Saturday, November 22, 2008

SBL: Saturday

Taking Mark Goodacre's advice, I'm sitting here writing on my blog instead of going to yet another session today. I've already been to two, both of which I stayed for atleast the majority of the time. There was a session this evening on Patristic Exegesis, and as exciting as that is - I don't want to kill myself today so that by Monday I'm tired of papers.

This morning I heard Bart Ehrman, Marvin Meyer, and April DeConick speak on Judas. Overall, I got what I expected from Ehrman and Meyer. But, I know Dr. DeConick was going to be the curveball in this session - and she definitely was. I felt like her position was significantly stronger than both Ehrman's and Meyer's. I hope she publishes the research that was in her paper (things not included in her 13th Apostle book). I saw Hans-Josef Klauck there and was able to chat with him for a second.

There's a chapel right next to the convention center, so I went to Mass at noon. After that I attended a session on Theological exegesis. I was particularly interested in Dr. Steinmetz's paper where he revisited his ideas in his paper from the 70's, "The Superiority of Pre-Critical Exegesis." He made a lot of points about the shortcomings of historical-critical approach alone (as to be clear that Steinmetz and most people who encourage a pre-critical exegesis do not want to do away with the last 200 years of Biblical scholarship) with which I totally agree. After him, Robert Louis Wilken spoke. If you've never read him, you should. His books The Christians as the Romans Saw Them and The Spirit of Early Christian Thought are both amazing books on early Christianity.

Lessons Learned:

Nobody looks at your face initially - it's nametags, then face.

Don't have a ridiculous grin on your face while you work through the book exhibitors because in 5 paces you've walked past Hershel Shanks, Joel Marcus, J.K. Elliot, and Ben Witherington - I can't help it. I'm surrounded by books and the people who wrote them - that's pretty much how I view heaven.

Sessions are great, but you meet more people walking around and chatting

I will never be able to afford a Brill book


mike said...

The key is to find Brill books used:

Theory and Practice of Translation

mike said...

That was supposed to be THIS link

Eric said...

If you were at the judas section, I would be curious to know what you thought of the other presenter, Dennis MacDonald, on the historicity of Judas? But you may have slipped out by then.

Josh McManaway said...


I actually slipped out right after DeConick went. Did you attend his paper too?

Verna said...

Affordable Brill Books: Some Brill books are published by SBL in paperback.

Eric Ciampa said...

I am 3,000 miles away stirring with envy as circumstances did not allow me to get away to SBL this year. I had known about MacDonald's presentation ahead of time and wondered what kind of reception he got - though I did enjoy your comments on the other presentations.