Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Orthodox Study Bible

I mentioned previously the amazing number of new study Bibles coming out this year. Some are intended for a broad audience and others have a specific niche audience. As I reviewed them for Preaching Magazine, the most interesting niche study Bible was The Orthodox Study Bible: Ancient Christianity Speaks to Today's World(Nelson). It is the first full-length Orthodox study Bible in English including a new translation of the Old Testament from the Septuagint (since that is the version of the OT used by the Orthodox) and study notes written by leading theologians of the Orthodox Church.

I of course have differences with the Orthodox Church, but I found this study Bible stimulating in a positive way. I am especially intrigued by the OT section since you have here a translation of the Septuagint (Greek) text instead of the Hebrew Masoretic text as found in our standard Bibles. The differences are intriguing and the notes commonly point out such differences. These differences could be confusing to people who are unaware of such issues, but for trained pastors seeing such things can be helpful and challenging as you dialogue with another portion of the historic church.

The notes are theologically focused, thus aiming at the overall meaning of the text. Also, the notes often provide quotes from early church fathers. In this way this study Bible sometimes accomplishes in a more usable manner the goal of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture Series (ed. by Tom Oden).

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