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SALMO 72. CHE MESSIA? PER QUALI POVERI?
The textual study of psalm 72, indeed, shows that the "corruptions" are somewhat modified due to the messianic reading which has been progressively imposed upon it. Literary criticism gives evidence of a great, redactional inclusion (vv.8ss and 12-15) that opens the way to that reading. Before this, perhaps even before the Isaian period, the psalm was a prayer of the Davidic king similar to analogous Akkadian prayers. The redactional inclusion, perhaps of the Josian period (in any case, pre-exilic) is a reminder of the golden age of Solomon (from 1 Kgs 5 and above all 10), prior to the parallels of Is 60. The eschatological perspective had already been opened in this period (von Rad) and, therefore, the possibility of a messianic reading. The optimism of the false prophets (Jer 28) tends toward this as well. In order to save the messianic character of psalm 72, it is not, therefore, necessary to date it in the postexilic nor even in the late postexilic period; nor is it necessary to affirm that it only treats of the collective messiah (Becker). The current message of the psalm, different from its reformulation in the 17th Ode of Solomon (1st cent. A.D.), is brought back to its central point, which is, indeed, in the pre-exilic redaction (cf. vv.12ss), attention to the poor.
Pgs. 41-60 [file in pdf format - 76 KB]
CANTICO DEI CANTICI E CANTI D'AMORE EGIZIANI
Similarities between the Song of Songs and the Egyptian love songs are well known. A synoptic reading of the texts, with careful attention to the original, reveals a good number of common motifs, literary phrases, and images. Basic ideas are also common to both literatures. These love songs appear to be a dream, a combined product of (unconscious) heart and (conscious) self Ü a dream that reaches the heart of reality and is a medium of divine revelation. It is a world of teenagers setting out to experience love, the divine force of life operating in nature. The two fiancÚs make this discovery by their mutual relationship especially in the countryside where blossoms and perfume of flowers, the green and fruits of trees play an important role. The comparison lets one enjoy the beauty of the texts and reveals insights that make exegesis meaningful.
Pgs. 61-85 [file in pdf format - 80 KB]
STRUTTURA LETTERARIA E TEOLOGIA DELLA CREAZIONE IN Rm 8,19-25
Romans 8:18-25 is often cited to affirm or deny cosmic redemption. This study presents the literary structure and theological message of the passage. Diverse criteria are employed to establish the precise limits and internal division of the pericope. The passage, though unitary, is seen to be divided into two structurally equivalent parts (vv. 18-21.22-25). In Rm 8:18-25, Paul gives a theological discourse on creation as seen in the salvific plan of God. The state of suffering in which man and creation currently find themselves will be changed. In the eschatological time even creation will participate in redemption and glory. Rm 8:18-25 is not a small treatise on cosmic eschatology, but rather a profound reflection on the salvific activity of God: a theological reflection that sees the present and future character of creation in that activity. This universal vision includes both creation and man and describes them in their specific expectation. Such expectation includes the reality of suffering, but also hopeful assurance in the fullness of salvation.
Pgs. 87-124 [file in pdf format - 152 KB]
PER UN COMMENTO A EBREI
My essay is a thorough review of E. GrÉsser, An die HebrÉer, I. Teilband Hebr 1-6, EKK 17/1, ZÄrich-Neukirchen 1990. In general, I tried to show that two peculiar ideas of the author are very problematic, not to say unacceptable: 1) Hebrews depends on gnostic thought; 2) faith (pistis) is like hope (elpis) in Hebrews. The first is historically untenable because all texts-proof are posterior. The second is textually unfounded because the reader can easily find expressions where faith and hope are neatly distinct (e.g. 6,11-12; 10,36-39; 11,1). Besides these two points, you can find a critical and systematic discussion of many interpretations proposed for every chapter (from 1-6), that cannot be summarized in a few words.
Pgs. 125-158 [file in pdf format - 128 KB]
L'ARTICOLO NEL GRECO BIBLICO
(L. Cignelli - G. C. Bottini)
he present essay, as it now appears in this review (cf. LA 39, 1989, 37-48; 40, 1990, 47-69), illustrates a particular point of syntax of biblical Greek. Observing the use that the texts of the Septuagint and the New Testament make of the article, the authors intend to classify in organic form the different values and meanings of the article: value as pronoun, individual article, generic article, substantive article, indeterminative article, attributive and predicative position of the adjective and of the apposition, attributive position of the adverbs and of the complements, attributive and predicative position of some terms, the substantive as nominale predicate and predicative complement, omission and/or substitution of the article.
