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Author Topic: What version of the bible do Orthodox Christians read?  (Read 28047 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« Reply #45 on: August 11, 2006, 12:59:36 AM »

Aramaic and Syriac aren't the same, even though they can be considered dialects.

Syriac is commonly known as Christian Aramaic.

"SYRIAC [Syriac] , late dialect of Aramaic , which is a West Semitic language (see Afroasiatic languages ). The early Christians of Mesopotamia and Syria gave the Greek name Syriac to the Aramaic dialect they spoke when the term Aramaic acquired the meaning of "pagan" or "heathen." The oldest Syriac script, which dates back to the 1st cent. AD, evolved from the Aramaic alphabet. Syriac began to yield to Arabic after the coming of Islam in the 7th cent. AD Today it survives as the tongue of a few thousand people in the Middle East. However, it is also used as a liturgical language of the Syrian Church."
http://encyclopedia.com/html/S/Syriac.asp

Syriac is the name which the Greeks gave to Aramaic because it was the prominant language of the Syrian peoples.

This entire discussion is based on arguments from authority. You, for instance, are appealing to Lamsa as an authority on Syriac/Aramaic.

My claim regarding George Lamsa is that his, though imperfect, is the only complete English translation of the Aramaic Peshitta available. Until a better one is brought forward, his translation is good enough for the time being.

Considering the available evidence, it's quite reasonable to conclude that he did, in fact, actually translate the Scriptures from actual manuscripts. If you disagree, perhaps you should contact Harper Collins.

Peace.
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« Reply #46 on: August 11, 2006, 09:45:28 PM »

Until Holy Apostles Convent finishes translating the Septuagint, there will not be anything close to a definitive Orthodox Bible in the English language. A Protestant Bible with pseudo-Orthodox commentary shouldn't count.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0944359256/sr=1-1/qid=1155346976/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-8869126-9424665?ie=UTF8&s=books

Peace.
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« Reply #47 on: August 12, 2006, 09:28:07 AM »

"Pseudo-Orthodox commentary?"

Let me see your degrees in Orthodox theology, man.  NOW.
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« Reply #48 on: August 12, 2006, 01:14:52 PM »

Let me see your degrees in Orthodox theology, man.ÂÂ  NOW.

What I mean is that the commentary of the Orthodox Study Bible is watered down, perhaps as to not alienate the potential convert or new believer.
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« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2006, 01:19:02 PM »

What I mean is that the commentary of the Orthodox Study Bible is watered down, perhaps as to not alienate the potential convert or new believer.

Wow. Matthew that needs back up and citations. You leveled an accusation that is serious.
Back it up man, or you are going to get pounded by some posters here!
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« Reply #50 on: August 12, 2006, 01:25:23 PM »

Wow. Matthew that needs back up and citations. You leveled an accusation that is serious.
Back it up man, or you are going to get pounded by some posters here!

Do you own the Orthodox Study Bible? I do, and wasn't impressed by its commentary.

This is a review from the Orthodox Christian Information Center, explaining how the commentary is watered down:
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/review_osb2.aspx?print=ok

It's certainly better than nothing, but certainly not the ideal.

Peace.
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« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2006, 02:05:11 PM »

Nope I don't own an Orthodox Study Bible, but I have a great Heretic RCC bible that is missing a few books I was told.
You should check it out just in case. You never know when you may run into a heretical RCC girl or something and need to show her the error in it. This could lead to a conversion. Think about it. Or at least a date. Nothing to loose.
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« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2006, 02:36:41 PM »

Nope I don't own an Orthodox Study Bible, but I have a great Heretic RCC bible that is missing a few books I was told.

The Orthodox Study Bible is an NKJV New Testament and Psalms with watered down Orthodox commentary. It is not an Orthodox translation.
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« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2006, 03:35:23 PM »

Matthew

Quote
The best Bible is ultimately the one you will actually read. There is no use for fallacious attacks against the ones which you do not prefer...

It's certainly better than nothing, but certainly not the ideal...

The Orthodox Study Bible is an NKJV New Testament and Psalms with watered down Orthodox commentary. It is not an Orthodox translation.

Are you sure? Maybe what you meant to say was...

"The best Bible is ultimately the one Matthew thinks is most Orthodox. You can read others if you want, but don't expect Matthew to like it. Also, there is no use for fallacious attacks against Matthew when you disagree with him, or any attacks at all for that matter."

