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Internet Resources Second Edition

Internet Resources Second Edition

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Published by: Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary on Jul 30, 2011
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11/26/2012

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 A Publication of the Robert C. Cooley Center for the Study of Early Christianity
 
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina
©May, 2010
Cover picture by James R. Grams, 
Printed by PerfectImage!
 
 
 
Preface
The websites offered here are of use not only to theological students and scholars but also toanyone interested in the topics. We hope that you find them as useful as we have for our interestin Biblical and Early Church studies, as well as related fields.While we have explored these sites ourselves, some comments are in order about the care neededin using websites in research. The researcher should be very careful on the web: it is sometimessimilar to picking up information on a city street or in a shopping mall. How can we be sure thatthis information is worth citing?One way to be careful on the web is to look for institutional association or proof of academicauthority. When using a website, investigate whether it is associated with a college or university,a research society, study center or institute, a library, publishing company, scholarly journal, andso forth. One might also see if the site manager or author is an academic engaged in ongoingresearch in the field. These sites are probably well worth using, just as any peer reviewedpublication. Even so, the information may be more ‘work in progress’ than published data.Sites that reproduce printed matter can be useful in the same way if the works were published byreputable scholars and publishing companies—check for these (the researcher needs to cite thisinformation along with the website in any case). In Biblical studies, older material is often (notalways) of less value than more recently published material. So, be wary of those old works thatsomeone has stuck on the web simply because the copyright has expired.All this said, one of the wonderful things about the web is that it is helping to level the playingfield, even among scholars. Amateurs can have a voice too, and this helps to break through thecoalitions, ‘established views,’ and ‘political correctness’ that sometimes stifles scholarship evenas it sets itself up as the best scholarship. As the web runs interference against such scholarship,the same standards apply: the quality of the information is in the quality of research andarguments offered.The web not only expands the number of voices; it also picks up the pace of research. Errors aremore easily made, whether in the accuracy of material copied onto the internet or in the opinionsmore freely floated while research is still in progress. The web is a more fluid source of information than libraries. Websites change. (That is why we cite them in papers not only bythe site address but also by the date accessed.) If a webpage is no longer available at the givenaddress, search for it on Google or some other search engine, or find an alternative.This little booklet is also a work in progress. It is written with the intention of helping to getresearchers going, rather than with the thought that it is in any way exhaustive. However, whatis so amazing is that the sites listed here will give the researcher anywhere in the world—or thewoods—access to a whole library of primary sources and secondary, scholarly literature thatcollege libraries not long ago could only have dreamed of owning—for free! One only needsaccess to the world wide web of ever increasing information.

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