Publicações recentes sobre o livro do Gênesis

Atualizado em

SCHNEIDER, T. J. In the Beginning and Still Today: Recent Publications on Genesis. Currents in Biblical Research, 18.2, p. 142-159, 2020.

São comentadas neste artigo 58 obras sobre o livro do Gênesis publicadas entre 2015 e 2018.

O artigo divide as publicações em categorias:

. Histórias da interpretação e transmissão do texto: 19 volumes
. Volumes religiosos, principalmente cristãos: 11 volumes
. Abordagens diacrônicas/histórico-críticas: 10 volumes
. Análises literárias: 12 volumes
. Estudos do Antigo Oriente Médio: 3 volumes
. Identidades múltiplas: 3 volumes


The focus of this survey is monographs about the book of Genesis published between 2015 and 2018. I have created descriptive categories, restricting each work to a single category, even though many of the volumes could easily fall into multiple groupings. I work as a Humanist and not a scientist, so the goal was not numeric accuracy but a general idea of what patterns, if any, exist among the topics on which Genesis scholars are working and how research is moving. I did not investigate whether the data for 2015–2018 is any different than for the previous three-year period. Finally, the categories used here vary between groupings based on a methodological approach and those based on the content of the volume.

The fifty-eight volumes considered include scholarly studies, as well as volumes that have a religious, usually Christian, focus but are still in a scholarly vein. For example, many commentary series serve a religious audience but are written by well-regarded scholars in biblical studies. Teaching volumes are also included if they appear to be aimed at a college audience, religious or otherwise. The survey does not include unpublished dissertations.

The categories, with the number of volumes in each, are as follows: Histories of Interpretation and Textual Transmission (19), Religious (Primarily Christian) Volumes (11), Diachronic/Historical-Critical Approaches (10), Literary Analyses (12), Ancient Near Eastern Studies (3), and Multiple Identities (3).


Tammi J. Schneider is a professor of religion at Claremont Graduate University. Her research draws together the varied fields of archaeology, Assyriology, and biblical studies in an effort to understand the ancient Near East, especially the interactions among various peoples. She teaches ancient Near Eastern History, literature, archaeology and religion, and women in the Hebrew Bible.

A saga do fragmento do evangelho de Marcos

Atualizado em

Um longo artigo sobre o caso do fragmento do evangelho de Marcos, que causou furor entre os estudiosos da área porque andaram dizendo que era do século I. Na verdade foi escrito entre 150 e 250 d.C.

Para entender o caso, leia antes o post Ainda sobre o fragmento de Marcos, publicado em 02/07/2019.


Um escândalo em Oxford: o curioso caso do evangelho roubado

A scandal in Oxford: the curious case of the stolen gospel – Charlotte Higgins: The Guardian – Thu 9 Jan 2020

What links an eccentric Oxford classics don, billionaire US evangelicals, and a tiny, missing fragment of an ancient manuscript? Charlotte Higgins unravels a multimillion-dollar riddle

To visit Dr Dirk Obbink at Christ Church college, Oxford, you must first be ushered by a bowler-hatted porter into the stately Tom Quad, built by Cardinal Wolsey before his spectacular downfall in 1529. Turn sharp right, climb a flight of stairs, and there, behind a door on which is pinned a notice advertising a 2007 college arts festival, you will find Obbink’s rooms. Be warned: you may knock on the door in vain. Since October, he has been suspended from duties following the biggest scandal that has ever hit, and is ever likely to hit, the University of Oxford’s classics department.

An associate professor in papyrology and Greek literature at Oxford, Obbink occupies one of the plum jobs in his field. Born in Nebraska and now in his early 60s, this lugubrious, crumpled, owlish man has “won at the game of academia”, said Candida Moss, professor of theology at Birmingham University. In 2001, he was awarded a MacArthur “genius” award for his expertise in “rescuing damaged ancient manuscripts from the ravages of nature and time”. Over the course of his career, he has received millions in funding; he is currently, in theory at least, running an £800,000 project on the papyrus rolls carbonised by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD79.

Since he was appointed in 1995, Obbink has welcomed many visitors into his rooms at Christ Church: dons, undergraduates, researchers. Less orthodox callers, too: among them, antiquities dealers and collectors. In the corner of Obbink’s study stands a pool table, from which two Egyptian mummy masks stare out impenetrably. Its green baize surface is all but obscured by papers and manuscripts – even, sometimes, a folder or two containing fragments of ancient papyrus. One bibliophile remembers a visit to this room, “like the set of an Indiana Jones movie”, a few years ago. He was offered an antique manuscript for sale by a man named Mahmoud Elder, with whom Obbink owned a company, now dissolved, called Castle Folio.

One blustery evening towards the end of Michaelmas term, 2011, two visiting Americans climbed Obbink’s staircase – Drs Scott Carroll and Jerry Pattengale. Both worked for the Greens, a family of American conservative evangelicals who have made billions from a chain of crafting stores called Hobby Lobby. At the time, the family was embarking on an ambitious new project: the Museum of the Bible, which opened in Washington DC in 2017. Carroll was then its director. Items for the Green collection were bought by Hobby Lobby, then donated to the museum, bringing a substantial tax write-off. Pattengale was the head of the Green Scholars Initiative, a project offering academics research opportunities on items in the Green collection.

The Greens, advised by Carroll, were buying biblical artefacts, such as Torahs and early papyrus manuscripts of the New Testament, at a dizzying pace: $70m was spent on 55,000 objects between 2009 and 2012, Carroll claimed later. The market in a hitherto arcane area of collecting sky-rocketed. “Fortunes were made. At least two vendors who had been making €1-2m a year were suddenly making €100-200m a year,” said one longtime collector.

