Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Have No Fear...

The semester's nearly over, which means that all of the fun activities which have fallen by the wayside for the sake of academia (including this blog) will rise again soon! Look for some much-needed updates and comments over the next few days.

Monday, November 17, 2008

RBL Highlights: 11/17/08

Highlights from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature:

Hector Avalos
The End of Biblical Studies
Reviewed by Ulrich H. J. Körtner

Ward Blanton
Displacing Christian Origins: Philosophy, Secularity, and the New Testament
Reviewed by Clare K. Rothschild

Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus's Final Week in Jerusalem
Reviewed by Craig L. Blomberg

Katherine J. Dell
Opening the Old Testament
Reviewed by Bill T. Arnold
Reviewed by George Heider

Brad E. Kelle and Megan Bishop Moore
Israel's Prophets and Israel's Past: Essays on the Relationship of Prophetic Texts and Israelite History in Honor of John H. Hayes
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Jens Kreinath, Jan Snoek, and Michael Stausberg, eds.
Theorizing Rituals: Issues, Topics, Approaches, Concepts, Annotated Bibliography
Reviewed by Brian B. Schmidt

Daniel A. Smith
The Post-Mortem Vindication of Jesus in the Sayings Gospel Q
Reviewed by William Arnal

Fred Strickert
Rachel Weeping: Jews, Christians, and Muslims at the Fortress Tomb
Reviewed by Samuel Thomas

Ben Zion Wacholder
The New Damascus Document: The Midrash on the Eschatological Torah of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Reconstruction, Translation and Commentary
Reviewed by Gregory L. Doudna

Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge, and Dale B. Martin, eds.
Religion, Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in Transition
Reviewed by Christoph Stenschke

Sunday, November 9, 2008

RBL Highlights: 11/9/08

Highlights from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature:

Kevin L. Anderson
'But God Raised Him from the Dead': The Theology of Jesus' Resurrection in Luke-Acts
Reviewed by Ron Clark

Paul Barnett
Paul: Missionary of Jesus
Reviewed by Don Garlington

Donald Capps
Jesus the Village Psychiatrist
Reviewed by Pieter F. Craffert

Robert R. Ellis
Learning to Read Biblical Hebrew: An Introductory Grammar
Reviewed by Max Rogland

Alec Gilmore
A Concise Dictionary of Bible Origins and Interpretation
Reviewed by Jan G. van der Watt

Andrew T. Lincoln and Angus Paddison, eds.
Christology and Scripture: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Reviewed by Mark Elliott

Theo A. W. van der Louw
Transformations in the Septuagint: Towards an Interaction of Septuagint Studies and Translation Studies
Reviewed by Francis Dalrymple-Hamilton

Grant Macaskill
Revealed Wisdom and Inaugurated Eschatology in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity
Reviewed by Brian Han Gregg

Frank J. Matera
New Testament Theology: Exploring Diversity and Unity
Reviewed by Udo Schnelle

Alexander Samely
Forms of Rabbinic Literature and Thought: An Introduction
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

Klyne R. Snodgrass
Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus
Reviewed by Ernest van Eck

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Andrew Laird Lecture

Something to add to your calendar for next week:

The Department of Classics of the University of Virginia is pleased to
announce that Professor Andrew Laird (University of Warwick) will be
giving a lecture entitled "Par nullum Graecia numen habet: The role of
reception in Roman studies."

The lecture will take place at 5pm on Monday, 3 November 2008, in the
Gibson Room, Cocke Hall.

Andrew Laird’s principal areas of research are in Roman poetry and
prose narrative, but he also works on ancient criticism, literary
biography, and ideas of fiction – particularly in relation to modern
theory. His research on Latin extends to Renaissance Europe and
Spanish America: The Epic of America (London 2006) highlights
connections between Latin writing and indigenous knowledge in colonial
Mexico. Other books include Powers of Expression, Expressions of
Power: Speech Presentation and Latin Literature
(Oxford 1999) and A
Companion to the Prologue of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses
(Oxford 2001).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Latest from UMC Board of Church and Society

More recent news from Washington, DC:

Word from Winkler
The gray areas
By Jim Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society

Presidential candidates urged to stop divisive rhetoric
Council of Bishops sends letter
Bishop Palmer encourages prayer, further dissemination of message to focus on important issues

Fearfully and wonderfully made
A glimpse of women and abuse in Kenya
By Linda Bales, Director, Louise & Hugh Moore Population Project, General Board of Church & Society

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

An invitation to observe U.N. Sunday
Oct. 26
By The Rev. Liberato C. Bautista, Assistant General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society
Roosevelt’s four points should inspire fundamental freedoms enjoyed by all humans.

'Obsession' called deplorable
DVD depicts ‘Radical Islam’s War Against the West’
By Bishop Bruce Ough, West Ohio Conference
Bishop calls United Methodists to denounce detestable “disingenuous distribution” of hate-filled material

Global Ministries to start 400 churches outside U.S.
400 Fund is Advance Special
Atlanta woman pledges $400,000 for developing new congregations

Study of Letter of James
Who is my neighbor?
Study sets forth the proposition that when we lack love for our neighbor, it hinders us from performing peaceable actions in the world and doing justice to others.

Free abolish death penalty resource
Designed to educate, mobilize faith communities
CD-ROM offered to persons who will share their plans for its use

Conference call on abolishing torture Oct. 21
Ohio conference on taking the church into the world
2 events can help mobilize your efforts on civil and human rights

On hard times
‘Some good comes from every situation, regardless of how bad it seems at the time.’
—Richard B. Hearne (North Texas Conference)

From the Monastic Age to the Digital Age

Courtesy of the New York Times (via my father, who should probably be working rather than reading about medieval manuscripts):

Bringing a Trove of Medieval Manuscripts Online for the Ages
The Stiftsbibliothek — literally, the abbey library — in St. Gallen, Switzerland, will digitize and post its collection with the help of a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

FSU Graduate Symposium

For all you graduate students out there:

The Florida State University Department of Religion is pleased to announce its eighth annual Graduate Student Symposium, to be held February 20-22; 2009.Graduate students are invited to submit proposals that engage this year's theme, "Identity, boundaries and movement in religion". Topics may include but are not limited to: mirroring, migration of ideas and peoples, pilgrimage, polemics, and inter-religious dialogue. Other papers relevant to the study of religion are welcome under an open call.

Submissions are encouraged from all graduate students in religion or other fields with interdisciplinary interest in the study of religion. We welcome a variety of approaches, with particular interests in papers pertaining to the following subfields: 1) Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy; 2) American Religious History; 3) Religions of Asia; 4) Religions of Western Antiquity. Presentations should be approximately 15 to 20 minutes in length and will have faculty responses at the conclusion of the panel. An award will be given for the best paper.

Submission of an abstract (roughly 300 words) is required for review. Abstracts must be accompanied by a CV.

Proposals should be sent by e-mail to Lauren Gray at

The deadline for proposal submission is December 1, 2008. Final papers should be submitted by January 15, 2009.

Last year's conference was a great success. More than 50 papers from across the nation and several European countries were presented, and we look forward to hosting an equal if not larger number this year.

