The RBS was founded in 2006, but it was not born armed from the head of Zeus, like Athena. Its birth has been prepared for a long time, almost thirty-five years. In fact, the first series was founded in 1988, the first website in 2002.
The first step was the creation of the series entitled “Rhétorique biblique”, published by Éditions du Cerf, in 1988 with the publication of L’Évangile selon saint Luc: Analyse rhétorique by Roland Meynet, followed in 1994 by Le Livre du prophète Amos, by Pietro Bovati and Roland Meynet. After the third volume in 1999, “a pharaoh who did not know Joseph” came to Cerf as head of biblical studies, and the series was discontinued.
It was then the series entitled “Rhétorique sémitique” published by Lethielleux, which was part of theMéta-éditions, where 6 volumes were published from 2005 to 2009; Lethielleux changed ownership, and the series was continued by Gabalda, with 10 other volumes from 2010 to 2014. The change of name was imposed by the fact that studies on the Koran were now added to the biblical studies.
In 1994 the Italian series “Retorica biblica” was lanched by Edizioni Dehoniane in Rome, then by Edizioni Dehoniane in Bologna. There were published 18 volumes until 2013. When the series was transferred to the Gregorian & Biblical Press, it changed its name to “Retorica Biblica e Semitica” where, from 2013 to 2016, another 8 volumes were published.
In Spanish and in English
In 2008 the series “Rhetorica Semitica” was launched by Convivium Press and Gregorian & Biblical Press, where 3 volumes in Spanish and 4 in English were published until 2012.
A single multilingual series
Finally, since 2017, all our publications have been combined into one multilingual series, “Rhetorica Biblica et Semitica”, published by Peeters. It is now one of the series of the Gregorian University. From 2017 to 2021, 26 volumes were published.
Altogether, including reprints and translations, 78 volumes have been published by the end of 2021.
Succeeding a page under the name of Roland Meynet, the page “Rhetorica biblica” was put online on 25 January 2002 on the website of the Gregorian University.
On 6 November 2007, at the request of the University, a new website was launched online: www.retoricabiblicaesemitica.org, independently of the University’ website, for a greater visibility.
In July 2021, it was redesigned so that now we can manage it ourselves, without being dependent on the University’s webmaster.
3. The “International Society for the Study of Biblical and Semitic Rhetoric” (RBS)
On 16 March 2006, the RBS was founded as a non-profit association under Italian law. The project was to set up a foundation, “Science, Faith and Culture”, which would have brought together four associations, including ours. As the project could not succeed, due to the death of the person who was supposed to be in charge of its creation and management, the RBS remained alone.
In September 2016, the General Assembly of the RBS resolved to dissolve the association under Italian law and to integrate the RBS with the Gregorian University.