The 2015 SBL Annual Meeting Carnival: All The Best Tweetings

IMG_7244(1)This month’s Carnival is a bit different because there are no links per se (aside from the links provided in the tweets).  Rather, and instead, each day of the month has the best tweet(s) of the day (as decided by my capriciousness and my capriciousness alone) about or from the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature.  I think you’ll enjoy the entries which follow if only to see how the participants at the annual meeting get ramped up for it and then experience it.  And if not, well it’s a rough month for you because this is not just the Avignonian Carnival, it’s the official one too! Bwahahahaha.

[Serious aside] Also, you might find some great tweeters to follow too and I think that’s the authentic reason for this month’s arrangement- because SBL is about connections with scholars and following the right folk on twitter can enlarge your network!)…

[NB]- the format is simple- the handle of the tweeter is followed by their tweet.  Then, in bold, my always salient remarks.

[Finally] – don’t be offended if something sounds offensive. It’s only apparently so.  Probably.  In all likelihood.

IMG_72311- @kecia_ali – Conduct codes for academic conferences would signal expectations of appropriate conduct. #aarsbl15.

I like conduct codes. I especially like the 10 Commandments. Especially the one’s prohibiting stealing, lying, adultery, honoring parents, and keeping Sabbath. #YayConductCodes!

2- @emuehlbe – Restaurants that aren’t in the downtown Atlanta Hyatt, Marriott, or Hilton, but close by? #aarsbl15.

Because we need to know these things!

3– @SBLsite – Student-Scholar luncheon RSVPs are open now: Space is limited. #sblsite #aarsbl15 @SBLStudents.

The grad students have to eat. It’s the free stuff on tables, or digging through the dumpsters for that lot. #TruePoverty. #TossEmAStaleDonut. #SpendingWhatLittleTheyHaveOnBooksAndEnragingTheirSpouses.

4– @SBLsite -Looking for a grant? Stop by the NEH table (208) in the #aarsbl15 exhibit hall to talk with a program officer about opportunities.

Everyone can use them some research money. Of course, SBL is over as you read this, but you can still contact SBL for help. And, just in case you need them

IMG_7266@THATCampAAR – Guidelines on the use of social media for #aarsbl15.

That’s right. AAR is helping you with your social media by telling you how to do it at the annual meeting. #Blessed. #AAR.  #AdultsNotAllowed.

5– @DrMJCWarren – Pretty happy that BOTH of my papers for #aarsbl15 are done!

And I’m sure they will be excellent. Perhaps, though, one day, the SBL and AAR will have enough members submitting papers that they won’t need to depend on one person to do more than one. It’s sad when organizations are so small that they have to depend on very few people to do all the work. Pray for AAR and SBL, that God will bless them with sufficient members so multiple papers are no longer necessary.  And lest you think that SBL/AAR folk only care about papers and such, take note of this tweet

@TheKateWard — #aarsbl15 Petition to move AAR/SBL meetings away from executing states.

States that kill people don’t deserve to have SBL /AAR meetings in them. I wonder, though, does this apply to the International meeting too? Or is it just American exceptionalism?

6– @drmacdonald – I am sure you won’t miss this for the carnival

I have to admit, I am not familiar with Girard. He seems to have been widely admired, though. May he rest in peace.

7– @stepbcrowder – This is the season of #womanist works. I’m next!Thanks @wjkbooks #maternalthought #midrash #bible #womenwriters #womenempowerment #aarsbl15.

And what can one say but ‘yeah womanism’. But that’s the great thing about academia. It’s thoroughly disinterested in labels and all the rot that comes with that sort of thing and is only concerned with one’s scholarship without regard to sex, race, or religion. You’re just as accepted and treasured as a scholar if you’re a white man as you are if you’re a lesbian black or asian woman.

IMG_72528– @jenniferguo – ICYMI: a sesson I’m really excited about at #aarsbl15. last day to get the book on Logos at a huge discount.…

I don’t know about kids these days. Excited about sessions when they should be excited about meeting their idols.

9– @ctschroeder – Does anyone know if there will be free wifi at #aarsbl15? @SBLsite @AARWeb Thanks!

