Friday, October 28, 2005

Blogging to resume soon!

The drought is almost over! After the longest gap in the history of the NT Gateway blog, I am all set to resume blogging later today. I may tell the story of why I've not blogged for so long, but then again I may not. It has been a difficult couple of weeks. Thanks for all your emails and sorry for not having answered them. More later, I hope.

Update (Sunday, 20.37): Sorry, it never did happen, after all. As it turned out, I had less time than I had hoped and couldn't find the window I thought I had. And even less energy. But at some point I am still hoping for a resumption.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

What would Jesus blog?

Religion News Blog has this story from the Associated Press on What would Jesus blog?. You might say that the bibliobloggers would be in the perfect position to answer the question, knowing what they know (or perhaps more accurately what they don't know) about the historical Jesus alongside their blogging experience. But it's not biblioblogging that is the topic of the article but a "God blog" conference in California. Since we have a session coming up soon on biblioblogging, at the SBL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, and we need to start thinking about this soon (cf. Ed Cook on Ralph), here's a question. What is the relationship between biblioblogging and God- (or god-) blogging? My blog is not really a theological blog, and my own academic interests are more historical than theological. Many other bibliobloggers have the same bent, Paleojudaica, Hypotyposeis and Philo of Alexandria, to take three obvious examples. But there are others who are much more interested in blogging on theological issues. Is Ben Witherington or Jesus Creed a biblioblog? Should we all do what AKMA's Random Thoughts or Dave Black online do and blog on anything of interest to us? More questions and thoughts later.

Scholars to Spend Time With

On The Busybody, Loren Rosson has an enjoyable list of Scholars to spend time with, the ten scholars he would enjoy getting to know better. He has some quirky and enjoyable choices. I am lucky enough to have spent extended amounts of time with four on the list, and in each case I have greatly valued that time spent; in a couple of cases it has been life changing. Who would I add, I wonder? One would definitely be Austin Farrer. I suppose that another would be Bultmann, but I don't think my German would be up to lengthy and profound conversations with the great man. I would love to spend time too with R. H. Lightfoot, I think. My mother met and spent time with Joachim Jeremias and said that he was delightful; I would enjoy that too. And I'd enjoy talking to B. H. Streeter; I'd like to see if I could better understand why he found Luke's use of Matthew so difficult to envisage.

What's New in Abzu?

This is something that I had missed until now so mention it in case others have missed it too. I spotted it at the top of Jim West's Biblical Theology blogroll. I don't normally notice people's blogrolls because I access blogs through bloglines (and Jim's has gone pink and purple since the last time I visited the page!):

What's New in Abzu
A chronological listing of newly added or edited entries in Abzu, a guide to the rapidly increasing, and widely distributed data relevant to the study and public presentation of the Ancient Near East via the Internet.

Friday, October 14, 2005

N. T. Wright Page latest

The latest addition to the N. T. Wright Page is the following review from a decade ago in Reviews in Religion in Theology:

Two Radical Jews
A review article of Daniel Boyarin, A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity, Reviews in Religion and Theology 1995/3 (August): 15–23

Things to come in bloggerdom

On Euaggelion Michael Bird tells us what he'd like to see in 2006 in Biblioblogdom. It's a curious thing, but one of the things he'd like to see is one of the very things I have planned, 'Mark Goodacre to blog on “Kloppenborg is right! 10 reasons why I believe in Q”.' I thought I'd blog on that on 4/1/2006 (for English readers, note that this is not 4 January; I'm learning to speak American, you see).

Nino Ricci's Testament

Over on Xtalk Zeba Crook recommends a new-is novel by Nino Ricci called Testament. It sounds interesting and, according to Zeb, it is impressive for its historical knowledge of the first century. Here is Ricci's official website:


And there is plenty of information (Search Inside, etc.) on Amazon, as well as very cheap used copies:

Testament: A Novel

I am looking forward to reading it.

Is there a theological brain drain?

