Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy 8th birthday, Paleojudaica!

Happy 8th birthday, Paleojudaica! Jim was blogging before almost all of us and he's still there, eight years later, sustaining the quality and quantity of informed news and comment.

Inscribed lead plates from Jordan

BBC News today has the following story, with thanks to Michael Thompson for the link:

Jordan battles to regain 'priceless' Christian relics
By Robert Pigott
A group of 70 or so "books", each with between five and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings, was apparently discovered in a remote arid valley in northern Jordan somewhere between 2005 and 2007.

A flash flood had exposed two niches inside the cave, one of them marked with a menorah or candlestick, the ancient Jewish religious symbol.

A Jordanian Bedouin opened these plugs, and what he found inside might constitute extremely rare relics of early Christianity.
This feature has a few new pictures. Previous news and comments on this often garbled and still very murky story are found on Paleojudaica (and follow the links for more), Jim West's blog (with a link to Bob Cargill, and here and here).

I have no idea what to make of this given the current very thin reporting and conflicting information, but will be keeping an interested eye.

NT Pod 51: What do we know about the brothers of Jesus?

The latest episode of the NT Pod came out last week and this time the focus is on the brothers of Jesus. It is the latest in the current series of podcasts on the Historical Jesus that I am running alongside my course on the Historical Jesus at Duke this semester.

If you are interested in other episodes of the podcast, please visit the NT Pod web page or subscribe in your preferred reader or subscribe via iTunes. Or, of course, you can follow the NT Pod on Twitter or on the NT Pod Facebook page.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Graham Stanton on the Parables of Jesus

I have often blogged before on the St John's Nottingham series of Youtube videos. If I knew about this one previously, I had forgotten it. We have reached the parables in my Historical Jesus course at Duke and it's great to discover this gem. It's a real treat to see Graham Stanton again, very much missed. There is a little of Jimmy Dunn in this too, but it's mainly Stanton:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On the Pedagogical Advantages of the Q hypothesis and the Importance of Simplicity

I shared some thoughts the other day On the Pedagogical Advantages of the Q Hypothesis, suggesting that it can act as an appealing and tangible symbol of participation in academic study of the New Testament.  There is no Q in the Bible, but there is a Q in the scholar's canon, and it quickly and effectively makes the point that Higher Education is not about Bible Study.

I have also noticed other pedagogical advantages in teaching Q.  The architecture of the Two-Source Theory has an elegance, a simplicity that lends itself very nicely to teaching introductory students.  The genius of the theory is that it is able to assign a document to each major type of tradition.  People find it difficult to grasp the complexity of the Synoptic data, but refracting the data through the theory can be helpful and clear.

If one is looking to simplify the data, there are broadly two key types of material in the Synoptics, triple tradition and double tradition.  The Two-Source Theory enables the teacher to link a documentary source with each of those basic data sets.  Triple Tradition is essentially Mark's Gospel -- Matthew and Luke are copying Mark.  Double Tradition is Q -- Matthew and Luke are copying Q.

The same essential elegance is taken a step further in Streeter's classic Four-Source Theory, according to which one adds in Special Matthew and Special Luke and assigns a document to each, M and L, so that we end up with four types of material -- triple, double, Special Mt and Special Lk -- and four documents -- Mark, Q, M and L.

In fact, the model is so elegant and straightforward that I enjoy teaching it myself, and explaining how the Two-Source Theory nicely maps onto the data that it is isolating and describing.

The difficulty with the model is, sadly, that the data is not quite as simple as the model requires.  Triple tradition is contaminated throughout with material that should not be there, with major and minor agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark.   Double Tradition is not its own unique data set but often flows into Triple Tradition, requiring the postulation of Mark-Q overlaps in order to make sense of the evidence.

Luckily, at an introductory level, one does not need to introduce the complications like the Minor and Major Agreements, and the discussion can remain on the kind of general level that keeps the model functional.  The genius of  the Two-Source Theory is that it works so well on a general level.  It's only those who linger for a little longer who find out that the devil is in the detail.

