The Old Testament in Eastern Orthodox Tradition

The Old Testament in Eastern Orthodox Tradition

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This book offers the first comprehensive examination and analysis of the receipt, transmission, and interpretation of the Old Testament in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. In Orthodoxy, the Old Testament has commonly been equated with the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Jewish Bible attested by fourth- and fifth-century Christian manuscripts. As Eugen Pentiuc shows throughout this work, however, the Eastern Orthodox Church has never closed the door to other text-witnesses or suppressed interpreters' efforts to dig into the less familiar text of the Hebrew Bible for key terms or reading variants. The first part of the book examines the reception of the Old Testament by the early Eastern Orthodox Church, considering such matters as the nature of divine revelation, the paradox of the inclusion of the Jewish scriptures in the Christian Bible, and the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. Pentiuc's investigation is not limited to the historic-literary sources but extends to the visual, imaginative, and symbolic aspects of the Church's living tradition.
In the second part of the book he looks at the various ways Orthodox Christians have sought to assimilate the Old Testament in the spiritual, liturgical, and doctrinal fabric of their faith community. Special attention is given to liturgy (hymnody, lectionaries, and liturgical symbolism), iconography (frescoes, icons, illuminations), monastic rules and canons, conciliar resolutions, and patristic works in Greek, Syriac and Coptic. This wide-ranging and accessible work will serve not only to make Orthodox Christians aware of the importance of the Old Testament in their own tradition, but to introduce those who are not Orthodox both to the distinctive ways in which that community approaches scripture and to the modes of spiritual practice characteristic of Eastern Orthodoxy.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 33.02mm | 612.35g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 20 illus.
  • 0195331230
  • 9780195331233
  • 247,934

Table of contents

Contents ; Preface and Acknowledgments ; Abbreviations ; Part I. Reception ; 1. One Bible, Two Covenants ; 2. Text ; 3. Canon ; 4. Tradition ; Part II. Interpretation ; 5. Discursive ; 6. Aural ; 7. Visual ; Postscript ; Bibliography ; Index
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Review quote

This work is a major event: the first comprehensive and thorough analysis of the role of the Old Testament in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, written by the foremost Eastern Orthodox scholar of Scripture, internationally respected within both Church and Academy alike. Opening up the scriptural culture of Eastern Orthodoxy in all its dimensions, this illuminating volume will richly reward every reader. * V. Rev. Dr. John Behr, Dean and Professor of Patristics, St. Vladimir's Seminary * In this extraordinarily learned book, Pentiuc sheds much-needed light on an often neglected aspect of the history of interpretation of the Bible. Appropriately, he discusses not just texts, but ritual and art as well, so that reading his book is like walking into a lavishly ornamented Eastern Orthodox church where the Divine Liturgy is being celebrated. This view from the inside is an invaluable contribution. * Michael Coogan, editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible * Both the study and usage of the Old Testament in the Orthodox tradition is undervalued in academic circles today, and Fr. Eugen s work will serve as an authoritative and much-needed work. A noted expert in both Semitic languages and Old Testament studies, Fr. Eugen s unique blend of scholarly finesse and fidelity to Orthodox tradition makes The Old Testament in Eastern Orthodox Tradition a book worthy of our closest attention. * On Behalf of All * This volume is a treasure house from which one may draw riches old and new. As an Orthodox priest, Pentiuc is immersed in his ancient tradition; as a biblical scholar he is au courant with the methods and controversies of 21st-century scholarship - a rare combination indeed. He builds on solid historical and textual foundations to urge the church forward. The book offers the clearest, most complete, and most accessible treatment in English of topics such as
the Orthodox use of the Septuagint, the canon, and issues around the 'apocrypha,' not to mention its analysis of scripture in the liturgy. * Leslie Baynes, Religion *
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About Eugen J Pentiuc

Eugen J. Pentiuc holds a Th.D. in Old Testament from Bucharest University, and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from Harvard University. He is also an Eleve titulaire of Ecole biblique et archeologique francaise in Jerusalem. He is a Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline.
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Rating details

12 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
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4 58% (7)
3 33% (4)
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