My Letter to the Editor of The Star

Dear Sir or Madam,

An article in The Star last week both saddened and frustrated me. The story has to do with the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield titled ‘Bible no longer best for Sheffield students’.  It contains a number of errors- chiefly having to do with the number of students in the program (over 20, not 6). Various persons attempted a few years ago to have the Department closed but they were not successful and now it seems they are trying again, this time through subterfuge and innuendo, suggesting that the Department is losing students because there is lessening interest.

The Department has a long history of making substantive and significant contributions to the field of biblical studies.  Should it be closed, the University will not only adversely affect the many students who need the Department, but the wider academic community as a whole and biblical scholarship in particular.

I cannot fathom the inner workings of the minds behind this attempted closure.  What are their motives and what do they hope to achieve?  I can tell you, and your readers, though, that such persons do not have the best interests of the University, its students, or scholarship in mind.

The Department must NOT be closed.  And the Administration of the University must come to realize that.

Yours most sincerely,

Prof. Jim West
Quartz Hill School of Theology/ Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary