Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scenes and Observations from SBL Atlanta 2010

In no particular order ...

Two huge ballrooms were assigned to a session attended by about 15 people.

My room, thankfully, was in a tower (Hyatt) where I didn't have to go up in one of those glass elevators.

Best meal: Atlanta Grill, with Marty Abegg and James Bowley. We planned the next volume of the Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance.

I bought two books: The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism by Adele Berlin and the Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis.

The good people at Accordance updated me and fixed me up with a ton of awesome software.

The most crowded session I attended was the one on Biblioblogging. I listened to Jim Davila's and Chris Brady's excellent papers on the state of the art, then had to go to another session. Chris suggested (as you can read here) that there be an SBL committee to provide peer-review insight on the tenure-relevant research found in online sources. I agree if the sources are research resources, but not if they are blogs. Blogs should resist "sivilizin'".

Jim Davila is still watching Lost.

Against all probability, the guy I sat next to at the Bloggers lunch lives only a few blocks away from me.

John Hobbins is really tall.

The HUC grad school survives.

I enjoyed discussing syntax with fellow UCLA alums Kirk Lowery and Randy Buth.

There will never be a time when most people know how to deliver a paper at SBL.

I met a man who had taken Hebrew from me over 20 years ago.

I enjoyed talking about Amazon's Kindle with Dean Forbes.

The number of religious books being published every year is inversely proportional to the number of actual Christians.

I worked on my paper the night before I gave it. At least I didn't write my paper the night before I gave it.

Air Tran advertises free Wi-Fi in their terminal. It's only free if you want to check your flight information. For anything else, you have to pay.

I enjoyed seeing some of my students at their first SBL.

The memorial service for Hanan Eshel was moving, with most major Qumran scholars in attendance.

MARTA is better than Metro. Cheaper, too.

The Brill reception was awesome, and the view from the 49th floor of the Peachtree Tower was spectacular.

The Fuller breakfast was great, but it's a little sobering to realize that I am now among the oldest attendees.

I'll add more as I recall more....