Origins: Founded October 29, 1892, under the leadership of George Holley Gilbert (Chicago Theological Seminary), Edward L. Curtis (McCormick Theological Seminary), and Ira M. Price (Morgan Park Baptist Theological Seminary), the Chicago Society for Biblical Research (CSBR) is the second oldest professional organization in the United States devoted to the academic study of the Bible. Although the CSBR evolved from a local chapter of the Society for Biblical Literature and Exegesis, there are deeper roots in the cooperative meetings of the Chicago Protestant seminary faculties and their students, notably the Theological Faculties Union of Chicago (1881-1936), a one-day annual meeting venue in which papers were read and convivial meals were shared.

Polity, Officers and Membership: Portions of the 1892 Constitution of the CSBR, drafted by George Holley Gilbert, include:

Article II: The object of this Society shall be to promote the critical investigation of the Bible: and all departments of study which bear upon the interpretation of Scripture shall be considered germane to the object.

The Work of the Society shall be chiefly in the following lines: Biblical Geography and Archaeological Research, Biblical Languages and their cognates, Biblical History, Biblical Exegesis, the Study of Comparative Religions, Rabbinical Theology, Biblical Theology, and those phases of Church History which concern the interpretation of the text of Scripture and the formation of the Canon.

Article III: The Society shall seek to accomplish the above mentioned object by the preparation and discussion of papers on topics in the general sphere of Biblical science, and by such further means as it may from time to time elect.1

The CSBR today is governed by a Constitution and By-Laws little changed from Gilbert’s, with programming and finances administered by an Executive Committee consisting of a president, vice-president, who automatically becomes president the year following his or her election, secretary, treasurer, and the editor of Biblical Research. Although CSBR presidents, as leaders of a professional organization devoted to research, have predominately held Ph.D.s and teaching positions, several during the years between 1892 and 1948 were D.D.s, M.A.s, B.A.s or B.D.s.  Most were Protestant clergy or rabbis. The CSBR constituency was staunchly male throughout its first half century.  The first woman to join the society, judging from the spotty records, was Leona Glidden Running of Andrews University, on the membership roll in 1961-62; she became president in 1981-82.  For several decades in the latter half of the twentieth century, membership was restricted to those holding Ph.D.s. At the October 27, 1990 meeting, an associate membership category was created for doctoral students, with annual dues and dinner fees to be the same as for full members. For years, full members had brought their students as guests to the meetings, but could not offer them formal membership in the society.  With the creation of the associate membership, graduate students could, for the first time, make formal presentations at regular meetings, add a meaningful line to their CVs, and in general benefit from the professional mentoring that comes of mingling with grizzled guild-masters.2 At the 227th meeting (February 17, 1968), it was resolved that individuals who had been members of the CSBR for 10 years or longer, upon retirement, were eligible for the honor of member emeritus.  The extraordinary religious diversity of Chicago is reflected in an interfaith CSBR membership that has included Protestant, Jewish and Catholic scholars since the 1960s.

Presidents of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research, 1892-





































































































































Curtis, Edward L. (Lewis) [1853-1911]

Price, Ira M. (Maurice) [1856-1939]




Zenos, Andrew C. (Constantinides) [1855-1942]

Mathews, Shailer [1863-1941]

Gilbert, George H. (Holley) [1854-1930]

Horswell, Charles [b 1857]

Price, Ira M. (Maurice) [1856-1939]

Zenos, Andrew C. (Constantinides) [1855-1942]

Krauss, Elmer F. (Frederick)

Williams, Edward Franklin [1832-1919]

Terry, Milton S. (Spenser) [1840-1914]

Burton, Ernest DeWitt [1856-1925]

Robinson, George L. (Livingstone) [1864-1958]

Harper, Edward T. (Thomson) [1857-1921]

Patten, Amos W. (Williams) [1848-1924]

Willett, Herbert L. (Lockwood) [1864-1944]

Carrier, Augustus S. (Stiles) [1857-1923]

Barton, William E. (Eleazar) [1861-1930]

Hayes, D. A. (Doremus Almy) [1863-1936]

Easton, Burton S. (Scott) [1877-1950]

Smith, J. M. P. (John Merlin Powis) [1866-1932]

Dickey, Samuel [1872-1944]

Beckwith, Clarence A. (Augustine) [1849-1931]

Zenos, Andrew C. (Constantinides) [1855-1942]

Foster, Theodore B.

