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Author Topic: Orthodox Study Bible - Should I buy it?  (Read 3976 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2012, 07:56:18 AM »

I'd personally like a compact pocket-sized book with just the Psalms, Creed and Trisoginan (sp?) prayers for praying throughout the day on the spot. The small red Antiochian prayer book is good, but I'd love having all of the Psalms.

Holy Transfiguration Monastery makes a pocket sized version of their Psalter of the Seventy.  I have one an really like it.
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« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2012, 08:16:31 AM »

I'd personally like a compact pocket-sized book with just the Psalms, Creed and Trisoginan (sp?) prayers for praying throughout the day on the spot. The small red Antiochian prayer book is good, but I'd love having all of the Psalms.

Holy Transfiguration Monastery makes a pocket sized version of their Psalter of the Seventy.  I have one an really like it.

Me too. Though I guess I should warn James that it doesn't have the trisagion prayers. But it does have a nice section in the back telling you what psalms are to be read at what hour, and how the division of the psalter into kathismata works.
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« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2012, 08:17:06 AM »

I'd personally like a compact pocket-sized book with just the Psalms, Creed and Trisoginan (sp?) prayers for praying throughout the day on the spot. The small red Antiochian prayer book is good, but I'd love having all of the Psalms.

I have one an really like it.

I carry mine with me just about everywhere.  I wish I could say more about using it.
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« Reply #48 on: May 21, 2012, 01:04:03 PM »

Hi All,

Just thought would it be better just to buy the New English Translation of the Septuagint ? http://www.amazon.com/A-New-English-Translation-Septuagint/dp/0195289757/ref=tmm_hrd_title_popover?ie=UTF8&qid=1337590999&sr=8-2

and then just buy commentary on the early church fathers on the bible on certain chapters/verses, would that be the best bet to go with  with the NETS ?

I would do that. Have the best of both worlds, rather than a mediocre combination of both worlds. I like the NETS.
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« Reply #49 on: May 21, 2012, 01:22:29 PM »

To fully nerd out on a single volume Psalter:

http://www.amazon.com/Comparative-Psalter-Masoretic-Translation-Septuagint/dp/0195297601/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337621309&sr=1-1
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« Reply #50 on: May 21, 2012, 01:32:40 PM »


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« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2012, 01:47:17 PM »

Hi All,

Just thought would it be better just to buy the New English Translation of the Septuagint ? http://www.amazon.com/A-New-English-Translation-Septuagint/dp/0195289757/ref=tmm_hrd_title_popover?ie=UTF8&qid=1337590999&sr=8-2

and then just buy commentary on the early church fathers on the bible on certain chapters/verses, would that be the best bet to go with  with the NETS ?

I haven't read the NETS, but this sounds like a good idea. If you read some books by the Church Fathers, you'll gain a much deeper and more accurate understanding of the Orthodox understanding of the Scriptures than you would from the OSB.
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« Reply #52 on: May 21, 2012, 02:05:10 PM »

I gotta say, I bought the OSB and I love it. Very spiritually enriching for me.

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« Reply #53 on: May 21, 2012, 02:14:07 PM »

I gotta say, I bought the OSB and I love it. Very spiritually enriching for me.

PP

I also like the OSB.  The translation isn't that bad, and I honestly wouldn't know the difference if it was off.  It sounds "Bibley" and that's enough for me.  The little snippets of commentary are good for a quick answer that won't disrupt the reading.  For anything more, I have been reading the Commentary on the Gospel of John by the Blessed Theophylact [sp?].  This goes into a much greater depth, but for everyday Bible readings I have found the OSB to read better than the Presbyterian Bible I had been using and was much easier to understand than the Vulgate that I read from time to time.
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« Reply #54 on: May 21, 2012, 03:45:21 PM »

When we talk about the OSB are we talking about the translation or about the notes? They are two different things.

There's not a chance in the world that we will agree on any one translation into English. We could easily argue about insignificant points like the difference between honour and honor; we could argue about which Greek or Hebrew manuscript was taken as authoritative. We Orthodox don't even agree on the wording of the Lord's Prayer! The SAAS/NKJV translations that make up the OSB are as good as any others - I don't need to name them as this thread is specifically about the OSB. We've discussed them elsewhere. The best translation is the one that you will actually read.

I find the notes to be of varying quality -perhaps based on their authorship. Some have interesting insights, others are quite useless IMO. As someone else said earlier, it's easy to get distracted in reading the passage by being drawn to the notes, rather than just reading the text itself. That being said, I generally do like the Study Articles. They are informative and provide a good starting point for further study. I thought that Dn Michael Hyatt did a good job showing how this can be done in his earliest podcasts of At the Intersection of East and West. A study Bible is not a commentary or a seminary textbook that some seem to think it should be.

Should you buy the OSB? Yes - but only if you promise to read it  Wink.
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« Reply #55 on: May 21, 2012, 05:56:06 PM »

There's really no "Bible" in the Orthodox sense; it's usage is liturgical.

This attitude towards the Holy Scriptures is not at all patristic.
What are you talking about not patristic?

His Grace Isaiah of Denver:
Quote
Strictly speaking, there never was a “Bible” in the Orthodox Church, at least not as we commonly think of the Bible as a single volume book we can hold in our hand. Since the beginning of the Church, from the start of our liturgical tradition, there has never been a single book in an Orthodox church we could point to as “the Bible”. Instead, the various “Books” of the Bible are found scattered throughout several service books located either on the Holy Altar itself, or at the chanter’s stand. The Gospels (or their pericopes) are complied into a single volume — usually bound in precious metal and richly decorated — placed on the Holy Altar.

The Epistles (or, again, their pericopes) are bound together in another book, called the Apostolos, which is normally found at the chanter’s stand. Usually located next to the Apostolos on the chanter’s shelf are the twelve volumes of the Menaion, as well as the books called the Triodion and Pentekostarion, containing various segments of the Old and the New Testaments.

