Well, with SBL Annual Meeting nearly upon us and my Winter Quarter teaching rapidly approaching I decided it was time to start posting regularly again.  I must admit I was a bit surprised to see the length of my last drought; but, alas what is done is done.  On to more exciting topics, namely the SBL 2010 Meeting in Atlanta.  I will post a few times this week about events I plan to attend but I thought I would start today with some of the Professional Development sessions, many of which are hosted by members of the Student Advisory Council.  In the past I have not attended these sessions as there are always many interesting sessions happening simultaneously and I chose others instead.  However, this year I have two friends hosting sessions and I’m on the job market so I thought I would take a closer look at these potentially valuable sessions.

S20-314            Finding Your “Niche” in Biblical Scholarship

This session hosted by fellow blogger and UCLA PhD student Pat McCullough looks rather promising for anyone struggling to find a niche in this field growing more saturated by the day.  I remember the days when I was trying to find my niche and my feelings of dread the closer I got to working on my dissertation.  Pat has put together an all-star panel of established scholars ready to share their wisdom.

S21-212            From Dissertation to Publication: Advice from Editors and Authors

Another friend of mine, Brandon Wason, is hosting this panel which should prove especially useful for individuals like myself nearing the end of the dissertation process.

S21-314            E-Publish or Perish?

This is the professional development session which intrigues me most.  Is e-publishing a viable and respectable  CV building outlet, something akin to blogging, or somewhere in the middle.   I will be at this session listening with great interest.

S22-131            Navigating the Job Market

This is by far the scariest of the professional development sessions.  As one on the job market I’m not sure that I’m ready to confirm the harsh realities of the current job market which I have already found out first hand.  Since it takes place during my presentation on Monday morning I suppose I will have to hear this information second hand.

Well, those are just a few of the useful professional development sessions being held this year.  I highly suggest you head over to the SBL website and view them for yourself.  While, listening to world class scholarship is a must make sure you use some of your time at SBL to network and acquire the necessary tools for finding your place in the field, opportunities for publishing, and improve your chances of finding a job when you graduate.


Well this Thursday marks the beginning of the NAPS (North American Patristics Society) 2010 national conference in Chicago.  It is the first one I have attended so I’m not quite sure what to expect.  I have heard it is not nearly as large as the annual SBL conference and the NAPS website says it plans on having over 250 visitors.  Also unlike SBL where I now have dozens of people to catch up with every year I am guessing that I will know 0 people at NAPS.  So if you are going to be at NAPS let me know. 

The program lists 5 papers concerning Paul, including my own  paper comparing Ignatius and Paul and their use of self-effacing language. 

Session 11: Kevin Scull, University of California, Los Angeles – “Self-Effacement in the Letters of Ignatius and Paul” 

Carl Smith, Cedarville University – “Ministry, Martyrdom, and Other Mysteries: Pauline Influence on Ignatius” 

Session 21: Thomas Scheck, Ave Maria University – “St. Jerome on Predestination, Free Will, and Divine Foreknowledge in his Exegesis of St. Paul” 

Session 22: Matthew Recla, University of California, Santa Barbara – “Emperor and Apostle: Constantinian Theology in the Pauline Tradition” 

Session 40:  Joel Willitts, North Park University – “Paul and Jewish Christians in the Second Century” 


I am hoping someone out there can help me find this article:

 James Kelhoffer, “Suffering as Defense of Paul’s Apostolic Authority in Galatians and 2 Corinthians 11.” Svensk exegetisk årsbok. 74 (2009): 127-143.

Kelhoffer’s article may impact my dissertation work and I would like to read it.  I requested it through UCLA and they have been unable to track it down thus far.  Does anyone out there have access to it?

