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Author Topic: The Orthodox Bible Study Companions - Good? Bad? Recommended?  (Read 1814 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 10, 2008, 11:10:38 AM »

Are the Orthodox Bible Study Companion Series by Lawrence R. Farley recommended?

Has anyone read any of them?
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2008, 11:54:29 AM »

Do not know; I was not even aware of these. I have read his book: "Let Us Attend" re the Divine Liturgy which seems to be a fine concise, substantive, and understandable explanation of the DL (approx 100pp). General impression is that these would be good also.
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2008, 12:10:11 PM »

I have the Gospel of John - Beholding the Glory by him, and I think it is pretty good.  

There are things in this Commentary that I could not find in The Explanation of The Holy Gospel According to John by Blessed Theophylact.  I'll give an example,

Jesus said to them, "Amen amen, I say to you before Abraham came to be, I Am." (John 8:58)

My personal question that I had, is this same I Am (in the Greek New Testament) is the same I Am in the Septuagint? Blessed Theophylact does NOT really say that, because he assume you can read greek and have a copy of the Septuagint.  While Lawrence R. Farley does not assume that you know Greek, and explains that the Greek I Am (in the Greek New Testament) is the same greek I Am in the Septuagint.

Lawrence R. Farley says, "Christ has one last claim for them, like the others, it was prefaced with a solemn, Amen, Amen, I say to you. They could be sure of this.  Not only was He greater and older than Abraham. Before Abraham even came to be, He Himself eternally existed.

The Greek for Jesus claim "I Am" is ego eimi.  In other contexts , the words ego eimi could mean no more than, "I am the one" -- compare its use by Christ in 4:26; 8:24; and and by the blind man in 9:9.  In this context, however, it clearly means more, since Christ's hearers responded by trying to stone Him for alleged blasphemy.  

It is, in fact, a reference to the Divine Name of God, which He revealed to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3.  At that time, Yahweh was asked by Moses what His Name was, and He responded, "I am that I am" -- in the Greek Setpuagint, ego eimi o on (Ex. 3:14) -- shortened in that verse, "I Am - Greek o on.  By declaring to the Jews, "I am," Christ was claiming nothinbg less than that He was the One who revealed Himself to Moses at the burning Bush, that He was one with the Father, the eternal I Am.  No wonder the Jews took up strones to cast at Him for what they thought to be the highest blasphemy.  His hour, however was not yet, and so He was out of the Temple safe and sound after His foes has dispersed.

The controversy after those festal days have reached its climax with the Jews ready to lynch Him, hearing and rejecting His highest claims.  

We may add a final word about the Greek words indicating the Lord's divinity.  The words denoting the Name of Yahweh in Exidus 3:14 in the Greek were, as we have seen, o on -- literally "the being or He who is." The letters are 0, the Greek letter omicron, meaning "the," followed by on, that is the Greek letters omega nu, meaning "being," a particple of the word eimi, "to be." It is these three Greek letters which adorn the head of Christ in our Orthodox icons, looking like "o wv"  THese letters in the icons refer to the Divine name in Exodus 3:14, as rendered in the Greek Septuagint."

(The Gospel of John, Beholding the Glory by Lawrence R Farley)

My Comment:


I think the commentary is good. And highly recommend it.

In fact, I just order his commentary on Romans.  And I look forward to reading it.





« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 12:13:53 PM by Irenaeus07 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2008, 12:48:40 PM »

I just picked up a copy of the Gospel of John myself.  I've only read a few pages, but it seems pretty good so far. 

I have had the same questions about the "I am's" of Jesus.  There are some "I Am's" that produce the blasphemy reaction and others that don't.  I didn't know what the words were in Aramaic or Greek to know if there was a different interpretation for each statement.  Since Jesus would have spoken in Aramaic, was the wording for the "I Am's" different.   I Am God vs. I am Jesus.
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2008, 01:12:53 PM »

I just picked up a copy of the Gospel of John myself.  I've only read a few pages, but it seems pretty good so far. 

I have had the same questions about the "I am's" of Jesus.  There are some "I Am's" that produce the blasphemy reaction and others that don't.  I didn't know what the words were in Aramaic or Greek to know if there was a different interpretation for each statement.  Since Jesus would have spoken in Aramaic, was the wording for the "I Am's" different.   I Am God vs. I am Jesus.

Jesus spoke Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, and I would assume He knew all languages, but he definitely spoke Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew since these were the languages of his local area of that time.
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2008, 01:18:27 PM »

Is there any way of knowing which language he would have primarily conversed in or that his original words in the Gospel were spoken?
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2008, 02:00:58 PM »

Is there any way of knowing which language he would have primarily conversed in or that his original words in the Gospel were spoken?

I don't know the percentage, but in the Gospels, it is believed Jesus quoted from both the Septuagint and the Aramaic (Hebrew) Bible, which can distinguished by Old Testament quotes, if they are exactly like that Septuagint, then He spoke greek and if it is not exactly like the septuagint, he was speaking Aramaic, and someone told me this but I have not confirmed this or read it anyway.
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