Votaw, Clyde Weber [1864-1946]

Stuart, Charles M. (Macaulay) [1853-1932]

Dickey, Samuel [1872-1944]

Robinson, Benjamin W. (Willard) [1883-1942]

Grant, Frederick C. (Clifton) [1891-1974]

Eiselen, Frederick C. (Carl) [1872-1937]

Case, Shirley Jackson [1872-1947]

Forster, A. H. (Arthur Haire) [b 1879]

Krauss, Elmer F. (Frederick)

Mathews, Shailer [1863-1941]

Grant, Frederick C. (Clifton) [1891-1974]

Levi, Gerson B. (Baruch) [1878-1939]

Deane, John P. (Pitt)

Schermerhorn, William D. (David) [b 1871]

Sellers, Ovid R. (Rogers) [1884-1975]

Bowen, Clayton R. (Raymond) [1877-1934]

Graham, William C. (Creighton) [b 1887]

Mann, Louis L. (Leopold) [b 1890]

Braden, Charles S. (Samuel) [b 1887]

Riddle, Donald W. (Wayne) [b 1894]

Forster, A. H. (Arthur Haire) [b 1879]

Schaeffer, Henry [b 1881]

Lund, Nils W. (Wilhelm) [1885-1954]

Olmstead, A. T. (Albert Ten Eyck) [1880-1945]

Hays, Arthur A. (Alexander)

Irwin, W. A. (William Andrew) [b 1884]

Fox, G. George (Gresham George) [b 1883]

Willoughby, Harold R. (Rideout) [1890-1962]

Filson, Floyd V. (Vivian) [1896-1980]

Mantey, J. R. (Julius R.) [1890-1980]

Baab, Otto J. (Justice) [1896-1958]

Wilder, Amos N. (Niven) [1895-1993]

Davies, Paul E. (Ewing) [d 1987]

Wikgren, Allen P. (Paul) [1906-1998]

Blair, Edward P. (Payson) [b 1910]

Kuyper, Lester J. (Jacob) [1904-1986]

Wright, G. Ernest (George Ernest) [1909-1974]

Kraft, Charles F. (Franklin) [b 1911]

Wieand, David J. (John) [1914-1986]

Klein, Walter C. (Conrad) [1904-1980]

Melconian, V. D. (Vartan D.)

Saunders, Ernest W. (William) [b 1915]

Rylaarsdam, J. Coert (John Coert) [1906-1998]

Fuller, Reginald H. (Horace) [1915-2007]

Faw, Chalmer E. (Ernest) [1910-2001]

Grant, Robert M. (McQueen) [b 1917]

Moreau, Jules L. (Laurence) [1917-1971]

Mihelic, Joseph L. (Ludwig) [1902-1999]

Horn, Siegfried H. [1908-1993]

Morrison, Clinton [b 1924]

McKenzie, John L. (Lawrence) [1910-1991]

Snyder, Graydon F. (Fisher) [b 1930]

Sundberg, Albert C. (Carl), Jr. [b 1921]

Elderen, Bastiaan Van [1924-2004]

Perrin, Norman [1920-1976]

Fuerst, Wesley J. [b 1930]

Boling, Robert G. (Gordon) [1930-1994]

Vawter, F. Bruce [d 1986]

Roth, Wolfgang [b 1930]

Van Hooser, Jack B. (Boyd)

Crossan, John Dominic [b 1934]

Scroggs, Robin J. [b 1930]

Hilgert, Earle

Running, Leona Glidden [b 1916]

Stuhlmueller, Carroll [1923-1993]

Betz, Hans Dieter [b 1931]

Aune, David E. (Edward) [b 1939]

Stegner, W. Richard (William Richard) [b 1930]

Bjornard, Reidar B.

Linss, Wilhelm C.

White, John L. (Lee) [b 1940]

Cope, O. Lamar [b 1938]

Snodgrass, Klyne R.

