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.

Wardle’s History and Religion of Israel on-line

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser

Walter L. Wardle’s The History and Religion of Israel forms the first volume in the Clarendon Bible series. It contains numerous plates which are included in greyscale to preserve their quality. The supplement “The Old Testament Chronologically Arranged” by Evelyn Waters Hippisley [1878-1968] is not included as it is still in copyright. This title is in the public domain.

Walter Landsell Wardle [1877-1946], The History and Religion of Israel. Thomas Strong [1861-1944], Herbert Wild [1865-1940] & George Herbert Box [1869-1933], General Editors, The Clarendon Bible. Old Testament, Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936. Hbk. pp.228. [Click to visit the main download page]

Table of Contents

  • Editor’s Preface
  • Author’s Preface
  1. Introductory
  2. Israel’s Origins
  3. The Period of the Judges
  4. Thr Rise of the Kingdom
  5. The Divided Kingdoms
  6. The Exile and the Perian Period
  7. The Background of the Religion
  8. Moses and Yahweh
  9. THe Influence of Canaanite Religion on the Religion of Israel
  10. Law
  11. The Development of Prophecy
  12. The Writing Prophets
  13. The Later Literature
  14. Israel’s Debt to Other Nations
  • Index
  • Chronological Table [Not included]

Editor’s Preface

The problem of the teaching of Holy Scripture at the present time presents many difficulties. There is a large and growing class of persons who feel bound to recognize that the progress of archaeological and critical studies has made it impossible for them to read, and still more to teach, it precisely in the old way. How-ever strongly they may believe in inspiration, they cannot any longer set before their pupils, or take as the basis of their interpretation, the doctrine of the verbal inspiration of Holy Scripture. It is with the object of meeting the requirements not only of the elder pupils in public schools, their teachers, students in training colleges, and others engaged in education, but also of the clergy and the growing class of the general public, which, we believe, takes an interest in Biblical studies, that the present series has been projected….

New Book on the Theology of Amos by John Barton

New Book on the Theology of Amos by John Barton 2
New Book on the Theology of Amos by John Barton 3

John Barton, The Theology of the Book of Amos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Pbk. ISBN-13: 9780521671750. pp.215.New Book on the Theology of Amos by John Barton 4

The publisher’s blurb says:

In modern times Amos has come to be considered one of the most important prophets, mainly for his uncompromising message about social justice. This book provides a detailed exploration of this theme and other important elements of the theology underlying the book of Amos. It also includes chapters on the text itself, providing a critical assessment of how the book came to be, the original message of Amos and his circle, which parts of the book may have been added by later scribes, and the finished form of the book. The author also considers the book’s reception in ancient and modern times by interpreters as varied as rabbis, the Church Fathers, the Reformers and liberation theologians. Throughout, the focus is on how to read the book of Amos holistically to understand the organic development of the prophet’s message through the many stages of the book’s development and interpretation.

Table of Contents:
General editors’ preface
Preface
1. Amos: the critical issues
2. Religious belief and practice in Amos’s day
3. The theology of Amos and his circle
4. Theological theme in the additions to the book of Amos
5. The theology of the book of Amos
6. The reception of the theology of Amos
7. The theology of Amos then and now.
Features:
• Provides an up-to-date survey of theories about the writing and theology of the book of Amos
• Discusses social justice in the prophets and links to Liberation Theology
• Reflects current interest in reading the ‘final form’ of biblical books