The fact that there is no “Bible” in the church should not surprise us, since our liturgical tradition is a continuation of the practices of the early Church, when the Gospels and the letters from the Apostles (the Epistles) had been freshly written and copied for distribution to the Christian communities. The “Hebrew Scriptures” (what we now call the “Old Testament”, comprising the Law (the first five books) and the Prophets, were likewise written on various scrolls, just as they were found in the Jewish synagogues.
http://www.omhksea.org/2011/02/holy-scripture-in-the-orthodox-church/
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« Reply #56 on: May 21, 2012, 06:05:08 PM »

There's really no "Bible" in the Orthodox sense; it's usage is liturgical.

This attitude towards the Holy Scriptures is not at all patristic.
What are you talking about not patristic?

His Grace Isaiah of Denver:
Quote
Strictly speaking, there never was a “Bible” in the Orthodox Church, at least not as we commonly think of the Bible as a single volume book we can hold in our hand. Since the beginning of the Church, from the start of our liturgical tradition, there has never been a single book in an Orthodox church we could point to as “the Bible”. Instead, the various “Books” of the Bible are found scattered throughout several service books located either on the Holy Altar itself, or at the chanter’s stand. The Gospels (or their pericopes) are complied into a single volume — usually bound in precious metal and richly decorated — placed on the Holy Altar.

The Epistles (or, again, their pericopes) are bound together in another book, called the Apostolos, which is normally found at the chanter’s stand. Usually located next to the Apostolos on the chanter’s shelf are the twelve volumes of the Menaion, as well as the books called the Triodion and Pentekostarion, containing various segments of the Old and the New Testaments.

The fact that there is no “Bible” in the church should not surprise us, since our liturgical tradition is a continuation of the practices of the early Church, when the Gospels and the letters from the Apostles (the Epistles) had been freshly written and copied for distribution to the Christian communities. The “Hebrew Scriptures” (what we now call the “Old Testament”, comprising the Law (the first five books) and the Prophets, were likewise written on various scrolls, just as they were found in the Jewish synagogues.
http://www.omhksea.org/2011/02/holy-scripture-in-the-orthodox-church/


That is a great link Achronos, thanks for posting it!
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« Reply #57 on: May 21, 2012, 07:28:07 PM »

The OSB is a good start, but definitely has its problems. When you are ready for deeper and better, get this for New Testament and Psalter:

The Orthodox New Testament with Commentary
The Orthodox Psalter with Commentary

Each volume is bigger than the OSB and far more complete and accurate IMO.
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« Reply #58 on: May 21, 2012, 07:33:11 PM »

Nigula is the residest expert on the better versions of the Bible, I would trust his advice.

That said, Nigula, what do you think about The Bible and the Holy Fathers for Orthodox by Johanna Manley? As seen here: http://books.google.com/books?id=YLmbkbpANpAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=orthodox+bible&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KtK6T9DJB4rF6gHchY3SCg&ved=0CF4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=orthodox%20bible&f=false
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« Reply #59 on: May 21, 2012, 08:24:56 PM »

Nigula is the residest expert on the better versions of the Bible,

Then why did he recommend one of the worst ones out there?  Huh
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« Reply #60 on: May 21, 2012, 08:26:49 PM »

Nigula is the residest expert on the better versions of the Bible,

Then why did he recommend one of the worst ones out there?  Huh
LOL which one?
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« Reply #61 on: May 21, 2012, 08:33:16 PM »

There's really no "Bible" in the Orthodox sense; it's usage is liturgical.

This attitude towards the Holy Scriptures is not at all patristic.
What are you talking about not patristic?

His Grace Isaiah of Denver:
Quote
Strictly speaking, there never was a “Bible” in the Orthodox Church, at least not as we commonly think of the Bible as a single volume book we can hold in our hand. Since the beginning of the Church, from the start of our liturgical tradition, there has never been a single book in an Orthodox church we could point to as “the Bible”. Instead, the various “Books” of the Bible are found scattered throughout several service books located either on the Holy Altar itself, or at the chanter’s stand. The Gospels (or their pericopes) are complied into a single volume — usually bound in precious metal and richly decorated — placed on the Holy Altar.

The Epistles (or, again, their pericopes) are bound together in another book, called the Apostolos, which is normally found at the chanter’s stand. Usually located next to the Apostolos on the chanter’s shelf are the twelve volumes of the Menaion, as well as the books called the Triodion and Pentekostarion, containing various segments of the Old and the New Testaments.

The fact that there is no “Bible” in the church should not surprise us, since our liturgical tradition is a continuation of the practices of the early Church, when the Gospels and the letters from the Apostles (the Epistles) had been freshly written and copied for distribution to the Christian communities. The “Hebrew Scriptures” (what we now call the “Old Testament”, comprising the Law (the first five books) and the Prophets, were likewise written on various scrolls, just as they were found in the Jewish synagogues.
http://www.omhksea.org/2011/02/holy-scripture-in-the-orthodox-church/

Sounds like something the Greeks would say.
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« Reply #62 on: May 21, 2012, 08:54:38 PM »

Nigula is the residest expert on the better versions of the Bible,

Then why did he recommend one of the worst ones out there?  Huh
LOL which one?

All three books mentioned in his post are from the same cult, so as far as I'm concerned they're essentially part of the same Bible translation, just split into parts.
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« Reply #63 on: May 21, 2012, 09:45:32 PM »

There's really no "Bible" in the Orthodox sense; it's usage is liturgical.

This attitude towards the Holy Scriptures is not at all patristic.
What are you talking about not patristic?