Scholer, David M. [b 1938]

Urbrock, William J. [b 1938]

Jewett, Robert [b 1933]

Viviano, Pauline A. [b 1946]

Collins, John J. (Joseph) [b 1946]

Mowery, Robert L. (Long) [b 1934]

Bird, Phyllis A. (Ann) [b 1934]

Krentz, Edgar [b 1928]

Campbell, Edward F. (Fay) [b 1932]

Reid, Barbara E. [b 1953]

Hoppe, Leslie J. [b 1944]

Brawley, Robert L. (Lawson) [b 1939]

Handy, Lowell K. (Kent) [b 1949]

Paulien, Jon b 1949]

Klein, Ralph W. [b 1938]

Martin, Troy W.

Branson, Robert D. (Dean) [b 1941]

Rothschild, Clare K. [b 1964]

Holloway, Steven W. (Winford) [b 1955]

Kelhoffer, James A. [b 1970]

Atkins, Robert Alan, Jr. [b 1949]

Atkins, Robert Alan, Jr. [b 1949]

Lupieri, Edmondo

Heider, George

Mason, Eric F.

Adam, Klaus-Peter

Cosgrove, Charles H.

Scurlock, JoAnn

Bourland Huizenga, Annette

Davidson, Steed

Dibley, Genevive


(Univ. Chicago)





(Univ. Chicago)

(Chicago Th. Sem.)


(Univ. Chicago)


(Chicago Lutheran Th. Sem.)

(Chicago Th. Sem.)


(Univ. Chicago)


(Chicago Th. Sem.)

(Northwestern Univ.)

(Univ. Chicago)


(Congr. Minister, Oak Park IL)


(Western Th. Sem.)

(Univ. Chicago)


(Chicago Th. Sem.)


(Western Th. Sem.)

(Univ. Chicago)



(Chicago Th. Sem.)

(Kenyon College)


(Univ. Chicago)

(Seabury Div. Sch.)

(Chicago Lutheran Th. Sem.)

(Univ. Chicago)

(Seabury Div. Sch.)

(Rabbi, Temple Israel)

(Beloit College)



(Meadville Th. Sem.)

(Univ. Chicago)

(Rabbi, Temple Sinai)

(Northwestern Univ.)

(Univ. Illinois at Chicago)

(Seabury-Western Th. Sem.)

(Chicago Lutheran Th. Sem.)

(North Park Th. Sem.)

(Univ. Chicago)


(Univ. Chicago)

(Rabbi, South Shore Temple)

(Univ. Chicago)


(Northern Baptist Th. Sem.)




(Univ. Chicago)


(Seabury-Western Theol. Sem.)



(Bethany Theol. Sem.)

(Seabury-Western Theol. Sem.)



(Univ. Chicago)

(Seabury-Western Theol. Sem.)

(Bethany Bib. Sem.)

(Univ. Chicago)

(Seabury-Western Theol. Sem.)

(Univ. Dubuque Theol. Sem.)

(Andrews Univ.)


(DePaul Univ.)

(Bethany Theol. Sem.)


(Calvin Theol. Sem.)

(Univ. Chicago)



(DePaul Univ.)


(Seabury-Western Theol. Sem.)

(DePaul Univ.)

(Chicago Theol. Sem.)


(Andrews Univ.)

(Catholic Theol. Union)

(Univ. Chicago)

(Saint Xavier)


(Northern Baptist Theol. Sem.)


(Loyola Univ.)

(Carroll College)

(North Park Theol. Sem.)

(North Park Theol. Sem.)

(Univ. Wisconsin)


(Loyola Univ.)

(Univ. Chicago)

(Ill. Wesleyan Univ.)




(Catholic Theol. Union)

(Catholic Theol. Union)


(Am. Theol. Lib. Assoc.)

(Andrews Univ.)


(Saint Xavier)

(Olivet Nazarene Univ.)

(Lewis Univ.)

(Am. Theol. Lib. Assoc.)

(Saint Louis Univ.)

(Grace Unit. Meth. Ch. Naperville)

(Grace Unit. Meth. Ch. Naperville)

(Loyola University Chicago)

(Valparaiso University)

(Judson University)

(Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago)

(Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary)

(Elmhurst College)

(University of Dubuque)

(McCormick Theological Seminary)

(Rockford University)

Honorary Presidents of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research





Aune, David

Collins, John J.

