As of now I have not determined which session I will be attending Sunday early afternoon at SBL.  I am not particularly drawn to any of the sessions.  However, there are a number of papers and sessions that look promising.  Perhaps I will use this time slot to relax, spend some extra time at lunch, and peruse the amazing book exhibit.  The sessions that do look interesting are the book review of Ramsay MacMullen’s new book The Second Church, the Christian Apocrypha group, the disputed Paulines group, and the Didache in context section.  Brandon Wason and I often attend at least one section on the Didache and I am guessing that this will be the section I attend.  However, there is one paper in the Mapping Memory section that piques my interest, Benjamin White’s paper on how Paul became Paul.  So if I am committing to a section at this moment it is the Didache group, but there is a decent chance I will be wandering the book exhibit during this time slot.

Didache in Context
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: St. Charles Suite – MR

John J. Clabeaux, Pontifical College Josephinum, Presiding
Kathleen E. Corley, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Celebratory Meals of the Kingdom of God and Meals of Jesus’ Presence: From Jesus and Q to the Didache and the Eucharist (25 min)
Taras Khomych, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Respondent (5 min)
Joseph Mueller, Marquette University
Review of J. Schwiebert, Knowledge and the Coming Kingdom: The Didache’s Meal Ritual in its Place in Early Christianity (25 min)
Jonathan Schwiebert, Lenoir-Rhyne College, Respondent (5 min)
Break (5 min)
Nancy Pardee, Saint Xavier University
The Text of the Didache: Revisiting Codex Hierosolymitanus 54 (25 min)
Jonathan A. Draper, University of KwaZulu-Natal
The Moral Economy of the Didache (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Business Meeting (20 min)

Mapping Memory: Tradition, Texts, and Identity
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Jackson – MR

Theme: Memory, History, and Tradition

Rafael Rodríguez, Johnson Bible College, Presiding
Jens Bruun Kofoed, Copenhagen Lutheran School of Theology
Cultural Memory and Ancient Israelite Historiography (25 min)
Catrin H. Williams, University of Bangor, Wales
Abraham as a Figure of Memory in John 8:31-59 (25 min)
Benjamin White, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lincoln, Social Memories and the Pauline Tradition into the Second Century: or “On How Paul became ‘Paul'” (25 min)
Alan Kirk, James Madison University
Cognitive and Cultural Memory Interface, and the Formation of Tradition (25 min)
Break (5 min)
Discussion (45 min)

Book Review: Ramsay MacMullen, The Second Church: Popular Christianity A.D. 200-400 (Society of Biblical Literature, 2009)
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Room: Regent – MR

L. Michael White, University of Texas at Austin, Presiding
Stephen Davis, Yale University, Panelist (15 min)
Robin Jensen, Vanderbilt University, Panelist (15 min)
Christine M. Thomas, University of California-Santa Barbara, Panelist (15 min)
Douglas Boin, University of Texas at Austin, Panelist (15 min)
Ramsay MacMullen, Yale University, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (15 min)



Nijay Gupta and Stephen Carlson have already posted their suggestions for presenting papers and handling comments at SBL.  Although I have far less experience in this realm I thought I would recount some of my own experiences.

When it comes to responses to your paper Stephen Carlson is certainly correct when stating that “the questions reflect the interests of your questioners, not your own.”  In addition to unusual questions your paper may provoke some completely irrelevant questions.  During my first SBL I was seated next to a scholar who is known for his somewhat anti-social demeanor.  The topic of the paper concerned some issue in Matthew.  During the question period the scholar seated next to me bolted up from his chair and demanded the reader attend to him.  Then said scholar asked the reader what she thought of the anti-semitic passages contained in Matthew and how she planned on removing them.  This had absolutely nothing to do with her paper but she handled the matter quickly and gracefully.  However, as she then turned to field the next question, said scholar shouted out to her exclaiming that she had not properly addressed his question.  The reader again attended to the questioner with a bit more depth but explained to him that this was not her area of expertise.  She handled the situation quite well, but I remember thinking that it was a rather difficult situation.  I have not seen this occur very often at SBL but oddball questions can certainly occur.  Try not to get too flustered if someone is out of line, the whole room will probably be rooting for you.

