Jim West (biblical scholar)

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James E. West (born August 29, 1960) is an American biblioblogger.[1] He is an adjunct lecturer in theology at the Ming Hua School of Theology, Hong Kong.[2] He has been a scholar at the Quartz Hill School of Theology.[3] He holds a Doctorate of Theology from the Andersonville Theological Seminary of Camilla, Georgia.[4] West also pastors the Petros Baptist Church in Tennessee.[5]


Jim West was one of the first people to blog about biblical studies, also known as biblioblogging,[1] 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.[6] 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,[7] although he no longer serves on that committee.


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".[8] He has dismissed Nigerian Chrislam as 'the inevitable result of political correctness'.[9]

Public debates[edit]

West is also against home schooling, having introduced a pro-public school resolution to the annual Southern Baptist Convention in 2004[10][11] and several years in a row afterward.[12]

When the Gospel of Jesus' Wife first appeared in 2012, and before the scholarly consensus that it is a forgery developed,[13] West said "a statement on a papyrus fragment isn't proof of anything"[14] and "without more context, both historically and archaeologically, the snippet is valueless."[3]

Areas of focus[edit]

West is primarily concerned with studies focused on Zwingli, the Reformation, and biblical archeology.


West's full bibliography is listed here. Some of his books include:


  1. ^ a b Jim West, 'Blogging the Bible: A Short History' Bulletin for the Study of Religion (2010)
  2. ^ "Faculty". Ming Hua School of Theology. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Reality check on Jesus and his 'wife'". NBC News. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2022. m West, a biblical scholar at the Quartz Hill School of Theology and pastor of Petros Baptist Church in Tennessee, says on the Zwinglius Redivivus blog that "without more context, both historically and archaeologically, the snippet is valueless."
  4. ^ "Biography of Dr. Jim West".
  5. ^ "Petros Baptist Church". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  6. ^ http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?articleId=843 Bibliobloggers an SBL Affiliate
  7. ^ Jim West, Blogging the Bible Bible and Interpretation, December 2009
  8. ^ "Associated Baptist Press - Increasingly, Baptists turning to the observance of Lent". Archived from the original on 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
  9. ^ "Chrislam in opmars". AMEN Bijbelmagazine (in Dutch). Wijk bij Duurstede (95): 16. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2022. The American theologian Dr. Jim West from Petros (Tennessee) called chrislam 'the inevitable result of political correctness' on his weblog. When asked, West explains that he sees political correctness in the United States as a 'tendency to just accept everything'. In that context, chrislam is 'a result that is simply acquiesced to, it seems, even by Christians.'
  10. ^ "Baptists to consider conflicting resolutions on public schools". The Times-Tribune (Corbin). Associated Press. 19 May 2004. p. 8. Two conflicting resolutions one supporting public schools and the other condemning them have been submitted to the Southern Baptist Convention for its meeting next month. The Rev. Jim West of First Baptist Church in Petros, a small town about 30 miles west of Knoxville, introduced the latest, pro-public school resolution.
  11. ^ Pauline J. Chang (15 May 2004). "Southern Baptists Consider Several Resolutions on Schooling". The Christian Post. Retrieved 26 July 2022. West's resolution urges the Southern Baptists to "become the salt and the light of the world" by entering the public school systems.
  12. ^ GREG ALLEN (27 May 2006). "Many Southern Baptists Bypassing Public Schools". National Public Radio. Retrieved 26 July 2022. This is the third year in a row Southern Baptists are being asked to consider the resolution. And each year, Jim West, a Baptist minister from Petros, Tennessee has submitted his own alternate resolution. It calls on Baptists to, quote, "Affirm the public education system and encourage its members to participate actively in the life of society."
  13. ^ "The Curious Case of Jesus's Wife". The Atlantic. 18 November 2014.
  14. ^ "'Wife of Jesus' reference in Coptic 4th Century script". BBC. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2022. Jim West, a professor and Baptist pastor in Tennessee, said: "A statement on a papyrus fragment isn't proof of anything. It's nothing more than a statement 'in thin air', without substantial context."
  15. ^ Meyer, Walter E. (2008). "Buchbesprechungen" [Book Reviews]. Zwingliana (in German). Zurich: Institut für Schweizerische Reformationsgeschichte. XXXV: 218–219. ISSN 0254-4407. Retrieved 29 July 2022. unusual, lavishly edited [...] Jim West has now made this study available to a wider public in a second edition and in two languages [...] As editor and clever translator [...] the new German/English edition by Jim West again enables an encounter with the Zurich reformer that thoroughly challenges the prejudice that he was a deadly serious go-getter and dry parochial scholar.
  16. ^ H.G.L. Peels (2020). "Boekbesprekingen • Jim West en Niels Peter Lemche (red.), Jeremiah in History and Tradition" [Book Reviews • Jim West and Niels Peter Lemche (eds.)]. Theologia Reformata (in Dutch). University of Groningen Press. 63 (1): 92–94. ISSN 0040-5612. Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  17. ^ Heinrich Bullinger : An introduction to his life and theology /. Cascade Books. August 2022. ISBN 9781666732573.
  18. ^ Paola Mollo (2019). "Book Reviews / Recensioni: Ł. Niesiołowski-Spanò - J. West - C. Peri (eds.), Finding Myth and History in the Bible: Scholarship, Scholars and Errors". Henoch. 41 (2): 298–301. ISSN 0393-6805.
  19. ^ Opitz, Peter [in German] (2020). "Problems and Challenges of the Modern Historiography of the Zwinglian Reformation" (PDF). Journal of Early Modern History. 7 (2): 237. doi:10.1515/jemc-2020-2029. ISSN 2196-6648. S2CID 226968399.
  20. ^ Graeme Murdock (17 April 2019). "From Zwingli to Amyraut. Exploring the growth of European reformed traditions. Edited by Jon Balserak and Jim West". The Journal of Ecclesiastical History. 70 (2): 376–378. doi:10.1017/S0022046918002026. ISSN 0022-0469.