Tag Archives: society of biblical literature

SBL Paper Accepted: From Blogging to Book – The Fruits of Accessible Scholars

I’ll be presenting:

How is that a blogger went from knowing it all, to knowing nothing to writing an academic book? This paper will seek to answer those questions, showing the value of accessible scholars and scholarship and the effect it has had on my, moving me from fundamentalism, pushing me into seminary, and finally, allowing me to engage scholars. In the middle of book reviews, follow-up, biblioblog wars, and questions of where the women are, I managed to find a workable thesis and a publishable idea. That’s the importance of ‘biblioblogging,’ that it can serve to reach seeking minds as well as provide pushback against various pseudo-archeological finds. This paper will detail how biblioblogging brought me from knowing it all, through the murky fields of academia, to where I have now engaged world-renown scholars, calling some of them friends, and finally, to becoming an academic author.

Thank you to the committee!

Do all literary sources need to be, well, literary? Adam Winn on (non-)literary sources

Mark and the Elijah-Elisha Narrative: Considering the Practice of Greco-Roman Imitation in the Search for Markan Source Material
Click to Order

I am trying to write my proposed SBL paper (since it is my first time, I have to turn the entire paper in). It will be fore Markan Literary sources:

This Seminar on Markan Literary Sources will explore Mark’s literary dependence on extant literature, especially Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman—a topic that has long been neglected. The method will include awareness of: (a) ancient methods of reshaping texts; (b) recently-developed criteria for judging literary dependence.

For those who have followed my blog – and to Robert who constantly has to hear about mimesis – you can see why I would love this section.

Anyway, as I am preparing my paper, I am discussing five scholars and their take on Mark 5.1-20. While Dr. Adam Winn doesn’t necessarily discuss Mark 5.1-20 (he does somewhat, just not like the others), his second work, pictured above (could you do me two favors? 1.) Order the book and 2.) request it on Kindle), provides me with something to set my mind at ease. After noting the problem with source and redactional critics and their use of strict criteria, Winn notes that this criteria for literary dependence “need(s) to be significantly revised in light of ancient writing practices – in particular the practice of mimesis or imitatio.” He notes that the lack of “strong verbal agreement and specific similarity in detail” are not the only criteria for a literary dependence. Other sources, in concludes, should be considered.

Okay, so that’s how far I’ve got into this book… but it is enough to convince me that my thesis is allowable. Woot.

I need help – What does an SBL paper consist of?

I want to submit a paper for next years SBL… thoughts? Suggestions? What are the requirements?

Live Blogging #SBLAAR – my favorite publishers

These are a few of my favorite publishers and their booths at this year’s SBL












Live Blogging #SBLAAR – Mark’s Tension

Got here a few minutes late, but…

The real reader is an accomplice in the making of the meaning – Geert Van Oyen

Oyen is speaking about the ‘plural Jesuses’ in Marks two themes. Oddly enough, I was speaking with James McGrath and Mike Kok about my view that Mark was serving as the final redactor, putting in historical, oral, tradition and fleshing it out with another theme. Oyen is looking for the sitz em leben of the Real Reader. Can we actually find this?

A lot of people here…

Oyen is discussing Mark 15:34… Historically reliable or shaped by human enterprise. I would say, theologically, both. His survey results are very interesting.

Wait… How do I join the Mark Group?

I hate missing some of the paper unless the paper is worth missing. This one wasn’t.

Interesting the difference in view between Roman Catholics and Protestants.

I don’t understand why people separate through redaction… The reception is important I think and as part of that reception, there is the redactional evolution to consider.

An audience member is arguing that the arguments at Chalcedon are important, or maybe, the lack of resolution is important. If that is his point, then I would agree. He wants to not have too much focus on either the humanity or the divinity of Christ.

Lot of talk about the orthodox view.

Wait… This is getting heated. Why are we arguing theological interpretation in scholarship? Oh this is getting good.

They are mentioning Origen and Celsius! Another panel member reminds us to do history and to remain in the place of Israel’s narrative. This is sounding a little like a revival. Woot!

Jesus isn’t just quoting Psalm 22.1, but the entire prayer, meaning that he is applying the entire story in Psalm 22 to his situation meaning that Jesus feels abandoned. God provides no answer. The feels are real, but so is the coming redemption. The debate seems to be if Jesus was actually feeling abandoned or not. What role does the real narrative in the psalm play in Jesus’ situation?

