Thursday, May 31, 2012

Eisenbrauns is hiring!

It's official now. This just went out in an e-mail to the BookNews
Marketing Director / Acquisitions Editor

June, 2012

Eisenbrauns is accepting applications for a position that combines marketing and manuscript acquisitions. The Marketing Director role is responsible for promoting all aspects of the Eisenbrauns book publishing and distribution divisions, including electronic, catalog, social media, and convention marketing. The Acquisitions Editor role assists in the evaluation of materials for publication and in setting the direction of our publishing program. These two functions are distinct but are, because of the size of the company, closely related.

James Spinti, our long-time Marketing Director, leaves Eisenbrauns at the end of June in order to live near family in northern Minnesota. Eisenbrauns is therefore looking for a person who can provide some of the services that the current Marketing Director maintains but who also will assist the Publisher in development of the company's Publishing Division, primarily through acquisitions of manuscripts for publication.

The successful applicant will

Need to relocate to Winona Lake/Warsaw, Indiana;
Have a strong background in ancient Near East and/or Hebrew Bible (Ph.D. or near-Ph.D. status preferred);
Enjoy working in a small-company context;
Be a word-smith who enjoys language, editing, and good writing;
Find prior knowledge of modern publication technology (print and electronic) to be very beneficial.
To apply for this position, send your indication of interest and resumé/C.V. to publisher at, with the subject of your e-mail "Application for Position."

You can also find this notice posted on our web site at target

Book avalanche

Too cool! From the Atlantis e-mail list comes this picture (click through for more)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Just saw this from Shelf Awareness:
...the Joan Ganz Cooney Center's research on digital reading comprehension and retention in children, which found that "reading comprehension and reader engagement for children between print books and e-books was similar. However, between print books and enhanced e-books, it was a different story.

"While children engaged more actively with enhanced e-books versus print books, their reading comprehension went down. The study found that when enhanced e-books featured interactivity that wasn't directly tied to the narrative or the text, it distracted both the children and parents from the story and thereby affected comprehension and retention."

<idle musing>
Maybe that is the reason repeated surveys of college students say they prefer their textbooks as books—less distractions. I have to admit, when I'm reading an e-book on the computer, I get distracted by the options...
</idle musing>

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The purpose of material blessings

“...God enriches people so that they may have the resources to help other people; they are gifted with riches by God so that they ave the means to be generous (2 Cor 9:10). The suggestion is not that people simply give what is spare out of their abundant possessions, for the people singled out for praise are those who gave despite being comparatively poor themselves (2 Cor 8:1-5).New Testament Theology, page ??? (I forgot to type it in...)

<idle musing>
Statistically, (in the U.S.) the poorer people give a higher percentage of their income than the wealthier people. That's a strong indictment against the rampant materialism.

Over the weekend, some dear friends of ours exhibited that generosity. They aren't well off, but God laid on their hearts to give us something for after we move. As I told them, I am humbled and blessed. More later...
</idle musing>

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thought for today

This is what the LORD says:
“Cursed are those who trust in mortals,
who depend on flesh for their strength
and whose hearts turn away from the LORD.

   They will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

   They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
—Jeremiah 17:5-8 TNIV

Efficacious offering

“For Paul the death of Christ by itself would not have had saving efficacy. There had to be the evidence God accepted the death of his Son as an efficacious offering, and the resurrection is understood as the act of acceptance.”—New Testament Theology, page 278

<idle musing>
Definitely. The cross without the resurrection doesn't purchase anything. We are to be a resurrection people—set free from bondage to sin and death. Free to serve in the newness of the Spirit.
</idle musing>

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Timeless truth

Speaking about the Corinthian church, Marshall says, “The religion to which Christ was the gateway had opened up as a realm in which the practice of spiritual gifts had become the most prized characteristic, and there was rivalry between people and pride depending on which were regarded as the highest and showiest gifts. Christianity was in danger of becoming a religion of revelation of God's secrets through gifted people. It was thus becoming a religion or spiritual achievement, of pride and human position. “Against all such pretension Paul uses the message of the cross to utter decisive no.”—New Testament Theology, pages 267-268

<idle musing>
Doesn't that sound surprisingly like too much of the church today? Some things never change...
</idle musing>

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Genesis and the ANE

"Genesis depicts the first man in royal terms, using the nouns 'image' and 'likeness' (which are found in Mesopotamian royal inscriptions) and the verbs 'rules' and 'subdue.' In Mesopotamian cosmogonies human beings are invariably slaves created to maintain the universe for the gods, who are idle by vocation. When Mesopotamian accounts include a king, he is created separately in order to oversee the human race's service of the gods...Genesis 1 portrays the man (who with the woman stands for the race) as a king, and the human task as far broader than temple maintenance. The God of Genesis does not require human servants in the manner of other gods; the human race consequently has a different relation to work and to the world."—Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible, page 143
<idle musing>
Significant difference, isn't it?
</idle musing>

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eisenbrauns has a new mug!

