Friday, August 22, 2008

Top Bible Blogs

With so many blogs out there related to the Bible, it would be nice if we had a "Review of Biblioblog Literature." I now have 70 blogs feeding into my Google Reader, and I've updated the blogrolls on this page, adding many that were in my Reader and organizing them roughly by content. A few defy categorization. Here are my ratings of a few Bible blogs, so you know where to start on the blogrolls.

By far the most prolific Biblioblogger would have to be Jim West. Google Reader lists his posting average at almost 50 posts per week. No one else comes close.

The most authoritative Biblioblogger, if you give Technorati authority ratings any weight, is Ben Witherington with 520. Jim West was a close second with 186 187 with John Hobbins from Ancient Hebrew Poetry right behind at 181. James McGrath rates 156. After that most of us drop down to double and single digits.

The most intellectual Bible blog is Ancient Hebrew Poetry. I confirmed this by running the "Blog Readability Test" on several representative biblioblogs. John's blog ranked a Genius reading level. Now this doesn't mean he's the most intelligent blogger. In my subjective opinion, I was debating between him and Charles Halton from Awilum (both very intelligent guys), but Charles's reading level was only Elementary School. I also checked Jim West (Junior High), Chrisendom (High School), and Bible and Ancient Near East (College).

The most humorous bibleblog is unquestionably Scotteriology. Scott Bailey perfectly balances insightful commentary on theological issues with a clear talent for humor writing. If you don't believe me, check out his post about ascending to the fourth heaven.

This is just a sample of my favorite blogs. They come to mind because they post fairly frequently. Feel free to sample others in my blogrolls after you've started with these. I haven't read everything everyone's written, but I've read enough to trust that they usually have solid content that's worth reading. I won't knowingly throw any "crackpots" on the blogroll. Even if I don't agree with all of them, their arguments are usually thoughtful and worth interacting with.

I'd love to follow up this post with a "Worst Bible Blogs" list and link to some of the crazies for you, but I really don't feel like drawing their attention. They tend to avoid using reason and take it personally when they're told that they're wrong.


  1. I'm still puzzled by my Elementary rating. I guess I'm making my thoughts available to the masses...I guess I should just start posting in Akkadian.

  2. My blog is up to genius now too, but I have a sneaking suspicion that using a lot of Hebrew skews the results. I wish they had a little blurb about what exactly they measure.


  3. Pete,

    I guess we have a tie for most intellectual blog then.

    I've read some of your posts about the Studies in Chronology and Typology book in Biblical Hebrew, and I think you've earned the genius reading level. I've read a few essays from that book, but I haven't gotten around to reading most of it yet. Your summaries are helpful. As I read more of them, I may comment over at balshanut.

    About the reading levels, I'm also curious how they test it. The site works quickly, so it clearly must be only scanning the most recent entry or looking mainly for 3 syllable words. When I tested mine again last night, it was slightly lower - college undergrad instead of college postgrad. I only tested a small sample of 6 or so before making my decision.

    If you start posting in Akkadian, I'll have to find someone to translate. I don't think Google language tools works for ancient languages.


  4. I have an ongoing personal vendetta against the Blog Readability Test. There is simply NO WAY that my blog is written at a high-school reading level! ;-)

    Anyway, I largely agree with your picks. My mainstays are Hobbins, West, Iyov, Norelli, and Sumpter. I also like this little place of yours more and more every day. Oh, and I've been meaning to start reading Scotteriology for a long time; guess I just need to add it to my reader.

    Also, I'm tickled that my blog is classified as "eclectic," because it is obvious that by "eclectic" you mean "totally awesome."

  5. Esteban,
    You actually got a high school reading level? I wouldn't have guessed it was that high. :)

    And by "eclectic" I meant "defies categorization" but I guess "totally awesome" works too.

    Thanks for reading my blog, and yes, add Scott to your reader. It's definitely worth it.

  6. actually it's 187. why you gotta diss me man? why the hate?


    [you lot should be glad i stoop to the less than triple digits to associate with ya!]

    [oh my that was rude- i hope you take it in the humorous spirit in which it was intended]

    [i hope that last line didn't seem to insincere- i really mean it]

  7. Thanks for the props and the link love!

  8. Oh, that burns! You win this round, Mangum, but watch your back. ;-)

    I completely understand the need for a "defies categorization," er, category. I have an "Other Radtastic Corners of the Blogosphere" category that fulfills that role, and I'm constantly second-guessing myself as to who goes (and does not go) there. I've often thought that Jim West goes there by rights (he's one of the most eclectic bloggers I know!), but since he is the Boss Tweed of Biblioblogdom, it would be just wrong to not list him under Biblioblogs!

    And thank you for reading my blog; hopefully there something of interest at regular intervals between the loads of nonsense.

  9. I happen to agree. I think Ancient Hebrew Poetry is one of the most brilliant blogs I have ever come across. Great list.

    I'm glad I found this blog. I blog about ancient Hebrew as well, though not as definitively as Ancient Hebrew Poetry. I will be linking to this blog if you don't mind. Thanks.