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.

Biblical Interpretation by Edwin Cyril Blackman

Edwin Cyril Blackman, Biblical Interpretation. The Old Difficulties and the New OpportunityThis book on biblical interpretation deals with the issue of biblical authority and surveys the history of biblical interpretation. According to the blurb on the dustjacket the author “…shows the Bible is still the Word of God for mankind, and the work of the scholars enables it to be more easily understood and proclaimed by this generation”. Edwin Cyril Blackman is perhaps best known for his classic work Marcion and His Influence (SPCK, 1948).

This book is still in copyright. Permission to reproduce it on-line has been granted by E.C. Blackman’s family and the United Reformed Church. It can be used for educational purposes, but not sold for profit without permission from the copyright holders.

Edwin Cyril Blackman, Biblical Interpretation. The Old Difficulties and the New Opportunity. London: Independent Press Ltd., 1957. Hbk. pp.212. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Contents

  • Preface
    1. Introductory
    2. The Question of Authority
    3. The Development of Exegesis
    4. Modern Criticism
    5. The Present Task in Biblical Interpretation
  • Index

Preface

The aim of this book is to serve ‘the cause of true exposition. The three longer chapters IV-VI are more obviously related to that purpose than the others. Chapter IV is historical, and tries to give an impression of how Christian teachers and preachers through nineteen centuries have in fact expounded the Bible. Chapter VI is intended to be a climax in that it ventures to lay down canons of exegesis for the preacher today. It seemed advisable to preface these larger chapters with some discussion of issues about which it is essential for the preacher to have a right judgment: the significance of the Bible as Revelation, the authority of the Bible in the setting of the general problem of moral and spiritual authority, and the function and limits of historical criticism as applied to the Bible….

For more resources on biblical hermeneutics click here.

Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society now online

I was asked last year by Professor John Briggs, Chairman of the Baptist Historical Society, if I could assist them by digitising and hosting the Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society (1908-1921) and the Baptist Quarterly (1922-present). I quickly learned – through my contacts at the Baptist training colleges – that the Transactions represent a unique historical record valuable not just to Baptists, but to church historians, theologians and missiologists across the denominations. These old volumes are currently on restricted access in those few colleges that have paper copies.

The Baptist Quarterly will take me most of this year to complete, but the Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society are now available on-line. To further assist colleges I have provided a link at the top of the page to a compressed archive that contains all the PDF files and a separate table of contents (total file size around 65MB). These can be placed on College servers at no charge as the entire collection is now Public Domain.