Imágenes de páginas

central or leading ideas, but so homogeneous is the course that as you move from the center of one group towards that of another it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish the periphery of the one from that of the other.


This department may be considered under three heads, the first of which is concerned with commentaries on or introductions to the study of the text of the Greek and the Hebrew Testaments, and the second and third with the personal study of the text of those works. It is evident however that the translation of the Greek and Hebrew Testaments may be made partially an exegetical exercise, even in the case of the tyro in Greek or Hebrew, and may become wholly so in the case of well-prepared students. In the larger seminaries of the country the chairs of exegesis are known as "New (or Old) Testament language and literature" or as "Literature and interpretation of the Old (or New) Testament," as the case may be, or words to the same effect. Occasionally there is an instructor in Greek or Hebrow to assist the chair. The arrangement of one of the important theological schools of the country will illustrate, however, that the name of the chair is not always indicative of the special work performed by its occupant. In this school the philological and exegetical work is distributed among two chairs (both endowed) and an associate professor of biblical philology. The titles of the chairs are "Hebrew and cognate languages" and "sacred literature." The professor of the Hebrew and cognato languages leaves the philological work in Hebrew to the associate professor of philology and confines himself, in the regular course, to the higher exegesis of the Old Testament, while the professor of sacrel literature devotes himself to teaching both New Testament Greek and exegesis.

The threefold character of the work of the department of exegetical study is rather clearly indicated during the first year of the American theological course, inasmuch as the work in Greek and Hebrew of that year is probably more philological than theological; though the language exercises are generally accompanied by study of a work on the harmony of the gospels and sometimes by the principles of higher criticism. How far the preparation of the students will perinit of the lower or textual criticism of the languages in which the testaments are written, it is impossible to say. The Greek text read is usual one of the synoptic Gospels or the Acts, sometimes it is John, at other times the Septuagint, or one or more of the Pauline Epistles. The study of Hebrew is usually concerned with the grammar of the language and obtaining a vocabulary.

In the second year of exegetical study in the higher order of seminaries the text of the testaments becomes the foundation of the work and there is unity given to the department that justifies the inclusion of the study of Greek and Hebrew as a branch of exegesis. In Greek the Pauline epistles and in Hebrew the historical and prophetical writings and the Psalms are the principal exegetical studies of the second year, the text giving occasion for an excursus in one or another direction, as may be illustrated by the following course:


1. Lectures on the higher criticisms of the poetical and prophetical books once a week by the professor of Hebrew.

2. Hebrew poetry: Exposition of selections of various kinds of poetry from the earlier periods of Hebrew history twice a week by the same professor.

3. Exposition of the Book of the Acts or of the epistles of the imprisonment, with special lectures on practical exposition as related to preaching, twice a week by the professor of sacredlierature.


1. Hebrew poetry: Exposition of selections from the later periods of Hebrew poetry twice a week, including portions of Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes, with the professor of Hebrew.

2. Critical and poetical exposition of the Epistle to the Romans, Galatians, or First Corinthians, twice a week with professor of sacred literature.

In the third year exegetical study approximates, from the Old Testament side, the history of the Messiah-that is to say, the early history of the Christian religion-and, from the New Testament side, the history of its earliest teaching. The study of the prophets, and especially of the facts of Messianic prophecy is preeminently the final study in Hebrew exegesis, while the study of the Pauline epistles, especially those to the Romans and Hebrews, and the catholic epistles is equally preeminent in the exegesis of the New Testament. From an examination of the programmes of the theological seminaries of the country, a tendency is shown to take up the historical books of the New Testament as introductory and follow them with the Pauline epistles during the middle and senior years.

In the Hebrew testament the same course appears to be followed: Genesis, the historical books, in selections, the Psalms, but finally and specially Messianic prophecy. But it is better, perhaps, to turn from such generalizations to compare what is taught as Old Testament exegesis in one of our first-class seminaries, with what is taught in the Hebrew Union College.

