BIBLE, QURAN AND RELIGIOUS-TEXT WEBSITES
Dr. Seth Ward
Dept. of Philosophy and Religious Studies
University of Wyoming
Revised July 2016
Lightly Revised August 2018
This page offers links to websites for Bible and Quran, as well as some standard recommendations regarding scriptural editions and other useful information. The recommendations here should not be considered as endorsements, and certainly are not complete.
Recommendations: Use the Masoretic Text if you can! Two study Bibles stand out for academic student use: the New Oxford Study Bible, which uses the NRSV, and the Jewish Study Bible put out by JPS. For Quran, Abdallah Yusuf Alis bilingual edition with commentary is a classic, readily available and easy to use. See further notes below.
Often web-search engines such as Google will pull up a verse if you just type it into your browser window.
Here are some of the most useable Bible websites:
https://www.sefaria.org/texts/Tanakh Sefaria is easy to use. It can be set up to display only English; go to the table of contents for each book and look for versionsthere are many translations available for some of the Biblical books, many more modern, readable and responsible than those available on some other websites. The New JPS (since 1985) and Koren may be recommended.
http://www.biblegateway.com/ probably the most well-known website.
http://unbound.biola.edu Lots of translations, has Hebrew
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0.htm Bi-lingual, 1917 Hebrew and JPS translation of Hebrew Bible. (search engine may not work well and takes some getting used to).
http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/kjv.browse.html King James version, with deuterocanonical works included in 1611 edition.
https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bible?lang=eng LDS website has Old and New Testaments in the KJV, as well as the Book of Mormon and other LDS scriptures.
Chabad has an edition with Rashi (see below) that represents the way the Biblical text is understood in modern Very-traditional Jewish communities.
Roman Catholics, Protestants and Jews differ about the canonthe books and passages considered authoritatively part of the Bible. Most Roman Catholic Bibles will have books such as Maccabees 1 & II not considered canonic by Jews or Protestants, as well as additions to certain books, most famously to the Scroll of Esther. Jewish Bibles will generally have only the books considered Old Testament by Protestants and Catholics. These religious traditions also differ in some cases about the names of certain books (even if the books are otherwise the same), in the order of books, and in how the verses are numbered.
Ancient Versions/Dead Sea Scrolls/Textual development: For most of my courses, when Bible is being discussed, it may be useful to have an awareness of ancient variations. These may include such things as differences between the Septuagint (Greek translation, often abbreviated as LXX), Samaritan Bible, variants found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and theories of textual development, both traditional and academic (e.g. J,E,P and D). (For NT: Synoptic, Q, M, L, and John.) We will develop this in class as needed.
My recommendations. Always use MT (Masoretic Text) if you can. Authorized Version (King James), NRSV, New English Bible, JPS (1917 Jewish Publication Society), NJPS (New JPS) are all great translations.
Do not use David Sterns Complete Jewish Biblecertainly dont use it without carefully comparing the translation to others.
Recommended print editions: As mentioned above, two study Bibles stand out for academic student use: the New Oxford Study Bible (3rd or 4th edition), which uses the NRSV, and the Jewish Study Bible put out by JPS. Most biblical translations are OK; make sure the edition is unabridged and note the version (i.e. translation) being used. Remember that the headings and titles in margins are usually those added by modern editors.
http://quran.com This website has multiple translations available, sometimes it is useful to compare them.
http://www.hti.umich.edu/k/koran/ translation with search engine
My note Abdullah Yusuf Ali, the printed Quran with translation I usually recommend for coursework use: http://uwyo.edu/sward/onusingqurantranslation.doc. and note my reference to Khaleel Muhammads review of this work.
Note that the chapters and verses are traditional but the sections and the English-language only sonnets are not part of the Quran. In general, only the material available in both Arabic and English should be considered part of the traditional Quran.
Harper Collins has recently put out a Study Quran (S.H. Nasr et. Al. 2015) that may very well be an accessible and essential text for English-language academic study of the Quran. There is a comprehensive review at http://muslimmatters.org/2015/12/14/the-study-quran-a-review/
Hadith (what Muhammad is reported to have said, done or accepted tacitly): http://www.hadithcollection.com/
Tafsir (Quran commentary): http://www.altafsir.com/
You may need some of these: non-canonic works, Josephus etc.
http://wesley.nnu.edu/sermons-essays-books/noncanonical-literature/ Non canonical works, links to Early Jewish and Christian works.
Almost all early Jewish and Christian Works are easily available on-line, although not always in the best, modern editions. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ and http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/ have very large collections of texts and resources.
Bible, Targum and Judaica
Targum (Aramaic version of the Hebrew Bible): http://targum.info/targumic-texts/
Bible with Rashi: Chabad has an easy to use edition of this most-basic of Jewish commentaries used today. http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/63255/jewish/The-Bible-with-Rashi.htm
Most of the Talmud is available in various translations on line, most of which are pretty difficult to use:
https://www.sefaria.org/texts/Talmud has the William Davidson Talmud. This has the complete literal translation in bold, with interpolated comments by the editors/translators that help you understand the meaning of the text.
Rodkinson (1911): http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/talmud.htm
A curious website with much of the Soncino edition of the Talmud:
http://www.sefaria.org/texts has a great selection of traditional Jewish texts, many of which have translations.