Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institute for Catholic Theology

Welcome to the homepage of the chair for Biblical Theology!


As the foundation of the Christian faith, the two-part, one Bible plays an important role in all questions of theological reflection. The scholarly interpretation of the Bible and the study of its foundations are the special tasks of biblical theology. The peculiarity of its subject, being "Holy Scripture" or "God's word in man's word", determines its methods. The Bible is not just any text, but a testimony of God's revelation in the context of the Christian community of faith and interpretation. Without the formal determination of being the fundamental foundation of the Christian faith, the Bible is a text like any other. It is a historical text whose meaning can be better understood by recourse to the world from which it originates and for which it was primarily written.

Hence biblical theology makes use of literary, historical and theological methods. Its task is to perceive the biblical tradition in its specific character, diversity and canonical dialogicity and to bring it into the discourse of the theological disciplines as a critical authority. This is done not only in an internal theological, but also explicitly in an ecumenical and interreligious perspective. Insofar as Biblical Theology analyses the meaning potentials of the biblical texts using diachronic and synchronic methods, it is at the same time highly interdisciplinary (Ancient Oriental Studies, Archaeology, Ancient History, Gender Studies, Islamic Theology, Jewish Theology, Literary, Social and Cultural Studies, etc.).

In the context of the study of theology, the study of the Old and New Testament is more than the interpretation of "old" texts. It is about learning to know and analyse historical forms of believing existence in all its facets in and through the biblical tradition. In this way, the contemporary function of biblical theology also comes into play: the exegesis of the Old and New Testaments makes traditions and testimonies of the (Jewish and) Christian faith rememberable in the contemporary living environment and opens up the possibility of recognising in them questions of our present-day plural and multicultural society - without offering solutions in a 1:1 format.

Through the person of the chair holder, the Chair of Biblical Theology in Berlin focuses on the First/Old Testament. It is interdisciplinary positioned and internationally integrated as well as transfer- and practice-oriented.