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Author Topic: Which Bible To Use???  (Read 5293 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: February 20, 2005, 12:49:22 AM »

I know the completed Orthodox Study Bible will be out very soon, but, in the meantime, is there an official or unofficial version of the Bible for the Orthodox Church???  What versions do you use???

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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2005, 01:06:42 AM »

Unfortunately, there is still no really Orthodox translation of Scripture out there. Bu I have heard that one is on the way: the brilliant English scholar, Fr. Ephrem Lash, is supposedly working on a translation that should be available in a few years (?) Has anyone else heard about this and how it is coming along?

Until that great and august day, we will have to make do with what we have. I like the old version of the RSV and the NIV. The NKJV is supposed to be good, though I don't use it much myself. But until we get that Lash translation, we just won't have an English rendering of the Greek Septuagint for the Old Testament, or for that matter a completely acceptable and Orthodox rendering of the New Testament, so we'll just have to manage with what we have!

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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2005, 09:54:20 AM »

I like the old version of the RSV and the NIV.  The NKJV is supposed to be good, though I don't use it much myself.

I like the RSV and NKJV...while part of me can appreciate the facileness of the NIV's readability, what I don't like about the NIV is its bias in translation, the famous example being its translation of paradosis as horrible "traditions" when applied to the Pharisees (and, by association, Catholics and Orthodox) but as a nicer "teachings" when applied to St. Paul's mentioning of oral tradition.

Then there's the obvious preference for the Masoretic Text for the OT by the editors.

Quote
But until we get that Lash translation, we just won't have an English rendering of the Greek Septuagint for the Old Testament...

Actually, the OSB OT is set to be released in Summer of next year (Jack Sparks, the main translator/editor had some health problems and the date was pushed back to that from sometime later this year.  So we WILL have an Orthodox translation of the LXX sooner than a few years.
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2005, 02:14:32 PM »

The Douay-Rheim is available online http://www.scriptours.com/bible/ though I have not looked into what other Orthodox think about how faithful it is to the Septuagint text. If it is the Orthodox Psalter you are looking for there is a translation here. http://www.pomog.org/ Its the one I've always used. Also I think, though I have yet to see it, that this a good Orthodox translation of the New Testament http://www.buenavistaco.com/GOC/hac-scripture.html

By the way this is a good site http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:Tii2raj1BqgJ:www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/St.Pachomius/Xlxx.html+ephrem-lash+LXX&hl=en
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2005, 03:18:11 PM »


Then there's the obvious preference for the Masoretic Text for the OT by the editors.

Actually, the OSB OT is set to be released in Summer of next year (Jack Sparks, the main translator/editor had some health problems and the date was pushed back to that from sometime later this year. So we WILL have an Orthodox translation of the LXX sooner than a few years.

Well, as you know, the NIV is not the only bible that suffers from an acute overexposure to the Masoretic text.

I heard about the Orthodox Study Bible OT as well, I just forgot about it. So this an out and out translation this time, right? Because the NT of the Orthodox Study Bible is just the NKJV, isn't it,or am I mistaken?

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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2005, 02:25:40 PM »

At the present, I use the KJV for Bible reading and the Psalms, and the Orthodox Study Bible (NKJV) for quoting and to check the accuracy of the KJV. For the Apocrypha I use the Oxford Anotated Bible With Apocrypha. The KJV/NKJV/KJV-2000 comes closest of all the English translations to the text that the Orthodox Church would consider the Scripture.

Bob,

Yeah, the OSB is the NKJV text with some variations here and there, some Orthodox footnotes, and some Orthodox articles.
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2005, 03:11:11 PM »

"So this an out and out translation this time, right?  Because the NT of the Orthodox Study Bible is just the NKJV, isn't it,or am I mistaken?"

I think it is the NKJV corrected with the Septuagint, just as the New Testament was corrected with the Received Byzantine Text.

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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2005, 03:30:02 PM »

Okay, I see.  Hmm. 
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2005, 03:33:21 PM »

Quote
"So this an out and out translation this time, right?  Because the NT of the Orthodox Study Bible is just the NKJV, isn't it,or am I mistaken?"
I think it is the NKJV corrected with the Septuagint, just as the New Testament was corrected with the Received Byzantine Text.