The conference is not limited to papers, as we screen a film relating to the conference theme each year. Additionally, a keynote speaker will be brought in to address the conference theme. In keeping with the spirit of hospitality, several meals are provided throughout the course of the conference.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

RBL Highlights: 10/15/08

Highlights from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature:

Edward Adams
The Stars Will Fall from Heaven: Cosmic Catastrophe in the New Testament and Its World
Reviewed by Lorenzo DiTommaso

William Sanger Campbell
The "We" Passages in the Acts of the Apostles: The Narrator as Narrative Character
Reviewed by Jean-François Racine

Andrew D. Clarke
A Pauline Theology of Church Leadership
Reviewed by Stephan Joubert

Daniel Hillel
The Natural History of the Bible: An Environmental Exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures
Reviewed by Norman Habel

Werner G. Jeanrond and Andrew D. H. Mayes, eds.
Recognising the Margins: Developments in Biblical and Theological Studies
Reviewed by Peter R. Rodgers

Fernando F. Segovia and R. S. Sugirtharajah, eds.
A Postcolonial Commentary on the New Testament Writings
Reviewed by Jonathan A. Draper
Reviewed by Hans Leander

Stephen Westerholm
Understanding Matthew: The Early Christian Worldview of the First Gospel
Reviewed by David C. Sim

October SBL Forum

This month's edition of The SBL Forum:

Heresy Hunting in the New Millennium
Tony Burke

Biblical Interpretation and Christian Domestic Terrorism: The Exegeses of Rev. Michael Bray and Rev. Paul Hill
Dan Clanton

Student Creative Projects: Aural and Video Productions as Biblical Exegesis
James D. Findlay

Rahab through the Ages: A Study of Christian Interpretation of Rahab
William L. Lyons

Latest from UMC Board of Church and Society

Courtesy of my dad. Methodist readers: note that UMC Student Day, during which offerings are earmarked for denominational scholarship funds, is November 30. Please give generously, as many needy yet deserving students (including the author of this blog) have benefited from these scholarships in the past, and hopefully will continue to do so far into the future.

Word from Winkler
'It's the church's fault'
By Jim Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society

Guilt-free chocolate for Halloween
3 partners hope to raise fair trade awareness
Fairly traded products provide small-scale farmers a fair living wage and an opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty

We are better than this!
Casino gambling, payday lending on Ohio ballot
By Bishop Bruce Ough, West Ohio Conference
Faith community joins forces to speak out against ‘reprehensible harm’ to state and its people

Stop the madness, cruelty of immigration raids
Cruel raids affect workers and families
by The Rev. Dr. Eliezér Valentín Castañon, Associate General Secretary, General Commission on Religion & Race, United Methodist Church
Attacks on defenseless are on persons contributing in ways many U.S. citizens don’t appreciate

Study of ‘Letter of James’
'I have faith. I have works.'
Perhaps there are complementary understandings of how God works in the world

Phonecalls address Christian response to genocide
Authors, policy experts, churches participate
Weekly discussion series runs through Oct. 30

Wellness ministries
Interpersonal relationships crucial to health
By Jane Ives, Portland, Maine
Local church relationship education and family supports can lead to better health for all concerned

Faith communities pledge to ‘Welcome the Stranger’
Kentucky immigration coalition forms
More than 1,700 signatures pledge to support laws that affirm [immigrants’] dignity, preserve their families

United Methodist Student Day
Special Sunday is Nov. 30
Each year scholarships and loans are made possible that enables preparing students to unite faith with knowledge

On Wesley’s one condition for admission
‘Too many United Methodists have lost the passion for the faith.’
—Jim Nelson (Georgia)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Interdenominational Debate at Its Finest

This has been circulating throughout cyberspace for the past couple weeks. I don't know whether it's authentic or not, but I'm choosing to suspend my disbelief for reasons of increased hilarity. ;-)

Even More New Titles from SBL

More exiting new stuff:

New Titles and Other News from SBL Publications

Experientia, Volume 1: Inquiry into Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Christianity
Frances Flannery, Colleen Shantz, and Rodney A. Werline, editors

This collection investigates the phenomenon of religious experience in early Judaism and early Christianity. The essays consider such diverse phenomena as scribal inspiration, possession, illness, ascent, theurgy, and spiritual transformation wrought by reading, and recognize that the texts are reflective of the lived experiences of ancient religious peoples, which they understood to be encounters with the divine. Contributors use a variety of methodologies, including medical anthropology, neurobiology, and ritual and performance studies, to move the investigation beyond traditional historical and literary methodologies and conclusions to illuminate the importance of experience in constructions of ancient religion.

Paper $32.95 — ISBN 9781589833685 — 272 pages — Symposium Series 40 — Hardback edition

Writing and Reading War: Rhetoric, Gender, and Ethics in Biblical and Modern Contexts
Brad E. Kelle and Frank Ritchel Ames, editors

War is not only waged on the battlefield, but is written and read in contexts that influence meaning and reception. The essays in this collection examine how ancient Israelites wrote about war and how war-related texts in the Hebrew Bible have been read in ancient and modern contexts. They explore writing and reading war in contexts ranging from ancient Israel to early Judaism to contemporary Christianity. The contributors—both established and newer voices—apply a variety of historical, literary, and comparative methods to biblical texts and present new perspectives on the rhetoric, gender, and ethics of war. A foreword by Susan Niditch and introduction by Victor H. Matthews offer a literature review of recent major works in this field and orient readers to past research and future directions for the study of the discourse and realities of war.

Paper $34.95 — ISBN 9781589833548— 280 pages — Symposium Series 42 — Hardback edition

Matthew, James, and Didache: Three Related Documents in Their Jewish and Christian Settings
Huub van de Sandt and Jürgen K. Zangenberg, editors

Sharing many traditions and characteristics, the Gospel of Matthew, the letter of James, and the Didache invite comparative study. In this volume, internationally renowned scholars consider the three writings and the complex interrelationship between first century Judaism and nascent Christianity. These texts likely reflect different aspects and emphases of a network of connected communities sharing basic theological assumptions and expressions. Of particular importance for the reconstruction of the religious and social milieu of these communities are issues such as the role of Jewish law, the development of community structures, the reception of the Jesus tradition, and conflict management. In addition to the Pauline and Johannine “schools,” Matthew, James, and the Didache may represent a third religious milieu within earliest Christianity that is especially characterized through its distinct connections to a particular ethical stream of contemporary Jewish tradition.

Paper $54.95 — ISBN 9781589833586— 488 pages — Symposium Series 45 — Hardback edition

To order, go to the SBL Store or click on one of the links above.

Society of Biblical Literature — P.O. Box 2243 — Williston, VT 05495-2243 USA
Phone: 877-725-3334 (North America); 802-864-6185 (elsewhere) — Fax: 802-864-7626


WAW Series Now Available through Logos

The first sixteen volumes of the SBL's Writings of the Ancient World series are now available through Logos Research Systems. SBLWAW provides teachers, literary critics, historians, general readers, and students direct access to key ancient Near Eastern writings that date from the beginning of the Sumerian civilization to the age of Alexander the Great. The volumes typically offer historical and literary background to the writings, the original text and an English translation, explanatory or textual notes, and a bibliography. For more information or to order your own electronic edition of SBLWAW, see


Our Online Books offering continues to grow by ten titles each month. In September, we posted the following:

Black, Fiona C., editor. The Recycled Bible: Autobiography, Culture, and the Space Between. Semeia Studies 51. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2006.

Elledge, C. D. The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Archaeology and Biblical Studies 14. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.

Glassner, Jean-Jacques. Mesopotamian Chronicles. Writings from the Ancient World 19. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2004.

Grant, Jamie A. The King as Exemplar: The Function of Deuteronomy’s Kingship Law in the Shaping of the Book of Psalms. Academia Biblica 17. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2004.

Herzer, Jens, translator. 4 Baruch (Paraleipomena Jeremiou). Writings from the Greco-Roman World 22. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.

Hock, Ronald F. and Edward N. O’Neil, translators and editors. The Chreia and Ancient Rhetoric: Classroom Exercises. Writings from the Greco-Roman World 2. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2002.

