Institute of Theology

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CBB E-Learning Program in Spanish (Cursos Bíblicos del Balamand)

 

www.pase-cursos.net

Rationale

The present program is a first response to the large demand of Eastern Christian Education in Latin America. The courses cover a wide range of issues related to the Bible and its place in the Orthodox Church. It is well know that the Bible has a constitutive role in the shape and contents of the Byzantine Liturgy, and a spiritual source of every Orthodox believer. Therefore, the program focuses on those biblical texts that have a decisive role in the services and the sacramental celebrations of the Church. On the other hand, these courses invite their participants to rediscover the Antiochian hermeneutical tradition that has contributed with a large collection of writings and studies on the Scripture. Additionally, students will not only be introduced to the main linguistic and historical-critical methods, but will also become familiar with the biblical world, particularly with those issues related to Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries.

Objectives

-          To provide biblical formation for Church leaders, catechists and youth workers.

-          To offer an UOB outreaching service to the Spanish-speaking Orthodox communities, not only to Antiochian, but also to the Greek, Russian, and East European communities.

-          To provide a source for the increasing need, in the Spanish-speaking world, to know more about Orthodoxy and the Eastern Church.

-          To enhance relations between the numerous Middle Eastern descendants in the Spanish-speaking countries and the University of Balamand.

Registration

-          Applicants to CBB must follow the instructions given on the program’s webpage (see above).

-          Students may register for all offered courses, or only one of them, knowing that at the end of the semester, they will be granted a certificate stating that they have attended and passed the courses.

-          The tuition fee for each course varies according to the residence region and varies between 30 USD and 75 USD. Fees are expected to be paid before the end of the second week of the semester.

General Rules and Regulations

-          Students are to abide by all rules and regulations in terms of attendance, course requirements, and assignment submissions.

-          Students must follow the lessons on a regular weekly basis and must never fail to attend the courses. After being absent for two consecutive weeks, the student will be dropped from the course.

-          Students are subjected to a weekly evaluation and a final exam in all courses, from which come the final grades.

-          Students must submit all assignments given by the course instructor. Assignments are graded according to the policy that the instructor has announced at the beginning of the course.

-          If the student’s grade is less than 60/100, he/she have failed the course, and will not get a certificate of attendance.

-          Students may drop the course at anytime providing they inform the instructor or the program’s director in written form.

-          A certificate is awarded to those who have successfully complete each one of the courses, and a Diploma in Biblical Interpretation is submitted to those who have followed the entire program, and have satisfied the faculty’s final evaluation.

-          The courses given in the framework of e-learning are not transferable to any degree program at the University.

 

Curriculum

A general introduction to both Testaments is the initiation to the program. Other courses will interpret books according to their categories in the biblical canon. The introductions are prerequisites for any interpretation course.

Old Testament Courses

Code

Course Name

Cr./Weeks

CBBE 102

Introduction to the Old Testament

3/14

CBBE 220

Interpretation of the Pentateuch and Historical Traditions

3/14

CBBE 221

Interpretation of the Prophets

3/14

CBBE 222

Interpretation of Psalms and Wisdom Literature

3/14

CBBE 223

Interpretation of the Apocalyptic Literature

3/14

 

New Testament Courses

Code

Course Name

Cr./Weeks

CBBE 101

Introduction to the New Testament

3/14

CBBE 210

Interpretation of the Pauline Letters

3/14

CBBE 211

Interpretation of the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark

3/14

CBBE 212

Interpretation of Luke and Acts

3/14

CBBE 213

Interpretation of John and the Catholic Letters

3/14

 

Students work in a collaborative learning environment. The system provides group management, forums, document repositories, calendar, chat, assignment areas, links, and user profile administration on a single and integrated package.  

 

Course Descriptions

CBBE 101 Introduction to the New Testament                                                                       

Prerequisites: None

This course studies the highlights in the history of Galilee and Judea during the Hellenistic and Roman times, taking into account the main-streams in the several religious and ideological movements of that time. In the second section, the course offers a critical introduction to each book of the New Testament. Each lecture deals with the most prominent results of modern biblical criticism and evaluates the meaning and significance of the material studied in the life of Orthodox Christianity today.