Something I do to prepare for a paper is to try to guess what questions a reader might have and prepare an answer ahead of time.  For instance, I gave a paper in which I claimed that the Greek word ektroma was rather rare as a part of a larger argument.  Since this was a foundational data point for my argument I concluded that someone might press me on the issue.  Thus, I made a list of all of the appearances of the word in Greek literature and had them on hand.  Sure enough this question was asked and I was able to provide the questioner with a complete list of the  appearances of the word along with a summary of the literal and figurative uses of the word.  While it may not always be possible to anticipate questions, it is worth the attempt.

Finally, I certainly agree with Nijay and Stephen who suggest fielding questions after the session.  In the past, as a graduate student, I have been unwilling to ask questions during the session.  However, after sessions I have always been eager to ask my questions (often more concerned with how the readers research affects my own research).  Usually, there are already people surrounding the readers and I do not have the opportunity to ask any questions.  However, there have been a number of times when I have caught readers as they were exiting the room in order to ask a few questions.  Keep your head up and be ready for questions even when you think you are done.

I have already posted my potential SBL whereabouts for Monday and Tuesday in previous entries.  Sunday morning contains a number of excellent sessions/papers and choosing which to attend will be difficult.  There are two sessions focusing on Paul.  The Paul and Scripture group’s theme is beyond the Hauptbriefe and features two promising papers on 1 Thessalonians and Philippians.  However, the papers will not be read and are available to be read in advance.  This is both a postive and a negative.  This format should allow for more time for extended questions and discussion.  However, this format also presumes I will be able to make the time to read the papers in advance.  Well it’s a long flight to New Orleans so I may get a moment to read them.  The Paul and Politics group is also meeting and discussing two recent books by Joesph A. Marchal and Davina C. Lopez.  Additionally, the Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds group has a number of interesting looking papers, with two focusing on Pauline issues.  As of this moment I am planning to attend the Papyrology for the papers on the epistolary form of Galatians and P.Turner 41 and its effect on how we read Philemon.

Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Balcony J – MR

Malcolm Choat, Macquarie University, Presiding
Giovanni Battista Bazzana, University of Toronto
Knock and It Will Be Opened. The Contribution of Documentary Papyri to New Testament Exegesis (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Christina M. Kreinecker, Universität Salzburg and Peter Arzt-Grabner, Universitat Salzburg
Transferring Jesus: Papyrological Observations on the Passion Narratives (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Jeff Hubing, Northern Seminary
Redefining the Epistolary Form and Function of Galatians 6:11-17 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
John G. Nordling, Concordia Theological Seminary – Fort Wayne
Does P.Turner 41 Support the Runaway Slave Hypothesis in Philemon? (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Roberta Mazza, University of California-Santa Barbara
A Rosy Lotus for Antinoos: Hadrian, Egypt, and Roman Religions (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)


Paul and Politics
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Poydras – SH

Theme: Panel Discussion of Joe Marchal, The Politics of Heaven: Women, Gender and Empire in the Study of Paul (Fortress, 2008); and Davina Lopez, Apostle to the Conquered: Reimagining Paul’s Mission (2008)

Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, Presiding
Jorunn Økland, University of Oslo, Panelist (15 min)
Laura S. Nasrallah, Harvard University, Panelist (15 min)
Davina C. Lopez, Eckerd College, Panelist (15 min)
Tat-siong Benny Liew, Pacific School of Religion, Panelist (15 min)
Barbara Rossing, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Panelist (15 min)
Joseph A. Marchal, Ball State University, Panelist (15 min)
Noelle Damico, University of the Poor, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (30 min)

Paul and Scripture
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Oak Alley – SH

Theme: Beyond the Hauptbriefe

Christopher D. Stanley, St. Bonaventure University, Presiding
E. Elizabeth Johnson, Columbia Theological Seminary
Paul’s Reliance on Scripture in 1 Thessalonians (10 min)
Discussion (60 min)
Break (10 min)
Stephen E. Fowl, Loyola College in Maryland
The Use of Scripture in Philippians: How Deep Should We Dig? (10 min)
Discussion (60 min)

Papers will be summarized, not read. Papers will be posted in advance on the seminar’s website at

After examining the Monday late afternoon schedule, I’m not sure where I will be.  There is only one section focusing on Paul, 2 Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making.  Two other sessions which I may attend are the Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World and the Social Scientific Criticsim section.  However, if my brain is still sharp after a full day of SBL I may make my way over to the Textual Criticism section.  I always find the textual criticism sections both enlightening and exhausting. 


