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The Catholic Biblical Association of America has held a "General Meeting" every year since 1937, the only exception being 1943. In recent years, it is referred to as an "International Meeting," in recognition of the regular participation of many scholars from other countries as well.

Summaries of the annual meeting programs are available on this website, for archival purposes, for the past several years.

2010 Annual Meeting Program


July 31 – August 3, 2010
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA


  • William Fulco, S.J., Chair
  • Jeffrey S. Siker
  • Christopher Irr


  • Katherine M. Hayes, Chair (Continuing Seminars)
  • John J. Clabeaux (Liturgies)
  • Kelley Coblentz Bautch (NT Speakers)
  • Dale Launderville, O.S.B. (OT Speakers)
  • Sheila E. McGinn (Panel Discussion)
  • Seamus O’Connell (Task Forces)
  • Maria Pascuzzi (Research Reports)


Presidential Address (Saturday evening):

Sandra M. Schneiders, I.H.M.
"The Lamb of God and the Forgiveness of Sin(s) in the Fourth Gospel"

Panel Discussion (Sunday evening):

"Looking Both Ways: The Past and Future of Feminist Biblical Hermeneutics"

Moderator: Diane Bergant, C.S.A., Catholic Theological Union
     Barbara Green, O.P., Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at Berkeley
     Lai E. Ling Ngan, Baylor University
     Ahida E. Pilarski, St. Anselm College

General Session (Monday evening):

Thomas Dozeman, United Theological Seminary
"The Book of Joshua in the Formation of the MT and LXX Canons"



Sun: Richard J. Bautch "Kinship and the Construction of Group Identity in Second Temple Judaism"

Mon: Peter Dubovsky, "Samaritan Lions: When Diachrony and Synchrony Clash"

Tues: John L. McLaughlin, "The Exact Same Thing Only Different: ‘Hebrews’ and ‘Israelites’ in 1 Samuel"


Sun: Janice Capel Anderson, "Narratology: Door to Engagement"

Mon: Jean-Francois Racine, "What Text of the Greek New Testament Do We Enjoy Reading and Hearing?"

Tues: Thomas Stegman, S.J., Boston College School of Theology and Ministry: "Is Wright Right on Righteousness? Looking at Paul’s Use of Dikaio- Terminology"


  • "The Social Sciences and New Testament Interpretation: Alternate States of Consciousness"
    • Co-conveners: Patrick J. Hartin and Joan C. Campbell, C.S.M.
  • "Feminist Biblical Hermeneutics"
    • Co-conveners: Mary Ann Beavis and Ahida E. Pilarski
  • "Biblical Hermeneutics: Aesthetics and the Bible"
    • Co-conveners: Richard J. Bautch and Jean-François Racine
  • "John’s Gospel and the Old Testament"
    • Convener: Francis Martin
  • "Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity: The Watchers Traditions"
    • Co-conveners: Angela Kim Harkins and John C. Endres, S.J.


  • Lawrence E. Boadt, C.S.P., Paulist Press, and Joseph F. Wimmer, O.S.A., Washington Theological Union
    • "The Hebrew Poetry of Psalms 120-125"
  • Dianne Bergant, C.S.A., Catholic Theological Union
    • "The Bible and Ecology"
  • John J. Clabeaux, Pontifical College Josephinum, and Philip A. Cunningham, Boston College
    • "Biblical Issues in Jewish Christian Relations: Biblical Jewish and Christian Prayers"
  • Jeremy Corley, Ushaw College, and Vincent Skemp, College of St. Catherine
    • "The Deuterocanonical Books: Current Approaches"
  • John L. McLaughlin, University of St. Michael’s College
    • "Divinity in Ancient Israel"
  • Robert O’Toole, S.J., Gregorian University Foundation, and Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., Boston College
    • "Identifying the Major Questions in Pauline Studies"
  • Seamus G. O’Connell, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, and Marie Sabin, Bangor Theological Seminary
    • "The Synoptic Gospels: Texts and Contexts"
  • Olivier-Thomas Venard, O. P., École Biblique (with the help of other members of the École Biblique)
    • "The Bible in its Traditions: Introducing the Collaborative Website"


