This week complete three years of blogging at Reading Acts and by coincidence it is my 400th post. As on my second anniversary, I want to give a brief “state of the blog” speech, share my plans for the fall and (most humbly) take a few moments and toot my own horn. I began the blog on September 1, 2008, a post which has all of three views to this day. I guess it was not exactly the Buggles singing “Video Killed the Radio Star,” but it was a start.
It amazes me that this blog continues to generate interest. My first year I averaged 4 hits a day, I expect to be at 200 hits a day by the end of this year. In fact, total hits on reading Acts since January are more than the first two years combined. Reading Acts has been in the top 50 BiblioBloggers fairly regularly for the last 18 months, and I am still thrilled to make an occasional Biblical Studies Carnival.
In the fall I am teaching Pauline Literature, so I will blog several times a week on Pauline literature and theology. I plan on trying to stay with biblical theology, but I tend to get interested in literary features and historical details and will probably dabble a bit there as well. I am also planning on teaching through the Gospel of John at Rush Creek Bible Church over the next year. Typically I post a couple of thoughts before and after that teaching time with links to the podcast. It is a strange combination, Paul and John, but by thinking through two areas of study which are usually separate, I hope to answer some questions about the relationship (or, non-relationship) between Pauline and Johannine theology.
You might have noticed that I have used pictures more in this last year. This is because many readers use WordPress “OnSwipe” or Flipbook on the iPad. The pictures add a bit to the page on a mobile device and occasionally they enhance the text. Hopefully they are not too distracting. I have also tried to keep posts to 500 words or less, although this is not a rigid rule for me. I have read several places that 500 words is the “ideal” size for a blog post. If I find that I am well over that limit, I usually trim back or create two posts.
On to the mindless statistics: In this last year, top referrer is Koinonia, followed closely by Mark Goodacre’s NT Blog. Mark mentioned recently that his blog celebrated its eighth anniverasry. that is a serious milestone, perhaps the oldest of the “biblioblogs.” Jim West commented on one of my New Perspective posts and I was amazed at how many people clicked through to Reading Acts. Whatever else Jim does, he is a serious promoter of blog-scholarship. I was also surprised at the top post for the year, Top iPad Apps for Bible Study (Part One). I did the whole iPod thing as a summer filler, more or less just to amuse myself looking for apps for the iPad, and the series took off. By far the six posts in that series are the most popular for the year. The first iPad blog is also my top post ever, just beating out Acts 15 – Who were the Judaizers? Third place for the year goes to The Roman Cult of Emperor Worship.
Aside from my blog’s name, the leading search phrase this year was “Who Were The Judaizers” followed by “Best Bible App For iPad” and “Rob Bell Love Wins” and “Purpose Of Hebrews.” Rob Bell appears frequently in the list as does N. T. Wright. Apparently if I could get Rob Bell and N. T. Wright to debate Judaizers on the iPad, I would have the Best Post Ever.
Among the stranger searches that managed to find my blog this year were: “homer priest” (I mentioned Homer Simpson someplace), “trans dispensationalism” (which sounds very naughty), the name “James Barth” in Arabic, and “keith van de vrede” (I assume he is searching for himself). Some variation on N. T. Wright and Election is common, although Wright and Justification is not.
I did notice a few people asked long questions which look to me like they cut and pasted from a class syllabus right into a google search:
- discuss the importance of the imperial cult from the time of augustus onward. how was this used to control the population? what measures were taken against those who didn’t worship?
- discuss the term literal as it relates to interpretation in revelation. your answer should address the idea of how one should interpret vivid details of revelation
- how does the theology of paul differ from the synoptic gospels
- what are the main things matthew wants readers to think about jesus from reading the sermon on the mount?
Hopefully you cited your source properly. I take no responsibility for plagiarism and will probably rat you out to your professor.
I added a few book reviews this year: John Dickson, Life of Jesus: Who He Is And Why He Matters, Jodi Magness, Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit, Piper and Carson, The Pastor as Scholar, the Scholar as Pastor, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Constantine R. Campbell, Keep Your Greek, William D. Mounce, Biblical Greek: A Compact Guide. I also have done a few reviews of Bible software, Vyrso and Logos for the iPad and Logos 4.3 and The Perseus Collection. I enjoy doing book reviews and anticipate more this year. (I have a pretty decent stack to work through right now!)