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    New Testament scholars have often relied on outdated assumptions for understanding the composition and spread of the gospels.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.

    CSBR Fall 2023 Program

    The 340th Meeting of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research convenes on Saturday, October 21, 2023 starting at 2:45 p.m. at Catholic Theological Union (5416 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago)

    Fall 2023 Program

    Portrait picture of Dr. Jina Kang
    Jina Kang, McCormick Theological Seminary

    “Hauntings and the Afterlives of Exile in the Book of Ezekiel”

    This presentation explores how exile – the forced dislocation and relocation under empire – shifts not only spatial orientations but also temporal orientations in the book of Ezekiel. In a textual landscape shaped and re-shaped by traumatic and compounding upheavals, the past haunts the present and shapes future anticipations, giving anxious yet hopeful breaths to the afterlives of exile. Thus, a linear chronology of a past that is past, a present that is present, and a future that is not yet collapses within this trauma literature. Attentiveness to these temporal dynamics illuminates the hauntings and afterlives that shape how exile and loss are (re)narrativized in this book.

    Portrait picture of Dr. DH Jeong, Faculty at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
    Jeong, Dong Hyeon – Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

    “A Report on the State of Biblical Scholarship in the Philippines: An Unexpected Virtual Rhizomatic Emergence of Social Media as the ‘Publishing House’ of the Mass”

    The Philippines has become one of the nations with the highest number of active daily users of social media in the world. From Facebook to Tiktok, watching and making videos and clips through the cellphone is an irrefutable phenomenon that permeated various sectors of the Philippines. Amplified by the pandemic, this phenomenon manifested as well even in redefining academic/religious publishing. Virtual grassroots religious communities are creating and publishing their worship service, Bible study, academic conference, daily devotion, and other religious and academic contents via the social media. Their work has created new rhizomatic connections whereby the lived realities of the mass and their instantaneous capacity to respond and co-create academic/religious contents have become an irrefutable re-emergence and reconfiguration of what is called “publishing.” By doing so, the rhizomatic connections that emerged out of these publishing networks have elevated and made more visible the presence, voices, and concerns of those who were previously deemed unworthy of being published.

    Portrait photo of Dr. Ferdinand Okorie
    Ferdinand Okorie, Catholic Theological Union

    Engaging Agricultural Language in Christian Eschatological Imagination

    Insights from archaeological remains uncover the extent of agricultural activities of the ancient world. The evidence reveals that the agricultural activities of tilling the soil, planting of seeds, and harvesting of crops form an important part of the ancient economy, and the main source of livelihood for many households. It goes without saying then that the communities that welcomed the gospel message that the apostles proclaimed were mostly agrarian. Little wonder then that some selected texts from the New Testament with eschatological imaginations employ the language of sowing and reaping to describe divine judgement at the end of time, which the people of the ancient world will readily recognize. This paper will interpret Galatians 6:7-9, and Revelation 14:14-20, illustrating how the farming occupation of the inhabitants of Asia Minor, in particular, provides the context for Christian eschatological imagination, offering an assessment of human actions against the backdrop of divine judgement.

    Call for Papers Open

    We invite you to submit paper proposals for the regional meeting by Monday, January 8, 2024. (The SRSC has a different schedule for proposals than the regional meeting; see below.) Program decisions will be communicated on or about February 1, 2024. Section descriptions provide additional information on proposals and the various program units. Paper proposals should be submitted online.Please do not send paper proposals to section chairs. Usually, papers are scheduled in thirty-minute time slots, ideally with twenty minutes of presentation and ten minutes of discussion.

    2023-2024 Meeting Dates

    Fall October 21, 2023 at Catholic Theological Union (5416 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago)

    Winter January 20, 2024 at McCormick Theological Seminary (5416 South Cornell Avenue, Chicago)

    March 15-17, 2024 Midwest Regional Conference for Biblical Studies

    CSBR Winter 2023 Program

    The 388th Meeting of the Chicago Society of Biblical Research convenes on Saturday, February 04, 2023 starting at 2:45 p.m. at McCormick Theological Seminary.

    P. Richard Choi, Andrews University

    “A Pauline Reading of Psalm 119”

    This paper grew out of classroom discussions with my students while teaching my course Pauline Epistles. Their question, which came up time and again throughout my teaching career, was whether Paul’s negative statements about the law were at odds with the positive conceptions found in Psalm 119. In this paper, I offer careful comparisons of the lexes, tenses, and metaphors found in the MT (BHS) and the LXX (Göttingen) versions of Psalm 119 to demonstrate that Paul and Psalm 119 are not at odds with each other in their understanding of the law and that it is even possible that Paul drew his inspiration from Psalm 119. At the very least, however, it is hoped that this paper offers pointers on how those with eyes and ears trained in the Pauline Letters can appropriate this important psalm within the ecosystem of the apostle’s thinking on the law.  

     

    Olivia Stewart Lester, Loyola University Chicago

    “Prophecy as Process: Rethinking Judaism and Christianity with the Sibylline Oracles”

    This paper contends that the Sibylline Oracles—a collection of Greek poetic oracles written over centuries by Jews and Christians, voiced by a pagan prophetess—are best understood as a convergence of dynamic literary processes, and that these dynamic processes help us conceptualize “Judaism” and “Christianity” themselves as movements in process. This paper will consider three examples of dynamic Jewish and Christian literary processes in the Sibylline Oracles: pseudepigraphy, scriptural interpretation, and text collection, arguing that they shed light on the complex literary relationships between Jews and Christians in the first several centuries CE. In their initial Jewish creativity, the frequent indistinguishability between “Jewish” and “Christian” portions of the collection, and moments of violent anti-Judaism, the Sibylline Oracles provide a kind of literary microcosm for interactions between ancient Jews and Christians. In light of this, I argue that Sibylline Oracles offer an alternative to a “parting of the ways” model: dynamic transformation.

    Laurie Brink, O.P., Catholic Theological Union

    Laurie Brink, O.P., Catholic Theological Union

    Αλλήλους εκδέχεσθε! Pondering Paul’s theological imperative to wait in 1 Cor 11:17-34”

    Members of the largely Gentile Corinthian Christian community are lambasted by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 11:17-34 because of their bad behavior at the “Lord’s Supper.” Scholars wisely note the comparison between this meal and Greco-Roman symposia. But might Paul’s operative metaphor be drawn from his Jewish background? Comparing elements of the Lord’s Supper with Sabbath observance might offer new insights on Paul’s expectations of coming together as church (συνερχομένων ὑμῶν ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ1 Cor 11:18).