New Podcast Released on the Ephesus School Network

The Bible as Literature podcast has launched Tarazi Tuesdays, a new weekly series featuring Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi. In a spinoff from their regular weekly show, Dr. Richard Benton and Fr. Marc Boulos continue their discussion with Fr. Paul, posing questions meant to challenge audiences and further enrich their own study of Scripture. 

In the first episode, The Bible as Literature is re-broadcasting a lecture presented by Fr. Paul on January 12, 2018. The talk was given during a book signing at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Phoenix, Arizona. The content makes for an excellent introduction to the series. 

The Bible as Literature and Tarazi Tuesdays are part of the Ephesus School Network (ephesusschool.org).

Episode 1 of Tarazi Tuesdays is available here: 

https://ephesusschool.org/the-rise-of-scripture/

Now Available: JOCABS, Vol 10, No 1

The Journal of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (JOCABS) promotes scholarship in biblical studies, homiletics, and religious education among Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Christians around the world.

Vol 10, No 1 (2017)

“Shall we, then, be baptized for the dead?”: An Answer to the Problem of 1 Corinthians 15:29 and Vicarious Baptism

Rev. Fr. Joshua Schooping

Sin of Apostasy and Militarism in Hosea

Richard C. Benton, Jr.

Vol 9, No 1 (2016)

Paul’s Letter to the Churches of Galatia

Very Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi

The Quest for Mark’s Sources: An Exploration of the Case for Mark’s Use of First Corinthians
Thomas P. Nelligan, Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2015

Review by Tom Dykstra

The Gospel of Matthew within the New Testament Canon

Very Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi

 

Why Circumcision Is a Big Deal in Scripture - or Is It?

By Merja Merras

Today, in the State of Israel, there is much discussion about the circumcision of boys on the eighth day. Messianic Jews, in particular, ponder the question:  Has the time to reject this old tradition finally arrived?

The rule of circumcision was given by God to Abraham and his descendants (Gen 17:9-14) and thereafter understood as the principal sign of belonging to the Jewish congregation. But is it so? If we take a closer look, old beliefs can be reconsidered in a new light.

When we look at the Old Testament as a totality, the central issue is obedience or disobedience of the law and not circumcision. The promise given to Abraham (“I will bless you…”) was extended to his descendants, not because they were circumcised, but only because Abraham kept the commandments faithfully. In Deuteronomy, circumcision of the heart (10:16-22; 30:4-6), which means obedience to the law, was already considered more important than fleshly circumcision.  In the book of Joshua, one can clearly see that it was obedience to God's law, not circumcision, that was demanded, both of Israelites and the other nations. In both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, fleshly circumcision played no role whatsoever in the new covenant, which was binding upon those returning from exile.

In the last section of Scripture, the Writings, there is no mention at all of circumcision. This part of Scripture was written to invite the nations to adopt the torah, and with it true wisdom, since Greek wisdom was not able to encompass all wisdom. On this point, it would have been possible to ordain circumcision as a tangible sign of someone’s endorsement of the law, but such was not the case. Those who accepted the challenge of the Bible’s spiritual message gathered in congregations where Scripture was read to them and, in conformity with Genesis 17, circumcised their male children at the age of eight days. Yet, this custom in and of itself was not a distinctive mark (Jer 9:23-26), since it was part of the Hamite and Semite cultures.

The Apostle Paul, who was a Jew, also understood circumcision in this way, writing in his Letter to the Romans (2:25-29): “He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal.”

Why, then, is circumcision practiced among Jews to this day? This “dormant” habit of circumcision comes to life and even “steals the show” in the Maccabean literature, which deals with the revolt by  Palestinian followers of Scripture against the Seleucids, the heirs of Alexander of Macedon.  The king, Antiochus Epiphanes, had disgraced the Jewish Sanctuary, making the priest Mattathias furious.  Mattathias asked Jews to join him in revolt: “And Mattathias and his friends forcibly circumcised all the uncircumcised boys that they found within the borders of Israel.” (1 Macc 2:45-46)  The Maccabees and their followers were using circumcision as a “national flag”, a “standard”, around which they could easily rally followers to their own agenda.

