Biblical Studies

Biblical Studies Carnival (March 2019)

Festivals and carnivals. Circuses and state fairs. Just imagine…throwing baseballs at a stack of cups to win a giant unicorn while eating a deep fried Oreo funnel cake next to a clown. Ahh. The thrill of life. But of course, I don’t need to build you up for this month’s Biblical Studies Carnival. Nothing says “fun,” “excitement,” and “unemployment” like biblical studies (and what could be more exciting than searching for work?). This month’s Biblical Studies Carnival takes posts and updates from many different blogs (at least, of the ones I could find of whom posted anything at all this month) and brings them into one easily accessible place. Read on.

Today is April Fools Day. Consider yourself warned.

Old Testament

Some people say Hebrew was the first language. Rob Holmsted says …guess not! With words like “deeply disappointed,” “flawed,” “exaggerated,” and “naive,” his scathing review of Douglas Petrovich’s The World’s Oldest Alphabet will leave shivers down your golden calves. The final kicker, “Tragically, Douglas Petrovich’s monograph on the early alphabetic epigraphs from Egypt and the Sinai epitomizes what may happen without adequate training or the time-tempered maturation of intellect and thesis.” Boom. Roasted. He then invents the alphabet.

Bob MacDonald talks about translation without commentary and drawing conclusions from the Bible.

Airton José da Silva writes about Israel Finkelstein’s book on Chronicles and those other books, saying, “Estes textos falam da lista dos que voltaram do exílio babilônico…” So, there you go.

This month, Nathaniel Claiborne decided not to write anything this month informing us about how to read the first chapters of Genesis theologically this month.

Randy McCracken was too busy teaching at CCBCY to write anything either.

In fact, Jennifer Guo thinks that teaching Intro Greek at TEDS is more important than blogging, so she didn’t write anything either. She usually writes about New Testament books, but because she hasn’t written anything this month I’m putting her in the Old Testament camp.

Lindsay Kennedy almost didn’t write anything, but then he proved us wrong and rethought the Psalms.

Derek Rishmawy tracks bengal tigers now.

Henry Neufield starts Leviticus. He also writes about popping phils full of platitudes.

Matthew Lynch at the OnScript Podcast interview Jon Levenson about his book Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel, and Lynch and Dru Johnson interview Robert Alter about Bible translation.

Language and Textual Crits

Mike Aubry gives the inside secrets to get a free copy of Linguistics & Biblical Exegesis. He talks about how Peter Gurry talks about the much talked about unpublished NT fragments. If reading “Oxyrhynchus Papyri” doesn’t make you giddy, I don’t know what will. You really should just stop reading now. Just stop.

Oh, but first, there’s a movie too.

Do diachronic and historical linguistics explain the changes we see in the language of the Hebrew Bible from Classical Biblical Hebrew to Late Biblical Hebrew? John Meade for $200: “We won’t solve the matter today…”

Here’s a new text crit book full of myths and mistakes.

Ayana teaches us how to say one had “an out-of-body experience” in modern Hebrew (and other fun things).

Ian Werrett asks How Did Scribes and the Scribal Tradition Shape the Hebrew Bible? Play-doh.

New Testament

Emperor Palpatine has thoughts about Jesus and an impaled just. Go ahead. Click the link.

Julia Blum writes about Melchizedek, high priests, and dead high priests in the OT and NT.

Phil Long continues his series on Acts and Acts and Acts and a book giveaway (outdated by the time you read this) Acts and Acts and Acts and Acts and Sin City (which is really about Corinth but in Acts) and a Logos sale. Lotsa comments. Someone stop this man.

Mike Aubry again on obscenity in Paul. But that’s from last year, so it doesn’t count. Don’t read it.

Can the Pharisees be pinned down, or are they as elusive as clouds?

Would someone just give Jason a job already? The guy just wants a PhD. They hand those things out like candy, don’t they?

Here’s a rare find: a Protestant thinking about the virgin Mary.

Ian Nelson Mills explains why the Synoptic Problem is not borin—Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Larry Hurtado writes about the time investment of early Christian texts. Also, did pagan authors know of early Christian texts? Yes, like, five of them.

Chris Scott writes about Christ’s resurrection, the pivot of Christianity.

Matt Page writes a long post on a movie I’ve never seen.

Henry Neufield asks what it means to call Jesus “Lord”?


Michael Bird announces the Zondervan Critical Introductions to the New Testament series which will begin with 1-2 Thessalonians.


Simon Gathercole lectures on the Gospel of Peter. Next up, the book of Hezekiah.

The third Ben Witherington shares two videos on the not-as-new perspective on Paul, and one explaining the NT’s use of the OT.


David Corder filled his blog for the month of March with thoughts on Paula Frederickson’s new book Paul, the Pagans’ Apostle.


Brian Small links to an ancient dissertation on Hebrews.

At Psephizo, Ian Paul writes about Luke’s Gospel. Is Jesus’ ministry (un)like that of the prodigal’s father in Luke 15? What does Luke 13’s judgment and disaster tell us, as well as Jesus’ inclusion and exclusion? Also, why are Jesus’ temptations in a different order in Luke 4? On a non-lucan note, he asks if we should aim for a pure church, and, if so, how should we do that? Is the Christian faith really centered on a “personal relationship with Jesus“? Can we be hopeful of the future during present crisis? And, perhaps worst of all, he dares to ask “How often should we be fasting?”

