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SBL e-Newsletter
September 12, 2012 e-newsletter
Please do not reply to this email. The box is not monitored.

Annual Call for Nominations to SBL Leadership Positions

SBL Members are encouraged and invited to submit nominations to fill open positions on SBL committees and boards. Please follow this link for instructions. 

See the committee page for volunteer opportunities.

Annual Meeting

If you are planning to attend the Annual Meeting this year and have not registered, register now and save money. Registration rates go up on September 16! Conference attendees who register by September 15 will be mailed a Program Book that includes all SBL sessions, AAR sessions, and Additional Meetings. We will no longer mail the Program Book to all SBL members, only those registered for the Annual Meeting. If you register after September 15, you may pick up your Program Book at the conference. Details on how to purchase a copy of the Program Book if you will not be attending the meeting will be forthcoming.

This year, daytime sessions will be held at McCormick Place convention center, and evening events will be at the Hilton Chicago, Palmer House Hilton, and other hotels in the downtown area. Shuttle buses will run from early morning to midnight each day to transport attendees from the conference hotels to the convention center. If you are staying at a conference hotel, you may ride the shuttle buses at no charge. If you did not make a hotel reservation through SBL, you may purchase a shuttle pass when you register or at the SBL registration desk in McCormick Place. More information on shuttle routes will be sent to meeting attendees this fall.

Several services will be provided for attendees with accessibility concerns.

  • The 2012 Easy Access Chicago guide can be picked up at the SBL Member Services desk located near registration in McCormick Place West.
  • Two dedicated ADA shuttles will be on call throughout the meeting. You may call the shuttle from the Transportation Desk in McCormick Place, from the SBL Member Desk, or directly as needed. The phone number will be made available to members in October.
  • A lounge for attendees to sit and rest will be available in room W196c McCormick Place West.
  • A first aid room will be available in each building of McCormick Place with cots and trained staff.

Since the majority of the conference hotels are at a distance from McCormick Place Convention Center the following services will be provided for Sabbath observant attendees on Saturday, November, 17

  • We will offer a guided walk that will depart from the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Avenue. The first walk will depart in time to reach McCormick Place for morning sessions, and the second walk will depart in time to reach McCormick Place for the afternoon sessions.
  • We have reserved W186c in McCormick Place West for your use.
  • A kosher vendor will offer food and beverage in the exhibit hall during the show hours.
  • If you would like to sign up for the walk or have questions about these services, please contact us at

Session Highlights
Bible Translation (S18-108)
Sunday, Nov. 18, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Sponsored by the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at American Bible Society
Translation as an interpretive act involves ideological, communicative, linguistic, etc. choices. A question not often asked when translating ancient texts is whether translation has articulated adequately, fairly, the ancient and foreign voice of the author(s) or authorial community. In fact the foreign voice emits a discernible "difference" that colloquialization and domestication can suppress or censor altogether. This seminar will explore, theoretically and practically, the fortunes of that foreign voice under the stresses presented by modern translation projects, where often criteria such as "readability" and "audience familiarity and acceptability" determine a translation's shape and success. It will raise the question of how alterity (otherness of author, culture, values) fares when translation choices are made and methodologies applied. And moving past dualistic thinking, it will explore a third space for translation in which the foreignness and alterity that reside in original source texts might, without erasure, be effectively and fluently brought within the target audience's grasp.

Swiss Treasures: From Biblical Papyrus and Parchment to Erasmus, Zwingli, Calvin, and Barth
Switzerland, situated in the heart of Europe, has made numerous contributions to Europe's cultural history, not least by way of reflecting the Judeo-Christian tradition, which coined the very self-conception of Europe. These achievements are associated with names such as Erasmus of Rotterdam, Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, and Karl Barth.

For this reason, seven Swiss universities have assembled an exhibition on the occasion of the joint annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion at the nearby University of Chicago Library, with highlights from seven distinguished Swiss archives and libraries located in Basel, Fribourg, St. Gall, Zurich, Cologny, and Geneva.

Seven displays present thematic-local particularities in the forms of papyri, parchments, first editions, and early printings, as well as historic manuscripts and other varieties of text from the 4th through the 20th centuries, most of them shown for the first time abroad. These artefacts either derive from the major exponents themselves or document their philosophical, theological, and political work, which extended into the New World.

Among the manuscripts shown are Psalm texts from a Bodmer Papyrus (4th c.), and fragments of the world's oldest version of the Vulgate (400/420), as well as several sheets from one of the few remaining copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch (1495/6). Among the printed texts on display—apart from an early Talmud printing (1578)—are the first New Testament to be printed in Greek (1516), and the first printings of Bibles in German and French, based on the original Hebrew and Greek and overseen by the Reformers Zwingli (1530) and Calvin (1535). Some of these illustrated editions (with paintings and woodcuts) provide the finest examples of Swiss printing in the 16th century. Finally, there are also documents from the 20th century, including a handwritten draft of the Barmen Theological Declaration (1934), a testimony to the struggle of certain Protestant churches against the Nazi regime, from the hand of one of its leading protagonists, Karl Barth.

