Fellowship for Biblical Studies

FBS News and Events

2023 ABR Subscription Rates

The Executive of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies has decided that the subscription rates for the 2023 issue (Volume 71) of Australian Biblical Review will remain the same as for the 2022 issue. Postage rate changes may occur before the mailout in September 2023.

Current rates can always be found at fbs.org.au/abrsubscribe.


Third Sydney Meeting: Irony in the Bible

Friday 26th August 2022

Location

Our third meeting for the year will be held at the University of Notre Dame, Chippendale Campus. This is between Central Station and the University of Sydney, is a short walk from Moore College, and is close to public transport (with on-street parking available, and close to a carpark at Broadway shopping centre, and the Shepherd Street Carpark).

The meeting will begin at 2:00pm on Friday 26th August, 2022.

Dr Virginia Miller on Irony in Job

At this meeting Dr Virginia Miller will talk about her role as an editor of the forthcoming book Between Subversion and Innovation: Irony in the Bible and her essay in that book on A Typological Interpretation of Job that is Dependent on Irony. The study of irony in the Bible has a long and comprehensive history. This book brings together scholarship on irony in the Bible in a single volume. In doing so, it is a convenient tool for biblical scholars who wish to further their knowledge on irony and engage with the unique insights that come forth from this study.

About Dr Virginia Miller

Virginia Miller is a research fellow with the Centre for Religion, Ethics and Society (CRES), Charles Sturt University, Canberra and a doctoral student at the Gregorian University in Rome (undertaking a doctorate in the New Testament). Miller received her first doctorate at Murdoch University in the area of Old Testament studies. She is the author of A King and a Fool? The Succession Narrative as a Satire (Brill, 2019) and other books. She was the Crawford Miller visiting scholar at St Cross College, Oxford, in 2019.

Prof. John Painter on Irony in John’s Gospel

Dr Miller will be joined by Professor John Painter, BD (London), ThSchol (ACT), PhD (Durham) FAHA, Professor of Theology at Charles Sturt University. Professor Painter has written extensively about the Fourth Gospel (John) and has contributed an essay to this book on The source of Irony in the Fourth Gospel. He will also give a presentation about his contribution to this book.

Dr Stephen Cook on Irony in Judith

Again at the risk of appearing to be shamelessly self-promoting I have to confess to having a personal interest in this book as I have contributed an essay titled ‘Foiled by the hand of a woman’: Irony in the book of Judith and will also give a short presentation about this essay.

Panel Discussion

These three presentations will be followed by a panel discussion. Dr Miller will be joining the meeting from Rome, and Professor Painter will be joining from Canberra. You have the option of attending in-person which makes for a better interactive experience, or joining by Zoom. If you will be attending in-person and would like to stay on for further fellowship and conversation I will make a booking at a nearby wine bar.

RSVP to Stephen Cook

Please RSVP by Friday 19th August and indicate if you will be attending in person or require a zoom link, and also let me know if you like to join us for post-meeting drinks. Further details about the meeting location and post-meeting drinks will be sent closer to the event.


Third Melbourne Meeting: Humour, parody, and satire in Jonah’s court scene

Friday 12th August 2022

We warmly invite you to the third Melbourne gathering for 2022. It will be held on Friday 12th August from 2:00 – 3:00pm. We will meet in person at the Centre for Theology & Ministry (CTM), 29 College Cres, Parkville VIC 3052. We will begin at 2:00 pm with a paper followed by discussion and questions.

We will also provide a live stream of the paper via Zoom for those that wish to attend remotely. The zoom link will open at 1:45pm.

Our special guest speaker will be Dr Stephen Cook, the FBS representative of the Sydney branch.

Title: Humour, parody, and satire in Jonah’s court scene (3:6–9), and why it matters.

Abstract:

The short scene set in the court of the king of Nineveh, in which he issues a proclamation that the population should fast, put on sackcloth, and repent, is a major dramatic turning point in the narrative which is immediately followed by God relenting and sparing the city. For many commentators this is the crux of the story as it makes the bold claim that God’s mercy extends to any nation or city that repents. Yet this short scene raises several perplexing questions: why are the animals also commanded to repent and to “cry mightily to God” and why does the book oddly end with the words “and much cattle”; why does the narrator have the king of Nineveh using the theologically sophisticated language of Exodus 32:12, 14 in precisely the same form as Joel; and why was God merciful to repentant Nineveh but not to Israel which was ironically taken into captivity by an Assyrian commander who was born in Nineveh? This paper argues that in order to understand this scene, and the story of Jonah as a whole, scholars need to be able to identify humour, parody, and satire.

Cheese and crackers will be served afterwards with wine and non-alcoholic beverages at a cost of $5 for professionals and $2 for those with a concessional membership.

Please RSVP to Megan if you would like to attend and specify whether you would like to do so in person or on Zoom. Those who have registered for online attendance will receive a Zoom link and further information a few days prior to the meeting.


