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Orthodox Study Bible

Posted By: monksilouan

Orthodox Study Bible - 01/11/08 03:59 PM

A critique of the OSB. Very interesting!
Silouan, monk

http://voxstefani.blogspot.com/2007/08/on-worldview-deficiencies-and-orthodox.html

http://www.cjoc.ca/pdf/Vol%202%20S1%20Francis.PDF
Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/11/08 05:04 PM

Is there an eye rolling icon?
Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/11/08 07:31 PM

Well, I really do hope that in the new edition coming out in a month or so, they thoroughly revise the notes and introductions for the New Testament books.

I'm not sure what to think. Using the NKJV is not ideal, but if everyone is going to get up in arms about it, then maybe the Bishops should commission a new Orthodox translation from scratch. I don't see why this would be so difficult.

Joe
Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/11/08 07:32 PM

Perhaps, St. Vladimir's Seminary should produce a new translation and publish it through St. Vladimir's Seminary Press? We have the resources to do it. It is just a matter of Orthodox biblical scholars sitting down and doing it.

Joe
Posted By: indigo

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/13/08 04:31 AM

Compared to Blessed Theophylact's bible commentaries the NT OSB commentaries are watered down, but at this point the OSB is better than nothing, especially since no one else seems to have done anything. Seems like the choice is either OSB or nothing as far as an Orthodox worldview is concerned.
Didn't some monks in Colorado produce an Orthodox bible? Is there any problem with it?
Posted By: AdsumJDS

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/16/08 01:46 PM

Does anyone know when the OSB is going to be available -- really? I have just read "summer" 2008, somewhere. Is it not February? Thank you so much!
Posted By: Elizabeth Maria

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/16/08 01:52 PM

The Leather edition will be released first in February or March.
The hardback edition will be released in summer 2008.

If you go to Amazon.com you can preorder the OSB at a substantial discount.

I just ordered both and this is what Amazon told me.
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/16/08 04:15 PM

It's important to note that a Study Bible is just that, a study Bible, not a multi-volume compendium of patristic commentary, but a help for studying the Scriptures in one volume - which also must include the text of Scripture.

Surely nothing is perfect, but mark my words, most of the writers who have nothing good to say were invited to help, or their help would have been welcomed, but they would not and did not.

I've seen some of the unedited commentary and notes for the OSB Old Testament. The hard part was, no doubt, having to edit those massive notes down to footnotes that would fit.

No matter what, it should be better than what we have now, and it may be very, very good.
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/16/08 08:45 PM

Father,

What kind of help does it provide? (I do not mean to be agreeing with criticisms, but I was wondering how a student would be helped with the Study Bible.)

Terry
Posted By: Job

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/16/08 08:51 PM

Quote
The Leather edition will be released first in February or March.
The hardback edition will be released in summer 2008.


Glad I ordered the leather edition...
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/16/08 09:38 PM

I for one quite enjoy my NT/PS OSB and am looking forward to the full OSB being released. I purchased copies for all of my children as well.

Gordo
Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/16/08 10:06 PM

Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
What kind of help does it provide? (I do not mean to be agreeing with criticisms, but I was wondering how a student would be helped with the Study Bible.)


It offers background, explanations and information about things, people and places that wouldn't be necessarily commonly known. The same reason many study Bibles exist. There is also some patristic commentary mixed in, along with explanations from an Orthodox perspective on certain passages. What does Orthodoxy believe about justification and the like.

I guess the response I would give to those who want a completely literal English translation with no words wrong, faithful to the correct texts, no "bad icons" or replete with patristic commentary or whatever is twofold:

- One is they should fund and oversee the translation, production and printing of such a Bible since it doesn't exist now.
- Two, realize that if that Bible existed many people couldn't or wouldn't use it. The church is not a collection of academics or intellectuals. Many, many people need something accessible and readable. I'm sure this would lead to shrieks of "you're dumbing it down", etc.; but it's reality. I use it to help with my sixth to eight grade Sunday School kids. My wife would never pick up a Bible like the one described in scenario one. It's just reality.

Maybe the church in its life has been two used to the idea and fact that the Bible is largely not in the hands of the laity, and that reflects much of the criticism leveled at the OSB. I don't know. What I do know is there isn't much else out there, and the OSB was a good effort to fulfill a need that existed.

In the end there are people who will not be pleased no matter what. I personally have read the criticisms of the OSB and though they certainly have some merit; I also in large part find them pedantic, unrealistic and just ridiculous in different measures.

My own humble opinion.
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/16/08 10:26 PM

Then it's like the historian who threads a narrative from various sources, brings a character and period to life, and is faced with critics who focus on what he did not write, rather than what was written.

Perhaps it are the expections some people have as to what the Orthodox Study Bible should be which is unrealistic.

Terry
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/16/08 11:07 PM

Originally Posted by AMM
Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
What kind of help does it provide? (I do not mean to be agreeing with criticisms, but I was wondering how a student would be helped with the Study Bible.)


It offers background, explanations and information about things, people and places that wouldn't be necessarily commonly known. The same reason many study Bibles exist. There is also some patristic commentary mixed in, along with explanations from an Orthodox perspective on certain passages. What does Orthodoxy believe about justification and the like.

I guess the response I would give to those who want a completely literal English translation with no words wrong, faithful to the correct texts, no "bad icons" or replete with patristic commentary or whatever is twofold:

- One is they should fund and oversee the translation, production and printing of such a Bible since it doesn't exist now.
- Two, realize that if that Bible existed many people couldn't or wouldn't use it. The church is not a collection of academics or intellectuals. Many, many people need something accessible and readable. I'm sure this would lead to shrieks of "you're dumbing it down", etc.; but it's reality. I use it to help with my sixth to eight grade Sunday School kids. My wife would never pick up a Bible like the one described in scenario one. It's just reality.

Maybe the church in its life has been two used to the idea and fact that the Bible is largely not in the hands of the laity, and that reflects much of the criticism leveled at the OSB. I don't know. What I do know is there isn't much else out there, and the OSB was a good effort to fulfill a need that existed.

In the end there are people who will not be pleased no matter what. I personally have read the criticisms of the OSB and though they certainly have some merit; I also in large part find them pedantic, unrealistic and just ridiculous in different measures.

My own humble opinion.


Great points all, Andrew.

This series (especially in its e-format) is on my wish list. Perhaps with my tax refund...

http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/review/code=1470

I heard a taped lecture by Fr. John Breck, who is one of my favorite Orthodox Biblical Scholars. He was critical of the OSB, but did not provide specifics.

Some seem to level the "evangelical" charge against the project...but again, with very few specifics as to what that means. Anyone seen any specifics?

Gordo
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/16/08 11:23 PM

I didn't see the edited notes, so I don't know.

I DO know that those involved were always interested in help, and would have gladly accepted it from the usual suspects, but were constantly rebuffed.

I don't know if it was because all the work done was voluntary (not paid), some sort of personality conflict, or they just had nothing to offer, only detraction.

No Study Bible will be perfect, anymore than any translation of the Bible (or any other document) could be 'perfect.'

The question is: "Will it be useful?"

I guess we'll see in a month.
Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 05:00 AM

Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
Perhaps it are the expections some people have as to what the Orthodox Study Bible should be which is unrealistic.


Obviously it could be better, but the point is there isn't a lot else around and it addresses a need. Criticism should also come with action, otherwise it isn't really helpful.

Posted By: Brigid

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 10:16 AM

Originally Posted by ebed melech
Some seem to level the "evangelical" charge against the project...but again, with very few specifics as to what that means. Anyone seen any specifics?

Gordo


Dear Gordo,

Archimandrite Ephraim Lash wrote a hard-hitting review of the OSB in the British diocesan periodical Sourozh. His overall view was that the whole feel of the OSB was wrong - 'It feels far too much like a piece of evangelical propaganda decked out in the trappings of Orthodoxy'- and goes on to list many specific illustrations of this. I had to call up his review from the Internet Archive as I was unable to access it at the usual site, here's the url if you want to read his comments in full:

http://web.archive.org/web/20070708212055/http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/review_osb.aspx

which I've shortened to:

http://tinyurl.com/yq7pz6

The same source offered a second review by Fr Seraphim Johnston. He echoed some of Archimandrite Epharim's criticisms,noting for example, that the OSB uses the Protestant numbering of the Psalms.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070622233919/http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/review_osb2.aspx

shortened to:

http://tinyurl.com/2hpqol

I'm afraid I disagree with Andrew that the criticisms are largely pedantic, unrealistic or ridiculous. Archimandrite Ephraim concluded that the OSB was something produced too quickly by people who were recent converts and that unfortunately, it shows.

Brigid

Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 10:53 AM

Brigid,

Great find - thank you!

Here is the text:

Quote
Book Review: The Orthodox Study Bibleby Archimandrite Ephrem
The Orthodox Study Bible. New Testament and Psalms. Nelson. 1993.Pp.xii, 846 & 195. ISBN 0-8407-8391-4

Since this book is obviously destined for wide circulation—we are told that it is to be translated into Greek, Russian and other Eastern European languages—and because it raises a number of serious issues. I have decided to devote most of the space for reviews in this issue of Sourozh to examining it.

The focal point of an Orthodox church is the Holy Table at the centre of the Sanctuary. All the rest, the frescoes, the icons, the choir stalls, the icon screen, the Holy Doors themselves draw the worshipper's attention to and culminate in the Holy Altar, or Throne, on which, at the Divine Liturgy, the Word of God is offered in the Sacrifice without shedding of blood. But the Holy Table stands apart in the Holy of Holies. It is not generally visible; during most of the ordinary services it is not used at all. Analogously, the daily round of offices and services, and the other Mysteries of the Church have their focal point, their culmination in the Divine Liturgy itself, the supreme Mystery. The same is true of the Bible. Its centre and focus is the Holy Gospel, which alone lies at the centre of the Altar. All the other books which make up the Holy Scripture lead to or flow from the Holy Gospel. The Bible is the pearl of great price, the treasure hidden in the field. It is not a weapon, even against heresy. We do not read the Holy Gospel 'to discover Orthodox Christianity', as the dust jacket of this book suggests, but to hear the Word of God leading us to repentance. Every time the Gospel is read we pray that 'we may be counted worthy to listen to the Holy Gospel'. There is a profound sense in which the Bible for the Orthodox is not a public thing, any more than the Eucharist is a public thing, but one of the Mysteries of the Faith. Our Lord himself said something very like this: 'To you has been given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to the rest in parables.' Against this background it must be clearly stated from the outset that the whole feel of this volume is wrong. It feels far too much like a piece of evangelical propaganda decked out in the trappings of Orthodoxy, like an eighteenth century New England chapel or meeting house with a golden onion dome stuck over the pediment of the porch.

First of all let us look at the translation used. This is not an Orthodox one at all. The editors have taken the New King James Version, which is a slightly modernised ('You' not 'Thou') re-edition of the version of 1611. They defend this on the grounds that the underlying Greek text of the New Testament in the King James version is closer to the traditional Byzantine text than that of modern critical editions. This is for the most part true and all that they needed to say was that the Byzantine text is the text accepted by the Orthodox Church. Instead they defend their decision on supposedly scholarly grounds. This is irrelevant, except for conservative Evangelicals who wish to justify their conservatism by trying to make it 'scientifically' respectable. It also obscures the central point that for the Orthodox the Bible comes from the Church, exists in the Church, lives in the Church. The section of the opening chapter, pages x and xi, which discusses the choice of text, is in fact nothing more than a slightly revised version of the preface to the Revised Authorised Version, pages vi and vii. In adopting this approach the editors allow themselves to be drawn onto the ground chosen by their opponents, when they should have taken their stand on the Orthodox ground that the Church's text is the Orthodox text, full stop.

Even if the text of the NKJV is on the whole that of the Church, it needs careful checking and revision before it can be called Orthodox. One small example will indicate what I mean. The NKJV, like its ancestor of 1611, which here follows the Latin Vulgate, reads at Luke 23:42, 'Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.' This prayer, we are told in a note, 'is highlighted in the hymns and worship of the Orthodox Church'. It isn't, because the Church's Gospel and all the liturgical texts derived from it in both Greek and Slavonic have 'in your Kingdom', a reference to the Second Coming of Christ in his kingly power, as described in Matthew 25:31-46.

The marginal note on the story of the woman taken in adultery, John 7:53-8:11, is interesting. We are told that the modern critical editions bracket this is not in the original text, but that they are present in over 900 mss of [St] John. The latter remark shows that the editors have little idea of the basics of textual criticism. They should read A.E. Housman. The status of this passage is curious and it would have been worth pointing out both that St John Chrysostom did not have it in his text and that the Gospel for Pentecost makes exactly the same omission as St John Chrysostom and the modern scholars. The Johannine comma, I John 5:7b-8a, is printed as part of the text, though it occurs in no Greek ms. before the fourteenth century and, for the Fathers at least, it is not part of the Orthodox Bible.

On the difficult word in the Lord's Prayer, which is traditionally rendered 'daily' we read: 'Daily is a misleading translation of the Greek epiousios, which is literally "above the essence" or "supersubstantial".' Not for St John Chrysostom it isn't. He says very simply that it means 'for the day', epehmeron. He may be wrong, but his view is at least worth mentioning. Further, the idea that our Lord during his earthly incarnation was acquainted with the technical language of Greek philosophy has interesting implications for Christology. I am not sure it is quite what the Fathers of Chalcedon meant when they declared that Christ is homoousios with us, 'sin alone excepted'. The corresponding note on Luke 11:3 is far better. This is only one of a number of places which display signs of sloppy editing. The note on Luke 11:2 is a give-away. We read that St Matthew's version of the Our Father 'has a slightly stronger liturgical flavor' than St Luke's. This is true if one compares the modern texts produced by modern scholars. In the traditional text, as given here, the two are virtually identical. The note presumably derives from a comment on some quite different translation.

