Monday, November 24, 2008

SBL: Monday

Yesterday was a very busy day, so I wasn't able to blog. I got to see E.P. Sanders and his discussion on Paul's use of Hebrew Scripture in Gal 3. I believe his paper was titled, "Was Paul a Prooftexter?"

Later that evening we had the Bibliobloggers dinner. It was wonderful - I had a good chat with Ben Blackwell from Durham and he has inspired me to look a bit more into UK programs. I was able to meet Dr. DeConick and tell her that I thought her paper on Judas was amazing. Also, big thanks are due to Michael Halcomb for organizing the dinner.

After dinner I went over to the University of Durham's reception and met a few folks there. James Dunn and Francis Watson were there (among a myriad of other Durham "celebs"). I wanted to say hello, but after that I didn't really have anything else to say. "Uhhh...I like your know....a lot. So thanks for those." I figure an impression was best left unmade.

From there I ran into some friends from the University of Chicago (the guy I met at U of C a few weeks ago, Matthijs and another Ph.D student named Jonathan). I went with them to the U of C reception and got to talk to some really interesting graduate students there. One guy made Chicago out to be...a less than desirable place to attend because of how difficult he was making it sound. However, after thinking about it for a bit - he hasn't jumped off of a building, so it can't be that bad.

Today I attended the Historical Jesus section and listened to a paper by Brant Pitre. WOW!!! Talk about blowing the doors down. I hope he publishes this somewhere. Another paper in this session was given by a presenter who seemed entirely unfamiliar with his own paper. It made me wonder if he had even proofread it.

I also got to hear Stephen Carlson's paper on Secret Mark this afternoon. Scott Brown, a former student of Smith's, gave a paper defending Secret Mark. His argument seemed to be particularly weak inasmuch as it amounted to, "Since these fragments can be interpreted and be found to be similar to Markan themes, it must be authentic." He also didn't provide any evidence for Clement's letter being authentic. In Geology, this is known as the Law of Cross-Cutting relationships - something cannot be older than that which it cuts across. So, before you even begin on the fragments, you have to prove that the letter is authentic. Also, it seems that a lot of people who rush to Smith's defense do so with backhanded compliments. Things such as, "No, he was nowhere near competent enough to have done this!" With friends like these....

Lessons Learned:

Receptions are a ton of fun and a great place to drink...err, meet people

Secret Mark is still a hoax. And according to Birger A. Pearson, a big, "F*&% you to the academy" (his words, not mine)

Apparently there is a market for a LOLCat Study Bible


EricC said...

Ahh, the receptions. Yes, a great place to "meet people." Luckily the good once also provide a liquid courage to make that first impression memorable.

Anonymous said...

hey, man, it's hans from duke (one of the two random students from RDU). just found your blog and wanted to say it's a really cool thing. i'll try to check back occasionally and see how you are doing. feel free to keep in touch as your promising career progresses.