Myers, president of national Baptist professors group, delivers NABPR address in Texas

Dr. Alicia Myers, associate professor of New Testament and Greek for Campbell University’s Divinity School and president of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion (NABPR) for 2023-24, presided over the organization’s meeting San Antonio, Texas, on Nov. 18.  

NABPBR is a community of teaching scholars. Most members teach at Baptist-affiliated schools, colleges and seminaries, but members also hail from a wide range of institutions in the United States, Canada, and abroad, including church-related and state-supported schools. The organization sponsors two annual meetings, a monograph series on Baptist identity and a dissertation scholarship. It also published the quarterly academic journal Perspectives in Religious Studies

Myers’ presidential address was titled, “A Translation for Everyone: Recovering Helen Barrett Montgomery’s Centenary Translation 100 Years Later.” Montgomery was a leading figure in Baptist life in the early twentieth century and published her translation of the New Testament in 1924. Myers’ address focuses on the ways Montgomery viewed the New Testament as supporting women’s equality, both in Jesus’ ministry as well as in what she regarded as correct readings of Paul’s letters. This presentation emerges from Myers’ current book project with Dr. Mandy McMichael (Baylor University) titled Helen Barrett Montgomery’s Bible: Victorian America and Competing Constructions of Womanhood which will be published with Oxford University Press (2025). Dr. Jennifer Bashaw, assistant professor in the Department of Christian Studies, and Dr. Adam C. English, chair of the Department of Christian Studies and professor of Christian Theology and Philosophy, were also on the program. 

The NABPR met in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). Myers also presented a paper for the Johannine Literature Section of the SBL entitled “Liberated or Made Invisible? Maternal Bodies and Soteriological Metaphors in the Gospel of John.”

While the use of birth imagery in the Gospel of John is well known, most analyses focus their attention on what this imagery means for the ones born, rather than the maternal bodies on which it rests. In her presentation, Myers explores ancient understandings of maternal bodies as well as the ways in which John’s use of such imagery can be both liberating and marginalizing for women. As with biblical interpretation more broadly, Myers argues readers of the Bible are ultimately responsible for the ways in which they use Scripture in their everyday lives.