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« on: May 17, 2011, 03:29:02 AM »

I've often read online that I should buy The Orthodox Study Bible, as it is crucial for Christians to own. But what I want to know is what sets it apart from other bibles? I should probably ask what makes this bible so crucial that I can't get from another biblical translation or even another book such as "The Orthodox Church" by Ware?

Thanks,

M
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2011, 03:45:28 AM »

I've often read online that I should buy The Orthodox Study Bible, as it is crucial for Christians to own. But what I want to know is what sets it apart from other bibles? I should probably ask what makes this bible so crucial that I can't get from another biblical translation or even another book such as "The Orthodox Church" by Ware?

Thanks,

M

I think the main thing it offers versus many Bibles is the added commentary.

The bottom of every page has commentary on specific Scriptures from an Orthodox POV.

It also has a few 'articles' on specific subjects such as the Thoeotokos and whether or not God has been faithful to His people - Israel, etc.

I rushed out and bought one as soon as I discovered Orthodoxy and I would say it's been helpful to me... but I've heard some on here criticize it as well.

I would recommend it personally.

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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 06:41:38 AM »

I've often read online that I should buy The Orthodox Study Bible, as it is crucial for Christians to own. But what I want to know is what sets it apart from other bibles? I should probably ask what makes this bible so crucial that I can't get from another biblical translation or even another book such as "The Orthodox Church" by Ware?

1. Its Old Testament is based on the version used by the Orthodox Church (LXX), although the N.E.T.S. is probably better for serious academic use. Nearly all other English Bibles are based on the Hebrew MT, which differs considerably in places.

2. You could probably get more and better commentary from other books (Ancient Christian Commentaries on Scripture, for example), but you'd need a lot of them - most people don't have the time or money involved in that level of study. "The Orthodox Church" by Met. Kallistos is definitely not a substitute for a biblical commentary.
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 09:57:14 AM »

The OSB is good I think especially for Western inquirers of Orthodoxy. It is basic, sound, & reliable although its style may seem unusual to those whose faith expression is patristic oriented or of old world cultural norms although both are still part of its fabric (for ex. there may only be one prayer of veneration to the Theotokos in the supplements although in the Bible study her role in our Lord's plan of salvation is well explained). The complete OT & NT OSB has  an Orthodox Psalter (& translated a such) although the original NT & Psalms edition has the western Psalter in the NKJV.
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2011, 10:10:28 AM »

The OSB is good for the comments but it is also bad for the comments. The reason I say this is that it is one interpretation of the writings, by a group of scholars and doesn't account for other POVs on the subject. Not to say that the interpretations of the scriptures are wrong, but limiting yourself to one source for an explanation of a passage can be dangerous.

-Nick
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2011, 11:03:45 AM »

The OSB is good for the comments but it is also bad for the comments. The reason I say this is that it is one interpretation of the writings, by a group of scholars and doesn't account for other POVs on the subject. Not to say that the interpretations of the scriptures are wrong, but limiting yourself to one source for an explanation of a passage can be dangerous.

-Nick

So basically you'd like no commentary at all, or a 22 volume set of commentaries to come with it?  angel
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2011, 11:45:50 AM »

i love the orthodox study Bible  Cheesy
by the way, metropolitan kallistos is one of the bishops who worked on it
(and he is from my country!)  Smiley

if i was a PhD student, i would go for something more 'scholarly',
but i think even all scholars should read the orthodox study Bible first
before moving on to other texts. it has all the basics and is great for
those of us who did not grow up orthodox.
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2011, 11:55:28 AM »

The OSB is good for the comments but it is also bad for the comments. The reason I say this is that it is one interpretation of the writings, by a group of scholars and doesn't account for other POVs on the subject. Not to say that the interpretations of the scriptures are wrong, but limiting yourself to one source for an explanation of a passage can be dangerous.

