Israel College of the Bible

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Israel College of the Bible
המכללה למקרא
Israel College of the Bible logo.jpg
Former names
King of Kings College[1]
Type Bible college
Established 1990 (1990)
Affiliation Messianic Judaism
President Dr. Erez Soref
Location Netanya, Israel
Language Hebrew (main), Russian, English
Website www.israelcollege.com

Israel College of the Bible (המכללה למקרא) is the only Hebrew speaking accredited Bible college in Israel. The private college is an independent academically accredited institution.[2][3] The campus moved to its new premises in Netanya, Israel in 2010, and has several hundred students in its programs. Israel College of the Bible hosts a large Messianic library.

Description[edit]

Israel College of the Bible (ICB) was founded in 1990 and provides theological and practical training at a bible school inside the country for Israelis who would previously have had to travel abroad for equivalent courses.[4] It provides theological training for both Israelis and foreign students,[1][5] and it provides ministry training and leadership development for followers of Jesus (Yeshua). The emphasis and the majority of programs are focused on training Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, but a Year in Israel Program is available to international students, and distance learning courses are available online in English.[6][7] The college is accredited through the European Evangelical Accrediting Association and the Asia Theological Association,[1][8] although Israel's Ministry of Education does not recognise its degrees.[9]

Israel College of the Bible celebrates the Jewish holidays and keeps an emphasis in the curriculum on their Jewish heritage, but claims to be "very inclusive, and live very harmoniously with our Arab brothers and sisters and our Gentile brothers and sisters". [10] The "Linga" organisation of Arab Christians in Israel has also affirmed this connection and has celebrated the graduation of several Arab students who had gained their qualifications from the ICB.[11]

The primary language of the college is Hebrew, with some courses also taught in Russian and English.[1] The teaching staff are all Israeli, including both Jewish and Arab, and the students also come from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds from within Israel. Additionally there are international students each year from countries around the world.[12]

Academic scope[edit]

Israel College of the Bible faculty expertise is primarily in the areas of Bible and Theology, Jewish studies, Biblical Geography and Culture, Archaeology, Practical Ministry, and Leadership and Counseling. The college offers an international Bachelor of Theology, a Hebrew Bachelor of Theology, a "Year in Israel Program", a Bikurim program, a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts counselling.[13] Semester credits can be applied to a certificate in Messianic Studies.[14]

All teachers are Israeli believers in Jesus (Yeshua) as the Messiah, and come from a variety of cultural backgrounds.[8]

Selected courses in Hebrew[edit]

Theology and hermeneutics; The Messiah in the Jewish Scriptures; Introduction to the New Testament; Greek; Biblical Aramaic; The Torah; Doctrine of the Messiah and of salvation; Doctrine of man, sin and salvation; Family and marriage counseling; Pastoral counseling.[12]

Selected courses in English[edit]

Biblical Archaeology; Biblical Geography; New Testament Backgrounds; Messianic Prophecies; Biblical Hebrew; Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith; The Feasts of Israel; Jewish Apologetics; Jewish Christian Relations; Kingdom and Covenants[12]

Activities and promotion of Messianic Judaism in Israel[edit]

The college is the headquarters of One For Israel,[15] which both supports the growth of the Messianic community in Israel, and promotes understanding of Messianic Judaism abroad. There is a media center on the premises, with radio and video studios to broadcast music and teaching, as well as being the hub of several websites about the Messianic faith.[16] Eitan Bar, co-founder of One For Israel and Media Director at Israel College of the Bible, claimed that, "The single best and most important way to support Israel is by sharing Yeshua with Israeli Jews and Arabs – and that is what we at oneforisrael.org are all about: Israeli Jews who share the gospel with our own brothers and sisters in a relevant way via media".[17]

Regular excursions exploring Biblical Archaeology, Geography of the Bible, Cultural and Historical Background of the New Testament, and History and Theology of Modern Israel are scheduled for the students around the country of Israel as part of their studies and recreation. Additionally, ICB Tours has been developed to provide study tours for Christians wanting to visit Israel in the context of academic Bible study. Tours are led by "professional, Messianic guides".[18]

The college partners with local authorities in distributing food to the poor and elderly in the city.[19]

Criticism[edit]

Messianic Judaism is typically seen negatively, and even as a threat, within Israel. The leading anti-missionary organisation, Yad L'Achim, declared the college to be at the "forefront of missionary activity in Israel".[20] Rabbi Tzvi Wilhelm, rabbi of the Chabad synagogue north of Netanya, objected to teaching about Jesus, who broke away from many Jewish traditions and rabbinic law, terming the subject matter "idolatry".[21] Rabbi Irwin Birnbaum, a former Conservative rabbi in Netanya, considers the activities of followers of Jesus in Israel to be "worse than the Holocaust", and that they are set on destroying Israel.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Rich Robinson; Rich Robinson and Naomi Rothstein (8 August 2005). The Messianic Movement: A Field Guide for Evangelical Christians. Jews for Jesus. pp. 65–. ISBN 978-1-881022-62-6. 
  2. ^ "ATA Theological Consultation in Korea Proclaims the Lordship of Christ in the 21st Century Asian Context". Asia Theological Association. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "European Evangelical Accrediting Association (EEAA)". Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  4. ^ David Claydon (2005). A New Vision, a New Heart, a Renewed Call. William Carey Library. p. 396. ISBN 978-0-87808-365-7. 
  5. ^ Daniel Juster; Peter Hocken (2004). "The Messianic Jewish Movement" (PDF). Toward Jerusalem Council II. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Year in Israel Program". Israel College of the Bible. 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Welcome to ICB Online Courses". Israel College of the Bible. 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Faculty and accreditation". Israel College of the Bible. 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  9. ^ David J. Rudolph; Joel Willitts (5 February 2013). Introduction to Messianic Judaism: Its Ecclesial Context and Biblical Foundations. Zondervan. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-310-55566-7. 
  10. ^ "Interview with Erez Soref, President of Israel Bible College". Israelin Ystävät ry. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Israel College of the Bible (ICB) Graduation ceremony 2010". Linga. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c "Study God's Word in the Land of the Bible". Israel College. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  13. ^ "Israel College of the Bible". Asia Theological Association. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "Courses 2014/15". Israel College of the Bible. 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "One for Israel". oneforisrael.org/. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  16. ^ Jones, Ryan (1 February 2013). "Messianic ministry continues to reach Israelis via Internet". Israel Today. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  17. ^ Troy Anderson (22 October 2013). "Where Your Israel Donation Really Goes". Charisma Magazine. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "Israel Study Tours". Israel College of the Bible. 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  19. ^ "Humanitarian aid". Israel College of the Bible. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  20. ^ Israel Now, Netanya local news site, 27 June 2012.
  21. ^ Lev, Chaim (28 May 2012). "נתניה: המכללה להכשרת כמרים משיחיים מתרחבת" [Netanya: Messianic Divinity College is Expanding]. Arutz Sheva (in Hebrew). Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  22. ^ Fishkin, Guy; Barak-Feiner, Eleanor (25 May 2012). "המכללה להכשרת כמרים משיחיים מעוררת את זעם הדתיים" [Messianic Divinity College Arousing the Wrath of the Religious]. Maariv (in Hebrew). Retrieved 6 November 2014.