Institute for Biblical Research logo

Annual Newsletter

In Annual Meeting, Updates by admin

Dear IBR Colleagues:

Much has been happening in the IBR over the last few months and I wanted to share this update with you. The IBR Board of Directors has done a remarkable job in putting together the many activities that make up our mission. As some of you know, we have been working at getting more opportunities for our members to participate in our meetings and we have therefore expanded the opportunities on Friday afternoon (see the exciting Friday afternoon schedule of meetings below) and continue our Friday evening and Saturday sessions as plenary sessions. There is much more to say about these opportunities (please look over the program of activities below).

Thanks to you and your IBR Board of Directors, we have some exciting activities coming up that we believe will advance biblical scholarship within the evangelical tradition. Please read on!

*Invite others to our meetings! I would encourage you to invite your friends and colleagues to our meetings. We have been growing in number and, as you have seen, our Friday evening meetings have set new attendance records.

*Change in Business sessions. As many of you know, because the SBL has begun Saturday mornings, that has significantly affected our attendance and because we have been growing in number and require more participants to have a quorum to do our business, we have checked with our legal counsel to make sure that it is acceptable in accordance with our Bylaws and have decided to have all of our business taken care of by email prior to the annual meetings. In October, we will be sending out our slate of new officers for the coming year and you can vote for or against on them online, as well as approve (or not!) the IBR financial report. We will share the highlights of our activities on Friday evenings and also in email.

*Coffee Break on Saturday mornings. Although we will not have a business meeting at our usual time on Saturday mornings, we will continue to have the 20 minute break time with coffee and tea between our Saturday morning plenary sessions.

*Forthcoming IBR volumes. As many of you know, Baker Academic is publishing two new IBR volumes. The OT volume edited by Bill T. Arnold and Rick S. Hess is provisionally titled Foundations for a History of Israel and has 16 chapters. The NT volume is edited by Joel B. Green and Lee Martin McDonald, titled The World of the New Testament: Social, Cultural, and Historical Contexts has more than 46 topics by some 42 authors. It is scheduled to be out in March of 2013. Both volumes reflect up-to-date and significant IBR contributions to both OT and NT biblical scholarship and we believe both volumes will be useful resources in OT and NT classes.

*Change of Leadership. As you may remember, in our November meetings we will welcome a new president of the IBR as well as several other IBR Board members. I will have served two three-year terms as your president and I look forward to welcoming our new president during our Chicago annual meetings. There is still time for you to nominate a candidate for that role to our nominating committee. In our October newsletter we will provide a ballot for you for voting on your next president and new members of the Board of Directors. Please make your nominations known to our Nominations Committee before August 15, 2012. They are as follows:

Katie Heffelfinger ([email protected])

Cindy Westfal, ([email protected])

Tremper Longman ([email protected])

*New Program for Beginning IBR Scholars. The Board of IBR is excited to announce a new initiative in partnership with the International Reference Library for Biblical Research Board (hereafter IRLBR). IRLBR had funds to propose an annual meeting to help nurture “junior scholars” to further their careers in research and writing. They suggested an annual meeting where beginning scholars under the leadership of a senior scholar would discuss a controversial topic of relevance to the academy, and very importantly, to the church. The hope then is to have the work of these scholars published for public benefit. IBR’s role is to help chose the topic and also provide names from our membership for senior scholar and participants.

Plans have recently been completed for what we are calling the Summer Summit this summer. This first meeting will provide the basis for both boards to decide whether to make this partnership more permanent and the meeting an annual one. The Summer Summit for this year will be held on June 22-29 in Cambridge at Tyndale House. The focus will be “What is the Gospel: Cross or Kingdom?” 

This year Lynn Cohick (Wheaton College and Secretary, IBR) will be the Senior Scholar (the IRLBR has requested that initially the senior scholar be an IBR Board member), and the three scholars will be Daniel Kirk (Fuller Theological Seminary), Joel Willits (North Park University), and Paul Hoskins (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary). This group of scholars represents work in the Synoptics, Pauline and Johannine areas. Dan Fredericks (Belhaven University), from the board of IRLBR is directing the Summit. In late September the IBR Board will report on this meeting to the membership.