Similar observations could be made on page after page of the translation. Finally I must protest most vigorously against the wholly unorthodox inverted Arianism of the typography whereby the words of Christ are printed in salmon pink, while his heavenly Father has to be content with mere black along with Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate. This use of colour is at times seriously misleading. Thus at John 3:16, which is badly translated, it is not clear whether this and the following verses are spoken by Jesus, or whether they are a comment by the Evangelist. They are probably the latter, but the salmon pink type adopted here compels one interpretation only. There are even more serious objections to this practice. What Our Lord did during his earthly life is as important, if not more important, than what he said. Both St John and St Luke make this point. St John ends his Gospel, 'There are many other things that Jesus did'; nothing about 'said'. St Luke begins Acts with a look back at the Gospel as the record of 'all that Jesus began to do and teach'. It is Jesus himself who is the Word of God, and his actual words are only one aspect of the mystery. To highlight only the spoken words of Jesus is a reflection of a peculiarly Anglo-Saxon attitude which effectively reduces Jesus to a teacher of a system of ethics and a teller of picturesque inspirational stories. It is not for nothing that the traditional iconography of the Holy Doors includes not only the Four Evangelists but the Annunciation as well. The reason that the Gospel and the other readings from Holy Scripture are always chanted in the Church and never simply read is to make sure that the readers do not impose, by their inflections and emphases, their own interpretations on God's word.

When we turn to the text of the Psalter we are in an even worse case. The Church's Psalter is that of the Greek Septuagint [LXX], and has been since the days of the Apostles. It is the one used in all Orthodox services, and it forms the basis of innumerable liturgical hymns and prayers which are frequently little more than a mosaic of words and phrases from it. If one adds the fact, though the editorial introduction to the Psalter fails to point this out, that the Latin Psalter of the Western Church was itself a translation of the LXX until this century, one can say quite simply that the Christian Psalter is that of the LXX. The editors lamely protest that 'no suitable translation of the Septuagint is currently available'. Considering the number of names that occupy most of the title page, not to mention the numerous others listed in the introduction, it should have been possible between them to produce a translation of the Psalms. If that was beyond the resources of the editors, they could at least have printed the Psalms with the correct numbering and divided them into the traditional kathismata and staseis of the Church Psalter. To do that does not even require a knowledge of Greek, only access to Miss Hapgood's compendium of Orthodox services, or Mother Mary's and Bishop Kallistos's Festal Menaion. Moreover an Orthodox Psalter contains the text of the Odes used at Matins. There is no trace of them here, nor of Psalm 151. We are told that 'some compensation is provided by giving the Septuagint text (author's translation) in the notes for certain psalms'. A rapid run through the notes reveals that the author must be Ebenezer Scrooge. No attempt has been made to give the LXX titles to the psalm, though these are one of the areas in which the patristic commentaries are particularly rich. Where is the title of Psalm 5, 'For her that shall inherit', which the Fathers see as referring to the Church, the Bride of Christ? Where is the 'Song for the Beloved' in the title of Psalm 44, in which the Fathers see a reference to Christ? In Psalm 67:15 there is not so much as a hint that the words translated 'curdled mountain' form one of the most frequent images used in the Church's poetry for the Mother of God, for reasons that I have set out in detail elsewhere. The NKJV's 'mountain of many peaks' is pointless as an image of the motherhood of the Ever-Virgin. As one might have expected by now, the 'doctors' have disappeared from Psalm 97:10. One of St Basil's favourite verses [Psalm 118:120], which he uses in many of his prayers that we still use in the Office, goes by unnoticed. The 'author' would have been well advised to spend a little time with the three volumes of St Nikodemos's commentary before writing his notes, even if his own familiarity with the Church's Psalter was such that these things and countless others like them did not spring to mind at once from his familiarity with the Church’s texts.

What then of the Study Guide itself? Some of it looks like unaltered evangelical material, like the chapter entitled 'How to read the New Testament in a year'. Many of us prefer to follow the Church's way of reading. The maps also betray their evangelical origins. The sites of Calvary and the Tomb of Christ, venerated since at least the fourth century by countless thousands of Orthodox believers, are marked with question marks to leave open the possibility, also on the map with question marks, that General Gordon's improbable 'Garden Tomb' was the real one.

The main study material, apart from the notes on the text itself, begins on page 755 with Morning and Evening Prayers. These contain traditional material, but are distinctly unorthodox in feel; at least I would be surprised to find an Orthodox Christian whose regular morning and evening prayers made not a single reference to the Mother of God or the Saints. Both Greek and Slavonic books have traditional sets of Morning and Evening Prayers and it was surely not impossible to include one or other of them.

Next we have a long and helpful piece by Bishop Kallistos on 'How to Read the Bible'. This is by far the best section of the book and in it the Bishop makes a number of important points. For example, 'A book is not part of Holy Scripture because of any particular theory about its date and authorship, but because the Church treats it as canonical.' It is a pity that the sort of approach recommended by the Bishop seems not to have been properly taken into account by the other contributors. 'There is gold', writes Bishop Kallistos, 'in the patristic texts, if only we have the persistence and imagination to discover it.' Sadly the editors on the whole lack that Klondyke spirit. An earlier version of this piece was originally published as a separate pamphlet and it is much to be hoped that this fuller version will also be made widely available in the West as its Russian translation already is in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

There follows a Lectionary for the whole year. This is a useful feature of the book, for those who do not have ready access to an annual calendar. For some reason the eleven Gospels for Sunday Matins are nowhere given, or even listed, though those for Matins of the major Feasts are. The lectionary does, however, contain a number of curiosities. Why, for example, are we informed that the 4th Sunday after Pentecost is the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils and that it occurs between the 13th and 19th of July, when in most years it does not? The references given are indeed the ones for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost; they are not those for the Fathers. The same remarks apply to the Sunday of the Fathers of the Seventh Council in October. The Lectionary is basically the Slav one and no account is taken of that of the Great Church. The Sundays of Lent on which Saints are commemorated are not given their two sets of Readings, but only those for the Sunday. There is a small selection of Readings for the fixed Feasts, whose dates are given by both the old and new calendars, though this is not explained. Such a list is useful, but not adequate, since on numerous occasions the actual text of the readings does not correspond with the modern verse numbers and on occasion verses are given in a different position from the one in which they are found in the actual scriptural text. For example in the reading from Luke 8:5-15 verse 8b is displaced to the end of verse 15.

There follows a tendentious and wholly unnecessary chapter 'Introducing the Orthodox Church'. The paragraphs on the so-called Nestorian and Monophysite Churches of the East are most misleading, and of no interest whatever to the Orthodox Christian seeking help in reading the Holy Scripture; nor for that matter are Henry VIII's matrimonial problems, which are also discussed. There are some surprising statements, such as 'spontaneity was never the practice in the ancient Church!', when it is well known that in the early centuries the Eucharistic Prayer was improvised by the bishop. That Christian worship had 'a basic structure or shape' does not of itself exclude spontaneity. There is little or no evidence that 'chrismation [was] there from the start'. The New Testament evidence is all for the apostolic laying on of hands. The section on the early history of the Christian ministry is likewise marked by quite inadequate scholarship. The exegesis of Acts 1:20 shows an extraordinary insensitivity to a sense of history. The remarks on the presbyterate show an equal insensitivity to language; but a sound knowledge of Greek is a not a noteworthy feature of this volume. On page 794 we are told that baptizo means 'to be plunged', which was news to me. Elsewhere we learn that the Greek for 'anointing' is chrismatis. We are told that the Seven of Acts 6:1-7 were 'deacons’ though the word is not used of them and St John Chrysostom specifically says that they were not. At Romans 16:1, incidentally, we are not told that Phoebe of the church of Cencreae was a 'deacon', only that she was 'a leading Christian woman'. This whole chapter has absolutely no place in a biblical study guide for the Orthodox; it is simply a piece of not very effective propaganda aimed at those outside the Church. Inquirers are advised, among other things, to attend a liturgy, when, if parts are not in English, 'the Service Book in the pew will help.' They will be disappointed when they find neither, and with good reason, in a traditional Orthodox church.

Next we are offered a Glossary. This is explained, but only on the dust jacket, as being 'of Orthodox Christian terminology'. It starts with a howler. 'Abba', as used in first century Aramaic and in the New Testament, is not 'somewhat equivalent to the English "Daddy".' Try reading Mark 14:36 with that substitution. The Evangelist, quite correctly, glosses the Aramaic with the word 'Father'. Many of the entries are however well done, though there is nothing particularly Orthodox about a large number of them. The Glossary is followed by an extremely useful 'Index to Annotations' and a list of the traditional Seventy Apostles with the scriptural passages in which their names occur and the dates of their feasts in the Church calendar. A detailed study of the references could be quite interesting. I do not know why there is a second Mark, listed without any scriptural reference under September 27th and October 30, since in both cases the entry in the Synaxarion makes it clear that he is the same as Mark the Evangelist.

This list is followed by a long chapter, reprinted from elsewhere, by the dean of St Athanasius Academy, Jack N. Sparks. This is a somewhat rambling and incoherent piece, but makes a number of useful points about the differences between allegory and typology. It would have been preferable, though, to have asked Fr John Breck of St Vladimir's to write something, or even for his permission to reprint a chapter from his book on biblical interpretation. This would have been heavier going for the reader but would have packed a good deal more intellectual punch.

The volume ends with a 'Harmony of the Gospels', a sort of 'Write your own Diatessaron' or 'Be your own Tatian', the usefulness of which is obscure, Tables of Monies, Weights and Measures and a Concordance that includes phrases as well as individual words. This comes from some other book—it is paginated quite separately—and covers the whole Bible, not merely the New Testament and Psalter. It would have been better to have provided a fuller concordance for the actual book that the reader is using.

The notes that accompany the text are very full for the New Testament, scrappy to a degree for the Psalms. The notes to the New Testament are on the whole straightforward and some readers will find them a help in understanding many of the words and ideas in the text. Most of them though are dull and many of them jejune in the extreme. As a friend put it to me, they remind one of the notes to some school editions of Shakespeare. 'King Lear plans to divide his kingdom between his daughters', or 'Hamlet wonders if it would be a good idea to commit suicide.' In this book we find similar notes all too often, such as that on Luke 16:11: 'True riches signify spiritual treasures', or that on Luke 16:25 'This conversation is not between God and the rich man, but between Abraham and the rich man.' The level is that of a not very bright Sunday School class. Critical questions are avoided by simply not being discussed at all. This is unsatisfactory, since many readers will be seeking help on just these questions. What should have been provided is an article setting out clearly how an Orthodox reader of the Bible should approach these problems. The solution adopted here is a further instance of what I call the attitude of the double-headed Byzantine ostrich.

Clearly it is not possible to discuss even a small part of this annotation in detail. It is a pity that more explicit reference to the Fathers was not provided. I have noted a number of curious remarks, to put it no more strongly. On Matthew 8:20, 'Since Son of Man refers to the Messiah (Dan. 7:13), it expresses both His humanity and divinity.' Since there is nothing divine about the figure in Daniel, doubtful if the figure is the Messiah and doubtful if the expected Messiah was thought to be divine I fail to follow the logic of the comment. The note on Luke 22:48 at least shows some evidence that the writer is aware of recent work on this difficult title. The note on Luke 23:44 tells us that Jesus died on the Cross at the sixth hour, despite the clear statement by St Matthew and St Mark and the clear implication in St Luke that he died at the ninth hour, a belief to which the texts of the Church's offices make abundant reference. I find no clear evidence that the Greek ekpneo, used at Mark 15:37 of Jesus' death, 'connotes a voluntary death.' This sounds like theologically wishful hermeneutics. The note on John 1:1 fails to notice, though Origen discusses the point at some length, that there is a difference in Greek between ho theos, '[the] God', that is the Father, and theos, 'God', without the article, that is 'God', but not the Father. In general, what Orthodox readers need is to be helped to enter into the spiritual teaching of the Gospel, which is about theology, in the true sense, about the great mystery of the coming of God incarnate into human history, about the response of the sinner to the loving invitation of Christ. They will hardly be helped to any of this by being told that Luke 24:13-35 is 'a delightful account of a resurrection appearance of Christ', which sounds more like a description of the visit of the Bishop to the parish sale of work.

The notes on the Psalms are woefully inadequate. We are told that where a psalm is used in the 'fixed' parts of the daily round of offices this will be pointed out. We are not however told that Psalms 19 and 20 form the main part of the Royal Office which precedes the Six Psalms every day at Matins. Psalm 23 is used 'quite sparingly in the services’, despite the frequent use of the phrase 'the waters of repose' in the liturgical texts. We are told that the LXX has 'Lift up your gates, O Priests' at Psalm 23.7. So far as I am aware it has 'you rulers’, in Greek archontes, and I know no of no variant reading. We also learn that 'verses 7- 10 are proclaimed as the priest knocks on the door of the church on Easter morning'. This is a ceremony unknown to the Triodion and, so far as I am aware, to either Greek or Russian tradition. It seems singularly inept, since the point of the procession in the dark and the entry into the church is to re-enact the coming of the Myrrh bearers to seek for Christ’s Body, only to find the tomb open and filled with light and sweet fragrance. Hence the rubric that while the procession is outside the sacristan is to light a brazier in the church and cast sweet-smelling incense onto it. Psalm 50 is used every day in the Office not 'three’ times, but 'four', but perhaps the editors are unaware of the existence of the Midnight Office. It is the Psalm which begins the daily round and which ends it. Psalm 118 is used every day, except Saturday and Sunday, at the Midnight Office, and is used every Saturday and on most Sundays at Matins. It is thus said nearly every day of the year in the Church's daily round of prayer. Likewise the Psalms of Ascents (119-133) are the regular Psalms at Vespers during about half the year. They are not, as suggested here, particularly Lenten. In neither Greek nor Russian use is Psalm 136 used 'throughout Lent itself in the Matins services.' Psalm 142 is also used daily at Small Compline. The whole of Psalm 144 forms part of the grace before the main meal in monasteries, not just two verses. Since the typikon that underlies this book is clearly most bizarre, it might have been helpful to have been told where it comes from.

