Friday, December 30, 2011

The Biblical World's Top Posts of 2011

Well this year is all but over. I have been blogging now for seventeen months. It all started as an experiment. I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it or not. To be honest, I find it a bit addictive. And I think the statistics help keep me going. I average about 24,000 visitors a month. But even more important than the statistics are the comments and emails. From time to time I wonder if this is project that is eating up too much of my time. Then I get a comment thanking me for a post. Or I receive an email telling me how much they enjoy my blog or how a post was inspiring to them. And so I continue.

What is funny, however, is the posts that seem to generate the most traffic are not the ones I would expect. And sometimes they are the ones that required the least amount of thought and effort. And so here they are, the top five posts of 2011.

  1. The number one post of 2011 was actually written on December 2, 2010. But the attention it received was concentrated in the first 5 months of the year. The world watched as the end of the world was predicted to end on May 21st, 2011. And the date passed, and we are still here. But my post on the topic received 13,987 hits.
  2. The second most popular post was about the supposed discovery of the Ark of the Covenant in Greece. This was short piece that I posted mostly because I thought it was silly. But several "prophecy" web sites picked up on it and it received 8,350 hits.
  3. The third is also rapture related. I posted a video about the invention of the rapture, which not only generated 4,642 hits, but also made a number of people upset with me.
  4. In fourth place is a post I did in June about questioning the historicity of the Adam and Eve story.
  5. Finally, in fifth place is a post I did on Urban Legends of the Bible. Actually, I got the idea from Trevin Wax who listed the items first.  I made the post on April 28th and received some good responses. But then about a month ago a Polish web site picked up on it and re-posted it . That drove the hit count up to 3,967. 

While the top five certainly generated some traffic, here are some of my personal favorites from this year.

  1. Resurrection: The Hope of Easter explained why I still have hope.
  2. What we need to do after the rapture doesn't happen was my attempt to encourage people not to laugh at those who thought May 21 was the end of the world. Instead I suggested that they would need some to minister to them.
  3. Between Fear and Faith was my thinking out loud about what happens when the faith you were raised on goes under radical change.
  4. The Myth of the Church's Golden Age was me ranting about how everyone wants to go back to the good old days of the New Testament church. I suggested that no such golden age ever existed.
  5. Finally, a more recent post was When the Manger is Empty: Childless at Christmas. This was an attempt at expressing the emotional and theological dissonance felt by infertile couples at this time of the year. I had no idea so many people would find it helpful. 

There are many more I could mention, but these are the ones that stand out in my mind. And the responses to them encourage me to keep blogging. So to all my readers, wherever you are, I wish you a happy and prosperous new year. And I look forward to hearing from you in 2012.


  1. And a happy and prosperous new year to you also.

    I'm glad you kept blogging for the simple reason that this is one of the finest blogs out there. I love the way you're an academic and yet are so easily understandable and absorbing to read.

    That can't be said for everyone!

  2. Hey, Doctor John!
    We appreciate you! Keep up the good stuph.