Sad News: The Death of John Emerton

emertonKatherine Dell informs SOTS (of which John was formerly one of our esteemed Presidents)

Members will be saddened to hear of the death of former President John Emerton (born 5 June 1928) who died at home last Saturday (12th Sept).

So learned was he that he was elected to the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities.  His contributions to the field of Old Testament studies were immense.

May he rest in peace.

UPDATE:  Here’s a photo I snapped at SOTS of Prof Emerton and Prof Nicholson a few years back:

emerton and nicholson

W.G. Lambert’s Notebooks Online

This is fantastic.  W.G. Lambert was a brilliant guy and witty too (and not a huge fan of the internet, ironically) and now his handwritten notebooks are available online.  Take advantage of them!

Notebook 1 part 1: Lambert Folios 8897-8956
Notebook 1 part 2: Lambert Folios 8957-9029
Notebook 2: Lambert Folios 9034-9124
Notebook 3: Lambert Folios 9128-9379
Notebook 4: Lambert Folios 9393-9545
Notebook 5 part 1: Lambert Folios 9546-9676
Notebook 5 part 2: Lambert Folios 9677-9804
Notebook 6 part 1: Lambert Folios 9807-9939
Notebook 6 part 2: Lambert Folios 9940-10089
Notebook 7 part 1: Lambert Folios 10090-10208
Notebook 7 part 2: Lambert Folios 10209-10330
Berlin notebook: Lambert Folios 18381-18401
Index: Lambert Notebook Index

With thanks to Tom Bolin for pointing this out.

I’m Sometimes Subject to Sentimentalism…

Odd as that may seem…  Anyway, especially thinking of SOTS friends and colleagues today.  These photos are from the Winter Meeting in Durham from a few years back.

SOTS Winter Meeting, 2015- Program and Booking Form

The Program, the Booking Form, and Directions to the College are all available now.  SOTS is

an academic learned society embracing the Old Testament, and its cognate areas such as Hebrew and other Semitic languages, the literature, religion, history, archaeology and sociology of ancient Israel, and the study of the Old Testament in the light of modern literary theory. The ‘rules’ by which the Society is guided may be found here.

Although it has an international membership of around 450, it meets in the British Isles, and normally organises annual Winter and Summer Meetings (see Conferences), as well as joint meetings every third year with the Dutch and Flemish Old Testament Society. Among the publications that it has sponsored is a distinguished series of volumes surveying the progress of research in Old Testament studies, an annual Book List containing short reviews of recent publications, and a series of Study Guides.

The Presidents of the Society have included the most distinguished British Old Testament Scholars.

A brief history of the Society (1917-1992) has been written by Professor John W. Rogerson.

Membership in SOTS

Candidates for membership are required to be competent in biblical Hebrew and should complete this form, also available as a Word document, which must be countersigned by two members of the Society prepared to nominate them. Students must normally be enrolled on a PhD programme to be considered for membership. The application form should be returned, preferably electronically, to the Secretary, Dr Hilary Marlow, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9BS (

News From the UK

From the lovely Viv Rowett of SOTS

John Barton retired last week, and we wish him a productive and happy new stage in life; also, Eryl Davies is to be congratulated on being awarded a personal chair at Bangor. …

I have just found out the sad news of the death of Bishop Stephen Sykes on 24th September. I hear that his funeral is to be on Friday 10th October in Durham Cathedral. He was not a member of SOTS, but I imagine known to many of us who move or have moved in theological and ecclesiastical circles.

Congrats to John and Eryl! And condolences to the Sykes family.

Sad (Delayed) News: The Death of John Baker

From John Day via Viv Rowett:

baker“It has been drawn to my attention that the death of the Rt. Revd. John Austin Baker should have been reported at the recent SOTS meeting. His death occurred on June 4th this year at the age of 86. He was an Old Testament scholar who translated Eichrodt’s Theology of the Old Testament into English, and for some years was Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford; amongst other things he supervised John Barton’s doctoral thesis on prophetic ethics. However, he is perhaps most famous for being Bishop of Salisbury for some years and for writing a theological classic, The Foolishness of God. Although not seen at SOTS in recent years I do recall his giving a thought-provoking paper on Amos some years ago.”

The Telegraph published this obituary on June 5.

The Rt Rev John Baker, who has died aged 86, was Bishop of Salisbury from 1982 to 1993, having previously been rector of St Margaret’s church, Westminster, and Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Baker was the most able theologian among the bishops of his time, and although primarily an Old Testament scholar he applied his learning to a wide range of subjects, and was a useful member of many committees charged with the production of reports on social questions.

Until his consecration as a bishop, Baker was generally regarded as fairly conservative, both theologically and politically. His most important book, The Foolishness of God (1970), now regarded as a classic, was a sympathetic study of 20th-century questioning of the Bible and traditional Christian beliefs, but its conclusions were reassuring to the fearful and uncertain. An individualistic element in his personality had, however, been evident ever since his school days — and once he became a bishop he turned to a variety of controversial issues with sometimes electrifying effect.