domingo, 1 de abril de 2007

Estudos sobre Ossuarios

Com esta estória do sepulcro da família de Jesus falou-se muito de ossuários. Mas não das leituras fundamentais que podem ser feitas... É assunto especializado, porém vá lá, vou citar apenas três obras indispensáveis, publicadas, respectivamente, em 1994, 2002 e 2003.

RAHMANI, L. Y. A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries: In the collections of the State of Israel. Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority and The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1994, ix + 307 p., with 135 plates. ISBN: 9-6540-6016-7

Mais do que um simples catálogo ilustrado, esta obra cobre cada aspecto do estudo dos ossuários usados nos sepultamentos judaicos a partir de 20 a.C.: terminologia, materiais, forma, trabalho artesanal, inscrições e sinais, motivos ornamentais, paralelos ornamentais e arquitetônicos, possíveis influências estrangeiras e a questão da relação entre os relicários cristãos e os ossuários judaicos. São quase 900 ossuários fotografados e catalogados, embora a obra não seja completa, pois há outros ossuários judaicos discutidos na literatura especializada que não aparecem neste catálogo. Contudo, esta é uma obra de consulta obrigatória para todos os especialistas que abordam este tema.

Far more than an illustrated catalogue, Rahmani's volume covers every aspect of the study of the ossuaries used in Jewish burial from around 20 BCE through the mid-third century CE: terminology, materials, form, the artisans and their work, inscriptions and marks, ornamentation and ornamental motifs, architectural and ornamental parallels, possible foreign influences, and the question of the possible relationship between the Christian reliquary and the Jewish ossuary.


ILAN, T. Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity. Part 1: Palestine 300 B.C.E.-200 C.E. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002, xxvi + 484 p. ISBN 3-1614-7646-8

Tal Ilan, Professora de Estudos Judaicos na Universidade Livre de Berlim, Alemanha, apresenta um léxico de nomes judaicos usados na Palestina entre 330 a.C., início do domínio grego, até 200 d.C., fim do período mishnaico. A autora traz em seu léxico nomes encontrados em fontes literárias, em inscrições e em papiros. Os nomes estão em hebraico, grego, latim, aramaico, copta, persa e várias outras línguas. Tal Ilan discute a origem dos nomes, explica sua etimologia, analisa a identidade das pessoas e a escolha do nome e ainda indica os nomes mais populares daquela época, entre outras coisas. A obra pode ser encontrada, além da Mohr Siebeck, na Amazon.com e na Eisenbrauns. Uma resenha da obra pode ser lida na Review of Biblical Literature. Foi escrita por Rivka B. Kern-Ulmer, da Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, e publicada em 8 de janeiro de 2005. A resenha termina com uma avaliação positiva da obra: "Above all, this book will replace the other available onomastica; it is an indispensable tool that enlightens the researcher in respect to Jewish names in the Land of Israel during the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods. The Lexicon of Jewish Names belongs in every Judaic research library".

In this lexicon Tal Ilan collects all the information on names of Jews in Palestine and the people who bore them between 330 BCE, a date which marks the Hellenistic conquest of Palestine, and 200 CE, the date usually assigned to the close of the mishnaic period, and the early Roman Empire. Thereby she includes names from literary sources as well as those found in epigraphic and papyrological documents. It is an onomasticon in as far as it is a collection of all the recorded names used by the Jews of Palestine in the above-mentioned period. Tal Ilan discusses the provenance of the names and explains them etymologically, given the many possible sources of influence for the names at that time. In addition she shows the division between the use of biblical names and the use of Greek and other foreign names. She analyzes the identity of the persons and the choice of name and points out the most popular names at the time.The lexicon is accompanied by a lengthy and comprehensive introduction that scrutinizes the main trends in name giving current at the time. It provides immediate information on all known persons of Jewish extraction from Palestine during the Hellenistic and Early Roman Period.


EVANS, C. A. Jesus and the Ossuaries: What Jewish Burial Practices Reveal About the Beginning of Christianity. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2003, 150 p. ISBN 0-9189-5488-6

Foi a partir da polêmica gerada pelo Ossuário de Tiago em 2002, que Craig A. Evans, Professor de Novo Testamento no Acadia Divinity College da Acadia University, em Wolfville, Nova Escócia, Canadá, escreveu este livro. Mas ele não vai tratar aqui da autenticidade ou não deste ossuário e de sua inscrição. Sua abordagem é sobre práticas judaicas de sepultamento e o que elas podem nos revelar sobre o mundo de Jesus, seu ensinamento e sobre sua própria morte, sepultamento e ressurreição. Por exemplo, o que Mt 8,21-22 quer dizer com: "Outro dos discípulos lhe disse: 'Senhor, permite-me ir primeiro enterrar meu pai'. Mas Jesus lhe respondeu: 'Segue-me e deixa que os mortos enterrem seus mortos'". Ou Jo 11,17, que diz: "Ao chegar, Jesus encontrou Lázaro já sepultado havia quatro dias". E mais: Jesus, ao morrer, terá sido retirado da cruz e enterrado, como dizem os evangelhos, ou teria seu corpo sido deixado para abutres e animais, como alguns especialistas sugerem? Estas e outras questões são o assunto deste livro.

