Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Radboud New Testament Seminar - July 2011

Wednesday 6 July, 14h00 - 17h00

On Ethics in the Johannine Writings - Professor Jan van der Watt

William Wrede and the Quest for Objectivity in Biblical Interpretation - Frederik Mulder
All are welcome. For more information, contact Frederik at

Monday, 27 June 2011

Explorations in Aspects of Gospel and LXX Research - 13 July 2011 in Nijmegen, the Netherlands

Department of Theology, Radboud University, 13 July 2011

 Invited speakers include:
The Prophetic Power of the Word of Jesus: A Study of John 4:43-54
- Professor Gilbert van Belle (Leuven)

The Text Form of Matthew's Isaiah Quotations compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint - Professor Gert Steyn (Pretoria)


"Elijah as Reconciler of Father and Son: From 1 Kings 16:34 and Malachi 3:22-24 to Ben Sira 48:1-11 and Luke 1:13-17" - Professor Bart J. Koet (Tilburg)

For more information contact Frederik Mulder at

Friday, 24 June 2011

NT Wright, Richard Hays, Oliver O' Donovan, John Barclay et al at the 2012 Paul’s Letter to the Galatians & Christian Theology Conference in St Andrews

10-13 July 2012, St Andrews

We are pleased to announce the fourth St Andrews conference on Scripture and
 Christian Theology. Since the first conference on the Gospel of John in
 2003, the St Andrews conferences have been recognized as amongst the most
 important occasions when biblical scholars and systematic theologians are
 brought together in conversation about a biblical text. With the book of Galatians as our key text, biblical scholars and theologians of the Christian tradition will gather to work out how exegesis and theology meet, critique and inform each other.

Main Papers

Jean-Noël Aletti
Lewis Ayres
John Barclay
Ivor Davidson
Beverly Gaventa
Bruce McCormack
Volker Rabens
Thomas Söding
Kendall Soulen
Timothy Wengert
Simeon Zahl
Call for Papers

We invite proposals for short papers that relate Galatians to Christian theology and culture, including:

Galatians & Art
Galatians & Christian Doctrine
Galatians & Ethics
Galatians & the History of Interpretation
Galatians & Eschatology
Jewish and Christian Readings of Galatians.


Mark W. Elliott, Senior Lecturer in Church History at St Mary's College, author of Isaiah 40-66 in the Ancient Christian Commentary series (IVP, 2007); The Reality of Biblical Theology (Peter Lang, 2007)

N.T.Wright, Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, University of St Andrews (St Mary’s College), author of Paul: In Fresh Perspective (Fortress, 2009); Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today (HarperOne, 2011)

Grant Macaskill, Lecturer in New Testament at St Mary's College, author of Revealed Wisdom and Inaugurated Eschatology in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (Brill Academic, 2007)

For more go to this link:

Thursday, 23 June 2011

NT Wright receives book of the History of the Dutch Reformed Church

I am sure professor Wright won't mind me mentioning this:

Dear Professor Tom,

Words fail to express my sincere appreciation for the wonderful discussion we had, and the gifts you gave me. Your sermon preached on Trinity Sunday 1972 made me quite emotional. I hope you received the book about the history of the Dutch Reformed Church by now. Close to the end there are pictures of Bishop Tutu and President Mandela taking Holy Communion with the Dutch Reformed Church.
Yours faithfully

Ferdie Mulder

Dear Ferdie
Thank you! I'm glad you like the books -- and yours arrived safely. Thank you very much. Warm greetings and good wishes.

Tom Wright

Sunday, 19 June 2011

An astonishing dialogue with NT Wright about the Boer War, Racism and Evil.

        Following my and professor Wright’s papers at St Andrews on Wednesday, I had the great privilege of spending a few minutes with him in his office at St Mary’s College.

As we started talking, the first thing he did, of course, was to show me his awesome replica of P75 (an early New Testament papyri of Luke 24 I think).
What I will cherish for a long time, however, was the fascinating talk we had about the South African Boer War, including the problem of evil.

