Guest Editorial -- By: Roger R. Nicole

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 51:1 (Mar 2008)
Article: Guest Editorial
Author: Roger R. Nicole

Guest Editorial

Roger Nicole

It is a distinct honor to be requested by JETS editor, Dr. Andreas Köstenberger, to prepare an editorial for this issue of the Journal. As one of the two surviving original founders of the Evangelical Theological Society, I take great pleasure in doing this and in attempting to recast in my memory some of the significant events and developments in its course.

JETS is fifty years old! For a theological magazine to achieve a record of fifty years of continuous circulation is really quite an event. Fifty years ago there were probably not ten religious quarterlies in the United States that could make such a claim. Our oldest biblical quarterly, Bibliotheca Sacra, has reached 165 years, but it did survive three drastic changes of editorship and places of publication (Andover Theological Seminary, 40 years; Oberlin Theological Seminary, 38 years; Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary, 14 years; Dallas Theological Seminary, 73 years).

And the great series associated with Princeton Theological Seminary as a citadel of conservative thinking has seen a multitude of changes of titles and editors while retaining over more than 100 years its basic commitment to the supreme authority of Scripture. Founded in 1825 by Charles Hodge as the Biblical Repertory, it quickly added the name Princeton Review (1829) and was published under the editorship or influence of Charles Hodge until 1871. A successor, the Presbyterian Quarterly and Princeton Review, lasted only 6 years. The Princeton Review and New Princeton Review, designed as general quarterlies of humanities, represented a drastic change of purpose and lasted only 11 years. The true succession came through the Presbyterian Review (1880–1889), but a dual editorship was seen as unworkable, and the Presbyterian and Reformed Review resumed to the full Charles Hodge’s stance (1890–1902), continued in the Princeton Theological Review (1903–1929), whose tradition is carried out in the Westminster Theological Journal (1938-present).

By contrast, JETS has benefited from a remarkable straight line of development, being notably consistent in its advocacy from the beginning to the present day of the inerrancy of Scripture as the Word of God. At the same time there has been a significant growth in the size, quality, and circulation of the Journal, which has undoubtedly been favored by the excellence of its editors and God’s great blessing on our Society.

From its very start in 1949 the Evangelical Theological Society expressed its purpose as “providing a medium for oral exchange and written expression of thought and research” among evangelical scholars. The ora...

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