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Who/What Is A Biblioblogger?

July 10, 2011

Let me make a big disclaimer right up front: I would like to have a conversation not an argument. I will raise some thoughts but I certainly do not consider them prescriptive for anyone else. However, I am very interested in your thoughts on the subject.

The recent Biblioblog Top 10 by Daniel McClellan raised a question for me: What exactly is a biblioblogger? This month the number 10 position is held by Rachel Held Evans who, from the evidence at her site, is a much, much better person than me, and a fantastic writer as well. So this is not meant in any way to slight or discredit the great work that she does, but… is she really a ‘biblioblogger’?

Now, I’m of the opinion that there are so few bibliobloggers, and we often write about subjects that are interesting to a very limited demographic, that we need to be as encompassing as possible. But is anyone that writes about theology or the Bible a ‘biblioblogger’? Answers in Genesis consistently publishes online aticles about Genesis. Are they bibliobloggers?

Of course, there have to be some things we agree on that cannot be used to exclude someone from the community: race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, income, or confessional stance can never be used to exclude a person. Also, I don’t think it’s necessary to have every single post be a ‘biblical studies’ piece following the rules of the academy. Heck, half the reason I started my blog was to write the things that pop in my head while studying that I could never submit in an actual academic research paper. I like the personality that blogs enable other bibliobloggers to express. I like the humanizing aspect when we learn about other bibliobloggers personal triumphs and tragedies.

But is anyone that writes about theology or the Bible a ‘biblioblogger’?

So what makes a biblioblogger? Familiarity with, and ability to use the skill sets of higher criticism? The ability to approach a text historically rather than theologically? Some facility in the ancient languages? At least one article on your site which can be considered ‘biblical studies’.

It’s OK to have a theology blog. It’s OK to have a science blog. It’s OK to have your site not labeled “Biblical Studies”, in fact, you will probably get more visitors!

So: when does someone cross the line from blogger or theologian to ‘biblioblogger‘ (echo, echo, echo)?

Is there a difference between a theoblog and a biblioblog?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. jamesbradfordpate permalink
    July 10, 2011 9:39 am

    I’m fine with saying that anyone who blogs about the Bible is a biblioblogger. So is Answers in Genesis a biblioblog? Sure, why not? That doesn’t mean I’ll ever vote for it to be in the Top 10. But there are plenty of biblioblogs out there—which are accepted as biblioblogs by the biblioblogging community—which are about as right-wing as Answers in Genesis.

    • July 10, 2011 10:55 am

      James, AiG is little more than a conspiracy site.

  2. July 10, 2011 11:03 am

    bibliobloggers are male sbl members who blog. thats my own personal definition and that’s the one i adhere to. no one else is as they are irretrievably and eternally unrecognized by me.

    [i.e., ‘biblioblogging’ means so many things to so many people that now it’s essentially a meaningless title- which is why i have, and use, my own definition].

  3. July 10, 2011 11:29 am

    Is KJVO debate still a biblioblog?

  4. nazani14 permalink
    July 10, 2011 11:59 am

    Why not ask Daniel McClellan what criteria he used?

    I think most people would agree that for the term to have any useful meaning, the Bible would have to be the main topic of most postings. I would call Debunking Christianity a biblioblog by this standard. I’d also include this site: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com, because it give texts for many writings that were excluded from the current Bible.
    However, when I looked at the top 10 list, it appeared that all the blogs were pro- the modern versions of Christianity, so that’s probably your answer. Maybe Answers in Genesis wasn’t considered a biblioblog because there’s not much blogging going on, not because of its content. Or maybe the people who took the survey are too high-brow to read it. There remains a class divide between the genteel forms of woo and what my Mom referred to “holy rollers.”
    Personally, I’d enjoy reading a blog about the Bible from a purely archaeological perspective, written without regard for the nationalist or pro- /anti- religion feelings of anyone. I’d also get off on a blog about all the Biblical manuscripts (Codex Aureus, various versions of the Beatus of Liebana,…yum)

    “is anyone that writes about theology or the Bible a ‘biblioblogger’?”
    Huh? That would have to include Asatru sites, Umbanda and Gerald Polley (things that pop into your head, go bump in the night, and finish with a vaudeville cakewalk.) Theology is a big tent.

    A biblioblog I was sorry to see go quiet: http://thebeattitude.wordpress.com/

  5. July 10, 2011 2:30 pm

    In an attempt to centralize the conversation about the draft of criteria, I’ve started a thread about it here:

    http://bibliobloglibrary.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/so-lets-discuss-what-a-biblioblog-is/

    Peace,
    -Steve

  6. July 10, 2011 8:08 pm

    Agathos, thank you!

    Thank you especially for your notes on limited demographics. A bias of mine – demographics generally trumps theology in so many ways – which in turn blinds me. Mea culpa.

    Thing is that I received an email asking me why my blog is not a biblioblog?

    I didn’t have a clue what that meant. After studying it, I don’t care.

    I’m happy with the demographics of response at my main blog and happier even more in my membership in a small and quiet – Quaker bible study blog – where I’m a mere member, but not an owner.

    My main entrance into this whole (is pseudo-species too harsh a word?) whatever-you-wanna-call-it about biblioblogs came when I stumbled from one link to another link – into a big-deal big-bad biblioblog – made a plain vanilla post, and soon got the feeling that dozens of hidden and subterranean and in-house special conversations in cross-talk between big-bad biblio-bloggers was embedded in the history of biblioblogging itself, and is still going on – and I didn’t know – and don’t want to know – all this in-house and often subterranean vocabulary.

    Your post here focuses on the question asked of me in email – why not sign up as a biblioblogger?

    No thanks. But thank (agathos) you for clarifying.

    The thing about multiple-subject blogs (science, religion, law, etc) is that it depends on love for multiple and cross-indexed forms of knowledge. Like the Library of Congress classification system in the front matter of books will tell readers all the cross-indexed ways in which a single book is indexed.

    I think it was Rosenstock-Huessy who gave book authors the advice that one book ought to be about one topic. I have no clue whether this advice is good advice for bloggers too. Blogging is one way for me to keep having some kinds of conversations that I cannot have with clients in poverty care clinical practice.

    I’m thankful for the dust-ups, quasi-peer review, and plenteous corrections.

    But I would rather practice (praxis) and perish in my beloved-practice and not-publish, than publish and not perish. Books and blogs.

    It’s up to bibliobloggers what fits them.

    Save to say in parting that even an anthology in a single volume may have varied contributors ….

    … but (Austin Powers) “biblioblogging isn’t my bag, baby.”

    Thank you again for the clearer focus.

    Cheers,

    Jim

  7. July 10, 2011 9:12 pm

    Wait, I’m a male SBL member, but I’m also an ETS member, that might rule me out… And AiG was the original biblioblog, there are cave paintings that prove it.

Trackbacks

  1. Suzanne and Rachel « James’ Ramblings
  2. Question asked, question answered, but not: What is a Biblioblogger? | Unsettled Christianity
  3. The New Criteria To Be A Biblioblog | Political Jesus
  4. What is a Biblioblog? | Exploring Our Matrix
  5. So, Let’s Discuss What a “Biblioblog” Is | The Biblioblog Reference Librarian's Desk
  6. Once more, what makes a biblioblogger? – Targuman
  7. Is Gentle Wisdom really a Biblioblog? - Gentle Wisdom
  8. August 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival « Daniel O. McClellan

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