It's some society in the states where a bunch of puffed up, liberal scholars get together and discuss how much the bible got wrong and how you should worship their own bovine rendition of God. Granted, there seem to be a few conservative brothers that linger there (Jim West, Mike Bird etc...), and I offer them my forgiveness for it.
Anyways, I've heard reports that the up-coming SBL meeting is charging its speakers for use of projection equipment. Interesting. In the ancient near eastern world hospitality was taken a little more seriously. It was considered an honor to house a guest from a distant land for up to three days, offering him food, shelter, refreshment and even protection if necessary (Cf. John Walton, IVP BBC OT p.273). America could learn a thing or two from this mindset. Instead we charge our teachers for the use of a projection system, because we are too uncouth and stingy to foot the costs ourselves. Why the devil would anyone want to go to an SBL meeting which purports to tell us a thing or two about the scriptures and their divers life settings, when the organisation can't even get its hospitality right? There is a word for this in the english vernacular: hypocrisy. Or if you prefer: Romans 2:17-24.
And so to Jim West, Robert Cargill, and anyone else who dares to set foot in such a meeting, I can give you no better advice than this:
Do not eat the food of a stingy man, do not crave his delicacies; for he is always thinking about the cost. "Eat and drink" he says to you, but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the little you have eaten, and will have wasted your compliments. -Proverbs 23:6-8.
Enjoy your time there, friends!