Monday, October 8, 2018

What is Biblical Anthropology?

Alice C. Linsley

An emerging field of anthropology, Biblical Anthropology, focuses on an empirical reading of the Bible. Students are trained to identify anthropologically significant data and to correlate the data with the findings in anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, migration studies and DNA studies.

Reading sacred texts like the books of the Bible through the lens of cultural anthropology is rigorous because no assumption can stand untested, and no assertion can be made without data. If we seek to understand the biblical texts rather than use the Bible to support an agenda, we will find the approach of Biblical Anthropology helpful.

For a more interactive approach, consider joining the international Facebook group The Bible and Anthropology. Here we learn from one another and together are building a body of knowledge that many will find helpful.

Unlike the more speculative Theological Anthropology, Biblical Anthropology is a science. It focuses primarily on the antecedents of the Messianic Faith among Abraham's ancestors. To understand what this entails requires exposure to the field. Here are indices where some of the research is posted. The material is organized alphabetically by topic and all the articles are linked.

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