Feb 062015

Biblical Criticism & History Archive SearchNow you can search the greater Biblical Criticism Blogosphere, a carefully curated collection of websites, blogs, books, articles, and resources containing about 30 billion web pages indexed and searchable with a Google Custom Search Engine. The search prompt can be found here:


This Google-powered custom Internet search engine was created to sit alongside two very specific site search engines, powered by open source software and opening up the full archives of the Biblical Criticism & History forum from 2001 to today. The archives themselves are hosted at bcharchive.org (the historical portion, indexed using Gigablast search technology) and at earlywritings.com (the forum today, powered by phpBB).

I encourage you to play around with these tools! Who knows what pearls you might find?

This has been a labor of love. The historical archives have been sitting around on my hard drive, unused and unusable, for the past year and a half, since the previous incarnation of the forum shut down. It took a lot of effort to piece together a solution for browsing the pages of the old forum and searching the historical data, a substantial collection of about 75,000 HTML documents spanning 8GB. After several false starts, the Gigablast search engine technology, which went open source just a couple years ago, proved capable of taking on a job like this effectively and efficiently, using a minimum of server resources.

The custom search engine, powered by Google, includes various websites, the entire biblioblog list, and several sources of books and articles related to biblical criticism, with an attempt to include all the academically-oriented sources in English that I could find. It is strictly a whitelist filter, with over 500 filter entries, which have all been vetted for relevancy by hand.

Please send any feedback my way.

  9 Responses to “The Biblical Criticism Search Engine”

  1. I was exploring an article about sources, reading an interesting discussion from 2008, involving Ben C. Smith and Jeffrey Gibson, when one of the participants in the discussion popped up “This message is hidden because aa5874 in on your ignore list.

    It seems that the program, at present, imagines that I am Peter Kirby, not Ralph, and since no one is on my ignore list, I would ask you to change the permissions, so that a person reading through the archives did not encounter a message indicating censorship.

    On another question, relating to Josephus, I found a reference to spin’s blog, but the blog itself apparently is not included in the archives?

    Thank you.


    • I don’t know anything about spin’s blog.

      The archives contain the posts to the BC&H forum, as retrieved by me. In these circumstances, unfortunately, my 1-person ignore list was applied. It is a collection of static HTML pages.

      I would do the archiving again without the ignore list, but there is the problem that the people who ran the old forum pulled it down in all haste. It is a small miracle that we have what we do.

      If you choose to dwell on the negative and call it “censorship,” I can’t stop you.

      • “If you choose to dwell on the negative and call it “censorship,” I can’t stop you.”

        apologies if I misread at least two of your statements:

        First: “Please send any feedback my way.”

        I had thought my comment fell into the category of “any”.


        “powered by open source software and opening up [b] the full archives [/b] of the Biblical Criticism & History forum from 2001 to today”

        I evidently misunderstood the meaning of “full”.

        Thank you.


    • I’ve been able to reindex the archives, and aa’s posts are now included.


  2. […] This one is not really about “religion and atheism” but it’s worth including here to get the message out the sooner – – – –  Peter Kirby has done us another favour by creating a Biblical Criticism Search Engine. […]

  3. There is a discussion at the Biblical Criticism & History forum:


  4. Thanks so much for this, Peter.

    I’m not sure if your search parameters cover vridar.info, however. Any chance of that webpage being added?


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