In addition to the detailed annotation there are longer notes on major topics interspersed at appropriate places. Many of these are extremely valuable. Thus the one on the Transfiguration correctly notes that the 'bright cloud' is the Holy Spirit, and that the Transfiguration is thus a manifestation of the Most Holy Trinity. This point is made a number of times by St John of Damascus. Unfortunately the editor has nodded, because the note on the text of the Gospel suggests that the cloud is a sign of the Presence of God the rather. Another is entitled 'Mary'. Surely in an Orthodox book she should be called by one of her familiar titles. No Orthodox would refer to her simply as 'Mary’. 'Godbearer' is not a good translation of Theotokos, which is better rendered Mother of God, or She who gave birth to God. 'God-bearer' suggests rather theophoros, an epithet applied to numerous Saints, but more particularly to St Ignatios of Antioch. I wonder whether the note on Christology does not water down the Chalcedonian Definition, which states that Christ is 'consubstantial' [homoousios] with us in his humanity, rather than simply 'like us' as we read here. If this is so, then is he merely 'like' the Father? It is surely confusing to write that '[Ordination] is extended ... generally to all through Holy Baptism.'

Finally there are a number of icons. These are almost without exception bad. One of the few exceptions is the icon of the Transfiguration. When I came to this one I said to myself, 'At last, a proper icon', and I was not surprised, on reading the caption on the next page, to see the name Photios Kontoglou. The others all seem to stem from America. The colours are garish, particularly in those of the Descent into Hades, which is a very long way after the masterpiece in the church of the Saviour in Chora, and of the Baptism, where the Bodiless Powers have a distinctly well-fed, well-scrubbed, suburban look, like cheer leaders for the Washington Redskins. But best of all is the one of St John dictating the Apocalypse. The Apostle, who has been to an expensive Manhatten barber's shop, is straining to hear the message being dictated from heaven. Either he or St Prochoros are having difficulties, however, since St Prochoros is carefully writing down the first verse of the Gospel!

Once again I have to report on yet another missed opportunity. There is much that some people may find useful in this book, but there is much that is wrong or misleading. It was not to be expected that the ROCOR would have co-operated in such a project, but it needs a good injection of traditional old-fashioned, even old-world, Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy in America, as represented by large parts of the OCA, the Greek Archdiocese and the Antiochene Diocese, has two great temptations, which are not unknown on this side of the Atlantic. On the one hand the former immigrants assert their assimilation by taking on things western, like pews and organs, without sufficient discrimination. I even have a book of church music that includes a transcription into traditional Byzantine neum notation of the Wedding March from Lohengrin, together with an appropriate Greek text. On the other hand the converts tend to bring with them far too much of the baggage of their previous allegiances, even to the introduction of so-called 'western rites'. We converts to Orthodoxy must be ready to 'leave all things and follow' where our Fathers have led. We Orthodox must be prepared to say 'Come and see.' But we must strenuously resist every temptation to add, 'And don't worry, well try to make it palatable for you.' Let us hope that those charged with preparing editions of this book for the traditionally Orthodox countries will insist on a thorough overhaul, though they would do better to start again from scratch. There is a profound sense in which it is true to say that Orthodoxy takes centuries to acquire. This book is the product of people who, with the very best of intentions, are going too fast too soon.
Posted By: harmon3110

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 12:00 PM

I have the Orthodox Study New Testament and Psalms. I think it is very useful. The translation is readable. The notes and essays are useful for learning the Orthodox view of Scripture. The essays are informative. It isn't perfect; but what is? The Orthodox Study New Testament and Psalms is very useful. And, I imagine that the full Orthodox Study Bible will likewise be very useful.

-- John
Posted By: AdsumJDS

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 01:58 PM

Thank you so much, Elizabeth Maria!
Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 03:21 PM

Quote
I'm afraid I disagree with Andrew that the criticisms are largely pedantic, unrealistic or ridiculous. Archimandrite Ephraim concluded that the OSB was something produced too quickly by people who were recent converts and that unfortunately, it shows.


There is certainly substance in the review you reference (which is the one I was thinking of), which I don't dispute. I do find inter weaved in it things that are pedantic, unrealistic, comments on things unrelated to the OSB and to be frank just a general air of disdain which in my opinion colors the review (and others I've read). That is my opinion, which is subjective, just as the opinion of anyone is ultimately subjective. I have unfortunately found there is no shortage of online material one can find from Orthodox sources that seem to attempt to discredit the practices or efforts of other Orthdox Christians. I also repeat that criticism for the sake of criticism, or without the effort to improve what is being criticized, or even to offer an alternative; does not help improve things. I don't take inaction or the status quo as a suitable answer. I think it's regrettable even that in the tradition of the church there have been attempts to discourage lay access to the Bible and efforts to stop its translation in to understandable languages. St. Makarii Glukharev was disciplined and basically silenced by the Holy Synod in the 19th century for attempting to translate the Bible in to modern Russian, noting at the time that the Qu'ran was easily obtainable in modern Russian. I'm sure many "good" reasons were given for the suppression his efforts. I also believe that when Pasternak said "The most important thing is that Christ speaks in parables taken from everyday life, that He explains the truth in terms of everyday reality" he pointed us to a truth we can easily lose in an effort to obtain super correctness.

The OSB was approved by a number of Orthodox hierarchs, and I am willing to assume they view it is a trustworthy source of instruction, albeit despite whatever faults it has. I share the hope of everyone else that the next version is an improvement. I must say I find it unfortunate that in my own limited experience, basic Biblical knowledge is woefully lacking in a substantial portion of the Orthodox laity. I am mystified as to why this is basically accepted as normal.
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 04:29 PM

Originally Posted by AMM

There is certainly substance in the review you reference (which is the one I was thinking of), which I don't dispute. I do find inter weaved in it things that are pedantic, unrealistic, comments on things unrelated to the OSB and to be frank just a general air of disdain which in my opinion colors the review (and others I've read). That is my opinion, which is subjective, just as the opinion of anyone is ultimately subjective. I have unfortunately found there is no shortage of online material one can find from Orthodox sources that seem to attempt to discredit the practices or efforts of other Orthdox Christians. I also repeat that criticism for the sake of criticism, or without the effort to improve what is being criticized, or even to offer an alternative; does not help improve things. I don't take inaction or the status quo as a suitable answer. ... I must say I find it unfortunate that in my own limited experience, basic Biblical knowledge is woefully lacking in a substantial portion of the Orthodox laity. I am mystified as to why this is basically accepted as normal.


Andrew,

Very well said, especially about the tone of disdain. Not all of his critique is substantive, but there are certainly some valid points I hope the new OSB takes into consideration.

And if Evangelicals can produce a Man's and Woman's Study Bible, a Youth Study Bible, an Archeology Study Bible, a Spirit-Filled Life Study Bible, and EVEN a Precious Moments Bible, SURELY Orthodox Christians can offer something that could be useful for individual study and prayer or Church catechesis and evangelization!

God bless,

Gordo
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 05:10 PM

..also, to mention the often cited quote of St. Jerome:

Quote
Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ!


The liturgical assembly is the living context of Biblical interpretation...but the faithful should be encouraged to access the inspired texts, especially to use in the practice of Lectio Divina.

God bless,

Gordo
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 05:48 PM

I was introduced to scripture through the NIV Study Bible. Though I now have misgivings about much of the notes and reject the translation for my private reading, it was helpful to me for a time. Even if it is obvious that it was "produced too quickly by people who were recent converts," many people might find it helpful in spite of its defects. Grace has a way of penetrating faults.

Terry
Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 06:22 PM

Archimandrite Ephrem's review is excellent, and I'm glad that it's available here - although I've often wondered if Father Ephrem realizes that such reviews actually sell books!

Regarding the Johannine Comma, it is found in the "Apostle" Lectionary in Church-Slavonic without any distinction from the rest of the text, so it is not altogether unreasonable to regard it as part of the Orthodox textus receptus.

Fr. Serge
Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 06:45 PM

Originally Posted by ebed melech
And if Evangelicals can produce a Man's and Woman's Study Bible, a Youth Study Bible, an Archeology Study Bible, a Spirit-Filled Life Study Bible, and EVEN a Precious Moments Bible, SURELY Orthodox Christians can offer something that could be useful for individual study and prayer or Church catechesis and evangelization!

God bless,

Gordo


You would think.

I just hope that those who wrote criticisms, offered to help improve the forthcoming release.
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 09:26 PM

Sadly, I assure you, they did not. Many were asked, but few came.
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/17/08 09:34 PM

Originally Posted by Prester John
Sadly, I assure you, they did not. Many were asked, but few came.


That is very sad, especially given the fact that they knew it would have a world-wide reach.

To Andrew's point, it is far easier to criticize imperfections after the fact than to contribute something constructive during its composition. I applaud the St. Athanasius Academy for its efforts. God grant them many years!

Gordo
Posted By: AdsumJDS

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/18/08 12:30 AM

Well, I just pre-ordered the OSB from Amazon... according to that site, both the leather and hardback editions will not be released until mid-June...*sigh* We'll just have to pray and wait in anticipation until then, I guess...
Posted By: Elizabeth Maria

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/18/08 12:35 AM

I guess there has been yet another delay in the publication of the OSB. I guess my Christmas gift will become a birthday gift. "sigh"
Posted By: AdsumJDS

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/18/08 12:42 AM

Yes, but think how happy we will be when it finally arrives in the mail. I am sure we will forget all about our long wait and give praise to the Lord!
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/18/08 12:42 AM

In addition to glosses or notes in the text, I like the maps, chronologies, and charts in the appendices. Any word on the quality of OSB's appendix?

Terry
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/18/08 02:32 AM

I don't think so - last word is February sometime.

The hardback is due for June....let's hope Feb. is still the date!!
Posted By: Brigid

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/18/08 08:41 AM

Originally Posted by AMM
[quote]There is certainly substance in the review you reference (which is the one I was thinking of), which I don't dispute. I do find inter weaved in it things that are pedantic, unrealistic, comments on things unrelated to the OSB and to be frank just a general air of disdain which in my opinion colors the review (and others I've read). That is my opinion, which is subjective, just as the opinion of anyone is ultimately subjective.


Yes, obviously, any reviewer is subjective and many factors will influence opinion. There may be cultural factors at work, the phenomenon of large-scale conversions to Orthodoxy on the part of former evangelicals is an American one, the reviewer in this case is British. The general point that it can be unsound for recent converts to attempt to represent Orthodoxy seems to be a perfectly reasonable one. In something purporting to be an Orthodox Study Bible I don't think it is disdainful or pedantic to wonder why prayers to the Theotokos were omitted from the earliest editions or why the Psalter is not presented in the numbering used by the Church. It seems from all the reviews I've read that part of the problem is that this volume falls between two stools. To people already within Orthodoxy, an Orthodox Study Bible implies something that is going to fully reflect the mind of the Church in its presentation, whereas the OSB seems to be aimed at people outside the Church and reflects standard evangelical style models of presentation.

Let's hope indeed that the forthcoming volume will be an improvement and that lessons will have been learnt.

Brigid

Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/18/08 12:20 PM

Originally Posted by Brigid
The general point that it can be unsound for recent converts to attempt to represent Orthodoxy seems to be a perfectly reasonable one.


A minor point of historical interest...

Many of the same instigators for the OSB project were ordained priests and deacons shortly after their conversion. Obviously the Archbishop believed that they were sufficiently prepared to shepherd his flock and expound upon the Sacred Scriptures in his liturgical assemblies.

The OSB is not intended to be a scholarly commentary which addresses the issues of the academy. (That is not to say, of course, that the academy should have "no comment" - even if that were possible - nor would it be advisable. Scholarship certainly has a key role in expounding the message of Scripture in collaboration with the hierarchy.) The OSB's purpose is evangelistic, catechetical and pastoral. One could say that its purpose perfectly aligns with that of the NT writings as well.

God bless,

Gordo
Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/18/08 02:08 PM

Originally Posted by ebed melech
The OSB is not intended to be a scholarly commentary which addresses the issues of the academy. (That is not to say, of course, that the academy should have "no comment" - even if that were possible - nor would it be advisable. Scholarship certainly has a key role in expounding the message of Scripture in collaboration with the hierarchy.) The OSB's purpose is evangelistic, catechetical and pastoral. One could say that its purpose perfectly aligns with that of the NT writings as well.


Yes, I agree. The important thing I think is that despite the relative newness of some of the principal contributors, it received the commendation and input of a number of Orthodox hierarchs. They felt it was good enough, despite whatever failings it has, to fill a need.

I find the comments of Father John a page back depressing, but not surprising.
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/18/08 03:05 PM

Has the OSB been given the support of any Orthodox communions?

Terry
Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/18/08 03:57 PM

Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
Has the OSB been given the support of any Orthodox communions?

Terry


I know it has the approval of Metropolitan Philip of the AOA and Metropolitan Maximos of the GOA who IIRC serve on its editorial board. I have seen it on the book table of every Orthodox Church I have been to that has one. The major Orthodox book distributors I can think of sell it.
Posted By: Job

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/20/08 05:17 PM

Originally Posted by Elizabeth Maria
The Leather edition will be released first in February or March.
The hardback edition will be released in summer 2008.

If you go to Amazon.com you can preorder the OSB at a substantial discount.

I just ordered both and this is what Amazon told me.


Ordered leatherbound for personal home/prayer use...ordered a hardback as well for a gift...I just received an e-mail that the hardback will be delivered late February...early March...in time for the great fast...I'm wondering if those who heard it would not be available now until the summer are trying to order and it's already known that a 2nd printing is necessary...just a thought...
Posted By: AdsumJDS

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/20/08 05:56 PM

I just checked, Amazon still says June 2008...so I hope the mssg they sent you is correct! That would be great!
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 01/20/08 07:53 PM

I sure hope that is correct!

Sept. 2000 was the OSB workshop at Antiochian Village.

8 years is a long time to wait.
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/04/08 09:44 PM

Any word on the latest?

Is it actually coming out this month?

Anyone?

Please?!!
Posted By: Administrator

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/04/08 09:59 PM

I don't know the exact dates, but here is what was in yesterday's bulletin:
Quote
The FULL Orthodox Study Bible is coming! The Orthodox Study Bible is the first full Bible translated from both the Greek Old and New Testaments of our Church into English. It also will contain abundant notes from the Church Fathers and others on the individual passages of Scripture. The bookstore is taking pre-orders of this soon-to-be released product. Price will be $38, due by February 17th/the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas. Get your copy months before it's released at Amazon.com!!

