Journal of Biblical Literature
DisciplineOld Testament, New Testament
Edited byAdele Reinhartz
Publication details
Standard abbreviations
ISO 4J. Biblic. Lit.

The Journal of Biblical Literature (JBL) is one of three academic journals published by the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). 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 freely available to the public in PDF form, after registering on the SBL website. Previous issues, back to 1881, are available in the JSTOR Arts and Sciences III collection."[1]


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.[2]

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).[3]

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."[3]

"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."[4]

Samuel Sharpe, an English ordained minister and egyptologist was editor of a journal also called Journal of Biblical Literature, published from London prior to the establishment of SBL and its journal.


JBL editors:[5]

1880–1883 Frederic Gardiner
1883–1889 Hinckley Gilbert Thomas Mitchell
1889–1894 George Foot Moore
1894–1900 David Gordon Lyon
1901–1904 Lewis B. Paton
1905–1906 James Hardy Ropes
1907 Benjamin Wisner Bacon
1908–1909 Julius A. Bewer
1910–1913 James Alan Montgomery
1914–1921 Max Leopold Margolis
1922–1929 George Dahl
1930–1933 Carl Hermann Kraeling
1934 George Dahl
1935–1942 Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough
1943–1947 Robert H. Pfeiffer
1948–1950 J. Philip Hyatt
1951–1954 Robert C. Dentan
1955–1959 David Noel Freedman
1960–1969 Morton S. Enslin
1970 John HP Reumann
1971–1976 Joseph Augustine Fitzmyer
1977–1982 John Haralson Hayes
1983–1988 Victor Paul Furnish
1989–1994 John J. Collins
1995–1999 Jouette M. Bassler
2000–2006 Gail R. O'Day
2006–2011 James C. Vanderkam
2012–2018 Adele Reinhartz
2019–present Mark G. Brett

See also


  1. ^ Carl Kinbar, 'Open Access and the SBL', Archived 2006-10-14 at the Wayback Machine SBL Forum (2006).
  2. ^ JBL 50 (1931): xxiv-xlix.
  3. ^ a b Saunders, Ernest W., 'Journal', in chapter 8, 'Of the Making of Books', of Searching the Scriptures: A History of the Society of Biblical Literature, 1880-1980, (Chico: Scholars' Press, 1982).
  4. ^ Martin E. Marty, Review of Searching the Scriptures, Journal of Biblical Literature 103 (1984): 85-88.
  5. ^ a b Searching the Scriptures. Appendix V, Editors of the Journal of Biblical Literature

Other sources