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“Bible Odyssey” Web Site: For General Readers

November 13, 2014

There’s a recently-launched web site providing information on the Bible for a general readership:  “Bible Odyssey” a link here.  It’s sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature (the main/largest professional body of scholars in biblical studies and cognate subjects).  The site continues to develop, but already there are many brief articles on various biblical texts, personalities, themes, etc., and there is the opportunity to “ask a scholar” about something.

It’s good to see competent scholarship taking to the Internet increasingly, recognizing a responsibility for public dissemination of scholarly work.

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  1. I note that there are a couple of sessions at SBL on academic work in the blogosphere. Such as James McGrath’s involvement in S24-308 SBL Blogger and Online Publication Section
    It is good to see it becoming more accepted, or at least open for discussion.

  2. Steve Walach permalink

    Good Morning, Larry –

    I just scanned the “Bible Odyssey” website and I am thrilled. It has numerous offerings from many legitimate scholars plus an easy-to-navigate and visually appealing layout. The articles are brief, as you note, but they also provide links to lengthier discussions.

    Back in 1999 at the University of Edinburgh in your Inaugural Lecture: “New Testament Studies at the Turn of the Millennium: Questions for the Discipline,” you said: “For the health of a given religious tradition, it is in fact advisable for its sacred scriptures to be investigated with all the scholarly resources offered in a modern university.”

    Your blog has certainly maintained the spirit of your inaugural lecture, and “Bible Odyssey” is another significant attempt to engage the modern world in ancient subject matter whose influence has not diminished with time but, I would argue, has actually increased – yet it currently receives little thoughtful examination at the undergraduate level.

    Just for fun I searched the upcoming spring semester course offerings at two prestigious Ivy League universities for classes on Paul – a subject of your recent posts.

    At Brown University I found no offerings, and at Harvard only one – in the religious studies department. Neither school offered any classes on Paul’s letters in their literature departments. Considering Paul’s enormous influence as an essayist, wouldn’t literature departments be obliged to pay his work serious attention – at least as much as they do to Swift, Twain, Foucault and Derrida?

    Big discussion, I know, but thanks for the link to Bible Odyssey, and once again for your willingness to blog and engage.

  3. If I could also plug our little project: a timeline on early Christian history and origins, from Second Temple Judaism to the Council of Chalcedon. So far around 70 scholars (including a few Edinburgh alumni) have agreed to contribute. You can see the beta site at

    • CHecking a couple of things oon your new site, I find some problems that are particularly troublesome for a site for general readers. E.g., the entry on the Gospel of Thomas simply asserts that it was initially composed in Aramaic, then Syriac and then translated into Greek. But this is only one (very much contested) hypothesis, by no means a consensus view. When writing for the general public, contentious ideas should be noted as such, and the misleading impression should not be given that this or that view is simply “the way it is”. That’s a dis-service to the very people in view.

  4. Thank you so much for such a nice site to read the Bible in General ,,,,,Shirley Capes

  5. Reblogged this on Veritas Venator and commented:
    I’m very pleased that Larry Hurtado shared the information about this new website, “Bible Odyssey,” with his readers. As I’ve perused this wonderful website, I’ve found some helpful items here. My favorite feature, however, is the large magnifying glass where you can “ask a scholar.” This is a very friendly-user website, and the tabs at the top will help direct where you’d like to go. Please take a look and save this website under your “favorites.” If you’re a serious student of the Bible, you’ll certainly appreciate it.

  6. Peter Turnill permalink

    Looks good, but in the ‘About’ section there’s this:

    “Why Bible Odyssey Website?
    The Bible is a revered text for many and holds an iconic status in American and even global culture.”

    ‘Even’ global culture?! What is ‘global culture’ anyway?

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