Biblical Studies

The Biblical Studies area focuses on the canonical books of the Bible, both within their historical and cultural worlds and in relation to their reception within the Christian and Jewish traditions. All students acquire a thorough competency in both the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, including competency in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Students may learn other ancient languages and literatures as their research requires. The comprehensive exams cover the whole Bible, with emphasis on either the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible or the New Testament, and include a specialized exam in an area of study pertinent to the student’s dissertation.

Biblical Studies Faculty

Coursework Requirements (16 courses)

  • Doctoral Bible seminars as appropriate

  • Two doctoral Bible colloquiums (3 credit courses, normally in the fall)

  • Students are encouraged to take two courses in a relevant area of theology (e.g. hermeneutics, fundamental theology, systematics, history, history of interpretation, Jewish Studies, etc.)

  • Mix of Old and New Testament courses

Language Requirements

  • Professional language proficiency in primary original language of research (Hebrew for HB/NT, Greek for NT); competence in the language that is not the research focus (Hebrew or Greek). Students take a proficiency exam in the language of their main research focus at the beginning of the second year.

  • Biblical Aramaic

  • French and German

Comps Requirements

(comps are to be written by the end of the third year)

  • One written exam on texts of the testament that the student has chosen to emphasize; half of the exam focuses on translation and textual matters, the other half on general questions of scholarship in the field (four hours)

  • One exam that consists of translation and exegesis of biblical passages in the original language from the secondary area of concentration with additional questions about general problems in scholarship (four hours)

  • One exam on student’s special area of scholarly interest, which can include ancillary topics in Theology (3 hours)

  • Oral exam (2 hours)

Dissertation Requirements

  • Submission of dissertation proposal by Sept. 30th of fourth year

  • Proposal must be approved by Dec. 15th of the same year

Minor

The PhD in Biblical Studies presumes mastery of the testament that is not the focus of concentration (either HB/OT or NT), and normally this therefore comprises the student’s “minor” area of concentration. Students are also encouraged to take up to two courses in History, Systematics, Ethics, Philosophy or other appropriate subjects, although there are no formal requirements to fulfill a minor.