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Author Topic: Armenian Canon of Scripture  (Read 4416 times) Average Rating: 0
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TonyS
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« on: February 14, 2005, 12:52:46 AM »

Friends,

I recently acquired "The Breath of God," an RSV (obviously English) Armenian Church edition.  I was very excited because this edition does not do what the Oxford does, it does not separate the deuterocanonicals out.  In the introduction Fr Vahan Hovhanessian says that the Armenian Church accepted the Septuagint and cites the books present in the LXX not in the Masoretic text.  He mentions 1-4 Macabees, yet this edition only has 1-2 Macabees.  It does have Psalm 151.

Apparently either there is a mistake in the intro or a mistake in the books included or there is something else going on.  Does anyone here know what is really going on?  I was very happy with this edition until I came upon this.

TonyS     Huh
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2005, 02:20:32 AM »

I know the version you are talking about.  I had the same disappointment.

The Armenians do have Maccabees 1-3. I think the 4th Maccabees is considered pious reading, but is not exactly scripture.  Ghazaros may know more about this than I do.  I know we consider the Septuagint to be the correct Old Testament.

I think what happened with the particular Bible you are talking about is that to save money, the Eastern Diocese just got a Catholic Bible and added an Armenian cover, articles, etc.-Again, Ghazaros may know more of the story than I do.

The only English Bible that I know of that has the complete canon of Scripture is the Oxford Annotated, which you mentioned.  I look forward to the Antiochian Church's Orthodox Study Bible, which is supposed to come out in a couple of years.  I think that will also have the complete canon, hopefully with all the books in the correct order.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2006, 02:20:36 AM by Salpy » Logged

Arystarcus
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2005, 02:58:51 AM »

Quote
The only English Bible that I know of that has the complete canon of Scripture is the Oxford Annotated, which you mentioned.  I look forward to the Antiochian Church's Orthodox Study Bible, which is supposed to come out in a couple of years.  I think that will also have the complete canon, hopefully with all the books in the correct order.

Salpy,

Are you referring to the Orthodox Study Bible? If so, then supposedly it will be available for purchase around July, 2005 - according to their website, which is here:

http://www.lxx.org/

In Christ,
Aaron
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Ghazar
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2005, 10:36:29 PM »

Dear Salpy and brethren,

I have read, as Salpy said, that 1-3 Maccabees were canonical.  4th Maccbees was sometimes included in the appendix for edification.  There could've been an oversight when preparing the Armenian edition.  They did add 151st Psalm, the Prayer of Manaseh and 1 & 2 Esdras.  To the standard text.  The Armenian Version of the RSV actually uses the RSVCE (Catholic Edition) as its base text.  The RSVCE is much more preferrable to the RSV as the former has re-inserted the latter's excessive deletions made on modern scholarly textual basis which are not necessarily in accord with our historic received text.  The RSVCE is much more traditional.

There are other books as well which have sometimes been included in the Armenian Canon which are not in this Bible.  Even some NT Books.  I've been slowly collecting these other books, downloading them off of the internet and making my own collection in a single volume to use and study.

But I do look forward to the new Orthodox Study Bible.  Having the Septuagint in modern English sounds almost too good to be true!  Its been a long time coming and I've been following this edition for several years with great expectation.
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2005, 10:59:18 PM »

That is so Exciting.  I really look forward to having the Septuagint in English as well.  The ones we have here are all in Greek (lovely language, but I can't speak it). 
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2007, 12:32:33 PM »

Where might one obtain an Armenian edition of the Holy Bible in English please?
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2007, 01:28:29 PM »

There isn't any.  The traditional Armenian Bible has only been entirely translated into one modern language, Eastern Armenian.

The closest thing in English is the Oxford Annotated, which has the complete canon of scripture, although it uses a different text.
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2007, 01:38:18 PM »

I have also read that Macc 3 is sometimes included within Macc 2, may that be the case here?
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2007, 01:39:42 PM »

The Armenian canon includes Macc. 3 as a book seperate from Macc. 2.  At least that is how I have always seen it.
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Ghazar
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2007, 05:26:55 PM »

Dear Friends,

There is an Armenian Edition of the RSV-CE available through St. Vartan's bookstore which can be found on-line.
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2007, 08:30:26 PM »

Ghazar!  I'm so glad you're posting here again!  We've missed you!

I think the Bible you are mentioning is the one mentioned in the original post.  It's good and I have one, but it doesn't have third Maccabbees.

