Reviews of Douglas Campbell's The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul
Audio from SBL: Gaventa, Hays and Gorman on Romans as Christian Theology

My Guide to the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting 2009

The Society of Biblical Literature 2009 Annual Meeting is next weekend November 21-24, 2009 in New Orleans and I'm going.  There are hundreds of different sessions to go to.  View the 2009 Annual Meeting Online Program Book   You should go to the ones you are interested in.  But as a Duke Divinity School doctoral student with interests in theology, I have listed 8 below that look like a lot of fun to me. 

But before I give you my recommendations of what sessions to consider, I have pasted below the conference advice I first wrote up after going to my first SBL meeting in 2005

How to Survive and Thrive at ETS and SBL

(1) The paper writers present their own papers.  They basically read the academic paper aloud.  You hear regular laments in the hallway about bad pedagogy.  "We present with PowerPoint and illustrations in our classrooms back home but read papers when we are together.  Oh academia . . ." But it is still pretty fun if you are interested in seeing the scholars or are interested in the topic.  Need I mention that caffeine helps? 
(2) If two papers are scheduled at 8:30 am, you have to choose one to attend.  But if the paper is over at 9:10, you can run to another one.  In other words, you don't have to attend all three papers of one session.  There is lots of movement in between papers.  So make your schedule ahead of time and run around and go to the papers you want to. 
(3) If nothing looks good, go to the book room.  Every publisher in the world has all of their books at 50% off.  Very cool.   
(4) Don't bother going to see a moderator because they really don't do a thing except make sure that the person doesn't go over time.  If it says that the moderator is participating in a discussion, then it could be interesting. 
(5) Schedule lunch and dinner with your friends or acquaintances. You'll be running around all day but you don't want to get stuck eating alone (unless you found a good book in the book room).  And it easy to lose your friends in the chaos around mealtimes.  So schedule your meals and meeting places (IVP book table, etc.) ahead of time. 
(6) The General sessions are also optional.  I would recommend the ETS banquet though.  Again, I recommend booking people ahead of time to sit with.   
(7) The theme really means nothing except for influencing the general sessions.   
(8) Book a place to stay now as things get filled up and you'll get stuck with the real expensive hotels. 

See as well

An additional recommendation is to come to the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) meeting before SBL which is meeting in the same hotels. 

Again, there are lots of great sessions.  View PDF Copy of the 2009 ETS Program

Here is one that should be particularly good on the last day which I'll be going to.

Moderator: Gary T. Meadors (Grand Rapids Theological Seminary)
9:10–12:20pm Summaries from Panel of Views Authors:
Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Emeritus) A Principlizing Model
Daniel M. Doriani (Central Presbyterian Church; St. Louis) A Redemptive-Historical Model
Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Wheaton College and Graduate School) A Drama-of-Redemption Model
William J. Webb (Heritage Theological Seminary) A Redemptive-Movement Model
Panel and Audience Discussion
Views authors and response authors: Mark Strauss and Al Wolters

Consider also the Institute for Biblical Research sessions--led by evangelicals--especially the opening night reception on the 20th!


Institute for Biblical Research Annual Meeting
7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Room: Lagnaippe/Rhythms/Waterbury - SHLee McDonald, Acadia Divinity College, Emeritus, Welcome (10 min)
Max Lee, North Park Theological Seminary, Scripture Reading and Prayer (5 min)
Tremper Longman, Westmont College
Of the Making of Commentaries There is No End: The Past, Present, and Future of a Genre (45 min)
Choon-Leong Seow, Princeton Theological Seminary, Respondent (15 min)
Daniel Treier, Wheaton College, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Reception hosted by Zondervan Press


Like fellow Duke doctoral student Stephen Carlson @sccarlson and Duke professor Mark Goodacre @goodacre, I'm going to use the hashtag #SBL09 for tweets.  All that means is that you put #SBL09 at the end of your tweets so they are easy for people to find who are curious about what is going at SBL.  They can just search for #SBL09 and see everything that is going on.  I'll probably keep to my normal practice of only doing a couple of tweets per day. 

Now without further ado,

My map through SBL 2009

(for people with Duke or theology interests like me).

1. Begin the 21st with theological exegesis at 9 am with great biblical scholar/theologian Marcus Bockmuehl, Duke Ph.D grad and Princeton prof Ross Wagner, and my friend and Walter Moberly Durham Ph.D. grad Joel Lohr.


