Sunday, August 03, 2008

At the 2008 International Catholic Biblical Association Meeting

I'm here at Fordham University in the Bronx at the 71st international CBA meeting. A wonderful meeting so far, and I've seen lots of friends. Thunderstorms over New York yesterday caused the airports to shut down, so I along with many others were delayed in arriving. Many of the rooms were freezing with the air conditioning, but that seems to be the only glitch and all is going well. The presidential address by Jerome Neyrey last evening argued that very often the translation "give thanks" in the NT Greek does not capture the social reality and that much is lost in translation. In Greek culture, praise was rendered in return for gifts, which is much different than our current private, interior idea of "thanks." This morning we discussed work on Genesis 1 by Mark Smith in one of the several continuing seminars. Among the debated topics: was light actually created? Mark argured probably not, for among other things, light is a pre-extant reality of God, who appears in glory and light. His position shifted a bit in the course of discussion, in which I argued that God's light is merely analogous to physical, created light (cf. Zech 14:6-7). Mark's present thinking: Perhaps creation involved a process in which conditions were created in our human world where we now experience something analogous to God's pre-existing light...


Blogger Targuman said...

It is good to be here and chat with you. Regarding the presidential talk, did it strike you as odd that there was no discussion of what Aramaic terms might lie behind the Greek of the Gospels? It seems to me that a first century Palestinian Jewish culture would be the place to examine for contemporary notions of praise and glory would be more useful than Aristotle.

Mon Aug 04, 07:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger S and C said...

Chris, it was indeed very interesting to me to observe which sources he cited for data on what it meant to thank and praise in NT times. I guess his references to Philo and Josephus carried more weight for me than his many references to the classical Greek culture. And yes, it is great to be among friends here! ---SLC

Mon Aug 04, 02:25:00 PM GMT-5  

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