The journal intends to be both high quality and innovative, thus the editorial policy strives to balance academic merit and methodological rigor with methodological innovation and novelty. Some longer-established venues can be susceptible to ‘conservatism’ in regards to topics and methodologies, due to the nature of the old model of peer review: typically by older, well-established scholars more familiar with older paradigms and sometimes defensive of their own scholarship. The journal hopes to rectify this problem and increase opportunities for more junior scholars and innovative, relatively untested methodologies, without surrendering over-all quality.
Academic merit. Academic merit largely consists of four things: knowledge of the relevant material, critical acumen in its analysis, awareness of relevant literature, and the positing of new questions and/or answers. The editors will ensure that all published articles fulfill these criteria.
Methodological innovation. Vibrant scholarship progresses not only through the application of tried methodologies, but in the development, refinement, and application of new ones. The editors will seek to publish articles which attempt to create or refine methodologies more than ones that rehearse older methodologies.
Methodological rigor. A methodology is useless if it is not utilized in the appropriate manner, extent, or context. The editors will ensure that methodologies used in articles are appropriately justified, adapted for the article’s stated aims, and thoroughly applied as appropriate.
Topical importance. Not all important topics are ‘trendy’, in pop culture or in academia. The editors will seek to evaluate the relevance of an article on the inherent value of the topic chosen rather than on the popularity of the topic at the time of publication. Moreover, by retaining a broader disciplinary scope than many journals, the journal will be able to promote discussion across artificial boundaries more easily. E.g., topics related to imperialism are just as relevant to the HB as the NT, the Talmud, the ANE, and the later reception of the text. Keeping the scope broad will therefore enable themed issues across traditional subfield boundaries.
Topical novelty. The above criterion means that the editors will also attempt to prioritize new topics of interest where possible.
Blind peer review. There are numerous critiques of the double-blind peer review system, not least of which is the fact that in small fields anonymity is often not possible. The journal therefore proposes to follow the lead of some of the natural sciences in making the process of review more transparent and open via the use of a forum peer review instead of the traditional double-blind system.
Editorial discretion. Since studies have shown that truly novel and innovative research has difficulty in getting funded or published, the editors will have the discretion to choose risky publications that are nevertheless ground-breaking and innovative, in the understanding that will generate discussion and debate.