2018 ABR Out Soon
2018 FBS National Conference
August Melbourne Symposium
June Sydney Meeting
June Melbourne Symposium
April Sydney Meeting
March Melbourne Symposium
FBS Member Achievements for 2017
2017 Annual General Meeting
2018 ABR Subscription Rate Rise
Current issue of
Australian Biblical Review
News and Coming Events

2018 ABR Out Soon

The 2018 issue (Volume 66) of Australian Biblical Review will be out soon; it is due to be mailed out around the end of September. The various online indexes have been updated. See the Table of Contents Index, the Author Index and the Book Review Index to access the full text of the book reviews in this issue.

August Melbourne Symposium

The third Melbourne gathering of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies for this year was held on Thursday, 30 August, at the Centre for Theology and Ministry (CTM), Parkville. The speaker was Dr Sue Boorer, who presented a paper titled: “Is the Promise of the Land in the Priestly Narrative a Utopian Hope?”
Brief Abstract: Against a trend in European scholarship to see the promise of the land in the Priestly narrative (Pg) as having little or no importance, I argue that the land promise is central to Pg’s vision. Indeed the nature of PgPg’s land promise is such that it represents the pinnacle of PgPg’s hoped for future; for its fulfilment is only possible once the vision in relation to the other promises of descendants and to be their God were to become a reality.
Bio: Sue is senior lecturer in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Murdoch University. Her area of expertise is Pentateuch, and her latest book is The Vision of the Priestly Narrative: Its Genre and Hermeneutics of Time.
The final dinner for 2018 will be the Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 1 November, at which the Presidential Address will be delivered by Rosemary Canavan (NT).

2018 FBS National Conference

The 2018 FBS National Conference will be held in Sydney on 26–28 September at Australian Catholic University, North Sydney. This conference offers an opportunity for biblical scholars from across Australasia to come together, to network, collaborate and share the best in local research. The keynote speaker will be Prof. Mark Brett from Whitley College, Melbourne.The program includes an exciting array of local scholars. Registration details can be downloaded here. The conference is open to members of FBS but non-members can attend if they are a guest of a member. Enquiries should be directed to Rachelle Gilmour.

June Sydney Meeting

The second Sydney meeting for 2018 was held on Friday, 15 June, at Moore Theological College. The paper was presented by Dr Gareth Wearne (bio below*) with the title, “Recent theories about memory and the copying of biblical texts” (abstract below**).

Bio: Dr Gareth Wearne is a Lecturer in Biblical Studies in the Australian Catholic University’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy. He was recently awarded the Dirk Smilde Scholarship at the University of Groningen’s Qumran Institute, which is devoted to Dead Sea Scrolls research.
Abstract: In recent years, approaches to textual criticism have been impacted by the development of models that emphasise the role of memory in the processes of copying and transmission (Person 1998; Martin 2010; Carr 2011). Such models foreground the role of the copyist as both reader and re-composer of literary texts and an active participant in the transmission process. Moreover, they emphasise the importance of the immanent tradition—that is “the set of metonymic, associative meanings institutionally delivered and received through a dedicated idiom or register either during or on the authority of traditional oral performance” (Foley 1995: 7)—as a potential source of inspiration and interference in the copying process. According to this view, textual criticism can offer unique insights into the reception and cognitive processing of authoritative texts in specific contexts. David Carr, especially, has foregrounded cognitive processes associated with the internalisation of written material and its reproduction from memory. He has proposed a typology of variants which may emerge from such a process, including inter alia the exchange of synonymous words, word order variation, and the presence and absence of conjunctions and minor modifiers (Carr 2011). Similarly, Raymond Person has advocated an understanding of the ancient Israelite scribe as performer, arguing that the processes of textual reproduction are analogous to oral performance inasmuch as they allow for greater or lesser degrees of “synonymous” variation—that is, variants which operate at the level of lexis but not semantics (e.g. the inclusion or omission of epithets; Person 1998). Yet, notwithstanding the explanatory potential of such models, others have sounded a cautionary note, pointing to recent theorists’ limited engagement with the manuscript evidence (Hendel 2016) and their failure to consider the current state of cognitive science when developing the theoretical basis of such models (Wearne 2017). This paper will survey the contours of recent discussions and ask can we really have a cognitively informed approach to textual criticism?
June Melbourne Symposium

The second Melbourne gathering of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies for this year was held on Thursday, 14 June, at the Centre for Theology and Ministry (CTM), 29 College Crescent, Parkville. The speaker was Prof. Dorothy Lee, who presented a paper titled: “Fictive Kinship and its Symbolism in the Literary Structures of 1 John.”
Brief Abstract: This paper explores notions of kinship in 1 John and the way they develop through the complex structures of the epistle.
Bio: Dorothy Lee is Frank Woods Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity College. Born in Scotland, she studied first Classics then theology, gaining a doctorate in Johannine studies at the University of Sydney. Since then she has published widely both in the Gospels, with a focus on narrative criticism and theology, and also in feminist studies.