Martin C. Albl, Presentation College, Aberdeen, South Dakota
"Nature and Natural Law in the Letter of James"

My paper explores James’ conception of nature (creation), human nature, and a divinely-given law of nature. Viewed in themselves, both nature and human nature are fleeting (1:10-11; 4:14). The desire and passions that make human life unstable and violent (1:14; 4: 1) mirror the wind-driven wave (1:6) and the untamed beast (3:7). Peace and stability are restored when God’s divine gift of reason and order (logos) are received: by accepting the implanted logos (1:21), humans follow a natural law in producing good works, just as the earth’s acceptance of rain from above naturally produces fruit (5:18).

Laurie A. Brink, O.P., Catholic Theological Union
"Reading Ancient Texts in Context: The Characterization of Soldiers in Acts of the Apostles"

In narrative criticism the process of characterization anticipates a shared horizon of expectations between author and audience. Contemporaneous literature and epigraphic evidence can provide a view of that horizon, thus allowing the modern reader to participate in the character-building process despite the distance of time. This project investigates the relationship between historical data and narrative criticism so as to better understand Luke’s rhetorical agenda, particularly with regards to his characterization of the Roman military in the Acts of the Apostles.

John J. Clabeaux, Pontifical College Josephinum School of Theology
"The Effects of Second Temple Religion on Emerging Christianity"

This is a progress report of a study of the significance of "Temple Religion" for early Christianity. J. Klawans demonstrated that the Second Temple affected Tanaaitic Judaism long after the Temple was in ruins. Is it not likely to have affected the religious experience of Jewish Christian groups represented by the Letters of Paul, the Didache, Matthew, James, and 1 Clement? I will address how Second Temple Jewish forms of worship, regulations regarding purity and defilement, and means of dealing with the presence of the holy do or do not play a role in the Christian groups examined.

Daniel K. Darko, University of Scranton
"Re-examining the ‘Apologetic Hypothesis’ and the Social Import of the Haustafel in Ephesians"

The prevailing scholarship on the household code in Ephesians places its function alongside other NT Haustafeln, claiming that they share similar goals to integrate the readership into the wider society. The proponents argue that Ephesians adopts the hierarchical structure of the Greco-Roman world to encourage social integration. In this paper, I argue that the passage rather seeks to promote internal cohesion in the households of the early Christians and in the church – with no apologetic aim.

Michael W. Duggan, St. Mary’s University College, Calgary
"Aramaic Documents in Ezra: Authenticity, Function, and Theology"

The Aramaic documents in Ezra 4:8-7:26 are the only official statements in the language of an imperial power in the MT. There are seven items of the Persian administration: the Samaritan officials’ anti-Jerusalem protest (4:11b-16); Artaxerxes’ response (4:17-22); Governor Tattenai’s questioning the Temple reconstruction (5:7-17); the archival scroll of Cyrus’ decree (6:2-5); Darius’ response to Tattenai (6:6-12); Artaxerxes’ certification of Ezra to the regional governors (7:11-24); and Artaxerxes’ appointing Ezra to teach the Torah in Yehud (7:25-26). Are these authentic Achaemenid documents? What is their narrative function in Ezra-Nehemiah? What contribution do they make to the theology of Ezra-Nehemiah?

Paul S. Evans, McMaster Divinity College, McMaster University
"Historia or Exegesis? Assessing the Chronicler’s Hezekiah-Sennacherib Narrative"

This paper examines the Chronicler’s reworking of 2 Kings 18-19 in 2 Chronicles 32 to assess both the Chronicler’s method and the historical value of his narrative. Regarding method, I argue that in most of his divergences the Chronicler was following the perceived lead of his Vorlage (e.g., Sennacherib’s failure to conquer Judah’s fortified cities in 2 Chr 32:1 was suggested by Assyrian abandonment of Lachish and Libnah in 2 Kgs 19:8-9). Regarding historical value (though somewhat undermined by his exegetical method), some non-synoptic material in the 2 Chronicles 32 is found to be of some value for historical reconstruction.