Christian Theology and the Bible
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Bayside BC - SH

Theme: Universalisms And Theological Exegesis

Cherith Nordling, Grand Rapids, MI, Presiding
Joel S. Kaminsky, Smith College, Panelist (25 min)
Markus Bockmuehl, University of Oxford, Panelist (25 min)
J. Ross Wagner, Princeton Theological Seminary, Panelist (25 min)
Joel N. Lohr, Trinity Western University
Taming the Untamable: Christian Attempts to Make Israel's Election Universal (25 min)
Discussion (40 min)

2. At 1:00 pm take your pick between the following two options: my friend John Noble's adviser Peter Machinist at Harvard and the always interesting New Testament scholar Francis Watson; or the Gospel in Our Culture Network Forum sessions with Stephen Fowl and Michael Gorman.


Christian Theology and the Bible
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Bayside BC - SH

Theme: What is "Historical Criticism?"

A. K. M. Adam, University of Glasgow, Presiding
Alan M. Cooper, Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Two Jews, Three Synagogues: A Jewish View of Historical Criticism (25 min)
Peter Machinist, Harvard University
The Bible and the Ancient Near East: Ruminations on some episodes in modern biblical scholarship (25 min)
Francis Watson, Durham University
Does Historical Criticism Exist? (25 min)
Michael LeGaspi, Creighton University
The Origins of Historical Criticism in Theological Perspective (25 min)
Discussion (50 min)

GOCN Forum on Missional Hermeneutics
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Studio 4 - MR

Theme: Missional Readings of Paul's Letter to the Philippians
Through paper presentations and group discussion, the Forum will explore Paul’s letter to the Philippians in view of the missio Dei and the way the letter calls a people to participate in God’s mission to the creation, as well as questions about the community’s interpretive readings and the ways in which it relates the received tradition to a particular context.

George R. Hunsberger, Western Theological Seminary, Presiding
Michael Barram, Saint Mary's College of California
Reflections on the Practice of Missional Hermeneutics: 'Streaming' Philippians 1:20-30 (20 min)
James C. Miller, Asbury Theological Seminary
Mapping Philippians Missionally (20 min)
Stephen E. Fowl, Loyola College in Maryland, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (15 min)
Michael J. Gorman, Saint Mary's Seminary and University
The Apologetic and Missional Impulse of Philippians 2:6-11 in the Context of the Letter (20 min)
Stephen E. Fowl, Loyola College in Maryland, Respondent (15 min)
Discussion (35 min)

Note: if you are going to this session, you might want to read the Hunsberger's paper from last year Proposals for a Missional Hermeneutic: Mapping the Conversation

3. Then you again have to make the tough choice at 4:00 pm between reviews of Duke professor Joel Marcus’s new commentary on Mark reviewed by the prolific Craig Evans; and Beverly Gaventa (Duke Ph.D. / Princeton prof), my adviser Duke professor Richard Hays, and Michael Gorman (who taught at Duke last year while Hays was on sabbatical) on Romans.   Update: see my post: Audio from SBL: Gaventa, Hays and Gorman on Romans as Christian Theology


4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Studio 2 - MR

Theme: Book Review: Joel Marcus, Mark: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Doubleday, 2009)

Rikki E. Watts, Regent College, Presiding
Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College, Panelist (20 min)
James W. Voelz, Concordia Seminary, Panelist (20 min)
Robert Stein, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Panelist (20 min)
Joel Marcus, Duke University, Respondent (30 min)
Discussion (60 min)


Theological Hermeneutics of Christian Scripture
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom C - SH

Theme: Romans as Christian Theology

A. Katharine Grieb, Virginia Theological Seminary, Presiding
Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Princeton Theological Seminary
Reading for the Subject: Conflict and Lordship in Romans 14 (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Richard B. Hays, Duke University
Spirit, Church, Eschatology: The Third Article of the Creed as Hermeneutical Lens for Reading Romans (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Michael J. Gorman, Saint Mary's Seminary and University
Romans: The First Christian Treatise on Theosis (25 min)
Discussion (45 min)

4. On the 22nd at 1:00 pm, hang out with the John Howard Yoder fans.  Cartwright is the editor of the wonderful Royal Priesthood volume by Yoder.


Society of Christian Ethics
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Napoleon D2 - SH

Theme: Re-Reading Scripture with John Howard Yoder

Michael G. Cartwright, University of Indianapolis, Presiding
Tom Yoder Neufeld, University of Waterloo
Yoder, Biblical Realism, and the Element of Surprise (35 min)
John C. Nugent, Great Lakes Christian College
The Politics of Jahweh: John Howard Yoder's Old Testament Narration and its Implications for Social Ethics (35 min)
Michael G. Cartwright, University of Indianapolis
Galuth Revisited: Further Testing of Yoder's Reading of the Jeremianic Shift (35 min)
Discussion (45 min)

5. Then at 7:00 pm pick between Durham, UK New Testament giants: N. T. Wright and James Dunn. Wright is always fun to listen to but Dunn has some very interesting conversation partners in the Roman Catholic Frank Matera and the fierce personality, evangelical D. A. Carson. 


