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Liber Annuus XLVI (1996)


GENERAL INDEX


Prime pagine [file in pdf format - 46 KB]


Syntactic Analysis of Jonah - A. Niccacci
The complete Book of Jonah is examined from the point of view of the verb syntax proposed by the author. The Jonah novella begins right in medias res, i.e. in the main line with narrative wayyiqtol, without any `antecedent information' or setting. It is suggested to be redactionally connected with the preceding Book of Obadiah in the framework of the "Book of the Twelve." The novella flows without break from the beginning to the end. It stops with an unanswered question, and therefore, so to speak, still in medias res, with no explicit conclusion. The main line of the novella is strongly governed by God. Direct speeches are of theological importance, especially the divine speech at the end (4:10-11). The poetic section is kept in the main line by its introduction, which is in the wayyiqtol: wayyitpallel... wayyo'mer (2:2-3). The poetic section is analyzed separately and with different criteria from those of the narrative. If, as is usually assumed, the Book of Jonah is a late composition imitating the language of the 8th century prophet whose name it bears, one has to say that the imitation is superb from the point of view of syntax.
Pgs. 9-32 [file in pdf format - 128 KB]


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Come sbloccare l'attuale esegesi messianica - E. Cortese
Modern exegesis of OT messianic texts is in a deadlock due to its many negative approaches to messianism. On the extreme side there is a tendency to deny messianism in the OT, acknowledging its existence only in NT. The present study, without attempting a global treatment of the problem, limits itself to answer some important aspects of the negative attitude towards messianism. The first part of the essay discusses the terminological, religious, and ideological premises which generate the negative approaches. The second part deals with three exegetical problems related to messianism. They are the prophecy of Nathan in 2Sam 7, the eschatology of OT, and the so called "collective messianism". In the conclusion, after clarifying the difference between the negative approaches to messianism and the classical Jewish messianism, a dialogue with the latter is attempted, which may result in justifying the Christian exegesis especially that of St. Paul.
Pgs. 33-44 [file in pdf format - 66 KB]


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Occhio semplice e occhio cattivo di Lc 11,34 alla luce del Targum - G. Bissoli
Taking the Italian Catholic official version which renders Lk 11,34 as "occhio sano" (healthy eye) and "occhio malato" (unhealthy eye) as his starting point, the author draws attention to some exegetical studies which have appeared before and after the second world war. They attribute a moral sense to this expression, respecting the lexical tradition based on the Hebrew terms ysr and tm. These terms are rendered by LXX with aplotes, which means simplicity (Vulgate: "simplicitas"). This meaning appears in the intertestamentary, Rabbinic, Qumran, and Patristic literature. The author discovers the same concept of simplicity in the Targumic expression blb' slm', "with pure heart" or "with whole heart", an expression which indicates the worship given to the true God. The opposite expression is b`yn' bys', to watch "with an evil eye". Thus the context of the ancient literature based on the Bible maintains the moral sense, which explains well the Lukan verse.
Pgs. 45-51 [file in pdf format - 59 KB]


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Chi mangia indegnamente il Corpo del Signore (1Cor 11,27) - L. D. Chrupcala
The eucharistic assemblies at Corinth were somewhat in disarray because the well-to-do used to eat a secular meal separate from the common eucharistic banquet. Paul disapproves such a practice and considers it a source of division. For this purpose, he recalls the tradition of the Last Supper of Jesus. In order to reflect a true announcement of the death of Christ, the eucharistic rite must involve all believers in their every-day life. A cultic expression separated from the actual practise is a sign of the lack of knowledge of the universal worth of the sacrifice Jesus offered out of love. In view of this, those Corinthians who prefer to give preference to the "secular meal" do not actually celebrate the "Lord's supper" and their participation in the receiving of the bread and wine is "unworthy". It is clearly in opposition to the christological and soteriological meaning of the eucharistic signs. Finally to avoid condemnation, the christians must not only know how to recognize ("to discern the body") the sense of the event they celebrate but also, above all, become its responsible proclaimers.
Pgs. 53-86 [file in pdf format - 162 KB]