Deiter Betz, Hans

Klein, Ralph W.

(University of Notre Dame)

(Yale University)

(University of Chicago)

(Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago)

Secretaries of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research, 1898-

1898-1899? Bradley, Charles F. (Frederick) [b 1852] (Garrett)
1900-1902 Carrier, Augustus S. [1857-1923] (McCormick)
1935?-1936 Fuller, Leslie E. (Elmer) (Garrett)
1936 Filson, Floyd V. [1896-1980] (McCormick)
1936-? Baab, Otto J. [1896-1958] (Garrett)
?1958-1960 Faw, Chalmer E. [1910-2001] (Bethany Biblical Sem.)
1961-1962 Faw, Chalmer E. {pro tem} (Bethany Biblical Sem.)
1961-1962 Moreau, Jules L. [1917-1971] (Seabury)
1962-1968 Marshall, Robert J. (James) [1918-2008] (Chicago Lutheran Theol. Sem.)
1968-1971 Granskou, David Matthew (LSTC)
1971-1976 Crossan, John Dominic [b 1934] (DePaul Univ.)
1976-1982 Aune, David E. [b 1939] (Saint Xavier)
1982-1986 Snodgrass, Klyne R. (North Park College & Theol. Sem.)
1986-1992 Viviano, Pauline A. [b 1946] (Loyola Univ.)
1992-1999 Handy, Lowell K. [b 1949] (American Theol. Library Assoc.)
1999-2007 Gibson, Jeffrey B. (Roosevelt Univ.)


Choi, P. Richard [b 1957]

Davidson, Steed

(Andrews University)

(McCormick Theological Seminary)

Institutional Conservatism: Since 1892, our society has met regularly three times a year, in autumn, winter, and spring, for a three-hour session of papers, usually three in number, with time allowed for a business meeting, followed by a convivial dinner for attendees and guests.  Most CSBR sessions have been hosted by one or the other of the seminaries or research institutions in the greater Chicago area, with the exception of joint meetings held outside the city.

Publications: Ever since its founding, the CSBR’s three yearly meetings have centered on the delivery and discussion of papers germane to biblical research. Any member in good standing can offer a paper for a session, though the final arbiter is the Executive Committee.  It is a longstanding rule that every reasonable effort is made to include an Old Testament paper with the typically more abundant New Testament offerings for each session, unless the session is devoted to a theme or panel. Beginning in 1956, the society-owned periodical Biblical Research has published many of the papers from the CSBR meetings.3   Prior to that time, publication was done at the whim of the author, with the result that most of the pre-1956 papers are known solely by title, author, and date of delivery. In 1947, however, the CSBR published its only hard-cover work, a collection of essays edited by Harold R. Willoughby, New Testament specialist and CSBR president 1945-46.  The Study of the Bible Today and Tomorrow, University of Chicago Press, is a compilation of 12 papers delivered before the Society during and immediately after WWII, and twelve more essays commissioned specifically for the volume, prepared under an advisory board consisting of Paul E. Davies, Floyd V. Filson and G. Ernest Wright.

Joint Meetings with Other Learned Societies: The CSBR has a venerable and ongoing habit of holding joint meetings with other academic societies, although it took it over 30 years to heal from its traumatic rupture with the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis (SBL&E) in 1892. The sixtieth meeting of the SBL&E was held at the University of Chicago, December 29 and 30, 1924, in conjunction with the 96th session of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research.4   The following year, the Middle West Branch of the American Oriental Society met in conjunction with the CSBR’s 98th session at Garrett Biblical Institute Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28 1925; Professor Kemper Fullerton, president of the AOS Middle West Branch, and President Frederick C. Eiselen, president of the CSBR, alternated in presiding.5   Joint meetings with the AOS Middle West Branch were held as recently as 2009.