InterVarsity Press Lecture with N. T. Wright on Justification
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom C - SH
N.T. Wright's work on Paul, and particularly his views on justification, has stimulated energetic discussion in a variety of scholarly and theological circles. His recent book, Justification, offers his most complete articulation of his views and responses to key critiques. In this lecture Wright articulates the place and importance of justification in Paul's overall outlook and brings the conversation up to date.


New Testament Theology: Status and Prospects
7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Room: Studio 7 - MR

Pheme Perkins, Boston College, Presiding
James D. G. Dunn, Durham University, Panelist (25 min)
Udo Schnelle, University of Halle, Panelist (25 min)
Frank J. Matera, Catholic University of America, Panelist (25 min)
Donald A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Panelist (25 min)

6. Then head to the Duke reception. 


Duke Reception
9:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Room: Maurepas – JW

7. The next morning on the 23rd head to the Regent College reception (where I did my MDiv). For you Regent College fans, Rikk E. Watts and Gordon D. Fee are both presenting papers at SBL.


Friends of Regent College
7:00 AM to 8:30 AM
Room: Rex – JW

8. At 1:00 pm listen to the reviews of Duke professor Douglas Campbell’s new book which I have highlighted at Reviews of Douglas Campbell's The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul
Alan Torrance is a friend of Campbell's and a theologian. Gorman is involved in three of my favorite SBL sessions and he is a biblical scholar with great pastoral and theological instincts.  Doug Moo is the chair of the Committee on Bible Translation which is translating the new version of the NIV (2011), a Romans commentary writer and professor at Wheaton College.  Update: see my post Audio from SBL Deliverance of God session with Campbell, Gorman, Moo and Torrance     


Pauline Soteriology
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom C - SH

Theme: Book Review: Douglas Campbell, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul (Eerdmans, 2009)

Ann Jervis, Wycliffe College, Presiding
Michael J. Gorman, Saint Mary's Seminary and University, Panelist (20 min)
Alan Torrance, University of St. Andrews-Scotland, Panelist (20 min)
Douglas Moo, Wheaton College, Panelist (20 min)
Douglas Campbell, Duke University, Respondent (20 min)
Break (10 min)
Discussion (60 min)

Of course, there are a lot more sessions I am excited about, but I tried to list a manageable few.  I look forward to seeing some of you there. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

You may reserve a shared ride service between the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel (and other nearby hotels) and Louis Armstrong International Airport through New Orleans Airport Shuttle. Rates are $20pp one way / $38pp roundtrip. Call 504-522-3500 for information or make reservations online at:

I called and they said I don't need a reservation. The shuttle leaves every 30 minutes.

What We Look Like
Our vans are white with yellowing lettering that says "Airport Shuttle" on its side. An excellent marker on the side of van is our phone number 522-3500. Look for the our vans at airports and on our joint reservation site.
Beware of impostors! If you do not see 522-3500 on the side of the van, it is not us!

Where To Find Us
Once you get off of the plane, go to the lower level.Airport Shuttle ticket desks are located across from baggage claim areas 3, 6 and 12. These desks are staffed for sales by cash or credit card daily from 8AM to 11PM. Following 11PM daily you can purchase a one-way cash ticket from any driver on the loading dock outside of baggage claim area 6 and the driver will provide you with a cash receipt, if needed.

2. I am confused about the online SBL Program Book.  Is it me?

No.  There is something wrong with the keyword search at 

For example, when you search for "Duke," the papers by Rowe, Verhey, Dawson, Smith, Marcus, Moore, Sours, Trick, Lieber, Davis, Marcus, Campbell, and Lee do not show up.  Here is the complete list of Duke presentations. 