I am praying it turns out to be excellent, and will order mine next Sunday.
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/04/08 10:08 PM

The Coptic church I visited used the NKJV as its pew bible. Is it common for Orthodox churches to use that version?

If so, then why is it a problem that the OSB uses the NKJV?

Terry
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/05/08 03:26 AM

The NKJV is owned by Thomas Nelson Publishers, and at the time of the OSB's work, Nelson was owned by an Orthodox Christian, who gave it gratis to the project for its work.

The RSV would have cost $20K (thanks for that NCC) and would have been the preferred version if the cost was not so high. Many modern English translations of the Liturgy use the RSV as their text from which the Liturgy comes.

You can find it spelled out verse by verse in this book:

http://www.lulu.com/content/725388

Patristic commentary is on the left page, Liturgy and Bible Refs on the right.

Posted By: Fr David Straut

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/05/08 04:05 AM

Originally Posted by Prester John
The NKJV is owned by Thomas Nelson Publishers, and at the time of the OSB's work, Nelson was owned by an Orthodox Christian, who gave it gratis to the project for its work.

The RSV would have cost $20K (thanks for that NCC) and would have been the preferred version if the cost was not so high. Many modern English translations of the Liturgy use the RSV as their text from which the Liturgy comes.


An advantage of the NKJV (and for that matter the Authorised [King James] Version) over the RSV from an Orthodox perspective is that the underlying Greek text from which the NKJV ( and the Authorised Version) is translated is the Received Text, which is very close to the Ecclesiastical Greek Text. On the other hand, the RSV is translated from a Critical Greek Text which differs in many more places from the Church's Text and so must be amended time and time again.

Fr David Straut

Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/05/08 01:02 PM

Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver has written to that effect.

http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/bible_texts.html
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/05/08 11:39 PM

We do not have to wait until June for a good hard cover copy. We can buy it for $31.49 with free shipping. Check this link out from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-Stud...mp;s=books&qid=1202143389&sr=8-1
Posted By: A Simple Sinner

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/06/08 01:45 AM

Originally Posted by Prester John
The NKJV is owned by Thomas Nelson Publishers, and at the time of the OSB's work, Nelson was owned by an Orthodox Christian, who gave it gratis to the project for its work.

The RSV would have cost $20K (thanks for that NCC) and would have been the preferred version if the cost was not so high. Many modern English translations of the Liturgy use the RSV as their text from which the Liturgy comes.


What do you think is keeping the NCC afloat? (sarcasm) The generous contributions of its manifold churches which enjoy growing membership? (/sarcasm)

Quote
...In a report on the National Council of Churches' work of Bible translation to the NCC general assembly held in Oakland, California in November, 2001, General Secretary Robert Edgar "mentioned that the NCC is exploring various possibilities regarding the sale or license of the copyright to the Revised and Newly Revised Standard Versions of the Bible. The NCC owns the copyrights to both versions. Edgar noted that the NCC had already refused one offer to purchase the copyrights. He said that the NCC would not exist today if it did not receive $500,000 a year in royalties from the sale of the RSV and NRSV Bibles." source


They are making far too much cash to give it away...
Posted By: francis

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/06/08 02:49 PM

According to Amazon, the HARDCOVER version will be available on 2/12/2008, and the LEATHERBOUND version will be available on 6/19/08, which is the opposite of what people have said on this thread.

I guess we'll know when it arrives in the mail!
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/06/08 03:58 PM

haha I wonder if we'll ever actually see it now!
Posted By: Job

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/06/08 04:41 PM

Originally Posted by francis
According to Amazon, the HARDCOVER version will be available on 2/12/2008, and the LEATHERBOUND version will be available on 6/19/08, which is the opposite of what people have said on this thread.

I guess we'll know when it arrives in the mail!


I wouldn't put much into these dates...I know on one of the other lists I am on...someone (who I would have no reason not to believe) had received their hardcover version already (I believe it was Monday)

I remember when Fr. Honeycutt's book "One flew over the Onion Dome" was released...I had a gift card for Barnes and Noble...so I ordered it through them...it never came...every month I kept getting notices that it was being delayed...I cancelled the order and ordered direct from the publisher...It had been released at least a month earlier and had it by the end of the week...
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/06/08 06:35 PM

Originally Posted by francis
According to Amazon, the HARDCOVER version will be available on 2/12/2008, and the LEATHERBOUND version will be available on 6/19/08, which is the opposite of what people have said on this thread.

I guess we'll know when it arrives in the mail!


Amazon is often wrong about these things.

I would check with Light & Life, or Conciliar press itself. I am sure that both Leather and Hardcover version will be available in February.

Blessings,


Lance

A Byzantine Christian in a Postmodern World
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/06/08 07:13 PM

Everyone,

Please announce here if and when you receive an OSB!

Thanks!
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/07/08 05:06 PM

Originally Posted by Fr David Straut
Originally Posted by Prester John
The NKJV is owned by Thomas Nelson Publishers, and at the time of the OSB's work, Nelson was owned by an Orthodox Christian, who gave it gratis to the project for its work.

The RSV would have cost $20K (thanks for that NCC) and would have been the preferred version if the cost was not so high. Many modern English translations of the Liturgy use the RSV as their text from which the Liturgy comes.


An advantage of the NKJV (and for that matter the Authorised [King James] Version) over the RSV from an Orthodox perspective is that the underlying Greek text from which the NKJV ( and the Authorised Version) is translated is the Received Text, which is very close to the Ecclesiastical Greek Text. On the other hand, the RSV is translated from a Critical Greek Text which differs in many more places from the Church's Text and so must be amended time and time again.

Fr David Straut



The only thing I do not like about the NKJV is that it uses the phrase, "most assuredly," instead of "truly, truly" or "Amen, Amen" when Jesus makes emphatic statements. It drives me nuts!

Posted By: Job

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/10/08 06:52 PM

Originally Posted by Prester John
Everyone,

Please announce here if and when you receive an OSB!

Thanks!


I picked up my Hard copy this morning...Haven't had much time to look at it yet...first impressions are positive...
Posted By: Alice

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/10/08 08:15 PM

Our church bookstore just received them for resale. Can you tell me how much you paid for the hard copy--if you don't mind ofcourse.

Thanks,
Alice
Posted By: Job

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/11/08 01:55 PM

I believe it was the pre-release, bulk price of $30.34 each.
Posted By: Stephanos I

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/11/08 10:52 PM

Joe,
I have always maintained that the two Churches fund such a project by its best scholars and create a new translation of the Septuagint. Using the most recent lingustics, historic and archeological finds. This translation should include an exhaustive use of the Greek and Latin Fathers. You know we have so much to offer together, why should Evangelical non Catholics create programs which are good but lack alot.
Stephanos I
It has been my opinion that it is unduly influenced by Protestant thought. That at least was my initial reading. When I return home I would like to purchase the OT
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/13/08 02:52 PM

Has anyone seen it yet?
Posted By: Father Anthony

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/13/08 03:26 PM

Originally Posted by Prester John
Has anyone seen it yet?

Nope!

We called all-over creation, including St. Vlad's Bookstore, Light and Life, etc., and no one seems to have them in stock as of yet, though they are expecting them soon.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/13/08 03:48 PM

It will go on the book-shelves tomorrow, February 14th.

Until then, one may order copies from St Athanasius' Academy via Fr. Jack Sparks.

Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/13/08 06:12 PM

I've been waiting 8 years to see what how they edited my contributions. Ugh!
Posted By: Marina Karlovna

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/13/08 07:37 PM

I don't suppose the big bookstores will open at midnight for the crowds that will be lining up to buy like folks did for the Harry Potter books. Hmmm . . . what does that say about our priorities.
Posted By: nicholas

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/13/08 07:42 PM

Our priorities need changing. And my favorite bible needs changing too! I look forward to seeing the new old testament!

Nick
Posted By: Marina Karlovna

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/13/08 07:56 PM

The OSB will help us change our priorities. I'm also looking forward to it.

Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/13/08 10:37 PM

I believe that our priorities could use some grace in how we spend our leisure time. It is easy to spend two or three hours a day "on rest", watching TV or pursuing spiritually unproductive ends on the Internet. It is good to ask ourselves "does [this] help me in my pursuit of Christ's Love?"

We can take that to the extreme, but self-sacrifice in pursuit of God's ways is a virtue.

Terry
Posted By: monksilouan

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/14/08 02:05 AM

I called Conciliar Press yesterday and they will send me a leather bound edition at the end of this month (Feb.) They told me that hard copies can be sent now. There is a 20% discount for ordering it now. I think the total price for the leather edition was about $72 with shipping. I expect this edition to out live me (or I will want my money back!).
Silouan, Mary's monk and certainly NOT a Scripture scholar
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/19/08 04:03 PM

I just picked up my copy Sunday.

Not bad, all in all.

A few disappointments, but that is related to my own preferences, and a few changes from the original plans.

For example, 4 Maccabees is no longer included in the appendix. It was slated to be included originally. Now I have to change my BIBLE DRILL material at http://interiorstrength.com.

Posted By: Elizabeth Maria

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/19/08 06:58 PM

Dear Father,

Father bless!

Is 4 Maccabees included elsewhere in the OSB New and Old Testament?

Respectfully in Christ,
Elizabeth
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/19/08 07:38 PM

4 Maccabees was included in the Septuagint OT, but always in an appendix. It extols the value of pious virtue over the passions.

I saw both the text and the notes that would have been in the OSB, and they were excellent.

At the OSB workshop, it was on the list of books, so it was slated for inclusion, but, alas, did not make the final cut.
Posted By: AdsumJDS

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/19/08 07:44 PM

I am confused... Amazon and others still say it is not out yet and will not be out until June. Why is that?
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/19/08 07:49 PM

I have got to say, that is quite a disappointment that 4th Maccabees did not make the final cut. very disappointing.

Blessings,

Lance


A Byzantine Christian in a Postmodern World
Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/19/08 08:08 PM

Originally Posted by Prester John
Now I have to change my BIBLE DRILL material at http://interiorstrength.com.



Father, are those similar to Sword drills?
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/19/08 11:24 PM

No, it's a VBS style program with ALOT of memorization and physical fitness for teen boys we did about 4 years ago, and it really caught on.

The only passing score is 100%, and all quizzes are cumulative.

It's been running for 4 years now.

Here's the site: http://bibledrill.blogspot.com

Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/20/08 04:23 PM

I believe the reason 4 Macc. didn't make the cut is that it is not considered canonical Scripture. Am I correct on that? This is the same reason why 2 Esdras wasn't translated. Perhaps there are some Churches, however, that consider these books canonical.

Joe
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/20/08 07:21 PM

I think that 4 Maccabess is in the Slavonic version of the OT, but the Holy Synod of Greece version is what was used, so 4 Macc. was left out.

It is always in an appendix anyway, but it was slated to be included, so I included it in all my Bible study programs and materials.

Sigh.
Posted By: Elizabeth Maria

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 12:56 AM

Are 4 Maccabees and 2 Esdras located elsewhere?
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 01:26 AM

The new Oxford Annotated RSV has them in the Ecumenical Study version.

Avoid the NRSV though.
Posted By: Elizabeth Maria

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 01:41 AM

Thanks, Father.
Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 01:57 AM

I have two bibles which where influenced by the Vulgate's nomenclature, and it has "1 Esdras" for Ezra and "2 Esdras" for Nehemiah.

What is being discussed here, from this naming system, would be "4 Esdras"?
Posted By: Orest

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 03:50 AM

Quote
I heard a taped lecture by Fr. John Breck, who is one of my favorite Orthodox Biblical Scholars. He was critical of the OSB, but did not provide specifics.

Just who are the Eastern Orthodox Biblical scholars living here in North America with knowledge of Biblical languages and graduate degrees?
Posted By: maxpercy00

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 11:46 AM

Fr. Eugen Pentiuc
Posted By: mwbonline

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 12:38 PM

I have a question: what New Testament version was used by the Orthodox prior to the King James Protestant version? And, why was a truly Orthodox translation not used instead of the Protestant version?
Posted By: Orest

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 03:20 PM

Thanks, I see that Fr. Dr. Eugen Pentiuc is a real scholar. I am going to order his tapes from Holy Cross. This is what the Orthodox Church has lacked for about the last century, scholars in scripture. We had scholars in all the other areas of theology.

Quote
Fr. Eugen Pentiuc is a Professor in Old Testament studies at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Mass. He has his Doctorate in Theology from Bucharest University, Orthodox School of Theology, Romania, and a Doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. He is the author of several books and articles on the Old Testament and is currently a general editor in the Orthodox Study Bible: Old Testament project.


Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 05:21 PM

Originally Posted by mwbonline
I have a question: what New Testament version was used by the Orthodox prior to the King James Protestant version? And, why was a truly Orthodox translation not used instead of the Protestant version?


I think this statement bears some unpacking.

The need for an English translation of sacred scripture as used in the Orthodox Church is a fairly recent phenomenon. No common accepted translation has yet been put in place. The official sources remain in Greek as handed down by the church. The main issue is actually not which end to end volume to use, since the church has never focused on the Bible as a single entity, but which translation to use to populate the service books. The Authorized, or King James Version, is a popular choice because of its use of the Majority Text for the New Testament which many feels adheres most closely to the Byzantine Text of the church. Most modern translations, including the RSV and NRSV, use the Eclectic Text for the New Testament which many find highly objectionable. Depending on the parish you visit you may hear different translations for the public readings which reflects local or jurisdictional preferences for different translations.

I also think it makes sense to consider that no English translation is going to be without its issues, and most of these issues relate to which underlying original texts were used to create the translations. The KJV for all its problems for instance, I would say is infinitely superior to the NAB for use in the church. The best solution for us is to create the best English translations from the Greek texts the church already uses.


Originally Posted by Orest
I am going to order his tapes from Holy Cross. This is what the Orthodox Church has lacked for about the last century, scholars in scripture. We had scholars in all the other areas of theology.


