For a Religious Studies and Anthropology course on the subject of the Bible and its history of reception, I require students to read online essays and interact with them on comment threads. I go back and forth with students on the threads. They go back and forth among themselves. I am not the first instructor of letters and science to make interactive online study a core requirement for a university course. I am certain I will not be the last. The upsides are enormous.
The gist of Tom Wright’s rebuke, like that of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, is simple enough. It might be put this way. Obama’s decision to bring Osama bin Laden to justice by assassinating him in front of his family amounts to a repudiation of everything Obama was supposed to stand for: an end to the prosecution of war outside of judicial constraints, and an end to the notion that the United States stands above the law as one assumes the Geneva Conventions stipulate.
Doug Magnum of Biblia Hebraica is not happy with claims NIV 2011 makes for itself. NIV promotes itself as being "easy to understand, yet rich with the detail found in the original Scripture." Magnum counters:
The copyright owner and driving force behind the New Revised Standard Version (1989) is the National Council of Churches (USA), an organization dominated by Protestant denominations with liberal leadership and a more conservative rank and file. It is perhaps not too much to say that NCC’s most enduring legacy is not in the realm of church politics but in that of Bible translation. A Bible translation is, of course, a political act. NCC’s RSV (1952) made a large splash in the English speaking world. NRSV (1989) has also found broad acceptance among those who are neither liberal in theology nor Protestant by confession.
That’s the title of a recently released book. The subtitle: “The Capitalist's Guide to the Ideas Behind Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.” It does not surprise me that Rand’s style of atheism slash libertarianism is all the rage among young people and free-floating adults who imagine themselves to be rugged individualists.
The Jewish Publication Society is sponsoring a laudable initiative. On June 7, JPS will be tweeting the entire Book of Ruth using the hashtag Div#Torah with the hopes of tweeting #Torah to the top ten on Twitter. For more information, go here. This is also a way for JPS to spread the word about the forthcoming JPS commentary on Ruth by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Tikva Frymer-Kensky (z'l). The commentary is bound to be excellent given the caliber of its authors. Frymer-Kensky and Eskenazi are top-tier Bible scholars from whom one can always learn.
In the Bible, divine holiness and beauty are encountered in the sanctuary; in the New Testament, in the person of the Messiah. “One thing I ask of YHWH; / that shall I seek; // to dwell in the house of YHWH / all the days of my life; // to gaze upon the beauty of YHWH, / and inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4). “Ascribe to YHWH, O divine beings; / ascribe to YHWH glory and strength. // Ascribe to YHWH the glory of his name; / prostrate before YHWH in the splendor of the sanctuary” (Psalm 29:1-2). “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw everyone to myself" (John 12:32).
The book of Job goes like this. A prologue introduces the book’s readers to Job and describes decisions made in a parallel universe, that of a celestial court in which YHWH holds ultimate power (chs. 1-2). The heart of the book consists of a series of dialogue cycles between Job and three friends in which Job appeals to YHWH for vindication (chs. 3-31), followed by YHWH’s responses to Job’s appeals and a brief response by Job (chs. 38-41; 42:1-6). Speeches by a young interloper, Elihu, serve as a kind of intermezzo before YHWH’s responses to Job (chs. 32-37). An epilogue ties up all the loose ends of the book (42:7-17).
The American sociologist Robert N. Bellah is best known for his description and analysis of “American civil religion.” For an excellent example of Bellah’s analysis, go here. Civil religion is a sort of meta-religion in which God is invoked and concepts of right and wrong derived from religious tradition assumed. Allegiance to God and country go hand in hand in civil religion. Some people don’t like civil religion, but for most US citizens, the following words remain a cogent synthesis of the American project: “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
Ancient Hebrew Grammar informed comment by Robert Holmstedt, Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, and John Cook, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore KY)
Antiquitopia one of the best blogs out there, by Jared Calaway, assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Awilum Insightful commentary on the Bible and the Ancient Near East, by Charles Halton
AWOL - The Ancient World Online notice and comment on open access material relating to the ancient world, by Charles Jones of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
Balshanut top-notch Biblical Hebrew and Semitics blog by Peter Bekins, Ph. D. student, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati OH, faculty member, Wright State University (archive)
Believing is Knowing Comments on things like prophecy, predestination, and reward and punishment from an orthodox Jewish perspective, by David Guttmann
Ben Byerly's Blog thoughts on the Bible, Africa, Kenya, aid, and social justice, by Ben Byerly, a PhD candidate at Africa International University (AIU), in Nairobi, Kenya working on “The Hopes of Israel and the Ends of Acts” (Luke’s narrative defense of Paul to Diaspora Judeans in Acts 16-20)
Berit Olam by a thoughtful Matt Morgan, Berkeley CA resident, grad student in Old Testament at Regent University, Vancouver BC (archive)
Better Bibles Blog Discussion of translation problems and review of English Bible translations by Wayne Leman, Iver Larsen, Mike Sangrey, and others
Bibbia Blog A Bible blog in Italian and English by former students of the PIB and PUG
BiblePlaces Blog a spotlight on the historical geography of the Holy Land, by Todd Bolen, formerly, Assistant Professor at the Israel Bible Extension campus of The Master's College, Santa Clarita CA
Biblicalia The riches of orthodoxy brought online by Kevin Edgecomb, a seminarian at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline MA)
Biblische Ausbildung by Stephen L. Cook, professor of Old Testament / Hebrew Bible at Virginia Theological Seminary
C. Orthodoxy Christian, Contemporary, Conscientious… or Just Confused, by Ken Brown, a very thoughtful blog (archive). Ken is currently a Dr. Theol. student at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, part of The Sofja-Kovalevskaja Research Group studying early Jewish Monotheism. His dissertation will focus on the presentation of God in Job.
Catholic Bibles a thoughtful blog about Bible translations by Timothy, who has a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (Angelicum) and teaches theology in a Catholic high school in Michigan
Chrisendom irreverent blog with a focus on the New Testament, by Chris Tilling, New Testament Tutor for St Mellitus College and St Paul's Theological Centre, London
Claude Mariottini a perspective on the Old Testament and current events by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicagoland, Illinois
Codex: Biblical Studies Blogspot by Tyler Williams, a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature, now Assistant Professor of Theology at The King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta (archive)
Colours of Scripture reflections on theology, philosophy, and literature, by Benjamin Smith, afflicted with scriptural synaesthesia, and located in London, England
Complegalitarian A team blog that discusses right ways and wrong ways Scripture might help in the social construction of gender (old archive only; more recent archive, unfortunately, no longer publicly available)
Connected Christianity a place to explore what it might be like if Christians finally got the head, heart, and hands of their faith re-connected (archive)
Conversational Theology Smart and delightful comment by Ros Clarke, a Ph.D. student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, at the (virtual) Highland Theological College (archive)
Daily Hebrew For students of biblical Hebrew and the ancient Near East, by Chip Hardy, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago
Daniel O. McClellan a fine blog by the same, who is pursuing a master of arts degree in biblical studies at Trinity Western University just outside of Vancouver, BC.
Davar Akher Looking for alternative explanations: comments on things Jewish and beyond, by Simon Holloway, a PhD student in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies at The University of Sydney, Australia
Evedyahu excellent comment by Cristian Rata, Lecturer in Old Testament of Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Seoul, Korea
Exegetica Digita discussion of Logos high-end syntax and discourse tools – running searches, providing the downloads (search files) and talking about what can be done and why it might matter for exegesis, by Mike Heiser
Ferrell's Travel Blog comments of biblical studies, archaeology, history, and photography by a tour guide of Bible lands and professor emeritus of the Biblical Studies department at Florida College, Temple Terrace (FL)
Fors Clavigera James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, thinks out loud.
Friar's Fires an insightful blog by a pastor with a background in journalism, one of three he pens
Gentle Wisdom A fearless take on issues roiling Christendom today, by Peter Kirk, a Bible translator
Giluy Milta B‘alma by Ezra Chwat and Avraham David of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jewish National and Hebrew University Library, Jerusalem
He is Sufficient insightful comment on Bible translations, eschatology, and more, by Elshaddai Edwards
Higgaion by Chris Heard, Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University
Larry Hurtado's blog emeritus professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh
Law, Prophets, and Writings thoughtful blogging by William R. (Rusty) Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies as College of the Ozarks and managing editor for Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament
Lingamish delightful fare by David Ker, Bible translator, who also lingalilngas.
Menachem Mendel A feisty blog on rabbinic literature and other Judaica by Michael Pitkowsky, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at the Academy for Jewish Religion and adjunct instructor at Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
mu-pàd-da scholarly blog by C. Jay Crisostomo, grad student in ANE studies at ?
Narrative and Ontology Astoundingly thoughtful comment from Phil Sumpter, a Ph.D. student in Bible, resident in Bonn, Germany
New Epistles by Kevin Sam, M. Div. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon SK
NT Weblog Mark Goodacre's blog, professor of New Testament, Duke University
Observatório Bíblico wide-ranging blog by Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica/Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, Brasile (in Portuguese)
Observatório Bíblico Blog sobre estudos acadêmicos da Bíblia, para Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica / Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, SP.
old testament passion Great stuff from Anthony Loke, a Methodist pastor and Old Testament lecturer in the Seminari Theoloji, Malaysia
Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Blog A weblog created for a course on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, by James Davila (archive)
On the Main Line Mississippi Fred MacDowell's musings on Hebraica and Judaica. With a name like that you can't go wrong.
p.ost an evangelical theology for the age to come seeking to retell the biblical story in the difficult transition from the centre to the margins following the collapse of Western Christendom, by Andrew Perriman, independent New Testament scholar, currently located in Dubai
PaleoJudaica by James Davila, professor of Early Jewish Studies at the University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland. Judaism and the Bible in the news; tidbits about ancient Judaism and its context
Serving the Word incisive comment on the Hebrew Bible and related ancient matters, with special attention to problems of philology and linguistic anthropology, by Seth L. Sanders, Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT
ta biblia blog dedicated to the New Testament and the history of Christian origins, by Giovanni Bazzana
Targuman by Christian Brady, targum specialist extraordinaire, and dean of Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
Targuman on biblical and rabbinic literature, Christian theology, gadgetry, photography, and the odd comic, by Christian Brady, associate professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
The Biblia Hebraica Blog a blog about Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the history of the Ancient Near East and the classical world, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, early Judaism, early Christianity, New Testament interpretation, English Bible translations, biblical theology, religion and culture, philosophy, science fiction, and anything else relevant to the study of the Bible, by Douglas Magnum, PhD candidate, University of the Free State, South Africa
The Reformed Reader by Andrew Compton, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (focus on Hebrew and Semitic Languages) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
The Sacred Page a blog written by three Catholic Ph.D.s who are professors of Scripture and Theology: Michael Barber, Brant Pitre and John Bergsma
The Talmud Blog a group blog on Talmud News, Reviews, Culture, Currents, and Criticism
Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his
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