Thursday, 18 August 2016

The Orthodox Study Bible

2008
(source)
[all sic.] I recently bought the Orthodox Study Bible and I have to say that I am less than pleased with it. This Bible could have been done so much better, but was not.

First, the Septuagint text used is Alfred Rahlf's Septuaginta and NOT the Zoe Brotherhood or Apostloki Diakonia texts cross-referenced with the Septuagint readings found in the Liturgical texts to check for any divergence or variations.

Second, the text is NOT a translation, but a slight emendation just changing certain key portions from the Hebrew reading to the Greek reading, but that is not proper as you are left with a mess and miss-mash of a text that is not truly an translation of the Septuagint as used and preserved in the Orthodox Church.

For example please see the mis-translations of Genesis 3:15, Genesis 4:8 (The WHOLE phrase is missing!), Exodus Chapter 3 with the Divine name (The Existing One?) & Psalm 22 just to name a few. Also, the OSB omits 4th Maccabees. Why? Place it in an appendix. 4th Macabees has greatly influenced Orthodox (especially Greek) piety for centuries. Why omit such an important book?

If one looks at the NETS translation (which also has 4th Macc. thank God), which is truly excellent, you get to see the mistranslations and sloppy work that was truly done on the OSB. I was so looking forward to this translation, but now I can't wait to go back to my RSV with the Expanded Apocrypha that is a much better translation.

Third, what happend with the New Testament? It is not the official ecclesiastical text from Constantinople. This could not be fixed. In fact, we were told that the New Testament WAS going to be harmonized with the Patriarchal text, just like we were told that 4th Macc. was going to be translated and included, but this was never done. Why?

All in all this is NOT an Orthodox Study Bible and it was done too quickly by people who were truly going too fast. I believe this is why many in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese were raising concerns and even left the project because a good translation was NOT being done.

- Peter A. Papoutsis, translator of The Holy Orthodox Bible

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