A Introdução do livro está disponível online em formato pdf no site da Baylor University Press. Vale a pena a leitura, especialmente porque indica ao leitor, entre outras coisas, onde encontrar as fontes especializadas para o estudo de ossuários e práticas de sepultamento do judaísmo antigo. Mas tem mais: a terminologia usada nas práticas judaicas de sepultamento, em hebraico, aramaico, grego e latim, os formatos e funções das tumbas judaicas... Além disso, uma resenha da obra pode ser lida na Review of Biblical Literature. Escrita por Tobias Nicklas, da Universität Regensburg, Regensburg, Alemanha, foi publicada em 16 de abril de 2005. O resenhista termina assim: "... as I mentioned above, the value of the examples given is differing, and not each of them really allows us insight into the world of the New Testament or the historical Jesus. Indeed, the book is a valuable source for scholars who want to have an initial insight into Jewish burial practices or an overview of important ancient, mainly Jewish but also pagan and Christian, burial inscriptions". Quer dizer: o livro é bom, mas nem tanto!

The ossuary bearing the inscription "Jacob, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," has generated a great deal of controversy since its announcement in 2002. In Jesus and the Ossuaries, Professor Evans takes no position with respect to the authenticity of this interesting inscription. Rather, he investigates Jewish burial practices and what they tell us about the world of Jesus, his teaching, and his own death, burial, and resurrection. What did Jesus mean when he told a would-be follower to "Let the dead bury their own dead"? Or, what was the significance of telling Jesus that Lazarus, his friend, had been dead for four days? Even more important, was Jesus himself taken down from the cross and given proper burial, or was his body left exposed to birds and animals, as a few scholars have recently suggested? These and other interesting questions are addressed in this book.

Para terminar, cito um trecho da Introdução do livro de Craig A. Evans, onde são mencionadas as fontes especializadas para o estudo de ossuários e práticas de sepultamento do judaísmo antigo:
The present study has been made possible by several important catalogues and studies. Foremost among these is Levi Yizhaq Rahmani’s A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries (1994a), which catalogues some 895 ossuaries, providing descriptions, photographic plates (of most), and facsimiles of inscriptions (which appear on about one quarter of the ossuaries). This tool is indispensable. However, it is not complete. There are other Jewish ossuaries discussed in the literature that do not appear in this catalogue. The older work by Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough, Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period, though dated, is still useful. The first three volumes of this thirteen-volume work are the most pertinent, with volume 1 (1953a) discussing archaeological evidence, including ossuaries and tombs, from Palestine, volume 2 (1953b) discussing archaeological evidence, including ossuaries, from the Diaspora (i.e., places where Jews lived outside the land of Israel), and volume 3 (1953c) exhibiting photographic plates of the artifacts discussed in volumes 1 and 2. Pau Figueras’s Decorated Jewish Ossuaries (1983) updates Goodenough’s classic at important points. For synthesis and interpretation Eric Meyers’s Jewish Ossuaries (1971) is the critical point of departure for the subject at hand. Other scholars in the field of Jewish ossuaries, tombs, and burial practices, who have made important and helpful contributions, include Nahman Avigad, Zvi Greenhut, Rachel Hachlili, Amos Kloner, and Ronny Reich. Frequent reference will be made to the excavation and study of the Beth She‘arim necropolis in Galilee. Volume 1, edited by Benjamin Mazar (1973), publishes the findings from catacombs 1–4, which includes some Hebrew and Aramaic inscriptions. Volume 2, edited by Moshe Schwabe and Baruch Lifshitz (1974), publishes the Greek inscriptions, and volume 3, edited by Nahman Avigad (1976), completes and summarizes the findings of all of the catacombs and tombs excavated. The finds at Dominus Flevit, at the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, are also very important and are referred to many times (Bagatti and Milik 1958). The early collections of Jewish Palestinian inscriptions, collected and edited by Samuel Klein (1920) and Jean-Baptiste Frey (= CIJ), and Eleazar Lippa Sukenik’s pioneering works in archaeology, involving tombs, ossuaries, and ancient synagogues, are quite valuable. I might also mention that the finds and seminal studies by the great French archaeologist of the late nineteenth century, Charles Clermont-Ganneau, though dated, are still worth consulting (see Clermont-Ganneau 1873; 1878; 1899; as well as the pioneering studies of others, such as Hornstein 1900; Vincent 1902; Macalister 1908; Lidzbarski 1913; Gray 1914; Spoer 1914; Sukenik 1928; 1929; 1931a; 1932a; 1934b; Savignac 1929; and Maisler 1931). There are other important collections of primary texts that should be mentioned. The collection of Aramaic texts (literary and inscriptional) assembled by Joseph Fitzmyer and Daniel Harrington is invaluable (1978). The Jewish inscriptions of Greco-Roman Egypt catalogued by William Horbury and David Noy (1992), of Rome catalogued by Harry Leon (1995), and of the Diaspora in general catalogued by Pieter van der Horst (1991) were of great help. The published ostraca from Masada (= Mas), by Yigael Yadin and his many successors, were also of great help. And finally, Tal Ilan’s Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity (2002) was enormously helpful.

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