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database: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online
database: Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online

Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online

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About this database

The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online has been selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of 2020. CHOICE is a publishing unit of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. EBR Online is one of only 11 digital resources chosen. It has been recognized with this award due to the excellence of its scholarship and presentation and for its great significance to its field of research. In 2010 the print edition of the encyclopedia was the winner of the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award.

Aims and Scope

The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (EBR) is the first and only comprehensive reference work devoted to the Bible and its reception.
Since the publication of its first two volumes in 2009, EBR has continued to break new ground and is an indispensable reference work not only for theology and religious studies, but also for the humanities, the arts, cultural studies, and the social sciences. As its foundation, the encyclopedia contains the most up-to-date information on the origins and development of the Bible in the canons of Judaism and Christianity. It then documents the history of biblical interpretation and reception, not only in Christianity and Judaism, but also in Islam and other non-Western religious traditions and movements.

Moving beyond the religious realm, it further innovates by recording how biblical texts have been read, interpreted, and integrated into thought, science, and culture throughout the centuries, summarizing the most recent scholarly research on the reception of the Bible in an array of academic disciplines such as classics and archaeology as well as a wide range of cultural and humanistic fields, such as literature, visual arts, music, film, and dance. Its interdisciplinary approach thus transcends a purely theological or religious perspective.

With 38 editors and nearly 4,000 authors working in over 55 countries, EBR is truly an international enterprise. The distinguished editorial board is headed by Constance M. Furey, Joel LeMon, Brian Matz, Thomas Römer, Jens Schröter, Barry Dov Walfish, and Eric J. Ziolkowski.

Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online uses a powerful search engine that makes it easy to search for content.

  • Essential resource for scholars in Biblical, Cultural, and Religious Studies and related fields
  • Regular updates of over 1,500 articles per year
  • Access to ahead-of-print articles, i.e., not yet available in the print version

EBR is also available in a print version.

Information for Authors and Editors

You find the EBR guidelines below, see Supplementary Materials.

EBR Forthcoming Volumes

  • Vol. 21 Negative Theology – Offspring*, January 2023
  • Vol. 22 Og (King of Bashan)* – Parnach*, September 2023
  • Vol. 23 Parody* – Qumran, Khirbet*, February 2024

* Contents of these volumes are only approximates.

Link to the submission platform: EBR Editorial Platform (We kindly request that you use Chrome to ensure that the platform runs smoothly.)

Thank you for contributing to EBR!


Gary S. Helft
Jacob N. Cerone
(Dr. Nicole Rupschus, currently on maternity leave)
Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Genthiner Straße 13
10785 Berlin
Fax: +49 (0)30 260 05-330
Twitter: @DeGruyter_TRS
Visit our new Subject Page

Your Benefits

  • CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2020: It has been recognized with this award due to the excellence of its scholarship and presentation and for its great significance to its field of research

The online reference work

  • Contains Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, New Testament, and historical contexts
  • Spans biblical reception in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and other religions as well as in literature, visual arts, music, and film
  • Provides approx. 1,500 new articles per year
  • Offers non-restrictive DRM allowing for an unlimited number of simultaneous users on campus or at an institution



Edited by:
Constance M. Furey · Joel LeMon · Brian Matz · Thomas Römer · Jens Schröter · Barry Dov Walfish · Eric Ziolkowski

in cooperation with:
Aminta Arrington · Heinrich Assel · Stephen Burge · George D. Chryssides · Michal Beth Dinkler · Eckart Frahm · Jörg Frey · Rachel Fulton Brown · Peter Gemeinhardt · Abigail Gillman · Christine Hayes · Rainer Hirsch-Luipold · Christina Hoegen-Rohls · David W. Kling · Marcia Kupfer · Aren M. Maeir · Mati Meyer · G. Sujin Pak Boyer · Juha Pakkala · Nils Holger Petersen · Elias Sacks · Theresa Sanders · Bernd U. Schipper · Konrad Schmid · Marvin A. Sweeney · Anthony Swindell · Herman Tull · Benjamin G. Wright III · Joachim Yeshaya · Jürgen K. Zangenberg

