Pastors reading theological journals

Darryl Dash has a good essay arguing that pastors should read theological journals. See the full essay here. In my sermon study, I tend to find that journal articles consistently offer more depth and insight than most commentaries. A few years ago I was able to buy a few shelves of journals from a retired pastor. These have been invaluable for researching writing projects and sermons. Another blessing has been my alma mater sending all graduates a lifetime subscription to our journal.

However, I believe the single best resource for journals is the Theological Journal Software produced by Galaxie Software (runs in Logos, Accordance, and Wordsearch platforms). This is an amazing resource that would be impossible to amass in hard copy form and its value is only bolstered by amazing search capabilities. You can search thousands of articles in a matter of seconds and the more refined the search the better the results.

Most of my research is usually on a specific text that I’m preaching so this is how I employ the journals in text specific study. In Logos, I create a collection to which I add my favorite journals (or you can add all journals). Then when I create a passage guide, my results will also reveal all the relevant journal articles related to my passage search. I know there are similar features in Accordance as well. I also use the search engine to research specific phrases or words in the original languages. So a search on μονογενής in my favorite journals yielded 23 articles appearing in 21 different resources. It found all of these in 0.72 seconds!!! The view panel offers a brief synopsis of each article from the results so I can quickly scan them to determine their relevancy to my study.

So I think Mr. Dash is spot on. Pastors should read theological journals. Everyone will have their favorites. My search almost always includes something from BSac, GTJ, Trinity, and JETS. There have also been some helpful surprises for the pastor involved in exegesis. To mention a couple, Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal and the Tyndale Bulletin have proved to be enormously useful in my study. So what are your favorites? Also, do you have tech tips that have been helpful to your study (specifically with journals)?

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by paul rochford on July 26, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    This is a great resource, I always do a passage search as part of my studies. I have opted to go the poor mans route and pay the 50 bucks a year to access it online. I think more folks should know about this and use it. Although my brilliance will seemed diminished when people realize I read my insight from some journal. This is probably better in the long run, people would think less of me and more of God.

    person 1: “hey I used to think that kid was kinda smart but then I realized he got his insight from some journal, Oh well, God is awesome.”
    person 2: “yeah (pause), lets get some lunch.”

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