Is it paradoxical to feel abandoned even if you know God is still coming to come thru? I mean. Doesn’t that happen in the Psalms anyway? Lament followed by praise?

Is the feeling of Jesus absolute? And is it important?

Oh, someone raised the point that maybe Jesus is singing the psalm as worship….

Oyen states that the theme of abandonment is found throughout Mark.

What does abandonment actually mean? What narrative world did Jesus live out of? Personally, I think Rikki Watts, good name, is on to something when he mentions Israel’s narrative.

Watts is up. Mark’s Jesus exegetes the character of YHWH. Bam!

Starts with the Messianic secret… I’m not sold on this idea. Not sure he is either. I don’t think Jesus is intent on concealment, but is intent on controlling the message.

He’s talking about demons in Mark as a relationship of power. Jesus is not about to engage in power fights because YHWH isn’t about that. It’s over and done with. Jesus also shapes the understanding of the Messiah. It’s not the display of power which occupies YHWH and thus Jesus.

Very interesting this idea of Jesus in Mark as correcting the popular view of the character of YHWH. Negative theology.

This is a powerfully theological and spiritually fulfilling section.

God has power, but Jesus demonstrates it as something different than what is expected.

God is a god of incredible mercy but must do judgment. God is just. This will happen when he sets the world right.

Israel was supposed to reveal YHWH’s character to the world. They didn’t. Jesus did.

Now, Joanna Dewey.

She is making too much of Watts’ perceived theology… I suspect because she disagrees with him so a difference has to be drawn. Her paper seems to be directed against Watts.

She is arguing that Mark presents a new Exodus. I sorta thought Luke had the best presentation of the New Exodus.

They seem to all be taking Mark as a whole… Which is fine, but what about the parts? There is a reason there are two feelings in Mark, I think.

Jesus isn’t as unique – Dewey. What? She is against YHWH Christology.

Watts wants to respond. He should.

They disagree between the use of performance or document to present Mark. Arguably, I’m for performance. That means I would agree with Dewey. But, we cannot miss the narrator, meaning the structured document behind the performance. I don’t think there is a real tension here, just the right perspective. The issue with a view which places performance front and center is that history becomes a group of characters which exist outside the narrative structure and thus simply become something to dismiss as playful.

I want to see Mark performed.

I have to disagree that Mark is a completely Jewish Work. Simply because he doesn’t mention the Greeks doesn’t mention doesn’t mean he wasn’t influenced by the Hellenist world.

I love watching this group! But I have run… Lunch with my lovely wife.

Live Blogging #SBLAAR – The Biblioblogger Session

So, here we go… The main session… The most important session like forever….

Well, here we go… First mention of Occupy Wall Street. She is obviously a supporter. She’s correct that we need civic reporters. Yes, I agree with her regarding the the Palestinian situation. And she’s back to OWS.

And now… How do you define scholarship?

Well, clearly she is a rebel.

Who would think that the study of religion doesn’t have anything to do with the modern conflict?

But at least it led her to the Internet. Her digital soapbox. And so it began her slow climb to the Huffington Post.

Ahh… She is has a journalist background and is a published children’s author.

Hey! Jim West and Mark Cortez is here!

And, did I tell you I met Dr. Scott Hahn thanks to Dr. Michael Barber? Yup, I did.

At least she isn’t hypocritical in her approach to social justice.

But, what is scholarship? She is talking about scholarly detachment. Yup. Good stuff. She also had a quip about biblical scholars being the only profession which teach something which they do not believe in.

And back to the other stuff. Stick with either the academic stuff of talk about the other stuff. You can’t have both.

Bam! Got the ‘easy read bibles’ with words printed in red.

I hate to tell her, but it’s not just about saying what you want… But you have to have responsibility and a message. Otherwise, you are a little ego driven. Or just bored.

Yup, blogs allow for a get around of the lag in publishing.

Yes, I understand both sides…

I don’t like relaying information via cartoon.

Wow… A little long here…. Come on already.

Wait… Cowards use digital media? You wanna bet that people don’t remember what you said 3 months later?

Okay, moving on…

Matt Flannagan is speaking about the use of blogging for peer review.

