29 July 2011

Jude 1:17-25: Beware of those who cause divisions because of worldly desires

17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 亲爱的弟兄啊,你们要记念我们主耶稣基督之使徒从前所说的话。
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 他们曾对你们说过,末世必有好讥诮的人随从自己不敬虔的私欲而行。
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 这就是那些引人结党、属乎血气、没有圣灵的人。
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy Faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 亲爱的弟兄啊,你们却要在至圣的真道上造就自己,在圣灵里祷告,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 保守自己常在神的爱中,仰望我们主耶稣基督的怜悯,直到永生。
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 有些人存疑心,你们要怜悯他们;
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 有些人你们要从火中抢出来,搭救他们;有些人你们要存惧怕的心怜悯他们,连那被情欲沾染的衣服也当厌恶。
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 那能保守你们不失脚、叫你们无瑕无疵、欢欢喜喜站在他荣耀之前的我们的救主独一的神,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. 愿荣耀、威严、能力、权柄,因我们的主耶稣基督归与他,从万古以前并现今,直到永永远远。阿们。

CNBLUE Vol. 1 - First Step (Limited Edition)

17 July 2011

I am a Paul Heyman Guy Too!

“And during the few moments that we have left, we want to talk, right down to
earth, in a language that everybody here can easily understand.” (Malcolm X)

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The Cult of Personality.
I know your anger, I know your dreams,
I've been everything you wanna be, ohhh…
I'm the Cult of Personality.
Like Mussolini and Kennedy,
I'm the Cult of Personality,
the Cult of Personality,
the Cult of Personality.

Neon lights, Nobel Prize,
When a leader speaks, the reflection lies.
You won't have to follow me,
Only you can set me free.

I sell the things you need to be,
I'm the smiling face of your T.V., ohh…
I'm the Cult of Personality.
I exploit you; still you love me,
I tell you one and one makes three, ohh…
I'm the Cult of Personality.
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi, ohh…
I'm the Cult of Personality,
the Cult of Personality,
the Cult of Personality.

Neon lights, Nobel Prize,
When a leader speaks, that leader dies.
You won't have to follow me,
Only you can set you free.

You gave me fortune, you gave me fame,
You gave me power in your God's name.
I'm every person you need to be, ohh…
I'm, the, Cult, of, Per, Son, Al, Ity

I am the Cult of,
I am the Cult of,
I am the Cult of,
I am the Cult of,
I am the Cult of,
I am the Cult of,
I am the Cult of,
I am the Cult of,

“Ask not what your country can do for you…” (John F. Kennedy)
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

CNBLUE Vol. 1 - First Step (Limited Edition)

10 July 2011

Prosperity Theology is another Modern Lie of New Religions Created by Man and for Man

According to Wikipedia, "Prosperity theology (also known as prosperity doctrine, the health and wealth gospel, or the prosperity gospel) is a Christian religious belief whose proponents claim has tens of millions of adherents, primarily in the United States, centered on the notion that God provides material prosperity for those he favors. It has been defined by the belief that "Jesus blesses believers with riches" or more specifically as the teaching that "believers have a right to the blessings of health and wealth and that they can obtain these blessings through positive confessions of faith and the 'sowing of seeds' through the faithful payments of tithes and offerings." In the words of journalist Hanna Rosin, the prosperity gospel "is not a clearly defined denomination, but a strain of belief that runs through the Pentecostal Church and a surprising number of mainstream evangelical churches, with varying degrees of intensity." It arose in the United States after World War II championed by Oral Roberts and became particularly popular in the decade of the 1990s. More recently, the theology has been exported to less prosperous areas of the world, with mixed results."

The only way one can believe in this new teaching is to reject God's Church and God's Word, thereby rejecting God. Here are some clear examples from the Bible showing the lie of this materialistic, worldly lie of Satan. Again from the KJV:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
(Mat 6:19-34)

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
(Mat 16:24-27)

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
(Mat 19:21-24) 
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
(1Ti 6:3-12) 
If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
(Tit 1:6-16) 
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
(Jas 5:1-6)
Some serve God, some serve money and the world. Some follow God, some follow the money and the world. Some do all for God, some do all for money and the world. Some have only God in their heart, some have only money and the world in their heart. Some claim they know God, but only know money and the world! Who or what will you serve, value, love, and know? As for me and my house, like Jesus (Joshua in the KJV) of Nun, we will serve the Lord.

