There is a plethora of free online resources that seminary and Bible college students can use for research. Many books and journals will still need to be borrowed from the library or purchased, but there are numerous Biblical Studies documents available for free online. Here is a list of 45 free online reference works that every seminary and Bible college student should know about.
(If you have one to suggest, please add it in the comments section!)
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German Bible Society
The official site of the German Bible Society. Access the Scriptures in Greek, Hebrew and Latin. The site has the text of the Biblica Hebraica Suttgartensia (BHS), Novum Testum Graece (ed. Nestle-Aland, NA 28), UBS Greek New Testament, Septuagint (ed. Rahlfs/Hanhart) and Vulgate (ed. Weber/Gryson) online.
One of the few online Hebrew Old Testaments with vowel pointing.
Another edition of the Hebrew Tanakh, along with the Oral law; also has Hebrew-English and Hebrew-French parallel editions.
The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls
Access digital images of the five most complete Dead Sea Scrolls.
Ancient Near Eastern Languages.com
This site has a list of grammar, lexicons and other works on a variety of Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) languages, including Akkadian, Aramaic, Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Biblical Hebrew, Epigraphic Hebrew, Moabite, Phoenician, Sumerian and Ugaritic.
Society of Biblical Literature Greek New Testament
SBL and Logos Bible Software have partnered together to offer the SBL’s Greek New Testament as a free download. This is an excellent free Green New Testament for those who do not always have an internet connection.
Duke Papyrus Archive
Duke’s Papyrus Archive contains over 1,400 images of and texts about papyri.
The Online Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon
The full version of the Lidell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon, commonly called The Great Scott, is available online for free.
The Pereus Digital Library contains most, if not all, the classical Greek works, as well as a parsing tool that makes translating them much easier.
Online Critical Pseudopigrapha
The Online Critical Pseudepigrapha from Tyndale has all pseudopegraphical documents in their original languages. Each document has an introduction as well.
Dictionary of Targumim, Talmud and Midrashic Literature
The Dictionary of Targumim, Talmud and Midrashich Literature by Marcus Jastrow, a lexicon for Rabbinic Hebrew, is available online from Tyndale.
Patrologia Latina contains the standard Latin editions of the Church Fathers.
Ptrologia Graeca contains the standard Greek editions of the Church Fathers.
Modern Bible Translations
Free Christian Works
Historic Church Documents
BiblIndex lets users search for references to specific passages in the Church Fathers.
Early Christian Writings
Early Christian Writings has English translations of Christian documents from the first three centuries of the C.E. The documents are arranged chronologically.
Fourth Century Christianity
Fourth Century Christianity, which is maintained by Wisconsin Lutheran College, has a host of resources for studying the Church in the fourth century C.E. There are a number of primary texts, along with a plethora of secondary materials.
Papal Encyclicals Online
Papal Encyclicals Online has many official documents of the Catholic Church; they are arranged by Pope.
The Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics
The Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics has a number of historical documents from the Reformed Tradition, as well as the Ancient Creeds.
New Advent has the Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Thomas’ Summa Theologica, works of the Church Fathers and other documents of the Roman Catholic Church online. The links to each of these is located in the top right of each page.
Writings of Individual Christians
The Christian Classics Ethereal Library has many of its books available free on its website and for download as PDFs.
Confessions of Saint Augustine
A digital, English version of Confessions of Saint Augustine, a classic work.
William Perkins’ Works
William Perkins was a notable figure early in Puritan history. Read his Six Principles and Commentary on Hebrews Chapter 11 (verses 1-37 only) free online.
Digital Quaker Collection
The Digital Quaker Collection has more than 500 texts from Quakers who lived in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Wesley Center Online
The Wesley Center Online has links to a variety of resources on John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Arminianism and related topics. The site also has several works of John Wesley.
Unofficial N.T. Wright Site
An unofficial website dedicated to the works of N.T. Wright. Find many of Wright’s articles and lectures here.
Frame & Poythress
John Frame and Vern Poythress are two leading Reformed theologians today. Frame teaches at Reformed Theological Seminary, and Poythress is at Westminster Theological Seminary. Many of their articles and books are available for free on their joint site.
FreeBooks has a couple dozen Christian eBooks available for free download. Many of these are not academic, but a few may be useful for Bible college and seminary students.
Review of Biblical Literature
Review of Biblical Literature features reviews by SBL members of books on biblical studies and related topics. Recent reviews are featured on the homepage, or visitors can search previous reviews. The books reviewed are not free, but the reviews are helpful for deciding what to read.
Google Books has many books available for free online.
Student Supplement for SBL Handbook of Style
Users must log into the SBL’s website to access the complete SBL Handbook of Style. The Student Supplement, however, covers most major points and is free to download.
The Religion Stylebook is an appendix to the AP Style Book on standard ways of rendering religious terms for journalists. The entries can be easily searched in the online version. (Note: This is not the standard style for academic papers. When writing an academic theology paper, consult the SBL Handbook of Style).
Pitts Theology Library SBL Citation Builder
Pitts Theology Library at Emory’s Candler School of Theology has an online tool for building citations and bibliographies in SBL style.
Zotero helps researchers organize, share and cite their sources. Extensions for Chrome and Firefox are available, and it works with Microsoft Word and Open Office.
New Testament Studies
NTGateway is a directory of online resources for New Testament study. It has lists of introductory materials, books, dissertations, articles, lectures and videos for virtually all disciplines within New Testament.
Hymnary lets users search for songs by hymnal, author, text or tune.
The hymnal of Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) is online, and visitors can browse the hymns by author or title.
Find A Dig
Find A Dig lists many current archaeological digs and connects Biblical Archaeology students with digs they can join.
Biblical Archaeology has many things to offer archaeology students, including many free books for download.
Encyclopedia of Religion and Society
The Encyclopedia of Religion and Society, a standard reference work, is also available online for free.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The entire Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is available on Stanford’s website. This is a “dynamic” encyclopedia that seeks to include the latest developments in philosophy.
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a peer-reviewed digital encyclopedia. All entries are written by trained philosophers.
Academic Christian Organizations
Scholarly Christian Societies
Society of Biblical Literature
The Society of Biblical Literature is the foremost academic society of scholars who study the Bible and related materials. It drawn people from all religions, as well as non-religious, scholars. (There is a membership fee to join, but the website itself is a valuable resource).
Evangelical Theological Society
The Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) is a smaller academic society than SBL. It is similar to SBL, but members hold evangelical convictions. (There is a membership fee to join, but the website has some free articles written by its members).
Theological Accrediting Bodies
Association of Theological Schools
The main accrediting body of theological schools in the U.S. and Canada. A great place to find a list of accredited seminaries and Bible colleges.
Although users must register their thesis, the site is free to use. This is an index of doctoral dissertations currently in progress.
We have attempted to create a list of the best free online resources for theology students. This is a growing list, though. If you know of a theological resource we have overlooked, please let us know by leaving a comment below!