September 16, 2020 Newsletter
SBL Newsletter View this issue in your browser or see the archive.

Call of Nominations for Council and Committees of Council

The Nominating Committee reviews nominations and nominates to Council for election members of standing committees and representatives to other organizations as required.  The Nominating Committee also nominates to the Society for election at the Annual Business Meeting the President, Vice-President, and Council members. (Program Committees nominate and vote on Program Unit Chairs and report to Nominating Committee and Council. Research and Publications Committee nominates and votes on Book Series Editors and reports to Nominating Committee and Council. Members at the Business Meeting receive a report of all votes by Council, Research and Publications, and Program Committee. For more information on Policies and Governance, see the SBL Policy Manual.) For a list of the various committees and their responsibilities, see and select a committee to read its description.

The Nominating Committee will begin its work submitting names to Council to fill positions open January 2022. SBL Members are encouraged and invited to submit nominations. Members may nominate themselves. All nominees must be members in good standing of the SBL. The following committees will have positions open in 2022:

SBL Council
Vice President of SBL
Educational Resources and Review Committee
International Cooperation Initiative Committee
Research and Publications Committee
Status of Women in the Profession Committee
Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee

Nominations should include: a summary of the nominee’s participation in SBL; a statement describing the nominee’s interest in that particular group; and a copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae. To submit a nomination, please email

Black Scholars Matter Task Force

In June, the SBL Council formed the Black Scholars Matter Task Force with the following members on it:
Efrain Agosto, Chair of Council
Gay L. Byron, former member of Council
Tat-siong Benny Liew, Chair-elect of Council
Raj Nadella, Chair of CUREMP
Hugh Page, member of Council
Adele Reinhartz, Task Force Chair and President
James VanderKam, Vice President
John F. Kutsko, Executive Director, ex officio

The Task Forceís work is being facilitated by a consultant, Dr. Sharon Watson Fluker, who has a distinguished career leading change toward diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Dr. Watson Fluker is working with the SBL Executive Director and the Black Scholars Task Force to improve the environment of support for Africana biblical scholars in order to support their careers in the academy and their impact on the academy. The work of the Black Scholars Matter Task Force and consultation will include programs, resources, and tools for creating an environment of support for Africana biblical scholars. This work is critically important as we acknowledge the backdrop of the global Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and its call for fair and equitable policies bringing an end to police brutality. In addition, this movement calls us into a deeper account for the remaining challenges caused by systematic and institutional racism. It is our hope that this work and will bring us all closer to making this a reality.

#BlackScholarsMatter Symposium

The recordings of the #BlackScholarsMatter Symposium sessions are available on the symposium webpage.

Student Advisory Board Applications

Student Advisory Board Applications
The SBL Student Advisory Board is now accepting applications for Project Coordinator and a Member-at-Large. Applications will be open until October 9. New members will be notified by the end of October. Apply here.

Call for Applications

 The National Humanities Center application portal is now open. Please find below the call for applications for the 2021-22 residential fellowship program at the National Humanities Center. The application deadline is October 8, 2020.
More Information

ACLS Job Openings

ACLS is seeking to fill two program officer openings in their US Programs division. At least one should have supervisory experience. 
Program officers in US Programs manage the design, implementation, and administration of programs that offer support to scholars nationally and internationally, working both inside and beyond the academy.
A full description and link to apply can be found on the ACLS website.

Save Ancient Studies

SBL supports the mission and work of Save Ancient Studies in America (SASA). Have a look at SASA’s first newsletter Oracle and sign up for updates.

2020-21 ACLS Fellowship and Grant Competitions

Competitions with fall deadlines are now open and accepting applications.

Support SBL

Amazon Purchases: Thank you to all our Amazon Smile supporters! If you haven’t signed up, just go to and choose Society of Biblical Literature as your charity of choice. Then make all of your future Amazon purchases via and they will donate a percentage of your purchase to us. It costs you nothing extra. This is a great time of year to sign up, since all our small purchases add up!

You can also support SBL by accessing Amazon from this link.

SBL Calendar

See Events on the SBL Calendar

SBL on Twitter

@BibleOdyssey shares content related to Bible Odyssey and biblical studies in general.

Want to continue conversations from the Annual and International Meeting? We recommend the hashtag #SBLsite on Twitter.

@SBLPress will be posting new publications, e-book releases, and special sales.

SBL Virtual Annual Meeting

SBL Virtual Annual Meeting
November 29 to December 10, 2020
Register Here! 

Do you have questions about the meeting schedule, virtual platform, participating publishers, or the Mobile App and SBL Central?  Check out all of the latest information and frequently asked questions here.

The Online Program Book is Now Available!

The Preliminary online Program Book is now available!

Please note that the schedule is still subject to change.

An abridged print version of the Program Book will be mailed to members who register by September 30 and request the printed book. 

SBL Central logo

The Launch of SBL Centralís New Content for Members and for Publishers

In 2014, in consultation with publishers, the Society of Biblical Literature began conceptualizing a research tool that would uniquely serve SBL members as well as the publishers who invest in the resources that advance biblical studies and its related fields. This tool, SBL Central, built upon one of SBL’s most important resources: the Review of Biblical Literature (RBL). Launched in 1998, RBL quickly became the first place scholars go in order to keep up in a field that has an extraordinary number of publications. RBL’s value is that it produces academic reviews of books core to the discipline and assigns books for review just months after they are published. RBL publishes an average of ten reviews each week and has published over 10,000 reviews since 1998. Its weekly newsletter produces 10,000 site visits, for a total site traffic of over half a million each year. In a 2016 membership survey, RBL stood out by far as the most used book-review service in the field. It reduces the anxiety reported in a recent Ithaka S+R study that religion scholars have over finding and keeping up with new publications in the field.

