This online anthology of several papers given by Robert Kraft on copies of Greek Jewish scriptures contains, apart from actual texts, a number of images of fragments of the Septuagint and a short bibliography. The main scope of Kraft's site is the extent of continuity or discontinuity between Jewish scribal culture and early Christian practices at the beginning of the Christian era. 'Textual Mechanics' also lists a number of links to related sites, document lists, and bibliographic information. 'Textual Mechanics' is not the most user-friendly site you may encounter: its layout could be much improved. However, it is worth making an effort to read through this resource, as its content fully compensates for its lack in form.
The Amos Hypertext Bible Hypermedia Commentary is a fascinating website devoted to a commentary on the Book of Amos. Including literary and linguistic commentary (displayed by clicking on hyperlinked words), background history and archaeology, the site is designed to enrich Bible students' understanding of popular translations of the scriptures. The site offers both a literal English rendering of the text and the Hebrew version, and audio files of both of these are also available. The site is edited and designed by Dr Tim Bulkeley, and offers links to his other biblical studies resources, including notes on the books of Jonah and Ruth.
Felix Just's resource provides a succinct overview of the different periods of Israelite, Jewish, and early Christian history, ranging from 3000 BCE to the Edict of Milan in 313 CE (plus a very brief summary of the major phases of the history of Israel up to the present day). Several additional charts open up specific periods and events into greater detail. Containing Biblical genealogy as well as historical chronology, this site is intended for beginners in the field and people wanting basic information on the periodisation of Biblical history.
The Biblioblogs website is best described as a meta-blog: a blog which exists to draw together information about other blogs - in this case those focusing on biblical studies and related fields. Editors Brandon Wason and Jim West provide links to and brief reviews of a wide range of weblogs which bear on this subject area. The majority of those listed relate to the Christian tradition, but Judaism is also represented. A regular Blog of the Month feature includes interviews with notable biblical studies bloggers. Readers are invited to suggest other suitable blogs for inclusion on the site. A useful resource for those wishing to explore this aspect of the Blogosphere.
The British Library's Sacred Texts website provides information about the library's collection of religious books and writings. In total, 78 texts are listed, dating from the 1st century to the year 1900: the majority of these are from the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions, but there are also some Buddhist, Hindu, and Zoroastrian works. Highlights include: a Gutenberg Bible; Codex Sinaiticus (the earliest surviving manuscript of the New Testament); the Lindesfarne Gospels; the Golden Haggadah (a lavishly illustrated Jewish prayer book); Sultan Baybar's Qu'ran; and the Gandharan Scrolls (possibly the oldest surviving Buddhist texts). A description giving historical and religious context is provided for each text, along with a high-quality zoomable image. More comprehensive versions of eight key texts are available via the British Library's 'Turn the Pages' feature, which uses Shockwave to simulate the experience of reading the physical book. The Curator's Choice section offers audio recordings (with transcripts) of experts talking about a number of the works. A visually attractive and valuable site.
This website, published by the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Libraries, features a set of online exhibitions relating to Jewish history from 600BCE to the twentieth century. The exhibitions have been produced by the Centre for Advanced Judaic Studies, a post-doctoral college at the University, and cover a range of topics in Jewish history. These include Jewish history and culture in Eastern Europe; Jewish biblical interpretation; modern Jewry and the arts; Christian Hebraism; and Jewish traditions. The exhibitions all follow the same format, featuring an introduction, digitised exhibits with explanatory notes, and suggested further reading. They should be of particular interest to graduate and post-graduate students.
The Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (CPART), based at Brigham Young University, aims to assist scholars and others in the conservation, imaging, and distribution of ancient documents. CPART is copying significant and rare religious manuscripts to microfilm, photographic, and/or electronic media. The texts themselves are not available online (although a DVD of Syriac manuscripts from the Vatican Library is available for purchase), but the website does give information about the projects with which it is involved, including: the Dead Sea Scrolls Project; Herculaneum Project; Petra Papyrus Project; Bonampak Project; and the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative. Related audio-visual material (including recordings of lectures) is available for some of the projects. The site also gives details of the Center's plans to build an Eastern Christian Research Library. This includes bibliographical information: at time of writing, a Syriac bibliography was available, and a Coptic bibliography was planned.
