After a long three days in Valley Forge under the oppressive force which is 'Scanticon', we piled into a friends van and made the trek to Downtown Philly. Moving from ETS to SBL/AAR is helped by the annual IBR meeting, which conveniently lies between the two, both theological and sequentially. IBR was really really long, and I am sure the paper read by Gordon Wenham was good, but could have and should have been cut by thirty minutes. I arrived at IBR about twenty minutes late, hoping to avoid a long lecture, twenty minutes proved too early, and I had to endure a long lecture nonetheless. I do like IBR because they always give a free book out after the lecture, kind of like a prize for endurance.
Then it was off to eat, sleep, and prepare for the first full day of SBL. I woke up early on day two, and walked Philly. It was cold but I enjoy watching cities wake up, and being Saturday Philly woke up a little late. I took my new camera and scouted for some good pictures. I hope some day to get up enough nerve to ask people if it is ok to snap some shots of them, until then it is just buildings and scenery.
I only remember going to one session, it was the Wright/Crossan/Ehrman/Martin symposium on the authority of Scriptures. A few comments: Wright is a smart man, but when is he going to wise up to post-modernity, and the postmodern project? His comment to Martin about authorial intention seemed a wee bit shallow for Wright. The least he could do is read A.K.M. Adam's little intro to postmodern theology. Besides that it was a good session, and all of the respondents did well. Of course I resonated with Martin the most, but little surprise there, huh. Needless to say I will look up Ehrman's book, if only to learn about his journey from Moody to Yale and beyond, sounds most interesting.