James Crossley's blog Contact: jgcrossley10 - AT - yahoo - DOT - co - DOT - uk

Sunday, September 04, 2005

BNTC Liverpool 2005

I noticed that other bloggers got to computers. Obviously, I didn’t. Anyway, as others have mentioned, Richard Burridge gave the first main paper on ethics and ancient biography. I thought Burridge’s work on genre was very convincing and so the ‘biographical approach’ to ethics could have some mileage. The paper covered a massive range of Pauline and gospel material. The issue of Jesus and the Law (one of my pet topics) came up in the discussion and I was discussing it with people long after the paper. I think there is potential for a fully law observant Jesus to catch on but how you measure such agreement I don’t know.

Then whilst having a drink later on me and Sean Winter were asked if we knew one another to which a reply was mumbled, ‘We met on the internet.’

The Jesus seminar (not the naughty one of course) went well I thought. The first two papers were by Andy Angel and Maurice Casey on the son of man problem with my co-chair David Bryan (a Liverpool fan and he kept reminding me of their fluke last May) responding to Andy Angel. The debate was heated but always friendly. A fair bit was on Aramaic and linguistics. Put crudely there was a divide between the titular THE Son of Man like Andy and David and those (myself included) who think more along the lines of the lower case and more generalising son of man associated with the late Barnabas Lindars and of course Maurice. I think it is fair to say that some on the titular side were prepared to concede that Mk 2.28 is strong evidence for a generalising statement with some reference to the individual because of the existence of the generalising Mk 2.27 which is dropped independently by both Matt. and Lk. to produce a titular the Son of Man.

I chose to go to David Horrell’s short paper which questioned the validity of the term ‘Pauline churches’ as a distinct ideological group of pro-Pauline people. I thought it was very convincing and my impression was that it was broadly accepted by those who attended, although I claim no skill as a mind reader. More conversation with others really.

I stayed for the debate on the future of biblical studies. While undoubtedly important it strayed a bit too much into church based things for my secular tastes. There was also a question from someone which I’m not sure if I heard correctly so I could be completely misrepresenting here. I think, repeat think, that someone said that there should be more respect for scholars who have studied these texts for years and that postmodern influences have led to the idea that all opinions are valid when they are not or something like that. IF, repeat if, this was said then this is something with which I’d disagree strongly. I think it is healthy to disrespect scholars and for students to challenge everything that academics tell them. Scholars are not gods and they make mistakes. Many mistakes. I suspect all academic disciplines have had their fair share of scholars who have produced stuff which is ethically unsound to say the least. There should be no problem with students putting opinions forward no matter how stupid. They can be debated after all. I’m not sure if it’s right to blame ‘postmodernism’ for everything deemed wrong in academia (if this was what was said and even if not I have heard it said by others). My guess is that the social change of the 1960s has more to do with people being more and more prepared to challenge authority figures and that’s a good thing. But as this is all from memory I could easily be misrepresenting whoever said it. Feel free to tell me off if I did misrepresent.

I missed the Friday evening paper because a) I’m pretty sure I had heard it at another conference and b) David Bryan and Maurice Casey persuaded me to have a drink instead. That session lasted some time.

The final session of the Jesus seminar was Rafael Rodriguez’s paper on memory, reputation and so on. I gave a response that focused on the methodology because I largely thought everyone else would have concentrated on exegetical questions. As it turned out I was quite wrong and most of the session was taken up by some useful methodological discussion. I was in general agreement with Rafael, particularly on how authenticity is too focused on whether this or that verse accurately reflects an early tradition and so on whereas memories of Jesus have some importance too in historical reconstruction. I thus have some sympathy with the recent debate on remembering Jesus and all that. I added some qualifications on memory creating false ‘facts’ and how a memory and reputation can tell us something completely inaccurate about a person. My worry is that this approach can go too far and let everything count as ‘authentic’ (not that Rafael said that). But I think there was broad agreement in the seminar on this in the end.

The Saturday main paper was by Darrell Hannah on evidence for ‘The Four Gospel “Canon” in the Epistula Apostolorum’. The overall case seemed pretty strong to me but when doing other things at the moment it’s not the sort of thing I’m able to check properly. It surely has to be one of the few BNTC papers in its history which has discussed Coptic and Ethiopic texts, at least in my time going to the conference.

One particularly entertaining moment was seeing a rare-ish Hebrew Bible book on the book stalls and it was by William Dever. I can’t remember the title but there was a full 3 page onslaught on things connected with the Dept of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield. There were all sorts of allegations of being trendy, postmodern, that kind of thing and an incredibly selective and one sided list of what represented Sheffield. It was so misleading it was unintentionally hilarious. I have never read anything quite like that before and it was largely empty and meaningless polemic. It was in the context of the whole minimalist debate so Sheffield NT was not really attacked.

Oh, and I had a greetings conveyed to me from one Michael Bird who said I would know him as a right wing bigot and a ‘fundamentalist’. You said it Michael! Only kidding. It made me laugh. I have never and, barring some outrageous statement in the future, will never describe the esteemed blogger and friend of gentiles in such terms. It would have been very interesting to have Michael at the Jesus seminar and next year I may have to get a hook and drag him in whether he likes it or not.