Pablo T. Gadenz, Seton Hall University
"Covenant-Making by Blood: The Crux at Heb 9:16-17"

While most versions and commentaries understand diathēkē to mean "will" or "testament" in Heb 9:16-17, several commentaries and recent works present strong arguments that it means "covenant" instead. In this paper, these various "covenant" arguments are further developed and refined. It is argued that in 9:16-17 a principle for the establishment of a covenant is enunciated which applies to both the new covenant mediated by Christ (9:15) and the Sinai covenant (9:18). As a result, the juxtaposition of these two covenants allows further parallels between them to be drawn.

Florence Morgan Gillman, University of San Diego
"Teaching Biblical Studies Emphasizing Human Dignity and Justice: A Pedagogical Discussion"

This paper is a reflection about teaching biblical studies giving special attention to human dignity and justice, a focus underscored by the renewed attention given to Catholic Social Teaching in Catholic universities. It raises the question of whether emphatically stressing the biblical roots of the concepts of human dignity and justice throughout the teaching of a range of biblical studies courses actually has much impact on student thought, and if so, how. A few case studies will be summarized, one based on the teaching of undergraduates at the University of San Diego, and one concerning teaching non-traditional adult undergraduates at Holy Spirit College of Philosophy and Theology, Hong Kong.

Gregory Yuri Glazov, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, Seton Hall University
"In Defense of Goulder’s Understanding of the Structural Links between The Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, and the Sermon on the Mount"

Michael Goulder’s thesis that the Sermon on the Mount explicates the Beatitudes in reverse order, presented in his Midrash and Lection in Matthew, is not discussed in the principle studies accorded to the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes or the Matthean Lord’s Prayer. The reason for this is the failure of his Lectionary thesis for Matthew. The argument regarding the structure of the Sermon on the Mount, however, is independent of this thesis and deserves consideration. This paper advocates that understanding in the course of exploring the relationship of the Lord’s Prayer to the Beatitude on hungering and thirsting for righteousness.

Mark J. Goodwin, University of Dallas
"Critiquing A Consensus: The Theory of Synagogue Expulsion in John"

Originally developed by Raymond Brown and J. Louis Martyn, the theory of synagogue expulsion has played a major role in the interpretation of John’s Gospel. Nonetheless, the original expressions of the theory have been subjected to a rigorous sifting and critique that have yielded a modified theory, more general in its form and reduced to a few basic elements. There are two aims of this paper. First, it will seek to describe the main aspects of the modified theory based on its use in recent commentaries and secondary literature. Second, it will attempt to assess the modified theory in terms of strengths and weaknesses.

Harry Hagan, O.S.B., Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology
"The ‘Two Men in Dazzling Garments’ (Luke 24:4)"

In his History of the Synoptic Tradition, Rudolf Bultmann notes: "In Mk. 16:5 there is one angel at the tomb; this has become two in Lk. 24:4" (p. 316). His assumption of angels is typical of scholars. However, Luke clearly states they were "two men" — idou andres duo. If Luke meant angels, why did he say "men"? I shall argue that text points us to Moses and Elijah as the identity of these "two men," and that they also appear at the ascension (Acts 1:10). I hope to demonstrate that this identification is significant for Luke’s theology.

Karina Martin Hogan, Fordham University
"The ‘Earthy’ Origins of Humankind in Ben Sira and the Book of the Watchers"

This paper explores the metaphorical connection between the earth and human mortality and procreation in two early Jewish texts, the Wisdom of Ben Sira and the Book of the Watchers in 1 Enoch. While in Ben Sira, this metaphorical meaning of the earth is developed primarily in exegetical dialogue with Genesis 2–3, the Enochic text arrives at the same metaphor by a different route: the myth of the descent of heavenly beings to earth to mate with human women (based on Gen 6:1-4). The wisdom text and the apocalypse evaluate the earth differently, but their metaphorical associations are similar.

