1. In order to enroll in the courses for the Licentiate in Sacred Scripture every student must show an adequate knowledge of basic information concerning the Bible. This knowledge is tested through an examination.
  2. The preparation of this examination is the sole responsibility of the student.
  3. This examination is held during the regular examination sessions: in October, February and June.
  4. The material for the examination is found in the points listed after these norms. The examination is corrected by professors of the Biblical Faculty who are appointed by the Dean of the Faculty.
  5. The examination may be taken only twice, and must be passed before a student is allowed to enroll in courses in the exegetical-theological section or in seminars. If the first attempt is not successful it must be taken again in the next examination session. If necessary the Dean may give permission for the examination to be taken a third time, with consideration given to the results of the two previous attempts.
  6. This written examination lasts 90 minutes and consists in a questionnaire of about twenty questions.
  7. The examination may be written in French, English, Italian, Spanish or German.


1. Biblical archaeology and geography


1.1 Locate on a map the main regions of the Ancient Near East (ANE): Egypt, Cyprus, Hatti, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Babylon, Elam, Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine, Sinai. Locate on a map the following cities: Tyre, Sidon, Ugarit (Ras Shamra), Damascus, Haran, Niniveh, Asshur, Babylon.

1.2 Locate and give a brief description of the following peoples: Sumerians, Assyrians, Hittites, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, the Sea People, the Philistines. Give some information which is found in the Bible on these people.

1.3 Locate on a map the main regions of the Promised Land: Galilee, Samaria, Judea, the plain of Yezreel, Mount Carmel, Lake of Gennesereth, Jordan Valley, Dead Sea, Negeb (Arabia), the land of the Philistines.

1.4 Locate on a map the main cities mentioned in the Old Testament: Jerusalem, Samaria, Shechem, Bethel, Jericho, Hebron, Beersheba. Give some information found in the Bible concerning these cities.

1.5 Locate on a map the main places mentioned in the New Testament: Jerusalem, Bethania, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Capharnaum, Caesarea Maritima and Caesarea Philippi. Locate the following on a map of Jerusalem in New Testament times: the Temple, Mount of Olives, Calvary. Give some information found in the Bible concerning these places.

1.6 The voyages of Saint Paul: locate on a map the main places connected with Saint Paul: Tarsus, Antioch, Galatia, Ephesus, Athens, Philippi, Thessalonika, Corinth, Malta, Rome.

2. Introduction to the Old Testament

2.1 Theory of the J E D P sources. Principal criteria for identifying them and the hypothesis of the historical setting of each source (when and in what circumstances each one was written).

2.2. Literary genres. What is a literary genre? What is the Sitz im Leben of a literary genre? What are the main literary genres of the Psalms?

2.3 Main sections and themes of the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles.

2.4 The three large law codes of the Pentateuch (the covenant code, the law of holiness, the deuteronomic code). Where are these codes found in the Pentateuch (books and chapters)? What are the main characteristics of each? What are the essential differences among them?

2.5 Pre-exilic Prophets: Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah. General knowledge of the historical circumstances of their preaching (when and where? To whom did they preach?). The main sections and themes of the books attributed to these prophets.

2.6 The exilic and post-exilic Prophets: Ezekiel, Isaiah 40–66, Joel, Zechariah. General knowledge of the historical circumstances of their preaching (see 2.5 above). The main ideas contained in the books attributed to these prophets.

2.7 Apocalyptic literature in the Old Testament. The Apocalypse of Isaiah (Isa 22–24) and Daniel. Main characteristics of these works.

2.8 Wisdom literature. Which books are they? What are the main questions and interests of these books?

2.9 The deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament. Which are they? Why are they called «deuterocanonical»? What are the main ideas in them? Why are they important for the study of the Old and New Testaments?

3. Old Testament History


3.1 The problems of using the Old Testament as a source for the study of the history of Israel. Is the Old Testament a book of «history» or of «historiography» in the modern sense of the word? Why or why not?

3.2 Traditional chronology of the Patriarchal Era, of the stay in Egypt and of the exodus, of the installation in Canaan (or the «conquest») and of the beginning of the monarchy (Saul and David).

3.3 The more important kings mentioned in the Old Testament: David, Solomon, Jeroboam I, Jeroboam II, Hezekiah, Josiah. What are the most important facts of their reigns? With which kings are the prophets Amos, Hosea, Isaiah and Jeremiah associated? With which king is the deuteronomistic reform associated? Why?

3.4 What are the most important political and religious differences between the kingdom of the North and that of the South?

3.5 Explain the importance of the following persons for the history of Israel: Tiglath-Pileser III, (Pûlu; see 2 Kings 15:17), Sennacherib, Neco, Nabuchadnezzar II, Cyrus, Alexander the Great.

3.6 The fall of Samaria, the fall of Jerusalem and the exile in Babylon: the date and main information concerning these events; a brief chronology of these events, names of the main historical persons who were involved, the biblical books (historical and prophetic) which speak of these events.

3.7 The reform of Ezra and Nehemiah. The origin and general evolution of the Maccabean revolt.


4. Introduction to the New Testament


4.1 General questions

4.2 Gospels and Acts

4.3 Pauline Literature

4.4 The other writings of the New Testament

5. New Testament History

6. Hermeneutics


6.1 General knowledge of the dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum.

6.2 General knowledge of the document of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Rome 1993).

N.B.: In preparing for this examination the following introductory works, or similar ones, may be consulted:

Annotated translations of the Bible:

Dates of exam (2021-2022):

Deadline for registration to the exam (fee: € 60):

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