Just the highlights from a day filled with papers:

  • Naming Practices in Jewish Palestine in the Late Second Period and Their Relevance for the New Testament (Richard Bauckham)

Of about 3200 names that we have evidence for in New Testament times (predominantly but not exclusively elite men in Jerusalem), the most common names were Simon and Joseph. (Mary and Salome were the most common names for women.) Nicknames, shortened forms of names, patronymics and places of origin were commonly used to distinguish people from one another. Main points: (1) The names in the NT follow the general pattern for the name use that we have evidence for. (2) One must assume that when specifications are used, they are there for a reason, e.g. the Mary in Mark 15:40 is not the same as Jesus’ mother Mary (Matt 13:55), although her sons have the same names.

  • Study of John's Gospel: New Directions or the Same Old Paths? (Stanley E. Porter)

Porter presented a strong case arguing that while Culpepper wrote using the tools of literary analysis that were current at the time, the majority of biblical scholars since then have failed to keep up with the developments in that field and as a result literary interpretation has become ossified. He recommends three ways forward: literary stylistics, discouse analysis, and SFL register analysis. He has a forthcoming annotated bibliography on John.

Tomorrow, we take a much-needed day off, move to Chicago, and enjoy some R&R!

Note 1: Out of curiousity and to kill time, Doug and I counted the people going up and down these escalators. Out of 100, 11 were women and 2 were not white.

Note 2: Although two guys have been incredibly rude, one because he could not believe that I was the one here for the conference and not Doug, they stick out because they are in the minority. And in each case there was also a guy who went out of his way to try to remedy the situation.

Conclusions: Women are not the only underrepresented group, and people are people, no matter where you go!