Hull, Michael F. Baptism on Account of the Dead (1 Cor 15:29): An Act of Faith in the Resurrection. Academia Biblica 22. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.

Kennedy, George A. Progymnasmata: Greek Textbooks of Prose Composition and Rhetoric. Writings from the Greco-Roman World 10. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

Roth, Martha T. Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor: Second Edition. Writings from the Ancient World 6. Atlanta, Scholars Press for the Society of Biblical Literature, 1997.

Ukpong, Justin S. et al. eds. Reading the Bible in the Global Village: Cape Town. Global Perspectives on Biblical Scholarship 8. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2002.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Faith and Politics

The next installment in an ongoing series:


A Dinner & Speaker Series
@ Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church Tuesdays, October 7-28


6-7:30 p.m.

The View from the Pulpit... and Back

V. Rev. Robert Holet, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Charlottesville, VA Rev. Dr. James Nolan, Reveille United Methodist Church, Richmond, VA

ROBERT HOLET is Pastor at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, a Parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA that is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2008. Fr. Robert works with students through the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at the University of Virginia.

JAMES R. NOLAN is Senior Pastor at Reveille UMC, where he has served since 2006. He holds degrees from the University of Virginia, Southern Methodist University, and Wesley Theological Seminary and is Adjunct Faculty at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond.

These ministers will describe how they address the intersection of faith and politics with their congregations. We will also discuss what members of congregations see as appropriate boundaries for mixing faith and politics.
We welcome members of all faith traditions-along with people who do not consider themselves religious-to our discussions.

Both theology and political theory are concerned with what it means to be human and with defining and creating the conditions under which human beings can flourish. Yet the relationship between faith and politics is complicated and can be contentious. Indeed, both topics are often considered out of bounds in polite conversation. This series grows out of the belief that-especially in a university community-discussion about faith and politics can be both polite and enlightening.

Our goal is to bring together people from all faith traditions-along with people who do not consider themselves to be religious-to explore various aspects of the relationship between faith and politics. We particularly hope to engage people from the University community and to make the insights of academics accessible beyond the University's boundaries.

SPACE IS LIMITED AND REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED BUT SIMPLE. Call 434-296-6976, fax 434-295-9567, or send an email message to Please provide contact details and let us know about any special needs you may have. For directions to the church and other details, go to or call the church office.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Four New Titles from SBL

Courtesy of the SBL Newsletter:

Anatomies of Narrative Criticism: The Past, Present, and Futures of the Fourth Gospel as Literature

Tom Thatcher and Stephen D. Moore, editors

Experientia, Volume 1: Inquiry into Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Christianity
Frances Flannery, Colleen Shantz, and Rodney A. Werline, editors

Writing and Reading War: Rhetoric, Gender, and Ethics in Biblical and Modern Contexts
Brad E. Kelle and Frank Ritchel Ames, editors

Matthew, James, and Didache: Three Related Documents in Their Jewish and Christian Settings
Huub van de Sandt and Jürgen K. Zangenberg, editors

RBL Highlights: 10/4/08

Highlights from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature:

Andrew Bernhard
Other Early Christian Gospels: A Critical Edition of the Surviving Greek Manuscripts
Reviewed by Christopher Tuckett

Augusto Cosentino
Il battesimo gnostico: Dottrine, simboli e riti iniziatici nello gnosticismo
Reviewed by Birger A. Pearson

Karin Finsterbusch, Armin Lange, and K.F. Diethard Römheld, eds.
Human Sacrifice in Jewish and Christian Tradition
Reviewed by James W. Watts

Joel B. Green
1 Peter
Reviewed by Paul J. Achtemeier

John Paul Hozvicka
A Primer on Biblical Studies
Reviewed by John Vassar

Finny Philip
The Origins of Pauline Pneumatology: The Eschatological Bestowal of the Spirit upon Gentiles in Judaism and in the Early Development of Paul's Theology
Reviewed by Justin K. Hardin

Varda Sussman
Oil-Lamps in the Holy Land: Saucer Lamps: From the Beginning to the Hellenistic Period: Collections of the Israel Antiquities Authority
Reviewed by Noam Adler

Ben Witherington III
Reviewed by David C. Sim

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Faith and Politics

It's that time of year...


A Dinner & Speaker Series
@ Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church Tuesday, October 7-28


6-7:30 p.m.

Are We Sure We Want to Have This Conversation?
Peter Ochs, Religious Studies, UVA
Kay Neeley, Science, Technology, and Society, UVA

PETER OCHS is Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies. He works internationally to promote Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue in the public square and in academia.

KAY NEELEY holds a Ph.D. in English and has spent the last 29 years developing frameworks to help engineers communicate with non-experts about matters of social significance.

IN OUR INITIAL SESSION, we will explore the roots of and rationale for the taboo regarding conversations about religion and politics and become better acquainted with strategies that can make such conversations both possible and productive.

Both theology and political theory are concerned with what it means to be human and with defining and creating the conditions under which human beings can flourish. Yet the relationship between faith and politics is complicated and can be contentious. Indeed, both topics are often considered out of bounds in polite conversation. This series grows out of the belief that-especially in a university community-discussion about faith and politics can be both polite and enlightening.
Our goal is to bring together people from all faith traditions-along with people who do not consider themselves to be religious-to explore various aspects of the relationship between faith and politics. We particularly hope to engage people from the University community and to make the insights of academics accessible beyond the University's boundaries.

SPACE IS LIMITED AND REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED BUT SIMPLE. Call 434-296-6976, fax 434-295-9567, or send an email message to Please provide contact details and let us know about any special needs you may have. For directions to the church and other details, go to or call the church office.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Via Dove: Recent Releases in New Testament and Early Christianity

Some recent releases highlighted in Dove's latest e-mail alert:

Childs, Brevard S
Church's Guide for Reading Paul: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus
(Eerdmans, 2008)
Paperback List: $28.00 Dove Price: $17.99

Aageson, James
Paul, the Pastoral Epistles, and the Early Church
(Hendrickson, 2008)
Paperback List: $24.95 Dove Price: $16.99

Kim, Yung Suk
Christ's Body in Corinth: The Politics of a Metaphor
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
Paperback List: $29.00 Dove Price: $23.99

Ashbrook, Susan David Hunter (eds)
Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies
(Oxford University Press, 2008) Due in October
Hardcover List: $155.00 Dove Price: $125.99

Aune, David E
Apocalypticism, Prophecy, and Magic in Early Christianity: Collected Essays
(Baker Book House, 2008)
Paperback List: $49.99 Dove Price: $40.99

Berding, Kenneth Matthew C. Williams (eds)
What the New Testament Authors Really Cared about: A Survey of Their Writings
(Kregel Publications, 2008)
Paperback List: $24.99 Dove Price: $19.99

Greenlee, J Harold
Text of the New Testament: From Manuscript to Modern Edition
(Hendrickson, 2008)
Paperback List: $12.95 Dove Price: $9.50

Hanson, K C Douglas E. Oakman
Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Contexts, Second Edition
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
Paperback List: $30.00 Dove Price: $23.99

Malina, Bruce J John J Pilch
Social-Science Commentary on the Book of Acts
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
Paperback List: $29.00 Dove Price: $23.99

Aland, Barbara (ed)
UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition
(Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2008)
Hardcover List: $69.95 Dove Price: $46.99

Bateman, Herbert W
Workbook for Intermediate Greek: Grammar, Exegesis, and Commentary on 1-3 John
(Kregel Publications, 2008)
Paperback List: $28.99 Dove Price: $22.99

