Sunday, February 24, 2008


I received my copy Saturday.

IMO, it is very good the books of the OT were arranged in canonicalorder (as done by the Greeks). But I wish they had rearranged the NT inthe canonical order (as done by the Greeks) at the same time. Oh well.

I /really/ dislike the ugly font used in the running header -- zeroes are wider than the capital letter O; ones look like a capital I. Thefont used for the text has far too high an x-height: lower case lettersare about 3/4 the size of capital letters instead of 1/2. But I can live with ugly. The content is far more important.

I was checking to see if εκκλεσία was translated as 'church'. To mydelight, it was rendered 'church' in Psalm 21 (vv. 23, 26); Psalm 25(vv. 5, 12); Psalms 34:18; 39:10; 67:27; and 88:6. I wish they hadmaintained that rendering for the remainder of the psalms, but for somereason did not in Psalm 106:32 and Psalm 149:1.

The word εκκλεσία was also translated as 'church' in Job 30:28, Proverbs 5:14, and Lamentations 1:10. I really wish they had also used 'church'in the 23rd chapter of Deuteronomy (vv. 2, 3, 4, and 9) and Joel 2:16, but, alas, they did not.

When I was checking to see the rendering of εκκλεσία in the four booksof Kingdoms, I ran into a problem finding the verses. So I starteddigging into verse numbering.

What a mess!

The standard numbering of the books of the Old Testament are, like it ornot, based on the Masoretic text.

The ΖΩΗ (ZOE) text I have adapts to this by skipping verse numbers wherethe Church's text does not have the equivalent of the Masoretic. Thus,in 1 Kingdoms, the ΖΩΗ (ZOE) text numbers the first eleven verses ofchapter 17 which basically parallel the Masoretic text, then skipsnumbers 12 through 31, numbers verses 32 through 40 which parallel theMasoretic text, skips verse 41, numbers verses 42 through 49 whichparallel the Masoretic text, skips verse 50, numbers verses 51 through54, and omits numbers 55 through 58. (Note: the ΖΩΗ (ZOE) text includesthe omitted verses from the Masoretic text in footnotes rendered in adistinct font.)

When there are verses present in the Church's text that are not in the Masoretic text, the ΖΩΗ (ZOE) edition numbers verses with added letters.Thus, in Chapter 2 of 3 Kingdoms, it numbers the first 35 verses whichparallel the Masoretic text, and then numbers the following verses 35α,35β, 35γ, 35δ, ... 35μ, 35ν, 35ξ. The next verse is numbered 36 as isthe parallel verse in the Masoretic text.

The Brenton translation of the Septuagint basically uses the samenumbering system as the ΖΩΗ (ZOE) text, but instead of appending lettersit has no verse numbering (effectively making 3 Kingdoms 2:35 a great long verse!).

The Orthodox Study Bible doesn't follow either of these methods. Insteadit uses what is, IMO, the worst possible method. It numbers versessequentially regardless of the standard numbering of verses. Thus, wherethe Church's text does not have text which parallels the Masoretic text,the Orthodox Study Bible ends up with few verse numbers than othereditions. For instance, 1 Kingdoms 17:32 in the ΖΩΗ (ZOE) text and theBrenton translation and 1 Samuel 17:32 in the NASB, is rendered in theOSB as 17:12! The same thing is done where there are additional verses,only this results in more verse numbers than other editions. Forinstance, what the ΖΩΗ (ZOE) edition counts as 35, 35α, 35β, 35γ, 35δ,... 35μ, 35ν, 35ξ, 36 is counted in the OSB as verses 35 through 49. So3 Kingdoms 2:36 in the ΖΩΗ (ZOE) text and the Brenton translation and 1Kings 2:36 in the NASB becomes 3 Kingdoms 2:50.

Like I said, it is a mess. Worse, there is no 'conversion table' thatwill allow a reader to find the equivalent of a verse found in any othertranslation/edition. Perhaps some enterprising soul(s) will create a webpage with a conversion table.


In looking at 1 Kingdoms chapter 17 (the story of David and Goliath), Ifound two things which bothered me. The OSB has a verse 29 whichparallels 1 Samuel 17:50 in the same place as it appears in theMasoretic text, but that verse DOES NOT EXIST in the Church's text. Iwonder if someone, working from the NKJV Old Testament (which was usedas this project's boilerplate), inadvertently left that verse in.

The second thing was the OSB's note to 1 Kingdoms 17:4 -- 'Goliath isover nine feet tall.' This would be true if one is following theMasoretic text which gives Goliath's height as six cubits and a span (acubit being about 18 inches makes six cubits approximately equal to ninefeet), but the Church's text -- properly translated in the OSB -- gives Goliath's height as FOUR cubits and a span (which works out to about sixfeet plus a 'span', i.e. about 6'4" instead of 9'4")! It appears notesfrom the NKJV Old Testament may have been retained without checking.

The icons included in the OSB are quite good (and traditional). TheLectionary will be very useful. Of course, the patristic comments areimportant. The Index to Annotations looks like it will be helpful, but Ihaven't had much chance to look through it.

Back to looking at the OSB.

- T. R. Valentine, posted on the Indiana University Orthodox Listserv discussion list
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