Friday, October 13, 2006

Blogiversary Eve

It is now the eve of ETC's First Blogiversary. I thought it better to announce this today since Saturdays are not one of our peak times. I launched the blog with this message in a hasty moment before a dinner with Simon Gathercole on this Friday last year. Since then it has been a pleasure to welcome a growing team of bloggers and to receive such a wide range of input from comments, submitted posts and commissioned posts. I have been really grateful for the encouragement received, even from those who think that some of the blog's theological aims are misguided!

Perhaps to mark this occasion I could ask for comments on the following subjects (though perhaps others will propose other subjects that should be mentioned):

1) Messages and discussions that people have found most useful.

2) Honest assessments as to what might have been achieved so far.

3) What role the blog might play in contributing to textual criticism and the church in the future.


  1. Though it still Oct. 13 here in the States, it should already be the 14th in the UK, so let me go ahead and wish you all a very happy blogiversary.

  2. Well done Pete in making it to one year of age. I am pleased to have been able to make such cheeky comments on the first post.

    I like to hear news about textual criticism in the blog, whether from articles, books, conference papers etc. They are all useful.

    I think we have discussed a few times what it might mean to affirm: "Evangelical textual criticism is textual criticism which is governed by the principles of evangelicalism." Although I guess there are still areas where I am not so clear what difference it makes.

    It is interesting that topics that seem to interest lots of people (some evangelical controversy; or more efforts at contradicting Big Bad Bart, our anti-hero) aren't as interesting to me as unpicking some textual problem or probing an actual manuscript.

    I don't think we have heard that much about the actual research of our bloggers - discusing articles in a draft form; getting feedback on early stage ideas etc. I can see why this is, but wonder about whether we might do more of this.

    I think the blog and comment method is not bad, but not always the best method of communication and preservation of material (to me some of our most informative debates and information remains in the comments, and I wonder whether visitors realise this).

    I appreciate posts from other bloggers, and wonder whether there may be ways to encourage some more posts from some of us. I like posting blogs, but am really relieved to be in a team and not feel like I have to post (although generally aim for at least one a week and to comment a fair bit on other posts).

    I've learnt a lot of things from the blog.

  3. Thanks, Stephen. Your blog is now, somewhat belatedly, on our sidebar.

  4. I've been instructed by a close family member who reads this blog to say how much we all appreciate Peter Head's humour.

    I suppose one of the issues we face is technicality vs. popularity. In fact we probably post at a range of 'levels' and thus we have a range of occasional readers. We tend to post on different subjects according to our interests, but our readers will also have a range of interests.

    I think you can be pretty certain that Bart is not going to feature so prominently on this blog in the coming year. After all, it is unlikely that he's going to issue another 'first of its kind' layperson's intro to NT TC and we haven't yet begun repeat interviews with anyone.

    We do, however, hope to have some rather exciting interviews for the future. Watch this cyberspace.

  5. I agree with much what PH has to say. On the top of my list are posts on actual manuscripts and textual problems. I also appreciate when articles are discussed and authors are invited in the discussions—a solid material in an article/book is a good starting-point for discussion. Otherwise, I have saved several posts that we now label "resources" in textfiles on my computer.

    Then, humor is very important and there has been a lot, mainly in the comments section, which I think is proper. Also when I think about popular posts I must say that the quizzes have probably been the most popular—and I have enjoyed them.

    We have had many good discussion that have often move things forward. Also, when someone needs advice they normally get some. I also think it is good to share knowledge and experience with each other—everyone has something to learn.

    For the coming year I will post more on manuscripts ... I have several things in store, but have not had time yet.

  6. In New Zealand a new saying peppers conversations: "It's all good", meaning, I think, that we cannot or should not complain (at worst) and everything is going superbly (at best).
    ETC is all good - a lovely, inspiring, authoritative, possibly even inerrant (!!) mixture of news, views, comments, humour, and detail.
    The variety of the mixture means looking up the website is a matter of anticipation. Thanks!

  7. I second much of what Peter Head, Tommy Wassermann and the close member of the William's
    family raised.

    As a former contributor to the long deceased tc-list I personally consider the joint blog model as an improved incarnation of (scholarly) exchange in the digital era than the former e-mail list, though it certainly hat its merits.

    The constraints that come with the different technical setup (at least when acting as a commentator) keeps me thinking twice before shooting from the hip, as I did when discussion heated up back on tc-list. But perhaps that's only me not being smart enough with the setup.

    In any case, I'm looking forward to more discussion on textual/manuscript data. Perhaps, it's just a matter of getting used to the blog as a medium of semi-public brain storming to be able to integrate it more and more with one's actual research.

    BTW- there is a brilliant example of semi-public scholarly brain storming from the printing era called "The Bulletin of the Bezan Club". If you are interested in the work of Rendell Harris, Plooij and their mates it is a great reading because you can witness some of their ideas in statu nascendi.

    It might be even encouraging for some to browse those little booklets with the many proud findings, brilliant ideas (that sometimes turned out to be not so brilliant), and loose ends.

    On better days - and today is one because I had a wonderful power walk across the hill behind our house - I keep saying to myself: 'Hey, if they (Rendell Harris, Plooij, etc.) didn't mind to risk making fools of themselves for putting half-baked ideas to print, you could be braver yourself.' On other days, however, I don't want to be kicked for having delivered half-baked ideas just as I have -perhaps unduely- exposed some of Plooij's and Rendell Harris's from the said sort-of semi-public booklets.

    Anyway, happy anniversary!

  8. After checking the latest baseball scores, the first place I go on the web is this blog. I check it nearly every day.

    The blog has been a helpful entry tool into the discipline for me. It has introduced me to a multitude of names of those current in the field. The array of links to relevent data probably cannot elsewhere be found in one site.

    The blog's specifically evangelical character is encouraging to me as a tc novice. This discipline as a "brave new world" is a little less daunting knowing there are other like-minded pilgrims sharing in the journey.

  9. PJW:
    "If you haven't read the New Testament in Greek or the Old Testament in Hebrew then it isn't going to be appropriate for you to take part."

    "some of our most informative debates and information remain in the comments . . I appreciate posts from other bloggers, and wonder whether there may be ways to
    encourage some more posts from some of us."

    I would suggest that one element that makes the comments so interesting is allowing non-scholars to join in the discussion. Interesting for us non-scholars, at least.