Jim West (biblical scholar)
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James E. West, better known as Jim West (born August 29, 1960) is a biblioblogger. He is an adjunct professor at the Ming Hua School of Theology, Hong Kong. He holds a Doctorate of Theology from the unaccredited Andersonville Theological Seminary of Camilla, Georgia. West also pastors the Petros Baptist Church in Tennessee.
Jim West was one of the first biblical scholars to blog, also known as biblioblogging, highlighting trends in biblical studies, new findings in archeology, and acting as a pundit on cultural events. He currently (from January 8, 2010) blogs at Zwinglius Redivivus. He previously blogged at Jim West (deleted December 31, 2009), and before that at Dr. Jim West (deleted February 20, 2008), and before that at First Baptist Church of Petros (deleted October 2006), and originally at Biblical Theology (deleted January 1, 2006). His blog has frequently featured as the number one biblioblog of the month according to the rankings at Free Old Testament Audio Website Blog and previously at The Biblioblog Top 50.
Jim West was a key negotiator in the decision on September 11, 2009 by the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) to grant bibliobloggers affiliate status. He was a founding member of the steering committee responsible for reviewing proposals for biblioblogging sessions at the SBL, the first of which is at Atlanta, November 2010, although he no longer serves on that committee.
On September 7, 2018, West published a blog and a tweet asserting that the #churchtoo hashtag and movement (which was invented to bring attention to sexual abuse of laity in churches) should be "rebranded to 'the church did this to me too'—for pastors and their families damaged and attacked and ruined by the millions of american christians who make ministry MISERABLE." West further commented in the same tweet, "#Churchtoo rightly laments harm done by clergy. What of harm done to clergy?" Whereas #churchtoo since its inception has focused on sexual abuse of laity in the church (often by clergy), West called for #churchtoo to be "expanded" to apply to more general cases of "harm" to clergy. In another tweet, one of the creators of the hashtag, Emily Joy, objected to West's suggestion. West subsequently replied to Emily Joy, stating sarcastically, "i wasn’t aware you owned the hashtag. my apologies".
Many Twitter users also objected to West's original tweet, claiming that his suggestion was inappropriate because it extracts #churchtoo from its original intention, namely highlighting how laity have been sexually abused. After blocking many of these users who objected, West asserted that, regarding those identifying with the #churchtoo movement, "many are vulgar and utterly incapable of tweeting without profanity", "none [West has] encountered are interested in genuine discussion", "all are interested in dictating", and "none are civil". West was thereafter the object of some internet trolling, which included (for example) one Twitter user changing his Twitter name to "Jim West's Doctorate", which was intended to mock the fact that West holds a doctorate from an unaccredited university.
As a Baptist pastor, West has been outspoken on issues within the Baptist Church. West has rejected moves by some Baptists to observe Lent, "because for Baptists repentance can't be confined to a mere 40-day period preceded by the most intense gluttony and occupied with the setting aside of trivial pleasantries and followed by a return to the same-old, same-old". West is also against the trend of some Baptists who are abandoning the public school system in favor of private religious education. West wrote on his blog at time: "The only people who pull their kids from public schools out of fear are the same sort who haven't ever read the Bible in Greek or Hebrew. In other words, they are the sort of people who get all their information second-hand. This whole crusade is nothing but another in the long line of senseless crusades entered into by frenzied, uninformed, twaddling and prattling mobs of unwashed peasants. And it is doomed to failure. Fortunately." West is also against home schooling, declaring "In short, in my estimation, the problem with homeschooling from a theological point of view is that it embodies a 'theology of glory' and ignores, or even discounts the 'theology of the cross'. It fears; it lives in fearfulness, and it has forgotten that 'perfect love casts out fear'" and "finally it supposes that society, social structures, and God ordained offices are evil."
Areas of focus
West's publications are listed here- https://www.scribd.com/document/298839671/Bibliography
- Jim West, 'Blogging the Bible: A Short History' Bulletin for the Study of Religion (2010)
- "Petros Baptist Church". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?articleId=843 Bibliobloggers an SBL Affiliate
- http://www.bibleinterp.com/opeds/blog1357914.shtml Blogging the Bible
- West, Jim (7 September 2018). "#ChurchToo Needs a Rethink". Zwinglius Redivivus. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- West, Jim (7 September 2018). "#Churchtoo needs to be rebranded..." Twitter. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "#ChurchToo Urges Twitter Users to Address Abuse at Church". Time. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
- "Thanks for the branding advice..." Twitter. 8 September. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Check date values in:
- West, Jim (8 September 2018). "i wasn't aware you..." Twitter. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- West, Jim (8 September 2018). "trashy aren't ya..." Twitter. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- West, Jim (8 September 2018). "in the last 24 hours..." Twitter. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "@hobbsisme". Twitter. 10 September 2018. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- "Many Southern Baptists Bypassing Public Schools". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- "The Homeschooling Revolution". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- "Practicing What One Preaches - Here in the Bonny Glen". 10 June 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-01-30.