Welcome to the Department of Biblical Studies!
The twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible reflect the abundance of the spiritual and literary work of ancient Israel. Biblical Hebrew is the primary stage of the Hebrew language, and it still serves as a stylistic standard for modern Hebrew literature up to the present. Biblical exegesis forms the foundation of Hebrew and Jewish culture, and diverse currents of biblical interpretation are rooted already in the Second Temple period, and continue through the rabbinic era, the Middle Ages and modern history. The Hebrew Bible is also part of the Christian Holy Scriptures, it forms one of the main sources of influence on Islam, and it serves as a pillar of western culture.
The Department of Biblical Studies seeks to provide its students with a broad base of knowledge and advanced research tools, enabling them to deal with all literary genres represented in the Hebrew Bible and the theoretical issues emerging from them. Our study programs also include post-biblical literature of the Second Temple period, extant in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Moreover, the study programs open, for the students, a wide range of biblical exegesis from all periods.
Studies are based on providing students with tools of an independent and critical reading of biblical texts, aiming for a deeper understanding of the history of their reception and exegesis, from ancient history down to contemporary reality. The department offers a variety of textual courses, which focus on advanced skills of critical reading of the Hebrew Bible, together with cross-sectional courses in various fields of interest, such as:
- Literary styles of biblical narrative, historiography, prophecy, law and poetry
- Comparative study of the Bible and ancient Near Eastern and classical sources
- Theology and ideology
- Para-biblical literature of the Second Temple period, including the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha and the Qumran scrolls
- Biblical exegesis from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance, with special attention to the Muslim and Arabic-speaking world
- Linguistic and philological study of biblical Hebrew and textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, with a focus on the contribution of the Dead Sea Scrolls
- The Bible in light of cultural studies: gender and post-modern readings of the Bible