HOUSE IN JERUSALEM
Since in 1927 the Pontifical Biblical Institute has had a branch in the city of Jerusalem. The address is:
PONTIFICAL BIBLICAL INSTITUTE
3, Paul Emile Botta St. - Box 497
91004 Jerusalem (Israel)
Director: Rev. Josef Mario Briffa, S.J.
The branch in Jerusalem is not an independent institution in its own right, with its own proper academic program. Rather it is a house at the service of the professors and students of the school in Rome as a base of operations for their studies elsewhere in the Holy Land. There is, though, a library and a museum.
Students who are registered for the licence in the Biblical Faculty have the possibility of following, as an integral part of their curriculum, a program of studies in Jerusalem. The Pontifical Biblical Institute
offers three possibilities:
One program, offered in collaboration with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has as its principal goal a more profound grasp of Biblical Hebrew. In order to take part in this program the student must have passed both the Hebrew and the Greek qualifying examinations. The program lasts from July to January, but it is possible to register only for the part of the program which goes from October to January, inasmuch as the part of the program in July-September is dedicated to the study of Modern Hebrew as a background for Biblical Hebrew, and is optional. Students who take part in this program from October to January receive credit for the following courses valid for the licence: Hebrew A-B, biblical archaeology and geography, Old Testament and New Testament history, the seminar without a paper and, for those who have not already done the course, Greek A. The language of instruction is English.
The Biblical Institute of Rome has an agreement with the École Biblique of Jerusalem whereby the students of the Biblical Institute may follow courses at the École, in the second semester of the second year of the license program (that is to say, after having completed Hebrew A-B-C). At the École it is possible to take courses in Biblical Aramaic, the second semester of the ancient Near Eastern language begun in the first semester at Rome, and other courses of exegesis, theology and biblical history among those offered every year at the École. The total number of courses valid for the license in Rome must not be greater than seven of which no more than four may be exegesis or theology courses. It is permitted to do the seminar without paper at the École, but not the seminar with written paper, which must be done at the Institute in Rome. The students are urged to take the course in biblical archaeology and geography offered at the École.
Students may avail themselves of either of the above possibilities, but not both.
Students are expected to follow in their curriculum for the Licentiate in Sacred Scripture, a course in biblical archeology and geography and have the possibility to follow this course in the Holy Land, in September. The course lasts four weeks and includes academic lectures accompanied by regular visits to the major biblical sites. This course began in September 2000 with the collaboration of the Studium Biblicum Fraciscanum, in particular the professor RP Peter Kaswalder, OFM, who was the coordinator of the course until its sudden death in 2014.
Currently the course is taught by prof. Josef Mario Briffa, S.J. (in collaboration with prof. Fr. Roberto López Facundo, S.J.).
More detailed information on registration and other details is offered for these programs at the Institute in Rome during the course of the year.