Archive for October, 2007


BAR Highlights: 10/31/07

More recent archaeological news from Biblical Archaeology Review:

The Rise of the Synagogue
Scholar Lee Levine, of The Hebrew University, is interviewed about the role of the synagogue after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D.

Princeton Punts
The university’s art museum has agreed to return eight ancient artifacts to Italy that are suspected of having been looted from that country, but it is keeping seven others.

Learning Your ABCs
A newspaper profile features archaeologist Ron Tappy, who discusses the abecedary discovered at Tel Zayit and its implications.

Tut Luck
Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s antiquities director, says the boy king died after falling off a chariot while hunting.

Scroll Tunnel?
University of Chicago professor Norman Golb suggests that a recently discovered tunnel in Jerusalem may have been used to move the Temple treasures and the Dead Sea Scrolls away from ancient Judea’s besieged capital.

Canal to Nile Found
The ancient canal, now filled in, linked a quarry to the Nile and allowed builders to transport huge building stones to some of Egypt’s greatest sites.

Scrolls Exhibit, Part II
The San Diego Museum of Natural History exhibit on the scrolls continues with a dozen new fragments on display (Israel only allows 12 scrolls out of the country at a time), including one that contains a longer version of the Ten Commandments.


New: More Titles from SBL Publications

More new releases from the SBL:

The Early Monarchy in Israel: The Tenth Century B.C.E.

Walter Dietrich and Joachim Vette

The Hebrew narrative art achieves its highest level in the stories of Saul, David, and Solomon. But beyond that, the description of these all-too-human characters and the dramatic events of the birth of the Israelite state depicts a change of eras that became determinative for half a millennium of Israelite history. In this volume Dietrich introduces readers to the stories of the early Israelite state from a variety of perspectives: literary-critical, historical, and theological. After tracing how biblical and extrabiblical texts describe the period, Dietrich skillfully untangles the knotty questions related to the history of the period and perceptively examines the development of this literary corpus as well as the other biblical material that came to be associated with it. In a concluding chapter Dietrich revisits the stories of Saul, David, and Solomon to explore what they teach about theological issues of enduring significance, what they teach about God, humanity, the state, the use of force, and the relationship between women and men.

Paper $47.95 — ISBN 9781589832633— 380 pages, 2007 — Biblical Encyclopedia — Hardback edition

Philostorgius: Church History

Philip R. Amidon, translator

Philostorgius (born 368 B.C.E.) was a member of the Eunomian sect of Christianity, a nonconformist faction deeply opposed to the form of Christianity adopted by the Roman government as the official religion of its empire. He wrote his twelve-book Church History, the critical edition of the surviving remnants of which is presented here in English translation, at the beginning of the fifth century as a revisionist history of the church and the empire in the fourth and early-fifth centuries. Sometimes contradicting and often supplementing what is found in other histories of the period, Christian or otherwise, it offers a rare dissenting picture of the Christian world of the time.

Paper $34.95 — ISBN 9781589832152 — 312 pages — Writings from the Greco-Roman World 23 — Hardback edition

John, Jesus, and History, Volume 1: Critical Appraisals of Critical Views

Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher, editors

Over the last two centuries, many scholars have considered the Gospel of John off-limits for all quests for the historical Jesus. That stance, however, creates a new set of problems that need to be addressed thoughtfully. The essays in this book, reflecting the ongoing deliberations of an international group of Johannine and Jesus scholars, critically assess two primary assumptions of the prevalent view: the dehistoricization of John and the de-Johannification of Jesus. The approaches taken here are diverse, including cognitive-critical developments of Johannine memory, distinctive characteristics of the Johannine witness, new historicism, Johannine-Synoptic relations, and fresh analyses of Johannine traditional development. In addition to offering state-of-the-art reviews of Johannine studies and Jesus studies, this volume draws together an emerging consensus that sees the Gospel of John as an autonomous tradition with its own perspective, in dialogue with other traditions. Through this challenging of critical and traditional assumptions alike, new approaches to John’s age-old riddles emerge, and the ground is cleared for new and creative ways forward.