Professor Wright told me that his grandfather was a lieutenant in the Boer War and wrote several letters in his time there to his father. What struck him was the English’s deep rooted racism against the Afrikaners at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Significantly, (and to my surprise) he added that the British helped the process of apartheid because of what happened during the Boer War. Thinking back, I remember my own father telling me how, as a child, he would listen to stories of his grandfather who fought in the Boer War too.
All of this lead our discussion to the problem of evil and particularly the trend among some Jesus Seminar scholars, who propose panentheism as a way of speaking about God and the cosmos. (As we know, panentheism sees God in everything and everything in God).
Professor Wright argued that panentheism is actually the wrong way around. What we are promised in 1 Corinthians 15 is that God will be all in all. Panentheism is therefore a dangerous collapse of eschatology. It’s always in danger of an over-realized eschatology, and hence of all the problems, which inevitably lead into various forms of pantheism. Professor Wright acknowledged that some, like Marcus Borg, will say that it is not pantheistic. But actually, (and this was important for him) if we look at how it actually plays out, the main problem is getting a handle on the critique of evil, let alone a solution for it, and solving the problem.

Things like Auschwitz, the Boer War, and the evil in every one of us, I understood Wright to say, cannot be part of God as panentheism would inevitably have it – at least not if we take the Hebrew scriptures and New Testament seriously.

Professor Wright puts it like this in his lovely book Simply Christian:

“The one true God made a world that was other than himself, because that is what love delights to do. And having made such a world, he has remained in a close, dynamic and intimate relationship with it, without in any way being contained within it or having it contained within him ... this God appears to take very seriously the fact that his beloved creation has become corrupt, has rebelled and is suffering the consequences. This is something the pantheist cannot cope with. Even panentheism has a hard time giving a serious account of the radical nature of evil, let alone of what a good God might do about it” (Simply Christian, 2006, pp 58-59).

Following our discussion, I am more convinced than ever that the Christian God of the Hebrew and New Testament scriptures is in no way responsible for, or in any way part of the evil in the world as we now know it.

Professor Wright gave me a copy of the 2010 edition of his 1978 book: Small Faith Great God, and also the 2011 edition of his 2005 book Scripture and the Authority of God. In turn, out of gratitude, I posted the only copy of Die NG Kerk 350 jaar I have, (which is a history of the Dutch Reformed Church) to him on Friday morning.
Words fail to express my sincere appreciation for the wonderful discussion we had, and the gifts from professor Tom Wright!

Some of the delegates who also delivered papers.

Friday, 10 June 2011

NT Wright, Kristin de Troyer, Mark Elliott, James Davila etc at St Andrews Conference


Authoritative Texts and Reception History: Aspects and Approaches

15-16 June 2011, The 1st St Andrews Graduate Conference for Biblical and Early Christian Studies

With an emphasis on textual reception history, the first St Andrews Graduate Conference for Biblical and Early Christian Studies is aimed at graduate students and early career scholars. Contributors are welcomed from the following fields of research: Old Testament / Hebrew Bible, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament and Early Christianity.

We have four invited plenary speakers:

Prof. Kristin De Troyer
Prof. James R. Davila
Prof. N. T. Wright
Dr. Mark W. Elliott

