Biblical studies  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Biblical studies is the academic study of the Judeo-Christian Bible and related texts. For Christianity, the Bible traditionally comprises the New Testament and Old Testament, which together are sometimes called the "Scriptures." Judaism recognizes as scripture only the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Tanakh, an acronym for the Hebrew names of its divisions: Torah (Law), Nevi'im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (writings). Other texts often examined by biblical scholars include the Jewish apocrypha, the Jewish pseudepigrapha, the Christian apocrypha, the many varieties of ante-Nicene early Christian literature, and early Jewish literature.

There are two major approaches towards Biblical studies. The first approach studies the Bible as a human creation and is also known as Biblical criticism; This approach is practiced in the secular academic world. In this approach, Biblical studies can be considered as a sub-field of religious studies.

The other approach is the religious study of the Bible, where it is assumed that the Bible has a divine origin. This approach is a branch of theology, and is also known as Biblical interpretation.

Methodologically and theoretically, the field draws on many disciplines, including history, archaeology, literary criticism, philology, and increasingly the social sciences. Practitioners of Biblical Studies do not necessarily have a faith commitment to the texts they study. In fact, Biblical criticism seems at times to contradict commitment to the inspiration of the text and is sometimes even considered heresy, although many "orthodox" scholars from both Christianity and Judaism utilize these methods while recognizing a more nuanced understanding of divine inspiration.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Biblical studies" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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