Russian Bible published by the United Bible Societies
Posted 23 February 2008 - 11:24 AM
Posted 23 February 2008 - 02:38 PM
I was wondering if the Russian Orthodox here have any advice on the Russian translation by the UBS (New Testament and Psalms).
I'm not sure what the UBS is. The older versions of the bible in Russian that I have are from either the American Bible Society or the British/Foreign Bible Society.
The newest version I have though is from the Russian Bible Society. This version has the blessing of Patriarch Alexei printed in it.
Russians here in the west certainly read these older versions as being the best available at the time. But the last is likely a better version as a blessing from the Patriarch implies faithfulness to the Septuagint- which indeed is witnessed to in the footnotes of this version.
In Christ- Fr Raphael
Edited by Fr Raphael Vereshack, 23 February 2008 - 02:39 PM.
Posted 23 February 2008 - 04:02 PM
Posted 23 February 2008 - 05:57 PM
UBS is the United Bible Societies, a worldwide association of well over 100 different Bible Societies. The Russian Bible Society is a member of UBS. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that the UBS Russian NT/Psalms is the same as the NT and Psalms in the RBS version Fr Raphael mentioned. Probably need more data to find out.
Comparing the versions is an interesting question I have never looked into too closely. One complicating factor in this case is that in the Russian church the language used liturgically for Scripture- OT, Psalms, Gospels, Epistles- is Slavonic. But the Bibles we are speaking of here are in modern Russian- so it's a bit harder for someone like myself not in the know to know exactly how to compare this with other foreign versions.
In any case looking very briefly at the Psalms in the newer RBS I can see that for Psalm 109 for example there is an annotation for extra words added to accord with the LXX. This version also has the deuterocanonical books added in their proper place from the LXX.
In Christ- Fr Raphael
Posted 23 February 2008 - 11:19 PM
However I thought I would check (thinking of the current discussion of the Council of Jerusalem) that this is something the Russian Church would want her to have. Are there any guidelines in this area?
Um .. the current discussion on the Council of Jerusalem was a bit of over-logicalness on my part (although it did bring forth some excellent replies). One mention is that St John Chrysostom did tell people to read the Bible.
I'm sorry I started such doubts in people's minds. Give her the Bible. All I know is that there are some Protestant translations which are designed to detract from Holy Orthodoxy, and I do know know about these.
Anyway, regarding the Council of Jerusalem, I think I'll put my tail between my legs and hide in my corner ...
Posted 24 February 2008 - 12:07 PM
Don't worry, you didn't start any doubts in my mind. And I certainly intend for my friend to have a Bible. The only question is whether it should be this bible. It is precisely the question of Protestant translations (as in the context of the Council of Jerusalem) that I have in mind. Though I should add that I have no problem with the UBS; I am merely checking.
I am sorry, by the way, for using the initials UBS at the start of this thread without explanation. I guess I have just given myself away as an ex-Protestant....
I haven't actually looked much at this bible, but will have a closer look and see if I can tell more about it. The only thing that struck me when I was given it is that it has the catholic epistles before the Paulines - which is, if I'm not mistaken, the usual order in Slavonic bibles.
Thanks to all for your thoughts.
Posted 24 February 2008 - 01:51 PM
First I would say that any blessed version of the Bible from any of the canonical Orthodox churches is worthy of using. These may not be complete or perfect. But no version of Scripture which the Church used in the past has ever been perfect. All versions have needed continuing correction or revision.
Secondly are the general versions of Scripture available. Most or all of these versions have short comings according to our Orthodox standards. But yet quite a few versions have a general acceptance (eg KJV, NKJV) because of how they hold up to our Orthodox standards.
It could well be that other versions also have their place on the more informal level of personal reading if only to supplement our understanding of Scripture.
In Christ- Fr Raphael
Posted 24 February 2008 - 05:56 PM
Since the question of "which Russian Bible" is being raised, do you (or anyone else) happen to know if the following article on the "Russian Synodal Bible" found on Wikipedia.com is accurate?
"Russian Synodal Bible (Russian: Синодальный перевод, The Synodal Translation) is a Russian non-Church Slavonic translation of the Bible commonly used by the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Baptists and other Protestant, as well as Roman Catholic communes.
"The translation began in 1813, after the establishment of the Russian Bible Society and by permission of czar Alexander II. The Most Holy Synod entrusted the translation to four Orthodox theological academies, in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan and Kiev. The complete work was published in 1876. The final editorship was performed by the Synod and personally by Filaret, Metropolitan of Moscow. The translation of the Old Testament is based on the Jewish Masoretic Text while that of the New Testament is based on the Greek printed editions of that time. This decision was grounded on Filaret's 1834 note "On the need of the Russian Church for a translation of the whole Bible from the original texts to the modern Russian language". The permission to use the Masoretic Text as preserved by the Jews (rather than relying on the Septuagint and/or the Church Slavonic translations as preserved by the Christians) was granted to Filaret by the Synod in 1862. Though the linguistic norms of the Russian language have changed since the early editions, some features remained untouched. Due to its vocabulary resemblance to the Church Slavonic language, the Synodal version helped shape some distinctive Slavonic-inspired features used both in the Russian spoken language and in Russian literature up to now."
If it is accurate, why would the Russian Church wish to authorize an OT translation based on the Masoretic Text?
Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:12 PM
Note though that the article is referring not to what is read in the Church- which is in Church Slavonic based on the Septuagint & Orthodox texts- but to what could be read in private or apart from the liturgical version.
It is my feeling that in the Russian church the reason why Russian versions have been so slow to appear or else were based on western versions is that in the Orthodox mind-set Scripture overwhelmingly is part of a liturgical context -not a 'private' one.
In Christ- Fr Raphael
Posted 19 January 2011 - 09:06 PM
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