ChristianColleges.com’s Top 100 Theology Blogs Part 12: Writings

by Anna Blanch on February 26, 2009

Post #12 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

These blogs are concerned with the study of “religious texts” though not necessarily “Christian texts.”

biblicalia: authored by Kevin P. Edgecomb, this blog is a mix of fragments of the authors own poetry, musings on theological texts, and observations on important theological texts. As he states:

I’ve a special fascination with apocryphal/pseudepigraphic works, and with early church orders and lectionaries. You may have noticed that from the site. Some of the translations here are from scratch, others are based on earlier translations, as noted. In a way, this website is a record of how my curiosity has led me far and wide.

The design is simple and focused on the word and text elements of the blog (Edgecomb discusses his reasoning for this on his About page).

Making the Grade:
ScopeA-
Quality
– B-
Theological Leanings – Eastern Orthodox

Off the Wall Torah: This blog, on Jewish scriptures, is now protected and requires a password to view.

Making the Grade: NOT APPLICABLE as the Blog can no longer be reviewed.

Ancient Hebrew Poetry: Authored by JF Hobbins, this blog focuses on the poetic features of Hebraic literature including the Hebrew Bible. His section on the basics of Hebrew poetry is particularly interesting and one of the better expressions of the “scope” of a blog that I’ve seen. This may have been better included as an academic blog as most of the links are to scholarly journals and it certainly offers a scholarly approach to poetry (this of course is not a criticism of Hobbins, but of the ChristianColleges.com list – but i don’t wish to repeat my criticisms of that list here). The design is effective though I think better use could have been made of the column space giving more room for the central text panel.

Making the Grade:
Scope – A
Quality
– B
Theological Leanings – United Methodist

Biblical Theology: Stephen G Dempster, Professor of Religious Studies at Atlantic Baptist University, is the author of this blog which promotes the study and discussion of the history and methodology of biblical theology. Dempster’s “About” statement is vague, at best:

For the glory of God, in service to the church, this blog exists to promote the study and discussion of biblical theology’s history, methodology, aims, acheivements, developments, direction, and points of contact with other approaches to the study of the Bible.

This is a BIG scope and doesn’t give a reader a real handle on the issues of interest or the approach of the authors. This one doesn’t give me much to go on. Other contributors to the blog include T. Desmond Alexander, Michael F. Bird, and James M. Hamilton Jr. (all of whom have their own blogs). This blog would also have been better included in the Academic section of the list. The design is very basic and i would be interested in being able to access posts by category or by contributor rather than having to go through an archive by date.

Making the Grade:
Scope – C-
Quality
– B
Theological Leanings – Baptist

Rabbis and Their Writings: This blog, on Jewish scriptures, is now protected and requires a password to view.
Making the Grade: NOT APPLICABLE as the Blog can no longer be reviewed.

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth: This blog provides an outlet for Nick Norelli’s book reviews on theological books. He also has an interesting array of links in his Scholar’s Corner section. This is the first blog that truly fits the “writings” category. His categories are the best part of his design which seems confused as to whether it is cartoonish or scholarly (he can have it both ways, i don’t mind). I like the header picture.
Making the Grade:
ScopeA
Quality
– B
Theological Leanings – ? (NOT calvinist…)

The Naked Bible: Michael Heiser describes his blog as a place that demonstrates,


“What biblical theology looks like in its ancient context, freed from denominational confessions and theological systems.”

There is an interesting recent discussion between Mike Heiser and John Hobbins, the author of a blog by i reviewed earlier in this post, on the source (and kind) of the inspiration of the bible. I don’t know that i buy the premise that it is entirely possible to examine ancient biblical theology without any theological system but the scope is clear, in the least. The design is effective, though the Technorati tag cloud is very distracting. There is also very little information about the author on the blog.

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

NT Resources: Dr Rod Decker’s blog which provides links to NT Resources. Decker is Professor of Greek and New Testament at Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, USA. This blog really should be listed in the Academic section, not in writings (but this is not the fault of the author). This blog would need to be utilised in conjunction with Deckers New Testament Resources Website and (I suggest) Mark Goodacre’s New Testament Gateway.
Making the Grade:
Scope – A-
Quality
– B-
Theological Leanings – Baptist

Awilum: Charles Halton discusses the Bible and ancient Near East. Halton is Instructor of Old Testament Interpretation at Southern Seminary and I am finishing my work as a Bible and Ancient Near East PhD candidate at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. Halton explores a broad range of topics including reviews of scholarly articles, books, his own research discoveries, all on ancient near eastern texts (though once again i am confused how this blog is categorised as writings rather than Academic – not the fault of the author). The clear access to chapters and the site map is helpful but the design means that these two large columns take up as must space as the posts themselves and dominates the view (maybe it would be less so if they were flipped – the columns on the left and the posts on the right, given the eye moves from top left to bottom right over the screen).
Making the Grade:
Scope – A
Quality
– B-
Theological Leanings – ?

Andy Naselli: Andy Naselli’s blog focuses largely on contemporary texts about theology and Christianity. Naselli is working on his second PhD (having received a PhD in Theology from Bob Jones University), a Ph.D. in Theological Studies with a concentration in New Testament Exegesis and Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he serves as research assistant to D. A. Carson and administrator of Themelios. Naselli’s blog is primarily a collection of book reviews and musings on theology in current affairs. The design is crisp and clean, though i feel like there is a little too much white space. The images are always professional quality which assists with the presentation of the blog.

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

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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