Summer is the time for alphabet-soup scholarly conferences. Some are held annually, like those of the International SBL (Society of Biblical Literature), the CBA (Catholic Biblical Association) and the SNTS (Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas), which met last summer in Sheffield, England, San Francisco and Cambridge, England, respectively. Others meet less often. Next summer the IOSOT (International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament) will be holding its tri-enniel meeting in Leuven, Belgium, and the WCJS (World Congress of Jewish Studies) will gather for its quatro-enniel in Jerusalem. In 1990 the ICBA (International Congress on Biblical Archaeology) will also meet in Jerusalem.
Obviously, no one can attend all these conferences. Last summer we chose two: the International SBL in Sheffield, England, hosted by the University of Sheffield, and the SNTS a few days later at Cambridge University. The SNTS was celebrating its jubilee; the society of New Testament scholars had been founded 50 years earlier.