Sunday, October 24, 2010

Charlesworth on Sunday on the Scrolls and Google

The big news items in our area this week was the story that the Dead Sea Scrolls are to go on Google Archive and it was widely covered on the blogs. This morning's Sunday programme had a feature on it, including an over-the-phone interview with James Charlesworth -- listen again for the next week or download the podcast.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The N. T. Wrong Archives

While doing a little googling tonight (about the pistis Christou issue), I happened, by chance, on the archives of the N. T. Wrong blog.  As a fan of the late, great anti-bishop, I had always been a bit disappointed that he had hidden his archives from his fans, and we had had to use nefarious means of digging them out.  But now, it seems that they have returned in all their glory, including all the pictures (like Captain Objective Genitive) and all the comments (like the legendary Place for all Off-Topic Hobbyhorse Comments).  Here is the place to go for all your favourite N. T. Wrong posts of yore:

N. T. Wrong
Contains the archives of the N.T.Wrong blog, April 2008-January 2009

The Strength of Duke's Graduate Program in Religion

Over on Duke Newt, Nathan Eubank draws attention to an article in First Things by Rusty Reno.  Its title is Schools of Thought and it offers reflections on the best places for graduate students to study Theology.  It is gratifying to see Duke once again placed at the top (along with Notre Dame) but it is disappointing to see similar errors once again being perpetuated about the program (see Duke the best place to study theology and First Things article rates Duke at the top for previous attempts to set the record straight).  Reno writes:
The main problem with Duke is, well, Duke. The Ph.D. program is run through the university’s department of religion, not the divinity school, and this has tended to restrict artificially the number of students admitted.
As I pointed out last time, this is incorrect. The PhD program is actually run by the Graduate Program in Religion, and not by the Religion Department. The Graduate Program in Religion is a collaborative venture involving both the Department of Religion and the Divinity School.  To illustrate the point, I might add that the current director, Grant Wacker, is housed in the Divinity School, and there are more Divinity School faculty in the program than there are Religion Department faculty.

The limited number of admissions to the PhD program is indeed disappointing, but this has nothing to do with the Religion Department but is related, rather, to the kind of pressures that are felt nationally (and internationally) at present, pressures shared by other great strong institutions and programs.  Nevertheless, one of the results of the highly competitive nature of the program is that it continues to produce the strongest students around.  A Duke PhD in Religion is a Rolls-Royce qualification.

As a member of the here maligned Religion Department, as well as of the Graduate Program in Religion, I would like to add that the collaboration between the Divinity School and us is one of the things that makes the program so strong.  It is not just that colleagues from the different entities get to work together, something that I value hugely, but it is also that the students get the best kind of experience because they are studying and working across the boundaries.   PhD students in the Graduate Program in Religion will often teach or teaching-assist in the Department of Religion, thereby gaining valuable experience in working with university undergraduates in the Arts and Sciences.  The same people also get the chance to teach and precept in the Divinity School, so working with students who are training for the ministry.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Young Jesus Chronicles

James McGrath draws attention to a great cartoon from a book called Young Jesus Chronicles, which has some nice previews online, including this one:

"Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, see me after class. Your book reports
are surprisingly similar."

It's a delightful cartoon and I suspect I will be using it in class too.  But it's clearly not a cartoon designed by an academic.  The saintly character on the right is the eponymous "Young Jesus" and an academic would never make Jesus contemporary with the evangelists.   And New Testament scholars would not dream of characterizing John's Gospel as "surprisingly similar" to the Synoptics.  This teacher might just deserve an F herself for not paying careful enough attention to the contents of the evangelists' book reports. Unless, of course, the younger author of the Fourth Gospel was inclined to be somewhat more "Synoptic" than he became in his maturity.