That wintry evening, Carroll and Pattengale were making one of their occasional trips to seek Obbink’s expertise on matters papyrological. According to Pattengale, just as they were about to leave, Obbink reached into a manila envelope and pulled out four papyrus fragments, one from each of the gospels. Obbink told them that three of these scraps dated from the second century AD.

But the fourth, a fragment of the Gospel of Mark – a 4cm by 4cm scrap the shape of a butterfly’s wing, containing just a few broken words – was earlier than that. It wasP137 ou P. Oxy. 5453 almost certainly from the first century AD, which would make it the oldest surviving manuscript of the New Testament, copied less than 30 years after Mark had actually written it. Conservative evangelicals place enormous weight on the Gospels as “God-breathed” words. The idea that such an object existed was indescribably thrilling. Carroll was “ecstatic”, Pattengale recalled. “Veins along his neck bulged. He paced with arms flailing.”

Carroll, who declined to be interviewed, has said that Pattengale’s account is full of “misrepresentations, misrecollections, and exaggerations”. But he has confirmed this: Obbink showed him the Mark fragment “on the pool table in his office … and he then went into some paleographic detail why he believed it must date to the late-first century … It was in this conversation that he offered it for consideration for Hobby Lobby to buy.”

No purchase was made at the time. Nevertheless, the objects did eventually end up being sold to the Greens, after Carroll left their employ in 2012. The vendor, or so it appears, was Dirk Obbink. His name, and seemingly his signature, appear on a purchase agreement with Hobby Lobby dated 4 February 2013.

The problem is that the items – if the purchase agreement is genuine – were not Obbink’s to sell. They are part of the Oxyrhynchus collection of ancient papyrus, owned by the Egypt Exploration Society (EES) and housed at Oxford’s Sackler Library.

Thirteen additional fragments from the collection, it transpired this autumn, had also been sold to the Greens, 11 apparently by Obbink in 2010, and two by a Jerusalem-based antiquities dealer, Baidun & Sons. (A spokesperson for the company’s owner, Alan Baidun, says he was an agent acting in good faith, and that he checked the provenance supplied by the person who sold them to him.)

Six further fragments from the Oxyrhynchus collection have turned up in the possession of another collector in the US, Andrew Stimer, a spokesperson for whom says he acquired them in good faith, and with an apparently complete provenance (though parts of it have subsequently been shown to have been falsified). The dealer who sold them to Stimer told him they had come from the collection of M Elder of Dearborn, Michigan. That is, Mahmoud Elder, Obbink’s sometime business partner. (Elder did not respond to requests for comment. Both the Museum of the Bible and Stimer have cooperated fully with the EES, and have taken steps to return the fragments.)

In total, the EES has now discovered that 120 fragments have gone missing from the Oxyrhynchus collection over the past 10 years. Since the appearance, in June 2019, of that fateful purchase agreement and invoice bearing Obbink’s name, the scale of the scandal has taken time to sink in. What kind of a person – what kind of an academic – would steal, sell, and profit from artefacts in their care? Such an act would be “the most staggering betrayal of the values and ethics of our profession”, according to the Manchester University papyrologist Roberta Mazza.

The alleged thefts were reported to Thames Valley police on 12 November. No one has yet been arrested or charged. Obbink has not responded to interview requests from the Guardian, and has issued only one public statement. “The allegations made against me that I have stolen, removed or sold items owned by the Egypt Exploration Society collection at the University of Oxford are entirely false,” he has said. “I would never betray the trust of my colleagues and the values which I have sought to protect and uphold throughout my academic career in the way that has been alleged. I am aware that there are documents being used against me which I believe have been fabricated in a malicious attempt to harm my reputation and career.”

It seems that Dr Dirk Obbink is either a thief, has been caught up in a colossal misunderstanding, or, perhaps most shockingly of all, is the victim of an elaborate effort to frame him (continua).

Quem quiser ver apenas os pontos relevantes, pode ler o post de Peter Gurry, Longform Guardian Article on the Mark Fragment Saga, publicado hoje no blog Evangelical Textual Criticism.

Ensaios em homenagem a Thomas L. Thompson

Atualizado em

Thomas L. Thompson está comemorando hoje 81 anos de vida.

NIESIOLOWSKI-SPANÒ, L. ; PFOH, E. (eds.) Biblical Narratives, Archaeology and Historicity: Essays In Honour of Thomas L. Thompson. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2019, 328 p. – ISBN 9780567686565.

This volume collects essays from an international body of leading scholars in Old Testament studies, focused upon the key concepts of the question of historicity of biblicalNIESIOLOWSKI-SPANÒ, L. ; PFOH, E. (eds.) Biblical Narratives, Archaeology and Historicity: Essays In Honour of Thomas L. Thompson. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2019 stories, the archaeology of Israel/Palestine during the Bronze and Iron Ages, and the nature of biblical narratives and related literature.

As a celebration of the extensive body of Thomas L. Thompson’s work, these essays enable a threefold perspective on biblical narratives. Beginning with ‘method’, the contributors discuss archaeology, cultural memory, epistemology, and sociology of knowledge, before moving to ‘history, historiography and archaeology’ and close analysis of the Qumran Writings, Josephus and biblical rewritings. Finally the argument turn to the narratives themselves, exploring topics including the possibility of invented myth, the genre of Judges and the depiction of Moses in the Qu’ran. Presenting an interdisciplinary analysis of the historical issues concerning ancient Israel/Palestine, this volume creates an updated body of reference to fifty years’ worth of scholarship.

Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spanò is Associate Professor in the Institute of History at the University of Warsaw, Poland.

Emanuel Pfoh is Assistant Professor at the National University of La Plata, Argentina.

Table of contents

List of Figures
List of Contributors
List of Abbreviations
Introduction, Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spanò and Emanuel Pfoh
The Publications of Thomas L. Thompson

Chapter 1. The City of David as a Palimpsest – Margreet L. Steiner, Independent Scholar, the Netherlands
Chapter 2. Living in the Past? Keeping Up-To-Date in Ancient Near Eastern Studies – Raz Kletter, University of Helsinki, Finland
Chapter 3. What People Want to Believe: Or Fighting Against ‘Cultural Memory’ – Niels Peter Lemche, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Chapter 4. The Need for a Comprehensive Sociology of Knowledge of Biblical and Archaeological Studies of the Southern Levant – Emanuel Pfoh, National University of La Plata, Argentina

Chapter 5. The Abraham and Esau-Jacob Stories in the Context of the Maccabean Period – Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spanò, University of Warsaw, Poland
Chapter 6. Tell Balata (Shechem): An Archaeological and Historical Reassessment – Hamdan Taha, former Deputy of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Palestine, and Gerrit van der Kooij, University of Leiden, the Netherlands
Chapter 7. ‘Solomon’ (Shalmaneser III) and the Emergence of Judah as an Independent Kingdom – Russell Gmirkin, Independent Scholar, USA
Chapter 8. On the Pre-Exilic Gap between Israel and Judah – Étienne Nodet, École biblique et archéologique française de Jerusalem, Israel
Chapter 9. Perceptions of Israel’s Past in Qumran Writings: Between Myth and Historiography – Jesper Høgenhaven, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Chapter 10. Is Josephus’s John the Baptist Passage a Chronologically Dislocated Story of the Death of Hyrcanus II? – Greg Doudna, Independant Scholar, USA
Chapter 11. Thompson’s Jesus: Staring Down the Wishing Well – Jim West, Ming Hua Theological College, Hong Kong
Chapter 12. The Qur’an as Biblical Rewriting – Mogens Müller, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Chapter 13. The Food of Life and the Food of Death in Texts from the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East – Ingrid Hjelm, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Chapter 14. A Gate in Gaza: An Essay on the Reception of Tall Tales – Jack M. Sasson, Vanderbilt University, USA
Chapter 15. Deborah’s Topical Song: Remarks on the Gattung of Judges 5 – Bob Becking, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Chapter 16. How Jerusalem’s Temple Was Aligned to Moses’ Tabernacle: About the Historical Power of an Invented Myth – Rainer Albertz, University of Münster, Germany
Chapter 17. Can the Book of Nehemiah Be Used as an Historical Source, and If So, of What? – Lisbeth S. Fried, University of Michigan, USA
Chapter 18. Chronicles’ Reshaping of Memories of Ancestors Populating Genesis – Ehud Ben Zvi, University of Alberta, Canada
Chapter 19. The Book of Proverbs and Hesiod’s Works and Days – Philippe Wajdenbaum, Independent Scholar, the Netherlands
Chapter 20. The Villain ‘Samaritan’: The Samiri as the Other Moses in Qur’anic Exegesis – Joshua Sabih, University of Copenhagen

Index of References
Index of Authors

A mensagem revolucionária do Natal

Atualizado em

O Natal deve ser olhado como uma mensagem política ousada dos cristãos ao dizer que é preciso confiar em Deus e resistir ao império.

Christmas is intended to be a bold political profession by Christians to trust God and to resist empire.

O Natal é a história da promessa de Deus de derrotar os poderes do mal. O Natal nos lembra que Jesus nasceu para resgatar as pessoas da tirania do poder imperial.

Christmas is the story of God’s promise to defeat evil powers, Jesus born to rescue people from tyrants, resistance to imperial powers and faithfulness in the face of empire.


O verdadeiro significado do Natal: Confie em Deus, resista ao império!

The true meaning of Christmas: Trust God, resist empire! – By Michael F. Bird: The Washington Post – Dec. 24, 2019

When most people think of the message of Christmas, they normally think about angels, wise men, shepherds, joy to the world, peace and goodwill, and “to us a child is given.” True, Christmas celebrates the incarnation of the Son of God as a baby born to a Galilean teenage girl named Mary in Bethlehem. Christmas is indeed a time to celebrate God’s blessings and peace to all.

But there is another side to Christmas! Christmas is the story of God’s promise to defeat evil powers, Jesus born to rescue people from tyrants, resistance to imperial powers and faithfulness in the face of empire.

Take the nativity story in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

According to Matthew, Jesus is a new Moses, born to save the people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He delivers them from Herod, the ruthless Roman puppet king of Judea, who acts like the old Pharaoh in the massacre of infants in his desperation to murder the child destined to replace him as king of the Jews (Matthew 2:1-18). Whereas Herod turned the land of Judea into a place of misery and weeping, Jesus will lead his people in a new return from exile, a new escape from a wicked king, and into a new promised land called “the kingdom of heaven.”

Luke takes an explicitly political approach to the Christmas story. Luke situates the birth of Jesus in the context of a decree by Caesar Augustus for families of the empire to register for a census (Luke 2:1-3). Setting up the story this way, Luke immediately challenges us as to who we think is in charge of the world.

Is it Rome’s son of the divine Julius Caesar or Israel’s son of David? Rome’s Caesar or Israel’s Messiah? Rome’s Sebastos, the venerable one or Israel’s Christos, the anointed one? In particular, the various songs and prophecies uttered by characters in Luke’s nativity make explicit that God’s purposes in Jesus, summarized as “the kingdom of God,” entail social and political liberation from exploitative foreign powers.

