Biblical Studies, the Academy and the Pew: Public talk by Dr Jim West

Earlier this year, due to ill health, we sadly had to cancel a public talk by Dr Jim West on the relationship between the academic study of the Bible and the Church. We are delighted to announce that Jim has very graciously offered to come to the UK specifically to give this talk. We are both touched and extremely grateful for such a generous gesture and we would like to invite you to come to what promises to be an informative and fascinating talk on a subject that will be close to the heart of many people.

The Intersection of Academic Biblical Studies and the Life of the Church

25th September 2015


Dr Jim West (Ming Hua Theological College)

Newman University

Time: 10.00 – 11.00 am

Room: CH116

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The Intersection of the Academy and the Pew – a public talk by Dr Jim West at Newman University

Unfortunately this event has been cancelled due to ill health. We hope to reschedule this talk at a later date.

We apologise for any inconvenience

The early Church father, Tertullian, once wrote: “[w]hat indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the Church?” (De praescriptione, vii). Sometimes, some of my students take great pleasure in reminding me of this!

It is therefore a great pleasure to welcome to our shores someone who is amply qualified to guide us through this (often tempestuous) relationship and offer to you all…

…a very warm, post-Christmas, invitation to a public talk

The Intersection of Academy and the Pew

5th January 2017


Dr Jim West (Ming Hua Theological College)

Newman University

14.00 – 15.00


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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

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 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.

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February Carnival of Biblical Studies

As February gives way to the dawn of March it can only mean one thing: CARNIVAL TIME!

Sure enough and right on cue, Jim West ‘s ‘The February Carnival: The ‘Love is in the Air’ Edition‘ comes crackling and snarling out of the gate. Once again it is an eclectic mix spanning a wide range of areas and so there will be something there for everyone.

Wolf Hall
Blatant pandering to popular culture by using image from Wolf Hall. Image: BBC

By the way, for all those in the UK suffering withdrawal symptoms from the ubiquitous BBC production of Wolf Hall and in case you gained from it the impression that all the Reformers were a gaunt, strangely humourless and a rather passionless breed, take a look at Jim’s Zwinglius Redivivus blog. You will get a real feel for what it would be like if Zwingli et. al. were living among us in the 21st century. It will cure you forever of the misconception that they were a dour and joyless lot. Be prepared for verbal pyrotechnics, a whiplash wit and leave any sacred cows at home…