About the New Christian Bible Study Project


The New Christian Bible Study Project is an online clearinghouse for people who are interested in the Bible, not just in its powerful literal sense, but also in its inner, spiritual sense.

The idea that the Bible has an inner meaning is an old idea. Jesus knew it, and referred to it. Jesus frequently showed that the Old Testament contained deeper meanings than were first apparent. For example, He told His disciples that the Old Testament contained many prophecies about His own life that they had not understood. "Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Luke 24:27)

"He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures." (Luke 24:45)

For many centuries before Jesus's time, Jewish theologians were studying the Old Testament, and developing "commentary" on it -- exploring its inner meaning. The "Oral Torah" dates back perhaps as far back as the time of Moses, though it wasn't written down in a form called the Mishnah until the second century of the Christian Era. In the Christian church, commentary dates back almost to the time of Christ, and has continued to the present day.

The theological underpinnings of this site are based on Emanuel Swedenborg's religious works from the 1700's. Although Swedenborg himself isn't well-known today, the influence of his theological works has been both wide and deep.

Among other things, Swedenborg published detailed expositions of the Book of Genesis, the Book of Exodus, and the Book of Revelation, or the Apocalypse. He also outlined the inner meanings of the Psalms, and the Prophets, and cited other scripture passages extensively.

Swedenborg wrote in Latin, but his books have been translated into many languages, and we hope to bring together many of them here for worldwide readers. So far, in our main database, we have most of the extant English translations, the original Latin versions, and some translations in Portuguese, French, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Dutch, Czech, Chinese, and Korean.

In our on deck page, we have some of Swedenborg's works in 10 other languages, too, in .pdf format. We're going to import them into the main database as soon as we can, but they're online now, and ready for your use.

We have also gathered Bible translations in most of the major languages, so that Bible readers have a comfortable, easy-to-use place to read and study the Word of God, and to readily cross-link to explanatory content.

One of the key pieces of our project is that we're also adding plain-language explanations of Bible stories, verses, and words that are designed for modern readers. We're adding videos, too, and artwork that helps illustrate concepts.

This project is being carried forward by the New Christian Bible Study Corp., a registered non-profit 501(c)3 organization that was set up for this purpose. We hope that this site will be useful to you in your spiritual journey.

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Project News:


L'Apocalypse Révélée Oct 18, 2018:

We just posted a French translation of Apocalypse Revealed, L'Apocalypse Révélée, with hyperlinks to scripture references. It's still a little rough in places, with some errors left from the scanning process, but... it's up there, and ready to help French-speakers figure out the inner spiritual meaning of John's apocalyptic visions.


More Bible Word Mapping Oct 9, 2018:

We're starting to ripple the symbolic meanings of Bible words into Dutch and German; the first batches of matched words just got posted over the weekend. Lots more to do, but this rippling process is working, and that's good!


Russian and Georgian UI Oct 8, 2018:

Thanks to our wonderful bilingual volunteers, we were able to deploy updates to our Russian and Georgian interfaces.


Japanese UI Oct 1, 2018:

We've just deployed a Japanese user interface. That makes 12 UIs so far, so New Christian ideas are becoming available to something like 4 billion people.


Cross-language Word Mapping Sept 25, 2018:

If you're an English-speaking Bible reader, you've probably seen the blue highlighted words in the text of Bibles on our site. They link to popup explanations of the symbolism of those words.

We've been trying to figure out how to reliably find and highlight the right words and phrases in the many other languages we offer, and then to offer explanations of them... and we've made some of the needed breakthroughs. Two weeks ago, we went live with our first batch of 300+ highlighted words that occur thousands of times in the Spanish Bible texts.

This is a bridge across a previously unbridged chasm. Last week, we added the first waves of French and Portuguese words. Today, we added close to 500 Italian words. We'll add more sophistication to our programs so we can handle more ambiguous words and multi-word phrases, and tackle tougher languages. Plus, we have to translate all the popup explanations, so... lots and lots to do.

But, this is really something, something important for the New Christian movement worldwide. More readers worldwide can start to get a sense of the internal sense of the Word. Here's a link to a Spanish Bible example in Genesis.


Arcana Coelestia in Latin Sept 19, 2018:

Swedenborg wrote in Latin. Lots of Latin! His biggest work was entitled "Arcana Coelestia", which has been translated into English as "Heavenly Secrets" and "Secrets of Heaven". In it, Swedenborg works his way through Genesis and Exodus, and describes the inner spiritual meaning of those ancient scriptures.

One of our current projects has been to clean up the online Latin text of "Arcana Coelestia". If we can get the Latin clean and tidy, with links to scripture citations and cross-references, it will help translators render this work into more languages a lot more easily.

We've just put up a not-too-bad version of the Latin text, and we're making further updates as we go.


Internationalization Sept 18, 2018:

1. For our Portuguese readers, we just deployed an updated Portuguese user interface.

2. And, we have a new UI in Dutch, courtesy of our friends in the Netherlands.

3. Good things come in threes: We've also deployed an updated Czech-language UI, thanks to a helpful bilingual volunteer in the Czech Republic.


For German Bible Readers Sept 6, 2018:

We just posted a German translation of Swedenborg's explanation of the inner meaning of the prophetic Bible books of the Old Testament, and the Psalms. Have a look: Gedrängte Erklärung des inneren Sinnes der Propheten und der Psalmen Davids.


Arcani Celesti Aug 27, 2018:

We just linked up an Italian translation of the first two volumes of Arcana Coelestia, explaining the inner meaning of the first 17 chapters of Genesis. Here's a link: Arcani Celesti


AC Potts Upgrade Aug 20, 2018:

Our summertime team of students is wrapping up its work. One of the BIG results is a much-improved hyperlinked version of the JF Potts translation of Swedenborg's great Bible exegesis, Arcana Coelestia. English-speaking Bible readers will be spoiled for choice; they now have 3 nicely-linked-up translations to choose from.


Secrets of Heaven Aug 2, 2018:

Good news: The New Century Edition translation of Arcana Coelestia, entitled "Secrets of Heaven", is now available on our site. This was Swedenborg's biggest theological work - an explanation of the inner meaning of Genesis and Exodus. So far, we have the first two volumes of this edition, and more are coming down the pike. If you really want to "get" why the Bible is still germane, important, helpful, and sacred, read Secrets of Heaven.


De Domino Aug 1, 2018:

De Domino is a short work that Swedenborg drafted but didn't publish. It was a precursor to his published work, "Doctrine of the Lord". Anyway... we've just linked up all the references in the Latin text of De Domino, and the text of two English translations of it. Here it is.


See more project news.


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