-Nick

So basically you'd like no commentary at all, or a 22 volume set of commentaries to come with it?  angel

I'd say many of the comments are of limited usefulness. First of all, you have all the Patristic quotes which are unsourced. Then you have interpretive comments which presumably come from the editors, which also don't provide much background as to where they drew these conclusions from. It's not so much a matter of accounting for other POV's because they can't really account for their own either. I think the book was definitely rushed- they should have given it another year at least.
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2011, 12:23:36 PM »

The OSB took years to complete & I highly doubt it was "rushed", it bears the approval of American clerical hierarchs, & many priests worked on it. I know the priest who translated the book of Joshua (for ex.) for the complete OT/NT OSB. There was much love & sweat put into this project, costs to consider, & a desire to actually present it to the laity.
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2011, 12:33:38 PM »

The OSB is good for the comments but it is also bad for the comments. The reason I say this is that it is one interpretation of the writings, by a group of scholars and doesn't account for other POVs on the subject. Not to say that the interpretations of the scriptures are wrong, but limiting yourself to one source for an explanation of a passage can be dangerous.

-Nick

So basically you'd like no commentary at all, or a 22 volume set of commentaries to come with it?  angel

I'd say many of the comments are of limited usefulness. First of all, you have all the Patristic quotes which are unsourced. Then you have interpretive comments which presumably come from the editors, which also don't provide much background as to where they drew these conclusions from. It's not so much a matter of accounting for other POV's because they can't really account for their own either. I think the book was definitely rushed- they should have given it another year at least.

I think this is partly to do with the target audience. I think the OSB is generally intended to be "My First Orthodox Bible", containing very basic apologetics and such. There is only so much you can put into a study Bible.

That's why I agree, they should release an OSB without all the commentary and study stuff. I just want to read it, I don't want all this other stuff. If I want commentary, I'll seek it out elsewhere. It's a different target audience. (It also would function better as a pew Bible without all the extra material. Yet there are parishes with bulky OSB's stuffed into the pew racks.)
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 12:43:50 PM »

Its interesting for all the flak the OSB has taken that more other Orthodox translations have emerged in America than probably a century of time prior to the OSB. I think some opinions are just hostile to us average joes having basic faith literacy but perhaps lacking extensive background in patristics & ecclesiology.
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2011, 12:46:01 PM »

Its interesting for all the flak the OSB has taken that more other Orthodox translations have emerged in America than probably a century of time prior to the OSB. I think some opinions are just hostile to us average joes having basic faith literacy but perhaps lacking extensive background in patristics & ecclesiology.

When the notes include a quote by, say, St. Basil, would naming the work of St. Basil's whence the quote was derived make the OSB harder for you to use?
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2011, 12:53:44 PM »

Its interesting for all the flak the OSB has taken that more other Orthodox translations have emerged in America than probably a century of time prior to the OSB. I think some opinions are just hostile to us average joes having basic faith literacy but perhaps lacking extensive background in patristics & ecclesiology.

When the notes include a quote by, say, St. Basil, would naming the work of St. Basil's whence the quote was derived make the OSB harder for you to use?
No......I am not trying to negate patristics & I have read St. Basil the Great's: "On the Holy Spirit", "On wealth & Poverty" by St.John Chrysostom & others. I also carry a basic catechism of the faith that has no patristic quotes but was overseen by the bishop to be published so circumstances vary.
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2011, 01:21:45 PM »


That's why I agree, they should release an OSB without all the commentary and study stuff. I just want to read it, I don't want all this other stuff. If I want commentary, I'll seek it out elsewhere. It's a different target audience.
Likewise. I don't much care for study Bibles of any stripe, but I do want a reasonably affordable translation of the LXX.
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2011, 01:37:02 PM »

the orthodox study Bible doesn't have that much commentary and it's getting cheaper as more are printed.
you can even get it from some largely protestant bookshops in uk  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2011, 01:40:23 PM »

the orthodox study Bible doesn't have that much commentary and it's getting cheaper as more are printed.
you can even get it from some largely protestant bookshops in uk  Smiley
Yeah, the Orthodox Study Bible is one of the only Orthodox-related texts that I can find in Protestant bookstores. I've also seen a copy at just about every chain bookstore in my area.
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2011, 02:24:17 PM »