You are correct, sir.  Fr. Peter Gilquist was at the DFW Metroplex's Festival of Orthodoxy this past weekend and was talking about this.  Plus, you can read about some FAQ on their website.
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2005, 03:49:39 PM »

Lord, knows I use so many different translations...Douay-Rheim, NKJV, and of course my favorite, The Jerusalem Bible, that one should raise a few eyebrows.  Since I like Fr. Ephrem's translations, his edition should be well-worth the effort.
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2005, 04:00:58 PM »

Yes, I'm interested to see how it turns out.
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2005, 04:36:04 PM »

Fr. Ephrem's edition can't be any worse that what's available now.  Tho, he has been know to use gender sensitive language:  humankind for mankind. 

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« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2005, 04:08:26 PM »

There are priests at my church who read Lamsa's translation of the ancient Pashitta and I find it to be quite interesting.

It claims to be a translation of the Aramaic originals, instead of a transliteration of the Greek text.

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« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2005, 05:56:42 PM »

I'm not sure which "Aramaic originals" that would be, since only Matthew was originally written in Aramaic (or Hebrew)? Unless you mean that they translated the books from the Greek into the Aramaic and these translations are the "Aramaic originals"? And, regarding Matthew, I mean no offense, but apparently God didn't think it important enough to preserve Matthew in that language anyway (* unless those who authored the Peshitta claim to have had access to a Aramaic copy, which seems unlikely?), so I'm not sure what claim there could be to it being better? (this last part has always struck me as odd as it relates to the Catholic interpretation Matt. 16:18-19... if the Aramaic is so important, then 1) why didn't God preserve at least a fragment or some Father talking about this? and 2) why didn't those who translated Matthew into Greek carry over what is speculated as being explicit in the Aramaic original? Anyway, I'm getting side-tracked here...) I mean, I have no problems with using other translations, but wouldn't there be issues with using the Peshitta?


EDIT--* my sentence was imprecise, so I fixed it to be clearer.
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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2005, 06:48:56 PM »

Fr. Ephrem's edition can't be any worse that what's available now. Tho, he has been know to use gender sensitive language: humankind for mankind.
I don't think that's a problem so long as it's just "mankind" to "humankind" or "a man" to "one", because it doesn't change the meaning.  When it gets out of hand is when you hear hear things like the Trinity being described as "The loving parent, the obedient child and the inspiring emotion" (I've actually heard that one)
As to the actual question, I prefer the Orthodox New Testament and the Orthodox Study Bible for the NT, the NASB for the OT, and the Jerusalem Bible for the Deuterocanonicals.
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2005, 02:48:38 AM »

I mean, I have no problems with using other translations, but wouldn't there be issues with using the Peshitta?

Lamsa claims that the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic so he uses the Peshitta as his text. I find it interesting.
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2005, 02:53:05 AM »

Quote
Lamsa claims that the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic so he uses the Peshitta as his text.

Ahhh.. ok, thank you for the information Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2005, 03:34:00 AM »

I highly reccomend it.
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2005, 05:35:04 PM »

I mean, I have no problems with using other translations, but wouldn't there be issues with using the Peshitta?

I'm not sure what issues there would be with using the Peshitta, unless you think it is a doctrinally inaccurate text...?
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2005, 07:01:26 PM »

Supposedly, Lamsa started a cult called the Church of Living Truth:

http://www.livingtruth.net
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« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2005, 08:00:52 PM »

Gee, and you wonder  Shocked why many frown on his translation Tongue. It also does not contain the Apocryphal books.

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« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2005, 09:07:22 PM »

Anyone have any experience with the: Orthodox New Testament?

The Orthodox New Testament
http://www.buenavistaco.com/GOC/hac-scripture.html

The highly regarded new translation from the Original Greek of the authorized version (1912) of the Patriarchate of Constantinople is printed with the blessing of the holy Synod of Bishops of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece and the Diaspora.

The Fourth Edition

--Revised, Enlarged, and Expanded (Available in CD format also)--

Is presented in two fully illustrated 6x9" volumes.

