SBL 2008 for me was getting to know some of my fellow bibliobloggers. On Sunday night many of us met at a restaurant organized by Michael Halcomb of Pisteuomen fame. We had a great time and it was good to put some faces with the blogs that I read so often. I sat with Ben Blackwell (Dunelm Road), and we had a good chat and afterwards accompanied him to the Durham banquet where I spoke with John Barclay.
Speaking of that situation, one person who was immensely helpful was Nijay Gupta. Nijay really went out of his way with the introductions and was plugging me to Dr. Barclay the entire conversation. Nijay and I also ran into each other on countless occassions and it was a real pleasure getting to know him at this conference. We even had Indian food with the Ashland contingent my final night at SBL. I took Nijay's recommendations (due to my sensitive stomach), but sadly, I fell ill in my hotel room later that evening (Don't worry Nijay, I won't hold it against you, lol!). Nevertheless, and I sincerely mean this, Nijay has a brilliant mind and a bright future as a NT scholar, and he is definitely one that will be heard from in the years ahead.
There were many other memorable moments at this year's meeting such as meeting Sigurd Grindheim (solely by chance), Brant Pitre, Michael Barber, and Joel Willits just as they were leaving Monday afternoon, dining with Michael Gorman and David Capes, listning to a really interesting papers by David Lincicum and Joel Green (IBR meeting) just to name a few.
Disappointments included Eerdmans lack of stock (i.e. the new Festschrift for Richard Hays; Daniel Kirk's Unlocking Romans) including several that should have debuted at SBL including Richard Bauckham's Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament's Christology of Divine Identity; James Dunn's Beginning from Jerusalem: Christianity in the Making, Volume 2. The weather was extremely cold, preventing me from exploring much of the city, something I relished in San Diego last year. Gift shops were a hassle as I was attempting to find a souvenir for my wife without the Celtics, Red Sox, or Patriots logos emblazoned on it.
The group I felt worst for was IVP. Apparently five skids worth of books got lost in warehouse transfers, never making it in time for SBL. Fortunately for them they at least had their left over stock from ETS available for purchase. I was told they were giving away really cool messenger bags this year, but they too were lost on the way to SBL.
All in all I had a great time and look forward to next year's extravaganza in New Orleans.