Wednesday, July 6, 2016

SBL International Meeting in Seoul

At noon will be the closing ceremony of SBL international meeting. The meeting will go on until Thursday 12.3pm but there will be a closing lunch reception hosted by Yonsei University for the SBL participants. In the past couple of days I have attended about 20 lectures as most lectures are about 30 mins long or at most 40 mins.  It has been great but only a few stood out for their spiritual enlightment rather than just academic or technical. I enjoyed a textual criticism session looking at Gal 2,11-14 where if the reading is when he came rather than when they came, it would provide a clue as to the Pauline chronology of events. Anyhow, two papers really stood out one given by an Israeli professor from Haifa on angels ascending and descending on a ladder to heaven in Jacob's dream at Bethel.
Second, a Korean professor spoke on Jacob's experience of God also on Gen 28 and he applied it to Korean society being of an anxious and distorted personality very much like Jacob's.  I was blessed by the former talk and the Haifa professor mentioned several times how for Jacob ascending means returning to the land of promise and descending means going into a foreign country and its idolatrous worship and wickedness. For the past 2 weeks I have been in three countries, Singapore, Sabah and now South Korea. But my heart is in the land of my birth, my land of promise though what will happen when I return is much to be determined, whether I stay or whether I go, ascending or descending. Perhaps I need a dream like Jacob's.

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