Canadian Society of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting
Réunion annuelle de la Société canadienne des études bibliques
University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario
May 29-31, 2004

(Except where noted, all sessions take place in the Social Sciences Centre, UWO)



Saturday, May 28 / Samedi, 289 Mai

14:00-19:00 (SSC3107)
CSBS Executive Meeting / Réunion du Comité Exécutif


Sunday, May 29 / Dimanche, 29 Mai

8:45-12:00 (SSC2020)
New Testament / Nouveau Testament
Gospels and Acts / Les Evangiles et les Actes
Chair/Présidente: Kimberly Stratton (
Carleton University)

8:45-9:15 David A. Reed (University of St. Michael’s College) “Rethinking Judas’s Suicide as ‘Measure for Measure’ in Matthew’s Passion Narrative”

This paper will build upon the work of Caroline F. Whelan, “Suicide in the Ancient World: A Re-Examination of Matthew 27:3-10,” Laval Théologique et Philosophique 49:3 (October 1993): 505-22.  Whelan surveys over 900 suicides in the ancient world.  She notes only two examples, which come from the Jewish world.  She uses this evidence to argue that in an honour-shame society, Judas’s suicide in Matt 27:3-10 should be seen in a positive manner.  This paper will attempt to show that on literary grounds, Judas had no choice but to commit suicide in Matthew’s narrative.  This is so, because in the pericope found in Matt 27:3-10, Matthew employs the Jewish technique of midah keneged midah or measure for measure.  Thus, this paper will argue that in light of Jewish literary constructs, Judas had to pay for “betraying” “innocent blood” by shedding his own blood.  And, this paper will suggest that this is ultimately a form of atonement, even for Judas. 

9:15-9:45 Adele Reinhartz (Wilfrid Laurier University) “Caiaphas in the History of Western Art”

Caiaphas is known from the Gospel accounts as the High Priest at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, in approximately the year 30 of the Common Era.  The Gospels implicate him as the main architect of the Jewish authorities’ plans to eliminate Jesus, despite the fact that the Roman Procurator Pontius Pilate was the one who was formally responsible for the execution order. Caiaphas has maintained this unenviable position for two millennia, in both scholarly and popular accounts of the life of the historical Jesus, including art, literature, and film.  This paper will sketch an account of Caiaphas’ treatment in the western art tradition.  The primary emphases will be on a) art as interpretation of the Gospel accounts, in particular, Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas, and b) the use of anti-Jewish stereotypes in the visual representation of the high priest.

9:45-10:15 Daniel A. Smith (Huron University College) “Jesus at the Empty Tomb in Matthew and John: The End of a Trajectory”

In contrast with Mark (which does not narrate an appearance of the risen Jesus) and Luke (which combines and adapts the pre-Pauline appearance traditions and Mark’s empty tomb story), both Matthew and John describe appearances of the risen Jesus at the empty tomb. The effect of this is to dispel alternative interpretations of talk (or stories or proclamation) about an empty tomb. This paper investigates the apologetic motivations for this narrative development and traces the trajectory of the empty tomb story from Mark (and Q) through Luke and Matthew to John and beyond. 

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-11:00 Catherine Sider Hamilton (Wycliffe College) “Jesus and Israel: Narrative Tension in Luke-Acts”

A peculiar tension marks the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts.  On the one hand, Luke presents the story of Jesus as the story of Israel’s hope come to fruition.  Yet the first scene of Jesus’ public ministry announces conflict between Israel and her saviour, and gentile salvation. Readings of Luke-Acts tend to resolve the tension in one direction or the other, labelling the work either harshly anti-Jewish, or fundamentally pro-Jewish. A narrative-critical reading of the text, however, suggests that the tension itself is key to the story.  Through word echoes, flashback and foreshadowing, Luke draws together Israel’s hope of a Messiah and her conflict with Luke’s Messiah in an interweaving of scenes that converges upon the cross.  In this convergence, Luke’s narrative claims—precisely in the gap between the promise and its fulfillment, in the crucifixion of the Christ—the story of God’s salvation and the hope of Israel unfolds.

11:00-11:30 Susan Haber (McMaster University) “The “Sin” of the Ioudaioi in the Fourth Gospel”

Recent Johannine scholarship has focused on the problem of anti-Judaism in the Fourth Gospel. Central to this discussion are two questions: “Who were the Ioudaioi?” and, “What was their sin?” In this paper I will argue for the multivalancy of the term “Ioudaioi” in the Gospel of John, and suggest that the term must always be translated in its literary context. Following through on this line of reasoning, it will be demonstrated that sin is associated with only one segment of the Ioudaioi: those who have seen Jesus’ signs and heard his word, but who do not believe.

11:30-12:00 Jack Horman (Waterloo, ON) “Structure and Composition of Thomas”

Most readers have not discovered any narrative, connecting story, exposition or other structure in the Gospel of Thomas. In this paper I will discuss two aspects of the structure which are important for discovering the message of Thomas and therefore also for investigating its sources. They are: 1) the use of “Jesus said” to mark of discrete units of meaning and 2) the use of the prologue and the first few sayings to set up the themes which are pursued in the rest of Thomas.


9:15-12:00 (SSC2110)
Hebrew Bible/Old Testament / Bible Hébraïque/Ancien Testament
Torah and/et Nevi’im
Chair/Président: David Shepherd (Briercrest Seminary)

9:15-9:45 Keith Bodner (Tyndale University College) “The Fellowship of the King: Some Remarks on a Formative Interaction”

The complex dynamic between king and prophet that features throughout the narrative of Samuel-Kings is prefigured in a number of respects through the initial interaction between the prophet Samuel and Israel’s first king, Saul. In this paper I argue that there are at least three aspects of 1 Samuel 9 that foreshadow this (uneasy) relationship, and function as something of a parabolic overture for how prophet and king will relate: first, a wordplay surrounding “prophet” and “seer”; second, an aborted type-scene; and third, the dramatic irony of Saul’s first discourse with Samuel My contention is that multiple tensions between prophet and king are introduced in the formative interaction between Saul and Samuel, and my presentation concludes with a brief reflection on the purpose of this tension within the larger Deuteronomistic History. 

9:45-10:15 Marie-France Dion (Concordia University) “Who was Samuel to Saul? A Critical Analysis of  I Sam 9:1-10:16; 10:17-27: 11:1-15”

While most scholars agree that the portrayal of Samuel as kingmaker is the result of a later redaction (prophetic or deuteronomistic), it is still left unexplained why it would be this prophet’s role in particular that would be reworked to explain the transition from the tribal period to the monarchy. In this paper I will demonstrate that while Samuel was not a kingmaker, the old Saul traditions do remember him as directly involved in the changing political scene. His participation, however, was not in the making of a king but in introducing within Israel a new legislative party whose authority exceeded that of the council of elders. This novelty constituted an intermediary phase facilitating the transition between a primitive democratic organization to a monarchic regime.

