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Orthodox Bibles

Orthodox Christianity has its roots to the very first days of Christianity. Its history has embraced many places and times, embracing many manuscript traditions, from North Africa to Siberia and from Ethiopia to Georgia and Mount Athos. The Bible is the treasure of the Church and the assured repository of the written word of God. The Lord himself, the Apostles and the Fathers studied, prayed and meditated on the Scriptures on the daily basis. St. Athanasius relentlessly defended the Nicene creed against the Arians on the basis of Scripture and most of St. John Chrysostom's commentaries are homilies on books of the Bible.


In terms of "canon," the Orthodox Old Testament includes the 39 universally received ("canonical") books as well as the books found in the Septuagint which have always been read, used or explicitely quoted by the early Christians (Letter to the Hebrews, St. Polycarp of Smyrna. These books are part of the Orthodox Bible and lectionary but not with full canonical status; they are often called "deuterocanonical" or "to be read" (Anagignoskomena (αναγιγνωσκόμενα)). As a result, it can be said that the canon of the Old Testament is somewhat "open" with degrees of witnessing authority.

There is no controversy among Christians regarding the New Testament canon which was finally discerned and formalized between 320 and the late 300s. The first instance of a formal listing of the 27 books is found in St. Athanasius' Festal Letter of 367.


The preferred textual platform of Orthodox Christianity is the Patriarchal Text of 1904 for the New Testament (taking in account the fact that most ancient manuscripts that form the basis of the so-called Critical Text also have an Orthodox origin).

For the Old Testament, the preferred textual platform is the Greek Septuagint (which is also the text of reference for New Testament writers).


The OSB: Orthodox Study Bible published in 2008 by Conciliar Press and Thomas Nelson offers a translation of the Greek Septuagint for the Old Testament and the New King James translation for the New Testament.

It is especially suited to provide an introduction to Orthodox Christianity to Christians coming from Western traditions.

Link to the OSB Official Site

The EOB: Eastern - Greek Orthodox Bible offers an original scholarly translation of the New Testament which is based on the official text of the Greek speaking Orthodox Churches (the Patriarchal Text of 1904). The EOB companion to the OSB scheduled for early 2009 will include a comprehensive introduction to the Old Testament together with 4 Maccabees and the EOB New Testament and Appendices. The full release of the EOB (OT based on LXX with all MT variants and NT) is scheduled for 2011.

Link to the EOB Official Site