PhD in Bible

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by lchemist, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. lchemist

    lchemist
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    Here is a list of schools that allegedly offer the best academic programs in OT and NT in the country What do you think?


    NT

    Duke
    Notre Dame


    OT

    Harvard Semitics
    Yale
    Hebrew Union College
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    University of Michigan
    University of Chicago
    Johns Hopkins
    Penn St
     
  2. Rhetorician

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    lchemist,

    It is for sure that Herbrew Union is one of the premier institutions for studying Hebrew, OT, OT Bible, Hebrew Thought, Semitics, and other cognate languages.

    I took my Hebrew from Jack Lewis @ Harding Grad School of Religion. He was on the OT translation committee for the NIV Bible. He was (is) an outstanding scholar to this day. Nearly every time I go to the Harding library I see him in the stacks working, writing, and researching. He studied at Hebrew Union University.

    Most (I probably should say a great #) of the outstanding OT/Hebrew scholars have studied with the "Hebrews."

    Also, for at least the 25 years I have been pursuing degrees and also teaching, the Univ. of Michigan has also been on the cutting edge of Hebrew, Akkadian, Sumerian, Ugaritic (sp?), Aramaic, etc.

    Johns-Hopkins is noted for its Archaeological programs in the Mid East/Near Eastern regions and peoples. It would make perfect sense that their language programs would be first rate also.

    These three would each give a world class education if the person who attended could keep up. However, they would be somewhat remiss in an understanding of Hebrew or Jewish Thought interpreted through the eyes of Evangelicalism.

    You choose the school you choose the end product.

    My two cents worth.

    sdg!

    rd
     
  3. Pipedude

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    I had a friend who was unusually devout and disciplined. He earned a BA from a Bible college and an MAR from an inerrantist seminary. An outstanding student, he earned the PhD in OT from Johns Hopkins.

    His dissertation is soaked with JEDP.

    You pays yo' money and takes yo' choice.
     
  4. Charles Meadows

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    As would be expected any of the "bigger name" places are going to involve studying non-fundamentalist works.

    Going to an "inerrantist" school is fine. And getting a degree in bible or even an MDiv or DMin is certainly not a problem.

    But a PhD is an advanced academic degree. Studying only "inerrantist" works does not constitute academic theology. Even if one maintains an inerrantist position at a "bigger name school" he/she will have to INTERACT with current scholarship, conservative and liberal.
     
  5. StefanM

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    One can believe in the JEDP theory and be an inerrantist.
     
  6. StefanM

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    I don't think that going to an inerrantist school means that one does not engage liberal scholarship. Two of the religion professors at my current school received their education at SBC schools, and from personal conversation and classroom experience, I know that they are not ignorant of liberal scholarship. I would think the more biased situation would lie in some liberal schools that might not take conservative scholarship all that seriously.
     
  7. Charles Meadows

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    Two of the religion professors at my current school received their education at SBC schools, and from personal conversation and classroom experience, I know that they are not ignorant of liberal scholarship.

    That probably depends on the school. DTS students seem to have a good exposure to all sides. Many of the people I know who went to schools such as Liberty had only cursory familiarity with "liberal" theologians. The only mention of Karl Barth was to point out how he was wrong for not believing in literal interpretation of this or that passage of scripture!


    I would think the more biased situation would lie in some liberal schools that might not take conservative scholarship all that seriously.

    That much is probably true. I have always loved some of the commentaries by J. A. Fitzmyer, R. E. Brown, John J. Collins and others who bring great Semitic scholarship to the table. But these more "centrist" authors often don't even interact with "fundamentalists" or "literalists".

    I think if one is to earn a PhD he/she needs to study an area in extreme detail, studying all positions and seeing the bad and good points in all positions.
     
  8. lchemist

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    Probably it is unavoidable for this field to be ideologically and theologically loaded.

    I’ve just asked about the academic quality of the different schools, but some people are discussing inerrancy or the documentary theory.

    I assume that if you are going to work on a dissertation, the first step is to get yourself acquainted with all the relevant literature in your field, regardless of its theological position.

    I am sure if I ask in a science forum, for the best schools to do research in Physics, I would not get a discussion about the professors’ ideology.
     
  9. StefanM

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    Apples and oranges. Religious faith is on a far different plane than science.
     
  10. Pipedude

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    "Academic quality" doesn't have a definite definition. Some schools make you an expert in things that just aren't true. Call it Hell, call it Heaven, but remember that they aren't the same.

    The bema judgment will not resemble doctoral orals at all. If one chooses to be trained by the enemies of Christ, it had better be because he is trying to please God, because that is the answer we will need in that day.

    You pays yo' money and takes yo' choice. I hold no pretensions to the knowledge of God's will for anyone in this area.
     