Orest, the church has not simply lacked scholarship in my opinion, but in my experience general levels of Biblical knowledge and literacy are woefully inadequate among the laity. Although I must say my experience has been the same among lay Catholics.
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 09:24 PM

I am really enjoying this thread and it has helped me. I am still not sure if I am going to buy the complete OSB that is out now or not. So far, a lot of your guys' posts have helped me to come closer to a decision, but I am still thinking becuase some of the odd problems in the OSB in some ways makes it little more useful than a plain old NIV (I know, messed up translations, but as FR John pointed out, no translationw ill be perfect and I already have the Church to guide me since I am not Sola Scriptura). A bit of an overstatement, but when I don't know exactly what to trust and the notes tend not to dig deeper than the common concerns of inquirers (for it seems that the main audience they were considering were inquirers and recent converts), it makes a lot of the notes kind of useless for me (and I don't consider myself to be that smart).

But I digress. AMM, I don't exclude you from the helpful posts I have read so far, in fact your longer post near the beginning of this thread really helped me balance my expectations. however, I disagree with what you said above.

It is nice if criticism is followed by action, but non-action does not make criticism useless. I found an article some years ago criticising the OSB (I'm not sure if it was the same article posted in the OP) which may have been written by the "usual suspects". However, the criticism was very helpful to me. Sure, perhaps the "usual suspects" should being doing something about it (and perhaps they are in their own way) but that doesn't mean that the criticisms don't help others to expect more from the OSB. I would hope (and actually expect) that the commission tried to respond to these criticisms with action. Include prayer to our Mother in the back of the Bible, include more patristic writings, correct some of the spurious notes that sounded more protestant than Orthodox, etc. IF they did any of this, then the criticisms did serve a positive purpose. I hope they did.

I am goign to continue reading this thread to contiune to educate myself. I have appreciated all of your comments guys.

Thanks again to everyone, I'm sure this won't be my last post here as I read on.

God bless!

Xpy
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 11:20 PM

For what it's worth, the OSB is a 'study' bible, not a theological text, and is intended for laymen, not scholars, nor for scholar wannabes who would rather talk in ignorance about Palamite theology than learn the 12 feasts of the Church. Sorry if I sound abrupt, but after 8 years of whining from those who refused to participate in crafting it, I can't see a single reason to give them the time of day about this.

No Bible is perfect, even in the original languages (now there is a statement!), but is it useful?

No sense discussing it unless you've read it.
Posted By: theophan

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/21/08 11:47 PM

Quote
I have a question: what New Testament version was used by the Orthodox prior to the King James Protestant version? And, why was a truly Orthodox translation not used instead of the Protestant version?


mwbonline:

Do you know what it costs to do a thorough translation of a work of any kind? If I'm not mistaken, the Catholic bishops spent about a million dollars to get the NAB translated. It cost them about that same amount to get a translation of our principle service book--the Missal--translated and then Rome refused permission to use it citing many defects in the translation.

I'm sure that the cost of having Orthodox scholars sit down and do a translation of the entire collected Bible was one reason up to this date.

Remember, you need someone who has spent the time becoming a Biblical scholar, together with having the theological credentials and language skills in several different languages. Finding that person or persons and supporting them for the years it takes to translate the books is not done on the cheap. And it isn't the same as taking a text in an elementary language class and sitting down to translate. There is a lot of complexity in choosing the right word to translate the words in the original. There are two schools of theought that I have read of that conflict in translation: the one that sticks closely to the original even when it does not "flow" in the translator's language; the other that seeks for a "dynamic equivalence" that can be a product of the translator's bias. Then there is the area of consistency--some whould mix the methods. In any event, it isn't easy.

IMHO, I collect them all and compare to help my own understanding of what is said. But in all things, my first question is, "What does the Church teach about this?" That's my question about Scripture and everything else.

BOB
Posted By: Stephanos I

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 02:28 AM

John the Rsv version is the one I prefer. And they do contain 4 Macc.
Perhaps maybe the Orthodox and Catholic Church should come together and try to decide just what the Canon consists of.
he Canon has been set somewhat since 396 in the West among the Catholics and later confirmed at other councils.
But it did not exclude the possibility that in the futre the Canon might be expanded to include what the Orthodox consider canonical. Which I would tend to support myself.
Stephanos I
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 04:23 AM

I use the RSV when I teach, but generally because all the liturgical quotations from the liturgy/prokeimenon/stichera are quotations from that version, and it makes it easier for students to see just how much of the liturgy is Scripture quotations.

See this book for more: http://www.lulu.com/content/725388
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 12:00 PM

Originally Posted by Brigid
[quote=AMM]
Quote
There is certainly substance in the review you reference (which is the one I was thinking of), which I don't dispute. I do find inter weaved in it things that are pedantic, unrealistic, comments on things unrelated to the OSB and to be frank just a general air of disdain which in my opinion colors the review (and others I've read). That is my opinion, which is subjective, just as the opinion of anyone is ultimately subjective.


Yes, obviously, any reviewer is subjective and many factors will influence opinion. There may be cultural factors at work, the phenomenon of large-scale conversions to Orthodoxy on the part of former evangelicals is an American one, the reviewer in this case is British. The general point that it can be unsound for recent converts to attempt to represent Orthodoxy seems to be a perfectly reasonable one. In something purporting to be an Orthodox Study Bible I don't think it is disdainful or pedantic to wonder why prayers to the Theotokos were omitted from the earliest editions or why the Psalter is not presented in the numbering used by the Church. It seems from all the reviews I've read that part of the problem is that this volume falls between two stools. To people already within Orthodoxy, an Orthodox Study Bible implies something that is going to fully reflect the mind of the Church in its presentation, whereas the OSB seems to be aimed at people outside the Church and reflects standard evangelical style models of presentation.

Let's hope indeed that the forthcoming volume will be an improvement and that lessons will have been learnt.

Brigid



Very well put.
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 12:26 PM

Originally Posted by Prester John
For what it's worth, the OSB is a 'study' bible, not a theological text, and is intended for laymen, not scholars, nor for scholar wannabes who would rather talk in ignorance about Palamite theology than learn the 12 feasts of the Church. Sorry if I sound abrupt, but after 8 years of whining from those who refused to participate in crafting it, I can't see a single reason to give them the time of day about this.

No Bible is perfect, even in the original languages (now there is a statement!), but is it useful?

No sense discussing it unless you've read it.


Father Bless,

I understand what you are saying and I am certainly no Bible Scholar wannabe. However, I don't think that going to the Church Fathers has to do with wanting to be a scholar. And agian, as you and others mention, it is important to keep in mind that this is a "study" bible meant for laymen. But, it gives the impression, oftentimes, that it is for non-Orthodox laymen who are interested in becoming Orthodox. In which case, it perhaps should be subtitled "Seeker's Edition". I don't say that in jest or with sarcasm. It is, at best, extremely odd, that prayers to the Mother of our God were not included in the prayers.

My hope is that at least the simple, but very important, things like this were changed. And I think that this would have been at least partially due to the criticisms that were brought forth because it openned other people's eyes (like mine) to the fact of how very unOrthodox it is to offer a simple rule of prayer ignoring the Theotokos. And I have heard some of these preists talk and they are not skiddish on the Theotokos, so I think the decision to not include her in the prayers was doen with the best of intentions. But, hopefully, they realized after all of this that perhaps that wasn't the best decision. It's not just the mean and nasty nay-sayers that found the seeker-bent to the OSB concerning.

I own the OSB (NT version). But I still need to make an informed decision as to if I want to spend my money on it or not.

Either way, I do commend the work these men (and women?) put into this Bible. I am happy to see that it is having such success. I really am. My decision to buy or not buy the Bible is a completely personal one and I do not wish to talk anyone in or out of buying the OSB.

I really do mean all of this with complete respect. But respect doesn't mean just ignoring the small issues that matter to you.

God bless, (I'm sorry, I don't know the proper sign-off when speaking to a priest).

Xpy
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 01:13 PM

haha make no mistake, Xpycoctomos, my comments were reserved for those who really could have participated.

When doing my research, the Church fathers were the source for almost all of my notes. When editing such a vast work, I know that they wanted several things not glossed over:

The Holy Trinity
The Incarnation of Christ
The Unity and Holiness of the Church

other notes would naturally take a back seat to these concerns.

I myself remember the OSB NT and Psalms without the prayers to the Theotokos, and was astonished to learn at the OSB workshop why they were left out. It was sheepishly admitted that this error would not be repeated. Whew!

I would say this, then, about spending money on the OSB:

Do you need it, even if you are Orthodox? No

Would it be useful? If you are leading an Orthodox bible study, I would say yes.

Is it a necessity? Of course not.

I'm in favor of anything that makes it easier for me to teach the Holy Scriptures to those that want to learn, as I am tired of having to produce material myself/

No disrespect intended to those who are genuinely wondering about the OSB. I've spent so much time dealing with naysayers about even reading the Bible at all, that I'm a little flabbergasted by them all.

Then, there's the 'we're more Orthodox than you' crowd.

Oy!

Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 01:19 PM

Father Bless,

I really appreciate your response(s) and I am glad that you did not take my posts as petty bickering. I am sooooo glad they recognized the Theotokos prayer issue as an error. That tells me more about the intent of their audience and makes me want to get it a lot more.

However,

I am still curious about that annotated Bible from some monastery in Colorado. My priest has one and he loves it. Does nayone else know anything about it? Any website? Cost? My priest got it as a gift so he doesn't know, but he thinks it was very expensive.

Thanks in advance everyone.

Xpy
Originally Posted by Prester John
haha make no mistake, Xpycoctomos, my comments were reserved for those who really could have participated.

When doing my research, the Church fathers were the source for almost all of my notes. When editing such a vast work, I know that they wanted several things not glossed over:

The Holy Trinity
The Incarnation of Christ
The Unity and Holiness of the Church

other notes would naturally take a back seat to these concerns.

I myself remember the OSB NT and Psalms without the prayers to the Theotokos, and was astonished to learn at the OSB workshop why they were left out. It was sheepishly admitted that this error would not be repeated. Whew!

I would say this, then, about spending money on the OSB:

Do you need it, even if you are Orthodox? No

Would it be useful? If you are leading an Orthodox bible study, I would say yes.

Is it a necessity? Of course not.

I'm in favor of anything that makes it easier for me to teach the Holy Scriptures to those that want to learn, as I am tired of having to produce material myself/

No disrespect intended to those who are genuinely wondering about the OSB. I've spent so much time dealing with naysayers about even reading the Bible at all, that I'm a little flabbergasted by them all.

Then, there's the 'we're more Orthodox than you' crowd.

Oy!

Posted By: Terry Bohannon

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 01:45 PM

Xpy,

For teaching, I imagine that it would be better to use multiple sources. If something is lacking, as is usually the case when priorities need to me made in choosing what to include and what not to include, then supplementary material should be provided.

The OSB does not seem to be the "Orthodox Almanac", it did not seem to be the aim of the contributors and editing staff to encapsulate Orthodoxy as a whole with the study Bible.

I have been disappointed when prayer books I rely on do not have some of my favorite prayers, or when the prayer I reflect on most is truncated by editors who thought it too long. For this, I have more than one prayer book. Each has its strengths, if I were to focus on what they lack I would be pulling my hair out every time I try to pray.

The criticisms I've seen of the OSB in this thread have not been fundamental to the aim of the work. I could understand a critique that reflects on serious matters of doctrine, disagreements over the dating of a chronology in an appendix, or arguments on what is included. When arguments focus on what something is not, then the fodder for such an argument is endless. The focus then turns on “should have” or “could have” and tends to depend more on false expectations.

Here is a better question to ask: is what it is valuable or is what it is a waste of my investment?

Terry
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 02:04 PM

Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
Xpy,

For teaching, I imagine that it would be better to use multiple sources. If something is lacking, as is usually the case when priorities need to me made in choosing what to include and what not to include, then supplementary material should be provided.

The OSB does not seem to be the "Orthodox Almanac", it did not seem to be the aim of the contributors and editing staff to encapsulate Orthodoxy as a whole with the study Bible.

I have been disappointed when prayer books I rely on do not have some of my favorite prayers, or when the prayer I reflect on most is truncated by editors who thought it too long. For this, I have more than one prayer book. Each has its strengths, if I were to focus on what they lack I would be pulling my hair out every time I try to pray.

The criticisms I've seen of the OSB in this thread have not been fundamental to the aim of the work. I could understand a critique that reflects on serious matters of doctrine, disagreements over the dating of a chronology in an appendix, or arguments on what is included. When arguments focus on what something is not, then the fodder for such an argument is endless. The focus then turns on “should have” or “could have” and tends to depend more on false expectations.

Here is a better question to ask: is what it is valuable or is what it is a waste of my investment?

Terry


that is what I was and am asking and those critical articles gave me precise questions to ask. Sure,. i didn't care about most of what they said. But there wre criticisms on not only what was lacking, but what was there that also made me doubt the material a little more whenever I found some sort of annotation surprising

I understand what you are saying but I don't think that what you it disqualifies all of the criticisms of the OSB. Some of them (even if not most of them) are valid especially after considering what the true intent of the OSB as you and others have wisely explained that intent to be.
Posted By: domilsean

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 02:59 PM

I got mine last week and I like it.

Then again, I had some pretty horrid translations around the house (I used to collect Bibles and the only one I brought with me when I moved was a Good News Bible I got for Confirmation 20 years ago -- what was I thinking? I blame a rather active social life as a college student for clouding my judgment...)

I wish it were a bit more annotated, but the NT is pretty well full of notes, which I've already found helpful.

One thing that I hoped would be answered, but isn't, is why everyone translates the beast in Psalm 104:26 differently. Is he a "creature", a "leviathan" (my favorite, and apparently the original Hebrew word), a "dragon" (which I think is OSB), a "whale"? Is this issue related to Hebrew Talmud vs. Greek Septuagint?

I'm giving myself 5 extra bonus points for knowing the Psalm number off hand, which proves that I'm paying attention at Vespers and reading my bible at home (when I do vespers at home)!
Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 03:22 PM

Originally Posted by Xpycoctomos
It is nice if criticism is followed by action, but non-action does not make criticism useless.


Criticism is not useless, but when not followed up with suggestions for improving, or even better for actual efforts to improve, the usefulness of those criticisms is limited. Criticism can of course not only not be useful, it can be detrimental. Especially when it veers out of constructive criticism and in to judgmentalism or creation of factionalism or divisiveness; or does done without charity. What I have noticed in parish life, which may or not be a parallel, is that lots of people are ready to offer up criticisms about many things but few are actually willing to help with their time or money when it is needed. Perhaps I am viewing this issue through that prism.