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-11:00 Gord Oeste (Wycliffe College) “Legitimation and Delegitimation in Judges 9: Abimelech’s Rise and Demise” 

The story of Abimelech ben Jerubbaal in Judges 9 has been viewed by some as patently anti-monarchic, while others suggest that the narrative reflects only upon the methods by which Abimelech seizes power. This paper will utilize social scientific studies with regard to legitimation in order to examine whether the negative characterization of monarchic rule in Judges 9:1-57 can serve as part of a strategy which attempted to delegitimize local bases of power in favour of a centralized polity.

11:00-11:30 Gary N. Knoppers (Pennsylvania State University) “‘Give Me that Old-time Religion’: The Revival of Israelite Religion in Postexilic Samaria”

The multi-layered and polyvalent commentary on the Assyrian exile of the northern tribes (2 Kgs 17:7-23) posits radical upheaval and displacement—centuries of Israelite infidelity are followed by massive destruction, complete deportation, and the replacement of an indigenous population by imported settlers from a variety of foreign lands. The post-Assyrian invasion residents of the region are thus distanced—literally and figuratively—from their Israelite forbears. Ironically, the commentary is followed by a discussion of Assyrian state-sponsored immigrants and how they fare in the land emptied of Israelites (2 Kgs 17:24-41). This paper studies the claims made about the nature of the religion taught to and practiced by the Assyrian settlers in Samaria.  What do the writers affirm and what do they concede about the character of Samarian ritual practices? How do these practices compare with that of traditional northern Israelite religion (as portrayed by the Deuteronomists)? Are the claims made about the people’s un-torah like worship of other gods (17:34-40) a “striking subversion of the entire deuteronomistic theology” (so Campbell and O’Brien)?  Or do these claims concern northern Israelites deported from their land to various Assyrian locales (so Cogan)?  These and other questions will be the subject of my paper.

11:30-12:00 Mark Boda (McMaster Divinity College) “Freeing the Burden of Prophecy: ma[[a’ and the Legitimacy of Prophecy in Zechariah 9-14”

Prior to the 1980’s the definition of the Hebrew term ma[[a’, as a reference to prophetic speech or literature, was largely dominated by etymological argumentation.  However, Richard Weis, in his 1986 Claremont dissertation leveraged form-critical categories and evidence to argue that this term was a formal tag defining a particular type of literature, an argument that has been applied and developed by the subsequent work of Marvin Sweeney (Isaiah, FOTL) and Michael Floyd (JBL 121 [2002]: 401-422).  This paper will offer a critical review of this history of research with a view to its impact on the interpretation of Zechariah 9-14.  A new proposal will be put forward for the use of this term in Zechariah 9-14, one that reveals the influence of Jeremianic tradition and highlights concern over certain prophetic streams in the community that produced these texts.


12:00-13:00 (SSC2020)
Lunch for all Students and New Members / Casse-croûte pour étudiants et membres nouveaux 


13:00-14:30 (SSC2028)
Special Session Organized by Students / Session spéciale organisée par les étudiants
Mentoring and Academic Supervision
Chair/Président: Mona Tokarek LaFosse (University of Toronto)

Panelists: Rebecca Idestrom (Tyndale Seminary), John S. Kloppenborg (University of Toronto), John L. McLaughlin (University of St. Michael’s College), Cecilia Wassen (Wilfrid Laurier University)


14:30-15:50 (SSC2028)
Student Essay Prizes / Prix pour travaux d’étudiant(e)s
Chair/Président: William Morrow (Queen’s University)

14:30-15:00 Jeremias Prize: Lincoln Blumell (University of Toronto) “A Jew in Celsus’ True Doctrine”
15:00-15:10 Questions/Discussion

15:10-15:40 Founders Prize: Ellen White (University of St. Michael’s College) “Motherhood and the Line of Promise: The Importance of Women in the Founding Family Narratives”
15:40-15:50 Questions/Discussion


16:00-17:00 (SSC2028)
CSBS Annual General Meeting / Assemblée annuelle de la SCÉB
Presiding/Présidence: David Hawkin (Memorial University)


17:10-18:10 (SSC2028)
Presidential Address / Conférence du Président
Presiding/Présidence: William Morrow (Queen’s University)
David Hawkin (Memorial University)
“The Bible and the Modern World: Taking It Personally”

19:00-22:00 (Michael’s on the Thames)
CSBS Annual Dinner / Banquet annuel de la SCÉB


Monday, May 30, 2005

8:30-11:45 (SSC2020)
Literary Approaches / Approches littéraires
Hebrew Bible / Bible Hébraïque
Chair/Président: Francis Landy (University of Alberta)

8:30-9:00 Tim Goltz (McGill University) “Two Rhetorical Methods for two Historical Audiences: Reading and Hearing Texts in Ancient Israel” 

This paper attempts to bring to bear a number of issues to our understanding of how biblical texts were used rhetorically within ancient Israel.  Modern biblical rhetorical criticism comprises two major perspectives.  There are those who would study the “art of composition” which may, among other things, focus on a “close (re)reading” of texts and which allow consideration of complex literary features.  I argue that, although certain scholars who practice this type of biblical criticism attempt to understand the “ordinary” ancient Israelite in this way, that, because of the inability of the hearer to analyze complex texts in the detail that these scholars do, this type of criticism does not help us understand how the vast majority of ancient Israelites would have heard biblical texts.  However, this research is beneficial in helping us understand the highly influential minority of the writers of biblical texts.  I then argue that other rhetorical scholars focus on the “art of persuasion” of the texts, based on an Aristotelian style of rhetorical criticism that takes seriously an historical rhetor, audience and various considerations of what is possible to understand when texts are heard by an illiterate audience.  What appears to be lacking in this perspective is that the primary audience (the literati who wrote, (re)read and promulgated the texts at their leisure) is not taken seriously enough.  In doing so, I have also attempted to point out potential power differentials that such a “rhetorical situation” may have engendered when the elite read to the general public.  Typically, the rather naïve view has been taken that the biblical texts were written primarily for “all Israel,” which does not appear to be the case.

9:00-9:30 Ken Ristau (Pennsylvania State University) “Of Prophets and Monarchs: The Death of Josiah in Chronicles”

The central narrative that reports Josiah’s death in Chronicles is 2 Chr 35:20-25/27. The Chr’s account of Josiah’s reign from 2 Chr 33:25-35:19, which precedes it, contributes to this narrative in numerous ways. As the Chr foregrounds Josiah’s development of the cult in 2 Chr 34:1-35:19, several elements, aided by subtexts, emerge that contextualize and give deeper meaning to Josiah’s death, and augur the Judean exile, within the world of the narrative. Throughout, the Chr interweaves allusions to and stories of prophets and monarchs. The Chr’s story-telling abilities are perhaps at their most rich and poignant as the Chr deftly negotiates the dual ends of the Josiah narrative, which are the development of the cult and Josiah’s death, with potent irony.

