Thursday, June 29, 2006


We recently hired a programmer—Travis. He has been spending his time getting used to our system (and us!). But today he made a small change that I think is really nice. Before now you wouldn't be able to tell whether an item was in stock or not on our item detail page. Travis changed that. Now it will tell you not only if it is in stock, but how many.

I know, small detail to some of you, but progress. Now if we could just get the thing to move faster...Anybody got any squirrels we could borrow? We feed them well, all they do is run in circles. The faster they go, the more power to our webserver. Just kidding :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The latest doping scandal in cycling

Since most of you don't follow cycling, and I don't much anymore either, you probably don't know that there was a raid in Spain recently. It uncovered extensive doping, involving many big names. My feelings on the matter are expressed very nicely by the Boulder Report

The Tour de France could disappear, and sports fans the world over would shrug and change the channel. What’s more telling, the Tour and the entire sport of professional road cycling could stop tomorrow and millions of cycling enthusiasts would still wake up tomorrow morning and ride their bikes. This is the warning that the UCI faces: either remake the sport, or risk it becoming irrelevant, a sideshow like pro wrestling. And all it would mean to most people, even ardent cyclists, is that they’d have more time to do things like ride their own bikes.

Well put!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More on the broken Mugs

Charles over at Awilum has one upped me! His press release is great. Mine seems weak in comparison. Here's an excerpt:

"Archaeologists from Indiana University assert that this is finally the definitive proof that an enclave of people devoted to ancient Near East studies lived in Winona Lake, while archaeologists from Tel Aviv University and the University of Copenhagen state that there never was a group of ANE devotees in the third millenium. Instead, ANE studies flourished in the mid fourth millenium and this interest was retrojected back onto the early third millenium in order to give fourth millenium scholars more prestige."

Who would have thought? Minimalists/Maximalists in 4154 CE!

BHQ on sale

At Eisenbrauns, we are running a special sale on BHQ Megilloth this week. The only place we announced it was BookNews. As far as I can tell, this is the lowest price anywhere. Here are the details:

General Introduction and Megilloth

General Introduction and Megilloth
Biblia Hebraica Quinta
Biblia Hebraica Quinta - BHQ 18
Edited by Adrian Schenker, et al.
Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft Stuttgart,2004
368 pages,Hebrew, Paper
ISBN: 3438052784
List Price: $98.00
Your Price: $53.90

Monday, June 26, 2006


We had quite a few damaged mugs in the shipment to us. The vendor wanted a picture as proof. I thought maybe you would enjoy it.

And here is a closeup:

We are considering burying them on the property. Wouldn't archaeologists have a blast in 2000 years? :) I can just see the report now:

"Obviously a ritual destruction of the cup once it has been used. The destruction almost certainly guarantees the continuation of the world. Undoubtedly the ritual was held every year at the summer solstice. The fact that it is in cuneiform proves that this method of writing was in continuous use from its invention through this period, 6000 years later. It must have been used only on ritual vessels at this time period, since it is relatively rare..."

What do you think?

Thursday, June 22, 2006


The conference hall is nice and big; everyone fits easily in the same room this year. There is wi-fi right in the hall, too. Very nice!

Here is a picture of our display. Way too many books and not enough room. I always think I can get more on a table than I actually can.

If you look carefully you can see 3 of the new mugs on display, but this is a better picture

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

ATLA conference

I got into the hotel late tonight. As usual for Chicago, a freeway was torn up. This time it is the Dan Ryan, so the last 10 miles took me almost as long as the first 100 did :(

I ran into Timothy Smith, the guy who runs ATLA conventions, in the lobby and he told me that the exhibit hall opens tomorrow at 7:00 AM for setup, which is nice; I won't have to rush to get set up in time. Once I have it set up, I hope to post some pictures before it opens. The hotel has free wireless in the rooms, so hopefully it will be in the meeting rooms as well. If not, I can come back to the room or lobby and use the the Wi-Fi there.