At its annual meeting in 1934, the national SBL&E initiated discussions with the CSBR regarding the creation of a Mid-West Section of the Society for Biblical Literature and Exegesis.  The CSBR, predictably, formed a committee at the spring meeting to consider the matter.  At the autumn meeting that same year, the special committee proposed that a Section be formed, “taking care that while it should cooperate with the Chicago Society it would in no sense affect the integrity of that organization.”  A motion was passed, and a Committee of Organization consisting of Donald W. Riddle, Frederick C. Grant and Ovid R. Sellers was deputized to represent the CSBR at the next SBL&E meeting.  On October 30 and 31, 1936, the first meeting of the Mid-West Section of the Society for Biblical Literature and Exegesis, chaired by the CSBR president Charles S. Braden, was held at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in conjunction with the 133rd meeting of the CSBR. 65 members of the new organization attended the meeting.6

The Mid-Western Section of the National Association of Biblical Instructors, (name later changed in 1963 to The American Academy of Religion), held its 1944 meeting on January 14 and 15 at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary [Chicago] in conjunction with the CSBR’s 155th meeting.  Joint meetings with this society would be held until 1968.7 Joint sessions with the Chicago Regional Catholic Biblical Association took place at the 214th meeting, November 16, 1963; 219th, April 24, 1965; 223rd, November 19, 1966; 229th, November 16, 1968; probably, but not certainly, at the 232nd meeting, November 8, 1969. The 227th meeting of the CSBR met concurrently with The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, February 17, 1968. At the 285th meeting (April 11, 1987), it was moved that the CSBR would hold its Winter meetings in conjunction with the Midwest AOS/ASOR/SBL every other year when the Midwest meeting is held in Chicago.  The first joint meeting was held at the 290th meeting of the CSBR, January 29, 1989.

Panel Discussions/Theme Sessions: CSBR meeting #23, Jan 20 1900: “A Symposium upon the Attitude of Jesus and the Apostles to the Old Testament,” in which President C. J. Little, of Garrett Biblical Institute, read “The Attitude of Jesus to the Old Testament;” Professor E. D. Burton, of the University of Chicago, read “Jesus as an Interpreter and Critic of the Old Testament;” and Professor H. M. Scott, of Chicago Theological Seminary, read “The Attitude of the Apostles to the Old Testament.”

#134: A meeting was held in honor of Martin Dibelius at the Chicago Lutheran Seminary in Maywood, February 27, 1937.  Professor Dibelius discussed “Present-Day New Testament Scholarship in Germany,” and Donald W. Riddle replied with a paper on “The Influence of German New Testament Scholarship in America.”

#254: February 19, 1977: “Jacob at the Jabbok (Gen. 32:22-32): A Symposium Comparing Historico-Critical and Structuralist Exegesis.” Presenters: Wolfgang Roth, John J. Collins, John Dominic Crossan.

#259: November 11, 1978: “Paul Ricoeur and Biblical Hermeneutics.” Presenters: Lewis S. Mudge, André Lacocque, John Dominic Crossan.

#260: February 17, 1979: “Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark.” Presenters: David . Rhoads, Vernon K. Robbins, James A. Wilde.

#281: February 15, 1986: “Biblical Narrative in New Perspectives: A Thematic Session.” Panelists: Diana V. Edelman, Robert L. Cohn. Moderator: Leslie Hoppe.

#282: April 5, 1986: “Paul and the Law.” Presenters: Douglas J. Moo, Wilhelm Linss, Klyne R. Snodgrass. Respondent: E. P. Sanders.

#286: November 14, 1987: “NW Semitic and the Hebrew Bible: Job” (panel on Walter Michel’s Job in the Light of Northwest Semitic). Moderator: Bob Haak. Panelists: Walter Michel, Barry Bandstra, Charles Blair.

#291: April 15, 1989: “Living with Texts-in-the-Mind” (panel on M. Fishbane’s Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel). Panelists: Wolfgang Roth, Leslie Hoppe, Robert Haak, Pauline Viviano.

#293: February 4, 1990: Panel on Richard Stegner’s Narrative Theology in Early Jewish Christianity. Panelists: David E. Aune, Paul Flesher, Carol Stockhausen, Richard Stegner.

#297: April 20, 1991: “The Jesus Tradition.” Presenters: John Dominic Crossan, John L. White, Adela Yarbro; “The Sermon on the Mount: In Defense of a Hypothesis.” Presenter: Hans Dieter Betz. Respondents: Ernest Saunders, Klyne R. Snodgrass.