I couldn't help smiling to see my name in a letter in the Church Times. It's not often that that happens:
Is there a theological brain drain?
By Canon Nicholas Henshall

Sir, — Your recent extract, concerning the Revd Sarah Coakley, from Rupert Shortt’s book God’s Advocates (Features, 9 September) illuminated an accelerating trend in the UK. We are losing our most able theologians to America.

I am no academic, but just looking around people I know on the move at the moment, I see Dr Sam Wells, one of the finest young moral theologians, and Dr Mark Goodacre, one of the leading English New Testament scholars, both off to Duke University.

It is not that the whole missionary enterprise depends on theologians. But unless challenging and deep theology is taught and experienced, a Church seeking to preach the gospel in a post-Christendom world will simply end up mouthing easy platitudes. (After all, there is quite a lot of evidence of this already.)

If British universities can no longer afford to teach theology, the Church of England’s preference for placing theological colleges near universities cannot solve the educational issues of the next few decades.

Training theologians and then creating the exciting and challenging contexts in which they can do their most creative work may seem like an impossible dream in the current intellectual climate in this country. The question is whether we have a future as a missionary Church without such investment.
Derby Cathedral Centre
18/19 Iron Gate
Derby DE1 2GP
I am a couple of weeks behind, because this appeared -- I think -- at the end of September. I used to look at the Church Times whenever I could, but as with many things British, like tea, black pudding and cricket, I am on a limited diet here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Review of Biblical Literature Latest and TRENT

Latest from the SBL's Review of Biblical Literature under the NT heading:

Cameron, Ron and Merrill P. Miller, eds.
Redescribing Christian Origins
Reviewed by James Dunn

McKnight, Edgar V. and Christopher Church
Reviewed by David Bauer

Rapa, Robert K.
The Meaning of the Works of the Law in Galatians and Romans
Reviewed by Guy Waters

Tomson, Peter J.
Translated by Janet Dyk
Presumed Guilty: How the Jews Were Blamed for the Death of Jesus
Reviewed by Matthew Montonini

Tomson, Peter J.
Translated by Janet Dyk
Presumed Guilty: How the Jews Were Blamed for the Death of Jesus
Reviewed by Jeremy Punt

Instone-Brewer, David
Traditions of the Rabbis from the Era of the New Testament: Volume 1: Prayer and Agriculture
Reviewed by Casey Toews

It's interesting to see a review of the latter just after it had surfaced on the Xtalk list as a topic of interest. I noted there what is also well worth mentioning here, that David Instone-Brewer's TRENT Project has a massive web site of its own, just as you'd expect from Biblica-Studies-on-the-net guru Instone-Brewer:

Traditions of the Rabbis from the Era of the New Testament (T-R-E-N-T)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Junia -- the First Woman Apostle

This press release from Fortress Press:

“For those Christians whose concern about women in leadership roles is tied to the question whether women actually served as leaders during the church’s earliest generation, this book is an eye-opener.”

Beverly Roberts Gaventa, from the foreword

Epp Sheds Light on Women’s Leadership Through Text of Romans

MINNEAPOLIS (October 10, 2005)— The name "Junia" appears in Romans 16:7, and Paul identifies her (along with Andronicus) as "prominent among the apostles." In his new book, Junia—The First Woman Apostle, Eldon Jay Epp investigates the mysterious disappearance of Junia from the traditions of the church.

Because later theologians and scribes could not believe (or wanted to suppress) that Paul had numbered a woman among the earliest churches' apostles, Junia's name was changed in Romans to a masculine form.

Despite the fact that the earliest churches met in homes and that other women were clearly leaders in the churches (e.g., Prisca and Lydia), calling Junia an apostle seemed too much for the tradition. Epp tracks how this happened in New Testament manuscripts, scribal traditions, and translations of the Bible. In this thoroughgoing study, Epp restores Junia to her rightful place.

“Completely persuasive and definitive, Junia rectifies the slighting of women by many exegetes. A real contribution.”

Walter Wink, Auburn Theological Seminary, New York

“Not only is Epp’s fundamental thesis about textual criticism and exegesis meticulously documented and persuasively argued; his examination of the particular case of Romans 16:7 pulls together, sorts out, nails down, and illuminates the issues, assorted evidence, and often confusing arguments that have come to the fore in the last few decades. Thanks to this excellent book, I can affirm with renewed confidence both Junia’s distinguished place among the apostles and her freedom to speak in the church!”

