Black and white picture of J. Farrell Till

Welcome! With a great deal of reluctance, I decided earlier this year to discontinue the paper version of The Skeptical Review with the last issue of 2002. I belong to the generation that prefers to read words on paper, but I realize that this attitude is rapidly changing. With time, I expect that even the TSR fans of my generation will become accustomed to the on-line version. I have no doubt that the new version will make my workload more manageable, because there will be no publishing deadlines. Articles will be posted when they are completed rather than at specific dates like January/February, March/April, etc., so the pressure of deadlines will be a thing of the past. The on-line version will also eliminate the clerical work involved in bookkeeping, updating address files, printing and affixing labels, sorting and bundling by zip codes, and such like.

The electronic version will also give me some badly needed assistance that wasn't possible with the paper version, because volunteers won't have to live in the same town or geographical area in order to help with the work that must be done. I live in Central Illinois, but the ones assisting me with the electronic version live in different parts of the country. Electronic communications make this possible, whereas a paper version would have required everyone working on the paper to live in the same general area. I had many subscribers write to say that they would like to help me. The offers were appreciated, but there wasn't much that volunteers in California or Florida or Arizona could do to help an editor in Illinois.

All that has changed with the electronic version. Three assistants, in particular, have already been invaluable to me in beginning the on-line version of TSR. Rob Miles is doing the html work and actual posting of the articles, which I send to him as e-mail attachments. Jim Java is working on a design for the site, which has not yet been completed, but he assures me that the maintenance of it will be simple. Jack Corbin is hosting through his site, where he has maintained a complete archive for postings to the Errancy list.

The on-line version of TSR will also publish articles by writers who believe in biblical inerrancy, and as was the case with the paper version, these articles will be published with rebuttals, which the inerrantist writers may respond to if they wish. I will not publish inerrantist articles that use what I call the Everette Hatcher approach, which consists of detailed listings of and truncated quotations from books and authors that agree with the inerrancy position but make little or no attempt to defend the claims and opinions cited. Unsolicited articles from biblical errantists will also be published if they meet the criteria of relevance and in-depth discussion. By in-depth discussion, I mean that writers should make reasonable attempts to explain why apparent inconsistencies between biblical texts should be considered real discrepancies. Simply pointing out, for example, that 2 Samuel 24:24 says that David paid 50 shekels of silver for the threshing-floor that he bought from Araunah whereas 1 Chronicles 21:25 says that he paid 600 shekels of gold for it would not meet the criterion of in-depth discussion. What would informed biblical inerrantists offer as possible explanations of this apparent discrepancy? What are the problems with the explanations? Why should they not be considered satisfactory explanations? Including information like this in articles would give readers information needed to help them counter whatever "explanations" biblicists may offer in their attempts to solve this discrepancy.

I would expect those whose articles are published to be willing to respond to inerrantists who may write replies to their articles, because I will not have the time to respond to everyone. Those who submit articles should understand that they may have to defend what they say, so they should make sure that they are informed enough on the issues to know how to reply to the solutions that inerrantists may propose. I therefore strongly urge that newcomers to the issue of biblical discrepancies not try to write articles with no more background than having read something in Bible Handbook, Bible Absurdities, or The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy, because examples of biblical discrepancies are often discussed only superficially in works like these.

The fact that an article is published at this site won't necessarily mean that I agree with everything said in the article, so believers in biblical inerrancy should not expect me to reply to objections that they may find in articles that I didn't write. If the issues are of sufficient interest to me, I may reply to objections, but I will depend mainly on the authors of the articles to write their own replies.

Since some articles have already been submitted, I can tell that finding time to read submissions is going to be a problem. All I can do is promise to look at submissions as time permits. At the moment, I still have editorial responsibilities with the paper edition of The Skeptical Review, and I am very busy in debates with the would-be apologist Robert Turkel. I am also working on a reply to Mark McFall's attempt to find "uniqueness" in the New Testament claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. I am now giving priority to these projects, but I will look at submitted articles as time allows.

Meanwhile, I extend this belated welcome to those who come to this site hoping to find useful information on the subject of biblical inerrancy. I hope you won't be disappointed.
J. Farrell Till
Editor and Publisher

In Loving Memory

Farrell passed away on October 3, 2012
1933 - 2012

Rest in peace, old friend

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