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L'inno sul "sacramentum pietatis" (1Tm 3,16) - E. Testa
St. Paul quotes a Christological Hymn of the Mother Church in order to exhort Timothy to behave properly in the House of God (1Tim 3:16). Both vocabulary and structure show that the hymn is pre-Pauline. It develops a favourite three-fold topic of the Jerusalem Christians: the exaltation of the Divine King, his presentation to the angels and to the world, and his enthronement as King of the world and assumption into glory. The agent in the hymn is God the Father since all the verbs are in the passive voice. He manifested and glorified his Son through all his life in the flesh until the resurrection by the power of the Spirit. The exalted Son was then presented by the Church to the angels, who ignored the incarnation, and received their adoration, and was further proclaimed to the world, both Jews and gentiles, by the apostles. Finally, the exalted Son was believed as the Kyrios by the entire cosmos. This is proclaimed in the background of a polemic against the cult of the Oriental monarchs and of the Roman emperors.
Pgs. 87-100 [file in pdf format - 78 KB]


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Le Targum d'Esther. Manuscrit Urbinati 1 - F. Manns
Following the articles on Targum of Canticle (LA 41, 1991), on Targum Qohelet (LA 42, 1992), on Targum of Lamentations (LA 43, 1993) and on Targum Ruth (LA 44, 1994), this study presents an annotated translation of Targum Esther (Manuscrit Urbinati 1). This translation will be followed by another study on the vocabulary and on the main themes of the Targum.
Pgs. 101-166 [file in pdf format - 203 KB]


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The Loss of the Ark according to Josephus - C. T. Begg
This article provides a detailed comparative study of Josephus' account (Ant. 5.352-362) of Israel's loss of the ark to the Philistines in relation to its Biblical source i.e. 1Sam 4:1b-22 (as represented by MT, Codex Vaticanus, the Lucianic MSS of the LXX, Vetus Latina, and Targum Jonathan on the Former Prophets) as well as to the treatments of the episode found in Rabbinic tradition, Pseudo-Philo, and the so-called "Samaritan Chronicle No. II". The study concludes that Josephus had access to several text-forms of 1Sam 4 in composing his own version, which is characterized, in comparison to its Biblical source, by its steamlined presentation of the happening, heightened psychologizing, accentuated foreshadowing of the climatic catastrophe, and concern to "contextualize" the episode within the wider history of Israel's priesthood.
Pgs. 167-186 [file in pdf format - 113 KB]


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La lettura cristologica dell'Apocalisse nella Chiesa prenicena - M. C. Paczkowski
This article attempts to present the Christological interpretation of the book of Revelation given by the Pre-Nicene Fathers. The Christian writers realise that the last book of the Bible is a convenient "illustrative file" and a source of enlightenment to theology. This conviction appears in various traditions: from Jewish-Christians and Asiatics to Alexandrians. The author shows the richnes of Patristic interpretation on the basis of the Christological titles taken from Revelation: Son of man, Lamb, Witness. The same richness can also be seen in the exegesis of Revevelation 12 and in the numerical symbolism which appears in the book in general. The theology of the Logos is the essential point in the commentary on Revelation 19 by Origen. The early Christian tradition evokes also an antithesis between Christ and the Antichrist. Finally, the ancient exegetes focused the Christological questions while describing the kingdom of the Lord and His triumph, the Church and the heavenly Jerusalem.
Pgs. 187-222 [file in pdf format - 144 KB]


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Alcune note sulla lingua ebraica in Ruggero Bacone - P. Dozio
This article is devoted to the study of Hebrew language in Roger Bacon (1210 or 1220-1292) according to his two works, i.e., Opus Majus and Codex of Cambridge, which are placed in synopsis. Two biblical verses in Hebrew, studied by Bacon, are also discussed as well as other short annotations and explanations. The author tries to understand Bacon's particular expressions and to recognize the source of his phonetic and grammatical ideas. It seems that Bacon has chosen Jerome as a reliable reference for the Hebrew language. He reviews and compares Jerome's statements with the vocalized biblical text (or part of it) available to him.
Pgs. 223-244 [file in pdf format - 130 KB]