Pgs. 159-199 [file in pdf format - 216 KB]
LA TRASCRIZIONE DELL'EBRAICO NELLA VERSIONE DI TEODOZIONE
The article discusses the Hebrew words transcribed into Greek in the exaplary column of Theodotion (Ez. & Dan.). A mini-phonology based on one-hundred of the transcribed words in these two biblical books is compiled. In synthesis, aspects of the problem already known from other sources are underlined and the difficulty in the choice of a method that permits a uniform reading of the data is shown. According to the author, it is of capital importance to establish with exactness the pronunciation of the Greek, particularly in the Hellenistic period, before facing the theme of the transcriptions.
Pgs. 201-222 [file in pdf format - 120 KB]
LE TARGUM DU CANTIQUES DES CANTIQUES.
INTRODUCTION ET TRADUCTION
The Targum to the "Song of Songs". Introduction and Translation of Codex Vatican Urbinati 1. The word "version" is scarcely the correct term when we speak about the Targum of the Hagiographa. The Targum-paraphrase of the "Song of Songs" is very close to a Midrash of Scripture. The author of this aramaic paraphrase favoured the view according to which 'the Beloved' means 'God', and 'the Bride' symbolizes 'the Congregation of Israel'. The main problem of the Targum is its dating. Elements for an early dating of some traditions and for a late dating of its redaction are given here. A close look at some polemical interpretations of the Targum justifies the conclusion that the redaction of the Targum cannot be anterior to Origen's Commentary on the "Song of Songs". Pgs. 223-301
Pgs. 223-301 [file in pdf format - 244 KB]
JUDGES AT EBLA
The present article deals with the Semitic term for judge at Ebla and with matters related to the practice of his duties. In addition to the di-ku = ba-da-gu da-ne-u[m] of the VE 1327, which would suggest the reading dayyänum for the Eblaite word, there are two attestations of the Sg. form, written da-num, and three attestations of the probably Pl. form, written da-nu. Besides presiding over conflicts of interest, adjudicating inheritances, and, most likely, sealing marriage contracts, the judges at Ebla played a unique role, associated with the so-called níg-ba "gift" of Mari.
Pgs. 303-310 [file in pdf format - 96 KB]
LEGISLAZIONE CONTRO IL PAGANESIMO E CRISTIANIZZAZIONE
DEI TEMPLI NEI SECOLI IV E V
Around the end of the IV century the "great Christian emperors" of both East and West laicized the state. They suppressed the title Pontifex Maximus and deprived all the clergy and religious of their subsidies and the immunity they enjoyed. Their properties were confiscated. The pagan reaction was harsh and brought on violence and disorder almost everywhere. Seeing that Arcadius and Honorius were determined in upholding the new religious regime, and even calling on the bishops to lend a helping hand in carrying out repressive laws, the educated pagans turned to apologetics on behalf of their traditional religion (Libanius wrote Pro Templis) and the people began to hide the statues they wanted to save. Bishops and monks were harsh and fanatical in their cooperation since they were convinced that the pagan gods consisted of both soul and body. Devils served as the soul and statues as the body. Therefore, they burned the temples and broke up the statues-even those of great artistic value. Thus, Marcellus, for example, was in the East and Theophilus was in Egypt, where the Serapeum of Alexandria was destroyed; African and Asian bishops included Augustine and John Chrysostom. But in the beginning of the V century they became aware that this destructive activity was a disaster for their revenue and counter productive for the two religions living side by side in peace. It was indeed a crime, artistically speaking, in regard to the contributions of antiquity, and so Theodosius II, on November 4, 435, issued a law for "Christianizing" temples. This law was observed by intelligent bishops, especially after some similar directives came from the popes in Rome, particularly those of Gregory the Great. He inaugurated a systematic change of pagan temples and heretical shrines into churches. The developments after the papacy of this great pontiff resulted in the peaceful application of similar civil laws and pontifical directives.
