Category Archives: Bible

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.

The Cost of a Bible in Luther’s Day, and in Ours…


America- Pay Heed – We Must Never Forget…

Zurich Bible 1525

Zurich Bible 1525

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;  it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.  So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. — (1 Cor. 13:1-13)

The Utterly Fantastic Lutherbibel 2017

My copy arrived this morning and I’ve been enjoying it some this afternoon.  Aside from the Biblical text (which is fantastically translated) it includes a biography of Luther at the beginning, notes and helps at the end, maps, and Luther’s introductions to the biblical books!  It came in a slip cover box which includes a family history for the book’s possessor and a nice little gift of additional cloth strip bookmarks.

I’ve snapped some photos.  At 25 Euro, this is really quite the steal.  And, really, what better way to commemorate the 500th Anniversary than with a Jubilee Edition Bible?

Contact the German Bible Society directly:

Please write an email to to place your order.   You can have a look at the edtions that will reach publication on 19th October 2016 here:  Please don’t try to order online unless you have a payment and shipping address in Germany. Pre-orderes from outside Germany can only be place via email to our sales department.  We’re really looking forward to the launch of the revised Lutherbibel 2017! You can find more information about the new Bible here:

It Bears Repeating: A Prayer for Times of Political Turmoil

Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, my soul! I will praise Yahweh all my life, I will make music to my God as long as I live.

Do not put your trust in princes, in any child of Adam, who has no power to save. When his spirit goes forth he returns to the earth, on that very day all his plans come to nothing.

How blessed is he who has Jacob’s God to help him, his hope is in Yahweh his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. He keeps faith for ever, gives justice to the oppressed, gives food to the hungry; Yahweh sets prisoners free. Yahweh gives sight to the blind, lifts up those who are bowed down. Yahweh protects the stranger, he sustains the orphan and the widow. Yahweh loves the upright,but he frustrates the wicked. Yahweh reigns for ever, your God, Zion, from age to age.  (Ps. 146:1-10)

Quote of the Day

Doch darüber freut euch nicht, dass euch die Geister untertan sind. Freut euch aber, dass eure Namen im Himmel geschrieben sind. (Lk 10:20, Lutherbibel 2017)

Lutherbibel 2017- Isaiah 1:10ff

Höret des HERRN Wort, ihr Herren von Sodom! Nimm zu Ohren die Weisung unsres Gottes, du Volk von Gomorra! Was soll mir die Menge eurer Opfer?, spricht der HERR. Ich bin satt der Brandopfer von Widdern und des Fettes von Mastkälbern und habe kein Gefallen am Blut der Stiere, der Lämmer und Böcke. Wenn ihr kommt, zu erscheinen vor meinem Angesicht – wer fordert denn von euch, dass ihr meine Vorhöfe zertretet? Bringt nicht mehr dar so vergebliche Speisopfer! Das Räucherwerk ist mir ein Gräuel! Neumond und Sabbat, den Ruf zur Versammlung – Frevel und Festversammlung – ich mag es nicht! Meine Seele ist feind euren Neumonden und Jahresfesten; sie sind mir eine Last, ich bin’s müde, sie zu tragen. Und wenn ihr auch eure Hände ausbreitet, verberge ich doch meine Augen vor euch; und wenn ihr auch viel betet, höre ich euch doch nicht; denn eure Hände sind voll Blut. Wascht euch, reinigt euch, tut eure bösen Taten aus meinen Augen. Lasst ab vom Bösen, lernt Gutes tun! Trachtet nach Recht, helft den Unterdrückten, schafft den Waisen Recht, führt der Witwen Sache! So kommt denn und lasst uns miteinander rechten, spricht der HERR. Wenn eure Sünde auch blutrot ist, soll sie doch schneeweiß werden, und wenn sie rot ist wie Purpur, soll sie doch wie Wolle werden.