Time for bed now.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The mugs are here

The mugs arrived today.

Here's our website blurb:
"We're at it again. We have created the perfect mug for scholars in ancient Near Eastern studies. Show off your knowledge of Akkadian with this cuneiform mug from the "merchant of the 4 corners" Eisenbrauns. There is no transliteration or translation on the mug—although we include a slip of paper with that information—just the cuneiform text of the first two lines of the Enuma Elish. Impress your friends and dazzle your enemies, impress the dean, intimidate the new graduate students, there is no end to the uses for this mug. Of course, it works great for coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, too."

Get yours here. I could add some cheap marketing thing like, "Hurry supplies are limited." But, I won't; really, I won't.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Book Buyers take note

Charles over at Awilum has a great note on packing books home from SBL. I love the picture :)

How-to-Pack for SBL

Friday, June 16, 2006

Another new book

It's like Christmas today! I love my job.

This one just arrived:

Conspiracy and Imprisonment

Conspiracy and Imprisonment
Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Works - DBW 16
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Edited by Mark Brocker
Translated by Lisa E. Dahill
Fortress Press, 2006
xxv + 882 pages,English
Cloth,6 x 9
ISBN: 0800683161
List Price: $60.00
Your Price: $49.80

Interesting new book

I had an interesting looking new book just come across my desk today:

Holy Spirit and Religious Experience in Christian Literature ca. AD 90-200

Holy Spirit and Religious Experience in Christian Literature ca. AD 90-200
with a foreword by James D.G. Dunn
Studies in Christian History and Thought - SCHT
by John Eifion Morgan-Wynne
Paternoster Press,2006
xxi + 381 pages,English, Paper
ISBN: 1842273191
List Price: $39.99
Your Price: $35.19

From the back of the book:

"Holy Spirit and Religious Experience seeks to find out how far the centrality of the Holy Spirit in Christian experience during the earliest period of the church was maintained or diminished in the third to the fifth generations (ca. A.D. 90-200). Three themes are explored. First, the sense of encounter with the divine presence, the numinous, a sense of being caught up into the divine being or being overwhelmed by the One who is beyond us. Secondly, a sense of being illuminated in respect to the truth, given deeper understanding of God's purpose, whether for the individual or the congregation, or guided in decision-making. Thirdly, a sense of ethical empowerment, an awareness of being helped by divine power, assisted in a course of action or development of character, in grappling with temptation, or in the ultimate test of loyalty, martyrdom.

"The book is arranged geographically, from Syria and Asia Minor in the east to Rome and Gaul in the west, including North Africa and Egypt. Christian authors within these areas are examined chronologically, from the later New Testament writers through the second century to Clement of Alexandriia and Tertullian of Carthage, for the evidence they supply. The varegated picture which emerges, it is contended, reflects second-century Christianity."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Which theologian are you? quiz

OK, I usually ignore these, but I did this one. The quiz is here. Which theologian am I? Well, they didn't include two of my favorites, Bonhoeffer and Wesley. But, I thought I would place close to Finney, with his Arminian oriented theology. But, who did I place as? John Calvin! That is hilarious, I am a confirmed Wesleyan. Maybe Calvin was just a confused Arminian?

You scored as John Calvin.

John Calvin


Jonathan Edwards




Charles Finney


Friedrich Schleiermacher




Karl Barth


Paul Tillich


Juergen Moltmann


Martin Luther


Which theologian are you?
created with


In one week I will be in Chicago for the American Theological Librarians Association meeting. I have been deciding which books to take and showcase. It is always hard to know what to take to these conferences. You want people to see what is new, but you also want to remind them of what you have as backlist that they might have missed. Plus, you want to make sure to take theology, but include a mix of ancient Near East; and don't forget the languages, and the distribution partners... It goes on and on.

I only have a 10 foot table, so the field is limited. I usually end up just taking the newest stuff and having an order form with the rest. A compromise at best.

