Feel the quality… Biblical studies carnivals

“Quality,” my tailor is in the habit of saying through a mouthful of pins, as he sizes up my underarm reach for my latest houndstooth and cavalry twill, “will always out.” And for this month’s Biblical Studies Carnival it is quality all the way…

image: Tailor Made London (.com)
image: Tailor Made London (.com)

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The satsumas of Christmas – biblical studies carnivals

For me the best thing about Christmas has always been the little satsuma orange that is found at the bottom of the Christmas stocking (or, in the ostentatious days of my youth, the pillowcase). Even as a toddler, waddling around in nappied splendour (diapers for my US friends) with a copy of Plutarch tucked under my arm, I had realised that the lurid baubles and trinkets of Christmastide were but tawdry wreaths of misguided expectations that inevitably ended in overconsumption and gout.

Just three minutes after the manic frenzy of denuding the presents of their wrappings (the confetti of paper had still yet to reach the floor) and the downing of the last pickled onion, I would long for something fresh, something real, something that would cut through the jaded palette from which Christmas was painted. That was when I would reach into the bottom of my pillowcase and pluck from it the satsuma.

Advertising campaign for Coca-Cola
Advertising campaign for Coca-Cola

And so, as you blearily gaze at these words through the claustrophobic fug and lethargy of post-Christmas excess, I offer to you the revivifying qualities of the modern day satsuma of Christmas – the December Biblical Studies Carnivals… Continue reading

A conjunction of carnivals

In astronomy a ‘conjunction’ is an event in which, when viewed from the earth, two (or more) celestial objects align and, as a result, appear to meet. This is viewed by astronomers as very interesting and, therefore, is seen to be a good thing. Non-astronomers tend to be rather less sanguine about the whole thing and peer into the great panoply of the heavens saying, “Tell me again where Venus is?” (but this is their problem and not the astronomers’)…

Astronomical conjunctions are pretty common and outside the astronomical fraternity they often go unremarked – unless it happens near Christmas when someone rattles off a newspaper column about having just discovered the true meaning of the star of nativity.

So I am delighted to inform you of a much rarer conjunction – this month sees the conjunction of Biblical Studies Carnivals. Instead of the normal two, we have… (drum roll)… wait for it… ONE Carnival!!! Continue reading

Autumnal Carnivals

‘Biblical studies isn’t boring and if it is, then someone you know is doing it wrong.’ With these wise words from the unconscionably sagacious Jim West, our monthly treat of Biblical Studies Carnivals proves once again that biblical studies is far, far, FAR from boring. So, pour yourself a mug of something warming, throw another log onto the fire and curl up for some autumnal goodies… 

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A harvest of carnivals

Soft dawn light garlanded with mist and crimson Virginia creeper on warm Cotswold stone means that time has come for the September Biblical Studies Carnivals.

sheep in mist


September 2015 Biblical Studies Carnival

The September 2015 Biblical Studies Carnival is hosted by William Brown on his splendid The Biblical Review site. Divided into categories (Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Reviews, Journals and Events, and Miscellaneous) William has harvested some very interesting posts. Continue reading

Carnival Extravaganza

Wondering why there has been no mention of the monthly carnivals on this blog? Wondering why the summer heat has suddenly dissipated into days of cold, grey windblown drizzle? The reason to both those questions is that I’ve been on holiday (long, lazy days of painting bathrooms and weatherproofing the chicken house – it’s a glamorous old life). Well. I’m just sneaking back to bring you news of not just one… not even two… but THREE carnivals!

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A Clutch of Carnivals

Once again it is carnival time in the land of biblical studies! This month, Lindsay Kennedy does the honours by hosting the July Biblical Studies Carnival on his My Digital Seminary blog.

I’ve been particularly busy during the past month (yes, I do have to actually do some work from time to time) and this is when the carnivals really come into their own. Lindsay has divided the post into three subsections: News and Events, Reviews and Posts and Media/Podcasts. Each section offers a wide selection of offerings. As might be expected the responses to the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife makes an appearance as well as a link to the New Testament Studies special issue which was devoted to it.

One issue that I think will be receiving greater attention over the coming months/years relates to the question of a (very) early high Christology. Larry Hurtado’s work (a summary of his work can be found in his How on Earth did Jesus become a God?) in this area has prompted a number of us to reconsider our existing models (that a high Christology was introduced by later non-Jewish Christians). As significant as a number of Hurtado’s arguments are, important questions remain about how such an understanding of Jesus could be framed and developed within a distinctly Jewish environment. This month’s carnival includes an exchange between Mike Kok and Larry Hurtado – I think it would be fair to say that not only is this an important issue, Mike and Larry’s response to it demonstrate scholarly debate at its best; rigorous, courteous and robust.

Summer Greek participants might like to follow the link to the Exegetical Tools site!

The Avignonian Carnival

Zwinglius Redivivus‘ non-fattening and (74.23%) snark free Avignonian Carnival,  springs, panther-like, onto an unsuspecting world. With sections on Archaeology, Hebrew Bible, New Testament and General, it is, as always, a thumping good read.

Please do have a look and please also follow the link to sign the petition for Zurich Central Library to allow internet access and use of their archive materials. As Jim argues, even if you are not interested in Reformation Studies, signing the petition demonstrates an international concern relating to issues of access to this archive…. I’ll even provide a link to it here (so no excuses!!)… online petition.

Biblical Studies Carnival – first the good news and then the GOOD news

The Good News

Firstly, I am delighted to say that it is time for the June 2015 Biblical Studies CarnivalThis month’s festival of delights is hosted by William Ross, a doctoral candidate at Cambridge.

Once again there is plenty here to amuse, stimulate and inspire. It’s a great chance to catch up with what is happening in the world of biblioblogging and William’s selection demonstrates the wide variety of topics being discussed.

Roundabout Continue reading

Two Carnivals for the Price of One

Apologies to everyone for the lateness of this post, but preparations for the ‘Dead Letters and Living Words‘ conference meant that everything has got a little delayed (conference related posts are scheduled over the coming weeks/months). In an effort to make  amends, we are posting links to not one by TWO carnivals that celebrate the blogosphere of the past month.

 May 2015 Biblioblog

Claude Mariottini is the genial host of this month’s Biblical Studies Carnival and he offers an eclectic bill of fare with something to tempt most palates.

Claude’s observations about the state of biblioblogging today has, in turn, opened a debate with important questions being asked about its purpose and its possible future(s). For example, see Jacob Prahlow’s reflections on his Pursuing Veritas blog. Readers might also be intereseted in Claude’s earlier post on Are Biblioblogs Dying?, posted in March 2014.

Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival LXXII

Bioarchaeologist Kristina Killgrove‘s blog Powered by Osteons is a personal favourite of mine, full of really great material. This month Kristina hosts the Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival LXXII. It is full of wonderful posts which help us to build a far richer understanding of the Roman period that had so much impact upon the formation of Christianity. It really is essential reading if we are to understand the world of the first Christians. This months wonders include: gutter burials, Julius Caesar’s health and a stash of teeth extracted by a Roman dentist!

April 2015 Biblioblog Carnival

Jeff Carter has just posted the April Biblical Studies Carnival on his That Jeff Carter was Here biblioblog (link below).

As usual it is packed full of good stuff and Jeff has included some really interesting finds. He also includes a number of hilarious tweets taken from one of my favourite Twitter sites ‘Bible Students Say’ (definitely worth following if you are on twitter: @BibleStdntsSay)


April 2015 Biblioblog Carnival.