Campbell, Constantine R
Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek
(Zondervan, 2008)
Paperback List: $16.99 Dove Price: $12.99 Due: 11/11/2008

Via Dove: Recent Releases in Hebrew Bible

Some recent releases highlighted in Dove's latest e-mail alert (I may have to track down the first of these, as we've been discussing the LXX at length in Prof. Gamble's course on the development of the canon):

Aejmelaeus, Anneli
On the Trail of the Septuagint Translators: Collected Essays
(Peeters, 2007)
Paperback List: $64.00 Dove Price: $54.99

Gafney, Wilda C
Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
Paperback List: $22.00 Dove Price: $18.50

Kessler, Rainer Linda M. Maloney (trans)
Social History of Ancient Israel: An Introduction
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
Paperback List: $29.00 Dove Price: $23.99

Perdue, Leo G
Sword and the Stylus: An Introduction to Wisdom in the Age of Empires
(Eerdmans, 2008)
Paperback List: $38.00 Dove Price: $23.99

Perry, T A
God's Twilight Zone: Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible
(Hendrickson, 2008)
Paperback List: $19.95 Dove Price: $12.99

Lecture: Lovers, Madmen, and Pilgrim Poets

Coming soon to a lecture hall near you (at least, if you live in Charlottesville):

"Lovers, Madmen, and Pilgrim Poets: Imagination, Memory, and Scriptural Reasoning"

A lecture by: Barry Harvey of Baylor University

Response by: Peter Ochs of the University of Virginia

6:30-8:00 p.m., Monday, October 6th, 2008

The Center for Christian Study
128 Chancellor Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903

This event is co-sponsored by the Society of Scriptural Reasoning and Splintered Light Bookstore.

Open to the public.

Barry Harvey (PhD, Duke University) is professor of theology in the Honors College at Baylor University, author of Another City: An Ecclesiological Primer for a Post-Christian World, and coauthor of StormFront: The Good News of God.

A native of Denver, Colorado, Barry Harvey is Professor of Theology in the Honors College at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he teaches in the Great Texts program and the Graduate Program in Religion. He has earned degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and was awarded the Ph.D. degree in Theology and Ethics by Duke University. He is the author of three books, Politics of the Theological: Beyond the Piety and Power of A World Come of Age (Peter Lang), Another City: An Ecclesiological Primer for a Post-Christian World (Trinity Press International), and Can These Bones Live? A Catholic Baptist Engagement with Ecclesiology, Hermeneutics, and Social Theory (Brazos Press), and a co-author of a fourth book, StormFront: The Good News of God (Wm. B. Eerdmans). Harvey has published numerous articles in collections and scholarly journals such as Modern Theology, Pro Ecclesia, Scottish Journal of Theology, Christian Scholar's Review, First Things and Perspectives in Religious Studies. He is a member of the Board of the International Bonhoeffer Society, English Language Section, and of the Editorial Board of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (DBWE). Harvey is a member of the Ekklesia Project, a network of Christians in North America from Catholic parishes, Protestant congregations, and many other ecclesial communities, working together to celebrate, assist and make known the work of those congregations and groups whose allegiance to God and the Body of Christ make discipleship a lived reality in the world. Finally, he has also participated in the Society of Scriptural Reasoning, a group that engages in an open-ended practice of reading- and reasoning-in-dialogue among scholars of the three Abrahamic traditions.

Harvey is married to Sarah Harvey, who is an ordained Baptist minister, and has two children: Rachel, who is a graduate of Baylor, and John, who is a senior in high school. He is a devotee of college basketball and loves to watch his son play competitive soccer across Texas. He lives in Hewitt, Texas.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lecture: From the Thera Volcano to the Trojan War

This certainly sounds interesting:

The Department of Classics of the University of Virginia is pleased to
announce that Richard Janko, Gerald F. Else Collegiate Professor of
Classical Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, will be giving the
2008-09 Constantine Lecture, "From the Thera Volcano to the Trojan War:
Greek Memories of the Aegean Bronze Age."

The lecture will take place at 3:15 pm on Friday, 3 October 2008, in 125
Minor Hall. A reception will follow.

RBL Highlights: 9/26/08

Highlights from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature:

Craig D. Allert
A High View of Scripture? The Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament Canon
Reviewed by Garwood P. Anderson

Philip R. Amidon
Philostorgius: Church History
Reviewed by Alanna M. Nobbs

Stephen Bertman
Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia
Reviewed by Aren M. Maeir

Michael J. Gorman
Reading Paul
Reviewed by Stephen Finlan

Joseph H. Hellerman
Jesus and the People of God: Reconfiguring Ethnic Identity
Reviewed by Vernon Robbins

Barbara E. Reid
Taking up the Cross: New Testament Interpretations through Latina and Feminist Eyes
Reviewed by Mary J. Marshall

Joseph B. Soloveitchik; David Shatz, Joel B. Wolowelsky, and Reuven Ziegler, eds.
Abraham's Journey: Reflections on the Life of the Founding Patriarch
Reviewed by Dan W. Clanton Jr.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This Week's Eisenbrauns Sale: Miscellaneous

Lots of good stuff, including several editions of the Greek New Testament, and Hallo and Younger's The Context of Scripture, which is rapidly replacing Pritchard's Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament as the standard collection of ancient Near Eastern primary sources available in English. Save up to 50%. Check out the complete list here.

BAR Highlights: 9/25/08

More archaeological news from Biblical Archaeology Review:

Piece by Piece, the Parthenon Comes Home
September 25, 2008
In a gesture undoubtedly designed to inspire the British to do the same, Italian president Giorgio Napolitano presented Greek authorities on Tuesday with a small fragment of what has become known to the world as the Elgin Marbles. The sculptures in question are named for the Scottish diplomat, Lord Elgin, who removed large portions of the Parthenon frieze to decorate his manor home in the U.K. in the early 19th century. The majority of the sculptures are now permanently on display at the British Museum despite Greece’s repeated requests for their return. The piece returned to Greece on Tuesday by the Italians was a small fragment depicting the foot of the goddess Artemis, a piece that had been given by Elgin to a friend in Sicily on his way back to London and which has been on display in a museum in Palermo for the last 200 years.

The 2,500-year-old Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena that is the crowning glory of the Acropolis in Athens, has suffered serious damage in the last several hundred years. It was heavily damaged in 1687 in a siege of the Acropolis by the Venetian army during the Ottoman occupation of Greece. Today, the heavy pollution of Athens continues to negatively impact the ancient monument. Because of this, many argue that the Elgin Marbles are much safer in the protected environment of the British Museum, which so far shows no signs of being willing to return the sculptures. Germany gave a fragment back to Greece two years ago, and the Vatican is reportedly poised to follow suit with two fragments currently in its possession.

CBS News reports on the return of a fragment of the Parthenon’s frieze.

Ancient Bronze Age Settlement Added to List of Sites in Legendary City
September 24, 2008
The coastal city of Paphos in southwest Cyprus has enjoyed distinction for several millennia. According to legend, the ancient city is the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. In the Greco-Roman world it was the island’s capital, and today it is listed as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Archaeologists have discovered settlements in the area that date from the very first Neolithic age in Cyprus, as well as an important Chalcolithic settlement. Now, scholars can add a Bronze Age settlement to Paphos’s archaeological pedigree.

At the site of Kissonerga-Skalia, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a site they believe was abandoned around 1700 B.C. The excavated remains include an unusually shaped curved wall that may have served as a perimeter wall, spreads of potsherds and ground stone tools. In other parts of the site, a freestanding furnace and other objects such as spindle whorls, a loom weight and agricultural tools help to give scholars a picture of prehistoric life on the island.

