# Monday, January 21, 2008

I'm stoked about this! Now, before you say anything, I know that Witherington has published volumes in his series with publishers other than Eerdmans (And yes, I know that deSilva did the Hebrews volume for the Eerdmans). But c'mon, how can you not be excited about it?

The Socio-Rhetorical Commentary Series offers the first sustained attempt to read and study the New Testament as both an ancient biography (as regards the Gospels) and as a from of ancient rhetoric. A socio-rhetorical interpretation considers the methods of rhetorical criticism and social-science criticism. The rhetorical method makes use of ancient or classical writings and strategies of persuasion and the communication of meaning. The social science method notes the issues surrounding the identification of the network of social relations (cultures and customs) in regards to the biblical text. The New Testament, in this series by William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company, is interpreted within the context of the world in which it was written and read. The commentaries endeavor to give us a glimpse into the methods the gospel writers used in persuading their audience that Jesus was the Savior of the world, and it puts in context the purpose of the Pauline letters. Ben Witherington III contributes to the first six volumes, and David A. deSilva adds his commentary to the last volume in the series.

Don't know about this? Learn more about Ben Witherington III from his website and his blog.


Post Author: rico
Monday, January 21, 2008 3:41:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, January 19, 2008

It has been far too long since I've posted pictures of my sweet daughter. So ... here you go!

Ella and Amy in the beginning of December, when we had some snow.
I love this picture!


Ella in the shopping cart at Wal-Mart


Ella in the shopping cart at Fred Meyer

Isn't she a cutie?

Post Author: rico
Saturday, January 19, 2008 1:49:48 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, January 17, 2008

A friend just pointed this out to me, sitting on an FTP server at National Geographic.

It's hi-res images of what appear to be all of the pages of Codex Tchacos, which contains the Coptic of the Gospel of Judas. My guess is that these images match the plates in the Critical Edition of the Gospel of Judas, but if anyone is doing serious work with the Coptic of Judas (or any of the other documents in Codex Tchacos) then you probably want these images instead.

And, while we're on manuscript stuff, have y'all seen the online edition of Codex Gigas? (hat tip: Mark @ Biblical Studies and Technological Tools blog) If not, you should. It is way cool! Have fun playing with the "Browse the Manuscript" feature. Also: I didn't know that Gigas had editions of Antiquities of the Jews and Wars of the Jews in Latin, amongst other stuff. How cool is that? Here all along I'd just thought it was a Latin Bible.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, January 17, 2008 2:23:27 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, January 11, 2008

Since Chris Brady (Targuman) proposed the idea of International Biblical Studies Writing Month (IBSWM), all the cool kids have been posting their projects.

I have at least one that qualifies. My paper for BibleTech:2008 is on locating cross-references in the New Testament; that is my IBSWM project. It is now mostly done (but mostly written in January!). I'll be sure to post a copy after BibleTech:2008 (so, after Jan 26)

I have another writing (blogging) project bubbling in my head, but hesitate to mention it here for fear that I might not get started on it during IBSWM (if ever).

Post Author: rico
Friday, January 11, 2008 7:46:33 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, January 07, 2008

Back in October, I mentioned a book on WWII in Sicily and Italy, Rick Atkinson's The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (amazon.com). I've been reading it off and on, mainly when I can have large chunks of time to focus on it — books like these aren't books you can spend 15 minutes on at a chunk.

If you have any historical interest in WWII, then you need to read this book. It is focused on the Sicilian and Italian campaigns, primarily from an Allied perspective but Atkinson routinely brings in data from German sources as well. I learned oh-so-much about the war on those fronts; a war that lurks in the shadows of the annals of history due to the prominence of the Normandy landings (which began two days after Rome fell) and the grind through France and Germany.

There were portions that weren't easy to read. It was a bloody, bloody war of attrition. But you don't read books like this because they make you feel chipper; you read books like this to understand the sorts of things that WWII was about, and how nasty it was (for both sides), and how necessary it was. And to hope that it never happens again.

