So it's got to Monday before I have even had a chance to get the blogging machine out. I'm in between my 7am Synoptics Steering Committee meeting and my 9.30am SBL Forum Board meeting, and the opportunity has presented itself to check in briefly on the blog for the first time since arriving. I'll have to write some proper, ordered reflections in due course, but so far the meeting has been most enjoyable. It appears that I am not taking my own advice about not burning the candle at both ends and with only a few hours sleep each night, I am not always finding it easy to stay awake in the sessions I have attended though I have been Ok when I have been presenting or involved in some other way in a session.
Let me go back briefly, in the ten minutes or so that I have spare, to how my SBL has panned out. The highlight so far was the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition to visit the Cheers bar on Friday evening. I even have my souvenir mug to take back with me. It was a genuine thrill to see it there, and to walk down the stairs, even if a little surreal going in and seeing an interior somewhat different from what we saw on the series.
On Saturday morning, I attended the first of the two meetings of the new consultation on "Cross, Resurrection and Diversity in Early Christianity", chaired by Jimmy Dunn and featuring papers by Jeff Peterson and Jerry Sumney, with responses by Marcus Bockmuehl and Jennifer Knust respectively. A lively, entertaining, stimulating session, I thought, in an absolutely packed room, people spilling out into the corridors. Lunch was our Library of New Testament Studies editorial board meeting, over at the Vox Populi restaurant, and a little later I was speaking in the second of the Cross, Resurrection and Diversity Consultation sessions, again with people crammed into the room and spilling out of the door. I was speaking on Dating the Crucial Sources in Early Christianity with a response from April DeConick, followed by Simon Gathercole on Thomas as a witness to the development of Christianity, with a response by Stephen Patterson, and some lively and I think informative discussion. John Kloppenborg was in the chair. More anon on that session if I get a moment.
Sunday's breakfast meeting was the University of Birmingham breakfast, and I was delighted to see lots of old friends. Discovering that I had not left enough time to get across town for my next appointment, I grabbed a taxi and just got to the Radisson on time. This was for the Biblical Archaeology Society Fest where I spoke on "When were the Gospels written?" with plenty of time for interesting questions. I dashed back to the Sheraton, walking in the absolutely freezing cold, to the Sheraton, and joined the steering committee of the previously mentioned new consultation on Cross, Resurrection and Diversity Consultation, for their meeting. In a Thai restaurant for the second time, I decided just to have soup so that I slowed up on the relentless troughing that takes place at these meetings.
I've run out of time to continue my little sketch now because I have to dash to my next meeting, but I'll check in again when I get a moment. I look forward too to reading all the other blog posts on the SBL that are no doubt out there by now.