Tuesday, December 15, 2009

JIM WEST has an essay on Blogging the Bible at the Bible and Interpretation website. Excerpt:
Blogging the Bible is the best way for scholars to get scholarship to the mass of consumers. Scholars can and should write journal articles in peer reviewed journals. They should publish excruciatingly detailed tomes that only a few other experts in the same field will ever read. They should meet at conferences and hear papers and interact and learn and grow professionally and intellectually. Likewise, they should write “popularizing” books targeted for the wider public. And finally they should, and I would suggest must, also attend to their duties as the disseminators of publicly consumable biblical scholarship for people who will not, or cannot, read extensive treatments. This is not to suggest that they dumb down their ideas, scholars should clarify, not reduce. But, scholars should also understand that anything that can't be explained in some clear fashion, so that the majority of people can understand it, may become an exercise in self-importance, not true scholarship.

Scholarship, it seems to me, must always be aware of its audience. And communication of said scholarship means dissemination. Scholars have a tendency--when they gather--to bemoan their students’ ignorance in the most basic matters. And yet within their hands, at their very fingertips, is a formidable, under-used tool for the correction of that state of affairs: Blogging the Bible.
Fair points, all. It's good that there is now an SBL unit on this subject.