Vol. 1: The Holy Gospels

Vol. 2: Acts, Epistles, and Revelation

   

With so many English New Testaments on the market, which version is most faithful to the original Greek? How do you choose one that reflects Orthodox perspective and theological content? Our Orthodox monasteries, Holy Apostles Convent and Dormition Skete, labored seven years, with a committee of contributors, to present this fully illustrated Orthodox translation, which has been diligently compared against the original Greek text, the authorized version (1912) of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the King James Version. There was no compromise of accuracy and reliability in this brand-new translation which echoes the rhythms and idioms of the original Greek. This promises to be an enriched reading experience that gives you an in-depth understanding of God’s word, answering commonly asked textual and theological queries for vital and penetrating insights into God’s word.

   

We have brought together a trustworthy and one-of-a-kind patristic commentary which draws from the whole spectrum of the authority of the Church Fathers for a rich, dependable, invaluable resource for devotional reading, Bible study, sermon preparation, and teaching. Explore the Scriptures with the champions of Orthodoxy with hundreds of succinct, reliable, and inspiring commentaries that elaborate on difficult passages, thereby providing a clearer understanding.

Gain a greater understanding of the shades of meaning in the original language with word studies stressing meaningful nuances in the Greek, but often lost in other translations. Even for those who do not know Greek, exegetical material gives critical analysis of key words, that is not overly technical, for both beginners and scholars alike.

Special Features include:

      Experience the New Testament fully illustrated with Orthodox icons interspersed, thus complementing pertinent text so that you can reverently view Christ, His Mother, the Apostles, and many other biblical personalities, together with sacred events, Bible scenes, miracles, parables, and numerous apocalyptic depictions.

      High-quality format. Text is in large, easy-to-read 13-point typeface; endnotes are in a readable and clear 10-point typeface.

      Words of Christ and others set in quotations.

      At the end of each book of the New Testament, references and informative notes on linguistics, key words, difficult terms and phrases. Extensive explanatory notes packed with information on textual difficulties and theological concepts that enable you to discover the rich truths of the original Greek text.

      Chronological Index of Gospel Parallels.

      Instructive Appendix and Bibliography, and detailed listing of Greek codices explained.

      Our two new handsomely bound 6x9 Smyth-sewn case-bound books, in sturdy lexotone with gold stamping on cover and spine, are printed on high-opacity acid-free pages, and lavishly illustrated. Sewn in gold ribbon place-marker in the second edition.

(Also available as one volume minus commentary)
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« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2005, 09:08:47 PM »

BTW,

I also heard that these people have an Orthodox Old Testament (English translation of the Septuagint) in the works also.

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« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2005, 09:59:20 PM »

Here are some good arguments against the Orthodox Study Bible which anyone considering it should carefully read. Personally I think the Orthodox New Testament is very valuable for the Patristics on most verses and the reasons mentioned in the thread at http://euphrosynoscafe.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=234

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« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2005, 10:42:29 PM »

How could one go wrong with the Orthodox study Bible?
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« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2005, 10:48:02 PM »

How could one go wrong with the Orthodox study Bible?

Read the link.
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« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2005, 10:48:41 PM »

I go with the King James Version.  I also like the 21st century King James version (different from the New King James Version in that thy/thou is retained).

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« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2005, 11:01:42 PM »

How could one go wrong with the Orthodox study Bible?

Perhaps this has been said already. Part of the issue is not only the translation but the reliance some have on footnotes and study aids. While some of them in the OSB are helpful some are also wrong, simply wrong. Look up the verse in Revelation that talks about the star called Wormwood falling from the sky. The footnote says that wormwood in Slavonic is Chernobyl. It's not. Compare the Slavonic text. It is absynth. Sorry but that one is just wrong and who knows where it came from.

Thought it better to offer a proper cite. In the Slavonic Bible Rev 8:11 has for the name of the star "-¦-ê-ù-+++-+-ü-è."
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« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2005, 11:06:24 PM »

I like the 1611 King James with all of its archaicisms for reading.  Oxford Annotated (RSV) with "Apocrypha" for reference.  I plan on picking up the ONT soon.  Oh yeah, Psalter According to the Seventy (http://www.pomog.org/index.html?psalter.shtml) for Septuagint Psalms. 

