Lennox Lecture Series #ReinventingtheBible

The videos for the first three of four Lennox Lectures are available on YouTube now with Mark Chancey's talk coming soon:

Michael Satlow, "Who in Antiquity Read the Bible?"


Annette Yoshiko Reed, "The Bible Beyond the Bible: From Apocrypha to Anime"


Valarie Ziegler, "Submission, Sex, and Sinraptors: The Evangelical Adam as Alpha Male in American Popular Culture"

#AARSBL15 in Retrospect

The 2015 joint annual meeting of American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature has come to an end. (I've already said a few things about the first few days here, so I won't duplicate those comments.) The final couple days were more of the same. I attended another historical Jesus section where the focus was primarily methodology. There were solid papers from Paul Foster, Stephen D. Black, Jordan Ryan, and Brant Pitre along with a response from Annette Merz. Then yesterday morning I attended a session on Marcion's gospel with papers from Dieter Roth, Jason BeDuhn, R. van der Bergh, and Judith Lieu. I've heard interesting rumblings in the study of Marcion, so I wanted to be there, though I realize I have a lot of reading to do in order to really grasp the issues. After that I said my final good byes, checked-out and sat in my hotel lobby for a few hours, and then went and sat in the airport for a few hours prior to my 8:30pm flight. But I'm home now, with my wife, drinking my slow-pour coffee, and sitting in my pj's, so all is right with the world once again.

This year was a good year. I didn't do much other than hear several papers and socialize, but I think that's just what I needed right now. Oh, and I laughed...a lot. That's always a good sign since laughter is the best medicine.

See y'all next year in San Antonio!

#AARSBL15 Update

Sunrise over Atlanta

Sunrise over Atlanta

I've been "participating" in the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature for the last few days (a.k.a., just listening to others read their papers, browsing books, and eating meals with friends). Atlanta has been wonderful. I've heard of "southern hospitality" prior to this trip, but I've never experienced it in quite this way until now.

I've had some good food, especially the Waffle House, to which I will return one more time this morning. I've seen friends, new and old, and too many to mention here. And this year I bought some books and received a few freebies as well!

On Thursday when I arrived I went to Ebenezer Baptist Church, the King Center, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site. That was enlightening, challenging, and moving. I took a few pictures that I've shared on Instagram and I'll put a few more on Facebook.

Friday evening I went to a panel discussing Jack Levison's Inspired: The Holy Spirit and the Mind of Faith. Overall it was a cordial and insightful discussion in spite of one person who came across as having an axe to grind. Jack did a fine job responding to all the panelist.

On Saturday morning I attended a session on the historical Jesus, the highlight of which was Michael Barber's paper "Did Jesus Expect to Die? A Test Case in Allison's Methodology and a Response to His Critics" (Allison = Dale C. Allison, Jr.). In the afternoon I went to a session on Markan Christology. The papers had been given to members of the session beforehand, so the readers only gave summaries, but they were still good. My friends Michael Kok and Daniel Kirk both participated and both did a fine job.

Yesterday I went to the final blogging and online publication session, ever. Rick Brannan and Christian Brady gave presentations on how their blogs have melded with their scholarship then it ended with a panel that included Bart D. Ehrman, Wil Gafney, and Lawrence Schiffman. Ehrman blogs to raise money for charity, but doesn't love doing it. Schiffman's blog is ran by his daughter as a way of educating the public, but he doesn't love doing it. Wil Gafney was more positive about blogging, and the most insightful, as she opened our eyes wider to the real dangers women and people of color—and especially women of color—face in the blogosphere and social media. Sadly, almost to prove her point, a man was present who had harassed her on Twitter and whom she had blocked and he kinda, sorta confronted her during the ensuing Q&A, even saying she lacked "tough skin" which went on to prove her point for everyone. He came just because he saw her name listed! It was terrible. Fwiw, all the panelists ended by saying you shouldn't blog until you get tenure. Oops? (Not that I've ever foreseen myself getting tenure anywhere.)

That afternoon I went to a combined Luke-Acts session where the subject was ethnicity and how it impacts our interpretation, both ethnicity in the texts and the interpreter's ethnicity. Gay Byron, Carl Holladay, and Matthew Thiessen all gave very insightful papers and Eric Barreto gave a fine response before I had to leave for the "blogger's dinner". So overall the trip has been low-key, but fun, and I still have all of today and tomorrow morning as well.

AAR/SBL Blogger's Dinner

I've received the news that there will be a "blogger's dinner" again this year at AAR/SBL. For those interested it will begin Sunday evening at 5pm and it is located at Meehan's Public House. "Blogger" includes a wide-array of people. Very few of us blog with much consistency, especially as compared with a few years ago, but it is always fun to meet people "in-person" with whom you've corresponded through the blogosphere.

Talking 'bout the Bible in Paramount, CA

On October 23rd and 24th (Friday-Saturday) I'll be visiting Praise Chapel Paramount/Paramount Bible Institute (Paramount, CA) for their "Theology Matters" Conference to talk about reading the Bible, faithfully and critically. While I'm still ironing out the precise details of my talk (Friday evening) the central focus will have to do with our mindset as readers of the Bible and our posture toward the text. I will try to present a way (or, ways) for modern people to be honest about the contents of our Bible—both the enticing and disconcerting elements—while continuing to recognize it as a central, authoritative sacrament for the Church. On Saturday I'll join several of the leaders from the Praise Chapel Fellowship for a panel discussion. It should be a good time!