'Dead Sea Scrolls' is a website consisting of a number of translations of fragments of the Scrolls found in the caves at Qumran. The texts are listed according to their content, e.g. Pentateuchal texts; legal and ritual texts; Psalms; wisdom literature; sectarian texts etc. Some translations are preceded by a short introduction. Parts of this site are borrowed from 'Outline of objects and topics of scrolls of the Dead Sea'. Some of the texts are hosted on the site; for others, links to material elsewhere online are provided.
'Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran' offers a treasure of information about the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves and the context in which they were written. Mitchell Hoselton has created a site which combines his own knowledge and material on the field with that of other electronic resources, which make these pages a gateway to other sites as well as a very useful secondary source in its own right. Among the most interesting contents are the inventory of caves; the timelines; ancient and modern profiles (short biographies); the glossary; and the bibliography. His links include images, bibliographies, and URLs of major academic departments and centres studying the Scrolls, although unfortunately the list does not appear to have been updated recently, resulting in some broken links.
The Institute for Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts (IMHM) contains "microfilm copies of all Hebrew manuscripts extant in public and private collections. Over 74,000 reels, representing more than 90% of known Hebrew manuscripts are available." Most recently, over 20,000 manuscripts have been microfilmed from Russian collections, especially documents from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The IMHM maintains an ongoing and thoroughgoing search for small obscure samples and collections of all existing manuscripts written in Hebrew anywhere in the world. This site enables the reader to search the catalogue of the IMHM or to order copies of microfilms in their collection. It also provides information on research opportunities at the Institute, as well as a bibliography on the subject and a list of libraries which hold a microfiche catalogue of the Institute's resources. There is a good list of relevant global archival and library links and the Institute also has its own blog. This site is a remarkably interesting and valuable resource for researchers.
Early Jewish Writings is a useful online gateway, providing links to texts of many Jewish religious and historical texts, together with additional online study resources such as introductions, commentaries and encyclopaedia entries. The corpus of links includes material on: the Tanakh (familiar to Christians as the Old Testament) and Deuterocanon (also known as the Apocrypha); various Jewish, Hellenistic, and Christian pseudepigrapha; and an introduction to the Talmud. The site also hosts the complete works of Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. While full primary texts are not available for all of the other works covered by this resource, and the quality of the online resources linked to varies from text to text, the editor provides much helpful introductory material, often in the form of excerpted material from biblical scholars. This is particularly useful for those approaching the less familiar works for the first time, or for undergraduate students of theology or classics in search of a study aid. This is a non-commercial site, but readers can support this project by purchasing a CD-ROM, which offers a more detailed version of these resources.
The g-Megillot email list is an electronic forum devoted to scholarly discussion of the Dead Sea Scrolls and allied subjects. The list is vigorously moderated to ensure the relevance and quality of posts: subscription to the list is limited to specialists in the field - typically those with a higher degree in a relevant subject and a knowledge of the appropriate languages (Hebrew and Aramaic). However, some content is available to all: although the list's main archive is only accessible by list members, there is also a back-up archive which is publicly viewable. Posts may be in English, Hebrew, German, or French, though in practice the majority of the material posted to the list is in English. A valuable resource for advanced scholars working in this area.
The Dead Sea Scrolls comprise a huge number of manuscripts found in caves near Qumran and dating from the intertestamental period (circa 250 BCE to 70 CE). Published by the Gnostic Society Library, this Dead Sea Scrolls Collection website offers an introductory guide to resources on the Qumran documents available both in print and online. It offers information on: the story of the Scrolls; texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls; a timetable of Dead Sea Scroll scholarship; as well as recommended books and online resources for further study. Most usefully for the beginner, the site also provides access to a large range of English translations of selected texts from the scrolls.
