Timothy over at the Catholic Bibles Blog draws attention to the Fr Raymond E. Brown page.
Likely the most influential American Catholic Biblical Scholar of the twentieth century, Fr. Raymond Brown, who passed in August of 1998, now has a nifty website dedicated to him. It includes articles, recollections, and opportunities to purchase some of his audio and video recordings. This site looks pretty new, so I can imagine that we will see more added to it in the coming months.
Among Fr. Raymond Brown’s most prominent works, in English, would certainly be his Anchor Bible Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, The Birth of the Messiah, The Death of the Messiah, and one of his last books An Introduction to the New Testament. (I should also mention his work on the New Jerome Biblical Commentary.)
Here is a helpful bio of Fr. Raymond Brown from Christianbook.com:
When he died in August 1998 at the age of 70, Father Raymond Brown was the “acknowledged dean of New Testament scholarship and a master of his discipline at the pinnacle of his career”…
Because they wanted cheaper Bibles.
In 2011 Ashland Seminary hosted a series of events celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Part of that celebration included setting up a museum in which we displayed various manuscripts and Bibles dating back over 2,000 years. Included among the items on display was a page from a 1611 King James Bible. But the page was not from an Old or New Testament book, but was from 1 Maccabees, one of the books contained in the Apocrypha. When people touring the museum saw this they were usually quite surprised. They didn’t realize that the Apocrypha was part of that Bible. Today, most protestant Bibles do not include the Apocrypha and few have ever read the Apocrypha. But history reveals that the Apocrypha has been a part of what we call the “Bible” longer than it has not. For example, the earliest most complete Bible discovered at the monastery on Mount Sinai (Codex Sinaiticus) contained the Apocrypha as well as a number of other books that were and are, in general, not considered canonical. The evidence of the 1611 King James shows that while the Bible has expanded and shrunk over history, what we commonly call the Apocrypha was usually a part of the Bible.
Yet, the situation today is such that finding an English language Bible with the Apocrypha is the exception to the rule. But why is that? Was it because Protestants finally got their theological house in order and excised the spurious books? Nope! It appears that the decision was influenced more by economics than theology. Over at the Anxious Bench Blog
Philip Jenkins has a good post on the history of the Apocrypha and how it was eventually removed from most Protestant English Bibles.
English-speaking Protestants lost the Deuterocanon not through any calculated theological decision, but through publishing accident, and at quite a recent date. Prior to the early nineteenth century, Anglo-American Bibles included the apocryphal section, but this dropped out as printers sought to produce more and cheaper editions. Increasingly too, during the nineteenth century, anti-Catholic sentiment encouraged Protestants to draw a sharp line between the two variant Bibles. If Catholics esteemed books like Maccabees and Wisdom, there must be something terribly wrong with them.
The Biblical World has the latest:
The story about the Jesus’ wife papyri seems to have run its course. The biggest news to come out in the last few weeks is that it looks like the script on the fragment may have been copied from a Gospel of Thomas website. The reason this has been suggested is that the version of Thomas on the website has a typo, the scholar transcribing the text left out the direct object marker. When the papyri is compared to the website it has the same typo. It looks like someone may have forged the fragment from the website, but didn’t know Coptic or Thomas well enough to realize the problem.
For more on the story see:
Mark Goodacre and James McGrath. Also, a nice overview of the story and how it has played out can be found in the Guardian, the NYPOST and Tech News.
The rulers of Israel and Judah in the time of 1 Kings and 2 Kings.
Prof John Byron shares some thoughts on applying for a PhD in Biblical and Theological Studies on his blog, The Biblical World.
Give them a read.
Bible Places Blog:
The controversy surrounding the work of Eilat Mazar in Jerusalem is the focus of a recent article written by Morey Altman for the Jerusalem Report. At the heart of the conflict is the role of the Bible in archaeological interpretation.
Eilat Mazar readily concedes the use of Scripture as a guide but acknowledges the limitations of the Bible as an historical document. “The fact is all historical documents are biased because they are written by people.”
But she’s also critical of those who too readily dismiss the use of the Bible as a reference tool. “You don’t want to go the other extreme and ignore a document that’s potentially helpful. Information at hand, whether we’re talking about the Bible or historical documents, may direct us a certain way, but the minute you start excavating, you are obliged by very high scientific standards,” she maintains. “We can use the Bible as a starting point, just as archaeologists working in the Near East have always done,” she tells The Report. “People investigated what they knew, and they knew the Bible.”
Nevertheless, Finkelstein’s concerns go beyond the validity of Scripture. “It is not clear whether the wall was an outer wall or an inner wall within the city,” he tells The Report. “And in any event, no 10th century BCE city-wall has ever been found in Jerusalem.”
I hope that Finkelstein wasn’t trying to make the argument that Mazar could not have found a 10th-century wall because no 10th-century wall has ever been found.
The article concludes with a quotation from Mazar that she still has a few secrets.
Thre are some good blogs to check out. Others, you shouldn’t really bother with.
For a quick snapshot of how Jerusalem expanded from the City of David, to the time of Solomon, to the time of Hezekiah, to the time of Nehemiah, to the time of Jesus—this gives a nice overview:
But it’s also helpful to see some reconstructions in 3D. The City of David site has put together a good flyover video from David’s time, and Sephirot has an accurate 3D model of the temple in Jesus’ time.
A note to Biblical academics:
I am always astonished to discover that there are some biblical academics who will admit that they have never actually read all of the Bible. Yet, it is often these very same academicians who harp on the absolute necessity of knowing the original languages. Don’t get me wrong. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to learn Hebrew and Greek. But for me and my house, if I had to choose between knowing the biblical languages or reading the whole counsel of Scripture in translation, the latter would be my choice hands down. Similarly, I am perplexed that there are some within the academy who have failed to read the entirety of the Scriptures and yet trumpet the importance of primary sources when it comes to biblical studies. Do they not realize that the Scriptures are the ultimate primary source? Can one really rightly claim to be a biblical scholar who has read all of the Gilgamesh Epic, Philo, or the Apostolic Fathers and yet have pages in their Bibles which have never passed in front of their eyes? I am stunned by those who can claim to keep up with their disciplines (e.g., NT, OT, the Prophets, Paul, etc.) because they read the most influential journals and the seminal monographs and yet cannot recall the last time that they have read some of the books of Scripture.
Ad fontes—back to the Bible.