This is a list of questions we field from volunteers most frequently.
What is the Society of Biblical Literature?
SBL supports the critical investigation of the Bible. Founded in 1880, SBL is a member of the American Council of Learned Societies. SBL provides conversation partners and resources for those interested in the religions, history, literature, and culture of the ancient Near Eastern world. Over 7,000 members from around the globe provide a forum to test ideas and advance the understanding of the Bible's role in the public arena.
How do I become a member of the Society of Biblical Literature?
Membership in SBL is obtained through a dues-based system, with discounts available for student members. You may join SBL online.
How do I volunteer to review a book?
To volunteer to review a book, you must be an active member of SBL; have completed (or nearly completed) graduate work in biblical studies or its related disciplines; and provide the editorial board with information regarding your qualifications for reviewing a particular book. To search for a book to review, click here. After locating a book in your research or teaching area, the RBL web site will provide a form to fill out.
Who is responsible for assigning reviews?
The Review of Biblical Literature (RBL) editorial board has the final discretion in assigning RBL reviews. They seek the most qualified reviewers for works submitted, so in most cases the board first offers a review copy to one or more established scholars in the field. When we are unable to secure a reviewer, we rely on qualified volunteers. Thus we invite you to volunteer to review any available book. If you are declined, please understand that this is most likely due to one of two factors: an editor-chosen reviewer has accepted our offer to review the work; or some other qualified volunteer made an offer prior to yours.
Whom should I contact to check on the status of a book I volunteered to review?
If you have not received a notice from our editors that the book has been assigned, then the editors are still considering potential reviewers. When an editor assigns a book for review, you will receive a notice by email informing you whether or not you were assigned that volume.
How much time does it take between the date a review is submitted and the date it is published (electronically)?
RBL strives to produce the timeliest reviews of biblical literature available. Due to the large volume of reviews we process, please allow four months between the time of submission and the time of publication for the review to go through the editorial process.
Has my review been posted?
The easiest way to check if your review has been published is to visit our search page. Search our reviews either by the reviewer or author field. If you submitted your review over four months ago, you may contact the managing editor by email, email@example.com.
What is the weekly RBL email newsletter?
A free service of SBL, available to members and non-members, to provide subscribers a list of links to the most recently published reviews in the RBL system. If you wish to subscribe to the RBL email newsletter, click here.
How do I remove my email address from the subscription list?
All SBL members automatically receive the RBL newsletter as a membership benefit. If for some reason you do not wish to receive this service, simply send an email to the managing editor at firstname.lastname@example.org with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.
What is the print edition of RBL, and how do I purchase it?
SBL publishes an annual print edition of RBL that includes a selection of reviews published over the course of the year. Not all reviews published online will appear in the print version. The decision remains at the discretion of the RBL editors. You may purchase the print edition from the RBL store by clicking here.
How do I suggest a book for possible review?
You may suggest titles for review to the managing editor at email@example.com. You may also contact the publisher and recommend that they send review copies to the following address:
Society of Biblical Literature
825 Houston Mill Road, Suite 350
Atlanta, GA 30329