Biblica 88.1 (2007) – James 4:1-4

Biblica 88.1 (2007) has just been released to the web. It features an article on James 4:1-4 and the “two ways” tradition. Here is the publication info and abstract:

H. van de Sandt, «James 4,1-4 in the Light of the Jewish Two Ways Tradition 3,1-6» , Vol. 88(2007) 38-63.

The author of the Letter of James accuses his readers (Jas 4,1-4) of being responsible for war, murder and adultery. How are we to explain this charge? This paper shows that the material in Jas 1,13-21; 2,8-11 and 4,1-4 is closely akin to the teknon section in Did 3,1-6. The teknon section belonged to the Jewish Two Ways tradition which, for the most part, is covered by the first six chapters of the Didache. Interestingly, Did 3,1-6 exhibits close affinity with the ethical principles of a particular stream of Rabbinic tradition found in early Derekh Erets treatises. James 4,1-4 should be considered a further development of the warnings in Did 3,1-6.

Access article online (PDF)

I don’t have any time to read this one… I’ll have to put it on my post thesis reading list. Well, I can hear the whip cracking. I would rather avoid the sting, so I better get going… Back to the thesis!

Ancient Near Eastern Library Policies

If you thought modern library policies were still archaic, then you should read these:

  • He who fears Anu, Enlil, and Ea will return [this book] to the owner’s house the same day
  • He who fears Anu and Antu will return [this book] to the owner’s house the next day
  • He who fears Marduk and Sarpanitum will not entrust [this book] to [others’] hands
  • He who entrusts [this book] to [others’] hands, may all the gods who are found in Babylon curse him!
  • He who fears Anu and Antu will take care of [this book] and respect it
  • This book by order of Anu and Antu is to remain in good condition
  • In the name of Nabu and Marduk, do not rub out the text!
  • Who rubs out the text, Marduk will look upon him with anger
  • He who fears Anu and Antu will not carry [this book] off by theft
  • He who carries [this book] off, may Shamash carry off his eyes
  • He who carries [this book] off, may Adad and Shala carry him off!
  • He who breaks [this book] or puts it in water or rubs it until you cannot recognize it [and] cannot make it be understood, may Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Adad and Ishtar, Bel, Nergal, Ishtar of Nineveh, Ishtar of Arbela, Ishtar of Bit Kidmurri, the gods of heaven and earth and the gods of Assyria, may all these curse him with a curse which cannot be relieved, terrible and merciless, as long as he lives, may they let his name, his seed, be carried off from the land, may they put his flesh in a dog’s mouth.

From Lionel Casson, Libraries in the Ancient World (Yale, 2001), 13-14 (Amazon/

Teaching on the Sinking Titanic (Talpiot in Sunday School) – link fixed

This morning I diverted the attention of my Sunday School class away from James and in the direction of the whole Jesus family tomb controversy. I am confident that none in the class would doubt their faith on account of this documentary. Still, I wanted to do my best to put some information in their hands that they could use in conversations with family and friends about the controversy. I put together a one-page outline of the controversy and some of the counter arguments. Of course I am indebted to Drs. Bock, Bauckham, Witherington, Heiser, Goodacre and all the other bibliobloggers who have posted on the subject for their invaluable responses to the documentary.

For what it’s worth, you can download the PDF here. (Link now fixed.)

Please note that this document is extremely laconic in details as it is only an outline.

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV)