The 149th Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, November 23-26, 2013.

The Annual SBL American Meeting is the largest gathering of biblical scholars in the world. As usual numerous sessions will be devoted to subjects of interest for Second Temple and New Testament Studies.

Following the tradition inaugurated at the 2012 SBL Meeting in Chicago, the Enoch Seminar will organize a reception during the conference.

Here are only a few of the listed groups. For more information, see

(Chairs: David A. deSilva, and Loren L. Johns)

Description: This unit is focused broadly on questions related to canon, namely: What is the biblical canon? How did it take shape? How did the so-called noncanonical works function in the early Jewish and Christian communities? How do these noncanonical works help us comprehend the shaping of the canon and by whom? What is the relation between a closed canon and the notion of a God who speaks in every generation? With considerable media interest in this subject in recent times, it is important to raise and address some of these important questions.

Call for papers: This year we are seeking papers for the following sessions: 1. The influence of conceptions of paradise in apocryphal and pseudepigraphal literature on early Jewish and Christian communities. 2. The influence of conceptions of hell and damnation in apocryphal and pseudepigraphal literature on early Jewish and Christian communities. 3. Open session on the influence of apocryphal and pseudepigraphal literature in early Jewish and Christian communities.

(Chair: Annette Yoshiko Reed)

Description: This section is devoted to the history of (a) Judaism of the Hellenistic period (that is, “Hellenistic” understood chronologically from Alexander the Great to Augustus), (b) Greek-speaking Judaism in antiquity (that is, “Hellenistic” understood linguistically), and (c) the interaction between Judaism and its host cultures in antiquity (“Hellenistic understood culturally and socially).

Call for papers: For the 2013 SBL Annual Meeting, the Hellenistic Judaism section invites proposals for two open panels. First is the theme of “Myth and History in Hellenistic Judaism.” Second is “Hellenistic Jewish Women,” including but not limited to Hasmonean and royal women.

(Chairs: Robert L. Webb, and Thomas Kazen)

Description: The Historical Jesus Section provides a forum for both seasoned and less experienced biblical scholars to offer public contributions to the ongoing task of describing the person, mission, and views of Jesus in a historically responsible manner.

Call for papers: The Historical Jesus Section is devoted to the historical exploration of Jesus of Nazareth in his first-century context, as well as methodological issues involved in this exploration. In 2013 we will have one open session for which we invite proposals on any aspect of the historical Jesus from scholars at all stages of their careers. Please use this website to submit a paper proposal. We also plan to have a second, theme session, for which the papers will be invited.

(Chairs: Jan W. van Henten, and Paul Spilsbury)

Description: The Josephus Group will support the Brill Josephus Project, which is publishing all of his works with translation and commentary. We shall reach out collaboratively to the SBL community with a wide variety of topics related to the study of Josephus.

Call for papers: Two sessions are planned for the 2013 annual meeting. One session will be devoted to papers related to the Brill Josephus project and is by invitation only. For the second session the Josephus group invites proposals relating broadly to the theme of “Josephus and his contemporaries”. We are particularly interested in papers that explore points of contact and comparison between Josephus and other writers working toward the end of the first century or the beginning of the second century CE.

(Chairs: Magnus Zetterholm, and Mark D. Nanos)

Description: While the opposition between Paul and Judaism has been the undisputed point of departure in much previous Pauline scholarship, the aim of this program unit is to develop Pauline studies from the hypothesis that Paul remained within and practiced Judaism.

Call for papers: For this open session we accept proposals on any subject related to the study of Paul as a first-century Hellenistic Jew, e.g., papers on the nature of Paul’s Judaism, his relation to other forms of Judaism(s), to non-Jews, and his view of the Torah.

(Chairs: Sarah Pearce, Ellen Birnbaum, and Ronald Cox_

Description: The volume and eclectic nature of the Philonic corpus make Philo an invaluable source of information for ancient Judaism in the Diaspora and numerous contiguous disciplines. This Group explores both Philo’s own thought and the fields which intersect in his treatises.

Call for papers: Philo’s exegetical and non-exegetical works are informed by and reflect an awareness of many different sources, both Jewish and non-Jewish. In 2013, we would like to focus on Philo’s knowledge of specific non-biblical sources. These might include the writings of Greek philosophers, poets, tragedians, and historians; other Jewish exegetes and thinkers, who wrote in Greek and other languages; Roman writers; and perhaps even some Egyptian writers. Presenters will include invited speakers and others selected in response to this call for papers. In addition, our group is co-sponsoring with the Midrash Section a panel on Philo and midrash. We welcome proposals for papers that explore the relationship between Philo’s biblical interpretations and rabbinic midrash from any perspective.

(Chair: Liv Ingeborg Lied, and Matthias Henze)

Description: The goals of this group are (1) to provide a forum for discussion of Jewish pseudepigrapha and second temple period Judaism; (2) to promote the publication of scholarly works on the pseudepigrapha; and (3) to encourage interest in the broader use of the pseudepigrapha for the understanding of early Judaism and Christianity.

Call for papers: The Pseudepigrapha Section will have four sessions in Baltimore. The first session of the Pseudepigrapha Section will be an open session entitled “Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things.” Inspired by the title of George Lakoff’s classic work on cognitive categories, we invite papers that deal with imaginations, uses and functions in pseudepigraphical texts of women and women as cognitive categories, metaphors, or rhetorical devices. The second session will be a closed, invited review session of the new volume Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures. Volume One (Eerdmans), edited by Richard Bauckham, James R. Davila, and Alexander Panayotov. The third session will be a closed session, jointly organized with the Daniel Section, on the book of Daniel and the Pseudepigrapha. The fourth session will also be a closed, invited session, jointly organized with the Qumran Section, and titled “Jubilees: Authorship, Composition, and the Manuscript Tradition.”

(Chairs: Charlotte Hempel, and Eibert Tigchelaar)

Description: The Qumran Section of the SBL provides an equal-opportunity forum for presentation and discussion of views relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Qumran settlement, and the people of that place and of those documents.

Call for papers: The Qumran section welcomes papers on any aspect of the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran, including studies of texts, material culture, history, literature, or recent advances in the field. For 2013, the section especially invites papers on understanding the Book of Jubilees in the context of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as papers on the exploration of performative aspects of Qumran texts. In 2013, the Qumran section will also co-sponsor an invited session on The Ancient Near East and the Dead Sea Scrolls with the Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature Section. The Qumran section wishes to maximize opportunities for presenters by limiting scholars to present no more than two years in succession. This restriction does not apply to invited papers.

(Chairs: Karina Martin Hogan, and Matthew Goff)

Description: Our group seeks to develop more rigorous and sophisticated ways to speak about wisdom and apocalyptic texts and motifs in early Judean and early Christian literature. We are committed to attending to the concrete social location of particular texts.

Call for papers: The Wisdom and Apocalypticism section is planning three sessions for the 2013 Annual Meeting, all focus on various facets of the theme of paideia. We will have an open session focusing on the personification of Wisdom, Torah or Logos as a pedagogical technique in early Jewish and Christian texts. For an open, joint session with the Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti Section, we are soliciting papers that address paideia in early Jewish and early Christian texts with an eschatological orientation, against the background of instructional literature or other evidence pertaining to education in the broader Hellenistic context. We will also have an invited session on the use of Greek paideia in late antiquity, informed by the work of Raffaella Cribiore.