Saturday, September 19, 2009

The internet offers an overwhelming number of resources on many topics. It can be difficult to discern the most helpful from those of marginal value or those that contain only outdated material. I’m certainly not an expert on websites pertinent to the themes of law and progressive Christianity, however, I would like to occasionally share sites that I have found particularly useful or interesting. One such site is

I admit freely that I am horrible at rote memorization. My mind recalls concepts, but often fails to retain precise quotes of text no matter how hard I try. In my profession, being able to do legal research on-line is a godsend! I cannot imagine how lawyers did research before they could search documents electronically by keywords. However, I used to have a sense of how difficult such manual searches must have been whenever I was trying to find a particular passage from Scripture. I have several Bibles that I keep in different places. They contain different translations, and at various times I have underlined and tagged different passages in each Bible. As a result, searching for a particular passage through these various hardcopy texts was a slow, frustrating and rarely fruitful endeavor. Thank goodness for the internet—such searches are no longer necessary!

There are several on-line resources that allow you to search the bible electronically, but my favorite to date is The site offers the option of immediately pulling up a particular passage if you already know the book, chapter and verse where it appears. This is helpful if you see a verse in the Bible quoted but you don’t have a hardcopy handy. But if (like me) you often recall a concept from the Bible, but don’t remember where to find it, the site also offers the options of searching for verses by keyword and by topic. That is the aspect of this site that I particularly like.

Because there are so many different translations of the Bible, I also really appreciate the site’s ability to provide the same verse in a number of different translations (in English, as well as other languages). This can be very helpful because some of us are more familiar with one phrasing than another. Also, some translations are more eloquent than others. It can also be insightful to compare the various translations to get a better sense of what the literal meaning of the original text was, as well as the conceptual gist.

Matthew 7:7 (New International Version)
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

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