Has anyone heard that the new complete Orthodox Study Bible is finished?  You can actually order it now from Conciliar Press, although it won't be available until early next year.  I'm really excited, as it will have the complete canon and the translation will be from the Septuagint.  It'll probably be the closest thing to the Armenian Bible in English.  Cool!
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2007, 01:08:39 AM »

Dear Salpy,

Great to be back and hear from you too.  You're right, its been so long, I am referring to the above mentioned version.  You are also correct about the Orthodox Study Bible LXX finally coming out (in February 2008).  You can save 40% by placing advanced orders through the makers of the Bible the St. Athanasius Orthodox Academy.  If anyone is interested, I have made a page on the Bible in the Orthodox and Armenian Tradition.  I hope to update it with other canonical and deutero-canonical books.

see:  http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/OSB.html
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2007, 04:24:39 PM »

Ghazar!  I'm so glad you're posting here again!  We've missed you!

I think the Bible you are mentioning is the one mentioned in the original post.  It's good and I have one, but it doesn't have third Maccabbees.

Has anyone heard that the new complete Orthodox Study Bible is finished?  You can actually order it now from Conciliar Press, although it won't be available until early next year.  I'm really excited, as it will have the complete canon and the translation will be from the Septuagint.  It'll probably be the closest thing to the Armenian Bible in English.  Cool!

I know many Coptic priests and bishops in the US who are excited about the English version of the EO's Study Bible coming out.  It will probably be the only recommended Bible version once it comes out.

God bless.
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2007, 04:57:33 PM »

Hopefully so. Otherwise I'll continue to muddle my way through in Greek.
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2007, 02:57:11 AM »

To my fellow Armenians:

I was hoping one may direct me to any source that pursues an in-depth investigation of the evolvement of the New Testament canon in particular within the Armenian Church.

From my recent study of issues surrounding the importance of an NT Canon in general it is clear to me that the development and ultimate scope of any given NT canon in the early Church was contingent upon historically accidental factors. In the early centuries there seemed to be a stress on genuine Apostolic authorship as a criterion for canonicity though it is clear that the stress upon such a criterion was primarily governed by the rise of heretical pseudepigrapha. I read somewhere (though I cannot recall where) that the Armenian Church at one point accepted a work of Ps-Dionysius the Aeropagite in its canon. Whilst the works attributed to St Dionysius are in all probability pseudonymous (and recognised as such even by ancient authors), they nevertheless reflect the Greek concept of "noble falsehood." The author (who is probably a Syrian Orthodox monk of the late (?) 5th century) was not intending to deceive people into thinking he was St Dionysius, but rather intending to symbolically convey the idea that his works embody the Apostolic spirit.

I am curious, therefore, as to why the Armenian Church ultimately took this work of Ps.Dionysius out of its canon. More specifically, i'm interested to know if such a recension was a reaction to historical contingencies, or whether the ancient conception of the meaning and purpose of an NT canon substantially evolved in the life of the Church resulting in its being defined by consideration of more absolute and abstract principles.
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« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2007, 08:39:08 PM »

I have never heard that one of Pseudo-Dionysius' works was in the Armenian canon, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were true.  The works of Psuedo-Dionysius have historically been greatly respected in the Armenian Church and I've heard that they have had a great impact on our theology. 

For many centuries, the Armenian canon was a little bit different from the standard canon we know now.  That may be because the Armenians were kind of geographically isolated, at the edge of the Empire, etc.  I know that Revelations was not included until about the 12th century or so.  I think the way it got in the canon was the result of St. Nerses of Lambron coming into contact with the Greeks and Latins.  I think he saw that everyone else had it and thought that we should have it too.

Also, Third Corinthians was part of our canon for a while.  This was discussed in another thread and this Wikipedia article is pretty consistent with what I have heard:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Epistle_to_the_Corinthians

I'll ask around and see if anyone knows anything about something by Pseudo-Dionysius being in the Armenian Canon.
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2007, 11:23:00 PM »

This Bible is less than 300 pages? How?
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2007, 12:50:37 AM »

Sorry, but it's late and I'm easily confused even when it's not late.  Which Bible do you mean?
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« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2007, 04:23:21 PM »

The Breath of God. The one from St. Vartan's.
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2007, 08:37:39 PM »

The copy I have at home is over 1,000 pages.  If you read something that said it is under 300 pages, it must be a misprint.
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Tags: Armenian Church Canon of scriptures Orthodox Study Bible OO Canon of Scripture 
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