Why the Septuagint?

The series of postings about Genesis on this site has led some people to ask why it refers so much to the Septuagint, the translation of the Old Testament into Greek made in the Hellenistic period, rather than the original text. After all, the original text was written in Hebrew, except for small portions in Aramaic, the Septuagint being translated from […]

Read more

Notes on Genesis (xxxv) Hagar and her Seed

‘Now the angel of the Lord found her’ (Gen 16:7). Encountering jealousy from her mistress Sarah after becoming pregnant by her master Abraham, Hagar flees into the wilderness, where she is found by ‘the angel of the Lord’. This is the first occurrence in the Septuagint version of Genesis of the word ‘angelos’, which could also be translated ‘messenger’. This being goes […]

Read more

Pussy Riot in Trouble

Early in the year the members of a feminist punk group, Pussy Riot, entered the sanctuary of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow where they ‘prayed’ to the Virgin for the end of the government of Vladimir Putin and uttered a number of profanities.  They have been detained in harsh conditions and charged with hooliganism. Their behaviour was […]

Read more

Christos Yannaras’ Variations on the Song of Songs (2005)

The long tradition of commentary on this most steamy book of the Bible continues, although what the contemporary Greek thinker Christos Yannaras offers is not so much commentary as a series of reflections, almost responses to the text, which are introduced in musical terms. They describe territory familiar to many people. Hence, the words My beloved is mine and I am his. He […]

Read more

Differences between the Christian East and West

Two scholars dealing with different issues suggest differences in the ways in which the Eastern and Western Christian traditions operate. Discussing the ways in which the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions approach the problem of divorce, Cl. Gallagher quotes the words of another author: ‘The crucial difference between the two disciplines lies not in the fact that one accepts divorce and […]

Read more

Anestis Keselopoulos on St Gregory Palamas: Repentance and Purification (continued)

In his presentation of the thought of St Gregory Palamas, Anestis Keselopoulos observes: ‘Summoning up all the characteristic traits of a believer who lives his repentance, Palamas describes him as mild and calm, full of mercy and compassion for others.’ How do we get there? ‘Spiritual mourning is the basic precondition for man’s exodus from bondage to the passions and […]

Read more

Notes on Genesis (xxxiv) Abram in dialogue with God

‘The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision.’ (Gen 15:1) The Orthodox Study Bible suggests a Christological interpretation of this phrase by the use of a capital letter (Word), but this may be a case of over-interpretation, for the Septuagint uses the Greek word rhema, not logos; note that the Vulgate goes for ‘sermo’, not ‘verbum’. Interestingly, the ‘word of […]

Read more

Notes on Genesis (xxxii) Abram leaves home

‘Get out from your country, from your kindred and from your father’s house, to a land I will show you.’ (Gen 12:1) Abram’s departure from Haran to Canaan stands at the beginning of the patriarchal narratives. His father Terah had led the family from Ur of the Chaldeans to the northwest along Mesopotamia; now, following the death of Terah, God commands Abram to continue to […]

Read more
1 2 3 4 5 8