The first article in the current issue, by Michael Tait, revisits Matthew’s story of the magi, to challenge a long-established interpretation – popularised by Prudentius’ hymn ‘Bethlehem, of noblest cities’ – according to which the gift of myrrh prefigures Christ’s death and burial. In his rich survey of biblical and other Jewish antecedents, Tait argues that the funerary associations of myrrh are rare, and offers other more plausible interpretations of this gift to the Christ-child. Subscribers to Scripture Bulletin have often expressed appreciation for its commitment to keeping them abreast with developments in contemporary biblical studies.
In what it is hoped will be the first in a series of ‘What are they saying about…?’ articles, Richard Ounsworth OP offers a wideranging survey of recent scholarly literature on the Letter to the Hebrews. He opens up for readers a number of the new avenues Hebrews scholars are exploring, revisits the state of play on some older issues, and offers his own informative and incisive assessment.
In the final article, Henry Wansbrough OSB introduces the background to, and contents of, the latest document of the Pontifical Commission, on the subject of the Bible and Morality. Particularly illuminating is his examination of the six biblical criteria for moral reflection with which the document concludes. These, Wansbrough suggests, might be better regarded as five criteria and one principle of discernment, the latter concerned with the application of the earlier criteria in specific situations.
As the accompanying letter explains, this July issue will be the last issue of Scripture Bulletin in its current paper format. The Editorial Board hopes that our readers will continue to enjoy the benefits of the journal in its new free on-line format.
Ian Boxall, Editor