The western part of Syria, the province Yehud, was declared independent by the Maccabees, and remained as such for some time. King Herod set out to build a massive temple in Jerusalem and needed income from outside his tiny state.  All “followers of the Law” were invited to support the project. The inhabitants of Yehud were the yehudim. In those times, Judaism developed more around political than religious issues. The religious aspect of circumcision was only a medium of control to secure support for the interests and aims of the “followers of the dictates of scripture” in Yehud.

Today, this mechanism finds its counterpart in the way that the leaders of the State of Israel seek to “impose” their views on Jews around the world in order to secure support for their political agenda.

God’s law and Jesus’ Gospel are meant for all nations, not just the yehudim. This point is already made in the first pages of the Old Testament. Although written and addressed to Israel, other nations are continuously mentioned and encouraged to follow the law. In contrast, the letters of the Apostle Paul are both written and expressly addressed to all the nations, not just to the Jews. Since this teaching had to sound the same as the law of the Old Testament, it refers to the law continuously. The teaching of the “new teacher,” Paul, had to reflect the entire teaching of the Old Testament, thus, the Old and the New Testament form a totality.  But by reading the Old Testament, Jews can already understand the message of circumcision, found throughout: nothing is of significance but obedience to the law.  One God, one law and one message for all nations.

Ref. Paul Nadim Tarazi, The Rise of Scripture.  OCABS  2017. 319-332.

Original Post: https://simeonjahanna.com/2017/11/26/miksi-ymparileikkaus-on-niin-suuri-juttu-raamatussa-vai-onko/

Miksi ympärileikkaus on niin suuri juttu Raamatussa – vai onko?

Merja Merras (simeonjahanna.com) Okko Balagurinin haastattelussa nousi esiin useasti hänen oleskelunsa Israelissa ja tutustuminen sikäläiseen elämänmenoon. Tiedän, että Nyky-Israelissa keskustellaan paljon poikien 8-päiväisenä tehtävästä ympärileikkauksesta ja siitä, olisiko jo aika luopua tästä perinnäistavasta. Erityisesti messiaaniset juutalaiset pohtivat tätä.

Vanhan testamentin ympärileikkaussääntö (1.Moos. 17:9-14) annettiin Abrahamille ja hänen jälkeläisilleen, ja siitä lähtien sen on ajateltu toimineen keskeisenä juutalaisen uskon merkkinä. Mutta onko niin? Kun tarkemmin katsomme asiaa, vanhat uskomukset joutuvat uuteen valoon.

Vanhaa testamenttia kokonaisuutena tarkastellen astuu lihallisen ympärileikkauksen sijaan keskeiseksi lain noudattaminen tai noudattamatta jättäminen, ei ympärileikkaus. Lupaus joka Abrahamille annettiin, jatkui hänen jälkeläisilleen vain koska Abraham pysyi laille kuuliaisena, ei siksi, että jälkeläiset ympärileikattiin. Lihallista ympärileikkausta tärkeämmäksi nousi jo 5. Mooseksen kirjassa sydämen ympärileikkaus (10:16-22; 30:4-6) eli Jumalan käskyjen noudattaminen. Joosuan kirjasta käy myös selvästi ilmi, että lain eli Jumalan tahdon noudattaminen oli se, mitä vaadittiin sekä israelilaisilta että vierailta kansoilta, ei ympärileikkausta.