9:30-10:00 Christine Mitchell (St. Andrew’s College) “Temperance, Temples and Colonies: Reading the Book of Haggai in Saskatoon”

In this paper, I situate myself as a reader reading from the former temperance colony of Nutana, in what is now Saskatoon.  Taking as my starting point John Kessler’s heuristic device of a Persian-period “charter group” (2004), I ask how my situation in Nutana affects how I read Haggai, and how my reading of Haggai affects my understanding of Saskatoon.  I conclude with some remarks on the possibility of examining my readings typologically; that is, seeing my readings as “types” for Canadian scholars abroad and in Canada studying the texts and text-worlds of Persian-period Yehud. 

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-10:45 Robert Culley (McGill University) “Reading the Complaints of the Individual”

The complaints of the individual form a rather interesting group of poems. On the one hand, they share a significant amount of recurrent language and imagery.   On the other hand, these poems do not simply repeat one another but display a certain measure of individuality, many being remarkable poems in their own right. In reading these poems, then, there is a double attraction, one to the group as a whole and the other to the individual poem. The nature of this double attraction will be examined in a few examples of individual complaints. 

10:45-11:15 James Linville (University of Lethbridge) “Bugs Through the Looking Glass: The Infestation of Meaning in Joel”

Joel is well known for its quotes and allusions to other biblical texts, leading to a sense that the historical prophet was well versed in ancient traditions of prophetic and other literature. The actual content of the book, and especially Joel 1-2, has seen a variety of explanations which also stress the circumstances of the historical figure of Joel, confronting real locusts, other natural crises, human and/or divine, or some combination of these.  When read holistically as depicting a poetic, instead of historical landscape, the great intertextuality and multi-leveled descriptions construct a world of reflected and refracted images. The over-abundance of meanings may be likened to one of the book’s own infestations, overwhelming the reader. This is matched with a drought of certainty, and even of motive. Joel gives no hint of why the earth and the reader must face such crises. Resolution and recreation, however, come complete with an ironic promise of universal prophecy, visions and dreams. Recreation sees a transcendence not only of the world of chaos, but of the language in which it was constructed, and looks ahead to the transcendence of the book itself, with reading replaced by revelation. 

11:15-11:45 R. Glenn Wooden (Acadia Divinity College) “Daniel against the wise-men: the nuanced use of wisdom terms in Daniel 1-2”

In Daniel 1 and 2 various terms are used to designate the diviners against whom Daniel competes in chapters 2, 4, & 5.  In this paper I will focus on the use of the terms “Chaldean”, “insightful” (skl), and “wise” in these chapters, and will argue that they are used in nuanced ways to develop the story and the portrayal of Daniel as the epitome of the maskilim of chapters 11 and 12, the group from which the second-century book probably originates. In the early chapters “Chaldean” is not merely either a title for diviners, or an ethnic designation, but is used for both at the same time, thus excluding Daniel from their numbers, which is an overlooked but important literary device of the stories. “Insightful” and “wise” are ascribed to the four Jewish boys, and to others in the book, but as the story is told, there is a differentiation made between the ‘insightful’/‘wise’ and those who can truly claim those ascriptions. The uses of these terms help to define Daniel, his friends, and the maskilim as being separate from foreign diviners, and even separate from their acquiescing Jewish colleagues in both the Babylonian setting of the stories and the Hellenistic setting of the maskilim.


8:30-11:45 (SSC2028)
Recovering Women’s Voices in Biblical Scholarship / Retrouver les voix des femmes dans les études bibliques
Chair/Présidente: Lissa Wray Beal (Providence Seminary) 

8:30-9:00 Bernon Lee (Grace College) “Sarah Hall’s Conversations on the Bible: A Window on Nineteenth Century Biblical Interpretation from the Fringes of Church and Academy”

The paper offers a description of Hall’s contribution to the genre of catechistic literature, with attention to its unique adaptation of the genre. While the primary interest is the form and function of Hall’s book, the paper explores Hall’s engagement with the social conditions of her time in her articles (in a separate volume compiled by her son, Harrison Hall in 1833) on a variety of issues ranging from the currents of biblical interpretation to the function of education for women. It is envisioned that an expanded focus to include Hall’s other writings will enrich the appreciation of her engagement with the biblical text in interpretation.

9:00-9:30 Heather Weir (Wycliffe College) “Helping the Unlearned: Sarah Trimmer’s Commentary on the Bible”

Sarah Kirby Trimmer (1741-1810) is known for her work in education, especially her early reviews of children’s literature in The Guardian of Education (1802-6), her stories of talking animals, and her use of pictures in lessons for young children.  Trimmer’s extensive writings on education are relatively well known.  Her one-volume commentary on the Bible, A Help to the Unlearned in the Study of the Holy Scriptures (1805), is not well known; it is never mentioned in lists of her works.  This paper examines Trimmer’s purpose for writing this commentary, and the interpretive method she used and taught.

9:30-10:00 Marion Taylor (Wycliffe College) “Mary Cornwallis: Biblical Commentator”

Mary Cornwallis (1758-1836) of Wittersham, Kent, wrote a four-volume commentary on the Bible, entitled Observations, Critical, Explanatory, and Practical, on the Canonical Scriptures (1817). A second edition of this opus was published in 1820. The proceeds from this remarkable work of scholarship were used to endow a primary school for poor children in the village where her husband William Cornwallis (1750-1827) served as the Anglican priest. Cornwallis’ forgotten work as a biblical interpreter deserves to be recovered and included as an important voice in the history of the interpretation of the Bible in the nineteenth century.

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-10:45 Ellen White (University of St. Michael’s College) “Clara Lucas Balfour: Social Activist and Feminist Biblical Interpreter” 

Clara Lucas Balfour (1808-1878) approached the Biblical text as a social activist and feminist. Her focus on social justice may have come from the simultaneous “conversion” to the Baptist church and the foundling temperance movement. Although modern scholars would have trouble classifying her works as feminist, her writings clearly represent an early stage in the feminist interpretive movement. This is reflected in her lifestyle, where she supported her family through lecturing and writing, which was very rare for a woman. Although she was one of the premier writers of the early temperance movement, with over 70 titles to her credit, she also wrote two monographs dealing with women in the biblical text. This paper will examine how Balfour interprets the biblical text based on her contextual lenses.

