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Seminar for those teaching or researching Sacred Scripture

At the request of a number of persons interested in the study of Scripture, especially former students of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, the Institute organizes a program of ongoing training for researchers in, and teachers of, Sacred Scripture in Faculties of Theology and other institutions of learning.

The details for this program are as follows: every year a seminar of study will be organized, designed for teachers and/or researchers in the domain of Sacred Scripture. The purpose is to enable those taking part to get up to date with developments in the various fields of biblical studies and to provide a platform for discussion among those professionally engaged in the teaching of Scripture in various parts of the world. The seminar should not only be an opportunity for listening and getting up to date, but also of active participation, encouraging those in attendance to share experiences in the fields of teaching and of research.

The seminar avails itself of some professors, chosen from instructors at the Biblical Institute or from other faculties, who are entrusted with the planning of the seminar. Other professors are also involved to present different subject matters, which will have every day a thematic or methodological unity.

The seminar will last a week, from Monday to Friday inclusive, and will take place between the two semesters, that is, towards the end of January.

The direction of the seminars of 2012 and 2013 was een entrusted by the rector of the Institute to Prof. José Luis Sicre Díaz, S.J. From 2013, the direction was entrusted to Prof. Pietro Bovati, S.J. In 2022, the Rector has appointed as the new director Prof. R.P. Jean Louis Ska, S.J.

Seminar 2024 [22 - 26 January 2024]

Subject matter:  The New Testament in the Greco-Roman context

Academic Coordinators of the Seminar are Proff. Paolo Costa (Pontifical Biblical Institute) and Antonio Pitta (Pontifical Laterna University), assisted by Prof. Jean Louis Ska

The Seminar includes three common formal lectures every day: two in the morning (9:00-12:00) and one in the afternoon (15:00-16:15), and in-depth afternoon sessions (16:30-18:00) for groups. These last will be either in the form of lecture presentations or seminar discussions.


[The themes are indicative; the exact title will be specified later]

Monday 22 January

** The historico-literary context

  1. The "historical Jesus", the "historical Paul" and their relations with the Roman world
    Prof. Marc Rastoin [Centre Sèvres Paris - Pontifical Biblical Institute].
  2. Greco-Roman Epistolography and the New Testament
    Prof. Antonio Pitta [Pontifical Lateran University].
  3. Philo, Flavius Josephus and the New Testament
    Prof. Katell Berthelot [CNRS – Université d’Aix-Marseille].

The following in-depth afternoon sessions are scheduled (the sessions are simultaneous):

  1. The sententia Gallionis (Acts 18:14-15) and the "trials" of Paul: between history and narrative
    [Prof. Paolo Costa, Pontifical Biblical Institute].
  2. Exorcists and exorcisms in the Greco-Roman context and in the New Testament
    [Prof. Francesco Filannino, Pontifical Lateran University].
  3. The tópos of reconciliation in the Greco-Roman culture and in the Pauline epistolary
    [Prof. Juan Manuel Granados, Pontifical Biblical Institute].

Tuesday 23 January

** The cultural-historical context - archaeology

  1. The imago mundi of Luke-Atti: Greco-Roman and Lukan οἰκουμένη
    Prof. Dean P. Béchard
    [Pontifical Biblical Institute].
  2. The Greco-Roman documentary sources and the New Testament
    Prof. Cédric Brélaz
    [Université de Fribourg].
  3. Mystery cults, Mithraism, Gnosticism in the high imperial age and in the New Testament
    Prof. Chiara Ombretta Tommasi [University of Pisa].

The following in-depth afternoon sessions are currently (the sessions are simultaneous):

  1. The Resurrection in the Greco-Roman context
    [Prof. Andrzej Gieniusz, Pontifical Urbanian University.
  2. The Babatha papyri and the New Testament
    [Prof. Dorota Hartman, University of Napoli – «L’Orientale».
  3. The Johannine λόγος in the Greco-Roman context
    [Prof. Maurizio Marcheselli, Theological Faculty of Emilia Romagna].
  4. Pilate and the Roman governors of Judea in the works of Flavius Josephus
    [Prof. Joseph Sievers, Pontifical Biblical Institute].

Wednesday 24 January

** The historico-religious context (a)

  1. The imperial cult and the New Testamen
    Prof. John Scheid [Collège de France].
  2. The Book of Revelation and Rome
    Prof. Claudio Doglio [Theological Faculty of Northern Italy].

[Wednesday afternoon: free]

Thurday 25 January

** Roman Law and Administration - The historico religious context (b)

  1. Personal status in the New Testament in the light of the Greco-Roman context (citizens and non-citizens, slaves and free, men and women)
    Prof. Valerio Marotta [University of Pavia – Pontifical Gregorian Universitry].

  2. Roman law, Greek laws and the New Testament: state of research
    Prof. Paolo Costa [Pontifical Biblical Institute].

  3. Judea and the Land of Israel in the 1st century A.D. and relations with Roman domination in the light of the most recent archaeological discoveries
    Prof. Josef Mario Briffa [Pontifical Biblical Institute].

The following in-depth afternoon sessions are (the sessions are simultaneous):

  1. Emperors, governors, censuses and dating in the Synoptics and the Acts of the Apostles
    [Prof. Matteo Crimella, Theological Faculty of Northern Italy].
  2. The Greek σύνοδοι, the Roman collegia and the first Christian communities
    [Prof. Domenico Dursi, University of Rome – «La Sapienza»].
  3. The σῶμα of Christ and the body of the civitas: the socio-political background of a Pauline metaphor
    [Prof. Antonio Pitta, Pontifical Lateran University].
  4. Sýnkrisis in Greco-Roman authors and the New Testament
    [Prof. Lorenzo Rossi, Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose “S. Francesco” (Mantova)].

Friday 27 January

** Exegetical issues

  1. The trial of Jesus and the trial of Paul in the perspective of the legal historian: state of research
    Prof. Luigi Garofalo [University of Padova].
  2. The Greco-Roman society and the New Testament, between Pliny and the letters of Peter
    Prof. Santiago Guijarro Oporto [University of Salamanca].

Friday p.m. (closing lecture):

  • The Gospel of Matthew in its Greco-Roman context, in the light of papyrological sources
    Prof. Philip F. Esler [University of Gloucestershire].


Requests for participation should be sent to the Secretary of the Institute: pibsegr@biblico.it.

Application deadline: October 10, 2023.

Online participation will also be possible. When making the registration please specify the chosen mode.

No fee is required at the time of registration, but please send your application only if you really plan to attend, because the final organization of the week will also depend on the number of participants.


For further infomration: Segretario Generale PIB (pibsegr@biblico.it)