HTLS stands for Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint! You can find its site here, and get some impression for yourself, but it surely looks interesting!

Here is their own presentation: “This large-scale collective and interdisciplinary project will aim to produce a new research tool: a multi-volume dictionary giving an article of between 2 and 10 pages (around 500 articles in all) for each important word or word group of the Septuagint. Filling an important gap in the fields of ancient philology and religious studies, the dictionary will be based on original research of the highest scientific level.”

There is a solid group of scholars behind the project as presented on this site, there is a further description, and a page with lots of LXX related links. There is also a page for Contact, in which  you can apply for access.



Strack-Billerbeck in English?

Strack-BillerbeckLOGOS (Bible Software)  has now put up a call for preorders on an English translation of the famous Strack-Billerbeck Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch. Every NT scholar will know this work, and while there are different opinions out there about its use(fulness), it surely should be considered a valuable tool,- if used carefully.

So far, it has only been available in German, and as many students – and even some scholars,-rumors say… – don’t read German, an English translation should be warrantable. It is now possible to pre-order this set, consisting of the three first volumes (dealing with the NT books, the Excurses are skipped), and in fact, I think the realization of the set is dependent upon a certain numbers of pre-orders. Here is their own description:

Lexham Press is pleased to announce the first-ever English translation of Hermann Strack and Paul Billerbeck’s Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch. Using the Pre-Pub process for this project allows us to invest resources in translating Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch only if there is sufficient demand. These books, previously available only to specialists, will soon be accessible to everyone. As the scope of the project becomes clearer, the price might increase, such as when we announce the translator and begin the work of translation. That means users who pre-order the earliest—with the fewest details available—will get the best price.”

From their relevant webpage, it looks like they are halfway to an acceptable amount of pre-orders.

But there is more to come; Logos has made available for pre-order also the Germaan 3 volome set (Vol 1-3) of Strack -Billerbeck, for those who prefer the German language, the ur-text so to say.. GO HERE for further information.

And, they are also offering the possibility of preordering the combined English and German volumes.

For those who know the Logos system (and those who don’t), it is interesting to know that these Logos versions will include the useful tagging system they use. Or to cite their own presentation again:

The Logos edition of Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Midrash is completely indexed, giving near-instant access to any word or reference. The Scripture references are linked to your preferred Bible translation and appear on mouseover. Greek, Latin, and Hebrew words link to the language tools in your library, allowing you to access basic lexical information with a simple right-click.

So, if you want Strack-Billerbeck included in your Logos set-up, you know what to do. 🙂


Do you know The Schøyen Collection?

The Schøyen Collection is a resource for students, academics, research institutions, publishers and all others with an interest in advancing the study of human culture and civilization, regardless of nationality, race or religion.

The Collection is also a means to preserve and protect for posterity a wide range of written expressions of belief, knowledge and understanding from many different cultures throughout the ages.

The whole collection, MSS 1-5527, comprises about 20,450  manuscript items, including 2,380 volumes and scrolls. Altogether 6,870 of the manuscript items are from the ancient period, 3,500 BC -500 AD. Some 3,860 items are from the medieval period 500-1500. The remaining manuscripts are from the late Renaissance up to the present. There are manuscripts from 135 different countries and territories in 120 languages and 185 scripts. See further information about its scope here.

There is also a section directly related to New Testament studies, se more info here.


John Barclay on ‘Paul and the Gift’

John M. G. Barclay is about to publis his views on the apostle Paul; the volume is scheduled to be published coming fall, possibly in October. The publisher says: “In this book esteemed scholar John Barclay explores Pauline theology anew from the perspective of grace. Arguing that Paul’s theology of grace is best approached in light of ancient notions of “gift,” Barclay describes Paul’s relationship to Judaism in a fresh way.
Barclay focuses on divine gift-giving, which for Paul, he says, is focused and fulfilled in the gift of Christ. He both offers a new appraisal of Paul’s theology of the Christ-event as gift as it comes to expression in Galatians and Romans and presents a nuanced and detailed consideration of the history of reception of Paul, including Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and Barth.”

John M. G. Barclay, Paul and the Gift.
Hardcover; Coming Soon: 10/16/2015
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6889-3. Price $70
Eerdmans, Grand Rapids.

Here is a recording of a lecture,”Paul and the Gift” as he delivered the first lecture for the St. Mary’s Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible (2013; St. Mary’s University College Twickenham).