Jeremiaan ja Hesekielin profetioissa ei ympärileikkauksella ole mitään roolia siinä uudessa liitossa, joka kuulutetaan maanpaosta palaaville. Vanhan testamentin Kirjoitukset –osassa ei ole yhtäkään mainintaa ympärileikkauksesta. Tämä viimeisin Vanhan testamentin osa on kirjoitettu kutsumaan kansakuntia omaksumaan toora ja sen mukana tosi viisaus, sillä kreikkalainen viisaus ei pysty kattamaan viisauden koko kuvaa. Tässä kohdin olisi ollut mahdollisuus tuoda ympärileikkaus kuvaan mukaan näkyvänä merkkinä henkilön sitoutumisesta lakiin, mutta sitä ei tehty. Näin ajatteli myös apostoli Paavali Roomalaiskirjeessään (2:25-29): ”Oikea juutalainen on se, joka on juutalainen sisimmässään, ja oikea ympärileikkaus on sydämen ympärileikkaus, jota ei saa aikaan laki, vaan Henki.”

Miksi ympärileikkaus sitten säilyi juutalaisten keskuudessa aina tähän päivään asti? Tuo uinuva ympärileikkaustapa heräsi henkiin toisella vuosisadalla eKr, jolloin makkabealaiset nousivat kapinaan seleukidikeisari  Antiokos Epifaneen häpäistyä juutalaisten uskontoa. Makkabealaiset käyttivät ympärileikkausta ”kansallisena viirinä”, juutalaisen omana tunnusmerkkinä, joka erotti ”lain kansan”  ”uskottomista”.  Itäisen välimeren seudut oli muodostettu Jehud-nimiseksi provinssiksi, mutta makkabealaiset onnistuivat muodostamaan siitä lyhyeksi ajaksi itsenäisen Jehud-valtion. Kuningas Herodes rakennutti tuolloin Jerusalemiin temppelin, mutta tarvitsi siihen varoja pienen valtionsa ulkopuolelta, ja näin kutsuttiin ”lain noudattajia” kaikkialta tukemaan hanketta. Jehud nimisen valtion asukkaat ja kannattajat olivat jehudim eli juutalaisia. Näin juutalaisuus kehittyi noina aikoina pikemminkin poliittisen tilanteen kuin uskonnon ympärille, ja ympärileikkaus toimi siinä merkkinä kuulumisesta tähän poliittiseen ryhmään. Tätä näkemystä veivät eteenpäin Jeesuksen ajan fariseukset ja uskonkiihkoilijat, vastauksena roomalaisten karskille ylivallalle. Sama toistuu meidänkin aikanamme. Nykyisen Israelin valtion johtajat pyrkivät kaikin keinoin syöttämään omaa näkemystään maailman eri puolilla asuville juutalaisille varmistaakseen näiden tuen johtajien omalle agendalle esim. Palestiina-kysymyksessä.

Jumalan laki ja Jeesuksen evankeliumi on tarkoitettu kaikille kansoille, ei vain juutalaisille. Tämä on sanottu jo Vanhan testamentin alkulehdillä.  Vanha testamentti oli tosin kirjoitettu ja osoitettu Israelille, mutta jatkuvasti puhutaan muista kansoista ja rohkaistaan heitä lain noudattamiseen. Paavalin kirjeet taas oli kirjoitettu ja nimenomaan osoitettu muille kansoille, ei vain juutalaisille. Tämän opetuksen tuli kuulostaa samalta kuin Vanhan testamentin laki, ja siksi niissä jatkuvasti viitataan lakiin.  ”Uuden opettajan” opetuksen tuli heijastaa Vanhan testamentin koko opetusta.  Näin Vanha ja Uusi testamentti muodostavat kokonaisuuden, jossa toista ei voi ymmärtää ilman toista. Onneksi juutalaisilla on kuitenkin mahdollisuus ymmärtää ympärileikkauksen sanoma jo Vanhan testamentinkin lukemisen kautta: vain Jumalan tahdon noudattaminen merkitsee jotain, eivät temput tai uhrit.  Tuo kokonaisuuden sanoma on: Yksi Jumala, yksi laki ja yksi sanoma kaikille kansoille.

Merja Merras translated Fr. Paul Tarazi's Land and Covenant into Finnish in 2011. Julkaisupäivämäärä: 2011 (suomeksi), 2009 (englanniksi). 

Original Post: https://simeonjahanna.com/2017/11/26/miksi-ymparileikkaus-on-niin-suuri-juttu-raamatussa-vai-onko/

Now Available: The Rise of Scripture (Print Edition)

The Rise of Scripture

PAUL NADIM TARAZI  
paul-nadim-tarazi.org

THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE THE BIBLE AS A LIVING TEXT understand that Scripture possesses a life and power all its own. Written by human hands, texts become sacred when they resonate with ultimate truths encountered in the direst of human circumstances. Paul Nadim Tarazi’s The Rise of Scripture offers a cogent argument for the particulars of how it is the Bible as we have it became Scripture. Avoiding futile speculation over Israelite textual and ethnic origins, Tarazi lays bare the Bible’s strategic defense against hellenistic urban hegemony over the fertile clay and desert environs of western Asia. With the help of biblical Hebrew—a “concocted language,” according to Tarazi—scribes wrote and shaped oral and textual materials into a manifesto of cultural resistance in response to the ethnocentric arrogance of the alien occupation. The successful accomplishment of such a defense relied upon a kind of leveling of the playing field, in which the writers of the Bible came to throw all their own false idols into the fire, resulting in the production of the most scathing collective self-examination in human history. It is the thesis of this book that the reading and teaching of Scripture brings human beings together in the barren wilderness of authentic human existence in obedience to, and under the care of the ultimate Shepherd, the God of Scripture.

Praise for The Rise of Scripture

"Contrary to the current hyperspecialization in biblical scholarhip, Tarazi articulates both Testaments into a unique synthesis. His mastery of the languages and culture of the biblical worlds, ancient and modern, forces the reader to reconsider the obvious."

Dr. Philippe Guillaume
University of Berne (Switzerland)

"Professor Paul Nadim Tarazi offers an insightful view of Scripture as a mashal, a parable, rather than a historical account. In his view, the Pentateuchal stories are retrojections of the teachings of the Prophets, and the Gospels are likewise retrojections of the teachings of Paul. He argues for a functionalist, rather than essentialist ("Alexandrian") understanding of Scripture. His book is provocative, in a good sense of the word, and consciously Semitic. It is a must-read for all readers and students of the Bible who are not satisfied with the modern mainstream consensus concerning the identity and understanding of Scripture."

Dr. Bartosz Adamczewski
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw

"A captivating reading of the Bible's origins and its nature. Father Tarazi offers a combination of both erudition and experience in a book that opens the reader’s mind into new horizons of Biblical interpretation. From Bedouin shepherd societies to concocted language theories this work proposes an Oriental approach explained to Western readers as never done before. A masterpiece."

Daniel Ayuch
Professor of New Testament University of Balamand

Announcing The Rise of Scripture, Print Edition

Advance Praise for Paul Nadim Tarazi's "The Rise of Scripture" 

“A captivating reading of the Bible's origins and its nature. Father Tarazi offers a combination of both erudition and experience in a book that opens the reader’s mind into new horizons of Biblical interpretation. From Bedouin shepherd societies to concocted language theories this work proposes an Oriental approach explained to Western readers as never done before. A masterpiece.”

Daniel Ayuch
Professor of New Testament
University of Balamand

“Contrary to the current hyperspecialization in biblical scholarhip, Tarazi articulates both Testaments into a unique synthesis. His mastery of the languages and culture of the biblical worlds, ancient and modern, forces the reader to reconsider the obvious.”

Dr. Philippe Guillaume
University of Berne (Switzerland)

“Professor Paul Nadim Tarazi offers an insightful view of Scripture as a mashal, a parable, rather than a historical account. In his view, the Pentateuchal stories are retrojections of the teachings of the Prophets, and the Gospels are likewise retrojections of the teachings of Paul. He argues for a functionalist, rather than essentialist ("Alexandrian") understanding of Scripture. His book is provocative, in a good sense of the word, and consciously Semitic. It is a must-read for all readers and students of the Bible who are not satisfied with the modern mainstream consensus concerning the identity and understanding of Scripture.”

