Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bibledex-Videos from the University of Nottingham

Video journalist Brady Haran has a great quote about the Internet:
"For everyone out there who wants to watch a cat fall down a staircase there is someone else who is trawling the internet for a bit more depth"
Hopefully this blog caters for both ends of the spectrum! Haran is connected with an excellent website from the University of Nottingham, Bibledex that I came across via Mark Goodacre’s excellent blog. Bibledex is now a complete collection of videos on every book of the (Protestant) Bible. The site notes that

The videos are by no means comprehensive - rather they're a curious assortment of academic insights into what is probably the most famous collection of books in history

And there’s nothing more I like than a “curious assortment” of insights. I’ll definitely be using these videos in my classes-either as something I can play at the start of a topic, for example on the Book of Numbers in my course on the Pentateuch next year or as a supplementary piece for students to consult outside of the class. One piece of feedback I got from my students this year was that they started off some of the topics feeling a bit lost and I suspect this is because I cannot give enough time to introduce a topic or a book that we’re going to look at because of time constraints. In an ideal world I’d have my classes read the entire book and some background material but this is a lot to expect of the majority of my students so I’m trying to find more visual ways of doing this. Bibledex gives a great general introduction that is rooted in visual displays and solid informed information from academics who know what they’re talking about but aren’t doing their “I’m on the History Channel and need to be taken seriously so I’d better wear my tweed jacket with the patches” routine. Though some do succumb to the “I’m a learned person, look at all my books behind me”.
Have a look at the Genesis video (all videos are on the website and also on YouTube so you can embed them easily).

The only criticism I have (shared with Mark Goodacre) is that the theologians and Biblical Scholars aren’t identified by name, you have to be a certain type of Bible Nerd to know most of them (*cough*) You need to go to the Theologian Profile’s page to match up the pictures, but do take note of the Irish accents, Tom O'Loughlin and Alan Ford are featured.

The site also has an excellent section which I know my students in Milltown will love on Israel, documenting the visit there in January 2010. The video on the Sermon of the Mount is excellent-students love the “what does it look like now” element (there’s grass! And cars!) and a great account of how Jesus addressed the crowd. Well worth a look.

Have a look too at the fan site on Facebook and the BBC report on the project with excellent pictures. There's also the Bibledex's photostream on Flickr. And do let me know of any feedback you receive if you use them!

And as Jim West points out we'll just have to set to with getting the video of the Deuterocanonicals together!


  1. Thanks for the thorough and flattering write-up....

    We have indeed reached our target of the 66 books in the Protestant Bible, but I think there's a real interest in covering all the "extra" books and a few other topics.

    Plus we have plenty more footage from Israel we've not yet used.

    Once I recover from this initial onslaught, I think we're going to talk about whether we can continue (time and resources permitting).

    Stay tuned to the sites (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, RSS, etc) which can be subscribed to in various ways, and I'll be letting everyone know what's next.

    In the meantime, we hope everyone enjoys the resource so far!


  2. Thanks for the comment Brady-and congrats on such a fantastic project. It would be great if you could use the extra footage in some way as it's such a fantastic resource!

  3. I've thoroughly enjoyed this series! And I agree, a great intro to the books that is informative and impactful; one can begin to speak about these books with a little less trepidation after watching these videos.

    Thanks for your review and your blog ( My first visit!)


  4. Thanks for the kind comments!