Speaking of Luke, Alastair Roberts reflects on Luke 4 and how the devil wanted to divert Christ’s mission. He also discusses the story of David against the background of Jacob’s story.


Peter Williams has an abstract in the Journal of Medical Ethics on transageism.

The Bible Project has begun making videos based on Michael Heiser’s work. Gotta watch ’em all.

Mike also comments on the location of Mt. Sinai.

N.T. Wright’s new book Why I am a Dispensationalist

Jim West’s new swimsuit calendar.

At GoodLion, a single guy who’s now married writes about singleness and marriage in light of Christ.

Andrew Perriman writes about salvation for the Jews by the Author of Life, saying, “All very straightforward, no theology of atonement required.” Okay…

The lead singer of the Trashmen says the internet will never replace the local church. And Zondervan becomes the new Christian Netflix! Since “Bird is the word,” you can now binge on all of Bird’s Evangelical Theology video lectures. He reveals three more upcoming books on the Trinity.

Frank Viola, in connection with the release of his new book, writes about the shocking beliefs of C. S. Lewis (which isn’t really a revelation at all).

Laura at Enough Light asks why some limit women in church more than the Bible does? She also gives some ideas on introverted evangelism.

Scot McKnight (but not really-Mike Glenn) asks why church attendance is down. He also asks pastors if “that sermon is really yours?

Jim Gordon ponders about a theology of sadness and the community of saints.

Roger Olsen writes about what God can, can’t, and won’t do. He also wrote about about Christian theology in a post-theological church world, and boys and girls (not) wrestling. Feel free to post a comment. He’ll probably delete it.

Henry Neufield writes that Bruce Epperly has helpfully made theology accessible. Oh, wait, process theology, that is.

Roger Olsen conveniently writes why process theology is an alternative to Christianity.

Rishmawy says counter-cultural bravery is relative.

Ben Witherington shares a video on phony psychics.

Nijay Gupta’s lecture on why the first Christians called themselves “believers” is now up on iTunes.

B-b-b-b-b-b-b-bird bird bird, b-b-bird is the word believes identity politics will eat itself.

Mark Charles conflates the Church and state and gives a narrative of Promised Land as “authority to commit genocide.” Just what we need…

The guys at Mere Fidelity band together and talk about the spirituality of the church. Who (or what) should be politically active? Individual Christians or the church as an institution? Just make sure we don’t get a second round of covfefe.

Archaeology and History

Why didn’t Jesus leave footprints? 

Andrew Perriman asks, “If the Bible is history, what are we supposed to do?”

Henry Neufield shows how he approaches any biblical doctrine, particularly the Holy Spirit.

Bibleplaces has a few weekend roundups with links to stories such as recreated hanging gardens and Google Earth for ancient Israelites.

Book Reviews

Phil Long at ReadingActs reviews Doug Moos revised Romans (NICNT) commentary.

I once new a man who reviewed children’s theology books (because I know you have kids).

Jim West reviews Goldingay’s Old Testament Ethics. He says thrillingly, “A copy has arrived for review.  More later.”

Since everybody’s heard about the bird, he reviews John Barclay’s Very Brief History of Paul. He (meaning Dr. Kate Tyler) also reviews the excellent Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels. See my unanimous review here.

Nijay Gupta gives some “quick looks” at Jimmy Dunn’s new book Jesus According to the New Testament and Preaching Romans.

Besides kids books, I review a book on the kingdom of God by Stephen Baugh.

Solas and Struggles reviews Understanding Scientific Theories of Origins.

Lagniappe (that is, not Theology)

Airton José da Silva points us to the previous Biblical Studies Carnival done by Bob MacDonald. Hey, it’s from the month of March.

Todd Scacewater encourages studying with post-cannibals in seminary.

Some jerk decided to pry into the lives of four busy scholars (Craig Keener, Charles Irons, Tremper Longman, Cynthia Westfall) to ask about their personal devotional practices.

Jim West promotes a great magic talisman that could save your life!

He helpfully reminds us about intellectual infants,

D. G. Hart writes about the difference a degree makes. You’ll never guess what happens next!!

Gene Veith says Evangelicals actually aren’t declining. But we’re still a reclining minority.

You might disagree with something above, but April Fools Day.

If you are a new blogger, a graduate student, or an established scholar who is actively blogging, Phil would love to have you host a future carnival. Future Carnivals will be held by the disrespective persons below.

As you can see, the gaps in the schedule are now filled by you, and you should probably take up the rest of the year too so people know who you are (September through December are wildly open). Phil Long has put his feelers out, but there is still time for you to personally volunteer as a tenured and highly-respected Carnival Host.

Hosting the carnival is a great way to draw attention to everyone else’s work on your page, so consider yourself honored to host their work. Like what Alfred is to Batman. Or Aquaman.

Email phil  (plong42 at or direct message him on Twitter (@plong42) to volunteer. You can also leave a comment on his page with your contact info and he’ll get back to you. He’s like the IRS. He’ll find you.

Also, no copyright infringement is intended on any picture above. We just need some humor in our part of the humanities.


  1. Viola’s post about C.S. Lewis’ beliefs was an excerpt from his new book “ReGrace.” It was a revelation to me because evangelicals claim him but he had many nonevangelical ideas. I got the free chapters at and then bought the book. On my second read. It’s incredible and really needed right now where christian people can’t seem to disagree graciously. The audio interview on that page is hilarious.


    1. And that’s very true. I will try to find a meme/quote I read a few years back about all the odd things Luther believed. I’ll hae to check out the interview. Thanks, Candice!


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