Dr. Bartosz Adamczewski
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński
University in Warsaw

Available in October 2017

New Commentary on the Pastorals by Fr. Paul Tarazi

New Commentary on the Pastorals by Fr. Paul Tarazi

The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series is not so much in honor of John Chrysostom as it is to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation.

In this volume, the author, Paul Nadim Tarazi, notes that the verb paradidomi (deliver) and its cognate paradosis (tradition) are totally absent from the Pastoral Letters. "Instead," he writes, "The verb paratithemai (entrust as deposit) and its cognate paratheke (deposit) are used to emphasize that what is written is not to be interpreted subjectively, nor is it to be modified, changed, or developed in any way."

[Paperback] [Kindle]

New Audio Publication: The Rise of Scripture, by Paul Nadim Tarazi

The Rise of Scripture

by Paul Nadim Tarazi 

In this seminal work on the formation of the Bible, Fr. Paul Tarazi examines “the who, when, where, and why of Scripture and its purpose.” Tarazi’s presentation offers listeners a rare glimpse into the painstaking work of biblical scholarship. At each turn, he bolsters his groundbreaking thesis with meticulous detail, drawing upon decades of research in his field.  

Order Now

The Rise of Scripture, Running Time 14 hours, 25 minutes. © Copyright 2015, Paul Nadim Tarazi. All rights Reserved.  ISBN 1-60191-034-7

Come Follow Me, by William C. Mills

Come Follow Me

by William C. Mills

"Many people today are risk-averse; living in a world fraught with dangers, they imagine it safer to remain in one place than get caught moving about. Others believe that by forestalling any sort of changes in life they can somehow avoid feeling any greater pain. Fr. William Mills' latest work, Come Follow Me, is an invitation to test the paradox of authentic human existence-that only by dying to self can one come to experience all the fullness of life. A delightful narrator, Fr. Mills inhabits the stories he tells in an honest and self-effacing way. His thorough knowledge of the Bible, which grows out of his deep love for Scripture, intersects with his stories in a way that clarifies the biblical narratives, while in turn providing understanding that brings light to our own life stories." 
 
Nicolae Roddy, PhD
Associate Professor
Hebrew Bible Co-director
Bethsaida Excavations Project Creighton University, Omaha, NE
 
"Mills' fresh voice helps his readers focus on what is truly essential: listening to the still, small voice of God. Mills offers us short but deeply refreshing Biblical reflections grounded in our human and often mundane experiences but raised heavenward as we follow Christ in patience, humility, and joy."  
 
Adam DeVille, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Theology University
of St. Francis Indianapolis, IN

Order Now

OCABS 2015 Symposium - January 22-25

The 2015 Symposium of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS), will be held January 22-25, 2015, at St. George Antiochian Church, Phoenix, Arizona.

Building upon the success of OCABS's inaugural symposium, papers presented at the 2015 Symposium will be published in the Journal of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies.

OCABS is committed to empowering current and future generations of teachers and scholars already possessing a love for Scripture. This dynamic collaborative enterprise cannot help but benefit the lives of students and parishioners in a world in need of hearing the divine Word.

2015 Program - OCABS Symposium

OCABS Press Release

The Very Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi, in whose honor former students founded the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies, retired from teaching this year after forty-four years of service at St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary, Holy Cross School of Theology, and the St. John of Damascus Theological Institute in Balamand, Lebanon. Even into the final years of his illustrious career Fr. Paul remained extremely active, having published during that time no fewer than ten books and a two-volume set of audio commentaries covering the entire Bible.

As many as thirty former students gathered from around the world this year to attend Fr. Paul's final class at St. Vladimir's Seminary and to honor him at a special retirement dinner. They were joined by his brother Nouhad, who traveled from Lebanon, his daughter Reem, and his youngest son, Bassam.

