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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Can Orthodox Biblical Theology be Autonomous? Review of Ecumenical Studies Sibiu, Constantin Oancea.

Should Orthodox biblical theology develop autonomously, ignoring western biblical theology? Keywords: Orthodox biblical theology, Bible from , Blaj Bible, Bucharest Bible That Orthodox theology experienced a new approach in the 20 cen- th tury is no longer a novelty to anyone.

In an attempt to deine their own identity, Orthodox theologians have made contributions that are worthy of consideration and outlined some speciic fea- tures of the Orthodox interpretation of the Scripture. Of these, the ecclesial and pneumatological dimension of biblical reading and the recovery of the patristic spirit of exegesis seem to be the most important1.

Adress: Mitropoliei 20, , Sibiu; e-mail: constantin. Another issue seems to me equally impor- tant as hermeneutics, namely the extent to which the future of biblical science in Orthodox theology Romanian, though not exclusively should be marked only by the search for its precise character.

More speciically — could one prac- tice Orthodox biblical theology while ignoring the results of heterodox biblical theology, as if they did not exist, or merely by engaging in polemics with them?

I believe the example of the past can ofer some guidance in the attempt to ind an answer to these questions. I will take as a case study a work appreci- ated by Romanian Orthodox theology — the Synodal Bible - and seek to identify its relation to heterodox theology. In we celebrate one hundred years since the publication of the Bible from B Prior to the edition redacted and annotated by Metropolitan Bartolomeu Anania , this was the last Bible printed by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church which included the text of the Septuagint.

In the last few years a facsimile edition has been made available in Romania, with no indication of the place of printing, which may be associ- ated, perhaps, with the group mentioned above. Several web sites ofer the possibility of consulting or downloading it in PDF format. A call has been launched for the digitization of this edition, given the imperfect quality of the image in the online version3. Dunn, Ulrich Luz et al. Watson eds.

Here then we highlight the features of the B which, according to its adherents mentioned above, should be recognized as the best version of the Bible in Romanian: — It is recommended by authoritative theologians of the Orthodox Ro- manian Church. To what extent does this perception actually correspond to reality? But to disregard all Romanian editions derived from the Bible from only because they have resorted to the Hebrew Bible might demonstrate ig- norance and anti-Semitic prejudices.

To answer this question we should irst discuss the circumstances of its publication, and look both at the ones who endeavoured to complete it and at the resources they used. Such information is usually given in the preface of a book. As the Bible from does not have such a preface, information related to its publication can be found only from printed documents of the time6. It seems that the in- itiative to reprint the Scripture came from outside the Church, namely from the Ministry of Religious Afairs, in Due to unfortunate accidents and against a diicult political context, which would culminate in the outbreak of World War I, the new edition of the Bible was published only in However, the appeal from the Ministry of Religious Afairs had been initiated 4 years before, in See: E.

Documents of the time clearly indicate that the Synodal Bible was not a new translation, but a revision of the biblical text. For the text of the Old Testament, committee members asked for earlier editions of the Bible in Romanian: the Bibles from Bucharest , Blaj , St. Besides these they also looked at editions of the Septuagint, the Vulgate and the Hebrew Bible9.

Considering that the Bibles from St. Even someone who does not speak Romanian will notice that the dif- ferences between the B and the BBlaj are minor, most cases involving the replacement of obsolete words and expressions.

Moreover, some mistakes in the BBlaj — corrected in the errata — were reproduced as such by the editions of St.

It is highly probable that the Sibiu Bible has taken these mistakes from the text of the St. Petersburg Bible, as evidenced from the comparison of mistakes common to both editions, but which do not appear in the Blaj Bible: Gen 36,24 and Isa 27, In conclusion, the main resource of the B was not from the Or- thodox realm, but from the BBlaj, printed in by the Greek-Catholic Church of Transylvania.

Publishers of the St. In the foreword, Bishop Filotei admitted that he had chosen to reprint the BBlaj, as it was the best and clearest translated Romanian edition of the Holy Scripture. On another occasion, Filotei argued for his choice to reprint the text of Blaj by saying that the Metropolitan of Moldavia, Veniamin Cos- tachi, had also reprinted that text Petersburg Bible as primary source.

