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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, Peter Gemeinhardt, Joel LeMon, 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. 22 Og (King of Bashan) – Papyrus, Papyri, January 2024
  • Vol. 23 Parable, Parables – Philanthropy*, June 2024
  • Vol. 24 Philemon, Epistle to* – Prostration*, December 2024
  • Vol. 25 Protest Songs* – Restore, Restoration*, June 2025
  • Vol. 26 Resurrection* – Scroll, Scrolls*, December 2025

* 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!


Jacob N. Cerone
Gary S. Helft
Dr. Nicole Rupschus
Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Genthiner Straße 13
10785 Berlin
Fax: +49 (0)30 260 05-330
Twitter: @DeGruyter_TRS
Visit our 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 · Peter Gemeinhardt · Joel LeMon · Thomas Römer · Jens Schröter · Barry Dov Walfish · Eric Ziolkowski

in cooperation with:
Aminta Arrington · Heinrich Assel · Stephen Burge · George D. Chryssides · Michal Beth Dinkler · Siobhán Dowling Long · Eckart Frahm · Jörg Frey · Abigail Gillman · Michael Graves · Christine Hayes · Rainer Hirsch-Luipold · Christina Hoegen-Rohls · David W. Kling · Ian Levy · 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 Peter Gemeinhardt 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)

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

Nils Holger Petersen (Area Editor for Music)



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 2023.

The online edition contains the entire contents of the printed edition (currently volumes 1–21), 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:

Matthew Page (Loughborough, United Kingdom), Nehemiah (Book and Person) VIII. Film. Nehemiah receives scant treatment in film. Page remarks "Compared to most major biblical stories, filmmakers have largely overlooked the book of Nehemiah and its hero." Indeed, as he describes things, the only full-length treatment of Nehemiah is a film produced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The film, titled Nehemiah: The Joy of Jehovah Is Your Stronghold (prod. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, was produced only as recently as 2020. These are the sorts of amazing details that come to light in the EBR. And these details are why EBR is such an incredible, and important resource.

Ada Taggar-Cohen (Kyoto, Japan), Neo-Hittites. "As successors to the Hittite Empire that stretched from central Anatolia into north Syria until 1180 BCE, the people who lived after its collapse in the regions of southeastern Anatolia and northern Syria are known as ‘Neo-Hittites.’" Taggar-Cohen then delves into the topics of the history, the cultural evidence, and, this being an Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, the Neo-Hittites and the Bible. Also included is a very thorough bibliography. This entry is both interesting and well written. A real quality piece of scholarship.

Miryam Brand (Jerusalem, Israel), Nephilim III. Judaism A. Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism. Brand notes that in texts from the Second Temple period and the Hellenistic era "The Nephilim play a central role in a popular Second Temple era story regarding the origin of evil: the myth of the Watchers." To illustrate the point, she follows her opening declaration with evidence from 1 Enoch, Jubilees, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Philo. Very much appreciated is her succinct summary of the tales of the Nephilim: "In the fullest form of this story, angels mated with human women and produced giant children who caused destruction, while the angels themselves caused sin by teaching humans illicit knowledge. When the physical bodies of these giants were destroyed, they became evil spirits that plagued the earth."

Jörg Frey (Zurich, Switzerland), Nicodemus I. New Testament. Nicodemus is only named in the Gospel of John. Who he was seems less important than the portrayals foisted on him by the readers of that Gospel. At least that’s what Frey seems to suggest when he concludes his entry on Nicodemus in the New Testament with the following lines: "For reading the gospel text, the question of the historical reference of the figure remains of secondary importance. Instead, it is the literary ambivalence of the figure that has stimulated readers up to the present to create their own image of Nicodemus." Nicodemus as Rorschach test. That’s the fate of all the characters of the Bible about whom we know so little. What we do know, however, is all described by Frey in his helpful entry.

Adam Łajtar (Warsaw, Poland), Nubia II. Christian Textual Traditions. Łajtar’s discussion centers on the Christian Textual Traditions of Nubia. He observes "Christian Nubia had a rich literary culture, testament to which are 4,000 entries in the internet Database of Medieval Nubian Texts (DBMNT)." All manner of texts are included in these materials including, but not limited to liturgical texts, patristic texts, biblical texts, and many others. Adam’s contribution to the EBR makes it extremely clear that Christian traditions outside of Europe and North America have as much, if not more, to teach us than our own Eurocentric inclinations would have us believe.

Julia van Rosmalen (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Oaths and Vows IX. Visual Arts. What does art have to tell us about the reception and comprehension of oaths and vows? In particular, what do the visual arts have to teach us about the reception of these concepts? Rosmalen asserts "When considering oaths and vows in the visual arts within the context of Bible reception, images can be roughly divided in three categories. The first are depictions of oaths that occur within the biblical narrative; the second, of oaths sworn by Christians; and the third, of oaths from non-Christian narratives but depicted by Christian artists for a Christian audience." As one example Julia illustrates with a picture title "Mary nullifies the pact between the clergyman Theophilus and the Devil" (ca. 1120–35). The way art depicts the Bible is truly one of the more fascinating aspects of the reception of the Bible. And this essay is, accordingly, fascinating.

Rebecca Kamholz (New Haven, CT, USA), Obscenity and Euphemism III. Judaism B. Rabbinic Judaism. Rabbinic Judaism was no stranger to the use of obscenity, according to Kamholz. "Rabbinic treatment of biblical texts which use language or describe imagery that could be considered obscene falls into two broad categories. The first is euphemism, avoidance, or restatement; the second is emphasizing and even increasing the obscenity of the original text." She then provides very intriguing examples of these usages. Of the articles I read, I think I learned the most from this one. I certainly enjoyed it a great deal.

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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