CNBLUE Vol. 1 - First Step (Limited Edition)

09 July 2011

(Men and) Women and their place in the Church according to the Bible

This post is inspired by my wife, who of her own volition, from her constant Bible reading, has decided to cover her head when praying and started pointing out things she sees in heterodox churches that do not match up to what the Bible teaches.

I quote from the King James Version, as I am too lazy to type all of this from the superior Orthodox New Testament.
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
(1Co 11:1-15) 
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
(1Co 14:34-37) 
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not; a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But which becometh women professing godliness with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
(1Ti 2:1-15) 
(A quick side note on the above quote from 1st Timothy. He is saying how the Divine Services should begin. In the Orthodox Church we begin with the Great Litany, that goes like this:)
Presbyter: In peace let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For the peace from above and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For the peace of the whole world, the stability of the holy churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For this holy house, and for those who enter it with faith, reverence and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For our Patriarch/Metropolitan _______, our Archbishop/Bishop _______, the honorable presbyters, the deacons in the service of Christ, and all the clergy and laity, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For our country, the president, and all those in public service, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For this city, for every city and country, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For favorable weather, an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and temperate seasons, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For travelers by sea, land and air, for the sick, the suffering, the captives and for their safety and salvation, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: For our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace.
People: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.
People: To You, O Lord.
(End side note.)
But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
(Tit 2:1-15)
So why do the new modern churches of men under the banner of Sola Scriptura (Bible alone) have uncovered women, women leading their services, women teaching the men, and women preachers? For the same reason that they no longer have Bishops, Presbyters (Priests), and Deacons. Because they have not only protested against and rejected God and His Church, but they have also protested against and rejected His Word, the Holy Bible as well and remade all of them in their own image. They are truly of the world.

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08 July 2011

Psalm 61/62: Much is missing if your Bible translation is less than perfect!

In the King James (Authorized) Version of the Psalms, you will never catch this, but in Psalm 61 (Psalm 62 by KJV and most modern renumbering schemes) there is definite Trinity allusions. Remember after the Resurrection in the New Testament, Christ Jesus told the Apostles that He would ask the Father to send down the Helper, the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit. Check this out from The Orthodox Psalter (Bold emphasis is mine, italics are from the Psalter to show added words to make the literal translation from the pre-Christian original Greek Septuagint make sense in English):

PSALM 61(62)
For the end, for Idithoum; a psalm by David.
  1. My soul shall be subjected to God, shall it not? For from Him is my salvation.
  2. For indeed He is my God and my savior and my helper; I will in no wise be shaken any longer.
  3. How long do ye attack a man? Ye murder, all of you, as ye might set upon a wall having been inclined to give way and a fence having been pushed back.
  4. In addition, they took counsel with themselves to push aside mine honor; they  ran with a thirst; with their mouth they were blessing, but with their heart they were calling down curses.
  5. However, O my soul, be subject to God, for from Him is my patient endurance.
  6. For He is my God, my savior and my helper; I will in no wise remove from one place to another.
  7. In God is my salvation and my glory; He is the God of my help, and my hope is upon God.
  8. Hope upon Him, all ye congregation of peoples; pour out your hearts before Him, for God is our helper.
  9. Besides, vain are the sons of men, false are the sons of men with balance scales in order to do wrong—they, out of vanity, join together.
  10. Do not place hope upon wrongdoing, and do not set your desire upon booty; if haply wealth flow, cease putting forth your heart upon it.
  11. Once God did speak—these two things did I hear: that soverign power belongeth to God; and mercy is Thine, O Lord. For Thou wilt render to each according to his works.
UPDATE: The Orthodox Psalter has been updated with a revised and expanded edition. Read more about it HERE.

