Mission, Visions, and Values
The following Mission Statement and Strategic
Vision Statements were adopted by the SBL Council May 16, 2004, and revised
October 23, 2011.
Foster Biblical Scholarship
Strategic Vision Statement:
in 1880, the Society of Biblical Literature is the oldest and largest learned
society devoted to the critical investigation of the Bible from a variety of
academic disciplines.* As an international organization, the Society
offers its members opportunities for mutual support, intellectual growth, and
professional development through the following:
academic study of biblical texts and their contexts as well as of the
traditions and contexts of biblical interpretation
with educational institutions and other appropriate organizations to support
biblical scholarship and teaching
resources for diverse audiences, including students, religious communities, and
the general public
broad and open discussion from a variety of critical perspectives
congresses for scholarly exchange
- Publishing biblical scholarship
cooperation across global boundaries
Openness to Change
Respect for Diversity
*SBL has been a
member of the American Council of Learned Societies since 1929.
The eight founders of The Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis first met to discuss their new society in Philip Schaff's study in New York City in January of 1880. In June the group had their first Annual Meeting with eighteen people in attendance. The new society drew up a constitution and by-laws and discussed several papers. Membership dues were set at three dollars. By the end of the year, membership had grown to forty-five and publication of the meeting proceedings were in the planning stages. The Journal was launched the following year.
For more information on the history of the Society see:
Searching the Scriptures: A History of the Society of Biblical Literature, 1880-1980
Ernest W. Saunders
Also available on-line >>
Society Data Review
The SBL financial statement is published yearly and is included in the Society Report. It is made available to members at the Annual Meeting and electronically.
The Society Report
The Society Report is published yearly and gives an overview of the organization. It is made available to members at the Annual Meeting and electronically.