Three friars represented EBAF at the annual joint meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion. During four days, 17-21 November 2017, Boston hosted more than 1200 academic sessions, about 14 thousands of scholars, teachers, and an exhibit of books and software associated with the biblical studies. This is one of the largest, if not the largest, meetings for the Biblical scholars in the world. Fr. Gregory Tatum presented his paper related to his on-going Pauline project ‘The Torah is Spiritual (Rom 7:14)’. Fr. Olivier-Thomas Venard, executive director of The Bible in Its Traditions, participated in the section of digital humanities and the Bible with a paper on: ‘Volumen, Codex, Hexapla, Polyglott, Database: Can One Single Interface Encapsulate the History of the Book? A Critical Presentation of The Bible in Its Traditions Digital Scroll: scroll.bible’. Prof. Jean-François Racine (Berkeley) gave a talk on “Going Deep and Beyond the Expectations of a Term Paper: Student Contributions to the Website Bible in Its Traditions,” in the program unit « Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies ».
Hosea in The Bible in Its Traditions
For the brothers working for the BEST, the SBL meeting in Boston was also a particular occasion to present and celebrate the publication of the first biblical book entirely worked out according to the BEST pattern: the Book of Hosea. Since the main contributor to this edition of the great prophet, Eugen Pentiuc, is a professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages in Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, the launching of the book happened in the elegant spaces of this college. Professor Pentiuc is a Romanian-Orthodox priest, a doctor of both Bucharest and Harvard universities, as well as an alumnus of the Ecole Biblique. Great Orthodox scholars such as Dr John Behr and Dr George Kiraz attended this event. This ecumenical context is of particular value for the BEST project, whose one of main aims is to revive and reconnect modern scholarship with the traditional texts interpreted in the living faith-communities.
The further collaboration with the colleges of the Boston Theological Institute and EBAF will take shape of the summer program “In the Footsteps of Jesus” in June of 2018 (see the short movie and the program). Kevin Stephens, the IT master mind of the BEST project, and Łukasz Popko, a contributor to the Hosea commentary and the director of the editorial committee, besides attending a number of sessions spent also a lot of their time in the Peeters’ booth meeting the present and potential contributors of the BEST project, as well as a great number of the EBAF alumni and friends from all over the world. EBAF profited from the hospitality of the Peeters Publishers which made available to us their spacious and well placed stand. It has been a pleasure and an inspiration to see the three generations of the Peeters family working together. We are looking forward to new opportunities to meet and work together.