Biblical Studies Carnival–January 2015

Carnival-of-Souls Hi there ladies and gentlemen, this truly is a baptism of fire for me hosting my first carnival while working thru my inexperience with WordPress and not acquiring the computer skills that most people posses. I want to thank Dr. Phil Long for following up regarding hosting a carnival, and what a month to start! I also want to thank Jennifer Guo for reaching out to me and providing encouragement. So now without further delay, let my noobness be revealed! 🙂

Mark in a Mask?

Mark in a Mask?

This picture was posted this month by Dr. Jim West, it captures a lot of the thinking concerning The Gospel Mark in the Mummy Mask issue.

The first article is from Dr. James Tabor. His piece is tastefully done; here is most of the first paragraph.

The first any of us heard of a new discovery of the fragment of the New Testament Gospel of Mark dating to the late 1st century C.E. was in 2012. Bart Ehrman of UNC and Daniel Wallace of Dallas Theological Seminary were engaged in a debate in Chapel Hill on the question “Is the Original New Testament Lost?” Wallace simply asserted his “bombshell” claim without giving any details… Our earliest physical manuscript of any part of the N.T. is a tiny papyrus fragment (3.5 x 2 inches, seven lines, front and back) from the Gospel of John known as Rylands P52, now on display in the John Rylands University Library in Manchester, UK. It is usually dated, with some controversy, between 117-150 C.E.

Please follow the link below for the remainder.

This next piece is from Aaron Adair from

The piece reveals the frustration surrounding certain aspects while still attempting to remain positive regarding an outcome.

Here’s a paragraph from his piece:

Now, I must say this. All of the claims about the fragment could be right, and I welcome it. I do hope to read the book concerning the fragment, among many others, when it is published (allegedly this year, but I doubt the timeline since the proponents have been saying it will come out in 2012, 2013, 2014, and this year). It would, at least, put to rest the possibility that Mark is a 2nd century composition (something I consider at least possible, though not necessarily probable). And perhaps textual critics will find it of use if it concerns a passage from Mark that has been uncertain in the reading. We will need to wait and see, but even once published I will be quite skeptical until others can properly review and analyze the results.

The last piece surrounding this topic comes from Dr. Larry Hurtado.

There are 2 articles from Dr. Hurtado dated 1/26/15 and 1/27/15 respectively.

This first is titled:

A First-Century Copy of the Gospel of Mark?

So, what we can ask in the case of this putative fragment of Mark is that the owner(s) enable the scholarly world to access it, so that a critical and measured analysis can be done. Until then, there is no need to ask what I think of the claim that it is a first-century fragment of Mark. No data, no opinion.

The above is Dr. Hurtado’s final statement, please click the link below to view the piece in it’s entirety.

The second is titled:

Early Manuscripts of Biblical Writings? What’s at Stake?

In light of the renewed hubbub about a supposed first-century fragment of the Gospel of Mark, I’ll offer some comments about why people get all excited (or exasperated) about the matter and other such incidents.

For any text of antiquity, scholars prize early copies, the earlier the better. In the transmission process (hand-copying) every copy to be made presented the possibility of accidental or deliberate changes (variants) being introduced. So, in principle, the closer we can get to the origin of the text, the fewer such opportunities we have to consider, and the closer we might get to the text as it originated.

The above are the first two paragraphs, please follow the link below:

Sanctified Dirt

Sanctified Dirt

Well, with a month under this year’s belt tis the season to get ready to play in the sand again. Let’s hope something really cool gets unearthed.

First up is a piece from Margreet L. Steiner who is an archaeologist living in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Her research focuses on the Bronze and Iron Ages in the Levant. She has published a large part of Kenyon’s excavations in Jerusalem. Her publications include Excavations in Jerusalem, 1961–1967, vol. 2 and vol. 3, (with H. J. Franken, Oxford University Press 1990) and The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant, with Ann E. Killebrew. (Oxford University Press, 2014).

This piece was published through

The article is titled: Site Identification: The Case of Jericho

Imagine a time three thousand years from now. New York, once the mightiest city in the world, has become a heap of ruins, a mountain of rubble and stones, decayed wood, corroded iron. Its name is hardly remembered, its days of glory forgotten.