I ordered the OSB this week and look forward to getting it. I will decide if it makes sense for my Sunday School class and we can retire the NIV's we currently use.
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 04:38 PM

Originally Posted by AMM
Originally Posted by Xpycoctomos
It is nice if criticism is followed by action, but non-action does not make criticism useless.


Criticism is not useless, but when not followed up with suggestions for improving, or even better for actual efforts to improve, the usefulness of those criticisms is limited. Criticism can of course not only not be useful, it can be detrimental. Especially when it veers out of constructive criticism and in to judgmentalism or creation of factionalism or divisiveness; or does done without charity. What I have noticed in parish life, which may or not be a parallel, is that lots of people are ready to offer up criticisms about many things but few are actually willing to help with their time or money when it is needed. Perhaps I am viewing this issue through that prism.


I think that certainly could be parallel. All I know is that I found many of the criticisms to be legit and helpful for me in discerning what I feel I should expect out of an ORTHODOX study Bible. That is not to say that I found most of it helpful. i don't remember becuase it's been 5 years now since I read the article. I DO remember that I found some (much?) of it to be a bit sharp and seemed to have a personal bone to pick. I wrote much of that off as (understandable) frustration, but still not always useful as it may have been too emotional (rather than focused on positive construction).

I do defintiely see your points. I just don't think that the criticisms should be written off.

I will also point out that although these people were invited to participate in the creation or recreation of the OSB, it is unfair to suggest that since they chose not to participate in THIS commission, they therefore were just whining to whine and lost their opportunity to help the Church.

Something parallel I can think of is the ROCOR's criticism of the WCC. I mean the MP and other Orthodox jurisdictions involved could equally say to them "stop complaining about how messed up the WCC is and DO something about it!" and then we could accuse the ROCOR of just wanting to complain. But the ROCOR's point would be that the WCC is not a proper vehicle to witness to the rest of the world and we risk to lose more than we gain. Now, I am not commenting on who is right or wrong there nor do I wish to enter into any real conversation about the WCC and our involvement in it. My point is that perhaps the nay-sayers of the OSB are saying the entire perspective of how they have gone about the OSB is completely wrong. The entire premise of how they go about the OSB is wrong. Now, I don't agree with that, however, if I did and I had a place of leadership within the Church and I felt that this approach to how a Study Bible in the Orthodo Church were wrong was completely off-base and therefore possibly harmful to the mindset of the Church and how they approach the Bible, I wouldn't engage in teh commission either. Any group of people has an agenda. One enters a group to help an agenda... not to change it.

So I feel it is unfair to say "they had their chance." No, perhaps they didn't because they don't agree with the agenda to start with. "To create a Study Bible" is not really the agenda (no one has a problem with that) but rather "To create a Study Bible that focuses on these elements and that will be edited in this way and that will be only so long". I think these nay-sayers would suggest that an OSB should necessarily have longer annotations, more Church Father quotes and a myriad of other things that teh commission put together to create the OSB would never consider.

If the nay-sayers are making an OSB, it will probably look wholly different, be of a different length and so on. And they may be doing that. I mean, taking on the task that they wish to may take even longer and more money that they also do not have.

But, in the end, I agree with your sentiments that this OSB does serve a useful purpose within and outside of the Orthodox Church, warts (if there are still any) and all. I jsut have to ask myself (as you guys have said to me) if it serves the purpose I am looking for. I THINK, after reading this thread, that it will. I also think that I would LOVE to buy the OSB that the nay-sayers would create that may serve a different purpose (perhaps an example might be why I use my Antiochian Red Prayer Book a lot - because it's handy - and why I use the Jordanville - because it tends to be more complete... and I love them both).

Anyway, thanks for hearing out my blabs. In the end, all of your posts have been soooo helpful to me just to sort out my thoughts.

God bless!

Xpy
Posted By: mwbonline

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 05:10 PM

If I'm not mistaken, the Catholic bishops spent about a million dollars to get the NAB translated...

To focus the question a little more...was there no Orthodox Bible in English(not necessarily study Bible) in use through the year 2000?

In the Latin Church, there was Jerome's Vulgate...then the Douay Rheims (English)...then Confraternity...then the modern translations.

What about the Orthodox?

Posted By: AMM

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 05:22 PM

Originally Posted by AMM
The need for an English translation of sacred scripture as used in the Orthodox Church is a fairly recent phenomenon. No common accepted translation has yet been put in place. The official sources remain in Greek as handed down by the church.
Posted By: ajk

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 06:34 PM

Originally Posted by domilsean

One thing that I hoped would be answered, but isn't, is why everyone translates the beast in Psalm 104:26 differently. Is he a "creature", a "leviathan" (my favorite, and apparently the original Hebrew word), a "dragon" (which I think is OSB), a "whale"? Is this issue related to Hebrew Talmud vs. Greek Septuagint?


I don't know what the Talmud may say but Leviathan is in the Hebrew of the Masoretic text link, and is something like livyatan or liwyathan depending on choice of pronunciation/transliteration. Some scholars believe it may refer to a twisted serpent (see Isa 27:1) which may be the crocodile.

The Greek of the Septuagint has drakōn from which one would infer dragon.

Dn. Anthony
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 07:59 PM

Originally Posted by mwbonline
If I'm not mistaken, the Catholic bishops spent about a million dollars to get the NAB translated...

To focus the question a little more...was there no Orthodox Bible in English(not necessarily study Bible) in use through the year 2000?

In the Latin Church, there was Jerome's Vulgate...then the Douay Rheims (English)...then Confraternity...then the modern translations.

What about the Orthodox?



The honest truth: We're not tha Organized. When you have so many jurisdictions, it's honestly amazing that Orthodox were able to get together a commission that (I believe) was pan-Orthodox to do this at all.

The other thing is that, when you think about it, as a people who are not Sola Scriptura (just like Catholics), the urgency of having and official version is not so urgent becuase any translation is going to be off. The important thing is having the guidance of the Church. Teh Catholic Church in the US has the organization and the numbers (of people) to properly fund such a venture. Sure, if this were the first priority of the OCA or any SCOBA Church the money could probably have been found to properly fund this commission. I'm not saying it's not important, I'm not even saying that perhaps it shouldn't be a higher priority, but the fact of the matter is that event he NIV would work fine (even if not at all preferred) because for us (like for you) it's not just "me and my Bible". It's "My Church" and we understand the Bible through that.

Now, with all of that said, we still do not have any official anything in English. The OSB is only "The OSB" becuase it's the only one anyone knows about. But really it could just as easily be "An OSB". The translation is, I think, the NKJV (I think?) with revised parts. But you can hardly call that a new translation or an official translation. What makes it Orthodox are the annotations, the explanations and so on. It is not official in the same way your transaltions are official. Does that makes sense?

Xpy
Posted By: Alice

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/22/08 08:12 PM

Quote
The honest truth: We're not tha Organized. When you have so many jurisdictions, it's honestly amazing that Orthodox were able to get together a commission that (I believe) was pan-Orthodox to do this at all.


SO true!

Quote
What makes it Orthodox are the annotations, the explanations and so on.


And that is what I really like about it.

Alice
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/23/08 05:30 PM

I'm looking at the sample pages of Genesis and I really like when they point out which verses are in certain services like Vespers. That is really useful to me. I checked it out a while back but had forgotten about that. I do remember that, now, from Psalms.
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/25/08 06:01 PM

That feature was one that we definitely wanted, as it increases the understanding that practically the whole of Orthodox divine worship (Liturgy, Vespers, Matins) is composed of Scriptural quotations.

Now THAT's a good Bible Study!
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/25/08 06:43 PM

And the Divine Liturgy shows us how the OT is relevant to our salvation. It contextualizes what is otherwise, for me, a very archaic difficult to relate to collection of books. So, it's great that the OSB points out these verses so I can say "Oh yeah... I didn't realize that part of the Vespers was from the OT! :)"
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/25/08 07:22 PM

Amen to that!
Posted By: JSMelkiteOrthodoxy

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/27/08 06:04 PM

I just wanted to say that I'm enjoying my new Orthodox Study Bible. I think that it is a big improvement over the NT/Psalms version that came out previously.

The best feature of the new OSB is the translation from the Septuagint. We now have a bible in English that follows our official canonical text and that includes the books in canonical order. Also, I enjoy having the traditional, theological notes and essays as a compliment to the more "higher critical" notes that I have in other bibles. The best thing of all is that I bought my son a copy and he is reading it every day.

Joe
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 02/27/08 11:58 PM

That's great... especially about your son!
Posted By: Father Anthony

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 03/01/08 01:54 AM

Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
I just wanted to say that I'm enjoying my new Orthodox Study Bible. I think that it is a big improvement over the NT/Psalms version that came out previously.

The best feature of the new OSB is the translation from the Septuagint. We now have a bible in English that follows our official canonical text and that includes the books in canonical order. Also, I enjoy having the traditional, theological notes and essays as a compliment to the more "higher critical" notes that I have in other bibles. The best thing of all is that I bought my son a copy and he is reading it every day.

Joe

Myself and another priest I work with received our new OSBs today at a meeting. We did spend a few minutes comparing select verses from the RSV and NKJV. We found it interesting, and all I can say is the jury will be out on the new OSB for myself until I have had a chance to get used to it and really use it.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 03/01/08 02:31 AM

Originally Posted by JSMelkiteOrthodoxy
The best feature of the new OSB is the translation from the Septuagint.


Actually, the OSB Old Testament is the NKJV adjusted to the LXX rendering. That is, starting with the NKJV and adjusting where necessary. Still, its not so much the translation, but the fact that it has,

1 - all the books of the Orthodox Bible

2 - notes based on patristic commentary, and orthodox liturgy
Posted By: voxstefani

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 03/09/08 01:42 AM

Dear friends,

Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ!

My name is Esteban Vázquez, and a blog post of mine was one of two links featured in this thread's OP.

I simply wanted to note that I do not consider the comments I made on my blog a review of the OSB-NT, but rather an explanation (and a defense) of the review penned by Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash). As such, then, my ruminations are not lone-standing, but rather point to Father Ephrem's important review at every turn. It is there that any interested parties should turn for a critical assessment of the old OSB-NT; my comments add nothing whatever of value to what Father Ephrem had already said.

Also, I have posted on my blog initial thoughts on the complete OSB by T. R. Valentine, and linked to a couple other short reviews that have appeared elsewhere. I look forward to acquiring a copy of this important volume for myself, and perhaps make some comments about it, sometime in the future--but as you might imagine, such things are not easy to come by in Puerto Rico!

With love in Christ,
Esteban
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 03/10/08 07:00 PM

Is there a church in PR?
Posted By: voxstefani

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 03/10/08 07:26 PM

Yes, there is.

Our mission, dedicated to St Spyridon, is a multiethnic parish of the Serbian tradition in the Ecumenical Patriarchate's local Metropolis of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Now back to your regularly scheduled thread. wink
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 03/10/08 09:29 PM

Personally, I do like the RSV better as a translation, but mostly because I know the liturgical quotations very well.
Posted By: Xpycoctomos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 03/17/08 03:00 PM

wow! Thanks. My wife and I spent our Honeymoon in San Juan. That would have been nice to know! smile
Originally Posted by voxstefani
Yes, there is.

Our mission, dedicated to St Spyridon, is a multiethnic parish of the Serbian tradition in the Ecumenical Patriarchate's local Metropolis of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Now back to your regularly scheduled thread. wink
Posted By: Maximos

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 03/22/08 01:51 PM


Recently I purchased a copy of the new Orthodox Study Bible with the Old Testaments translated from the LXX by St. Athanasius Academy and have been reading through it, beginning with the Old Testament primarily. I have been revisiting Genesis and studying the relationship of humanity to God, Adam, and the fall, and must say that I am impressed with the translation and the commentary. The new translation reads very well, and the only thing that saddens me is the loss of the liturgical English for the Psalms, but I can always turn to the Psalter for that. Overall, I’m very impressed and would highly recommend this study Bible for all looking to grow in an understanding of the Scriptures, Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike.

I also have the Orthodox New Testament from Beuno Vista, Co which is a great resource, it is full of information, but for a devotional study, I found it abit overwhelming. I turn to it for more insight into the New Testament or if I have a question. It's a good resource into the understanding of the Scriptures from the Fathers.
Posted By: Aidan R

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 04/02/08 01:56 AM

I have the Orthodox New Testament from Holy Apostles Convent, CO. I really like them. The English is sometimes awkward but the translators were trying to be faithful to the original texts. The set is published in two volumes 1) Gospels 2) Apostolos. They are full of notes. They also have a e-version that is completely searchable. Check it out.

I'd like to hear from someone who is familiar with this set and compare them to the EOB version that is coming out.

May it be blessed,
Aidan
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 04/02/08 02:18 AM

Aidan

For what it's worth, they were published for two entirely different purposes, so comparison, in my humble opinion, is like asking who was a greater writer, Shakespeare or Milton. Shakespeare wrote plays, and Milton was a poet.

The Holy Apostles Convent NT, unless I'm wrong, was intended to be a reference library of patristic quotes on the New Testament, not a study bible in the classic sense of a one volume help for non-Biblically educated Christians.

The OSB NT & Psalms was published to put into the hands of laymen (not scholars or scholar-wannabes, like me) the text of the Scriptures with some Orthodox commentary.

Both are valuable, but picking one over the other is like picking wine over whiskey, or vice versa.

Anyway, that's my opinion. I've read them both, and many, many more.
Posted By: Aidan R

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 04/02/08 02:58 AM

Thank you. I like the format of the Orthodox New Testament. While the expressions in English are not common, the way the text is set up makes for not only easier reading but also easier understanding. Some Bibles break up the text so much with headings and verse divisions and columns it can be distracting. The ONT prints the text like a book or letter and you can get the thought better. IMHO anyway.

Anyway, I'm a whiskey man...after Lent, that is.