His Grace Isaiah of Denver:
Quote
Strictly speaking, there never was a “Bible” in the Orthodox Church, at least not as we commonly think of the Bible as a single volume book we can hold in our hand. Since the beginning of the Church, from the start of our liturgical tradition, there has never been a single book in an Orthodox church we could point to as “the Bible”. Instead, the various “Books” of the Bible are found scattered throughout several service books located either on the Holy Altar itself, or at the chanter’s stand. The Gospels (or their pericopes) are complied into a single volume — usually bound in precious metal and richly decorated — placed on the Holy Altar.

The Epistles (or, again, their pericopes) are bound together in another book, called the Apostolos, which is normally found at the chanter’s stand. Usually located next to the Apostolos on the chanter’s shelf are the twelve volumes of the Menaion, as well as the books called the Triodion and Pentekostarion, containing various segments of the Old and the New Testaments.

The fact that there is no “Bible” in the church should not surprise us, since our liturgical tradition is a continuation of the practices of the early Church, when the Gospels and the letters from the Apostles (the Epistles) had been freshly written and copied for distribution to the Christian communities. The “Hebrew Scriptures” (what we now call the “Old Testament”, comprising the Law (the first five books) and the Prophets, were likewise written on various scrolls, just as they were found in the Jewish synagogues.
http://www.omhksea.org/2011/02/holy-scripture-in-the-orthodox-church/

Sounds like something the Greeks would say.

Sadly, yes. The books of the Bible, even though many of them were liturgically, were clearly never liturgical books per se (except for the Psalms). They are meant to be read and learned. Thank God for the printing press--without it, most of us would never have that opportunity.
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« Reply #64 on: May 21, 2012, 09:48:45 PM »

The OSB is a good start, but definitely has its problems. When you are ready for deeper and better, get this for New Testament and Psalter:

The Orthodox New Testament with Commentary
The Orthodox Psalter with Commentary

Each volume is bigger than the OSB and far more complete and accurate IMO.
Nigula is the residest expert on the better versions of the Bible,

Then why did he recommend one of the worst ones out there?  Huh

Although there are a few loony translations in the ONT, I think it is still well worth reading because of the different perspective found both in the translation and in the notes.
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« Reply #65 on: May 21, 2012, 09:50:30 PM »

Sometimes I wish the Bible never existed but it is the product of the Church so...

What an impoverished world that would be.
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« Reply #66 on: May 21, 2012, 09:50:49 PM »

Nigula is the residest expert on the better versions of the Bible,

Then why did he recommend one of the worst ones out there?  Huh

Agreed.
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« Reply #67 on: May 21, 2012, 10:17:03 PM »

There's really no "Bible" in the Orthodox sense; it's usage is liturgical.

This attitude towards the Holy Scriptures is not at all patristic.
What are you talking about not patristic?

His Grace Isaiah of Denver:
Quote
Strictly speaking, there never was a “Bible” in the Orthodox Church, at least not as we commonly think of the Bible as a single volume book we can hold in our hand. Since the beginning of the Church, from the start of our liturgical tradition, there has never been a single book in an Orthodox church we could point to as “the Bible”. Instead, the various “Books” of the Bible are found scattered throughout several service books located either on the Holy Altar itself, or at the chanter’s stand. The Gospels (or their pericopes) are complied into a single volume — usually bound in precious metal and richly decorated — placed on the Holy Altar.

The Epistles (or, again, their pericopes) are bound together in another book, called the Apostolos, which is normally found at the chanter’s stand. Usually located next to the Apostolos on the chanter’s shelf are the twelve volumes of the Menaion, as well as the books called the Triodion and Pentekostarion, containing various segments of the Old and the New Testaments.

The fact that there is no “Bible” in the church should not surprise us, since our liturgical tradition is a continuation of the practices of the early Church, when the Gospels and the letters from the Apostles (the Epistles) had been freshly written and copied for distribution to the Christian communities. The “Hebrew Scriptures” (what we now call the “Old Testament”, comprising the Law (the first five books) and the Prophets, were likewise written on various scrolls, just as they were found in the Jewish synagogues.
http://www.omhksea.org/2011/02/holy-scripture-in-the-orthodox-church/

You go read five or six of St. Basil's epistles and then tell me that his only use for the scriptures was liturgical. Or tell me why every Nicene apologist had to produce a good explanation of how the Father could be greater than the Son, if the only use they had for the scriptures was liturgical. Frankly, this is nothing more than an asinine anti-protestant polemic, which has been repeated so much that some have actually managed to drink their own poisoned well water and convince themselves that it's true.
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« Reply #68 on: May 21, 2012, 10:23:49 PM »

There's really no "Bible" in the Orthodox sense; it's usage is liturgical.

This attitude towards the Holy Scriptures is not at all patristic.
What are you talking about not patristic?

His Grace Isaiah of Denver:
Quote
Strictly speaking, there never was a “Bible” in the Orthodox Church, at least not as we commonly think of the Bible as a single volume book we can hold in our hand. Since the beginning of the Church, from the start of our liturgical tradition, there has never been a single book in an Orthodox church we could point to as “the Bible”. Instead, the various “Books” of the Bible are found scattered throughout several service books located either on the Holy Altar itself, or at the chanter’s stand. The Gospels (or their pericopes) are complied into a single volume — usually bound in precious metal and richly decorated — placed on the Holy Altar.

The Epistles (or, again, their pericopes) are bound together in another book, called the Apostolos, which is normally found at the chanter’s stand. Usually located next to the Apostolos on the chanter’s shelf are the twelve volumes of the Menaion, as well as the books called the Triodion and Pentekostarion, containing various segments of the Old and the New Testaments.

The fact that there is no “Bible” in the church should not surprise us, since our liturgical tradition is a continuation of the practices of the early Church, when the Gospels and the letters from the Apostles (the Epistles) had been freshly written and copied for distribution to the Christian communities. The “Hebrew Scriptures” (what we now call the “Old Testament”, comprising the Law (the first five books) and the Prophets, were likewise written on various scrolls, just as they were found in the Jewish synagogues.
http://www.omhksea.org/2011/02/holy-scripture-in-the-orthodox-church/

Sounds like something the Greeks would say.