Imagine three thousand years from now a team of archaeologists starts digging among the ruins. They conclude that once an important city was located here. But how to discover which city it was? How would they be able to identify the site?

Above are the first two paragraphs, below, the remainder can be read here:

Next we have Dr. James Tabor’s announcement regarding the Mount Zion 2015 Dig.

June 14 through July 10th 2015

Registration is now open for both student and non-student participation in our 2015 Mt Zion Excavation. UNC Charlotte is the only American university excavating in the historic Old City of Jerusalem and our site is rich with material remains from all periods of habitation–Iron Age, Herodian/Roman, Byzantine, Muslim, Crusader, and Ottoman. There is no excavation like it in all of Jerusalem.

There’s a lot more information regarding this dig at Dr. Tabor’s blog. Follow the link below:

This Spring Biblical Archeological Review turns 40, Happy Birthday BAR!

This piece is from Dr. Ellen White and is titled:

No, No, Bad Dog: Dogs in the Bible

Some scholars hypothesize that the negative feelings expressed in the ancient Near East toward dogs was because in those days, dogs often ran wild and usually in packs. Dogs in the Bible exhibited predatory behavior in their quest for survival, which included the eating of dead bodies (1 Kings 14:11; 16:4; 21:19, 23-24; 22:38; 2 Kings 9:10, 36; 1 Kings 21:23).

There is archaeological evidence, such as figurines, pictures and even collars, that demonstrates that Israel’s neighbors kept dogs as pets, but from the skeletal remains found within the Levant, the domestication of dogs did not happen until the Persian and Hellenistic periods within Israel.

Please follow the link below for the entire article:

No, No, Bad Dog: Dogs in the Bible

Click on the link below to download 21 free ebooks from Biblical Archaeology Society 🙂


Book Reviews

Book Reviews 

New & Noteworthy Books (2015) and some thoughts from Jennifer Guo:

Though I didn’t read all the new releases I was excited about in 2014 (but do not worry, the best books will not fall through the cracks and I have reviews coming of some stellar releases from the end of 2014) and I’m trying desperately to have a good balance of old books in my reading diet (to avoid the chronological snobbery C. S. Lewis so famously wrote about), I am already eagerly anticipating quite a few new books scheduled to come out this year. Below are the books I am most looking forward to and that every self-respecting bible/theology nerd should keep an eye out for (actually, you’ll see that the list is quite biased toward my primary interests. I apologize to OT nerds, those not particularly fond of Paul, and Arminians).

To see Jennifer’s list click on the link below:

Dr. Larry Hurtado book reviews:

Constantine Tischendorf: New Book

Constantine Tischendorf (1815-1874) was certainly one of the most prodigiously productive scholars of his or any other time. He was (and remains) also a figure of controversy, claim and counter-claim. In a new book on Tischendorf (and released in anticipation of the 200th anniversary of his birth on 18 January), Stanley Porter gives a short biography and an appreciative assessment of the man and his scholarly work: Constantine Tischendorf: The Life and Work of a 19th Century Bible Hunter (London: Bloomsbury, 2015).

Remaining review, click below:

J. B. Lightfoot: Unpublished Works Now Appearing

J. B. Lightfoot was perhaps the most impressive British NT scholar of his generation (late 19th century), and one of the most significant NT scholars of his day internationally. His published works remain important to consult, and some (especially his 5-volume work on “The Apostolic Fathers”) remain essential and unsurpassed. But there was a good deal of unpublished work by Lightfoot as well, hundreds of pages of biblical/exegetical work discovered by Ben Witherington in the Durham Cathedral Library in 2013. Under the editorship of Witherington and Todd Still, the first of several published volumes has appeared, presenting this previously unpublished material by Lightfoot: J. B. Lightfoot: The Acts of the Apostles, a Newly Discovered Commentary, The Lightfoot Legacy Set, Volume 1, eds. Ben Witherington III and Todd D. Still(Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2014).

