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Author Topic: Orthodox Bible Study  (Read 608 times) Average Rating: 0
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Big Chris
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« on: May 28, 2012, 11:27:29 AM »

Are Fr Lawrence Farley's Orthodox Bible Study books worth the paper they're printed on? 

I have pretty extensive familiarity with academia's perspective on the historical critical and form critical issues surrounding the Gospels and some of Paul's epistles. 

What about the Chrysostom Bible series?

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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 08:53:44 AM »

I have read Fr Lawrence's study of Romans & found it to be layperson friendly & good for seekers of Orthodoxy. He is a priest talking to the laity instructing the reader with a different translation than the NKJV & some more in depth highlights on key areas like ancestral sin, predestination, baptism etc. explaining the doctrines & identifying their original Greek terms. 
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Big Chris
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 01:07:51 PM »

I have read Fr Lawrence's study of Romans & found it to be layperson friendly & good for seekers of Orthodoxy. He is a priest talking to the laity instructing the reader with a different translation than the NKJV & some more in depth highlights on key areas like ancestral sin, predestination, baptism etc. explaining the doctrines & identifying their original Greek terms.  

Thanks.  I'm looking to get either Farley's study for John's Gospel or Reardon's "Christ in the Psalms."

I'd still be interested in seeing what experience people here have had with the "Chrysostom Bible" series.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 01:08:29 PM by Big Chris » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 06:07:35 PM »

I personally find these things unnecessary because we already have guidance and commentaries on the Scriptures from the Church Fathers like St. John Chrysostom's homilies for example. And if we need help understanding them, then I see no reason why we cannot just ask for guidance from our Priests.
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 07:22:13 PM »

I personally find these things unnecessary because we already have guidance and commentaries on the Scriptures from the Church Fathers like St. John Chrysostom's homilies for example.

True, but a person does not necessarily pick up "The Joy of Cooking" if they don't even know how to make macaroni & cheese from a box.

Many of the Fathers' commentaries are very dense and are difficult to read. It helps to have authors give a taste and distill the topics. Better to feed off some milk than to starve because the meat is too tough. And hopefully with time, they will be able to move into the true classics of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 04:22:50 PM »

I personally find these things unnecessary because we already have guidance and commentaries on the Scriptures from the Church Fathers like St. John Chrysostom's homilies for example.

True, but a person does not necessarily pick up "The Joy of Cooking" if they don't even know how to make macaroni & cheese from a box.

Many of the Fathers' commentaries are very dense and are difficult to read. It helps to have authors give a taste and distill the topics. Better to feed off some milk than to starve because the meat is too tough. And hopefully with time, they will be able to move into the true classics of Orthodoxy.

I agree, especially if that person is from a Protestant background.  For instance, prior to my joining the Orthodox Church, I was asked to read The Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy by Alexander Schmemann.  This was probably the most indepth book I could have handled at that time.  In fact, I should probably read it again soon. 

I have an Orthodox Study bible, but I did not get it for study, rather to have a complete bible available for me to reference.
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 04:50:07 PM »

I personally find these things unnecessary because we already have guidance and commentaries on the Scriptures from the Church Fathers like St. John Chrysostom's homilies for example. And if we need help understanding them, then I see no reason why we cannot just ask for guidance from our Priests.

The writings of the Father are filled with references from both the Old and New Testaments. If you wished to know X's interpretation of such and such a verse from Proverbs, for example, you would not necessarily find it neatly laid out in a book called Commentary on the Book of Proverbs, but might have to wade through sermons and letters with completely unrelated titles. I don't think most of the Fathers are anywhere near as difficult to read as many people make them out to be, but that doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of people would neither know where to look nor have the time to do so.

Verse by verse commentaries quoting or paraphrasing works of the Fathers make the patristic commentaries accessible and systematic. As for asking guidance from priests, while this is by no means a bad thing, priests are not walking encyclopedias who will be able to give detailed answers about every verse of the Bible, and many are far too busy to give people individual Bible studies. Provided they are put together by competent and faithful people, I think such commentaries can be a very helpful tool for many (including the priests themselves).
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