Archive for the ‘Biblioblogging’ Category

I’ve got quite a few things from SBL to blog about including two SBL themed comics, but I thought in between working on papers I’d just recap SBL with a list of Bests:

Best Session Overall: The Biblioblogging session was the most fun and laid back I’d ever experienced. The atmosphere was very congenial, and I didn’t even mind that Joel Watts kept interrupting the presentations with “Yes We Can!”

Best Discussion: While the discussion in the biblioblogging session was cool, I rather enjoyed the discussion in the Theological Hermeneutics session. I especially appreciated the comments of Prof. Moberly despite his rather verbose way of asking the question. I was mainly just glad to see people wrestling with the subject in like manner as myself.

Best Blogger in Real Life: I hate to say it, but Joel Watts seemed like a fun guy. I mean, everyone knows that WV Democrats can schmooze with the best of them, but after meeting Joel Watts my first thought was: I could knock back some beer discussing Chrysostom with that guy!

Nicest Scholar: This one goes to Daniel Kirk for buying Ashleigh and I an expensive Fuller Alumni breakfast and being extraordinarily nice the whole conference. I think he was just being friendly so I wouldn’t point out his heretical Arian readings of the Gospels to the rest of the class next quarter. Honorable mention goes to Kathy Maxwell only because Kathy is so nice it is no longer surprising, otherwise she would surely take pride of place for our delightful three hour conversation.

Nicest Blogger in Real Life: Rick Brannan just came across as a genuinely nice guy. I got the impression that no matter what level of knowledge you have about Greek, Textual Criticism, etc. that he would be happy to talk with you.

Happiest Presenter: I don’t know why he was so happy, but James McGrath spent his entire presentation looking like a kid on Christmas. His happiness was rather infectious.

Best Paper: I absolutely loved Beverly Gaventa’s paper on Cosmology in Romans. I was struck by her notion that what moves Paul is not the majesty of creation but rather its captivity to the powers. This tracks rather well with my own examination of the matter recently, but of course Prof. Gaventa articulates the idea much more clearly than one such as myself could hope.

Best Book Deal: HALOT for 99 bucks! Enough said.

Best Hero Sighting: Larry Hurtado got on the escalator behind me. I said nothing. I have a little self-respect.

Best Random Encounter: Lars Olov Eriksson happened to end up at the same breakfast table as us at the Fuller breakfast thing. He was very refreshing and had some encouraging thoughts about marriage and doctoral work. He was just an all around delightful individual.

More to come!


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For someone who derides dilettantes and frequently dismisses their opinions, it is hard to understand why Jim West so frequently makes use of them when it comes to his pet political issues. Jim posts on gun control (yet again) and quotes some idiotic pundit who argues that the Fort Hood massacre is a result of lax gun control laws. Setting aside how offensive it is that some blowhard is attempting to appropriate an act of domestic terror to further his liberal political agenda contra-Constitution, he doesn’t even make sense. First of all, he describes the weapon used as a “cop killer gun” which is just absolutely stupid. Are there armor piercing rounds for this gun? Yes. Can civilians buy them? No. Did Hasan use them? No. There is nothing about the pistol that makes it any more likely to be the end of a cop than any other handgun. In fact the gun used, an FN pistol chambered in 5.7mmx28mm, is remarkable only in that the cartridge it fires essentially mimics rifle ballistics instead of typical pistol ballistics. This sounds scary on the surface, but in order to achieve this the bullet actually has to be quite small. This means that the 5.7×28 cartridge basically uses a bullet that is slightly larger than the tried and true .22LR that is popular with children. There is nothing spectacular about this handgun, but because Jim and the people he quotes do not understand firearms they propagate ridiculous myths.

Lets turn now to the idea that gun control is the reason for this shooting. That would basically mean that someone might properly be in the armed forces, but could not be trusted to own a weapon at home. This is just moronic. The real failure here was with the military screening process not with gun control. It is ridiculous to think that the military could clear a person to enter a theater of war, but some domestic law should deny them the right to own a gun. The truth is no amount of screening or gun laws can contain the depravity that resides in the hearts of humans. Laws simply are not effective at stopping gun violence. The UK which has some of the strictest anti-gun laws there are is forced to have police patrol the streets with submachine guns just to contain the gun violence.

The last thing I would like to address is the authors claims that handguns “can be bought as easily as cigarettes.” This tells me an important thing about this writer: He has never attempted to purchase a handgun, nor is he intimately familiar with the process. Laws concerning handguns and rifles are quite different. Even at gun shows background checks are often required! (I’ve personally experienced this!) The truth may be that handguns can in fact be bought as easily as cigarettes by circumventing the laws, and this is exactly the whole problem with gun control. It simply doesn’t work. In the case of Hasan, there would be no reason to screen him from owning a gun if the military okayed, but even if this wasn’t the case there is no reason to believe someone who would kill or wounds dozens of people ( also illegal) would for some reason have qualms about buying a gun off the streets. The gun control we do have is not effective, so why would we think more gun control would help.

I very much understand the appeal of pacifism, and I do respect those Christians who view it as a theological necessity. So please, Jim, make those theological arguments and don’t rely on silly dilettantes to further your views.

*edit* Thanks to Jim for his excellent editing skills. I am just thankful to have given Joel a break from Jim’s red pen.

