It is our pleasure to welcome you to the 70th General Meeting of SNTS in Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands.
VU University, also known as Vrije Universiteit (Free University), was founded in 1880 as a Protestant university of the Reformed tradition by Abraham Kuyper, a famous Dutch statesman and theologian. It was called Free University because it was to be free of government control and was to have no formal ties to any particular denomination. Nowadays the university is fully funded by the government though it is still has no formal ties to a particular denomination. The name does not mean, as foreign students sometimes like to think, that tuition is free. That misunderstanding was one reason why the university chose VU University as the official English version of its name. The university has about 25,000 students and 2,500 academic staff.
The Faculty of Theology is one of the two original faculties of the university (the other being Law). With theologians such as Kuyper, Bavinck, and Berkouwer it has played a significant role in Dutch theological discourse and in the church. It has recently begun to share its facilities with the Protestant Theological University (formerly Kampen), which provides ministerial training for the largest Protestant denomination in the Netherlands. A number of seminaries of other denominations are also affiliated with the Faculty (Baptists, Mennonites, Restored Reformed, Eastern-Orthodox).There are currently about 450 students in theology and religious studies from a wide variety of faith traditions.
The Department of Biblical Studies has a long history of scholarship in both the national and international arenas. You will probably all be familiar with the names of Tjitze Baarda, president of the Society in 2001, and Martinus C. de Boer, the current Secretary. Our New Testament teaching and research program is part of the Amsterdam Centre for New Testamtent Studies (ACNTS). We organize bi-monthly seminars for our NT staff as well as for emeriti, postgraduates, PhD candidates and alumni.
The Local Organizing Committee consists of Dr Arie W. Zwiep (chair), em. Prof. Martin de Boer, Dr Jan Krans, Prof. Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, André Poortman, Prof. Peter-Ben Smit and Jacob Schneider, and is supported by an enthousiastic team of stewards and volunteers.
This is the third time in the history of SNTS that the Society convenes in the Netherlands. Earlier meetings were held in 1956 (Utrecht) and 1971 (Noordwijkerhout). So after more than four decades, we are very pleased and honoured to have SNTS in our beautiful country and at our university! We hope that you all will enjoy your stay in Amsterdam!
Dr Arie W. Zwiep (chair)
and after ....
Our local organizers' office can be reached by telephone +31 65 381 7212 (André Poortman, office manager) or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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