Wikipedia:WikiProject Bible/Biblical criticism work group

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Some Wikipedians have formed a project to better organise Biblical criticism in related articles. This page and its subpages contain their suggestions; it is hoped that this project will help to focus the efforts of other Wikipedians. If you would like to help, please inquire on the talk page and see the to-do list there.

For more information on WikiProjects, please see Wikipedia:WikiProjects and Wikipedia:WikiProject best practices.


This is a WikiProject to improve the coverage of material related to Biblical Criticism. I.e. to improve the provision of information deriving from academic rather than just religious sources.

Neutrality is important. As this WikiProject involves providing academic information to articles concerning topics which are sometimes religiously sensitive, it is particularly important to remain as Neutral as possible. Nevertheless, remember that neutrality does not mean excising information other people might object to.


The majority of Bible-related topics are already present on Wikipedia, and so this project entails the addition into articles of material concerning academic (rather than religious) research into those topics.

The articles will most likely already contain

  • Common traditional ideas about the subject of the article, since these are common knowledge in the relevant culture
  • Ideas of major religions about the subject of the article, since these are likely to be known by the adherants of the religion, of which, as major religions, there will be many amongst the wikipedia demographic
  • References from popular culture, because popular culture is popular

This project is about providing the missing:

  • Historical information — the views held historically about the subject of the article, during, amongst other periods, (if relevant):
    • The reformation
    • The dark ages
    • The foundation of the Christian Church:
      • Views of Church Fathers
      • Views of people the Church Fathers viewed as heretics
      • Views of uninvolved commentators
    • Israel after the exile (600BC):
      • Views expressed in the Midrash and Talmud
      • Views reported by commentators
      • Deceased pre-exilic traditions reported by post-exilic commentators
  • Modern academic information — for example:
    • Historical context
    • Cultural context
    • Source critical information
    • Critical theories: e.g.
      • Naturalistic explanations
      • Parallel traditions in other historic cultures
    • Apologetics (note that this means apologetics originating from an academic source, rather than a local rabbi, or priest)

A large amount of related information can be found on the public domain Jewish Encyclopedia. Much of it has not yet been copied over to Wikipedia. Note that the Jewish Encyclopedia is 100 years out of date, and much of the academic knowledge may have changed, improved, been made more precise, or been added to, for example, by scholars such as Martin Noth, and Richard Friedman.


  1. Check that biblical articles contain at least
    • the information in other public domain/GFDL encyclopedias (e.g. the Jewish Encyclopedia), or evidence that that/those view(s) existed but was/were superseeded
    • the information and opinions in well known ancient sources (e.g. the Midrash/Talmud, Adversus Haereses, and the works of Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo)
    • modern academic views both apologetic and anti-apologetic, do not merely include straw men
    • Here are some fairly extensive lists of articles to go through:
      • /Torah list - For torah/pentateuch articles (about 50% are currently red-links)
      • /Deuteronomic history list - For articles covering the period of Joshua — Kings (and by extension, Chronicles)
  2. Go through textual conflicts mentioned in surveys, eg.
    • "Old Testament: Dead Sea Scrolls". Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
    • Hasel, Gerhard (31 July 2012). "New Light on the Book of Daniel from the Dead Sea Scrolls". Associates for Biblical Research. Retrieved 20 June 2017.

Useful lists[edit]

Here are some lists of relevant articles. Note that many are currently red-links; one of the implicit goals of the project is to cause those to become blue.




{{WikiProject Bible|class=|importance=|criticism=yes|criticism-importance=}} should be placed on the talk pages of all articles within this subject.


All members should feel free to add {{User WPBC}} to their userpages.

Stub templates[edit]

Other templates[edit]

Relevant new Wikipedia articles[edit]

Please feel free to list relevant new articles here (newer articles at the top, please). Any new articles that have an interesting or unusual fact in them should be suggested for the Did you know? box on the Main Wikipedia page. DYN has a 72 hr. time limit from the creation of the article.

Related WikiProjects[edit]