I was doing some further research and found some other info on the JBoss forums on this topic. Someone suggested that we replace j2ee.jar with jboss-j2ee.jar. I did this and had problems creating NamingContextFactory. Then I tried putting both jars in the path, jboss-j2ee first. This got me an exception that no security.properties file exists in a directory at ../config relative to the location of the jboss-j2ee.jar. I would appreciate it if someone could send me to a place where I can read about what I need to do to get this working again.
I had that same problem when I was invoking the InitialContext without any properties passed to the constructor. What fixed the problem was specifying the JBoss parameters:
good catch and post rdoust! I started using the jboss j2ee file and this went away.