Sorting by

×

Inclusive Language in Bible Translation?

One more issue connected with Bible translations: what does one do with shifts in usage in the English language toward inclusive language.  It's a hot topic, and somehow I suspect one that a lot of people on the blog have strong views of.  I certainly have them.  I talked about it once on the blog, in connection with my work with the NRSV Translation Committee. ******************************************** One of the most difficult issues that the New Revised Standard Version translation committee had to address involved the use of inclusive language.  Part of the problem was that this issue was not a generally recognized issue (by the wider reading public) when the translators began their work, but was very much an issue when they were already finished with a large chunk of it.  The translators were mainly senior scholars who had acquired their linguistic skills before virtually anyone in the academy knew (or at least said) that there even was a problem with inclusivity, and so they themselves were learning how to communicate in the new idiom.  [...]

“The Case for Christ”? The New Testament Review Podcast

Here now is the second guest post by Duke PhD students Ian Mills and Laura Robinson, dealing with their podcast  New Testament Review.   In this one they describe one of their more unusual podcasts.  As you'll see, they deal with extremely interesting material for to anyone interested real scholarship on early Christianity-- as opposed to the (often very popular) books by people who don't know  or understand scholarship but try to denigrate it in order to "prove" their own sectarian views.   Blog Post #2 New Testament Review on Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ   As outlined in our last post, the New Testament Review podcast is dedicated to summarizing influential pieces of New Testament scholarship and their reception in the field. Every work we cover has transformed how later scholarship treats a specific topic or text. Every work, that is, except one. On April 1st 2019, we released an episode with the title, “Lee Strobel, The Case for Christ.” Lee Strobel is a former journalist turned evangelical Christian apologist. His bestselling book The [...]

By |2020-08-19T09:10:47-04:00August 19th, 2020|History of Biblical Scholarship, Public Forum|36 Comments

A Podcast of Interest to You! Guest post by Ian Mills and Laura Robinson

If you are interested in learning more about scholarship on the New Testament, but at a lay person's level, this is the post for you!  It is about a podcast that might be (probably is) right up your alley, set up and run by two graduate students from Duke University who have worked with me over the past few years. One of the real pleasures of teaching graduate students in New Testament/early Christianity at UNC is that Duke is just ten miles away, with its own graduate program.  The New Testament program at Duke program in New Testament has a different focus from ours here at at UNC.  To put it in the most simple terms, at UNC we have a more historically-focused approach and at Duke they have a more interpretation-focused approach.   Of course, you can't do one without the other.  But I tend to teach historical topics to our students, with interpretation of texts as part of what we do; many of their classes are more focused on interpretation with history as the [...]

By |2020-08-14T15:25:05-04:00August 14th, 2020|History of Biblical Scholarship, Public Forum|29 Comments

Proving the Bible Is True: The Museum of the Bible. Guest Post by Cavan Concannon

Here now is the second of three posts on the Museum of the Bible, this one by Cavan Concannon, one of the editors of the newly released volume, The Museum of the Bible: A Critical Introduction.  One of the most amazing lines in this post is the claim made by a representative of the museum that: "The Bible has been carefully transmitted through time."   Wow!  OK then....   You gotta wonder what this fellow (whom Cavan quotes) is thinking....    What I myself am thinking is that he has a different definition of "carefully" from me.... Again, Cavan will be happy to respond to your comments. **********************************************************   Proving the Bible: Archaeology, Objects, and Evangelical Theology at the Museum of the Bible By Cavan Concannon   The Museum of the Bible (MOTB) is no stranger to scandal. In our previous post, we described how, in their quest for biblical artifacts for the Museum, the Greens have acquired looted objects, purchased forged Dead Sea Scrolls, and been forced to return thousands of artifacts in their collection. As [...]

Are Bible Translators Consistent? Readers’ Mailbag

In today’s Reader’s Mailbag I deal with a question that involves both the differences in the manuscripts of the New Testament AND the issue of English Bible translations.  As many of you know, almost all scholars agree that passages such as the “Woman Taken in Adultery,” in John 7:53-8:11 and the last twelve verses of Mark (Jesus’ appearances to his disciples after the resurrection) were not original to the New Testament.  (If you’re not familiar with this issue, see my book Misquoting Jesus and/or do word searches to find discussions on the blog).   And yet most modern Bibles continue to include them, even if they put them in brackets with a footnote saying that they are missing from the best manuscripts we have. But why aren’t translators consistent in applying this rule: keeping verses they know are not original with footnotes?  Why  in other, analogous cases, do they more often remove the passages completely and put them in the notes? It’s a great question:  here is how the reader phrased it, with very helpful examples. [...]