Meet some of our EBR Editors

Jens Schröter (Main Editor for New Testament)

Barry Dov Walfish (Main Editor for Judaism)

Constance M. Furey (Main Editor with Brian Matz for Christianity)

Eric Ziolkowski (Main Editor for Reception History)

Aren M. Maeir (Area Editor for Archaeology)

Benjamin G. Wright, III (Area Editor for Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism)

Natalie Dohrmann (former Area Editor for Rabbinic Judaism)

Rachel Fulton Brown (Area Editor for Medieval Christianity)

George D. Chryssides (Area Editor for New Christian Churches and Movements)

Nils Holger Petersen (Area Editor for Music)

Rhonda Burnette Bletsch (former Area Editor for Film)



The Online Editorial Platform (CMS) should be used to write, submit, revise, and/or proofread articles. We recommend to use Chrome, please do not forget to allow pop-ups. If you need assistance, please write us at

Guidelines for Authors and Editors

General Information

EBR Concept

EBR Editorial Board

EBR General Guidelines

EBR Review Guidelines for Editors

EBR Editorial Platform

EBR Editorial Platform - Notes for Editors

EBR Editorial Platform - Notes for Authors


EBR Style Guides

EBR Bibliographical Guidelines

EBR Transliteration Guidelines

EBR Abbreviations

EBR Spellings and Capitalizations

EBR Art and Film Citations Guidelines

Please find a few examples of EBR Online articles here:

Glückel of Hameln


Meyerbeer, Giacomo


Morrison, Toni

Mosesʼ Cushite Wife

Mount of Olives

Musorgsky, Modest


Naaman (Commander of the Aramean Army)

Lemmas A-Z

Persons A-Z

Places A-Z



Last updated in December 2022.

The online edition contains the entire contents of the printed edition (currently volumes 1–20), as well as many articles ahead of print.

Here is some of what biblioblogger Jim West recommends for you to read in the current volume of EBR:

Laura Battini (Paris, France), Mouth I. Ancient Near East. This contribution focuses on the use of "Mouth" in Ancient Near Eastern texts, i.e., ANE mentions of "the physical mouth" as well as "the symbolic mouth," which is described in this way: "The mouth can be used metaphorically to indicate the entry of a part of the body, of an object, of a building, or of a watercourse. Other texts speak of the mouth in a symbolic way, concerning international relations on one hand and religion on the other"; and in "iconography." It is a well-crafted piece and quite informative.

Neta Bodner (Jerusalem, Israel), Nazareth VI. Visual Arts. Bodner’s essay is a study of the city of Nazareth in the visual arts. There is much to discover here. For example, Bodner observes "Late medieval and Renaissance images often show Mary’s house as the locus of the event, but the Annunciation is also depicted outdoors, with a symbolic representation of the city." And at the end of the piece, we are informed of the fascinating fact that the village of Walsingham in England has been a site of pilgrimage since the 15th century, where a replica of the house in Nazareth is located. Artwork is also featured.

Patrick Cronauer (Latrobe, PA, USA), Naboth. Cronauer examines the figure of Naboth in the Hebrew Bible, Judaism, Christianity, economics and law, literature, the visual arts (including a very intriguing drawing of the stoning of Naboth from the 12th century CE), and film. Regarding the reception of Naboth in literature, Cronauer writes, "The story of Naboth is a staple of any drama or novel about Jezebel. Anthony Trollope uses the theme in Framley Parsonage (1860–61), chapter 2, in relation to the vicar’s garden (see Jeffrey: 532). Naboth is also vilified in John Masefield’s play A King’s Daughter (1923)." And there are still more amazing facets of Naboth’s treatment throughout history outside the Bible!

