Daily Gleanings: Paul in RBL (2 July 2019)

In the Review of Biblical Literature, Nicholas Elder reviews Channing Crisler’s Reading Romans as Lament: Paul’s Use of Old Testament Lament in His Most Famous Letter (Pickwick, 2016). According to Elder,

The monograph’s central argument is that Paul is thoroughly indebted to the language and logic of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible lament in his letter to the Romans. Crisler employs both biblical scholarship on lament in the Hebrew Bible and Richard B. Hays’s well-known criteria for detecting quotations, allusions, and echoes of antecedent biblical texts in Paul’s writings. [Crisler’s] thesis that “the experience of OT lamenters is echoed in Romans, and those echoes largely shape the way Paul discusses suffering in the letter.”

More explanation on the choice of texts and their relationship to each other and Romans as a whole would improve the monograph. Nonetheless, Reading Romans as Lament contributes to the ongoing discussion of Paul’s metonymic recall not only of Jewish Scriptures but also the lament genre. (1, 4)

For the balance of Elder’s review, see RBL‘s website.

In the Review of Biblical Literature, Chris Kugler reviews David Capes’s Divine Christ: Paul, the Lord Jesus, and the Scriptures of Israel (Baker, 2018). According to Kugler, the book

reprises much of [Capes’s] foundational work, Old Testament Yahweh Texts in Paul’s Christology (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017 [1992]), and argues that Paul’s appropriation of “YHWH texts” with reference to Jesus represents a remarkable development in earliest Christianity and can only indicate that Paul regarded Jesus as fully divine. (1)

Kugler citiques Capes’s sketch of Second Temple Jewish monotheism (3) but also acknowledges the debt that discussions of early high Christology owe to Capes’s work (1).

For the balance of Kugler’s review, see RBL‘s website.

Daily Gleanings: Attention (1 July 2019)

The Dropbox blog discusses Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy (Melville House, 2019).

Not surprisingly, several comments in the essay have ready application to how biblical scholars relate to the attention economy. Among these are:

Actively choosing how you wield your attention is a modern-day survival skill. This is resisting the attention economy. It’s a refusal to allow the act of consumption consume your life.

Life through the filter of Instagram [or blog or Twitter posts] strips away everything that falls outside of the frame.… What you’re left with is “a product—the clean, finished version of all of these processes that are often hidden. Then the same thing happens with a person or a life, where you get these product-like moments in someone’s life. And that product is accentuated by the fact that it’s then evaluated in real time—almost like customer reviews of it.”

When we’re aware [of the forces at play in the attention economy], we don’t have to be controlled by anyone else’s idea of who we are, and there is a freedom in that. We are not our data points.

Much of the essay reminds me of the attention-renewing discipline Cal Newport describes around being able to be bored well rather than training ourselves to be constantly filling the small in-between spaces in life with consuming digital content. On this, see Deep Work, pp. 155–80.

For the full essay about Odell’s book, see the Dropbox blog.

The Freedom blog discusses the values of time tracking tools, including increased awareness, attention, accountability, and perhaps additional time.

Pro Tips for Busy Writers: New Series

If you’re an emerging scholar, you probably know you should be writing like crazy. Whether you’re wanting to do so for publication or for class, you know the hard work of moving ideas into written words is one of the most important things you need to do.

But then … when and how do you do it?

Writing = Important, not Urgent

Scholarly writing is rarely urgent, and it can easily get de-prioritized or bumped indefinitely to “later.” Or, maybe you have a good writing routine, but you struggle to juggle progress on the different projects you’ve committed to.

Whatever your situation, you’re not alone. Others have gone before you. And you can learn the craft of more productive writing without infinitely increasing the leisure time you have to accomplish it.

To help you do just this, I’m beginning a new series, “Pro Tips for Busy Writers.”

Pro Tips Details

In this series, we’ll hear from mid- and later-career scholars who have crossed some of the same hurdles your facing. We’ll hear what advice they have for facing these obstacles. And we’ll think about the lessons emerge and that might help you become better at putting your scholarship into writing.

When I’ve done series in the past, I’ve generally done them sequentially one post after the other. With this series, there might be some of that too.

But more typically, you should probably expect that this will be an intermittent series. It’s based around the thought of scholars who often have quite stringent schedules of their own. So as I get responses, I’ll prepare and post them as additions to this series. Otherwise, we’ll continue working through other topics, whether those are in stand-alone posts or in other series.


With this in mind, tune in next week, and we’ll give this new series a proper kick off. For now, I’ll leave you in suspense over who we’ll be hearing from. 🙂

Meanwhile, if you haven’t done so yet, use the form below to subscribe to my email list so you’ll be sure to get this first interview when it becomes available. It’ll certainly be well worth the read.

Is there a particular “pro tip” you’d like to see addressed? Or, is there a mid- or later-career scholar you’d particularly like to hear from in this series?

Header image provided by Freddie Marriage via Unsplash

Daily Gleanings: Book Reviews (28 June 2019)

Mike Aubrey discusses six recent and forthcoming books in the area of Greek linguistics.

Mark Ward reviews Dirk Jongkind’s Introduction to the Greek New Testament Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge (Crossway, 2019).

About half of the review summarizes the book. Approximately the other half interacts with ch. 7’s proposal of a biblical-theological view of textual transmission.

For the full review, see Mark’s original post.

Daily Gleanings: Open, Free Access Resources (27 June 2019)

The proceedings of last project EAGLE (Europeana network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy) conference from 2016 are openly accessible.


The Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society has an online, freely accessible archive of manuscripts and transcriptions from the Cairo Geniza.

HT: Jim Davila, Stephen Goranson

Daily Gleanings: New Releases (26 June 2019)

Cover image for Newly available from SBL Press is Gideon R. Kotzé, Wolfgang Kraus, and Michaël N. van der Meer’s edited collection, XVI Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies: Stellenbosch, 2016. According to the Press,

This book includes papers given at the XVI Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS), held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2016. Essays by scholars from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America identify and discuss new topics and lines of inquiry and develop fresh insights and arguments in existing areas of research into the Septuagint and cognate literature. This is an important new resource for scholars and students who are interested in different methods of studying the literature included in the Septuagint corpora, the theology and reception of these texts, as well as the works of Josephus.

Matthew Crawford’s new book, The Eusebian Canon Tables: Ordering Textual Knowledge in Late Antiquity (OUP, 2019), has now released. It may, however, still be en route to some retailers (e.g., Amazon as of this writing). Per the publisher’s description,

One of the books most central to late-antique religious life was the four-gospel codex, containing the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. A common feature in such manuscripts was a marginal cross-referencing system known as the Canon Tables. This reading aid was invented in the early fourth century by Eusebius of Caesarea and represented a milestone achievement both in the history of the book and in the scholarly study of the fourfold gospel. In this work, Matthew R. Crawford provides the first book-length treatment of the origins and use of the Canon Tables apparatus in any language.

HT: Larry Hurtado