Victor Paul Furnish, Southern Methodist University, Dallas

“If anyone could say the ‘last word’ on a matter of New Testament interpretation, Epp certainly has, Junia covers all bases, including the history of interpretation, lexicography, grammatical analysis, and text criticism.”

Edgar Krentz, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago

Eldon Jay Epp is Harkenss Professor of Biblical Literature emeritus and Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences emeritus at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio), recently Visiting Professor of New Testament at Harvard Divinity School (2002-2003 and 2004-2005), and President of the Society of Biblical Literature (2003).

Junia—The First Woman Apostle

By Eldon Jay Epp

ISBN: 0-8006-3771-2
Format: Paper, 128 pp

Price: $16.00
Publisher: Fortress Press

To order Junia—The First Woman Apostle please call Fortress Press at 1-800-328-4648 or visit the web site at For review copies, or to discuss interviews with the author or speaking engagements contact Bob Todd at 612-330-3234 or e-mail

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Pauline Chronology

On Novum Testamentum, Brandon Wason has a very useful chart on Pauline Chronology:

A Chronology of the Apostle Paul

Make sure you go to the blog site itself rather than just reading the feed in your aggregator, because the formatting works properly on the site. Brandon reveals that he was responsible for the Blue Letter Bible Timeline, which comes up top on a google search for Chronology Paul. I rather like Brandon's approach in his revised Chronology, except that I would myself push Galatians a little later -- I think it has to have been written after 1 Corinthians but before 2 Corinthians. Brandon's chart rightly avoids the mistake criticized by John Knox and others of getting Paul to Jerusalem straight after his conversion (Acts 9); Galatians 1 makes it clear that this did not happen. But Brandon does not mention the Acts 11 Jerusalem visit, which I think explains the Acts 9 visit because it is identical with it. It is a typical example of a Lucan flash-forward, in which a later event is narrated earlier in the sequence for strategic reasons, just as Luke narrates Jesus' Rejection at Nazareth out of (Marcan) sequence (Mark 6) in Luke 4.

I have a similar chart I give out to my undergraduates on Pauline Chronology (MS Word format, sorry):

Chronology of Paul's Life

Found that on the Birmingham server; looks like I didn't remove everything before I left. That's quite useful since I'm only steadily transferring older materials onto my new Duke-provided blogging machine (a nice IBM ThinkPad).

Greek Number Converter

Worth a mention is this from Russell Cottrell:

Greek Number Converter

(Seen on About Ancient / Classical History).

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Henry Ian Cusick spotted on Lost

One of the great things about being in the USA (among many others, e.g. great coffee, jerky, smoothies, root beer, free refills, popcorn with butter on it at the cinema) is that you can catch all the new TV shows as they come out rather than having to wait several months to emerge on Sky or E4. As regular readers know, I only blog on matters of urgent interest to New Testament scholarship, so I will note that the second season of Lost, the third episode of which premiered last night on ABC, featured Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond, most famous for playing Jesus in the Visual Bible's Gospel of John. He has appeared in the first three episodes. He is something of a baddie and seems to have a Scottish accent (or was it Irish?).

Meanwhile, another Jesus, Victor Garber (from Godspell) is still frowning away as Sydney (Jennifer Garner)'s father in Alias, also on ABC and now in its umpteenth season. Interesting how these shows aren't just of marginal, almost cult interest here, as they are in the UK, but are on prime-time telly.