Second Corinthians: Pauline Theology in the Making
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Bacchus Suite – MR

Theme: 2 Corinthians 3 and the Larger Context

Edith M. Humphrey, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Presiding
Thomas R. Blanton, IV, Luther College
Recent Research on 2 Corinthians 3: Implications for the “New Perspective” (20 min)
Emmanuel Nathan, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Paul between Ideology and Utopia at Corinth: Imagining Covenant and Creation Together in 2 Corinthians 3-5 (20 min)
Discussion (20 min)
Break (10 min)
M. David Litwa, University of Virginia
Paul’s Mosaic Ascent: An Interpretation of 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 (20 min)
Eve-Marie Becker, Aarhus University
Moses on Mount Sinai in 2 Corinthians 3 and Markk 9: Two Types of Exodus-Reception? (20 min)
Discussion (20 min)


Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman Imperial World
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Studio 2 – MR

Theme: Gospels and Negotiating Roman Power

William R. Herzog II, Andover Newton Theological School, Presiding
Kathleen Brennan, Brite Divinity School
The Son of God: Caesar or Jesus? (25 min)
Jin Young Choi, Vanderbilt University
Haunted by Jesus’ Phantasma (Mark 6:45-52): The Motif of Presence in Absence in the Gospel of Mark (25 min)
Robert D. Maldonado, California State University-Fresno
Power is Over/With: Mark and Greco-Roman Imperium (25 min)
Judith Stack-Nelson, Princeton Theological Seminary
Luke and Problematic Philia: The Establishment of Friendship and the Commodification of Jesus in Luke and Acts (25 min)
Tricia Hoyt, Brite Divinity School
Subversive Humor in Luke-Acts (25 min)
Grant Gieseke, Drew University
The Kidron Connection: Arresting Ambivalence in John 18 (25 min)


Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Studio 7 – MR

Theme: The Social Sciences and the Gospels
The issues of bodily boundaries and purity in Mark, the gestures of Jesus in Mark, social identity and the Samaritan woman, the dynamics model of social memory in John, and social identity and expulsion in Matthew will receive attention in this session.

Pieter F. Craffert, University of South Africa, Presiding
Nicole Wilkinson Duran, Trinity Presbyterian Church
Purity and Intentionality in Mark’s gospel (26 min)
Victor H. Matthews, Missouri State University
Conversation and Identity: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (26 min)
John H. Elliott, University of San Francisco
Jesus the Gesturer and the Gospel of Mark: Communication Lost in Translation? (26 min)
Petri Luomanen, University of Helsinki
Discussion about Matthew’s Corpus Mixtum Remixed (26 min)
George P. Heyman, St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry
The Household Code of Colossians 3:18 as Christian Subversive Rhetoric (26 min)
Discussion (20 min)


New Testament Textual Criticism
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Balcony J – MR

Theme: Textual Types of New Testament Manuscripts: Emergence and Evaluation

Michael W. Holmes, Bethel University, Presiding
Holger Strutwolf, Institute for New Testament Textual Research
The Making of the Text-type Theory (15 min)
J. L. H. Krans, Vrije Universiteit-Amsterdam
Textual Criticism in the Making: Johann Jakob Wettstein (15 min)
Dirk Jongkind, Tyndale House
Samuel Prideaux Tregelles: How to Produce a Greek New Testament in the Nineteenth Century (15 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Tommy Wasserman, Lund University
Text-types and the Evaluation of Readings in New Testament Textual Criticism (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Jared Anderson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Origen-al Text of the Gospels: Origen’s Witness to a Carefully Preserved New Testament Text in Alexandria (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Klaus Wachtel, University of Muenster
The Byzantine Text of the Gospels: Recension or Process? (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Previously I posted my SBL whereabouts for Tuesday morning and Monday morning.  

Monday early afternoon looks like it will be busy.  As stated in previous posts I have a tendency to attend multiple sections during one session in order to hear specific papers that are usually disappointing.  During this time slot there are a number of interesting papers but breaking with my usual pattern I am planning to attend a larger section.  Most likely I will attend the Pauline Soteriology Group which is reviewing the massive new tome by Douglas Campbell, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul.  However, the Paul and Politics group is reviewing Neil Elliot’s new work on Paul and the Roman empire and the panel includes one of my favorite scholars Robert Jewett.  In addition to the above mentioned sessions there are a number of other promising sessions for anyone interested in Pauline studies including the Pauline Epistles and the Social Scientific Criticism group focusing on 2 Corinthians and presided over by my advisor S. Scott Bartchy.