And for the record, I do own both an OSB and the Holy Apostles Convert version, and prefer the former; though the latter does sometimes have some interesting patristic quotes in the footnotes, and the introduction (especially via the quotes by Chrysostom) provides a nice beginning to dispelling the illusion that the 4th/5th century was some kind of golden age for the Church and her people.
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« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2006, 11:41:36 PM »

A fallacious attack is an argument not substantiated by evidence. It is evident that that the intended audience for the OSB is new believers and potential converts, not those who are yearning to dig deeper into Orthodoxy. Then again, it's still better than nothing, and does serve its seemingly intended purpose.
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« Reply #55 on: August 14, 2006, 12:06:49 AM »

I have nothing against the commentators of the Orthodox Study Bible, I'm sure they meant well. Perhaps the next edition could be more in depth and more faithful to Orthodox doctrine.
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« Reply #56 on: August 14, 2006, 08:01:16 AM »

I know you have good intentions, but in one post you say you're not attacking the OSB, and then in another you say that the next edition should be "more faithful to Orthodox doctrine."  Which is it, for the one implies that the other is less than truthful.
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« Reply #57 on: August 14, 2006, 02:40:42 PM »

I know you have good intentions, but in one post you say you're not attacking the OSB, and then in another you say that the next edition should be "more faithful to Orthodox doctrine."ÂÂ  Which is it, for the one implies that the other is less than truthful.

To answer your question, I direct you to Orthodox Info's review:
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/review_osb2.aspx?print=ok

I am not attacking the OSB with false attacks, but pointing out its obvious flaws. That does not make it, however, a work of heresy, just sub-par theology.

Peace.
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« Reply #58 on: August 14, 2006, 03:05:51 PM »

Matt777,
You use phrases such as "obvious" and "self-evident" in your arguments just as another poster here at OC.net does. Just saying it does not make it so.
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« Reply #59 on: August 14, 2006, 03:14:38 PM »

I suppose I'm making a distinction between "sub-par" theology and "more faithful to Orthodox doctrine," the latter seemingly implying that the OSB is un-faithful to some small degree.
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« Reply #60 on: August 14, 2006, 04:22:19 PM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9193.msg131553#msg131553 date=1155582351]
Matt777,
You use phrases such as "obvious" and "self-evident" in your arguments just as another poster here at OC.net does. Just saying it does not make it so.
[/quote]

It worked for Muhammed. Let's not get hasty here! Cheesy
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« Reply #61 on: August 14, 2006, 05:19:03 PM »

[quote author=Αριστοκλής link=topic=9193.msg131553#msg131553 date=1155582351]
Matt777,
You use phrases such as "obvious" and "self-evident" in your arguments just as another poster here at OC.net does. Just saying it does not make it so.
[/quote]

Then I would recommend that you defend the Orthodox Study Bible, if that is what you intend to do. I'm not the first Orthodox Christian to realize that it lacks theological depth.
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« Reply #62 on: August 14, 2006, 05:22:02 PM »

the latter seemingly implying that the OSB is un-faithful to some small degree.

If you would like specific examples, I'd recommend the review provided.
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« Reply #63 on: August 14, 2006, 05:59:53 PM »

I tried to write a critique of the critique last night, but got tired after a half hour. It's just too much subjective opinion to try and refute with equally subjective opinion. There is another review of the OSB on Orthodoxinfo, which is interesting to read. As one example of why it is interesting, in the other review it says that the icons in the OSB are almost without exception bad, while the review linked to earlier in this thread seemed to think the icons perfectly acceptable. This is like a microcosm of the whole issue: it's all half opinion, and half bluster. If you (ie. Matthew) want to point out things that you believe demonstrate a "lack of theological depth," then go ahead. Otherwise, it's not very fair for you to say "Here's an article. If you disagree with me then refute the article". If you find certain points of the review persuasive, then post them here in your own words (or by a quote if you must).
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« Reply #64 on: August 14, 2006, 06:15:06 PM »

Here is one example from the OSB:

John 20:29
"Doubting Thomas required direct proof of the Resurrection. A blessed faith is one which trusts in the risen Christ without proof."

This bit of commentary is short enough as to imply an endorsement of fideism, which is not an Orthodox doctrine.

Moving on to John 20:31, we read the purpose of this book:

"...but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."

The fourth Gospel is an apologetic, providing evidences for the divinity of Christ. But those in need of such a proof-text, according to OSB, would not have a blessed faith.

Moving on from John to Acts, one can read, "...to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs..."

