CSBR Winter 2024 Program

The 341st Meeting of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research convenes on Saturday, January 20, 2024 starting at 2:45pm (CST) at McCormick Theological Seminary (5416 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60615).

    Nicholas A. Elder, University of Dubuque

    “Gospel Media: Reading, Writing, and Circulating Jesus Traditions”

    New Testament scholars have often relied on outdated assumptions for understanding the composition and spread of the gospels. Yet this scholarship has spread myths or misconceptions about how the ancients read, wrote, and published texts. Nicholas Elder updates our knowledge of the gospels’ media contexts in this myth-busting academic study. Carefully combing through Greco-Roman primary sources, he exposes what we take for granted about ancient reading cultures and offers new and better ways to understand the gospels. These myths include claims that ancients never read silently and that the canonical gospels were all the same type of text. Elder then sheds light on how early Christian communities used the gospels in diverse ways. Scholars of the gospels and classics alike will find Gospel Media an essential companion in understanding ancient media cultures.

    Mark Lester, Loyola University Chicago

    “Deuteronomy and the Book”

    This study discusses the model of textuality in the Deuteronomic composition. Anachronistic, modern assumptions about textuality, books, and codices have shaped the history of scholarship on Deuteronomy. Evolutionary models of the history of Israelite religion appeal to the role of writing in D to claim it as the first written book of the law. In D, however, texts operate more like monumental inscriptions and treaty tablets. The case of the Deuteronomy Law of the Kings demonstrates how D adapts the monumental media aesthetics of royal inscriptions to the Deuteronomic legal corpus.