Academia, Ancient Literature, Ancient Near East, Antiquity, Apocrypha, Bible, Biblical Studies, Blogs, Books, Greco-Roman World, Greek, Hebrew, Jewish Literature, Judaism, New Testament, News, Old Testament, Reviews, Technology

Biblical Studies Carnival

Well, here it is—the Biblical Studies Carnival for August 2017! This is my first time to host the revered BSC, so I hope you enjoy yourself so immensely that you’ll sign up to host your yourself. If you’d like to host a carnival, you can email Phil Long at or send him a DM on Twitter @plong42. No one has signed up thus far, so prime real estate is still available! I’m pretty sure if you sign up, you’ll receive something invaluable, such as the esteem and praise of your peers, a boost in blog traffic, maybe even a puppy, or if you’re Jim West, a cat.

Upcoming Biblical Studies Carnivals

If you have links you’d like to see included in future carnvivals, send the links to the hosts below.

Hebrew Bible/Hebrew
Carly Crouch writes about the ethics of war in ancient Israel and Assyria here.

In light of the 2017 solar eclipse, Claude Mariottini writes about solar eclipses in the OT here.

William Ross shares some recently discovered correspondence from H. B. Swete here.

LXX scholar Anneli Aejmelaeus shares her experience of being a female scholar in a male-dominant field.

Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha
Phil Long continues his series on apocrypha and pseudepigrapha with posts on Jubilees (why Jubilees was written, the law in Jubilees, story in expansions), The Life of Adam and Eve, The Apocalypse of Adam and Eve, and Joseph and Aseneth (including how Joseph got his wife).

New Testament/Greek
James Tauber continues his jaunt through Greek morphology with part 10 here. Parts 11, 12, 13, 14, . He also has a Greek vocab site that you might enjoy. Check it out here.

Listen to Chris Heilig’s interview with N. T. Wright here.

Read Charles Isbell’s article on Paul and Judaism here.

Should you read Revelation? Of course! And Ian Paul provides a few reasons why here.

Check out the slides from Rachel and Mike Aubrey’s presentation for the Tyndale House Greek Prepositions Workshop here.

James Snapp points out a few “cracks” in the NA28 here and here.

Everyone’s favorite Aussie Mike Bird shares his 12 theses (=major themes) of the catholic epistles here and does so without damaging any church doors.

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) has recently digitized ten Gospels manuscripts from the National Library of Greece. Read about it here.

Brant Pitre discusses the problem of the Lord’s Supper here.

Larry Hurtado discusses the issue of Galatians and the Jerusalem collection here.

Michael Heiser briefly discusses geography and hell here.

Listen to an interview with Doug Campbell here.

Craig Keener briefly discusses the difficult Matt 23:38–39 here.

Brian small adds more articles to his ever-expanding pool of Hebrews studies.

Phil Long discusses Paul’s Jewish heritage here.

Read the interesting series of articles over at Mosaic concerning the alleged corruption of the discipline of biblical studies. Joshua Berman begins the conversation and, in turn, Jon Levensen, David Carr, Craig Bartholomew, and Benjamin Sommer offer responses. Marc Brettler weighs in as does Michael Kok here and here. Joshua Berman offers the final word.

Eerdmans authors share their tips on writing here.

PhD students face many hardships in the course of their studies, one of which is maintaining good mental health.

Bruce J. Malina passed away on August 17. May he rest in peace.

In case you’re still wondering about those lead codices, read a comprehensive report here.

Read about the discovery of Hittite bullae here.

Read John Meade’s thoughts on the relationship of manuscripts and the canonization of texts here.

Practice your academic German by reading an excerpt of text with translation of Torsten Jantsch’s Jesus, der Retter: Die Soteriologie des lukanischen Doppelwerks here.

Keep up your Latin with daily lessons at LatinPerDiem!

Jim West alerts us to Bultmann’s proclivities for correspondence here!

James Tauber has a visualization of Greek letter bigram frequencies here.

Book Reviews and Reflections/Thoughts
The ever-erudite Mike Aubrey provides readers with a supplement to his three-part review of Stan Porter’s Linguistic Analysis of the Greek New Testament: Studies in Tools, Methods, and Practice (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2015). For some context, read parts 1, 2, and 3.

Larry Hurtado offers some thoughts on Paul Fredriksen’s new book Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle here.

Pete Enns reflects on Marten Hengel’s classic Crucifixion here.