Those who witnessed these proofs, were they not blessed in faith? This is one of several opportunities that the OSB could have gone into greater detail, instead of leaving the wrong impression.

Peace.

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« Reply #65 on: August 14, 2006, 06:43:26 PM »

Here is one example from the OSB:

John 20:29
"Doubting Thomas required direct proof of the Resurrection. A blessed faith is one which trusts in the risen Christ without proof."

This bit of commentary is short enough as to imply an endorsement of fideism, which is not an Orthodox doctrine.

Moving on to John 20:31, we read the purpose of this book:

"...but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."

The fourth Gospel is an apologetic, providing evidences for the divinity of Christ. But those in need of such a proof-text, according to OSB, would not have a blessed faith.

Moving on from John to Acts, one can read, "...to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs..."

Those who witnessed these proofs, were they not blessed in faith? This is one of several opportunities that the OSB could have gone into greater detail, instead of leaving the wrong impression.

Peace.








Matthew-

I wish I had the book in front of me so I could help you out here- but-

I think I have an idea that might help here. Write a letter to the authour. And the Publisher, editor, ect. (make copies and make the appropriate title changes to the letter)
And get them to give you an answer.

I mean, It's not like any one Bishop is stuffing this on anyone right?

Or write the Bishop that is condoning it.

Just a thought.

They might be nicer than your buds here. You buds here LOVE you but they are protective and as such, slap you about a bit.
But you ask for it.
I'll pray for you.
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« Reply #66 on: August 14, 2006, 07:11:20 PM »

This really isn't a big deal. You are not yet Orthodox, and therefore I don't expect you to undersand the internal disagreements of Orthodox Christians. Look at the customer reviews for the OSB on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0718000307/sr=1-1/qid=1155596940/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-8869126-9424665?ie=UTF8&s=books

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0840783914/sr=1-2/qid=1155596940/ref=pd_bbs_2/103-8869126-9424665?ie=UTF8&s=books

Some find the OSB to be a blessing, while others consider it an unfortunate missed opportunity.

Peace.

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« Reply #67 on: August 19, 2006, 09:09:54 PM »

Still - the OSB is more Orthodox than Lamsa's paraphrase. At the least - OSB has been entirely under the direction of Orthodox hierarchy, cooperatively translated by many scholars,  translated by and for Orthodox in an Orthodox worldview. How Lamsa's translation could be *anything* but worse? With it one has a Syncretist/Protestant private translation without the blessing or direction of any bishop translated by and for Heterodox or non-Christians. Again - if one wants Syriac, better to use Murdoch in interim, learn Syriac, get degrees in it, then with the blessing of real Syriac bishops - join in translating the Syriac into English *within* the Church. One cannot translate separated from the Church (translation *is* interpretation.)

Oh - and one can't just conflate East Syriac, West Syriac, Aramaic and Christian Aramaic. They are different languages - not just dialects. The common source is postulated West Semitic - of which Hebrew is a member. Aramaic is a pre-Christian pagan language. Christian Aramaic was a Palestinian language that has never been literary (no written documents) and only survives amongst Antiochian Orthodox and Melkite Catholics (terms I use with precision) in Maloula, Syria. The two Syriac languages have as their formal literary component, origins in the dialect of Aramaic used in Edessa - far, far from Palestine. That West and East Syriac diverged is due to isolation - the East was under the oppressive Persian Empire, cut off from Palestine and the Roman Empire. West Syriac, however, was spoken within the Empire and in the Levant - alongside Greek. We also have Judeo-Aramaic of Palestine and the related Samaritan language. The vernacular Judeo-Aramaic (such as once spoken in Safed) is close to spoken Christian Aramaic, but quite different from Talmudic Aramaic (the literary language of Babylon - ie, Rabbinic Judaism.)

It is true, however, that with linguistics the situation is more complicated than simple 'genetic lineage' (consider English, which is genetically Western Germanic - but shares grammar, structure, phonemes, and the bulk of vocabulary with the Romance languages.)

The bottom line - there is no reliable English translation from Syriac. No matter - in English, one already has far more acceptable translations from an Orthodox pov than Lamsa. Murdock has a start towards a complete translation from the Syriac, but the fact is: the Syriacs have not until the past decade seen a reason for English language at all. Syriac itself (not English) is still primarily the language in use (along with Malayalam - the actual language of the Malankara church.) The English Syriac liturgy is only about a decade old now - Scripture is part of liturgy.