Paper $37.95 — ISBN 9781589832930— 356 pages — Symposium Series 44 — Hardback edition

The Lord’s Supper in the New Testament

Albert Eichhorn with an introductory essay by Hugo Gressmann
Translated by Jeffrey F. Cayzer

This work, the inaugural volume in a new SBL series devoted to preserving and promoting seminal biblical scholarship from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, offers the first English translation of Albert Eichhorn’s influential Das Abendmahl im Neuen Testament. Eichhorn’s penetrating analysis of the Lord’s Supper traditions in this work exemplifies the qualities for which he was so highly esteemed: the sure ability to distinguish layers of tradition within the text, the full appreciation of the role of early Christian worship in shaping the reports about Jesus’ life, the forthright acknowledgement of the difficulty of ascertaining the original historical events, and the unflinching recognition of the influence of Near Eastern and Hellenistic religions upon Christian tradition, even in its earliest stages. To set Eichhorn himself in his historical and intellectual context, this volume also offers the first English translation of Hugo Gressmann’s biographical essay: “Albert Eichhorn and the History of Religion School.”

Paper $14.95 — ISBN 9781589832749 — 112 pages — History of Biblical Studies 1 — Hardback edition

Daughter Zion Talks Back to the Prophets: A Dialogic Theology of the Book of Lamentations

Carleen R. Mandolfo

Daughter Zion Talks Back to the Prophets offers a new theological reading of the book of Lamentations by putting the female voice of chapters 1–2 into dialogue with the divine voice of prophetic texts in which God represents the people Israel as his wife and indicts them/her for being unfaithful to him. In Lam 1–2 we hear the “wife” talk back, and from her words we get an entirely different picture of the conflict showcased through this marriage metaphor. Mandolfo thus presents a feminist challenge to biblical hegemony and patriarchy and reconstrues biblical authority to contribute to the theological concerns of a postcolonial world.

Paper $24.95 — ISBN 9781589832473 — 160 pages — Semeia Studies — Hardback edition


The Bible and Critical Theory

The latest edition of The Bible and Critical Theory (Vol.3, No. 3) has been released. Non-subscribers who wish to gain access to these and other articles (and reviews) may subscribe here.

What is The Bible and Critical Theory?
Roland Boer, Julie Kelso

The transgression of Maacah in 2 Chronicles 15:16: A simple case of
idolatry or the threatening poesis of maternal ‘speech’?

Julie Kelso

Textually violating Dinah: Literary readings, colonizing
interpretations, and the pleasure of the text

Todd Penner, Lilian Cates

The poet is always in exile: Poetry and mourning in Psalm 137
Rose Lucas

One in Christ who lives within: Dispersive universality and the
pneuma-somatics of identity

Derek Woodard-Lehman

The actuality of Karl Kautsky: On materialist reconstructions of ancient
Israel and early Christianity

Roland Boer

Che Vuoi? : Politico-philosophical remarks on Leo Strauss’ Spinoza
Matthew Sharpe


Accordance 7.4

Accordance Bible Software (my bible software of choice) has released another update to their excellent product. Version 7.4 may be downloaded here. There aren’t a lot of exciting new features, but the development team is promising to add some in the near future… maybe before SBL next month? Maybe?


Sean Freyne: Still Circling the Northeast

Thanks to Deidre Good for this announcement:

Thursday, November 8
The Center for the Study of James the Brother at Bard College presents a lecture by renowned biblical scholar Sean Freyne entitled “Retrieving James/Yakov, the Brother of the Lord: From Legend to History” Free and open to the public.
4:00 p.m.
Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center

For those unable to attend the lecture at the College, it is available via a live webcast, followed by a question-and-answer session with Freyne at

Although Annandale-on-Hudson is more than two hours from New Haven, I’m thinking about making the trip, as James the brother of Jesus is one of my principle areas of interest. Plus, when Prof. Freyne was here last week he was kind enough to ask for a copy of my own paper on James, which I presented at last year’s SBL Annual Meeting. I’m sure he was so moved by my breathtaking scholarship that he’ll cite me at length. 😉


New: Titles from SBL Publications

New releases from the SBL:

The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel

Israel Finkelstein and Amihai Mazar
Edited by Brian B. Schmidt

Three decades of dialogue, discussion, and debate within the interrelated disciplines of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, ancient Israelite history, and Hebrew Bible over the question of the relevance of the biblical account for reconstructing early Israel’s history have created the need for a balanced articulation of the issues and their prospective resolutions. This book brings together for the first time and under one cover, a currently emerging “centrist” paradigm as articulated by two leading figures in the fields of early Israelite archaeology and history. Although Finkelstein and Mazar advocate distinct views of early Israel’s history, they nevertheless share the position that the material cultural data, the biblical traditions, and the ancient Near Eastern written sources are all significantly relevant to the historical quest for Iron Age Israel. The results of their research are featured in accessible, parallel syntheses of the historical reconstruction of early Israel that facilitate comparison and contrast of their respective interpretations. The historical essays presented here are based on invited lectures delivered in October of 2005 at the Sixth Biennial Colloquium of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in Detroit, Michigan.

