Section for Biblical Exegesis – University of Copenhagen

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Faculty of Theology > Sections and centres > Section for Biblical E...

Section of Biblical Exegesis


One of theology's most important tasks is studying biblical scripture. This requires insight into the period and society in which the scriptures were written, as well as a degree of understanding of the time in which the interpretation emerged. Both of these are crucial to the work of the Section of Biblical Exegesis, which studies both Old and New Testament scriptures.

A range of academic disciplines is applied in this work. In order to arrive at a non-arbitrary interpretation of the scriptures, it is necessary to incorporate aspects of philology, linguistics and archaeology, as well as history, sociology, the history of ideas, ancient and modern theories of exegesis and method, and the history of interpretation and effects.

Although interpretation of the biblical scriptures is the core of the Section's expertise, it has also accumulated special research competencies in the history of the Old Testament, Qumran, apocryphal literature, the history of translation, interpretation and reception, Hellenic philosophy, gender hermeneutics, semiotics and text theory. The Section's researchers contribute to exegesis research on the basis of these perspectives.

Teaching in biblical exegesis is split into sub-sections on the Old and New Testament, which means that all of the biblical scriptures are taught. However, other groups of texts also play an important role in the interpretation of the canonical scriptures, and therefore teaching is also offered in, for example, the Qumran scriptures, apocalyptic literature, Greek philosophy and Gnostic texts. Although the Section makes an independent contribution to research into both canonical and non-canonical literature, the teaching will usually focus on biblical scriptures or themes.

The Section also has a duty to communicate the results of Bible research to the a wider public via, for example, popular-science publications, teaching in the Danish University Extension, and in public debates.