The New Testament in Antiquity on the Synoptic Problem: Some Further Issues

In a post last night, Yet Another NT Introduction Ignores the Farrer Theory, I talked about the treatment of the Synoptic Problem in Gary M. Burge, Lynn H. Cohick and Gene L. Green, The New Testament in Antiquity (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009). I focused particularly on its ignorance of the Farrer Theory and I didn't have space to talk about some other curiosities in its presentation, and I'd like to comment on those here.

First let me pick up again on the authors' suggestion "that when Matthew and Luke make editorial changes to Mark, none of Matthew's changes show up in Luke and vice versa."  They add that "If Matthew had known Luke -- or if Luke had known Matthew -- then surely some of the changes would be apparent" (116).  It's a remarkable statement given that the triple tradition in fact features hundreds and hundreds of agreements between Matthew and Luke against Mark.  It is true that Two-Source Theorists have explanations for these, some of the major ones as "Mark-Q overlaps" and some of the minor ones as due to independent redaction, or textual corruption, but denying that they are present ought not to be a serious option in the discussion.

Other statements that I would like to question relate to their brief arguments for Marcan Priority, e.g. the statement that "While Mark's gospel is shorter, each of Mark's narratives is longer, and often details are removed in Matthew (but still assumed)"  (115).  I like the drift of the latter element here, which coheres with my argument from Fatigue, but the statement that "each of Mark's narratives is longer" is not true at all.  Many of Matthew's parallels to Marcan narrative pericopes are longer.  The impression of consistent Matthean brevity is derived largely from the triple tradition material in Matt. 8-9, where Matthew is shorter in his parallels with Mark.  Elsewhere, this is less often the norm.

A third puzzling claim is the following:
In Mark 6.5 we learn that Jesus "could not do any miracles [in Nazareth]." Matthew appears to supplement this potentially embarrassing admission by saying Jesus did no mighty work there "because of their lack of faith" (Matt. 13.58). (115).
The line quoted from Matthew is identical in Mark 6.6; Matthew does not so much supplement Mark here as contract it.  I think the authors are aiming to make a contrast between Mark's "could do no . . ." and Matthew's "did not . . .", which is the way that this argument is usually set up, but the re-statement of it loses the necessary clarity to make that point (and, incidentally, it's worth taking a look at Peter Head's Christology and the Synoptic Problem for a nuanced discussion of this example).

A fourth issue is a diagram that appears on the bottom of p. 115.  The diagram has arrows illustrating Marcan Priority plus Luke's use of Matthew.  In other words, it appears to be an inadvertent and unlabelled diagram of the Farrer theory.  But it appears to be used, in context, as a diagram that is supposed (just) to illustrate Marcan Priority, which is what is being discussed either side of it.   It may be that the arrow pointing from Matthew to Luke is deliberate, and that a subtle allusion to the Farrer theory is intended, but I doubt it.  The text goes on to talk about "whether Matthew used Luke or Luke used Matthew", which would suggest alternative arrows, one going in each direction between Matthew and Luke.  I think this lay-out could prove quite confusing to students.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Yet another NT Introduction ignores the Farrer Theory

It's déjà vu!

After noticing a recent case of Another Introduction to the Bible, Another Chance to Ignore the Farrer Theory, curiosity compelled me to check out another recent New Testament Introduction, Gary M. Burge, Lynn H. Cohick and Gene L. Green, The New Testament in Antiquity (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009).  I had previously noticed just how gorgeous looking the book was -- a lavishly illustrated historical introduction to the New Testament with a stress on its cultural contexts.

What I had not previously noticed was that it featured a several page discussion on the Synoptic Problem (112-7) with nice diagrams, a Synopsis of a passage (Matt. 8.16-17 // Mark 1.32-4 // Luke 4.40-41) and pictures of Augustine, J. J. Griesbach, B. H. Streeter and William Farmer.  And this itself is something of a first -- I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Streeter in a New Testament introduction before, let alone Farmer.