Yep. We just announced it today. Here's the graphic and e-mail:

It happens at every conference...

Someone asks when the new mug will be unveiled. Wait no more! Eisenbrauns is happy to announce the 2012-2013 mug! You can see it this fall at AAR/SBL in Chicago—or, you can be beat the rush by pre-ordering now. Just click on the image; as soon as they arrive, yours will be in the mail. —Enjoy! James

Eisenbrauns 2012 Mug
A Hittite Proverb
Eisenbrauns, Forthcoming June 2012.
14 oz. Ceramic. Hittite and English.
Your Price: $7.50

"Some things get lost, but others remain"—It's true of archaeological digs; it's true of empires; it's true of rabbits and double-headed eagles. The new Eisenbrauns mug presents you with a Hittite proverb and the double eagle, symbol of the Hittite empire. If there's a tougher academic ancient Near Eastern mug out there, we will challenge it in a fight to the death.

A bit bigger than the average mug, this sleek, black beauty will intimidate the rest of your drinkware, and take your wine glasses captive as spoils of war.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


This just arrived today:

Think it's sellable? You should see the CD-ROM in the back; it definitely will have a hard time spinning!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sugar, it does a body in

I'm a bit slow when it comes to popular stuff, so I only discovered this You Tube video (from two years ago) last week. Very interesting.

But, equally interesting—and in digestible lengths!—is the new series that the U of CA-SF is putting out. So far there are 5 of them, 8-12 minutes each. They are releasing one each week for a total of nine. The first one is here with links to the other four.

Watch them and change your diet!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New books from Eisenbrauns

Eisenbrauns just published 4 new books. For your enjoyment, the details are here:

Family and Household Religion in Ancient Israel and the Levant

Family and Household Religion in Ancient Israel and the Levant
EIS - Eisenbrauns
by Rainer Albertz and Rudiger Schmitt
Eisenbrauns, 2012
xxii + 696 pages, English
Cloth, 7 x 10 inches
ISBN: 9781575062327
List Price: $79.50
Your Price: $71.55

The Phoenician Diaspora

The Phoenician Diaspora
Epigraphic and Historical Studies
EIS - Eisenbrauns
by Philip C. Schmitz
Eisenbrauns, 2012
xii + 146 pages,
Cloth, 6 x 9 inches
ISBN: 9781575062266
List Price: $39.50
Your Price: $35.55

The Rhetoric of Remembrance

The Rhetoric of Remembrance
An Investigation of the "Fathers" in Deuteronomy
Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures 8
by Jerry Hwang
Eisenbrauns, 2012
xiv + 290 pages, English
Cloth, 6 x 9 inches
ISBN: 9781575062389
List Price: $39.50
Your Price: $35.55

Studies in the Text of the Old Testament

Studies in the Text of the Old Testament
An Introduction to the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project
English translation of the introductions to volumes 1, 2, and 3 of Critique Textuelle de l'Ancien Testament
Textual Criticism and the Translator - TCT 3
by Dominique Barthelemy
Eisenbrauns, 2012
xxxii + 688 pages, English
Cloth, 6 x 9 inches
ISBN: 9781575062358
Your Price: $79.50

The future is uncertain, but known

“The importance of prophecy must not be underestimated. For the early Christians the course of the struggle between God and his adversaries is mapped out, but not yet fully revealed, and it is against this background that they live their Christian lives.”—New Testament Theology, page 247

<idle musing>
We see "dimly, as in a mirror" what the future holds—but we know the author, so it doesn't matter!
</idle musing>

Monday, May 14, 2012


“The response to the gospel message is 'turning to God'. This is natural language to use of erstwhile pagans who had worshiped idols, less appropriate of Jews who already believed in God. But much more common is the term faith, which signifies a complex of trust, commitment and obedience directed toward God and his Son, Jesus. Faith is referred to so often and so casually that it was clearly the principal mark of Christians in their relationship toward God. This is all the more remarkable in that while faith is also a characteristic attitude in the Old Testament and is not unknown in other religions, there does not appear to have been any other religion in which it was so central and characteristic that the term 'the believers' could become the normal way of referring to the adherents.”—New Testament Theology, page 241

<idle musing>
Kind of ironic that today "believers" tend not to believe God can do anything and have become practicing atheists, or deists, at best...
<idle musing>

Planting time or klling time?