He’s correct about the carefulness in writing because it can and will be challenged. And yes, for many of us, it is important that our thoughts are engaging popular culture. Talks like this always makes me want to blog better. This is a good paper on the value of academic blogging.

Live Blogging #SBLAAR – Scripture in Matthew

My second session of the day…

This is going to deal with the use of Matthew in Scripture… One of my professors will be presenting, but beyond that, I find it important because the use of Scripture in Matthew is the best way to approach using Scripture in Christian interpretation.

The first presenter, Brandon Crowe, is speaking about Matthew’s use of Hosea. Missing this, one comes at the understanding that Prophecy is nothing but inspired predications meant for far off people. Watch what Matthew does with Hosea. It’s not about prophecies in the far off future being fulfilled, but about Christ embodying Hosea and the grand narrative of Scripture. The life of Jesus, and those events in them including Israel’s national problems, are measured and interpreted by the Prophets.

Crowe is putting a different, for me, spin, on Matthew’s use of Isaiah 7.14. And, indeed, I like his use of Isaiah altogether!

But, over all, what about this paper is new? This some of the same stuff found in Dunn and Wright. Don’t get me wrong… The paper was good and presented well…

Of course, I got here late. I think his paper was about Christ reversing some of the problems with Israel. He obviously spoke about the genealogy…

I missed the point where he said that the obedience of Jesus reversing the disobedience of Israel.

By the way, had a great lunch with Jim and Chris Tilling.

And had a great breakfast with me Mark Cortez this morning.

Obviously, Matthew was Jewish… An audience member notes that Matthew’s exposition of Scripture was the standard for Rabbis back in the day.

Next up is Robert Foster speaking about identity formation in Matthew. Personally, I think this will mesh will with a mimetic notion. We will see. Yup, I was right. I don’t want to give away too much here, but very interesting in discussing socialization through government education. Plus, narrative judgments. Reader, audience, narrator. This stuff shapes us.

Interpretive judgments…
Moral judgments…
Aesthetic judgments…

Who enables people to know God? Jesus or the Pharisees?

Context is important, it seems… And it is not just what a passage says, but what goes on before and after. Context.

The Pharisees could nothing more than they did because they refused to learn from Jesus…


Also, someone has a high Christology… I think. Something he said which I’ll have to follow up with is Jacob wrestling with God as a metaphor for wrestling with himself or humanity.

Okay, next up…

Catherine Sider Hamilton is speaking on the birth narratives.

Purpose of thought = fundamentally theologically

She is connecting Matthew to Jeremiah in a pretty in depth way.

I love hand outs… Makes studying these papers easier.


I love the way she is digging at proof-texters. You know, those who believe that certain verses in the OT are predictions about distant events. For Matthew, context is important because it is not just about one line or two, but about the event then and now. These things, rather than a singular match up, affirmed Jesus as the Messiah for Matthew.

The blood of Jesus takes in the blood of the slaughtered children… Because he is Israel. Meaning that the cry of “let his blood be upon our children” is rather ironic because they are calling for their own salvation.


Stout is presenting the next paper. He is going to talk about… Gentiles in the view of Jesus in Matthew.

He doesn’t give hand outs.

Maybe Jesus didn’t like Gentiles. He was pretty dismissive to Gentiles… I mean, that woman was a dog…

He’s going to talk about the centurion on Matthew. Let’s see… Will he go there? Doesn’t look like it, but then again, maybe it didn’t matter to the paper. But there is a difference… Stout says that Jesus healed the Centurion maybe for power or maybe because Jesus was coming to understand his own mission more clearly. It was a pretty clean and fast healing. Would Jesus know his mission from the start? Maybe not…

I like watching the faces of the the panel… Noting when they disagree with the speaker…. Pretty funny.

Maybe the narrator was more inclusive and more focused on the divine plan. Does the narrator know more than Jesus? Would the narrator take the place of God?

Matthew is a little tense.

Stout is using the Fathers to speak about Matthew. Awesome.

He said “little baby Jesus.” Dang Ricky Bobby.

Some good stuff here, but… I’m tired… Still haven’t beat jet lag.

Okay, wrap it up… I’m tired and I have the most important section ever coming up…

Stout is about the honest reading of Scripture. Jesus was operating under human limitations. Further, the Resurrection made a substantial change in Christ which “invites a rereading of the Gospel.” Wow.

