The Paroikos Bible Blog exists as a resource to those interested in Biblical studies and Koine Greek. It is hoped that this blog will simultaneously provide food-for-thought to the reader while pointing him or her in the direction of valuable resources, both in print and on the internet, that will further help his or her studies in the Word.

Mar 31, 2017

Peer-Reviewed Journals Pt 2: The Top 100+ Academic Journals for Biblical Studies (Ranked)

[Progressively updated as I get feedback, etc. Last updated 6/24/2024. Significantly updated on 9/20/22 with special thanks to Mr. William Hupper (author of An Index to Periodical Literature on the Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies), for pointing me to some more journals, especially on archaeology, and for providing more information on some that are open access]
Now up to over 160 journals!!
I have followed the SBL Handbook of Style 2nd ed. abbreviations when possible, though I include some journals not in the handbook.

Click here to skip this introductory stuff and jump down to the list of journals.

In part 1 of this series of posts, I highlighted what were the top Evangelical peer-reviewed journals and how to access most of them (either online or via the immensely helpful Galaxie Software at $5 a month). The focus of this post will be on the strictly academic ranking of journals (laying aside theological benefit). In part three of this series I will highlight some journals that combine scholarship with spiritual/practical benefit.

For serious graduate work, having access to the top evangelical journals is not enough. You also need access to the top mainstream journals. Some of these will still be, technically, confessional (e.g., Catholic Biblical Quarterly) while some will be technically secular (e.g., Journal of Biblical Literature), but both types will focus more on the academic quality and originality of the submitted article than on theological belief. Consequently, you will find a large variety of articles ranging from liberal to conservative, post-modern to neo-orthodoxy, feminist theology, liberation theology, devoutly religious to agnostic and atheist.

I here rank the journals according to their general academic reputation in three tiers or levels. Which ones are most likely to be cited in scholarly books? To which ones do the top scholars send their prospective articles? Who publishes the  journal? I will mention, however, that many articles published in mainstream journals do have the potential to help committed Christians understand scripture better. For example, in a future post, I will discuss the excellent article in German by Dieter Böhler, "Liebe und Freundschaft im Johannesevangelium. Zum alttestamentlichen Hintergrund von John 21, 15-19," Biblica 96.3 (2015), available online here. Although I disagree with the author's take on the difference between Philew and Agapaw, I still greatly appreciated his perspective on how the "sheep/feeding" language in this passage is most likely drawing from Ezekiel 34. I had never thought of that before, and Böhler makes a very good argument here. In other words, I, an independent Baptist, benefited in my understanding of Scripture from a German article in a Catholic journal!

Keep in mind that the following list represents my perspective as a North American researcher and professor, so European journals may be under-represented (except for those well-known, top-class journals such as Biblica and Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft).

So without further ado, here are the top journals that grad students in Biblical studies need to have access to (list subject to change; some of this is my informed opinion, but much of it is the scholarly consensus, so far as I can tell). I also list the official SBL handbook (1st edition) abbreviation next to the title (with a ? where the 1st edition did not include the journal). I rank them according to 3 tiers/levels, but within those levels they are simply listed in alphabetical order (with the exception of the first 5 in Level 1).
Feel free to post in the comments if you disagree with the rankings or have suggestions on something to add! 

The Journals:
Level 1
These are the journals universally acknowledged as top-tier, indispensable for any serious graduate level library. Except for the first five, they are all in alphabetical order.

The "Big Five" for NT studies:
*Journal of Biblical Literature (JBL)--probably the most widely distributed of all, with a very wide range of topics and perspectives. Has been around since 1881!
Biblica (Bib)--the official journal of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome; considered very prestigious (and has been around since 1920).
Catholic Biblical Quarterly (CBQ)
New Testament Studies (NTS)--probably the single most prestigious journal for those focusing on the New Testament.
Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft (ZNW) (first published in 1900!)

