On 5–6 April, I attended the annual Stone-Campbell Journal Conference. One of the most fascinating papers was that by David Fiensy.
The paper was rather innocuously titled “Interpreting Acts: The Value of Archaeology.” But David delivered a fascinating, eye-opening discussion of disease in the ancient Mediterranean.
David’s primary evidence is archaeologically preserved in bones and (yes) fecal deposits. This may make some of the content a bit awkward. But David’s research helpfully clarifies (and likely corrects) to how we should imagine the authors and audiences of the NT.
Another very interesting paper was by Jerry Sumney on Paul’s use of pre-formed material in 1 Corinthians. Jerry’s argument leads him to paint a picture of Paul in 1 Corinthians as less antagonistic to existing leadership and tradition.
This is ultimately more consistent with the portrayal of Paul in Acts. Jerry then understands Paul’s criticisms in Galatians to derive from the very particular context that letter addresses.
Also included at the beginning of this recording is a short reflection on Christian education that I was privileged to give when the scheduled speaker wasn’t able to attend.