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Re: Concerning an Official Orthodox English Translation

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  • malcolm robertson
    Greetings to all in Christ, A topic of discussion which is oft repeated is the fact that the ROCOR/ROCA (as well as other Orthodox jurisdictions) do not
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 3, 2006
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      Greetings to all in Christ,

      A topic of discussion which is oft repeated is the fact that the ROCOR/ROCA (as well as other Orthodox jurisdictions) do not possess an OFFICIAL English translation of the Bible. Below are a few sites which this group may find interesting.

      http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/postgrad/cetr/byzantine.htm

      http://www.biblesociety.org/transrep2001.htm

      Note: For those who may not know the abbreviation TR = textus receptus and amounts to a handful (6) of Greek manuscripts none earlier than the tenth century and which served as a basis for Erasmus' Greek New Testament. Today we possess about 5,700 Greek manuscripts which are both older (as early as c. 200 A.D.) and better. In Latin there are an estimated 10,000 plus manuscripts not to mention the other venacular translations. In addition there are about one million Bible passages cited in the writings of the Church Fathers.

      Below is a post from Simon Crisp to Wieland Willker at the Textualcriticism list group concerning the Byzantine Text Project. The file however is not attacted.

      "Here is a response I received regarding the UBS Byzantine text project
      (discussed here recently):

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Simon Crisp [mailto:SimonCrisp@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2005 10:25 PM
      To: willker@...
      Cc: Sarah Lind; Phil Noss; Rod Mullen (r_l_mullen@...); David
      Parker (D.C.Parker@...)
      Subject: UBS and Byzantine Text

      Dear Dr Willker,
      From a couple of sources I have received forwarded copies of your
      question about UBS sponsorship of the Byzantine Text project. The
      question is a good one, and although in reality I do not have all that
      much to add to the answer already supplied by Rod Mullen, I should
      perhaps add a few words on behalf of the UBS as sponsor of the project.
      As Rod Mullen points out, the project was initiated in response to an
      explicit request by representatives of a number of Orthodox
      jurisdictions for a scientific edition of "their" text. The project
      therefore has a dual focus: on the one hand as a part of the developing
      relationship between the UBS and the Orthodox churches (in line with the
      UBS mandate to serve all the churches), and on the other as a part of
      the general UBS commitment to scholarly research on the Bible text --
      which includes work on varieties of the text from several different
      traditions.
      Concerning your specific question about the implications of such a
      project for UBS translation policy: there is no real change in the
      primary commitment of the UBS to supporting translations made on the
      basis of the critical texts. Already for more than a decade however
      there has been a formulation which allows other texts (specifically LXX
      for the OT and Byz text for the NT) to be used as base text for
      translations in certain strictly defined circumstances, and this has
      recently been updated to specify rather more exactly the circumstances
      in which a departure from the "default position" might be supported by
      the UBS -- with a wording tightly enough framed to exclude positive
      responses to requests by enthusiasts for the TR!
      In short, therefore, the Byzantine Text project is intended as a serious
      contribution to textual scholarship, and is also part of a bridge
      building process between the UBS and the Orthodox churches. We do not
      envisage any fundamental shift in translation policy, neither are we
      expecting a rash of vernacular translations based on the Byz text (still
      less the TR!). For a little more detail, I attach the text of a short
      presentation which I made at a conference in Greece last October, which
      gives a little more of the background. I hope that this will be of some
      interest to you.

      With best wishes,
      Simon Crisp
      ____________________________
      Dr Simon Crisp
      Regional Translations Coordinator
      UBS Europe Middle East
      Tel +44 1293 553821
      Fax +44 1293 553839
      <<Volos presentation Oct 04.rtf>>

      -----------------------

      Best wishes
      Wieland
      <><
      ------------------------------------------------
      Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      mailto:willker@...
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
      Textcritical commentary:
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html





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    • Fr. John R. Shaw
      ... JRS: There is also no *official* Greek text of the Septuagint or the New Testament, or even of the Greek service books. One can meet variant readings in
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 6, 2006
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        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, malcolm robertson <mjriii2003@...> wrote:

        >... Orthodox jurisdictions) do not possess an OFFICIAL English translation of the Bible.

        JRS: There is also no *official* Greek text of the Septuagint or the New Testament, or even
        of the Greek service books.