Department of exegetical theology.

Old Testament. (Professor Bissell).-Junior class, five hours per week during the first semester: The principles and forms of Hebrew grammar and a sufficient vocabulary to enable the student to read at sight the narrative portions of the Hebrew Bible; four hours per week during the second semester: reading considerable portions of the Hebrew text, with a review of the grammar; one hour per week during the second semester: lectures on general introduction to the Old Testament. Middle class, four hours per week during the first semester, divided as follows: exegesis of prophetieal books, two hours; interrelations of the Pentateuchal Codes, one hour; institute work in Pentateuchal criticism, one hour. The institute work will include the examination of selected passages and the reading and criticism of essays on assigned topics. An optional in Hebrew sight-reading, not exceeding one hour per week during the second semester. Senior class, two hours per week during the second semester: lectures on Messianic prophecy and study of the more important Messianie passages; also lectures on special introduction to the disputed books of the Old Testament. An optional in biblical Aramaic, open to all students one hour per week throughout the year, and an optional in Arabic, open to the senior class one hour per week during the second semester. [A special class, if desired, will hereafter be forined in junior year for those who have studied Hebrew before entering the Seminary.]

Bible, ancient version and commentaries.1

(a) Thorah.-Taught by Rabbi Davidson in junior and second collegiate classes, with Targum, Rashi, and Ibn Ezra; Leviticus, chapters xix, xxi, xxiii, xxiv, xxv. In first collegiate class: Deuteronomy, with Targum and Rashi, chapters xxix, xxxìi, xxxiii, xxxiv. In A Grade: Genesis, with select portions of Rashi in chapters i, vi, xii, xiii, xviii, xxii. Taught by Preceptor Mannheimer in Grade B: Leviticus, chapters xvi to xxvii, with cursory reading of Rashi. Taught by Assistant Preceptor Feldman in B Grade: Leviticus, chapters i to xv.

(b) Former Prophets.-Taught by Preceptor Mannheimer in Grade D: Joshua; Judges, chapters i to viii. Taught by Professor Zirndorf in B Grade: I Kings and II Kings, chapters i

to iii.

(c) Latter Prophets. -Taught by Preceptor Mannheimer in junior and second collegiate classes: Jeremiah complete. In first collegiate class: Isaiah, chapters xiii, xiv, xxi, 1-10; xxxiv, xxxv, and xl to the end of the book: memorized, chapters x1, liii. lviii.


(d) Hagiography. - Taught by Preceptor Mannheimer in senior class: Job complete. In Grade A: Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, with Aramaicgrammar and translations from the Aramaic into Hebrew. Taught by Professor Zirndorf in A Grade: Proverbs, chapters i to xviii. Taught by Assistant Preceptor Feldman in Grade D: Psalms, chapters i to v, viii, xiii. xv, xix, xiii to xxv, xxvii, xxx, xxxiii. Taught by Rabbi Charles Levi during second semester in B Grade: Psalms, chapters civ (committed to memory), exx to exl.

The order followed in New Testament exegesis may be represented by the following:

Department of New Testament Exegesis.


Principles of interpretation: Biblical criticism: its history, principles, and results as related to the text of the New Testament. Archæology and geography of the New Testament period. The method of study in these subjects is by lecture, recitations from text-books, and essays prepared by the classes.


General and special intro luction to the books of the New Testament, with an examination of the history and special characteristics of each book, and an outline analysis of its contents. This occupies one exercise a week throughout the course, and is intended to secure, on the part of the student, the careful translation or reading of all the books, with a study of the plan and argument of each book and of passages of special interest in it, together with an investigation of its canonicity and of other questions belonging to introduction.


First year.-1. The Gospels: Translations and exegesis of select passages. embracing the chief events in the life of Christ, the miracles, the parables, and several of the principal discourses. 2. The acts and the Epistles of Paul: Translation and exegesis of select passages from each book, in connection with the studies of its plan and an outline analysis of its course of thought. Second year.-The Epistle of Paul: Translation and exegesis of Romans and Hebrews.

