Friday, November 23, 2012

Reflections on SBL Chicago 2012

Back from SBL where I had a great time in Chicago, with many positive experiences, rather than one overwhelming highlight. In the hope that it might draw out other reflections more profound than this one I offer some fairly brief thoughts.

In TC/Papyrology terms we had some very good presentations, some new manuscripts presented, the launching of the NA28, the Swiss Treasures, more discussion about dating difficulties etc. Perhaps we might blog on some of these in the coming days (I know Tommy always looked like he was taking voluminous notes). Generally very good attendance and interaction and chances to catch up, albeit often briefly, with a lot of friends and (distant) colleagues. 

The Tyndale Breakfast was excellent with good food, a great talk from Dirk about THE GNT, and lots of catch up with friends and former students. I enjoyed the ETC blog dinner too, and a loong walk back to the hotel, but I should have done a little more work on my after dinner "speech". I met up with some fantastic potential students, as well as a positive meeting with a publisher.

I presented two papers, which makes for some work and stress at the conference (especially with one on Tuesday morning, and my typical last minute tinkering going on). I managed to stick to time and get loads of questions/discussion. And I had some very good interaction on both of the papers and in follow-up emails from several hearers, so that has been beneficial.

I enjoyed seeing Chicago, helped I think by some sunny and clear and relatively warm days. Our hotel was excellent in main the priority areas: a decent swimming pool; a Concept 2 ergo in the gym; unlimited coffee in the room. The breakfast buffet (which I only had on one day) provided plenty of sustenance until dinner time.

Plenty of things to take away and ponder.


  1. Pete, you are absolutely right, I took a lot of notes. We will see how much blogging there will be, I am now trying to catch up with my teaching. But I will surely blogg about the presentations of three papyri from the Green collection, now dated to the early 3d century rather than the 2d by the people working on the fragments.

  2. Those of us who were unable to attend are anxiously awaiting your reports on the three new fragments. Sorry to hear that they are now considered 3rd rather than 2nd, but that's still early. Interested also to know if any known variants are affected by these newly found fragments.

  3. Darrell, just be patient. There is so much teaching and administration right now that I am forced to be slow. One of the three papyri was not a New Testament papyrus, but rather it contained a citation (from Hebrews).

  4. Tommy, please, be as slow as you need to be, but as someone who also couldn't attend this year, I would like to encourage you that I too am very much looking forward to your reports.