Christadelphian eJournal of Biblical Interpretation
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, Knowing from whom you have learned them.
HISTORY OF THE EJOURNAL
The EJournal of Biblical Interpretation was conceived in the back garden of a house in Yorkshire, England by P. Wyns and A. Perry at the beginning of a preaching campaign in the autumn of 2006. There were a number of Christadelphian online magazines, two of which were particularly known to PW and AP. PW was running a magazine called Biblaridion which was a completely open magazine for download by any individual and had been running for a couple of years. Another ejournal, the Christadelphian e-Journal of Biblical Studies, had been launched by J. Bolton and J. Adey at the beginning of 2006 and had by the autumn released one issue. AP had been involved with the peer review process of this journal during 2005 as the first issue was prepared.
The Christadelphian EJournal of Biblical Interpretation was launched at the beginning of 2007 to bring together the editorial principles of Biblaridion and the Christadelphian e-Journal of Biblical Studies. Basically, this meant that the proposed new ejournal would engage academic Biblical Studies (Biblaridion) while at the same time maintain the key objective of pure exegesis and exposition of the Scriptures (Christadelphian e-Journal of Biblical Studies). On a more practical level, by the autumn of 2006, the Christadelphian e-Journal of Biblical Studies had issued only one inaugural journal (Jan, 2006), and the project appeared to be stalled. Having been involved in the pre-publication peer review process, AP believed that the reason for the Christadelphian e-Journal of Biblical Studies stalling was the time it took to get articles in the first place, then have them peer reviewed prior to publication, have the reviewer and author bounce e-mails about the article so as to "get it right", and then collate and publish.
After communicating their intentions to the co-ordinator of the Christadelphian EJournal of Biblical Studies, AP and PW decided that a new ejournal might work if the peer-review process was taken out of the equation and given to editors, and then after initial publication, readers could act as peer reviewers. As an online magazine, there was no reason why articles could not be edited after publication when comments were received and accepted as valid corrections. It was also realised that the new ejournal would only work and not "fizzle out" if the editors were avid readers and writers themselves, so that if no one else ever wrote for the new journal, they would always have a steady supply of material.
On this basis, the new ejournal was launched. PW had expertise in web site management and set the website up; AP was happy to be relieved of the need to learn this skill and act as the co-ordinating editor. When starting a project, it is important to have spiritual reasons, and the opening statement of the Christadelphian e-Journal of Biblical Studies provided a good summary:
The e-journal provides an opportunity for:
Aside from these scriptural principles, it was also important to have some practical and realisable goals. It was decided to publish quarterly and to not advertise the ejournal; the aim was to produce 50 pages or so for each issue. The expectation was for a small subscriber list which would build slowly over time and have very few contributors. This last expectation (very few contributors) was not pessimistic; just a realistic expectation based on the observation of the Christadelphian community and its magazine history. Christadelphians have an extensive back catalogue of print magazines with a few writers; they sprang up, lived for a few years, and died. Consequently, the expectation for the ejournal from the start was to live a few years and leave on the internet a resource of articles. How many years-this was not known.
The justification for an ejournal was given some thought, and the reason given by the Christadelphian e-Journal of Biblical Studies is a sound basis:
A journal has no direct scriptural basis. However, since it is a vehicle which facilitates speaking "as and from the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11) "one to another" (Malachi 3:16) "unto edifying" (1 Corinthians 14:3-5,12,26), albeit in a non-ecclesial context, its existence is justified.
The manner in which the journal is put together reflects scripture's teaching that we being "many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another" (Rom 12:5) and consequently we must "speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another" (Eph 4:25), following the example set by the work of the holy spirit in the first century ecclesia, "as every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Pet 4:10): thus the journal is accomplished by brethren and sisters working together to produce material, which (re)commended by peer review, will be edifying and uplifting.
The journal is therefore the production of fellowlabourers in the gospel that we might all be of the same mind (Phil 4:2,3).
On this basis, it was felt that the ejournal would share the goals of all community magazines, but provide a vehicle for material that might not otherwise be published in other magazines, material that engaged academic biblical studies, had a focus in exegesis and exposition, and also that was perhaps of a more technical nature.
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