        One can meet variant readings in the Greek Biblical texts that appear in various books.
        One key "variant" is in Ps. 16, heard in the 3rd Hour. Fr. Lawrence's "Unabridged
        Horologion" uses the HTM Psalter, with the reading "they have filled themselves with
        swinishness", from a minority reading in the Septuagint.

        The majority of Septuagint texts have "they have had sons at their desire".

        There are other key variants in the Greek. A fully authoritative English edition would have
        to take them all into consideration, probably with extensive footnotes and learned
        apparatus in the text.

        Besides that, we have the undying battle over "what style of English?"

        In Christ
        Fr. John R. Shaw
      • malcolm robertson
        Dear Fr. Shaw, Your question is quite pertinent. I suppose it will depend on one s perspective as to how this is to be accomplished. When I was still a
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 6, 2006
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          Dear Fr. Shaw,

          Your question is quite pertinent. I suppose it will depend on one's perspective as to "how" this is to be accomplished.

          When I was still a teenager my mother gave me a copy of the KJV published by Thomas Nelson Co (this was the second English Bible I received the first being the Revised Standard Version). In it there were footnotes indicating variant readings such as the one you note at Ps 16. Another example might be LXX 39:6 and Hebrews 10:5. Some variant readings are easily explained in the LXX (Septuaginta) as a misunderstanding of the underlying Hebrew text. But in some instances perhaps not because there are still words in the Hebrew text whose full semantic range of meaning is unknown to us.

          The point I am trying to make is this. Do we wish to choose from the already available plethora of English versions (New International Version, English Standard Version, New King James Version) or do we want to make another anew? Hence your question about style? Or quite simply do we wish to be content with what we have available now? The purpose would be perhaps for uniformity in readings in worship (a sort of uniformity in "Church" language in English). Perhaps for personal devotions the selection of an English version should be left up to the individual.

          Please don't think this will produce another schism like that under Nikon. Perhaps if nothing is done and the reading is left up to the discretion of the individual parish this course might prove to be the best in the end if uniformity in English translation is not a desired goal. A certain flexibility might in the end prove best. Doubtless the Fathers encountered their fair share of slight variants in the LXX manuscripts/versions at their disposal.

          Of course the issue is complex; but in order to extend the impact of the Gospel some further present day attempt (or at least clarification) should be made in this area if this issue is at all of some importance.

          Because He lives,

          Malcolm

          ________________________

          --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, malcolm robertson <mjriii2003@...> wrote:

          >... Orthodox jurisdictions) do not possess an OFFICIAL English translation of
          the Bible.

          JRS: There is also no *official* Greek text of the Septuagint or the New
          Testament, or even
          of the Greek service books.

          One can meet variant readings in the Greek Biblical texts that appear in various
          books.
          One key "variant" is in Ps. 16, heard in the 3rd Hour. Fr. Lawrence's
          "Unabridged
          Horologion" uses the HTM Psalter, with the reading "they have filled themselves
          with
          swinishness", from a minority reading in the Septuagint.

          The majority of Septuagint texts have "they have had sons at their desire".

          There are other key variants in the Greek. A fully authoritative English edition
          would have
          to take them all into consideration, probably with extensive footnotes and
          learned
          apparatus in the text.

          Besides that, we have the undying battle over "what style of English?"

          In Christ
          Fr. John R. Shaw





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        • Michael Coleman
          Fathers bless! This then brings up another question to me: If obtaining an official English translation of the Scriptures, then what organ would do the
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 6, 2006
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            Fathers bless!

            This then brings up another question to me: If
            obtaining an 'official' English translation of the
            Scriptures, then what organ would do the 'blessing' of
            the 'official' English translation?

            Would each local Church authorize it?

            And, my main question for those who know: if, as is
            the case, that ROCOR is on the path towards
            eucharistic and administrative union with the MP, then
            is there any thought yet on ROCOR's possible entry
            into SCOBA (as the original invitation I understand
            was declined due to the MP's membership therein) now
            that the original stumbling block is no longer
            considered?

            Has SCOBA re-invited ROCOR as of yet?

            Thanks to all!