The exhibition is framed by a special session featuring Swiss scholarly experts (Saturday, November 17, 2:00 to 4:30 pm, McCormick, S406b) and by a subsequent reception with welcoming addresses by the Swiss Consul General of Chicago and the president of the Rector's Conference of Swiss Universities (4:30 to 7:00 pm, McCormick Place, S406a). Click here for details on the exhibition, tours, special session, and reception.


For a list of the latest SBL titles visit the SBL publications page.

The Journal of Biblical Literature issue 131.3 will be posted soon. Upcoming articles are:

Judah Comes to Shiloh: Genesis 49:10ba, One More Time
Serge Frolov, 417–422

The Four Moses Death Accounts
Philip Y. Yoo, 423–441

Not Just Any King: Abimelech, the Northern Monarchy, and the Final Form of Judges
Brian P. Irwin, 443–454

The Heart of Yhwh's Chosen One in 1 Samuel
Benjamin J. M. Johnson, 455–466

Secrets and Lies: Secrecy Notices (Esther 2:10, 20) and Diasporic Identity in the Book of Esther
Martien A. Halvorson-Taylor, 467–485

Psalms Dwelling Together in Unity: The Placement of Psalms 133 and 134 in Two Different Psalms Collections
Ryan M. Armstrong, 487–506
Archer Imagery in Zechariah 9:11–17 in Light of Achaemenid Iconography
Ryan P. Bonfiglio, 507–527

Eyewitnesses as Guarantors of the Accuracy of the Gospel Traditions in the Light of Psychological Research
Robert K. McIver, 529–546

Voluntary Debt Remission and the Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1–13)
John K. Goodrich 547–566

Paul's Areopagus Speech of Acts 17:16–34 as Both Critique and Propaganda
Joshua W. Jipp, 567–588

"Be Ye Approved Money Changers!" Reexamining the Social Contexts of the Saying and Its Interpretation
Curtis Hutt, 589–609

New SBL Facts and Figures Page on the website

A new webpage of basic membership statistics and participation in Society programs has been posted and will be updated annually. Beginning in 2013, based on a new member profile, this page will link to separate snapshots with more member detail, including academic specializations and members' countries.

ACLS African Humanities Program

The American Council of Learned Societies is pleased to announce 51 fellowship awards to African scholars in the fourth year of the African Humanities Program (AHP), a multi-year initiative of annual, international competitions funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The program is open to humanities scholars in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

2012 African Humanities Program Dissertation Fellows
2012 African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellows

The AHP is inspired by a commitment to advancing the humanities as a core component of higher education in Africa, in the conviction that the humanities are essential to every society's progress and development. To revitalize humanistic study AHP offers fellowships for the completion of Ph.D. dissertations and postdoctoral projects by early-career scholars. Stipends provide a year free from teaching for full time dissertation writing or postdoctoral research and writing.

Applications are evaluated by an international committee of senior scholars from African universities in a rigorous process of peer review.

In addition to fellowships, the AHP has organized public meetings in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda for discussion of new intellectual directions and standards of quality in humanities scholarship, and for workshops in the preparation of applications.

In future years AHP plans to publish the best work completed under terms of its fellowships in the AHP Humanities Publications Series.

Application materials for the 2012-13 competition will be available in early September. See the competition announcement (PDF) for details. This year's deadline is 1 November 2012.

Membership and Subscriptions

Address Change
We are no longer using a post office box. Please send all mailings for SBL directly to Society of Biblical Literature, The Luce Center, 825 Houston Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30329

Optional Profile Winners
Every month, we randomly select two members from the pool of those who have filled out the Optional Profile for a free one-year membership. The September 2012 winners are:

Emily O. Gravett

Herbert W. Bateman IV

As our privacy policy indicates, we will never divulge information from your profile to a third party. Thank you to all of you who have supplied this optional data. If you have not yet filled in the information (or you would like to update it), you may do so by logging into our website with your SBL Member number and going to the "my profile" tab, which will appear on the left hand side of the screen in the box where you logged in. While you are filling out the Optional Profile, please make sure all of your profile information is up to date!

The Journal of Biblical Literature is the flagship journal of the field. It is published quarterly and includes scholarly articles and critical notes by members of the Society. Essential reading for over a century, it is now available online and in print.

In order to receive the printed issue 131:4 of the Journal of Biblical Literature your subscription and payment must be received no later than November 15, 2012. The subscription form can be found at: . You may fax or email your form to the office. Our Fax number is 404-727-2419 or you may email the form to If you prefer, you may renew your subscription online, by logging into the website at and following the directions. You may also of course mail your subscription form to us at 825 Houston Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30329.