The Cyprus Mail reports on the Bronze Age settlement discovered in Paphos.

Billionaire Religious Leader Works to Preserve Ancient Islamic Sites
September 23, 2008
The 71-year-old billionaire and leader of the world’s 15 million Shia Ismailis has taken on the task of educating the world about the history and greatness of Islamic civilizations. The Agha Khan’s organization, called the Agha Khan Trust for Culture, has been working for the last five years in conjunction with the Syrian antiquities department to preserve and restore the 13th century citadel of Aleppo, an ancient city in Syria that sits at what was one of the crucial junctions of heavily traveled trade routes in antiquity. By restoring ancient sites of great significance in Islamic history, the Agha Khan hopes to broaden the modern world’s view of Islam and its historical context and contributions.

When describing his motivations for establishing such a venture to the AFP (Agence France Presse), the Agha Khan says that “one of the principles of Islam is that on his deathbed every person must try to leave behind a better world.” In helping to restore and preserve some of Islam’s great sites, the Agha Khan hopes to build bridges between people of different religions and cultures.

The Daily Star reports on the Agha Khan’s efforts to preserve important Islamic sites.

Ancient Assyrian Monastery Survives Modern War
September 22, 2008
A late sixth-century Assyrian monastery in Iraq has survived for more than 1,400 years; it has also survived the impact of a Russian tank turret that slammed into it after a U.S. missile hit the tank during the initial U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. After that, the Dair Mar Elia (the Monastery of St. Elijah) was used as a garrison by the U.S. 101st Corps of Engineers. The structure’s importance was eventually recognized by a chaplain, at which point General David Petraeus ordered that the ancient monastic complex be cleared. Now, five years after the beginning of the war in Iraq, this valuable piece of Iraq’s cultural heritage is finally receiving some well-deserved attention from preservation experts.

The ancient monastery is located in Nineveh province—an area that is rich in archaeological sites such as Hatra and Nimrud. Many sites in the area have remained unexcavated, a fact that has protected them from the ravages of war and looting. Both international and Iraqi organizations are interested in investigating and preserving monuments such as Dair Mar Elia, though they agree that security will first have to be restored to the troubled province before scholars will be able to work safely. In the meantime, the U.S. 94th Corps of Engineers is making a topographical map of the site, the first step of a process that will hopefully serve to preserve the sacred site for future generations of Iraqi citizens.

Smithsonian Magazine reports on the monastery of Dair Mar Elia.

Homer’s Troy Larger than Previously Thought
September 21, 2008
This year’s excavation season has given scholars evidence that the legendary city of Troy may have been larger than previously thought. Made famous by Homer’s Iliad, the city of Homer’s epic existed over 3,000 years ago in the late Bronze Age. According to excavation director Ernst Pernicka of the University of Tubingen, Troy may have been as large as 100 acres with a population as high as 10,000 people. Pernicka partially bases his conclusion as to the town’s size on a trench that surrounds the perimeter of the city. He believes that the trench probably functioned as a defensive structure and not as the drainage ditch that archaeologists had previously thought it to be.

Parts of two large pitchers were found in the trench near the edge of the town. Such vessels were used in or near homes for food storage. Their presence suggests that houses in the lower town extended to the trench, indicating a larger city and a greater population than previous excavations have concluded.

Bloomberg reports on the most recent excavations of ancient Troy.

Early Bronze Age Settlement Discovered in Eastern Turkey
September 20, 2008
An early Bronze Age settlement dating to the Hittite era has been discovered in eastern Turkey. The excavation team, headed by Professor Marcella Frangipane of the Italian La Sapienza University, discovered the site in Aslantepe in the Turkish province of Malatya. Frangipane and her team have identified a city perimeter wall that dates to 2900—2500 B.C. and a building that may date to 3000—4000 B.C.

Aslantepe is one of the most excavated sites in Central Anatolia, and thus far seven distinct phases of occupation have been identified, beginning with the Chalcolithic period and continuing through the Roman era. The first known palace in the world was built at Aslantepe in 3350 B.C., on the walls of which beautiful paintings have been successfully preserved.

World Bulletin reports on the discovery of an early Bronze Age settlement in eastern Turkey.

Eamon Duffy Coming to NYC

For the first time, I wish I were still in the Northeast! Prof. Duffy's work on the history of the papacy is essentially unparalleled in English, and his work on the progress of the Reformation in England has been, if anything, more influential:

Eamon Duffy, the noted historian, will speak on Mary Tudor, England's first ruling queen, and Cardinal Reginald Pole, Catholic reformer and Archbishop of Canterbury, who died 450 years ago this year. A sung requiem mass and concert, both with music from the Tudor Age, shall precede Professor Duffy's address. All of these events are free to the public and will take place on Monday, November 17, 2008 at Corpus Christi Church in Manhattan.

Lecture: Towards a Sacramental Poetics

And for those who simply can't get their fill of open lecture on Friday:

Regina Schwartz

Professor of English
Northwestern University

Towards a Sacramental Poetics

Friday, September 26
12 noon,
English Faculty Lounge
Bryan Hall

When the dust settled after the Reformers had redefined the Eucharist,
understandings of the material and immaterial, the visible and invisible,
immanence and transcendence were revised. Debates about the Eucharist
during the Reformation became the occasion for the worldview we regard as
“modern” to begin to be articulated, and this fledgling modernism swept into
its purview a vast array of concerns and disciplines: theology, metaphysics,
aesthetics, and politics were re-imagined. In short, the Eucharist was a
lightening rod, a focus where tremendous energy gathered, or better, a
lightening bolt--for it jolted sensibilities into a new world order. In the
course of questioning the Eucharist, justice and sacrifice, images and
language, community and love, cosmos and creation, were all implicated.
Sacramentality at the Dawn of Secularism: When God Left the World is a study of sacramentality and its infusion in the secular world. And while the theology of the Eucharist has dictated its subjects — the questions of justice, signification, love, and the material world — the book makes no claim that these in any way exhaust the enormous theological implications of the ritual. Instead, it shows how these questions, so urgent for theology, become the domain of secular culture — as the ethical, the symbolic, the erotic, and the material.

Regina Schwartz is the author of The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism (Chicago UP). She has authored a book on John Milton’s theodicy and poetics, Remembering and Repeating (Cambridge UP, rpt Chicago UP, winner of the Milton Society of America’s James Holly Hanford’s Book Award) and has edited, with Valeria Finucci, Desire in the Renaissance (Princeton UP). She has edited the collection The Book and the Text, The Bible and Literary Theory (Blackwell) and co-edited The Postmodern Bible (Yale UP). Most recently, she has edited a volume, Transcendence: Philosophy, Literature and Theology Approach the Beyond (Routledge). Her new book, Sacramentality at the Dawn of Secularism: When God Left the World (Stanford UP, 2008) explores the ways the sacramental vision infuses the poetry, drama, and the wider culture of the early modern period.

Sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of English,
and the Special Lectures Committee.

Lecture: Making Transcendents in Early Medieval China

For anyone hanging around Charlottesville this week:

Lecture by Robert Campany, School of Religion, USC

3:00 pm, New Cabell Hall 222, Friday, Sept. 26

Making Transcendents in Early Medieval China

Transcendents or immortals (xian) and those seeking this godlike status in early medieval China are usually pictured as solitary, hermit-like mountain-dwellers. In tomb art of the period they are invariably shown flying through the heavens or attending at celestial courts. This lecture will present a very different picture of these fascinating figures, restoring them to the many kinds of social contexts in which they operated and pointing out the essential role of the other people whose responses to them were what conferred the status of transcendence. Making transcendents, it will be argued, was a collective process, in many senses.