*Friday Evening, Saturday morning, and Sunday Schedule (Nov. 16-18, 2012)

Our Program director, Craig Keener, and his Program Committee have put together an excellent program that will be stimulating, interesting, and helpful. Do invite others to attend. The sessions on Friday evening and Saturday morning are as follows:

Friday Evening, Nov. 16, 2012, 7:00 – 11 PM

Room: International North – Hilton Chicago

  • Welcome: Lee M. McDonald, President, IBR
  • Scripture reading, prayer
  • IBR Announcements
  • Craig S. Keener, introduction of Rhetorical criticism program and speakers (5-7 min.)
  • Annual Lecture: Ben Witherington, III, Amos Professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary. Title: “‘But I Would Rather Persuade’……:  The Necessity of Understanding Rhetoric for Understanding the Text and Context of the New Testament”
  • Respondent: Stanley E. Porter, President and Dean, Professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College
  • Response to respondent, exchange
  • Publisher Presentation and President’s Comments
  • Reception and Refreshments

Saturday Morning, Nov. 17, 2012, 9:00 – 11:30 AM

Room: W375c – McCormick Place

  • Welcome
  • Scripture and Prayer
  • Introduction of OT presenter (Mark Boda)
  • Karl Möller, University of Cumbria, Lancaster, UK: “The Rhetoric of Desire in the Song of Songs,” 30 min’s
  • Responses Joel Barker (7 min’s) and Rick Hess (7 min’s)
  • Discussion (15 min’s)

10:00 – 10:20 AM: Coffee/Tea Break (20 min’s)

10:20 AM Introduction of NT Presenter & Respondents:

  • Duane Watson, Malone University, “Second Corinthians 10–13 as the Best Evidence that Paul Received a Rhetorical Education” (30 min’s)
  • Responses: Fred Long (10 min’s) and Chris Forbes (10 min’s)
  • Discussion (10 min’s)
  • Conclude by 11:30 AM

*Sunday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., Sunday Morning Worship! All are welcome!

Location: W375c – McCormick Place

This year the sermon will be presented by Dr. Richard Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary. His title is: “Going Deep” and his Scriptures are Psalm 68:7-20 and Ephesians 4:7-16. The worship leader will be David deSilva of Ashland Seminary. Cindy Westfall of McMaster Divinity College is coordinating this service.

*Friday Afternoon Sessions, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Last year IBR began a new initiative to facilitate the research of our membership by providing space and promotion of research groups created by member of IBR. We are very pleased that already 6 research groups have been created. Alongside these research groups, we have created two special sessions to showcase emerging scholars who are connected with IBR either as members or as a student being mentored by one of our members. Below you will find a list of the sessions for this coming November. This information will also be posted at the IBR website. Anyone is welcome at these sessions and if you would like to join one of these groups feel free to contact the scholars listed with each group. Any members of IBR who are interested in creating a research group should feel free to apply for research group status by sending an email to Ruth Anne Reese ([email protected]) and Mark Boda ([email protected]).

Mark Boda and Ruth Anne Reese have done an outstanding job in starting these Friday afternoon sessions and are to be commended for their leadership in involving more of our members in these important sessions that have considerable benefit for biblical research.

1. Emerging Scholarship on the OT

November 16, 2012

4:00-6:00 p.m.

This session will showcase emerging Old Testament scholars within the membership of the Institute of Biblical Research. All are welcome to attend the session. Summaries of the papers will be read at the session leaving opportunity for discussion. Full papers will be available at the Institute of Biblical Research website: (click on Emerging Scholarship on the Old Testament Group) no later than October 1, 2012. For information on this session please contact Mark Boda ([email protected]) and Ruth Anne Reese ([email protected]).