That really is super important to conference attendees. You can see hotel lobbies overflowing with people glued to their laptops and their smartphones because they’re too cheap to pay for wifi in their rooms. And who doesn’t love free wifi. The hotel I was at has it. I won’t stay where there isn’t free wifi. And I’m certain I’m not alone.

10Happy birthday Martin Luther! Now, on to today’s tweet about #aarsbl15.

@ReligionProf – What I’m Telling My Students Luncheon #aarsbl15

This one actually has appeared numerous days (every day really) but it appeared again today so I’m sharing it because evidently if you’re a student this is something you should have gone to otherwise you won’t know how to behave as a student. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you can get a copy of the paper!

IMG_725411Apparently there was a panel at SBL on unprovenanced artifacts and their value for research. So

@ctschroeder – “Does the Provenance of Ancient Artifacts Matter?” Is anyone on this panel going to answer “No”? #aarsbl15.

If anyone does say no, it’s because they work for BAR or for an antiquities dealer.

12– @Targuman – SBL Professional Conduct Policy


13– @RickBrannan – Blogged: Some thoughts on 1Ti 3:2, “Husband of One Wife”.

Fun times!

14#Paris was attacked yesterday and over 120 people were killed. Today the world is reeling from the horror perpetrated by Muslims whom even Muslims despise as inhuman savages. Twitter has been ablaze with essentially that. Except among most biblical scholars, who can scarcely be bothered to look at the world around them.

15The strategy of the 14th continued today. Reminders of receptions filled the twitter timeline. Whew, it’s good to know biblical scholars can still think about food and booze even in the darkest of times. My ‘faith’ in humanity remains unchallenged…

16– @ReligionProf – Magic Bowls at #AARSBL15 in Atlanta

Oh boy! Magic bowls! I hope they have instructions as to how to rid oneself of Joel Watts’s. That’d be super useful. And people say biblical scholarship has no relationship to real life. Piffle.

17– @PurposeofJesus – #aarsbl15 So excited excited to attend the conference and discuss my new book #purposeofjesus Check it out

Because really what are conferences for if not to promote oneself?

18– @mcbalz – how’s this for paper title? Door in an Alien World: the Mythology of Exile and Alienation in the Ascension of Isaiah — too clunky? #aarsbl15.

Now I bet you wish you had attended the Conference don’t you! Next year in Jerusalem!

kim19– @kelly_j_baker – Here’s a sneak peek of all three of my #aarsbl15 papers on the 1920s Klan, the job market, & academic freedom: Three papers.

Again, I hope one day that SBL has enough people to manage to get folk to present so they don’t have to rely on a few people to do all the work.

20Busy At SBL so No Tweets Mentioned of Note

21Busy At SBL so No Tweets Mentioned of Note

22Busy At SBL so No Tweets Mentioned of Note

23Busy At SBL so No Tweets Mentioned of Note

24Busy At SBL so No Tweets Mentioned of Note, but lots of photos posted during the conference so scroll down till you find them. They’re here, you just have to work a bit to get them.

IMG_726825– @jennisifire — Post #aarsbl15 twitter convos are adorable. The immediate nostalgia is heart warming.

Indeed it is. I hope everyone made it home safe and sound. A few takeaways: networking matters and can be pleasant if you weed through the pretenders and associate with authentic people who aren’t simply interested you as a stepping stone. Arrive early and get acclimated. Learn the layout of the venue. Bring a few breakfast bars and eat them in your room before the sessions start each day. Room with someone who knows what soap is. Be polite. Smiling at people won’t kill you. Turn you phone to vibrate. Don’t sleep through sessions. If someone is asleep while you’re giving a paper and afterwards they compliment you, you know them to be insincere. And always remember, the smartest person in the room may not be the one presenting.

26Thanksgiving. Plenty of tweets about food and shopping. None about things of great interest.

27– @DrPaulMiddleton Right, I’ve been awake for more hours than I can count after flying back from Atlanta. It’s finally time for bed. #AARSBL15

Paul is one of my favorite Scottish persons. He knows more about ‘persecution’ in the early church than any human being presently alive. And he’s great to follow on twitter if you love political banter.