Sadly, yes. The books of the Bible, even though many of them were liturgically, were clearly never liturgical books per se (except for the Psalms). They are meant to be read and learned. Thank God for the printing press--without it, most of us would never have that opportunity.

Exactly.
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« Reply #69 on: May 21, 2012, 10:26:45 PM »

Sometimes I wish the Bible never existed but it is the product of the Church so...

What an impoverished world that would be.

Yup. Throw a good chunk of great art and literature from the past two millenia in the trash, me boys.
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« Reply #70 on: May 22, 2012, 07:41:11 AM »

Is it so complicated how an average layperson can read a Bible & learn most of their faith basics like the role of the priest in confession with the foundation in Leviticus 7 for ex., the explanation of blood sacrifice no longer necessary in hebrews 9, read 1st John 1, & see the powers conferred by Christ to the apostles in John 20 (I beleive). Not to mention the patterns in Ezekiel 18, 33 etc. I can think of past times when people did not read the Bible & devoured each other over whether to make the sign of the cross with 2 or 3 fingers; ignorance making life more sorrowful than it already is cannot be a good thing.
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« Reply #71 on: May 22, 2012, 10:33:25 AM »

Sadly, yes. The books of the Bible, even though many of them were liturgically, were clearly never liturgical books per se (except for the Psalms). They are meant to be read and learned. Thank God for the printing press--without it, most of us would never have that opportunity.

Agreed.
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« Reply #72 on: May 22, 2012, 10:41:03 AM »

If you read some books by the Church Fathers, you'll gain a much deeper and more accurate understanding of the Orthodox understanding of the Scriptures than you would from the OSB.

Any recommendations on this specific matter?
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« Reply #73 on: May 22, 2012, 04:22:11 PM »

The OSB is a good start, but definitely has its problems.

Like?

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When you are ready for deeper and better, get this for New Testament and Psalter:

When you have graduated to the 11th degree (holy most sublime supremacy wisdom) of Orthodox knowledge, you will be ready for this actual Bible.  It's got totally different teachings in it, but only ones suited for the elite.
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« Reply #74 on: May 22, 2012, 04:25:23 PM »

If you read some books by the Church Fathers, you'll gain a much deeper and more accurate understanding of the Orthodox understanding of the Scriptures than you would from the OSB.

Any recommendations on this specific matter?

Apparently not.  I usually just sit down for a read through, accompanied by "the Church Fathers" (ALL OF THEM!) in order to really really get it.
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« Reply #75 on: May 22, 2012, 04:45:39 PM »

Nigula is the residest expert on the better versions of the Bible,

Then why did he recommend one of the worst ones out there?  Huh
LOL which one?

All three books mentioned in his post are from the same cult, so as far as I'm concerned they're essentially part of the same Bible translation, just split into parts.

Agreed.  I used to have one of their translations and it was awful.  I gave it away.  I wouldn't recommend any of their translations.
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« Reply #76 on: May 22, 2012, 04:47:06 PM »

If you read some books by the Church Fathers, you'll gain a much deeper and more accurate understanding of the Orthodox understanding of the Scriptures than you would from the OSB.

Any recommendations on this specific matter?

Apparently not.  I usually just sit down for a read through, accompanied by "the Church Fathers" (ALL OF THEM!) in order to really really get it.

Commentaries by the Fathers are indispensable to gaining an understanding of the scriptures.  Excellent advice!  
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« Reply #77 on: May 22, 2012, 05:13:29 PM »

If you read some books by the Church Fathers, you'll gain a much deeper and more accurate understanding of the Orthodox understanding of the Scriptures than you would from the OSB.

Any recommendations on this specific matter?

Apparently not.  I usually just sit down for a read through, accompanied by "the Church Fathers" (ALL OF THEM!) in order to really really get it.

Commentaries by the Fathers are indispensable to gaining an understanding of the scriptures.  Excellent advice!  

This works. I don't want to overstep my knowledge base, but I think most people like Blessed Theophylact's commentaries best. Other famous commentators include St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory the Dialoguist, and St. Bede.
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« Reply #78 on: May 22, 2012, 05:29:19 PM »

Ever since I discovered Orthodoxy, I kind of was brought up into the "Greek Orthodox" understanding of the Bible. I've never considered the Bible to be just a singular book. I haven't seen any evidence at the start of Christianity that Christians referred the Bible as one book containing the OT/NT. I'm open to being corrected on this issue, and would like to see the epistles you are talking about, Mario.

Yes my attitude towards the Bible is a bit negative. I'm more referring to the protestant fundamentalists. Of course there hasn't been a single more influential book than the Bible when it comes to the arts, philosophy, politics, etc. Ignoring that would be wholly ignorant. I'm sorry for being grumpy about it.
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« Reply #79 on: May 22, 2012, 07:38:56 PM »

Ever since I discovered Orthodoxy, I kind of was brought up into the "Greek Orthodox" understanding of the Bible. I've never considered the Bible to be just a singular book. I haven't seen any evidence at the start of Christianity that Christians referred the Bible as one book containing the OT/NT. I'm open to being corrected on this issue, and would like to see the epistles you are talking about, Mario.

Yes my attitude towards the Bible is a bit negative. I'm more referring to the protestant fundamentalists. Of course there hasn't been a single more influential book than the Bible when it comes to the arts, philosophy, politics, etc. Ignoring that would be wholly ignorant. I'm sorry for being grumpy about it.

What I find objectionable is the attitude that some take towards the Scriptures. It's true that they were historically different collections of books (the apostles, epistles, prophets, the law, etc.), but that doesn't mean they were only used liturgically. Just read any epistle of St. Basil's and see how much he quotes the scriptures. It's clear that the fathers gave the Scriptures much authority and studied them in depth as a source of solid doctrinal teaching. This is why it was important, for example, that the Nicene Christians produced a good exegesis of John 14:28, because without one, their entire argument for the divinity of the Son could have been undone with just one verse. That was the power and weight which the Church Fathers gave to the Scriptures.