Was There One Author Behind the Four Johannine Writings? A Community? Guest Post by Hugo Mendez

We continue now with the third of Hugo Mendez's guest posts on the "community" allegedly behind the Gospel of John, 1, 2, and 3 John.   Here he shows why most critical scholars do NOT think (as most other interested human beings on the planet do!) that all four were written by the same person (let alone Jesus' disciple, John the Son of Zebedee), and why they have argued that instead they all come from like-minded authors from the same community. But when he gets to the end he indicates why there is a flaw in this reasoning.  This post is an excellent example of solid scholarship with an unexpected ZINGER at the end! Hugo will be happy to respond to your comments, and he has certainly set up the next post.  (If you have time, go ahead and read the three letters; they are very short and it's a fast read.  But they have an importance far beyond what you might expect from their size) Why Scholars Haven’t Given Up on the Johannine Community (Yet) [...]

Were the Gospels Generally Written for “Communities” of Christians: Guest Post by Hugo Mendez

Here now is Hugo Mendez’s second post in his thread (started yesterday, if you haven’t seen it yet), challenging whether the writings of John all emerge from a specific “community,” as I argued in my previous thread.  In this post he points out how scholars have called into question whether the idea of "communities” is helpful at all for understanding the early Gospels. Hugo will be happy to address your questions!  Just post yours as a comment to the post. ***************************************************************  Challenges to the Idea of “Gospel Communities” As I noted last time, my most recent article questions the existence of the Johannine Community. There’s an early tendency when some hear of my project to confuse it with some other recent attempts to challenge the idea of “gospel communities.” Before discussing the terms of my own proposal, then, I’d like to catch you all up to speed with the current state of that debate over “communities” and where I “fit” into this discussion Today, New Testament scholars seem to fall into one of roughly three [...]

WAS there a Community behind the Gospel and Letters of John? Guest Post by Hugo Mendez

Here we begin a series of posts written by my colleague at UNC, Hugo Mendez.   Hugo has had an intriguing and impressive career.  He did an MA in Religion at University of Georgia, but then his PhD was in Linguistics, also at Georgia.  He went from there onto a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Yale and “retooled” to become a New Testament scholar through some, well, incredibly intense study.  He came to UNC as a postdoctoral fellow in 2016 for two years, after which we were fortunate to hire him as an assistant professor on tenure track. Hugo’s skills are remarkably wide-ranging.  He knows far more ancient languages than I do (on his CV he lists:  Indo-European: Ancient Greek, Latin, Classical Armenian, Gothic, Old Church Slavic, Sanskrit (Classical, Vedic). Aramaic (Biblical Aramaic, Classical Syriac), Classical Hebrew, and Akkadian.   Really.  OK then. If you’re interested in checking out his C.V. (hey, is this guy qualified?  J ), it is here:   https://religion.unc.edu/files/2020/05/CV_2020_Mendez_abbr.pdf Hugo has just started his publishing career, and is doing so with a bang.  One of [...]

The More Scholarly Argument that Paul did Not Write Colossians

Every now and then I think it's useful on the blog to shift gears away from explaining at a more popular level what scholars have come to think to showing how scholars make their arguments to one *another*.  I don't want to do this a lot, but it seems that it can be helpful at times, just so blog readers can get a bit of a sense. Right now I'm in them middle of a thread on whether the author of Luke was really "Luke the gentile physician," one of Paul's traveling companions.  The only reason for thinking such a person even existed (a gentile doctor named Luke) is that he is mentioned by Paul in Colossians.  In my previous post I explained why the majority of critical scholars don't think Paul actually wrote Colossians (so that the historical Paul does *not* mention this person). The post was written for a general audience, and a number of people raised questions about it.  So here is how I provide the evidence for fellow scholars in my [...]

Final Tribute To Larry Hurtado

I am sorry to report that my colleague Larry Hurtado, a well-known scholar of the New Testament, author of several influential books, and prominent blogger, has died.    Back in July I indicated on the blog that he had become very ill.  At the time we thought he had only a few weeks to live.  But he soldiered on, and passed away last Monday, November 25. There is a very nice tribute to him by one of his former students at:  https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/november/died-larry-hurtado-new-testament-early-christian-worship.html I decided to repost here what I said in July, both as a tribute to him and to suggest several of his books that you might be interested in reading.  Larry was about ten years ahead of me in the field, and had very similar interests to mine, from textual criticism (studying ancient Greek manuscripts) to Christology (understanding how Jesus came to be worshiped as God).    A couple of his books are highly technical (as I indicate below); others are completely accessible to the non-academic.  You may want to check them out. [...]

Load More Posts
Go to Top