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Super Cool

One of my favorite bibliobloggers is Rick Brannon, because he can be guaranteed to deliver one of two things: an interesting post in some way involving Koine or adorable pictures of his kid. Rick actually was the first biblioblogger I ever followed and led to the discovery of Chris Brady, Jim West, and the rest of the biblioblogging community. I was actually scouring the internet in search of Greek texts of Chrysostom’s works, and hoping I could score a free digital copy of Migne (oh how naive I was! ) when I happened upon ricoblog. Anyway, to the subject at hand. Senor Brannon has just posted a full translation of the Didache with lots of good footnotes which he has created. You can find the document here. Rick downplays the usefulness of his text in light of the myriad of others, but frankly I think it would be very useful if a student wanted to practice his Greek by translating the Didache. He would have yet another text to compare to, or if he lacks the funds to purchase others it allows him to at least translate in dialogue with someone else.

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So, I was scrolling through the online version of the SBL Program book thinking about which sessions I’d like to go to, when I discovered a shocking entry concerning our dear Dr. West. It seems he will be giving a presentation on a very unique topic: Queer Hermeneutics in Light of Archeological Discovery. Good luck with that, Dr. West!


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Famed Biblioblogger Jim West has taken the extremely controversial step of copyrighting the phrase “total depravity” (and variants on this phrase) in an apparent bid to protect what has become the central focus of his blog. Confronted with the prospect of  copycats after a recent posting by Doug Chaplain, West made the move to be the exclusive legal user of the phrase when it became apparent that he was in danger of losing his position as the #1 Biblioblogger on the Internet to the mild mannered and friendly Joel Watts of TheChurchofJesusChrist.

Reached for comment Mr. Watts declared, “Jim definitely should be afraid, but I doubt any legal maneuver can prevent me from rising to the top.” Anonymous insiders who claim to know Jim West well say he has admitted as much to them and credits his ability to cling to the top on Watts’ inability to find a suitable spell checker. Some bloggers have privately rallied to Jim West’s cause. One such blogger, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “We can’t have the #1 blogger in the world be from West Virginia, that’s just embarrassing!”

Dr. West was at first reluctant to speak to reporters on the issue, but later released this cryptic comment, “Dilettante news totally depraved biblioblogging numero uno socialism Zwingli.” Unable to make sense of this we contacted NT Wrong, currently residing in a secret bunker under the Arctic Ocean, who told us that it simply meant, “West rules, the rest drool.” Wrong then went on to give his full support to West nominating him to be Treasurer of the Minimalist Society of Southwestern Greenland. West has reportedly turned down the honor as he claims he is too busy in his new role as Arch Liaison of the Society of Biblical Literature to the Blogging Community.

Jim West is no stranger to controversy having organized the agreement between the SBL and the blogging community which tragically resulted in one biblioblogger taking up residence in an asylum. He also assumed the role of president at the organization responsible for assigning ranks to bibliobloggers sparking allegations of favoritism and behind the scenes dealing.

Legal documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act outline Dr. West’s argument for copyrighting the term. Mr. West argues that even though he did not coin the phrase “totally depraved,” he asserts his right to copyright its use in relation to biblioblogging on the basis that it has become in a sense his brand. One experienced judge when asked his thoughts on the case responded, “What is biblioblogging?” Only time will tell if Jim West’s request will be granted, but it is undeniable that Jim West has left on indelible mark on the biblioblogging community.

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Indeed I do.  Why, you might ask?  And who am I anyway?

This is Jeremiah’s fiancée, Ashleigh, brought on board Walking Toward Jerusalem with the purpose of adding yet another female voice to the biblioblogging world.  I told you there was good news!

Unfortunately I don’t know much about Luke-Acts.  But I am, like my almost-husband, a master’s student at Fuller, with at least a few occasional thoughts on the Bible.  Hopefully, with our powers combined, we will post more than once a month, as seems to be his habit…  ;o)

A little more about me:

*I wanted to take Hebrew first, so my thus-far areas of knowledge are a little different from Jer’s.  This problem will be remedied, in part, as we language-swap this fall–I’ll be starting Greek, and he’ll be starting Hebrew.
*I’m interested in doing a ThM, then studying sociology of religion at the PhD level.  Disclaimer: the plans of 23-year-olds change often.
*As Jeremiah has mentioned, I self-identify as a feminist (though I wouldn’t put myself in the same camp as most “feminist theologians”).  Actually, I first became interested in the academic side of Christianity at age 16 when I decided I needed to learn more about the Bible’s teaching on gender.
*I was a political science major and Afro-American studies minor at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).
*My two religion classes in undergrad were exceptional experiences that will continue to influence me for years to come.  First, I took Early Judaism with Jodi Magness, known for her work on Qumran, the Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.  From this experience I retain an interest in the Second Temple period and a passion for understanding Jesus through Jewish eyes.  Second, I took New Testament with Bart Ehrman, who is the reason I got to seminary in the first place.  I loved the material and couldn’t live without digging deeper into the questions that rose from his class.  Due to my own struggles with these questions and the negative reaction to Ehrman I’ve seen on the part of the larger evangelical community, my own commitment to fighting evangelical anti-intellectualism has been strengthened.

On that note, we shall part for now–but I look forward to getting to know you all in the days to come!

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This is the first of hopefully many posts on this new biblioblog. I’m not really sure what the format will be, but you can expect lots of posts about both Luke-Acts and biblical studies in general. You can also expect a random musing or article I want to share with you. My name is Jeremiah and I am an M.A.T. student from Fuller Theological Seminary. I hope to one day have the awesome privilege of teaching God’s word to the next generation of pastors, and participating in the community of academics I have come to admire.

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