March 8, 2022


On February 25, 2022, the Editorial Board of the B.E.S.T (La Bible en ses traditions / The Bible in Its Traditions) Bible Research Program at École Biblique et Archéologique Française (EBAF) in Jerusalem voted unanimously to appoint Fr. Eugen J. Pentiuc, PhD, as a member. He is the only Orthodox scholar ever to serve on the prestigious editorial board, which consists of Dominican professors at EBAF.

Fr. Pentiuc is Archbishop Demetrios Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins and Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He received an MA in Biblical Exegesis and Archeology from EBAF in 1986, and since then has conducted research and writing as scholar-in-residence there. 

EBAF, situated close to the Old City of Jerusalem, near the Damascus Gate, is the oldest biblical-archeological school in the Holy Land. Founded in1890 by Fr. Marie-Joseph Lagrange, OP and a small group of Dominican friars, EBAF sits on holy ground: the site of St. Stephen’s martyrdom, memorialized by the Byzantine Empress Aelia Eudocia Augusta (a.k.a. St. Eudocia) through a beautiful basilica which enshrined the remains of the Protomartyr. The church was consecrated by St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, in 439 AD. 

Fr. Pentiuc recalls, “Each summer I have spent at École Biblique has been a real blessing for me. Not only that I have access to one of the most famous libraries in the area of biblical studies, but also that I am so close to a holy place. I am truly grateful to God, to my beloved school, Holy Cross, and to the Jaharis Family Foundation, the generous donor of the chair I hold, for being able to write three monographs while at École Biblique and to experience those precious moments in the mysterious silence of the basilica.”

Besides being the epicenter of the discovery and decipherment of the Dead Sea Scrolls, EBAF is also known for creating the first Study Bible (a Bible with interpretive annotations), La Bible de Jérusalem (Paris: Cerf, 1956) [a.k.a. The New Jerusalem Bible], which was followed by The New Oxford Annotated Bible, and The Catholic, Jewish, and Orthodox Study Bibles.

Since 2010, EBAF has designed a new Study Bible acronymically known as B.E.S.T. (La Bible en ses traditions / The Bible in Its Traditions), a multi-volume series. Fr. Pentiuc is one of the first collaborators of the B.E.S.T. project and the main author of the volume Hosea: The Word of the Lord that Happened to Hosea (B.E.S.T. 3; Leuven: Peeters, 2017). The book launch took place at Holy Cross in November 2017 in the presence of Holy Cross faculty and guests from École Biblique.

“We are very excited to have Fr. Eugen on our board,” said Fr. Olivier-Thomas Venard, OP, Executive Director of the B.E.S.T. Bible Research Program. “He is a renowned biblical scholar and a genuine promoter of Christian unity.”