Mudança de paradigma na pesquisa do profetismo bíblico

Atualizado em

Muitos têm observado que desde o final dos anos 80 do século XX o estudo da profecia bíblica e dos livros proféticos vem passando por uma mudança de paradigma. De fato, os estudos proféticos encontram-se há bastante tempo em um período de transição. Eles não são os mesmos de algumas décadas atrás. Uma rápida vistoria na variedade atual de abordagens metodológicas nos estudos bíblicos é suficiente para demonstrar que os estudos histórico-críticos tradicionais deram lugar a maneiras menos históricas e não-históricas de ver os livros proféticos, como abordagens literárias e de gênero ou estudos pós-coloniais e críticas ideológicas. No entanto, os estudos histórico-críticos não perderam sua relevância nos estudos de profecia. O foco é que mudou, se afastando da reconstrução da vida e das obras dos profetas históricos e se concentrando nos processos literários que resultaram nos livros proféticos bíblicos e em questões sociorreligiosas relacionadas à profecia e à sociedade. Os estudos diacrônicos dos livros proféticos não visam mais ‘o verso intocado e não contaminado do autor, poeta e profeta’. Os livros proféticos são hoje lidos no contexto do pós-exílio, ou seja, em sua forma literária mais recente, embora não necessariamente seja esta a forma final.

Além disso, os estudos históricos não se limitam mais ao texto bíblico, graças à crescente atenção aos documentos sobre a profecia do Antigo Oriente Médio, que permite a apreciação da profecia israelita como mais um exemplo de um fenômeno cultural e sociorreligioso mais amplo de transmissão de palavras supostamente divinas a destinatários humanos. Nenhum estudo sério da profecia como fenômeno histórico pode prescindir de fontes extrabíblicas, que hoje estão disponíveis para todo pesquisador.

Novidades metodológicas recentes, bem como o extenso corpus de material recuperado, causaram reorientações fundamentais no estudo da profecia. Houve um tempo em que o estudo dos livros proféticos se concentrava essencialmente na reconstrução da mensagem de cada profeta bíblico como uma personalidade histórica e o autor original do livro profético atribuído a ele, cuja obra foi posteriormente complementada por redatores posteriores. Estudos clássicos desse tipo – como os de Bernhard Duhm sobre os profetas de Israel – são o pré-requisito absoluto do estudo crítico da profecia bíblica, e os livros proféticos ainda são bastante abordados a partir dos profetas aos quais os textos são tradicionalmente atribuídos. No entanto, um breve olhar em introduções recentes à Bíblia Hebraica ou à literatura profética revela que os livros proféticos são introduzidos principalmente como livros, enquanto os profetas a quem são atribuídos tendem a se tornar indistintos. Isso reflete a convicção acadêmica de que a principal missão dos estudos proféticos não pode mais ser estabelecer a ipsissima verba dos antigos profetas, uma vez que eles só podem ser visualizados através das fontes escritas, sejam bíblicas ou não-bíblicas – e nem sequer identificar o material mais antigo incluído nos textos proféticos, como se este fosse mais interessante e valioso em virtude de sua alegada “originalidade”. O modelo “o autor em seu contexto” está sendo cada vez mais substituído por outros modelos, mais ou menos interessados ​​em questões históricas, seja qual for o sentido de “história”.

 

It has been noted since late 1980’s at the latest that the study of biblical prophecy and prophetic books is going through a paradigm switch. Indeed, prophetic studies have for quite a while found themselves in a period of transition; they are not the same as they used to be a couple of decades ago. A quick look at the spectrum of today’s variety of methodological approaches in biblical studies is enough to demonstrate that traditional historical‐critical studies have given way to less historical and non‐historical ways of viewing the prophetic books, such as literary and gender approaches or postcolonial studies and ideological criticism. However, as many contributions published in the present volume (including an article by H ANS B ARSTAD to which this article originally responded) and other recent collections of essays well demonstrate, even historical‐critical studies have by no means lost their relevance in studies of prophecy; nevertheless, it is observable that their focus has turned away from the reconstruction of the life and deeds of historical prophets and directed towards literary processes that resulted in the biblical prophetic books and socioreligious issues related to prophecy and society. The diachronic studies in the prophetic books no longer aim at ‘the pristine and uncontaminated verse of the author, poet and prophet’ ; they would rather give to each layer and gloss its own meaning and significance. Even synchronic studies that refrain from reconstructing the literary genesis of the prophetic books are often historically oriented, reading the books against the background of the Second Temple period, that is, the date of the prophetic books in their advanced (but not necessarily ‘final’) literary form.