The Great Isaiah Scroll website concerns one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in the caves at Qumran. The scroll dates from around 100 B.C. and contains the complete text of the biblical book of Isaiah. This site provides quality images of the scroll, column by column, each accompanied by an English translation and a transcription into modern Hebrew. Also given is a description of the physical characteristics of each scroll section, and information about differences between the Qumran text and the Masoretic version of Isaiah (that is, the version on which the standard biblical text has traditionally been based). An interesting resource for those wishing to learn more about the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Greek Bible in the Graeco-Roman World website provides information about an AHRB-funded joint project between the Universities of Southampton and Reading. The project's aim was to provide a re-evaluation of the Greek Bible (Septuagint or LXX) as a source for Jewish interpretation of the hellenistic world - in particular the political, social, and intellectual elements thereof. This involves an assessment of the existing criteria used to date and suggest the context of the translation of the books of the Septuagint, and where possible, to develop new criteria for deducing this information from the text. One major result of the project is the Demetrios database of Septuagint Greek, containing political, legal, and administrative words. The database is still being expanded, but the current version is available online via the project site (although at time of writing only project members had access to the full search capabilities). However, although new material is still being added to the database, users should note that the main project pages are no longer being updated. For those interested in exploring the subject further, a useful links section is provided.
'The Hebrews: A Learning Module' provides an excellent introduction to the history of the Hebrew peoples from the Age of the Patriarchs (beginning c. 1950 BC) to the Diaspora of the Jews in the first century AD. Based largely on the testimony of the Torah and the rest of the Old Testament, the account provided here also introduces corresponding evidence where available. The history is divided into separate chronological web pages, covering periods such as: Egypt and the wanderings; the occupation of Canaan; the Monarchy (with accounts of Saul, David, and Solomon); the two kingdoms (of Israel and Judah); the exile; and the Greeks and the Jews. The site includes a separate section on the Hebrew religion. This looks at the evolution of Jewish scripture and beliefs from the pre-Mosaic period, to monotheism and the prophetic books, to the post-exile reforms. There is a page on the Torah and a glossary of Hebrew terms and concepts. An anthology of Hebrew readings includes extracts from Genesis, Exodus, and Judges. The site also includes a map of ancient Israel, and a list of links to other sites (although a few of these were not in operation at the time this record was reviewed). This site forms part of an online courseware unit from Washington State University's 'World Civilizations' project. It is targeted at students about to begin university and first year undergraduates.
The Hypertext Bible Dictionary offers definitions of and short articles about technical terms, names of people and places, and key concepts relevant to biblical studies. Many of the entries are illustrated with photographs or maps. The site is straightforward to navigate, and internal links make easy to jump between related entries and to discover the meaning of technical terms used in the definitions. The dictionary was compiled by Tim Bulkeley to supplement his online commentary of the book of Amos, and this influences the content to a certain extent, but the range of terms covered is wide enough for this to be a valuable resource for all those beginning biblical studies.
Images of Archaeological Sites in Israel is an online gallery of photos of areas of archaeological interest (chiefly Iron Age sites) that relate to the Old Testament period. Pictures are included of: Arad; Beersheva (sometimes spelt Beersheba); Carmel; Gezer; Hazor; Lachish; and Megiddo. For each location, a brief introduction is given (you may need to scroll down to see this), and explanatory and descriptive comments accompany the full-sized versions of the individual photos. This is a useful resource for anyone wanting to find out more about life in ancient Israel, or looking for images to illustrate presentations. The photos are made available under a Creative Commons licence, so may be used freely for non-commercial purposes.
J.B. Hare established the Internet Sacred Text Archive to make public domain religious and mythological texts available to the interested reader. It brings together material collected by the archive itself with a variety of links from other primary resource sites on the Internet to form one of the largest and far reaching electronic text resources available anywhere. With a somewhat eclectic selection in content, the site includes everything from English translations of the sacred texts of African, Australian, and North American indigenous cultures to Eastern, Neo-Pagan and Occult traditions. Judeo-Christian and Islamic resources are also well represented. The archive is still growing, with new texts added on a regular basis. The need to avoid material which is still in copyright means that many of the translations date from over a hundred years ago, but the variety of resources in translation makes the site invaluable to those lacking extensive foreign language skills who wish to rapidly familiarise themselves with a specific tradition. This site is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to locate an electronic English-language version of a significant religious text from almost any religious tradition.
iTanakh is a classified directory of Internet resources for the academic study of the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible). The site not only contains essays on and exegesis of the Scriptural texts, but also sections on archaeology, biblical history, and ancient Middle-Eastern languages. Long indexes are provided for links to particular topics relevant to biblical study, and to articles discussing various theories and methods of biblical interpretation. Each index heading takes the user to a page of annotated links, mostly to external articles and materials. The site references a good deal of material, pitched at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It should prove a valuable resource for theology students, Christian as well as Jewish, and students of biblical-era archaeology, history, and language. Unfortunately for a site with such a wealth of links, broken connections do not seem to be fixed especially rigorously.
