Open-access resources in academic biblical studies are few, but they are out there.
For this course, the "minimum kit" includes:
- Barry Bandstra's online textbook, Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible.
- My lecture series "Introducing the Tanak," available as a YouTube Playlist, or as a series of MP3s.
- The Bible Odyssey site, a searchable, public-education resource created by the Society of Biblical Literature.
Want to go further?
For history, try the podcast series From Israelite to Jew by Michael Satlow, professor of religious and Judaic studies at Brown University. It's a wonderful series for those who want some straight-up history on ancient Israel in the biblical period.
To understand "academic biblical studies," try Discovering the Old Testament by Drs. Sheldon and Denise Greaves. This is an excellent series, especially for learners trying to understand what an "academic" approach to the Bible is all about.
The Bible and Interpretation offers "news, features, editorials, commentary, archaeological interpretation and excavations relevant to the study of the Bible for the public and biblical scholars." Their Bible and Interpretation articles include a healthy mix of big-shots, middle-shots and who's-thats among well-educated, thoughtful academics in the field.
The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures is a great place to learn what peer-reviewed biblical scholarship looks like. As is usual for a scholarly journal, the findings are eclectic. Many articles will presume some knowledge of biblical languages and scholarship, but don't be deterred. This is your chance to find out about Antiochus IV and the Three Horns in Daniel 7 (Benjamin Scolnic, PDF), or about Yahweh's Breast: Interpreting Haggai's Temple through Melanie Klein's Projective Identification Theory (Jeremiah W. Cataldo, PDF).