East Asia Center lecture series. Refreshments served.

Friday, September 19, 2008

BAR Highlights: 9/19/08

More archaeological news from Biblical Archaeology Review:

Egypt, UNESCO Planning Underwater Museum in Cleopatra’s Sunken City
September 19, 2008
Alexandria, Egypt has been a place of legend for millennia—long after much of the ancient harbor city, including Cleopatra’s palace, sank into the Mediterranean due to a series of earthquakes that began in the fourth century A.D. Located in the bay just offshore of the modern city’s coastline, the buildings and complexes where Egypt’s most famous queen lived and walked have been out of reach to all but the most dedicated underwater archaeologists. Recently, UNESCO has announced that it will be funding a research team to determine if the sunken city cannot once again be visible without the use of SCUBA gear.

Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and UNESCO are studying the feasibility of creating an underwater museum; one that will allow visitors to see the ancient ruins lying just below the surface of the water without moving or otherwise disturbing them. The proposed museum would also have an above-ground portion of the complex, where recovered artifacts could be displayed and seen before the visitor would continue through clear, fiberglass tunnels running under the surface of the water amid the sunken palace ruins. Egyptian authorities hope that such a project, if feasible, would revitalize the city’s landscape and its tourism industry.

National Geographic reports on the underwater museum project in Alexandria.

Temple and Statue of Ramesses II Discovered in Cairo
September 18, 2008
This week in Cairo, the bustling capital city of Egypt, archaeologists have uncovered portions of a temple and statue built to honor Ramesses II, the 19th Dynasty pharaoh who is perhaps the most famous ruler of ancient Egypt. The temple and statue remains were found in the area of Ain Shams in east Cairo and are over 3,000 years old. Discoveries such as this are unusual in the crowded and urban city, though in 2006 another colossal statue of Ramesses II was discovered there. That statue, made of pink granite and weighing 100 tons, was eventually moved outside the city to protect it from pollution.

Ramesses II was known to have built prolifically during his rule, constructing monuments and statues honoring his achievements all over the country. Ancient sources describe his reign as one of prosperity and power, lasting over 65 years. Upon his death at over 90 years of age, his mummy was interred in the Valley of Kings. Today, the mummy of Ramesses II is on display at the National Museum in Cairo and is one of the country’s greatest tourist attractions.

ABC News reports on the rare discovery of a temple to Ramesses II in Egypt’s capital city.

Remains of Million-Year-Old Camel Found in Northern Syria

September 17, 2008
There is an old joke that the camel is the only animal ever made by committee, which is why it turned out the way it did. If so, then that committee may have had one million years to make changes to its invention. Archaeologists working in northern Syria have discovered a small jawbone belonging to a previously undiscovered species of camel that would have been tiny compared to the camels that roam the desert today. The jawbone dates to approximately one million years ago, which makes it the oldest camel remains ever found.

Last year, archaeologists discovered the remains of a giant camel in Syria that lived about 100,000 years ago and stood between 10 to 13 feet in height—about the size of an African elephant. When studied in tandem with the new find, these ancient camel bones could tell scientists a great deal about the evolution of the camel into the amusing, committee-manufactured mammal that we have cruising the deserts today.

Scotland on Sunday reports on the discovery of the million-year-old camel remains.

Ancient and Rare Sarcophagi Unearthed in Cyprus
September 16, 2008
Rare marble sarcophagi have been discovered in the town of Larnaca on the island of Cyprus. The three sarcophagi are thought to date from 500 B.C., and two of them have been identified as extremely rare. The Cyprus Department of Antiquities Director, Pavlos Flourentzos, announced that one of the sarcophagi is made of marble and is carved in the shape of a woman. Since Cyprus does not have marble, the material had to be imported and would therefore have been very uncommon and expensive. The female shape is even more unusual; there is only one other such sarcophagus that has been discovered on Cyprus.

A second sarcophagus is also made of marble and is richly decorated, while the third is much more typical of sarcophagi found in ancient tombs from the region. All three pieces were discovered during construction work near the town’s Metropolitain Church of Christ.

The Cyprus Mail reports on the discovery of ancient, rare sarcophagi.

Burials at the Birthplace of Alexander the Great Shed Light on Ancient Kingdom

September 15, 2008
Excavations of a burial site near Pella in northern Greece, where Alexander the Great was born, have shed light on the development of the ancient Mediterranean kingdom of Macedon. A total of 43 graves were excavated, dating from 650-279 B.C. Twenty of these graves were identified as warrior burials from the late Archaic period, between 580 and 460 B.C. Some of these individuals were buried in bronze helmets with iron swords and knives. Their eyes, mouths and chests were covered with gold foil, which was decorated with images that symbolized royal power.

The discovery is also rich in knowledge, as archaeological material associated with the burial site confirmed evidence that it was a militaristic culture that was engaged in overseas trade as early as the 7th century B.C. Eleven of the burials were identified as being females from the same period, while nine others were dated to the late Classical or early Hellenistic period, around the time of Alexander the Great’s death in 323 B.C.

Reuters reports on the burial site excavations at the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

Modern Technology Helps to Preserve the Past

September 14, 2008
The East and West, as well as the past and the present, are coming together in order to preserve some of the world’s most important archaeological sites. Organizations such as the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, Farallon Geographics in San Francisco, the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage and the Jordanian Department of Antiquities have joined forces with the World Monument Fund in order to create what has been called MEGA-J: the Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities, Jordan. The newly designed, English-Arabic geographic information system is intended to inventory, monitor and manage archaeological sites in a part of the world where military conflicts can wreck havoc in archaeologically sensitive regions.

MEGA-J is being applied to monument preservation in the Kingdom of Jordan, and will serve as the model for a similar system, to be called MEGA-I, which will be put in place in Iraq upon the conclusion of the current conflict there. It is considered to be an especially important project for Iraq, as rebuilding and structural development projects could severely impact that country’s important cultural heritage sites and negatively affect the archaeology of the area.

The Jordan Times reports on the MEGA-J project.

World’s Largest Jewish Museum to be Built in Moscow

September 13, 2008
The final architectural plans have been approved for what will be the largest Jewish Museum in the world. The committee for the Russian-Jewish Museum of Tolerance announced that the museum would be established in a historic building that is part of the Jewish community center in Moscow. The collection will commemorate Russian-Jewish history and will include a section dedicated to the Holocaust. The plans also include a large library, a center for Judaic studies and conference rooms. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2009 and be completed by 2011.

Haaretz reports on the world’s largest Jewish museum.

The “Tomb of Eve” Draws Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia
September 12, 2008
According to legend, the town of Jiddah in Saudi Arabia is the location of the tomb of Biblical Eve—the mythic mother of humanity. While there is no way to scientifically prove that she ever existed, much less that she is buried here, the site nonetheless draws pilgrims to the green doors leading into “the graveyard of our mother Eve,” as declared by signs posted at the entrance. The term “Jiddah” in Arabic means “grandmother,” and many say that the city’s name refers to Eve. While men come by the thousands to pay pay homage at the cemetery, the law in Saudi Arabia prevents women from entering cemeteries, with the result thatwomen are excluded from the mythic site of the tomb said to belong to the world’s first woman.

Irony aside, how did this legend develop? According to Arab tradtion, God made Eve for Adam on a hill outside of Mecca, later called Mt. Arafat. This places Eve in the vicinity of Jiddah, the entry point for pilgrims traveling to Mecca. Medieval Arab historians also refer to Jiddah as the resting place of Eve. While there is no archaeological evidence to back up the claim, the legend endures.