Petersburg Bible. In all these cases, when hierarchs of the Orthodox 12 Nicolae I. Among the sources used by the theologian from Blaj one can identify the irst full translation of the Bible in the Romanian Orthodox Church: the Bucharest Bible He made the decision to translate the Bible in , when he was prefect of studies at the College of St.

Barbara in the same city Vienna was home to one of the oldest universities in Europe from , so that in libraries and book- stores there, Samuil Micu could have found the most important critical editions of the biblical text. Although Samuil Micu did not state explicitly which edition he had used, researchers reported several probable or possible sources Among these: — he Complutensian Polyglot Bible, published in Alcala Spain in , is even mentioned in the footnotes of Samuil Micu Humanist theologians and philologists par- ticipated in its creation, while its publication and the printing costs of the 6 volumes were associated with Cardinal Francisco Ximenez de Cisneros, Archbishop of Toledo.

Samuil Micu probably had no direct access to the Complutensian Polyglot Bible, but to one of the polyglot editions that followed it Antwerpen, ; Paris, ; Lon- don, Bos had critically reviewed the Sixtine text Rome , which was based on Codex Vaticanus, indicating in the critical appa- ratus variants of previous manuscripts and editions However, the BBlaj deviates in several places from the text edited by L. Bos and is closer to the BB, which was based on the Aldine text Venice, , and produced in accordance with the Frankfurt edition It is possible that Micu might have opted for an older text in deference to the Romanian biblical tradition initiated by the Bucharest Bible From the hirteenth century on, the Latin version is found in manuscripts of the Vulgate.

Most printed editions of the Septuagint prior to the 20th century do not include the Prayer of Manasseh. We do not know exactly what source Samuil Micu actually used For more details see James H. Charlesworth, he Old Testament Pseudoepigrapha, vol. What is im- portant, however, is that the BBlaj initiated a textual tradition including the Prayer of Manasseh, since all editions of the Bible in the Romanian Orthodox Church print this book among the anaginoskomena books of the Old Testament Keeping the Prayer of Manasseh in the Bible edi- tions of the Romanian Orthodox Church was surely inluenced by its liturgical use, while 4Maccabees — an apocryphal that also appeared in the BB28 and BBlaj29 had not been printed in any subsequent Romanian edition.

It is worth mentioning here that there is no uniform practice in Orthodoxy as regards the printing of the Prayer of Manasseh in the Bible, or its location among the Old Testament books. In terms of their scientiic quality, these works were the result of labours of humanist scholars from the 16thth centuries, who had been animated by cultural interest and valued the best manuscripts available to them.

But rather the value of the Bible from was increased by the alliance of multi-confessional and humanistic eforts that initially made 26 Robert H. In the Preface, Micu said that the only reason for his reproducing of the apocryphal text was its existence in the Bucharest Bible. Conclusions Let us return to the questions in the introduction to this article.

Is the autonomous development of Orthodox biblical theology possible? But the case of the Bible from , discussed above, shows that an Orthodox work can be appreciated by Ortho- dox readership despite its reliance on non-Orthodox resources.

Related Papers. By Eugen Munteanu. La tradizione biblica romena. Jewel terminology in Romanian biblical translations. By Florentina Nicolae. Rejoice, o, full of gifts! By Octavian Gordon. By Alexandru Mihaila. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Need an account? Click here to sign up.


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There is little known about his life in Vienna, but it is known he was attracted to science, studying experimental physics, mechanics and mathematics, in addition to theology and philosophy. In , returning to Blaj to teach ethics and mathematics at the Seminary, Klein met and befriended bishop Grigorie Maior , whom he accompanied in visits throughout his diocese, trying to win converts to Greek-Catholicism. These trips proved to be useful in his study of the Romanian language , especially of the language spoken by the peasants, gathering materials for a future grammar. Klein was also interested in Romanian folklore, his writings being one of the earliest works on it. In , he finished writing a work of history named De ortu progressu conversione valachorum episcopis item archiepiscopis et metropolitis eorum , which talked about the Roman origins of the Romanians and the origins of their faith in the Roman Christian Church in ancient Dacia.


Biblia de la Blaj 1795

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