It is a rushed job, despite the years spent on it, because it is lacking in content, editing, and accuracy. Much of the commentary is redundant, some is nonsensical, and some is either questionable or not at all Orthodox. The OSB leaves much to be desired, but perhaps the most glaring absences are transparency (no attributions, no notes on how, exactly, the "translation" was done--each book is different) and endorsement (no Orthodox bishop or synod has given a blessing or imprimatur. The OSB is billed as far more than it actually is, IMO.
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« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2011, 02:41:16 PM »

"No Orthodox bishop" etc. "has given a blessing" well then what do the names of all SCOBA hierarchs in each edition signify? I presume that these do not constitute an impramatur so what sort of oversight do their names constitute?
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« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2011, 03:05:19 PM »

1. If the OSB is a "first bible" then what would be a good "second bible" and so forth?

2. Personally I don't see how having over 50 translations of the bible is good. I don't have the time to study that many books, plus I don't have the time to have to read and write Greek & Hebrew just to have a relationship with God.

3. Also, I don't see why it is so hard to translate the LXX or Hebrew OT into English, Swahili, Mandarin etc. without adding to or changing the translation? I use the NIV Student Bible and although it has helped me out a ton, I can see where it is totally geared towards the Protestant Christian, which is not what I consider myself anymore.
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« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2011, 03:10:48 PM »

NOAB RSV only one I use.

Yeah I'm a RSV-onlyist
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« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2011, 05:49:58 PM »

The OSB is good for the comments but it is also bad for the comments. The reason I say this is that it is one interpretation of the writings, by a group of scholars and doesn't account for other POVs on the subject. Not to say that the interpretations of the scriptures are wrong, but limiting yourself to one source for an explanation of a passage can be dangerous.

-Nick

So basically you'd like no commentary at all, or a 22 volume set of commentaries to come with it?  angel

I'd say many of the comments are of limited usefulness. First of all, you have all the Patristic quotes which are unsourced. Then you have interpretive comments which presumably come from the editors, which also don't provide much background as to where they drew these conclusions from. It's not so much a matter of accounting for other POV's because they can't really account for their own either. I think the book was definitely rushed- they should have given it another year at least.

To be honest, except for looking up something in a deuterocanonical book, I never really used the OSB. That's not meant to be a slight against them, I just never was lured to it away from my KJV chain reference Bible. Also, regarding the Fathers, you can find most of the Sayings of the Desert Fathers and other such works around the internet, can find some interesting stuff on Google books, and CCEL allows you to download many of the works of the Church Fathers that they have. Then again, I suppose not everyone is as geeky as people on OC.net are, and are going to spend hours doing searches through notepad files trying to find out what the Fathers said about this or that passage.
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« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2011, 06:52:57 PM »

The OSB is geared primarily toward a Western audience, expected to have likely been inculcated w/ a certain amount of Western influence. It's not meant to be an end-all/be-all Bible... How could you possibly expect to pack all that is Orthodoxy in one Bible?

It's meant for enquirers or beginners into Orthodoxy... You read the verses; you read the commentary. It helps to start to dispel some of the Western errors. Protestants especially I think probably need a quick commentary on everything because so much of what they've been taught and believe is simply not correct.

Obviously once you're immersed in the Church... you'll be digging deeper (hopefully anyway).

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« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2011, 07:58:10 PM »

Just make sure that whatever Bible you get, it includes the WHOLE Bible, that is, what so many call the Apocrypha.  Since obtaining the OSB I have been introduced to the Wisdom of Sirach, and hope to - after finishing it - read the rest of the Bible that I didn't know existed when I was active as a Protestant.
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2011, 12:12:09 AM »

I have a copy of the OSB, but I seldom use it.  I really don't see what it has to offer over other Bibles, and I do not find the commentary all that helpful.  If they came out with a version that dispensed with all the fluff and commentary, making it a bit more handy, I would probably buy another copy and actually use it.
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« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2011, 01:51:46 AM »

So it appears a lot of people do not care for the OSB, or at least don't care for the commentaries. It also sounds like I need a bible with the Apocrypha.