Other tier-1 journals:
Aramaic Studies (?) Covers more than (but includes) biblical studies, and is probably the top journal in its field of the ancient Aramaic language.
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) Although not technically a biblical studies journal per se, it publishes broadly on ANE research and thus includes articles on biblical studies. In the broad realm of ANE studies, BASOR is probably the top journal.
Dead Sea Discoveries (DSD) As the title indicates, this is another journal that is not strictly about biblical studies, per se, though it includes it. In so far as the Dead Sea Scrolls go, however, this is the top journal.
Ephemerides theologicae lovanienses (ETL)
Harvard Theological Review (HTR)
The Jewish Quarterly Review (JQR)--this would probably be the premiere journal for Jewish studies, and has been around since 1889!
Journal for the Study of the New Testament (JSNT)
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (JSOT)
Journal of Early Christian Studies (JECS) [formerly known as 
The Second Century (SecCent)], published by The North American Patristics Society.
Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages (JNSL)
* Journal of the Ancient Oriental Society (JAOS)
Journal of Theological Studies (JTS)
Maarav: A Journal for the Study of the Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures (Maarav)
Mission Studies (?)--published by Brill, this is probably the premiere journal for missiology and the relationship between Christianity and world society and culture.
Novum Testamentum (NovT)
Old Testament Essays (OTE). Traditionally this has been considered a tier-1 journal, and for good reason. Unfortunately, they charge a fee for publication, which is concerning (click here; current as of 4/14/23), though not nearly as bad as HTS Teologiese Studies.
Revue biblique (RB)
Scottish Journal of Theology (SJT)
Theologische Zeitschrift (TZ)
Vetus Testamentum (VT)
Vigiliae christianae (VC)--probably the premiere journal for church history.
Zeitschrift für alttestamentliche Wissenschaft (ZAW)

Level 2
All of these belong in any decent library for biblical studies, and top scholars would gladly submit to these journals, especially if their article was a "niche" fit for such a journal. In this list I also include the top 4 evangelical journals.

Upper-tier Level 2:
These are those journals that, quite frankly, are better than most level-2 journals, but just short of being in the same category as JBL or NTS.
* Biblical Theology Bulletin (BTB)
The Bible Translator (BT)--the premiere journal for Bible translation theory and practice. Contains both technical and practically-minded articles. Sometimes deals with issues of exegesis or discourse analysis.
Interpretation (Int)
* Journal of Semitic Studies (JSS)
Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie und Religionphilosophie (Neue Z. Syst. Theol. Relig. [?])
Tyndale Bulletin (TynB)--the premiere evangelical academic journal, and apparently the most cited by mainstream scholarship. TynB is now once again open access, including its most recent issues.

The rest of level 2: 
* Ancient Near Eastern Studies (ANES)
* Annali di Storia dell'Esegesi (?? I think ASE, but it is not in the SBL handbook 2nd ed.)
* Archiv für Orientforschung (AfO
Bibel und Kirche (BK)
* Biblical Interpretation (BibInt)
Biblical Research (BR)--produced by the Chicago Society of Biblical Research (note that many of their articles are by members and invited guests, though they will still consider unsolicited manuscripts)
Biblische Zeitschrift (BZ)
Bulletin for Biblical Research (BBR).
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library (BJRL). Open access.
Christian Research Journal (CRJ)
Christian Scholar's Review (CSR)
Church History (CH)
* Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies Bulletin (??). Open access, click here. A very narrow, specialized journal which occasionally intersects with biblical studies.
Currents in Biblical Research (CBR)
Currents in Theology and Mission (CurTM)--probably the premiere journal for missions
* Early Christianity (?)--although not listed in the SBL handbook (at least not 1st edition), this fairly new journal may soon become tier-1.
Estudios bíblicos (EstBib)
Evangelical Quarterly (EvQ)
Ex Audito (ExAud)
* Expository Times (ExpTim)
* Faith and Philosophy (?)--while technically not for Biblical studies per se, this can still be helpful since it is the top journal for Christian philosophers.
Fides et Historia (?)
Filologia Neotestamentaria (FilNet)--a journal devoted exclusively to the study of the Greek of the NT and its textual criticism.
* Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel (HBAI). Note: according to their website, this journal "will publish only invited articles."
Hebrew Studies (HS)
Hebrew Union College Annual (HUCA)--published for over 100 years (including a name change)!
Heythrop Journal (HeyJ)
Horizons in Biblical Theology (HBT)
International Journal of Systematic Theology (IJST)
Irish Theological Quarterly (ITQ)
Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ)
Jewish Bible Quarterly (JBQ). Open access.
* Jewish Studies: An Internet Journal (JSIJ). Open access.
Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and  Roman Periods (JSJ)
Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha (JSP)
Journal of Ecclesiastical History (JEH)
Journal of Ecumenical Studies
Journal of Hebrew Scriptures (JHebS). Open access.
Journal of Jewish Studies (JJS)
Journal of Near Eastern Studies (JNES)
Journal of Reformed Theology (JRT)
Journal of Pentecostal Theology (JPT)
Journal of Septuagint and Cognate Studies (?)--This journal used to be known as the Bulletin of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies; fortunately they switched their title from 24 syllables to 10 syllables!). Open access up through 2017. Click here.
* Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society of Columbia University (JANESCU). Open access.
Journal of the Bible and Its Reception (JBRec)--a very new journal (first issue was 2014) published by the Society of Biblical Literature.
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS)--probably the #2 academic evangelical journal, at this point. Mostly open access.
Judaica (Jud)
Kerygma und Dogma (KD)
La nouvelle revue théologique (NRTh)
Lešonénu: A Journal for the Study of the Hebrew Language and Cognate Subjects (?)
Modern Theology (MOTH)
New Blackfriars (NBf)
Neotestamentica (Neot)
* Palestine Exploration Quarterly (PEQ)
Perspectives in Religious Studies (PRSt)
Pneuma (Pneuma)
Princeton Seminary Bulletin (PSB)
Pro Ecclesia (ProEccl)
Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History (Proof)
* Qumran Chronicle (?)
* Religion and Theology (R&T) (not to be confused with the more recent, and much broader, Journal of Religion and Theology).
Religious Studies (RelS)
La Revue de Qumrân (RevQ)
Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament (SJOT)
Science and Christian Belief (S&CB)--technically not biblical studies per se, but is probably the most prestigious journal to deal with the intersection of science and Christianity. Published by the Victoria Institute.
* Scripta Theologica (ScrTh)
Semeia (Semeia)--a little bit of an avant-garde journal. It ceased publication after 2002.
Sixteenth Century Journal (SCJ)--for those interested in the era of the Reformation, Counter-Reformation, and Radical Reformation, this is a key journal. It publishes religious, political, and social studies.
Studia Theologica (ST)
Studies in Christian Ethics (?)
Svensk exegetisk årsbok (SEÅ)
TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism (TC). Open access.
Textus: A Journal on Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible
Theological Studies (TS)
Theologische Rundschau (TRu)
Theology Today (ThTo)
* Zeitschrift für Althebraistik (ZAH)
Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum (ZAC), a.k.a. Journal of Ancient Christianity
* Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte (ZRGG)--note that within humanities in general, ZRGG might be tier-1. It is rarely cited in biblical studies (having said that, I will be citing an article from this journal in a paper I am writing)
Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche (ZTK)