For later… “experimental intertextuality”

Live Blogging #SBLAAR – Rhetoric and the NT

As I do not have internet here, this is not really live blogging, but… Well, I guess it is because I’m blogging and I’m alive…

This section is pretty important to me because it is going to explore the genealogies of the current field of rhetorical criticism. As I am new to this area of study, but thus far, find it a wonderful arena, I sorta think that hearing about where we have come from is important.

There seems to be about 50 people here with a mix of genders.

All right… Hang on… It’s about to get started…

Troy Martin from Saint Xavier University is up first. He will be speaking on Hans Dieter Betz, his Doktorvater. Martin considers Betz to be the ur ancestor of Rhetoric Criticism. So, before Betz, there was Augustine? Actually, for those who do not know, it was because Augustine found refinement of rhetoric in Paul that he gave them credence. How might we use this fact to counter that the Scriptures are little more than primitive fairy tales?

Also helpful in this presentation is that he handed out his paper…

Martin is following a rhetorical scheme in laying out his proofs that Betz is the ur.

Looks like I need more books.

While the session is about deciphering where we have come from, my thoughts are that these works are going to be a must read in order to understand more fully how to do rhetorical critical study.

Wait.. Hans Dieter Betz is here! He’s speaking now… How awesome is that. I mean, teacher and student.

He is talking about approaching Scripture through perspective. If we approach Romans as a theological treatise, then might we miss something? He contends that rhetorical criticism is a historical criticism. He notes the danger in looking through at the text through doctrinal presuppositions. He says that we have to study the texts without the theological overlays. The text and not the external labels, etc… must be the starting point.

He contends that Barth and Bultmann were responding to Nietzsche and that’s what drove his study of rhetorical criticism.

Now, a paper on George Kennedy from C. Clifton Black. Lots of good stuff, And followed by a response from Duane Watson.

A few more speakers, but my attention is drawing away…

“Texts are products of context” – James Hester

Why not include the entire canon in the rhetorical criticism? Just because it doesn’t measure up to Hellenist or Roman standards doesn’t mean that they are being rhetorical.

All religious systems are rhetorical – George Kennedy

The Text transfers the energy of the speaker to the audience.

My #SBLAAR Schedule

I’m going to about 7 sessions, along with meeting with friends and a professor – which I am looking forward too. So…

On Saturday, I will be in the Rhetoric and the New Testament section which will explore the genealogies of Rhetorical Criticism. Following that, I’ll go  to the Matthew Section which will explore the use of Scripture in Matthew and end the day with the Blogger and Online Publications section. In the evening, we’ll be meeting at the Press Club for the Biblioblogger Section.

On Sunday, I’ll start the day off with the Mark section, then to the John Section and finally, another Mark section.

On Monday – Genesis, which will explore Creation.


@IVPress News – The Reception for Timothy George, The Reformation Commentary on Scripture and more #SBLAAR #AARSBL

The Reformation Commentary on Scripture (RCS) follows an ancient practice of biblical commentary, in which the scriptural texts are elucidated by chains of passages collected from the authoritative insights of the church’s great exegetes. Each volume consists of the collected comments and wisdom of the Reformers collated around the text of the Bible. Here is a unique tool for the spiritual and theological reading of Scripture and a vital help for teaching and preaching.

Many of us have enjoyed this thus far, so this should be a real treat!

Also, the reception is at:

RCS Reception with Timothy George, Sunday, November 20, 6:45-8:45 p.m.

And one more –

SBL Peter Leithart’s Defending Constantine, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM 11/20/2011, Rm Continental Ballroom 2, Hilton Union Square

If you are going to ETS, there is something for you too!

TS—Commentaries & Exegesis in the Reformation Age, 11/16/11, 3:00 – 6:10 p.m., Room: Parc 55 Mission 2-3

So, that should be plenty for you to attend. And, for us bibliobloggers, we are meeting sometime on a day that ends in y. More later.

@Eisenbrauns at #SBLAAR #AARSBL

I can’t wait to go and visit my old new, new old friends! Eisenbrauns is a stop for me…

They’ll have discounts up to 50% off of their great selection of books… a mug for purchases over 150 bucks.