Biblical School

Biblical School

The École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem (EBAF) was founded in 1890 by Fr. Marie-Joseph Lagrange at a time when modern science was questioning the traditional reading of the Bible and challenging many Christians’ faith. His Thomistic formation and wide erudition allowed Père Lagrange to navigate these delicate issues with theological and historical nuance, while remaining ever faithful to the teaching of the Church. His manner of reading the biblical text was eventually recognized and embraced by the Magisterium (cf. Divino afflante Spiritu of Pius XII in 1943, and Dei Verbum). A landmark fruit of this tradition of study was the EBAF’s publication, beginning in the 1950’s, of a standard reference Bible addressed to the learned laymen: the famous Jerusalem Bible.

Faithful to the spirit of its founder, the École biblique continues this exacting study of the sacred text, relying upon ancillary disciplines that help to understand the Bible in its proper context: history, epigraphy, ancient languages, archeology, hermeneutics, history of reception, etc.  Placed under the supervision of the Master of the Order, the École is accredited by the Holy See to grant the doctorate in biblical studies (SSD).

In 1920, the quality and competence of its work merited for the École recognition as the École archéologique française by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, which awards scholarships to send students each year, as do diverse other universities and institutions, Catholic, confessional, and secular.  Visits to archeological sites and courses in ancient languages are especially appreciated by the students.  Its magnificent library, with some 160,000 volumes, its participation in archeological excavation as prestigious as Qumran, its doctoral program in biblical studies, its publications, such as the Revue biblique, its programs of research, especially The Bible in Its Traditions, its conferences and lectures, all permit the École to enjoy great respect in the academic world.

Naturally, this intense activity of teaching and research would not be possible outside the religious framework of the priory of St. Stephen, where the Dominican charism integrates community life with the life of liturgy and prayer, enabling the friars to study, write, and teach in the spirit of our Order.

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 Piazza Pietro d'Illiria, 1 | 00153 Roma | Italy


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