Monday, July 11, 2011

SBL International 2011 and the London Tube

Four members of our VU University project group on New Testament Conjectural Emendation were present in London last week; let me promise that I will blog on Silvia Castelli’s presentation and on mine. For now, however, something less serious.

One of the great pleasures of having such a project group is the frequent discussions on all matters textual and often non-textual. Thus, just after the conference, and after a nice dinner in a restaurant near Covent Garden, we were on the metro to our hotel, still discussing – don’t ask me to remember it all exactly – the importance of textual certainty and the striking differences between catholics and protestants, scholars and non-scholars alike. And how deep-felt the attachment to a specific text and tradition can be.
At that point in our lively conversation, someone sitting next to us weighed in. He elaborated on the emotional aspect and started telling how important these matters were to him. Regrettably, our group had to switch lines at South Kensington, which ended the exchange.

The punch-line none of us had seen coming was the final question of our interlocutor: “Which movie have you been to?” Right before the door closed, I managed to answer: “We are just some biblical scholars”. Mind the gap.

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