Zwinglius Redivivus

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The Carnival-  SBL: The Run Up to The Annual Meeting, the Experience of, And the Aftermath


This month’s carnival is divided in three segments:  Before SBL, During SBL, and After SBL.  It features posts on facebook and twitter leading up to the meeting, posts written during the meeting, and posts summing things up after the meeting.  Enjoy!1

Before SBL

The month of SBL joyfulness kicked off with a series of tweets attached to the official hashtag of the conference – #SBLaar16.  Here are some of the tweets inviting participation and offering information-

[Guess what]…

  • Will you be @ ? Interested in the intersection of hermeneutics, theol. interpretation & dogmatics? Check it

[Check it?  What is this, 1990?]

Are you headed to ? Drop by the  booth, buy some books and grab one of these…

The always very prolific Mike Bird made some suggestion about the meeting and things to do at it.  Of course it’s too lat to do anything about it this year, but next… in Boston…

Some folk, though, aren’t interested in attending a conference in Texas…

Not attending #sblaar16 in San Antonio, where @TX_Legislature passed Campus Carry Law. Not spending my $ where guns are forced on campuses.

God loves the activists…  God also loves the heavy drinkers in AAR too, evidently…

@AARWeb is so generous to provide 12-step meetings at #sblaar16! Look for us under “additional meetings.” One Panel At A Time!

Okie dokie then.

ASOR always meets the three days leading up to SBL and this year Michael Langlois attended.  He writes During this meeting, I will chair the two “Ancient Inscriptions” sessions together with my colleague Heather Parker, as I did last year.  I will also give a paper on “Mobile Multispectral Imaging of Ancient Ink Inscriptions” in the “Ancient Texts and Modern Photographic and Digital Technologies” session on November 19 at 9:25.

Ninjay Gupta posted the best series of rules for SBL attendees that I’ve yet seen.  Perfectly practical and absolutely on target.  It’s too late to use them this year, so put them into practice next.

The day before SBL commenced there were a lot of these:

On my way to #sblaar16 and #asor16. See you all in San Antonio.

Me too!

During SBL

Nursing Mother’s lounge on street level (level 1) of convention center near registration and exhibit hall #sblaar16

That’s nice, but what about the nursing father’s lounge?

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And then this happened on the twitter-

I don’t know why, but I’ve had “Welcome to the Jungle” playing in my head every since I got to this conference #SBLAAR16.

Ha!  So true!!  But academic things go on as well at SBL-

McLaren: Mason’s War is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the conflict(s) between Rome and Judea #sblaar16

And then of course

Join us for a review of Hendel’s Steps to a New Edition of the Hebrew Bible. S21-351a. #sblaar16.


After SBL

People posted things on facebook like this:

My Uber driver this am told me that the mass exodus of #sblaar16crashed SA’s Uber site.


So at this meeting, I found out that Muslims cancelled papers for fear of being hassled in the US AND the U.K. And Turkey have issued travel warning for their citizens traveling to the US – WTF? Totally embarrassed! #sblaar16 

Sarah Heroman (Bill’s better half) offered a sort of ‘outsider’s’ take on the annual meeting in a post you really need to read in its fullness to see how you’re viewed by someone who isn’t a biblical studies specialist.  In part-

For everyone asking- SBL stands for Society of Biblical Literature and AAR stands for American Academy of Religion. Bill has gone to this thing four years now, and I just returned home from my first.

What is it? I can’t really say anything about the AAR side, but for the SBL side, as far as I can tell, it is a conference for all of the very smartest people who study the Bible (and associated texts) to get together and present papers on new, developed or re-thought information regarding the texts. Some of these papers are part of dissertations, some of them are part of books, some of them are ideas that a committee thinks should be brought to the table.

Enjoy it all.

Bill Heroman (Sarah’s worser half) had some play by play of the fun along with a series of links to other posts on the conference.

And naturally the Aussie Bird posted his own reflections on both ETS and SBL.  Do give it a look.  Will Ross also shared a bit about ETS (on the LXX).  I’m only including it because Will’s a good kid and his blog deserves a bit more attention than it gets- not because I care about ETS.

Christoph Heilig and the Zurichers had some interesting things to say about the early Christians and their Caesars.  Not, strictly speaking, SBL related but it’s my carnival and I’m tossing it in for good measure.

Richard Goode announced the next big thing in the world of biblical studies conferences/ lectures.  It’s yuge.  There’s nothing like it ever anywhere before or after.  What is it?  It’s so fantastic it can’t even be described in a few words, so you’ll have to read Richard’s post.



Well friends, that’s it for this month.  Next, I return to my Avignonian ways.  Stay tuned…  And as you prepare your hearts and minds for Christmas, just remember, NT Wright’s books make perfect yuletide firelogs. #ProTip




1Please note that the names of tweeters and facebookers have been left off simply because many of the accounts I follow are not public and accordingly, I wish to protect the privacy of the post-ers.

Written by Jim

1 Dec 2016 at 12:01 am