10:45-11:15 Donna Kerfoot (Wellesley, ON) “Etty Woosnam: A Woman of Wisdom and Conviction”

This paper focuses on Esther Woosnam (1849-1882), a nineteenth century British woman who wrote two books entitled “Women of the Bible:  Old Testament” and “Women of the Bible:  New Testament” published respectively in 1881 and 1885.  Woosnam was a writer and teacher of the Bible and passionate in her desire to instruct young ladies in the art of building Christian character taken from the model of well-known women of the Bible.  This paper will explore a diversity of themes in Woosnam’s writings as well as her literary style.  Her work demonstrates how culture and gender can shape biblical interpretation; it also provides a window into life in nineteenth-century England. 

11:15-11:45 Christiana de Groot (Calvin College) “Annie Besant: Adversarial Interpreter of Scripture”

Annie Besant (1847-1933) was an original thinker, powerful speaker and leader of social reforms in England and India, among other ventures.  In her religious life, she eventually left Christianity, became a free thinker and ultimately a theosophist. In her writings on many subjects, she also addressed the Bible and its teaching regarding women’s roles, marriage and divorce. She was critical of scripture, claiming that it chained women, and looked forward to a time when the influence of the Bible would diminish. This paper will examine her negative assessment of the Bible in the context of the Victorian era. 


9:00-10:00 (SSC2110)
Texts of the Ancient World / Les textes du monde ancient
Chair/Présidente: Edith Humphrey (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)

9:00-9:30 Karljürgen Feuerherm (Wilfrid Laurier University) “Larsa in Theory and Practice: An Exercise in Bringing Philology and Archaeology to Bear on a Century-old Problem” 

The ancient Sumerian city of Larsa has been studied in broad generality on the basis of an oral tradition handed down to us from Black Market merchants who sold the bulk of what we believe to be “Larsa” documents to our modern-day museum collections.
This paper will discuss the prosopographical evidence from a tablet fragment found recently in Larsa building B27 in light of existing museum holdings and the formal archaeology of the building, and suggest a hypothesis concerning the identity of its inhabitants, thus providing our first foothold into the detailed history of the site. 

9:30-10:00 Wayne Baxter (McMaster University) “Noachic Traditions and ‘The Book of Noah’”

Post-biblical, Jewish literature is replete with stories of Noah.  A number of Second Temple works even refer to a “Book of Noah.”  A good deal of skepticism, however, surrounds the existence of such a book.  This study argues that a Book of Noah existed and that this writing incorporated some although not all of the diverse Noachic traditions.  Further, while the exact content of the Book of Noah cannot be determined comprehensively, this paper puts forth criteria for determining the baseline content of the book.


10:15-11:45 (SSC2110)
New Testament / Nouveau Testament
The World of the Early Church / Le monde de l’église première
Chair/Présidente: Edith Humphrey (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)

10:15-10:45 Tony Chartrand-Burke (York University) “Curse Stories in Early Christian Literature”

The stories of Jesus’ miracles have received a great deal of attention from NT scholars. Comparative studies, for example, relate Jesus’ stories to similar tales of other miracleworkers, form critical studies reconstruct the stories’ generic form, and anthropological studies describe how “miraculous” cures and exorcisms could have occurred. It is unfortunate that curse stories (or imprecations) have not received such lavish attention. Though not as plentiful as the miracle tales, curse stories do occur in early Christian literature-such as the gospels, Acts, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, and the Apocryphal Acts-but, perhaps due to a distaste for the material, they are routinely ignored by scholars. This paper, with its summary and analysis of curse stories in early Christian literature, is the beginning of a larger project which will encompass a study of curses and curse stories in the ancient world. 

10:45-11:15 Harry O. Maier (Vancouver School of Theology) “Barbarians, Scythians and Imperial Iconography in the Epistle to the Colossians”

The relationship of the letter to the Colossians to Roman imperial ideology and the imperial cult in particular has so far been passed over in scholarly discussion. This essay seeks to fill an important lacuna by reading Colossians in the light of imperial politics and especially imperial iconography. In the tradition of Erwin Panofsky, it seeks to bring literary texts and visual media together as a means of gaining an intrinsic understanding of the construction of meaning and social identity in early Christianity.  The essay builds on the work of iconographical studies of the Roman Empire by Paul Zanker and Tonio Hölscher, and their discussion of imperial iconography as a visual language and semantic communication system, to explore the ways in which Colossians belongs to and departs from imperial categories. First Col 3:11 with its reference to the overcoming of boundaries separating barbarians and Scythians is interpreted with the help of Roman monuments, especially the sebasteion at Aphrodisias, to show how Colossians’ acclamation of a transethnic unity of peoples under Christ’s dominion parallels celebrations of the Julio-Claudian regime as realising an analogous union of nations.  Second, Col 2:15 with its reference to Christ’s death as a Roman triumph is related to Col 3:11 and triumphal Roman representations of subject peoples under imperial dominion. The Prima Porta statue of Augustus and its representation of seated figures representing peoples in varying phases of imperial assimilation, as well as the larger cosmic themes its iconography communicates, helps to recognize how Colossians belongs to the visual code of the Roman Empire. Finally, Col. 3:1 with its reference to believers enthroned with Christ “above” is interpreted in the light of imperial iconography offering a spatialized vision of imperial rule with emperors enthroned amongst the gods, towering over subject peoples. The Gemma Augustea and the physical organization of the Aphrodisias sebasteion offer important iconographical parallels for understanding the enthronement language of Colossians, its relation to the military language of triumph it develops, and its celebration of an ethnic unity of peoples.

11:15-11:45 Margaret MacDonald (St. Francis Xavier University) and Carolyn Osiek (Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University) “Lifelong Learning: The Education of Women and Girls in House Churches”

A frequent theme of ancient literature concerning children is the question of how they should be educated. Understanding the house church community as an educator of children flows naturally from the home as the first locus for the education of children, and in the opinion of some ancient authors, the best place to do so. This paper will focus especially on female involvement in the educational milieu of the house church.  Three major aspects of this involvement will be considered: the association of the education of young children with female caregivers including wives, widows, and wet-nurses; the education of girls; and, the practice of passing down of received wisdom and traditions from one generation of women to the next. The paper will draw upon recent research highlighting intellectual expectations for girls in the Roman world.  Several ancient sources, including key texts from the Pastoral Epistles, will be discussed.


