Thursday, March 26, 2009

Site Review: Internet Bible Catalog

Web Site Review: The Internet Bible Catalog

Site started: June 29, 2007
Site address:

I've been wanting to provide a review of this site for quite some time. The both the site and the site owner have been a great blessing to me in my own research. If you are interested in Bible versions, you'll want to bookmark this site right now.

The Internet Bible Catalog started almost two years ago. It is a collaborative effort - one of the "wiki" projects - with several contributors. The site owner continues to oversee the project to provide guidance and consistency. This site is just what the title indicates - a listing of Bibles in a catalog format.

And what kind of catalog would it be without pictures? Pictures of covers, jackets and title pages are available for many of the entries. A large thumbnail is provided which is clickable for a larger picture. I love being able to look at title pages myself. It is so helpful to be able to verify information directly.

Next to the picture (if it has one) is the description. Descriptions include titles, translators, publishers, dates, contents and other information. Many entries include cross references to Chamberlin's Catalogue of English Bible Translations, Herbert's Historical Catalogue of Printed Bibles or Hills' English Bible in America (and sometimes even my own humble work). View the page on the Living Bible for a sample of the format.

This site is much more than just a listing. There is often quite a bit of research behind the entries. One area that has been a help to me is the extensive information on the American Bible Union editions. Scroll to the bottom of that page for an excellent table on the New Testaments and portions published by the ABU. It is without a doubt the best listing for ABU Bibles. The site owner has researched them extensively and sorted out much of the confusion found in reference books.

One of the contributors is a collector of Catholic Bibles. In the recent months, many new entries about Catholic (specifically Douay-Rheims) Bibles have been added. The starting place for Catholic Bibles is here. As an example of how thorough this list is, see the page for the the 20th century Brepols Bibles. There are 24 entries, each with a title page scan! This collector is an expert on Catholic Bibles so this already excellent section will continue to get even better.

The entire site is becoming that extensive. Though it is two years later, work has continued steadily throughout that time. To get an idea of how much is there, visit the index page. Did you know that Isaiah in the New International Version was published in 1975 - three years before the full Bible? Go see the cover on the NIV page. The site also lists the NIVI (inclusive language NIV) and the TNIV (Today's New International Version).

A more recent addition to the site is the Internet Only Translations page. These are versions of the Bible that have never made it to print but are available on the world wide web. Here you'll find the American King James Version, the King James, Corrected and the Revised Young's Literal Translation among several others.

There is also a section devoted to non-English Bibles. It is currently divided into Native American, Asian, European, African and American Pidgins & Dialects. This portion is not as extensive as the English section, but does appear to be slowly growing.

Want more information that you can find on this site? Then visit their page on Catalogues for a great listing of books on Bible versions. Hint: several of the older volumes can be found, read online and downloaded on Google books or Internet Archive.

This review is not an exhaustive list of the site's contents. There are also sections on Hebrew, Greek and Latin Bibles. Another page lists the Pseudepigrapha. The nature of the organization lends itself to easy expansion if new categories are needed.

The site also has a forum though it is not regularly used. This does provide an excellent means for group discussion on ongoing projects.

This is a huge project. None of us who study English Bible Versions really expect to finish listing them all. But the Internet Bible Catalog is well on its way to covering a huge portion of them. Research is always ongoing - click here to see if you can help with some of the current questions. You can join the site and become an editor if you'd like to help make new entries or improve existing ones. Read How to Help for more information on contributing to the site.

The site owner stated he hopes to bring in more contributors to include even more Bibles. If you've got a Bible not listed on the site, especially if its a new version for the site, please consider scanning the cover and title page and entering a description. This site can serve as a central updating point for all of us who study, collect and read Bibles. Hope to see you there!

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