Saturday -- the last day of the British New Testament Conference at Liverpool Hope University College. After a cooked breakfast, the third and final meeting of the seminars. I was in the Synoptics Seminar and we had two papers, first Seamus O'Connell on "Fourfold Repetion in the Gospel of Mark". Paul Foster asked the key question, pointing out that a good number of Seamus's fourfold repetitions depended on his questionable decisions about pericope divisions, and with variation in the units, they became five-fold (and so on). I questioned his use of the Delbert Burkett argument on the "omission" of "benign" redactional features of Mark in Matthew and Luke, on which I'll be writing my review of Burkett's book soon for JTS.
Ken Olson, a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, but shortly to move to Duke University, gave the second paper on the Temple-mockery on the cross in Mark, which he uses towards an argument for a post-70 date for Mark, and I find it pretty convincing and hope that Ken will get it published soon.
After the seminars, coffee. After coffee, the postponed Business Meeting and then the final main paper, Darrell Hannah on the Fourfold Canon in the Epistula Apostolorum. It was another educational paper for me, because I was largely ignorant of the the text at the beginning. Darrell argued that the text witnesses to the existence of the fourfold Gospel canon as early as the 140s. As usual, though, I did enjoy a short nap in the middle of the paper, and no doubt missed some good stuff.
It was then just lunch and departure. As ever, there was a lot of good feeling. It's such a friendly conference. Ursula Leahy, who did the lion's share of the local organisation, was warmly thanked for her efficiency and good humour, and was presented with flowers and wine by Kenneth Newport.
The conference was also a little sad for me as the last I'll be able to get to, at least for the foreseeable future, because of my forthcoming move to the USA. And I had so many expressions of good will and fond farewells that it made me much more conscious of that fact than I might otherwise have been.
One concluding comment. When Michael Goulder used to be well enough to attend the conference regularly, he would always comment on the presence or absence of what he called the "top brass", i.e. the professors in the discipline. Alas, this year we were short on the top brass. Morna Hooker (president) was there, and John Riches (former president); Christopher Rowland was giving a paper, and Andrew Lincoln and Loveday Alexander were there too, but otherwise, the senior scholars were largely absent. I know Michael would have commented.