Jim West lets us know about a series of OT study guides from Bloomsbury here.

Some guy wants to trade a book here.

Check out the forthcoming Complete Hebrew-Greek Bible from Hendrickson.

Will Brown reviews The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions here.

Phil Long reviews Jon Laansma and Randall Gauthier’s The Handy Guide to Difficult and Irregular Greek Verbs here.

Get a free e-book from de Gruyter here. It’s Writing Matters: Presenting and Perceiving Monumental Inscriptions in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, ed. by Berti, Irene / Bolle, Katharina / Opdenhoff, Fanny / Stroth, Fabian.

August Releases

Mahlon Smith writes about the SBL GNT app (for Android) here.

Get Die Bible—Einheitsübersetzung 2017 for your iPhone here.

If you’re an academic and/or student, get the Logos 7 engine for free here.

Well, I hope you enjoyed your jaunt through this month’s carnival. Hopefully, everyone was kind to you and you found something that made the stop worthwhile. Blessings to you!


Name Change?

I’ve seriously considered changing the name of this blog. I’ve been toying with it for a while and, obviously, to this point I’ve not gone through with it. Part of my hesitation is logisitics and even though WordPress has been awesome and I am certain migrating everything to another blog address (still with WordPress) is achievable, I’m not sure if the move is would be more trouble than it’s worth. Again, it’s not like there’s a rabid hoard of readers who would incite a digital riot if I renamed/started a new one, but I’m not certain if the move would be as smooth as I’d like. Would all the links redirect should someone click on a previous post?

The other issue for me is the name. I’d like to rename it with something in English, primarily because it’s easier to write and I don’t have to change keyboards to type it (though I don’t have to do that very often). Additionally, I have no idea what I would name a new site. I’d want something simple that encompasses the subject matter herein, but I don’t know what that would be.

Any input/advice any of you might have would be helpful, especially if you’ve done this before (I know Jim has). Again, this is not a big deal, but I’d like to do it

Thanks in advance!

Αυτω η δοξα

Blogs, Technology

I Can See Clearly Now

If you aren’t aware, I am a big fan of Evernote. I use it to keep up with notes for research papers, book reviews, and other miscellaneous note-taking tasks. I was browsing their web site recently looking for something and I decided to check out some of their other products. One in particular looked interesting–it’s called Clearly. I would count myself among those of you who despise cluttered, ad-festooned web sites, particularly when it’s a blog (I’m looking at you BeliefNet and Patheos). I want to read the post without my inner consumerist impulses being constantly barraged with ads. 

 Enter Clearly. Clearly, at least for now, is only available for Chrome (which is really the only browser you need anyway). When you click on the icon (which is installed as an extension), it removes all the junk and leaves only the text you’ve clicked to read in the first place.
Before Clearly
After Clearly
As you can see, it does a nice job of cleaning up the page so it is much less distracting. Perhaps most folks don’t notice all the other stuff, but I do and sometimes hinders the reading process. Thank you, Evernote, for making it possible to read things more Clearly!
Αυτω η δοξα
Blogs, Giveaways

New Blog and Giveaway

Bryan Lopez and crew have begun a new blog, entitled All 8 of Us, to share their experiences of raising their six biological and adoptive children.  Should be an interesting journey!  As a father of four kids under 5 years old (two of whom are twins), I can relate in many ways to the challeneges they face, though six kids I can’t imagine at this point!

To celebrate the launch of their new blog, Bryan is holding a giveaway.  The difference is the winner gets to choose either a single book or an entire series from the picture posted!  From what I can see, there are some great choices, so head on over and check it out!

Αυτω η δοξα,



Blogs, Miscellaneous

Monday Morning Miscellany

It was a terrible weekend for me sports-wise.

  • The Saints, who have been playing uninspiring football at best, lost to the lowly Cardinals. Not to take away from their victory, but the Saints couldn’t have made it any easier for the Cardinals to win. Pitiful…
  • The lsu tigers won again with more trick plays and last-second shenanigans. How one team gets so many lucky breaks simply defies logic.
  • The Texas Rangers have blown two chances to win the division series at home. Now it’s back to Tampa for game five. Hopefully, the trend will hold and they’ll win on the road.
  • The stinkin’ Yankees swept the Twins in their division series. It’s not that I am a Twins fan as much as it is that I loathe/hate/despise/abhor the New York Yankees. The playoffs are so much better without them around.
  • One bright spot, however, is that the Giants capitalized on several Braves errors to recapture and hold on to the lead, sending the series back to San Francisco with a chance to send the Braves packing. As far as I am concerned, the Braves are the National League’s Yankees, without the illustrious history and obscene bankroll.