Level 3
Although some these journals may still have a solid reputation for academic quality, they are not as well-known or prestigious, and consequently not as likely to be cited by mainstream scholarship. Also, some of these journals are not peer-reviewed, or at least not as frequently, and some of these are very niche to a particular theological or ecclesiastical persuasion. In addition, some of these journals may be predatory (something I have begun to investigate).

* Acta Theologica (AcT)
Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology (?)
Andrews University Seminary Studies (AUSS). Open access.
Anglican Theological Review (AThR)
Asbury Theological Journal (AsTJ)
Ashland Theological Journal (ATJ)
Asia Journal of Theology (AJT)
Australian Biblical Review (ABR)
* Babelao (?) Open-access, published by the Belgian Academy for the Study of Ancient and Oriental Languages, very broad but also includes articles on biblical textual criticism.
Bibleotheca Sacra (BibSac)--this is one of the oldest journals on the list, and as far as dispensational or pre-mil theology goes, it's probably the best (it's published by Dallas Theological Seminary). I waffle between placing this in 2nd tier or 3rd tier. It still produces some very high quality scholarly contributions, but is cited less by mainstream academia than it used to be. In terms of dispensational theology, though, this would be the most essential journal, though it publishes articles on a broad variety of topics. Traditionally one of the more conservative journals. In the 1800s, BibSac published some erudite anti-slavery articles, back when this was a controversial theological topic.
Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics (BAGL)--open-access, published by MacMaster Divinity College 
* Biblische Notizen [Biblical Notes] (BN)
Bulletin of Ecclesial Theology (?). Open access, click here.
Calvin Theological Journal (CTJ)
* Canadian-American Theological Review (CATR)
* Canadian Journal of Theology (?). Ceased publication in 1970.
* Canadian Journal of Theology, Mental Health, and Disability (?)
* Caribbean Journal of Evangelical Theology (?)
* Chafer Theological Seminary Journal (?). Open access, click here.
* Christian Apologetics Journal (?)
Churchman (Chm)
Church History and Religious Culture (?)
Concordia Theological Quarterly (CTQ)
* Conservative Theological Journal (?)
* Conspectus (?): accessible online here.
Criswell Theological Review (CTR)
* Denver Journal (?). Open access (click here), focuses on book reviews.
Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal (DBSJ). Open access.
* Eikon (?). Accessible here. Formerly known as the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Emmaus Journal (?)
* Eos (?)
European Journal of Theology (EuroJTH)
* Evangelical Journal (EvJ--ceased publication 2016)
Evangelical Review of Theology (ERT). ERT is now fully open access (click here).
Foi et Vie (FoiVie)
* Grace Journal (?). Ceased publication in 1973.
* Grace Theological Journal (?). Sadly ceased publication in 1991, but did produce some notable articles in its short run.
* Hebrew  Annual Review (HAR). Volumes up through 1994 available here.
* Henoch Journal (Hen) A broad journal, but prioritizes text-critical issues.
Hervormde teologieses studies, a.k.a. HTS Theological Studies or HTS Teologiese (HvTSt)--note that this journal is completely open access, including its most recent issues. However, unfortunately HvTSt now charges approximately $85 per page for an author publication fee (current as of 2/23/2023; click here), and publishes a ginormous amount of articles per issue. These are two major red flags to what would otherwise be a respectable journal (and HvTST has even been close to tier-1 in the past).
* Il Mulino (?) Covers the history of Christianity.
* In die Skriflig (IDS) Although in the past this journal has had a good reputation, like HTS they are now charging authors for "publication fees" (click). This is not a hallmark of respectable journals, so I am beginning to question whether or not this journal even belongs on a list like this.
International Review of Mission (?)
Jahrbuch für Biblische Theologie (JBTh)
* Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology (JJA). Brand new (2021), and open access!
Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry (JBTM)--a bit more practically-oriented than many in this list (and I'm not sure to what degree it's peer-reviewed), but still includes some solid scholars as contributors.
* Journal for Semitics (??). Up through 2006 it is open access, but after 2006 it is behind a paywall. Accessible here.
Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament (JESOT)--
Update (6/24/24): The journal is now defunct, sadly (thanks to Dr. Timothy Yap for notifying me of this). Individual issues can be purchased on Wipf & Stock's website, and the journal is available through Logos, but I do not believe the journal is accessible for free anymore
Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters (?)--brand new, not mentioned in the SBL handbook, but will probably go up to tier-2.
* Journal of Analytic Theology (?). Open access, click here.
* Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections (?). Partially open access, click here.
Journal of Ancient Judaism (?)
Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies (?)--fairly new, produced by Grand Canyon Theological Seminary
Journal of Biblical Theology & Worldview (?)--brand new (2020), published by Bob Jones University
Journal of Dispensational Theology (?)--note that this should not be the first step of recourse in exploring or contributing to dispensational theology (that honor belongs to BibSac).
Journal of Ethics in Antiquity and Christianity (JEAC)
* Journal of Gospels and Acts Research (JGAR)--fairly new, first issue was 2017
Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism (JGRChJ)--Open access.
Journal of Greek Linguistics (?)
Journal of Inductive Biblical Studies (?)
* Journal of Ministry and Theology (JMAT)
Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics (JSCE)
Journal of Theological Interpretation (JTI)--this fairly new journal will probably move up in the ranks soon as it continues to demonstrate its relevancy to biblical studies (currently it's the only journal I know of devoted to the "Theological Interpretation of Scripture," and it's received quite a bit of "buzz"!).
Journal of Translation (?)--the official journal of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL); I think (though am not positively sure) that this replaced their older journal Notes on Translation. Open access: click here.
Journal of Translation and Textlinguistics (JOTT)
* Judaica Ukrainica (?). Open access, click here.
* Kairos: Evangelical Journal of Theology (?) Note: I believe there are multiple journals named Kairos out there, and I'm still looking into how many of these are directly related to biblical studies. This particular journal seems to be based out of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Croatia, and here is the link.
Kerux: A Journal of Biblical Theology. Open access, click here. (ceased publication in 2017).
Kirche und Israel (?)
* Kleine Untersuchungen zur Sprache des Alten Testaments und seiner Umwelt (KUSATU)
Laval théologique et philosophique (LTP)
Lectio difficillior (?): as best as I can figure, this is a brand new, online-only journal that focuses on feminist criticism/exegesis. Any clarifications on this new journal are welcome! Click here for the link to their website [b/c otherwise simply running a Google search of "lectio difficilior" would probably not take you there]
Mennonite Quarterly Review (?) 
* Missio Dei (?)--Open access, here.
Missiology: An International Review (?)
* Nova et Vetera (?)
Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (?)
Phronema (?)--The official journal of St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College in Sydney, Australia.
* Polish Journal of Biblical Research (?)
* Presbyterion (Presb)
* Priscilla Papers (?). Accessible here.
Puritan Reformed Journal (PRJ)
* Reformed Baptist Theological Review (?)
* Reformed Presbyterian Theological Journal (?)
Reformed Theological Review (RTR)
Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception (?) (online: here). This journal focuses mostly on book reviews.
* Religions (?). Note: although this journal occasionally has articles published by legitimate scholars, it charges authors 1,400 Swiss Francs per article as stated here (this is almost $1,600; this is absurd!!). Other red flags are that this journal is not listed in the SBL handbook, I don't think I've ever seen an article from here cited in a respected scholarly work, and their website brags that peer-review takes about 20 days, and publication after that takes about 5 days. I have seen anecdotal evidence that an article can be published in this journal that was actually rejected by the reviewer. That's a lot of red flags.
Review and Expositor (RevExp)
Restoration Quarterly (ResQ). Open source.
Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology (SBET)
* Scriptura (?)
Sewanee Theological Review (STRev)
Southeastern Theological Review (SETR)--fairly new (replaces the older Faith & Mission). It is open-access.
Southern Baptist Journal of Theology (SBJT). Open access.
Southwestern Journal of Theology (SWJT)
Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations (SCJR)
Studies in World Christianity (?)
Themelios (Them). Accessible here. Online-only, but features a significant number of key evangelical scholars.
* Theoforum (?)
* Theology and Ministry (?). Published by St. John's College of Durham, accessible here.
The Bible & Critical Theory (BCT)
* The Biblical Annals (BibAn)
* The Conrad Grebel Review (CGR)
The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning (JSR)
The Master's Seminary Journal (MSJ)--along with BSac, the best source for dispensational theology (though BibSac is still the best).
* The Princeton Seminary Bulletin (PSB). Open access.
The Princeton Theological Review (?). Open access (through archive.org), click here.
Toronto Journal of Theology (TJT)--really more known for its book reviews than ground-breaking articles.
* Transformation: An International Journal of Holistic Mission Studies (?) Published by the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. [I'm wondering if this should be tier-2; could a specialist in missiology give me their informed-opinion?]
Trinity Journal (TJ)
Verbum et Ecclesia (?). Open access, click here.
* Wesleyan Theological Journal (?)
Westminster Theological Journal (WTJ)
Word and World (WW)
* Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie (ZKT)

