Friday, August 27, 2010

Now in Print: NIB One Volume Commentary

My brand new copy of the New Interpreter’s Bible One-Volume Commentary came in the mail recently. I contributed the sections on Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The volume has been a five year endeavor to replace the very successful Interpreter’s One Volume Commentary on the Bible, Charles Laymon, ed. (Abingdon Press, 1971), which went through its fifteenth printing in 1994.

The new volume contains articles on all the books of the Bible, including the Apocrypha, as well as numerous general articles on biblical interpretation, geographical and historical setting, literary criticism, religion, text, canon, translation, Bible and preaching/teaching, with bibliographies for each article. It also includes a chronology/timeline, table of measures, table of money, and a subject index. It is a substantial hardcover volume, but with larger than average print.

For the online sampler of the NIBOVC, click here (PDF sampler download). The volume has a special retail price of $45.00, a 40% discount, and Abingdon has no current plans to remove the offer. They would like for this resource to find its way into the library of every pastor and student of the Bible.

Here are a few of the endorsements that the volume can boast:

“For scholars, clergy, and students of the Bible looking for the most recent critical assessments of biblical literature and its theological ramifications for the modern world, this will be an indispensable reference work.” ~ Samuel E. Balentine, Professor of Old Testament, Union Presbyterian Seminary

“A challenge for the church today is helping people engage in theological reflection. Essential to this practice is the commitment to reading and interpreting biblical texts. This excellent One-Volume Commentary on the Bible makes the range of perspectives that inform contemporary biblical scholarship accessible to clergy, religious educators and teachers.” ~ Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Caldwell, McCormick Theological Seminary

“This new member of Abingdon’s family of biblical commentaries and reference works reflects the vitality and diversity of current scholarship, and the contributors communicate these in ways that pastors, students and laypeople alike will find interesting as well as informative. The NIBOVC is sure to earn the same respect that is already enjoyed by its widely-acclaimed siblings, like the New Interpreter’s Bible and the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible.” ~ Victor Paul Furnish, Southern Methodist University

Thursday, August 26, 2010

MAR-SBL 2011: Call For Papers

The 2011 Mid-Atlantic Regional SBL call for papers is now available on the SBL website. The meeting will be held jointly with the Mid-Atlantic and New England/Maritimes Regions of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) on March 17-18, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The call contains dates, locations, deadlines, guidelines for preparing and submitting proposals, hotel and registration information, and other important details regarding the meeting. To download the call, click here (PDF file).

Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ethel and Irvin A. Edelman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Chair of the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, will serve as the plenary speaker and Dr. Maxine Grossman, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland, will deliver the presidential address.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Overview Chart of Biblical History

A former seminarian of mine, now the rector of Saint James Church, the Rev. Philip Dinwiddie emailed this wonderful overview chart he created as part of a teaching series he did with his parish going over the entire Bible. He created the chart partially because in seminary he always wished that he had had something like it. Phil has also graciously made it available as a Word document (to download, click here), so that folks can edit it and use it in their own ways. I emailed Phil, and he wants the chart shared, so enjoy and use it as you see fit!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Now in Print: Review of Mandolfo, Daughter Zion

Click Me!

I received offprints in the mail of a book review I wrote recently:

Review of Daughter Zion Talks Back to the Prophets: A Dialogic Theology of the Book of Lamentations, by Carleen R. Mandolfo, Journal of the American Oriental Society 129/3 (2009) 538-39.

Check it out when you get the chance. The book's current Amazon sales-rank is not at all bad for a scholarly volume: 286,531!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jonah as Told by Six-Year-Old Mary Margaret

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ted Mauch and "RUAH"

In my last blog post I linked to some online materials by a current Trinity College faculty member, Seth Sanders. By some coincidence, I've just received a lovely email from a Massachusetts based musician who knew a another Trinity College Hebrew Bible professor of a former generation, Ted Mauch. I have blogged on Ted Mauch before (e.g., click here). As the musician, Jeff Snow, wrote to me: "Ted touched a lot of lives--he was one of the very best."

Jeff Snow came up with a tune one evening as he spent time with Ted Mauch, and he named the tune "RUAH," which was Ted's licence plate number. It is a great story, and I recommend reading the whole thing at Jeff Snow's website (click here).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On the 14th Century Jerusalem Archive Fragment

I'm just back from vacation in New Hampshire where I was not doing biblical blogs, so this is dated news, but it is pretty exciting to hear of a 14th century BCE fragment of a written tablet being found in Jerusalem! This is by far the oldest piece of writting ever found in Jerusalem, dating long before the Israelite settlement and the later capture of Jerusalem by David.

The physical make up of the clay fragment and the quality of its script make it pretty clear that the tablet was part of a royal archive in Jerusalem containing copies of messages from the king of Jerusalem to the Pharaoh in Egypt (perhaps to Pharaoh Akhenaten, but perhaps to a ruler from a somewhat earlier or later time).

The finding of this Jerusalem fragment attests to the importance of Jerusalem during the Late Bronze Age, providing physical evidence countering those minimalist sholars who have argued that Jerusalem was not actually a major center during the period at issue.

For a blog-post discussion of the historical context of the Jerusalem fragment and its relation to the Amarna correspondence by Prof. Seth Sanders of Trinity College, CT, click here.

For another blog-post by Sanders arguing that the scribe of the Jerusalem fragment was different from the authors of the Amarna letters from Jerusalem to Egypt, click here. Sanders conclusion in his argument in this post is that "more than one Babylonian dialect [was clearly] being written [in Jerusalem] during the Late Bronze Age."