Welcome to DigitalBiblicist.org

This is the bare beginning of a site meant to be a meeting place and resource for the community of scholars and practitioners working with the Bible in digital form. A site for the producers (not mainly the consumers) of Biblical studies tools and resources.

A "Biblicist" is simply an expert on the Bible; a "Digital Biblicist" is thus an expert on the use of Digital media for Biblical studies. Perhaps it could also be a computer that is itself a Biblicist; but those are somewhat rare.

The name is inspired by digitalclassicist.org and digitalmedievalist.org, similar sites for other fields within humanities computing.

In any field, but especially in interdisciplinary fields such as these three, "experts" come in many flavors and many levels. Some "Digital Biblicists" may be professors of theology who use computers to help in their research (though Google, EndNote, and MS Word probably don't count). Others may be programmers or software engineers who uses their skills to enhance Biblical studies as avocation or devotion. Others build open-source or commercial tools such as Bible search engines, manuscript and authorship analysis systems, and so on. Each is unique.

In the fairly early days of humanities computing, practitioners were few and scattered. Even at universities considered hotbeds of the field, it was typical to have only one or two computer-savvy graduate students in each humanities department; and fewer professors. An email list called "Humanist" was created as a forum for these folks, and had a huge impact on the field.

In my view, Digital Biblicists are now situated similarly to digital humanitis scholars of the 80s: much is going on, but people are scattered, working in isolation or in small groups. Effort can be pointlessly duplicated, sometimes because people simply don't hear about each other. It has gotten better, and the outlook is promising; but I hope this site can help move things along.

My favorite example of how it shouldn't be is (fortunately) an old one: around 1980 when I needed a Greek New Testament with part-of-speech tags for some analyses, I discovered five in existence, but only one group would share their data with me, and that after much negotiating and payment. Some years later I ended up producing a sixth. All the hoary questions are there: publication and priority, copyright and fair use, creativity vs. sweat, not to mention money, tenure review, and plain old turf.

I hope Digital Biblicist will become a place where we can build a community of people who care deeply about the Bible, and who want to make excellent use of computer technology to make the Bible far easier to access, analyze, study, and yes, even apply. Will you help?


Here is an initial, rough, list of some resources I hope to be adding to the site; help and advice are not only welcome, but essential!

That's way too much for me to make happen. A Wiki might help. But I have two questions for you:

  1. What do you want to see first?
  2. Are you willing to help make it happen?