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CBB E-Learning Program in Spanish (Cursos Bíblicos del Balamand)

CBB E-Learning Program in Spanish
(Cursos Bíblicos del Balamand)

Mission Statement

Cursos Biblicos del Balamand is an e-learning program in Spanish at the Institute of Theology committed to provide Eastern Christian Education for Christian Orthodox in Latin America and Spain. The academic mission of the program is to prepare church leaders, catechists and youth coordinators with a competent
knowledge of Scripture and its interpretation considering both the Orthodox hermeneutical tradition and modern linguistic and historical-critical methods. CBB is offered in a collaborative learning environment based on the MOODLE platform. Our program encourages teamwork, creative thinking and community service spirit.


The curriculum of this program aims to:
1. Provide students with fundamentals on biblical theology and biblical methods of interpretation.
2. To distinguish traditions, schools and stages of formation in both the Old and New Testaments.
3. Assist students to develop a more systematic and reflective approach to Scripture and the liturgical context of the Bible in the Orthodox Church.
4. Equip students with skills and tools to act as Orthodox catechists and religion teachers.
5. Sensitize students about engagement and research in the message of the Bible and its tradition of interpretation in the Church through courses that reflect timely discussions and current issues.
6. Provide students the opportunity for an interactive communication with scholars specialized in the various fields of Biblical exegesis.
7. Form students to be engaged in the life and pastoral work in their parish.

Learning Outcomes
Students will demonstrate:
a. Familiarity with the central narratives of the Bible.
b. The ability to interpret Biblical passages with accuracy and responsibility.
c. Effectiveness to communicate Biblical truths in teaching settings.
d. Familiarity with the essential beliefs of the Christian faith by being able to defend reasons for those beliefs with good arguments and evidence from the Bible.
e. The ability to explain the different historical backgrounds that moved authors to write certain contents in a certain form and style.
f. Introductory knowledge of hermeneutical principles in order to develop an interpretation of a Biblical text.
g. The ability to describe the Biblical fundamentals for the existence of the church and articulate the relevance of the Bible for the contemporary church and her ministry in the world.
h. A basic understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of the Bible’s original authors and audiences.
i. The ability to use some Biblical resources available online and in libraries.
j. An understanding of the ways in which the Old and the New Testament are interpreted in different Christian denominations.
k. Knowledge to write articles in biblical-related topic areas.

Admission and Registration

-          Applicants to CBB must follow the instructions given on the program’s webpage (see above).

-          Students may register for all offered courses, or only one of them, knowing that at the end of the semester, they will be granted a certificate stating that they have attended and passed the courses.

-          The tuition fee for each course varies according to the student's residence region and varies between 30 USD and 75 USD. Fees are expected to be paid  by the end of the second week of the semester. The registration fees can be paid either by an electronic, or through other payment on the program platform, or through other payment systems announced on the same platform.

Rules and Regulations

-          Students are to abide by all rules and regulations in terms of attendance, course requirements, and assignment submissions.

-          Students must follow the lessons on a regular weekly basis and must never fail to attend the courses. After being absent for two consecutive weeks, the student will be dropped from the course.

-          Students will have a weekly evaluation and a final exam in all courses, from which come the final grades.

-          Students must submit all assignments given by the course instructor. Assignments are graded according to the policy that the instructor has announced at the beginning of the course.

-          If the student’s grade is less than 60/100, he/she have failed the course, and will not get a certificate of attendance.

-          Students may drop the course at anytime providing they inform the instructor or the program’s coordinator in written form.

-          A certificate is awarded to those who have successfully complete each one of the courses, and a Diploma in Biblical Interpretation is submitted to those who have followed the whole program.

-          The courses given in the framework of e-learning are not transferable to any degree program at the University.



Old Testament Courses


Course Name


CBBE 220

Interpretation of the Pentateuch 


CBBE 221

Interpretation of the Prophets


CBBE 222

Interpretation of Psalms


CBBE 224

Interpretation of Historical Books


CBBE 225

Interpretation of Wisdom Literature



New Testament Courses


Course Name


CBBE 210

Interpretation of the Pauline Letters


CBBE 211

Interpretation of Matthew and Mark


CBBE 212

Interpretation of Luke and Acts


CBBE 213

Interpretation of John and Revelation


CBBE 214

Interpretation of The Pastoral and Catholic Letters



The e-Learning MOODLE platform

The CBB program offers its courses through the MOODLE platform, which is an “open source” program. The system allows applying collaborative learning methods and provides each instructor the possibility to administer his/her own education room.
The system offers, amongst other things, the administration of study groups, forums, file upload/download, calendars, chat, various evaluation and grading methods. Instructors also embed explanatory videos and offer some live classes through Webex.

Faculty and Administration

CBB instructors are faculty members at the Institute, who can teach their courses in Spanish, as well as Institute Alumni, who live in Spanish-speaking countries and have either achieved a graduate degree or an outstanding academic performance. The latter maintain assiduous contact with the Institute in order
to consult about the course content, bibliography and teaching as well as learning strategies.
The program has a Spanish-speaking general coordinator, who is part of the faculty at the Institute. Besides, it counts with an assistant coordinator and a technical administrator of the operating system and the website of the program community (


Course Descriptions


CBBE 210 Interpretation of the Pauline Letters                                                                    

This course treats the exegesis of selected passages from the Pauline Corpus, chosen in sequence, to highlight the main theological issues raised in the Corpus as a whole. The historical and present debates of Low and High Criticism are within the scope of the course. It also traces the development in perspectives resulting from the changing circumstances that necessitated the writing of the epistles.

CBBE 211 Interpretation of Matthew and Mark                     

The Gospels according to St Matthew and St Mark belong to a common literary tradition, and together with the Gospel of Luke, are called the Synoptic Gospels. However, Mark has the particularity of being the first Christian writing that belongs to the literary genre of Gospels. On the other hand, Matthew’s most characteristic feature is its strong liturgical and ecclesiastical accent. The present course will study a selection of Marcan and Matthean texts that will help students discover the key contents of both literary works.

CBBE 212 Interpretation of Luke and Acts                                                                 

This course covers a study of the Luke-Acts diptych through the interpretation of selected passages chosen in sequence. The student is introduced into the guidelines of the Lucan thought regarding history, salvation, and the role of the Disciples after the Resurrection. Special attention will be given to the influence of Luke-Acts to the form and contents of Orthodox Liturgy. 

CBBE 213 Interpretation of John and Revelation                                                                

The Johannine writings are an essential part of the New Testament Canon that covers the Fourth Gospel, three letters and the Book of Revelation. In this course, we study the Gospel and the Book of Revelation from different aspects: their authors, literary genders and theological themes. We interpret selected texts in a synchronic and narrative approach that leads us to the most outstanding theological concepts of the Johannine School in these books.

CBBE 214 Interpretation of the Pastoral and Catholic Letters

Throughout this course, we delve into two – of the three known – epistolary bodies frequently considered as “secondary”: the Catholic Epistles and the Pastoral Epistles. However - as we will see during the course - we will be able to assess the utmost importance of these epistolary bodies and their role in our lives. The
purpose of this course is to understand these writings: first as a corpus, and then individually. In this way, it highlights the value of each of these epistolary bodies and their importance in the Church.

CBBE 220 Interpretation of the Pentateuch                               

This course is designed to give the student a basic knowledge of the Pentateuch and the Historical books. In a selection of texts dealing with Creation, the Exodus narratives and epics, the inheritance of the land and the instauration of Kingship, the student critically perceives the main theses and approaches contained in these texts. The students will read the Old Testament along with modern studies and through this process, gain a deeper appreciation of the Bible.

CBBE 221 Interpretation of the Prophets                                                                                  

This course offers a systematic and critical study of the prophetic movement in ancient Israel and Judah, from Amos, up to the post-exilic prophets. The lectures focus on the distinctive features of the prophetic writings dealing with important issues such as kingship, the temple, the word of God, the prophetic call, the election, and judgment. Special emphasis is put on the books of Amos, Isaiah and Ezekiel. 

CBBE 222 Interpretation of Psalms

In this course, the student is introduced to the most distinctive literary genres found in the Psalms, going through a selection of texts that deal with crucial theological questions such as the figure of the Messiah, God’s intervention in history, and the kingship of the Lord.

CBBE 224 Interpretation of Historical Books

The course offers an interpretation of the Deuteronomist and Priestly History in the Old Testament. Particular interest is given to the Book of Joshua and the Books of Kings. During the semester, the students read this section of the Old Testament along with modern commentaries in order to gain a deeper appreciation of these books.

CBBE 225 Interpretation of Wisdom Literature

This course offers a systematic and critical study of Wisdom Literature in the Old Testament. Questions arising from the history formation and development of wisdom schools in Ancient Israel are discussed. The books of Proverbs and Job are studied with special emphasis. Some light is shed on Ecclesiastes and Wisdom of Solomon, as well.

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Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology
The University of Balamand

Address: Monastery of Balamand, PO Box 100, Tripoli, Lebanon
Tel: 00961 (0) 6 930 305 - Fax: 00961 (0) 6 930 304
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