Tyndale NT Study Group 26–28 June 2019: Orality, writing and the formation of the canon

We have a fascinating line-up of papers for the NT Study Group this year focussing on orality, writing and the formation of the canon. Do come and join us to engage in some world-class scholarship!

The Tyndale New Testament Study Group is part of the Tyndale Fellowship for biblical and theological research, based at Tyndale House in Cambridge, and including evangelical scholars from all over the world.

This year’s NT Study Group will be meeting at Tyndale House from 26th to 28th June 2019 (the equivalent week to last year). The study group is a great opportunity to engage with excellent biblical scholarship, and to meet other scholars from around the world. Not all those attending are NT scholars themselves, but include church leaders wanting to ground their ministry in excellent understanding of the New Testament. One of those attending previously commented:

I thoroughly recommend the conference as an opportunity to do serious biblical reflection in a faith-filled context.

You book into the conference at the site for the Tyndale NT Study group. There is an ‘early bird’ discount running until 31st March 2019. 

The programme is as follows:

Jonathan Linebaugh, University of Cambridge: Tyndale NT lecture (title tbc)

Rafael Rodriguez Professor of New Testament, Johnson University, Knoxville
Memory, orality and writing in the NT (tbc)

Armin Baum Professor of New Testament at the Free Theological University Giessen
Parallel Letters in the Corpus Paulinum: Insights from Ancient Analogies, Ancient Literary Theory and Modern Memory Research

Anthony Royle (Dublin City University)
Orality in the Composition of Citations in Paul’s Letters

Garrett Best (Asbury Theological Seminary)
Reading and writing gooder: the aural impact of solecisms in the apocalypse

Christopher Shell (London)
New Testament Dating since J.A.T. Robinson

Jacob A. Rodriguez
 (Wycliffe Hall, Oxford)
Justin Martyr and the απομνημονεύματα: Public Reading as Covenant Praxis

Carl Johann Berglund (Uppsala)
Rhetorical Capital and the Primary Purpose of First Thessalonians

Karen Taylor (University of Chester and Auckland, New Zealand)
Cutting judgment in pieces: a judgment parable in Matt 24 through a lens of relational faithfulness

Tavis Bohlinger (London; Lexham Press)
A Call for a New Method of Comparison in NT Studies

Philip Church (Laidlaw College, Auckland, NZ)
“In Speaking of a New Covenant, God Declares the First Obsolete” (Heb 8:13): Supersessionism in the Book of Hebrews.

Andrew Cress (London School of Theology)
Exorcism and the Kingdom of God in the Ministry of Jesus: An Open Question

Do come and join us in Cambridge!

Themes planned for future study groups are as follows:

2020 Doing Theology in a World on the Move – Migration, Borders and Citizenship (The Tyndale Quadrennial joint conference)

2021 Later Pauline: Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and Pastorals 

2022 Ethics and moral transformation in the New Testament

Let me know if you would be interested in offering a paper for any of these sessions.

Follow me on Twitter @psephizo

Much of my work is done on a freelance basis. If you have valued this post, would you consider donating £1.20 a month to support the production of this blog?

Follow me on Twitter @psephizoLike my page on Facebook.

Much of my work is done on a freelance basis. If you have valued this post, would you consider donating £1.20 a month to support the production of this blog?

Signup to get email updates of new posts
We promise not to spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

If you enjoyed this, do share it on social media (Facebook or Twitter) using the buttons on the left. Follow me on Twitter @psephizo. Like my page on Facebook.

Much of my work is done on a freelance basis. If you have valued this post, you can make a single or repeat donation through PayPal:

For other ways to support this ministry, visit my Support page.

Comments policy: Do engage with the subject. Please don't turn this into a private discussion board. Do challenge others in the debate; please don't attack them personally. I no longer allow anonymous comments; if there are very good reasons, you may publish under a pseudonym; otherwise please include your full name, both first and surnames.

23 thoughts on “Tyndale NT Study Group 26–28 June 2019: Orality, writing and the formation of the canon”

    • Yes, and she will be very good. I would love to involve more evangelical women scholars in NT studies, so if you know any do please put them in touch with me.

      There is a massive over-supply of people with PhDs in NT, and women whom I’ve encouraged have often done the sensible thing and specialised in another area (OT, Patristics) where there will be more opportunities for employment. I can’t really blame them!

      • Ian
        That’s true and Paul (especially) seems to be alpha male territory (with some honourable exceptions). But I think we should seek to be representative on all panels and that includes POC too (I have no idea what colour your line up are).
        And I do realise it’s Tyndale, but wouldn’t a speaker from another tradition add a bit of grit? I can think of plenty of women!

  1. I would love to hear Karen Taylor’s paper! Also, I must plead that you please not in future sacrifice quality of spiritual depth and scholarly acumen merely to temporarily satisfy sexist and racist hunger for wrongly discriminatory quotas. Let the best papers for the edification of the Kingdom be presented, not a selection of presenters in order to unjustly construct a humanistic displacement of needful information.

    • Hmmm…I think I would want to be a little more careful in the language I use about providing equal opportunities for all to contribute! But I do agree that equal opportunity does not necessarily lead to equality of outcome.

      Nevertheless, I am greatly indebted to my female NT colleagues and their insights, and I hope that we can encourage full participation from all.

    • The point is James, whose Kingdom?
      Does this Kingdom belong only to white, male westerners?
      Can this Kingdom be reflected upon, portrayed, and cherished only by white, male westerners?
      Is scholarship inherently white and male?

