Is it heterodoxical to read the Bible in English?

Sol Invictus

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
At Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles, they began to speak in tongues, which was not a charismatic gugu gaga, but different languages, so that whereever they went, people were able to understand them.
As a native english speaker you have a more intimate relationship with the english language than you have with hebrew and koine greek.
Every english speaker should stick to the KJV, because it is impossible to translate better. If you stay away from the KJV, because it is an evangelical translation, you rob yourself. No Evangelical, Catholic or Orthodox can manufacture a more accurate, linguistically more beautiful translation.
I am not KJV-only, but every other translation appears to lack something in comparison. Read the KJV and in addition a systematic theology of your denomination and you're good.
The KJV is not the most accurate by far. The trouble, though, is that the more "accurate" a translation is, the less of its poetic nature that it retains. As a good example of this, read the NASB sometime. It's supposed to be the most accurate English translation, yet the text is extremely dull and dry when compared to the KJV. My own personal preference is the KJV for that reason alone, but I'm not under any illusions that it's a "divinely inspired" translation or even the most accurate.
 
The KJV is not the most accurate by far. The trouble, though, is that the more "accurate" a translation is, the less of its poetic nature that it retains. As a good example of this, read the NASB sometime. It's supposed to be the most accurate English translation, yet the text is extremely dull and dry when compared to the KJV. My own personal preference is the KJV for that reason alone, but I'm not under any illusions that it's a "divinely inspired" translation or even the most accurate.
If you put the majesty of language into the category of accuracy, the KJV is the most accurate, and as a masterpiece it has to be divinely inspired. May the NASB have here and there a more correct wording, it reads like a telephone book, it does not give you any illuminating feeling.
The Isenheimer Altar was not painted by an Eastern Orthodox Christian, but it is without doubt divinely inspired. All the great music by Beethoven and Bach, you think, God had nothing to do with it?
I don't know, who invented mathematics, but that man must have been divinely inspired.
Weren't there theologians in medieval times, who regarded Plato as a proto-Christian?
 

Basilus of Moro

Sparrow
Orthodox
I've had translation recommended before but was hesitant to buy it considering the source. Are you familiar with the EOB? And if so do you have an opinion on it?

I've been using it along with the OSB.

The EOB is acceptable as far as I understand. The translator has his own oddities, but for whatever reason, it is terribly difficult to find something that checks all the boxes. The Orthodox NT is good because of the extensive patristic commentary. It seems to be recommended by Elder Ephraim's monasteries for that very reason. Otherwise, it has a really based translation of 1 Cor. 6:9, which in the King James is "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind[.]" Basing itself on the commentary of St. John Climacus, it adds "masturbators," to the list, which I think is fantastic. [edit: I think that comes out in "abusers of themselves" in the KJV] It really triggers some people, but who else would take the way St. John reads the text, and just translate it as such? I respect that, for sure.


If you put the majesty of language into the category of accuracy, the KJV is the most accurate, and as a masterpiece it has to be divinely inspired. May the NASB have here and there a more correct wording, it reads like a telephone book, it does not give you any illuminating feeling.
The Isenheimer Altar was not painted by an Eastern Orthodox Christian, but it is without doubt divinely inspired. All the great music by Beethoven and Bach, you think, God had nothing to do with it?
I don't know, who invented mathematics, but that man must have been divinely inspired.
Weren't there theologians in medieval times, who regarded Plato as a proto-Christian?

We just have to be careful to distinguish between grace that operates from within the heart of the baptized Orthodox Christian, and grace which operates externally, for all those outside the Church. Though some of our Fathers did indeed say Plato was inspired, they did not thereby cease from criticizing his many errors (and his person). That said, we should not infer a principle from this that is then applied to whatever we ourselves regard as noble or beautiful since we lack the discernment of the spirits that comes from purification of the passions. Lacking this, we can admire these fellows, but I would urge caution in declaring them inspired by God as though we are merely following the Fathers. I think a good general rule is to follow the Fathers' claims, nominally holding them up, but not to infer a general rule that is then to be applied rationally. This is the root, it seems, of the west's many heresies.

Forgive me if I speak incorrectly.
 
Last edited:
The EOB is acceptable as far as I understand. The translator has his own oddities, but for whatever reason, it is terribly difficult to find something that checks all the boxes. The Orthodox NT is good because of the extensive patristic commentary. It seems to be recommended by Elder Ephraim's monasteries for that very reason. Otherwise, it has a really based translation of 1 Cor. 6:9, which in the King James is "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind[.]" Basing itself on the commentary of St. John Climacus, it adds "masturbators," to the list, which I think is fantastic. [edit: I think that comes out in "abusers of themselves" in the KJV] It really triggers some people, but who else would take the way St. John reads the text, and just translate it as such? I respect that, for sure.