A few years ago the book kiosk in our parish hall started carrying the OSB, I was just about to pick one up when a helpful parishoner sent this to the parsh listserve:  http://www.anastasis.org.uk/bible_review.htm

These lines were the dealbreaker for me: 

"The main study material, apart from the notes on the text itself, begins on page 755 with Morning and Evening Prayers. These contain traditional material, but are distinctly unorthodox in feel; at least I would be surprised to find an Orthodox Christian whose regular morning and evening prayers made not a single reference to the Mother of God or the Saints."


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« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2005, 11:13:49 PM »

I go with the King James Version.  I also like the 21st century King James version (different from the New King James Version in that thy/thou is retained).

Anastasios

The Third Millennium Bible is almost the same as the KJ21 (same parent company) but it has the Apocrypha or Deutero-canonicals as well! So that is currently my Old Testament of choice.

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« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2005, 11:45:16 PM »

Glad to see you here Deacon Nikolai, I must get another PW for the Cafe, my PC crashed a couple of weeks ago & lost the info.

james, who has many different bibles but.....
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« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2005, 12:24:24 AM »

Look up the verse in Revelation that talks about the star called Wormwood falling from the sky. The footnote says that wormwood in Slavonic is Chernobyl. It's not. Compare the Slavonic text. It is absynth. Sorry but that one is just wrong and who knows where it came from.

Thought it better to offer a proper cite. In the Slavonic Bible Rev 8:11 has for the name of the star "-¦-ê-ù-+++-+-ü-è."

The Slavonic reads: "I imya svezde glogoletsya apsinthos: i byst' tretiya chast' vod yako pelyn'"

Now the Slavonic is merely retaining the Greek word for wormwood in the first instance -apsinthos- ands then it repeats it in Slavonic -pelyn'.

Botanically wormwood (pelyn' in Slavonic and polyn' in modern Russian) is "Artemisia absinthium."

The Synodal version of the Bible simply drops the calque and uses polyn' in both instances: "-ÿ-+-Å -ü-¦-¦ -+-¦-¦-+-¦-¦ '-+-+-+-ï-+-î'; -+ -é-Ç-¦-é-î-Å -ç-¦-ü-é-î -¦-+-¦ -ü-¦-¦-+-¦-+-¦-ü-î -+-+-+-ï-+-î-Ä, -+ -+-+-+-¦-+-¦ -+-+ -+-Ä-¦-¦-¦ -â-+-¦-Ç-+-+ -+-é -¦-+-¦, -+-+-é-+-+-â -ç-é-+ -+-+-+ -ü-é-¦-+-+ -¦-+-Ç-î-¦-+."
  Rev 8:11


Now what's the connection with Chernobyl? Well, Chernobyl (black plant/grass/stalks) is the Ukrainian word for wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and of course the tragedy took place in the Ukraine.

Phew, don't know if I got all that right. My head is spinning. :confused:
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« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2005, 02:12:03 AM »

The Slavonic reads: "I imya svezde glogoletsya apsinthos: i byst' tretiya chast' vod yako pelyn'"

Now the Slavonic is merely retaining the Greek word for wormwood in the first instance -apsinthos- ands then it repeats it in Slavonic -pelyn'.

Botanically wormwood (pelyn' in Slavonic and polyn' in modern Russian) is "Artemisia absinthium."

Now what's the connection with Chernobyl? Well, Chernobyl (black plant/grass/stalks) is the Ukrainian word for wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and of course the tragedy took place in the Ukraine.

Quote
The Synodal version of the Bible simply drops the calque and uses polyn' in both instances:  "-ÿ-+-Ã… -ü-¦-¦ -+-¦-¦-+-¦-¦ '-+-+-+-ï-+-î'; -+ -é-Ç-¦-é-î-Ã… -ç-¦-ü-é-î -¦-+-¦ -ü-¦-¦-+-¦-+-¦-ü-î -+-+-+-ï-+-î-Ä, -+ -+-+-+-¦-+-¦ -+-+ -+-Ä-¦-¦-¦ -â-+-¦-Ç-+-+ -+-é -¦-+-¦, -+-+-é-+-+-â -ç-é-+ -+-+-+ -ü-é-¦-+-+ -¦-+-Ç-î-¦-+."
    Rev 8:11
  The Synodal Russian. 

