Archive for June, 2008


The Latest Issue of BAR: Online, but Unendorsed

Last week I received an e-mail from Biblical Archaeology Review announcing the online release of their July/August issue. I was planning to post the relevant links here… until I noticed that this issue, like so many of its unfortunate predecessors, contains a harangue from Herschel Shanks defending the authenticity of the much-maligned ossuary of James the brother of Jesus. The dreadfully tedious and largely irrelevant debates over this tricky little box, which cannot contribute anything to the historical record beyond simple confirmations of James’ life, Jewish heritage, and death, caused me to temporarily abandon this publication in disgust a few years ago. It grieves me to see that Shanks and others are continuing to fan these feebly flickering flames rather than dousing them, and thus I am boldly drawing a cyberline in the cybersand and refraining from posting these latest links. If you feel so inclined, visit the BAR website and take a look at the issue… but do so at your own risk! 😉


Summer SBL Forum Now Online

This just in:

The Summer 2008 issue of The SBL Forum is now available.

Reading Job from the Margins: Dialogical Exegesis and Theological Education
Robert Williamson Jr.

Why I Chose a German Ph.D. Program
Jacob L. Wright

Seven Tips for Getting Your Feet Wet at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting
Shayna Sheinfeld

An Atheist’s Dilemma: Should We Bend the Bible for Justice?
Michelle Krejci

The Bible-Shaped Mirror: Biblical Women and Contemporary Culture in Recent Film
Donna Bowman

The SBL Forum is the online newsletter of the Society of Biblical Literature. It features essays, interviews, and up-to-date news of general and professional interest to SBL members. Its mission is to provide short, useful articles to inform, educate, and address the professional needs of biblical scholars, as well as those interested in biblical studies.

Leonard Greenspoon, editor


AOAT Sale at Eisebnrauns

For the remainder of the month, Eisenbrauns is offering a hefty discount of 40% on 45 different titles from the extensive German series Alter Orient und Altes Testament (AOAT). The complete list of relevant titles may be viewed here.

Check them out!


Is a Jordanian Cave the Oldest Extant Christian Church?

According to a group of excavators, the answer to the above question is “yes.” A recently discovered cave beneath a third-century church may have been used by early followers of Jesus between the time of his crucifixion and that of the destruction of Jerusalem by Roman forces in 70 CE. If such an assertion were to be confirmed, the cave would stand as the earliest extant Christian place of worship, easily displacing the third-century house church of Dura Europos uncovered by Yale researchers in the 1930s. Not surprisingly, Herschel Shanks, the feisty editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, has already questioned these claims, and he will certainly not be the last to do so. Nevertheless, BAR has helpfully compiled a number of news agencies’ reports of the discovery, as well as images of the excavation site and other information, which may be viewed here.


Deep Discounts from Dove (say that three times fast!)

Dove Booksellers is currently offering significant discounts on a number of New Testament and other related titles from Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Most of these are still slightly beyond my preferred price range, but those with deeper pocketbooks should certainly take a look here.

Other noteworthy sale books are listed here.

The Routledge/Taylor & Francis sale ends June 23.


New ANE Monograph Series

A recent announcement from the SBL:

New Online Ancient Near East Monograph Series Established

The Society of Biblical Literature, in partnership with the Centro de Estudios de Historia del Antiguo Oriente, Universidad Católica Argentina (CEHAO/UCA), announces the establishment of a new online, open-access monograph series. The focus of the series will be on the ancient Near East, including ancient Israel and its literature, from the early Neolithic to the early Hellenistic eras. Proposals and manuscripts may be submitted in either Spanish or English. Manuscripts are subject to blind peer review by two members of the series’ editorial board before acceptance. Published volumes will be held to the high scholarly standards of SBL and CEHAO/UCA.

A prestigious international group of scholars has agreed to serve on the editorial board:

Co-General Editors:
Ehud Ben Zvi, University of Alberta
Roxana Flammini, Universidad Católica Argentina

Editorial Board:
Marcelo Campagno, Universidad de Buenos Aires, CONICET
Michael Floyd, Centro de Estudios Teologico, Santo Domingo, Dominica Republic
José Galan, Director of the Spanish-Egyptian Mission at Dra Abu el-Naga, Luxor (Egypt)
Erhard Gerstenberger, Philipps Universität-Marburg
Steven Holloway, Saint Xavier University and the American Theological Library Association
Alan Lenzi, University of the Pacific
Santiago Rostom Maderna, Universidad Católica Argentina
Martti Nissinen, University of Helsinki
Juan Manuel Tebes, Universidad Católica Argentina, Universidad de Buenos Aires

The partnership between SBL and CEHAO/UCA was initiated under the auspices of SBL’s International Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and represents the type of international scholarly exchange that is the goal of ICI. Scholars from anywhere in the world are invited to submit proposals, and the online nature of the series will provide global access to the published scholarship.

Questions about the series or proposals for volumes should be directed to Ehud Ben Zvi (, Roxana Flammini (, or Billie Jean Collins (

June 2008
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