Mary’s famous Magnificat could be the manifesto for a Marxist guerrilla group. She celebrates how, “God has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:52-53).

For Matthew and Luke, the nativity story is not meant to occasion our “oohs” and “aahs” at cute babies and 6-year olds dressed as wisemen and shepherds. Rather, the nativity is hope for justice, deliverance, and redemption in a world run by predatory empires. Christmas for the evangelists marks the beginning of God’s revolution to make things on earth as they are in heaven all through the son of Mary.

The anti-empire script of Christmas is accented by John of Patmos in his apocalypse, which unveils God’s plan to defeat the Roman empire and to replace it with the reign of his Messiah. This book, The Revelation of St. John, is not a coded mystery of the end times that religious enthusiasts of the 21st century unravel for us. More properly, Revelation shows us what the Roman empire looks like from the perspective of those under its lash, under its boot, and facing the threat of imperial violence. Revelation, as a Jewish apocalypse, is a symbolic species of writing that uses metaphor and marvel to describe in cryptic insider language how God will triumph over the pagan powers of the reader’s day.

How does John describe the nativity? Imagine this: A woman is in the final throes of childbirth, screaming in agony, her legs spread apart, ready to expel the baby from the birth canal. And waiting there with her is a dragon, poised, hungry, leaning over her, eagerly waiting to devour whatever is ejected from her loins. Yet the child escapes from the dragon and he soon rules over the nations with an iron scepter. Sound weird? Well, this is the Christmas story of John as narrated in Revelation 12!

The scene depicts the cosmic battle between the forces of evil and the hosts of heaven as the context for the birth of Jesus. The woman in question is not Mary, rather, she is the messianic community through whom Jesus is birthed. The child is obviously the Messiah, hence the citation of Psalm 2:9 about his rule over the nations. The removal of the child from the dragon is allusive of Jesus’ ascension and exaltation.

Importantly Jesus’ birth and the blood that he sheds as the Lamb of God constitutes the victory of God’s salvation, power, and kingdom over the evil one. In John’s vision, God’s plan to repossess the world from the dominion of darkness is launched in the birth of a child who is destined to defeat the dragon that rages against God’s people.

For the faithful, Christmas is a celebration that God is for us, God is near us, because God was one of us. God comes to us, in the vulnerability of child, to save us from our sins, and to rescue us from the evil forces that oppress us.

Christmas promises us that the despots of this age, political or spiritual, are living on borrowed time. The Christmas story is God’s answer to all the evil, injustice, brutality, suffering and death that we see around us.

Christmas is not meant to be about cheap trinkets for consumer religion. Rather, it is the annual reminder that God’s liberating love will always find us in the darkest corners of the world. Christmas is intended to be a bold political profession by Christians to trust God and to resist empire.

Michael F. Bird is academic dean of Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia, and senior research fellow with the Australian College of Theology.



Doze coisas importantes sobre as histórias de Natal que devem ser lembradas

Twelve important things to keep in mind about the Christmas stories – By Andrew Perriman: P.ost – 20 December, 2019

1. Let’s be blunt. Christmas has nothing to do with God coming to earth as a helpless babe to save humanity from sin, etc. That is another matter, it’s not what’s being said, it’s not the burden of the stories in Matthew and Luke. These narrate the birth of a king who will deliver first century Israel from a national crisis. When the angel says to Joseph that Mary’s son will “save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21), he means that Jesus will save Israel from the concrete social-political-religious transgressions that have brought the nation to the brink of catastrophe.

2. The key question to ask about the virgin conception of Jesus is not “Did it happen?” but “What did it mean?” Neither Matthew nor Luke understood it as the metaphysical process by which God became man. Rather it makes Jesus’ birth an outstanding prophetic “sign” of things to come.

3. A sign of what? It’s in the name “Immanuel”. During the Syro-Ephraimite war in the 8th century BC, Isaiah told a nervous king Ahaz that a boy would be born to a young woman in the royal court who would be given the name Immanuel, which means “God with us”. The mere existence of this significantly named child would be a “sign” to Ahaz that the alliance between Rezin and Pekah would fail and that YHWH would preserve Jerusalem from the Assyrians (Is. 7:10-17; 8:5-10). The birth of the boy, therefore, was a sign that God is with his people at a time of great political crisis. Same for the boy Jesus, who is not given the name Immanuel but a name meaning “YHWH is salvation” (Matt. 1:21).

4. Luke puts a different prophetic spin on the miraculous conception of Jesus. The child being born will be called not Immanuel or even Jesus but “holy, Son of God”. By this he means not that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity or God incarnate, true though that may in some sense be, but that he is the Davidic king who will bring peace to a people under Roman occupation and will rule over the house of Jacob for ever (Lk. 1:32-33, 35; 2:1, 11, 14).

5. I wonder if Luke is not also pointing his readers to Isaiah’s description of a restored Jerusalem when he says that the Spirit will come upon and overshadow (episkiasei) Mary, and that the child will be called “holy”: on that day, what is left behind in Jerusalem “will be called holy, all who have been recorded for life”, because the Lord will wash away the filth of his people; then he will come, and as a cloud will “overshadow” (skiasei) the city (Is. 4:2-6 LXX).

6. Mary expects God to keep his promise to Abraham and help Israel at this time of grave crisis by scattering the proud, bringing down the powerful from their thrones, raising up the wretched and low-born, filling the hungry with good things, and sending the rich away empty-handed (Lk. 1:51-55). Simeon says that “this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed…” (Lk. 2:34). This was inflammatory, revolutionary talk.

