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Early Career Scholars in the Theological Disciplines

New Testament Studies: Contemporary Methodologies at Work and Seasoned Scholars in Reply

When: June 9, 2021, 1:00 pm - Wednesday

Where: Ezell 234

Session 1

This session is under both the Early Career Scholars in the Theological Disciples and the New Testament sections.

Session Abstract

This session creates an opportunity for interaction between current Ph.D. students and more senior New Testament scholars affiliated with the conference. Two papers are offered employing contemporary methodologies to interpret scenes from the Gospels. Two formal responses will be given. There will be time for open discussion.


Paper Abstracts

Jon Carman, Baylor University, “Asleep on the Job? Mark 4:35–41 as a Case of Christological Humor”

In this paper, I employ the General Theory of Verbal Humor to demonstrate that the author of the Gospel of Mark uses humor in 4:35-41 as a rhetorical strategy. By using this method in combination with ancient comparanda, certain aspects of the narrative come into focus. First, the sheer force of this absurd moment is made clear. Second, important insights regarding performance and reception are identified. Third, this picture of Jesus can be seen as the first in a series of similar stories where the Evangelist plays with the Christological portrait of Jesus, a cycle virtually unmentioned by scholars.


Amy Smith Carman, Texas Christian University, “The First Samaritan Convert as Woman and Slave: A Feminist Analysis of John 4:1-42”

The focus on power dynamics by feminist interpretations can radically change a reading of John 4. A combination of recent work on ancient slavery and modern survival tactics for vulnerable women calls traditional interpretations of the Woman at the Well into question. Slave wo/men had no rights, particularly when it came to sexuality. Her extremely low status in the kyriarchy warrants the question of how she ended up in this circumstance and if she was sexually available in exchange for her survival. The answer to these questions alters how the passage should be read.


Zane McGee, Emory University, Convener

  • Jon Carman, Baylor University, “Asleep on the Job? Mark 4:35–41 as a Case of Christological Humor”
  • Amy Smith Carman, Texas Christian University, “The First Samaritan Convert as Woman and Slave: A Feminist Analysis of John 4:1-42”
  • Carl Holladay, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Respondent
  • Jeffrey Peterson, Lipscomb University, Austin Center, Respondent

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