Of 200+ items I shared this month, here come the share-iest. Get yourself a Google Blog Reader (here) and you can start sharing too. It's nice to share, just like all these folks did in July, 2010:
Lots of New Testament Era archaeology news this month, and Rogueclassicism had all the scoops, as usual. Found: one shipwreck, one temple & bridge, one coin hoard, one major canal). IHahn noted a new site called Blogging Pompeii. Todd Bolen shared details about the late-antique Synagogue that was recently dug up in Galilee. I always like being reminded of the diligent diggers who keep finding us new evidence to consider.
A review at the BMCR discussed Classical Historiography: how ancient history writers made decisions about what to include, how much was art or science, and how diverse the genre really was. On historical skepticism, Chris Brady passed along the perfect analogy - how much of WWII seems unbelievable, today?
Mark D. Roberts considered reasons why Jesus probably spoke some Greek, which I agreed with, and then I learned J.P.Meyer did too. So that's very good. Incidentally, I finally picked up the first volume of Meyer's Marginal Jew, recently. I liked it - mostly, natch. Meanwhile, James McGrath completed his wonderfully thorough review of The Historical Jesus: Five Views with separate posts on each contribution: Price, Crossan, Johnson, Dunn, & Bock. I also enjoyed Brian LePort's blog review of the same book.
Mark Goodacre started a discussion about countering the stereotype of Pharisees as hypocrites. Doug Chaplin gave an excellent and detailed response. Darrell Pursiful also chimed in. The whole thing got started largely because of a longish blog post on the topic by David Bivin, the founder of Jerusalem Perspective. If you're interested, read all these posts. Bottom line: Overgeneralizing about Pharisees isn't helpful, and lends itself to supporting anti-semitism. I trust completely that lots of Pharisees were just as bad as Jesus & John the Baptist said they were. But you do a little more research and you find out how much Jesus respected about the Pharisees, also.
By the way, Mark Goodacre's blogged tour of Israel was tons of fun. Go scroll through his July Archives. You'll find more goodies, like the Synoptic PotatoHeads and this comment on one of McGrath's book reviews, which I'm not informed enough to comment on myself.
I'm honestly not sure what to think about Paul Anderson. I'm thrilled he keeps tirelessly promoting the use of John's Gospel for historical research, but I'm having trouble finding the substantive points in his opinions, as far as any of it applies to actual History. Anyway, several bloggers responded to Anderson's latest essay, and I still need to read through JohnDave Medina's post on Anderson's recent debate with Marcus Borg, but I mostly just want Anderson's answer to Borg's question: "So what?" Is it a good or a bad thing that Anderson can't answer yet? Perhaps time will tell.
Elsewhere, Phillip J Long shared some more thoughts about Atlases - specifically about New Testament Atlases, or rather the lack thereof, and then suggested some reasonable substitutes. From downtown Dallas, Matthew Larsen has been blogging his way through E.P. Sanders' Paul & Palestinian Judaism. It's been good. Here's post #1. Find the rest at Matt's blog.
Joel Hoffman asked if there's too much choice in Bible translations. Daniel Kirk suggested that women's differentness from men is precisely why they should share in church leadership. (AMEN!) And Bitsy Griffin began reviewing the backstory of The Moravian Church. Chapter one brought us from the Crusades to John Wycliffe. Chapter two was my favorite, because John Hus (Yan Huss) is my favorite. Chapter three is called 'The Aftermath', and Chapter four, on the Unitas Fratrum, is her latest for now.
Lastly, from nearby Fort Worth, Ched Spellman was the latest to rehash Garrison Keillor's May piece on the future of publishing: "18 million authors in America, each with an average of 14 readers, eight of whom are blood relatives. Average annual earnings: $1.75". After much reflection on that - plus an audio file from Seth Godin on the new dynamics of book publishing - I went on to buy my first Kindle. To my friends in publishing, please listen to Seth. He offers some terrific advice. AND I think you'll like it. :-)
There's a lot of great stuff I left out, mostly near the end of July. But that's the kind of stuff you can still catch if you check out my shared items page. Or get a Google Feed Reader, and use it to follow my shared items feed.
So much for July. Happy August!
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