Fr. Paul's unparalleled zeal for the Bible continues unabated in his retirement. He is currently completing work on the Chrysostom Bible Commentary series, with forthcoming books on Ephesians, James, 1 and 2 Peter, and Jude. He is also translating his comprehensive audio commentaries on the Bible into Arabic--a labor of love for the sake of his mother church in Antioch, offered in the hope of bringing solace to Christians in the Middle East during these difficult times.

Fr. Paul's retirement is a great loss for students of the Bible, however, his growing collection of writings and the continued work of OCABS will remain to serve future generations seeking the light of God's instruction. 

New Commentary on Galatians by Fr. Marc Boulos

OCABS Press announces Torah to the Gentiles, a new commentary on Galatians by Fr. Marc Boulos.

Torah to the Gentiles

by Marc Philip Boulos

The letter to the Galatians offers a brief but demanding exposition of the teaching of the Older Testament for a gentile audience. Highlighting the Bible's struggle against idolatry, power, and human identity, St. Paul's letter exposes Jerusalem's fatal misreading of biblical circumcision: a practice given to remove social barriers had been co-opted to build the same. By imposing their religious identity and practices on the gentiles, the Pillars of Jerusalem had betrayed the Torah, offering things that pass away as though they were eternal. Worse, they had done so at the expense of the weaker brother. Having been liberated by God from the worship of Caesar, why would the Galatians now turn to another human master?

[Paperback] [Kindle]

"Fr. Marc provides an enlightening foray into Galatians. Not only does he expound on one of Paul's most important epistles, he provides the reader with an illumination of the Bible as well, as he explains Galatians by using Paul's source: the 'Older' Testament. The author has brilliantly modeled the structure of the book to mimic Paul's own reiterative style, thus adding a layer of teaching within the exegesis of Galatians. This book is highly recommended for lay people of all denominations and for anyone interested in the Antiochian School of exegesis." 

--Dr. Gregory S. Paulson,
Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung, Universität Münster 

"Fr. Marc's book 'rightly divides' the notion that readers and teachers of all times and cultures can intelligently figure out from the facts in the text itself what God in his mercy is teaching."

--David Pates, English Department (retired)
Normandale Community College, Bloomington, MN

New Commentary on Hebrews by Fr. Paul Tarazi

OCABS Press announces a new commentary on Hebrews by Fr. Paul Tarazi. 

The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series is not so much in honor of John Chrysostom as it is to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation.

The Chrysostom Bible - Hebrews: A Commentary

The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series is not so much in honor of John Chrysostom as it is to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation. In this volume, the author, Paul Nadim Tarazi, notes the importance of the placement of Hebrews in the canon, which together with Romans, "bracketed [Paul's] literary corpus of fourteen epistles between two magisterial letters-Romans, addressed to the residents of the capital of the Gentile Roman empire, and Hebrews, addressed to the Jews who were still dreaming of the restoration of the earthly Jerusalem that was destroyed by the Romans...However, God's city is not, as it was assumed by the Jews, the earthly Jerusalem that lay subjugated by Rome, but rather the 'Jerusalem above' (Gal 4:26), the heavenly city of Zion, toward which the believers are heading."

OCABS Recommends: Three Titles by Bartosz Adamczewski

Bartosz Adamczewski is associate professor of New Testament exegesis at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw (Poland). He has published several books on the relationships between biblical writings and historical facts.

Using the method of critical intertextual research, this book demonstrates that Deuteronomy (written c. 500 BC) is an Israelite sequential hypertextual reworking of Ezekiel, that Genesis and Exodus-Numbers (written c. 400 BC) are Israelite sequential hypertextual reworkings of Deuteronomy, and that Samuel-Kings (written c. 300 BC) is a Judaean sequential hypertextual reworking of Deuteronomy. Consequently, the book disproves the theories of the existence of the so-called sources or traditions of the Pentateuch. The recognition of the fact that the Pentateuch is an Israelite and not a Judaean work may have great consequences for the dialogue between the monotheistic civilizations in our world and for peace initiatives in the Holy Land.