Pauline Soteriology
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom C – SH

Theme: Book Review: Douglas Campbell, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul (Eerdmans, 2009)

Ann Jervis, Wycliffe College, Presiding
Michael J. Gorman, Saint Mary’s Seminary and University, Panelist (20 min)
Alan Torrance, University of St. Andrews-Scotland, Panelist (20 min)
Douglas Moo, Wheaton College, Panelist (20 min)
Douglas Campbell, Duke University, Respondent (20 min)
Break (10 min)
Discussion (60 min)


Paul and Politics
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Grand Chenier – SH

Theme: Panel Discussion of Neil Elliott, The Arrogance of Nations: Reading Romans in the Shadow of Empire (Fortress, 2008)

Pamela Eisenbaum, Iliff School of Theology, Presiding
Robert Jewett, University of Heidelberg, Panelist (20 min)
Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, Drew University, Panelist (20 min)
Diana M. Swancutt, Yale University, Panelist (20 min)
Neil Elliott, Fortress Press, Respondent (20 min)
Discussion (40 min)
Business Meeting (30 min)


Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: La Galerie 5 – MR

Theme: The Social Sciences and Paul
Patron-broker relationships, insights from social-psychology, and the conceptual tools central to enthnomedical anthropology will be applied to various passages from 2 Corinthians. In addition, the power/potency of Paul’s written word among nonliterate people will be assessed, and the claim that early Christians were sectarians will be reevaluated.

S. Scott Bartchy, University of California-Los Angeles, Presiding
Philip F. Esler, University of St Andrews Scotland
“Not that we Lord it Over it Your Faith:” A Social-Psychological Approach to Paul’s Exercise of Influence in 2 Corinthians. (26 min)
Justin M. Glessner, University of British Columbia
Ethnomedical Anthropology and Paul’s ‘Thorn’ (2 Corinthians 12:7) (26 min)
David Briones, Durham University
Mutual Brokers of Grace: A Social-Scientific Approach to 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (26 min)
Lee A. Johnson, Methodist Theological School in Ohio
Paul’s Letters as Artifacts: The Value of the Written Text among Non-Literate People (26 min)
 class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=””>Eyal Regev, Bar Ilan University
Were the Early Christians Sectarians? (26 min)
Discussion (20 min)


Pauline Epistles
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: La Galerie 3 – MR

Emma Wasserman, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick Campus, Presiding
Brigitte Kahl, Union Theological Seminary and Brigitte Kahl, Union Theological Seminary
Jewish Torah, Roman nomos, and the hazard of Galatian foreskin : A critical re-imagination (25 min)
George H. van Kooten, University of Groningen
Paul Among the Stoic Martyrs: Romans 13 in the Context of Contemporary Philosophical views on the Divinity of the Emperor (25 min)
Luca Marulli, Andrews University
‘Strive to Keep Quiet’: 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 and Socio-Political Quietism (25 min)
John K. Goodrich, University of Durham
Institor of the Gospel: The Commercial Context of Paul’s Oikonomos Metaphor in 1 Corinthians 4 and 9 (25 min)
Suzanne Nicholson, Malone University
Predicting Heresy: Paul’s Rationale in 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 (25 min)

Yesterday I posted my schedule for Tuesday morning at SBL.  Rather than post all of the interesting Monday sessions in one massive post, I’ve decided to break up the posts by session.  There are a number of interesting Monday morning sessions and individual papers which I will list below.  However, I will not be able to attend any of these sessions as I will be on a panel of graduate students discussing important elements of being a PhD student.  If you are a new PhD student, are interesting in becoming a PhD student, or simply want to see me in action you should consider attending this panel.

Things I Wish I Knew about a Ph.D.
9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Room: Bayside A – SH

Ryan Carhart, Claremont Graduate University, Presiding
Alicia Myers, Baylor University, Panelist
Ingrid Lilly, Western Kentucky University, Panelist
Kevin Scull, University of California-Los Angeles, Panelist

For anyone interested in Pauline studies Monday morning will be difficult.  The Pauline Epistles group is practically required for all Pauline scholars and A. Andrew Das always does excellent work.  However, the Paul and Scripture group has two top tier scholars, Sumney and Fee, presenting on Colossians and 2 Timothy.  Finally, as one highly interested in papyrology, and especially P46, I recommend the Papyrology and Early Christian Background group.  The final paper, P46 and Its Numerals, sounds intriguing.  My panel ends at 10:30 which may provide me the chance to catch the last paper of a session.  I’m not sure which I will choose yet; but I am leaning towards the P46 paper.