Our other dinners are: 30 August: Sue Boorer (OT), 1 November: Rosemary Canavan (NT) and Annual General Meeting.

April Sydney Meeting

The first Sydney meeting for 2018 was held on 13 April. The paper was given by special guest, Dr Anne Gardner (from Melbourne) who gave a paper titled, “Why Nebuchadnezzar?” (see abstract below).
Bio: Dr Anne Gardner is an adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University in Australia. She has published widely across the areas of the Hebrew Bible and the Inter-Testamental Literature.
Abstract: Why Nebuchadnezzar? In Daniel 4 and 5, Nebuchadnezzar makes an appearance, although recent scholars think that Nabonidus is the real character under the spotlight. Arguments for and against this viewpoint are assessed and it will be seen that while the story about Nabonidus plays a part in chapter 4, Nebuchadnezzar’s role is just as important. Historical elements that appear in the tale are brought to the fore as is the need to justify Israel’s God. The relevance of Nebuchadnezzar/Nabonidus and Belshazzar in the context of the events leading to the Maccabean crisis is apparent in Daniel 5 and links with the use of Belshazzar as a cipher in the headings to Daniel 7 and 8.
March Melbourne Symposium

The first Melbourne symposium of FBS for 2018 was held on Thursday, 8 March, at the Centre for Theology & Ministry, Parkville. The speaker was Dr Kris Sonek, who presented a paper titled: “Wrangling with Abraham: An Evaluation of the Recent Studies of Genesis 12–25.”

Abstract: In a forthcoming article to be published in Currents in Biblical Research, I have surveyed a representative selection of works on the Abraham narratives published over the last 17 years. To keep the survey within reasonable limits, the evaluation of modern trends in the study of Gen 12–25 had to be kept to the minimum. In this paper, I will offer extensive comments on the recent trends in the scholarship related to the Abraham narratives.

Our other symposiums for 2018 will be on 14 June (Dorothy Lee [NT]), 30 August (Sue Boorer [OT]) and 1 November (Rosemary Canavan [NT], with the Annual General Meeting).

FBS Member Achievements in 2017

The list of achievements by FBS members during 2017 is now online at the Achievements Page.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of FBS was held on Thursday, 2 November at the Centre for Theology & Ministry, Parkville. The Presidential paper was delivered by Dr Mary Coloe pbvm and was entitled, “The Missionary Prayer of Jesus: John 17:1$#150;26.” The paper was very well received and there was much discussion afterwards.

Bio: Mary teaches in the field of New Testament studies, with a particular focus on the Gospel of John. She has taught at the Australian Catholic University, and has also taught at Boston College, the Jesuit School of Theology Berkeley, and at the Ecce Homo Biblical Institute Jerusalem. She currently teaches at Yarra theological Union. She was recently appointed by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity to participate in a 5 year Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Disciples of Christ.

A list of members’ achievements was presented to the meeting. This list is compiled at this time of year and achievements are listed on this web site. Any further achievements not notified yet should be emailed to the Secretary by 16 November, providing details of any publications or other notable achievements made during 2017. The list will be added to this site after that date.

The following officers and members of the Executive were elected for the next year:

President:Rosemary Canavan
Vice-President:Keith Dyer
Secretary:Merryl Blair
Treasurer:Brian Incigneri
ABR OT Editor:Anne Gardner
ABR NT EditorDavid Sim
ABR Book Review Editor:Michael Theophilos
Committee Member:Sunny Chen
Committee Member:Chris Monaghan

Melbourne events during 2018 will be:

Symposium, 8 March (Speaker: Kris Sonek)
Symposium, 14 June (Speaker: Dorothy Lee)
Symposium, 30 August (Speaker: Sue Boorer)
Annual General Meeting, 1 November (with the Presidential Address by Rosemary Canavan)

2018 ABR Subscription Rate Rise

The subscription rate for the 2018 issue of Australian Biblical Review will rise to $24.00 (plus postage). This is the first price rise since 2010. The discount for Australian and New Zealand subscribers has been removed, so all subscribers will pay the same rate from next year. Current subscription and postage rates can always be found on the ABR Page.

FBS News

Keep watching this page for news, or check out the Updates Page to see recent changes to the site.

News items or suggestions about the content of the site are welcome. Please email the Site Administrator, Brian Incigneri.