Friday, February 3, 2017

Hebrews at the Midwest Regional

In a week from today I will be headed up north to South Bend, IN to attend the 2017 Midwest Regional of the SBL at St. Mary's College. Hebrews will be featured in a number of sessions, one of which I am chairing. Session C of the Hebrews & Catholic Epistles section will feature five Hebrews specialists who will be answering the question, "What Is Hebrews?" In session D, Eric Mason will be giving a response to the five papers and then a panel discussion will ensue. Fun should be had by all!

Saturday, February 11

Chair: Jason Whitlark, Baylor University

Andrew W. Higginbotham, HUC–JIR
No Time ... or No Need? Hebrews 11:32 in Light of Tannaitic Parallels and Second Temple Mentions
"While one may understand abbreviating coverage of David, Samuel and the prophets at the end of the “hall of faith” (Heb 11:32), the mention without elaboration there of Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah is curious. While the use of tannaitic materials as parallels to New Testament texts is potentially problematic, the similarities of the traditions found in Tosefta Rosh Hashanah, the Mekhiltot, and Sifre Devarim in their own mentions of the four judges are compelling enough to garner consideration. This paper will examine for the potential of a tradition that lies behind both Hebrews and the tannaitic sources."

Erhard H. Gallos, Andrews University
The Spirits of the Righteous Made Perfect
"Who are “the spirits of the righteous made perfect” in Hebrews 12:23? Are they the immortal, bodiless people in a metaphysical sphere? What is the background for understanding the phrase “the spirits of the righteous made perfect?” Is it Jewish apocalyptic literature, like 1 Enoch 22.3-9; Wis 3:1; Philo Leg. all. 3.74; 3 Enoch 43.1 or is the answer to be found within the book of Hebrews itself? A closer look, however, at the homily of Auctor ad Hebraeos will shed new light into the perennial enigma."

Chair: Eric F. Mason, Judson University
“What Is Hebrews?”—Panel Presentations

Jared C. Calaway, Illinois College
"This paper will illustrate the possibilities and limitations of examining the Epistle to the Hebrews through the lens of spatial theory, spatiotemporal theory, and migration studies."

Amy Peeler, Wheaton College
"The author’s chief concern is to present the ethos (character) of God so that the recipients can trust God and, therefore, endure in their confession."

Clare M. Rothschild, Lewis University
"Hebrews is a deliberate pseudepigraphon—its centuries-long attribution to Paul, an explicit intention of the author."

Ken Schenck, Indiana Wesleyan University
"Hebrews was a sermon sent from a Jewish male of the Pauline circle, someone acquainted with Philo, who was writing to Rome in the aftermath of the destruction of the temple to encourage a largely Gentile audience not to abandon Christian Judaism."

Jason A. Whitlark, Baylor University
"Hebrews is a deliberative speech written to former pagans in Flavian Rome to exhort them to faithfulness in view of God’s promised hope and Christ’s new covenant ministry and to warn them against apostasy, namely defection to the pagan imperial society."

Chair: Brian Small, Grand Rivers (Kentucky) United Methodist Church
“What Is Hebrews?”—Response and Discussion

Response: Eric F. Mason, Judson University

Jared C. Calaway, Illinois College
Amy Peeler, Wheaton College
Clare M. Rothschild, Lewis University
Ken Schenck, Indiana Wesleyan University
Jason A. Whitlark, Baylor University

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