At the end of each term, or each Adult Ed gig, the odds favor the likelihood of somebody coming up to me and asking, “Can you recommend any commentaries on that?” Add that to the number of times I try to whip up a starting bibliography on a given text for my New Testament classes, and you get a relatively strong case for my building up a repository of my recommendations relative to secondary literature on the New Testament.
So this morning I started a blog whose entries will all be topics in the field of New Testament studies, the contents of which will be bibliographic suggestions along with casual evaluations of the works in question. This way, I’ll be able to leave it open for comments (so that visitors can make helpful suggestions) and hyperlink to online resources. This overlaps, to some extent, with Mark’s wonderful work on the NT Gateway — though with a bloggy difference, since over the long run my pages aim not for comprehensiveness, but for partiality. The NT Resources page will run under Moveable Type, but I won’t be treating it as a daily-update site. I’ll flesh out and edit entries as I see fit, and probably won’t multiply entries once I cover the canonical books and some pretty obvious thematic headings.
I’m starting with the Epistles, as I’m teaching through them this term. I’ll put up a page for each unit as I encounter them, but I won’t have the time to put together a rich overview of the literature right away. The advantage of using a CMS for this work, though, is that I’ll be able to return to each topic as I have time, or as I run into a work that particularly impresses me.
In this way, I’m putting my time and energy where my mouth and pen are. If (as I submitted) the future lies with seeded-search rather than a filtered-links/gateway approach to online research, then it behooves me to post my biblical scholarship links; indeed, if I get up the energy (in other words, when I have something more important to do, for which this provides a congenial distraction), I may even code in vote links.
There’s definitely a way in which one could read this gesture as my bowing to the value of the gateway; if it were important for me to differentiate these pages from (say) Mark’s, I suppose that I’d say that mine aims less toward comprehensiveness, more toward critical evaluation. Of course, if one stops browsing at my page and treats it as a last word on biblical scholarship, then mine would certainly constitute a throttle to knowledge; I prefer to think of it as Google- (or Technorati-)fodder. . . .