When I see things like, "we don't need the Scriptures because we have tradition," it drives me absolutely nuts because that's simply not true. St. Athanasius did not tell Arius, "your doctrine is wrong, and no scriptural argument will avail you, because we know by Tradition that Jesus is divine;" he met Arius' challenge, interpreting the troublesome passages of Scripture which appeared to support Arianism, and providing his own scriptural counterexamples to bolster his argument. The written and oral Tradition without the Scriptures would be absolutely incomprehensible, lacking a common source of authoritative revelation. Likewise, the depth of the Scriptures cannot be revealed without the tradition which allows for a proper understanding of the Scriptures. The two are an organic whole, not meant to be separated or to be set up in opposition to each other.

What have we to fear by exalting the Scriptures to their proper place, as Orthodox Christians? Do we fear the charge made by Protestants that our tradition is inconsistent with the Holy Scriptures? Must we resort to denigrating the greatest recorded source of revelation which exists in the entire literary corpus of our two-thousand-year-old Tradition? Surely we have nothing to fear from our own Holy Scriptures. It is our responsibility to meet these charges made by Protestants head-on instead of dismissing them with such a lazy apology for Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #80 on: May 22, 2012, 08:10:53 PM »


Wow.  That was harsh.  Very very fair, but harsh.  Given the duration the OSB took to complete, and the amount of scholars involved, it is a disappointment to be presented with this.  I looked up all the issues/errors mentioned and, sure enough, they were glaring.  That being said, since most Orthodox don't seem to read the Bible nearly as much as we used to, right now, there isn't much choice.  
Well, one can always not read the Bible.  Of course, the Orthodox Fathers would be appalled at that.

Pioneers often make mistakes, because they dare to go where no one has gone before.  When the OSB's detractors outdo it, I'll buy their  arguments.

This criticism, for instance, is nonsense:
Quote
The OSB's first study article (online here) is dedicated to the doctrine of Creation. There we read that the Orthodox Church has “dogmatically proclaimed that the One Triune God created everything that exists.” This Church, in fact, has proclaimed no such thing. Nowhere in the Scriptures, the Fathers, the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, or the liturgical texts does one find reference to the “One Triune God.” What one does find is the term “Tri-hypostatic Divinity/Godhead (theotis/bozhestvo)”– which is not at all the same as “Triune God,” which is distinctly modalist, as if the one God appeared in three forms. Furthermore, the very term “Triune God” is difficult if not impossible to construct in either Greek or Slavonic.
http://ishmaelite.blogspot.com/2008/04/orthodox-study-bible-my-turn-iii.html

Not that it is relevant, but it is not a problem rendering Triune God into Greek (Τριαδικός Θεός) nor Slavonic (триединий Бог).

And yes, that is exactly what the Church has proclaimed.

Quote
Fr Felix Culpa (his nom du clavier) of the Ora et Labora blog, has recently brought forward some interesting examples of innovating and incorrect theological language attempting to pass for Orthodox theological instruction in the first few pages (!) of the new Orthodox Study Bible, in a post entitled Orthodox Study Bible, My Turn III. Fr Felix begins his post, buttressed by no less than our Father among the Saints Basil the Great (or “BasilG” in OSB-speak), with the same focus that the first post of this series began with: a concern for the proper use of language in theology. I find the most shocking of the abuses of theological language that are noted by Fr Felix to be the use of “They” as a pronoun for God. God is He, never “They.” We Orthodox are not tritheists, or polytheists of any stripe. Using “They” is as improper and heterodox as using “She” or “It.” That is not Orthodox, no matter what label the book bears. While it is clear that the authors are referring to the three hypostases of the Trinity, the impropriety of the language and its implications are un-Orthodox. This almost certainly occurred through an unexamined glossing of hypostases as persons, leading to the anthropomorphizing of God as though He were a group of three human persons. This is, as a professional diplomat might say, unfortunate. We’re apparently treated in this example not only to an unreflective shoddiness in theological language itself, but also in the theological understanding of whoever penned it. So much for a shockingly poor example of Orthodox theological instruction.
http://www.bombaxo.com/blog/?p=552

The issue with "they" is the problem where English grammar hasn't caught up to Orthodox theology.  Btw, Syriac has used "She" (Trinity is grammatically feminine), and the New Testament itself uses "It" (along with "He") for the Holy Spirit (spirit being grammatically neuter in Greek).
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« Reply #81 on: May 24, 2012, 04:23:55 AM »

Ever since I discovered Orthodoxy, I kind of was brought up into the "Greek Orthodox" understanding of the Bible. I've never considered the Bible to be just a singular book. I haven't seen any evidence at the start of Christianity that Christians referred the Bible as one book containing the OT/NT. I'm open to being corrected on this issue, and would like to see the epistles you are talking about, Mario.

Yes my attitude towards the Bible is a bit negative. I'm more referring to the protestant fundamentalists. Of course there hasn't been a single more influential book than the Bible when it comes to the arts, philosophy, politics, etc. Ignoring that would be wholly ignorant. I'm sorry for being grumpy about it.

What I find objectionable is the attitude that some take towards the Scriptures. It's true that they were historically different collections of books (the apostles, epistles, prophets, the law, etc.), but that doesn't mean they were only used liturgically. Just read any epistle of St. Basil's and see how much he quotes the scriptures. It's clear that the fathers gave the Scriptures much authority and studied them in depth as a source of solid doctrinal teaching. This is why it was important, for example, that the Nicene Christians produced a good exegesis of John 14:28, because without one, their entire argument for the divinity of the Son could have been undone with just one verse. That was the power and weight which the Church Fathers gave to the Scriptures.
No doubt the fathers studied them, that's not exactly what myself or the His Grace Isaiah is saying here. We aren't saying it is only used liturgically, we are saying that is the primary usage in the Church. But I think it is an error to think the Church's foundation is on the Bible, it's not.

