Highlights from SBL 2009

Well, the meeting in New Orleans has come and gone, and I want to give some of the highlights from the papers I had the privilege of hearing.

1. Probably, one of the more insightful presentations I heard was Michael Sokoloff’s paper “Lexical Archaeology: The Case of Brockelmann’s Lexicon Syriacum.”  Sokoloff has prepared and published a translation and revision of Brockelmann’s lexicon and this paper succinctly described Brockelmann’s method and Sokoloff’s approach to revision.  His presentation was based on the introduction to his lexicon so the reader is directed there for the details. Perhaps the most interesting part of the presentation was the background to Syriac Lexicography and his comparison between Payne Smith and Brockelmann.  In short, I will be using Brockelmann/Sokoloff for my Syriac research in the future.

2. Johann Cook asked the question: “Were the LXX Versions of Proverbs and Job Translated by the same Person?”  He answered in the negative, since there seems to be too radically different translation approaches in the two books.

3. Larry Perkins gave a solid and thorough paper on proper names in Greek Exodus.

4. Phillip Marshall presented on Aramaic Influence on the (Old) Greek Bible. This was an insightful paper because it reminded us that the Greek translators were influenced by Aramaisms from time to time. Particularly, his third category, “Heb. and Aram. lexemes are the same, but OG translator chose a Greek equivalent that matched the sense of the Aramaic,” was insightful.

5. Claude Cox made a defense for the daughter versions of the LXX with particular place for the Armenian version.  In essence, Cox exhorted us to continue to study the daughter versions for three reasons: 1) They remain one type of evidence for textual criticism, 2) the sub-versions remain relatively early witnesses, and 3) these versions increase our understanding of the textual history of the Bible.

6. I gave my first presentation at SBL on the commentary of Biblia Hebraica Quinta and the textual problem of holelot in Ecclesiastes 1:17.  I received some helpful feedback on the paper including some encouragement to publish the paper as well as some germane critique, which I will incorporate into the revision and final draft.

2 thoughts on “Highlights from SBL 2009

  1. The itinerary you recently posted looked like Heaven on earth. You are truly blessed to have had the time & opportunity to participate in such an event.

  2. It was a very good time, and you are right that I was blessed with the time and opportunity to participate. Maybe you will be able to come one of these years?

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