            Michael Coleman
            Knoxville, TN

            --- "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...> wrote:

            > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, malcolm
            > robertson <mjriii2003@...> wrote:
            >
            > >... Orthodox jurisdictions) do not possess an
            > OFFICIAL English translation of the Bible.
            >
            > JRS: There is also no *official* Greek text of the
            > Septuagint or the New Testament, or even
            > of the Greek service books.
            >
            > One can meet variant readings in the Greek Biblical
            > texts that appear in various books.
            > One key "variant" is in Ps. 16, heard in the 3rd
            > Hour. Fr. Lawrence's "Unabridged
            > Horologion" uses the HTM Psalter, with the reading
            > "they have filled themselves with
            > swinishness", from a minority reading in the
            > Septuagint.
            >
            > The majority of Septuagint texts have "they have had
            > sons at their desire".
            >
            > There are other key variants in the Greek. A fully
            > authoritative English edition would have
            > to take them all into consideration, probably with
            > extensive footnotes and learned
            > apparatus in the text.
            >
            > Besides that, we have the undying battle over "what
            > style of English?"
            >
            > In Christ
            > Fr. John R. Shaw
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


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          • Fr David Straut
            Dear Michael, The MP in the USA is *not* a member of SCOBA. For that matter, neither is the Jerusalem Patriarchate a member of SCOBA. Priest David Straut
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 6, 2006
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              Dear Michael,

              The MP in the USA is *not* a member of SCOBA. For that matter, neither is the Jerusalem Patriarchate a member of SCOBA.

              Priest David Straut



              Michael Coleman <usmichaelnew@...> wrote:And, my main question for those who know: if, as is
              the case, that ROCOR is on the path towards
              eucharistic and administrative union with the MP, then
              is there any thought yet on ROCOR's possible entry
              into SCOBA (as the original invitation I understand
              was declined due to the MP's membership therein) now
              that the original stumbling block is no longer
              considered?

              Has SCOBA re-invited ROCOR as of yet?

              Thanks to all!

              Michael Coleman
              Knoxville, TN





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            • Fr. Anthony Nelson
              ... When the MP applied to SCOBA two or three years ago for membership, their application was denied by SCOBA on the grounds that the MP is a foreign Church.
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 7, 2006
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                Fr David Straut <frdavidstraut@...> wrote:

                >The MP in the USA is *not* a member of SCOBA. For that matter,
                >neither is the Jerusalem Patriarchate a member of SCOBA.

                When the MP applied to SCOBA two or three years ago for membership,
                their application was denied by SCOBA on the grounds that the MP is
                "a foreign Church."

                Just more example of how disingenuous the whole SCOBA silliness really is.

                Fr. Anthony


                * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                Fr. Anthony Nelson
                St. Benedict Russian Orthodox Church
                Oklahoma City, OK USA 405-672-1441
                mailto:fr.anthony@...
                http://www.russianorthodoxoklahoma.org

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Philip Silouan Thompson
                ... Unlike, say, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (?!) After union, as an autonomous part of the Church of Russia, we ll still be a foreign church . Meanwhile
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 7, 2006
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                  Fr. Anthony Nelson wrote:
                  > Fr David Straut <frdavidstraut@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >> The MP in the USA is *not* a member of SCOBA. For that matter,
                  >> neither is the Jerusalem Patriarchate a member of SCOBA.
                  >>
                  >
                  > When the MP applied to SCOBA two or three years ago for membership,
                  > their application was denied by SCOBA on the grounds that the MP is
                  > "a foreign Church."

                  Unlike, say, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (?!)

                  After union, as an autonomous part of the Church of Russia, we'll still
                  be a "foreign church". Meanwhile SCOBA will still be an uncanonical
                  synod of competing bishops of overlapping dioceses.

                  There's meant to be one bishop for any given territory; when there are
                  competing claimants, the Church is meant to *resolve* the issue by
                  naming a single bishop, not to acknowledge all claimants as legitimate
                  members of a quasi-synod.

                  If ROCOR joined SCOBA wouldn't we be participating in an uncanonical
                  false synod? It seems better to me to acknowledge honestly that there
                  *isn't* a united American Orthodox Church (nor a united Orthodox mission
                  to North America), rather than to legitimize the current uncanonical
                  jurisdictional situation by joining SCOBA.

                  But I could be wrong. Corrections welcome!

                  Reader Silouan
                  Walla Walla, Washington
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