Saturday, February 19, 2005

An Open Letter to NT Scholars

Guys. It's time.

I frequently peruse the websites of NT scholars and I am just as frequently disappointed in what I find: brilliant, insightful, useful work -- that I can't get to because it's not online.

I'm not arguing that everything should be online. There is so much good work that has been done from the 60s, 70s, and 80s and 90s that could be and should be online, though. I suggest a ten-year rule: anything before 1995 should be available online.

Just think: that will make scholarship available to the humiliores, an ideal often expressed in modern scholarship but rarely honored. For individuals who live in non-Christian or developing regions and nations, online access to such scholarship is not merely convenient but imperative. It may also lead to increased interactions with the scholarship of others, the revival and expansion of ideas proposed but never elaborated on, and so on. There's no downside here.

Stuff from the Dark Ages prior to the invention of digital word processing may exist only in hardcopy. But even something like that can be photographed in a moment and the images popped on a server.

So now I'm begging. Take a moment. Get out your digital cameras. Fire up those scanners. Prod your student workers. But get those older works online where the world can see them!

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