So, what is a good bible (good as in "easy to read") that includes the Apocrypha?

Btw, I can't understand some words in the KJV. Anything but will be fine. Thanks.

M

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« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2011, 09:43:57 AM »

"No Orthodox bishop" etc. "has given a blessing" well then what do the names of all SCOBA hierarchs in each edition signify? I presume that these do not constitute an impramatur so what sort of oversight do their names constitute?

A printed name is just a name, not necessarily an endorsement. The OSB was a project by some Orthodox, but not one  specifically blessed by a synod.
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« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2011, 10:02:01 AM »

So it appears a lot of people do not care for the OSB, or at least don't care for the commentaries. It also sounds like I need a bible with the Apocrypha.

So, what is a good bible (good as in "easy to read") that includes the Apocrypha?

Btw, I can't understand some words in the KJV. Anything but will be fine. Thanks.

M



The problem is that in Orthodoxy we use the Septuagint (Greek) Old Testament, not the Hebrew Old Testament. There are very few Bible translations that have this. Most of the differences are minor, but some are rather major.

In general, any Catholic Bible should be okay. It will be missing 3 Maccabees (and 3 Esdras and 4 Maccabees, which are sometimes included in Orthodox Bibles but not always), but close enough. The Revised Standard Version and Douay-Rheims are good options, but again, be careful that the Apocrypha is included. If it is, it probably will be placed in its own section, which makes reading Daniel and Esther rather difficult.

Probably the best option, if you don't mind having two books, is to choose a good overall Bible (I recommend the Oxford Revised Standard Version [not the New Revised Standard Version]) for general reading, and the New English Translation of the Septuagint to supplement for the Old Testament.

Hopefully someday we will have an English Orthodox Bible that is universally accepted by the Church for lay and liturgical use, but for now we have to kind of patch together whatever is available.

(Or we could learn Greek or Slavonic and get an Orthodox Bible in one of those languages, which are plentiful.)
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« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2011, 03:29:05 PM »

Bogdan,

Can you provide a link or a place to get the Oxford Revised Standard Version? All I can find is the New Oxford Annotated Bible (w/Apocrypha)

Thanks!

M
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« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2011, 03:31:46 PM »

the orthodox study Bible contains the deuterocanonical books ('apocrapha')
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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2011, 04:18:42 PM »

As I've done many times before, I'm going to point everyone to Michael Asser's Septuagint translation, available online here: http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/zot.htm

This translation is based stylistically on the KJV... I would love to see a printed edition of this some day, along with a New Testament.
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« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2011, 04:47:45 AM »

As I've done many times before, I'm going to point everyone to Michael Asser's Septuagint translation, available online here: http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/zot.htm

This translation is based stylistically on the KJV... I would love to see a printed edition of this some day, along with a New Testament.

I hadn't seen this one before. Thanks!
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« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2011, 12:22:40 PM »

"No Orthodox bishop" etc. "has given a blessing" well then what do the names of all SCOBA hierarchs in each edition signify? I presume that these do not constitute an impramatur so what sort of oversight do their names constitute?

A printed name is just a name, not necessarily an endorsement. The OSB was a project by some Orthodox, but not one  specifically blessed by a synod.
They are designated as an oversight (appropriately?) committee so they have given a form of permission but not blessing i guess???
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« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2011, 01:01:53 PM »

"No Orthodox bishop" etc. "has given a blessing" well then what do the names of all SCOBA hierarchs in each edition signify? I presume that these do not constitute an impramatur so what sort of oversight do their names constitute?