Wednesday 15th June
9.00 am: Kristin de Troyer, On Reconstructing the History of the Biblical Text
Session 1
10.00: Steven Harvey (Durham), Who is (are) ‘your teacher(s)’? Hearing the voice of the prophet in Isaiah 30:18-26
10.30: Mark Stirling (St Andrews), The Davidic Temple Builder: Zechariah 6:13-15 as neglected background to Ephesians 2:11-22
11.00: Ben Johnson (Durham), Reading Septuagintal Narrative Texts as Translated Narratives: 1 Reigns 16 as an Example
11.30: coffee/tea
12.00: Michael J. Thate (Durham), The Effusive Presence Memory, Performance and the People of God
12.00: Kerry Lee (Edinburgh), The Not Not Inglorious Death of Samson
1.00 pm: Lunch
2.00: N. T. Wright, Scripture and God's Authority: Case Studies and Further Questions
Session 2
3.00: Martin G. Ruf (Utrecht), Elective affinities? Second Peter’s reception of Paul
3.30: Frederik Mulder (Radboud), The reception of Paul’s understanding of resurrection and eschatology in the Epistle to Rheginos: Faithful Paulinism, or further development?
4.00: Rebekah M. Devine (St Andrews), Made With Hands: The Gods of the Nations in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians
4.30: coffee/tea
5.00: Moshe Blidstein (Oxford), Between Ritual and Moral Purity: Early Christian Views on Dietary Laws
5.30: Andrew Talbert (Nottingham), Poiesis, Aesthesis, and Catharsis: The Aesthetic Experience of Readi‘the Day of the Lord’ with the Fathers
6.00: Michael A. Clark (Birmingham), The Catena of the Gospel of John by Nicetas of Heraclea
6.30: Drinks reception

Thursday 16th June
9:00 am: James Davila, Quotations from the Lost Books in the Hebrew Bible
Session 3
10.00: David J. Larsen (St Andrews), After the Order of Melchizedek: Royal Themes and MelchizedTraditions Applied to Jesus by the Author of Hebrews
10.30: Beniamin Pascut (Cambridge), Jesus and the Jewish Diviner: The Use and Misuse of 4QPrNbr
11.00: Albertina Oegema (Gröningen), The Reception of Isa 40:15 in 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch and Pseudo-Philo
11.30: coffee/tea
12.00: Nicholas Ellis (Oxford), The Jobraham Narratives - A Synthetic Tradition of Trial and Faithfulness
12.30: Fiona Kao (Cambridge), ‘Fear not this tormentor’: Maccabean Predecessors and Eusebian Martyrs
1.00 pm: lunch break
2.00: Mark W. Elliott, The promise and threat of “Reception”, with reference to patristic interpretation of texts in Hebrews and Ephesians
2.45: coffee/tea
Session 4
3.00: Dan Batovici (St Andrews), Irenaeus’ Hermas
3.30: David L. Cann (KCL), The Holy Spirit in the Early Church: A search for the roots of the Trinitarian theology of the Holy Spirit
4.00: Marijana Vuković (CEU), Anonymous Late Antique Martyrdom Narratives: The Issues of Genre, Imitation, Narratological Patterns
4.30: coffee/tea
5.00: Justin A. Mihoc (Durham), The Reception and Interpretation of the Lucan Ascension of Christ in the Pre-Nicene Period
5.30: Kevin J. Haley (Notre Dame), Augustine’s Enarrationes and the Final Form of the Psalter
6.00: Andrew Hay (St Andrews), From Historia to Theoria: The exegesis of Gregory of Nyssa and a diachronic reading of the Bible


We are charging a registration fee of £15 which includes conference attendance and the academic reception on the evening of 15 June. Meals and accommodations are not included in the fee. However, coffee and tea will be available during the conference.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

University of Exeter, Centre for Biblical Studies Research Seminar: Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou and Frederik Mulder

Centre  for Biblical Studies
Department of Theology and Religion
Research Seminar

Wednesday 8 June
(Frederik Mulder, David Horrell and Brad Arnold)

2.00-3.30pm Francesca Stavrakopoulou, "The Social Life of the Corpse".

4.00-5.00pm Frederik Mulder, "The interplay between βρῶμα, κοιλίᾳ and somatic resurrection in 1 Corinthians 6:12-14".*

A big thank you to Professor David Horrell for inviting me to be part of Exeter's Research Seminar yesterday. Thank you also for the lunch and fascinating discussions afterwards. John and Brad, it was great  meeting you guys too!

 Francesca Stavrakopoulou (top left)

One of the beautiful buildings at the University of Exeter
* Technically, my paper wasn't part of the Research Seminar I think. I delivered it afterwards as part of the Biblical Studies Seminar.