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OSB excludes 4 Maccabees?


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#1 Christophoros

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:36 PM

Having just received the new Orthodox Study Bible, I noticed that the book of 4 Maccabees is missing. Does anyone know why this would be excluded?

#2 Justin Farr

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:46 PM

I thought only 1-3 Maccabees was in the Eastern Orthodox canon, with 4 Maccabees being excluded (but within the Oriental canon)?

#3 Christophoros

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:56 PM

According to a chart on the OSB wesbite, 4 Maccabees was in an "appendix":

http://orthodoxstudy...eBooksChart.pdf

The chart published in the OSB has been edited to exclude 4 Macc.

Judging from post #17 in the below thread, it was originally scheduled for inclusion:

http://www.monachos....read.php?t=3471

The website of the Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible indicates its Old Testament will include 4 Macc.

Edited by Christophoros, 05 February 2008 - 12:40 AM.


#4 Demetrios Galanidis

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 02:52 PM

Yes, the EOB does have 4 Maccabees in the Appendix - on page 807 - of the now available .pdf version of the entire OT on their website. Bear in mind that these are still works-in-progress.
But at least we can read something NOW.

#5 Eric Peterson

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 05:07 PM

I just visited the website and saw the sample pages. I hope that's not the end product. Both format and translation give my inner stickler a sense of dread and foreboding. Hopefully, the publication will at least be a step in the right direction. I don't anticipate it being the end-all in Orthodox English Bible translation, however.

#6 Kris

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 05:11 PM

I thought only 1-3 Maccabees was in the Eastern Orthodox canon, with 4 Maccabees being excluded (but within the Oriental canon)?


The 4th Book of Maccabees is not included in the Russian Canon, but is found in an appendix to the Greek.

As for the Orientals, I believe the Ethiopians are the only ones who include such a book, although I've heard its content does not correspond to ours.

#7 Christophoros

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 12:09 AM

I just visited the website and saw the sample pages. I hope that's not the end product. Both format and translation give my inner stickler a sense of dread and foreboding. Hopefully, the publication will at least be a step in the right direction. I don't anticipate it being the end-all in Orthodox English Bible translation, however.


Besides the Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible and the OSB, there is also the Holy Orthodox Bible of Peter A. Papoutsis, which will also have 4 Maccabees in an appendix. This on-going work has the advantage of using almost exclusively ecclesiastically-approved texts. From the Old Testament introduction:

"The Septuagint texts that have been used for this edition are approved ecclesiastical texts from The Holy Orthodox Church. The Holy Orthodox Church uses these texts because of their time-honored use and approval within the Church, as well as the high degree of scholarship that has gone in to their formation. The first text that is used is the Septuagint text as published by the Apostoliki Diakonia. This text is simply a modified version of Alfred Rahlfs’ critical edition of the Septuagint. Its modified in the sense that it takes into consideration some, but not all, of the Church’s liturgical readings from the Septuagint and then uses Rahlfs’ critical edition for the remainder of the text. The second text that was used is the Septuagint text as it is published by the Zoe Brotherhood. This text is also Alfred Rahlfs’ modified critical edition of the Septuagint, but with very slight textual differences and with slightly more critical annotations. The third text that was used was the excellent critical Septuagint text that was compiled by the eminent Septuagint scholar Alfred Rahlfs. Although Rahlfs’ pure critical text was extensively used in the present edition, it was primarily used as a reference work to provide some clarity as to the origin of certain textual variants present in the Apostoliki Diakonia and Zoe Brotherhood texts, as well as, any textual variants that could be identified in the Church’s liturgical readings of the Septuagint. Further, extensive reference was made to the Phos editions of very popular Orthodox liturgical compilations that include all of the Orthodox Church’s Septuagint liturgical readings and renderings that are found in the Triodion, the Greek Menaion, the Prophetologion, which is found in the vesper readings of the Greek Menaion, the vesper services for the Holy and Great Week of Pascha, and various other liturgical services. Finally, as it concerns the Psalms and the Odes, the English translation of the Psalter According to the Seventy, Together With the Nine Odes, as published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, has been wholly adopted with the permission of the monks of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, with the proviso that its traditional English would be slightly modernized to fit the overall format of the present edition. The Psalms and Odes as published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery are based on the famous Moscow Edition of the Septuagint as published in Moscow, Russia in 1821, and used extensively by the monks of Mount Athos. The Moscow Edition of the Septuagint is actually a reprint of Grabe's 1720 version based almost entirely on Codex Alexandrinus. The monks of Mount Athos have long borne witness to the accuracy of this particular edition, and continue to use it to this day. Therefore, it is these ecclesiastically approved and sanctioned Septuagint texts, with the exception of Rahlfs’ Septuaginta text which is only greatly honored, but not sanctioned by the Church, that underlie the present edition."