Paper $24.95 — ISBN 9781589832770 — 232 pages — Archaeology and Biblical Studies 17 — Hardback edition

Seeking the Favor of God, Volume 2: The Development of Penitential Prayer in Second Temple Judaism

Mark J. Boda, Daniel K. Falk, and Rodney A. Werline, editors

The essays collected in this volume investigate the development of prayers of penitence within Jewish literature of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The book provides a critical overview of the present state of research on these prayers, and leading experts in the field use a variety of methodologies to investigate afresh various texts from the Hebrew Bible, apocryphal (deuterocanonical) and pseudepigraphical works, and the Qumran corpus in order to provide new insights into this prayer tradition. Contributors include Russell C. D. Arnold, Esther G. Chazon, Daniel K. Falk, LeAnn Snow Flesher, Michael H. Floyd, Judith H. Newman, Bilhah Nitzan, Eileen Schuller, Pieter M. Venter, and Rodney A. Werline.

Paper $39.95 — ISBN 9781589832787 — 300 pages — Early Judaism and Its Literature 22 — Hardback edition

The “We” Passages in the Acts of the Apostles: The Narrator as Narrative Character

William Sanger Campbell

This book explores the narrative significance of the “we” passages in Acts within the boundaries of acceptable ancient grammatical practice. It contends that the occasional first-person plural narrator represents a character whose entrance at crucial moments in Paul’s career parallels the role of Barnabas, the apostle’s earlier companion. Although consistent with the grammatical practice of ancient writers, the use of the “we” style in Acts nonetheless represents a variation of those conventions because the author of Acts wrote anonymously and never claimed personal participation in the events narrated. In analyzing the function of the narrator as narrative character, the book presents narrative literary strategy as a fruitful approach to these enigmatic texts whose narrative possibilities have in the past been subordinated to their historical potential.

Paper $19.95 — ISBN 9781589832053— 164 pages — Studies in Biblical Literature 14 — Hardback edition

Studia Philonica Annual XIX, 2007

David T. Runia and Gregory E. Sterling, editors

The Studia Philonica Annual is a scholarly journal devoted to furthering the study of Hellenistic Judaism, and in particular the writings and thought of the Hellenistic-Jewish writer Philo of Alexandria (circa 15 B.C.E. to circa 50 C.E.).

Cloth $39.95 — ISBN: 9781589832954 — 260 pages

Peter in the Gospel of John: The Making of an Authentic Disciple

Bradford B. Blaine Jr.

In this narrative-critical study Bradford B. Blaine Jr. argues, against conventional scholarship, that John’s Gospel presents Peter and the Beloved Disciple not as competitors but as colleagues who together serve as composite halves of the ideal Johannine Christian, with Peter representing praxis and John representing faith. Not only does Peter carry out activities fundamental to Johannine discipleship during Jesus’ earthly ministry, which include believing in Jesus, following him, and publicly confessing him, but he also demonstrates post-Easter missionary skills and is invested by the risen Jesus with pastoral responsibilities. Finally, in dying a martyr’s death, Peter glorifies God. Peter, in fact, is depicted in this Gospel as an inspirational founding member of the Johannine community.

Paper $29.95 — ISBN 9781589832725— 240 pages — Academia Biblica 27 — Hardback edition


BAR Highlights: 10/24/07

More recent archaeological news from Biblical Archaeology Review:

Head of IAA Slammed for Temple Mount Work

A committee of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, has accused Israel Antiquities Authority director Shuka Dorfman of bypassing government regulations when he allowed Muslims authorities to dig a 500-yard-long trench on the Temple Mount without taking due care that ancient remains not be damaged. Related stories can be found at,7340,L-3462904,00.html and

First Temple Era Finds Identified

Archaeologists have for the first time examined an undisturbed layer dating to the First Temple period. Among the items recovered are ceramic tableware and animal bone. A report from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides additional photos.

Cyrene Goes Green
The ancient Libyan site hopes to attract tourists by becoming an environment-friendly location.

Diamond Anniversary

Scholars convene in Canada to mark the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Wall of Fame

French excavators have uncovered an 11,000-year-old wall painting northeast of Aleppo, Syria. Though it is the oldest such work known, some liken it to the work of modernist painter Paul Klee.

October 2007
« Sep   Nov »


© 2006-2009, Matthew Burgess. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use of the original content of this website is strictly prohibited. Quotations or citations should include a link to this website. The views and opinions given here are my own and do not represent those of the University of Virginia (or anyone else, for that matter).