What does the Bible say? Fifty Biblical Portraits answers the question through a meditative study of the characters who have been at the center of biblical history and those who have punctuated its margins, those who, with loud voices and passionate feelings, have revealed themselves to be sinners beloved of God. With nuance and pleasure, Paul Beauchamp pursues God’s relation with woman and man through their respective searches for meaning and the freedom to be. The drawings of Pierre Grassignoux reproduce sculptures and other representations of God’s dealings with Abraham and David, Ruth and Esther, and a fleeing Jonas. One portrait is that of Moses, who says that he saw God. This affirmation questions us as readers who also wrestle with his Word, in the Old and in the New Testaments, and in the book we call the Bible.
Paul Beauchamp, SJ, a French Jesuit (1924-2001), was professor of Sacred Scripture at the Centre Sèvres in Paris and at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. His research centered on the relationship of the Old and New Testaments and on wisdom literature.
Pierre Grassignoux, sculptor and drawer from Thénezay, located in the Poitou-Charentes region of France, offers his renditions of art works that have depicted Old Testament characters. He thus complements, in an Ignatian vein, the search for meaning in sacred word and in the images that have been given it.
Peter S. Rogers, SJ, is the author of Proust: Speculative Scripture; The Mystery Play in Madame Bovary: Moeurs de Province. He translated Gabriel Marcel's autobiographical En chemin, vers quel éveil (Gallimard 1971), published by Marquette University Press as Awakenings in 2002 (reprinted in 2008).