About Us

About Us

Why Bible Odyssey?

The Bible is a revered text for many and holds an iconic status in American and even global culture. And yet, studies show that many people are unfamiliar with its key themes and 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 and public conversation can only improve when we understand its texts and interpretations. 

Many readers are also unfamiliar with critical approaches to biblical texts. 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. As a public outreach of the Society of Biblical Literature, Bible Odyssey’s mission is to inform the general public about the content of the Bible and the critical approaches to it. The scholars that contribute to Bible Odyssey are socially, geographically, and ethnically diverse, and the site is not affiliated with any religious or political organization. It does not advocate for any particular perspective or reading; rather, Bible Odyssey seeks to help the public appreciate the different viewpoints within the Bible and understand the diversity of biblical interpretations. The purpose of the website is to draw the person on the street, or the one in the pew, into the fascinating world of scholarly investigation into the Bible and the communities who value it. 

About the Society of Biblical Literature 

Founded in 1880, the Society of Biblical Literature is the oldest and largest learned society devoted to the critical investigation of the Bible. With over 8,000 members worldwide, it represents and convenes scholars whose work is the study of the Bible, its history, and its interpretations. Through its work, the Society of Biblical Literature supports scholarly research and fosters the public understanding of the Bible and its influence.

Bible Odyssey Editorial Board

General Editors:
Martien Halvorson-Taylor, University of Virginia
James Barker, Western Kentucky University

Daniel Fisher-Livne, Hebrew Union College
Meghan Henning, University of Dayton
Vanessa Lovelace, Lancaster Theological Seminary
Sara Malena, Saint Mary’s College of Maryland
Kelly Murphy, Central Michigan University
Gilberto A. Ruiz, Saint Anselm College
Scott C. Ryan, Claflin University
Rodney A. Werline, Barton College
Tyler R. Yoder, University School

SBL Staff Contacts 
Jonathan Potter, Managing Editor
Nicole Tilford, Managing Editor

Site History

Planning Grant and Implementation Grant Phases (2008-11)

Editorial Board
Steve Mason, University of Aberdeen
Brent Strawn, Emory University
Carol Meyers, Duke University
John Dart, Christian Century Magazine
Jonathan Reed, University of LaVerne
Nicola Denzey Lewis, Brown University
Kristin Swenson, University of Virginia
Tamara Cohn Eskenazi, Hebrew Union College
Mark Goodacre, Duke University

Project Director
Kent Richards

Student Interns
Michael Chan, Emory University
Brennan Breed, Emory University
Samantha Spitzner, SBL staff

Luke Timothy Johnson, Emory University
Marketta Liljeström, University of Helsinki
Dan Clanton, Doane College
Lynne Spichiger, Independent Higher Education Consultant
Adele Reinhartz, University of Toronto
Matthew Collins, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Brandon Wason, Emory University, Ph.D. candidate

Initial Design and Demo Site
Kathryn Prusinski, S2N Media

Moira Bucciarelli, SBL staff
Sharon Johnson, SBL staff

Design and Build Phase (2011 – 2014)

Editorial Board
(see above)

Project Director
John Kutsko

Managing Editor
Moira Bucciarelli

Missy Colee

Project Manager
Sharon Johnson

Sitecore CMS Administrator
Candace Overton

Student Interns
Richard “Bo” Adams, Emory University
Esther Brownsmith, Brandeis University
Jamie Bryson, Brandeis University
Michael Chan, Emory University
Stephen Germany, Emory University
Jonathan Potter, Emory University
Brandon Wason, Emory University

Site Developers
Debra Kosky
Lauren Hightower

Site Designer
Johnny Helms, Firefly Studios

Susan Madara
Pam Polhemus

Sarah Shectman
Katrina Van Heest

Natasha Barber, London
Bob Elfstrom, San Francisco
George King, Atlanta
Michael Ivan Schwartz, Baltimore
Ines Sommer, Chicago

Audio Technicians
Zak Piper, Chicago
Shaun Wilson, Baltimore

Project Partners
American Bible Society
Harper Collins Publishers
National Council of Churches
National Endowment for the Humanities