Mary Claire Gibson (Blacksburg, VA, USA), Mustard Seed IV. Literature. When it comes to the appearance of the theme of the mustard seed in literature, Gibson observes, "…the mustard seed passages found in Matt 17 and Luke 17 have been alluded to in literature by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Bret Harte, and Washington Irving to play on the idea that a lot can be achieved with even the smallest amount of faith, which is often associated with the notion of moving mountains." Other uses also appear, with the final example being "… the mustard seed is also used to signify belittlement or diminution. Victor Hugo mentions the mustard seed in a diminutive manner, comparing a mustard seed under a grindstone to animals under God’s power in his collection of poems, La Légende des siècles (1877: 188)." Small things like mustard seeds play a big role in the history of the reception of the Bible and its contents.

Claudia Lepp (Munich, Germany), National Socialism/Nazism II. Bible in National Socialism. How was the Bible used by the Nazis? First, they devalued the Old Testament. Then, they attempted to purge the New Testament of Jewish influence, even going so far as to suggest that Jesus himself was an Aryan and not a Jew. "Jesus appeared as a "fighter" against Judaism, who took upon himself the associated suffering in obedience to his Father. In Die Botschaft Gottes, Jesus was not the "king of Israel" (John 13) but the "king of life" (Botschaft: 139); his death was interpreted as a brave "offering of life" (Botschaft: 135–39)." This is one of the most interesting of all the essays in volume 20.

Anna Tchitcherine (Utrecht, The Netherlands), Mouth of Hell II. Visual Arts. One of the more interesting, to me, artistic representations of a biblical citation has to do with the "mouth of hell" which has opened itself wide to receive the condemned (Isa 5:14). In this piece, Tchitcherine begins by noting that "The anthropomorphic image of the mouth of hell emerged in Britain during the 10th-century Monastic Reform and remained popular in Western Art until the advent of Renaissance. The depiction of the entrance to hell is characterized by a disembodied monstrous head with a large gaping mouth." She then delineates the path this notion took in artistic renderings. She concludes "The mouth of hell survived well into the 20th century – mostly in literature, though, which is suggestive of the potency of this theme." The entire entry in all its parts is very much worth the reader’s time.

Arye Zoref (Jerusalem, Israel), Nathan (Prophet) II. Judaism, C. Medieval Judaism. This segment of the longer entry on the prophet Nathan centers itself on his reception in Medieval Judaism. Zoref notes "Medieval Jewish exegetes were especially troubled by the prophet Nathan’s behavior when David approached him about building the temple (2 Sam 7)." "Can a prophet lie or be mistaken?" That was the question which occupied the rabbis. Also worth noting is the notion that prophets had to "want" their prophecies to come true or they wouldn’t: "Abarbanel wrote that Nathan had prophesied that Solomon would be king, but prophecies do not come true unless people strive to realize them, and like any other prophet, Nathan wanted his prophecy to come true." There is much to learn from this contribution.

Update Frequency

Four times per year

Search Help

Search Help

Here you will find instructions for searching the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online and explanations of the individual search functions.


You have two different options for searching.

Search form

The search form allows you to search using various search criteria. To do so, select the appropriate criterion in the search field and enter your search term(s) in the search field. The following search criteria are available:

  1. Full Text: Searches in all entries for the entered terms. Finds all entries that contain all searched terms and therefore returns the most results. For a more specific search, the other search criteria are more suitable.

    The following operators can be used in the search field:
    • *: Added to a string. Searches for entries including all terms that match the searched string with any addition.
    • AND: Searches for entries including all the terms connected by this operator (default search function).
    • OR: Searches for entries including at least one of the terms connected by this operator.
    • NOT: Searches for entries including the first, but not the second of the terms connected by this operator.

    These operators can be combined with each other.