7. People like Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna, need salvation not on account of their own sins but because of the sins of the nation. These are righteous folk, but they are suffering the consequences of the wilful disobedience of a people that is on a broad road leading to destruction.

8. For the priest Zechariah the redemption of Israel simply means that he can go about the business of serving God in the temple without fearing for his life (Lk. 1:68-75). But he knows that redemption will begin with a devastating judgment against a corrupt priesthood (Lk. 1:76; cf. Mal. 3:1). The prophetess Anna expects no less and no more than the “redemption of Jerusalem” (Lk. 2:38).

9. Whereas the story of the coming of the magi is told against Herod, the angelic announcement to the shepherds has a ring of anti-imperial propaganda to it (Lk. 2:8-14). The Priene calendar inscription, celebrating the birth of the god Augustus, is now quite well known:

Whereas Providence, which has regulated our whole existence… has brought our life to the climax of perfection in giving to us Augustus, whom it filled with strength for the welfare of men, and who being sent to us and our descendants as Saviour, has put an end to war and has set all things in order; and having become [god] manifest, Caesar has fulfilled all the hopes of earlier times… in surpassing all the benefactors who preceded him…, and whereas, finally, the birthday of the god [Augustus] has been for the whole world the beginning of good news (euangeliōn) concerning him….

10. The infant Jesus is hailed as the Davidic king who will at the very least overthrow an unrighteous régime, deliver his people from oppression, bring peace and justice to Israel, and restore the international reputation of the nation—so that kings and magi and peoples would come to pay tribute. This was the good news.

11. Joseph and Mary presumably stay with family in Bethlehem. The guest room (katalumati) being already occupied or too small, Jesus is born in the animal stalls beneath the main living area and is laid in the feeding trough. This will be a sign to the shepherds (Lk. 2:12). Why? Perhaps because Isaiah says that “the donkey knows its master’s manger”, but Israel has not known the Lord (Is. 1:3 LXX); or because Jeremiah says that when Jerusalem is restored, there “shall again be in this place that is waste and in all its cities, lodgings (katalumata) of shepherds resting sheep” (Jer. 40:12 LXX). Again, a revolutionary message.

12. Simeon says that he has seen the salvation that YHWH has prepared “in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Lk. 2:31–32). What he means is that the coming judgment and restoration of Israel will reveal the power and character of Israel’s God to the nations and that this will bring glory and renown to Israel. This is clear not least from the allusion to Isaiah 52:10: “The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” When God redeems his people from captivity in Babylon and brings them back to the land, the nations will see and wonder at this extraordinary act of salvation.

Given the poor reputation of the church and of the God of the church in the West today, I feel that we are in need of another such act of wonder-engendering redemption.

My name is Andrew Perriman. My wife, Belinda, and I have lived in various parts of the world over the last 30 years: the Far East, Africa, the Middle East, the Netherlands, and now London. I’ve combined theological studies and writing with pastoral and missional work in a wide range of contexts. I have a degree in English Language and Literature from Oxford and an MPhil and PhD from the London School of Theology, of which I am an Associate Research Fellow. I teach New Testament occasionally, and I am an extension studies tutor and examiner for LST’s MA in Aspects and Implications of Biblical Interpretation. My overriding theological interest at the moment is in how we retell the biblical story as we negotiate the difficult transition from the centre to the margins of our culture following the collapse of Western Christendom.

Feliz 2020

Atualizado em

Desejo a todos os visitantes do Observatório Bíblico e da Ayrton’s Biblical Page um Feliz 2020!

Feliz Ano Novo!Nuvem de marcadores - Observatório Bíblico

Happy New Year!

Feliz Año Nuevo!

Bonne Année!

Frohes Neues Jahr!

Buon Anno!

O Protoevangelho de Tiago

Atualizado em

VUONG, L. C. The Protevangelium of James. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2019, 142 p. – ISBN 9781532656170

O Protoevangelho de Tiago conta histórias sobre a vida de Maria que não aparecem nos Evangelhos canônicos: seu miraculoso nascimento de Ana e Joaquim, sua educação no Templo e seu casamento aos doze anos com o idoso viúvo José. O texto também adiciona detalhes significativos às histórias conhecidas da concepção, nascimento e fuga de Jesus da matança de inocentes ordenada por Herodes Magno. Apesar de seu status não-canônico, o Protoevangelho de Tiago foi extremamente influente nas igrejas do Oriente e, desde sua publicação no Ocidente no século XVI, capturou a imaginação dos leitores em todo o mundo. Esta edição de estudo apresenta uma nova tradução do texto com referências cruzadas, notas e comentários. A extensa introdução torna acessível ao leitor a pesquisa acadêmica mais recente sobre Maria nos apócrifos cristãos, oferece novas ideias sobre a proveniência do texto e sua relação com o judaísmo e discute as contribuições do texto para arte e para a literatura.

The Protevangelium of James tells stories about the life of the Virgin Mary that are absent from the New Testament Gospels: her miraculous birth to Anna and Joachim, VUONG, L. C. The Protevangelium of James. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2019her upbringing in the temple, and her marriage at the age of twelve to the aged widower Joseph. The text also adds significant details to the well-known stories of Jesus’ conception, birth, and escape from the slaughter of innocents perpetrated by Herod the Great. Despite its noncanonical status, the Protevangelium of James was extremely influential in churches of the East, and since its publication in the West in the sixteenth-century has captured the imagination of readers all over the world. This study edition presents a fresh, new translation of the text with cross-references, notes, and commentary. The extensive introduction makes accessible the most recent scholarship in studies on Mary in Christian apocrypha, offers new insights into the text’s provenance and relationship to Judaism, and discusses the text’s contributions to art and literature.