12:00-13:00 (McKellar Room, University Centre)
Joint Seminar of CSSR, CTS and CSBS: Violence and Religion / 
Groupe de travail conjoint (SCÉB, SCÉR, STC): La violence et la religion
(with the support of CIDA under the auspices of the 2005 CIDA-CFHSS Collaborative Program)
Religion, Terror, and Globalization
Chair/Président:  William Morrow (Queen’s University)
Speaker/Conférencier: Mark Juergensmeyer (University of California, Santa Barbara)


13:30-16:15 (SSC2028)
Travel and Religion in Antiquity Seminar / Groupe de travail sur les voyages et la religion en antiquité
Overtures on the interplay of religion and travel
Chair/Président:  John S. Kloppenborg (University of Toronto) 

13:30-14:05 Philip A. Harland (Concordia University) “Pausing at the Intersection of Religion and Travel in Antiquity”

In an effort to provide a clear direction for the seminar, this paper explores topics at the intersection of religion and travel in antiquity.  Approaching the question from the perspective of reasons for travel, the paper outlines areas for further investigation, including travel (1) to honour or receive benefactions from the gods (e.g. festivals and oracles); (2) to communicate the efficacy of a god or a way of life; (3) to explore and encounter the cultures of other peoples (travelers’ tales and ethnography);  (4) to make a living (occupational travelers and their religious life); and (5) to migrate (cultural life among immigrant groups, including Judeans).  In the process, I suggest ways in which our studies of these interrelated aspects of religion and travel will also provide a new angle of vision on early Judaism and Christianity.

       Respondent: Willi Braun (University of Alberta) “

14:05-14:40 Steven Muir (Concordia University College) “‘He talked to us on the road’—Encountering the Divine While Traveling”

In the ancient world it was thought possible to encounter a god while traveling, rather than merely in one’s own city in a temple or at home.  There are two categories of encounters en route.  The first involved protection from the hazards of travel (averting a negative consequence). The second type consisted of positive consequences: guidance, good fortune, insight, or a mystical or intense experience of the god.  Considering inscriptions, votives, archeological evidence, and literary accounts, I discuss which gods granted these benefits, how they did it, and what people did to solicit such benefits.  

Respondent: Colleen Shantz (University of St. Michael’s College)

14:40-14:55 Break

14:55-15:30 Ian W. Scott (King’s University College) “The Divine Wanderer: Itinerancy and Divinization in the Greco-Roman World” 

Since Ludwig Bieler established the classic image of the Greco-Roman “divine man,” such figures have been described as typically itinerant. While there are important qualifications which must be made to this image, it remains true that many holy men who were in some way considered divine by their followers lived a lifestyle of frequent travel. I will suggest that this connection between itinerancy and divinization arises because of the specific social roles which were thought to make one a likely candidate for godhood. In particular, Philostratus’ biography of Apollonius of Tyana illustrates how a figure’s journeys could provide important opportunities to demonstrate his divine powers and so would naturally become a focal point of later stories. In this light we may also ask how the gospels’ depictions of Jesus’ travels relate to this image of the itinerant holy man.

Respondent: Kimberly Stratton (Carleton University)

15:30-16:15 Discussion/Presider’s Synthesis


13:30-15:30 (SSC2020)
Literary Approaches / Approches littéraires
Intertestamental literature and the relationships between the Old Testament and New Testament /
La littérature intertestamentaire  et les rapports entre l’Ancien Testament et le Nouveau Testament
Chair/Président: Shaun Longstreet (Texas A&M University)

13:30-14:00 Jo-Ann Badley (Newman Theological College) “Ambiguity and Constructs: Paul’s Use of the Creation Narrative in I Cor.11.2-16” 

Herbert Marks described Paul’s use of his scriptures as agnostic, appealing to its authority yet wilfully revising its meaning [JAAR 52 (1984)].  Marks’ evaluation is particularly poignant for women who continue to live with restrictions in the ecclesial order that Paul founded, restrictions based on a reading of 1 Cor. 11:2-16 where Paul reinscribes the creation order as he read it from Genesis.  This paper evaluates Paul’s argument as two interlocking narratives: one an ambiguous story of events in Corinth and the other a socially constricting story from Genesis.  I conclude that Paul’s reading of Genesis may provide a method to read Paul against his own instructions. 

14:00-14:30 Anne Moore (University of Calgary) “Women at the Empty Tomb, Agents of God, Not Witnesses”

The story of the women at the Empty Tomb (Mark 16:1-8; Matthew 28:1-11a; Luke 23:56b-24:12 and John 20:1-18) has been repeatedly discussed in reference to the role of the women as witnesses to the Easter story.  However, it is apparent that Mark, and therefore the subsequent gospels, has employed the type-scene or pattern of the Old Testament commission story.  This pattern of the commission story is found in twenty-seven stories in the Old Testament.  In all of the stories, the main human character is selected or commissioned, by God, as His agent; further, despite various difficulties or avoidance on the part of the human protagonist, God’s commission is always successful performed.
The ‘structural’ intertextuality between the Old Testament commission stories and the empty tomb stories produces a different reading of the gospel material and a particular understanding of the women at the empty tomb. The women are NOT merely witnesses of the Easter event; they are agents commissioned by God to perform a specific task.  Further, despite various difficulties, there is the knowledge that this task, the proclamation of the death of Jesus, will be successful completed. The intertextuality reconfigures the women from ‘witnesses’ to  ‘apostles to the apostles’ and it clearly indicates that despite their immediate confusion and fear their commission will be successful performed.  

14:30-15:00 David Miller (Briercrest College) “The Messenger, the Lord, and the Coming Judgement in the Reception History of Malachi 3”

Given early Christian identification of John the Baptist with the returning Elijah of Mal 3:22-24 and the messenger of Mal 3:1, it is surprising that scholars seldom consider how Malachi’s early readers interpreted the prediction of Elijah’s return within the wider context of Malachi 3.  Instead of interpreting Mal 3:22-24 atomistically, I will argue that Ben Sira, 4QMessianic Apocalypse (4Q521), as well as the New Testament writings attributed to Luke, integrate Elijah’s return into the larger eschatological scenario of Malachi 3.  In each case, this holistic reading strategy links God’s judgment more closely to the activity of the characters mentioned in Mal 3:1, 22-4 than a casual reading of Mal 3:22-24 might suggest.

15:00-15:30 Dilys Patterson (Concordia University) “Drawing on the Classics:  The Ancient Jewish Novel and Hellenistic Literature”

Jewish authors of the Hellenistic period were strongly influenced by both the form and content of Greek literature.  Many of these Hellenistic works, such as Xenophon’s Cyropaedia and the Histories of Herodotus, were considered classics in antiquity and signalled a Greek education.  Thus educated Jews of this period were well versed in Greek literature.  Two trends in literary composition play a crucial role at this time.   The first is the use of allusions from earlier texts, now known as intertextuality.  The second is the growth in popularity of extended prose narratives, or novels.  One example of the ancient novel that speaks with a unique Jewish voice is the Book of Judith, a tale about a pious Jewish widow who successfully saves her people by killing the general of the invading Assyrian army.  This paper examines the intertextual associations between the Book of Judith, and Greek literature with an emphasis on literary traditions that depict female leadership.


