Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Back from SBL: First Thoughts

Arrived back in the UK this morning and back in Cambridge around lunch-time, so after some eating, unpacking, sitting still, and loading up the washing machine, a few moments for early reflections (in no particular order).

1. Pity not to have any decent WIFI in the Hyatt or the Marriott - this is presumably why no one has posted any blog about any TC papers as yet - I couldn't even check emails except for the first day.
2. I managed to do a gym workout every day (although without either a pool or any concept 2 rowing machines these were a bit limited to cycling, weights and jogging) and keep well below my meal budget (except for a bit of a blowout at the ETC dinner - some photos later I think).
3. Disappointed not to see much of Atlanta. I managed a bus trip to Marietta, and a walk yesterday to the Olympic Park and then down Auburn Avenue to the Martin Luther King Centre (we chose to do this rather than visit the Aquarium since MLK really did live in Atlanta, whereas the fish are all imported for tourists to look at - typical American tourist-fakery), but was otherwise lucky to get any fresh air some days.
4. Professionally speaking it was fine - my paper on Four-Gospel Codices (or not!) seemed to go OK and will go into a collection of essays from that session (with some more ideas that came to me from some helpful feedback and further reflection); I had a good meeting with a publisher about a book (nothing specific I want to announce now though); and a surprise invitation which sounds interesting (nothing specific I want to announce now though); and a good meeting with a PhD student who will finish soon (hint, hint!), as well as quite a bit of strong encouragement about my letter carriers book (as well as to publish last year's paper on those dots before I forget even more about them).
5. I went to a lot of presentations but can barely remember any of them now, while I remember lots of eating and sitting and driking and chatting with people. (I don't know if Tommy is planning to blog some more notes on specific papers)
6. I thought I did well in not buying too many books but have recently unpacked a stack of thirteen new books (and I have ordered a Codex Sinaiticus).
7. I can't think of anything else right now. I think it was all OK, although I don't think it is going to enter my memory as a classic SBL or as a particularly significant one in the field. YMMV.



  1. Memorably, there were three papers on P4 and P64&67 this year. I don't know why that got so hot all of a sudden.

  2. Pete, you are right in that the lack of wireless hampered blogging from the meeting. I am afraid I will not be able to match my blogging from previous meetings, mainly because of two reasons: (1) too heavy workload at Örebro School of Theology (unbelievably much on my desk right now), and (2) general exhaustion.

    I hope, however, that I will be able to post some reflections soon.

  3. Stephen, the earliest papyri are always hot I guess.

  4. Actually I thought the three papers on P4, P64 and P67 had a surprising lack of overlap. They were only one aspect (a third) of my paper. Chuck Hill focused on the provenance, appearance and general issues. Tommy focused on the textual characteristics. All had some good stuff in.

  5. Also the tote bag is a keeper.

  6. Well, I did tell you about my subject long before I wrote the paper, probably the day I came up with the idea :-)

  7. Hilton, and perhaps the other hotels as well, kindly delivered the complimentary daily copy of USA Today newspaper. But this merely served to remind us that we didn't have internet!

  8. Hilton, and perhaps the other hotels as well, kindly delivered the complimentary daily copy of USA Today newspaper. But this merely served to remind us that we didn't have internet!

  9. No free papers in the Hyatt; although I did pick up loads of free fruit in the gym.

  10. Other free stuff at SBL: the SBLGNT (!); a Don Carson book at the Tyndale breakfast (sponsored by a publisher so the breakfast was also free); some journals I picked up from publishers.

  11. A great deal was the Sinaiticus facsimile (preorder, in my case to be shipped by Alban Books from the UK) for $500, and then Hendrickson threw in a copy of David Parker's new book on Sinaiticus, which he was there to sign for me, and a museum fine print of one page from Sinaiticus, can't remember which, I haven't packed it up yet. I had eight classes just before I went to Atlanta, and now I have just had eight on Thursday and Friday, with jetlag.

    Anyway, the meeting was great. I will try to write up at least something soon, after some deadlines.