  2. Lemma: Finds all entries whose titles contain all searched terms. Suggests up to 15 matching entry titles in alphabetical order as you type. This search criterion can be used to search specifically for entries for particular terms.
  3. Author: Finds all entries with authors of the searched name. Suggests up to 15 matching author names in alphabetical order as you type. This search criterion can be used to search for entries by specific authors.
  4. Publication: Select an underlying print publication from the drop-down menu. Finds all entries of this publication.
  5. Type: Select a type from the drop-down menu: A Lemma is an entry on a specific topic, a Link Lemma refers to other entries. Finds all entries of this type.
  6. Publication year: Select Exact to search for a single year, or Range to search for a range of years. Finds all entries that have been published electronically in this year or range of years.
  7. Bibliography: Finds all entries whose bibliography contains all searched terms. This search criterion can be used to search for specific sources or their titles, authors, etc.
  8. Biblical Passage: Finds all entries which contain the searched bible passage. You can search by book (written out) and chapter. Suggests up to 15 matching bible passages in alphabetical order as you type.
  9. Entry language: Select a language from the drop-down menu. Finds all entries which are written in this language. Only English language is available for EBR.

Please note: The search is not case sensitive.

You have the option to apply several search criteria at the same time. To do this, click on "Add row" in the search form. This creates a second search field in which you can set another search criterion (or else the same one). You can create as many additional search fields as you like.
If you use more than one search field, the search will find all entries that match all search criteria ("Search for all of these terms"). Instead, you can also select "Search for any of these terms" above the search fields, which will cause the search to find all entries that match at least one of the searched criteria.
By clicking on "Add NOT" you create a search field to which you can assign a search criterion. Terms entered in this search field will be excluded from the search. You can add this search field as often as you like.
By combining the above functions, you are able to perform very specific searches.


You want to search the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online for all entries that mention the name "Aaron" and the biblical passage "Exodus 4". However, you want to exclude the publication "Aaron - Aniconism (Vol. 01)" from the search. For this you use the search form as follows:

  1. Create a second search field via "Add row".
  2. Select the search for "all of these terms" (default option).
  3. In the first search field, select the search criterion Full Text and enter the search term "Aaron".
  4. In the second search field, select the search criterion Bible Passage and enter the search term "Exodus 4".
  5. Create a third search field via "Add NOT". This is marked with a "NOT".
  6. Select the search criterion Publication in this search field and select the publication "Aaron - Aniconism (Vol. 01)" in the dropdown menu of the search field.
  7. After clicking on "Search" you will see 10 out of 36 hits in the results list.


The browse button allows you to quickly search for the search criterion Publication. The results list of a browse search can be further searched via the search form as described above.


On the start page of the database you can view indices of all contained lemmas from A to Z. By clicking on a lemma, the results list shows all entries which have the full lemma in their title.

Results list

The results that match your search are listed on one or more pages. The number of search results as well as the search criteria can be found above the results list.

Each search result consists of the title of the entry, author(s) if existent, access information, entry type, online publication date (print publication date in brackets, if applicable), the cover of the database as well as a button to download the PDF ("Download PDF"), if available, and a text preview showing relevant text passages and highlighting the searched term in yellow (only for Full Text search criterion).

You can access a search result by clicking on the title or cover of the database. If you do not have access to the database, please log in first.

The search results are sorted by relevancy (frequency and weighting of the searched terms). You can also sort by date ("New to old" or "Old to new") or by title ("A to Z" or "Z to A").
Furthermore, instead of the default 10 results per page, you can also display 20, 50 or 100 results per page.

The search results can be further restricted under "Filter Results". Various filter options are available for this:

  1. Access: This option filters the search results according to who can access them. By default, "All content" is found. It is possible to filter by "Licensed content", "Open Access", "Publicly available" as well as "All available content".
  2. Publication
  3. Type
  4. Publication year
  5. Entry language

All filters can be combined with each other. Filtering by certain filter options excludes further certain filter options if there are no entries which match both options.

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