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The CSBS Annual Meeting

How many of you are planning to go to the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting at the University of Calgary on May 28-30. My session will be on Saturday, May 28 starting at 8:30 am. Here are the abstracts:

8:30-9:00             James Magee (Trinity Western University)

Silence of the Lamb(s): Innocent Children from Jesus to the Waif Evangelist (aka Mark) in the Silent Cinema

For the next chapter in the Cinematic Childhood(s) and Imag(in)ing the Boy Jesus saga, I go back in time to the dawn of the cinema to examine some of the earliest attempts at screening the life of Jesus. I look specifically at the idea of childhood innocence in three key silent films: The Life and Passion of Jesus Christ (1905), From the Manger to the Cross (1912) and The King of Kings (1927). From antecedents of ‘the child’ in Romantic art to philanthropic and state-sponsored child-saving efforts, the historical backdrops to these Bible-to-film adaptations are culled for their influences on these cinematic depictions of children and childhood, from the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Jerusalem temple to the imagined boyhood of Mark the Evangelist. The idea(l) of childhood innocence emerges from this analysis as historically contingent, variably expressed, and even contested.

 9:00-9:30             Ryan D. Schroeder (University of British Columbia)

            Jesus Christ Superscribe: Markan Memory and the Founding of a Jewish Sect

As a narrative, the Gospel of Mark commemorates the founding and founder of the nascent Christian community. Various conflicts propel the plot forward, notably the disputations between Jesus and certain religious authorities over the interpretation and application of sacred scripture. In this essay, I argue that the writer of Mark’s Gospel, perhaps his community, remembered Jesus in the social frame of the “master-scribe.” Such a memory justified his religious community’s variance from contemporary (and competing) expressions of Judaism, while it also ensured a sense of continuity with the faithful of Israel via (the right understanding of) the Jewish scriptures.

 9:30-10:00             Alan Kirk (James Madison University)

Ancient Florilegia Transmission Practices, and Some Unresolved Problems in Matthew’s Source Utilization (on the 2DH)

In 1882, Curt Wachsmuth published his groundbreaking source-critical analysis of three Byzantine florilegia: the Maximus, the Melissa Augustana, and the Antonius, arguing that all three were dependent upon a non-extant Ur-florilegium (“Buch der Parallela”). His theory was subsequently modified by Heinrich Schenkl and Anton Elter, who demonstrated that the Maximus was dependent upon the in fact extant 9th century florilegium Corpus Parisinum, and that the Melissa Augustana and the Antonius were dependent on the Maximus. Recent work by Denis Searby and Jens Gerlach on source utilization in the Corpus Parisinum further adds to our store of information on ancient transmission practices, as these are attested in source relationships across four generations of florilegia. For our purposes, the relevant point is that these practices show striking similarities to Matthew’s procedures in combining Mark and Q on the Two Document Hypothesis. We again see the 2DH’s remarkable coherence with ancient compositional practices.

 10:15-10:45             Michael Kok (The King’s University)

The Second Century Scribal Addition of a Secondary Ending to John’s Gospel

Despite some notable exceptions (cf. Gaventa 1996: 249-50 n. 8), most commentators regard the Johannine epilogue as an editorial addition after the Gospel’s original ending at John 20:31 on stylistic and rhetorical grounds. This paper locates the redactor in a second century Christian context. First, the identification of the enigmatic beloved disciple as the author of the text (John 21:24) accords with the growing importance of “authorial self-representation” in legitimating Gospel writings (cf. Goodacre 2012: 174-79). Second, the epilogue may harmonize Johannine and Synoptic data (John 21:3-14; Luke 5:1-11; cf. Neirynck 1990). Finally, the epilogue seems to engage Christians who hold to Petrine primacy and John 21:18 alludes to traditions about Peter’s crucifixion that develop later (cf. Goulder 2004; Zwierlein 2009).

 10:45-11:15             Emily Laflèche (University of Toronto)

Mary Magdalene: The Companion of Jesus

The Gospel of Philip defines Mary Magdalene as Jesus’ companion (koinōnos- companion or partner) it also defines the relationship developed through the bridal chamber as joining (koinoneīn- to have in common with or join with another) two people together as companions or consorts (Gos. Phil. 65. 1-26). The use of the Copticized Greek verb koinoneīn and its nominalization koinōnos in the Gospel of Philip shows that there may be a connection in these two descriptions of companions and the joining of companions. Building on the work of Antti Marjanen (1996), I will analyse Mary Magdalene’s role as the companion of Jesus, looking to other apocryphal texts to aid in understanding her role. I will also address whether there is evidence to link Mary’s companionship with Jesus, to the union developed in the bridal chamber.

 11:15-11:45             Bill Richards (College of Emmanuel & St Chad)

“Hidden Words” – Re-parsing What Thomas Overheard

In this paper I examine several key sentences in the Coptic text of the Gospel of Thomas, starting with the opening invitation to ponder its sayings under a promise of “not tasting death”. In each case I propose an alternate grammatical analysis of the sayings this book’s Thomas is credited with overhearing and writing down. This re-parsing of particular lines will, I hope, encourage a fresh translation of the text as a whole, as well as contribute to a thicker description of the faith community that valued and transmitted its “hidden words.”

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