Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mahalo Search Engine and Biblical Resources

"Mahalo is a human-powered search engine that creates organized, comprehensive, and spam free search results for the most popular search terms. Our search results only include great links." (Anyone can use the site and its results. Contributing to the collection of links requires a free user account.)
This site was launched in July 2007, and as a user-created database of links that promises to be spam-free and include only the best links, I thought I would do a quick check to see how well it might help in doing research related to biblical studies. The quick answer: not very well.
First, there is not much here (yet, at least) in the biblical field. The first four links to appear on The Bible page are to, Audio Bible Online, the Wikipedia article, and There are category groupings for Versions and Translations, Bible History, Bible Blogs & Discussion, Analysis and Interpretation, and then it veers into Bible Fun Stuff, Bible Criticism, and Bible Satire and Humor. Not much you probably don't already know... The page on Jesus places links first to the NET Bible and to Wikipedia. Given the relatively few links, it is a bit surprising to see so much space committed to Jesus of Nazareth in Popular Culture along with Books and Merchandise, Jews for Jesus, Jesus in the Muslim Faith, and Jesus of Nazareth Satire and Humor. Given how little biblical stuff there is on the site, the page on the Dead Sea Scrolls is rather complete..., but the first link is to Wikipedia again. The page also has a brief "Guide Note" with some "Fast Facts," and I was surprised to learn the following:

The scrolls contain text from the Hebrew Bible and are of considerable religious significance, as they are the only known evidence of late Second Temple Jerusalem... The scrolls contain the last words of Joseph, Judah, Levi, Naphtali, and Amram (the father of Moses).
Hmmm.... Bottom line: Don't bother with this site for biblical work.

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