Journal of Biblical Literature
The Journal of Biblical Literature (JBL) is one of three theological journals published by the Society of Biblical Literature
Society of Biblical Literature
The Society of Biblical Literature, founded 1880, is a constituent society of the American Council of Learned Societies , with the stated mission to "Foster Biblical Scholarship"...

First published in 1881, JBL is the flagship journal of the field. JBL is published quarterly and includes scholarly articles, critical notes, and book reviews by members of the Society.
JBL is available on line as well as in print:

"JBL has a moving window of Open Access. Aside from the current issue, the past three years of JBL are openly available to the public in PDF form on the SBL website. Previous issues, back to 1881, are available in the JSTOR Arts and Sciences III collection."


The journal was originally published under the title Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis. The current name was adopted with volume 9 (1890).

At the fourth meeting, on 29 December 1881, the SBL council voted to print 500 copies of a journal, including the full text of papers read at the society's annual June meetings.

JBL was, at first, an annual serial, from 1882 to 1905 (though two serials appeared in each of 1886 and 1887). JBL became semiannual from 1906 to 1911, and has been quarterly since 1912 (with a hiatus in 1915 and exceptional years with only two serials).

In 1916, the SBL secretary passed on to the members a communication, from the Third Assistant Postmaster General of the United States, refusing to give the JBL the second-class rate discount for scholarly journals, "on the ground that it was not scientific."

"The Journal of the Society for Biblical Literature in the United States was published in Leipzig through World War I down to the Nazi period—yet for the most part this feature showed up only when it became a problem for delivery after Germany began to be devastated after 1916."

Samuel Sharpe
Samuel Sharpe (scholar)
Samuel Sharpe was an English Unitarian Egyptologist and translator of the Bible.-Life:He was the second son of Sutton Sharpe , brewer, by his second wife, Maria , and was born in King Street, Golden Square, London, on 8 March 1799, baptised at St. James's, Piccadilly...

, an English ordained minister and egyptologist
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an “Egyptologist”...

 was editor of a journal also called Journal of Bibilical Literature, published from London prior to the establishment of SBL and its journal.


JBL editors:
1880–1883 Frederic Gardiner
1883–1889 Hinckley Gilbert Thomas Mitchell
1889–1894 George Foot Moore
George Foot Moore
George Foot Moore He graduated from Yale University in 1872, where he was a member of Skull and Bones. He was awarded the highest theological qualifiction – the D.D....

1894–1900 David G. Lyon
1901–1904 Lewis B. Paton
1905–1906 James Hardy Ropes
1907 Benjamin W. Bacon
1908–1909 Julius A. Bewer
1910–1913 James A. Montgomery
1914–1921 Max Leopold Margolis
Max Margolis
Max Leopold Margolis was a Lithuanian-born American philologist. Son of Isaac Margolis; educated at the elementary school of his native town, the Leibniz gymnasium, Berlin, and Columbia University, New York city...

1922–1929 George Dahl
1930–1933 Carl H. Kraeling
1934 George Dahl
1935–1942 Erwin R. Goodenough
1943–1947 Robert H. Pfeiffer
1948–1950 J. Philip Hyatt
1951–1954 Robert C. Dentan
1955–1959 David Noel Freedman
David Noel Freedman
David Noel Freedman , son of the writer David Freedman, was a biblical scholar, author, editor, archaeologist, and ordained Presbyterian minister ....

1960–1969 Morton S. Enslin
1970 John HP Reumann
1971–1976 Joseph Augustine Fitzmyer
Joseph Fitzmyer
Rev. Joseph Augustine Fitzmyer, S.J., is a priest of the Society of Jesus and a New Testament scholar.He entered the Maryland Province, made his novitiate in Wernersville, PA, and was ordained on July 30, 1938. His academic studies were done at Loyola University of Chicago; Facultes St-Albert de...

1977– John Henry Hayes
John Henry Hayes
John Henry Hayes FRSA is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament for South Holland and The Deepings, and a member of the socially conservative Cornerstone Group...

  • Note: the title editor was introduced in 1938, the SBL secretary fulfilling the role in prior years.

External links

Other sources

  • AE Harvey, 'Learned Journals - New Testament Studies: Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Journal of Biblical Literature.', Times Literary Supplement 5426 (30 March, 2007): 23-24.
  • Ernest W. Saunders, Searching the Scriptures: A History of the Society of Biblical Literature 1880–1980, (Chico: Scholars Press, 1982).
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