The Extent of Christian Theological Diversity: The Pauline Evidence

While I was sitting for the second time this week in the social security administration in Durham, NC, waiting for a couple of hours to pick up my social security number, I read an excellent article by Jeff Peterson of Austin Graduate School, Austin, Texas. It is from a recent volume of the Restoration Quarterly. I emailed Jeff to ask if I might post the article on-line. He replies today with the good news that it is already available:

"The Extent of Christian Theological Diversity: Pauline Evidence", Restoration Quarterly 47 (2005): 1-12 [PDF]

It's well worth reading. I notice too that Jeff has available a reproduction of his recent article in the collection I co-edited entitled Questioning Q:

"Order in the Double Tradition and the Existence of Q" in Mark Goodacre and Nick Perrin (eds.), Questioning Q (London: SPCK, 2004)

Monday, October 03, 2005

New Testament Position at Holy Cross

This was just on Ioudaios, posted by Rochelle Altman, but it might be worth mentioning for those who don't subscribe:
COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS, Department of Religious Studies, announces a tenure-track position, beginning in fall 2006, rank open, in New Testament. Holy Cross is a Catholic, Jesuit liberal arts college. Secondary specialization desirable to complement the specialties of the present faculty. Possible secondary fields include but are not limited to early church history, early Christian theology, Eastern Christian theology, women in early Christianity, critical theory, hermeneutics, and ethics. Teaching includes five undergraduate courses each academic year, one of which is a seminar. The College is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and complies with all Federal and Massachusetts laws concerning Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action in the workplace. Please send letter of application, vita, and dossier, including three letters of recommendation, to Professor Frederick J. Murphy, Chair of the Search Committee, Department of Religious Studies, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA 01610, by November 1, 2005. Preliminary interview of selected applicants will be held at the annual meeting of the AAR/SBL in Philadelphia, November 19-22, 2005. EOE/AA. URL:

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The latest NT scholar to get his own dot com is Mark Nanos:

Mark D. Nanos

His website has moved there, though the old URL is still working too. I've made the adjustment on the Scholars: N page.

F. F. Bruce Texts

Rob Bradshaw continues his fine work on with the announcement of full text reproductions of two texts by F. F. Bruce:

F. F. Bruce, The Hittites and the Old Testament Tyndale Old Testament Lecture, 1947. London: The Tyndale Press, 1947. Pbk. pp.28.

F. F. Bruce, The Teacher of Righteousness in the Qumran Texts London: The Tyndale Press, 1957. Pbk. pp.36.

Bird's Top 25 NT Scholars

Like others, I have enjoyed Michael Bird's Top 25 NT Scholars and of course the fun of it is to be impressed, outraged and amused, not necessarily in equal measure. The real problem, I suppose, is doing the list across 20 centuries. I can't even begin to think about how Origen compares with C. K. Barrett, or how Luther can Calvin compare with Bultmann and Käsemann. So I will only comment on the moderns. I suppose I'd want to see Bultmann and Sanders a bit higher; I think the list is a bit evangelical heavy -- Wright too high, Howard Marshall and F. F. Bruce I'd delete. I think I like the idea of Bauckham making it, but I'd push down a few places. Of Michael's honorable mentions, I'd promote one to my 25 -- Gerd Theissen. There are some absentees who don't even make it to Michael's honourable mentions, and who would make my list, viz.:
  • John Dominic Crossan
  • W. D. Davies
  • Helmut Koester
  • Michael Goulder
  • Wayne Meeks
  • Nils Alstrup Dahl
  • Krister Stendahl
  • Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza
  • Dale Allison
  • Christopher Rowland
  • Bruce Metzger
  • Bart Ehrman
All of those have in some way broken new ground and have stimulated the imagination in such important ways that they deserve a place on the list above those very fine scholars Michael does mention, but who have not quite changed the landscape.

Update (Sunday, 23.16): Doug Chaplin comments on Metacatholic. He also wants to see Theissen and Meeks there.

Birmingham v. Sheffield

On Deinde Paul Nikkel comments on The "Sheffield School" of Blogging. He asks "does the University of Sheffield have the largest biblical blogging community?" I think Birmingham past and present can compete:

NT Gateway Weblog, Mark Goodacre
The Stuff of Earth, Michael Pahl
KAIMOI, Ken Olson
Metacatholic, Doug Chaplin
2 Kings 9.20 Blog, Michael Strickland

Come to think of it, this is me and my students (past and present). Now, if we could get anonymous female commenter to start a blog too, we'd have it over Sheffield.