Audio Spotlight: Paul as “Apostle” – Mark Goodacre

Mark Goodacre, Duke, NT Pod,  12:26

Mark Goodacre’s NT Pod series is always an excellent source for brief bits about interesting topics and this entry is no exception.  In this podcast Goodacre focuses on Paul’s assertion that he is an apostle.  Goodacre examines the term apostle and Paul’s use of the term.  He rightly concludes that Paul was aware of the disputed nature of his claim to be an apostle since he did not know the earthly Jesus.  Goodacre notes Paul’s self description as one born out of time, when referring to the list of those to whom Jesus appeared to in 1 Cor 15:1-9, as evidence that Paul was aware of the contested nature of his apostleship.  In addition to being informative, Goodacre’s NT Pod entries are always high quality audio recordings.  I highly recommend the entire series and this entry in particular and I will be requiring it for my Winter course on 1 Corinthians.

While many turn to Richard Hays’ excellent work Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul for information concerning Paul and the Old Testament, I turn to Christopher Stanley’s many fine works on the subject.  Today’s recommendation is Stanley’s most accessible work, Arguing with Scripture.  Stanley examines a number of questions and assumptions before analyzing Paul’s use of scripture in 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans.  Stanley rightly concludes that Paul’s audiences had different levels of prior knowledge of the scripture and thus would have interacted in different ways with Paul’s use of scripture.  I highly recommend this work and am assigning parts of it to my students for my winter course on 1 Corinthians.

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.

Day 1 was somewhat uneventful, however, on day 2 I attended the Pauline Epistles section.  There were five papers all at least somewhat interesting. I primarily attended the session to hear two papers by Mark Nanos and David Briones.  Mark Nanos examined 1 Cor 9:19-23 and Paul’s claim to be everything to everybody in light of Nanos’ theory that Paul was  an observant Jew.  Nanos theory is that Paul’s statement did not describe his actual behavior but was rather a rhetorical manuever which Nanos calls rhetorical adaptability.  As one who works with rhetoric I can certainly understand Nanos claim that Paul employed rhetoric in this instance.  However, as one who works with rhetoric I was disturbed by Nanos’ lack of nuance.  Admittedly, he did not have time to present an examination of rhetoric, but his comments in the Q&A section did not reveal a deep understanding of rhetoric.  I would like to hear his thoughts on essential questions concerning Paul’s rhetoric such as his level of education.

EDIT: On Monday I had an excellent conversation with Mark Nanos in which he expounded on how he uses rhetoric.  It seems that he works more generally with rhetoric identifying himself more with scholars who analyze Paul through modern rhetorical theories rather than Greco-Roman rhetoric.

In addition to attending the Pauline Epistles section, fellow bloggers Brandon Wason,  Patrick McCullough, and I  attended the New Testament Theology section in which James D. G. Dunn was highly critical of Udo Schnelle’s recent New Testament Theology.  Dunn’s paper was energetic and quite enjoyable.

While listening to papers was enlightening, the day finished with lengthy conversations with many important scholars.  These conversations are always as educational as the papers themselves, and tonight was no exception.  

For anyone at SBL tomorrow make sure you stop by Things I Wish I Knew about a Ph.D.  I’m one of three panelists and the section meets in SH Bayside A at 9:00.  Please do introduce yourself after the session.


This week’s Paul Post of the Week is Andy Rowell’s list of reviews for Douglas Campbell’s new book  The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in PaulAs Andy rightly notes, Campbell’s work “… is perhaps the most talked about book in New Testament studies this year.”  In fact, there is an entire session dedicated to it at SBL this year.  Thanks for putting together this list Andy.

Any post that has won this award should feel free to proudly display one of the banners.  As always if I missed a post you think should have been chosen or would like to highlight please respond in the comments section below.


I don’t normally link to other posts randomly throughout the week.  However, it seems necessary to highlight Mike Kok’s excellent work on The Epistle of Barnabas.  In addition to my focus on Paul of Tarsus I am deeply interested in the Apostolic Fathers.  Mike envisions this as a multipart series and I look forward to his future posts.

With an eye towards my own students and other students interested in the academic study of Paul of Tarsus I have created a resources page.  This page currently contains commentary for selected audio/video resources.  It will also contain my book reviews and in the near future will house selected bibliographies arranged by topic.

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