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Manna – Bread from Heaven

Jn 6:22-59 in the Light of Ps 78:23-25 and Its Interpretation in Early Jewish Sources


Paweł Rytel-Andrianik

The author presents a new approach to the study of manna, which does not concentrate only on one particular representation of the bread from heaven (especially Ex 16). Additionally, he investigates the interconnections between Ps 78:23-25, Wis 16:20-13; 19:21 and Jn 6:22-59 and he explores the new ideas of each of these texts. He also strongly asserts that Hellenistic Judaism, represented by the Book of Wisdom, is not "a second-class Judaism". This fact is proved with the example of manna as the food of immortality, an idea not introduced by Christians in the Fourth Gospel, but already present in Wis 19:21.

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This book is a slightly revised, updated and shortened version of my doctoral dissertation from the Pontifical University Antonianum, Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem entitled “Manna, Bread from Heaven. Jn 6:22–59 in the Light of Ps 78:23–25 and Its Interpretation in Early Jewish Sources.” One chapter of this dissertation, dedicated to the rabbinic interpretation of Ps 78:23–25, is omitted in this book, because it will be published as a separate publication.

This publication gives me a good opportunity to express my deep gratitude. First of all, as a believer, I thank the Triune God, the source of life, faith, hope and love. There are no adequate words to express my deepest gratitude, so there remains prayer through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.

I am also very grateful to my spiritual and natural family, in particular to Bishop Antoni P. Dydycz OFM Cap, retired bishop of the Diocese of Drohiczyn, Poland who ordained me to the priesthood and sent me to study Sacred Scripture, as he has been always of great support in my studies and priestly life. My deep appreciation is extended to bishop Tadeusz Pikus, bishop of Drohiczyn for his encouragement to publish this thesis and to continue my academic work for the service of the Church and people of good will. I am very grateful to the Priestly Community of my home Diocese of Drohiczyn for their kindness and support....

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