In John 3 birth a!nwqen is illustrated by the wind. Its effect can be experienced without knowledge of from whence it comes and whither it goes. This analogy asserts both the reality and the mysterious nature of the wind. John 3,8 is, however, not exhausted by this analogy. John 3,3-8 belongs within an epistemological pattern found throughout this Gospel: like is known by like. The mysterious and enigmatic nature of Jesus’ identity sheds light on the "whence and whither" of John 3,8. Christology thus becomes a key to understand the mysterious nature of faith.
It is commonly agreed that the Second Epistle of Peter evinces a knowledge of the First Epistle of Peter (cf 2 P 3,1), but the degree of the influence upon the Second Epistle is assessed differently. This study endeavours to show that the difficult text of 2 P 1,16-21, in which the witness of the apostles is associated with the "prophetic word", becomes clearer and more coherent when a connection is set with 1 P 1,10-12.
Vv. 5-6 mark a turning point in Psalm 3, both structurally and thematically, probably reflecting a significant personal experience. Due to the mention of sleeping and waking (v. 6a) this experience is sometimes interpreted as a dream in which the psalmist got word of his imminent deliverance. Recently supported by a Qumran parallel that mentions dreaming explicitly (11QPsa xxiv 16-17;B. Schroeder, Biblica 81  243-251), this argument nevertheless seems questionable, given e.g. the tendency of later Judaism to attribute dreams also to biblical figures that are not characterized in such terms in the Bible. The main thrust of this article is to examine the psalm in comparison with theophanic reports elsewhere in the Bible and in ANE literature. This analysis shows the language of Psalm 3 to be compatible with an incubatory ritual that culminates in a real experience of presence with a divine gesture of support. These findings are related to the proximity to God that finds expression in the psalms.
LXX to Gen 48,7 refers to a hippodrome in the vicinity of Rachel’s Tomb. This cannot be satisfactorily explained as an exegetical creation of the translator’s imagination and probably refers to a genuine structure. This is also true of the stadium or hippodrome mentioned in Tg. Onq. to Gen 14,17, as the meeting place of Abram, the king of Sodom, and Melchizedek. Since 1QapGen locates the same meeting in the Valley of Beth Hakerem, which should be identified as the valley between Ramat Rahel and Bethlehem, it is reasonable to assume that both versions refer to the same hippodrome. There is no textual justification for assuming a late interpolation in LXX and no geographical or archeological justification for explaining these passages as allusions to a Herodian hippodrome. LXX may attest to a case of profound Hellenistic influence in Judea already under Ptolemaic rule.
This article explores Paul’s discussion concerning the strong and the weak in Rom 14,1–15,13. My thesis is that Paul’s comments in this section of the letter function neither completely as a response to an actual problem in Rome, nor as entirely general paraenesis. Rather, Paul’s comments function simultaneously on both a situational and non-situational level. Considering that specific concerns over food were likely operative in the Roman congregation, Paul employs non-specific language in this section in order to espouse a larger theological vision of the essential unity of Jew and Gentile under God’s salvation in Christ.
This article looks at the repeated gnomic phrase in the Book of Qoheleth, "All is vanity and a chasing after wind" (NRSV) and reads it as a disjunctive parallelism in which the terms lbh and xwr denote mortality and the divine spirit, respectively, thus showing the sense of the phrase to be, "All is mortal, but strives for immortality". Using René Girard’s concept of mimetic rivalry clarifies this reading of the proverb, and shows it to be a concise expression of a major theme in the Book of Qoheleth, viz., the author’s thoughts on the difference between humanity and God, understood as paradoxical relationship based on both similarity and difference between humans and the divine. More importantly, Girard helps to understand more deeply how and why Qoheleth views human proximity with the divine as the cause of conflict and pain in human life. Because this tension is also evident in numerous other biblical and extra-biblical texts, caution must be exercised, in referring to the Book of Ecclesiastes as a "radical" or "heterodox" writing.
Le texte hébreu de Si 51,5a (hxp Ny)l #) twbkm ) pose problème. Non que l’état du manuscrit soit altéré ou les lettres illisibles. Mais le sens échappe. De ce problème, les versions grecque et syriaque sont témoins. Cet article, après avoir examiné les différentes suggestions, propose de modifier twbkm , inintelligible en ce contexte, en twkmm (cf. Lv 13,24). En gardant le texte consonantique hxp , on s’interroge sur le sens énigmatique de ce "feu qui ne fut pas allumé". En s’appuyant sur des expressions similaires en Jb 20,26, S&emah[ot 47b et Sg 17,6, on aboutit au sens suivant: Ben Sira fut sauvé de la brûlure d’un feu terrible.