Building on RBL’s strengths and recognizing new challenges, SBL Central harnesses more technology, more content, and more community. This highly customized and automated research platform provides access to more scholarly communication—including books, book reviews, journal issues, and conference papers—and will deliver custom alerts to users when new resources are published or produced. How? SBL members identify their subjects of interest on the site. SBL Central tags books and reviews to these subjects. When a new book is added to SBL Central or when RBL publishes a new book review, members with that interest receive a customized alert. Besides searching and browsing, book and book-review notices are delivered to SBL members’ inboxes, and the weekly newsletter will continue so that members see all the book reviews published each week. SBL Central is a 24/7 book exhibit hall. It will give SBL members a personal, digital, research assistant to guide them through the exhibit hall to the subjects and books that interest them all year round.

SBL Central launched its conference paper abstract database in 2018. In November, it will fully launch the book and book review service. This will also support the virtual Annual Meeting. The development of SBL Central provided an important service in this year of COVID-19. When the decision was made to transition the Boston meeting to a virtual meeting, SBL Central provided us with a platform for members to upload presentation papers and materials.

Consequently, SBL Central will become an indispensable tool for SBL’s Annual and International Meeting as well as every day of the year.
SBL Central was funded with a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation as well as the support of these Foundation Sponsors:

Baker Academic
Baylor University Press
Bloomsbury Publishing
Brill Publishers
De Gruyter
Mohr Siebeck
Penn State University Press
Westminster John Knox Press
Wipf and Stock Publishers


We extend our thanks again for this valuable support that serves SBL members and the publishers who serve them as well as depend upon them. Thank you!

SBL Central demonstrates SBL’s commitment to you, and we will improve it each year in consultation with an advisory board. For example, already scheduled for implementation in 2021 is the ability for publishers to upload their entire backlist and for members to receive alerts to new issues of academic journals, with DOIs linked to the journal sites.

The Society of Biblical Literature is a learned society committed to serving scholars and publishers in biblical studies, including ancient Near Eastern studies, late antiquity and Classics, archaeology, patristics, ancient Jewish studies, early Qur’anic studies, history of interpretation, reception history, and theology.

SBL Central is a game changer, and we look forward to launching this for you in November.

Call for Papers- Race and Racism: Beyond the Spectacular

The April 2023 issue of TAPA intends to be a catalyst for transformative ideas regarding the reality of race and racism within all aspects of Greek and Roman Studies. Co-editors Patrice Rankine and Sasha-Mae Eccleston are calling specifically for contributions from outside as well as from inside the field of classics. This issue will focus on Covid-19 and the global Movement 4 Black Lives and how they have highlighted the extent to which racism is a public health emergency whose reach extends across the Black Atlantic and far beyond. This issue of TAPA intends to be a catalyst for transformative ideas regarding the reality of race and racism within all aspects of Greek and Roman Studies. Articles for this issue should be submitted no earlier than August 1, 2021, and no later than January 1, 2022.
More information

New from SBL Press

Reading Ecclesiastes from Asia and Pasifika
Jione Havea and Peter H. W. Lau, editors

This book contains interpretations of Ecclesiastes by authors from Asia and Pasifika. Essays engage oral traditions, customs, and written texts not usually encountered in biblical scholarship. Topics of wisdom, gender, justice, vanity, bitterness, life, death, labor, exile, pain, and philosophy invite readers to reconsider their own interpretations.

The Bible in the American Experience
Claudia Setzer and David A. Shefferman, editors

This collection of essays evaluates how the Bible continues to influence American art, literature, music, politics, education, and social movements. In this one-volume update of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Bible in American Culture series of the 1980s, contributors illustrate how biblical themes infuse US culture and are in turn transformed by it.

Paperback • Hardcover • Kindle • Google Play

Philodemus, On Anger
David Armstrong and Michael McOsker

This English translation of On Anger provides a newly edited Greek text of one of the most important Herculaneum papyri, the only collection of literary texts to survive the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. On Anger is our sole evidence for the Epicurean view of what constitutes natural and praiseworthy anger, as distinguished from unnatural pleasure in vengeance and cruelty for their own sake, a view that can be shown to have influenced Latin authors such as Cicero, Horace, and Virgil.
Paperback • Hardcover • KindleGoogle Play

Textual Criticism and the New Testament Text: Theory, Practice, and Editorial Technique
Eberhard W. Güting

This collection of fourteen essays by Eberhard W. Güting covers important aspects of editorial science with a particular focus on New Testament textual criticism. After an introduction to text criticism for students and teachers, topical essays cover textual emendation, text-critical procedures, literary criticism, history of scholarship, advantages and disadvantages of online manuscripts, and text-critical studies of words and phrases. 


New from Bible Odyssey


Roman Emperors and Imperial Families

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

Sign up for the Bible Odyssey Newsletter


Extensive changes and additions render the first edition outdated
Essential for publishing in ancient Near Eastern, biblical, and early Christian studies
Definitive answers to questions of style, spelling, transliteration, and citation

Hardcover $39.95  •  ISBN 9781589839649  •  368 pages
                        Kindle ASIN B00WVGD4AY  •  Google Play  ISBN 9781589839656

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