28– @heather_barkman Just deleted the #aarsbl15 app so I guess it’s officially time to start thinking about next year.

Right!!!! When will the #aarsbl16 app be ready? That’s what we all want to know.

29– @EBiblicosOnline – Videos y audios en español sobre estudios bíblicos y áreas afines. Este sitio web está inspirado en Biblical Studies Online (en inglés).

Yay!!!! A most welcome addition to the biblical studies universe.



The United Bible Society’s 5th Edition of the Greek New Testament

524953Has been published by Zondervan in an edition which also includes the NIV on facing pages.  It’s what we call in the biz a bilingual edition.  Emily Varner (a super nice person) arranged to have a copy sent, for which I thank her and the Zondervan-ians.

An exceptional choice for students and pastors! The United Bible Societies’ 5th revised text is similar to the 28th edition of Nestle-Aland, except for details of punctuation and paragraphing. While the critical apparatus has fewer significant variants, it offers more extensive manuscript evidence for each variant. 1760 pages, hardcover. Zondervan.

It’s the textual material that I find most useful as, you probably already know if you’ve read here for any length of time, the NIV as translation leaves me unimpressed.  Far better is the Revised English Bible (which I purely love).

Besides, no matter how many copies of the Bible you have, there’s always some room or space to put another in so that one is always within reach.  If you are keen to make use of the 5th UBS text, you may want to consider this printing.  I suppose that if you like the NIV, that’s even more reason to pick up a copy.

“They Shall Beat Their Swords into Plowshares”: Calvin’s Interpretation

When the nations should be taught by the word of God, there would be such a change, that every one would study to do good, and to perform the duties of love towards his neighbours. But by speaking of swords and spears, he briefly intimates, that men, until they are made gentle by the word of the Lord, are ever intent on iniquitous tyranny and oppression; nor can it be otherwise, while every one follows his own nature; for there are none who are not wedded to their own advantages, and the cupidity of men is insatiable.

As then all are thus intent on gain, while every one is blinded by self-love, what but cruelty must ever break forth from this wicked principle? Hence then it is, that men cannot cultivate peace with one another; for every one seeks to be the first, and draws every thing to himself; no one will willingly give way: then dissensions arise, and from dissensions, fightings. This is what the Prophet intimates. And then he adds, that the fruit of the doctrine of Christ would however be such, that men, who were before like cruel wild beasts, would become gentle and meek.  Calvin, on Micah 4:3.

Melanchthon’s Biblical Commentaries

The October Avignonian Carnival: The ‘SBL Is Just 20 Days Away’ Edition

Welcome to the Carnival before the Atlanta Carnival- also known as the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. In honor of that joyful event (whereat most folk attend a few papers and use the rest of their time schmoozing and going to receptions to eat free food and consume gallons of the devil’s brew and trolling around the book hall seeing if they can get their picture taken with some notable), the following Carnival will be sort of short (so you can spend your time preparing for SBL).

Why? Because. You’re welcome. Hopefully the focus will get the conversational juices flowing and when SBL arrives you’ll have your pump primed for much learning (to go along with copious schmoozing). Enjoy.

Hebrew Bible

Antonio Lombatti introduced us to the discovery of a bit of the Epic of Gilgamesh.  Very, very interesting stuff!  John Bergsma led folk through an explanation of the lectionary readings for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (whatever all that is.  Baptists don’t lectionary because we believe the Bible).

David *Gentle As A* Lamb discusses rape, David, Bathsheba, and God.  Read it, if you dare.  That kid, you have to admit, is a provocateur.

Enjoy this paper- Moses and the Exodus Chronological, Historical and Archaeological Evidence.

Konrad Schmid wrote an entry for an Oxford Dictionary of something something something on Creation. Enjoy!

James Spinti had some thoughts on God’s praise of Job.  He notes

God does not praise a specific statement made by Job (neither the patient sufferer of the beginning, the passionate rebel of the middle section, nor the individual who rebukes himself in the end). God does not justify a specific teaching about himself but rather the direction of Job’s speech, his internal stance, his knowledge of the place to which and from which his thoughts proceed. God praises Job’s speech as a speech to God.

