What is biblical theology

Biblical theology

The Biblical Theology department deals with the Christian Bible, the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. In the scientific indexing and the interpretative communication, the biblical writings are made accessible with regard to different aspects.

In order to do justice to the various dimensions of biblical writings, biblical exegesis works with a variety of methods and cooperates with other sciences.

The Bible as literature

Whether story, poetry, proverbs or legal text, whether gospel, letter or apocalypse, the biblical books are literary works. They contain a multitude of literary forms, which are examined in terms of their respective design, expressive intent and meaning. The biblical texts are not only perceived as individual texts, but also examined in their diverse, canonical-intertextual or extra-canonical contexts.

The Bible is also a multilingual literature (Old Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek). Dealing with these languages ​​and the question of an appropriate translation is an essential area of ​​responsibility of biblical exegesis.

History of the origin and impact of biblical books

The biblical books relate to the history of people, peoples and their world. The texts were created in a historical context that has to be explored in terms of religious, social and cultural history.

Biblical texts for their part also have a history insofar as their becoming is the product of a long history of transmission and origin. The analysis of this growth process provides important information for understanding the texts. In the course of the last 200 years, exegetical research has developed a differentiated set of methods that are dedicated to this “diachronic” (temporal and historical) aspect of biblical writings.

For us today, the biblical books stand in a 2000-year history of interpretation and impact. Not only in science or within the churches, but also in the arts (literature, music, performing arts, film) and even for commercial purposes, biblical material, themes and motifs have been and are taken up and worked on. Dealing with this story is part of biblical theology at the university. It shows how biblical texts have been handed down over centuries and constantly updated.

Biblical Studies as Theology

Biblical texts speak of God and his work in the world. It goes without saying that they were written by believing people for believing people. Hence, biblical exegesis is always theology as well. Current ecclesiastical and social issues as well as ecumenical dialogue, especially with Judaism, also belong to the context of interpretation of biblical writings.