Full review, follow the link below:

Wasserman on P45 and Codex W

Tommy Wasserman (long-time friend and colleague in the field) contributes a fresh study of textual relationships of Codex Washingtonianus and P45 (P.Chester Beatty I) that largely confirms the results of my own study done some forty-odd years ago: “P45 and Codex W in Mark Revisited,” in Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism: Essays in Honor of Larry W. Hurtado, eds. Chris Keith & Dieter T. Roth (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2014), 130-56.

Full review, follow the link below:

Next reviews are from SlimJim at

Christian Bioethics by C. Ben Mitchell and D. Joy Riley. Christian Bioethics: A Guide for Pastors, Health Care Professionals, and Families. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2014. 197 pp.

This is a wonderful book on bioethics from a Christian perspective. I have felt for years that there is a need for more works on Christian bioethics and no doubt this book makes a contribution. The book exceeded my expectation. I appreciated the fact that both authors’ background helped in making a contribution to the book: C. Ben Mitchell has a PhD in medical ethics in addition to his pastoral background while D. Joy Riley is a physician with a masters in bioethics. Both Mitchell and Riley serve in hospital ethics committee and have written previous on bioethical issues.

Full review, follow the link below:

Review:Charles J. Brown. The Ministry: Address to Students of Divinity.
Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2006. 112 pp.

I started reading this book during a break in ministry as a devotional to refresh my soul. I had this book for a few years now and I thought I finally get around to reading it. It turns out that the book really ministered to my heart and I was glad I read it. The book is short and is a plus in many ways: first it is the perfect size for a pastor’s devotional. Secondly, the author is concise and to the point. Thirdly, its spiritual impact is greater than its size; in reviewing this book I was pleasantly surprised how much of the book I highlighted that fed my soul. 

Full review, follow the link below:

Next are reviews from Dr. Phil Long

Book Review: Schmitt and Laney, Messiah’s Coming Temple

Schmitt, John W. and J. Carl Laney. Messiah’s Coming Temple. Updated Edition. Grand Rapids, Mich. Kregel, 2014. 248 pp. Pb; $16.99.

This book is an update to Schmitt and Laney’s original 1997 Messiah’s Coming Temple, adding three chapters and about 50 pages to the original. In addition to this new material, there are a number of new illustrations including new 3D models of the temple. All illustrations are in black and white, some of the 3D images are on Schmitt’s Future Hope Ministries website. Like the original, this is a popular level introduction to Ezekiel’s vision of a future temple. The book is designed to be read by laymen, so there is little discussion of wider scholarship on the vision.

Full review, follow the link below:

Book Review: Ralph P.Martin, 2 Corinthians (Second Edition)

Martin, Ralph P. 2 Corinthians. Second Edition. Word Biblical Commentary 40; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2014. 751 pp. Hb; $54.99.

This is the first revised commentary I have used in the Word Biblical Commentary since Zondervan took over the series a few years ago. Martin’s original 2 Corinthians commentary was among the best commentaries on this difficult letter of Paul. Zondervan’s new updated edition of the commentary will remain one of the first off the shelf for me for many years to come.

Full review, follow the link;

Last is some exciting news:

CSNTM to Digitize Manuscripts at the National Library of Greece
Press Release

12 January 2014

On January 7, the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts’ Executive Director, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, and Research Manager, Robert D. Marcello, traveled to Athens to meet with the Director of the National Library, Filippos Tsimboglou. After meeting with the Director last September to begin discussions of a collaboration, they worked out final negotiations and signed a contract for CSNTM to digitize all the New Testament manuscripts of the National Library. This is a historic collaboration between one of the five largest repositories of Greek New Testament manuscripts and the world’s leading institute in digitizing Greek New Testament manuscripts. Approximately 300 manuscripts with 150,000+ pages of text will be digitized over the next two years. CSNTM is excited to be working with Dr. Tsimboglou and his staff on this strategic undertaking.

Please follow the link below to view the full article:

So, there it is, my first Biblical Studies Carnival in all it’s glorious noobness. I did have fun putting this together.

Next month’s Carnival will be hosted by the lovely and way more talented than me 🙂 Jennifer Guo!


14 thoughts on “Biblical Studies Carnival–January 2015

  1. Pingback: January 2015 Biblical Studies Carnival « Dr. Platypus

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