New website on Biblical Archaeology Launches Today!

I am very pleased to announce that my new website aimed at providing resources for those studying the archaeology of the Bible lands is officially launched today.

Over the last few months it became apparent that the range of material relating to archaeology would no longer fit within the structure of the biblicalstudies.org.uk website. The new site will eventually offer detailed coverage of all aspects of biblical archaeology from artefacts to bibliographies of noteable archaeologists. Collapsible menus will be added once the site structure is finalised.

Click here to visit the new site.

Breaking News: Dead Sea Scrolls to be Placed Online

Here is some exciting news from Dr Clive Field from a post on the Association of British Theological and Philosophical Libraries (ABTAPL) mailing list (reproduced here by permission):

Ever since their discovery in the late 1940s in eleven caves in the neighbourhood of Qumran, in the Judean Desert at the north-west end of the Dead Sea, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been incrementally transforming our knowledge of the Old Testament, Jewish life and thought between 20 BC and 70 AD, and the origins of Christianity. They are considered one of the greatest archaeological finds of the last century.

Access to the scrolls (at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem) has always been extremely limited, mostly to some 300 accredited scholars (apart from occasional exhibitions). So it is exciting news that, as part of its twentieth anniversary celebrations, the Israel Antiquities Authority yesterday announced that it is teaming up with Google’s Israeli Research and Design Centre in a $3,500,000 project to digitize all 30,000 fragments and make them freely available online.

Images will be created to the highest possible resolution, using infrared technology (which will allow researchers to see parts of the fragments that have turned black with age). The first images should be available next Spring, although the entire project will not be completed for some considerable time. The scrolls – in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek – will be accompanied by transcriptions and English translations, with translations into other languages to follow.

Here is today’s report in the Daily Mail. 

The Use of the Old Testament in the New and Other Essays now on-line

Duke University Press have kindly allowed me permission to place online all the essays from the following Festschrift:

James M. Efird, editor, The Use of the Old Testament in the New and Other Essays: Studies in Honor of William Franklin Stinespring. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1972. ISBN: 0822302888. pp.332.


It contains two articles on the use of the OT in the New (always a popular subject) as well as contributions by renowned biblical scholars J.H. Charlesworth and W.D. Davies. Of note is the article on Gnostic exegesis of the OT. Click here for a full listing.

What is the “Wizard of Oz” of Biblical Studies Articles?

It is a little known fact – at least it was to me – that The Wizard of Oz (1939) is the most quoted and alluded to movie of all time. Think of how many times you hear lines like “Well Toto, we’re not in Kansas any more!”, “There’s no place like home”, “I’ll get you my pretty…” and “I’m melting!”
If we applied the same criteria to articles in the field of biblical studies, which article would be the most cited? Well, my suggestion is this article by Samual Sandmel:Samuel Sandmel, “Parallelomania,” Journal of Biblical Literature 81 (1962): 1-13.Not only have I seen it cited many times but it deserves credit for adding a new word to the English theological dictionary.Sandmel writes:

We might for our purposes define parallelomania as that extravagance among scholars which first overdoes the supposed similarity in passages and then proceeds to describe source and derivation as if implying literary connection flowing in an inevitable or predetermined direction.

Surely the exhortation to avoid the error of parallomania is as valid today as it was in 1962?

Perhaps you have a nomination for the title – I’d love to hear it.

Many thanks the Society of Biblical Literature for their kind permission to reproduce this article.

New Biblical Studies Journal

I received this email today and thought that it would be of interest to others:

THE ORTHODOX CENTER FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF BIBLICAL STUDIES (OCABS) is pleased to announce the launching of its new, on-line academic journal, The Journal of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (JOCABS).

The mission of JOCABS is to promote scholarship in biblical studies, homiletics, and religious education among Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Christians around the world.

Although submissions in English are preferred thus ensuring greater accessibility, academic papers in other languages (especially Arabic, Armenian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, and Spanish) will be considered by our multi-lingual editorial board and its international associates.

Articles may be submitted in the following areas:

  • Old Testament and Cognate Studies. Including (but not limited to) critical studies in Hebrew Bible; Septuagint; Pseudepigrapha; Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture; Syro-Palestinian Archaeology.
  • New Testament and Cognate Studies. Including (but not limited to) critical studies in New Testament; Early Christian Literature; Apocryphal Literature and Traditions; Classical Studies; Archaeology of the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
  • The Bible in Homiletics and Christian Education. Including theoretical and methodological studies dedicated to the practical applications of biblical scholarship to both preaching and pedagogy.
  • Book Reviews. Submissions of critical reviews of books related to the field of biblical studies will be accepted and invited.

JOCABS is committed to promoting scholarship among scholars and graduate students and encourages them to submit papers to its peer-reviewed process. The first issue will appear in the Summer of 2008, and semiannually thereafter.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Nicolae Roddy, at nroddy@creighton.edu or Fr. Vahan Hovhanessian, at vartabed@stnersess.edu.

To submit an article online, please visit http://www.ocabs.org/journal/.