Critiques of Bible Web Sites
The web is full of Bible sites. Very few provide any contextual information on the history and literary composition of Christian scripture. The introduction to the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible offers more help in reading and understanding the Old and New Testaments than most of these sites.
My rating system is as follows:
*** Excellent Reading ** Good Resources * Somewhat Interesting
Additional sites will be reviewed in the future, so please visit this page again.
This is a fascinating web site, not only because of the subject matter, but because the author of provides a very clear and informative commentary on material in the Old and New Testaments and also in the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books. The site looks at the way women are treated in the Bible and has an extensive links page with connections to sites concerning women and religion at many universities. The author also presents a large bibliography of references on the Bible and women's studies.
This web site presents a sophisticated argument for the inerrancy of scripture. It offers the New English Bible (NET), a recent translation by twenty scholars, and contains many articles concerning biblical exegesis that are well researched and documented. Of the web sites that defend the Christian Bible as the inerrant word of God, this is the best.
This web site provides links to scholarly materials and opportunities to download biblical manuscripts. However, it does not assist the reader in interpreting Christian scripture.
This site makes available a registry of Bible Studies throughout the United States and invites churches to list their Bible Study programs in this registry, but it does not review any of these sites or describe the approach being utilized. Also the site offers scripture readings by email, which may be ordered using an English translations or one of two Spanish translations. In addition, visitors may read a report on studying the Bible in the Public Schools or download the report without cost.
This network headquartered at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio promotes the oral presentation of the Bible. Christians of all sorts are involved in this network, and a journal considers issues of methodology and scholarship. In addition, NOBS sponsors conferences, and has extensive resources for sale.
This site offers an online "Out of Trouble" module studying the Beatitudes (Mt. 5:1-12). The module course is free, but visitors are invited to sign up for credit (for a fee) with Griggs University. The approach to the Bible is literalistic, for the apostle Matthew is considered the author of the gospel of Matthew. But it argues that the most important point of the values in the New Testament, and exemplified by the Beatitudes, is "interdependent love-and-trust relationships" between individuals and God and among individuals.
This web site offers free Bible study courses by email or snail mail. It reads Christian scripture believing "that the Bible is from God and should be our only source of religious instruction." The authors claim to "have no creed but Christ. We have no 'doctrinal statement of faith,' except the New Testament." They believe, however, "that salvation is found in no other name but Jesus and by following His teachings, [and] those of His apostles and the other writers of the New Testament."
To their credit, the sponsors of this Bible school recognize the right of students to test the message being presented by the "Study Helpers" of the school. When I signed up and raised issues, however, I found that Study Helper answering my emails simply reiterated the points previously made.
This web site is maintained by a husband and wife with a non-denominational Christian faith rooted in Baptist teachings. The site does not offer any explanation of the historical and literary nature of the Bible. It addresses topics by providing brief theological explanations and then listing scripture references that supposedly support their arguments. It does not seem to claim the inerrancy of scripture, but refers to 2 Timothy 3:16 to prove that all scripture is the inspired word of God. The authors seem unaware that Paul wrote his letters before the gospels were written and thus before the New Testament existed. (To confirm this generally accepted fact see the introduction to the Letters of Paul in the Cokesbury Study Bible edition of the New Revised Standard Version.)
This site offers a topical approach in nine languages. It says the Bible does not claim to be inerrant but true and quotes Psalm 119:160 to verify this claim. The site recognizes that the personalities of the authors of the books of the Bible have affected the style and vocabulary of scripture, but relies on 2 Tim. 3:16 as proof that the Bible is "inspired by God." The Bible is "in a special sense the Word of God," the site argues, because the men who wrote it and spoke in it "were moved by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:21)
The authors of this site do not acknowledge that 2 Tim. 3:16 refers to the scripture of the Jews, which is the only scripture that Paul knew as he was writing before the gospels and the other materials of the New Testament were written. (The note to this text in The New Oxford Annotated Bible says it refers to the Old Testament.) Nor do the authors explain that 2 Peter 1:21 refers only to the "prophecy of scripture." The church may confess that the prophecy of scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit without asserting that every verse of scripture is inspired, as most of scripture is not prophecy.
This site does not explain the historical context in which the books of the Bible were written, nor does it read these books as literary compositions. Instead, the site simply answers its own questions by quoting texts and concluding, "It's in the Bible."
This web site acknowledges that each gospel tells the story of Jesus Christ in the style and presentation of the author. It primarily uses the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible and presents brief notes on Bible passages. The authors do not indicate any knowledge of the history of the writing and compiling of the Bible, nor do they consider any of the books of the Bible as literary compositions. The notes are very brief and do not do justice to the complexity of the narratives that they summarize.
This is part of the Ministry of Gospel Communications International. The site offers numerous commentaries, sermons, and an encyclopedia, but many of these materials are dated and all reflect a literalistic approach to reading scripture. (The Condensed Biblical Encyclopedia presented on this site was written in 1896 by Ashley S. Johnson, founder of Johnson Bible College.)
This site is primarily a forum for opinions about the Bible. It offers a Greek Grammar and apologetic arguments for the authority and truth of the Bible. But it does not offer any contextual information on the historical circumstances in which the Bible was written, edited and compiled, nor does it consider the books of the Bible as literary compositions.
1 in Faith: A Christian Bible Study † Copyright © 2000 by Robert Traer