The New York Times reports on the tomb of Biblical Eve.

Egyptian Pyramid Lost and Found
September 11, 2008
How do you lose a pyramid? As it turns out, it’s not that hard. Particularly when the pyramid in question is more than 4000 years old, and its remains are located in a high-security military zone where archaeologists are generally not allowed to enter. The site of Abu Rawash, located 8 km north of Giza, was first explored by Swiss Egyptologist Dr. Michael Valloggia who was granted rare access to excavate there in 1995. The excavations that have continued there since then have revealed the “missing pyramid” that completes the trio in Giza, built by pharaohs of Egypt’s fourth dynasty.

Generally when one thinks of the pyramids of Egypt, it is those three spectacular monuments that rise majestically from the sands of Giza that come to mind. Those were built by the pharaohs Khufu, his son Khafre and his grandson Menkaure. However, scholars had long been puzzled by the absence of a pyramid belonging to Djedefre, Khufu’s son who ruled after him and before his brother Khafre. The pyramid at Abu Rawash has been determined to have built by Djedefre, and it seems as though the mystery of Djedefre’s missing pyramid is now solved. Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities has stated its intention to have the “lost pyramid” opened to the public by next year.

The Star reports on the “lost pyramid” of Egypt.

“Sleeping Buddha” Awakes
September 10, 2008
In central Afghanistan, a 60-foot-high statue of Buddha has been discovered by archaeologists who were searching for the remains of a fabled thousand-foot-tall statue in the same area. The region of Bamiyan, where the statue was found, was once a center of Buddhism along the ancient Silk Road that ran between Europe and Central Asia. It lies approximately 90 miles northwest of the modern Afghan capital of Kabul.

Archaeologists had set about exploring the area in recent years, looking for an enormous, statue of Buddha in a sleeping posture that had been written of in a centuries-old account by a Chinese pilgrim. Archaeology in Afghanistan had come to a halt under the rule of the Taliban, whose regime was toppled in 2001. Unfortunately, it was not in time to save the two gigantic standing Buddhas, which were thought to be 1,600 years old at the time of their destruction by the Taliban.

Yahoo! News reports of the discovery of the sleeping Buddha.

Avraham Biran: 1909-2008

Sad news from the BAR:

AVRAHAM BIRAN, 1909-2008
The End of an Era

One of Israel's--and the world's--most prolific archaeologists, has passed away. Avraham Biran, who headed the excavations at Tel Dan for more than 30 years, passed away in Jerusalem just a month shy of his 99th birthday. Biran received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, studying under the dean of Near Eastern scholarship, William F. Albright. In addition to leading the Tel Dan excavation, Biran dug at numerous sites in Israel, British Mandate-era Palestine and in Iraq, and he headed the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem for many years. As a tribute to this major figure in the field, we present an extensive interview with Biran conducted by BAR editor Hershel Shanks on the occasion of Biran's 90th birthday and an article by Web editor Steven Feldman describing a memorable visit he made with Biran to one of Biran's excavation sites.

Read about Avraham Biran's extraordinary career

Early Christianity with Abraham Malherbe

Anyone living in or around New Haven should put this on their calendar:

Beginning Sunday, September 21 and continuing through November 16, The First Baptist Church of New Haven, 205 Edwards St, will host a nine-week Bible study. The study is entltled "Life in the Early Church," and will explore reasons why traveling conditions, letter writing, hospitality, house churches were important to early Christians. The study will be led by Dr. Abraham Malherbe. Dr. Malherbe is the Buckingham Professor Emeritus of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation and former Academic Dean at Yale Divinity School.

The community is invited to attend this which begins at 9A.M. each Sunday morning.

For further information, please contact First Baptist Church at 562-0069, or email or check the website at FirstBaptistNewHaven.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Latest Limited Quantity Markdowns from Dove

Available through September 30. As always, for every four books ordered, a fifth is given free. Check them out here.

Openings at BU

Two recently announced, tenure-track openings at Boston University:

Monday, September 15, 2008

This Week's Eisenbrauns Sale: Exegetical Summaries

Titles offered at discounts of 30% off. Check them out here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bible and Politics Seminar

From the SBL:

The Society of Biblical Literature partners with Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA for a one-day series of lectures by biblical scholars on how politics affects the Bible and the Bible affects politics.

Saturday, September 27th; 2008
9am to 3:30pm
Santee Chapel, The Lark Academic Building
Lancaster Theological Seminary

Free to the public and all students, clergy, and religious leaders in the area.
To register contact: Rikki Jones, Office of Continuing Education, or 1-800-393-0654 ext. 158.
Lunch provided in the Dietz Refectory.

Professor Ronald J. Sider

Professor Cynthia Briggs Kittredge

Professor Fernando Segovia

Professor Julia M. O’Brien

A panel discussion will follow.

For more information:

RBL Highlights: 9/15/08

Highlights from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature:

Frederick E. Brenk
With Unperfumed Voice: Studies in Plutarch, in Greek Literature, Religion and Philosophy, and in the New Testament Background
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus

James H. Charlesworth, ed.
The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Second Princeton Symposium on Judaism and Christian Origins
Reviewed by Matthew Goff

Zeba A. Crook and Philip A. Harland, eds.
Identity and Interaction in the Ancient Mediterranean: Jews, Christians and Others: Essays in Honour of Stephen G. Wilson
Reviewed by Thomas W. Gillespie

Rodney J. Decker
Koine Greek Reader: Selections from the New Testament, Septuagint, and Early Christian Writers
Reviewed by Pierre Johan Jordaan

Matthew Kraus
How Should Rabbinic Literature Be Read in the Modern World?
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort
The Greek New Testament with Dictionary
Reviewed by Allan J. McNicol

Friday, September 5, 2008

Three New Titles from SBL...

... including one which may come in very handy next spring, as Prof. Kovacs is considering teaching a course on Clement of Alexandria:

The Text of the Gospels in Clement of Alexandria
Carl P. Cosaert

This volume applies the latest methodological advances in patristic textual analysis to explore the nature of the Gospel text used by Clement, an early Alexandrian father who wrote extensively on the Christian faith and filled his writings with thousands of biblical citations. After examining Clement’s life and use of the New Testament writings, the book lists all of his quotations of the Four Gospels and compares them to those of other Alexandrian Christians and to the most significant ancient Greek and Latin manuscripts. The book demonstrates that the form of the Gospels in Alexandria was in transition at the end of the second century and argues that Clement’s Gospel text reveals an Alexandrian influence in John and Matthew and a stronger Western influence in Luke and his citations of Mark 10.

Paper $47.95 — ISBN 9781589833722 — 388 pages — New Testament in the Greek Fathers 9 — Hardback edition

"They Shall Purify Themselves": Essays on Purity in Early Judaism

Susan Haber
Adele Reinhartz, editor

Recent decades have witnessed numerous studies of the role of purity in early Judaism, from ancient Israel to the rabbinic period, covering a variety of topics and approaches. The essays in this volume address three less-studied areas of this broader field: the connection, if any, between purity and the synagogue; Jesus’ observance of purity laws; and women’s relationships with purity in the first century. By providing a new perspective on the role of purity in first-century Judaism, this stimulating and refreshing collection illuminates ancient practice and informs our understanding of the role of purity in the contemporary world.

