Biblical Archaeology Review 44:6, November/December 2018

First Person: Political v. Partisan

By Robert R. Cargill

One of my favorite parts of serving as Editor of BAR is reading the letters I receive from our readers. Many ask informed questions about the articles we publish. We include many of these questions along with responses from the articles’ authors in our Queries&Comments section. Some letters thank BAR for a job well done. I like these letters. Others request that we investigate certain issues and serve as suggestions for future articles.

And then there are those other letters, the complaints. Believe it or not, I like these too, for various reasons. Some of them provide valuable feedback on the job we are doing, offering helpful suggestions for improvement. Others are off-base, off-color, and downright nasty. Some are comical, including one that complained about my unreadable signature. I use some letters to respond further to important issues. We can’t publish them all, but I try to print a sample of the letters we receive to give you an overall sense of the various reactions to each issue.

Recently I’ve noticed an uptick in the number of letters we’ve received regarding the issue of politics, specifically, asking why BAR has gotten “so political” as of late.

I do not believe this is the case, and I reaffirm and maintain BAR’s long-standing policy of keeping partisan political debates out of the pages of BAR.

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