Powerpoint the "Ryan Air of Presentation Software"

Over on Bible Films Blog, Matt Page has a very helpful post on Using Video Clips in Presentations. He mentions that he is sad to hear that I have "now given up using video clips in lectures because they're too prone to go wrong". I had forgotten that I had said that in one of the extended episodes of the NT Pod, and I have long since repented of any such hasty decision and often show little clips in class. In fact just this morning, I shared a a Youtube clip of E. P. Sanders discussing Paul's concept of participation in Christ.

My reason for picking up on Matt's post, though, is to share a great line, to the following effect:
I know PowerPoint is the Ryan Air of presentation software (everyone slags it off but uses it anyway) and I know that smug mac types will be reading this safe in the knowledge that everything they do is better than if they did it on a PC, but here's something for us lesser mortals. I for one actually like PowerPoint. It's a tool that's widely abused, and the majority of presentations are just awful, but if you take your time to "get it" then it's a great, if somewhat flawed, tool.
The non-British readers may not be familiar with Ryanair, but it is the budget pack-em-in airline that everyone in the UK complains about but which nevertheless is widely used. Great analogy.

E. P. Sanders and Walter Matthau

I have always thought that E. P. Sanders looks a bit like Walter Matthau.  I remember sitting in one of his lectures in Oxford and watching someone in front of me produce a brilliant caricature, and it looked rather like Walter Matthau but with a bit less hair.  Unfortunately, there are not many pictures of Sanders available online so that I can compare the two men, but I am sure that those who have met Ed Sanders will know what I mean.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Walking, Talking Cross or the Walking, Talking Crucified One?

One of the pleasures of blogging is that it gives you the chance to float ideas that may be worthwhile or that may come to nothing. This is one of those occasions. This is an idea that occurred to me last week while preparing for my Non-canonical Gospels course here at Duke.  It's week seven and we are looking at the Gospel of Peter.  There may be nothing in this idea, which I shared with my class today, but I want to go through the discipline of writing it up so that I can get a feeling for its merits.  Comments are gratefully received, but I ask that you bear in mind that this is just a thought, a sketch, an attempt to see if something works.

One of the great mysteries of the Gospel of Peter is what on earth could have inspired the following remarkable passage:
9. 34. Early in the morning, when the Sabbath dawned, there came a crowd from Jerusalem and the country round about to see the sealed sepulchre. 35. Now in the night in which the Lord's day dawned, when the soldiers were keeping guard, two by two in each watch, there was a loud voice in heaven, (36) and they saw the heavens open and two men come down from there in a great brightness and draw near to the sepulchre. 37. That stone which had been laid against the entrance to the sepulchre started of itself to roll and move sidewards, and the sepulchre was opened and both young men entered. 10. 38. When those soldiers saw this, they awakened the centurion and the elders, for they also were there to mount guard. 39. And while they were narrating what they had seen, they saw three men come out from the sepulchre, two of them supporting the other and a cross following them (40) and the heads of the two reaching to heaven, but that of him who was being led reached beyond the heavens. 41. And they heard a voice out of the heavens crying, ‘Have you preached to those who sleep?’, 42. and from the cross there was heard the answer, ‘Yes.’
The idea of a walking, talking cross is almost unbelievably absurd, all the more so given the lack of precedent for it in the text, in which the cross was earlier completely inanimate, and did not enter the tomb with Jesus at burial.  One of the difficulties with the Gospel of Peter is that the only major textual witness (P.Cair. 10759) is late (eighth century), unreliable and riddled with errors, including many in this passage.  And so I have begun to wonder whether there might have been another error in the scribe's transcription of his text here.  My suggestion is that we conjecturally emend the text from σταυρον to σταυρωθεντα, from "cross" to "crucified", so that it is no longer a wooden cross that comes bouncing out of the tomb but rather Jesus, the "crucified one" himself.

This might at first sound like a bit of a stretch.  But what if our scribe's exemplar here used the nomen sacrum στα?  It is worth bearing in mind that another second century Greek Passion Gospel, the Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony fragment (0212), uses the nomen sacrum στα for σταυρωθέντα in a similar context (the burial). Perhaps our scribe's exemplar had the nomen sacrum στα and the scribe incorrectly assumed that it stood for σταυρόν. It would be an easy mistake to make, and it is quite reasonable to assume that the scribe's source text might so abbreviate.   Other texts (Codex Bezae, P46) similarly abbreviate the verb.

