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Biblical studies

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Biblical studies is the academic study of the Christian and Jewish Scriptures. Biblical studies is a branch of theology, but also draws on the disciplines of history, literary criticism, and philology.

In the Jewish tradition, Biblical Studies can also include the study of the traditional Midrashic commentators. In Christianity, the theological interpretation of Biblical passages is called exegesis.

Other branches of Bible study aim instead at elucidating the provenance, authorship, and chronological order of Biblical texts. This is a branch of philology more than theology, and sometimes comes into conflict with theology. "Higher criticism" and its findings, including the well known documentary hypothesis which suggests that the Torah was compiled from the writings of several different hands, and the work of the Jesus Seminar, which attempted to cull "inauthentic" sayings of Jesus from the "authentic" ones contained in the Gospels, are examples of Biblical studies whose results have been particularly controversial in theology.

See Bible Study for the activity in which Christians read and reflect on the Bible individually or, including discussion, in small groups or base communities .

Additionally, Biblical Studies is a common discipline offered in the Bible colleges, Bible institutions or schools and some secular colleges. It centered on the study of the Scriptures as found in the Bible . It is not listed as an academic discipline following the pursuit of academic studies in normal stream colleges and universities. However the old discipline was known as the Queen of all disciplines when the studies of Latin, Greek, and the Holy Scriptures were the sacred pursuit of all students from the time of the Middle Ages followed to the Reformation or Renaissance period . Presently it is taught mainly in non-academic schools and institutions under the global support of many Christian denominations and missionary related organizations.

The following information was added to the category "Biblical studies", which has been nominated for deletion. I've moved the information here, as it belongs in an article, not a category. Unfortunately, I don't have the knowledge to know what, if any of it, should be kept:

Biblical Studies involved the studies of the Bible or as a subdivision under Theology. It is often offered as a post graduate course in some Christian colleges or Bible institutions as a non-academic study course. In contrast with most divinity schools, seminaries or older theological schools, Biblical Studies does not attempt to critic the Bible as in higher (or literary criticism ) or lower (or textual criticism ) form. It is different from the approach used in the similar subject denoted by Biblical studies as found within wikipedia article. However, its content varies but usually covered a wider scope including the following:


Core of Biblical Studies

The pursuit of a diploma or degree as accredit-able by varying associations of Bible schools, Institutions or colleges as well as some Universities should contain the core discipline of such studies as inclusive.

Principles of Biblical Interpretation

Exegesis using the inductive method is used in understanding the texts in scriptures. Some guides or rules of interpretation were formulated over the recent times becoming known as Principles of Interpretation which is similar with Hermeneutics . According to the Bible, such rules are "self-evident" as within the Bible as the internal text often clue the approach towards a sound interpretative safeguard for understanding scriptures. It focuses on the origin writer’s sense in relation with the expected audience response. The rule of context applies, and "scriptures interpret scriptures" became another way to understand the scriptural sense where the ideas and meanings are likely to be in harmony within the language and cultural context. Therefore the rule allow for the meaning to be limited and interpreted within the intent and purpose of the original writers . This interpretative view obviously leads to more focus individual understanding than collective interrelated consensus. There is the rule of inspiration as a necessary interpretative consideration, where Biblical canon scriptures are accepted as God-inspired <or God breathe> and therefore readily adhere to closely as the Word of God . Attention is given more to accepting the divine Holy Spirit who is the original <breathe or inspiration> Author of all scriptures. Moreover some church authorities give a heavier matters in regard to Church traditions and views hold by the Churches of established denominations and especially the Roman Catholics. (This last principle< Church traditions as a rule> is considered "controversial" and is not strictly adhered by most interpreters outside their respective denomination). Exegesis is therefore different from the traditional method when studying the texts for literary forms which is done academically for intellectual purposes rather than for personal profit or edification.

Hebrew and Greek languages

The study of original languages within the Bible is definitely an imperative to any correct interpretive work. In fact, most seminaries required their candidates for the doctorate in divinity to possess adequate knowledge of these two disciplines. They are considered as pre-requisites. Yet considering Aramaic as the verbal language of the inter-Testament period or the underlying bias, most schools have not encourage the study of this ancient language. Ancient Hebrew is the most archaic language in the Bible . The Septuagint <translation of Hebrew Old Testament into Greek> is probably the more popular underlying religious influence i.e. for thought, meditation and <the driving purpose >for lifestyle influences during the early church. The three languages intermingle and represent the best living examples of understanding and interpreting scripture. The writing of the Apostle Paul shows his skilful grasp of the context and usage of the Koine Greek and set forth a living motivation of the early Church.

