Biblical Theology Bulletin Has Global Coverage
An international set of twenty prestigious associate editors serve as peer reviewers for the jounal that began in Rome in 1971 under the editorship of Leopold Sabourin, S.J., long-time professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. From the beginning Biblical Theology Bulletin had widespread distribution among PBI alumni. One of Sabourin's doctoral students, Dr. John F. O'Grady, bought BTB to the United States in 1976, and invited then Siena College (now Seton Hall) Professor David Bossman to be an associate editor. Bossman was elected Editor in 1981 and continues in that position as representative associate editors have been added to the masthead. He has served on the faculty in the Graduate Program of Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton Hall since 1985.
The associate editors, all professors at universities around the globe, serve as professors in Canada, Spain, Germany, South Africa, England and the United States. Sabourin's vision in sending BTB to the United States was to showcase American biblical scholarship for a world readership. Since coming to the USA, the journal has maintained an international perspective both in its editorial board and in its authors.
In 2009, Sage Publishers, an American-owned publishing house with editorial offices in London, solicited the inclusion of BTB in its stable of journal publications. BTB had become known, since coming to the USA, as a leading journal in the publication of biblical scholarship using social science methodologies. Leading scholars in the social science field of biblical studies published their early works in BTB, attracting the attention of Sage Publishers for this distinctive feature. After serious discussion among the editors, BTB changed its subtitle from A Journal of Bible and Theology to A Journal of Bible and Culture to signal this dimension of its publishing record.
With the marketing outreach of Sage, BTB now is available online going back to its early volumes in the 1970s. Tracking "hits" and downloads, Sage monitors tens of thousands of hits and record numbers of downloads by scholars around the globe. Pitched as a journal written by experts for generalists, the journal has wide appeal among biblical scholars, theologians, religious educators, university students and faculty as well as educated lay people. Main subscribers are university and seminary libraries, notably in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, South Africa and South America. Sage also has a program of supplying libraries in developing nations at special low rates.
A recent article submission for publication came from a faculty member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, Prosper Grech, who was a professor of several Seton Hall University biblical scholars. His article, "Further Reflections on Biblical Inspiration and Truth," appears in the May issue, BTB 42:2. Before the issue went to press, Professor Grech wrote to inform the Editor that he'd been named a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, an honor bestowed by the Pope recognizing his outstanding scholarship over many years at the PBI.
BTB now boasts of an especially large book review section, reviews of current books by a wide variety of scholars. The average number of reviews has risen to about 20 reviews per issue in the quarterly journal. Readers particularly appreciate these reviews. Another feature of BTB has been BTB Readers' Guides in which specialist scholars provide an assortment of books on current topics. The upcoming August issue of BTB has two such Readers' Guides, "New Testament Space/Spatiality" using spacial theory for interpreting New Testment, and "Social Identity Theory and Biblical Interpretation." Both articles introduce BTB readers to critical social science theories that enhance awareness of meaning for more vital interpretations of the significance of biblical texts.
The BTB web page calculates the most read and the most cited articles in BTB on a monthly basis. It also lists "Editor's Collection" articles and a Vodcast by the Editor describing the character and history of the journal. For more information on the BTB »
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