Following Chris Tilling I'll mention some ETS/SBL highlights.
1. The French Quarter in New Orleans had character and was fun to visit. Bourbon street (pronounced bur-bun not bor-bon - it's a drink not a biscuit) was ... lively. Went to hear some good jazz bands.
2. The food was good (but do they HAVE to deep fat fry everything??? Even the lettuce??? That said, I did find a type of donought that I liked - a miracle!)
3. The main highlight was meeting lots of friends. Like Chris Tilling, I think that the Wipf and Stock gentlefolk deserve special mention. The kings of hospitality! (and it was great to have a chance to talk to Chris - I seem to see him more in the USA than in England. Crazy!)
4. It was also great to hook up with some Messianic Jewish NT scholars (some of whom I have wanted to meet for a long while). God is doing something really significant through their work and through the work of like-minded Gentile scholars. I think a paradigm shift in NT studies and theology is on the way.
5. I did not get to many sessions but of those I went to I'd like to mention Joel Willits on whether John's gospel has any gentiles in (an ETS session) and Mark Nanos on the Pauline image of the branches broken (off?) the olive tree (an SBL session). Both fascinating and provocative. I would take more convincing but I am certainly open to new possibilites now.
6. Finally, the scripture and hermeneutics seminar session on Ellen Davies' book on the Bible and agriculture was, against my expectations I might add, amazing. I nearly did not go. After all, I have no aspirations to be a farmer. Man alive! How interesting is that lady!!! And Craig Bartholomew's response to her work was, as his work always is, impassioned and inspiring. So bring me a shepherd's crook - it's a new career for me! Ooo arrr!