Faculty: Rev. Dr. Craig Bartholomew (CV); Dr. Al Wolters (CV); Dr. Ryan O’Dowd (CV)

Dear friends of the seminar,

 We hope this finds you well and flourishing amidst all the many challenges of pursuing creative, life-giving Scripture scholarship at this time in our cultures.

 Last year the SAHS reconvened at Boston as the start of the new phase of the Seminar. We had a great time together – for many of us the meal after our meeting was evocative of the community we experienced from year to year in the earlier stage of the Seminar and a reminder of how much we need an organization like SAHS.

 This year we plan to meet again around SBL in New Orleans on Friday afternoon November 20th.  Details will be posted on our website throughout the summer (  We will also send another email asking you to confirm attendance using the website.  For now, note that the theme for this year’s meeting will be

The New Agrarianism and the Bible:
A Dialogue with Ellen Davis

 Ellen Davis has recently published an important, creative book entitled Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian reading of the Bible (Cambridge: CUP, 2009). Her dialogue with authors such as Wendell Berry yields fresh, imaginative and fruitful ways of reading the OT, and the SAHS committee decided that a dialogue around her work would be a creative way to pursue our concern for theological interpretation.

 Davis’s work focuses on the OT but do note that the SAHS is “equally” concerned with the NT! Thus we are delighted that the prominent NT scholar David Moessner has agreed to respond to Davis’s book from a NT perspective and Craig Bartholomew will provide a theological response to Davis’s book. Ellen Davis has graciously agreed to participate in the discussion and to respond to the respondents.

 This is an important discussion and we do encourage you to get hold of Davis’s book and read it before we meet if at all possible. The French Orthodox scholar, Olivier Clément, refers to the “dazzling flesh of the Bible” in which the light and fire of the Christ event is offered to all. Received aright the Bible does indeed illuminate all of life with the light of Christ and Davis’s work has the potential to lead us deeply into the “dazzling flesh of the Bible” and out into the world in the service of the LORD Christ.

 We encourage you to join with us for this meeting and to help us as we develop the SAHS in its new phase of life. Participation is by invitation only, but if you think there are people we should be inviting, do please let us know.  Last year we had a good group of PhD students attending and we are keen to develop this involvement of emerging scholars who share the vision of SAHS for renewing biblical interpretation. Again, please alert us if there are PhD students and recent grads that we should be inviting.

 Wishing you well in all your labors

 In Christ

 Ryan O’Dowd and Craig Bartholomew


Click here for news on the last Meeting of the Scripture and Hermeneutics Project (SAHP) in Boston, November 2008

The Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar (the Seminar), formed in 1998, aims to work with like-minded colleagues to renew biblical interpretation so that all the resources of the academic rigor of biblical studies is directed towards hearing God’s address in and through Scripture today. The Seminar is a growing community of biblical and other Christian scholars, pastors and publishers.

In its first phase (1998 – 2007) the Seminar organized an annual international seminar of interdisciplinary Christian scholars in different parts of the world; each seminar attended to a crucial issue in the renewal of biblical interpretation and each year the Seminar published a related volume. In this period the Seminar, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Craig Bartholomew, hosted nine consultations and produced eight major academic volumes addressing the full range of issues which relate to hearing God speak in Scripture, including language, politics, ethics, biblical theology, philosophy, history, etc. [for more information about the history and ethos of the Seminar click here]

In 2007 the final volume of the projected eight volume Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, namely The Bible and the University,was published. The second phase of the Seminar has now begun. The Seminar has now become a vital part of the Paideia Centre for Public Theology and is the Centre’s primary vehicle for its work in biblical studies. As part of the Centre, the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar committee is now chaired by:

As part the Centre, the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar committee is now chaired by Dr. Ryan O’Dowd (CV). Committee members are: Dr. Craig Bartholomew (CV), Rev. Dr. William Ollhausen, Dr. Mary Healy (CV); Dr. Heath Thomas (CV); Dr. Aubrey Spears, and Mr. David Beldman (CV).


As part of its new phase the Seminar will meet around the Society of Biblical Literature’s annual North American meeting. This year the Seminar will meet in Boston on Friday November 21st from 2:00-6:00pm. While our meeting is by invitation only for reasons of space, please contact us if you have an interest in this venue.


The Seminar has several new projects underway.

Hearing the Old Testament: Craig Bartholomew and David Beldman are editing a carefully planned volume with this title for Eerdmans publishing. [see more]

Ryan O’Dowd and Craig Bartholomew are working on An Introduction to Old Testament Wisdom Literature for IVP USA.
Seminar members are involved in a variety of exciting developments. Mary Healy and Peter Williamson are editing a New Catholic Commentary Series.

Craig Bartholomew, with Prof. Gordon McConville, is series editor for Eerdmans Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary Series. Several members of the Seminar are writing for this Series:

Mary Healy's commentary on Mark being presented to Pope Benedict XVI
Robin Parry: Lamentations
Ryan O’Dowd: Ruth
Craig Bartholomew: Jonah
Aubrey Spears: Esther

Al Wolters is now working full time for the Paideia Centre on his major commentary on Zechariah, whose completion we keenly anticipate.


Craig Bartholomew’s commentary on Ecclesiastes has now been published (Baker Academic).
Ryan O’Dowd’s doctoral thesis has now been published: [see more]

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