26 August 2016 • Campus

Father Eugen examines an archeological find at EBAF.Father Eugen examines an archeological find at EBAF.The Very Reverend Dr. Eugen J. Pentiuc, associate dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and teacher of Scripture at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, has just completed his research work at École Biblique et Archéologique Française (EBAF) in Jerusalem.

For four summers (2010, 2013, 2015, 2016), Fr. Eugen has been working assiduously on his contribution—the Book of Hosea—to the first digital Study Bible, launched in 2008 and titled “La Bible en ses traditions” (B.E.S.T.) / “The Bible in Its Traditions.”  By the end of 2016, Fr. Eugen’s work will be embedded into a pre-designed template on the official B.E.S.T website (www.bibest.org).

The Very Reverend Chad Hatfield, CEO of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, remarked, “This significant project reflects the high energy and biblical scholarship that Fr. Eugene’s students admire and his peers respect.”

B.E.S.T. continues a long tradition of EBAF, which created the first Study Bible, La Bible de Jerusalem (1956), also known as The New Jerusalem Bible. The new digital Study Bible offers the modern reader a fresh scriptural translation based on the Greek (Septuagint), Hebrew (Masoretic), Syriac (Peshitta), and Latin (Vulgate) texts, accompanied by a wide array of study notes, which are divided into three sections: text, context, and reception. The translation covers various interpretive aspects: from textual, lexical, and literary notes to Jewish and Christian patristic and liturgical commentaries and theological treatises, and further includes modern and secular forms of scriptural usage (e.g., literature, visual arts, music, dance, cinema, and so forth).

The Very Reverend Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, commented on the B.E.S.T. project saying, “Father Eugen’s wonderful work shows that he is at the cutting edge of scriptural scholarship worldwide, bringing the best of the Orthodox tradition into dialogue with contemporary scholarship. This project is a blessing for all those who want to engage deeply with the Word of God’.”

Father Olivier-Thomas Venard, OP, B.E.S.T. project executive director, also acknowledged Fr. Eugen’s vital contribution, saying, “We owe Fr. Eugen a great debt of gratitude for his excellent work on Hosea.

“Father Eugen’s contribution will be published by Peeters,” he continued, “and we hope and will do all that is possible for it to be ready for presentation at the 2017 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) in Boston.”

Further commenting on Fr. Pentiuc’s work, Dr. James C. Skedros, dean and Cantonis Professor of Byzantine Studies and Professor of Early Christianity at Holy Cross, noted, “We are very proud of Fr. Eugen’s association with B.E.S.T. As an internationally known Orthodox Biblical scholar, Fr. Eugen’s work on Hosea will not only make an important contribution to biblical scholarship and reception history, but will also bring honor and recognition to Holy Cross and to Orthodox biblical scholarship.”