So, if you are going to be at the ATLA next week, be sure to introduce yourself to me. Or, if you live in the Chicago area and have some free time and want to see our display, e-mail me for a free pass. We will be at the Holiday Inn Market Plaza right downtown.

This conference is the first in the summer conference schedule. Jim and John will be at the International SBL in July, then Jim goes on to the RAI in Muenster. While he is there, Marti will be going to the ICRS—International Christian Retail Show (formerly CBA) in Denver. Right after that, she heads to England for two shows back to back on Persia. While she is over there, the Catholic CBA is happening in Chicago. And that takes us to the middle of August, the summer is gone. Oh, and I am taking a two week vacation in there somewhere. And we have two catalogs to get in the mail before the end of August. Summer, the time to relax and enjoy life :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wimp that I am

I finally got a replacement seatpost (for my bicycle) for the one that broke 7 weeks ago. I have been using a standard metal seatpost, and could I tell the difference. Monday I got the replacement carbon one and yesterday I went for a ride. Wow! It is hard to believe the difference. Call me a wimp, but I don't want to go back to a non-carbon seatpost again. 220 miles has spoiled me forever.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Latest Biblical Archaeology Review

The latest edition of Biblical Archaeology Review just arrived. I know many of you are recoiling in horror at the thought of me subscribing :) I usually get so angry with it by the end that I want to burn it.

Anyway, this month Hershel decides he is the "hype police." In his column "First Person" he takes the National Geographic to task for the way they hyped the Gospel of Judas. He is right, of course. But, talk about the pot calling the kettle black! I think he is just jealous that it didn't come his way first. Can you imagine the hype? It would make what the NG did look tame.

In fairness, he does end his column by acknowledging that some will see this as the pot calling the kettle black, which it is.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Pastoral burnout

A bit old, but I just ran across this today.

This is the scary stuff:

The following statistics were presented by Pastor Darrin Patrick from research he has gathered from such organizations as Barna and Focus on the Family.


* Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
* Fifty percent of pastors' marriages will end in divorce.
* Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
* Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
* Eighty percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
* Seventy percent of pastors constantly fight depression.
* Almost forty percent polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
* Seventy percent said the only time they spend studying the Word is when they are preparing their sermons.

Pastors' Wives

* Eighty percent of pastors' spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
* Eighty percent of pastors' spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
* The majority of pastor's wives surveyed said that the most destructive event that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.

He goes on a gives some advice to avoid it. Worth a read, even if you aren't a pastor.

Eisenbrauns 10 day sale

<idle musing>
I have been experimenting with a new style of sale the last 2 weeks. I offer 7-10 books at a very low price—$5.00-$15.00—with the condition that they purchase a book—any other book—at regular web price. It has been getting mixed results. Some people try to order the books without ordering any other book. Some people think they have to order a different book at full retail, even if it is discounted on the web site.

What do you think? I'm offering books with retail prices in the $35-$60.00 range for $5.00-$15.00. Is it unreasonable to ask the purchaser to buy another book at regular web price? Or is it more a case of overlooking the condition? Everyone wants a deal, me included, and I don't want to sound stingy by adding a condition. But, these are top quality books that we just have too many of right now—look at our forthcoming and just published books. We just plain don't have a lot of room left. Where is Joe Cathey with his pickup? :) Now that's an idea: Truckload sale. You come and pick them up. Any takers?
</idle musing>

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

New catalogs arrived!

The part of my job I like almost as much as seeing (and reading) the new books is when a new catalog arrives. Doubly so when a new resource catalog arrives. So, yesterday was a great day, because the newest Scholar's Source arrived and the newest Biblical Studies Resource catalog arrived.

These catalogs take a lot of time to put together—although since we started using XML it is faster—so I really like it when they turn out nice. I especially like the cover on the Biblical Studies catalog. Andy did a nice job, don't you think?


Blatant marketing

OK, ignore this post if you hate blatant marketing :)

Eisenbrauns has started doing the publishing for the Oriental Institute, Moscow. The first book we are doing is the annual Babel und Bibel. At 792 pages, this is no small book! It will be in hardcover, good paper, excellent binding—you know the Eisenbrauns quality.