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The Monasteries of the "Desert of the Jordan" - O. Sion
During the Qalya Map survey, remnants of several monastic settlements in the Jordan Desert were found. The dry, flat, britlle lissan formations and scattered springs attracted monastics and a substantial community populated the area during the Byzantine period. The area east and south of Jericho was referred to as the "Jordan Desert" in monastic literature. Fourteen monastic sites were surveyed. Only four were positively identified: the monastery of Elias at Kh. el-Mugheifir and Tell Mugheifir, the monastery attached to the church of John the Baptist, and the church at 'Ein Yitla - the Galgala Church. From Sophronius' biography of Gerasimus, we learn that the laura of "Gerasimos " counted about 70 hermits' cells. The survey revealed about 70 cells to which should be added to another 20, which were documented in the past, but are no longer in existence. By the close of the survey, which summarized 100 years of survey and opened a new stage of archaeological research, a more complete picture was obtained of the intensity of the monastic movement in the Jordan Desert.
Pgs. 245-264; Pls. 1-4 [file in pdf format - 288 KB]


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New Greek Inscriptions from the Negev - P. Figueras
Sporadic finds of Greek inscriptions dating from the Byzantine period in the northern Negev are published here for the first time. These inscriptions, whose documentary value is very relative, range from simple devotional graffiti on several parts of church buildings to explicit commemorative texts, one of them (no. 7) particularly interesting. Besides a biblical quotation (no. 8), they also include some new names and chronological references.
Pgs. 265-284; Pls. 5-6 [file in pdf format - 202 KB]


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La strada romana Esbus - Livias - M. Piccirillo
The illegal activity of "treasure hunters" in the archaeological sites has recently caused considerable damages to the milestones on the road which linked Livias/er-Rameh in the Jordan valley with Esbus/Hesban in the trans-Jordan plateau. Many of the milestones have disappeared (about a dozen of the fifth mile) and others have been irreparably damaged. Those so far discovered include twelve milestones of the fourth mile, eight of the sixth, and four of the seventh. An inscription (dated 213 AD) on a milestone of the sixth mile, which is still well preserved, comes out as a new discovery. The inscriptions on these milestones record various Emperors of the 3rd and 4th century (Caracalla, Elagabalus, Balbinus, Gordianus, Diocletian and Maximian) and help us to document the interest shown by the Roman officials for this difficult part of the road. The publication of the new discovery is also an occasion for re-examining the part of the road which faces the steep ascent, that leads to Hesban, climbing risky hairpin bends on the ridge of al-Mushaqqar in front of Mount Nebo.
Pgs. 285-300; Pls. 7-14 [file in pdf format - 198 KB]


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Las Grutas de El-Magara[[questiondown]]un Mithreum? - I. Peña
The caves of El-Magara, in northern Syria, carved at an angle and communicating through underground corridors, make us wonder about their possible use. The author suggests a religious function. The caves were dedicated to the god Mithras. This was established because of the structure of the caves, the existence of a large meeting hall, probably for the celebration of community banquets, several niches in the walls and a great pool, as well as a stepped altar and a necropolis in the immediate vicinity. It may be the best preserved known Mithraeum.
Pgs. 301-306; Pls. 15-16 [file in pdf format - 104 KB]