So - as of yet, no Bishop has approved Lamsa - if one does, however, it will provide the basis for future heresy and schism as erroneous ideas of Lamsa's (not inherent in the texts themselves, but of the author's private interpretation) could very well spread, take root, and cause much damage.

Orthodox bishops, however, *have* approved other English translations - primarily KJV, Douay-Rheims, and RSV. Errors of translation in them are far fewer or drastic than in Lamsa (being issues of accuracy or emphasis rather than absolute opposites) - and they descend from the same sources. In fact, using a traditional English bible, one can realize that what they read is the produce of original translation into Western language (Latin and English) from both Greek *and* Hebrew/Syriac texts. St. Jerome was unique in basing his Latin Vulgate (to replace the Vetus Vulgate or Old Latin multiplicity of translations) on not just Greek texts, but on Semitic texts. Thus, the Vulgate as a comparative text became the basis of future English translations. The traditional English translations (KJV and D-R) are inheritors not just of the Vulgate text - the basis of their translations - but also of St. Jerome's method, as the translators of both again returned and compared with the texts accepted by the Eastern Churches. The same was done again with the RSV as an updated text (particularly comparison with Syriac texts) - and unlike former translations into English, had participation and approval of Orthodox scholars and hierarchy.

Bottom line - if one is buying into 'purism' (one can only have a Syriac text, or a Slavonic text, etc.) - one can't find everything in English yet. Murdock is the best one can do - otherwise, one has to learn the language (Syriac, Malayalam.) Lamsa has *too many problems* to be of worth, and enough twisting of Scripture to be grounding for heresy for those who might be mislead by his idiosyncracies. If one simply wants a 'purely Orthodox' translation - the best one can do is either the Buena Vista fresh translation, or the OSB project corrected text. There is no ideal English Orthodox text. However, for those Orthodox who do have a history and tradition of English language usage ... the KJV, Douai/Douay-Rheims, RSV, and corrected NKJV have all been approved by bishops. The NRSV alone of standard translations has been condemned (by the OCA synod) - probably because no one has bothered to let the Orthodox hierarchy judge Lamsa. And really, before 'selling Lamsa' to oneself or others  - I'd suggest just that - get your bishop's full opinion on the matter. Anything less isn't Orthodox.
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« Reply #68 on: August 20, 2006, 02:10:44 AM »

At the least - OSB has been entirely under the direction of Orthodox hierarchy, cooperatively translated by many scholars,ÂÂ  translated by and for Orthodox in an Orthodox worldview.

There is nothing wrong or incorrect with the OSB. The problem isn't what it says but what it doesn't say. I'd recommend it to anyone new to the Orthodox faith, but not to a serious scholar.ÂÂ  
As for George Lamsa and Peshitta primacy, it seems that most of this discussion is between you and I. If you'd like to discuss this topic further, please PM me.

Peace.
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« Reply #69 on: August 20, 2006, 06:23:23 AM »

Then I would recommend that you defend the Orthodox Study Bible, if that is what you intend to do. I'm not the first Orthodox Christian to realize that it lacks theological depth.

I'm not defending anything. You must provide better example than you have below.
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« Reply #70 on: August 20, 2006, 07:16:47 AM »

Quote
As for George Lamsa and Peshitta primacy, it seems that most of this discussion is between you and I. If you'd like to discuss this topic further, please PM me.

No - we'll keep the discussion public. It is a public issue - having everything to do with the authority of the Church and Bishops, Catholicity, and interpretation of Scripture (private or Ecclesiastical.)

For the Syriac tradition, we've already discussed Gorgias press (semi-official), and the official bookstore of the Eastern Archdiocese USA for Syriac Orthodox http://www.syrianorthodoxchurch.org/library/Books/bookstore.htm - one can get Syriac Bible and tools there, approved texts I'm sure, from the sister diocese of the Malankara Archdiocese USA (I don't know that they or the Western Archdiocese have online bookstores yet?)
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« Reply #71 on: August 27, 2006, 09:15:55 PM »

If you would like to continue discussing George Lamsa and Aramaic primacy, we can do so in this thread:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=7808.0

I recently purchased Holy Apostles Convent's New Testament on Amazon, and I look forward to reading it.

Peace.
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« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2006, 09:13:14 PM »

I have the NKJV and like it very much.  Im not sure if it is more or less canonical but its what I prefer.