Sadly, my initial enthusiasm soon gave way to the now all-too-familiar experience of seeing the Farrer Theory ignored.  And this example is a particularly striking one in the genre.  As far as this textbook is concerned, there are only two solutions to the Synoptic Problem actively discussed in New Testament scholarship today, the Two-Source Theory and the Griesbach Theory.  The Two-Source Theory is represented as "most popular today", indeed "so well received that some scholars refer to this result as an 'assured finding'" (116).  The latter is a quotation from Willi Marxsen in 1968.

The authors go on to explain, however, that there is "another generation of scholars", led by William Farmer, who adhere to the Griesbach Theory.  And they add that "Farmer has a growing following" (117).

The discussion of the Synoptic Problem itself proceeds along familiar lines.  Augustine gives way to Griesbach, but Griesbach does not work because Marcan Priority is more plausible (115). But once Marcan Priority is accepted, "the next question is whether Matthew used Luke or Luke used Matthew" (115).  At this point, there is reason for the Q sceptic to feel encouraged -- the right questions are being asked!

Such hopes are soon disappointed.  The authors suggest "that when Matthew and Luke make editorial changes to Mark, none of Matthew's changes show up in Luke and vice versa" (116).  "If Matthew had known Luke -- or if Luke had known Matthew -- then surely some of the changes would be apparent" (116).  And so, when the double tradition is introduced, it becomes inevitable that Q is the answer.

Technically, I suppose, the Farrer theory is represented in one half of that couple of theoretical sentences even though it is not introduced by name or properly explained.  But what I find particularly remarkable about this example is that the Q theory is introduced on the basis of an erroneous claim, the statement that Luke does not feature any of Matthew's editorial changes to Mark.  Indeed, for many, this is the appeal of the Farrer Theory, that it is able to account for the many cases of Matthew's and Luke's agreements against Mark in triple tradition.

It is an interesting state of affairs to have the Q theory expounded, for introductory students, on the basis of the denial of a large body of data that is actually foundational for those who are sceptical of the existence of Q.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

On the Pedagogical Advantages of the Q hypothesis

In a comment on my post Another Introduction to the Bible, Another Chance to Ignore the Farrer Theory, one commenter (James) asks why this kind of phenomenon recurs in the introductory textbooks and he offers some interesting suggestions. Here is one of my thoughts on the issue.

There is a huge pedagogical advantage in making Q critical orthodoxy in introductory courses because it is a tangible expression of participation in proper academic New Testament studies. It is a symbol that one is doing critical scholarship and not Bible Study, that one is engaging in the academy and not the church.

The fact is that Q is not an element in most Christian Bible Studies. One of the big issues for many in teaching introductory courses on the New Testament is in persuading the students that this is going to be different from Bible Study. Q is a bit like pseudonymous authorship of the Pauline epistles -- it is something that some teachers use as a recognizable distinguishing marker that what we are doing is something different, something academic, something critical.

That is not to say that all those who advocate Q do it solely for its pedagogical advantages, of course. Many do it because they have engaged in serious study, they are familiar with the evidence, and have come to that solution. My point, though, is that Q can provide a useful shortcut, a speedy but concrete symbol of the difference between a historical approach and a confessional one.

Under such circumstances, it remains an attractive but also a useful hypothesis.

Pooh Community and Jack and Jill Exegesis in the latest BSB

The latest Biblical Studies Bulletin from Grove Books is now available online:

BSB 58 (December 2010)

It features two pieces of exegetical humour, Richard Bauckham's "Reconstructing the Pooh Community" and Michael B. Thompson's "Initial Critical-Exegetical Notes on 'Jack and Jill'".

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Introduction to the Bible, Another Chance to Ignore the Farrer Theory

Regular readers will be familiar with the Farrer theory ignored trope.

Here we go again.

