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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Sacred Scripture

How would I get my hands on a copy of the Bible that contains the Orthodox Canon? I have done a bit of googling and reading of some Orthodox links, and I have come up with bits and bobs, but really I am after one volume with the books of the Orthodox canon in the Orthodox order.

Would anybody point me in the right direction?

Many thanks.

19 comments:

Aristibule said...

Look for the Oxford Annotated Study Bible (in RSV) - it has the entire canon, even Psalm 151. The funny thing is that there are different Orthodox 'canons' - the Slavic churches have books that the Greeks don't have, the Greeks have books either don't have: the Latin (and Vetus Latina ) Vulgate is pretty much the original 'Bible' of Western Orthodoxy. If one looks at the Oriental churches with which the Orthodox have a close relationship (and possibility of reunion), the Copts and Ethiopians have even more volumes in their 'canons'.

Michael said...

I ought to know by now that with Orthodoxy, no matter how complex it seems, nothing is never as simple as it first appears. ;-)

Thank you for this, aristibule. I'll google now. I'm sure my local religious supplies store will be happy to place an order for me.

Thurible said...

The R.S.V. "Common Bible" which is available quite easily has all the books that virtually any group considers canonical, and is only about £15, IIRC.

Richard

Michael said...

Thanks, Richard.

I have come across this before, but was under the impression that it was out of print.

I wasn't sure that it contained things like 3 and 4 Maccabees &c.

I just want to make sure before I start trawling abebooks.

Thanks.

Thurible said...

I believe it does, in fact am prepared to bet that it does. Unfortunately, though, I can't check, as mine's in Durham, and I'm not.

Richard

Aristibule said...

The Common Bible lacked 3 & 4 Maccabees, as well as Psalm 51 - which is why the Oxford Annotated Study Bible was compiled a few years later: it built upon the work of the 'Common Bible' of 1973. If they still have the special, hardcover Oxford Study Bibles with Apocrypha were on sale from OUP.

Aristibule said...

http://www.bible-researcher.com/rsv.html

See descriptions for the 1973 Ecumenical Bible ("Common Bible") and the 1977 'Ecumenical Study Bible' (New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha.)

Michael said...

Thank you, both.

I'm such a twonk!

I've just takena peek in a large print copy of the NRSV that I have owned for a few years but have never used because of its size, and lo and behold, there are 3 & 4 Maccabees and Psalm 151, along with the books of Esdras.

I know that the NRSV is frowned upon in some circles because of its inclusive language, but ofr my personal use, it is my translation of choice. I am happy to stick with this for now.

Many thanks again for all of your help though. I feel rather foolish now.

Ian said...

:D Michael!

Thanks to all for the information. I think I'll need to invest in a 'full canon' Bible. I have a KJV Apocrypha, but to get Psalm 151 I need to go to my version of St Athanasius' "On the Incarnation", which has it at the end!

Anonymous said...

Michael, all my best sources say not to get the "NRSV", but to insist upon the "RSV". The NRSV has been changed to use "inclusive language" and so is no longer an accurate translation.

Leetle M.

Michael said...

I do understand, but I have always known the NRSV. When I hear a biblical reference to a verse I know, the words that come to mind are the words as they appear in the NRSV. The translation that I hear week by week at church are from the NRSV and that is what I have always used in my private devotions. I am steeped in it through and through. There are three copies gracing my bookshelf.

I am not opposed to the idea of using another translation in churhc, but in my private devotions, I shall stick with the NRSV. I do believe it to be an accurate translation. Accuracy is not merely about a transliteration, but also about capturing the sense of what is said. As I understand it, the main problems with regard to gender occur not in Hebrew and Greek, but in English. I am happy for inclusive language to be used where that is what is meant in the original.

Anonymous said...

That will be good, then. I certainly would not insist that you use a translation you are not familiar with!

Some years ago, I bought a beautiful Septuagint, all in Greek, from a bookstore at a Presbyterian seminary! I lent it to somebody who really needed it because they were studying Greek, and of course, it has not come back.