But, I digress. The volume is a memorial volume to I.M. Diakonoff with a table of contents that is a virtual "who's who" of Semitic studies. If you have any interest in Semitics, this volume is sure to have something for you. Here is the "official" blurb:

"The year 2005 marked the 90th anniversary of the birth of Igor Diakonoff (1915-1999). A classical Semitist in educational background, Diakonoff was most influential in his principal field of research--Assyriology. However, Diakonoff was also broadly interested in various aspects of ancient Near Eastern studies, notably Mesopotamian history, Semitic and Afroasiatic linguistics, and biblical studies. Although not major domains of Diakonoff's scholarship, Biblical Hebrew and the ancient Near Eastern background of the Old Testament were areas of expertise that made him one of the leading figures of biblical studies in Russia. For several decades Diakonoff was a "live bridge" between ancient Near Eastern and Semitic scholars working in Russia and the international scholarly community. Fittingly, this volume of Babel & Bibel in memory of Diakonoff contains essays, short notes, and reviews by scholars from the Russian and international scholarly community on topics in ancient Near Eastern, Semitic and Afroasiatic, and Old Testament studies. The contributors include A. Archi, G. F. del Monte, G. del Olmo Lete, J.-M. Durand, B. R. Foster, P. Franzaroli, S. Loesov, J. Marzahn, J. Pasquali, W. Sommerfeld, K. Markina, N. Roudik, M. P. Streck, M. V. Tonietti, W. R. Garr, K. Jongeling, M. Seleznev, V. Blazek, M. Bulakh, T. Frolova, J. Huehnergard, R. M. Kerr, L. Kogan, A. Militarev, J. Sanmartin, G. Takacs, A. Zaborski, N. V. Koslova, S. Loesov, and L. M. Dreyer."

And here is the bibiliographical stuff:
Babel & Bibel 2: Memoriae Igor M. Diakonoff

Babel & Bibel 2: Memoriae Igor M. Diakonoff
Annual of Ancient Near Eastern, Old Testament, and Semitic Studies
Babel & Bibel -- B&B 2
Edited by Leonid Kogan, et al.
Eisenbrauns,Forthcoming, June 2006
xii + 792 pages,
Hard cover,6 x 9 inches
ISBN: 1575061236
Your Price: $79.50

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mug details revealed

For all of you who waited so patiently over the weekend, here is what the mug says:

e-nu-ma e-liš la na-bu-ú šá-ma-mu
šap-liš am-ma-tum šu-ma la zak-rat

Recognize it? It's the first 2 lines of the Enuma Elish. Duane got it right; however he missed the colophon (see below). He was right that it is a later addition. The Enuma Elish is a good 2500-3000 years earlier than Eisenbrauns :)

Update, 8:00 AM: I missed this for the original post, but I see that Charles over at Awilum also got the text right.

English translation:
When on high no name was given to heaven,
nor below was the netherworld called by name

The smaller inscription next to "" has the determinative LÚ.DAM.GÀR (merchants) plus the phrase kib-rat erbe-tim "of the four corners [of the earth]," which was a classic epithet of the Neo-Assyrian kings. We think it's quite appropriate.

Now, how do you get one?
Enuma Elish cuneiform mug

Enuma Elish cuneiform mug
Pre-orders are welcomed!
Eisenbrauns,Forthcoming mid-June 2006
Your Price: $7.50

Or, watch BookNews for special offers, and I will have them with me at the American Theological Librarians Association June 22-23.

If you think you can wait until November, we will have them with us at AAR/SBL, too!

Friday, June 02, 2006

New Eisenbrauns mug now "in press"

Yep, we're at it again. Taking to heart some of the suggestions by other bibliobloggers back in December and January, we have designed a new mug:

OK, what does it say and where is it from? Find out on Monday how you can get yours! They should be arriving in about two weeks.