Third year.-The Catholic Epistles and Revelation: Translation and exegesis of James, First Peter, First John, and of select portions of the other Catholic epistles, with the translation of a part of the Book of Revelation and an examination of the current theories of its interpretation. Also a comparison of the style, composition, and the type of doctrine in the several New Testament writings.

1 This College consists of two departments, the preparatory and the collegiate. The preparatory consists of Grades D, C, B. and A. and the collegiate consists of first collegiate, second collegiate, junior and senior classes. No C grade this year.

Biblical archeology (or "antiquities") is usually classed under exegesis and perhaps should have been made a fourth division of the subject. But its study does not yet appear to have been introduced with the thoroughness that warrants such prominence, though lately a Hull professorship of Biblical geography and archeology has been established in the Ryder Divinity School of Lombard University. More prominent as an exegetical study than archeology is the study of the Semitic languages and of the hieroglyphics and cuniform characters, the last two being, indeed, a prerequisite for first-hand archæological study in the present conception of the term. As these philological studies are optional they will be spoken of after the remaining three heads of the theological course have been given.

In closing this brief summary of the exercises of the department of exegesis a word of explanation may be permitted. In several cases the philological instruction in Greek and Hebrew is not called exegesis but philology; in other cases the instruction in the works written in one or the other of these languages and in books written about those works is called Biblical study, and in others still Old and New Testament study and interpretation. In distributing the matters taught in the way of exegesis under the heads of commentary and study of the texts it must not be supposed that this Bureau has attempted or desired to improve theological terminology, but that convenience alone has been consulted. The information possessed by the Bureau will not permit a close classification into philological and exegetical study, the proper distinction, and it is not impossible that such a classification can only be made after a thorough personal study of the syllabus of the various courses in exegesis as they are actually given. Indeed, when the question of philology is up as a department of study in a theological seminary it is advisable to consider that at the Harvard Divinity School German is required for the degree of bachelor, and that the German is recommended to be taken in the junior year," as a knowledge of this language will be found of great service during the remainder of the course." Nor should it be forgotten that in the Western Theological Seminary and elsewhere Augus tine's De fide verum quæ non videntur, and Thomas Aquinas's In Symbolum Apostolorum Expositio, etc., are read in the original, and that “high latinity” is a study in the French faculties of theology.


In natural sequence though not in importance the department of theology follows that of exegesis. This department of the curriculum may be treated under two general heads, the first of which may take the name of systematic theology or dogmatics, and the second that of apologetics or polemical theology. The first head may certainly be subdivided into theology (proper), anthropology, soteriology, and eschatology. Perhaps Christology (as far as it can be separated from exegetical work and soteriology) angelology, and finally ecclesiology (as far as it can be separated from the material facts of ecclesiastical organization on one side and from soteriology and Christology on the other) should be added. The course in systematic theology is usually introduced by a general survey of the subject which it may be permitted to call encyclopædia. Occasionally this is made to bear upon the work of the student by pointing out methods that he should follow or aids that he should avail himself of, while pursuing his studies. Christian ethics also appears in the first year of the course, though it frequently comes among the studies of the third year. Frequently theology proper (the being and attributes of God) is begun during the first year, but the subject is always finished with the second. Closely connected with theology proper is the study of man, his spiritual nature and fall, cailed anthropology, and this leads naturally to soteriology or the doctrine of salvation, and that to eschatology. Sometimes all these several divisions of systematic theology are taken up and finished during the second year, but the rule is that eschatology comes in the third year, leaving anthropology and for the most part soteriology as the second or middle year subjects in this department. In addition to the headings already given the terms angelology and pneumatology occasionally occur and those of Christology and ecclesiology often, especially in the case of the former. In one institution the division of soteriology is composed of objective soteriology, which includes "the covenant of grace, Christology, the person, offices, work, and statis of Christ," and subjective soteriology, which includes "The Holy Sprit, calling, regeneration, faith, etc." At another institution the subject of Christology is defined perhaps with perfect accuracy, as "Christ's Theanthropic person, divinity, and humanity." Ecclesiology may be said to be a third-year study.