Lily C. Vuong is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Central Washington University, USA.

Veja a série de vídeos de Reinaldo José Lopes que fala sobre Maria e José segundo o Protoevangelho de Tiago.

O primeiro é Natal apócrifo: Maria e José no Protoevangelho de Tiago – 10 de dez. de 2019.

Voltamos a falar de textos apócrifos, que não constam da Bíblia oficial, e aproveitamos pra fazer uma nova série natalina, apresentando as narrativas não canônicas sobre o nascimento e infância de Jesus. Desta vez, vamos conhecer o Protoevangelho de Tiago e o que ele conta sobre as origens de Maria e José!

Isaías 7,14 em Mateus 1,23

Atualizado em

Inclino-me a pensar que o objetivo principal de Mateus ao contar as origens de Jesus é mostrar o status legal de Jesus como enteado de José, como herdeiro legal de Davi.

I incline to the view that the primary purpose, as Matthew tells the origins of Jesus, is for him to prove Jesus’ legal status as the stepson of Joseph, as a legal heir of David.


A young woman? A virgin? Pregnant? About to give birth? (Isa 7:14 in Matt 1:23) – John T. Squires: An Informed Faith – 21.12.2019

The passages set in the lectionary for this coming Sunday place alongside each other a prophetic oracle spoken by Isaiah, and an angelic announcement delivered toA young woman? A virgin? Pregnant? About to give birth? (Isa 7:14 in Matt 1:23) - John T Squires: An Informed Faith - 21.12.2019 Joseph. The two passages seem to sit side-by-side very comfortably. The Gospel selection from the book of origins recounts how the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. The prophetic selection from Isaiah declares that the Lord himself will give you a sign and looks to the conception, birth, and naming of a child.

The oracle of the prophet speaks about a child to be born to a young woman. The message of the angel announces a child to be born to a young woman who was a virgin. The author of the book of origins (whom I refer to, following tradition, as Matthew) quotes the prophetic oracle about the birth of a child and claims that it has been fulfilled in the angelic announcement about the birth of a child to Mary and Joseph. The angel follows the prophet in affirming that child to be born would be a sign to the people, that God was still with them, in the midst of their difficulties. But the status of the young mother is a question that has long vexed interpreters.

The Hebrew word found in the original oracle of the prophet, almah, refers simply to a young woman of childbearing age; it had no connotation at all relating to virginity. It occurs in eight other places in Hebrew scripture—with reference to Rebekah and Miriam, in three references to female musicians, and in wisdom texts relating simply to young women. In none of those places does it have any reference to the virginity of the young woman.

There is also, in Hebrew, the word bethulah, which refers specifically to a young woman who was a virgin; but it is important to note that this word was not employed by the prophet Isaiah. He clearly was referring to a young woman aged around puberty, who was now able to bear a child. He was not referring to a young woman who had never had sexual intercourse, who was still a virgin.

The Greek translation of these Hebrew texts was made some centuries before Jesus. The translation is known as the Septuagint, attributed to seventy wise scholars. In this translation, the Hebrew word bethulah is usually rendered in Greek as parthenos. This Greek word can refer quite generally to a young woman, but it can have a more specific reference to the virginity of the young woman.

Now, on two occasions in the Septuagint, the word almah is rendered as parthenos: Gen 34:3 and Isa 7:14. The first refers to Dinah. It occurs in the story at the point where the powerful prince Schechem rapes the young woman. The point is being made that her state of virginity has at that point been lost, so the Greek word is appropriate.

But the oracle of Isaiah 7 refers simply to a woman who, at an early stage in her capacity to bear a child, is indeed pregnant. So there appears to be no reference at all to her lack of sexual activity prior to this pregnancy. This much is clear in the Hebrew. But the Septuagint translators chose the Greek word parthenos.

We must wonder: is the choice of parthenos when translating Isa 7:14 from Hebrew a strategic move by the seventy wise scholars? Is it an inspired insight into the meaning of the Hebrew text? Or is it an unguarded moment, a slip of concentration, amongst the translators?

I incline to the latter view. I don’t think the intention of the Septuagint translators was to insist that we know more than what the original prophet knew—that is, the precise sexual status of the young woman in question, not just young, but still a virgin.

Nevertheless, Matthew uses the version of the prophet’s oracle that includes this Greek word. He quotes the Greek version of the Septuagint, since he is writing in Greek. Mind you, Matthew regularly and consistently quotes the Septuagint translation, rather than other options that would have been available to him. So this is not really a surprise.

Whatever identity we accord the author of this book of origins, it is quite clear that he was an educated Jewish male. As such, he would have known and used the scriptures of the people of Israel, in Hebrew. And yet, he is writing his account of Jesus in Greek—so he makes use, on a regular basis, of this version.

And this version places a focus on the virginal status of the young woman, who was to give birth to Jesus of Nazareth. So Matthew has deliberately chosen to include this in his story.

Why? That is a good question! Why?

Rather than seeing Matthew as trying to prove the historical veracity of the virginal status of Mary, however, I incline to the view that the primary purpose, as Matthew tells the origins of Jesus, is for him to prove Jesus’ legal status as the stepson of Joseph, as a legal heir of David. Whilst the infancy narrative in Luke places Mary at the centre of the story—and the angel makes his announcement directly to her—in Matthew’s version it is Joseph who is centre-stage—and the angel speaks to him, and only him, in this version (continua)

Quem é John T. Squires?

