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prophetologion now online

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  • nelsonchin@yahoo.com
    For those who aren t aware of it, the prophetologion has been translated into English and is available online at:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2001
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      For those who aren't aware of it, the prophetologion has been
      translated into English and is available online at:



      readings for vespers


      This draft translation of the Readings for Vespers follows the
      Calendar published by the Orthodox Fellowship of St John the Baptist
      in Great Britain. It therefore includes readings found in a number of
      different lectionaries, both Greek and Russian. In a few instances
      readings have been included which are not given in the Fellowship's
      Calendar. These include those for the feast of Saints Athanasios and
      Cyril of Alexandria [18 January], which are given in the Greek
      Menaion, and those for the more recent offices by the late Fr
      Gerasimos for the Environment [1 September] and the Protecting Veil
      of the Mother of God [1/28 October]. It is worth remarking that the
      official Calendar of the Church of Cyprus for 2001 specifically
      orders the latter feast to be celebrated on 1 October, and not on the
      28th. The readings for the feast of St John of Kronstadt pose a
      problem. They include none of the traditional readings for the feasts
      of holy persons, not do they appear to have any particular relevance
      to the Saint. The first two seem rather to be a political reading of
      two passages from the Prophet Joel in the light of the Russian
      revolution of 1917.

      The Orthodox Church has always used the Greek Bible of Alexandria as
      its text of the Old Testament and therefore the text on which the
      translation is based is that of the Greek Septuagint [lxx], as it is
      found in the Greek Menaia. This qualification is important, since the
      lectionary text often differs quite sharply from that of the critical
      editions of the lxx and even more sharply from that found in the
      bilingual edition published by Samuel Bagster and frequently
      reprinted. This is not the place to discuss in detail the
      relationship between the standard Hebrew, or Masoretic [mt], and the
      Greek texts of the Old Testament, but is worth noting that the Greek
      text represents a very ancient version of the Hebrew which predates
      the Masoretic text by several centuries. In places where the Greek
      and Hebrew differ, it cannot automatically be assumed that the Hebrew
      has the better reading. Moreover, the text is a living text and
      reflects the living tradition of both Jews and Christians. As well as
      the standard critical editions of the Greek texts, the French version
      of the lxx Pentateuch, La Bible d'Alexandrie, which is mine of
      invaluable information on matters of lexicography and patristic
      exegesis, has, where possible, been regularly consulted.

      Proper names have usually been given in their Greek form, rather than
      the pseudo-Hebrew familiar in Protestant bibles since the
      Reformation. Thus we use `Elias', rather than `Elijah'. The Hebrew of
      the name is `Elijahu'. Some names are typologically significant. The
      pseudo-Hebrew `Joshua' is in Greek `Jesus', the typology of which is
      obvious, and is reflected in a number of liturgical texts. The New
      Testament Apostles are referred to as `Jacob', like the Old Testament
      patriarch, after whom they are named, rather than `James'. There is
      no justification for using `Jacob' in the ot and `James' in the nt,
      but I have for the moment retained `James' in the title of his

      One peculiarity of the lxx in the Pentateuch is that it commonly
      translates the divine name, yhwh, by Kyrios, without the definite
      article. This looks like an attempt to indicate that the
      Tetrgrammaton lies behind it, much in the same way as some modern
      versions use Lord, in upper case. There is perhaps something to be
      said for putting Lord where the Greek has anarthrous Kyrios referring
      to God.

      All the readings, not only the `composite' ones, have been given in
      full, since the Church's text often differs noticeably from that to
      be found in modern translations of the Bible. This applies chiefly to
      the Old Testament, but also, though much less frequently, to the New.

      Each of the readings has been given a number. Since many of the
      readings are used a number of times, this makes it possible to save
      space by simply referring the user to the number of the reading on
      second and subsequent occurrences. In this case the place where the
      text is to be found is given. Numbers have not been given to the
      readings for the Office for the Environment, St John of Kronstadt and
      the Dedication of a Church.

      The majority of the readings are those for Vespers, but I have also
      included those for the Royal Hours of Christmas and Theophany and for
      the Great Blessing of Waters on the latter. The movable Sundays of
      the Fathers of the Councils and of the Ancestors are given on the
      first date on which they can fall.

      A certain number of footnotes have been included. These are mostly
      concerned with problems of readings and translation, but some are of
      more general interest and could be expanded in a final draft. Where
      appropriate inclusive language is used, but it is perhaps worth
      remarking that the words anthropos and aner, though they normally
      denote `human being' and `male person' respectively, are not
      univocal. Anthropos may refer to a male person and aner to a human

      The readings for Vespers in Lent and Holy Week and the period of the
      Pentecostarion can be found elsewhere on these pages

      Comments on this first draft will be welcomed by the translator.

      All texts and translations on this page are copyright to
      Archimandrite Ephrem ©

      This page was last updated on 12 February 2001
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