Yesterday was the conclusion of the Trinity College Bristol Research Conference. It was a three day event where scholars and doctoral students presented papers to one another for feedback and discussion intertwined with times of worship and socializing. Dr. Justin Stratis, and all those who assisted him, put on a wonderful event. The highlight would be hearing from Prof. Francis Watson (from the University of Durham) on his current research in the Gospels (e.g., see his newer Gospel Writing: A Canonical Perspective). We were privileged to hear from my supervisor Prof. Craig A. Evans as well on a couple of occassions, which is always informative and insightful. On the final day these two joined Stratis, David and Gordan Wenham, John Nolland, and Knut Heim on a panel where students could ask anything about the field of scholarship and the life of the scholar. It was quite enlightening.
In addition I had the opportunity hear several great papers from my peers while presenting one myself. My paper was titled "The Insufficiency of John's Baptism: An Examination of John 3:1-12 and Acts 19:1-7" where I proposed that the awkwardness of these passages can be made clearer if we read them in light of a possible controversy in early Christianity regarding the role and sufficiency of John' baptism as it relates to Christian baptism and spirit baptism. Those present gave me very helpful feedback and helped me clarify my thoughts on the subject.
What a wonderful learning experience on so many levels. I made many new friends who I look forward to seeing again next June when the conference is scheduled again. Now I must go work on a paper for a conference at Tyndale House in Cambridge in several days!