Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

What is a Biblioblog?

Brandon Wason’s query, What is a bibliographer? and the comments responding thereto raise a number of interesting questions. What is a community? What constitutes membership in that community? And do we need to discuss bibliotherapy?

I see myself as a non-academic commentator on everything pertaining to the writings of Saint Luke and as someone with ecletic reading habits and random writing habits providing occasional critical and hopefully original biblical studies. Usually when I post something not pertaining to the writings of St. Luke, my pen has been kidnapped or I have been sidetracked by a stray thought or I am between or in the midst of a work project or a Lucan project.

Torrey Seland provides: “A weblog for news and comments relevant to scholarly studies . . . .” Helenann Hartley succinctly states: “Reflections on daily life, religious news and biblical studies.” My blog merely states: “Dedicated to the writings of St. Luke.”

Most of the bloggers, myself included, are providing information about a specific subject. We are more like bibliographic librarians if there is such a category. I doubt if any biblioblogger is claiming to be primarily providing critical biblical studies. Mark Goodacre, “one of the high priests of the biblioblog cult”, says biblioblogs are “Blogs which have a primary focus on academic Biblical Studies” which he further defines as having “a focus on critical Biblical scholarship.” Mark also adds: “I would also add that the word "academic" is especially important -- it makes clear that the subject matter is written by academics for academics and those who enjoy reading academic material.”

Does the blog article itself have to focus on critical biblical studies or merely be written by an academic with comments about critical biblical studies someone else has conducted? Perhaps Mark will clarify his definition, including providing a definition of “biblical”. I have a rather broad definition of biblical that would include the writings of Josephus and Philo as well as the written sources utilized by Luke and Paul.

I would be interested in knowing which blogs meets the definition Mark Goodacre is providing. I know I do not because I am a trial attorney. I also would like to know if his definition also requires these critical biblical studies to be peer-reviewed? Perhaps those individuals who have published articles in academic journals become “academics” but then which journals are considered academic? I do not claim to be an academic as a result of any published journal articles.

Loren Rosson, III, who provides many interesting blog articles, as do many others whose names I have not provided, jumped in after my blog article was completed with a definition “that probably at least two-thirds” should relate to biblical studies. I mention Rosson because his writings on busybody certainly constitute critical and often original biblical studies and he does post frequently. I do not know if he is an academic or independent scholar.

I suspect those who are in the community provides links to other blogs considered to be in the community and this system of linkage via blogrolls etc. constitutes one’s belief, or someone else’s belief, that he or she is a member in that community. I have no such belief and my blogroll merely reflects my eclectic reading habits. As you know I have included Dilbert.

I apologize for not providing footnotes or links. I am too busy trying to determine if I would be making any misrepresentations including myself in a community of which I may not be a member.

copyrighted 2005


Blogger Loren Rosson III said...

Hi Richard,

I suppose the "two-thirds" idea was what I decided to impose on myself when starting The Busybody. And this figure is only how I, personally, would flesh out Goodacre's emphasis that a biblioblog deals "primarily" with biblical studies. I may be mistaken, however. I think the biblioblogging community decides what constitutes a "valid" biblioblog -- through shared links, references, and citations more than anything else.

8:14 AM

Blogger Brandon said...

Great thoughts!

2:34 PM


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