A printed name is just a name, not necessarily an endorsement. The OSB was a project by some Orthodox, but not one  specifically blessed by a synod.
They are designated as an oversight (appropriately?) committee so they have given a form of permission but not blessing i guess???

It is not an official translation/publication of the Church, only of Zondervan.
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« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2011, 07:31:54 AM »

"No Orthodox bishop" etc. "has given a blessing" well then what do the names of all SCOBA hierarchs in each edition signify? I presume that these do not constitute an impramatur so what sort of oversight do their names constitute?

A printed name is just a name, not necessarily an endorsement. The OSB was a project by some Orthodox, but not one  specifically blessed by a synod.
They are designated as an oversight (appropriately?) committee so they have given a form of permission but not blessing i guess???

It is not an official translation/publication of the Church, only of Zondervan.
"In 1998 St Athanasius Academy sought to answer the question by first seeking the blessing of our beloved Metr Philip." (The Word, May 2003 p.5) From article "An Update on the OSB- OT Project.
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« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2011, 10:16:02 AM »

"No Orthodox bishop" etc. "has given a blessing" well then what do the names of all SCOBA hierarchs in each edition signify? I presume that these do not constitute an impramatur so what sort of oversight do their names constitute?

A printed name is just a name, not necessarily an endorsement. The OSB was a project by some Orthodox, but not one  specifically blessed by a synod.
They are designated as an oversight (appropriately?) committee so they have given a form of permission but not blessing i guess???

It is not an official translation/publication of the Church, only of Zondervan.
"In 1998 St Athanasius Academy sought to answer the question by first seeking the blessing of our beloved Metr Philip." (The Word, May 2003 p.5) From article "An Update on the OSB- OT Project.

That's not what is meant by saying the text is blessed. Metropolitans bless a lot of things. But there is no statement in the book saying that a certain synod or bishop authorizes this text for use or endorses it to be read.
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« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2011, 10:57:18 AM »

Bogdan,

Can you provide a link or a place to get the Oxford Revised Standard Version? All I can find is the New Oxford Annotated Bible (w/Apocrypha)

Thanks!

M

It's a little hard to find, as it's out of print. But here it is on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Revised-Standard-Expanded-Hardcover/dp/0195283244

(This is the New Oxford RSV. The one to avoid is the New Oxford NRSV. A little confusing.)
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« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2011, 10:59:14 AM »

the orthodox study Bible contains the deuterocanonical books ('apocrapha')
 Wink

It doesn't have IV Maccabees or III Esdras though.
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« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2011, 11:16:54 AM »

"No Orthodox bishop" etc. "has given a blessing" well then what do the names of all SCOBA hierarchs in each edition signify? I presume that these do not constitute an impramatur so what sort of oversight do their names constitute?

A printed name is just a name, not necessarily an endorsement. The OSB was a project by some Orthodox, but not one  specifically blessed by a synod.
They are designated as an oversight (appropriately?) committee so they have given a form of permission but not blessing i guess???

It is not an official translation/publication of the Church, only of Zondervan.
"In 1998 St Athanasius Academy sought to answer the question by first seeking the blessing of our beloved Metr Philip." (The Word, May 2003 p.5) From article "An Update on the OSB- OT Project.

That's not what is meant by saying the text is blessed. Metropolitans bless a lot of things. But there is no statement in the book saying that a certain synod or bishop authorizes this text for use or endorses it to be read.
There probably never will be an "official" translation & even if so, it still may not please you.
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« Reply #38 on: May 20, 2011, 11:19:23 AM »

"No Orthodox bishop" etc. "has given a blessing" well then what do the names of all SCOBA hierarchs in each edition signify? I presume that these do not constitute an impramatur so what sort of oversight do their names constitute?

A printed name is just a name, not necessarily an endorsement. The OSB was a project by some Orthodox, but not one  specifically blessed by a synod.
They are designated as an oversight (appropriately?) committee so they have given a form of permission but not blessing i guess???