Pauline Epistles

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Rhythms Ballroom 1 – SH

Mark Reasoner, Bethel University, Presiding
Jason A. Staples, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gentiles Who Keep the Law: Paul’s Law-Keeping Gospel (25 min)
Christopher R. Bruno, Wheaton College
“God Is One” and the Inclusion of the Gentiles in Romans 3:30 (25 min)
Akio Ito, Tokyo Christian University
‘The Spirit is Life’ or ‘the Spirit is Alive’? (25 min)
Ian W. Scott, Tyndale Seminary (Canada)
‘This is Your Intellectual Worship’: Logikos in Romans 12:1 and Paul’s Deliberative Ethics (25 min)
A. Andrew Das, Elmhurst College
“Praise the Lord, All You Gentiles”: The Encoded Audience of Romans 15:7-13 (25 min)


Paul and Scripture
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Oak Alley – SH

Theme: The Disputed Paulines

Christopher D. Stanley, St. Bonaventure University, Presiding
Jerry L. Sumney, Lexington Theological Seminary
Writing “In the Image” of Scripture: The Form and Function of Allusions to Scripture in Colossians (10 min)
Discussion (60 min)
Break (10 min)
Gordon D. Fee, Regent College
God`s Sure Foundation: “Paul`s” Use of Scripture in 2 Timothy (10 min)
Discussion (60 min)

Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Studio 9 – MR

Peter Arzt-Grabner, Universitat Salzburg, Presiding
Michael Theophilos, University of Oxford
A New Fragment from Oxyrhynchus: A Christian Letter of Introduction and the Abuse of Hospitality (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Lincoln Blumell, Tulane University
Counting Christians: Onomastic Considerations and the Christianization of Fourth-Century Egypt (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Robert A. Kugler, Lewis and Clark College
Peton, a Judean of the Herakleopolite Nome, Contests Paying Double Rent on Farmland (P.Heid.Inv. G 5100) (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
David M. Moffitt, Duke University
New Papyrological Evidence Regarding the Meaning of the Term Proselyte (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Don Barker, Macquarie University-Sydney
P. Beatty 2 (P46) and its Numerals (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

I realize everyone already posted about this months ago, but I’ve decided to post my tentative SBL schedule.  This year I’ve made a promise to myself to not make the same mistake I make every year.  Normally I am torn between attending a session with many big name scholars discussing a new influential work and a session of unknown scholars presenting papers that look “interesting.”  The interesting papers are usually not so interesting and Brandon Wason normally boasts of the greatness of the section I skipped.  I still rue my decision to skip a great section for a paper in which a “scholar” was supposedly challenging Paul’s authorship of Galatians only to find out that it was a bait and switch.  Instead the “scholar” was proposing that Ephesians was written by Paul.  I have vowed things will be different this year!  I will examine each day in a separate post.  So starting at the end here’s where you may be able to find me this year at SBL.

Tuesday 11-24

9-11:30  SBL Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti Section

Hans Dieter Betz’s Commentary on Galatians, Thirty Years

The scholars amassed for the section are a who’s who of Pauline scholars including: Udo Schnelle, Helmust Koester, Richard Longenecker, Margaret Mitchell, and Hans Dieter Betz.  I am actually staying until Tuesday for the first time just to attend this section.

I will also try to attend Pat McCullough’s paper, The AGents of Jesus Meet “All the Nations”: Adapting Jesus’ Cultic Reform for the Eschaton.

Also, Nijay Gupta’s paper A methodological Reconsideration of Paul’s Use of Scripture in Philippans looks excellent.

My current plan is to attend the Betz section, request a copy of Nijay’s paper, and tell my friend Pat his paper was great. 


This is the first time in my five trips to SBL  that I will be staying until Tuesday.  A number of factors have caused me to leave early including teaching obligations, family, and hotel cost.  However, this year I’m splitting a room with what seems like about thirty people which should cut down on costs (and amount of time spent in the shower). 

I’m always excited about Tuesday morning papers and for the first time I will be able to attend some.  However, this year is going to be tough.  My colleague and good friend Pat McCullough is presenting a paper, but he is going up against the most interesting panel of the entire conference, the 30 year anniversary look at Betz’s revolutionary Galatians commentary.  All I can say is sorry Pat you must not have seen me, I was hunched down in the back, but you did a great job!

Also, I’m looking forward to the book bargains.  Brandon Wason normally stays until Tuesday and then calls to brag about all the books he did not buy me but bought himself, normally at some outrageous price.  It will be nice to go hunting together this year.