Various studies in the books of the Bible

For beginners up to graduation seniors there are expected levels of Bible studies e.g. Bible I, Bible II, Bible III with an overview of all the books within the Bible-emphases on the Old testament foundational books (Genesis with four books of the Pentateuch). Along with Prophets <Major and minor> the historical books <1 & 2 Chronicles, 1 & 2 Kings, Job, 1 & 2 Samuel the Poetical books<Song of Solomon, Psalms> and the wisdom writings covering the Old Testaments sphere, an environmental context showing the integrity of scriptures. The importance of New Testament writings consisting of the Gospel account of Matthew Mark Luke and John in a fourfold setting>and Acts of the Apostles , Paul's Epistles formed the core understanding the worldview of the early believers. Then the major treatises of Romans (i.e. Epistle to the Romans) and Revelation forming the greater shell of the modern evangelical believers' total prospective in the Christian faith. The problematic epistle of Hebrews would be rightly taken in correct understanding when the times and events of the pre-temple epistle was taken in the correct historical context. The book of Revelation may be the last but not least importance of prophetic scriptures. The fact that all scriptures within the canon are of divine origin shows the ability to foretell the future events as they unfold, and the un-erring ( inerrant ) insight into the nature and origin of mankind as special creation along with the revelation of the living cosmos teeming with all kinds of life forms. Scriptures are intended for spiritual understanding and development of the moral character within, and without which the present global world civilization will be very different.

Non-Core related Studies

  • The purpose of Biblical Studies in these Churches or Missions related schools are generally aiming for education than for field services. Their curriculum often centered on the understanding of the Bible for personal edification and witnessing rather than for pulpit preaching or the Christian ministry. Tools and resources toward supporting growth of Churches and mission outreach requires complimentary expertise which include aviation, business and administrative knowledge. However, such disciplines for equipping the Christian believers are not the priority in the Bible core disciplines. Although many schools would include Business, Mission Aviation or Psychology classes as minor subjects for studies. However, one would find the following in most Biblical Studies program for graduation.
  • The Eschatology Studies in Prophesy: These special studies cover the books of Daniel and Revelation in particular, with many cross references to Matthew (Matthew chapter 24) and the major and minor prophets in the Old Testaments. Eschatology is the studies of the End Times prophetic utterances and written words in the Bible. see goto [[1]] and about the Second Coming [[2]] and the Parousia[[3]]


The Preaching ministry is not for all Christian believers but a selected gifted few. It definitely includes the art of making a seamless sermon out of what the diligent scholar had studied in the scriptures. Expository preaching depend on the skills of the student in Bible studies, but the organization of each sermon content would only be correct and appropriate when the Word of God in its original context is being declared in its full flowery display as on the powerful Pulpit stand. The believers are uplifted and drawn closer to God, when the preacher know how to use such necessary rhetorical skills to bring the meaning by way of application to the attention of the hearers. Hearers would then be exhorted to obeying and honoring God in service and worship. This is done with understanding in the art of sermonizing or in homiletics . There are many successful preachers in the past without such training but this discipline is only a tool for preachers to use.


In Bible schools the study of Missions means learning the knowledge of various aspects in the outreach or evangelistic aim of propagating the message of the gospel according to the command of Jesus for his followers. In includes the practical side of the 'how-to-do it" as in personal witnessing and outreach to communicate the good news (or Gospel) with those who have not heard the message. In missology or the theory side, the study include cross-cultural communications and contextualization .


Considering the wider scope of the study of this discipline as in Cultures, the small colleges or Bible schools does not necessary have adequate resources to cover the whole discipline and therefore it usually focuses on the narrow limits of cultural anthropology . Hereby, the focus of study would follow the cultures of selected groups of people and their cultures. The emphasis is also related to the new concept of the worldviews of the respondent cultures. The understanding and usage of the common approach as in Contextualization and in cross-cultural communicating the meaning of scriptures in a relevant manner with the responding people.

Other Service related Disciplines

Perhaps the fastest expanding avenue (within the Christian ministries) is Church Music . Some of other studies are related to field work in Short term missionary Outreach , Christian Education , Counseling , Discipleship training and short term programs during summer for Vacation Bible Schools and Camping related ministries. These are well and supportive to the traditional core of the aim and purpose of most Bible schools. They are offered according for exposure and further studies for the more serious students with a view towards the practical services of their Christian churches and parachurch organizations.

Further Higher Studies

Further programmed studies for higher degrees such as Masters or Doctorates in Theology related to the pursuit of higher studies in theology are to be found in seminaries and divinity schools [[4]] . See related [[5]] [[6]]

A short list of Bible colleges, Bible schools and Institutes can be founded in websites as follows: Under North American: see [[7]] elsewhere where there are large Christian populations in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the missionary organizations also endeavor to establish Bible schools to train their own layman preachers and Christian workers. There are also several indigenous Bible schools in places like Taiwan and Singapore. In Canada there are many small Bible schools catering to the need of training such workers among the many small inter-denominations churches (with the exception of the Roman Catholics and major Church denominations which already had their own schools).

Some well established older schools have upgraded their accredit-able ratings and are listed as accredited institutions or schools with the associations of main stream Bible seminaries . One such instant is Prairie Bible Institute (under Prairie Graduate School[[8]]) and so on. In the States, Dallas Theological Seminary[[9]] has also joined such associations which included several major Universities. There are always overlapping between some Bible schools where Biblical Studies are considered a major discipline, and Universities which offered it under another faculty within their domain.

External Links

Bible Schools Listings: Small Bible schools in Canada [[10]].[[11]] Others schools in North America [[12]] In Southeast Asia [[13]] In U.K. [[14]]

Related article

please go to related article as in Theology see related Biblical Studies

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