May 2009 Bloodsucker Award – the German Bible Society

I am pleased to announce a winner for the Bloodsucker Award this month — the German Bible Society! 

Their successful entry was their emails demanding that various open-source projects which use the 10-year old morphologised Greek New Testament be abandoned, on the grounds that they “own” the text of the Greek New Testament.

When I announced this award, I described the criterion as follows:

I will award it, ad hoc, to institutions in receipt of state funding which in order to make money violate their primary directive; to make books available and promote learning.

I don’t know whether the GBS receives state money, although in Germany religious bodies often do.  But it does enjoy charitable status in order to promote learning and study of the scriptures, and so falls within the general area — abuse of public funding in order to make money instead of doing its job.

3 Responses to “May 2009 Bloodsucker Award – the German Bible Society”


  1. Hans Dampf

    Since the GNT editions by e.g. the American Bible Society are also copyrighted, the German Bible Society surely aren’t the only “bloodsuckers” out there.

    And by the way: The Greek text of the NA27 is easily accessible on the GBS website. So my question is: If the GBS makes their scholarly Greek Bible text available to everyone for free, why should they receive your “bloodsucker award”? Somehow it doesn’t make any sense.

  2. Hans Dampf

    A third of your “bloodsucker awards” should go to Bart D. Ehrman et al. and the American and British Committees of the International Greek New Testament Project. Their GNT (published by Brill in Boston & Leiden, Netherlands) is also fully copyrighted.

  3. Roger Pearse

    None of these people are going around claiming that they own the text of the Greek New Testament and wrecking open-source research projects.



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