#300: April 4, 1992: “What Do We Now Know about Women in the Ancient Mediterranean World?” Panelists: Phyllis A. Bird, Naomi Steinberg, John White, Carolyn Osiek. Moderator: David M. Scholer.

#302: January 31, 1993: “The New Revised Standard Version as Translation.” Panelists: Phyllis A. Bird, James Brownson, Troy W. Martin. Respondent: David M. Scholer. Moderator: Jenny Everts.

#317: February 1, 1998: “Revelation, Vol. 1, by David E. Aune.” Panelists: Adela Yarbro Collins, Jarl Fossum, Phillip B. Munoa, Jon Paulien. Respondent: David E. Aune.

#334: October 18, 2003: “The Apostle of God: Paul and the Promise of Abraham.” Panelists: Thomas H. Tobin, Arthur J. Dewey, Susan M. Elliott.

#346: October 20, 2007: “Josiah through Mesopotamian Eyes.” Panelists: JoAnn Scurlock, Steven W. Holloway, K. Lawson Younger. Moderator: Lowell K. Handy.

#351: April 18, 2009: Tributes to Edgar Krentz, by Peter Perry and Trevor Thompson.

#352: October 24, 2009: Tributes to Hans Dieter Betz. Papers by Troy W. Martin and James A. Kelhoffer. Tributes read by Margaret M. Mitchell and Clare K. Rothschild.

#354: April 24, 2010: “The History of Bible Research in the Greater Chicago Area.” Papers by Steven W. Holloway, Lowell K. Handy and Robert Atkins Jr.

#356: January 29, 2011: “Women in the Biblical World.” Papers by Lowell K. Handy, Lisa Marie Belz and Nancy D. Pardee.

#357: April 16, 2011: Tributes to David Aune. Papers by David P. Moessner, Pauline A. Viviano and Thomas Tobin, S.J. Tribute read by Hans Dieter Betz.

#358: October 23, 2011: Tributes to David M. Rhodes. Papers by Michéle Lowrie, Jeffrey Jay and Klaus-Peter Adam. Tribute read by Donald M. Mitchie.

#369: April 11, 2015: “Wisdom Commentary, edited by Barbara E. Reid.”  Panelists: Barbara E. Reid, Sarah Tanzer, Seung Ai Yang, Stacy Davis, Annette Bourland Huizenga, Deirdre Dempsey, Sharon Pace, Esther Menn, Frank Yamada, Carolyn Leeb, Ralph Klein.

#373: October 22, 2016: Tributes to Ralph W. Klein.  Papers by Lowell K. Handy, Jeffrey Stackert and Margaret M. Mitchell.  Tribute read by Esther M. Menn.

Anniversaries: The society celebrated its 100th anniversary at the April 20, 1991 meeting with an all-day affair hosted by DePaul University.  The Centennial Celebration Committee responsible for the program consisted of David E. Aune (Chair), Hans Dieter Betz, John Dominic Crossan, Edgar Smith, Robert G. Boling, and Phyllis A. Bird.  New Testament scholarship dominated the meeting, with a session on The Jesus Tradition (papers by John Dominic Crossan, John L. White and Adela Yarbro Collins), a paper by Carroll Stuhlmueller on “Prophetic Mysticism and Prophetic Social Justice: Causae ad invicem causae?” (respondents: Pauline A. Viviano and Ralph Klein), “The Sermon on the Mount: In Defense of a Hypothesis” by Hans Dieter Betz (respondents: Ernest Saunders and Klyne Snodgrass), and an after-dinner address by Robert M. Grant, “Is There a Future in Biblical Research?”  Approximately 70 members and guests attended the gala event.

The society celebrated its 120th anniversary at the October 21, 2012 meeting hosted by the Lutheran School of Theology Chicago.  The 120th Celebration Committee responsible for the program consisted of Edmondo Lupieri (President), George C. Heider, P. Richard Choi, Nancy D. Pardee and Troy W. Martin.  The meeting featured papers read by the honorary presidents including “‘Habant sua fata libelli’: Issues of Literary Criticism in Paul’s Phillippians” by Hans Dieter Betz, “The Early History of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research” by David E. Aune, and “The Construction of Jewish Identity in the Second Temple Period” by John J. Collins.

