A Preview of What I Will Be Up To at ETS and SBL

Next week I will be headed to Dallas, and then to San Antonio, for the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)—two of the largest scholarly gatherings in the world. In addition to the normal meals, gatherings, and meeting with old friends, here’s a little preview of what I will be up to.

1. Time with the Executive Committee.  As a former president of ETS (2019), I am still serving on the Executive Committee which now consists of Al Mohler, D.A. Carson, Timothy George, Gregg Allison, Sam Storms, David Dockery, and Craig Keener.  And I should not forget to mention our …

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A Tribute to Larry Hurtado: Scholar, Doktorvater, and Friend

I woke up today to the very sad news that my Doktorvater and friend, Larry Hurtado, had passed away after a long bout with cancer. So, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the impact he had on my life.

In the fall of 1999, I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin my Ph.D. work in New Testament and Early Christianity. My move was motivated in part by the great history of the divinity faculty at New College, but primarily by the desire to study with one particular scholar, Larry Hurtado.

Although I was already aware of Larry’s excellent scholarship (that’s why I came, after all), …

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Were Early Christian Scribes Untrained Amateurs?

In the ongoing debates about the reliability of early Christian manuscripts, and whether they have been transmitted with fidelity, it is often claimed that early Christian scribes were amateurs, unprofessional, and some probably couldn’t even read.

In Michael Satlow’s book, How the Bible Became Holy (Yale, 2014), this same sort of argument appears.  Satlow’s book argues that both the OT and NT canons were late bloomers, and that they bore no real authority until the third or fourth century CE.  And part of the evidence for this claim comes from Satlow’s assessment of the NT manuscripts.  He states:

The copies of early Christian manuscripts from around the second century CE

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Persistent Myths about the Origins of the New Testament

Are the NT manuscripts corrupted?  Have scribes irreparably changed the text?  Were Christian scribes competent to copy the text reliably?

How many “other” gospels were there in early Christianity? Were these gospel suppressed by “orthodox” groups? Were these lost gospels as popular as the canonical ones?

Don Carson and I answer these questions for a TGC video:

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Off to Denver for the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society

Today, I am heading to Denver for the 70th meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. ETS is one of the world’s largest gatherings of evangelical scholars.  This year’s theme is “the Holy Spirit.”

As some of you may know, this year I am serving as the president-elect of the society (next year I am president) and thus I had the privilege of inviting all the plenary speakers. And we have a great lineup ahead.

Given the potential breadth of this year’s theme, the meeting has been designed to explore the Holy Spirit from multiple angles. Most naturally, of course, this theme will be studied from a theological perspective.  But, …

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