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BUSSINO Severino
The Greek Additions in the Book of Ben Sira

2013, pp. 512.

The text of Ben Sira underwent additions already in the Hebrew, later in the Syriac version and particularly in the Greek where the nephew’s translation was enriched by a series of annotations which make up the text of Greek II. The Latin translations are linked to this extended text and they, in turn, have their own additions. This study proposes to make a detailed analysis of the additions of Greek II, 136 stichs in Ziegler’s critical edition, and so it can be considered a kind of commentary on the extended text. The vocabulary of the extended text often appears different from that of the LXX and from the nephew’s Greek. The additions often interrupt the flow of Ben Sira’s argument, preferring to jump suddenly to the conclusion or replacing it with a different viewpoint. The text of the additions also tells us something of the identity of the editor of the extended text and allows us to trance an identikit of him: he is an educated person who reacts almost impulsively to the master’s statements on the basis of the personal perception of the contemporary cultural environment; who knows the Bible, and the book of Ben Sira in particular; and who is sensitive to the traditional value of the faith of Israel. The majority of the additions show a unitary perspective, concerned in the first place with a discourse on man and on his relationship with God, with particular attention to the gift of God and to his active role. In Greek II, God is present to man: he guides him, he accompanies him, he shows him his ways, and he gives him the fear of God and Wisdom.

Severino Bussino is a religious brother of the Order of St. Augustine. He studied Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, where, in 2011, he gained his doctorate with this study on the book of Ben Sira.

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