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Here is an interesting article by Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes of Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Boise, ID that goes into much of what this thread is discussing. Why is there no "standard Orthodox Bible", which the best English translation to use is in his opinion, and many other tangential but worthwhile topics related to the Bible from an Eastern perspective.

http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/scripturesinthechurch.htm

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What Translation Should I Use? The answer is this: the King James Version (KJV) is the most reliable and faithful English translation, Unfortunately, it is written in an archaic, 500 year old style of English. Although not as incomprehensible as the 2000 year old Greek of the New Testament and Liturgy is to modern Greek speakers, it is still awkward and difficult for many to understand.

The real question that begs - indeed pleads - for an answer, is this: "Why hasn"t the Greek Orthodox Church sponsored an accurate translation into modern English from the Byzantine texts and extant fragments of Scripture found in the liturgy of the Church?"

The quote/article is circa 2000, FYI.

I am partial to the KJV also because I love that style of the English language, although I realize it is not as assessable to others.

The OSB, of course, uses the NKJV but is seemingly guarded against Orthodox criticisims of the NKJV [holy-trinity.org] (having been a largely Evangelical American update to the KJV) making it aim to be contemporary enough to not require familiarity with the Elizabethan of the KJV but not also not "evangelicized" by the NKJV translation.

Considering the alternatives, I find that tough to beat.

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What do you guys (who are aware of these translations) think of the Navarre Bible or the RSV-CE? A reason I wonder about the use of the KJV is because of articles like this:

http://www.catholic.com/library/Bible_Translations_Guide.asp

Also, I read that the OSB "fixes" parts of the KJV to correct some of it's Protestant slant. Can anyone show me a difference in the OSB's KJV and the KJV ?

Thank you,

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel

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Originally Posted by jjp
I am partial to the KJV also because I love that style of the English language, although I realize it is not as assessable to others.

I also prefer the English of the KJV as well as the Douai-Rheims. I've never attended an Orthodox Liturgy, and was wondering if they still make use of this style? Judging from the Jordanville prayer book I assume they do, which would be great. I would think it adds a higher dimension of reverence and solemnity. I wish Catholic (both Roman and Eastern) liturgies in English would use it, but I think to try that now would cause riots!

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Originally Posted by desertman
Originally Posted by jjp
I am partial to the KJV also because I love that style of the English language, although I realize it is not as assessable to others.

I also prefer the English of the KJV as well as the Douai-Rheims. I've never attended an Orthodox Liturgy, and was wondering if they still make use of this style? Judging from the Jordanville prayer book I assume they do, which would be great. I would think it adds a higher dimension of reverence and solemnity. I wish Catholic (both Roman and Eastern) liturgies in English would use it, but I think to try that now would cause riots!


I also like the English of the KJV but that's because it is what I spent my youth reading and memorizing scripture. I'n not someone who can judge the beauty of the actual English used.

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Originally Posted by desertman
I would think it adds a higher dimension of reverence and solemnity. I wish Catholic (both Roman and Eastern) liturgies in English would use it, but I think to try that now would cause riots!

I disagree here. Most people find it more "reverential" because they hear great dramatists' works like Shakespeare in that style. But it's important to note that it was simply how plays and works of literature (KJV) were written in that time. There was nothing "reverential" about that style at that time. It's only perceived that way by us now because our reverence for those works of art has juxtaposed onto the vernacular they used.

What I would prefer to read a Bible in is one thing, but the Word in Church I believe should strive to be both accurate and easily understood, as it was then.

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Originally Posted by Luvr of East
I also like the English of the KJV but that's because it is what I spent my youth reading and memorizing scripture. I'n not someone who can judge the beauty of the actual English used.

I wasn't condemning the current form of English used. I believe the liturgy is beautiful as it is. I only meant that I think it would be even MORE beautiful with a KJV style English in my opinion. We all have our own particular tastes, so who can accurately judge what is objectively more beautiful on any given subject?

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Originally Posted by desertman
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
I also like the English of the KJV but that's because it is what I spent my youth reading and memorizing scripture. I'n not someone who can judge the beauty of the actual English used.

