The aim of the Barthélemy Institute is to promote research and biblical formation in the area of the history of the text and Old Testament exegesis. It sets out to continue and further develop this area of competence of Fribourg University, a competence which enjoys an international reputation. The project is ecumenical, interdisciplinary and interconnects with a wide scientific network. The conditions necessary for bringing this project to fruition (specialists and documentary resources) are present in Fribourg today.


Biblical research in Fribourg is directly linked to the preparation and publishing of a critical edition of the Bible in Hebrew (Biblia Hebraica Quinta), as well as to other editorial projects concerning the Old Testament (the Bible d’Alexandrie and the Bible in its various traditions). This enormous work of establishing texts in critical editions also serves as a basis for exegetical research, as well as for all translation projects of the Bible into a vast array of modern languages. 


The dissemination and reading of the Bible, whether in a community context or in private, presuppose studies such as those on offer in our Institute. The Barthélemy Institute is the second institute of its kind in Western Europe, after that of Münster (in Germany), which focuses on the New Testament.

The history of the biblical text is closely linked to its interpretation – both Jewish and Christian. Consequently, text-critical studies require a thorough grasp of the way in which the Bible was understood and interpreted by those responsible for the transmission of its text.


By means of the formation it offers, the Barthélemy Institute prepares the way for scientific research. Through its specialized studies (at master’s and postgraduate levels) it aims at whetting the appetite of students (theologiens, philologists and historians) for this area of research, and thereby seeks to form young research students.


The Barthélemy Institute makes the results of this research accessible to a wider public. It organizes conferences and lectures, expositions and displays, publications and other cultural initiatives.