Using the method of critical intertextual research, this book demonstrates that Deuteronomy (written c. 500 BC) is an Israelite sequential hypertextual reworking of Ezekiel, that Genesis and Exodus-Numbers (written c. 400 BC) are Israelite sequential hypertextual reworkings of Deuteronomy, and that Samuel-Kings (written c. 300 BC) is a Judaean sequential hypertextual reworking of Deuteronomy. Consequently, the book disproves the theories of the existence of the so-called sources or traditions of the Pentateuch. The recognition of the fact that the Pentateuch is an Israelite and not a Judaean work may have great consequences for the dialogue between the monotheistic civilizations in our world and for peace initiatives in the Holy Land.

This book demonstrates that the Gospels originated from a sequential hypertextual reworking of the contents of Paul’s letters and, in the case of Matthew and John, of the Acts of the Apostles. Consequently, the new quest for the historical Jesus, which takes this discovery into serious consideration, results in a rather limited reconstruction of Jesus’ life. However, since such a reconstruction includes, among others, Jesus’ messiahship, behaving in a way which was later interpreted as pointing to him as the Son of God, instituting the Lord’s Supper, being conscious of the religious significance of his imminent death, dying on the cross, and appearing as risen from the dead to Cephas and numerous other Jewish believers, it can be reconciled with the principles of the Christian faith.

This book demonstrates that the Gospels originated from a sequential hypertextual reworking of the contents of Paul’s letters and, in the case of Matthew and John, of the Acts of the Apostles. Consequently, the new quest for the historical Jesus, which takes this discovery into serious consideration, results in a rather limited reconstruction of Jesus’ life. However, since such a reconstruction includes, among others, Jesus’ messiahship, behaving in a way which was later interpreted as pointing to him as the Son of God, instituting the Lord’s Supper, being conscious of the religious significance of his imminent death, dying on the cross, and appearing as risen from the dead to Cephas and numerous other Jewish believers, it can be reconciled with the principles of the Christian faith.

The study analyses the current state of research on the synoptic problem and proves that the Synoptic Gospels were written in the Mark, Luke, Matthew order of direct literary dependence. Moreover, the work demonstrates that the Synoptic Gospels are results of systematic, sequential, hypertextual reworking of the contents of the Pauline letters. Accordingly, the so-called ‘Q source’ turns out to be an invention of nineteenth-century scholars with their Romantic hermeneutic presuppositions. Demonstration of the fact that the Gospels are not records of the activity of the historical Jesus but that they narratively illustrate the identity of Christ as it has been revealed in the person and life of Paul the Apostle will certainly have major consequences for the whole Christian theology.

The study analyses the current state of research on the synoptic problem and proves that the Synoptic Gospels were written in the Mark, Luke, Matthew order of direct literary dependence. Moreover, the work demonstrates that the Synoptic Gospels are results of systematic, sequential, hypertextual reworking of the contents of the Pauline letters. Accordingly, the so-called ‘Q source’ turns out to be an invention of nineteenth-century scholars with their Romantic hermeneutic presuppositions. Demonstration of the fact that the Gospels are not records of the activity of the historical Jesus but that they narratively illustrate the identity of Christ as it has been revealed in the person and life of Paul the Apostle will certainly have major consequences for the whole Christian theology.

New from the Orthodox Research Institute: Walking with God: Stories of Life and Faith

Orthodox Research Institute Publishes
Walking with God: Stories of Life and Faith

ROLLINSFORD, NH (February 24, 2014)—The Orthodox Research Institute is pleased to announce the publication of Walking with God: Stories of Life and Faith by Fr. William C. Mills. This book provides reflections on the presence of the Bible in our daily lives.

“Walking with God reminds me of something the recent Nobel laureate Alice Munro once said: most of us lead lives that are ‘dull, simple, amazing, and unfathomable — deep caves paved with kitchen linoleum.’ Mills gracefully helps us peel back the seemingly dull linoleum of our lives to see the amazing depth and unfathomable mystery of God—the good news—in places we least expect it but most need it,” explains Dr. Adam Deville, Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Saint Francis.