The complete Orthodox Study Bible's process in translating the LXX appears to have taken fewer ecclesiastically-approved texts into account:

"The contributors used the Alfred Rahlfs edition of the Greek text as the basis for the English translation. To this base they brought two additional major sources. The first is the Brenton text, a British translation of the Greek Old Testament, published in 1851. The availability of this work, and the respect accorded it, made it an obvious choice as a source document. Secondly, Thomas Nelson Publishers granted use of the Old Testament text of the New King James Version in the places where the English translation of the LXX would match that of the Masoretic (Hebrew) text. The development team at St. Athanasius Academy carefully studied these sources, along with other documents, to produce an English Old Testament suitable for the project. The organization of the Old Testament books, that is, their canonical order, was taken from The Old Testament According to the Seventy, published with the approval of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece. The first edition was released in June, 1928. The Old Testament text presented in this volume does not claim to be a new or superior translation. The goal was to produce a text to meet the Bible-reading needs of English-speaking Orthodox Christians." (Introduction, p. XI)

The big advantage the OSB has over other translations is the input of so many Orthodox hierarchs and clergy in its development, as opposed to the dedication of a single individual in the case of the HOB.

Edited by Christophoros, 06 February 2008 - 12:32 AM.


#8 Christophoros

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:12 PM

I just visited the website and saw the sample pages. I hope that's not the end product. Both format and translation give my inner stickler a sense of dread and foreboding. Hopefully, the publication will at least be a step in the right direction. I don't anticipate it being the end-all in Orthodox English Bible translation, however.


I think the Old Testament of the EOB will not be of the same quality as the New Testament. The NT is a colloquial, modern translation, while the Brenton OT is a KJV style work that probably won't match up well, even after editing. What is significant with the NT is the textual base, namely the Antoniades Patriarchal Text, and the fact it footnotes divergences with the Critical Text, Majority Text, and the Received Text. Perhaps someone will catalog the divergences with the Received Text, which would be useful in making the KJV and NKJV New Testament translations more compatible with the texts used by the Orthodox Church, while retaining their inherent elegance.

#9 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:20 PM

I think the Old Testament of the EOB will not be of the same quality as the New Testament. The NT is a colloquial, modern translation, while the Brenton OT is a KJV style work that probably won't match up well, even after editing. What is significant with the NT is the textual base, namely the Antoniades Patriarchal Text, and the fact it footnotes divergences with the Critical Text, Majority Text, and the Received Text. Perhaps someone will catalog the divergences with the Received Text, which would be useful in making the KJV and NKJV New Testament translations more compatible with the texts used by the Orthodox Church, while retaining their inherent elegance.


I don't really know anything at all about the EOB, but I would be (greatly) concerned to learn that the person / group behind it is using the Brenton translation of the 'LXX' as a model, starting-point or boilerplate. Brenton's edition is riddled from start to finish with extraordinary errors; and beyond this, is not truly the Septuagint: it is essentially a Greek version of the Hebrew canon, so reassembled and manufactured by Brenton from LXX texts. It includes the books and verses of the Hebrew canon, with non-Hebrew material as an apocrypha, and the in-line content of most books altered to accord with the Hebrew editions.

Beyond this, there are numerous passages where, even when the Greek is left in tact from its LXX originals, the English seems completely to ignore it, and translate according to the Hebrew content (so if one reads carefully, the English doesn't necessary correspond at all, in places, to the Greek; but if one examines the English next to an English version of the Hebrew scriptures, it is expectedly similar).

Forgive if I have misread your post -- it is possible that the EOB is not using Brenton, and that I've just misinterpreted the comment.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#10 Christophoros

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 11:58 PM

I don't really know anything at all about the EOB, but I would be (greatly) concerned to learn that the person / group behind it is using the Brenton translation of the 'LXX' as a model, starting-point or boilerplate. Brenton's edition is riddled from start to finish with extraordinary errors; and beyond this, is not truly the Septuagint: it is essentially a Greek version of the Hebrew canon, so reassembled and manufactured by Brenton from LXX texts. It includes the books and verses of the Hebrew canon, with non-Hebrew material as an apocrypha, and the in-line content of most books altered to accord with the Hebrew editions.