If my suggested conjectural emendation has any merit, this is how the text would appear:
καὶ ἐξηγουμένων αὐτῶν ἃ εἶδον, πάλιν ὁρῶσιν ἐξελθόντας ἀπὸ τοῦ τάφου τρεῖς ἄνδρας, καὶ τοὺς δύο τὸν ἕνα ὑπορθοῦντας, καὶ τὸν σταυρωθέντα ἀκολουθοῦντα αὐτοῖς· καὶ τῶν μὲν δύο τὴν κεφαλὴν χωροῦσαν μέχρι τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, τοῦ δὲ χειραγωγουμένου ὑπ' αὐτῶν ὑπερβαίνουσαν τοὺς οὐρανούς· καὶ φωνῆς ἤκουον ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν λεγούσης᾽Εκήρυξας τοῖς κοιμωμένοις; καὶ ὑπακοὴ ἠκούετο ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυρωθέντος ὅτι Ναί.
At this point, the sharp reader will no doubt want to point out that the emendation cannot work because Jesus has to be one of the "three men" coming out of the tomb, "the two supporting the one", so that the cross is an additional figure, not identified with "the one".  This reading depends, though, on the translation of ὑπορθοῦντας as "supporting", as if the two angelic figures are holding Jesus up. But ὑπορθόω, a rare word, probably means something like "raise up", "lift up"; the text is saying that the two men, who have descended from heaven and entered the tomb, are lifting Jesus up from where he was lying, and they are leading him out, the crucified one following them. This scenario is clarified in the next line, where the men are leading him by the hand. Thus the English translation would go something like this:
And while they were narrating what they had seen, they saw three men come out from the sepulchre, two of them raising up the one, and the crucified one following them (40) and the heads of the two reaching to heaven, but that of him who was being led out by the hand by them reaching beyond the heavens. 41. And they heard a voice out of the heavens crying, ‘Have you preached to those who sleep?’, 42. and from the crucified one there was heard the answer, ‘Yes.’
There are certain additional advantages that this reading could bring.  For one thing, it has never made much sense that the three men all stretch as far as -- or beyond -- the heavens, but the voice from heaven then addresses the cross back on earth.  In the revised reading, the voice in heaven directly addresses the crucified one, who is beyond the heavens.  Moreover, on the usual reading, the witnesses should be able to see the cross speaking, so there is no need for the note that they "there was heard the answer, 'Yes'".  Rather, they only hear the answer because it is the crucified one speaking, and his head is beyond the heavens.  And finally, the allusion to the "harrowing of hell"  here makes far greater sense if it is the crucified Jesus who has done the preaching, as in 1 Peter 3.19-20, and not some kind of cartoon cross.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Seventh Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament

Thanks to Hugh Houghton for sending this over:
The Seventh Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament will be held in Birmingham from 28-31 March 2011.

The theme is "Early Christian Writers and the Text of the New Testament"

Proposals are invited for papers of 30 or 45 minutes on this topic. Suggestions for workshops, presenting work in progress, are also welcome.
These, and any enquires, should be sent to

Further information (and a booking form) will be posted on the web page at

Papers from the Fifth Colloquium have been published as:
Textual Variation: Theological and Social Tendencies? (Texts and Studies 3.6)

Boring book titles and interesting books

Sean Winter comments that one of the greats, E. P. Sanders, confessed to dull book titles.  But of course if you are E. P. Sanders and you write a book on Jesus and Judaism, then that combination automatically makes the book interesting.  Ed Sanders is one of the only scholars who combines expertise in New Testament scholarship with genuine expertise in early Judaism, so if anyone should write a book called Jesus and Judaism, he should.

It occurs to me as another element in this discussion that there are some books that have titles that degrade in translation.  Hans Conzelmann's brilliantly appropriate title Die Mitte der Zeit (The Middle of Time) was translated into the terribly dull and generic Theology of St Luke.  As it happens, though, it is a very boring book, perhaps the most boring influential book written in our area.  Legend has it that one of its early reviewers said that he only knew that he had come to the end of the book because there was no more of it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Most boring book titles?

There is a great little discussion in the biblioblogosphere at the moment about the "most boring book title ever". It began on Biblical Hebraica et Graeca and has continued on a range of other blogs. Lots of the suggestions so far bring a smile, even if no one has yet mentioned Goulder and the Gospels: An Examination of a New Paradigm, which sounds like tedious stuff to me.  But speaking of doctoral dissertations that have been turned into publications, I think my favourite transformation ever is from The Rhetoric of Deracination in Q, a Reassessment which became, in its published version Jesus and the Village Scribes, which sounds much more interesting, not least because I didn't need a dictionary to find out what one of the words meant.

The difficulty with a lot of books that emerge from doctoral research is that there is something in the system that encourages us to write stuff that is boring.  When I mentioned to one of my teachers that I was trying to keep my style as lively as possible, he said, "But, Mark, DPhil theses are boring, bloody boring!"

Nevertheless, I rather admire those who manage to write something that is spectacularly precisely focused.  Many of the suggestions in the thread on boring book titles have isolated pieces that are actually somewhat admirable in their ability to spotlight something really specific.  Bear in mind that Darwin made his academic reputation on the study of earth worms.  All that stuff about evolution was a kind of subsidiary crater, of more peripheral interest.

I must admit that the things that I find boring are the books that are taking a well-trodden subject and exploring it for the umpteen-hundredth time.  I remember one of my fellow DPhil students in Oxford picking up a published dissertation in the Theology Faculty Library on St Giles, a book about Paul and the Law, and not one that anyone now remembers twenty years later.  "I ask you, what is the point?" he said.  That's what's really boring, hoping that you might have something fresh, persuasive and original to say about something like that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Old Testament in the New Testament Seminar

Via the British New Testament Society e-list:

The next meeting of the Annual seminar for the study of the Old Testament in the New Testament will take place from Thurs dinner (14 April) to Saturday lunch (16 April) at St Deiniol’s Library, Hawarden, North Wales. The cost will be approximately £140 (the centre have not set their 2011 costs yet). The main papers are on the theme of Genesis in the New Testament (for the forthcoming Menken/Moyise publication) but there is space for 4-5 other papers. If you would like to offer a paper or find out more about the conference, contact Steve Moyise at

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Orthodox Redaction of Mark and the Question of Jesus' Father

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!, James McGrath responds to the first element in my post on The Orthodox Redaction of Mark (and we both get a nice thumbs-up from Doug Chaplin) to the following effect:
It seems to me that, on the one hand, to suggest that Mark's readers would have thought he did not have a human father is to make too much of silences. As a rule, we assume that people have fathers, even when we don't mention them, and it seems to me that an exception to that rule would have required an explicit claim rather than silence. And while it is common for commentators to suggest that "son of Mary" reflected rumors that Jesus was illegitimate and his father unknown, that too seems to be reading too much into Mark's language, which is not followed by any defence of Jesus' legitimacy.
Well, James may be right, but the difficulty is that the Gospel itself does not provide the necessary clues, and this is where Matthew's (and several scribes') "orthdox redaction" comes in.  I am not suggesting that the author of Mark's Gospel thought that Jesus had no earthly father.  I don't know what the author of Mark thought because he does not tell us.  That is the difficulty with "silences".  The absence of key information invites the reader to speculate.  And in the case of Mark's Gospel, the person that I called "the unwary reader" might well assume that Jesus had no earthly father.  He is not named in key contexts when one would expect him to be named, like when Jesus is first introduced in Mark 1, or when his family is first mentioned in Mark 3.21 and 3.31-34, or when Jesus returns to his patris in Mark 6.1-6, and members of his family are named.  And, moreover, there are repeated references to another father, Abba Father, who addresses Jesus as his son, and who addresses others about his son.