So does anyone else stay until Tuesday for that one last session or do most people head out Monday night?

If anyone has ever wanted to ask me questions concerning the “Things I Wish I Knew about Doing a Ph.D.” now is your chance.  I will be on a four person panel at SBL this year fielding questions.  I am not entirely sure what to expect but it should be informative.  I hope to bring a somewhat unique perspective as one who is in a history department without a package. 

One topic I will certainly discuss, given the opportunity, is being fully aware of one’s funding opportunities.  I was told not to expect any funding at UCLA and was offered 8,000 per year by another university.  8,000 vs. 0 is a big difference!  What I did not realize is that while UCLA was not able to promise me a package, most Ph.D. students at UCLA receive TAships during their second year which pay about 15,000.  Additionally, in one’s fourth and fifth years many students are given the opportunity to design and teach their own course.  Thus, in the end it was not 8,000 vs. 0 but closer to 8,000 vs. 18,000.  My advice: make sure you thoroughly investigate funding options before making any decisions. 

Things I Wish I Knew about Doing a Ph.D.
9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Room:Room TBD – Hotel TBD

Theme: Hosted by the SBL Student Advisory Group

Ryan Carhart, Claremont Graduate University, Presiding
Alicia Myers, Baylor University, Panelist
Ingrid Lilly, Emory University, Panelist
Kevin Scull, University of California-Los Angeles, Panelist

I realize this post is quite similar to the great meme started by Ken Brown, but regardless it is a topic I find interesting and I would like to hear from everyone else on the matter.  Thus, with full realization that I am not unique,  on with the show.

The rules are simple. 

1.) List the 5 primary sources that have most affected your scholarship, thoughts about antiquity, and/or understanding of the NT/OT. 

2.) Books from the Bible are off limits unless you really want to list one, I certainly will not chastise you for it.

3.) Finally, choose individual works if you can.  This will be more interesting than listing the entire corpus of Cicero as one of your choices.


My List:

1.) Josephus – The Jewish War

This was one of the first primary sources I read that had an impact on my thoughts about the first century.  It is a fascinating book both for its entertainment value and the knowledge gleaned from it.  Personally, I think it would make a great big budget movie.  The Jewish War provided (and continues to provide) me many insights into the first century and gave me my first look at just how dissatisfied the Jewish people were with Roman rule and occupation.

2.) Quintilian – Institutio Oratoria.

Quintilian’s massive work on Roman rhetoric is both funny and useful.  He begins with how one should educate a child and works up to the details of roman rhetoric.  I have used this work alongside the many other ancient rhetorical handbooks in order to gain a better understanding of the options available to ancient writers.  I would recommend this work more as a reference than encouraging everyone to read all 12 book straight through.

3.) Didache

I have always been fascinated by this set of early teachings.  There seem to be a strand that comes from a very early period of Christianity.  Especailly interesting is the notion that parts of this document were written when there were still wandering teachers, apostles, and prophets.  Chapter 11 provides instruction on how these individuals should be treated, including instructions such as if an apostle or prophet tries to stay longer than three days he is a false prophet.  Although I am by no means a specialist on this topic I am always drawn to the SBL sections concerning the Didache.  The Didache continues to remind me that Paul and the better known apostles were not the only early Christian teachers influencing early Christian communities.

4.) Ignatius of Antioch (any letter)

As one who specializes in Paul of Tarsus, I think the letters of Ignatius are extremely important.  They are written at an early date, around 100 CE and provide information concerning the direction of Christianity at an early time period.  Addtionally, he seems to be quite aware of the letters of Paul and was influenced by how Paul wrote his letters.  I have found it interesting to note which aspects of Paul’s style Ignatius chooses to emulate.

5.) The Dead Sea Scrolls – The War Scroll

It’s hard to pick any one scroll as more influential than the others, as I read them all during one intense semester.  This set of texts cemented for me the notion that there were multiple strands of Judaism that existed in the first century.  The Damascus document and the Community Rule were the two texts that influenced me the most initially.  Later, as I became more interested in Paul, the Hodayot became more influential for my understanding of Judaism and salvation.  However, I think the War Scroll may have had the most lasting influence on my thinking.  It always fascinates me that a community could have had so much faith in what they were doing that they thought they could defeat the earthly powers by blowing horns and summoning heavenly figures to fight beside them.

Well there is my list.  Hopefully a few people will participate as  I am interested in what texts have influenced others.  I tag Brandon Wason, Pat McCullough, Jim West, Ken Brown, and Mike Aubrey.

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