13:30-15:00 (SSC2032)
Roundtable / Groupe de discussion
(Jointly with CSSR/Conjoint avec SCÉR)
Women in Academia: Resources for Surviving and Thriving
Chair/Présidente: Dana Sawchuk (Wilfrid Laurier University)

 Panelists: Michele Murray (Bishop’s University), Lorraine Vander Hoef (University of Toronto), Terry Tak-ling Woo (Dalhousie University)

This roundtable will provide a forum to explore some of the many issues women in academia face in their professional and personal lives.  As a growing number of women pursue graduate degrees, teaching positions, and tenure in the academy, a growing number of books are being written to chronicle and respond to the challenges and inequities they face. The four presenters represent a range of institutions, social locations, and career stages, and each one will review one of these books in light of her experiences in academia. The reviews can then serve as a springboard to discuss, with the audience, strategies for surviving and thriving in what can be a chilly academic climate.


15:30-17:30 (McKellar Room, University Centre)
Joint Seminar of CSSR, CTS and CSBS: Violence and Religion /
Groupe de travail conjoint (SCÉB, SCÉR, STC): La violence et la religion
Religion, Terror, and Globalization: Canadian Perspectives
(with the support of CIDA under the auspices of the 2005 CIDA-CFHSS Collaborative Program)
Chair/Présidente: Alyda Faber (Atlantic School of Theology)

Panelists: Ali Dizboni (University of Sherbrooke and Royal Military College), Marsha Hewitt (University of Toronto), Mark Juergensmeyer (University of California, Santa Barbara), Ara Norenzayan (University of British Columbia)


19:30-21:00 (Labatt Hall 105, King’s College)
Craigie Lecture / La Conférence Craigie
Presiding/Présidence: Adele Reinhartz (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Paula Fredriksen (Boston University):
“Mandatory Retirement: Ideas in the Study of Christian Origins whose Time has Come to Go”


 21:00-23:00 (Labatt Hall Atrium, King’s College)
Joint CTS/CSSR/CSBS/CSPS Reception (sponsored by King’s College)


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

 9:00-12:00 (SSC2028)
Travel and Religion in Antiquity Seminar / Groupe de travail sur les voyages et la religion en antiquité
Realities of Travel
Chair/Président: Philip Harland (Concordia University)

9:00-9:30 Robert Jewett (Guest Professor, University of Heidelberg) “The Troas Project: Investigating Maritime and Land Routes to Clarify the Role of Alexandreia Troas in Commerce and Religion”

The paper reviews the crucial role of Troas in Greco-Roman maritime strategy and in the early Christian mission.  The investigation of the road network leading from the south, west, and north gates of Troas will employ standard archaeological survey techniques. The investigation of the maritime dimension of Troas involves building a replica of an ancient merchant vessel to sail on routes that will clarify (1) why the artificial harbor of Troas was placed opposite the Island of Tenedos so as to provide access to the Dardenelles; and (2) whether the travel details in the Book of Acts concerning Paul’s journeys to and from Troas are feasible. In subsequent years after the construction of the experimental vessel, it will be made available to scholars interested in investigating other ancient itineraries.

Respondent: Richard Ascough (Queen’s University)

9:30-10:00 Agnes Choi (University of Toronto) “The Traveling Peasant and Urban-Rural Relations in Roman Galilee”

Urban-rural commercial relations in Roman Galilee have largely been considered from the perspective of manufactured goods, which were distributed and purchased only sporadically.  Consideration of the ongoing trade of agricultural goods in the urban markets and the evidence of the participation of peasants in those markets, not only in Roman Galilee but also throughout the Roman Empire, sheds light on the nature of urban-rural relations.  Further, such consideration has important implications for our understanding of the realities of travel and transportation in antiquity.  The realities of travel in antiquity encouraged an enduring commercial relationship between the city and its countryside and allowed for the ongoing participation of peasants in urban markets throughout the Roman Empire.

Respondent: Anders Runesson (McMaster University)

10:00-10:30 Lincoln Blumell (University of Toronto) “Beware of the Bandits!  The Perils of Travel in the Early Roman Empire”

This paper considers perils of travel by focusing on banditry, a conspicuous, yet oft-neglected, feature of the Roman Empire.  Appearing at different times and at various locations it was thoroughly entrenched in Roman society and affected both the rich and poor alike.  But the primary victim of banditry and the one to whom it posed the greatest threat was the ancient traveler since brigands tended to operate mostly along roads and rural highways in search of prey.  The very real danger brigands posed to the ancient traveler can be detected from a number of diverse sources including roadside tombstones on which was inscribed “killed by bandits.”  While the government took some measures to curb and even stamp out banditry, given the administrative and policing handicaps inherent in the Empire it remained fairly widespread.

Respondent: Alicia Batten (Pacific Lutheran University)

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:15 Michele Murray (Bishop’s University) “Religion on the Move: Nomadic Culture among the Nabateans and Others” 

What was the religious behaviour of those who were constantly on the move in the ancient world? This paper explores the culture of nomadic peoples with a primary focus on the Nabateans, a Semitic tribespeople who dominated the lucrative trade routes of the Arabian peninsula in frankincense and myrrh, as well as other items including spices, gems, perfumes, and bitumen. Literary evidence (e.g., descriptions of Nabatean culture found in writings of Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, Roman geographer Strabo, and Jewish historian Josephus), as well as archaeological data from Petra and other sites located in modern-day Jordan and Israel, are consulted in this study. The cultic expressions of the Nabateans will be investigated within the broader context of other ancient nomadic groups (e.g., the Scythians) in order to understand the effects of travel on these wandering peoples.

Respondent: Wayne McCready (University of Calgary)

11:15-12:00 Discussion/Presider’s Synthesis


8:45-12:00 (SSC2110)
Hebrew Bible/Old Testament / Bible Hébraïque/Ancien Testament
Writings / Les Ecritures
Chair/Président: John Kessler (Tyndale Seminary)

8:45-9:15 Arthur Walker-Jones (University of Winnipeg) “Myth Criticism of the Psalms” 

Northrop Frye wrote several books on the Bible in literature and his Anatomy of Criticism remains a classic in literary criticism. He anticipated issues that are only now coming to the fore in biblical studies. Frye’s method, myth criticism, has much to offer Psalms studies. It provides a way of relating genre and tradition criticism with newer literary critical methods and understanding and analyzing the contemporary cultural influence of biblical myths. “The greatness of Frye,” according to Fredric Jameson, “lies in his willingness to raise the issue of community and to draw basic, essentially social interpretive consequences from the nature of religion as collective representation” (Political Unconscious, 69). This paper focuses on the use of myth criticism to help understand Psalms as “symbolic meditation” on the relationship between humanity and nature.

