What Is Ask-a-Prof?
PLEASE NOTE: We are in the process of searching for a new Executive Director and are working out who will administer our Ask-a-Prof program until the new person is in place. During this interim time, the ability to ask new questions will be suspended.
There are still many questions that have already been answered under the first link below. Please check to see if your question might be covered there. You can type relevant words into the search feature on the site and see what comes up. We're sorry for the disruption and look forward to getting back to full functioning soon!
Have you ever been confused by something you read in the Bible? Have you heard debates about the Bible and wondered what it was all about? Have you wished you had somebody who had really studied it to answer your questions? Welcome to Ask-a-Prof.
Ask-a-Prof is a web-based service that allows you to ask a Bible-related question of 35 seminary and religion professors from a variety of faith traditions. Responses to questions will be sent to the e-mail you provide and also posted on this site.
Follow the links to:
Can I Ask a Question?
How Will I Get My Answer?
Are There Rules About What I Can Ask?
Can I Ask a Particular Professor on the List?
Suppose I Don't Get an Answer?
How Long Will It Be Until I Get an Answer?
Do the Answers Reflect the Opinions of MassBible?
Anybody can ask a question. It doesn't have to be complex or profound--just sincere. Once this interim period is over, you will again be able to go to the question submission form to ask your question. While we are in transition, this function is disabled.
Your responses will be sent by MassBible to the e-mail address you provide. You may get one response or several and MBS will forward responses as we receive them from those answering. Responses will also be posted here on the website.
There are only the normal rules of tact and courtesy. All questions are first received and evaluated by MassBible. Questions that have a simple factual answer (like "Where can I find the Ten Commandments?") will be answered by MBS staff, sent to you directly, and will not be posted on the site. Questions that contain offensive language will be returned to the questioner to either re-frame or withdraw. Questions that require a more complex response will be sent to our participating professors.
You can certainly request that a certain professor respond to your question and MassBible will pass along that request. We make no guarantee, however, that the person you selected will reply. Every professor will see every question and has the option to respond or not to each one.
We will certainly do everything we can to ensure that you receive at least one response to your question. If for some reason that is not possible, MassBible staff will respond and direct you to resources that may be of help, refunding any fee you may have paid to ask. Fees will not be refunded if a question is returned as offensive and you are unable or unwilling to reframe the question in a way that would be helpful.
If your question is factual in nature and can be answered by MassBible staff, you should have the response the next business day. When a question goes out to the list of professors, the response time will depend on their schedules. You might get a response in a day or two, but it might be longer. If several professors respond, you might get answers across a week or more. If you are uncomfortable with the length of time a response is taking, please contact us to be sure it was received and we will do what we can to expedite an answer.
Not necessarily. We do not edit the responses except for length and expect that all those reading the responses, including the staff and Trustees at MBS, will find some responses to be right in line with our own beliefs and some with which we would have strong disagreement. This is not about promoting one "right" interpretation. This is about showing that scholars can have a variety of opinions about any given issue in the Bible. We believe the responses should be just the beginning of your study. Take them to your study groups. Pray about them and ask for God's guidance. Bring discussions about them to our Facebook page or tag us @massbible on Twitter. Enjoy the exploration! You can read the Massachusetts Bible Society's Statement on Scripture here.
The Massachusetts Bible Society is able to sustain its ministries of Bible Grants, educational events, and nurturing Biblical literacy and open spiritual/theological dialogue through financial contributions from people and organizations such as you. Please click here to support MBS.