As I wrote yesterday, I didn’t attend many sessions this year. On Friday evening I went to an IBR session where a panel discussed Jesus is Lord, Caesar is Not: Evaluating Empire in New Testament Studies edited by McKnight and Modica. Since I have read the book it was nice to hear some of the contributors discuss their differences in person. It seems like the conversation was constructive, overall, and hopefully some misunderstandings were resolved.
Later that evening my friend Greg Monette convinced me to go hear a panel featuring N.T. Wright discussing the life and legacy of C.S. Lewis. There was a Lewis Scholar present, but I forgot his name. Wright was characteristically charismatic, seemingly talking from a skeletal outline of notes, yet displaying what seemed to us to be photographic memory as he quoted various lines from Lewis’ writings, some from books read years ago.
On Saturday I didn’t attend a session until the afternoon when I heard a few papers from “The Gospel of Luke” section including David Brack’s Luke’s Legato Narrative: Remembering the Continuity of God’s People Through Rhetorical Arrangement; Collin Bullard’s Who Said What? Christological Tension and the ‘Relational Layer’ of Jesus’ Identity in the Gospel of Luke; Mikael Winninge’s The Issue of Poverty and Riches in Luke-Acts: The Impact of Methodology for an Answer; and David Lertis Matson’s Pacifist Jesus? The (Mis)Translation of “eate heos toutou” in Luke 22:51. Brack and Bullard delved a bit into social memory and social identity studies, which I enjoyed a lot. Matson’s study of how Luke 22:51 has been translated differently since WWII was quite enlightening and challenging. This was the only session I attended that day.
On Sunday I heard my doctoral supervisor Craig A. Evans give a talk titled “The Archaeology of Crucifixion: Nailing Down the Evidence” for a session of the Biblical Archaeological Society. Gunnar Samuelsson was in attendance, and he may be the world’s foremost experts in ancient crucifixion, so Greg Monette and I had a nice chat with him afterward about the presentation. That evening I presented my paper “The Dangers of Blogging as a Student” as part of the Blogging and Online Publication Session (in essence, I’ve blogged the contents already). The conversation afterward was wonderful and there were many great ideas set forth by my fellow presenters Jack Collins, Joshua L. Mann, and Joel Watts. Mark Goodacre skillfully chaired our session.
I was busy with a dozen things—most importantly paperwork for my doctoral program—on Monday morning and early afternoon so I only caught parts of about four papers from two or three different sessions. Thankfully, I did make it to the Historical Jesus Session titled “Memory Studies in Historical Jesus Research” but known more popularly as “The Blow-Up in Baltimore”. This session deserves its own blog post, which I may have available later today or early tomorrow.
On Friday morning I caught Jason A. Myers’ A Stoic Reading of Mark 10:17-22 and Andrew W. Pitts’ Disambiguating the Genre of the Third Gospel: History, Bios, and the Synoptic Tradition in the Synoptic Gospel Session titled “Readings within the Synoptic Gospels”. Pitts presentation was a no holds barred assault on the methodology used by Richard Burridge to classify the Synoptic Gospels as ancient bioi. I wondered to myself if Pitts sent Burridge the paper because it seems only right that he’d be given a chance to respond at some point. One thing I know: Burridge has some strong objections to answer. Pitts mixed convincing argumentation with straight-forward rhetoric leaving me to wonder if any of the Gospels other that GMatthew should be considered bios at all. I’d like to see those two discuss this subject next year!
I would love to hear more about the objections to Burridge. This topic has been quite interesting to me since reading Keener’s Historical Jesus.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take notes, and even if I did I don’t think I’d be capable of fairly summarizing Pitt’s paper since he addresses the subject from unfamiliar angles (to me) related to linguistics and ancient bioi. I have emailed him letting him know of your interest, so maybe he’ll reply. Also, I’ve extended the offer for a guest post where he can summarize his paper if he is interested in doing so.
So what genre does Pitts put them in?
If I understood him correctly GMatthew is close to ancient biography. I think he put Luke-Acts under histories citing ancient writers who did differentiate b/t “lives” and “history”. I don’t know about GMark and I don’t think he addressed GJohn. I was my first time hearing about much of what he was discussing, so I’m not sure how well I can convey things, but I do know Pitts handled his material well and from what I could tell was providing some strong rebuttals against Burridge’s criteria for classification.
I’ve posted a response from Pitts here: http://nearemmaus.com/2013/12/03/burridge-pitts-and-genre-of-the-gospels/
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