We just have to be careful to distinguish between grace that operates from within the heart of the baptized Orthodox Christian, and grace which operates externally, for all those outside the Church. Though some of our Fathers did indeed say Plato was inspired, they did not thereby cease from criticizing his many errors (and his person). That said, we should not infer a principle from this that is then applied to whatever we ourselves regard as noble or beautiful since we lack the discernment of the spirits that comes from purification of the passions. Lacking this, we can admire these fellows, but I would urge caution in declaring them inspired by God as though we are merely following the Fathers. I think a good general rule is to follow the Fathers' claims, nominally holding them up, but not to infer a general rule that is then to be applied rationally. This is the root, it seems, of the west's many heresies.

Forgive me if I speak incorrectly.
Sure, they also criticized him, but that does not mean that he was not directly inspired here and there, not that I believe, he was inspired, because I do not see Christian truths foreshadowed in Plato's works.
A Bible translation and a classical composition about God are of course sth. different than ancient philosophy, which is why, I would say, such works need direct divine inspiration to be of brilliance. I do not think, a piece of art as the St John Passion by Bach is possible without intensive guidance by the Holy Ghost.
 

OrthoCole

Sparrow
Orthodox Catechumen
I have a question that is a little off topic, but I don't see a thread dedicated to anything like this so I figured I'd ask here. Are any of you aware of a book that has the daily scripture readings which corresponds with the Church calendar? I know there are websites that publish the daily readings but I much prefer reading from a book as opposed to a screen.
 

Basilus of Moro

Sparrow
Orthodox
Sure, they also criticized him, but that does not mean that he was not directly inspired here and there, not that I believe, he was inspired, because I do not see Christian truths foreshadowed in Plato's works.
A Bible translation and a classical composition about God are of course sth. different than ancient philosophy, which is why, I would say, such works need direct divine inspiration to be of brilliance. I do not think, a piece of art as the St John Passion by Bach is possible without intensive guidance by the Holy Ghost.

St. Justin Martyr said that Plato received his wisdom from Israel, but distorted it. There are curious foreshadowings, even the use of the symbol of the cross. I wish I still had this book that delves into all of these things, but someone borrowed it and never returned the text. I do not even recall the name.

It is curious that the world always adopts monotheism (or a distorted form as in Hinduism) after encountering the True Faith. There are memories of paradise in all, as well as genuine longings and ancestral memory that somehow enters into those longings. Such longings and memories are used to prepare a people to accept the Orthodox Faith, but sometimes they are also used by the demons to confuse, or to create a Perennialist mindset. In the end, such memories will be used by Antichrist to suggest all religions are somehow true.

This is very different from saying those who live post-incarnation and post-schism (in the west) are somehow inspired by God because they made beautiful things. It is true that artists are perceptive, and note patterns and logoi in creation. This is a kind of inspiration, but not akin to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that is granted to those who operation in synergy with our Lord.

There are also very many hidden things about artists' creations that are lost on the audience. Sometimes the artist has some romantic idea, or wishes to create a real feeling in others, but these things are not necessarily blessed, and often are not, even if God, who works all things unto man's salvation, might use these things to draw people into His Church. This does not thereby render the thing that allegedly created the longing blessed in and of itself, but perhaps merely an instrument.

I have a question that is a little off topic, but I don't see a thread dedicated to anything like this so I figured I'd ask here. Are any of you aware of a book that has the daily scripture readings which corresponds with the Church calendar? I know there are websites that publish the daily readings but I much prefer reading from a book as opposed to a screen.
Yes, there is "The Bible and the Holy Fathers," which features scripture readings for the week, and commentaries from the Fathers, the Gospels and Epistles from St. Ignatius press (https://www.ignatius.cc/) that are based on the EOB translation, and other versions from CTOS that are based on a modified King James: https://ctosonline.org/liturgical/GL.html. I'm sure there are others, but those are a good place to start. The EOB is more modern english; the CTOS ones, old.
 
St. Justin Martyr said that Plato received his wisdom from Israel, but distorted it. There are curious foreshadowings, even the use of the symbol of the cross. I wish I still had this book that delves into all of these things, but someone borrowed it and never returned the text. I do not even recall the name.

It is curious that the world always adopts monotheism (or a distorted form as in Hinduism) after encountering the True Faith. There are memories of paradise in all, as well as genuine longings and ancestral memory that somehow enters into those longings. Such longings and memories are used to prepare a people to accept the Orthodox Faith, but sometimes they are also used by the demons to confuse, or to create a Perennialist mindset. In the end, such memories will be used by Antichrist to suggest all religions are somehow true.

This is very different from saying those who live post-incarnation and post-schism (in the west) are somehow inspired by God because they made beautiful things. It is true that artists are perceptive, and note patterns and logoi in creation. This is a kind of inspiration, but not akin to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that is granted to those who operation in synergy with our Lord.

There are also very many hidden things about artists' creations that are lost on the audience. Sometimes the artist has some romantic idea, or wishes to create a real feeling in others, but these things are not necessarily blessed, and often are not, even if God, who works all things unto man's salvation, might use these things to draw people into His Church. This does not thereby render the thing that allegedly created the longing blessed in and of itself, but perhaps merely an instrument.


