A Response to “A Response”: Sanfilippo’s Latest Broadside

Lately Giacomo Sanfilippo posted on his Orthodoxy in Dialogue blog a response to “a professor at an Orthodox seminary” whom he styled “Ross Douthat’s Orthodox admirer”.  I am not sure why the reluctance to engage in persons directly and name Dr. David Ford as his target.  Let us nobly assume that he is motivated by a noble desire to deal with issues and not personalities, and not by a desire to make the anonymity…

Why Do We Not Keep the Old Testament Feasts?

St. Paul was once intent upon visiting his new convert church in Corinth, and wrote them that he intended to visit them after passing through Macedonia in the north. But he said that the visit would not take place soon, for “I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost” (1 Corinthians 16:8). By “Pentecost” Paul of course meant the Jewish feast of Pentecost, the feast of Weeks (Hebrew Shavuot) held fifty days after…

“The Father is Greater than I”: An Exegetical Footnote

In our Lord’s last extended discourse to His disciples on the night on which He was betrayed, He spoke about His final departure from their earthly lives. It was, not surprisingly, something of a theme that night: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek Me, and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’” (John…

A Brief Word about Eternal Punishment

A very thoughtful person recently commented on my blog about how he would like to see me engage in greater depth the question of how one should translate the phrase κολασιν αιωνιον/ kolasin aionion in Matthew 25:46, which Dr. Hart renders as “the chastisement of that Age” and which pretty much everyone else renders as “eternal punishment” (thus, for example, the NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, NEB, NAB, TEV, ASV, the Jerusalem Bible,…

Hart’s “The New Testament: a Translation”

David Bentley Hart’s The New Testament: a Translation has come to a bookstore near you. I have already written about Hart’s article (published in Commonweal in September 2016) in which he spoke at length of the genesis and need for such a new translation. Here I would like to look at the New Testament translation itself. Full disclosure: what follows are general comments about the work, not an in-depth examination of it.…

The Deep Melancholy of David Bentley Hart

Dr. Hart has recently completed his translation of the New Testament, and it is now for sale at a book store near you. One naturally asks, “Why do we need another translation of the New Testament since so many translations already abound?” One could understand someone wanting to have another crack at translating the Old Testament, since the verbal concision of the Hebrew tongue and the corruption of the text at a…