John R. Jackson, Milligan College
"Psalm 37 and Liturgies of Defiance"

Expressions of confidence in God’s justice, as in Ps 37:25-26, are not expressions of a naïve theology, like the platitudes of Job’s interlocutors. Rather, they serve as articulations of defiance and constructions of a counter-reality in the face of evil. German pastor Hermann Maas once wrote that he recited the words of Psalm 37 daily as he feared the possibility that the SS would arrest him for his activities of saving Jews in Heidelberg. They serve the same theological function as the defiant statements found in Daniel or doxological statements in prophets of exile.

Henry Ansgar Kelly, University of California at Los Angeles
"Early Reactions to God’s Empty Threat of Instant Death to Adam"

The Serpent was right in telling Eve that she and Adam would not die on the day they ate of the Knowledge-Tree; Adam was destined to die all along (dust to dust), unless he ate of the Life-Tree, now closed off. Some early reports do not consider death to be a penalty for their sin: 1 Enoch (Book of Watchers, Book of Dreams), Wisdom (10:1-2), and Josephus; others do see death to be the result: Sirach, Paul, 4 Ezra, Sybilline Oracles 1, and Philo (spiritual death, then real death). Justin and later writers complicate matters by involving Satan.

Kenneth D. Litwak, Azusa Pacific University
"Expectations of Early Christian Audiences and the Use of Quotations in Rhetoric"

This paper argues that the use of quotations by writers on rhetoric can give us insight into how New Testament writers expected their audiences to access the Scriptures of Israel when these are quoted. Examples of the use of quotations for instruction in classical rhetorical works may shed light on what NT authors expected their audiences to be able to do. Writers such as Quintilian and Theon quote earlier works for audiences to use as models of good rhetorical style. Audiences needed to access these works in written form and the same may be expectations of NT authors.

Hellen Mardaga, The Catholic University of America
"The Hapax Legomena in the Gospel of John"

This paper deals with the hapax legomena (84) that occur in the Gospel of John. First, the problem of defining "hapax legomena" will be addressed. Second, an overview will be given of the different semantic categories that the "hapax legomena" belong to based on Louw and Nida (L&N). Third, special attention will be given to the hapax that belong to L&N’s rubric "artifacts," more precisely words referring to perfumes, containers, objects made of leather and cloth, weapons and armor, lights and light holders, and instruments used in punishment and execution.

Troy W. Martin, Saint Xavier University
"Animals Impregnated by the Wind and Mary’s Pregnancy by the Holy Spirit"

This paper examines the textual evidence for the ancient notion of the ability of the wind to produce pregnancies. It then explores the Matthean and Lucan accounts of Mary’s pregnancy by the Holy Spirit as a type of wind pregnancy. The paper expresses the opinion that the gospel accounts are conditioned and shaped by the notion of wind pregnancies and that this notion provided the gospel writers with a context that enhanced the credibility of Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit. The paper supports this opinion with evidence from the church fathers and concludes that wind pregnancies are interestingly similar and yet slightly different from the Spirit induced pregnancy of Mary.

Ernest R. Martinez, S.J., Pontifical Gregorian University
"Luke’s Account of the Death of Jesus"

Luke’s account of Jesus’ death is based on the words exodon (9:31) and analēmpseōs (9:51), which are associated with Moses and Elijah (2 Kgs 2:9-11) who spoke to Jesus of his death in Jerusalem at the Transfiguration. These two images must be clearly distinguished. Luke uses them to speak of Jesus’ death by introducing the theme of "the power of darkness," of the good thief, and of paradise, and by speaking of the veil of the temple as being torn before the death of Jesus instead of after, as well as of the last words of Jesus. These are all unique to Luke.

Eric F. Mason, Judson University
"Jesus and the ‘eternal spirit’ of Heb 9:14"

In Heb 9:14 the author compares the purification rites of the Levitical priesthood with the much more effective blood of Christ, "who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God" (NRSV). The meaning of the unusual phrase dia pneumatos aiōniou is much debated. Many interpreters have considered this a reference to the Holy Spirit, a position also reflected in textual variants present in numerous ancient manuscripts. Others find a reference to the divine nature of Jesus or else a figurative way of speaking of his sacrificial activity. This paper considers the merits of various interpretations.