Quote
When I see things like, "we don't need the Scriptures because we have tradition," it drives me absolutely nuts because that's simply not true.
Well Holy Scripture is part of Holy Tradition, it's not separate or running parallel to it. I don't believe His Grace Isaiah is saying we don't need the Scriptures because we have tradition.

It is something that I believe that if we did not have the Scriptures, Christianity's mission would have remained wholly intact. Does one need the Scriptures to preach the Gospel?

Quote
What have we to fear by exalting the Scriptures to their proper place, as Orthodox Christians? Do we fear the charge made by Protestants that our tradition is inconsistent with the Holy Scriptures? Must we resort to denigrating the greatest recorded source of revelation which exists in the entire literary corpus of our two-thousand-year-old Tradition? Surely we have nothing to fear from our own Holy Scriptures. It is our responsibility to meet these charges made by Protestants head-on instead of dismissing them with such a lazy apology for Orthodoxy.
So then this is wrong:
Quote
. Rather, the Bible is a product of the Church. For the first few centuries of the Christian era, no one could have put his hands on a single volume called “The Bible”. In fact, there was no one put his hands on a single volume called “The Bible”. In fact, there was no agreement regarding which “books” of Scripture were to be considered accurate and correct, or canonical. Looking back over history, there were various “lists” of the canonical “books” comprising the Bible:
http://www.omhksea.org/2011/02/holy-scripture-in-the-orthodox-church/
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« Reply #82 on: May 25, 2012, 05:24:44 AM »

Ever since I discovered Orthodoxy, I kind of was brought up into the "Greek Orthodox" understanding of the Bible. I've never considered the Bible to be just a singular book. I haven't seen any evidence at the start of Christianity that Christians referred the Bible as one book containing the OT/NT. I'm open to being corrected on this issue, and would like to see the epistles you are talking about, Mario.

Yes my attitude towards the Bible is a bit negative. I'm more referring to the protestant fundamentalists. Of course there hasn't been a single more influential book than the Bible when it comes to the arts, philosophy, politics, etc. Ignoring that would be wholly ignorant. I'm sorry for being grumpy about it.

What I find objectionable is the attitude that some take towards the Scriptures. It's true that they were historically different collections of books (the apostles, epistles, prophets, the law, etc.), but that doesn't mean they were only used liturgically. Just read any epistle of St. Basil's and see how much he quotes the scriptures. It's clear that the fathers gave the Scriptures much authority and studied them in depth as a source of solid doctrinal teaching. This is why it was important, for example, that the Nicene Christians produced a good exegesis of John 14:28, because without one, their entire argument for the divinity of the Son could have been undone with just one verse. That was the power and weight which the Church Fathers gave to the Scriptures.
No doubt the fathers studied them, that's not exactly what myself or the His Grace Isaiah is saying here. We aren't saying it is only used liturgically, we are saying that is the primary usage in the Church. But I think it is an error to think the Church's foundation is on the Bible, it's not.

Ok then, why did the church fathers have to successfully provide an exegesis of John 14:28 against Arianism? Why didn't they just use your response and deny that the Scriptures had any authority? I'm sorry, but you simply have not acquired the mind of the Fathers on this matter. Because of the universal recognition of the authority of the Scriptures, they are a foundation of our Church. We cannot hold to beliefs which contradict the Scriptures, and because of the historical authority given to the Scriptures, we are not free to revoke the authority of the Scriptures. It is "too late" for you to be making this argument after the fact. Now that it has happened (by the fourth century, 26 books of the New Testament were universally agreed upon), they are a foundation of our Church, end of story.

What Metropolitan Isaiah is trying to say is that the authority of the Church is not drawn from the Bible. This much is true. But the Bible, owing to the authority invested in it by the Church in time, is now an irrevocable source authority itself. Its authority is derived, but that doesn't mean its authority is lesser than the authority of the body which gave it its authority.

Quote
When I see things like, "we don't need the Scriptures because we have tradition," it drives me absolutely nuts because that's simply not true.
Well Holy Scripture is part of Holy Tradition, it's not separate or running parallel to it. I don't believe His Grace Isaiah is saying we don't need the Scriptures because we have tradition.

The Scriptures are definitely set apart from the rest of Tradition. To say otherwise is foolish. They are invested with more authority than anything other writings of the tradition. When St. Symeon the New Theologian writes things that seems kind of funny, we can always say "well, Saints are not infallible;" we simply do not have this option with St. Paul, St. Luke, St. Mark, St. Matthew, St. Peter, St. James or St. John. If tradition truly contains the same amount of authority as the Scriptures, why does this not bear out in practice? Why is it that just one verse of St. Paul contains more authority than any one sentence of St. John Chrysostom?

It is something that I believe that if we did not have the Scriptures, Christianity's mission would have remained wholly intact. Does one need the Scriptures to preach the Gospel?

This is perhaps true, but it's not the reality we live in today. Fantasies are not a good evangelizing tactic.