In the third year eschatology, ecclesiology, apologetics, and a general review of the studies of the course, figure prominently. In addition soteriology appears so frequently that it is doubtful whether it is not as much a third year as a second year study. Christian evidences comes frequently in the first year, though under the title of apologetics it is here included among the third year studies.

As in the schools of the Episcopal church there seems to be a variation, indicated either by the phraseology or by the text-book employed, from the usual curriculum of the department of theology, it seems advisable to insert a 'curriculum of one of the seminaries of that denomination. In selecting this illustration a curriculum has been taken that will not only exemplify sectarian as opposed to "nonsectarian" instruction, but also be of more general interest as showing the plan upon which the professor of divinity conducts the exercises of the department under his direction.

Systematic divinity.

In this department will be carried on two lines of study. In one. begun in the junior year and extending into the years following, under the direction of the assistant professor, the object

will be:

First, to ascertain the Scriptural support for the received doctrine of the church;

Secondly, to trace the history and development of doctrine till it reached its present form. The text-books used will be namely: Pearson on the Creed; Brown on the Articles; Bruce on the Humiliation of Christ; Oxenham on Atonement; Mason's Faith of the Gospel; Martensen's Dogmatics; with partial study of Scott's Christian Life, Liddon's Bampton Lectures, Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, and Magee on Atonement.

It is not thought needful to mention here the many books of reference whose consultation is advised so far as there is time, unless it be Dorner on the Person of Christ, Pusey and Richey on the Filioque Clause, and Bull on Justification.

The second course, begun in the middle year and continued in the senior year will consist entirely of lectures by the professor of divinity, and its object will be to mould Christian doctrine into a coherent whole, giving it philosophic vindication by relating it to all truth. In this course will be read, parallel with the lectures, the professor's own work, "Christian Doctrine Harinonized, and its Absolute Rationality Vindicated.”


In several institutions of another denomination it is customary to take a general and final review of the whole subject of theology in relation to the tenets of the denomination which supports the school. Thus in one school, during the latter part of the third year, a special series of lectures will be delivered on the Westminister symbols, including the history of their formation, their doctrinal contents, and their influences and claims." In another seminary the subject of "Christian theology" is finished by a critical study in the Westminster confession as a final review of systematic theology; while at a third seminary of the same denomination the subject is broadened out during the second term of the final year into the subject of "symbolics," which deals with "comparative theology," being an exposition of the doctrinal differences between Romanism and Protestantism, and the variation of the protestant churches, and is treated from the denominational standpoint during the first term under the head of church polity.

The following syllabus will show, though with the mere accuracy of a numerical average, the type of the course in the department of theology; it may be added, however, that it seems exceptionally full on the subject of apologetics which here enters into the curriculum of two of the three years of the course, and is conducted by a specialist with the title of "Instructor in Apologetics."

Department of systematic theology.-Mr. Gillett, Junior Class, two hours per week during the first semester; Historic Apologetics, including both the Ecclesiastic and Christian divisions. Middle Class, three hours per week during the first semester: Philosophic Apologetics, including the Anthropic and Theistic divisions.

Professor Beardslee, Junior Class, two hours per week during the second semester: Theology proper, treating of the being and attributes of God, decrees, creation, providence, angelology, demonology, and theodicy Middle Class, four hours per week during the first semester: Anthropology, including Biblical psychology, man's original state and fall. hamartialogy, soteriology, including the person and work of Christ, and the application of redemption; three hours per week during the second semester, continuation of the same studies. Senior Class, two hours per week during the first semester: The work of the Holy Spirit, ecclesiology, eschatology, and inspiration: four hours per week during the second semester, Christian ethics. The entire course is pursued by means of an inductive study of the Bible, requiring constant individual investigation in the original languages, and in connection with each leading doctrine an examination of ecclesiastical theology from the sources.


