Robert Kraft, review in Interpretation 22 (1968) 233-234 of
Judéo-Chrétienne (Les Testimonia),
by Jean Daniélou. (Théologie Historique, 5.)
Beauchesne et ses fils, Paris, 1966. 186 pp.
JEAN DANIÉLOU’S WORK on the
use of Jewish scriptural traditions in early Christian literature and
liturgy should already be well known to English-speaking students of
the early church; we have, for example, his Theology of Jewish Christianity
(1958; Eng. trans., 1964); The
Bible and the Liturgy (1950; Eng trans., 1956); and From Shadows to Reality: Studies in
the Biblical Typology of the Fathers (Sacramentum Futuri, 1950;
Eng. trans., 1960). In the present volume he has gathered
together ten essays on particular Jewish scriptural passages frequently
used in early Christianity and has grouped them into five
Several of the essays are supplemented reprints of earlier articles: from Recherches de Science Religieuse, on Paslm 117 (1964), Barnabas 12 (1962), Ezekiel 37 (1965); from Maison-Dieu on Psalm 21 (1957); from Collectanea Biblica Latina 13, on Psalm 22 (1959); from Studia Evangelica I, on Psalm 109 (1959). The two relatively lengthy articles on Deuteronomy 28 and Lamentations 4, which appeared respectively in 1960 (Festagabe Geiselmann, in German) and 1951 (Melanges Lebreton, RSR 39), have been revised completely. The essays on Ezekiel 47 and Psalm 50 are new. The Introduction also states that the collection contains a hitherto unpublished study of Amos 8.9 (p.11); presumably this refers to the short discussion of this passage on pages 70 – 72, in the revised essay on Deuteronomy 28.66.
The volume includes materials for a wide range of interests, from
interestamental and septuagintal studies to the world of the fathers of
the fourth and fifth (and sometimes later) centuries. But the
focus of the collection is testimonia
and the large-scale influence of “Jewish-Christian literature” (defined
in terms not necessarily cultic or ethnic) in early Christianity.
Daniélou has prefixed a brief but valuable
Introduction (pp. 5 – 11) in which he puts his essays in perspective by
explaining how his approach here differs from other recent research on
the use of Jewish scriptural material in early Christianity, and by
discussing the criteria used for selecting the passages treated
(widespread usage, primitive character, importance in formulation of
Christian faith, role in Christian liturgy and piety). His goal
is to study each of the selected testimonia in terms of its background
(not from a single source, but from small testimonia collections dealing with
specific subjects, e.g., from targumic
or midrashic treatment of
Jewish scriptural passages) and its subsequent use in Christianity.
although various minor typographical errors mar the text, the volume’s
usefulness is enhanced by an Index of Passages (OT, NT, Ancient
Literature; the Introduction is not covered by the Index) and by
frequent bibliographical footnotes. For this welcome addition to
his continuing efforts to shed fresh light on Christian origins, our
continuing debt to the distinguished dean of the Faculté de Théologie
Catholique de Paris becomes all the greater.