Yes, there is "The Bible and the Holy Fathers," which features scripture readings for the week, and commentaries from the Fathers, the Gospels and Epistles from St. Ignatius press (https://www.ignatius.cc/) that are based on the EOB translation, and other versions from CTOS that are based on a modified King James: https://ctosonline.org/liturgical/GL.html. I'm sure there are others, but those are a good place to start. The EOB is more modern english; the CTOS ones, old.
I would say, you argue against Scripture.
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 1 Corinthians 12:3
Speaking by the Spirit of God sounds to me like direct inspiration. Different traditions call Jesus Lord, in the sense of the ancient creeds, and without the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, you are not able to do that. The artist calling Jesus Lord and glorifying him must therefore be directly inspired.

I don't know, if you even find a distorted monotheism in Hinduism. The highest "god" in Hinduism is a non-personal cosmic power. But the hindus and buddhists have the swastika, which is a cross.
 

Basilus of Moro

Sparrow
Orthodox
I would say, you argue against Scripture.
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 1 Corinthians 12:3
Speaking by the Spirit of God sounds to me like direct inspiration. Different traditions call Jesus Lord, in the sense of the ancient creeds, and without the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, you are not able to do that. The artist calling Jesus Lord and glorifying him must therefore be directly inspired.

I don't know, if you even find a distorted monotheism in Hinduism. The highest "god" in Hinduism is a non-personal cosmic power. But the hindus and buddhists have the swastika, which is a cross.

Brother, what do you believe St. Paul was communicating in the context? He was speaking of gifts of the Spirit, especially how to distinguish those who are mere soothsayers or pagan divines, as St. John Chrysostom says, from those who were actually speaking under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, since in those days God poured out great power upon the baptized so that they spoke in foreign languages and prophesied many things. The way to discern in such cases whether someone was prophesying and such under the suggestion of demons was whether they confessed that Christ is Lord, or in other words submitted to Christ. Those under influence of demons, by contrast, cursed Christ and lead the tormented to do obescience to mute and dumb idols.

Here's St. John Chrysostom's commentary exactly,

When you see, says he, any one not uttering His name, or anathematizing Him, he is a soothsayer. Again, when you see another speaking all things with His Name, understand that he is spiritual. What then, say you, must we say concerning the Catechumens? For if, no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost, what must we say of them who name indeed His Name, but are destitute of His Spirit ? But his discourse at this time was not concerning these for there were not at that time Catechumens, but concerning believers and unbelievers. What then, does no demon call upon God's Name? Did not the demoniacs say, We know You who You are, the Holy One of God? Mark 1:24 Did they not say to Paul, these men are the servants of the Most High God? Acts 16:17 They did, but upon scourging, upon compulsion; never of their own will and without being scourged.

But here it is proper to enquire, both why the demon uttered these things and why Paul rebuked him. In imitation of his Teacher; for so Christ did also rebuke: since it was not his will to have testimony from them. And wherefore did the devil also practise this? Intending to confound the order of things, and to seize upon the dignity of the Apostles, and to persuade many to pay attention to them : which had it happened, they would easily have made themselves appear from hence worthy of credit, and have brought in their own designs. That these things then might not be, and the deceit might not have a beginning, he stops their mouths even when speaking the truth, so that in their falsehoods men should not at all give heed unto them, but stop their ears altogether against the things said by them.

4. Having therefore made manifest the soothsayers and the prophets both by the first sign and also by the second, he next discourses of the wonders; not passing without reason to this topic, but so as to remove the dissension which had thence arisen, and to persuade both those that had the less portion not to grieve and those who had the greater not to be elated. Wherefore also he thus began.

And merely because an artist calls Christ Lord, this does not entail his every act or art is inspired lest he operates entirely in synergy with God, which is only possible for those purified of the passions, illumined, and deified, in as far as possible in this flesh.

Lastly, I'm referring to the swift movement in India from straight polytheism to a kind of monism in response to St. Thomas the apostles work there.
 
Brother, what do you believe St. Paul was communicating in the context? He was speaking of gifts of the Spirit, especially how to distinguish those who are mere soothsayers or pagan divines, as St. John Chrysostom says, from those who were actually speaking under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, since in those days God poured out great power upon the baptized so that they spoke in foreign languages and prophesied many things. The way to discern in such cases whether someone was prophesying and such under the suggestion of demons was whether they confessed that Christ is Lord, or in other words submitted to Christ. Those under influence of demons, by contrast, cursed Christ and lead the tormented to do obescience to mute and dumb idols.

Here's St. John Chrysostom's commentary exactly,



And merely because an artist calls Christ Lord, this does not entail his every act or art is inspired lest he operates entirely in synergy with God, which is only possible for those purified of the passions, illumined, and deified, in as far as possible in this flesh.

Lastly, I'm referring to the swift movement in India from straight polytheism to a kind of monism in response to St. Thomas the apostles work there.
You could have quoted Matthew 7:21-23 for your case.

I think, it is more than fair to suggest, that Dante Alighieri and J.S. Bach did not just confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, but believed in their hearts that God has raised Him from the dead.

Is swift the name of the movement? Google does not give me anything.
 
Top