The annual meetings are always a highlight of the academic year. This year’s annual meetings are in sunny Southern California, where both Stan and I were born and raised, although closer to Los Angeles than San Diego. Stan hasn’t lived there since the 90s, and I haven’t lived there since 2011. It will be good to be back in warmer temperature, especially since this part of Canada has been hit with snow already.
This year is a bit different for us at Domain Thirty-Three, however, as Stan will be missing this year’s festivities. He recently had an illness leading to surgery, which has taken him longer to recover from than he anticipated, so he will not be able to attend. He is disappointed that he won’t be able to make it, as he has been a regular attender over the years and has given many papers in the several conferences (he of course had to cancel his papers, for which he is very sorry).
I’m sad that Stan will miss this year’s conferences (with good reason!), but I have plenty to keep me occupied. I am presenting one paper at ETS and two papers at SBL this year. The ETS paper is entitled “The Register of Paul in 1 Timothy: Why the Pastorals May Differ in ‘Style’ than the Hauptbriefe.” I was honored to be an invited presenter in the study group “Pastoral Epistles” and look forward to the other intriguing papers in that section, including ethics in Titus by Ray Van Neste (who was the external examiner of my PhD) and salvation history. Stan was slated to present on arguments for and against Pauline authorship of the PE but of course had to step down. In my paper, I address the debate on Pauline authenticity of 1 Timothy (and by extension 2 Timothy and Titus) by invoking the linguistic theory of register. Understanding register, I propose, helps us understand the perceived “stylistic” differences between 1 Timothy and Galatians, for example.
My first SBL paper is entitled “Galatians 3:15–25 as the Peak of the Letter: A Study in Prominence” and is being given in the Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics session. This paper, based on a section of my dissertation, outlines a theory of linguistic prominence (how language emphasizes certain elements over others) to see that the prominent peak of Galatians is 3:15–25. This should turn out to be an intriguing session overall, as we have papers on register analysis, lexical semantics (by my friend John Lee), appraisal theory and intertextuality (by my friend Doosuk Kim), and another on the middle and passive voices.
My second SBL paper is entitled “The Documentary Papyri and Lexical Semantics: A Study of δικαιοσύνη in the Non-Biblical Literature” in the Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds session. I take a look at the various occurrences of the δικ- words (cognates of justification/righteousness) in the documentary papyri using a general theory of lexical semantics to determine contemporary usage of the words in comparison with how modern interpreters seem to theologize this word. It was a fascinating study to see how δικ- words were used in everyday first-century life! This session has a lot of other interesting papers, including papers on Greco-Roman birth notices and registrations, a study of εἰρήνη in the documentary papyri, finds from the Tura Papyri, and the METIS papyrological identification system by my friend Jim Libby.
Although Stan will miss this one, I’m looking forward to connecting with friends and colleagues, participating and sitting in on interesting papers, and, of course, eating fish tacos!
— David I. Yoon