Dr. Bobby Kelly
Professor of Religion
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Religion is part of the department of the Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry.
My degree options:
What makes an OBU Religion Biblical Languages degree special?
A religion degree with the Biblical Languages emphasis offers the student the opportunity for a first hand encounter with the biblical text rather than dependence on a translation. Any translation, no matter how carefully and faithfully done, involves interpretation. The variety of English translations and the vast differences between them attest to this fact. A basic encounter with the Hebrew or Greek will also make you less dependent on the insights of others and more capable of developing your own originality and insight. Finally, gaining skill in the Biblical Languages, as in the study of any language, allows you to develop discipline and expand your intellectual capacity.
What are OBU grads doing with their Religion Biblical Languages degrees?
The majority of OBU graduates with the Biblical Languages degree go on to graduate school in preparation for the variety of ministry opportunities—whether on a church staff or in an academic institution—that demand the ability to study and teach Scripture. Students who have already gained proficiency in the languages while a student at OBU are able to take advanced reading and exegesis courses in graduate school or seminary. A growing number of our students are either on a church staff while at OBU or going directly to a church staff position after graduation. Because of the centrality of Scripture in the task of making Christ known to the nations, an ability to get back to the original language offers exciting opportunities in missions, whether through the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, or as a Bible translator with Wycliffe. We also have a number of majors who are not preparing for a church staff position or missions. These students believe that an intense study of the Biblical Languages is valuable in its own right and can also function as excellent preparation for a variety of vocations such as teachers and college professors, attorneys, businessmen and women, and health care professionals.
What courses can I take?
There is nothing cooler than taking Greek and Hebrew! It does mean that you can no longer use the phrase “It’s all Greek to me” as a way to indicate your lack of understanding. And “shalom, ya’ll” won’t be the only Hebrew you know.
Our Biblical Languages majors have the opportunity to develop a unique bond with their fellow majors. There are also opportunities for internships on church staffs, mission trips, and a variety of other cross-cultural experiences.