ChristianColleges.com’s Top 100 Theology Blogs Part 13: Writings (Part 2)

by Anna Blanch on March 1, 2009

Post #13 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.

Writings
The second post on this section of blogs. These blogs are concerned with the study of “religious texts” though not necessarily “Christian texts.”

Bite My Bible: Authored by David Ashford, of the British arms of the Bible Society, Bite My Bible discusses how the Bible is portrayed within British media and current affairs. A recent series exploring Poet Laureate Andrew Motion’s calls for an increase in biblical literacy addresses a topic close to my motivation for teaching and my exasperation at the irrationality of throwing the baby (the bible) out with the bathwater (in an increasingly secular age). Topics including British politicians use of the bible, social networking media (including facebook), and pop culture (including tshirts and comedy sketches) are all fair game. There is a generally light-hearted tone and a sense of humour inferred in the commentary

For a quality blog that examines similar issues in the American context check out GetReligion.org. Get Religion, however, focuses more on the technique and methodology of journalistic approaches to reporting religion in the media.

Making the Grade:
ScopeA-
Quality
– A-
Theological Leanings – Evangelical Protestant

Hebrew and Greek Reader: A blog examining the study of Hebrew and Greek literature. The author is not listed on the blog but appears to be an American currently working (or studying) at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. There is an interesting blogroll of “Student Biblioblogs” though some additional annotation on this list would be helpful (along with updates – it is not clear if this is a current list). This blog appears at #12 on February’s Top 50 biblioblogs (which used to be hosted by NT Wrong). I am suprised by such a high ranking because the content seems a little thin – but there is obviously a loyal base of readers.

Making the Grade:
Scope – B+
Quality
– B
Theological Leanings – Baptist

The Bible Post: Chris Etsy’s evangelistic blog includes biblical exposition, and devotions. He also offers a chance for people to make prayer requests to him confidentially. The basic design and site map is clear.

Making the Grade:
ScopeA-
Quality
– B
Theological Leanings – Evangelical (?)

Chrisendom: Authored by Chris Tilling, New Testament Tutor for St Mellitus College and St Paul’s Theological Centre, London, Chrisendom focuses on Paul’s language and beyond. He describes his scope in this way:

My blog, Chrisendom, is primarily occupied with biblical and theological themes – especially those Apostle Paul shaped, but I try as best as I can to squeeze in a decent amount of inappropriate baloney on the way.

Consisting of book reviews of scholarly biblical studies blogs and festschrift, reviews of Tilling’s exploits on a chess board, humorous quotes of questionable authenticity from noted theologians, notices of lectures and other activities in and around london. This blog is marked by its sense of humour!

Making the Grade:
ScopeB+
Quality
– B
Theological Leanings – Anglican

Hypotyposeis: Subtitled as Sketches in Biblical Studies by Stephen C. Carlson. Author of The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith’s invention of the Secret Mark (Baylor University Press), Carlson’s blog is a true biblioblog which focuses on presenting research finds, research, abstracts, and reviews, along with commentary of other things going on in the blogosphere. This blog is incorrectly categorised as “writings” and would be better classified as Academic even though Carlson who has a J.D rather than a PhD. This interview on Biblioblogs.com with Carlson is a great introduction to his motivations for biblioblogging and to biblioblogging in general. The blogroll is a good place to start for anyone interested in biblioblogging or biblioblogs.
Making the Grade:
Scope – A
Quality
– A-
Theological Leanings – ?

The Guild of Biblical Minimalists: This blog no longer exists.

Confessions of a Bible Junkie: A scholarly biblical studies blog. Matthew Burgess (MA – Religion (Yale)) is a current doctoral student in the Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity program at the University of Virginia. Once again, this blog is incorrectly categorized as “writings” and would be better classified as Academic. He often links to the Review of Biblical Literature and the SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) Forum monthly along with biblioblogs carnivals. Design-wise, my only criticism is that the size of the font is a little on the small side. I’d like to see some more original content from Burgess (that’s the reason for the B grade) [this is meant as constructive encouragement] although he does link to .pdf’s of his own papers and research.

Making the Grade:
Scope – B+
Quality
– B
Theological Leanings – ?

Daily Hebrew: This link is broken!

Codex: Codex contains various resources for Biblical Studies, Old Testament Hebrew, Religion & Popular culture, Theology, and Film. Authored by Tyler F. Williams, Chair of the Religion & Theology Department and professor of Old Testament at Taylor University College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This blog hosts materials for Williams’s classes and research. Codex also hosts the Biblical Studies Carnival Homepage which is hosted by different bibliobloggers each month. This homepages gives details for how you can nominate posts for each month’s Biblical Studies Carnival. The sites header is novel and the design and site map is generally good, however the visual design on some of the pages only makes use of 2/3 of available space (the blue border columns are very wide) which requires lots of scrolling down to read all of each post – It would be good if all the pages could be standardised with the home page layout. I am looking forward to more of Williams’s own posts (only reason for the quality grade) but his contribution to the community of biblioblogs is to be commended!

Making the Grade:

Scope – A-
Quality
– A-
Theological Leanings – ?

Theological Musings: Clifford Kvidahl’s blog offers reviews and links to happenings in biblical and theological studies. Kvidahl’s is a graduate student at Talbot School of Theology. One recent book review was on Con Campbell’s Basics of verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek. Con is one of the authors of Read Better, Preach Better. New posts only appear approximately once a month. This blog has potential but it would help if the scope and methodology were more clearly stated. The quality grade is primarily impacted by the lack of regular posts and original content.

Making the Grade:
Scope – C-
Quality
– C
Theological Leanings – ?

Jesus, Paul, and Luke: Nick Meyer’s blog focuses on Jesus, Paul, Luke, early Judaism, and Christianity. Meyer is a Doctoral student in the Religious Studies PhD program at McMaster University. This blog, while it was included in December’s biblical carnival, has not been updated since the second week in December and it seems that Meyer’s is considering his future approach to this blog and blogging in general. This blog has not been upated regularly (more than a couple of times a month since 2007. [The grades are really impacted by the regularity of the blog – i considered not grading at all, as the point of the grades isn’t to pass comment on how people chose to prioritise their lives.]

Making the Grade:
Scope – C+
Quality
– C
Theological Leanings – ?

The Reformed Reader: Shane Lems and Andrew Compton discuss books from a reformed Christian perspective. Graduates of Westminster Seminary in California,
Lems and Compton approach books reviewed on this blog from a confessionally Reformed perspective. This perspective is based on the assetion that they are

Protestant Christians in the Reformed tradition associated with the Three Forms of Unity and the Westminster Standards. We won’t just be reading books by Reformed authors, but every book we discuss will be approached from the Reformed perspective.

While the site design is generally good, it would be good to be able to access older posts by category or subject of book review.

Making the Grade:
Scope – A
Quality
– B-
Theological Leanings – Reformed

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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