ChristianColleges.com’s Top 100 Theology Blogs Part 8: History

by Anna Blanch on February 7, 2009

Post #8 of a review series on Christiancolleges.com’s Top 100 Theology Blogs list. For details about the list, please see Post # 1 and Post # 2 in the series. Links to all the posts in the series can be found at the bottom of this post. Please feel free to offer your assessment or suggest other lists and blogs I should review/annotate.

History

Merritt says “Be sure to check out these blogs for a healthy dose of religious history.” This section really incorporates a selection of blogs on ancient history and historical judeo-christianity.

PaleoJudica: Merritt suggests that “PaleoJudica offers a look at ancient Judaism and its context” but i don’t think this appropriately or adequately describes the scope of the site. Many of the posts detail archaeological finds of ancient writings and the intrigue (see arrests for smuggling) that sometimes surrounds these priceless documents. The approach is primarily scholarly with links to these/dissertations, scholarly journals. Many posts note the provenance of the documents or tablets or note concern if the provenance is not entirely clear.
Making the Grade:
Scope – B+
Quality
– A-
Theological Leanings Jewish

The Wisdom of Our Ancestors: This inclusion is confusing. This is really a series of quotes from various Jewish texts and teachers from across history. The author, is also the author of the following blogs:

Personally, i think HaMakom: The Place would have been a much more logical inclusion. It is a great blog written from a Jewish perspective.

Making the Grade:

ScopeC-
Quality
– C-
Theological LeaningsJewish

The Jesus Dynasty
: This blog accompanies a book by the same name, which is concerned with early Christianity. the author, James Tabor, has another blog, TaborBlog, which has been a Top 50 bibloblog nominee, which is his main focus these days. James D. Tabor is Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is chief editor of the Original Bible Project, a new scholarly translation of the Bible for the year 2012. I feel like it would be better to review TaborBlog, which examines 2nd temple Judaism to early Christianity in the Roman world. However, included at this site is an archive approximately 150 posts from Prof. Tabor’s Blog titled The Jesus Dynasty. “This archive includes Prof. Tabor’s posts on the Talpiot “Jesus” Tomb, as that discussion developed through 2007, as well as many other relevant posts related to the study of Jesus and earliest Christianity.”
Making the Grade:
Scope – A
Quality
– B+
Theological Leanings?

Prewrath Rapture
: One of the Prewrath Rapture’s authors, Alan Kurschner writes:

This will be a multi-authored blog in which each contributor will publish on various subjects concerning eschatology. We believe that the nature of the blog will be a refreshingly new Christian site that will eschew any form of sensationalism. The articles on this blog will be grounded in Biblical exegesis aiming to always be Christ-centered, and to magnify the full range of God’s glory in his sovereign activities, which will usher in the consummated, glorious age foretold by the prophets.

Other contributors include Roger Best and Charles Cooper. For a definition of Prewrath rapturism see here. Apparently it is:

a biblical synthesis of pre-, mid-, and posttribulationalism, together with a refinement of the timing issue that brings harmony to all of the rapture passages in question.


Making the Grade:
Scope – B+ (Very narrow by definition)
Quality
– B+ (Very jargon laden, which may make this unintelligible without serious background)
Theological Leanings – Prewrath Rapture (/reformed (?))

Bible/History Blog
: authored by Bill Heroman, Bible/History is about the connections and disconnections between the bible and history. As Heroman said recently:

Believers deserve a stronger sense of time and place when reading the Scriptures. Biblical Events may stand, by Faith, as part of History.

These blog posts, while of a high quality, seem to lack a coherence. While it is clear that Heroman is well read, there is a lack of structure to the blog as a whole which affects both accessibility and overall quality. The design is a simple one which is effective – and this author certainly has an attractive family (hardly a salient point….). As i said earlier, Heroman is obviously well read and this shines through on some of the older posts.
Making the Grade:
Scope – C+ (scope not clear…)
Quality
– B+
Theological Leanings evangelical protestant (?)

Earliest Christian History
: Authored by James Crossley, Lecturer on Christian origins and early Judaism at the University of Sheffield. This blog posts on early christianity, though lately it has been engaged in observations about the bibliblog blogosphere most often than its stated scope. A recent interview and critique on NT Wrong’s Top 50 biblioblog list is notable.
Making the Grade:
Scope – B+ (narrow scope, got a little involved in blogosphere interactions, and dare i say – gossip – of late)
Quality
– A
Theological Leaningsconfessional (? hard to tell)

Old Testament Story
: OTstory is the work of Jin Yang Kim, Ph.D. candidate at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Examines “stories and narratives in the Bible with an eye on their theological messages for the original audience (author’s ideological and theological point of view) but also on the relevance of thier messages for the contemporary community of faith ([his] own social location).” Jin Yang Kim is also interested in the development of the Christian church in Korea.
Making the Grade:
ScopeA+ (narrow, well structured and executed)
Quality
– A
Theological LeaningsLutheran

Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean
: Philip A. Harland, Associate Professor, York University, Toronto, discusses social and religious life among Greeks, Romans, Jews, Christians, and others in the Roman empire. Recently the blog seems to be focusing on disseminating the podcasts of the author on topics relating to the ancient world
Making the Grade:
ScopeB
Quality
– A-
Theological Leanings?

Thoughts on Antiquity
: This blogs focuses mainly on ancient religious finds and texts though occassionally enters into discussion on popular music and culture. This is a group blog by Ben C. Smith, Chris Weimer , Chris Zeichmann, Michele Asuni , Peter Kirby, Roger Pearse,and Walter M. Shandruk. The bloggers often include links to their own scholarly papers and articles and to scholarly resources available on the web. The extensive list of links to other bibloblogs is impressive in its sheer magnitude.
Making the Grade:

Scope – A
Quality
-A
Theological Leanings?

Ralph the Sacred River
: Edward Cook, philologist, writes about ancient religion, language and culture. An attendee of Society of Biblical Literature Conference and the awarder of the Ralphies, this blog seems to be more of a hobby than any else and is updated only once or twice a month. The design is pretty good, though is a little dark in the palette for my taste! Some of the older posts look more on topic.
Making the Grade:
Scope – B
Quality
– B
Theological Leanings?

General Comments
I had particular trouble establishing theological leanings with this group of blogs. It may be that as the focus is primarily historical rather than necessarily confessional…but really, i wonder what i am missing!Related Posts in the Review Series
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – General Theology (Post 1)
Part 3 – General Theology (Post 2)
Part 4 – General Theology (Post 3)
Part 5 – General Theology (Post 4)
Part 6 – Criticism
Part 7 – Politics
Part 8 – History
Part 9 – Academic (Part 1)
Part 10 – Academic (Part 2)
Part 11 – Clergy
Part 12 – Writings (Part 1)
Part 13 – Writings (Part 2)
Part 14 – Society and Culture
Summary and Wrap up

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