Good luck finding just the exact Bible that will be the best for your personal use!

Does anyone like the "Orthodox Study Bible" (as far as it has been published)? I know it has not been fully annotated yet--does anyone know when the OT is coming out? I see many people using it, but I don't use it myself. It is a "New King James Version"....

Leetle M.

Ian said...

I use the OSB [for the OT I'm currently using a NASB]; when I started exploring Orthodoxy I found the various comments throughout on The Eucharist, Chrismation, Faith/Works, etc. helpful in determining the Orthodox PoV. It's nice to go back to them a well.

I also like reading the comments on the verses, with occasional quotes from the Fathers / Saints. There were a few nice quotes from The Venerable Bede, I recall.

Michael said...

Now I came across this in my googling, but was put off by the fact that it is only available i n the NT. Are there plans to remedy this?

If so I would be tempted but then would be very much put off if it were indeed NKJV. As I am in polite company, I shan't say what I think of that translation. ;-)

Aristibule said...

Sure, they are completing the project : http://www.lxx.org Unfortunately, the NT and Psalms are 'corrected' NKJV. The OT and Apocrypha are supposed to be fresh translations however from the Septuagint. We'll see how it turns out. Personally, I haven't found it helpful - the notes in it have been criticized in many places for mistating or misrepresenting the Orthodox view, or giving a view that is needlessly restrictive where Orthodoxy itself is not. It was an 'Evangelical Orthodox' project, and I think still mainly appeals to such.

Outside of that, the RSV is the standard at least with the Antiochians. The NRSV is only discouraged by one jurisdiction: the OCA. I've talked to other bishops who have said they believe the OCA to be mistaken on the matter when condemning that translation. The AWRV, iirc, pretty much uses the KJV for its services (not sure which translations, whichever have an Apocrypha I guess). Most other jurisdictions don't have a choice as far as English translations go: I think Douai-Rheims is the choice of many Russians. Beyond that, the Bible of Orthodoxy is a a Greek 'Byzantine text' and Septuagint, or the same in Church Slavonic.

Anonymous said...

In my "chequered past", I spent a few days at Holy Transfiguration convent in Ellwood City, PA, whose abbess/foundress was the late Mother Alexandra (formerly Princess Ileana of Romania, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria). Mother Alexandra was a wonderful lady and a real "character". She had escaped from the communist regime in Romania with some of the family jewels (the proceeds from the sale of which she used to start the convent).

Anyhow, while I was visiting there, I was interested to see that one of the nuns, who was a visitor from a European Orthodox convent, perhaps the one in Bussy-en-Othe where Mother Alexandra had been trained as a nun, seemed to be using a different psalter from the RSV one used by the OCA (to which the convent was attached). When we were singing Psalm 51 (LXX 50), that English nun sang out the famous "misprint": "Wash me =throughly= from my wickedness* and cleanse me from my sin." It was a poignant moment, as I had not seen the Coverdale Psalter since I'd been chrismated!

I hope I won't get into trouble for admitting that I still love the Coverdale Psalter and think it's the best for singing the psalms!

Leetle M.

Aristibule said...

Not with me, I prefer the Coverdale as well. :) The Coverdale Psalter is used by the ROCOR and Antiochian Western Rite. In fact, the St. Dunstan's Psalter prepared by some of the clergy at St. Mark's (available from Lancelot Andrewes Press http://www.andrewespress.com ) is the Coverdale Psalter *with* Psalm 151, and the Athanasian Creed from the Greek/Slavonic sources. I use the Coverdale everyday ... Psalters I guess are a separate issue from translations of the whole Scriptures. The "Psalter according to the Seventy" is the other I see used the most, besides the RSV Psalms - in Byzantine parishes.

Anonymous said...

Aristibule, you're fantastic! Thank you!

(Putting St. Dunstan's Psalter on my wish list!)

Leetle M.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything about the Third Millenium Bible (New Authorized Version) that has been offered in the Antiochian publication of the Word for the last few months.