Aidan
Posted By: Brigid

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 04/02/08 05:24 PM

Dear Aidan,

I share your appreciation of the Orthodox New Testament. I bought both the two volume set and the one volume pocket edition, which has only the text without the commentaries. I like the size of the text in the ONT and also the way the icons seem to integrate better into the text. I only wish they had all been able to be reproduced in colour, but I suppose that would have been expensive. I haven't seen the new OSB yet, but I wasn't impressed by the original OSB NT and felt that many of the criticisms made in the reviews were justified. I much prefer to use the ONT, but I am hoping to get a chance to see the new OSB for myself.

Brigid
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 04/04/08 12:55 AM

Aidan

I'm with you. I'm a Lagavulin man.
Posted By: Father Anthony

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 04/13/08 09:46 AM

Just for your information, the leatherbound OSB is now out also. I was given a copy yesterday while assisting at a retreat.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 04/14/08 12:09 PM

Dear friends,

I was given a copy of the new complete, Orthodox Study Bible in a leather edition.

I give it high marks so far. It is a beautiful edition. It features nice big print and I enjoy the commentary. I like that there is now a complete English Bible in a readable version translated from the Septuagint and Received Text. I was pleasantly surprised that the Psalms were revised, they are much better than the NKJV Psalms. I like the OT books reflecting the order of the Septuagint.

I found interesting a possible mistake in one of the commentaries- it mentions that Cyprian must have been following "the Vulgate" in his reading of a particular passage. But did not Jerome translate the Vulgate about 150 years after Cyprian? I think they meant to say, he followed the Latin text. But perhaps I am mistaken? Were all Latin versions referred to as the the Vulgate?

I am disappointed that there was not a more in depth article about why the Byzantine Church uses the Septuagint for the OT and the Received Text for the NT. I think that would have been helpful, something on the order of Bishop Isaiah's article.

I am mildly disappointed that the books of Chronicles are not labeled Paralipomenon.

The Orthodox Study Bible will be my first string bible, followed by the Orthodox New Testament and the Confraternity-Douay Bible. It will be my primary bible for reading, prayer, study and teaching.

It may still have flaws, but so do all versions. I appreciate that the commentary does not reflect rationalistic, skeptical scholarship. I think we have enough of that.

Blessings,

Lance

A Byzantine Christian in a Postmodern World
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 04/15/08 02:35 PM

My review of the Orthodox Study Bible:

Review of the Orthodox Study Bible
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 04/17/08 04:39 PM

Lance,

Just received my copy 15 minutes ago...it looks marvellous! I'm headed to Japan tomorrow with it in tow...can't wait to dive in!

God bless and thanks for encouraging the purchase...

Gordo
Posted By: monksilouan

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 05/29/08 12:48 AM

Are there any more reviews and thoughts on the OSB now that it is out for a while?
Silouan, old monk
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 05/29/08 01:36 PM

Here is a review of the Orthodox Study Bible that is fairly critical of it:
http://swagnerwassen.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/7/

Ms. Wagner-Wassen does not regard it very highly and has very specific reasons why she does not. I still have a generally positive regard for it, and I am grateful to have it. But I think I should have done what Ms. Waggner-Wassen did, which was to use it for about a month before I reviewed it. I may have been too quick to praise it as uncritically as I have. I have been enthralled with having a complete Orthodox Bible with notes from a the Byzantine theological perspective.

It is great to have a bible translated from the Septuagint & Byzantine Text; but I wonder if the RSV with Apocrypha still is not a better translation stylistically. I think the RSV is definitely a better translation than the NKJV.

I wonder if in the end, the Orthodox Study Bible is more of a devotional Orthodox Study Bible than a scholarly study Bible?

Blessings,

Lance

A Byzantine Christian in a Postmodern World
Posted By: monksilouan

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 05/29/08 06:46 PM

Any thoughts on the New American Standard Bible (NASB)? I realize it omits the Apocrypha but, other than that, what think you?
Silouan, monk
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 05/30/08 01:31 AM

NASB is a good literal translation, but the Apocrypha is a deal breaker for me, and also, there is a few passages that reflect the Protestant evangelical bias. Also, I believe that the RSV is for all practical purposes just as literal (they were both revised from the American Standard version of 1901) and is available with the Apocrypha, and is has better literal style.
Posted By: Father Anthony

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 05/30/08 02:01 AM

Originally Posted by lanceg
Here is a review of the Orthodox Study Bible that is fairly critical of it:
http://swagnerwassen.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/7/

Ms. Wagner-Wassen does not regard it very highly and has very specific reasons why she does not. I still have a generally positive regard for it, and I am grateful to have it. But I think I should have done what Ms. Waggner-Wassen did, which was to use it for about a month before I reviewed it. I may have been too quick to praise it as uncritically as I have. I have been enthralled with having a complete Orthodox Bible with notes from a the Byzantine theological perspective.

It is great to have a bible translated from the Septuagint & Byzantine Text; but I wonder if the RSV with Apocrypha still is not a better translation stylistically. I think the RSV is definitely a better translation than the NKJV.

I wonder if in the end, the Orthodox Study Bible is more of a devotional Orthodox Study Bible than a scholarly study Bible?

Blessings,

Lance

A Byzantine Christian in a Postmodern World

Lance,

I read your reviews, and for the most part can agree with them. I do have a few major issues of my own working with the OSB. I have had the OSB for a couple months now and tried to use it with some regularity, but am somewhat frustrated with it.

First, I would have preferred if they had to use a matching text, the RSV would have been the text of choice. I am not a fan of the NKJV at all. That is just a personal preference. I was trained in seminary using the RSV, and I am more comfortable with the language.

Second, though I have to laud the project with including the complete apocrypha, the rearranging of the books to historical order, has become problematic if I am trying to work using it. I find myself constantly having to refer to the index to find were a certain book may be instead of the order I have memorized. This certainly can slow one down when working with a group bible study.

I find that as I have to have my eye prescription updated regularly, the text is not a good size or style for those that may have any vision difficulty.

Finally, I am not really all that impressed with the OSB except for the commentary articles. I have basically shelved the OSB and returned to the RSV unless I am looking for a commentary regarding a particular passage or part. I am certainly glad that I did not pay for the copies of the OSB that are now for the most part collecting dust on the bookshelf.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 05/30/08 11:56 AM

Originally Posted by Father Anthony
[quote=lanceg]Here is a review of the Orthodox Study Bible that is fairly critical of it:
http://swagnerwassen.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/7/

First, I would have preferred if they had to use a matching text, the RSV would have been the text of choice. I am not a fan of the NKJV at all. That is just a personal preference. I was trained in seminary using the RSV, and I am more comfortable with the language...Finally, I am not really all that impressed with the OSB except for the commentary articles. I have basically shelved the OSB and returned to the RSV unless I am looking for a commentary regarding a particular passage or part. I am certainly glad that I did not pay for the copies of the OSB that are now for the most part collecting dust on the bookshelf.


Father Anthony,

I agree and use it the same way.

I also miss the chapter outlines from the NT/Psalms Versions. I thought that those were particularly useful.

What is your opinion to the changes in the Morning and Evening Prayer sections, if I may ask? I recall you mentioning some concerns about the NT/Psalm edition.

God bless,

Gordo
Posted By: Father Anthony

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 05/30/08 02:39 PM

Originally Posted by ebed melech
Father Anthony,

I agree and use it the same way.

I also miss the chapter outlines from the NT/Psalms Versions. I thought that those were particularly useful.

What is your opinion to the changes in the Morning and Evening Prayer sections, if I may ask? I recall you mentioning some concerns about the NT/Psalm edition.

God bless,

Gordo

Gordo,

To be honest, I had not even looked at the pages containing the prayer section until you asked. An earlier criticism that existed and numerous hierarchs and clergy agreed with, that the prayers presented were a minimal offering and that the prayers concerning the Theotokos were missing. I just checked the one copy I have on my desk in my office, the current complete OSB offers even less. I do not know why they even spent the time to print the whole one page devoted to prayer.

With variants in prayer rules in the various traditions, I personally am against the inclusion in the OSB of any prayer rules or the suggestion thereof. It gives those that are unfamiliar with the Orthodox prayer life, the idea that this is the regular and full rule of prayer for these times. With the availability of various prayer books that offer a more complete prayer rule, there is not a necessity for the inclusion here. Also as has been suggested numerous times on this forum, any prayer rule or devotional life should done under the guidance of a spiritual father or director.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 05/31/08 02:38 PM

One thing that really saddens me now is that it is getting more difficult to find a new copy of the Revised Standard Version.

The only available edition of the RSV with the Septuagint canon is the RSV New Oxford Annotated Bible.

The only other RSV Bible I can find anymore are the various editions of the RSV Catholic edition, which fortunately are still widely available through Oxford, Scepter and Ignatius.

And to find a straight text edition of the ecumenical edition of the RSV, with or with out the Apocrypha, is no longer possible. Cambridge and Oxford have both recently dropped RSV text editions.
Posted By: Father Anthony

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 05/31/08 02:41 PM

Originally Posted by lanceg
One thing that really saddens me now is that it is getting more difficult to find a new copy of the Revised Standard Version.

The only available edition of the RSV with the Septuagint canon is the RSV New Oxford Annotated Bible.

The only other RSV Bible I can find anymore are the various editions of the RSV Catholic edition, which fortunately are still widely available through Oxford, Scepter and Ignatius.

And to find a straight text edition of the ecumenical edition of the RSV, with or with out the Apocrypha, is no longer possible. Cambridge and Oxford have both recently dropped RSV text editions.

Dear Lance,

That is why I treasure, preserve, and most importantly safe-guard my copy that is 25 years old from my seminary days. Replacements don't come easy!

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Posted By: ebed melech

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 06/01/08 02:25 AM

Originally Posted by Father Anthony
Originally Posted by lanceg
One thing that really saddens me now is that it is getting more difficult to find a new copy of the Revised Standard Version.

The only available edition of the RSV with the Septuagint canon is the RSV New Oxford Annotated Bible.

The only other RSV Bible I can find anymore are the various editions of the RSV Catholic edition, which fortunately are still widely available through Oxford, Scepter and Ignatius.

And to find a straight text edition of the ecumenical edition of the RSV, with or with out the Apocrypha, is no longer possible. Cambridge and Oxford have both recently dropped RSV text editions.

Dear Lance,

That is why I treasure, preserve, and most importantly safe-guard my copy that is 25 years old from my seminary days. Replacements don't come easy!

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


As do I. BTW, Father, what translations do most Orthodox jurisdictions use here in the States for liturgy?

My guess about the prayer rules is that the St. Athanasius Academy thought that something is better than nothing, especially considering these Bibles are used as Evangelization tools and in prison ministry. I agree with you that it certainly is not a sufficient prayer rule. I would think that it would be a good idea to put a disclaimer explaining this somewhere in the text.

God bless!

Gordo
Posted By: Father Anthony

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 06/01/08 10:25 AM

Gordo,

Taking a guess from what I can see used regularly, RSV and KJV. These are the only two that I have seen used in lectionary form.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Posted By: Fr David Straut

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 06/01/08 05:25 PM

English language ROCOR parishes pretty universally use the Authorised (King James) Version Gospel Book published by Holoviak. Most still use the Authorised Version also for the Epistles (with Prokeimena & Alleluia verses from the HTM Psalter) usually printed out on a piece of paper and placed inside a Slavonic or other Apostol, though some are now using the St Tikhon's Apostol (which is based on the NKJV corrected to use 'thee and thou' forms).

Antiochian Archdiocese has published an RSV Evangelion which is pretty universally used in the Archdiocese. Some use the Nassar Book for Epistles (which, I think, uses the Rheims NT), though some use the RSV Apostolos published by the Greeks.

Greek Archdiocese seems to use RSV for both Apostolos and Evangelion.

I've seen no uniformity in the OCA. Even though St Tikhon's publishes an Apostol (mention above) and a NKJV Gospel Book, they don't seem to be widely used. A few OCA types prefer KJV, especially for the Gospel. Many are using the RSV Apostolos and Evangelion published by the Greek or Antiochian Archdioceses. A local OCA parish here uses a Uniate Gospel (Archbishop Raya?).

Fr David Straut


Posted By: Fr Serge Keleher

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 06/01/08 10:29 PM

There are at least three Greek-Catholic editions of the Altar Gospel - one from the Ukrainian Eparchy of Stamford, one from the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, and that published by Metropolitan Archbishop Joseph (Raya). The only easy way to tell which is the one you saw is to look at the book again.

Meanwhile, it is not unusual to find Greek-Catholic parishes who use Orthodox editions, especially the Antiochian edition which follows the RSV. So does the Greek Archdiocese edition, but since it's parallel Greek-English it's too heavy and it's overpriced.

The Eparchy of Stamford edition has an important advantage, even though the text is the New American Bible - it's printed in the style of a normal Church-Slavonic Gospel Book, so if a reading happens not to be listed, one can still find it easily. It is always easier to ignore and unwanted feast or commemoration than to want one and not have it.

Fr. Serge

Fr. Serge
Posted By: Fr David Straut

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 06/01/08 11:10 PM

Fr Serge's post reminded me that I should have used the term "Greek Catholic Gospel" rather than "Uniate Gospel." I forget that the later term is seen by some as provocative. Though that was not my intention, I wish to cause no one offense. I ask forgiveness of any I might have offended.

Fr David Straut

Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 06/14/08 06:07 AM

Has anyone see the ESV (English Standard Version)?

It appears to be the RSV with no thees and thous.

Looks nice, but I haven't purchased it yet.

Most of the OCA texts are right out of the RSV, with amendments for the LXX. Nicely rendered, and consistent.

Regarding Gospel books, etc., most Churches I know use the Antiochian RSV Gospel, or the GOARCH version.
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 06/14/08 05:17 PM

I have an ESV New Testament. Generally, it is excellent. It only has a 6% text change from the RSV.

I do not care for how they translate 1 Timothy 3.15, saying the Church is merely "a pillar and bullwark of truth," rather than "the pillar and bulwark of the truth."

My understanding is that it is going to be released with an apocrypha.

The Antiochian Orthodox web site used to link to a searchable ESV; does anyone know how the ESV is being generally received by Orthodox Christians or jurisdictions?