Robert Kugler and Patrick Hartin, An Introduction to the Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009) is the latest in a long line of Bible Introductions to ignore the Farrer Theory, to talk as if the Two-Source Theory is gospel, to suggest that Marcan Priority is the same thing as the Two-Source Theory and to mention only Griesbach offered as an alternative (with a brief mention also of Augustine).

Kugler and Hartin's discussion of the Synoptic Problem is found on pp. 351-5 of their introduction. They have a brief discussion of some data (352) and then they proceed to "Solutions Proposed".   Three are offered, first, "St. Augustine's Solution", then "The Griesbach Hypothesis", which is "still supported by a small number of scholars today" and then "The Two-Document Hypothesis", which is given as "the most widely accepted view" and which "helps to explain most of the difficulties in the relationship among the Gospels" (352).

The authors then provide a series of "five stages": (1) oral traditions, (2) written compilations (including Q), (3) Mark, (4) Matthew, (5) Luke-Acts.  They conclude with a section headed "The Two-Document Hypothesis Illustrated".

No arguments for the existence of Q are offered but several reasons are given for Marcan Priority (353-4), with the implication that this entails acceptance of Q.  Surprisingly, the passages offered as illustrations of the Two-Document Hypothesis include some famous examples of difficulties for the Two-Source Hypothesis, including Matthew's and Luke's major agreements against Mark 1.2-13, with special attention given to the Mal. 3.1 quotation in Mark 1.2.

One of the difficulties they face in using the Mark 1 material to illustrate the Two-Source Theory is self-contradiction.  Thus they begin with the statement, "A passage occurring in all three Synoptic Gospels is referred to as the triple tradition" (354).  They continue with the Mark 1 / Matthew 3-4 / Luke 3-4 material, noting parallels between Matthew and Luke that are not in Mark and adding, "This is known as the double tradition".

Oversimplification leads to difficulties at other points, for example:
 The Q document contains practically no narrative. Instead it presents a series of Jesus' sayings (very similar to the Gospel of Thomas which was discovered in 1945).  These sayings are recorded chiefly in the sermons in Matthew and the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem in Luke (353).
Familiarity with the reconstructed text of Q actually shows that it contains a good amount of narrative and that the contrast with the Gospel of Thomas is striking.  It is true that a lot of the double tradition is found in Matthew's sermons, but an awful lot of it occurs outside of them (Matt. 3-4, 8, 11, 23, etc.).  Quite a lot occurs outside of Luke's journey section too (Luke 3-4, 6-7).

I do understand, of course, the constraints of the New Testament introduction, but I can't help feeling a disappointment not only that the Farrer Theory is once again ignored but also that data is is not described with the kind of precision that would help students to begin to see the Synoptic Problem accurately.  The authors do not provide additional reading or links to works that would help them to fill out their knowledge in this area and to assess competing claims.

Sometimes I think that I am a bit too noisy on this subject, writing books, articles, websites, podcasting, blogging.  "There's Goodacre going on about Q again!"  But clearly, as far as these authors are concerned, I am as quiet as a mouse.  In a funny sort of way, it's quite reassuring -- I'm clearly not as irritating as I sometimes worry I might be!

Liddell-Scott Lexicon at TLG

A couple of weeks ago, there was a lot of excitement in the blogs and on the e-lists about the availability of the LSJ (Liddell-Scott-Jones) lexicon at the TLG database, free for all.   I finally got a chance to check it up yesterday only to find that it had vanished.  An inquiry on b-greek turned up the following information:
The Online LSJ was released on February 24, 2011. Within hours of its release, our site became the target of individuals attempting to download our data. By March 1 our server was bombarded by hundreds of coordinated pirate attackers seeking to break into our server security. As a consequence, we were forced to suspend access to LSJ while we are taking steps to address the security of our servers.

We are working to reestablish access gradually and hope that LSJ will be back up within the next few days.

We regret the inconvenience this action has caused to our legitimate users.
For those of us with Logos Bible Software, it's not a big loss, but I'm curious to see what the TLG version looks like, and how it integrates with the TLG, so I am looking forward to its return. I'll keep an eye out and post a notice here as soon as it's back.