My name is John Squires. I live in the Australian Capital Territory. I have been an active participant in the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) since it was formed in 1977, and was ordained as a Minister of the Word in this church in 1980. I have served in rural, regional, and urban congregations and as a Presbytery Resource Minister and Intentional Interim Minister. For two decades I taught Biblical Studies at a theological college and most recently I was Director of Education and Formation and Principal of the Perth Theological Hall. I’ve studied the scriptures in depth; I hold a number of degrees, including a PhD in early Christian literature. I am committed to providing the best opportunities for education within the church, so that people can hold to an informed faith, which is how the UCA Basis of Union describes it. This blog is one contribution to that ongoing task.

Leia Mais:
Perguntas mais frequentes sobre o profeta Isaías
A visita dos Magos: Mt 2,1-12

Diálogo interconvicções

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O Diálogo de Interconvicções – Rita Macedo Grassi – IHU: 16 Agosto 2019

O diálogo de interconvicções é fruto de um movimento europeu contemporâneo, que começou com um grupo francês chamado G3i [Groupe de travail Interculturel, International et Interconvictionnel (d’où le nom G3I)], composto por “pessoas de diferentes religiões, convicções e culturas“, com o objetivo de “refletir sobre os problemas da coesão social e da laicidade, numa Europa multicultural e multiconvicções“. (QUELQUEJEU, 2012, p.1*). Além de pessoas que se declaram participantes de diversas tradições religiosas, também inclui ateus, sem-religião, agnósticos, humanistas, etc. Segundo Bernard Quelquejeu, um dos fundadores do movimento:

Muito rapidamente, durante nossos encontros, entendemos que a expressão “diálogo inter-religioso” não nos convinha, pois excluía aqueles de nós que não se reconhecem como pertencentes ou referentes a uma religião estabelecida: começamos a falar sobre nossas respectivas convicções, de grupos de convicções e a nos compreender como praticantes de um “diálogo de interconvicções“. (QUELQUEJEU, 2012, p.2).

De acordo com François Becker, a expressão “interconvicções” também vai mais além do “inter-religioso, porque esses confrontos dizem respeito a pessoas que podem ter convicções muito distantes de qualquer forma de religião, porque podem estar em campos políticos, sociais ou culturais muito diversos“. Ao mesmo tempo, afirma não ser apenas uma “constatação estática” da existência de uma multiplicidade cultural ou de cultos. Descrito como ‘inter’ e não ‘pluri’, consiste em estimular encontros, debates e práticas que permitam às diferentes convicções expressarem-se, através de trocas e de confrontos, tendo como única condição o respeito recíproco dos interlocutores. (François Becker, p. 7). Isso quer dizer que a prática, o exercício dialógico, a própria ação, é uma característica importante desse movimento, que não se satisfaz com o diálogo pelo diálogo, mas consiste em ter um objetivo, um impacto social.

A palavra convicção, no sentido proposto, encontra-se no limite entre uma “‘certeza inabalável[…] e uma concordância ponderada’, ao fim de uma análise ou de um exame atento, firme o suficiente para justificar o engajamento a uma causa, mas sem excluir totalmente qualquer sombra de dúvida ou pelo menos a possibilidade de se questionar“. (QUELQUEJEU, 2012, p. 22). É uma palavra que sugere sempre a possibilidade de mudança, de movimento, o que lhe confere um aspecto muito importante nos contextos de dogmatismos ou de fundamentalismos religiosos, e de radicalização e autoritarismo políticos, que estamos vivenciando atualmente no mundo inteiro. Para James Barnett, “as convicções são mais suscetíveis ao desenvolvimento e à evolução do que as certezas, e a interconvicção é mais inclusiva do que o inter-religioso”. (BARNETT, In: BECKER, p.20)

* QUELQUEJEU, Bernard. Les convictions partagées dans l’espace politique: quelques discernements sémantiques et sociologiques. In: BECKER, François (Org.). Devenir citoyens et citoyennes d’une Europe plurielle. Conseil de l’Europe, Strasbourg, 24 janvier 2012.


Diálogo interconvicções. A multiplicidade no pano da vida – IHU On-Line – Edição 546 | 16 Dezembro 2019

Diz o Editorial:

Fiar a vida e juntar os pontos. Devagar, unindo as múltiplas cores e origens dos fios. Ajustar, alinhar e tecer. Eis a multiplicidade do pano da vida, que tanto mais belaDiálogo interconvicções. A multiplicidade no pano da vida - IHU On-Line - Edição 546 | 16 Dezembro 2019 quanto mais plural for a hospitalidade à diferença. Não se trata de impor ou aceitar a convicção alheia, mas de tecer a vida por um respeito e diálogo com a diversidade política, filosófica e religiosa. O Diálogo interconvicções, debate oriundo do campo acadêmico francês nos últimos anos, tem, justamente, no contato com o Outro um campo fértil de relação com o plano real da vida, com vistas à consciência humana sobre as próprias convicções e a necessidade concreta de respeito e convívio com o mundo contemporâneo, pleno de desafios, contradições e possibilidades.

Faustino Teixeira, professor e pesquisador do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciência da Religião da Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais – PPCIR-UFJF, discute as teias da vida. “Não basta dizer ‘viva o múltiplo’, é necessário desvendar as malhas desta viva relação que constitui a tessitura do real, em que cada coisa, cada ser, está referenciado ao outro, entrelaçado como um dom”, sugere.

Sergio Costa, professor de Sociologia na Freie Universität Berlin (Universidade Livre de Berlim, Alemanha), retoma o pensamento de Ivan Illich ao propor que “com a convivialidade abre-se a possibilidade de incorporar essa multiplicidade de formas sociais que queremos entender e, com o perdão da redundância, conviver em absoluta liberdade com essas diferentes formas sociais”.

