Les Nouvelles de Jérusalem sont une revue d'informations de l'École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem, 2 à 3 fois par an, elles donnent un aperçu des travaux en cours en exégèse comme en archéologie, ici à Jérusalem. En voici le premier numéro couleurs en ligne. Les articles alternent français et anglais.
The Nouvelles de Jérusalem is an information review of the École Biblique et Archéologique française de Jérusalem, 2-3 times a year, they give an overview of the work in progress in both exegesis and archeology, here in Jerusalem. Here is the first color edition online. Articles are sometimes in French sometimes in English.
Bible Paths of Light in Isaiah From the diachronic to the synchronic approach The Book of Isaiah has been the classic example for historicalcritical exegesis in proving the necessity of a diachronic study. Indeed, we can easily point to the well-known difficulty that Isaiah, while living in the 8 th century BC, spoke about Cyrus, the King of Persia from the 6 th century BC. Thus, literary criticism has been applied to the book as an instrument to trace the diversity of theologies, literary genres, cultural and political contexts, spanning from the 8 th to at least the 4 th century. The first studies tended to concentrate on the biography of Isaiah and admittedly had a certain historicist bias. One was looking for the ipsissima verba of the prophet from the 8 th century, while the text considered to be more recent and hence ‘not-original’ did not merit the same attention. It is because of the internal development of the historical- 4 Lettre aux amis de l’ÉBAF - N° 93 - <strong>Pâques</strong> <strong>2017</strong>
critical method itself that gradually the more recent editorial stages became the center of scholarly attention. Indeed, to explain these stages means to understand what is most fundamental: what is the central message, not of a single passage, but of the whole book? Synchronic approaches are therefore not in opposition to the historical method, but rather resulted from the growth of the method itself. Quest for Unity Anyone who has toiled trying to grasp the unity of the book will have experienced a great deal of frustration. The shifts of the speakers, themes, and literary forms are abrupt and often quite bewildering. The Book of Isaiah is definitely not following a linear way of thinking, nor developing arguments in any straightforward direction. The reader stands before a thicket, or rather a forest, and hesitates which path to choose. Symbol Nevertheless, the book itself proposes many paths. One may begin mapping this land by following any chosen theme (e.g. kingship). If it appears often enough, the reader will be able to grasp the different contexts (positive, negative) or different subjects involved (God, human king, Messiah?, the people). Finally, if the theme is well chosen, it will allow him to cross through all the book, thus experiencing something of this landscape and approaching the main question: why was it written? Or at least, why is it written like that? What is its message? The choice of the right path in this quest is crucial. The choice of a single word is too narrow and limiting. One needs to refer to some reality that is common, flexible and meaningful. Preferable candidates seem to be symbols sensu stricto; i.e. universal and archetypal realities, which through what is visible connect to invisible realities. This essential quality is particularly useful in comprehending a work that is both poetry and theology. Since Isaiah invites us, “Come, let us walk in the light!” (Is 2:5), let us follow the light. Light Studying the symbol of light in a book means precisely dealing with the linguistic expressions based on this material reality. Nouns and verbs associated with the sematic field of light, as well as the metaphors of light become the first subject of the study, together with the pericopes where they occur. 5