Codex Vaticanus Online

CodVatThe famous Codex Vaticanus is now available – readable online: go to Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana for more info.
Codex Vaticanus is a codex from the4th century A.D., and is “originally contained a virtually complete copy of the Septuagint (“LXX”), lacking only 1-4 Maccabees and the Prayer of Manasseh. The original 20 leaves containing Genesis 1:1–46:28a (31 leaves) and Psalm 105:27–137:6b have been lost and were replaced by pages transcribed by a later hand in the 15th century.[9] 2 Kings 2:5–7, 10-13 are also lost because of a tear to one of the pages.[10] The order of the Old Testament books in the Codex is as follows: Genesis to 2 Chronicles as normal; 1 Esdras; 2 Esdras (Ezra-Nehemiah); the Psalms; Proverbs; Ecclesiastes; Song of Songs; Job; Wisdom; Ecclesiasticus; Esther; Judith; Tobit; the minor prophets from Hosea to Malachi; Isaiah; Jeremiah; Baruch; Lamentations and the Epistle of Jeremiah; Ezekiel and Daniel. This order differs from that followed in Codex Alexandrinus. (Wikipedia).

Initiation into the Mysteries

Bremmer, Jan N., Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World (De Gruyter, 2013), has been published now as an ‘Open Access’ book, thus downloadable to read (thanks to Larry  Hurtado for the info).

The publisher states: “It gives a ‘thick description’ of the major Mysteries, not only of the famous Eleusinian Mysteries, but also those located at the interface of Greece and Anatolia: the Mysteries of Samothrace, Imbros and Lemnos as well as those of the Corybants. It then proceeds to look at the Orphic-Bacchic Mysteries, which have become increasingly better understood due to the many discoveries of new texts in the recent times. Having looked at classical Greece we move on to the Roman Empire, where we study not only the lesser Mysteries, which we know especially from Pausanias, but also the new ones of Isis and Mithras. We conclude our book with a discussion of the possible influence of the Mysteries on emerging Christianity.”

The book kan be  downloaded in chapters (as pdf files), or as a whole.

Electronic Resources for Classicists

A tremendous resource is available at this address: Electronic Resources for Classicists
Developed and maintained by Maria Pantelia, University of California, Irvine. It has been added to my Resource Pages for Biblical Studies, in the subsection called Resources for studying the Greco-Roman world.

It contains links to electronic journals, bibliographical indices, course materials, e-text archives etc., etc.

New URL for TLG

The cryptic reference in the headline above refers to the fact that the site for Textus Lingua Graaecae (TLG) has received a new address, a new URL; now you can find the TLG at

Those who have worked with the ancient Greec literature, Philo included, will – hopefully – know the TLG. It is a tremendous source for searching and reading the ancient Greek literature between ca. 600 BCE and 600 CE.

The TLG Director says about the new site:

We are delighted to announce the release of the new TLG web site. Equipped with an expanded search engine and a host of new features, the new TLG represents a marked change from the earlier version.

Canon and text searches have been redesigned and expanded and new tools have been added. Included in this release are n-grams and statistical analysis, two research projects that we will continue to develop for years to come.

The new site will run concurrently with the previous version to allow users time to explore the new features.

Have a look at the site yourself; at the page you can read about the history of the TLG and a lot of other interesting info; and you can also go to the search function.


Facebook and NT studies

As a follow up on my former posting on Facebook and Religious Studies, I would like to point to some interesting pages related to the study of the Bible, or rather, to the study of the New Testament. As in the former case, if you don’t know these pages, you must log in to FB and then search for them via the search engine on the top of the FB page.

European Association of Biblical Studies

EABS is open to all scholars and students of the Bible. It organizes research groups, supports a graduate network and holds an annual conference, usually in early August, at different locations in Europe.
A particular aim of the association is to encourage the flow of scholarship between European countries and especially to make it easier for scholars and students in Central and Eastern Europe to participate with their colleagues in Western Europe and beyond in the exchange of knowledge and ideas.
Members will receive a regular newsletter and are invited to share information about conferences, academic positions and general news about biblical scholarship.

Closed group.   751 members. Invited by e-mail.

Society for New Testament Study

This in a informal page for everyone being interested in New Testament studies. For information and inspiration. Please only post academic litterature and issues.

990 members

Society of Biblical Literature

The Society of Biblical Literature is the oldest and largest international scholarly membership organization in the field of biblical studies. Founded in 1880, the Society has grown to over 8,500 international members including teachers, students, religious leaders and individuals from all walks of life who share a mutual interest in the critical investigation of the Bible.

The Society’s mission to foster biblical scholarship is a simple, comprehensive statement that encompasses the Society’s aspirations. Our vision is to offer members opportunities for mutual support, intellectual growth, and professional development.

New Testament Scholarship Worldwide

The name of our group is New Testament Scholarship Worldwide. We are an academic discussion group. We do NOT give out scholarships or financial aid for study. Posts should pertain to the academic study of the New Testament. Any posts that are irrelevant to the study of the New Testament or are not academic in nature will not be approved. Anyone attempting to post irrelevant material will be removed from the group immediately. For more information, read our statement of purpose, description, and guidelines under “About”.

6209 members.   Closed group.