Four New Titles in the Library of the New Testament Studies Series

This post is courtesy of Anna Turton on the T & T Clark Blog, advertising four new volumes in the Library of New Testament Studies series. If you would like to propose a volume for publication in the series, you can find details here.
There are a few months ahead of us when we have many good books coming out in the LNTS series.
There are four titles that will be available in March 2011 and one of these is Geir O. Holmås’ volume titled ‘Prayer and Vindication in Luke-Acts. The Theme of Prayer within the Context of the Legitimating and Edifying Objective of the Lukan Narrative.’ This comprehensive study discusses the literary function of prayer in Luke-Acts, employing narrative critical methodology and focuses on the theme’s relation to Luke’s historiographical aims. This study is divided into three parts. In Part I Holmås ‘sets the framework by defining the scope of examination in terms of text selection and by presenting, in a general way, the pragmatic-rhetorical motivations underlying Luke-Acts as an ancient historical work and the implications of this for the interpretation of Lukan prayer’. In Part II he examines the passages featuring prayer in Luke’s gospel, whereas in Part III he investigates the continuation of the prayer theme in Acts.
‘Who is this son of man? The Latest Scholarship on a Puzzling Expression of the Historical Jesus’, edited by Larry W. Hurtado and Paul L. Owen is another title that is coming out in March 2011. This volume is the first ever collection of scholarly essays in English devoted specifically to the theme of the expression ‘son of man’. This lively discussion is taken up by contributors such as Albert L. Lukaszewski, David Shepherd, P.J. Williams, Darrell L. Bock, Benjamin E. Reynolds and Darrell D. Hannah, as well as by both editors.

Stefanos Mihalios examines the links between the Johannine eschatological hour and the eschatological hour in the book of Daniel in his volume titled ‘The Danielic Eschatological Hour in the Johannine Literature.’ Mihalios scrutinizes here the uses of the ‘hour’ in the writings of John and demonstrates the contribution of Danielic eschatology to John’s understanding of this concept. After a thorough examination Mihalios concludes that for the Johannine Jesus use of the term ‘hour’ indicates that the final hour of tribulation and resurrection, as it is depicted in Daniel, has arrived.
There is one more title that will be published in March 2011 – a collection edited by Trevor J. Burke and Brian S. Rosner titled ‘Paul as Missionary. Identity, Activity, Theology, and Practice.’ The main theme of this volume is a view that Paul, first and foremost, must be identified as ‘missionary’, therefore all the essays use the entire Pauline corpus in attempt to discover what Paul’s correspondence can tell us about how Paul himself perceived his role and identity. The list of contributors is very impressive - Seyoon Kim, James W. Thompson, James C. Miller, Richard Gibson, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, J. Daniel Hays, J. Ayodeji Adewuya, Paul W. Barnett, Arland J. Hultgren, Karl O. Sandnes Stanley E. Porter, Roy E. Ciampa, William S. Campbell, James Ware, Steve Walton, Michael Barram and E. Randolph Richards.
I realise my short announcements do not give that much information about these great volumes, but I hope many of you will enjoy reading these books. And I promise to give you another update on LNTS books very soon.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

How likely is it that Jesus' sisters were called Mary and Salome?

My recent NT Pod on the sisters of Jesus mentions Richard Bauckham's suggestion that, on the basis of statistical studies of female names, there is a 50% likelihood that Jesus' sisters were called Mary and Salome. He makes the claim in three works* in the following passage:
So is there any degree of probability that the tradition known to the Protevangelium of James, the Gospel of Philip and the source used by Epiphanius correctly preserved the actual names of two sisters of Jesus? A recent study of the recorded names of Jewish women in Palestine in the period 330 BCE-200 CE finds that, although the 247 women whose names are known bore 68 different names in all, 61 of these 247 women were called Salome (including its longer version Salomezion) and 58 were called Mary (Mariamme or Maria). In other words, these two names account for 47.7% of the women. Every second Palestinian Jewish woman must have been called either Salome or Mary. Individual sources for the names also show high percentages of these two names, making it likely that the sample is in this respect representative . . .

