I have a confession to make: I\’ve been a \”lurker\” for some months now; always following and reading, never writing. Part is because I see some of the blogs and posts of others and wonder, \”What can I add to that?\” In fact, this is very much the question that most grad students that I\’ve talked to have felt. When told to write papers, or — especially! — their theses/dissertations, they look around their well-stocked library, browse the relevant journals, perhaps peruse ATLA, and conclude that all has been said. Afterall: of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness to the flesh. However, it is exactly that mindset that the grad student (and scholar in general) must conquer if he wishes to contribute to the community as a whole.
This blog, in a way, is my attempt to take a cautious step into that bottomless ocean; a stimulus to become part of the academic community along with all of the fear and anguish which is associated with that swim. However, just as when writing original research, one must approach a well-worn topic with an eye open for unanswered questions or unused methods. This blog will hopefully fulfill that same role in the blogosphere, adding a new and varied voice to the cacophony of sounds already present. So, what will the focus of this blog be? What is its origin, it\’s purpose?
My plan is to blog on my studies, both those which I am pursuing in school as well as on my own. This will consist largely of the study of biblical texts and languages, but also of history and culture of the ANE and Mediterranean Rim. I plan on posting neat things that I\’ve come across in my readings, as well as reviews of what I\’ve read. But Jared, you say, all of that is being done already. And you are correct. However, I think perhaps my approach will be different — at least from what I\’ve seen thus far. I plan to write about these topics especially from the perspective and to the audience of those of us who are still students (though, really, aren\’t we all always students?). I hope this will be helpful to others who are asking similar questions as myself: how do I approach topics? how should I pursue education? what is it like to attend one\’s first SBL conference, or publish one\’s first paper? Most of all, however, I wish to have these same questions given input by those who have already done these things. Think of it as contributing to the community of future scholars.
So, hopefully this will be helpful to a few, applicable to many, and interesting to all.