Happy New Year to our readers! Our blog, while not as active last year as some others may have been, nevertheless posted more than its fair share of significant material so that readers had plenty to read and think about. In light of the coming of a new year, we wanted to post the top 5 viewed posts last year, regardless of when the post was actually written. Here they are!
This may have been one of our most controversial—and misunderstood—posts. And we are surprised that even after over two years since being posted, it is still our top viewed post on the blog in 2018. From discussions on social media and other blogs referring to this post, we were surprised that some thought Stan was dismissing the severity of plagiarism or even condoning it! Far from it, he was likening modern commentary writing to basic plagiarism (in the sense that most commentaries seem to simply regurgitate and reiterate previous commentaries on the same biblical books), and making a call for commentators to rethink this observed convention. On the basis of reviews of some of the commentaries that have been published since the whole O’Brien fiasco, it seems that not much has changed in commentary writing practices.
Another controversial post on our blog was the one on the ESV board’s announcement (and subsequent recantation) to make their translation permanent. We agreed with their recanting of that initial decision, obviously, and thought it was a good response to the backlash they initially received.
Michael Halliday, a British linguist who founded Systemic Functional Linguistics, has been such an influential linguist for Stan, and subsequently Dave and others, in developing an understanding of the Greek language of the New Testament, that we felt it appropriate to honor him at his passing. Although he never worked in Greek, we hope that his linguistic theory will continue to make an impact, not only in the greater field of linguistics but also in biblical studies.
The fourth most viewed post of 2018 was a tribute to Philip Davies, who was a professor of biblical studies at the University of Sheffield for most of his career. While his academic expertise was initially in Qumran and Dead Sea Scrolls, he is also known for being the co-founder and publisher of Sheffield Academic Press, which during its lifetime was one of the most prolific academic publishers in Bible.
Rounding out the list of top 5 views is another tribute to a well-known biblical scholar. Readers will appreciate not only some of the standard facts surrounding Osborne and his career but also some of the personal anecdotes that Stan shared from the four decades that they knew each other.
- Special Mention: Thoughts on the ETS Ontario/Quebec Regional Meeting
This was the sixth most viewed post on our blog in 2018, and since three out of the five above were tributes to scholars who recently passed, we thought we would mention it as well. This post was a reflection upon a recent regional ETS meeting that Dave attended, which along with a couple of thoughts on regional conferences included an extended comment on Greek linguistics in biblical studies.
We thank our readers for taking time to read our blog and interact with it, whether directly on the blog or in various social media venues, and even in person. Our goal for this next year is to continue posting important comments and announcements on the blog to help readers think critically through what is going on in biblical studies and Christian higher education today.
— Stanley E. Porter and David I. Yoon