In the light of this statistical finding, it seems that the tradition which gives the names Mary and Salome to Jesus' sisters has a 50% chance of being correct, even if it was not based on historical memory!
But surely the inference Bauckham makes here is incorrect.  Assuming the accuracy of the statistics, and assuming two sisters (about which more anon), there is only a (nearly) 50% chance of at least ONE of the sisters being called Mary OR Salome.  Assuming only two sisters, and assuming the accuracy of the data, the chance of their being called Mary AND Salome is more like 5.8% (i.e. 61/247 x 58/247), isn't it?**  Or am I forgetting something?

* Richard Bauckham, "Salome the Sister of Jesus, Salome the Disciple of Jesus, and the Secret Gospel of Mark", Novum Testamentum 33/3 (Jul., 1991): 245-275 (253-4)
* Richard Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1990; 3rd edition: London & New York, T & T Clark, 2004): 43
* Richard Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002): 233-4.

** It occurs to me that if the first sister is named Mary, the second is unlikely also to be called Mary, so we should perhaps reduce the pool to 186 names, in which case the calculation would be 61/247 x 58/186 = 7.7%.  is that right?

Update: After a useful discussion in the comments thread (see below), we have consensus that the correct figure is in fact 15.3%.  What I had forgotten was that the first child, in these calculations, could be called *either* Mary *or* Salome.  So it is still a much lower figure than Bauckham's 50% figure, but it's a bit higher than the 7.7% I was thinking about before.

NT Pod 50: The Sisters of Jesus

The latest episode of the NT Pod has just come out and the topic this time is What do we know about the sisters of Jesus?. It is the latest in the current series of podcasts on the Historical Jesus that I am running alongside my course on the Historical Jesus at Duke this semester. Admittedly, this is one that will only get a few minutes in my class on the family of Jesus next week, but it's a topic that I have recently got interested in. In fact, I'll be blogging some more detailed reflections on the topic over the coming days, which is one of the reasons I am posting the NT Pod here a bit more apeedily than I usually manage.

If you are interested in other episodes of the podcast, please visit the NT Pod web page or subscribe in your preferred reader or subscribe via iTunes. Or, of course, you can follow the NT Pod on Twitter or on the NT Pod Facebook page.

Big Books and Housework

I wonder how much housework gets done by scholars who write those really massive books? I wonder if they live in really messy houses, or if they have servants or if they have spouses who do all the domestic chores? Do others ever wonder about these things, or is it just me?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Martin Hengel video

I've been listing several videos from The Christ Files series recently. These are found on The Christ Files website in Sydney, Australia and are extracts from a longer documentary available on DVD. A trip over to Youtube provides us with some extra footage from the series, including two extended clips of Martin Hengel:

There are several enjoyable features here, not least Hengel's self-deprecating comments on his facility in English (which is, of course, far better than all of our facility with German). Hengel died in 2009 and this may well be his last recorded interview, from 2008.

There is a first part too, but the video is not working properly (audio OK).

Rachel Elior Volume, In Letters of Light

It's catch-up week for me and I see that I have had this one in my emails for several weeks:

With Letters of Light: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Early Jewish Apocalypticism, Magic, and Mysticism in Honor of Rachel Elior
(Edited by Daphna Arbel and Andrei Orlov; Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, 2; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011; ISBN 978-3-11-022201-2; US$ 182.00)

This collection of essays is a tribute to Rachel Elior’s decades of teaching, scholarship and mentoring. If a Festschrift reflects the individuality of the honoree, then this volume offers insights into the scope of Rachel Elior’s interests and scholarly achievements in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish apocalypticism, magic, and mysticism from the Second Temple period to the later rabbinic and Hekhalot developments. The majority of articles included in the volume deal with Jewish and Christian apocalyptic and mystical texts constituting the core of experiential dimension of these religious traditions.