It is not an official translation/publication of the Church, only of Zondervan.
"In 1998 St Athanasius Academy sought to answer the question by first seeking the blessing of our beloved Metr Philip." (The Word, May 2003 p.5) From article "An Update on the OSB- OT Project.

That's not what is meant by saying the text is blessed. Metropolitans bless a lot of things. But there is no statement in the book saying that a certain synod or bishop authorizes this text for use or endorses it to be read.
There probably never will be an "official" translation & even if so, it still may not please you.

I'm sorry you made that remark.
In any case, there are many official translations in other languages. Some of them have problems. My main problem with the OSB is that it is a half-measure that is touted as more than what it is. It is also not official. I fail to see how this means I cannot be pleased by anything.
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« Reply #39 on: May 20, 2011, 01:37:27 PM »

the orthodox study Bible contains the deuterocanonical books ('apocrapha')
 Wink

It doesn't have IV Maccabees or III Esdras though.

Unless they're from Georgia, I really don't see why anyone would care  police
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« Reply #40 on: May 20, 2011, 01:50:18 PM »

the orthodox study Bible contains the deuterocanonical books ('apocrapha')
 Wink

It doesn't have IV Maccabees or III Esdras though.

Unless they're from Georgia, I really don't see why anyone would care  police

I, for one, rather like III Esdras. I like to think about how the Left Behind series would be different if Protestants had another apocalyptic book to go wild with.  Tongue It's in the Russian Bible as well.

IV Maccabees is usually put in an appendix as spurious, so that one I don't care so much about. For the sake of completeness, however...
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« Reply #41 on: May 20, 2011, 02:04:54 PM »

the orthodox study Bible contains the deuterocanonical books ('apocrapha')
 Wink

It doesn't have IV Maccabees or III Esdras though.

Unless they're from Georgia, I really don't see why anyone would care  police

I, for one, rather like III Esdras. I like to think about how the Left Behind series would be different if Protestants had another apocalyptic book to go wild with.  Tongue It's in the Russian Bible as well.

IV Maccabees is usually put in an appendix as spurious, so that one I don't care so much about. For the sake of completeness, however...

I don't think IV Maccabees is in an appendix because it's "spurious." It's more credible than that. The martyrs are on the calendar.
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« Reply #42 on: May 20, 2011, 05:29:43 PM »

ok, u can get them all in new revised standard version from cambridge university press, 1989, isbn 978-0-521-50776-9
i got it a few years ago, but i was confused about 3 esdras (my 'apocrapha' says it's called '2 esdras' but '3 esdras' in slavonic and '4 esdras' in the appendix to the latin vulgate), so i hope u know which one i mean!  Wink

to my reasonably analytical (university trained but not in theology or historical documents) mind, it looks like something that is added on, in a very different style to the other esdras books, like it is not an original book, but appeared quite a bit later.

now, i am not trying to start a debate or offend anyone who disagrees, but i want to ask, 'which churches consider it canonical?'

4 maccabees does seem to be similar to the other books, but again, which churches consider it canonical?

is it ok to ask this? maybe you won't take it personally or be upset  Cool

the other deuterocanonical books (a better term than 'apocrapha', meaning 'second canon', or second group of scripture) seem to me to be very beautiful and they are a great loss to those churches which don't have them. especially tobit and sirach and the story of daniel and susanna.
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« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2011, 05:52:55 PM »

Bogdan,

Can you provide a link or a place to get the Oxford Revised Standard Version? All I can find is the New Oxford Annotated Bible (w/Apocrypha)

Thanks!

M

Thanks Bogdan, I'll be sure to add it to my wish list. I have so much on Amazon right now!

M
It's a little hard to find, as it's out of print. But here it is on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Revised-Standard-Expanded-Hardcover/dp/0195283244

(This is the New Oxford RSV. The one to avoid is the New Oxford NRSV. A little confusing.)
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« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2011, 05:54:18 PM »

Thanks Bogdan, I'll be sure to add it to my wish list. I have so much on Amazon right now!   Cool

M
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