Thursday, November 22, 2007

SBL Annual Meeting, San Diego, Sunday afternoon

Sunday afternoon: having left the bibliobloggers lunch, without eating, at 12.40, I went to present in the Computer Assisted Research Section. The theme was Pedagogy, and there were several interesting papers. Mine was on The Future of the New Testament Gateway and the substance of the talk is in posts here (previous link). Indeed, I began from this blog, assembling my links from there. I quite enjoyed the presentation. Speaking in CARG tends to be pretty non-confrontational. It's more in the nature of a group of friendly and encouraging enthusiasts who wish to listen and offer gentle advice. I did begin by saying that I had been tempted to begin the talk by saying that there was, in fact, no future for the New Testament Gateway and that I was simply going to close it down and say thank you and goodnight. But good sense and optimism prevailed and I set out my plans for the future. One useful piece of feedback: one questioner asked that I not retire the Journals page, which he said he found particularly useful.

Later in the afternoon I got to the second Q section of the conference. It met in a tiny room and only 20-25 or so were there, but it was quality rather than quantity because several famous Q scholars were present. There were five papers including Joseph Verheyden on Q and judgement, Ken Olson on compositional practices and the Synoptic Problem, with special reference to Luke's use of Matthew's additions to Mark, and Steve Black on the Minor Agreement at Mark 14.65 and parallels.

I just managed to catch all of these before dashing to the T and T Clark reception; I took a cab so that I could make it in time. These days, T and T Clark do not hold a big publishers' reception but just have a small, selected event in a restaurant by invitation only. It makes it a useful occasion, with the chance to catch up with people involved in the Library of New Testament Studies series.

I had been hoping to make it to the Oxford reception afterwards, but time was too tight, and I went instead straight to the Duke reception. This was an enjoyable affair, and it's nice to feel part of such a prestigious family. It was the third time I had been along to this event and, as usual, I met new friends and old.

1 comment:

Jim Deardorff said...

Hi Mark,

May I once again plead for more neutral terminology within the Synoptic Problem that does not presume Markan priority? This is in reference to "...on compositional practices and the Synoptic Problem, with special reference to Luke's use of Matthew's additions to Mark." Even if that should be Ken Olson's wording, why not be neutral enough to refer to it as, e.g., "(the writer of) Luke's use of Matthean content not in Mark"?

If Markan priority were really well established, it would be understandable. But some 16 instances of Markan "fatigue" relative to Matthew have been demonstrated and not refuted, and much of the tradition from the early church fathers favoring the priority of a Hebraic Matthew has never been logically dismissed. The presumption of Markan priority thus rests upon seriously flawed assumptions, and our terminology should not ignore this. The role of the translator of Hebraic Matthew into Greek, after Mark and Luke had appeared, explains a lot that the Farrer and Mark-Q hypotheses can't explain.