  11. lchemist

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    I agree that academic quality is a subjective concept, but I see a big difference between studying in an institution with a complete and up to date libray, where you need to know the biblical languages at an advanced level, plus other ancient language plus German and French, and where your research is rigurous, and, lets say, a pentecostal school where languages are not even required.

    I do not see the relevance of your reference to "the berna judgment" neither I know what do you mean by being trained by the enemies of Christ.

    Blessings,
     
  12. StefanM

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    Virtually every accredited school will have those requirements for a PhD.
     
  13. Pipedude

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    The italics make "bema" look like "berna." Sorry.

    Judgment Day is relevant to all that we do. In fact, it is the most important thing to consider.

    Liberals deny the truthfulness of God's word. They teach a different gospel (if any at all). Galatians 1:8 applies to them.

    I wouldn't say that academic excellence is altogether subjective, but I'd say it is a term with various meanings. God may want you to give your life to excellence in apostasy, or he may call you to excellence in truth. If it is the latter, the liberals will fight you all the way, and charge you big bucks for the privilege.

    Back in the old days, I heard an OT scholar tell a story from when entered Ph.D. studies at Brandeis. He said to Dr. Weinstein "I'm an evangelical; do you know what we mean by that?" and Weinstein answered "Oh, yes; you and the orthodox are the only ones who care enough to do quality work." In this case, the highest-rated schools didn't impress the doctoral advisor.

    A seminary president told me once, in private, "Our best students do not come from the liberal arts colleges; they come from the Bible colleges." In this case, the highest-rated schools didn't impress the seminary president.

    My hunch is, they don't impress God, either. But it's only a hunch.

    You pays yo' money and takes yo' choice.
     
  14. lchemist

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    So, Which are the best schools? (Academically)

    I do not know, it’s probably a difference between the cultures of California and "the South"; but while I was expecting to read about "X" school is good, "Y" school is bad, you can add "Z" school to the list and so on, we end up talking about "liberals" and "evangelicals", apostasy and truth.

    Blessings
     
  15. Pipedude

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    It's true. When the Federals burned our crops and stole our chickens, they also burned our libraries. We've never really recovered.

    We all have Bibles, though; and in the summertime when the daylight lingers until nearly 9:00 PM, even those of us without electricity will read them after we come in from the field and wash up.

    It gives us a rather truncated view of things. Our opinions of right and wrong, what we think pleases God, whether a pack of lies can be called "academic excellence," all are pretty well determined by the Bible.

    I'd like to know more. If the cotton pulls a fair price, I might get a bus ticket this fall and see the city.
     
  16. Paul33

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    Very funny.

    But the truth is, the cultural Christianity of the south is about an inch deep and a mile wide.

    Many of the "good" folk, whether Southern Baptist, Methodist, or Christian wore Jesus like a badge, but very few loved him enough to follow his commandments.

    Divorce, sexual immorality, back biting, gossip, slander, adultery was the norm, and this from the ones who went to church!

    Yikes! It reminded me of the cultural Catholics and Lutherans of the north.
     
  17. Pipedude

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    That's pretty accurate.

    In my church we practice discipline (excommunication), but that just chases the offenders down the street to some Baptist church that isn't so legalistic. So your point remains unshaken.

    Southern culture is deep, and one element of it seems to be a reluctance to believe a newfangled idea, even if it appears to have been proven. If an old fact is tried and true, it gets stubborn loyalty. This causes, among other things, a weaker emphasis on formal education than what characterizes some other parts of the country.

    That said, an old fact didn't get that way by disappointing those who trusted in it. The Southern method has its strong side.

    Back to the original topic: any good school affords the opportunity for a person of unusual gifts to acquire the tools for unusual attainments. Most of us, though, ain't as smart as we think we are, and a tour at Oxford isn't going to cure it.

    A school where God blesses and the profs know truth from error can bring us to the level where God wants us to be. On the other hand, a nest of apostasy will probably do more harm than good.

    And, to boot, they'll call most of the harm "academic excellence."
     
  18. gb93433

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    I would suggest that you find a school in the north or west coast because of the cultural differences between the north and south. The training you get will be more relevant to where you are living now.

    People in the south have a way of doing things that often does not work very well in other areas outside of the south. For example the SBC churches where I lived on the west coast were dying while other non-denominational Bible churches were springing up and doing well.
     
  19. Paul33

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    Pipedude,

    Agreed.

    Knowing what liberals believe and teach is one thing. Sitting under their teaching week in and week out to attain "academic excellence," well, that's another thing.

    The time wasted on "their" theology could be better spent learning the truth!
     
  20. Charles Meadows

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    The time wasted on "their" theology could be better spent learning the truth!

    That is certainly the case for one who is wanting to go into ministry. But for one who desires a career in academic theology a background in all areas of theology IS necessary.
     

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