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Monete axumite di imitazione nel deposito della Sinagoga di Cafarnao - E. A. Arslan
During the excavations in Trench XII in the courtyard of the Capharnaum Synagogue in 1983, a huge hoard of coins was uncovered. These were found in the mortar layer underlying the stone pavement. All the coins are fractional bronze denominations, or fragments of coins and counterfeits, which appear to have been deposited between the end of the 4th century and the early years of Zeno's second reign (after 477). The Capharnaum material was handed over to the author in 1995 for cataloguing and analysis. The research plan calls for a preliminary phase of study covering a 15% sample of the whole. Among the minor themes that have been evinced so far, we find an imitation coinage cast from a well-known Axumite type (inscr.: toutoaresetechora with Greek cross in a linear circle). The systematic production of counterfeits with a range of 0.35 to 0.20 gr., which can be dated to between 425 and 457 ca., and especially their acceptance on the market raise a series of interesting questions about the economic situation of the time. The absence of authentic Axumite coinage in a complex as large as Capharnaum is striking. During the years, or decades, when the deposit was assembled, authentic Axumite coinage must have already left the market. Perhaps that coinage was connected with the visits of pilgrims in the preceding decades, towards the end of the 4th century.
Pgs. 307-316; Pls. 17-20 [file in pdf format - 63 KB]


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A Comparative Study of Numismatic Evidence from Excavations in Jerusalem - H. Gitler

This study compares the percentage of specific groups of coins from eight sites in Jerusalem and the coins from Masada with the overall percentage of the same groups of coins from the main excavations in Jerusalem. Each of the chosen excavations has yielded a significant number of coins for the period from the 3rd century BC to the Moslem conquest in 640 AD. The statistical breakdown of the coins by site and period shows that the distribution of most sites for most periods is similar. The divergences, where they exist, probably point to historical fluctuations of occupation within Jerusalem. In the second stage of this study, the percentage of areas A, X2 and W from the excavations in the Jewish Quarter (JQ 91) is given in comparison with the percentage of the total of coins from the excavations of the Jewish Quarter as a whole (JQ 82). This permits certain conclusions on the reliability of only partial numismatic data from a given excavation.
Pgs. 317-362; Pls. 21-30 [file in pdf format - 307 KB]


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A Note on the Iconography of the Personifications in the "Hippolytos Mosaic" at Madaba, Jordan - R. Avner-Levy
The article offers a study on the iconography with the aim at clarifying the meaning of the seven-Seasons' figures which appear in the 6th century mosaic floor of the Hippolytos Hall recently uncovered in Madaba, Jordan. The group consists of Four Seasons' busts wearing golden city-wall crowns (hence interpreted as tychai), and three seated tychai carrying Seasons attributes and identified by tituli as Roma, Madaba, and Gregoria, placed outside the mosaic carpet. The investigation in relation to the comparable examples of the Seasons represented as city goddesses in the region points to a rather limited local trend. However, it demonstrates that there prevailed in Palestine an extraordinary familiarity and understanding of the significance of the ancient Greek mythological sources, both with regard to the theme of the Seasons and its syncretistic connection with the idea of the Tyche. So much so, that both subjects were deliberately manipulated from the iconographical point of view and freely used by the mosaicist to create an artistic proclamation with a didactic connotation. Reflecting upon contemporary popular beliefs, the three tychai-Seasons outside the carpet present a Christianized image of the good order of things, according to which the welfare and affluence of the city depended on the communal responsability of its citizens (symbolized by the figure of a benefactress, Gregoria, as a tyche). They also show allegiance to the authorities who meted out the blessings of good government, namely, the city (Madaba) and the state (the iconographical figure of the New Rome, i.e. Byzantium).
Pgs. 363-374 [file in pdf format - 67 KB]


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A Fragmentary Roman Zodiac and Horoscope from Caesarea Marittima - A. Ovadiah - S. Mucznik
The fragmentary Roman Zodiac and horoscope from Caesarea Marittima includes elements like Sol Invictus, some signs of the Zodiac, and features various elements of a horoscope. This small object belonged to a private person, possibly a seaman, and was meant to protect him in his voyages. Personal horoscopes existed in antiquity, and even Roman emperors used them for private and apotropaic purposes. The object discussed here could also have been an apotropaic object or amulet that protected the owner from dangers or evil eye.
Pgs. 375-380; Pls. 31-32 [file in pdf format - 61 KB]


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