Quote
What have we to fear by exalting the Scriptures to their proper place, as Orthodox Christians? Do we fear the charge made by Protestants that our tradition is inconsistent with the Holy Scriptures? Must we resort to denigrating the greatest recorded source of revelation which exists in the entire literary corpus of our two-thousand-year-old Tradition? Surely we have nothing to fear from our own Holy Scriptures. It is our responsibility to meet these charges made by Protestants head-on instead of dismissing them with such a lazy apology for Orthodoxy.
So then this is wrong:
Quote
. Rather, the Bible is a product of the Church. For the first few centuries of the Christian era, no one could have put his hands on a single volume called “The Bible”. In fact, there was no one put his hands on a single volume called “The Bible”. In fact, there was no agreement regarding which “books” of Scripture were to be considered accurate and correct, or canonical. Looking back over history, there were various “lists” of the canonical “books” comprising the Bible:
http://www.omhksea.org/2011/02/holy-scripture-in-the-orthodox-church/

I don't see how my statement conflicts with metropolitan Isaiah's statement. I just think you're misinterpreting him. The Protestants have accepted the authority of the Scriptures (which our own Church has invested with its own authority). That is good. Now we simply have to show them that they are using the Scriptures incorrectly, and bring them to understand that our Tradition is not incongruous with the Scriptures. Using this argument, "well, the Bible has no authority of its own," does nothing for evangelizing protestants, but instead does tremendous harm to Holy Orthodoxy, because in trying to undermine the authority of the Scriptures, we only wind up undermining the authority of the Church itself, by contradicting her revelation from God in time to invest the Holy Scriptures with authority.
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« Reply #83 on: May 25, 2012, 06:37:11 AM »

I x'd my original message so I'm going to try this again, be warned it's probably much more edited than I had originally intended it to be.

I'm not denying the authority of the Bible and I'm not sure how you got to that conclusion. The Bible is of no foundation itself. Proof? Check out all the Protestant denoms who all use the Bible as their foundation but wildly differ on many things. You need Holy Tradition to correctly interpret it but Scriptures also belong to the community (i.e. Orthodox) who produced them.

We aren't Sola Scripturists. You do realize nothing in Orthodoxy hinges on the reliability of the Bible right? Orthodox do not appeal to the authenticity of the Bible for our tradition.

Fr. Hopko (oh my I actually cited him):
"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible."
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_carltonrome.aspx

That settles that.
Quote
This is perhaps true, but it's not the reality we live in today. Fantasies are not a good evangelizing tactic.
Like myself, and many atheists, we would have to disagree. What convinced me of Orthodoxy's truth was those that actually lived out the Gospel. And speaking of the atheists I have encountered, many wished Christians practiced what they preached. How much more would be Orthodox if we shone our light amongst men? Or showed the fruits of our faith? You're exactly right about the reality we live in today, because simply quote mining the Bible isn't really going to change the hearts and minds of people IMO.

You have to preach Christ's crucifixion and Resurrection. In fact the Resurrection is the only significant thing in all of the world. Without it, nothing matters.
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« Reply #84 on: May 25, 2012, 07:40:00 AM »

I x'd my original message so I'm going to try this again, be warned it's probably much more edited than I had originally intended it to be.

I'm not denying the authority of the Bible and I'm not sure how you got to that conclusion. The Bible is of no foundation itself. Proof? Check out all the Protestant denoms who all use the Bible as their foundation but wildly differ on many things. You need Holy Tradition to correctly interpret it but Scriptures also belong to the community (i.e. Orthodox) who produced them.

You do realize that I wrote exactly that two posts earlier when I said that the Scripture can only be interpreted correctly by tradition?

We aren't Sola Scripturists. You do realize nothing in Orthodoxy hinges on the reliability of the Bible right? Orthodox do not appeal to the authenticity of the Bible for our tradition.

Again, you're ignoring the fact that the Church is a body of revelation. Because the Scriptures have been revealed to us in time as unparalleled sources of divine inspiration, we are not simply free to ignore them. To do so would be to undermine the very authority of the Church itself.

Fr. Hopko (oh my I actually cited him):
"At this point, allow me to reiterate that Orthodoxy is in no way based on the Bible. Nor is it based or derived from a set of oral teachings running parallel to the Bible."
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_carltonrome.aspx

That settles that.

No, that doesn't settle anything. Orthodoxy is not based on the bible, that is true. Orthodoxy is based on divine revelation (hence we sing God is the Lord... at Orthros). But the Scriptures once revealed are of irrevocable authority, just as our symbol of faith, the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed is of irrevocable authority for us.  In that sense, Orthodoxy is based on the Bible and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, because we draw our teaching from sources like these (understood through the tradition), which are a pure distillation and consolidation of the Catholic faith. Remember some of the horrible and disparaging statements you've made about the Scriptures in this very thread. Let's see if you'd be comfortable making the same claims about the Nicene Creed. This claim most especially:

Quote
Christianity does not hinge on the reliability of the Bible.

That is of course one hundred percent bogus. Because the Church has recognized the authority of the Scriptures, its claim to being that which reveals God to mankind would be jeopardized if the Scriptures could be shown to be unreliable. The same is true of the Creed or of the essence-energies distinction. How about this little gem?

Quote
Sometimes I wish the Bible never existed but it is the product of the Church so...

Maybe next, you can wish that the Creed and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom never existed. Or why stop there? Maybe you can wish that the Church Fathers never wrote anything down at all, after you are done cutting Orthodoxy's nose off in order to spite Protestantism's face.
Quote
This is perhaps true, but it's not the reality we live in today. Fantasies are not a good evangelizing tactic
Like myself, and many atheists, we would have to disagree. What convinced me of Orthodoxy's truth was those that actually lived out the Gospel. And speaking of the atheists I have encountered, many wished Christians practiced what they preached. How much more would be Orthodox if we shone our light amongst men? Or showed the fruits of our faith? You're exactly right about the reality we live in today, because simply quote mining the Bible isn't really going to change the hearts and minds of people IMO.

You have to preach Christ's crucifixion and Resurrection. In fact the Resurrection is the only significant thing in all of the world. Without it, nothing matters.

