Well this year’s SBL was exactly what I hoped it would be.  My goals for SBL are always similar, listen to some interesting papers, purchase books, and make contacts with scholars and interesting students.

Tuesday was an excellent end to the conference with a panel of world class scholars reflecting on Hans Dieter Betz’s groundbreaking Galatians commentary.  In addition, to discussing the work, the panel included many personal reflections, stories, and humor which made the section quite enjoyable.  Additionally, Betz provided a teaser for an article which he is working on concerning retirement in antiquity.  He finished by stating that the paper would discuss Paul and retirement.  I am quite eager to see how Betz makes this claim.

In addition to hearing many great papers I was able to interact with a vast array of scholars, students, and bloggers.  The receptions were great and I met a number of scholars I was hoping to meet.  Additionally, one of these scholars said he was seriously considering starting a blog.  I won’t name names but he is a big name so my fingers are crossed.  Unfortunately, I missed must of the bibliobloggers dinner as there was a paper I wanted to hear and discuss until 6:30 and then another panel at 7:00.  However, I was able to put faces to names of a lot of bloggers.  There sure are a lot of us.

Although I did buy 5 books this year I was disappointed with the book exhibit on Tuesday.  One of the reasons I stayed until the last day was to find some amazing book deals.  However, only Yale increased their discounts for Tuesday.  Oddly enough most publishers were annoyed when I asked if there was a special Tuesday discount.  The books I bought should keep me busy for a while.  I was able to pick up Schnelle’s New Testament Theology, 2 Corinthians by Furnish, Philippians by Reumann, and Invention of Christian Discourse by Vernon Robbins.  My discussions with Robbins have me especially intrigued by his work and I hope to review it soon.  I bought so many books that the airlines wanted to charge my a 90 dollar penalty for having a heavy bag!

This year was especially rewarding for me as I was on my first panel, Things I Wish I Knew about a Ph.D.  My advice was twofold, embrace your role as a student and prepare for your career from the beginning of your Ph.D. program.  I will expound on these two points in my next post.

Well that’s all for this year and I am already looking forward to SBL 2010 in Atlanta.