SBL San Diego: Review Part 2: Scholars to keep an eye on

Part of the fun of going to SBL is seeing some scholars in person whom you have always wanted to hear. This summer at SBL Vienna I got a chance to hear Gerd Theissen, Beverly Gaventa, and James Charlesworth. In San Diego I heard papers by Lou Martyn, John Barclay, Tom Wright, Loveday Alexander, Richard Hays, Ralph Martin, Douglas Moo, and Dennis MacDonald. But, what is also enjoyable is to see and meet those scholars who are now making waves and at the cutting edge of scholarship in the early parts of their careers.

Though not a ‘new’ scholar, I (along with Ben Blackwell) had a delightful breakfast meeting with Michael Gorman – a fine pauline scholar and humble man. He is balanced, articulate, and warm – an unusual and refreshing combination. I highly recommend his APOSTLE OF THE CRUCIFIED LORD textbook for any course on Paul – I have used it myself in teaching an intro to Paul’s letters. In my opinion, nothing comes close to its lucid, theologically-packed content.

I also had some time at the Durham reception with Todd Still (of Truett Seminary, Texas) who is a former student of John Barclay (when at Glasgow). Todd is sharp and his work on Thessalonians is remarkable. He is working on a commentary of Philippians among other projects. This guy is the real deal and, once again, a really nice guy. I think we will be seeing more and more from Todd. He has high aims and great mentors.

Honorable mention should be given to young buck Justin Hardin whose almost-in-print Cambridge thesis got a plug by Bishop Tom – be on the lookout for Galatians and the Imperial Cult? A Critical Analysis of the First-Century Social Context of Paul’s Letter (WUNT II: Tuebingen: Mohr Siebeck, soon).

And, to show that I appreciate areas of study even outside of Paul, I commend to you Dan Gurtner – a Gordon-Conwell alum and current professor of NT at Bethel Seminary.  Dan is currently working on a commentary on the LXX of Exodus for the Brill series.  This is ground breaking kind of work and I look forward to having a series of commentaries on the LXX which will aid NT and OT studies alike.

Speaking of LXX commentaries, apparently Mike Bird and Joel Willitts will be doing the 1 and 2 Esdras for that series.  I caught up with Mike at SBL for a short bit.

We look forward to a new generation of biblical scholarship with such people at the forefront.