The third great department of the theological course is the history of Judaism as precursory to Christianity and the history of Christianity. The department has several names-Ecclesiastical (or Church) History, Historical Theology, Biblical and Ecclesiastical History, History of Religion. Sometimes the term Church Polity is added to the name Ecclesiastical (or Church) History, and

when this happens the combination may be taken as a definition of what is meant by historical theological.

Two types are shown by the courses of this department. One treats of the historic connection between Judaism and Christianity and of the apostolic age as the first period, the patristic and consolidating epochs as the second, and the epoch of protest or Reformation and the results as the third. But the more usual division is to make the point of departure for each period, (1) the beginning of our era, (2) the Council of Nicea, and (3) the Reformation. The treatment of Jewish history shows some variation. At one institution the "history and the religion" of that people is treated of in the junior year as Biblical Theology, while under the general head of "History," "Apostolical Christianity" is given, the professors in each branch being widely known as specialists in their respective departments; but not every institution can afford this wealth of instruction. The Old Testament has, in addition to its sacred, a historical character, but it is impossible to say how far the exegetical work in Hebrew brings out the history of the people of Israel. In one institution, at least, the Old Testament is studied as history "directly from the text," for two hours a week during the first semester of the junior year and three hours during the second semester.

As the occasional use of the term church polity in connection with church his tory indicates, and the logical development of the results of the reformation offers the occasion, the organization of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches becomes a subject of examination and the examination is naturally made with relation to the particulars of the faith professed by the denomination to which each school pertains. In the foregoing we have found the Episcopalian Church introducing the study of its creed and articles of faith in the second year, but the study of the confessions" or, to use the scholastic expression, the differentia of the beliefs held by the Christian peoples, is usually deferred until the final year in the department now under consideration. A pronounced instance of this is shown by the following course:



The Biblical Geography will occupy ten weeks of the first term, and the remainder of the year will be devoted to Sacred History, including both the Old and New Testament, and lectures on Biblical Archæology. This requires two hours per week in the recitation room.


History of the Christian Church from the Apostolic age to the present. This will include lectures on Patristics and the Councils. This is required three hours a week. Christian Biography and History of Special Churches are electives for one hour a week.


History of Methodism will seek to give a general view of the origin, growth and work of the church. Weekly recitations will be held in History of Doctrines throughout the year. The History of Methodism, Comparative Symbolics of American Churches and Hymnology are required two hours a week. They will be taught by lectures in connection with a printed syllabus. Comparative Religions, Christian Art, and statistics of Religious Progress are elective two hours a week. Throughout the entire course students will be assigned subjects which they are to study in the library, and present these upon the same in the class. The aim from first to last is to lead the student as far as practical to depend upon his own careful study of the topics.


The fourth department of the theological course is practical and is usually called homiletics when dealing with the preparation of the sermon, and pastoral theology when it is concerned with the other practical work of the minister. It is the intention here to treat of both these as divisions of the department of practical theology. As a general introduction to the subject the following is taken from the catalogue of a theological department in a western university:


"The importance of the instruction of this department to young men proposing to enter upon the work of our ministry may be seen by reference to the fact that most young ministers are now required to begin their labors without the care and oversight once given by the senior preacher. Formerly the junior preacher was expected to engage for several years in acquiring the needful experience before assuming the management and responsibilities of a charge. But in these days, a young man upon leaving school is required to perform the full work of an experienced minister, with but the scant advice and direction of his presiding elder, as occasion may serve once or twice a year. The chair of practical theology is intended to supply by direct instruction that which was

« AnteriorContinuar »