The annual symposium of Dominican Friars known as Bible in Jerusalem met this year from 2 to 5 January at the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem. Once again, this meeting of young biblical scholars involved three aspects: presentations of research; an excursion to an archaeological site of biblical import; a workshop on a selected scriptural passage using the tools of EBAF’s exegetical project, La Bible en ses Traditions. We welcomed old friends and new faces to Jerusalem for this fraternal time of prayer and study.
Research presentations ranged from work on Deut 20:1-9 and the book of Judges; the Jacob Cycle, Isa 6:2 and 2 Macc 7 to John 15 and the significance of the term ecclesia in Acts. The workshop text this year was taken from the book of Jonah. We considered his prayer from the belly of the fish (Jon 2) from many different perspectives, including some ‘pious entertainment’ in the form of Giacomo Carissimi’s Sacred Oratorio Jonas.
We were fortunate this year also to hear from two renowned Israeli archaeologists. Israel Finkelstein from Tel Aviv University gave a lecture on his recent excavations in the Negev Highlands. Our excursion was to Khirbet Qeiyafa and Lachish and we were accompanied by Yosef Garfinkel from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem who had recently completed excavations in these sites.
As always, we received a warm welcome from the brothers at le Couvent St Etienne and the École Biblique. It really is a unique opportunity to experience the vision of Père Lagrange to study the Bible in the Land.