Paper $32.95 — ISBN 9781589833555 — 256 pages — Early Judaism and Its Literature 24 — Hardback edition

As It Is Written: Studying Paul's Use of Scripture

Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Stanley

All scholars recognize that Scripture plays a vital role in the theology and rhetoric of the apostle Paul. They disagree, however, about how best to make sense of the many marked and unmarked references to Scripture that permeate his letters. This book aims to move the discussion forward by examining the reasons behind these scholarly differences. The essays are united by a concern to show how scholarly opinions concerning Paul’s use of Scripture have been influenced by the application of divergent methods and conflicting presuppositions regarding Paul, his audiences, and the role of biblical references in his letters. The book also seeks to extend the boundaries of the discussion by applying the insights of deconstruction, postcolonial theory, and feminist criticism to the study of Paul’s use of Scripture. Together these essays show what can be accomplished when scholars take the time to discuss their differences and try out new approaches to old problems. The contributors are Douglas A. Campbell, Roy Ciampa, Steven DiMattei, Kathy Ehrensperger, Neil Elliott, Bruce N. Fisk, Mark D. Given, Steve Moyise, Stanley E. Porter, Jeremy Punt, and Christopher D. Stanley.

Paper $44.95 — ISBN 9781589833593 — 388 pages — Symposium Series 50 — Hardback edition

RBL Highlights: 9/5/08

Highlights from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature:

Stephen C. Barton, ed.
Idolatry: False Worship in the Bible, Early Judaism and Christianity
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus

Kent E. Brower and Andy Johnson, eds.
Holiness and Ecclesiology in the New Testament
Reviewed by James M. Howard

David B. Capes, Rodney Reeves, and E. Randolph Richards
Rediscovering Paul: An Introduction to His World, Letters, and Theology
Reviewed by Rodrigo J. Morales

Paul M. Fullmer
Resurrection in Mark's Literary-Historical Perspective
Reviewed by Pheme Perkins

Edith M. Humphrey, ed.
And I Turned to See the Voice: The Rhetoric of Vision in the New Testament
Reviewed by Bart J. Koet

David J. Lull
1 Corinthians
Reviewed by Anthony C. Thiselton

Steve Moyise and Maarten J. J. Menken, eds.
Deuteronomy in the New Testament: The New Testament and the Scriptures of Israel
Reviewed by Michael A. Lyons
Reviewed by David Lincicum

Stanley E. Porter, ed.
Paul and His Opponents
Reviewed by Justin K. Hardin

Norman Solomon, Richard Harries, and Tim Winter, eds.
Abraham's Children: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Conversation
Reviewed by Joel N. Lohr

Fortress Press eNewsletter: New Testament

The most recent e-Newsletter from Fortress included a couple particularly interesting titles:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

September Sale at Eisenbrauns

Is it September already? Where did my summer go? In any case, yet another monthly sale has arrived from Eisenbrauns. This month: 10-30% off selected Akkadian and Sumerian titles. Check them out here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

RBL Highlights: 8/28/08

Selections from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature:

Michael F. Bird
The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification and the New Perspective
Reviewed by Martin Meiser

William P. Brown, ed.
Engaging Biblical Authority: Perspectives on the Bible as Scripture
Reviewed by Craig L. Blomberg

Reta Halteman Finger
Of Widows and Meals: Communal Meals in the Book of Acts
Reviewed by Steve Walton

Ronald E. Heine
Reading the Old Testament with the Ancient Church: Exploring the Formation of Early Christian Thought
Reviewed by Martin C. Albl

Joel S. Kaminsky
Yet I Loved Jacob: Reclaiming the Biblical Concept of Election
Reviewed by B. J. Oropeza

James A. Metzger
Consumption and Wealth in Luke's Travel Narrative
Reviewed by Kenneth Litwak

Ruth Anne Reese
2 Peter and Jude
Reviewed by Wilhelm Pratscher

David M. Scholer, ed.
Social Distinctives of the Christians in the First Century: Pivotal Essays by E. A. Judge
Reviewed by Tsalampouni Ekaterini

Friday, August 22, 2008

This Week's Eisenbrauns Sale: Coptic Studies

Selected titles at prices ranging from 10%-40% off. Check them out here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Coming from Logos: Electronic Edition of Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries

Thanks to the folks at Logos for pointing me in the direction of their forthcoming electronic edition of the Anchor Yale Bible commentary series--83 erudite volumes digitized for quick and effecient research! While even the pre-publication price of $1499.95 is too rich for many readers' blood, and the AYBC series suffers from some editorial and authorial shortcomings when compared to Hermeneia (most notably its use of cumbersome transliteration rather than Greek and Hebrew fonts), academic professionals and serious students will still view this edition as a godsend. Order now and take advantage of some serious savings over the print series!

RBL Highlights: 8/19/08

Selections from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature:

Paul J. Achtemeier
Jesus and the Miracle Tradition
Reviewed by Michael Labahn

Roland Boer, ed.
Bakhtin and Genre Theory in Biblical Studies
Reviewed by David W. Williams

Maria Brutti
The Development of the High Priesthood during the Pre-Hasmonean Period: History, Ideology, Theology
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Lester L. Grabbe
Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?
Reviewed by Brian B. Schmidt

Leslie Houlden, ed.
Decoding Early Christianity: Truth and Legend in the Early Church
Reviewed by Robert M. Bowman Jr.

Karen L. King
The Secret Revelation of John
Reviewed by Francis Dalrymple-Hamilton

Douglas E. Oakman
Jesus and the Peasants
Reviewed by Ernest van Eck

Richard Liong-Seng Phua
Idolatry and Authority: A Study of 1 Corinthians 8.1-11.1 in the Light of the Jewish Diaspora
Reviewed by Scott E. McClelland

Tom Thatcher, ed.
What We Have Heard from the Beginning: The Past, Present, and Future of Johannine Studies
Reviewed by Cornelis Bennema

Nancy M. Tischler
Thematic Guide to Biblical Literature
Reviewed by Gerbern Oegema

Valerie M. Warrior
Roman Religion
Reviewed by Honora Howell Chapman

Francis Watson
Paul, Judaism, and the Gentiles: Beyond the New Perspective
Reviewed by James D. G. Dunn

New from SBL: Lamentations and Social Sciences

Two more new titles from SBL:

Lamentations in Ancient and Contemporary Cultural Contexts
Nancy C. Lee and Carleen Mandolfo, editors
Personal tragedy and communal catastrophe up to the present day are universal human experiences that call forth lament. Lament singers—from the most ancient civilizations to traditional oral poets to the biblical psalmists and poets of Lamentations to popular singers across the globe—have always raised the cry of human suffering, giving voice to the voiceless, illuminating injustice, or pleading for divine help. This volume gathers an international collection of essays on biblical lament and Lamentations, illuminating their genres, artistry, purposes, and significant place in the history and theologies of ancient Israel. It also explores lament across cultures, both those influenced by biblical traditions and those not, as the practices of composition, performance, and interpretation of life’s suffering continue to shed light on our knowledge of biblical lament.

Paper $34.95 — ISBN 9781589833579 — 288 pages — Symposium Series 43 — Hardback edition

The Social Sciences and Biblical Translation
Dietmar Neufeld, editor
The Bible is an ancient book, written in a language other than English, describing social and cultural situations incongruent with modern sensibilities. To help readers bridge these gaps, this work examines the translation and interpretation of a set of biblical texts from the perspectives of cultural anthropology and the social sciences. The introduction deals with methodological issues, enabling readers to recognize the differences in translation when words, sentences, and ideas are part of ancient social and cultural systems that shape meaning. The following essays demonstrate how Bible translations can be culturally sensitive, take into account the challenge of social distance, and avoid the dangers of ethnocentric and theological myopia. As a whole, this work shows the importance of making use of the insights of cultural anthropology in an age of ever-increasing manipulation of the biblical text.

$24.95 — ISBN 9781589833470 — 200 pages — Symposium Series 41 — Hardback edition