Book Recommendation for Aspiring Biblical Scholars: Inking the Deal

By the time I was into my second year of undergrad, I was firmly set upon going forward in my studies, working on a PhD in New Testament, and teaching the New Testament as my vocation. I am very grateful that I have been able to realize my goals, and I'm in a wonderful position as an Assistant Professor at Acadia Divinity College.

As I was finishing up my undergrad, I was deciding where to do my grad studies, and I focused my attention on Craig Evans, who is one of the top NT scholars on the planet. What impressed me most at that time, and even more so now that he is my mentor and colleague, is his work ethic and prolific writing. I remember asking Craig quite often how he does it, and was able to gain some insights. But I continue to stand in awe of evangelical scholars who both teach and publish at high standards.

So imagine my delight when an equally prolific New Testament scholar, who also resides in Canada, published in 2010 a book that specifically encourages and explains to up and coming scholars how to live a "publishing lifestyle." Stanley Porter's book Inking the Deal: A Guide for Successful Academic Publishing

Here is the TOC:

  1. Types of Publication
  2. Basic Principles of a Publishable Manuscript
  3. Always Writing for Publication
  4. Pick your Poison: Selection of a Publisher
  5. Presentation is Almost Everything
  6. Handling Rejection—it will come
  7. Handling Acceptance—it too will come
  8. Will I Run Out of Publishable Ideas?
  9. Living a Publishing Lifestyle
  10. Learning the Trade with Others
  11. Final Words of Encouragement

I loved this book and would recommend it to every almost-PhD, current-PhD, and just-finished-PhD student in Biblical Studies. It gives you insight that previously you could only get if you were shooting the breeze with a prolific scholar. Stan opens up his life to help readers understand the mindset and practices which brings about regular publishing.

The practical insight regarding publishing and dealing with publishers is great. But what really stood out to me when I read this, and what has shaped my mindset, is the chapters about lifestyle (chapters 1, 3, 8-11). The advice in these chapters is much-needed lifestyle advice for young scholars.

Take the time and check it out, you won't be disappointed!

Posted by Danny Zacharias.