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Working on a website

March 5, 2011

I’ve been working on developing a website for my students and this is my first real attempt at web design. I’d love feedback from any design-savvy people out there. Here is what I’ve got so far. I’m trying to make a site that students (1) will find useful for learning more about my courses, and (2) can turn to for help with exegesis, language study, bibliography, etc.

I’m open to your suggestions. . . .

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Wieland permalink
    March 5, 2011 3:07 pm

    Looks good to me.
    Only thing I stumbled was the MOC banner above your courses. It looks strange to me, first the color does not fit to the rest and second it looks like an advertisement, not scholarly. I would remove it. It does not add content.

  2. March 5, 2011 3:37 pm

    Thanks, Wieland. I appreciate the feedback!

  3. March 5, 2011 6:41 pm

    The format looks good to me, and it always reassures me as to a scholar’s productivity when I see them drinking coffee. 🙂 Looking forward to there being content as well!

  4. March 6, 2011 12:53 am

    James, thanks for giving it a look. I’ve only finished three pages. I need to spend more time on the other two but I wanted to get something launched. As you know, getting started is sometimes a slow process.

  5. March 6, 2011 10:36 pm

    It looks great to me, Christopher. I really like to see scholars putting up websites with lots of good online content, teaching resources and more.

    Couldn’t resist taking a quick look at a couple of the handouts. Thanks for including the Farrer Theory in your discussion of the Synoptic Problem. Query, though, on your Marcan Priority handout. You have several arguments for Marcan Priority and then a warning in blue:

    “Caution: Q is a hypothetical document! We can refer to it with some confidence but we ought not to attempt redaction criticism on it!”

    Are you not in danger here of implying to your students that acceptance of Marcan Priority necessitates the acceptance also of the Q hypothesis?

  6. March 7, 2011 12:43 am


    Thanks for taking a look at the site. You are probably right in your critique of my Markan priority handout. This is because I tell my students that I hold (loosely) to some version of Q. I guess I’m tipping my hand. Perhaps I should leave it out. Any suggestions for how to improve the Synoptic Problem handout?

  7. March 7, 2011 8:26 pm

    Skinner –

    From a ‘lay’ perspective, your site looks GREAT! Good job on the layout and I look forward to seeing it develop.

    Your pal in Poole,


  8. March 7, 2011 8:29 pm

    One other note… you should go to to buy your domain name and have it forwarded to your website address. I checked and is available!



  9. Wieland permalink
    March 8, 2011 11:40 am

    Regarding the Synoptic Problem:
    Hasn’t the argument from order been challenged by William Farmer?

  10. March 15, 2011 2:47 pm

    Thanks, Christopher. My point is that your handout on Marcan Priority doesn’t have anything about Q on it, but then you have a big blue warning about Q at the bottom, which implies — strongly, I think — that acceptance of Marcan Priority necessitates acceptance also of Q.

    In my opinion, the arguments you list for Marcan Priority are not that strong. Several of them include data that Griesbachians use to argue for their theory, especially (1) and (2) (cf. Wieland’s comment).

    I have attempted to lay out my own arguments for Marcan Priority in two places, The Synoptic Problem: A Way Through the Maze, Chapter 3 (for introductory students) and The Case Against Q, Chapter 2 (for more advanced students). I also have an article that argues that editorial fatigue provides a good argument for Marcan Priority — “Fatigue in the Synoptics”, New Testament Studies 44 (1998), pp. 45-58, reproduced at I also have a series of podcasts related to the Synoptic Problem, including a couple on Marcan Priority, gathered together at .

    You ask about your Synoptic Problem handout. I really like your diagrams, but I would comment that one of the difficulties with the way that the Synoptic Problem is taught — almost universally — is that people do not teach the Synoptic *Problem*. Rather, they teach solutions and in particular one solution to it. I think it is really important first to teach the problem, to explain to students the contours of the problem, to get them familiar with the data. If it’s any help, I have my first lecture handout on the SP uploaded along with an extended podcast to illustrate how I tackle the Synoptic Problem before addressing solutions to it —

    • March 15, 2011 6:01 pm


      Thanks for suggesting the resources. I’ll have to take a look at your material and update what I’ve got. The material I have on my site is about 6 or 7 years old. I put it together when I started teaching several years ago and haven’t really had time to update it. Perhaps now is a good time, especially in light of the wealth of material avaialble to help me revise it.

  11. July 8, 2011 6:54 pm

    For any site to be useful to a particular target group, it is important to offer relevant information (as you clearly do) and ideally something that will fulfil a basic need. One of the most useful and easy to provide benefits is saving people time and effort. This in turn involves knowing the needs of the people who you are looking to reach and giving them information that will achieve that goal. In our case this is not difficult and you appear to be doing well too!

    The most useful advice I can offer is to consider alternative wording for terms that are instinctive to you. Not everybody refers to topics in the same way. Hope this helps!

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