On September 1, 2008 Reading Acts published its first post, “Why Acts?” I originally set up this blog as a supplement to my preaching through the Book of Acts at Rush Creek Bible Church. My plan was to offer a few thoughts before and after I preached on a particular text in Acts. Those first few months I something like 75 hits a month; the first four months I totaled 481 hits in all! While there are several blogs that have been around longer, there are not many that make it to the six-year mark. At least, there are not many that make it to six years without being turned into a spambot.
Reading Acts has grown consistently over the years. This surprises me a bit since I avoid political posts and generally ignore the easy “controversial” targets (Jesus’s Wife, Mark Driscoll, etc). I might do a bit better if I tried to argue a Coptic fragment proved Mark Driscoll was secretly married to Benny Hinn in a secret Illuminati ceremony presided over by Sarah Palin, but I really do not want to stoop that low.
The blog recently passed 1200 posts and 600,000 hits. While daily traffic peaked two years ago there has been steady growth since a lull in posting last summer. I see more involvement from readers in the last two years, which is a positive sign. It is gratifying that Reading Acts is consistently in the Top Ten Biblioblogs for several years now (#7 for Summer 2014), although I know that several popular blogs have dropped off that list in the last year, inflating my rank just a bit.
Most readers are from the the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, although I see quite a few readers from the Philippines, India, South Africa, and Singapore. My all time top post is the beginning of a series I wrote on using an iPad for biblical studies. Despite being three years old, it consistently leads all other posts each month. I wrote a short piece on Paul’s teacher Gamaliel in 2011 which is still in my top few posts every month. I assume I am helping some homeschoolers or Bible college students do their homework. In 2012 I asked if John was the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved. This post continues to generate hits and comments after more than two years. By far the most popular single-day post I have written was a bit of humor, Top Ten Ways To Fail a Bible Paper. I suppose it is not humor for people who have to grade Bible papers, but it did get well over 2000 hits the first day I posted it, making it the closest thing to “viral” a BiblioBlog is likely to get. I also added a Facebook Page for Reading Acts, so go and “like it” if you are into that sort of thing.
My first book was published by Wipf & Stock, Jesus the Bridegroom. You should really go buy a copy, or at the very least post a glowing review on Amazon. The Kindle version is cheaper, and it is available through publisher.
I started organizing the Biblioblog Carnivals a few years ago and have hosted that event twice. Occasionally I read things about the “death of the biblioblog,” but the Carnivals seem to indicate there is a healthy group of bloggers publishing good work regularly each month. It is not the same ground as six years ago, but it seems to me there is still a need for freely available quality scholarship on the Internet.
Starting almost immediately, I am going to return to the Gospels. I am teaching Jesus and the Gospels in the fall and I have read several excellent monographs on Jesus studies this summer. After a couple of weeks of orientation and basic foundational posts, I will be blogging through the life of Jesus through the fall.
I am looking forward to another great year on Reading Acts, thanks to everyone who regularly reads the blog. I do appreciate your interest and comments.