Archive for March, 2008


Roman Emperors in the Library

Not that one really needs a reason to visit one of the largest and most beautiful university libraries in the world:

Yale University Library Presents

James J. O’Donnell
Provost & Professor of Classics, Georgetown University
“Roman Emperors in the Library: Tracking Them to Their Lair”
Thursday, April 3, 4:00 p.m.

Libraries: their riches, how they grow, and how they change. James J. O’Donnell, an historian of the late Roman world, uses his own quest for emperors, barbarians, saints and others to capture the excitement that sizzles through the quietest stacks and the darkest corridors.

James J. O’Donnell has been Provost of Georgetown University since 2002. He is a distinguished scholar and recognized innovator in the application of networked information technology in higher education. In addition to his duties as Provost, O’Donnell is a member of the faculty of Georgetown’s Classics department. He has served as president of the American Philological Association, the primary professional association for classicists in the United States and Canada, and has been elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. He earned his doctorate from Yale in 1975.

Free and open to the public.


More SBL News

More from the SBL:

Publications News

Recent Reprints:
Hymnic Affirmation of Divine Justice, James L. Crenshaw
Prophetic Conflict: Its Effect upon Israelite Religion, James L. Crenshaw
A Comprehensive Bilingual Concordance of the Hebrew and Greek Texts of Ecclesiastes, John Jarick
Semitic Interference in Marcan Syntax, Elliott C. Maloney
The Hand of the Lord: A Reassessment of the “Ark Narrative” of 1 Samuel, Patrick D. Miller and J. J. M. Roberts
Sepher Ha-Razim: The Book of Mysteries, Michael A. Morgan
Logos and Sophia: The Rhetorical Situation of 1 Corinthians, Stephen M. Pogoloff
The Syriac Version of the Psalms of Solomon: A Critical Evaluation, Joseph L. Trafton

Brown Judaic Studies Reprints:
Sparda by the Bitter Sea, Jack Martin Balcer
Sectarian Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Courts, Testimony and the Penal Code, Lawrence H. Schiffman
Fear Not Warrior: The Study of ‘al tira’ Pericopes in the Hebrew Scriptures, Edgar W. Conrad
Babylonian Witchcraft Literature: Case Studies, Tzvi Abusch
The Doctrine of the Divine Name: An Introduction to Classical Kabbalistic Theology, Stephen G. Wald

New on The SBL Forum:
In Essential Links: Harvard Passes Resolution on Open Access
Also: Announcing a new email discussion list for biblical studies, called “The Biblicalist”

Most new, recent, and backlist titles are available to SBL members at a 40% discount through June 15, 2008. This discount applies to SBL and Brown Judaic Studies titles. It does not apply to titles from Sheffield Phoenix Press. Download the order form or order online using promo code SPG2008.

SBL Publications is adding ten new books to the Online Books Program this month. For the complete list of books available, click here.

Calendar items for March 2008
For more information on all Events listed, click here.

3/27-3/28 Mid Atlantic Regional Meeting
Hyatt Regency
New Brunswick, NJ

3/28-3/29 Rocky Mountains – Great Plains Regional Meeting
Denver, CO
Hosted by Denver Seminary

3/28-3/29 Upper Midwest Regional Meeting
Luther Seminary
St. Paul, Minnesota

3/30-3/31 Central States Regional Meeting
St. Louis, Missouri

3/30-3/31 Pacific Coast Regional Meeting
Hosted by Fuller Theological Seminary

3/31 Call for Papers Deadline
“Septuagint Translation(s): Retrospect and Prospect”
Septuagint Institute
Trinity Western University


RBL Highlights: 3/30/08

A few highlights from this week’s especially rich Review of Biblical Literature:

Joan Cecelia Campbell
Kinship Relations in the Gospel of John
Reviewed by Ritva H. Williams

Daniel K. Falk
The Parabiblical Texts: Strategies for Extending the Scriptures among the Dead Sea Scrolls
Reviewed by Matthew Goff

Karin Finsterbusch, Armin Lange, and K. F. Diethard Römheld, eds.
Human Sacrifice in Jewish and Christian Tradition
Reviewed by Jason Tatlock

John Fotopoulos, ed.
The New Testament and Early Christian Literature in Greco-Roman Context: Studies in Honor of David E. Aune
Reviewed by Michael Labahn
Reviewed by Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr

Paul M. Fullmer
Resurrection in Mark’s Literary-Historical Perspective
Reviewed by John Dart

Martha Himmelfarb
A Kingdom of Priests: Ancestry and Merit in Ancient Judaism
Reviewed by Henryk Drawnel

F. Rachel Magdalene
On the Scales of Righteousness: Neo-Babylonian Trial Law and the Book of Job
Reviewed by Markus Witte

James K. Mead
Biblical Theology: Issues, Methods, and Themes
Reviewed by James D. G. Dunn

William Varner
The Way of the Didache: The First Christian Handbook
Reviewed by Jonathan A. Draper

