This is an I want post. I don't have enough I want moments in my life, so I'm allowing myself one now.
I want an Orthodox Bible. I want One that has all of the canonical books. I don't want to have to make do with one that confines parts of the Old Testament to one corner under the false and misleading title of "Apocrypha", which is properly reserved for those books that are actually apocryphal.
However, I need some advice.
I have heard of The Orthodox Study Bible, and believe that the New Testament and Psalms have been published together in one volume, with the Old Testament planned to become available at Pascha next year or thereabouts. Apparently, it has all manner of supplementary articles, explaining how various passages of Scripture have formed Orthodox theology and spirituality over the centuries.
I was all very excited about this until I read that the Old Testament has been produced by comparing the Old Testament of the New King James Version to the Septuagint, and correcting the former as necessary, where it differs from the text of the LXX.
I have no problem with the method. However, I do have a problem with the NKJV. The language is awful, and is such that I find myself unable to read it because I'm having to try too hard to read it. It simply removes some of the more archaic forms of English from the KJV, but doesn't actually go all the way in providing a contemporary language edition. The result is that is is neither traditional nor modern, but some bizarre hybrid of the two, which is sufficiently similar to the KJV to make one think that one knows the passage, but sufficiently different to grate when one comes across a difference. If I recall correctly, it is also riddled with modern-day Americanisms, which, while perfectly fine in their own context, do sound a bit odd when mixed with English archaisms as they are in the NKJV. I just find it a very poor rendering overall, and will only buy it if there's nothing better to be had.
The second Bible I'm considering has also been published in New Testament only so far, and may be viewed here. It is a translation produced by the Holy Apostles Convent in Colorado, and comes with commentaries from the Fathers and a whole host of icons. I'm aware of the Old Calendarist, "Genuine" Orthodox source, but this isn't a problem for me. The only issue I have is that I don't know how it was produced and what the language is like, as there are no samples on the site. Also, I've only heard via a third party that there are plans to produce an Old Testament. Does anybody know more about this?
Finally, there is the Holy Orthodox Bible (pictured above), which is the labour of love of Mr Peter Papoutsis. This looks good and, judging from the samples provided on the website, the language seems perfectly acceptable. My only concern with this is the same as my concern would be with any text translated by one person, and that is that pre-conceptions and inaccuracies go unchecked. I would be quite happy with this translation if it weren't for the fact that only the Pentateuch has been produced thus far, and there is no indication of a timescale for the rest of it.
What are people's thoughts and comments? I would certainly be pleased to hear of any experiences with these Bibles, and indeed, for any other suggestions.
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