Blessings,


Lance
______________________________________________________________

A Byzantine Christian in a Postmodern World
Posted By: monksilouan

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 06/30/08 07:05 PM

I found this review today. Any thoughts?
Blessings! Silouan, monk



A BOOK REVIEW OF THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE - John Collis, M.D.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 23, 2008



I INTRODUCTION




In 1993, the first Orthodox study bible was published, entitled THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE: NEW TESTAMENT AND PSALMS. This contains only the New Testament and the book of Psalms of the Old Testament, all taken from the New King James translation. THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE: NEW TESTAMENT AND PSALMS is available only in English, contains 846 pages, and can be obtained from Conciliar Press.




The second Orthodox study bible was published this year, 2008, entitled THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE. This is a complete bible, containing both the Old Testament and New Testament. The Old Testament is an original and scholarly translation of the Greek Septuagint, that of course includes the Deuterocanon/Apocrypha; the text of the New Testament is taken from the New King James translation. THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE is available only in English, contains 1,830 pages, and can be obtained from Conciliar Press, Lomond, California.




It is the complete study bible, THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE, that is the basis of this book review.



II REVIEW




The bible is the most popular book of all times. During the past 200 years, over 5 billion copies of the bible were printed; this includes translations into 2,043 different languages. The bible herein reviewed, THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE, will probably become the most significant, and the most valuable book ever written for Orthodoxy.




All bibles are scripture, i.e. every bible has at least a text. However, a study bible has both a text and explanations of that text. THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE is the very first of its kind for Orthodoxy in America.




The following are highlights from the study bible:




The entire Study bible is presented from an Orthodox point of view. This may be the most important feature of THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE.




Annotations (footnotes). The annotations are an invaluable aspect of the study bible. There are many thousands of footnotes, appropriately located throughout the text, at the bottom of pages.




The index for the annotations (footnotes). This index makes locating the instructive information possible.




Articles. The so called “articles” are actually essays. Every article is one page in length, and covers a wide range of religious topics. There are 47 such articles, and each is a masterpiece of Orthodoxy.

Examples of the articles follow: Creation, Ancestral sins, Christology, Baptism, Eucharist, Deification, Life after Death…




The index for the articles contains 74 listings. At first glance, this list is confusing; a closer look reveals there are 47 articles, plus 27 that are listed a second time – once as a title and again once as a topic.




Introduction to Orthodox Christianity. The history of Orthodoxy is presented under “Introducing the Orthodox Church”.




Overview of Each Book. The Right Reverend Basil of Wichita inspiringly presents an overview and summary of every book in the study bible.




Authorship of Each Book. Each of the 76 books of the bible starts with a description of the author (when known), date that the book was thought to have been written, major theme, background material for that book, and an outline of the actual text.




Reading the Bible. The Right Reverend Kallistos has contributed an essay, “How to Read the Bible.”




A glossary. Every entry is most illuminating.




A lectionary. This is included for personal readings for those who wish to follow the church calendar through the year.




Illustrations. Many beautiful illustrations of Saints and Icons are interspersed throughout the text.



Prayers. The section, Morning and Evening prayers, include the Nicene Creed.




Comparative View. A succinct, one page summary lists and compares the Old Testament books of the three great Christian Bibles: the Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, and the Protestant. There was no need to compare the books of the New Testament, since the New Testaments of all three great churches are identical.




Bible maps. These are located at the end of the bible. The four journeys of St. Paul are vividly charted.



III ACKNOWLEDGMENTS




Acknowledgments include the fact that THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE was prepared under the auspices of the Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology, Elk Grove, California. Father Jack Norman Sparks, Ph.D., is Dean.




General Editors of the Old Testament, are Metropolitan MAXIMOS, Th.D., Michel Najim, Ph.D., Eugene Pentiuc, Th.D., Ph.D., Jack Norman Sparks, Ph.D. The Managing Editor for the Old Testament is Jack Richard Ballew, and the Project Director is Jack Norman Sparks.




The General Editors for the New Testament are Joseph Allen, Th.D., Michel Najim, Jack Norman Sparks, and Theodore Stylianopoulos, Th.D. The Managing Editor is Allen Wallestedt. The Project Director is Father Peter Gillquist. The Overview Committee consists of 29 clergy and laity.




Supporting efforts for the Study Bible were more than 300 individuals, churches, and organizations, who were benefactors for this project. Their gifts were contributed to underwrite the cost of the biblical and patristic research and manuscripts. Thanks were due to all donors including Mr. Sam Moore, the retired chairman of Thomas Nelson Inc; he established a generous matching gift program.




Mr. Moore originally commented to Father Gillquist that since the Protestants had study bibles, and that the Catholics had their study bible, then it was about time for the Orthodox to write their own study bible. His comments challenged Father Gillquist, who subsequently led the enormous efforts that culminated, first of all, in 1993 with completion of the first Orthodox bible, and ultimately the completion this year of the second Orthodox bible. Indeed, Father Peter Gillquist was the “spark plug” for both study bibles.



IV DISCUSSION




The availability of THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE ushers a new era for Orthodox studies. This bible can, and will be the basis for inspiring sermons, Sunday School programs, and of course bible studies.




Furthermore, I believe this bible can, and will be the basis for translations into other languages, perhaps Greek or Russian…




The next edition of THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE must include “red letters” for the sayings of Jesus Christ. This omission is a regrettable oversight. Other minor oversights can be corrected in the next edition. Louise Klopsch, an American editor, was one of the first to add “red letters” to the New Testament. This occurred in the King James Bible in 1899.




A timeline is a chronology of bible events. A timeline would be a welcomed addendum to THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE. The “Life Application Study Bible” published by Zondervan contains such a chronology of bible events.




A concordance is an alphabetical index of the principal words of a book. A concordance might also be a welcomed addendum. It would not need be lengthy, but perhaps a similar length to the concordance in the “Ryrie Study Bible” published by Moody Press.




Judaism has its bible, the Tanakh, which is explained by the Talmud, the authoritative collection of writings drawn from the tradition of the Jewish people. Today, Orthodoxy has their study bible.

Tomorrow, Orthodox Christians should have an “Orthodox Talmud,” that is, Orthodox Christians should have an authoritative and well organized collection of writings drawn from the Orthodox Christian tradition.



V CONCLUSION




THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE is actually a library, or more precisely a compendium of books, topics, essays and ideas, all phenomenally well planned and superbly compiled. THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE may well become the single most valuable book ever written for Orthodoxy.




St. Paul speaking to Timothy says, “…from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Timothy 3: 15-16).




Dr. John Collis is presently a 25 year member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council, teaches Sunday School and practices Neurosurgery in Cleveland, Ohio.

Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 08/21/08 01:56 AM

-Here's the input of one Armenian Orthodox minor-clergyman smile

The New Septuagint and the Armenian Orthodox Church

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

If interested, I wanted to share this watershed moment of Christianity with all of you (something I have waited for most of my adult life): The Publication of the first translation of the Orthodox Septuagint into modern English along with notes illuminating the ancient Orthodox Faith.

Some highlights of this Bible for me, as an Armenian Orthodox Christian, are the following:

1. The numbering of the Psalms reflect the ancient tradition of the Universal Church, as historically maintained by the Greek, Latin, Coptic, Armenian, Slavic and other ancient Churches. The Septuagint being the source of all their Old Testaments.

2. The fuller Old Testament Canon including the book of 3 Maccabees, 1 & 2 Ezra, the Prayer of Manasseh and the 151st Psalm (which appear in ancient and modern Armenian Church Canons). These books are not placed in an ostracized section (as in some Bibles), but in a Traditional, Canonical order reflecting their respective genre and meaning.

3. The removal of a paragraph in the original Orthodox Study Bible New Testament which called into question the Orthodoxy of the Oriental Orthodox Communion (including the Coptic, Ethiopian, Syriac, Armenian and Indian Churches). The OSB is now truly meant for the use of All Orthodox Christians, and can even be very helpful for Eastern and Latin Catholics.

4. The Septuagint (abbreviated LXX) was translated by Jews 200 years before the birth our Lord Jesus Christ, roughly 600 years before St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate and 1000 years before the Hebrew Masoretic Text -the text which serves as the basis for ALL modern English Old Testament Translations (whether Catholic or Protestant). The Christological prophesies which are lost (or distorted) in the Masoretic are fully evident in the LXX. This was the primary Old Testament of the great Fathers of the Church.

5. The OSB contains numerous notes from ancient Christian Fathers of the Church (see list below) whose writings were among the first to be translated into Armenian by our Holy Translators (following the Holy Scriptures).

6. Not only is the Septuagint the primary text used by our Holy Translators, Sts. Sahag and Mesrob, to make the Armenian Version known as the "Queen of All Translations," but it was the Old Testament text used by the Apostles themselves as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the New Testament. What more could we ask for in an English Translation?

7. Based on the above this translation has the potential to become THE OFFICIAL ENGLISH translation of not only the Orthodox Church of Armenia in English speaking countries but also the entire English speaking Orthodox Church..

Trusting in Christ's Inextinguishable Light
Sub-Deacon Lazarus W. Der-Ghazarian

The OSB can be purchased on-line at: http://orthodoxstudybible.com/
Posted By: Elizabeth Maria

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 08/21/08 02:10 AM

Thank you Subdeacon Ghazar

I am also enjoying my copy of the OSB.

Elizabeth-Maria
Posted By: Jakub.

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 08/21/08 04:23 AM

It is good to hear from a old friend Subdeacon Ghazar !

Pax

james
Posted By: Sub-Deacon Ghazaros

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 08/26/08 01:04 AM

Dear Elizabeth-Maria and old friend Jakub:

I too am very much enjoying my new long-awaited LXX. Since Pascha, I hope to spend the next year studying the entire Bible. Between the notes in the OSB and the Navarre Commentary, I'm getting a full helping of Scripture and commentary and I thank God everyday for this golden opportunity. My family is doing the Bible readings and notes with me from the OSB and then I share with them the notes that most stand out to from the Navarre. Its been wonderful. Instead of doing our lectionary readings we are doing two OT readings in the morning and then one NT reading in the evening. We started with Genesis and Job and are following my "NT arragned for advantageous reading" order of NT books which basiscally divides the four Gospels and other related NT books into four sections: 1) Gospel to the Hebrews (Mt, Heb, Jas, and Jude), 2a) Gospel to the Gentiles (Lk & Acts and the Epistles of St. Paul), 2b) Gospel to the Romans and St. Peter's Epistles, 3) The Works of St. John the Apostle and Theologian (this is explained more fully on my webpage). We still pray the Psalms everyday. Once we finish the NT, which Lord willing will be in a couple months, then we will hope to go to three OT's a day. We will save Daniel (which is placed last in this LXX OT) and Revelation for our last two books. How's that for a fitting conclusion? smile

I'm really excited about the LXX and I have always just wanted to take time out and study what the Armenian Church calls, "the Breath of God," following 2 Tim 3:16. I know I have an obligation and duty as a deacon to do this as well. The OSB is packed with patristic notes. It's great to hear the Father's insights into, especially the O.T. Scirptures.

My Scripture page link if interested:
http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/OSB.html

God be with you both,
Sub-Deacon Ghazar
Posted By: Jakub.

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 08/26/08 03:48 AM

I look forward to visiting your link and material...

james
Posted By: monksilouan

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 11/21/08 08:35 PM

Since the OSB has been out for a while are there any new thoughts on this translation's accuracy and reliability?
Monk Silouan
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 11/21/08 09:33 PM

I do not know how technically accurate it is, but I have the Orthodox Study Bible with me every day now. We got a case of them for our Bible study at Church.

I really like it a lot. If I was stranded on a dessert island and could have only one, it would be the Orthodox Study bible.

today at the coffee shop I have:

My Orthodox Study bible
the Orthodox New Testament by Holy Apostles Convent
The Pocket Psalter according to the 70.
Daily Prayers for Orthodox Christians.
Posted By: DewiMelkite

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 11/22/08 12:44 AM

lanceg

Upon reading your post a thought just dawned on me, we are incredibly boring. I carry an assortment of the same books as you on a daily basis also.. this means that we couldn't even share our thoughts on our day to day reading at an average book club.. having said that I think I would be upset if I found one of my faves in Oprah's book club.

I really love the OSB, I think it is fantastic.
Posted By: pooklaroux

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 11/22/08 10:14 PM

I have begun praying the Psalms every day again, and the last time I did this a few years ago, it was when I was going through RCIA. I was praying the Divine Office (Roman) and have a small volume called "The School of Prayer" which helped me to get the most out of the Psalms and Canticles. I am wondering if the OSB would help me learn about the Psalms from the Eastern perspective.
Posted By: lanceg

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 11/25/08 12:31 AM

I would say the OSB has very helpful info on the psalms, although some of it would only relate to the Byzantine Horologian or Chasoslav (Divine Hours).

However, I might recommend Patrick Henry Reardon's excellent book, Christ in the Psalms. HE seems to know the patristic understanding of the Psalms, and also, how they are used in various offices, East & West.

You can see it on Amazon: Patrick Henry Reardon, Christ in the Psalms
Posted By: pooklaroux

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 11/25/08 12:58 AM

That does look like a great book recommendation, lanceq. Actually, you're not too far off my intention. It just isn't as easy for a layperson to pray the Hours in the way of the East, as it is say to follow one of the Western Divine Office books meant for laypersons pray along with the Church. I'm working on developing a personal rule that will remain faithful to the spirit of the Office as it is prayed in the East.

I have two books from Eastern Christian Publications, Let Us Pray To The Lord Vol I & II, and I'm working from that as a baseline. But I also pray a Kathisma with Matins and one with Vespers. My next step will be the add in Epistles and Gospel Readings. I need some referencs to interpret the Scriptures according tot he Rite I observe now. I used a lot of reference books to understand he Scriptures when I prayed the Office before.
Posted By: Prester John

Re: Orthodox Study Bible - 11/25/08 10:45 PM

I know Fr. Pat. His work is not only excellent, but he was originally slated to do the commentary for the OSB Psalms.

I'm not sure what happened, but I'm sure happy that he published his excellent 'ponderings' in this book.

It is excellent.
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