Pgs. 311-326 [file in pdf format - 64 KB]
IL COMPLESSO DI SANTO STEFANO
A UMM AL-RASAS - KASTRON MEFAA IN GIORDANIA
The ecclesiastical complex of St. Stephen, situated on the northern edge of the ruins of Umm al-Rasas, has been the object of six campaigns of excavations begun in 1976. The results include, in its final phase, diverse interconnected sacred buildings erected between the VI and VIII centuries A.D. In addition to the phases of construction already known from the dated mosaic inscription (cf LA 37, 1987, 177-239), new indications have emerged from the continuation and deepening of the excavation. The complex underwent the greatest changes in the Umayyad period. During this period the wall of the façade of the Church of Bishop Sergius was in great part rebuilt and the area in front of it was restructured with the construction of a baptistry to the north and a funerary chapel to the south. Almost certainly, The Church of the Court was built concomitant to the construction of the Church of St. Stephen and served as a passage between the outside and the Church of Bishop Sergius, from which it was separated by a simple balustrade in plutei of bituminous schist in place of a wall. The construction of the Chapel of the Column (room M) is brought back to the final phase of the Umayyad period.
Pgs. 327-364 [file in pdf format - 556 KB / Tavole - 20 MB]
CERAMICA DAL COMPLESSO DI SANTO STEFANO A UMM AL-RASAS
TThe dating of 756 A.D. for the mosaic pavement that decorates the presbyterium of the Church of St. Stephen gives an absolute chronological date which is fundamental for establishing our knowledge of the material culture of the early Arabic period. Since the pavement gives evidence of numerous vicissitudes before the building was abandoned, we retain a realistic IX century dating for the pottery that pertains to the last phases of life in this sector of the city. The material of the excavation that we present illustrates this period with fine vases and minor fragments. Various periods of life in the city are equally illustrated by the material found in trenches excavated at diverse places under the pavements of the constructions belonging to the complex of St. Stephen. The material of the trenches has been rigorously documented, and often becomes a determinig factor in reconstructing the chronological succession of the buildings; the criteria of completeness is attained by presenting all the fragments even the smallest.
Pgs. 365-422 [file in pdf format - 656 KB / Tavole - 5 MB]
THAMUDIC AND NABATAEAN INSCRIPTIONS FROM UMM AL-RASAS
(M. C. A. Macdonald)
Eleven Thamudic and Nabataean inscriptions were discovered during excavations at Umm al-Rasas by the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum and the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. They were found on rocks re-used in the building of the churches of Bishop Sergius and St. Stephen. Two blocks with Thamudic graffiti had been incorporated into one plastered wall which eventually became the eastern wall of the Church of St. Stephen (VIII cent. A.D.). A third block had been inserted in the corner of the wall to the south of the apse of the Church of Bishop Sergius (VI cent. A.D.). These semitic inscriptions, together with a Latin one and some sparse elements of architecture are the most important evidence for a period of occupation in the city which is well documented by written sources, but as yet, not sufficiently so by archaeological finds.
Pgs. 423-428 [file in pdf format - 64 KB / Plates - 1 MB]
THE SABAITE MONASTERY OF THE CAVE (SPELAION)
IN THE JUDEAN DESERT
The Monastery of the Cave was founded by St. Sabas in 508, in a gorge about 6 km NE of the Great Laura, around a cave occasionally used for seclusion by the holy man. The coenobium was still active in the eighth century. A survey and a limited excavation were carried out at the site by the author. The monastery was built on three levels. The upper level includes enclosure walls with towers, a cistern and some additional structures. The middle level consists of more cisterns and dwelling caves, among them Saba's cave, which was turned into a chapel; below it are a church and a service building. The lower level includes the entrance gate, a garden, a network of paths, and dwelling buildings. Outside the walled structure are additional constructions belonging to the monastery, namely a fence and a boundary tower, water channels and reservoirs, built paths and a kiln.