9 Comments:

Anonymous steph said...

sounds great, thanks for blogging. I liked Rafael's paper -inspired by 'trendy, post-modern' Sheffield?! Lots of drinking - any photos?

September 04, 2005

 
Anonymous Christopher Shell said...

I guess a lot of this is a question of seeing the different sides. The young upstart who challenges his elders is quite rightly seeking unmediated access to the texts rather than access mediated by received ideas or ruling paradigms. On the other hand, his/her assumption that he/she is likely to have equal wisdom/learning to his/her elders is more often than not (all things being equal) going to be wrong, since (barring senility) these things develop over a lifetime. This is the point where the 'sixties philosophy (of which I am a semi-fan) seems inadequately thought-through (not to mention potentially disrespectful and shallow. Wasnt the sixties the time when we were all supposed to roar with laughter at the abuse of grandparents in Billy Liar etc, and not trust anyone over 30?).

As for postmodernism, its all-have-won-and-all-shall-have-prizes philosophy is pure Alice in Wonderland, and I'd be surprised to see any trained scholar suggesting otherwise. whereas its insistence that we see all sides, take due regard of subjective influences and the difficulty of objectivity etc. - these emphases are quite correct.

As ever, it's a case of needing to see all sides. Respect for authority and postmodernism both fall into the category of things that are good in some ways and bad in others.

September 04, 2005

 
Blogger Michael F. Bird said...

James, I will be happy to make the trip next year! I would very much like to attend the Jesus Seminar. The wine drinking alone entices me (esp. if it's Aussie wine). Keep in mind you generally catch birds with nets not hooks. And I have no qualms about hanging out with a postmodern Sheffieldian!

September 05, 2005

 
Blogger James Crossley said...

So a trendy postmodenist is how I'm thought of now?!!

Christopher, yes I quite agree that there is differences in learning etc. and I wouldn't say everything coming out of the mouth is right or of equal quality or accuracy. I'm just in favour of being as questioning as possible and academics having to face whatever is put at them. Yes, people can get shallow and disrespectful and ask stupid questions. Some may even think (wrongly) they are of equal wisdom/learning. But that seems better than just having to believe whatever some important scholar tells you. At least a healthy disrespect forces an argument to be justified.

Despite the postmodern jibes that are going around I suspect I am, methodologically speaking, a fairly conventional historian. So I suppose it wouldn't be fair for me to have to defend it as a movement (and all the problems that go along with that, including definition/label alone!). I agree with you that there have been both benefits and problems with postmodernism.

Interestingly, a case could be made for certain postmodernists heavily guarding their important positions. That whole Paul de Man affair where his association with Nazis was discovered led to the odd big name cursing the popularism entering the debate.

September 05, 2005

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sharp begins mass production of dual-view LCD TVs
Sharp has begun mass production of a new LCD that can simultaneously display different information depending on which direction the screen is being viewed from, the company said this week during a news ...
Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##carpet cleaning dallas ## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##carpet cleaning dallas ## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##carpet cleaning frisco## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##carpet cleaning frisco## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##carpet cleaning plano## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##carpet cleaning plano## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##carpet cleaning allenD## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##carpet cleaning allen## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##stanley steemer## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##stanley steemer## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!


I have a ##stanley steamer## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##stanley steamer## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##kiwi carpet cleaning## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##kiwi carpet cleaning## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##dalworth carpet cleaning## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##dalworth carpet cleaning## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##carpet cleaning## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##carpet cleaning## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##Pet Odor## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Pet Odor## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!


I have a ##Water and Flood Extraction ## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Water and Flood Extraction ## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##Emergency Water Removal## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Emergency Water Removal## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##Water Extraction and Structural Drying## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Water Extraction and Structural Drying## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##carpet flooded## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##carpet flooded## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)



Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
I have a ##flood service## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##flood service## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!


I have a ##emergency water extraction ## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##emergency water extraction ## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)



Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
I have a ##Fire Restoration Cleaning## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Fire Restoration Cleaning## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##Smoke Removal## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Smoke Removal## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##Fire Restoration## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Fire Restoration## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##Smoke## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Smoke## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!


I have a ##Water Removal## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Water Removal## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##Soot removal## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Soot removal## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##kiwi## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##kiwi## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##dalworth## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##dalworth## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)


Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a ##flood service dallas## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##flood service dallas## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

September 06, 2005

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crossley, Tippins is after you. Your dead.

September 06, 2005

 
Anonymous steph said...

and anonymous, don't you know what an apostrophe is and when to use it?

September 06, 2005

 
Anonymous steph said...

and Tippins - not if Crossley sees you first - then YOU'RE a gonna

September 07, 2005

 
Anonymous Christopher Shell said...

Dear James

Yes - I agree.
Nothing has frustrated me more than to come across coteries who think Bultmann, of all people (or Kuemmel) is divine writ. Where that happens, stagnation has already set in.

September 09, 2005

 

Post a Comment

<< Home