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Lunch in Boston?

I’m thinking about arranging a lunch, with anyone on the blog who is interested and will be in Boston on Thursday November 16 for the Biblical Archaeology Society FEST — or who will be there for any other reason!   Would you be interested?

Here’s the deal.  The Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) is a great organization, which brings knowledge about the Bible and especially about relevant archaeological digs to a wider interested public.  Every year – for twenty years now — they hold a special conference for anyone interested in such things, that they call the FEST.  For the FEST they bring in over 20 scholars to give talks over the course of three days.  A few of the scholars are mainly biblical types, like, me, and a lot of them are active archaeologists, some of the top ones in the world.

Here is the information for this year’s FEST.    https://travelstudy.bib-arch.org/seminars/20th-annual-bible-and-archaeology-fest

I have done the FEST every year, and I always have an arrangement with them to do the first talk on the Friday morning (the first day).   Like all the other scholars there, I will be attending the annual Society of Biblical Literature meeting that always meets in the same city (the Biblical Archaeology Society sets up their FEST to coincide with the SBL so that the scholars will all be available anyway).  The SBL is not for interested lay folk, but is a scholarly meeting with scholars reading academic papers that most humans on the planet would find mindlessly boring.   But it is my big annual meeting that I’ve attended every year since the early 1980s.

Anyway, I’ll be in Boston for the SBL, and once again have agreed to do a talk at the BAS  FEST, first thing Friday morning (Novemeber 17).   I have some other things I’ll need to be doing in Boston and it occurs to me: why not have a lunch with anyone who’s interested from the blog, who is going to the BAS FEST anyway or who is in the area?   We could all meet and talk about anything of interest for a couple of hours.  Why not?  It would be on Thursday November 16 around noon.  I’ll be staying at the Omni Parker House and so it would be somewhere near there.

So that’s what I’m suggesting, and I’ll do it if anyone is interested.  Are you interested?  It would be a chance for you to pick my brain and to hang out in each others’ glowing company.   Please let me know – just send me an email at behrman@email.unc.edu.


Differences Between John and the Synoptics
An Introduction to the Gospel of John



  1. Avatar
    nbraith1975  September 30, 2017

    Bart –

    Thanks for the invite to lunch in Boston, MA.

    Maybe you already do this, but I live in the Charlotte, NC area and would love to come to have lunch with you and a group of your Blog followers who live within driving distance to Chapel Hill. Maybe even a tour of the UNC campus with you as well?

    Your lunch is on me.

  2. Avatar
    DavidBeaman  September 30, 2017

    Thank you for the invitation. I would normally have come; however, I need some surgery on my knees followed by physical therapy; and to be in full recovery to hike around Israel, guided by James Tabor, next March.

  3. talmoore
    talmoore  September 30, 2017

    Man, I wish, but I’m all the way down here in south Florida. 🙁

  4. Avatar
    SidDhartha1953  September 30, 2017

    I’d love it! I have til Nov. 5 to do the early bird registration, so that should help spread the cost out. Getting to pick your brain & A-J Levine’s the same week is too much to pass up!

  5. Avatar
    probablynot  September 30, 2017

    Man, that would be awesome. I don’t think I’ll be able to make this one, but boy would I love to do something like this one day!

  6. Avatar
    ardeare  October 1, 2017

    Bart, I won’t be able to make it. Still, I want to thank you for extending an invitation to the “Blog.”

  7. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  October 1, 2017

    1, What will be the topic of your talk?

    2. I am a regular reader of the “Biblical Archaeology Review” and recommend it to readers of this blog.

    3. I also recommend “Finding Magic: A Spiritual Journey.” This book is well written and really hooked my interest. It does not discuss anything about the Bible, but is a personal journey with the theodicy problem. It also discusses how the author started the “On Faith” website with historian Jon Meacham and I recommend this website as well.

    • Bart
      Bart  October 1, 2017

      My talk will be trying to show that Paul believed he himself, personally, through the mission entrusted to him, was the fulfillment of God’s ultimate promises in the Jewish Scriptures.

      • Avatar
        Carl  October 1, 2017

        That talk makes me wish that I could head over from New Zealand in one of Elon Musk’s super jets! and that I had untold riches..

  8. Avatar
    CarlWeetabix  October 1, 2017

    Really wish I could, and travel-wise it’s plausible, but alas Thursday is a work day and I have burned my vacation for the year. Would truly value the chance, but at the moment at least, not plausible.

    Very kind of you to offer us this opportunity!

  9. Avatar
    4Erudite  October 1, 2017

    Yes, I would be interested in such a lunch meeting…will send the requested e-mail per your instructions as soon as I know that I can be there…have other business in the local Boston near-by area…travel is still pending at this point but will confirm soon. I saw one comment from someone in, or near, Charlotte, N.C. suggesting a possible UNC Chapel Hill area lunch/meeting…this I would be most interested in, if it were to be a future possibility, as I live just south of Charlotte. I am new to this site/blog and have enjoyed listening to your many lectures/talks/debates and will soon begin reading your books…I have had many question and thoughts about ‘religions’ and you are one of the few I have found that seems to make sense of what I have long questioned and just assumed that I must be reading these scriptures wrong because I am not a biblical scholar…and/or that the interpretations and/or translations from the original text must be misleading…anyhow, a lot of words just to say, I appreciate your insight based on scholarly knowledge and hope that I can make it to the lunch meeting.

  10. Avatar
    seahawk41  October 1, 2017

    As of now, I won’t be at the BAR thing in Boston. But it is a great idea, and if I were there, I’d love to do it!

  11. Avatar
    HawksJ  October 1, 2017

    Wow, what an opportunity! If I was anywhere within driving distance, I’d be there.

    Depending on the response, I’d suggest asking for a donation to your charities. I’d willingly contribute a $100 or more for such an event.

  12. Avatar
    rivercrowman  October 2, 2017

    I’ll have to pass Bart. Boston is a 9.5 hour drive from Caribou, Maine.

  13. Avatar
    Kirktrumb59  October 2, 2017

    I’m around Boston, would love to, will look at program. If I can will let U know per your direction.

  14. Avatar
    godspell  October 2, 2017

    I regret I am too occupied to accept invitations.



  15. Avatar
    Mitchmarfl  October 2, 2017

    Thanks for the invitation. I can’t make Boston at that time. But would like to do something like this in Chapel Hill.

  16. Avatar
    Ehteshaam7  October 3, 2017

    If your coming back to Michgian or Ann Arbor I would love to do lunch with you. Your lunch is on me!

  17. Avatar
    bknight  October 3, 2017


    I live in the Atlanta area. If you’re ever passing through Hartsfield-Jackson (and who doesn’t?), I’d consider it a great honor to have lunch with you.

    But really, you’re missing a great opportunity. I for one would consider it entirely appropriate for you to ask each lunch attendee to contribute to your charity. $250, $500 or even $1,000 would not seem out of line to me. After all, we get you and we get to contribute to your great charitable work!

    Bernie Knight

  18. Avatar
    Ciucciface  October 3, 2017

    I really wish I could – but Jersey in the Channel Islands is a bit far! But please let me/us know if or when you are ever in the U.K.!

  19. Avatar
    madmargie  October 5, 2017

    I wish I could as well..but I live in Kansas….a long way away. I used to take the Bible Review. I guess it went out of business though. Thanks for the invitation though!

  20. Avatar
    fizikci  October 5, 2017

    Do you ever visit NYC? I wish an opportunity like this were possible in NYC. Best,

    • Bart
      Bart  October 6, 2017

      Yes, I go there a good bit — but almost always for pleasure instead of work! (Went to the Open in August. Terrific.)

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