Beyond this, there are numerous passages where, even when the Greek is left in tact from its LXX originals, the English seems completely to ignore it, and translate according to the Hebrew content (so if one reads carefully, the English doesn't necessary correspond at all, in places, to the Greek; but if one examines the English next to an English version of the Hebrew scriptures, it is expectedly similar).

Forgive if I have misread your post -- it is possible that the EOB is not using Brenton, and that I've just misinterpreted the comment.

INXC, Dcn Matthew


From the EOB website:

"The Old Testament is an updated edition of Brenton's translation of the Septuagint, a decision which allows for convenient access to the underlying Greek text. Doctrinally significant variants from the Hebrew / Masoretic text or the Dead Sea Scroll are documents in footnotes. The EOB also provides the Hebrew / Masoretic versions (WEB) of Job and Jeremiah."

#11 M.C. Steenberg

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:00 AM

From the EOB website:

"The Old Testament is an updated edition of Brenton's translation of the Septuagint, a decision which allows for convenient access to the underlying Greek text. Doctrinally significant variants from the Hebrew / Masoretic text or the Dead Sea Scroll are documents in footnotes. The EOB also provides the Hebrew / Masoretic versions (WEB) of Job and Jeremiah."


That is mildly horrifying. If 'convenient access to the underlying Greek text' means they are using the Greek text as printed in the left-hand columns of Brenton's volume, they are not translating the Septuagint.

INXC, Dcn Matthew

#12 Eric Peterson

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 03:23 PM

It would seem to me, then, that the Orthodox Study Bible translates only the divergences of the Masoretic and Greek texts (whether Rahlf's Septuagint or Brenton's Mishmash). I guess this is just as I expected, since the board of the New Testament Orthodox Study Bible was not composed of a wide range of scholars, but mainly famous American Antiochians. I guess we shall have to wait longer for a real translation.

#13 Christophoros

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 01:21 PM

Besides the Papoutsis Septuagint volumes, I have heard that once Holy Apostles Convent completes The Great Synaxaristes, they will be translating the Septuagint as a companion to their Orthodox New Testament.

#14 Father David Moser

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 02:40 PM

I guess this is just as I expected, since the board of the New Testament Orthodox Study Bible was not composed of a wide range of scholars, but mainly famous American Antiochians. I guess we shall have to wait longer for a real translation.


Besides the Papoutsis Septuagint volumes, I have heard that once Holy Apostles Convent completes The Great Synaxaristes, they will be translating the Septuagint as a companion to their Orthodox New Testament.


There is no "they" at Holy Apostles - there is only one nun. She does a monumental work in her translation efforts, but there is no "group of scholars" or anything like it there - only Mother M.

Fr David Moser

#15 Eric Peterson

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 03:00 PM

I just received my Orthodox Study Bible. It's a shame and a disappointment that they did not include the appropriate appendices of 4 Maccabees (Greek appendix) and 4 Esdras (or 2 or 3, depending--Slavonic appendix).

#16 Justin Farr

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 06:49 PM

With all the disappointing words, I'm no longer so impatient to wait until June to receive mine. =/

#17 Nina

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 08:31 PM

With all the disappointing words, I'm no longer so impatient to wait until June to receive mine. =/



That is why Fathers warn against rush imitation of others. :P :P :P

#18 Patrick Lee

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 09:54 PM

As I read this, it seems (or maybe I'm not reading clearly) that there is a confusion between the EOB and the OSB. I believe that the OSB, while starting from the NKJV OT, used something other than Brenton's Greek version as the means of correcting the NKJV. The EOB is a different project being run by a different group of people.

#19 Patrick Lee

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 09:58 PM

As I read this, it seems (or maybe I'm not reading clearly) that there is a confusion between the EOB and the OSB. I believe that the OSB, while starting from the NKJV OT, used something other than Brenton's Greek version as the means of correcting the NKJV. The EOB is a different project being run by a different group of people.


I just found it. Fr. Whiteford thinks the LXX text used is this one.

#20 Christophoros

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 10:29 PM

I just found it. Fr. Whiteford thinks the LXX text used is this one.


According to the OSB Introduction, the Ralhfs edition is indeed the text used to translate the Old Testament. I'm told it is almost identical with the ecclesiastical texts published by Zoe and Apostoliki Diakonia in Greece.

The EOB is using an edited/updated Brenton Old Testament text.




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