Review of Urban von Wahlde’s Latest Book

Urban C. von Wahlde, Gnosticism, Docetism, and the Judaisms of the First Century: The Search for the Wider Context of the Johannine Literature and Why It Matters. LNTS 512. London: Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2015.   What follows are thoughts by me prepared for a book review session at the Midwest Regional Society of Biblical Literature conference: [Read More…]

Early Jewish Christian Relations and the Presidential Executive Order on Immigration

A statement from the steering committee of the SBL Early Jewish Christian Relations program unit: As scholars devoted to the topic of early Jewish-Christian relations, we are saddened by the executive order barring admission of non-citizens from predominantly Muslim countries, including those with legally-issued visas, into the U.S. We know all too well the result [Read More…]

Metacriticizing Donald Trump

The Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship unit in the Society of Biblical Literature expresses its opposition to the Executive Order issued by President Donald J. Trump on January 27, 2017, that immediately suspends entry of citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen into the United States. We recognize that the Bible bears contradictory [Read More…]

SBL Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology Statement on Immigration

From the Society of Biblical Literature’s “Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology” program unit: Statement on the recent U.S. Executive Order: “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” We, the steering committee of “Hebrew Bible, History, and Archaeology” of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and “Methods of Historiography in the Study [Read More…]

Poverty in the Biblical World and Today

Another statement from a program unit of the Society of Biblical Literature: It seems that studying poverty, whether in ancient times or today, makes people more sympathetic to the plight of the poor. [Read more…]

Biblical Scholars Stand With Refugees

If it has been disheartening to see the actions of America’s president and his supporters, and the harmful effects on people that those actions have had on refugees and other extremely vulnerable constituencies, it has been encouraging to see so many people of different backgrounds being united in their outspokenness against these policies. I plan [Read More…]

Triple-Sponsored #CFP for #AARSBL17 – The Impact of Digital Humanities on the Study of Non-Canonical Texts

The Impact of Digital Humanities on the Study of Non-Canonical Texts One or two Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity (AAR) sessions in 2017 will be co-sponsored with the SBL Digital Humanities and Pseudepigrapha program units. All papers for these sessions should explore the influence of the Digital Humanities in general, and the ongoing digitization of [Read More…]

Aramaic Magic Bowls at #AARSBL16

I found that there is one disadvantage to blogging on one’s phone: it can look like you are texting rather than taking notes or blogging, and so I wasn’t comfortable doing so while seated at the front in the Digital Humanities session where I presented on the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. And so I will [Read More…]

Immigration and the Changing Face of America at #AARSBL16

I attended a Council for Foreign Relations lunch that was simply fascinating. In a recent survey, Americans were divided almost evenly in their answer to the question of whether America has gotten better or worse since the 1950s. That mirrors the different campaign slogans in the recent election: the backward-looking “Make America Great Again” vs. [Read More…]

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife and Raman Spectography at #AARSBL16

I was only able to catch the end of Brent Nongbri’s paper about the dating of papyri. It was David Ratzan, Sarah Goler, and James Yardley about the development of new non-destructive means of dating carbon-based inks, in order to assess the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.  They did not set out with the hypothesis that [Read More…]