Communication: CSBR secretaries have been responsible for printing notices of upcoming programs and program handouts apparently since the founding of the organization.  Jeffrey B. Gibson, Secretary of the CBSR 1999-2007, set up and administered a Yahoo! Group website for the organization (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CSBR/). Posts began August 26, 1999 and ceased April 16, 2007, though the site as of this date (September 2010) is still accessible. It was largely Gibson’s initiative that moved the Society from mass mailings for communication about meetings to the Internet venues of email, electronic bulletin board, and web site.

The Lost Eagles of Varus: CSBR minutes, programs, financial records, member correspondence and guestbook for the years 1892-1960 vanished at some point between 1947 and the 1980s.  Discreet inquiries made to past secretaries and Chicago university archivists have yielded nothing.  If by some miracle you should find yourself in possession of any of these items, forge a golden crown for yourself on earth by notifying one of the current Executive Committee officers.

Steven W. Holloway

By-Laws of the newly incorporated Chicago Society for Biblical Research, signed by Robert M. Grant, Chalmer E. Faw, and John Mulder, the attorney who handled the transaction:

(A) To further and promote the critical investigation of the Bible; to make studies which contribute to the interpretation of Scriptures;

(B) To encourage and make studies concerned with Biblical Geography, Archaeology, Biblical Languages and their cognates, Biblical History, Biblical Interpretation and Biblical Theology; to investigate Church History as well as ancient Jewish and Christian Literature with reference to the transmission and the interpretation of the Bible, and with reference to formation of the Old and New Testament Canons; to make comparative studies of Religion, and Rabbinical Theology;

(C) To prepare, discuss, submit and disseminate in such manner as seems practical the material compiled from studies and investigations so made, promoted or encouraged;

(D) To receive gifts, bequests and grants of real and personal property for use in carrying on the purposes of this Corporation;

(E) To administer and distribute any funds received for educational and other projects in which this Corporation may be interested;

(F) To buy, hold, sell, lease, mortgage or otherwise encumber or deal with any real or personal property owned by this Corporation;

(G) To do such other and further things as may relate to general or specified studies and/or investigations of Biblical exegesis.

Relevant portions of the 2008 Constitution:

Article II – The object of this Society shall be to promote the critical investigation of the Bible.  All departments of study which contribute to the interpretation of Scripture shall be considered related to this subject.

The work of the Society shall be concerned chiefly with Biblical Geography, Archaeology, the Biblical Languages and their cognates, Biblical History, Biblical Interpretation, Biblical Theology, the comparative study of Religion, and Rabbinical Theology; also with those portions of Church History which have to do with the transmission and the interpretation of the Bible, and with the formation of the Old and New Testament canons.

Article III – The Society shall seek to accomplish its object by the preparation and discussion of papers on topics connected with the interpretation of the Bible, and by such further means as it my from time to time elect.

1 Willoughby, “Introduction,” in The Study of the Bible Today and Tomorrow, H. R. Willoughby (ed.) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1947) x. Compare the August 23, 1960

2 A motion was passed at the January 31, 1999 meeting that associate members who have attained their doctoral degrees since joining should be automatically promoted to full membership upon notification to the secretary.

3 A motion that Biblical Research become a sponsor of (be published by) Scholars Press was floated before the constituency in 1978-79.  Discussions were held with John Knox Press in 1983 along similar lines; both proposals came to naught.  In 2009, the CSBR contracted with American Theological Library Association Serials (ATLAS) to digitize the full backrun of Biblical Research and to publish it as an electronic journal (pdf format), observing a three-year embargo from the most recent issue.  Membership in the CSBR now includes unlimited access to Biblical Research online through ATLAS and EBSCOhost online research databases.

4 “Proceedings, December 29, 30, 1924,” Journal of Biblical Literature 44/3-4 (1925) i.

5 “Proceedings of the Middle West Branch of the American Oriental Society, at Its Ninth Annual Meeting at Evanston, Illinois, 1925,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 45 (1925) 365.

6 “Minutes, The Mid-West Section of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, First Meeting, October 30, 31, 1936,” Journal of Biblical Literature 56/1 (March 1937) xxii, xxix-xxxi.

7 “The Association,” Journal of Bible and Religion 12/2 (May 1944) 140.