9:15-9:45 Tyler F. Williams (Taylor University College) “The Psalm Superscriptions and the Composition of the Book of Psalms”

In the Masoretic book of Psalms, 117 out of 150 psalms are preceded by a superscription. When one compares the superscripts of the Masoretic with the Septuagint Psalter one discovers a bewildering variety in differences, both qualitative and quantitative.  These superscriptions—and the differences between the Masoretic and Septuagintal superscripts—provide significant clues to understanding the compositional history of the book of Psalms. This paper will examine the psalm superscriptions in both traditions with an aim to clarify the compositional history of the book of Psalms.

9:45-10:15 Ehud Ben Zvi (University of Alberta) “The Account of Amaziah in 2 Chronicles 25”

The account of Amaziah in 2 Chronicles 25 is one of the richest sources for understanding many of the ideological positions conveyed to the intended and primary readerships of the book of Chronicles. This contribution examines this account in terms of the worldviews shaped by and reflected in this account. 

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-11:00 David Shepherd (Briercrest College) “‘Strike his bone and his flesh’: Reading Job 2 from the Beginning”

Following the destruction of Job’s children and possessions in Job 1, traditional readings of chapter 2 understand the Satan to be demanding that Job himself be struck down as a test of his disinterested piety. Instead, this study argues that Satan’s language in Job 2 invites us to read it from ‘the Beginning’ (Genesis 1-3) and that when we do, what Satan is seen to be demanding is not Job’s life, but rather Job’s wife. Such a reading complicates traditional characterizations of Job’s wife as merely Satan’s tool (so John Calvin) by introducing the idea that she is also Satan’s target. 

11:00-11:30 Derek Suderman (Emmanuel College) “Towards an Improved Description of Biblical Prayer: Form-Critical Approaches to Direct Address in Psalm 55”

While current Psalms scholarship often moves ‘beyond form criticism,’ this approach has helpfully drawn attention to oral aspects of the Psalms. Form-critical scholars, however, have often pursued formal categories at the expense of recognizing shifts in address. By surveying various scholars’ treatments of the abrupt change in addressee in Ps. 55:14ff I will contend that an approach focused on recognizing such shifts provides an improved description of this Psalm. Further, I will suggest that this approach holds significant promise and implications for future research on prayer in the Old Testament/Tanakh.

11:30-12:00 John Van Seters (Waterloo, ON) “The Myth of the ‘Final Form’ of the Biblical Text”

Biblical studies in its various forms of literary, historical and textual criticism has long made use of the notion of a “final form” of the text as a basis for exegesis and interpretation. This involves the belief that at some point in the compositional process an editor or editors established a definitive and authoritative form of the text. This “final form” was at the same time the Urtext of textual criticism and the object of textual analysis. This same final text was also given the religious aura of canonicity and made the basis of biblical theology. The prime actor behind such “final form” was the “Redactor,” but there is reason to believe that such editors never existed in antiquity, and this places the whole edifice of modern biblical studies in jeopardy. This paper will explore the myth of the “redactor” and the “final form” of the text.


12:00-13:00 (Location TBA)
Women Scholars’ Lunch / Casse-croûte pour les femmes savants


 13:00-15:00 (SSC2110)
Reading Bible, Gender and Theory Seminar / Groupe de travail sur la lecture de la Bible, le genre, et la théorie
Chair/Président:  David Jobling (St. Andrew’s College)

13:00-13:30 Caroline Vander Stichele (University of Amsterdam) and Todd Penner (Austin College; USA) “Her Master’s Tools? Positioning Feminist and Gender-Critical Engagements of Historical-Criticism” 

In this paper we examine the interrelationship between historical-critical study of the Bible, feminist analyses, and the prospect offered by gender and post-colonial studies.  In particular, we argue that while historical criticism was initially both liberating and captivating, feminist interpretations of the Bible originally still operated largely within the terms or parameters of the dominant historical-critical discourse, which determined both the kinds of questions that could be asked and the ways of thinking about the role and identity of women in various biblical epochs.  Next we explore both the interconnections and the new trajectories offered by gender-critical and post-colonial analyses.

13:30-14:00 Jane S. Webster (Barton College) “Reconstructing Gender in the Classroom”

In the American Bible Belt, resistance to any type of feminist rhetoric inhibits students from engaging in discussions of gender (de)construction. A course called “Women in the Biblical Tradition” attempts to overcome this resistance using problem-based learning.  Students are asked first to identify the construction of gender through narrative bias, and then to reverse the bias, reconstructing gender.  They are asked to do a similar reversal in related art.  This cross-disciplinary inquiry-based approach challenges students to explore their own assumptions about gender and its assorted corollaries, as well as their assumptions about biblical authority and other “sacred” cultural icons.  A description of this experimental course will be presented with some of its results. 

14:00-14:30 Mary Rose D’Angelo (University of Notre Dame) “Roman Imperial Family Values and the Politics of Gender and Sexuality in Christian Origins”

This essay examines the function of adultery and fornication (stuprum) in the family values campaigns of Augustus and his successors, suggesting that it provides a context for sayings attributed to Jesus (e.g. Mark 10:11-12, and its parallels Matt 19:9, 5:32, Luke 16:18 and Hermas Mand. 4.1.6-8) Reading these sayings into the career of the historical Jesus masks the impact of imperial moral propaganda on ancient Jewish and Christian deployment of  sexual mores. The paper also interrogates the ethics of feminist interpretation, examining the ways twenty-first century interpreters’ constructions of gender assume and create distance from or continuity with antiquity.  

14:30-15:00 Discussion


13:15-16:30 (SSC2028)
New Testament / Nouveau Testament
Chair/Président: Zeba Crook (Carleton University)

13:15-13:45 Matthew Mitchell (Dalhousie University) “Is Saul of Tarsus Among the Rhetoricians?: Education and Persuasiveness in the Pauline Corpus”

Scholars studying Paul’s writings under the rubric of “rhetorical criticism” have frequently made sweeping claims concerning its exegetical promise. This paper notes that scholarly discussions of the rhetorical traits of Paul’s letters often resolve the question of Paul’s educational level with reference to the persuasive power of his writing, and argues that such assertions are themselves rhetorical gestures betraying deeply held assumptions concerning formal education and its “real” value. This paper then proceeds to affirm the value of rhetorical criticism for Pauline studies, particularly in its New Rhetorical guise, so long as careful attention is paid to the rhetorical stances of the secondary writings involved.