Jewish and Christian Bibles: A Comparative Chart is a single page Web resource juxtaposing information about the number and order of the Old Testament books according to Jewish, Orthodox, Protestant and Catholic tradition. It explains some of the main differences between the scriptures of these groups, including the different ways of categorising the biblical books. A colour-coded system is used to highlight books whose position varies between Bible versions. This is a straightforward and helpful little guide, suitable for those learning or teaching introductory biblical studies. Links are also provided to more detailed statistical information about the Old Testament, and a glossary of biblical terms.
'Jews and Christians Reading the Bible' is the online record of a symposium which took place at Bryn Mawr College in November 2003. The forum took as its starting point the book by David Dawson, 'Christian Figural Reading and the Fashioning of Identity', using this (and scholars' responses to it) as a springboard into discussion of Jewish and Christian interpretation of sacred texts. In addition to a brief introduction to the subject matter, a copy of the conference program, and information about the participants, the site offers recorded webcasts of two of the presentations (those by Rachel Havrelock and Mark Vessey) together with the subsequent discussion. The site is attractively presented and easy to navigate, though it is perhaps a pity that the presentations and discussion are available only as webcasts: there are no transcripts or text versions of the papers. However, for those with the time to listen to the recordings, this has the potential to be an interesting resource.
Founded in 1996, the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures (JHS) is an electronic peer-reviewed periodical (ISSN: 1203-1542) distributed by the University of Alberta. Its primary focus is on linguistic and literary issues and discoveries that have arisen through the study of the Hebrew Bible and other related texts. An abstract accompanies each article, and the full text can be read via one's browser or as a PDF file. Articles from earlier volumes can also be downloaded as Microsoft Word files. In addition to academic articles, the journal publishes a number of book reviews each year. Some articles require a Unicode Hebrew font: links to sites from which one can be downloaded are provided.
Jewish Studies, an Internet Journal (JSIJ), based at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, describes itself as "a peer reviewed, electronic journal dealing with all fields of Jewish studies". The Journal's interesting and high-quality articles are in English and Hebrew, and cover such topics as Suicide in the Bible; and the Talmudic Proverb in its Cultural Setting. The Journal is distributed free of charge via the Internet, where its articles are all available either in Word or PDF format. The site is well-designed and easy to navigate. Its articles should prove useful to undergraduate and postgraduate scholars of Theology; Hebrew and Jewish Studies; and Religious Studies.
As its title suggests, 'Navigating the Bible: online bar/bat mitzvah tutor' focuses on the study of the Hebrew Bible in preparation for the bat/bar mitzvah. However, although its target audience consists predominantly of Jewish children and their tutors, this site offers useful tools for biblical scholars with an interest in Hebrew and Judaism. The whole Torah is available, plus the haftarot (selections from the prophetic books that traditionally accompany Torah readings) and brachot (blessings). The site provides: simple text searches; transliteration of the Hebrew with translations in English, Spanish and Russian options; audio recordings of the Hebrew text; and extensive commentaries, including those of medieval Jewish scholars such as Saadia Gaon, Rashi, Maimonides, et al. Also offered are a reference guide to biblical fauna and flora, and resources for studying biblical genealogy.
The Old Testament Gateway is an annotated academic directory of Internet resources on the Old Testament. It is produced by Tabor College, Victoria, Australia, and is sponsored by Tendai Travel. The site is meant to complement the New Testament Gateway maintained by Dr Mark Goodacre. It provides a search engine and information about its contributors. Students and scholars of the Old Testament will find this resource useful for their work.