CBBE 102 Introduction to the Old Testament                                                                         

Prerequisites: None

In this course the student will be introduced into Ancient Middle Eastern religions, especially to those of the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and the Canaanites. Subsequently, the course offers an analysis of the most important events in the history of Ancient Israel, and compares them with the contents of the books of the Old Testament. The course will be given within the context of the Orthodox tradition, especially regarding the role the Old Testament texts play in the liturgy and practices of the Orthodox believer.

CBBE 210 Interpretation of the Pauline Letters                                                                    

Prerequisites: CBB101 Introduction to the New Testament

This course treats the exegesis of selected passages from the Pauline Corpus, chosen in sequence, to highlight the main theological issues raised in the Corpus as a whole. The historical and present debates of Low and High Criticism are within the scope of the course. It also traces the development in perspectives resulting from the changing circumstances that necessitated the writing of the epistles.

CBBE 211 Interpretation of the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark                     

Prerequisites: CBB101 Introduction to the New Testament

The Gospels according to St Matthew and St Mark belong to a common literary tradition, and together with the Gospel of Luke, are called the Synoptic Gospels. However, Mark has the particularity of being the first Christian writing that belongs to the literary genre of Gospels. On the other hand, Matthew’s most characteristic feature is its strong liturgical and ecclesiastical accent. The present course will study a selection of Marcan and Matthean texts that will help students discover the key contents of both literary works.

CBBE 212 Interpretation of Luke and Acts                                                                 

Prerequisites: CBB101 Introduction to the New Testament

This course covers a study of the Luke-Acts diptych through the interpretation of selected passages chosen in sequence. The student is introduced into the guidelines of the Lucan thought regarding history, salvation, and the role of the Disciples after the Resurrection. Special attention will be given to the influence of Luke-Acts to the form and contents of Orthodox Liturgy.

 

CBBE 213 Interpretation of John and Johannine Letters                                                               

Prerequisites: CBB101 Introduction to the New Testament

The Johannine writings are an essential part of the New Testament Canon, whic covers the Fourth Gospel, three letters, and the Book of Revelation. In this course, we will study the Johannine Writings from different aspects: writers, literary genders, and theological themes. We will interpret the selected texts in a synchronic and narrative (rhetorical for letters) approach that will lead us to the most outstanding theological concepts of the Johannine School.

CBBE 220 Interpretation of the Pentateuch and Historical Traditions                              

Prerequisites: CBB102 Introduction to the Old Testament

This course is designed to give the student a basic knowledge of the Pentateuch and the Historical books. In a selection of texts dealing with Creation, the Exodus narratives and epics, the inheritance of the land and the instauration of Kingship, the student critically perceives the main theses and approaches contained in these texts. The students will read the Old Testament along with modern studie,s and through this process, gain a deeper appreciation of the Bible.

CBBE 221 Interpretation of the Prophets                                                                                  

Prerequisites: CBB102 Introduction to the Old Testament

This course offers a systematic and critical study of the prophetic movement in ancient Israel and Judah, from Amos, up to the post-exilic prophets. The lectures focus on the distinctive features of the prophetic writings dealing with important issues such as kingship, the temple, the word of God, the prophetic call, the election, and judgment. Special emphasis is put on the books of Amos, Isaiah and Ezekiel. 

CBBE 222 Interpretation of Psalms and Wisdom Literature                                        

Prerequisite: CBB102 Introduction to the Old Testament

In this course, the student is introduced to the most distinctive literary genres found in the Psalms, going through a selection of texts that deal with crucial theological questions such as the figure of the Messiah, God’s intervention in history, and the kingship of the Lord. In a second portion of the course, questions arising from the study of Wisdom literature are discussed. The books of Proverbs and Job are studied with special emphasis.

CBBE 223 Interpretation of the Apocalyptic Literature                                                  

Prerequisite: CBB102 Introduction to the Old Testament

The apocalyptic writings have a common ground in both the Old and the New Testament. In this course, the student will become familiar with the main theological questions raised by the apocalyptic mind. In the first course section, the Book of Daniel will be studied, together with some texts from Isaiah and Ezekiel. In the second portion, the Book of Revelation will be interpreted in the light of the Old Testament writings and the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

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Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology
The University of Balamand

Address: Monastery of Balamand, PO Box 100, Tripoli, Lebanon
Tel: 00961 (0) 6 930 305 - Fax: 00961 (0) 6 930 304
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