The Review of Biblical Literature (RBL
), founded by the Society of Biblical Literature, presents reviews of books in biblical studies and related fields. Appearing in digital form and in print, RBL is comprehensive, international, and timely.

  • Comprehensive: RBL includes reviews of various topical studies, multi-author volumes, reference works, commentaries, dictionaries, Bible translations, software, and other resources for the classroom and research. Multiple and contrasting reviews are often presented. The material reviewed and our reviewers come from varied academic, social, and religious perspectives.
  • International: RBL provides a forum for international scholarly exchange and cutting edge innovations with reviews of German, French, Italian, and English books as well as reviews in those languages. Our editorial board includes members from across the globe.
  • Timely: RBL produces reviews of the most recent titles in biblical studies.
  • Authoritative: RBL reviews are written by the most qualified scholars available, whether a member of the SBL or the broader scholarly guild, and are vetted to ensure their quality by a highly regarded editorial board.

In order to receive the printed annual of the Review of Biblical Literature for 2012, your subscription and payment needs to be received by October 15, 2012. The subscription form can be found at:

You can print the form, fill it out and mail it with your payment or payment information to 825 Houston Mill Road, Atlanta , GA 30329. Or, you can fax it to 404-727-2419. If you prefer, you can renew your subscription online by logging into the website at and following the directions.

Special subscription rates to JBL and RBL are available to institutions in ICI countries.
Download the ICI order form here.


See full job listings

The Employment Center, sponsored by SBL and the American Academy of Religion, provides the opportunity for employers and those seeking employment to register for interviews at the Annual Meetings, as well as interview facilities, job listings, candidate credentials, and a messaging service. The point is for both candidates and employers to reduce costs of travel and time by facilitating the engagement of both parties in multiple interviews in a neutral environment. As the Annual Meetings are the major congressional venue for reporting current research, meeting colleagues, and making new connections, they also offers candidates the opportunity to obtain professional development—by engaging scholars, hearing lectures, giving papers, and participating in sessions.

Learn more about the Employment Center, job listings, and employer and candidate registration for the Annual Meetings here.


Click here for full calender

September 2012
9/10–9/14 Abraham: Between History and Faith
A conference of the Italian Biblical Association. Rome, Pontifical Biblical Institute,
More information
For further information: contact Prof. Angelo Passaro or ABI Secretary
October 2012
10/12-10/14 Traveling Traditions: Pilgrimage across Time and Cultures
The Institute of Pilgrimage Studies in conjunction with the International Consortium for Pilgrimage Studies is hosting their first annual Symposium to be held at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

More information

November 2012
11/17- 11/20 SBL Annual Meeting
Chicago, Illinois
December 2012
12/12-12/14 The Panoply of Judaisms in the 1st-3rd Centuries (Christians, Rabbis and Synagogues)
This international meeting will happen at the Institute of the Biblical Sciences (University of Lausanne, CH) and is co-organized by Claire Clivaz, Simon Mimouni and Bernard Pouderon.

Speakers will be: Marie-Françoise Baslez, Ra’anan Boustan, Bogdan Bucur, Claire Clivaz, José Costa, Jörg Frey, Emmanuel Friedheim, David Hamidovic, Hervé Inglebert, Daniel Marguerat, Simon Mimouni, Ron Naiweld, Etienne Nodet, Bernard Pouderon, Annette Yoshiko Reed, Benjamin Bertho, Simon Butticaz, Charlotte Touati.

The profound change that research is currently undergoing demands a shift in thinking about all forms of Judaism, not just the rabbinic or Christian movements but also synagogue Judaism. For several centuries, both the Christians and the Rabbis ‘attempted’ to achieve a Utopian unity, as improbable as it is impossible, by defining their boundaries in terms of notions such as heresy and canon. In so doing, they each diminished the influence of synagogue Judaism and in places smoothed it over to the point of apparently effacing it forever. It is in the light of these changes in perspective that the organisers of this colloquium would like to reconsider all the forms of Judaism after 70CE , with the aim of taking stock of the increasingly numerous shifts occurring in this area of high-level research.

See Program, information and inscription here.
12/20-12/21 The Society for Biblical Studies in India (SBSI) will hold its biennial conference in Bangalore, Whitefield at the Ecumenical Christian Center. The Theme for this conference is: Biblical Jubilee: Indian Liberation Hermeneutics.
For more information contact Rev. Dr. K. Jesurathnam, Secretary, SBSI.
January 2013
1/3-1/6 Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting (LSA)
Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts

More information
1/3-1/6 Archaeological Institute of America and the American Philological Association
114th AIA and APA Joint Annual Meeting will be held in Seattle, Washington
AIA information
APA information
February 2013
March 2013
3/15- 3/17 Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR)
Regional meeting will be held at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina
More information 
3/15- 3/18 Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society
Portland, Oregon, Portland Hilton & Executive Tower
More information 
3/23- 3/25 SBL Pacific Coast Regional Meeting
Regional meeting will be held at Hope International University in Fullerton, California
More information 

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