Paul Ferris, Bethel University (Minnesota), Presiding

Bryan Babcock, Hartwick College (25 minutes): “Sacred Time in West Semitic Festival Calendars and the Dating of Leviticus 23”

William K. Bechtold III, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (25 minutes): “The Literary Function of Visual Perception in the Characterization of Judah (Genesis 37-50)”

Jason S. DeRouchie, Bethlehem College and Seminary (25 minutes): “The Toledoth Structure of Genesis: A Textlinguistic, Literary, and Theological Analysis”

Neal A. Huddleston, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (25 minutes): “Drawing Analogy by Historical Precedence: Making a Case for Contact between the Construct ‘Hittite’ in the Hebrew Bible and Its Syro-Hittite Cultural Context”

Federico A. Roth, Fuller Theological Seminary (25 minutes): “The Politics of Identity Construction: A Postcolonial Re-imagining of Exodus 1”

Philip Sumpter, University of Gloucestershire (25 minutes)” “The Coherence of Psalm 24”

2. Emerging Scholarship on the NT

November 16, 2012

4:00-6:00 p.m.

This session will showcase emerging New Testament scholars within the membership of the Institute of Biblical Research. All are welcome to attend the session. Summaries of the papers will be read at the session leaving opportunity for discussion. Full papers will be available at the Institute of Biblical Research website: (click on Emerging Scholarship on the New Testament Group) no later than October 1, 2012. For information on this session please contact Ruth Anne Reese ([email protected]) and Mark Boda ([email protected]).

Karen Jobes, Wheaton College (Illinois), Presiding

David Briones, Sterling College (30 minutes): “Hierarchy, Equality, or Mutuality?: Mapping out the Relational Contours of Second Corinthians”

Brian Tabb, Bethlehem College and Seminary (30 minutes): “The Narrative Function of Saul’s Suffering in Acts 9”

Ryan Juza, Asbury Theological Seminary (30 minutes): “Echoes of Sodom and Gomorrah on the Day of the Lord: Intertextuality and Tradition in 2 Peter 3:7-13”

Rebekah Ann Eklund, Duke University (30 minutes): “The Significance of Jesus’ Identity for Lament”

3. IBR Research Group: Ancient Historiography and the New Testament

November 16, 2012

4:00-6:00 p.m.

This group examines the connections between Greco-Roman historiographical literature, Jewish historiography (including the LXX), and early Christian literature (primarily the NT). Given the importance of history for Christianity (and Judaism), we look forward to exploring questions about the form, function, interpretation, and development of historiographical literature in the ancient world. If you are interested in joining us or have any questions, please contact Sean Adams ([email protected]) and Daniel Smith ([email protected]). For further information see the Institute of Biblical Research website: (click on Research Groups). This year’s theme is: Education, Pedagogy, and the New Testament.

Mark Batluck, University of Edinburgh, Presiding

Sean Adams, University of Edinburgh (30 minutes): “Luke and Rhetorical Education: The Role of the Progymnasmata and a Response to Recent Proposals”

John DelHousaye, Phoenix Seminary (30 minutes): “‘What are you seeking?”: Pedagogical Implications from the Appropriation of the Philosophical Call Story in the Gospels”

Daniel L. Smith, University of Notre Dame (30 minutes): “Aesop, Paul, and Jesus: The Rhetorical Function of Fables in the New Testament”

Discussion and Planning Meeting (30 minutes)

4. IBR Research Group: Biblical Theology, Hermeneutics, and the Theological Disciplines

November 16, 2012

4:00-6:00 p.m.

This research group brings into conversation the related enterprises of biblical theology and biblical interpretation, with an eye also to the broader connection between biblical studies and the work of theologians (systematic, historical, contextual etc). For further information, please contact Robbie Castleman ([email protected]) and Jim Mead ([email protected]), and see the Institute of Biblical Research website: (click on Research Groups). This year’s theme is Perspectives on Creation: The Intersection of Theological Disciplines

James K. Mead, Northwestern College (Iowa), Presiding

Craig Blaising, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth) (30 min): “Biblical and Systematic Perspectives on Creation: An Interdisciplinary Approach”

Susan Bubbers, Center for Anglican Theology, Liturgy, and Spirituality, Respondent (10 min)

Steve Lennox, Indiana Wesleyan University, Respondent (10 min)

Lissa Wray Beal, Providence University College and Theological Seminary, Respondent (10 min)

Discussion (30 min)

Planning Meeting (30 min)

Robbie Castleman, John Brown University, Presiding

5. IBR Research Group: The Relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament

November 16, 2012

4:00-6:00 p.m.

