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.  

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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

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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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"Mark Canonizer of Paul: A New Look at Intertextuality in Mark's Gospel.

“For over 150 years the idea that Mark used the Pauline epistles has been recurring in New Testament research. Now in the work of Tom Dykstra, wide-ranging work and thoughtful, the truth of that idea emerges with a clarity it never had before. The result is to give a fresh sense of the origin and nature of Mark, of all the New Testament books, and of the quest for history.” –Thomas Brodie, Director, Dominican Biblical Institute, author of The Birthing of the New Testament

“Tom Dykstra draws connections between Paul and the Gospel of Mark that are stunning, surprising, and original, and leave readers with a sense that the evidence deserves a better interpretation than traditional Synoptic models can offer. Well argued, easy to read, immersed in the relevant current exegetical discussion, the book fascinates, provokes, and encourages to think outside the box.”– David Trobisch, author of The First Edition of the New Testament

“In addition to its main focus on Mark, this book is a lucid introduction to early church history, oral tradition, the gospels’ genre, and how to understand scripture in general.” – Paul Nadim Tarazi, Professor of Biblical Studies, St. Vladimir’s Seminary

Hallowed Be Thy Name: The Name-Glorifying Dispute in the Russian Orthodox Church and on Mt. Athos, 1912-1914.

"For anyone wanting to understand an extraordinary and important episode in the modern history of Christianity, Tom Dykstra's excellent account, which is both meticulous and highly readable, should be an indispensable starting-point. It brings alive a passionate argument over the holiness of the Name of God which shook the Tsarist and Balkan world on the eve of the first world war. Better than any other chronicler of the tragedy that came to a head in the main monastic stronghold of the Christian East, he combines a clear view of the theological stakes with a keen sense of the politics, both secular and ecclesiastical, which determined the outcome. Dykstra also manages to situate the Imperial Russian quarrel over sacred names in the broader sweep of the history of monotheism." - Bruce Clark, Writer on religion and public policy, The Economist, www.economist.com