Going Deep and Beyond the Expectations of a Term Paper: Student Contributions to the Website Bible in Its Traditions

Originating from the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem, the project Bible in Its Traditions was launched online in 2009. It aims at producing new annotated editions of the biblical texts in English, French, and Spanish, attentive to their polyphony and to the history of their reception. The online format allows the inclusion of a multilayered apparatus of explanatory notes that describe textual traditions, vocabulary, grammar, literary devices, literary genre, history, geography, inner exegesis, ancient cultures, and ancient texts. Going beyond most study Bibles, the apparatus also provides information about versions, peritestamental literature, reception in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions, and use in liturgy, theology, literature, music, visual arts, theater, dance, and film. The paper describes an experiment where graduate students contributed to this site as a class project in a doctoral-level seminar. The project focused on a section of the Gospel of Luke from which each student selected a passage and wrote on as many aspects as possible on the website, thus broadening the documentary basis beyond the narrower scope needed for a term paper.