In addition, historical studies are no longer restricted to the biblical text itself, thanks to the increasing attention to the documentation of ancient Near Eastern prophecy, which enables the appreciation of the Hebrew prophecy as another specimen of a wider cultural and socio‐religious phenomenon of transmitting allegedly divine words to human recipients. No serious study of prophecy as a historical phenomenon can do without extrabiblical sources, which today are available to every researcher.

Recent methodological innovations as well as the extended corpus of source material have caused fundamental reorientations in the study of prophecy. There was a time when the study of the prophetic books was essentially focused on the reconstruction of the message of each biblical prophet as a historical personality and the original author of the prophetic book ascribed to him, whose work had subsequently been supplemented by later hands. Classical studies of this kind—such as BERNHARD DUHM ’s on Israel’s prophets —are the absolute prerequisite of the critical study of biblical prophecy, and the prophetic books are still quite commonly approached through the prophets to whom the texts are traditionally ascribed. However, a brief look at recent introductions to the Hebrew Bible or to the prophetic literature reveals that the prophetic books are introduced primarily as books, whereas the prophets to whom they are attributed tend to become indistinct. This reflects the scholarly conviction that the primary mission of prophetic studies can no longer be to establish the ipsissima verba of ancient prophets, since they can hardly be distracted from any written sources, whether biblical or nonbiblical —it is not even to identify the earliest material included in the prophetic texts, as if it were more interesting and valuable by virtue of its alleged ‘originality’. The ‘author‐in time’ model is increasingly being replaced by other models, more or less interested in historical issues—whatever is meant with ‘history.’

What is the aim of prophetic studies, then? There is certainly more than one answer to this question. Since the reliance on objective and value‐free questions is gone, the answer depends on each researcher’s agenda; the concerns of a theologian, postcolonialist, feminist, or, say, discourse analyst will result in sets of questions that may be equally relevant but different from those implied by the title of this paper which focuses on the historical dilemma of prophetic studies. Biblical studies have many aims, one of them still being a historical one.

Trecho de NISSINEN, M. The Historical Dilemma of Biblical Prophetic Studies. In: BARSTAD, M. H. ; KRATZ, R. G. (eds.) Prophecy in the Book of Jeremiah. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009, p. 103-105.BARSTAD, M. H. ; KRATZ, R. G. (eds.) Prophecy in the Book of Jeremiah. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2009

 

Sobre o livro

This volume contains the proceedings of a Symposium “Prophecy in the Book of Jeremiah”, arranged by the Edinburgh Prophecy Network in the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, 11-12 May 2007. Prophetic studies are undergoing radical changes at the moment, following the breakdown of a methodological consensus in humanities and biblical studies. One of the challenges today concerns the question how to deal with history in a “post-modern” age. The French Annales School and narrative theory have contributed toward changing the intellectual climate of biblical studies dramatically. Whereas the “historical Jeremiah” was formerly believed to be hidden under countless additions and interpretations, and changed beyond recognition, it was still assumed that it would be possible to recover the “real” prophet with the tools of historical critical methods. However, according to a majority of scholars today, the recovery of the historical Jeremiah is no longer possible. For this reason, we have to seek new and multimethodological approaches to the study of prophecy, including diachronic and synchronic methods. The Meeting in Edinburgh in 2007 gathered specialists in prophetic studies from Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the USA, focusing on different aspects of the prophet Jeremiah. Prophetic texts from the whole Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern prophecy are taken into consideration.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Deixe um comentário