Mar 11, 2017

2017 Midwest Regional ETS meeting (Wheaton, IL)

modified 7/6/2019

I have just returned from the excellent 2017 regional meeting for the midwest chapter of the Evangelical Theological Society. This year's theme, which dovetailed nicely with last year's theme, was "Evil and the Suffering of God," with excellent and thought-provoking presentations by Dr. Andrew J. Schmutzer (Moody Bible Institute), Dr. Paul K. Moser (Loyola University), and Dr. Marc Cortez (Wheaton College).

The best line of the conference was by Dr. Schmutzer: "Apparently God is allowed to do things in Scripture that he's not allowed to do in systematic theology!" [in reference to the lamenting of God in Scripture]

For the first time, I had the privilege of participating as a judge in the student paper competition (for the undergrad side). Kudos to Kory Eastvold of Lincoln Christian University for winning the prize for undergrad students with his paper on "'What, Then, Shall We say': The Interpretation of Romans 4:1."

My own paper (attended by a grand total of 8 or so 😄 ) was entitled, "First Peter's Identity Theology and the Community of Faith: Tracing the Trajectory from Social Scientific Criticism to Biblical Theology and on to Theological Ethics."

The most helpful paper that I attended (besides the plenary addresses), in my opinion, was by David Wenkel (Moody Bible), "Eliciting an Intellectual Faith: The Paradox of High Christology in Hebrews 1:1-14." Wenkel explored the role of "paradox" within the logical argumentation of Hebrews. However, I also especially benefited from Dane Ortlund (from Crossway Books), "The Role of Teaching in Marks' Gospel" (a neglected topic since everybody always focuses on Mark as the "action" Gospel).

Also appreciated (with cordial disagreement in some cases 😄) was my friend Tim Miller's paper on "Reformed Theodicy: John Calvin on the Problem of Evil" (Tim teaches at Detroit Theological Seminary) and Tim's student, Jonathan Moreno, "A Good God in a Wicked World: Considering the Problem of Evil" (congrats to Jonathan for placing in the student paper competition for the grad level!)

As always, I appreciate the privilege of presenting a paper and pondering other papers and the challenging plenary addresses (most of us presenting papers are "minor leaguers," but the plenary speakers are the major leaguers, and they always challenge me to think!)