Outline of Bible-related topics
Biblical studies is the academic application of a set of diverse
disciplines to the study of the
Tanakh and the New
Testament). For its theory and methods, the field draws on
disciplines ranging from archaeology, ancient history, cultural
backgrounds, textual criticism, literary criticism, historical
backgrounds, philology, and social science.
Many secular as well as religious universities and colleges offer
courses in biblical studies, usually in departments of religious
studies, theology, Judaic studies, history, or comparative literature.
Biblical scholars do not necessarily have a faith commitment to the
texts they study, but many do.
2 Academic societies
3 Biblical criticism
4 Textual criticism
History of the Bible
6 Original languages
7 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies defines the field as a set of
various, and in some cases independent disciplines for the study of
the collection of ancient texts generally known as the Bible. These
disciplines include but are not limited to archaeology, Egyptology,
textual criticism, linguistics, history, sociology and theology.
Several academic associations and societies promote research in the
field. The largest is the
Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) with
around 8,500 members in more than 80 countries. It publishes many
books and journals in the biblical studies, including its flagship,
the Journal of Biblical Literature. SBL hosts one academic conference
in North America and another international conference each year, as
well as smaller regional meetings.
Main article: Biblical criticism
Biblical criticism is the scholarly "study and investigation of
biblical writings that seeks to make discerning judgments about these
writings". Viewing biblical texts as being ordinary pieces of
literature, rather than set apart from other literature, as in the
traditional view, it asks when and where a particular text originated;
how, why, by whom, for whom, and in what circumstances it was
produced; what influences were at work in its production; what sources
were used in its composition; and what message it was intended to
convey. It will vary slightly depending on whether the focus is on the
Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, the letters of
New Testament or the
canonical gospels. It also plays an important role in the quest for a
It also addresses the physical text, including the meaning of the
words and the way in which they are used, its preservation, history
Biblical criticism draws upon a wide range of scholarly
disciplines including archaeology, anthropology, folklore,
linguistics, Oral Tradition studies, and historical and religious
Main article: Textual criticism
Textual criticism is a branch of textual scholarship, philology, and
literary criticism that is concerned with the identification and
removal of transcription errors in texts, both manuscripts and printed
books. Ancient scribes made errors or alterations when copying
manuscripts by hand. Given a manuscript copy, several or many copies,
but not the original document, the textual critic seeks to reconstruct
the original text (the archetype or autograph) as closely as possible.
The same processes can be used to attempt to reconstruct intermediate
editions, or recensions, of a document's transcription history. The
ultimate objective of the textual critic's work is the production of a
"critical edition" containing a text most closely approximating the
There are three fundamental approaches to textual criticism:
eclecticism, stemmatics, and copy-text editing. Techniques from the
biological discipline of cladistics are currently also being used to
determine the relationships between manuscripts.
The phrase "lower criticism" is used to describe the contrast between
textual criticism and "higher criticism", which is the endeavor to
establish the authorship, date, and place of composition of the
History of the Bible
Historical research has often dominated modern biblical studies.
Biblical scholars usually try to interpret a particular text within
its original historical context and use whatever information is
available to reconstruct that setting.
Historical criticism aims to
determine the provenance, authorship, and process by which ancient
texts were composed. Famous theories of historical criticism include
the documentary hypothesis, which suggests that the
compiled from four different written sources, and different
reconstructions of "the historical Jesus", which are based primarily
on the differences between the canonical Gospels.
Most of the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, which is the basis of the
Christian Old Testament, was written in Biblical Hebrew, though a few
chapters were written in Biblical Aramaic. The
New Testament was
written in Koine Greek, with possible Aramaic undertones, as was the
first translation of the Hebrew
Bible known as the
Septuagint or Greek
Old Testament. Therefore, Hebrew, Greek and sometimes Aramaic continue
to be taught in most universities, colleges and seminaries with strong
programs in biblical studies.
Bible and history
Chronology of the Bible
^ a b c d The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies by J. W. Rogerson
and Judith M. Lieu (May 18, 2006) ISBN 0199254257 page xvii
^ Introduction to Biblical Studies, Second Edition by Steve Moyise
(Oct 27, 2004) ISBN 0567083977 pages 11–12
Bible Dictionary, 1985
History of the Bible, 3 vols., eds. P. R. Ackroyd, C. F.
Evans, S. L. Greenslade and G. W. H. Lampe. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1963, 1969, 1970.
Frei, Hans. The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative: A Study in Eighteenth
and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics. New Haven: Yale, 1974.
Greenspahn, Frederick E. "Biblical Scholars, Medieval and Modern," in
J. Neusner et al. (eds.), Judaic Perspectives on Ancient Israel
(Philadelphia: Fortress, 1987), pp. 245–258.
Harrison, Peter. The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural
Science. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 2001.
Harrisville, Roy A. & Walter Sundberg. The
Bible in Modern
Culture: Baruch Spinoza to Brevard Childs. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids:
Knight, Douglas A. and Gene M. Tucker, eds. The Hebrew
Bible and Its
Modern Interpreters. Philadelphia: Fortress/Chico: Scholars Press,
Nicholson, Ernest W. The
Pentateuch in the Twentieth Century: The
Legacy of Julius Wellhausen. Oxford: Clarendon, 1998.
Noll, Mark A. Between
Faith and Criticism: Evangelicals, Scholarship,
Bible in America. Harper & Row, 1986.
Reventlow, Henning Graf. The Authority of the
Bible and the Rise of
the Modern World. Tr. J. Bowden. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985.
Sherwood, Yvonne and Stephen D. Moore. The Invention of the Biblical
Scholar: A Critical Manifesto. Fortress, 2011.
Sperling, S. David. Students of the Covenant: A
History of Jewish
Biblical Scholarship in North America. Atlanta Scholars Press, 1992.
Sugirtharajah, R.S. The
Bible and the Third World: Precolonial,
Colonial, and Postcolonial Encounters. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P.,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Biblical studies.
Society of Biblical Literature
AcademicBible.com from the German
Law and Gospel
Son (Hypostatic union
Means of grace
Union with Christ
Incurvatus in se
Summary of differences
Millenarianism (Pre- / Post- / A-millennialism)
Covenant / New Covenant theology
War in Heaven
History of Christian theology
Assumption of Mary
Protestant ecclesiology (Branch theory)
Priesthood of all believers
Arminian / Wesleyan
Conditional preservation of the saints
Theology of the Cross
Five solae (Sola fide
Soli Deo gloria
Baptism with the Holy Spirit
Outline of Christian theology
Bible and history
History of ancient Israel and Judah
Quest for the historical Jesus
Jesus in comparative mythology
Historicity of Jesus
Historicity of the Bible
Historical reliability of the Gospels
List of artifacts in biblical archaeology
List of biblical figures identified in extra-biblical sources
List of burial places of biblical figures
List of Hebrew
New Testament papyri
New Testament uncials
Criticism of the Bible
Christ myth theory<