Paul G. Mosca, University of British Columbia
"Reading Gen 6:3 Against the Grain"

Both the position and the meaning of the divine speech in Gen 6:3 have long troubled scholars, but in the last century a consensus of sorts has emerged regarding at least several of the verse’s cruxes. The present paper will argue that this consensus is misguided in at least two cases, and that a return to earlier interpretations (especially Wellhausen’s understanding of "spirit" and Dillmann’s analysis of bšgm) opens the way to a more contextually appropriate exegesis of the verse as a whole.

Paul Niskanen, University of St. Thomas
"The Other Image Passages"

Examines the two "other" passages in Genesis that speak of human beings as created in the image of God--Gen 5:1-2 and Gen 9:6. Attempts to determine the content or significance of the phrase "the image of God" focus almost exclusively on the exegesis of Gen 1:26-27 within its immediate context. These subsequent passages are often neglected or seen as mere reminders of what has already been stated. I argue for a real connection and development in this series of texts. The contexts of the Generations of Adam and the Noachic Covenant’s punishment for homicide amplify the connection to kinship latent in the Priestly writer’s language of "image."

James Chukwuma Okoye, C.S.Sp., Catholic Theological Union
"What is the Spiritual Sense of the Old Testament?"

This topic will be treated in relation to the pronouncements of Dei verbum, the Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, and The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible. Related questions are whether the relationship of the OT to the NT can be understood only from the model of preparation-fulfillment and to what extent the revelation and salvation in the Old Testament can be categorized as complete.

David Penchansky, University of St. Thomas
"Surah Al-Falaq (113) and Surah An-Nas (114) – an Intertextual, Literary Reading of the Qur’an Employing Biblical Critical Methodology"

Literary criticism has revolutionized biblical studies in the past quarter century. These techniques used to interpret the Bible are seldom used to understand the Qur’an, although there are significant similarities in the construction and transmission of both these sacred texts. I use the skills I learned and developed interpreting the Bible to analyze these two related Surahs. Although the Qur’an teaches radical monotheism ("There is no God but God"), these Surahs picture a world peopled with manifold divine personalities, some hostile and some friendly. One therefore finds congruence between the world of the Qur’an and the world of ancient Israel.

Vincent A. Pizzuto, University of San Francisco
"The Magi’s Compass: Mapping the Contemplative Landscape of Matthew’s Gospel"

This book project, intended for educated non-specialists, seeks to uncover the contemplative implications of Matthew’s gospel, that is, to provide a "mystical exegesis" of the gospel for the contemporary Christian. After rooting my exegesis of Matthew in the most relevant historical- critical methods, the book will focus primarily on how Matthew might serve as a "compass" to the interior "landscape" of the Christian contemplative today. Matthew, I will argue, presents us with a "gritty" mysticism, which is rooted in the Incarnation and whose fulfillment is in the deification of all—a reality he calls the "Kingdom of Heaven."

Christopher J. Seeman, University of Missouri
"Enter the Dragon: Mordecai as Agonistic Combatant in Greek Esther"

The Greek Additions to LXX Esther commence with a revelatory vision that casts Mordecai and his nemesis, Haman, as dragons coming forth to wrestle (palaiein). The negative valence of dragons in Near Eastern and Mediterranean myth, considered in tandem with the agonistic, glory-seeking dynamic of wrestling in Greek culture, call into question Mordecai’s protestation that his refusal to bow before Haman was motivated not by hubris, arrogance or love of glory, but rather out of pious reverence for God.

Jeffrey S. Siker, Loyola Marymount University
"Uses of the Bible in the Political Rhetoric of President Barack Obama"

The goal of this paper is to describe and analyze President Obama’s appeal to the Bible in his political rhetoric. The paper explores three broad questions: 1) What particular biblical texts does Obama employ, and to what end? 2) How does contextualizing Obama’s use of the Bible within the larger tradition of the African-American church provide a formative lens for understanding his appeals to the Bible in public discourse? and 3) How does President Obama’s use of the Bible compare to that of his predecessors, particularly Bush (G.W.) and Clinton, in political discourse about public policy initiatives?

