The 47th Biblical and Theological Refresher Course has come to an end in Jerusalem

The 47th Biblical and Theological Refresher Course has come to an end in Jerusalem

Great participation in the initiative of further study organized by the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum

The 47th Biblical and Theological Refresher Course (CABT) came to an end in Jerusalem on Friday 5th April after four intense days of lectures and guided tours.

The Course, promoted by the  Studium Biblicum Franciscanum , focused this year on the topic “Worship in the Holy Scriptures and in the Holy Land in the first centuries of Christianity: the lectures, streamed live on the  YouTube channel of the Christian Media Center, started on Tuesday 2nd April at the Immaculate Auditorium of St Saviour’s Convent and alternated in the afternoon with the guided tours and excursions to places in the city of Jerusalem.

How the CABT came into being 

The CABT was inaugurated in the 1970s on the initiative of the Italian Franciscan archaeologist  Camillo Bellarmino Bagatti, as an occasion of education for the Italian-speaking religious in Jerusalem, to be held the week following Easter. Since then, the week in Albis has been characterized by this rendezvous which brings together theology and archaeology.

The CABT has recently been included in the “catalogue of education initiatives” of the Italian Ministty of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR), fostering the participation from Italy of teachers interested in taking part in this refresher course.

Despite the difficult situation, many people enrolled for the 2024 edition

More than one hundred people, both lay and consecrated, enrolled, from very many different countries and took part in the refresher course of the 2024 edition.

“This year’s large participation, considering the particular situation we are in in the Holy Land,” said Fra Rosario Pierri, Dean of the SBF and one of the promoters of the initiative, “has emphasized how worthwhile the course is and confirms the importance of our educational proposals. For decades the Course has aimed to provide in-depth knowledge on the Bible through the choice of subjects that can also offer  in-depth archaeological knowledge and a theological moment in the panorama of the Holy Land.”

The subject of worship

Fra Alessandro Coniglio, Lecturer in Biblical Hebrew and Exegesis of the Old Testament at the  SBF  and one of the speakers, highlights the value of the subject of worship, “because,” he says, “we are in the Mother Church of Jerusalem: here God made his own name live, according to Deuteronomy. The temple is the place where the presence of God lived, this presence which became flesh in Jesus of Nazareth. The first communities continued, in worship, to glorify God through His Son in the Spirit, starting from Jerusalem, from where the testimony of the disciples spread.”

As far as the guided tours were concerned, Gianantonio Urbani, Guest professor of the SBF  and in charge of the excursions, admits: “It was important to keep this annual rendezvous, especially in the year of the  Centenary of the Studium Biblicum. The interaction between conferences and excursions has almost become a prerogative which characterizes our courses. This year the visits followed the subject of Worship and  were concentrated on the Mount of Olives, which gave to history many figures of hermits and religious communities in the Kedron Valley, then, around the Basilica of the Anastasis, and then on the  area of the Temple Mount,  in the area of ablutions and purification of the Jews. Lastly, the final excursion  included the visit of Jaffa and Caesarea Maritima, from where Peter and Paul set off to spread the good news “to as far as the ends of the earth.”

Silvia Giuliano