I wasn't condemning the current form of English used. I believe the liturgy is beautiful as it is. I only meant that I think it would be even MORE beautiful with a KJV style English in my opinion. We all have our own particular tastes, so who can accurately judge what is objectively more beautiful on any given subject?


desertman,

I apologize for the tone that part took. I did not mean it in that way.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel

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Originally Posted by jjp
Originally Posted by desertman
I would think it adds a higher dimension of reverence and solemnity. I wish Catholic (both Roman and Eastern) liturgies in English would use it, but I think to try that now would cause riots!

I disagree here. Most people find it more "reverential" because they hear great dramatists' works like Shakespeare in that style. But it's important to note that it was simply how plays and works of literature (KJV) were written in that time. There was nothing "reverential" about that style at that time. It's only perceived that way by us now because our reverence for those works of art has juxtaposed onto the vernacular they used.

What I would prefer to read a Bible in is one thing, but the Word in Church I believe should strive to be both accurate and easily understood, as it was then.

I understand your point, but I can honestly say Shakespeare has had absolutely no influence on me. grin And I would say that yes, if the Liturgy were recited in that fake, exaggerated, pompous English accent that most bad actors use when performing Shakespeare, it would be horrendous! But if it were chanted modestly and calmly with reverence, I think it would be quite beautiful.

But as I also said, I'm perfectly content with modern English in the Liturgy.


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Originally Posted by Luvr of East
desertman,

I apologize for the tone that part took. I did not mean it in that way.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel

Don't worry 'bout it!
Have a great night!

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No English translation can have better credibility than the original language textual tradition it is based upon.

I looked long and hard to find authentic printed Greek texts of the New Testament and Greek Seventy (LXX) according to the historical manuscript traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church. Really, I did. But to my dismay, I found such has never been published and I think it probably never will be.

All Byzantine Orthodox Greek New Testament manuscripts up to the 15th century omit the so-called Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7-8). The passage was in the Latin Vulgate, but not any Byzantine Greek manuscript. Erasmus included the passage in his 1525 printed Greek New Testament apparently grafted in from Latin manuscripts in his possession. It seems that subsequent to 1525 the Greek Orthodox simply chose to adopt Erasmus' printed text including the Comma as their official printed edition, thus forsaking their centuries old manuscript tradition that had preserved the authentic Greek New Testament since antiquity.

Thus understanding the text critical theory behind it, I feel the modern Protestant so-called "Majority Text" GNT is much closer to the Byzantine Orthodox manuscript tradition than the official Orthodox printed Textus Receptus of today is.

Even the official Orthodox printed edition of the Greek Seventy is not the same as the Orthodox manuscript tradition. The Apostoliki Diakonia LXX edition is by to its own testimony merely a back edited version of Alfred Rhalfs' 1935 "Septuaginta". I find the Apostoliki Diakonia's back editing seems rather imperfectly executed.

So for better or worse, I now use Rhalfs' instead. At least there was a degree of transparency in Rhalfs' method. He also included a useful textual apparatus. The new Gottingen Septuagint is too expensive for my blood. So I am likely to continue using Rhalf's for the forseeable future.

That is the way I see it anyway.


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I have now completed my personal reading through the entire Orthodox Study Bible , published by Thomas Nelson.

I must say, it hangs together well as a coherent translation and is an enjoyable read. I was already familiar with the NKJV New Testament, and find the like stylized Old Testament (LXX) translation refreshing.

I compared the whole Old Testament (LXX) English translation to the A. Rahlfs Greek LXX text mentioned in my last post - from which the OSB Old Testament reports to have been translated. It generally follows closely, but there are more than a few places which I might have translated differently.

I paid little attention to the commentary liner notes. The few comments I did read seemed rather superficial. Thus I found myself ignoring the majority of the commentary. Frankly, even though I have many, I have little interest in Commentary Study Bibles anyway. But overall the Orthodox Study Bible makes a useful complement to my collection of Bible translations.


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