I apologize if the recent Orthodox Study Bible-related posts have proved to be something of a downer. While I do think it essentially to provide sufficient warning about the OSB's very serious shortcomings, creating further division among the Orthodox is the very last thing I mean to do. I therefore announce three new kinds of reoccurring posts that will join the regularly scheduled programming:
- The Fathers on Reading Scripture: I will regularly post short selections from the writings of the Holy Fathers about what it means to "study" the Holy Scriptures. In all the back-and-forth about the merits (or lack thereof) of the OSB, I think it essential that we have before us a clear vision of how the Holy Fathers themselves read, interpreted, and taught the Holy Scriptures. This vision, I hope, can serve as a criterion for our ongoing criticism (both positive and negative) of the OSB – besides simply being genuinely beneficial reading for everyone.
- Alternatives to the OSB: It should be fairly obvious by now that I simply cannot in good conscience recommend the OSB to anyone, Orthodox or non-Orthodox. Yet the most common defense of the OSB is something along these lines: But the OSB is better than nothing! I will attempt to demonstrate that we have in English a whole lot more than nothing. I'll introduce and review a whole series of books and resources which can be safely employed by anyone wanting to learn more about the place of the Holy Scriptures in the Orthodox Church.
- Positive Book Reviews! Difficult as it may be to believe, there are books I both read and actually enjoy. Coming soon will be positively glowing reviews of The Boundless Garden by Alexandros Papadiamandis and Light From the Christian East: An Introduction to the Orthodox Tradition, by James R. Payton, which I believe should replace Metropolitan Kallistos' The Orthodox Church as the book to give to anyone wanting to learn more about Orthodox Christianity.