13:45-14:15 Ayse Tuzlak (University of Calgary) “‘Not reluctantly or under compulsion’:  Generosity and reciprocity in the letters of Paul”

Whenever Paul talks about money in his letters, he draws upon a complex social history of exchange and reciprocity that can be traced back to the writings of the classical Greek orators.  The liturgical services that were performed by the wealthy in classical Athens were the subject of vigorous debates about generosity, hard work, and trustworthiness.  People who were reluctant to perform leitourgiai were criticized for their stinginess and their disloyalty.  This paper will argue that Paul is well aware of this tradition and that he uses it to great effect when he exhorts his audiences to be cheerful and punctual with their charitable works. 

14:15-14:45 Paul Gooch (Victoria University, Toronto) “Does Paul Have a Consistent Concept of ‘Conscience’?”

The concept of conscience is important in moral theology, but it is not clear that the New Testament’s suneidêsis is identical in meaning to the English word ‘conscience’.  Indeed, C.S.Lewis argued (in Studies in Words) that that it was not; the term translated by our word carries the sense of ‘bad consciousness about oneself’ rather than referring to an internal arbiter of moral right and wrong.  This more primitive sense works in 1 Corinthians, or so I have argued in NTS 33.   However, Paul’s appeal to ‘conscience’ in Romans 13 as a reason to submit to temporal authorities may require the usual sense of the English term.  This paper asks whether there is a consistent reading of suneidêsis available to interpreters of Paul.

14:45-15:00 Break

15:00-15:30 Matthew Anderson (Concordia University) “Seven-Words-for-Snow and the ‘Many’ Pauline Atonement Descriptions”

Especially since Anselm, New Testament interpreters have identified—and falsely contrasted—different Pauline terms to describe the soteriological process by which Jesus’ death and resurrection were portrayed as taking effect. This paper maintains that Paul’s undisputed letters contain no dominant paradigm for the so-called “mechanics of forgiveness”. Rather, the letters contain a number of different allusions, often combined with each other within the same unit of text. Attempts throughout history to promote one or another metaphor to dominance skew the textual evidence. By carefully analyzing several transitional formulae in Romans and in the Corinthian letters, the paper demonstrates the artificial polarity of the Kasemann-Sanders positions, questions the conclusions of more recent protagonists, and proposes a link to the Pauline indicative-imperative schema.

15:30-16:00 Colleen Shantz (University of St. Michael’s College) “Arrested Development: Catching up to Gal 3:28”

Recent neuro-cognitive studies have begun to clarify the role and importance of emotions in forming and sustaining rational choices and social values. In particular, the emotion of disgust functions as a kind of guardian of social norms of behaviour and association, particularly with regard to food and sexual taboos.  As many authors have mentioned such norms are overthrown in Gal 3:28; the lines between ethnic and gender difference are obliterated by the claim that “all are one in Christ Jesus.”  This paper discusses the dynamics of disgust as a neurological phenomenon that is nonetheless culturally determined.  It further considers the emotional complex identified as “wonder” or awe as one of the mechanisms by which such norms are reordered and overthrown.  Finally, it argues that Paul’s ecstatic encounters with the “risen Christ,” his experiences of unio mystica, are among the factors that contributed to the new social norm of oneness. 

16:00-16:30 John A. Bertone (Niagara Falls, ON) “‘The Law of the Spirit’ in Romans 8:2: Paul’s Polysemous Use of Nomos and Continuity Between the Spirit and the Mosaic Law”

It has been claimed that Paul intentionally employed nomos as a homonym in Rom. 8:2 (“the law of the Spirit”) to send two different messages to the same audience simultaneously, similar to the use of homonyms in sophistical trickery.  We propose that nomos in Rom. 8:2 is an example of polysemy, not homonymy.  It had the generic meaning of “existing or accepted norm, order, usage or tradition” and formed a semantic relationship to Paul’s use of nomos referring to the Mosaic Law.    He was attempting to communicate a positive parallelization between the new “law of the Spirit” and the Mosaic Law.  Paul perceived a sense of continuity between the Spirit and Law even though the “law of the Spirit” had replaced the Mosaic Law in the new era of salvation.


15:15-16:15 (SSC2110)
History of Interpretation / L’histoire de la interprétation
Chair/Président: Dilys Patterson (Concordia University)

15:15-15:45 Kim Ian Parker (Memorial University) “Sir Isaac Newton: Biblical Scholar” 

Isaac Newton (1643-1727) is well known for his theory of gravity in the Principia (1687), and for his theory on light in the Opticks (1704).  What is not so well known is that Newton wrote more on the Bible than he did on scientific matters, continuing to do so from his early student years at Cambridge until his death.  None of his writings on the Bible were published during his lifetime, though four were published posthumously.  Almost three centuries after his death, an enormous amount of Newton’s manuscripts still remain unpublished.  In these works, Newton shows an acute awareness of the historical development of the Bible, drawing upon such notables as Richard Simon and Baruch Spinoza.  This paper will discuss Newton’s interest in biblical scholarship, and suggest a tentative connection between his biblical studies and his scientific method.

15:45-16:15 Nancy Calvert-Koyzis (McMaster University/Redeemer University College) “Sex Sells: The Portrayal of Mary Magdalene in the Da Vinci Code and Recent Scholarly Research”

The Da Vinci Code, written by Dan Brown, was published in April 2003 and has been called one of the best-selling novels of all time. While the book is admittedly a good read the author makes some dubious claims for his research such as on page 2 where he says “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”
In this paper I will argue that although Brown does make use of some early Christian documents in his portrayal of Mary Magdalene, his description of these documents and their significance for the character of Mary Magdalene is very different from the interpretation of the documents by such scholars as Ann Graham Brock and Annti Marjanen.
While Brock emphasizes the apostolic status of Mary Magdalene in early Christian communities, Brown focuses instead on texts that suggest a physical relationship with Christ.  Marjanen’s careful interpretation of the same texts confutes Brown’s interpretation.  In fact to a large degree, Brown falls into the error of which he accuses the early Church:  he focuses primarily not on Mary Magdalene’s apostolic but on her sexual status.   

16:15-16:45 John Sandys-Wunsch (University of Victoria) “Hermeneutical Presuppositions in the Debate about Homosexuality and the Bible”

Rudolph Bultmann pointed out long ago that exegesis of Scripture without presuppositions is not possible. In the current debates about the blessing of same sex unions in the Anglican Church, various appeals have been made to Scripture. In a series of interviews with those on both sides of this debate, it became clear that different hermeneutical assumptions play a large role in the conclusions reached. This paper examines the historical origins of the different hermeneutical approaches that emerged. 

Main Page / Page d’accueil

Page created by: John L. McLaughlin
Maintained by:
Richard S. Ascough
Last update:
May 21, 2005