International Conference on the Pauline Epistles

An international conference on the writings of St. Paul, organized by the Institute for Bible Translation, the St. Thomas Institute, and St. Andrew’s Biblical-Theological Institute was held June 2-4, 2016 at the St. Thomas Institute in Moscow. The conference brought together biblical scholars from Russia, Europe and the United States to share their research on issues in Pauline studies.  The conference was attended by about 50 people, not only scholars but also members of Moscow churches who are interested in Biblical scholarship.

The plenary speaker was James H. Charlesworth, professor of Biblical studies at Princeton Theological Seminary and one of the world’s leading authorities on the Dead Sea Scrolls and biblical apocrypha and pseudepigrapha.  Dr. Charlesworth gave three plenary papers that combined his many years of research into Paul, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the historical Jesus:  “How was Paul’s Theology and Christology Influenced by Jewish Apocalyptic Eschatology?”, “Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls So Sensational?” and  “Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls Significant for Understanding Jesus and His Message?”

Conference papers were presented in either Russian or English and included the following:

  • “The Temporality and Atemporality of the Law in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul” (Olga Zaprometova, St. Andrew’s Biblical-Theological Institute)
  • "The Resurrection of the “Spiritual Body” in 1 Cor 15 and in Early Christian Literature” (Alexey Somov, IBT)
  • “The Pauline Epistles and the Synoptic Tradition: Questions of Mutual Influence (Based on 1 Corinthians and the Gospel of Luke)” (Vadim Wittkowsky, Humboldt University, Berlin)
  • “Paul, the Historian of Jesus” (Fr. Innokenty Pavlov, St. Andrew’s Biblical-Theological Institute\
  • ”An Entire Cloud of Missing Witnesses: ‘More Than Five Hundred Brethren’ (1 Cor 15:6)” Dimitri Bratkin, St. Petersburg State University)
  • "Ephesians 5:21-33 - What if the Ephesians’ ‘Haustafel’ is Not About Family?” (Fr. Michal Karnawalski, Pontifical Theological Faculty, Warsaw)
  • “Charisms, God’s Gracious Gifts to the Church: An Introductory Study of the Term Charisma  in Light of 1 Cor 12:1-11» (Fr. Scott Brodeur, Gregorian University, Rome)
  • “Anathema in the Pauline Epistles” (Valery Alikin, St. Petersburg Christian University)
  • “God’s Righteousness/Justice in the OT and Paul’s Teaching on Justification” (Fr. Victor Zhuk, St. Thomas Institute)
  • “Saint Paul’s Good News: The Adamic Transformation of the Believer” (Fr. Tomas Garcia-Huidobro, St. Thomas Institute)
  • “οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ: Honor and refusing honor in the Christological hymn in Php 2:6-11” (Maria Karyakina,  St. Petersburg Christian University)
  • “Translating Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians” (Ivan Lobanov, Institute for Bible Translation in Zaoksky)

Two new books (already published or about to be published) on biblical studies were also presented at the conference: Andrei Desnitsky (IBT) presented the forthcoming Commentary on the Pauline Epistles, while Evgenia Smagina (Institute of Oriental Studies, Moscow) presented Heavenly Intermediaries: The Jewish Roots of Early Christology (ed. T. Garcia-Huidobro).

The organizers, presenters, and audience members all felt mutually enriched by this friendly but productive conference. A book of conference papers is expected to follow.