Pgs. 429-448 [file in pdf format - 424 KB / Plates - 2.5 MB]
DESIGN OF THE ANCIENT SYNAGOGUES IN GALILEE
Continuing the study of the design of ancient synagogues in the Galilee initiated by D. Chen in this journal, I present here design analyses of another three buildings: synagogues at Beth Yerach, at Horvat Shema' and at 'En Nashut. The synagogues at Beth Yerach and Horvat Shema' were both designed in terms of Roman units of measurement, the pes of 0.2957 m. and cubitus of 0.4435 m. respectively, while the synagogue at Ein Nashut was designed in terms of the Byzantine pous of 0.315 m. The inner length of the naos of the Ein Nashut synagogue, 33 podes, is the same dimension as that of the radius of the dome of the Rotunda Anastasis in Jerusalem, the inner width and length of the baptistery of the North Church at Emmaus-Nicopolis, the inner width of the synagogue at ed Dikke, in Galilee, and as the inner width of the Central Church at Herodium.
Pgs. 449-454 [file in pdf format - 160 KB / Plates - 212 KB]
A NOTE ON THE ROMAN MOSAIC AT MAGDALA, ON THE SEA OF GALILEE
A different interpretation for one item depicted on the Magdala mosaic is presented. It is suggested that the item in the upper left corner is in fact a group of utensils which were in common use in the Roman bath-houses and it included two strigili (scrapers) and an ointment bottle. In addition to this, the entire composition of the mosaic is discussed.
Pgs. 455-458 [file in pdf format - 40 KB / Plates - 904 KB]
AYYUBID AND SALJUKID DIRHAMS AND FULUS FROM RUJM AL-KURSI
(S. Kh. Sari - A.-J. 'Amr)
This study deals with twenty silver (dirhams) and copper coins (fulus) that have been recently uncovered at the Rujm al-Kursi archaeological site. The importance of these coins lies in the fact that they helped identify the Ayyubid pottery and differentiated it from the Mamluk piece which had also been found together with it in the mentioned site. Moreover, these coins communicated the news about the existence in Jordan of further addenda to Balog's corpus of Ayyubid Coins. The Saljukid coins are only represented by two pieces bearing the name of the sultan Kaykhusraw. The study reveals that dirhams and fulus were in circulation side by side under some Ayyubid sultans. The standard of fineness of the Rujm al-Kursi dirhams, as confirmed by analysis, is high, thus indicating the quality and value of such coins at that time of the Ayyubid era.
Pgs. 459-468 [file in pdf format - 148 KB / Plates - 20 MB]
ASPECTS OF CHRISTIAN ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE HOLY LAND
The article deals with some aspects of Christian archaeology in the Holy Land, such as art, architecture, symbolism, liturgy and epigraphy, based on archaeological discoveries. Christian archaeological research, developed over a long period together with other branches of the discipline, has produced impressive findings which aid in understanding the broadly ramified activities of Christianity that caused a revolution in intellectual life, thinking and religious belief. Ties with the Holy Land, which were extremely strong, rested upon a religious-emotional base; one manner of expression for these ties was pilgrimage to holy sites connected with the life and work of Jesus, the apostles and the saints. Archaeological research provides clear evidence of these links, as do the copious epigraphic material, church architecture and other monuments. The various discoveries shed light on the centrality of the Holy Land vis à vis other lands of the Christian world. In other words, the Holy Land played a leading role, taking centre stage in events and arousing tremendous interest and inspiring creativity in various fields.
Pgs. 469-481 [file in pdf format - 104 KB]
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MEDIEVAL FRANCISCAN MANUSCRIPTS IN JERUSALEM
(J. P. Gumbert)
The Studium Biblicum Franciscanum possesses not only an important archeological museum, but also a small hoard of valuable liturgical manuscripts dating from the 13th to the 17th century, many of them richly illuminated. This treasure, hitherto virtually unknown and unpublished, has now been made accessible in a beautiful publication by Nicola Bux (Codici Liturgici Latini di Terra Santa Ü Liturgical Latin Codices of the Holy Land. Fasano - Jerusalem, 1990, 30 « 21 cm, 147 p., many illustrations). This is a review article of this book with some remarks and suggestions. Father Bux has not written the last word on these MSS Ü he himself would be far from making such a claim. But he has competently unlocked a treasure, and given us a book which is not only very useful, but also lovely to look at.
Pgs. 483-486 [file in pdf format - 36 KB / Plates - 20 MB]
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Sintesi degli articoli (Abstracts) p.487 [file in pdf format - 56 KB]
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