“Mills reads the New Testament and shows how the God we read about in the Bible is present in our daily lives. Drawing from an array of sources, including his own experiences, Mills offers pearls of spiritual wisdom for growth in Christ. I highly recommend this book for everyone,” says Dr. Nichoals Denysenko, Assistant Professor of Theology at Loyola Marymount University.
Other books by Fr. Mills published by the Orthodox Research Institute include Encountering Jesus in the Gospels, Our Father, From Pascha to Pentecost, Prepare O Bethlehem, Baptize All Nations, Let Us Attend, A Light to the Gentiles and Feasts of Faith. These books serve as useful resources both for personal reference in conjunction with one’s regular Bible reading and within the context of a parish Bible study.

About the Author
Fr. William C. Mills is the rector of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church in Charlotte, NC, and the author of numerous books on the Bible and spirituality. For more information, visit his website at www.williamcmills.com.

About the Orthodox Research Institute
The Orthodox Research Institute publishes books on various subjects relating to the Eastern Orthodox Church, including patristic and ecclesiastical texts in the original language together with English translations. ORI’s website also provides extensive information about the Orthodox Church and its teachings.

Walking with God by William C. Mills
Publication Date: February 2014
Trade Paperback: $14.95 + Shipping; vi, 150 pages; ISBN: 978-1-933275-68-0

To request a review copy, contact the Orthodox Research Institute at daryle@orthodoxresearchinstitute.org. To purchase copies of the book, visit www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org.

Antiochian Biblical Institute: First Scriptural Symposium

The First Scriptural Symposium is to be hosted on January 16-19, 2014 by the newly-established Antiochian Biblical Institute (ABI), a ministry of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine (FSJD) at St. George Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida.

Several scholars will be in attendance from across the country to present papers on specific topics relating to the study of Scripture. Please see the attached flyer for more details. During the weekend, the ABI is honored to celebrate the 70th birthday of The Very Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi, professor of Scripture for the last 43 years and founder of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS).

Two New Books for Christmas: Commentaries on Isaiah and Jeremiah by Fr. Paul Tarazi

OCABS Press announces two new biblical commentaries just in time for the holidays. 

The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series is not so much in honor of John Chrysostom as it is to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation.

The Chrysostom Bible - Isaiah: A Commentary

by Paul Nadim Tarazi

"Among the Latter Prophets the most impressive individual book is undoubtedly Isaiah since its chronological coverage stretches over the pre-exilic, exilic, and post-exilic periods. It has in its purview not only Jacob and Abraham (41:8; 51:2), but also Noah (54:9) and the garden of Eden (51:3), thus encompassing all of humanity before the choosing of Abraham. Hence the stress in Isaiah on the inclusion of the nations, even in the matter of temple service in the new Zion (66:20-21). Isaiah can well be viewed, without exaggeration, as a mini-scripture. By the same token it is no wonder that, besides Genesis-the tone-setting book for the entire scripture in both its Testaments, and Psalms-the book of psalmody of the new Zion, Isaiah is the most quoted Old Testament book in the New Testament."

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The Chrysostom Bible - Jeremiah: A Commentary

by Paul Nadim Tarazi

"The Books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel stand at the center of the Hebrew Old Testament canon...both prophets were active around the time of the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians ca. 587 B.C., and their missions were to declare that the city succumbed to such a shameful end due to its negligence of God's law. What makes Jeremiah's message more ominous in the hearer's ears than that of Ezekiel is that he carried out his mission while living in Jerusalem...in Jeremiah, other "prophets" named by name and endorsed by the majority of the people and leadership challenge Jeremiah at every step. Even an inattentive hearer can feel the "pain" of Jeremiah and thus tends to empathize with his frequent complaints. In this sense, the Book of Jeremiah stands alone in scripture as the book of God who implements his punishment in spite of any entreaty...it is the book where God "alone" stands "over the nations and over the kingdoms" of his entire earth (Jer 1:10) in his office of sole supreme judge of all, including the deities of the nations (Ps 82)."

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