Free Online Biblical Training Courses

Over the last few months I have been interacting with hundreds of Christians in Africa through Facebook. What has become clear is that there is a real thirst to get further training in theology in order to be more effective in ministry. While Theology on the Web can support such training by providing free access to thousands of theological articles, commentaries and other books – it is an online library – and therefore does not offer any courses that visitors can follow.

Free Online Biblical Training Courses 1

In response to these requests for biblical training courses I have been searching the Internet for suitable material. After looking at their material carefully I have decided to recommend BiblicalTraining.org to my visitors. This non-profit organisation is headed by Dr Bill Mounce and offers free access to a superb collection of courses taught by world-class theologians, which can be downloaded and shared with others. The courses are divided into three levels:

  1. Foundations: Classes that are appropriate for all followers of Jesus. When you begin, they do not assume you know anything about the Bible, and they will teach you basic Bible content and beliefs.
  2. Academy: The university-level classes will take you deeper than Foundations but not assume you want to be taking graduate-level classes
  3. Institute: These seminary-level classes can fully prepare you with the biblical and theological training you need to be an informed leader in your church

Institute Level Courses

Here is a list of BiblicalTraining.org’s current Institute and other related courses:

I am currently greatly enjoying working my way through Craig Keener’s course on Acts, distilled from his recent 4,000 page commentary on that book. The BiblicalTraining.org site requires you to register in order to download the courses, but is completely free. I will shortly be adding direct links to relevant courses on my websites.

Do you know of any good Bible training courses? Feel free to share them in the comments.

Calvin’s Commentaries on Galatians and Ephesians

John Calvin [1509-1564]
John Calvin [1509-1564]

John Calvin’s Commentaries on Galatians and Ephesians require no introduction. My thanks to Book Aid for making this public domain translation available for digitisation.

John Calvin (William Pringle, translator), Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians. Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1854. Hbk. pp.383. [Click to visit the download page for this book]

Table of Contents

  • Translator’s Preface
  • Commentary on Galatians
  • Commentary on Ephesians

The Argument of the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians

What part of Asia was inhabited by the GALATIANS, and what were the boundaries of their country, is well known; but whence they originally came is not agreed among historians. It is universally admitted that they were Gauls, and, on that account, were denominated Gallo-Grecians. But from what part of Gaul they came it is more difficult to determine.

Strabo thought that the Tectosages came from Gallia N arbonensis, and that the remainder were Celtre; and this opinion has been generally adopted. But, as Pliny enumerates the Am biani 3 among the Tectosagi, and as it is universally agreed that they were allied to the Tolistobogi, who dwelt on the banks of the Rhine, I think it more probable that they were Belgians, whose territory extended from a very distant part of the course of the Rhine to the English Channel. The Tolistobogi inhabited that part which receives from its present inhabitants the -names of Cleves and Brabant…

Page 13

Historical Commentary on the Galatians by William M. Ramsay

William M. Ramsay [1851-1939], A Historical Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians

Sir William Mitchell Ramsay’s Historical Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians was based on his own travels in Turkey in the late 19th Century. This research made him the foremost authority on the subject of his day and convinced the initially sceptical Ramsay that the New Testament was historically accurate. My thanks to Book Aid for making this public domain title available for digitisation.

William M. Ramsay [1851-1939], A Historical Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1899. Hbk. pp.478. [Click to visit the Galatians page for the download link for this title and other resources on this letter]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  1. Preliminary
  2. North Galatia: Land and Peoples
  3. Pre-Galatic History of North Galatia
  4. The Pre-Gaulish Inhabitants of Galatia
  5. The Religion of Asia Minor
  6. Settlement of the Gauls in Galatia
  7. The History of Galatia B.C. 232-64
  8. The North Galatian State
  9. The Religion of North Galatia
  10. Galatia as a Roman Client State
  11. Origin of the Province Galatia
  12. History of the Province Galatia, B.C. 25-A.D. 50
  13. Civilisation of North Galatia under the Roman Empire
  14. Language and Letters in North Galatia
  15. The Influence of Christianity in North Galatia
  16. Later History of the Province Galatia
  17. The Cities and the Peoples of South Galatia
  18. The Jews in South Galatia
  19. Pisidian Antioch
  20. Iconium
  21. Lystra
  22. Derbe
  23. Summary
  • Historical Commentary

Preface

The attempt is made in this book to show how much light the Epistle to the Galatians throws on contemporary history in the widest sense-the history of religion, society, thought, manners, education- in the Eastern Provinces of the Empire. The introductory study of society and religion in Central Asia Minor may seem perhaps too elaborate; but it could not be put more briefly if any adequate conception were to be given of the forces acting on the minds of Paul’s Galatian hearers.

The Commentary is intended to be complete in itself, able to be read and folly understood without continually looking back to the Introduction. The Commentary was written first, and published in the Expositor, June,1898-September, 1899. Many passages have now been completely rewritten (after the Introduction had been composed), three chapters have been suppressed and eleven added.

My first intention was tacitly to carry out the South Galatian Theory, leaving the reader to contrast the flood of light thrown on South Galatia by the Epistle with its barrenness as regards North Galatia…

Page vii

Perhaps less well known is William M. Ramsay’s Historical Commentary on the Epistles to the Corinthians. This was originally Published in The Expositor, sixth series, 1900-1901 in 10 articles, but is available here as one file.