Bible Odyssey is the Society of Biblical Literature’s online biblical studies resource, featuring articles on key subjects and passages in the Bible.
The Bible is a revered text for many and holds an iconic status in American and even global culture. And yet, studies show that people are unfamiliar with its key themes or stories—and who can blame them? The Bible is not one book, but many: a compilation of poetry, law codes, novellas, proverbs, gospels, and letters that were pulled together over the centuries. Being literate about the Bible is a tall order—but an important one. Given the Bible’s immense impact, our civic conversations and cultural awareness can only improve when we are able to recognize key people, places, and passages of the Bible.
In addition, readers are also unfamiliar with critical approaches to the text. There is a big difference between Bible study, which happens in a religious setting, and study of the Bible, which happens in an academic one. Bible Odyssey addresses not only the literacy gap but also the gap between the academy and the “street.” Why should Bible scholars have all the fun? Wouldn’t you like to know about the Synoptic Question, or about J, E, P, and D?
Articles are written by biblical scholars and members of the Society of Biblical Literature. The site is an ongoing project, and has introductory articles on, for example:
David and Goliath (1 Sam 17), by Keith Bodner
The Nativity of Jesus, by Helen Bond
Mary Magdalene in Popular Culture, by Dan Clanton