Where did I say that it is an either or? Where did I mention quote mining? Living out the faith is a huge part of evangelism, but apologetics is another part of it. Right now, the sort of anti-protestant apologetics I've seen are completely self defeating, because they essentially say, "we don't have to answer your scriptural challenge, because we have the tradition," which is total crap. Could you imagine St. Basil or St. Gregory of Nyssa answering a Scriptural challenge with that sort of impious, dishonest, and intellectually lazy answer? This is why I say that this mindset of down-playing the importance of the Scriptures is completely unpatristic, an impious innovation unknown to the Fathers, and has nothing to do with the right and God-fearing faith which we have received.
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« Reply #85 on: May 25, 2012, 10:25:48 AM »

Much of what you said in this post was factual, but wrong, but this in particular is just wrong...

When St. Symeon the New Theologian writes things that seems kind of funny, we can always say "well, Saints are not infallible;" we simply do not have this option with St. Paul, St. Luke, St. Mark, St. Matthew, St. Peter, St. James or St. John.

Of course we can say that St. Paul or St. Matthew were fallible and got something wrong in their works (though I'm pretty sure St. James was as good as you could get)
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« Reply #86 on: May 25, 2012, 01:31:10 PM »

Much of what you said in this post was factual, but wrong, but this in particular is just wrong...

When St. Symeon the New Theologian writes things that seems kind of funny, we can always say "well, Saints are not infallible;" we simply do not have this option with St. Paul, St. Luke, St. Mark, St. Matthew, St. Peter, St. James or St. John.

Of course we can say that St. Paul or St. Matthew were fallible and got something wrong in their works (though I'm pretty sure St. James was as good as you could get)

Again, if that is the case, why does it not pan out in the actual practice of the fathers? Why, when challenged by John 14:28, did the Nicene Christians not simply dismiss the attack by saying that St. John made a mistake, Jesus never said that? When challenged with 1 Corinthians 8:6, why didn't the Nicene Christians defend themselves by saying that Paul didn't know what he was talking about? What could have compelled St. Athanasius to write, "So while those who are far from it may continue to shun it, those whom it has deceived may repent; and, opening the eyes of their heart, may understand that darkness is not light, nor falsehood truth, nor Arianism good; nay, that those who call these men Christians are in great and grievous error, as neither having studied Scripture, nor understanding Christianity at all, and the faith which it contains," (first discourse against the Arians 1.1) if he ascribed to the Scriptures the same disgraceful status you have given them? Why, when combatting the essentialism of Balaam, did Gregory Palamas have to give an exegesis of Exodus 3:14? Why not deny that that particular verse was inspired instead?
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« Reply #87 on: May 25, 2012, 02:12:17 PM »

Much of what you said in this post was factual, but wrong, but this in particular is just wrong...

When St. Symeon the New Theologian writes things that seems kind of funny, we can always say "well, Saints are not infallible;" we simply do not have this option with St. Paul, St. Luke, St. Mark, St. Matthew, St. Peter, St. James or St. John.

Of course we can say that St. Paul or St. Matthew were fallible and got something wrong in their works (though I'm pretty sure St. James was as good as you could get)

Again, if that is the case, why does it not pan out in the actual practice of the fathers? Why, when challenged by John 14:28, did the Nicene Christians not simply dismiss the attack by saying that St. John made a mistake, Jesus never said that? When challenged with 1 Corinthians 8:6, why didn't the Nicene Christians defend themselves by saying that Paul didn't know what he was talking about? What could have compelled St. Athanasius to write, "So while those who are far from it may continue to shun it, those whom it has deceived may repent; and, opening the eyes of their heart, may understand that darkness is not light, nor falsehood truth, nor Arianism good; nay, that those who call these men Christians are in great and grievous error, as neither having studied Scripture, nor understanding Christianity at all, and the faith which it contains," (first discourse against the Arians 1.1) if he ascribed to the Scriptures the same disgraceful status you have given them? Why, when combatting the essentialism of Balaam, did Gregory Palamas have to give an exegesis of Exodus 3:14? Why not deny that that particular verse was inspired instead?

Because the Nicene Christians were not Asteriktos.
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« Reply #88 on: May 25, 2012, 02:21:36 PM »

Much of what you said in this post was factual, but wrong, but this in particular is just wrong...

When St. Symeon the New Theologian writes things that seems kind of funny, we can always say "well, Saints are not infallible;" we simply do not have this option with St. Paul, St. Luke, St. Mark, St. Matthew, St. Peter, St. James or St. John.

Of course we can say that St. Paul or St. Matthew were fallible and got something wrong in their works (though I'm pretty sure St. James was as good as you could get)

Again, if that is the case, why does it not pan out in the actual practice of the fathers? Why, when challenged by John 14:28, did the Nicene Christians not simply dismiss the attack by saying that St. John made a mistake, Jesus never said that? When challenged with 1 Corinthians 8:6, why didn't the Nicene Christians defend themselves by saying that Paul didn't know what he was talking about? What could have compelled St. Athanasius to write, "So while those who are far from it may continue to shun it, those whom it has deceived may repent; and, opening the eyes of their heart, may understand that darkness is not light, nor falsehood truth, nor Arianism good; nay, that those who call these men Christians are in great and grievous error, as neither having studied Scripture, nor understanding Christianity at all, and the faith which it contains," (first discourse against the Arians 1.1) if he ascribed to the Scriptures the same disgraceful status you have given them? Why, when combatting the essentialism of Balaam, did Gregory Palamas have to give an exegesis of Exodus 3:14? Why not deny that that particular verse was inspired instead?

Because the Nicene Christians were not Asteriktos.

I am tempted to flip that statement around.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 02:24:58 PM by Cavaradossi » Logged

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« Reply #89 on: May 25, 2012, 06:21:54 PM »

Nigula is the residest expert on the better versions of the Bible, I would trust his advice.

That said, Nigula, what do you think about The Bible and the Holy Fathers for Orthodox by Johanna Manley? As seen here: http://books.google.com/books?id=YLmbkbpANpAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=orthodox+bible&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KtK6T9DJB4rF6gHchY3SCg&ved=0CF4Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=orthodox%20bible&f=false

I think it has some good value.
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