution of the Arian/Nicene controversy to the canonization of Hebrews, then these are for you!

As I've mentioned before, your comments are welcome... as long as they're glowing. Otherwise, don't bother. ;-)

Sibling Rivalries-Final Paper

Exegesis of Hebrews-Final Paper

Friday, January 4, 2008

RBL Highlights: 1/4/07

A few highlights from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature. Although I usually omit reviews of foreign language publications, I've made an exception this week... Ruben Dupertuis, my friend and former professor, has provided an insightful and enjoyable review (well, as enjoyable as any book review can be) of Santiago Guijarro Oporto's Jesús y sus primeros discípulos. I'm tempted to pick up the book, but I'm not sure if my dreadfully rusty Spanish is up to the challenge!

Joseph Blenkinsopp
Opening the Sealed Book: Interpretations of the Book of Isaiah in Late Antiquity
Reviewed by Riemer Roukema

Greg Carey
Ultimate Things: An Introduction to Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Literature
Reviewed by Lorenzo DiTommaso

A. Andrew Das
Solving the Romans Debate
Reviewed by David J. Downs

Larry W. Hurtado, ed.
The Freer Biblical Manuscripts: Fresh Studies of an American Treasure Trove
Reviewed by Juan Hernández Jr.

Victor Matthews
Manners and Customs in the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Daily Life in Bible Times
Reviewed by Aaron Koller

Santiago Guijarro Oporto
Jesús y sus primeros discípulos
Reviewed by Ruben Dupertuis

Guy Waters
The End of Deuteronomy in the Epistles of Paul
Reviewed by Kenneth D. Litwak

Karen Strand Winslow
Early Jewish and Christian Memories of Moses' Wives: Exogamist Marriage and Ethnic Identity
Reviewed by Amelia Devin Freedman

New: The Messiah

A not-so-recent announcement from Fortress; this book has been available for a few months. But it's still well worth a look, as it features Yale University's most potent tag team... Profs. John and Adela Collins! Everything you've always wanted to know about early messianism in one handy volume.

Scholars Present Classic Contours of Jewish and Christian Hope

In The Messiah, leading scholars offer succinct and illuminating essays on currents of messianic thought in the formative centuries of Judaism and Christianity, providing precision in thinking about "messianic" images and tradition. Special features designed with the student in mind include a map, a glossary of terms, and a timeline of significant events.


Introduction Magnus Zetterholm

Part One: Formation
Pre-Christian Jewish Messianism: An Overview
John J. Collins, Yale University
The Messiah as Son of God in the Synoptic Gospels
Professor Adela Yarbro Collins, Yale University
Paul and the Missing Messiah
Magnus Zetterholm, Lund University

Part Two: Development
Elijah and the Messiah as Spokesman of Rabbinic Ideology
Karin Hedner-Zetterholm, Lund University
The Reception of Messianism and the Worship of Christ in the Post-Apostolic Church
Jan-Eric Steppa, Lund University

Magnus Zetterholm
is Adjunct Associate Professor in Religious Studies at Linköping University, Sweden.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

BAR Highlights: 1/3/08

More recent archaeological news from Biblical Archaeology Review:

Hands Off the Pyramids

Egypt plans to copyright its ancient monuments and artifacts and charge royalties for reproducing them.

Church Restoration
An Iraqi antiquities official is determined to restore a 1,500-year-old church 40 miles southwest of Karbala.

Go West, Young Man
Recent discoveries in the Lybian desert indicate that the area was home to much more ancient Egyptian activity than previously realized.

A Nice Wreck
A well-preserved shipwreck off the Cyprus coast is expected to yield important evidence of trade in the Mediterranean world of the fourth century B.C.

It’s in the Bag

A bag of tools left by a hunter-gatherer in 12,000 B.C. provides a look into life in the Natufian culture of pre-historic Jordan.

Scrolls Go Digital
In a project that could take up to five years, a team at King’s College London will take high-resolution digital photos of the Dead Sea Scrolls and make them available on the internet.

Egyptian Glass
Cardiff University researchers have reconstructed a 14th-century B.C. oven for making glass, showing that glassmaking techniques in ancient Egypt were more advanced than previously recognized.

Hot Items
The recent record-setting sale of an ancient figurine points up the fact that antiquities are considered a strong investment.

Friends, Romans, Londoners

An exhibit features a hoard of late Roman artifacts discovered in the heart of London.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

ACLA 2008

A few days ago I received a formal notice that my proposal for the upcoming American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting (April 24-27, Long Beach, CA) has been approved. In case you're interested (and you should be!), here's the abstract:

The Boy Who Lived (and Died, and Rose Again): The Messianic Matrix of Harry Potter

With worldwide sales in excess of 400 million copies, the Harry Potter heptalogy has quickly become one of the most culturally and commercially significant literary series in the history of the printed word. These remarkable triumphs have not come without controversy. Conservative Christians have repeatedly denounced the series’ apparent espousal of witchcraft and the occult—reactions which undoubtedly contributed to its ranking atop the American Library Association’s “Most Challenged Books of the 21st Century.” However, a critically sensitive reading of the complete Harry Potter cycle reveals startling affinities between its cosmology and that of the New Testament, particularly regarding the often-intertwined elements of eschatology and messianism. As the narrative unfolds, it becomes increasingly apparent that both the characters and the world in which they live have entered a tenuous liminal state; Armageddon looms on the horizon. The character of Harry proceeds to emerge as “The Chosen One”—a heroic, salvific figure whose unique nature endows him alone with the ability to successfully resolve this climactic conflict, and thus bring about the transition from a liminal existence to an ideal one. This paper will explore these and other fascinating links between ancient Christian kerygma and modern secular fiction, and also address the significance of their existence in spite of vast chronological, epistemological, and sociocultural gaps.

RBL Highlights: 1/1/08

Better late than never... a few highlights from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature. PS... Happy New Year. ;-)

Paul N. Anderson
The Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus: Modern Foundations Reconsidered
Reviewed by Edward W. Klink III

Richard Bauckham
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony
Reviewed by Christopher Tuckett

Philip F. Esler and Ronald A. Piper
Lazarus, Mary and Martha: A Social-Scientific and Theological Reading of John
Reviewed by Jan G. van der Watt

David E. Garland and Diana R. Garland
Flawed Families of the Bible: How God's Grace Works through Imperfect Relationships
Reviewed by Jason B. Hood

David Goodblatt
Elements of Ancient Jewish Nationalism
Reviewed by W. Dennis Tucker Jr.

Stephen M. Hildebrand
The Trinitarian Theology of Basil of Caesarea: A Synthesis of Greek Thought and Biblical Truth
Reviewed by Mark Weedman

Andrew Lincoln
Hebrews: A Guide
Reviewed by Martin Karrer

John L. Meech
Paul in Israel's Story: Self and Community at the Cross
Reviewed by Mark Reasoner

Eileen M. Schuller
The Dead Sea Scrolls: What Have We Learned?
Reviewed by Ian Werrett