Monday, August 01, 2011

John Bergsma's Scandalous Past Revealed, Plus More Videos and Photos from the IABS Conference

I just made it back from the Institute of Applied Biblical Studies Conference in Steubenville. The conference was amazing as usual. This year we focused on the Gospel of Matthew. I gave two talks, one on Matthew 8-9 and one highlighting priestly imagery in the Matthean portrait of Jesus and the apostles. I also did two presentations in the Journey Through Scripture track.

Indeed, the event brings together many of my favorite Catholic academics and popular teachers: Dr. Scott Hahn, Kimberly Hahn, Dr. Brant Pitre, Dr. John Bergsma, Dr. Edward Sri, Dr. Jeff Morrow, Fr. Pablo Gadenz, Curtis Mitch, Jeff Cavins, Dr. Bill Bales, David Currie and, a new addition, Dr. Nathan Schmeidike. It is a rare treat to be able to sit around a table with so many knowledgeable scholars and teachers. I had so many amazing conversations and learned a lot!

Of course, these aren't simply colleagues but dear friends and it was wonderful to get a chance to reconnect with them all.

The conference attendees were also impressive and a joy to be around. What a remarkable group! To see hundreds of Catholics with well-worn Bibles was such an inspiration. And after doing this for a few years now there are so many familiar faces!

However, it wasn't all fun and games. One speaker--in fact, one of the contributors to this blog!--made some scandalous revelations about his past. Here is a picture of him giving his talk. Here he strikes his breast, saying mea cupla. 

What was John Bergsma's shocking secret? Well, here it is: he publicly confessed that when he was a young doctoral student at Notre Dame he used to slip into the Institute of Applied Biblical Studies Conference as an attendee . . . without paying for it

All I can say is, For shame, John!

Conference organizers had to go into full-out damage control mode.

Scott Hahn had the following to say:

A hidden camera also caught footage of what looks like a conference organizer giving John a strong talking to (I'm not quite sure what is being said, although a lip-reader thought they caught the words "the rack"):

And here--purportedly--is some footage of John crashing the conference.

Here are some other pictures from the week. . .

Below is a photo of Curtis Mitch (left) and Ted Sri (right), authors of numerous books, including a new popular-level commentary on Matthew which they produced together. It's fantastic! Of course, Curtis is the primary drafter of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.

Here is Ted encouraging Brant to bike to work. That's Jeff Morrow between them. Ted was nice enough to demonstrate his method. As you can see, Brant was skeptical.

During the course of the conversation, it was suggested that next year's conference be devoted to the Epistle of Barnabas. As you can see, Ted was completely taken aback by this.

Here conference organizer Mark Nehrbas goes over the schedule with Scott and Kimberly Hahn. This is the moment when Mark explained to their shock and horror the awful mix-up: "We've apparently scheduled Ted Nugent instead of Ted Sri."

Here's Mark in his office. He did a fantastic job putting this event together.

Here is the whole group of speakers. . . minus John Bergsma, of course. (We felt that it would be a scandal to have him in the picture given his revelations about his past. Besides that, he was teaching a class on campus when we took this picture.) From left to right: Bill Bales, Kimberly Hahn, Scott Hahn, Jeff Cavins, Jeff Morrow, Michael Barber, Matt Leonard, Brant Pitre, Ted Sri, Fr. Pablo Gadenz, and Curtis Mitch.

This is a picture from one of the lunches. Apparently everyone loves McDonald's.

Here's to next year in Jerusalem Steubenville!

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