Established in 1902 by Pope Leo Xiii to promote biblical studies and guard against doctrinal error. In 1904, Pope St. Pius X gave the commission the right to grant academic degrees (licentiate and doctorate) in biblical studies. In 1924 and 1931, Pope Pius XI made these pontifical degrees equal to those conferred by the pontifical universities. Pope Pius XII, in 1942, permitted the division of the matter required for the licentiate, allowing a bachelor's degree to be given after the first examination. In 1971, Pope Paul VI completely reorganized the Biblical Commission and joined it with the congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose prefect is ex officio also president of the commission.