Download Duke Presenters at SBL 2009

3. What should I make sure and see in New Orleans?

Here is a list of 10 "gems" rated by AAA

The National World War II Museum

The National World War II Museum Advertisements

New Orleans, LA

Consumer Rating: 9out of 10Read/Write Reviews

AAA Editor's Notes: (entrance at Andrew Higgins Dr.), chronicles the war years with exhibits detailing the causes, warfare tactics, home front and the war's lasting significance. Oral histories tell some of the stories. Permanent exhibits explain the history of the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy and the war in the Pacific. Items from the museum collection are displayed on a rotating basis, and special exhibits also are presented. The museum campus includes The Victory Theater, which shows "Beyond All Boundaries," a cinematic experience featuring 4-D special effects and narration by Tom Hanks.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Advertisements

New Orleans, LA

Consumer Rating: 7out of 10Read/Write Reviews

AAA Editor's Notes: More than 15,000 specimens represent some 530 species of marine life found throughout the Americas. Visitors can see sharks, stingrays, red-bellied piranhas, white alligators, black-footed and rockhopper penguins, sea otters and endangered sea turtles.

Audubon Zoo

Audubon Zoo Advertisements

New Orleans, LA

Consumer Rating: N/A Write a Review

AAA Editor's Notes: Encompassing 58 acres of realistic habitats and more than 1,500 animals, the zoo is home to many rare and endangered species. Exhibits include the African Savanna, Australian Outback, Asian Domain, Embraceable Zoo, World of Primates and Reptile Encounter, home to a Komodo dragon. Mayan temples and ruins are the setting for Jaguar Jungle.

New Orleans Museum of Art

New Orleans Museum of Art Advertisements

New Orleans, LA

Consumer Rating: 5out of 10Read/Write Reviews

AAA Editor's Notes: Funded by millionaire sugar broker Isaac Delgado in 1910, the Greek Revival building is home to 46 galleries. The collection includes a comprehensive survey of Western and non-Western art from the pre-Christian era to the present. An entire floor is dedicated to Asian, African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian and American Indian art.

Audubon Insectarium

Audubon Insectarium Advertisements

New Orleans, LA

Consumer Rating: N/A Write a Review

AAA Editor's Notes: Which was built 1818-81. Exhibits at this nature museum devoted to the insect world include Butterflies in Flight, a replica of a Japanese garden, where butterflies flutter freely; Hall of Fame, showcasing insects with extreme talents and qualities; Awards Night, an interactive theater presentation with special effects; and Life Underground, in which oversized exhibits reduce guests to the size of bugs.

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art Advertisements

New Orleans, LA

Consumer Rating: N/A Write a Review

AAA Editor's Notes: Southern art from the 1700s to the present is represented in the collection amassed by New Orleans entrepreneur Roger Ogden. The museum displays between 300 and 400 works in 20 galleries, including paintings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, crafts and glass. Featured artists include Walter Anderson, Benny Andrews, Ida Kohlmeyer, George Ohr, Will Henry Stevens and Hunt Slonem.

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

New Orleans, LA

Consumer Rating: N/A Write a Review

Preservation Hall

New Orleans, LA

Consumer Rating: N/A Write a Review

AAA Editor's Notes: Each night one of five or six bands performs traditional jazz in its truest form. The price of admission equates to that of a movie theater ticket, and there's never a bad show. Reservations are not an option, so line up with hopefuls along St. Ann Street about a half-hour before the doors open. The "hall" is simply a dimly lit room the size of a large parlor. About three rows of low, backless wooden benches face the informal stage, which comprises the front third of the room and contains a set of drums, an old upright honky-tonk piano and a couple of antique oak press-back chairs for musicians.

St. Louis Cathedral

New Orleans, LA

Consumer Rating: N/A Write a Review

AAA Editor's Notes: One of the oldest and most photographed churches in the country, the cathedral was the third house of worship to be built on this site. It was completed in 1794 as part of the beneficence of Don Andres Almonester de Roxas, who spent a substantial part of his fortune rebuilding New Orleans after the second great fire. Don Andres is among the distinguished Frenchmen and Spaniards interred in the church. St. Anthony's Garden behind the church was once a notorious dueling ground.

Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden

New Orleans, LA

Consumer Rating: N/A Write a Review

AAA Editor's Notes: Next to the New Orleans Museum of Art, the sculpture garden contains 60 sculptures on 5 landscaped acres. Sculptures by such artists as Jacques Lipchitz, Renè Magritte, Henry Moore, Pierre Auguste Renoir, George Rickey and George Segal are surrounded by pine and live oak trees, camellias and magnolias.

4. Can I record the sessions and post them on the internet?

The short answer is that you need to ask permission of the people.  See the discussion at:

Audio Recordings of SBL Sessions?

5. What should I wear?

I wear sport jackets (blue, brown), dress pants (brown, gray), dress shirts, and brown dress shoes that are comfortable to walk in.  I wear a tie to the Duke reception and perhaps at other times.  Many people dress more casually but most of the Duke professors always have a suit and tie. 


I have posted two of the sessions: