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The Pontifical Biblical Institute (also known as "Biblicum"), is a research and postgraduate teaching institution specialised in biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies. It is an institution of the Holy See entrusted to the Society of Jesus.

Pontifical Biblical Institute
Latin: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum
Founder(s)Pope Pius X
Established1909; 110 years ago (1909)
MissionBiblical and ancient Near Eastern Studies
FocusCatholic, Jesuit
RectorMichael Kolarcik, SJ
Piazza della Pilotta
Rome, Italy
WebsitePontifical Biblical Institute
Biblical Institute, Rome
Biblical Institute, Jerusalem



The Pontifical Biblical Institute was founded by Pope Pius X in the Apostolic Letter Vinea Electa in 1909 as a centre of advanced studies in Holy Scripture.[1] At first, the institute prepared students for exams at the Pontifical Biblical Commission. In 1916, it was licensed by Pope Benedict XV to grant academic degrees in the name of the Commission, and in 1928, it was licensed by Pope Pius XI to grant doctorates in affiliation with the Pontifical Gregorian University, independently of the Commission.[2] In 1927, a branch was opened in Jerusalem.[3] In 1932, the Oriental Faculty was founded.


All of its rectors have been Jesuit priests. Cardinal Bea is particularly noteworthy for having defended the university against charges of Modernism before the Second Vatican Council.

  • Leopold Fonck (1909-1924)
  • John J. O'Rourke (1924-1930)
  • Augustin Bea (1930-1949)
  • Ernest Vogt (1949-1963)
  • Roderick A. MacKenzie (1963-1969)
  • Carlo Maria Martini (1969-1978)
  • Maurice Gilbert (1978-1984)
  • Albert Vanhoye (1984-1990)
  • Klemens Stock (1990-1996)
  • Robert F. O'Toole (1996-2002)
  • Stephen Pisano (2002-2008)
  • José-Maria Abrego de Lac (2008-2014)
  • Michael Kolarcik (2014 to present) [4]


Among the prominent alumni of the Biblicum, the following were elevated to the episcopate and/or the cardinalate:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Biblicum from Vatican". Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  2. ^ "History". Retrieved 2017-10-09.
  3. ^ House in Jerusalem
  4. ^ Catholic

External linksEdit