On Not Reading the Bible

“Quit worrying about corroborating your sources–it’s not as if anyone is going to take all this literally.” A friend of mine, a fairly recent Orthodox Convert from Protestantism, asked me to read an article by an Orthodox scholar that discussed a certain construct for interpreting the Old Testament. My friend was struggling with “how to understand” many passages in the Old Testament, and he was wondering if he should be reading the…

But What Does the Bible Say?

In one of his mini-talks about the history of Anglicanism, Professor Ron Dart speaks of Erasmus and the the Church Fathers.  In that talk, Professor Dart relates a bit of correspondence between St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Jerome, translator of the Vulgate (the Latin translation of the Bible that was used by western Christianity for almost 1500 years). In this correspondence Augustine asks Jerome how to translate a particular passage from…

For fear of the Jews

One of the phrases that repeatedly appears in the biblical and liturgical texts surrounding the death and resurrection of our Lord is “for fear of the Jews.” This is a very misleading, though accurate, translation of the text. It is accurate because, well, that is what the text says. It is misleading–and, I might add, has been used to justify terribly inhuman behavior to Jews throughout Christian history–because it gives the impression…