Thursday, March 14, 2013

2013 MAR-SBL in Baltimore

We’re in the midst of the regional SBL here in Baltimore, held at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel.

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A highlight of the meetings has been a series of sessions and panels on the Bible’s history of reception and consequences. In the first of these, we had excellent presentations by C. L. Seow on the case of Gregory’s interpretation of Job (including the Cluny Abby’s stimulus of the crusades); by Michael Carasik on his work helping us all access the Miqra’ot Gedolot; and by Angela Christman on Patristic Arguments for the Polyvalence of Scripture.

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Barry Gittlen’s Plenary took another look at the problem of interpreting  מצבות, standing stones. Is it possible that some of them, such as those in the image below from Israelite Hazor, represent God’s worshippers (their images/likenesses present before God even when they could not be present personally)?

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Among many arguments, Barry Gittlen cited the example of the rows of stone representations of princes and other royals, some with their names inscribed, found at Assur:

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