Rita Macedo Grassi, mestre em Ciências da Religião pelo Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências da Religião da PUC-Minas, debate a emergência do diálogo interconvicções e seu impacto político. “Não se trata de um diálogo que tenha como objetivo encontrar uma harmonia ou a paz entre as convicções”, ressalta.

Carlos Roberto Drawin, doutor em Filosofia e professor aposentado do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Filosofia da UFMG, discute as formas da tolerância e intolerância nas sociedades contemporâneas. “Quando as pessoas se reúnem não em nome de si mesmas e sim da experiência comum do sagrado, elas podem trazer para a vida concreta aquela posição terceira que possibilita reconhecer o outro em nós”, pontua.

Marcelo Camurça, antropólogo, professor colaborador do Departamento de Ciência da Religião na Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora – UFJF, pensa as dimensões religiosas para além de uma perspectiva pessoal. “Passamos então de uma estrutura de plausibilidade monista e açambarcadora da totalidade da pré-modernidade religiosa a múltiplas estruturas de plausibilidade e experiências de religiosidade em competição entre si, por ‘corações e mentes’”, frisa.

Mauro Lopes, jornalista e editor do site e canal no YouTube Paz e Bem, pensa o caminho de busca da bondade, apesar de seus desafios. “Grande desafio foi o de – não sem custo para mim – abdicar de uma visão de catolicismo que estava impregnada pelos limites da institucionalidade”, pontua.

Também pode ser lida nesta edição a entrevista de Paulo Suess, doutor em Teologia Fundamental, “’Nova Teologia Política’ – Teologia Pública que se intromete nos conflitos concretos e que dá ao grito dos pobres uma memória”, publicada em Notícias do Dia, na página eletrônica do IHU, por ocasião da morte de Johann Baptist Metz, um dos mais importantes teólogos do século XX. E, também, o calendário de eventos do IHU para 2020, uma concisa retrospectiva da revista IHU On-Line em 2019 e o comentário de João Ladeira, sobre o filme O Irlandês, de Martin Scorsese

Literatura Deuteronomista 2020

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Lecionar Literatura Deuteronomista é um desafio e tanto. Enquanto as questões da formação do Pentateuco são discutidas há séculos, a noção da existência de uma Obra Histórica Deuteronomista (= OHDtr) só foi formulada muito recentemente, como se pode ver aqui.

Além disso, há dois problemas com a disciplina: carga horária exígua para estudar textos de livros tão complexos como, por exemplo, Josué ou Juízes – a disciplina tem apenas 2 horas semanais durante o primeiro semestre do segundo ano de Teologia – e uma bibliografia ainda insuficiente em português. Há excelente debate acadêmico hoje, contudo está em inglês e alemão, principalmente.

Para completar, prefiro estudar o livro do Deuteronômio aqui e não no Pentateuco, também por duas razões: a disciplina Pentateuco já é por demais sobrecarregada e o Deuteronômio é a chave que abre o significado da OHDtr. Por isso, ele faz muito sentido aqui.

Por outro lado, há uma integração muito grande da Literatura Deuteronomista com três outras disciplinas bíblicas: com a História de Israel, naturalmente; com a Literatura Profética, irmã gêmea; com o Pentateuco, através do elo deuteronômico.

I. Ementa
A Obra Histórica Deuteronomista (OHDtr) tentará responder aos desafios do presente repensando o passado no final da monarquia e na situação de exílio e pós-exílio. Faz isso percorrendo toda a história da ocupação da terra, desde as vésperas da entrada em Canaã até a derrocada final da monarquia em Israel e Judá.

II. Objetivos
Pesquisar a arquitetura, as ideias basilares e a teologia da Literatura Deuteronomista como uma obra globalizante, e de cada um de seus livros, a fim de dar fundamentos para sua interpretação e atualização.

III. Conteúdo Programático
1. O contexto da Obra Histórica Deuteronomista
2. O Deuteronômio
3. O livro de Josué
4. O livro dos Juízes
5. Os livros de Samuel
6. Os livros dos Reis

IV. Bibliografia
FINKELSTEIN, I. ; SILBERMAN, N. A. A Bíblia desenterrada: A nova visão arqueológica do antigo Israel e das origens dos seus textos sagrados. Petrópolis: Vozes, 2018.

RÖMER, T.  A chamada história deuteronomista: Introdução sociológica, histórica e literária. Petrópolis: Vozes, 2008.

SKA, J.-L. Introdução à leitura do Pentateuco: chaves para a interpretação dos cinco primeiros livros da Bíblia. 3. ed. São Paulo: Loyola, 2014.

DA SILVA, A. J. O contexto da Obra Histórica Deuteronomista. Estudos Bíblicos, Petrópolis, n. 88, p. 11-27, 2005. Disponível na Ayrton’s Biblical Page. Última atualização: 14.01.2019.

FARIA, J. de Freitas (org.) História de Israel e as pesquisas mais recentes. 2. ed. Petrópolis: Vozes, 2003.

GONZAGA DO PRADO, J. L. A invasão/ocupação da terra em Josué: duas leituras diferentes. Estudos Bíblicos, Petrópolis, n. 88, p. 28-36, 2005.

LIVERANI, M. Para além da Bíblia: história antiga de Israel. São Paulo: Loyola/Paulus, 2008.

STORNIOLO, I. Como ler o livro do Deuteronômio: escolher a vida ou a morte. 5. ed. São Paulo: Paulus, 1997.