Over at כל־האדם (“kol-ha’adam” or “all of man[kind]” ), Joseph has put forward an idea that has crossed my mind a couple of times: a central biblical resource featuring scholarly translation and apparatus. Done in such a way as to be useful to students and other researchers.
This would be nothing less than a new translation of the bible. It would have the opportunity to be a great resource, if its tendency to slip into partisanship and dogmatic infighting could be resisted.
I also think it could be commercially interesting: it could generate research funding, could spin off secondary materials and could charge a premium (much as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy does).
Unfortunately it is *very* difficult for bible students to find translations that seriously try to engage with the text in a historical critical manner, and deliberately take steps to avoid being compromised by liturgical, cultural and theological idiom. The only answer is to learn the original languages, I think. For me that’s fine when I’m in the NT, but my Hebrew is pretty crummy. I’ve been pretty lapse about practising it. And I don’t see why, at least at undergraduate level, original languages should be a pre-requisite for doing some forms of higher criticism.
I’m switching off comments on this post, please head over to כל־האדם if you want to contribute or decry the idea!