Friday, November 24, 2006

Back from ETS-IBR-SBL 2006 (Part II)

Recollections continued. Ed Yamauchi's presidential address was, well, not what everyone expected. I had a good chat with Craig Keener and K.C. Hanson about the super-mega-major project which cannot yet be spoken of without the cone of silence. The last day of ETS included my late afternoon paper, "Meeting the New Perspective Half-Way" which was fairly well attended and included an overview of Romans focusing on the salvific and sociological significance of Paul's argument (see more in my forthcoming book, Paul and the Saving Righteousness of God). Late afternoon at SBL included me bumping into Paul Foster of Edinburgh and having a quick discussion about Q before finally rendezvous with Matt Montonini. We had a fine dinner followed up with IBR. Klyne Snodgrass (I love that name), gave a decent paper on the parables with a fine response from Craig Blomberg. I got to meet up with Graham Twelftree and another Aussie by the name of Doug Green, both are fine men who are part of the ever expanding Aussie biblical studies Diaspora. And everywhere I was I kept running into Preston "Twinkle when I" Sprinkle, my good friend and mate.

A major highlight of SBL was my birthday. Not only did my paper went well, but something mystical happened. For those who remember my post Things to Do at ETS - SBL I mentioned, among other things, buy Michael Bird a book from Brill for his Birthday. And some person going under the name, "Brill Team" wrote: "Mike, please pick up your free BRILL book on your birthday at our booth!" However, when you click on the link it goes nowhere. I suspected a joke and Chris Tilling, Jim West, Jim Crossley and Ben Myers were my suspects. However, my belief in the depravity of man was assuaged temporily while browsing through the Brill book stall on my birthday, the acquisitions editor Michiel Kleemans came up to me and said, "Hey, you're Michael Bird. It's your birthday. We have a free book for you. You can have any book you like." Well, after I picked up my jaw off the floor I went through several emotions: (1) Disbelief: "Wow you guys are for-real". (2) More disblief: "It wasn't a joke". (3) Humility. I wanted to prostrate myself before Michiel's feet and cry, "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!". (4) Finally, Greed: "Could you please show me your most expensive book". The choice was hard, I had to choose between Porter's book on Paul's Opponents, Ehrman's essays on Textual Criticism, or Epp's collection of essays on Textual Criticism [I can hear Peter Williams and Peter Head crying out, "why didn't you take Epp you mad red head git?" - well, it was too big to take on the plane]. In the end I settled for: Antti Marjanen and Petri Luomanen, eds., A Companion to Second-Century Christian 'Heretics', which will come in very handy for my "eventual" project on Christian Origins and New Testament Theology.

So I wish to issue my thanks to the generosity and sense of humour of everyone at Brill for making my 32nd birthday a truly joyous and most memorable ocassion. So three cheers for Brill. Now, if I can only get Walter de Grutyer and Mohr/Siebeck to do the same next year!


Jim said...

I thought you were 25-27. No kidding.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the free book. Now if only I could somehow get my birthday pushed forward 5 months I'd too be in business!

Chris Tilling said...

"We have a free book for you"

I'm not jealous. I wasn't jealous you went to ETS-IBR-SBL, nor am I jealous you were given the choice of a free book.

I'm not jealous.


I'm just going off to repent now.

Anonymous said...

Regretably, I missed SBL and ETS this year. I hope to make it next year in California.

Anonymous said...

By the way Happy LATE Birthday Michael!

Ben Myers said...

How very nice -- three cheers for you and for Brill!

tony siew said...

Hi Mike,

Happy belated Birthday! I must congratulate you for the choice of book. A real gem! Who can afford books by Brill and T & T Clark ?! They (the pricing I mean) are out of this world.

Keep up the great work and reporting on SBL. Those who did not or could not attend can at least enjoy some benefit. Thanks.

Brian Park said...

Hi Mike,

You probably don't remember me but I'm the Korean-American guy from Trinity who introduced himself to you at ETS. It was an honor to meet you and I also enjoyed your Friday afternoon paper (and your concise overview of the entire book of Romans!). Happy belated birthday, by the way. Your story about the free book is priceless.

Brian Park

Michael F. Bird said...


I do remember you, thanks for that. It was certainly good to meet you too. I wish you every blessing in your studies.