BNTS 2021 Meeting

Registration for
BNTS Meeting 2021
Hybrid meeting
at Durham University

Registration is now closed

Booking for the 2021 British New Testament Conference hosted by Durham University is now open. The Conference will begin on Thursday 19 August (registration from 2pm) and end with lunch on Saturday 21 August.

Registration will close Thursday 29 July

A message from our local organisers:

Registration is now open for the 2021 BNTS meeting, to be held at St John’s College, Durham, and online, 19-21 August, and the local organising team looks forward to welcoming you.

We’re especially grateful to those who participated in the recent poll, which indicated strong support for a return to a ‘normal’ in-person event although with an additional online component.

For those wishing and able to attend in person, we advise early booking as we will have to cap numbers at a much lower figure than our pre-pandemic norm of up to 200. This is to ensure the safety and well-being of participants, and for that reason accommodation at St John’s and nearby Hatfield College will be en suite only.

If individuals registered for the in-person event later find themselves unable to attend, the conference fee will be refunded (minus a £15 registration fee). All fees will be refunded on the same basis in the (unlikely but not impossible) event that we are unable to proceed with the conference at all.

Finally, we encourage all who are able to do so to contribute generously to the fund providing financial assistance to postgraduates attending the conference; there is an option for this on the registration website.

Francis Watson, Kim Fowler, Nick Moore (local conference organisers)

You can register for the Conference via Durham’s online store here. Bookings closes Thursday 29 July.

Three options are available:
1) In-person with en-suite accommodation £210.00
2) In-person no accommodation provided £120.00
3) Online Only £35.00

Please note, there is very limited parking available at the conference venue. Priority will be given to those who require parking for accessibility reasons, so please do state during booking if this is the case.

You will need to choose your 1st and 2nd choice seminar when you register, so please review the seminar information (available here) before booking.

In addition, the following will be asked:
a) The British New Testament Society seeks to promote research of the New Testament and related writings. Attendance at the conference is open to those who fall into one of the following categories (you will be asked to tick the criteria you meet):

  •  teach New Testament (or a cognate discipline) at a recognized HEI
  •  hold a doctorate in the area of New Testament (or a cognate discipline)
  • a postgraduate researcher in New Testament at doctoral level

Individuals who do not meet any of the above criteria may be given special permission to attend on application to the Secretary and with the approval of the Committee.

b) if you are willing for the organisers to share your name, institution, email address, seminar choice, and research interests with other delegates. This request is to enable us to produce a list of delegates which will enable you to find others working in the same area as you and to contact them easily. We need your permission to share this information because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);

c) that you agree to the BNTS Code of Conduct, available here.

If you have questions about the conference or registration, please do not hesitate to contact Michelle Fletcher (

2021 BNTS Plenary Papers

Dominika Kurek-Chomycz, Liverpool Hope University, ‘“To be read and known by all”: Scripturality and Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians’

Reading, as opposed to writing, is rarely mentioned explicitly in the Pauline letters. In 2 Corinthians, in contrast to other letters, writing is primarily about the Apostle’s own epistolary activity. Reading what Paul writes (1:13) and what he has accomplished among the Corinthians as the diakonos of the “new covenant” (3:2-6), is contrasted with certain ways of reading the “old covenant” (3:14-15). I argue that Paul’s insistence that he has “the same spirit of faith” as the Psalmist (4:13) ascribes special status to his writing, both in this letter, and in his prior correspondence with the Corinthians. Writing not only allows the apostolic absence to be embodied as powerful epistolary presence; what is more, it enshrines this presence in the letter as that of the Apostle’s afflicted flesh which embodies the death and life of Jesus (4:10-11), perpetually linking thus Paul’s story with Jesus’s story. I show how, even if devoid of dominical sayings, the letter mediates the affective and relational memory of Jesus, while its emotional style and vivid sensory imagery produce enargeia, further enhancing the status of Paul’s writing.

Philip Alexander, University of Manchester, ‘Judaism between 70 and 135 and its importance for understanding the post-70 New Testament Writings and the Apostolic Fathers’ 

I will argue that it is necessary to read the later New Testament writings and the Apostolic Fathers specifically and narrowly against the Judaism that emerged in the period 70 to 135. The Judaism of this period was in many ways distinct. This was a crucial period in the development of Judaism as it struggled to cope with the destruction of the Temple – a time of transition and flux different in important ways from Judaism before 70 and Judaism after 135. It was also a crucial period in the development of Christianity, a period dominated by the all-consuming problem of how to define its distinctive identity vis-à-vis its Judaic matrix. Though it is not easy to reconstruct Judaism between the First and Second wars against Rome, I will suggest how it can be done – at least enough to provide a meaningful context in which to set post-70 Christianity. I will sketch some of its key features and show how attention to these may shed light on aspects of emergent Christianity and lead to new insights into the meaning of Christian texts from the late first century.    

Andrew Boakye, University of Manchester,  ‘God’s People and Abraham’s Children: Revivification as Theological Nucleus in Paul’

That the Epistles to the Romans and to the Galatians are thematically related is plainly evident even from the most cursory reading of both. Yet the relationship between the two remains difficult to disambiguate, largely owing to the lack of clarity over why Paul penned Romans. Whilst commentators have rightly shied away from attempting to precipitate a hard centre to Paul’s theological outlook, the obvious, albeit complex relationship between Galatians and Romans suggests it is too early to totally jettison the search for any cogent centre. This is not least of all true because their common tropes remain central to a number of ongoing debates within Pauline studies. In view of the above, this paper will explore connections between the polemical elements of the two letters, which combine to illuminate the Apostle’s broader rhetorical trajectory. It is hoped that this more thematic approach demonstrates a clear argumentative similarity between Romans and Galatians, that is sensitive to the occasional nature of their composition, while suggesting that in some way both letters (and other letters within the entire genuine Pauline corpus) aim to articulate the same central truth: Israel’s God has birthed the eschatological community by the instantiation of new life. This motif of new life is initially located within Israel’s prophetic tradition, is fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus and points to the life of the new creation both anthropologically and cosmologically. 

2021 BNTS Seminar Meeting Abstracts


Hybrid Meeting to be held at Durham University

The BNTS Committee are organising a hybrid conference, with the aim of maximising participation for members during this difficult time.

However, in order to offer an in-person option, a change of venue has become necessary.

Therefore, the 2021 BNTS Conference will now take place at Durham University, 19-21 August.

More details and registration pages will be added as soon as they become available but can inform you that for those attending in person, ensuite accommodation will be available at St John’s and Hatfield colleges.

Proposals for papers are invited for the British New Testament Society Meeting 2021 to be hosted by Durham University from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 August. The full call for papers can be found here

BNTS 2021 Meeting Update & CfP Extension

The BNTS Committee continues to hope that the Society will be able to meet for its scheduled residential conference in St Andrews on 19-21 August 2021. However, as members of the Society will be aware, this is dependent on the necessary ending of lockdown restrictions and also on the University’s policy regarding hosting such an event. So, at this stage we are still uncertain about the format of this year’s conference.

If the Society is able to meet in person, we recognize that some members may feel unable to attend due to health or other personal concerns, and we would therefore make every attempt to arrange for virtual participation in plenary sessions. We would also arrange for virtual participation in seminars at the discretion of Seminar Chairs.

If restrictions remain in place/the University is unable to host us in person, we will revert to last year’s fully virtual format. The Committee very much hopes that this will not be the case and will endeavour to make further announcements regarding registration by the end of April.

Given this uncertainty, we understand this might affect people’s submissions for papers and so are extending the CfP until Monday 26 April.