More details at De Gruyter or Amazon. You can view the whole book in electronic form at

Monday, March 07, 2011

Richard Bauckham on the Gospels as Biography and History

Here's another short video from The Christ Files series. This one features Richard Bauckham talking about the Gospels as biography, mentioning his well-known claim that the Gospels also contain eye-witness testimony:

Anyone recognize where he is being interviewed? St Andrews?

Robert Markus Obituary

I was catching up with the obituaries in The Independent earlier today and noticed this one on Robert Markus:

Robert Markus: Medieval historian noted for his writings on the early Church
Robert Markus was a distinguished medieval and ecclesiastical historian known principally for his writings on St Augustine and the history of the early Church. While he wrote as a committed Christian, he always insisted that ecclesiastical history must be written with the same scientific objectivity as secular history, and that ecclesiastical developments could only be understood in relation to wider changes in society.

NTS latest

The latest New Testament Studies is just out, access for subscribers and subscribing institutions only; abstracts available for all:

New Testament Studies 57/2 (April 2011)


In Memoriam: Rev. Professor Robin McL. Wilson and Professor Graham N. Stanton
John Barclay
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 153 - 154

Research Articles

The Female Body as Social Space in 1 Timothy
Adela Yarbro Collins
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 155 - 175

Matthew's Use of Mark: Did Matthew Intend to Supplement or to Replace His Primary Source?
David C. Sim
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 176 - 192

Crucifixion and Burial
John Granger Cook
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 193 - 213

Announcing the Human: Rethinking the Relationship Between Wisdom of Solomon 13–15 and Romans 1.18–2.11
Jonathan A. Linebaugh
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 214 - 237

Paul's Mosaic Ascent: An Interpretation of 2 Corinthians 12.7–9
M. David Litwa
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 238 - 257

A Non-combat Myth in Revelation 12
András Dávid Pataki
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 258 - 272

Tuckett on Q

Here's another clip from John Dickson's Australian documentary, The Christ Files. It features Christopher Tuckett talking about Q:

It's not often that Q makes it to the TV documentaries. The only other example I can think of is the PBS From Jesus to Christ.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Geza Vermes, "A Jewish view of Jesus"

There are several videos available online in a series called "The Christ Files". They appear to be from Sydney, Australia, but feature New Testament scholars based in Britain. This one is a short piece in which "Geza Vermes talks about Jewish life in the time of Jesus":

Daniel McLellan confirms that it is filmed at Yarnton Manor, the location of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew Studies.

Biblical Studies Carnivals and Top Blogs

When you have been out of the loop, it is fantastic to be able to catch up via the Biblical Studies Carnival.  There is an excellent one for February 2011 over on a blog called A Fistful of Farthings.  I'm ashamed to say that it's not a blog I have been reading, so the Carnival has been good for advertising its author's work:

February 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival

Meanwhile, the new voted-for Top 10 Biblioblogs list is also available:

February 2011 Top 10 Biblioblogs

And, wonder of wonders, the NT Blog is in there at number 8! Thanks to whoever voted for me -- greatly appreciated!

And then there is the Biblioblog Top 50 by actual sales:

Biblioblog Top 50 for February (by Alexa Rank)

Catching up on the blogs: when fewer posts help

I've been away from the blogs for the last week or so because of a very heavy workload and I've enjoyed catching up here and there over the last couple of days.  Catching up on the backlog provides a different way of consuming blogs than the every-day one.  One of the interesting features is that one ends up spending more time on blogs with fewer posts.  If you go several days without reading the big-posting blogs, the volume of unread posts grows so overwhelming that it is practically impossible to catch up with what you have missed.  If there are just a few select posts, on the other hand, you are that bit more likely to read them.  So what's the moral of the story?  Post less often? Read more regularly?  I don't think there is one.  Just observing.