So the way that I look at it is that the invitation is there to read Mark in a certain way.  And Matthew, Mark's first reader, is a careful reader and is attentive to possible mis-readings (as he sees them) and he makes sure that they are corrected.  And the genius of Matthew's Gospel is that he was largely successful in this project.

Nevertheless, James is right to draw attention to the oddity of Matthew's own answer to the question of Jesus' parenting.  He affirms the genealogy through Joseph right at the outset of the Gospel (Matt. 1.1-18), something he affirms elsewhere too (Matt. 13.55), but then he sticks right next to it a story that is usually read as affirming a virginal conception (Matt. 1.18-25).  The addition of the latter only serves to underline the point, however, about Matthew's "orthodox redaction of Mark".  It is this story, and the tension it throws up between simultaneously affirming Jesus' human parents and his divine origin that finds its way into Christian orthodoxy.  And in this Luke too, following Matthew's lead, plays a key part.

Death of Margaret Thrall

Sad news via Catrin Williams on the British New Testament Society list:

It is with deep sadness I report that the Revd. Dr. Margaret Thrall has passed away at a home for the elderly on the island of Anglesey in North Wales.

Dr. Margaret Thrall was the first doctoral student of Professor C.F.D. Moule at Cambridge University, and, between 1962 and 1996, she had a distinguished career in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Bangor. She was associate editor of New Testament Studies, and Editor of the SNTS monograph series (1991-6). She published numerous books and articles during her career, including Greek Particles in the New Testament: Linguistic and Exegetical Studies (1962) and her magisterial two-volume commentary on 2 Corinthians in the International Critical Commentary series (1994, 2000). In recognition of Dr. Thrall’s significant contribution to Pauline scholarship, she was awarded the Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies by the British Academy in 1997 and a Festschrift to mark her seventy-fifth birthday was published in 2003.

Dr. Thrall’s first monograph was The Ordination of Women to the Priesthood (1958), and in 1997 she was among the first women to be ordained to the priesthood in the Church in Wales. She was a member of the Church in Wales Doctrine Commission (1983-92) and served as Canon Theologian at Bangor Cathedral (1994-7). Margaret Thrall’s funeral was held on Monday, 11 October in Bangor Cathedral.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Orthodox Redaction of Mark

I have spoken on previous occasions about Matthew's redaction of Mark as something that shows a rich understanding of what is happening in Mark, and which sometimes attempts to take Mark's interesting ideas a little further (e.g. my articles on Simon Peter and John the Baptist [PDFs]). It occurred to me recently that a lot of what is happening in Matthew might be seen as a kind of  "orthodox redaction" of Mark, an attempt to fix some of the potentially troubling ideas and implications in Mark.

Take, for example, the question of Jesus' father.  In Mark's Gospel, Jesus does not have a human father.  He is "the craftsman, the son of Mary" (Mark 6.3); his father is in heaven and addresses Jesus directly as his son (Mark 1.11, 9.7) and Jesus calls him "Abba" (Mark 14.36).  Other supernatural beings know that he is God's son too (3.11).  The unwary reader of Mark might easily assume that Mark's Jesus, who simply appears on the scene as an adult in Mark 1, is some kind of god, perhaps the product of a union between a god and Mary.  Matthew sees the problem.  He gives Jesus a father, named Joseph; indeed, he begins the book with him (Matt. 1).  In redacting the Rejection and Nazareth story, he makes Jesus "the son of the craftsman" (Matt. 13.55) so that there can be no doubt about the matter.

