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Institute for Bible, Theology & Hermeneutics

The Institute for Bible, Theology and Hermeneutics seeks to overcome fragmentation within the field of Divinity. It promotes intra-disciplinary conversation between Biblical Studies, Theology, Hermeneutics, and the Reception of scripture.  In this way, it strives for a more integrated discipline competent to engage in inter-disciplinary research. With the study of general hermeneutical theory and practice at its centre, it is outward-looking and keen to engage with issues arising from the contemporary world, even as it seeks to learn from and enrich our understanding of past encounters with scripture.

Although the germ went back as far as the Seminar run by Chris Seitz and the conferences initiated by Richard Bauckham in the early 2000s, the Institute for Bible, Theology & Hermeneutics was established in 2009 to give formal identity to that long-standing project of research into Scripture and Theology associated with the work at St Mary's School of Divinity (see the inaugural address).

The arrival of personnel such as Prof N.T. Wright and Dr S. Hafemann in 2010 and 2011 respectively gave a real boost to the enterprise. Before that Nathan MacDonald and Grant Macaskill had lent their weight to it. Drs. John Perry and Bill Hyland have been great supports and contributed to seminars. The connection with the SBL through the Director, who since 2016 has co-chaired the SBL History of Interpretation Section at the Annual Meeting (having co-chaired the Biblical Theology section of the International SBL 2012-16), has been useful for networking the Institute.

Through its research and the Institute for Bible, Theology and Hermeneutics has aimed to look at the living text within communities of interpretation, then and now, showing how canonical scripture works to shape as well as fit interpretive communities.

The emphases over the last few years have been: patristic, medieval and Reformation biblical interpretation; the bible and moral theology; ecumenical biblical theology.

In the first few years (2009-16) the Institute hosted a MLitt in Scripture and Theology. This was discontinued two years ago: it appeared that a Masters that was intra-disciplinary might be of less value in preparing for and being accepted on PhD programmes, than one which had biblical studies at its core, with hermeneutics and theology on its flanks. This will come to expression in the re-jigged MLitt in Biblical Languages and Literature, which will find its ‘home’ in the Institute. It is also looking to develop our links with the Theology Faculty in Zurich in the direction of co-taught MLitt modules.

The MLItt in Biblical Languages and Literature from 2018-19 onwards will be ‘housed’ in the Institute, as it serves to forward many of the aims of IBTH.

The Institute has mostly felt that it works from the bible, through hermeneutical approaches past and present towards theology for the church, academy and society. To that end, while Scott Hafemann will continue as Honorary Fellow of the Institute, both William Tooman and T.J. Lang will become co-directors of IBTH as of February 2018.

Although there was a hiatus of a Scripture and Theology conference in 2015, the Institute held a 2-day workshop with 4 visiting academics on the book of Jeremiah, the proceedings of which are to be published in the journal Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel later in 2018.  With new blood and new ideas, we are planning another larger Scripture and Theology conference for 2019.


Please note that several of the following books represent the published output from conferences hosted by the University of St Andrews prior to the establishment of the Institute of Bible, Theology & Hermeneutics.

  The Gospel of John and Christian Theology

  The Epistle to the Hebrews and Christian Theology

  Isaiah 40-66: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Dr. Mark Elliott)

Gen_Ch_Theol  N. MacDonald, M.W. Elliott, G. Macaskill (eds.), Genesis and Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012).


engaging leviticus Engaging Leviticus (Mark W. Elliott) for The Blackwell Bible Through the Centuries series.


Galatians and Christian Theology cove w49M.W. Elliott, Scott J. Hafemann, N.T. Wright and John Frederick (eds.), Galatians and Christian Theology: Justification, the Gospel, and Ethics in Paul's Letter, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2014).


biblical theology cover w49Mark W. Elliott and Carey Walsh (eds.), Biblical Theology: Past, Present and Future (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2016).


Contact Details

Institute for Bible, Theology & Hermeneutics

St. Mary's College
University of St. Andrews
St. Andrews, Fife
KY16 9JU
Scotland, UK


Director of Institute for Bible, Theology and Hermeneutics

Prof. Mark Elliott
Room H104
+44 (0)1334 46 2825

Dr William Tooman
Dr T.J. Lang

Honorary Fellow 
Dr Scott Hafemann