Old Testament Life and Literature is an online edition of a book by Gerald A. Larue, originally published in 1968. The work provides a basic introduction to the history contained within the pages of the Hebrew Bible. The electronic version has not been updated and contains a few textual errors. It does, however, include all the maps and images that were in the printed edition. Chapters include the major periods of Israelite biblical history and some discussion of the formation of the Hebrew canon. It is assumed that the reader will have a Bible to hand to refer to where the text indicates, as the text is not hyperlinked to an online Bible.
The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Website is a resource created to accompany a course taught at the School of Divinity of the University of St Andrews. The pseudepigrapha explored in the course are a loose collection of writings attributed to biblical characters and/or set in the Old Testament period: although quasi-biblical in character, they are not part of the official canon of either Judaism or Christianity. The most valuable part of this site is the sizeable collection of lecture notes (ranging from abstracts and summaries to complete texts), which together provide a useful introduction to this subject. Suggestions for further reading are also given. Unfortunately, a reorganisation of the university's website has resulted in some broken internal links, but there is still sufficient information here to make this a helpful resource.
This resource is the home page of the international Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, based at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The main aim of this site is to inform the reader on the Center's research and teaching programmes, its bibliographic resources and the state of its scholarship. Apart from programme outlines and calendars of papers and publications, this page provides an excellent and frequently updated bibliography on the Dead Sea Scrolls, including works in more than ten languages. A separate list of suggested introductory reading is provided in the beginner's guide to the Scrolls. The site also offers a 'tour' of one of the caves at Qumran, complete with aerial photographs and pictures and descriptions of some of the manuscript finds. Finally, it provides details of a discussion list (g-Megillot), and has a page with links to related sites.
'The Pesher to Habakkuk' analyses the 'Pesher' (commentary) on chapters 1 and 2 of the book of the prophet Habakkuk, found at Qumran. This resource contains high quality black and white photographs of the Habakkuk scroll, provided with full verse by verse transcription and translation of the text, and a commentary by Fred Miller. There are also two introductions: one focussing on the text of Habakkuk, and the other on Peshers. Similar to Miller's Isaiah and Zechariah sites, these pages contain a meticulous transcription and grammatical explanation of the Hebrew text but do not offer extensive further interpretation.
The aim of the Geniza Project of the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University is to develop better methodologies for Hebrew and Arabic scholars working with the so-called 'Geniza fragments', which are documents found in the Geniza chamber of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo in the late 19th century. This project ultimately intends to create a full-text database of transcriptions of the documents and to offer a dictionary and morphological tools to facilitate the study of the Geniza texts. The site's target audience is the scholar interested in Middle Eastern archaeology, history and religious developments. This resource requires Hebrew fonts. The site has its own search engine.
'Quntres: an online journal for the history, culture, and art of the jewish book' is a full-text scholarly ejournal. At 2009 there is one issue available, freely offering articles such as: 'Moritz Steinschneider: an Appreciation'; 'The First Printed Edition of Norzi’s Introduction to Minhat Shai, Pisa 1819'; and 'Clarifying the Obfuscation Surrounding the Reissue of Sefer ha-Kavanot'. Articles are provided in both HTML and PDF form, and some articles are in Hebrew only. The journal is published from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. The website has details of the editors, editorial board, and the submissions process.
This website provides study notes on the biblical book of Ruth. The notes begin with an overview of plot, structure, and narration, covering characterization and dialogue. There is also a brief discussion of genre and historico-critical issues. Following this, there is a detailed verse-by-verse commentary on the text, paying particular attention to narrative technique, and highlighting devices such as repetition of key words, unusual phrases, and so on. Internal links to related sections are provided, and clicking on technical terms opens a pop-up window giving a definition (although unfortunately at time of review not all of these were functioning). A useful resource for those embarking on study of this book of the Old Testament.
This website reviews the 'Sacred: Discover What We Share' exhibition which took place at the British Library between the 27th April to the 23rd September 2007. It focuses on the holy books and practices of the three 'Abrahamic faiths' namely Christianity, Judaism and Islam. This home page provides detailed information about the exhibition, and allows access to audio and video recordings of several themes connected to the exhibition like the evolution of the sacred texts; holy sites; and weddings in the three faiths. It also lists 67 of the sacred texts on display (chronologically and by faith) - each of which accompanied by a short commentary and a zoomable high-resolution image.