Prof. Mark Leuchter: Ezra’s Mission

Friday 5th August 2022

Many of you will know Professor Mark Leuchter (Temple University, Philadelphia, Ancient Judaism, Early Rabbinic Thought, Hebrew Bible, Ancient Israelite Religion) at least by reputation, and some of you will also know him from his previous time at the University of Sydney. Prof Leuchter will be in Sydney for a short time to do some research with the Achaemenid items in the Nicholson collection and has agreed to make time to discuss his research. He will present a semi-informal talk entitled “When Ezra Met Artaxerxes: Rethinking the Historical Setting for Ezra's Mission in the Persian Period” followed by discussion on Friday 5th August at 2:00pm, at the University of Sydney (room to be confirmed depending on numbers).

This meeting will not be live-streamed on zoom or recorded. Please RSVP to Stephen Cook as soon as possible so I can confirm the room booking. The precise location will be advised closer to the date.


Second Sydney Meeting for 2022

Friday 24th June 2022

Our next Fellowship for Biblical Studies meeting on Friday 24th June, 2022, at 2.00pm we will have two early career researchers giving presentations.

Dr Alexander McCarron: Traditionary Processes in the Enochic Theophany in the Book of the Watchers 1:1–9 and the Epistle of Jude 14b–15.

Abstract: The Enochic theophany in the Book of the Watchers 1:1–9 (1 Enoch 1:1–9) grew and evolved as the text was translated into, and transmitted in, new socio-religious and socio-linguistic contexts. This paper explores how the concept of ‘Traditionary Processes’, developed by Hindy Najman and Eibert Tigchelaar as a model for understanding the compositional development and relationship of Jubilees to a pre-existing Pentateuchal tradition, provides a productive framework for understanding how texts such as the Enochic theophany continually grew and evolved during their translation and transmission.
This model of compositional development provides an efficacious framework for understanding how the Enochic theophany participated in an evolving Theophanic discourse, not as a fixed or static point in this discourse trajectory, but as an evolving participant that continued to respond to and reshape this discourse during the translation and transmission of the text. Using the surviving Greek and Ethiopic versions, and the Greek and Latin quotations of 1:9, this model will be explored as a framework for understanding how the translation and transmission of a text form part of a compositional continuum in continuity with earlier stages in the composition and life of the text.

Bio: Dr Alexander McCarron recently graduated with a DPhil in Oriental Studies (Semitic Languages) from the University of Oxford, having previously completed a MPhil in Old Testament Theology at Oxford. Alexander has taught Classical Ethiopic and Hebrew grammar and texts in the Graduate studies program at Oxford, and is currently in the process of preparing his doctoral dissertation for publication. His doctoral research focused on the Enochic theophany (1 Enoch 1:1–9) as it is preserved in Aramaic, Greek and Ethiopic (Ge’ez) versions, and as it is quoted in Greek in the Epistle of Jude, and in Latin, Ge’ez and Amharic church writings. Applying a prospective text-critical methodology, this project explored how the Enochic theophany evolved and was transformed as the text was translated and transmitted into new or changing socio-linguistic and socio-religious contexts, and as it was read and re-signified in Christian hermeneutical contexts.

Dr Paul Byun: Not Good, Not Bad, Just Confused: Confused language and the Portrayal of King David in 2 Sam 6.

Abstract: Is King David in the book of Samuel, good or bad? The answer to this question is perhaps dependent on the particular passage that is studied. However, should our reading of the Davidic stories be limited to an “either-or” paradigm? Is it true that the book of Samuel portrays David to be either good or bad? This paper will argue that such a paradigm is a false dichotomy through a study of 2 Sam 6 in the MT. The particular focus will be on 2 Sam 6:10 where a literal translation from the Hebrew is almost intelligible. Yet when assessed from a literary perspective, this difficult verse can be seen as an example of confused language. Due to this use of confused language, David is portrayed as a king who is not bad or good, but genuinely confused by the events which had transpired before him.

Bio: Paul Byun is an adjunct lecturer at Christ College in Sydney. His Ph.D studies were at the University of Sydney and his thesis was on the imperial representations of foreign kings in Ezra-Nehemiah. He has published articles in Vetus Testamentum, Zeitschrift für die alttestamentlich Wissenschaft, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and Journal of Hebrew Scriptures. Now he wishes to find time to publish his thesis.

VENUE: The Refectory (Room H1.13), in the beautiful and historic Quadrangle of the University of Sydney.

RSVP: By Friday 17th June. Let Stephen Cook know if you plan to join us for drinks in the Café.

The meeting will also be live-streamed. Let Stephen Cook know when you RSVP if you would like the zoom link.


Inside Others: Early Christian Protagonists and Their Impairments

Thursday 26th May 2022

The second Melbourne meeting for the year will be held on Thursday 26th May, 6:30–9:00pm at the Centre for Theology & Ministry (CTM), 29 College Cres, Parkville VIC 3052. We will gather at 6:30 and sit down for dinner at 7:00pm. Please arrive a little beforehand to allow time to sign in with the QR code; attendees must demonstrate double vaccination to enter the building.