Robert and I liked DevilNick did not!

Trevin Wax offers some interesting backgrounds to common English expressions here.

Esteban and I agree–Auto-Tune the News is genius (those geese are cooked)!

I got a new high score on Bookwork (on my iPhone)–1,144,860!

We got word of a fantastic burger joint downtown Dallas called the Twisted Root Burger Company. I love good burgers and this place makes everything from scratch, plus they make their own root beer! They were also featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, so it must be good! Can’t wait to try it out!!!

Marc Cortez is giving away a copy of Paul Althaus’ The Theology of Martin Luther and I am giving away a copy of The Lure of the Dark Side: Satan and Western Demonology in Popular Culture. Jim West is also giving away a copy of Maurice Casey’s Jesus of Nazareth.

Until next time…

Αυτω η δοξα,



Blogs, Reviews

Book Review: Using Old Testament Hebrew in Preaching

Using Old Testament Hebrew in Preaching: A Guide for Students and Pastors by Paul D. Wegner

Published by Kregel

ISBN: 0825439361
ISBN-13: 9780825439360

Amazon ǀ CBD ǀ Kregel

Many thanks to the kind folks at Kregel Publishing for this review copy!

Anyone who has set out to learn biblical languages, whether in college/seminary or some other avenue, knows that that without regular work in Aramaic, Hebrew, and/or Greek, there will be little retention of whatever amount you may have learned at a given time. This is especially true for pastors, whose schedules often make regular language work difficult, at times seemingly impossible. No matter how you slice it, this will affect the pastor’s preaching and teaching to some degree.

This is essentially the problem Wegner identifies and seeks to remedy in this book. He certainly does not offer or promise a wholesale guarantee that this book will solve such problems, because the problem amounts to neglect on the part of the student/pastor, but he writes to encourage and provide practical advice on how to use biblical Hebrew when preparing sermons. He writes “for all Bible school and seminary students who have struggled through at least one year of Hebrew grammar and are wondering how they will ever be able to retain it” and “for pastors who need some encouragement to refresh and maintain their knowledge of the biblical languages” (8).

The book is divided into the following chapters:

  1. The Big Question – essentially an identification of the problems that inspired the book and the “why” of studying biblical Hebrew.
  2. Tools of the Trade – a discussion of the various tools at the exegete’s disposal; he lists 14 essential tools for developing a sermon from the biblical text.
  3. The Goals of Biblical Exegesis – a road map of sorts that guides the exegete through a condensed exegetical process that includes brief descriptions of various critical and analytical approaches (narrative, historical, textual, etc).
  4. Developing a Practical Plan – a homiletical unit focused on developing a sermon from the fruit of exegesis. He employs the acronym READTHEBOOK to describe this process (I don’t feel like typing it all out!).
  5. Making Exegesis Practical – Here Wegner offers various tips on how to keep up one’s exegetical skills by remaining diligent in studying the original languages. Basically translate from the Hebrew text regularly and stay on top of vocabulary.
  6. Appendix A – a table of numerous OT commentaries from evangelical and non-evangelical scholars.
  7. Appendix B – OT textual criticism worksheet
  8. Appendix C – a brief tutorial on doing word studies in Hebrew
  9. Appendix D – an annotated sermon worksheet
  10. Appendix E – a syntactical analysis of Psalm 23

Overall Wegner provides very practical information for the student and/or pastor that should help alleviate some of the minor frustrations that are the result of neglecting one’s Hebrew. One of the better aspects of this book is the discussion of resources that are available (he even gives a general price range for many). For the student/pastor who may not be confident what to choose from the ever-expanding inventory of exegetical tools, this book will prove a good first step. Some of the tools that Wegner suggests are not for the faint of heart nor for the Hebrew novice, such as Waltke and O’Connor’s grammar and HALOT, but the majority of the books and software suggested are easily manageable.

Wegner’s book is a helpful and handy guide (clocking in at only 153 pages excluding indexes) for those who wish to get back in the preaching-from-the-OT saddle, though it will only help you start the process. Some of the endorsements on the back cover may give the impression that this is a defining volume, but it is hardly that. Nevertheless, Wegner has made the daunting task of preaching from the Hebrew bible seem a bit more manageable.