The same phenomenon appears elsewhere.  Mark's Jesus, at his first appearance in the Gospel, goes to a baptism (Mark 1.9-10) which we have just heard characterized as a "baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins" (Mark 1.4).  The unwary reader might easily assume that Jesus is going to John to repent and have his sins forgiven, so Matthew makes sure that there is no doubt about the matter and engages in an "orthodox redaction", making clear that this is an unexpected and anomalous event (Matt. 3.13-17).

Other examples include the abrupt ending of Mark, which concludes the story before Jesus has appeared to the disciples (Mark 16.1-8).  Indeed, the last time they were seen, they were fleeing from the scene (14.50).  For all the unwary reader knows, they might never have come back  But Matthew knows traditions like 1 Corinthians 15, and that Jesus appeared to Peter and the twelve and that these traditions were regarded as foundational by the earliest communities (1 Cor. 15.1-3), and he provides what Mark only leaves implicit, and narrates appearances to the disciples (Matt. 28.16-20).

Matthew's orthodox redaction of Mark was so successful that we now find ourselves reading Mark through Matthew's -- and also Luke's -- eyes.  His skill as a redactor with "orthodox" beliefs was that he rescued Mark from the potential to have been read and interpreted quite differently.

The Yeti has arrived and the NT Pod is back!

Those who follow the NT Pod will have noticed that today, at last, it returned, after a hiatus of two months.  As I reported at the beginning of September, the delay was caused initially by microphone problems.  Since the early days, I have used a nice Blue Snowball microphone for my recordings but when I sat down with it to record back in August, the recordings were emitting a high-pitched noise.  At first I thought that it might be a computer problem but no, it occurred on different machines.  I googled for the problem and thought I had found a solution and wasted time and money with an externally powered USB hub.  The theory was that power running through the USB was causing the high-pitched noise, and an external power source might fix it.  It did not.  The high-pitched noise was there just the same as ever.

As an interim measure, I tried on several occasions to record in two of Duke's sound booths but I did not find the results satisfactory -- much too much background noise was getting picked up.

And so, I just bit the bullet and invested in a lovely new state of the art USB microphone, Blue Yeti USB Microphone.  And it works just fine.  It turns out that the problem was simply that my Snowball had broken.  It is perhaps not surprising.  I was always moving it all over the house and recording in different places and with the pop filter attached, it often fell over and no doubt got damaged too.

It's good to be back at last with a new episode.  From now on, my plan is to return to a regular recording and release schedule.

Maurice Casey Colloquium

Over on the Biblical Studies e-list, a colloquium is now underway with Maurice Casey, whose magisterial new book on the Historical Jesus will be appearing shortly (see announcement by Jim West). You can submit your questions and Prof. Casey will be answering some of the best.  I am looking forward to the discussion.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Death of Franklin Young

I am sorry to hear from Richard Hays the sad news of the death of Franklin W. Young, the Amos Ragan Kearns Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Patristic Studies at Duke Divinity School. He passed away on 25 September at the Carolina Meadows community, where he had been in residence in recent years. Our local paper, the News and Observer, has an obituary:

Franklin Woodrow Young: Amos Ragan Kearns Professor of New Testament and Patristic Studies
Noted biblical and patristic scholar Franklin Woodrow Young died Saturday, September 25 at his home at Carolina Meadows. Young was Amos Ragans Kearns Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Patristic Studies at the Duke Divinity School, having retired in 1985 after a total of 23 years on the faculty there . . .

. . . . Young was educated at Dartmouth College and earned the bachelor of divinity from Crozer Theological Seminary. He then undertook doctoral studies at Duke University on a University Fellowship, and was an instructor in the Divinity school from 1944-1946. After receiving the Ph.D. in 1946, he was made assistant professor and dean of students. He held this position until 1950, when he joined the faculty of Yale Divinity School as assistant professor. In 1954, Young became professor of New Testament and patristic at Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest, and in 1959 he moved back east to serve on the faculty at Princeton; he was director of graduate studies in religion and then chair of department of religion. In 1968, Young returned to Duke Divinity School where his career had begun. He was professor of, New Testament and patristic studies until 1970, when he was awarded the Amos Ragan Kearns endowed professorship. Young served as director of graduate studies in religion at Duke for six years.

