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. He frequently showed that the Old Testament contained deeper meanings than were first apparent. For example, Jesus 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 existing English translations, the original Latin versions, and some translations in Portuguese, French, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Dutch, Czech, Chinese, Korean, and other languages.

In our on deck page, we have some of Swedenborg's works in several 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:

A UI Upgrade! 6/26/2019:

We've been making a bunch of code changes so that we can use the latest version of Bootstrap, which one of the best sets of user interface components for the web. You'll probably notice some small changes now, and more coming down the pike, as we take advantage of the new tools.


Matchmaker, Matchmaker... 6/25/2019:

Swedenborg explains the inner meaning of more than 3000 words and phrases from the Bible. We've been trying to build a chain of data, from a word, to its explanation. Last year, we did the easiest layer, but we realized that we'd have to get more sophisticated if we wanted to go further. This year, we're tackling that. We just went through another layer, and matched 100 more concepts. We think we're on a good track. If we can make this happen, it will be a big watershed for the project.


Importing 6/22/2019:

We're in that summer surge of importing translations of Swedenborg's works, trying to get further through the pile of existing translations. So far, so good!


Latin cleanup 6/10/19:

We just linked up one of Swedenborg's Latin works, "Canones Novae Ecclesiae". It's part of our quest to get all of the original texts of Swedenborg's theological works online and linked up.


Canons of the New Church 5/21/19:

We just exported, cleaned, and added links for scripture references and cross references to Whitehead's transation of Canons of the New Church.


The Heavenly City 4/28/19:

We just got permission to use Rev. Lee Woofenden's 1993 translation of Swedenborg's work that's traditionally titled "The New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine". This English translation, entitled "The Heavenly City", is very readable.


Search Improvements 4/20/2019:

Search just got faster. We got a chance to tackle some search optimizing, and... the results are great! It's much faster than it has been. You'll also see some related improvements, e.g. being able to bookmark searches, and make notes from inside the search UI.


Apocalipse Revelado (Portuguese) 4/11/2019:

Thanks to some careful work by one of our college student interns, we have a clean copy of Volume 1 of André Figueiredo's translation up online. We're working on corrections to the scanned text of Volume 2 now. (Many thanks, too, to the Swedenborg Library at Bryn Athyn College, for access to the printed work, and the use of its scan/OCR system!)


Last week slow – this week fast 4/5/2019:

Sorry the site was so slow for the past few days. We had three things hit our server at once, and it took us a little while to get it sorted. Part of it was just some overly-greedy indexing from third parties, and in part it was self-inflicted, in that our nice new slider features were loading the system pretty heavily. But we've throttled those indexers, and optimized our own queries, and the server's pretty happy now. So, come on down!


5 New Spanish Translations 3/23/2019:

There are some talented translators around the world, working on Spanish translations of Swedenborg's theological works. We're working with several groups to make those translations available online here, linked to the Word, and cross-referenced to each other. We just posted 5 new ones. They're by Dr. Andres Omar Ayala, a Paraguayan Bible scholar, and they're of some of Swedenborg's shorter posthumous works. Here's the master page where you can see what all Swedenborg translations we have in the system now, and filter by language.


"Bible Slider" gets Related Verses 3/16/2019:

New, from NCBS, a frog button. Huh? Well, we just added a whole bunch of data on pairs of related verses in the Bible. You'll find those links on a brand new tab on the "Bible slider". We needed an icon that expressed "jump" or "link" or "relate", and... the frog sort of jumped out at us. Many thanks to Cristoph Romhild, German pastor and Bible scholar, for putting the data together, and for giving us permission to use it.


"Swedenborg Slider" gets Parallel Passages 3/16/2019:

40 years ago, New Christian scholars worked on a project to collect "parallel passages" in Swedenborg's theological works. There are a lot of them... more than 2800 pairs. For years, we've wanted to add these to the New Christian Bible Study site, and we finally got a chance to tackle it. If you're reading one of Swedenborg's books, and you click on the "Study this Passage" button, you'll see parallel passages, to go along with the inbound references. Here's a link to a sample passage.


A Brand New "Swedenborg Slider" 3/14/2019:

We just deployed another major new feature to the site. For short, we're calling it the "Swedenborg slider". If you're reading a section from one of Swedenborg's theological works, you can slide out a panel that shows you any "inbound links", either from a cross-reference, or from any other author who links to that section. It's pretty nice! Check it out.


New "Bible Slider" features 3/11/2019:

We just posted some nice updates to our Bible slider. To see an example, go to Genesis 4 and click the "Study the Inner Meaning" button. The sliding pane has two tabs now, one with related links from Swedenborg's works, and the other with links from other commentators - including video Bible studies, illustrated explanations, some audio sermons, and more.


More Zulu and Czech! 2/19/2019:

We just posted another chunk of Zulu translation of Arcana Coelestia (the sections from Volume 2), AND the first volume of the same work in Czech, Tajemství nebe (Heger překlad). This is pretty important; Swedenborg's explorations of the Bible's inner meaning underpin all the rest of his theology; so... if you want to do Bible Study in Zulu, or Czech, or any other language, it's a good thing to have Arcana Coelestia accessible!

Plus, while we had our brains attuned to Czech, we added a translation of the first section of Pravé křesťanství (Máchová překlad), which is True Christian Religion.


AC Vol 1 in Zulu 2/1/2019:

We just imported our first Zulu translation of Swedenborg's works. Here's a link to Arcana Coelestia Volume 1 in Zulu.


See more project news.


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