Thanks for filling in the gap on Ukrainian.  My bone is with the footnote it says "in Slavonic, 'chernobyl.'"  That footnote remains an error.  It should have said something like "Chernobyl is the Ukrainian for wormwood...." ISTM.
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« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2005, 04:21:54 AM »


These lines were the dealbreaker for me:

"The main study material, apart from the notes on the text itself, begins on page 755 with Morning and Evening Prayers. These contain traditional material, but are distinctly unorthodox in feel; at least I would be surprised to find an Orthodox Christian whose regular morning and evening prayers made not a single reference to the Mother of God or the Saints."


Alas, I feel that the people responsible for the OSB see it as a tool for evangelism rather than a bible for Orthodox christians. Thus, it is devoid of such things that would probably cause your average evangelical to run screaming from the room. They may have a point, and most Orthodox are likely to have a seperate prayer book anyway, but I agree that it leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

John
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« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2005, 08:40:15 AM »

Personally, I like the OSB. Some of the arguments against it are totally valid, to be sure. From what I've seen said, I think the creators realise that and won't make similar mistakes in the future. Also, I must admit that some of the arguments seem to me to be very nit-picky. One critique ridiculed the "Harmony of the Gospels" tool, even calling it a "do-it-yourself Diatessaron," which seems totally uncalled for to me. I have such a tool in my KJV and have found it to be immensely helpful in studying the Bible. I've noticed that the best exegetes always compare and contrast something in the Gospel with what the other Gospels say (St. John Chrysostom does this, for example), so wouldn't a tool that facilitates that kind of studying be a good thing?

People have also slammed the simplistic foot notes. I find it unfortunate that people do so, however, as many people are helped by these notes. My wife is one of them. I have often found that if my wife reads St. Paul, she has no clue what he is driving at, but if I put it into simpler, every day language she gets it immediately. Basically the argument is not "it's too simplistic," but "it doesn't do eggheads any good". Well eggheads (including me) can go and find a seperate commentary if they want something meatier, thank you very much! Smiley Not everyone has a theological degree, and not everyone spends hours a day talking on theology fora. Had they tried to get all intellectual with it, some people no doubt would have critiqued them for casting aside the simplicity of the fisherman.


Mor,

I don't want to get into attacking a Bible, but the two main issues that occur to me as an EO revolve around 1) assurance that the text is good (I haven't done a comparison, but the very basis upon which it claims to be founded makes me worry, as obviously as an EO I would disagree that the Scripture was originally written in Aramaic)*, and 2) the unfortunate circumstance which prevented certain NT books from being included for something like 300 years or more after the Byzantines included them (and like us with Revelation, it is my understanding that those who use the Peshitta still do not use those books [2 Peter and such] during the cycle of scripture readings.)

* I mean, there'scontradictory readings even in the Byzantine MSS, so I would assume that there is also the possibility of differences between the Peshitta and the Scripture we use.
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« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2005, 09:51:55 AM »

I personally feel as though the OSB is a fantastic "gateway" into Orthodoxy (if you will).  Admittedly, compared to most on this board, my knowledge to the faith is in its infancy.  The OSB is a great introductory tool for people (such as myself) seeking to improve their knowledge of the faith.  I don't think reading an all incompassing text is always the best tool for "beginners".  Who knows, maybe it should be called the "Orthodox Study Bible for Dummies".  Wink

I think for many (here), that are far more advanced, the OSB is probably on the skinny side as an authoritative work, in as much as it isn't representative of the entire Orthodox faith.

I was born and raised in Serbian Orthodox Church and growing up, often didn't understand the meaning of certain parts of the Liturgy and Traditions.  Speaking the the Parish Priest, usually didn't yield better responses (at least not in English and my Serbian is only average).  The OSB, opened my eyes (in English) to many things I didn't know.
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