I saw this this morning, from Catch the Buzz, a beekeeping e-letter. Kinda scary...
"Simply, pesticides, those troublesome neonicotinoids, are applied to corn seeds before they are planted so when the corn begins to grow the pesticide on the seed is absorbed by the new roots and fills the plant with poison for the rest of its life. But the stuff is sticky and doesn’t come out of the planters very well so farmers supply a slippery additive in the form of talcum powder to make those seeds, in airblast seed planters, simply fly right out of the drop chute and into the ground. But there’s the rub. That airblast planter is blowing all that talcum powder and loose pesticide dust everywhere…up into the air to travel where ever something as light weight as talcum powder can travel…feet and yards and yards certainly, maybe miles…nobody knows.

"But birds are dying. Robins and crows. And one observer says that wildlife eating the seeds are dying…three seeds will kill a quail is what I’m hearing, but I don’t know for sure. I wouldn’t be surprised. But for beekeepers, what’s happening is that this poisonous dust is landing on everything downwind…dandelions, flowers, water surfaces, everywhere a honey bee can go, that’s where this stuff is landing."

<idle musing>
We're paying a high price for cheap food—and food that isn't even good for us! Not content with just killing some insects, we try to kill everything else, too. Just another reason I favor organic methods.
</idle musing>

Friday, May 11, 2012

What a myth!

Nick Norelli has a very good post today about the idolatry of scholarship. Here's a snippet to whet your appetite:

But like I said, my beef isn’t with this person, just his paradigm. He’s not unique. I’ve encountered the idol of scholarship repeatedly over the last decade. I nearly worshiped it myself for a time. And the myth of neutrality runs rampant among those who value historical-critical scholarship to such high degrees, but myth it is, and not in the sense that historical criticism talks about myth in biblical literature either. ;-)

With that said, I value scholarship. I thank God for the myriad of people who have given significant portions of their lives to the study of Scripture and everything that goes along with studying Scripture. I wouldn’t have my English Bibles without them. I wouldn’t have a thousand academic volumes lining my bookshelves without them. I wouldn’t be interested in half the things I’m interested in without them. But the best scholars are those who recognize their presuppositions rather than deny that they have them or try to suppress them. The best scholars are those who submit their scholarship to the Lordship of Christ rather than treating scholarship as a lord in itself.

<idle musing>
I couldn't have said it better myself. But, do read the whole post.
</idle musing>

Crucified with Christ

Discussing the substitutionary aspect of Christ's death, Marshall comments: “The second point is a reminder that earlier Paul says that he has been 'crucified with Christ' (Gal 2:20). The implication of this is that Paul has somehow shared in the death of Jesus on the cross, which was the event in which he became a curse. Consequently, Paul does not see the death of Jesus merely as the death of another person, which God as the lawgiver accepts in place of the death of the sinner. Rather he sees the death of Jesus as a death that includes the sinner who is crucified with Christ; the 'gospel' element is that the sinner is counted to have died, although he or she has not in fact suffered death as a penalty with all its pain and receives life. And the effect of this that they have 'crucified' their sinful flesh with its desires (Gal 5:24).”—New Testament Theology, pages 225-226

<idle musing>
We are, in a very real sense, crucified with Christ. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to make it real in our life—and there's the rub...we don't really want to die, do we?
</idle musing>

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The mission

“In the Gospels the mission of the Messiah is to proclaim in word and deed the coming of the kingdom of God. The establishment of God's rule is seen as the overcoming and defeat of Satan and his rule, resulting in the deliverance of those held captive by him, whether through demon possession or illness or sin or through social marginalization resulting from the misuse of power. It thrusts Jesus into opposition against those whose activities contribute to injustice and a noncompassionate society.”—New Testament Theology, page 194

<idle musing>
Not a whole lot has changed, has it? The Christian is still going to find themselves standing against society—may we respond as Jesus did!
</idle musing>

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

More than an event

In a footnote after using that horrendous expression, “the Christ event,” Marshall says, “I regret this cumbersome, impersonal phrase, but some vocabulary is needed to express the sum total of Christ and what he did, that is, to include the coming of the person and the activity that he performed.”—New Testament Theology, page 174

<idle musing>
You can almost forgive him for using the phrase—he at least defines it. But, I still hate the phrase...
</idle musing>

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Determinism or guidance?