Atkinson is an incredible researcher, and his synthesis of literally thousands of sources into an overarching, flowing, well-written historical narrative is amazing. He won the Pulitzer prize for the first volume in his Liberation Trilogy series, An Army at Dawn (amazon.com), which focused on the beginning of American involvement in the WWII European theater, and thus the war in Northern Africa. That book was amazing. Day of Battle (amazon.com) is better. Atkinson's projected third volume, if I understand it correctly, will focus on D-Day preparations and the liberation of France and war in Germany. How he'll pack that into one volume I have no idea — but I'll be queued up to buy it when it's published.

Bonus: Here's a picture of me with Ike, Monty and other WWII luminaries:


books | links
Post Author: rico
Monday, January 07, 2008 7:10:43 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, January 03, 2008

Chris Brady, who writes the blog Targuman, has posted BSC:XXV. Do rush and take a look at it, he's done a fine job stitching together the carnival tent this month. Chris is also the Biblioblogger of the Month for January 2008; so head to Biblioblogs.com to learn more about the "fine Jewish boy" behind Targuman.

Also note that Kevin P. Edgecomb of the blog biblicalia will be doing BSC:XXVI; keep your eyes peeled for carnival-worthy posts to nominate for that carnival. Why? Well, Kevin writes:

Okay, so, get busy writing good stuff and start sending me nominations for the next carnival, or, by the showering stars of the Geminids, I swear I’ll make stuff up. I have a vivid imagination, too.

Looks like the 2008 carnivals are off to a roaring start!

Post Author: rico
Thursday, January 03, 2008 6:15:11 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It seems I've been busy since early November, what with ETS & SBL conferences, Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, and New Years. So I haven't had the chance to dig into Paul Trebilco's Early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius (amazon.com) as much as I would've liked to.

But today I did get some time (after getting the garage cleaned and reorganized) to read a bit. I finally finished "Part I", which has to do with evidence of Ephesus in Paul and his Letters (Trebilco sees both Ephesians and the Pastorals as non-Pauline, so he does not include them here) and the evidence of Ephesus in the book of Acts.

It was the two chapters on Acts that I was most impressed with. Having done some work on a portion of Acts 18 for my 2007 ETS paper, it was great to read what Trebilco has done, working through all of the Ephesian mentions in Acts. If you are into the Paulines or Acts or Ephesus, then you need to read these chapters.

One thing that stuck out to me, particularly in working through the footnotes as I read the text, was how much the work of Haenchen and Conzelmann are called into question. As I worked through commentaries on Acts 18 for my ETS paper, I was amazed and dumbfounded at some of the claims that Conzelmann (apparently following Haenchen) made concerning Lucan sources in Acts. Treblico carefully works through the passages and other relevant data and shows that many times the leaps made by Haenchen and Conzelmann are too large. Reading this after having read Bauckham's Jesus and the Eyewitnesses really makes me think that the form-critical approach is dying (if not dead). It additionally makes me think that there needs to be a new Hermeneia volume on Acts (and the Pastoral Epistles, also by Conzelmann, for that matter).

That said, one thing that Trebilco does (that many others do) is frequently note "Lucan" or "Pauline" language, when what they really mean is that the content they attribute to a particular author uses the word in question, perhaps uniquely. I still think that any NT author sample, no matter what you think of authorship issues, is far too small to get a notion of what language quirks or vocabulary should be attributed to a particular author. But Trebilco doesn't do it much, and I realize that while this is a fairly blunt tool, it is a tool. So I'm not too offended by it. :)

All said, Trebilco's work is excellent and highly recommended. Do check it out (amazon.com). It's over 800 pages, and the Amazon price is really a steal (especially considering the Mohr-Siebeck edition, if you could actually find it, would probably cost you upwards of $300!)

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, January 01, 2008 4:16:05 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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