Scrolls from the Dead Sea is an online exhibit based on the Dead Sea Scroll exhibition held at the Library of Congress, Washington DC in 1993. In spite of its rather primitive layout and sometimes outdated bibliographical references (users should note that the dominant scholarly opinion has shifted since the site was written), it provides valuable information not just about the Scrolls themselves, but also about the Qumran community, about archaeological finds in the area and about the Scrolls' impact on contemporary Jewish and Christian thought. The site includes images of Scroll fragments accompanied by translations of the text, a map of the region, a glossary, resources for teachers and a bibliography.
The Scrolls from the Dead Sea website, prepared by the Library of Congress, takes the form of an online exhibition. The exhibition provides an overview of the historical context of the scrolls and the Qumran community. An account of the discovery of the scrolls in 1947 is also provided, as is an outline of the controversy that surrounds the them. The website was also created with the aim of encouraging a better understanding of the challenges and complexities connected with the researching the scrolls. Images of fragments of the scrolls and photographs of artifacts from the Qumran site, including a scroll jar and its fastenings, are also available.
Sefarad is a Spanish-published peer-reviewed journal of Hebrew, Sephardic, and Near East studies. Appearing twice a year, this publication offers articles and book reviews on topics including: ancient Middle Eastern languages and cultures; philology and textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible; philology and linguistics of the Hebrew and Aramaic languages; the history and culture of the Jews in Spain; and the language, literature, and cultural creativity of the Sephardim. The articles are chiefly in Spanish or English, with occasional pieces in other languages; book reviews are generally in Spanish only. The journal first appeared in 1941, though only the most recent issues (2006 onwards) are available via the website. For six months after publication, material is available solely to subscribers to the print edition of the journal; thereafter, it is freely accessible by all.
'The Septuagint online' is an extensive guide to Internet resources about the Septuagint or LXX, the 3rd century BCE Greek translation of the Old Testament. The author (Joel Kalvesmaki, an editor at Dunbarton Oaks and a PhD student at the Catholic University of America) provides a useful introduction for those new to the subject, but the chief resource the site offers is the well-maintained, annotated lists of links to texts, translations, and studies and other secondary literature. Information is also given about research in progress, upcoming conferences, and scholars specialising in the field. Those who would like to make contact with others working in this area may wish to subscribe to the email discussion list. The site is easy to navigate, and will be a valuable resource to anyone working in Septuagint studies.
These study notes on the Old Testament Book of Jonah look at the text from a primarily literary perspective. A section on Hebrew narrative defines the term and introduces some theoretical aspects of narrative in general. The issues discussed in this section are then applied to Jonah. The author provides short pages on the plot and structure of the story, the characters it involves, and several topics particular to the book. These include Jonah's questioning; the presence of ironic humour; generic considerations; and the historicity of the events described. Short commentaries are provided for each of the four chapters of the book.
The West Semitic Research Project at the University of Southern California's School of Religion, directed by Bruce Zuckerman, aims to facilitate the study of ancient texts by developing a database system using advanced photographic and computer imaging techniques. The project's website is intended for students, teachers and researchers and features both educational and scholarly sections. The educational section provides images and notes relating to non-biblical inscriptions and documents which assist in understanding the Bible; biblical manuscripts, represented by the Leningrad Codex; the Dead Sea Scrolls; and photographs and images from other collections and historic sites. The scholarly site is intended to make available high resolution images from the West Semitic Research project, particularly in the languages and scripts of Northwest Semitic. At the time of writing the database did not contain images, though catalogue records describing the language, script, type of object were available (and images may be obtained by application to the project). A related project, InscriptiFact, is building a database of high resolution images. Information (mainly lists) about other holdings is also available, with subjects including: Assyriological texts; Elephantine papyri; Syrus Siniaticus. Of particular interest to scholars working with digital images will be the Adobe Photoshop Scholar's Manual for working with digital inscriptions. Users must register with the site in order gain access to some of its resources.