New Testament Textual Criticism

This is not a group for general questions about the New Testament. It is a group for students ofthe specialized field of New Testament Textual Criticism. We are pleased to have a number of high profile text critics eager to comment on tc issues who participate on this page. Out of courtesy to each other, we generally do not allow comments unrelated to tc, although in some cases tc overlaps with other disciplines. For other areas of biblical studies, participants are encouraged to post on other Facebook pages.

345 members.

Society of Biblical Literature Christian Apocrypha Section

Se also

171 members.            Public group.

Biblical Archaeology

A forum for modern scholarly approaches to studying the world of the Bible and the Biblical text itself. These include archaeology, Semitic philology, literary and form criticism, etc. Despite the religious significance of the Bible, modern Bible scholarship has little to do with traditional religious interpretation. Rather, it seeks to discover the Bible’s ancient cultural context and its original meaning as intended by its authors. In order to do so, it must explore the world surrounding ancient Israel, from Mesopotamia to the Aegean, from Egypt to Anatolia, and even farther afield. Please contribute any knowledge or ideas you have regarding this topic, or feel free to pose a question. In the words of the Deuteronomist: hazak ve’ematz!

3269 members.    Public Group.

The British New Testament Society

The British New Testament Society seeks to promote research of the New Testament and related writings. This FB is associated with the BNTS.

717 members.     Public group.

New Testament Greek Club

Know Greek? Learning Greek? Want to learn? This is the place to share and find resources (or Maybe you’re a resource yourself) on NT Koine Greek.

Membership: As of 9/1/2014 if you would like to be added to the group please message me with a very short explanation of why you want to join.
Thank you, Tyler Archibald

834 members.      Public group.

Well, thats my preferences; any others who want to supply the list?

Facebook and Religious Studies

There are many opinions out there about Facebook (FB); some spend much too much time on it (and they admit that), some are dependent on a daily basis (and they deny it), others (so they at least say) can abstain from it, others (so they say), are not even inscribed as members.

I, for my self, must admit that once being a member, it is hard to quit. Hence I try to make the best out of it. I have namely discovered that there are several very interesting groups, focusing on interesting religious, even Biblical topics, in a scholarly way. Here is some groups I can recommend (you can find them by logging in and using the search function at the top of the FB page):

Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamentum

The program unit’s general description is to read and discuss ancient Greek materials that provide insight into the literary and religious worlds of early Christianity and to read and discuss papers that analyze early Christian texts in dialogue with Hellenistic materials.

228 members.

ALMMG – Ancient Levant and Mediterranean multidisciplinary Gathering

ALMMG is a gathering of archaeologists,
historians and multidisciplinary scientists interested in the ancient Near East, Levant and Mediterranean, and in the study of archeo-industry. The essence of the gathering is to form a free, social-professional network, sharing data and views, and encouraging scientific discussions and cooperation among members, through interdisciplinary collaboration.
ALMMG is a forum for individuals, scholars and graduate students, practicing in ancient Levantine and Mediterranean prehistory and history, and in the various disciplines involved in the study of ancient history and archaeology.

2359 members.

This group is closed; one have to apply for membership by writing one of the administrators.

Enoch Seminar: Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins

This is a scholarly page devoted to the study of ancient Judaism. The Enoch Seminar ( was born in 2001. Its goal is to bring together international specialists in Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins. We have four major activities: (1) the biennial Enoch Seminar (with its Proceedings); (2) the biennial Enoch Graduate Seminar; (3) the biennial Nangeroni Meetings; (4) “4 Enoch: The Online Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins”

Public group;  58 members.

IOQS – International Organization for Qumran Studies

The International Organization for Qumran Studies (IOQS) is an international collaboration platform for scholars in the field of Dead Sea Scrolls studies. The IOQS was founded in the summer of 1989 in Groningen at an international conference. The website of the IOQS is hosted by the Groningen Qumran Institute. Eibert Tigchelaar of the K.U.Leuven is Executive secretary of the IOQS.

Public group.  436 members

However, The IOQS facebook group was established as a forum for communication among active scholars in the field of Dead Sea Scrolls Studies. Requests by non-specialists to join the group will be considered on the basis of demonstrated interest in the academic study of the Scrolls and related literature. If you would like to be considered for membership in the facebook group, but are not a published author in this field, then you may write to group admin to request such consideration.

History of Religions

History of Religions’ group deals with the scientific study of religions in order to emphasize as many perspectives as possible within this field of study.

Closed group. 1311 members.

A few comments:

These are the 5 religious FB groups I am most familiar with; there might be several others; write a comment if you want to pinpoint some others.

All of these groups are meant for scholarly discussions; as you see, some of them are even closed to non.members. But for all of them it will be that participants are expected to have some sort of scholarly education or even expertise.

Next posting will be about FB groups related to the study of the Bible, especially the New Testament. Stay tuned!  🙂