It’s a good post which you ought to read if you haven’t already.

Folk who love all things Qumran will definitely enjoy this very good collection of photos from the site.  Great, great images.  Similarly, here are some photos of a couple of early players in the Scrolls game.

They’ve found Goliath’s skull!  And they’ve made a documentary!!!!!  [Might as well have.  It’s the same quality of scholarship as you’ll see on Discovery Channel.  Except more honest].

Jennifer Guo (a lady, and a theology student- so a rarity) has reviewed some English study Bible (as though studying anything but the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek were meaningful).  It’s a nice review though, so you should review it.

Brian Davidson interviewed Andrew Perrin about a new book on Aramaic Scrolls and such kinds of things there.  Brian remarks Throughout the interview, Andrew does a great job discussing the relevance of his work even for those outside DSS studies.

Simone Venturini took Sodom in hand and strove to explain the reason for its destruction.  Some very cogent observations.  This is the first of a series of posts on the subject.  Take a look at Simone’s blog and you’ll discover the others.

Torrey Seland has some things to tell you about the Philo section of the upcoming SBL.  You’ll be desirous of taking a look.

Susan Docherty waxes pseudepigraphally poetic in an audio presentation presented by Richard the Goode.  There’s something really important about understanding the literature that sprang up around what we call Scripture.  Give the post a read and the audio a listen.

Tim Bulkeley has a really good post on prophets, prophecy, and prediction which you ought to read if you already haven’t.  Good stuff.  The sort of thing you should hear at an SBL session.

New Testament

Someone called Richard Goode provided links to various Carnivals related to Biblical studies things.  I have to say, one of the carnivals was REALLY good and the others were just marginally not terrible.  Carnivals are so fun.  Fun stuff.  Biblical studies isn’t boring and if it is, then someone you know is doing it wrong.  Not doing it wrong at all is Sarah Bond whose piece on crossdressing in antiquity is just the sort of thing that Joel Watts will find very very helpful (not that there’s anything wrong with Joel….).

Rick ‘The Lexicator’ Brannan posted a posting on the use of a concept in the LXX and the New Testament.  ‘Presence’ or something like that.  It has to do with presence and its presence.

Phillipp Longggg wrote a post titled Old New Perspectives on Romans.  New, huh?  Neat.  (Although they seem fairly old- but maybe that’s just because those of us long in the tooth recall old things said long ago whilst the kiddos today are more focused (read, only focused) on ideas 20 minutes old).  But, you know how he is…

Dan Wallace posted a series of videos on text criticism.  There’s lots to watch and lots to learn.  If you missed it, see it now.

Matthew Lynch wrote a two entry series on Jesus and Old Testamenty stuff like vengeance and something called ‘love of enemies‘ (which sounds weird because it’s nigh impossible to love people you even like.  Barely).  It;s a new blog.  You can subscribe if you want to.

Shawn Wilhite reviewed a book by some NT Wright person – a book which doubtless is just like all the other books Wright writes which is to say, super speculative.  I just don’t get the whole ‘I’m a theologian but I want people to think I’m a historian’ thing (and vice versa).  Just embrace your field.  Be who you are.  Come out of the epistemological closet and proudly proclaim- “I’m a metaphysician and I don’t care who knows it.”  Be loud, be proud, be all up in their face with it yo and shove it down their throats till they choke and gag.  Stop half-measuring it and stop offering history that isn’t historical or theology that isn’t theological (metaphysical).

The Newest number of the Journal- The Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting– has appeared and we only know about it because Richard Goode mentioned it.  Richard is on the cutting edge of all things interesting.  Well, on some things interesting.  A few things.  One or two.  At any rate, it’s a good Journal and it’s free and it won’t cost you anything. Plus, you can download individual essays.  For free.



Thanks for visiting! See you in three weeks at #SBL2015. Say hi. I’ll be the one with a camera (an actual camera, not just a phone) and Chris Tilling (every now and then.  It’s not like we hang out 24/7).  (Oh, and get the meeting app).