This research group focuses on the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament. For further information contact Nijay Gupta ([email protected]) and Creig Marlowe ([email protected]). This year’s theme is The Use of the Old Testament in the Old Testament, and its implications for the New Testament. For details on this session see the Institute of Biblical Research website: (click on Research Groups).

6. IBR Research Group: Identity Formation in the Pauline Letters

November 16, 2012

4:00-6:00 p.m.

This research group focuses on identity formation in the Pauline letters and welcomes methodological diversity for that investigation. Papers will focus on individual texts or letters, though papers focused on methodology are also welcomed. For further information contact Brian Tucker ([email protected]) and Jim Miller ([email protected]), and see the Institute of Biblical Research website: (click on Research Groups). This year’s theme is Identity in Romans and 1 Corinthians.

Brian Tucker, Moody Theological Seminary (45 minutes): “Identity in Romans”

James Miller, Asbury Theological Seminary (45 minutes): “Identity in 1 Corinthians”

Discussion and Planning Meeting (30 minutes)

7. IBR Research Group: Scripture in Global Context

November 16, 2012

4:00-6:00 p.m.

One effect of globalization is an increasing consensus that biblical and theological discourse can no longer be a solely Western phenomenon. As Christianity continues to expand in the global South and East, demand has grown for thoughtful theological analysis that addresses the concerns of the majority of Christians. This study group aims to harness this promising moment by addressing both classical and non-traditional theological loci through engagement with the best resources from non- Western Christianity, bringing them into dialog with each other and Western thought. While acknowledging that all biblical study and theology must remain local, contextual, and situated, we seek papers that bring disparate resources into critical, constructive dialogue. Since the balance of contemporary biblical and theological discourse remains focused almost exclusively on the Western tradition and its resources, we look for analyses that offer substantial engagement with contemporary biblical interpretation and theology from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceana, and Minority communities within North America. This engagement will take the form of thoughtful, comparative exegesis and arc over into constructive theology. For information contact Gene Green ([email protected]) and K. K. Yeo ([email protected]), and see the Institute of Biblical Research website: (click on Research Groups). This year’s theme is Christology.

Gene L. Green, Wheaton College (Illinois), Presiding

Yohanna Katanacho, Bethlehem Bible College (30 minutes)

Andrew Mbuvi, Shaw University (30 minutes)

K. K. Yeo, Garrett/PKU (30 minutes)

Discussion and Planning Meeting (30 minutes)

8. IBR Research Group: A Pneumatic Hermeneutic: The Role of the Holy Spirit in Biblical Scholarship

November 16, 2012

4:00-6:00 p.m.

The purpose of this research group is to provide a diverse professional forum to examine the role of the Holy Spirit in hermeneutics and biblical scholarship. These meetings will examine various approaches throughout the history of biblical scholarship and the reception of Scripture pertaining to the work of the Holy Spirit in interpretation. To foster the continual scholarly discussion of this topic this seminar welcomes the development of not only previous analyses and practices but also new concepts and procedures. For information contact Kevin Spawn ([email protected]) and Archie Wright ([email protected]), and see the Institute of Biblical Research website: (click on Research Groups).

Archie T. Wright, Regent University (15 minutes): “The Importance of a Pneumatic Hermeneutic and Scholarly Analysis of the Role of the Holy Spirit in Biblical Scholarship”

Kevin L. Spawn, Regent University (20 minutes): “Analogy, the Scholar’s Shared Experience with the Testimony of Scripture, and Answered Petitionary Prayer”

John “Jack” R. Levison, Seattle Pacific University (30 minutes): “Dichotomies Be Damned: Investigation and Inspiration in the New Testament”

Discussion (40 minutes)

Planning meeting (15 minutes)

Be sure to check out our many activities on our website, IBR-BBR.ORG.

Thank you for participating in these meetings and in the IBR mission of advancing evangelical biblical scholarship. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or your IBR Board members in charge of our various IBR activities.

In Christ’s service,

Lee Martin McDonald,
IBR President