      My point was not about ‘quotas’ or even about equality of outcome, but about the representation of the gospel. How can we hope to be edified, how can we reach for the truth if we are looking only through certain, privileged hermeneutical lenses.

      • Penny,

        Your point about hermenutical lenses is fair. However, I might suggest that as least as important would be getting voices from different cultures. If the hegemony of theology is male, it is even more so Western, and hence modern (or post-modern) and highly individualistic. We need to hear readings of Scripture from more collectivist cultures, for instance. After all, these are much more similar to the cultural environment of the original texts. The centre of Christianity is no longer the West.

      • NT scholarship has been largely confined to Germany, USA, UK, Australia/NZ, France, Italy, S Africa – almost fewer nations than play Test cricket. And, just like cricket, fabulous efforts have been made to internationalise its appeal, and these too are bearing fruit. If I go to a biblical-studies library, its books will at this date largely have been written by men from these nations – I thank God for them. If we think of what proportion of the people who have attempted commentary-writing are men, it is certainly over 90%, and even in recent times I don’t think it would be much less than that. But it is not wrong to see commentary-writing as a kind of pinnacle in its combination of masteries. So again I thank God.

        Your proposal equals diversity on the face of it, but in terms of what conferences are available, with their distinctive heritages and contributions, representing in this case millions of hours of study and fellowship, it would be a step in the opposite, identikit direction. Just like the age of diversity (or what intends to be such) has seen Somerville and St Hilda’s go mixed, so limiting the gender-mix options.

        • Added to which – there is a confusion between good and natural diversity (gender, national, etc.) on the one hand, and ideological diversity (as though all ideologies are somehow equally good or evidenced) on the other. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the whole raison d’etre of scholarship is to separate bad arguments from good ones and good ones from better ones. Otherwise it would not be the quest for truth/accuracy and it would not deserve funding.

          Thomas Noble’s History of Tyndale House and Fellowship is an awesome rollcall of giants who cut their teeth there – proof if needed that ‘distinctive’ and ‘distinguished’ frequently go together: si monumentum requires, circumspice.

          And think of how the age of ‘choice’ has led to all the distinctive towns (evolved over centuries) and their highstreet shopfronts becoming tragically identikit.

          • Christopher
            There are plenty of BAME and female scholars. We just have to ensure that they are represented in panels and in the academy.
            Sadly, biblical scholarship has become far too identikit.

          • Penny, I don’t get your points. Who and when said there were not female scholars? Nor do I see the connection between female and BAME. There is a tendency to be a bit one-eyed as though civil rights were the only narrative. I think scholarship is about being critical of narratives.

            Every nationality is a minority in something. The difference is that efforts are made to westernise nonwesterns as though this were by definition a good thing, and yet no efforts are made (nor much ability shown..) in the other direction. That is not equal. It has not-pleasant consequences like shallow elites forcing abortion (with financial penalties) on proud ancient cultures.

            On internationalising of intrinsically good things like NT scholarship see my comment above.

          • Christopher
            It’s not about there not being enough BAME and female scholars. It’s about their under representation in the white, male, western identikit academy.

          • I’m sure that is sometimes true but not always. (Of course, to gauge what it is to use ‘male’ effectively as a derogatory term, all one has to do is substitute ‘female’ and see what it sounds like then.)

            At other times it is like when Shlomo wanted to win the lottery but didn’t buy a ticket. On those occasions, the maxim is that to be represented one has to apply at least.

          • Penny, I agree with the importance of hearing other voices, as I said above.

            But in making this complaint, you are ignoring the reality that I also mentioned: there are very few women in biblical studies because women choose to study in other areas. No-one here is trying to ‘keep women [or other voices] out’.

            If you can help address that, that would be great.

          • Hi Ian

            As I said, few Pauline scholars, but lots in other areas of the NT and the HB.
            Just requires a conscious decision to include them.

          • Christopher

            You misunderstand. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with being male or being white. Simply that quite a lot of the world isn’t and it would be good to have that reflected on biblical studies panels, and indeed, on all academic platforms.

        • Christopher, I’m interested in your studies on dating. Is there any way of hearing your thoughts without flying all the way to the UK?

        • Christopher, is your research on the dating of the NT available anywhere, for those of us who can’t fly over to the UK?

          • Hi Dean

            The study of dating throughout the NT is absolutely thrilling – and though I am making progress, I am still at the stage when a lot of new ideas are coming. Not publication stage, but in any case I am a busy dad in retail and have not a lot of time to write to publication standard. I can write semi-popular stuff and 30-40 minute ‘academic’ papers!

            By all means can correspond – is it a particular interest of yours?

          • Hello, I’m not sure why my last comment didn’t go through. Yes, would be interested in corresponding (furlongd at colorado dot edu). Yes, I’ve read Robinson, Ellis and others and am interested in the question of the dating of the NT books. My dissertation on the revisions and reinterpretations of the Johannine narrative in the early church concluded that the earliest narrative (Papias and others) placed the writing of Revelation in Nero’s reign and John’s Gospel late in Domitian’s.

  2. Step lightly – sounds a bit like Jordan Peterson, Ian, distinguishing outcome. You may be disbarred from some of the highest echelons of the Academy in the UK if you are not careful to fall into mandatory ideology and thought, even if you are otherwise eminently qualified.


Leave a comment