Which Journals to Try to Publish in for NT…? My List and Some Comments

Some fellow NT postgrads here at Durham were discussing possible ideas for future articles (that we hope one day to publish) and we came upon the question of what journal(s) to aim for (with journals specifically interested in New Testament, but not limited to just NT [e.g., may include OT, 2nd Temple Judaism, early Christianity, etc…]). I have my own ideas of what is out there and which are ‘the best’, but I hope this can turn into a conversation where others can chime in. I will list my thoughts below, and also some notes at the end as to why I have left off some which others may wonder about.

BEST (this category is where anyone hopes to publish alongside scholars of the highest respect; it is quite difficult to get in, the competition is steep, the reviewers rigorously critical, etc…;NB: the order in which I list them is not relevant).

1. Journal of Biblical Literature

2. Journal for the Study of the New Testament

3. Novum Testamentum

4. New Testament Studies

5. Catholic Biblical Quarterly

6.  Journal of Theological Studies

VERY GOOD

1. Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

2. Biblical Interpretation

3. Tyndale Bulletin

4. Biblical Theology Bulletin

5. Neotestamentica

6. Horizons in Biblical Theology

7. Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism

8. Journal of Theological Intepretation

9. Biblica

GOOD

1. Bulletin for Biblical Research

2. Australian Biblical Review

3. Andrews University Seminary Studies

4. Perspectives in Religious Studies

OTHER JOURNALS OF NOTE

1. Expository Times – pastoral/lay-level sorts of biblical observations could be accepted by ET

2. Journal of Early Christian Studies – I don’t know much about this one.

3. Harvard Theological Review – I would put this one above, but I am not sure whether they take unsolicited submissions.

4. Currents in Biblical Research – though I would put this above under VERY GOOD, from my understanding they are not exactly a blind-peer reviewed journal.  I hold the periodical in high respect, though.

NOTES/ANTICIPATED QUESTIONS

1. Why not Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society? I am an evangelical, but I feel that some evangelical periodicals seem to be a relatively closed discussion for ‘insiders’. But, I did include Tyndale Bulletin and Bulletin for Biblical Research because I feel like they are read and respected more widely. Just because a periodical does not appear on the above list does not mean that I disrespect the journal or would not ever publish with them myself. I simply do not find others on my radar of top NT journals. I will and have sent paper proposals to journals not on this list.

2. What about seminary journals (Trinity Journal, Westminster, etc…)? Once in a while a really good article finds its way into these, but I do not find them to be open conversations overall. I am happy to see good scholars publishing with them. I will try and publish with them. But, I don’t rank them on the list above, except Andrews USS, which I think is not the typical ‘seminary’ journal.

3. What about German (titled) and French (titled) periodicals. Some (like Revue biblique and ZNW) are quite good, but I have not read them enough to comment on them and rank them.

4. What about cross-over theology journals? I did include JTS, but otherwise I am primarily interested in ones that will accept articles that appeal to NT scholars and where you generally don’t have to transliterate Greek/Hebrew. However, I am very happy with Scottish Journal of Theology and Interpretation.

CONCLUSION: If I have overlooked major ones, do let me know through the comments. If you feel like I have severely miscategorized one, I will consider an argument for bumping up or down, but the list is admittingly very subjective – especially since I have no journal articles in print myself! I have been rejected several times, though, but I only like to be rejected by the best…

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14 thoughts on “Which Journals to Try to Publish in for NT…? My List and Some Comments

  1. “2. Journal of Early Christian Studies – I don’t know much about this one.”

    Most of the articles in JECS are about 2nd-5th century Christianity, not a whole lot about the New Testament itself.

  2. Biblica should be in the “good” list, same with “journal of greco-roman christianity and judaism”. JTS, BBR, and HTR should all be bumped up one classification.

    You missed Currents in Biblical Research and Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, which would go in the middle category.

    Irish Biblical Studies could fall in the GOOD category, and ETL, JETS, SJOT, and ZNW should fall be on there as well.

  3. Thanks Danny. I have demoted Biblica and promoted JTS as you and others have reasoned (though I guess I think more highly of Biblica than others do!). I did not put Irish Biblical Studies officially on the ranking because I am not sure if they are blind-peer reviewed.

  4. Nijay,

    NTS has to be first. Non-negotiable. It is the journal for SNTS which is the chief academic society of the discipline. Next is JSNT and NovT. CBQ and JBL would be a tie for fourth as oh-so-american biblical studies journals. I think TynBul and BBR are the best “evangelical” journals around and warrant an inclusion. Biblica I’m ambivalent about but definitely JTS (and ( would SJT). So many others to think of too!

  5. Mike,
    Thanks for your contribution. I would not put NTS first (even though my numbering order was not significant. I would probably put JBL first, but then again, I am an American :).

  6. Biblica’s stock *could* go up when there is a change in the NT editorship: the current editor uses the journal as his own vanity press.

    Yes, HTR *does* consider unsolicited manuscripts. They value politeness (at least from those who don’t teach at Harvard) and short footnotes, and they don’t tolerate in-house discussions.

    I find JSNT a bit too trendy, too Sheffieldian, and too clickish–but still very important.

    If your submissions have been turned down too often, why not have someone who has published a lot read them and offer pointers? Learn to write clearly and directly. (The best way to do that is to listen to a lot of Bob Dylan!)

  7. Thanks John. I’m not sure that JSNT deserves the criticism you offer. I’m not sure what it would mean to be too clickish. But, in any case, the editorship has just changed recently (to S.J. Gathercole from David Horrell, I think).

    As for my own work — ouch.

  8. Sorry, when I said “Learn to write clearly and directly”, I didn’t say that based on your own work, as I haven’t read or heard your work. (And you certainly don’t write in an oblique style on your blog.) It’s just general advice that I would give anyone, and usually students need to hear it more than their teachers do.

  9. No worries John :) It is sound advice. Yeah, I do have a scholar pre-view and proof my work before sending it off to a journal (like one or both of my supervisors). But, sometimes its more about patience and longsuffering (sending it off again) than about pure intelligence, as I have heard.
    I see you are a fellow Ohioan. I grew up in Ashland, Ohio and I did my undergrad degree at Miami University of Ohio. Go Bucks!

  10. Is the future really in printed journals anyway? Isn’t it better to publish on the web or in blogs? The problem that I have found with paper is that you cannot correct mistakes, add new evidence or supporting arguments, or interact with others’ recent research.

    Those journals, like Biblica, that allow free acess online should be placed at the top of the rankings, I think.

  11. Richard,
    Thanks for your thoughts. It is nice when journals offer access online for free, but I don’t that should be a primary factor in determining its significance in the field. My list is more descriptive than prescriptive and tenure committees and hiring committees do not have the same kind of appreciation for online access as students do. As far as ‘free’ content, most researchers (student or faculty) are linked to a higher education institution that grants online access through ATLA or otherwise to a host of these top-notch journals (JTS and JBL, for example).

    There are a few online-only journals that are becoming more well-known and respected, but I don’t think this will be a major trend for quite some time.

    One thing I would like to see, though, is all journals listed above moving towards accepting emailed (vs paper) submissions. It is more convenient for the sender, easy to mark-up on WORD (or nowadays with fancier PDF editors), and it saves some trees and stamp costs (and time in transit). I have noticed, in practice, that some journals will accept email submissions though their official guidelines do not allow this option. I would not presume, so query the editor.

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