Vincent M. Smiles, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University
"Getting the Bible into the Science-Theology Dialogue: The Role of Historical Criticism"

Scripture’s capacity to inform understandings of reality is weakened by creationists discrediting science in the name of the Bible and naturalists deriding the Bible in the name of science. A further problem has to do with hermeneutics. In recent times, historical criticism of Scripture has come under fire, as though it is "not suited to the subject" and even opposes it. This paper argues that historical-criticism is a necessary bridge between Scripture and science because of its character as science and its ability to take the texts seriously on their own terms.

Gregory Tatum, O.P., Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem
"Three-Dimensional Soteriology in Paul and John"

This paper will discuss two NT soteriologies in relation to three binary contrasts: Historical Israel/Eschatological Israel, Flesh/Spirit, and Adam/Christ. Examination of these three dimensions should reorient the discussion of grace in Paul’s letters and John’s Gospel from anachronistic questions to a first-century problematic.

L. John Topel, S.J., St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish, Port Townsend, WA
" ‘I will not leave you orphans’: John 14:18a"

Invariably Protestant translations render orfanou as an adjective; Catholic translations as a noun. This report investigates the appropriateness of translating it by a noun. Philologically, the preponderance of LXX usage as a noun, together with other linguistic features, favors nominal usage. The literary context, the return of Jesus in 14:18b, has perhaps favored the adjectival usage, since Jesus is not literally a father. This paper argues from the prologue, from usage of son of God in Johannine writings, and from Jesus’ own activity when he returns, that the disciples will have God as their Father. Therefore "orphans" should be the preferred translation.

Richard Van De Water, Pomona, CA
"Moreh Zedeq as Melchi Zedeq: A New Look at Messianism in 11Q13"

In 11QMelch, "Melchi Zedeq" is another title for the revered Qumran figure, "Moreh Zedeq." The portrayal of Melchi Zedeq as Isaiah’s "anointed of the Spirit" argues that he is the unidentified "herald" of 11QMelch ii 18. The herald’s description as the "anointed one of whom…Daniel spoke," moreover, can be related to the "expiation" made by "Melchi Zedeq." Like the priest "Melchi Zedeq," the priest "Moreh Zedeq" is presented as Isaiah’s "Anointed of the Spirit." Equating the two provides an historical explanation for the unspecified expiation in 11QMelch ii 6-8. The common expression, "Day of Atonement," in 1QpHab and 11QMelch thus interprets the expiation performed by "Melchi Zedeq" as the death of "Moreh Zedeq."

Peter S. Williamson, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit
"Progress Report: Scripture across the Curriculum"

In response to the 2008 Synod of Bishops’ call for "a renewal of academic programs… so that the systematic study of theology is better seen in the light of Sacred Scripture," a seminary faculty decided to consider interdisciplinary principles and practices to revive Scripture as the soul of theology, spirituality, pastoral ministry and mission in the formation of priests, deacons, and other pastoral ministers. This paper reports the process, the obstacles, and the progress to-date in pursuing this vision at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, an archdiocesan institution that forms 100 resident seminarians and 350 commuter students for ecclesial ministry.

Timothy M. Willis, Pepperdine University
"2 Sam 7:23 and the Case for Deuteronomistic Redaction of the Prayer of David"

The middle section of the Prayer of David (vv. 22-24 within 2 Sam 7:18-29) is usually regarded as a Deuteronomistic supplement to the prayer. Complicating the picture is the presence of a higher than usual number of textual variants in v. 23. The present study will focus entirely on v. 23, proposing a new explanation for the current state of the text there. In the process, the complexity of research in the Deuteronomistic History will become clearer, as we will demonstrate why one must employ multiple approaches simultaneously to interpret this passage.