Dr Kylie Crabbe will present a paper based upon her Australian Research Council DECRA project, titled Inside Others: Early Christian Protagonists and Their Impairments.

Dinner, dessert, and drinks will be at the cost of $30.00 to be paid on the night. Please let Megan know if you have any dietary requirements.

Please RSVP by Friday 20th May to Megan if you would like to attend and specify whether you would like to do so in person or on Zoom. Please note that, as the dinner is being professionally catered, your in-person RSVP cannot be altered after the RSVP date of Friday 20th May.


Forum on Divine Violence in the Hebrew Bible and Theology

Wednesday 18th May 2022

A Forum on God’s Violence in the Hebrew Bible and Theology including an introduction to Dr Rachelle Gilmour’s new book Divine Violence in the Book of Samuel (Oxford University Press, 2021).

Contributions from:

  • Assoc Prof Liz Boase, Dean of the School of Graduate Research, University of Divinity
  • Prof Mark Brett, Professor of Hebrew Bible, Whitley College
  • Rev’d Prof Mark Lindsay, Joan F.W. Munro Professor of Historical Theology, Trinity College Theological School
  • Dr Rachelle Gilmour, Bromby Senior Lecturer in Old Testament, Trinity College Theological School

Panellists will respond to Rachelle’s new book with perspectives on God’s violence in the Hebrew Bible and post-Shoah theology, followed by an opportunity for discussion. Light refreshments will be served after the forum.

Wednesday 18 May 2–4pm
Old Warden’s Lodge, Trinity College, Entry via Gate C.

This event can be watched live via Zoom.

RSVP to events@trinity.unimelb.edu.au

Please indicate whether you will be attending in person or online.


Sydney April Meeting

Friday 29th April 2022

The first meeting for 2022 for Sydney members will be held on Friday, 29th April, at 2.00pm, when Dr George Athas will be interviewed about his forthcoming book “Bridging the Testaments.” Please keep the date free. Further details will be emailed later this month. At this stage an in-person meeting is planned and it will also be live-streamed on Zoom for those who would like to participate remotely. Enquiries can be directed to Sydney Co-ordinator Stephen Cook.


First Melbourne Meeting for 2022

Friday 11th March 2022

The first meeting of members in Melbourne will be held on Friday, 11 March from 2:00–3:30pm. Members can meet in person at the Centre for Theology & Ministry (CTM), 29 College Crescent, Parkville. The meeting will begin sharply at 2:00pm with a paper followed by discussion and questions. Please arrive a little before 2.00pm to allow time to sign in with the QR code. There will also be a live stream of the paper via Zoom for those that wish to attend remotely. The zoom link will open at 1:45pm.

Rev. Dr Val Billingham will present a paper titled: A Prophetic Dummy Spit: A Performance Reading of Jeremiah 20:1–18.

Cheese and crackers will be served afterwards with wine and non-alcoholic beverages at a cost of $5.00 for professionals and $2.00 for those with a concessional membership.

Please RSVP to the Secretary, Megan Turton, if you would like to attend, and specify whether you would like to do so in person or on Zoom. There will be a limit of about 30 people physically in the room due to COVID-19 restrictions. Those who have registered for online attendance will receive a Zoom link and further information a few days prior to the meeting.


FBS Member Achievements in 2022

Saturday 1st January 2022

The list of achievements by FBS members during 2021 is now online at the Achievements Page.


2021 Annual General Meeting

Thursday 4th November 2021

The Annual General Meeting of the Fellowship for Biblical Studies was held as a Zoom meeting on Thursday, 4 November. A paper was delivered later by Associate Professor Liz Boase entitled “Multiple Layers: Insights into the Development of a Trauma Drama in Lamentations and Jeremiah.”

The following officers and members of the Executive were elected to hold these positions for the next year:

President:Dorothy Lee
Vice-President:Chris Monaghan
Secretary:Megan Turton
Treasurer:Brian Incigneri
ABR Editor (Old Testament):Rachelle Gilmour
ABR Editor (New Testament):Alan Cadwallader
ABR Book Review Editor:Gareth Wearne
Committee Member:U-Wen Low
Committeee Member:Stephen Cook (new Sydney Coordinator)

Meetings during 2022 will be held on:

  • Friday, 11 March from 2.00pm to 3.30pm (speaker: Val Billingham);
  • Thursday, 26 May from 6.30pm to 9.30pm with dinner (speaker: Kylie Crabbe);
  • Friday, 12 August from 2.00pm to 3.30pm (Stephen Cook); and
  • Thursday, 3 November from 6.30pm to 9.30pm with dinner (AGM, followed by the Presidential Address by Dorothy Lee).

A list of member’s achievements in 2021 was presented to the meeting. These have been added to the Achievements Page.


Copyright 2022 Fellowship for Biblical Studies Inc.