Robert Louis Wilken, trans. and ed.; with Angela Russell Christman and Michael J. Hollerich
Isaiah: Interpreted by Early Christian and Medieval Commentators
Reviewed by J. David Cassel


New from Fortress: Covenental Conversations

A recent announcement from Fortress:

Covenantal Conversations: Christians in Dialogue with Jews and Judaism

Eight key topics for Jewish-Christian relations today

This useful volume, edited by noted theologian Darrell Jodock and including leading thinkers both Christian and Jewish, explores the shared theological framework, special historical relationship, and post-Holocaust developments and current trouble spots that situate the Jewish-Christian relationship today. Covenantal Conversations is a special gift to students, scholars, and Christians of all descriptions who wish to understand the vital link and special promise that Jews and Christians share.

Eight special topics or talking points get special attention from the chief contributors and their dialogue partners: Judaism Then and Now, Covenants Old and New, Law and Gospel, Promise and Fulfillment, Difficult Texts, Promised Land and Zionism, Healing the World and Mending the Soul, and Jewish-Christian Relations in a Pluralistic World.

Contributors include Esther Menn in conversation with Krister Stendahl, Ralph Klein in conversation with Isaac Kalimi, and six other conversations and responses.

Darrell Jodock is Drell and Adeline Bernhardson Distinguished Professor of Religion at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota.

Order your copy today!


Regional SBL

I recently learned that my paper proposal for the upcoming New England Regional Meeting of the SBL (April 18 at Andover-Newton Theological School) was accepted. The proposal was based upon my first term paper at Yale–written for Prof. Adela Collins in the fall of 2005. Here’s the abstract:

Splish, splash: the symbolism of water in the Book of Revelation

Nearly two thousand years after its initial composition and dissemination, the Book of Revelation remains among the most enigmatic and inscrutable components of the biblical canon. Generations of clerics, commentators, scholars, and students have struggled to penetrate the thick veneer of historical, cultural, and hermeneutical patina which has so successfully hidden its secrets. But as Adela Yarbro Collins, Frederick Murphy, and other sensitive modern exegetes have noted, attention to Revelation’s original historical and literary milieu provides the most illuminating insights into its character and purpose. A cursory examination of the book reveals that its author is heavily dependent upon the symbolic imagery of the ancient Near East, as found in portions of the Hebrew Bible and in the literature of other contemporary societies. The author often utilizes this imagery in a fairly universal way, incorporating it into his own work while retaining and exploiting the intrinsic emotional and thematic connotations present in his source material. This paper will present an extended analysis of one of the most pervasive of these symbolic elements: the element of water, which appears more than two dozen times throughout the work in an array of forms. With this analysis in hand, it is eminently clear that the author of Revelation has appropriated three established aquatic archetypes—the tumultuous sea and other raging waters; life-giving rivers, streams, and springs; and the elements of the storm—as crucial buttresses for his presentation of the Christian God as the sole possessor of sovereign power.


New from Tyndale Tech: The Tyndale Toolbar

The most recent edition of David Instone-Brewer’s eminently useful Tyndale Tech series has been released. In this edition, Instone-Brewer outlines the features of the new Tyndale Toolbar, a remarkable free resource which every serious scholar, student, and pastor should immediately add to his or her browser. Links to Greek and Hebrew lexicons, bibliographic resources, and a huge number of Bibles are all available at the click of a mouse, without any tedious or repetitive searching, bookmarking, etc. And for those of you who feel that a picture truly is worth a thousand words, here’s a visual outline of the toolbar:

Check it out!


RBL Highlights: 3/14/08

A few highlights from this week’s Review of Biblical Literature, including the reviews of and responses to Prof. Joel Kaminsky’s Yet I Loved Jacob: Reclaiming the Biblical Concept of Election which were originally presented at the SBL Annual Meeting. Those of you unable to attend this session should first read the reviews and then the book itself; it’s a fresh, innovative contribution to biblical studies (which can’t always be said in this day and age!).

Joel S. Kaminsky
Yet I Loved Jacob: Reclaiming the Biblical Concept of Election
Reviewed by Benjamin D. Sommer
Reviewed by Jacqueline Lapsley
Reviewed by Ellen F. Davis
Reviewed by Joel N. Lohr
Reviewed by Patrick D. Miller
Response by Joel S. Kaminsky

Richard J. Cassidy
Four Times Peter: Portrayals of Peter in the Four Gospels and at Philippi
Reviewed by Patrick J. Hartin

Ira Brent Driggers
Following God through Mark: Theological Tension in the Second Gospel
Reviewed by Elliott Maloney

Katharina Galor, Jean-Baptiste Humbert, and Jurgen Zangenberg, eds.
Qumran, The Site of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Archaeological Interpretations and Debates (Proceedings of a Conference held at Brown University, November 17-19, 2002)
Reviewed by Kenneth Atkinson

March 2008
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