Young was known for courses on the Greek gospels and patristic texts, and for exegesis courses in English and Greek. He was the author of several books, among them “Understanding the New Testament” and “The Living World of the New Testament,” both with Howard C. Kee. He also contributed numerous articles to scholarly journals, bible dictionaries, and encyclopedias . . . .
I bet I am not the only one for whom The Living World of the New Testament was one of the first textbooks I read on the New Testament, back in my Sixth Form 'A' Level RE.

The obituary also features the remarkable note that Professor Young is survived by his "wife of almost seventy years", Jean Steiner Young .

"Biblical Gynaecology": Dan Wallace Responds

I am grateful to Dan Wallace for his thoughtful response to my post earlier this week questioning the use of the term "Biblical Gynaecology". It is in comments to that post, but I promote it here so that I can respond later:
Mark, thank you for your comments on my use of ‘gynecology’ as a description of a biblical view of women. In response, I would like to note four things.

First, I think it’s awfully restrictive and unnecessarily biased to speak of gynecology as only dealing with ‘functions and diseases of women.’ A good friend of mine, a female theologian, said, “I would prefer *he* chose one of the many more positively nuanced definitions that emphasized a woman’s reproductive *health* (not disease).” I agree.

Second, although you quoted most of the relevant section on my rationale for using this term, you didn’t quote all of it. The term was coined on the basis of Greek usage of the word γυνη in combination with λογος/λογια, as are many other terms that are used technically as a theological terminus technicus. And, as I mentioned in the article, I did this because it would avoid cumbersome circumlocutions.

Third, you are critical of not only the terminology but even the idea of discussing the role of women in the church as a discrete subject. You say, “The very problematizing of the female figure of authority as if it is in some way abnormal or surprising already casts the debate in terms that prejudice the outcome.” I simply can’t agree. The reality is that the role of men in church leadership has not been debated, but the role of women in leadership has been. Is it really prejudicial simply to address the issue of the role of women in the church, regardless of what one’s view is? Countless journal articles, books, Festschriften and other multi-author works, and the like discuss the role of women in scripture as a discrete topic. And these are written on both sides of the debate. Bruce Barron’s provocatively titled, “Putting Women in their Place,” published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, was written by an egalitarian!

In your own academic career, you have written much about Q. Some might say that to speak of Q is to prejudice the discussion at the outset. Yet your publications on Q leave little doubt as to where you are going. One might even say, “The very dismissal of Q as if it is in some way non-existent already casts the debate in terms that prejudice the outcome.” Yet, in my “Biblical Gynecology, Part 1,” where am I framing the debate in terms that prejudice the outcome?

Fourth, nevertheless, I want to build bridges rather than walls. And for this reason, I have asked the keepers of to change both the title of “Biblical Gynecology” (both parts) to “Women in Leadership.” If some of your readers can attack me personally without knowing anything about me, my guess is that they almost certainly did not read these two essays before they wrote their remarks. I don’t want to close doors, but open dialogue about this and other important issues facing the church in the twenty-first century.
Call me shallow, but the pleasant surprise to me about Dan Wallace's response was that he had heard of my work on Q! But back to business, I will comment later this weekend, as time permits.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Biblical Studies Carnival Latest

There is a new Biblical Studies Carnival online, for September 2010, over on a blog that's new to me, You Can't Mean That! by Steven Demmler:

Biblical Studies Carnival: September Edition

Raphael Golb convicted

I am sure that many of you will have seen this already, but the verdict is in on the Raphael Golb case:

Son of Dead Sea Scrolls Expert Is Convicted

See Bob Cargill's blog for comment; remember that Bob's great detective work was absolutely key in unveiling the extraordinary and unsavoury story. Also covered by fellow bibliobloggers Jim Davila and Jim West, both of whom have been posting regular updates on the case.