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« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2006, 03:16:36 AM »

I think that the NKJV is the best translation besides Holy Apostles Convent's.
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« Reply #74 on: October 15, 2006, 08:18:13 PM »

I'm not Orthodox, (well, not quite yet anyway) but I read the RSV. I have some other translations too I use for comparison, but like the RSV best, as well as it is the one recommended to me by my priest. He told us in catechism class that his bishop also recommended it, stating that if you couldn't read the original languages, then read the RSV to get as close to it as possible.
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« Reply #75 on: October 16, 2006, 02:05:52 PM »

For years, I had used the RSV-CE from St. Ignatius, as it was the RSV, which I liked, included the "apocrypha", and was a good translation.

After we converted, our daily Bible reading comes from the OSB.  Very readable, and since I've become a Majority Text enthusiast, one I feel more comfortable with.

If you would like to read some perspectives on translations, etc., you can read some draft articles by Fr. John Whiteford.  He recommended a KJV edition, which I just received last week, and really like.  However, you have to be willing to potentially learn a bit more English than most of us have (and this from someone who only speaks English).  However, for several years I had used an Anglican Breviary so I've become quite used to Elizabethan English.  Learned some great words at the same time (like 'froward', which applies to my children Smiley ).

I also use the New Testament from the Holy Apostle's Convent for study purposes, although its not the most readable text in the world.

Finally, I use Sword (both Windows and Mac versions), which is great for the price (free!), but I'm limited to the 18th century KJV, the ASV, and the RSV - all without the deuteros.  Generally pretty good, but still lacking.  There are some other available translations, but none that I'm much interested in.  If you want the LXX, you can download that for free, but you need to read Greek.

Next Pascha, when the full OSB comes out, I guarantee I'll have a copy as soon as I can get it.  I hope they publish more than the hardcover, however, as I would like a softcover (or leather) edition to carry around, and leave the hardcover in our prayer area.
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« Reply #76 on: October 17, 2006, 01:43:24 PM »

I highly recommend that anyone who does not currently own Holy Apostles Convent's NT should find it as soon as possible.

http://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-New-Testament-Revelation-Leatherette/dp/0944359256/sr=1-9/qid=1161106594/ref=sr_1_9/002-7713878-1700822?ie=UTF8&s=books

Peace.
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« Reply #77 on: October 17, 2006, 04:20:30 PM »

One volume?  Wow.  Does that still include all of the endnotes with the sayings of the Fathers as in the hardcover?
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« Reply #78 on: October 18, 2006, 02:28:17 AM »

No, it does not. It is rather portable, however. I got mine for twenty dollars, before shipping.
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« Reply #79 on: October 18, 2006, 08:57:53 AM »

Actually, unless they have issued a full single volume New Testament, it is actually a two volume set, one of the Gospels and the other of the Apostelos or Epistles. It is a really good study tool and has wonderful footnotes and many black and white icons illustrating the texts---the icons alone are worth the purchase price for thiose who love iconography for many of them are rare monastic iconography from old world monasteries, sadly since the publishing of the texts, some of those monasteries no longer exist having been destroyed in civil war.

I endorse  Matthew's recommendation and I also Highly recommend the Holy Apostles Convent New Testament series

[PS can anyone explain why it is the non-canonical groups that put out the best printed patristic material?]

In Christ,
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« Reply #80 on: October 18, 2006, 01:02:40 PM »

a good point to pick up the last thread about Matthew's recommended version
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« Reply #81 on: October 18, 2006, 03:05:40 PM »

Actually, unless they have issued a full single volume New Testament, it is actually a two volume set, one of the Gospels and the other of the Apostelos or Epistles.

The leatherette is a single volume, but without patristic commentary.

[PS can anyone explain why it is the non-canonical groups that put out the best printed patristic material?]

Perhaps it is their seriousness for patristics which has seperated them from World Orthodoxy.

Peace.
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« Reply #82 on: October 18, 2006, 03:07:58 PM »


This present thread, if I am not mistaken, is where I first recommended Holy Apostles Convent's New Testament.
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« Reply #83 on: October 18, 2006, 03:31:08 PM »

Wherever you brought it up first, people should read the other thread. I at least am tired of chasing you around to every thread where you drop one of your (in my opinion ill-considered) opinions-- e.g. the whole peshitta/Lamsa go-'round.
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« Reply #84 on: October 18, 2006, 04:38:12 PM »

George Lamsa is useful for linguistic purposes, if you don't take his theological opinions seriously.
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He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche
www.aramaicpeshitta.com
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/e/et/et0.htm
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