“We need to draw a clear distinction between determinism, in which God controls what is to happen, and divine guidance, in which God tells people what to do or encourages them in what they are doing; we can also distinguish broadly between the determinism of action in detail and general predictions of what may happen.”—New Testament Theology, page 171

<idle musing>
I think this is a common failing—especially among strong predestinarians.
</idle musing>

Monday, May 07, 2012

New Testament Theology excerpts

I finally got some excerpts typed in, so today begins a series of excerpts from New Testament Theology. I've been plugging away at this book for over a year. I have to say, it has good moments, but on the whole, it reminds me of why I generally avoid Evangelical theologies: they are afraid to break new ground. Not to say that it is wrong on their part; it just isn't why I read theology. I'm more interested in getting challenged and forced to think in new ways. Anyway, the first excerpt:

“The statements [at the beginning of Acts] about actions being performed in the name of Jesus are highly significant. These must be heard against the Old Testament background in which it is the name of Yahweh that functions in this kind of way, and the inevitable conclusion is that here the name of Jesus functions in the same way as the name of Yahweh and indeed replaces it. He alone is the channel through which salvation is available (Acts 4:12).”—New Testament Theology, page 161

<idle musing>
High Christology, indeed!
</idle musing>

Thought for today

For these are rebellious people, deceitful children,
children unwilling to listen to the LORD’s instruction.
They say to the seers,
“See no more visions!”
and to the prophets,
“Give us no more visions of what is right!
Tell us pleasant things,
prophesy illusions.
Leave this way,
get off this path,
and stop confronting us
with the Holy One of Israel!”—Isaiah 30:9-11 TNIV

There goes the neighborhood

We went on a bike ride yesterday afternoon and ended up at our old house. Brian (the new owner) showed us the garden; he is doing a great job. But, he also showed us the maple tree with the tree house in it. We've had some severe storms lately with high winds. Last weekend, the wind caused the maple tree to start splitting. One of the trunks with the tree house is separating from the tree at the base! It pulled the lag bolts right out and bent the 2x4 that holds the rope ladder. There is probably about a foot between the tree house and the trunk. I wish we had a camera with us; it is really strange looking. He is going to cut the branches off just above there, so that the tree house will continue to be usable, but is does look scary right now; I don't think I would want to climb the rope ladder—that extra weight might be just enough to cause it to fully separate.

I offered to help him cut it off. If he takes me up on it, I'll try to get a picture. It really looks bizarre...I guess we sold it just in time :)

Friday, May 04, 2012

Where do we go from here?

Simple: Grand Marais Minnesota. When? End of June. Why? Because we will be assisting the fine folks at Sawtooth Cabins.

All good things come to an end this side of eternity, and it is time. I love my job here at Eisenbrauns, but it is time to move on. This has nothing to do with Eisenbrauns; don't go looking for hidden things that aren't there! It is just that God is leading us on.

Eisenbrauns will do fine without me and I will always look back with good memories of my time here. And, I hope to maintain my friendships with the people here. They are some of the greatest. You would have a hard time finding a better boss than Jim.

We are excited for multiple reasons—one of which is that our daughter and 5 of the grandkids are in Grand Marais. We are looking forward to being 13 hours closer to them—and only about 5 hours from our son and 2 more grandkids.

We sold our house, closing on it about 2 weeks ago. In a miraculous move of God, it was only on the market 9 days and we didn't take a loss on it. This in a housing market where most houses are on the market for 6+ months and people take 10-20% losses.

So, where are we living right now? Well, that's another God thing. The place we used to live opened up for 3 months: April-June. Just exactly the time we needed.

The only down side is that the move is timed so I won't have a garden this summer...

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Thought for the day

Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of reckoning,
when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
Where will you leave your riches?
Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives
or fall among the slain.
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
his hand is still upraised. —Isaiah 10:1-4 TNIV

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

New monthly sale at Eisenbrauns

The month of May has arrived, and another new sale. Here's the blurb from BookNews:
Israel Antiquities Authority titles at 20% off

For May, Eisenbrauns is offering selected Israel Antiquities Authority books for 20% off list price. Dig into some great archaeological reports this Spring. Enjoy! —James

Thereafter is a list of about 14 titles for all you archaeologists out there...


More idle musings on gardening...

They say that one year of weed seeds equals seven years of weeding—and that is what I have found as well. I try to do a little each week-end, not letting them go to seed. If you don't deep till, you shouldn't have a problem in raised beds. The new raspberry bed and the asparagus beds need regular attention. Once the raspberries get established, they don't require much weeding.

The herb bed seems to attract weeds, so I regularly weed that. The blueberries only require weeding about twice a year. The new beds to the west, where I was going to put strawberries, will need a good weeding on a regular basis this year. Next year they should be quite clean.

In the spring, I cover the beds with row cover to keep from having to pull maple trees all summer long! I learned that the hard way :( Nothing like a nice maple tree sticking up in the middle of your beans...