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07 July 2011

The Lord Is My Shepherd: A Traditional look at a well known Psalm by Archbishop Dmitri

Psalm 22/23 which begins with the words, "The Lord is my Shepherd," is probably one of the best known, most often quoted and memorized of all David's beautiful hymns. It has always occupied an important place in the spiritual life of the Orthodox Christian, and is one of the Psalms included in the order of preparation for the reception of Holy Communion.

In the early Church the catechumens, especially as the time for their Baptism drew near, were made familiar with its content and were even obliged to learn it by heart. It seems, however, that its meaning was not fully explained to them until after they had received the grace of the All-holy Spirit in the mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation and the Eucharist: "We gave you the Psalm, beloved children who hurriedly approach the baptism of Christ, so that you might learn it by heart. But, it is necessary, because of its mystical, hidden meaning, that we explain it to you with the light of divine grace." (From a sermon attributed to St. Augustine.)

The Fathers of the Church saw in Psalm 22/23 both a prophecy and a summary of the mysteries (sacraments) of Christian initiation. St. Gregory of Nyssa, for example, explained: "By this Psalm, Christ teaches the Church that, first of all, you must become a sheep of the Good Shepherd: the catechetical instruction guides you to the pastures and fountains of doctrine. Then you must be buried with Him into death by Baptism. But this is not death, but a shadow and image of death. Then He prepares the mystical table. Then He anoints you with the oil of the Spirit. And finally He presents the wine that gladdens the heart of man and produces that sober inebriation characteristic of the true Christian."

It is to be noted that then, as now, our Orthodox Church used the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint - it is Psalm 22 in the Greek), and the understanding of its mystical meaning was based on this version. The traditional meaning given the Psalm in our Church is obscured in a few phrases of the most widely known English translations, since they follow the Hebrew rather than the Greek. In the following selection of commentaries on the six verses, we give first the King James translation and in the parentheses a more or less literal translation of the Septuagint. (Note by Nik: These translations by Archbishop Dmitri mirror the Orthodox Psalter I just reviewed!)

(1.) The Lord is my Shepherd (The Lord Shepherds me); I shall not want (I shall lack nothing). Once again St. Gregory of Nyssa explains: "David invites you to be one of the sheep whose Shepherd is Christ and who lack no good thing. The Good Shepherd makes Himself everything for you: pasture, water of rest, food, dwelling place, and the way of righteousness, and He gives you the Comforter, distributing His grace according to your needs." St. Cyril of Alexandria states, those who belong to Christ "have as their guide not a simple, holy man, as Israel had Moses, but the Prince of Shepherds and the Teacher of doctrine, in whom are found all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge"...

(2.) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (He has made me to dwell in a place of verdure): He leadeth me beside the still waters (He has nourished me beside the waters of rest). "The place of verdure (green pastures) means the ever-fresh words of Holy Scripture, which nourishes the hearts of believers and gives them spiritual strength" (St. Cyril of Alexandria). "The waters of rest means, no doubt, Holy Baptism, by which the weight of sin is removed." After having fed the person who comes to Him in faith with His word, the Lord leads him to the waters of Baptism, making him a sheep of His holy flock, whose destiny is only to enter into God's rest.

(3.) He restoreth my soul (He has converted my soul): He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake (He has led me...). David speaks of his own experience: after having learned of God's ways he strayed from the paths of righteousness and fell into deadly sin. His experience in this Psalm becomes a prophecy: anyone, no matter how far he may have strayed from God, in Christ may be converted and return to the way of righteousness and learn to do God's will.

(4.) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (....though I walk in the midst of the shadow of death...): for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (...they have comforted me). "It is necessary for you to be buried in death with Him by Baptism. But it is not really death, but a shadow and image of death" (St. Gregory of Nyssa). "For we are baptized into the death of Christ, Baptism is called the shadow and image of death, in face of which there is no longer anything to fear" (St. Cyril of Alexandria). The last part of this verse refers to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. "He comforts the believer, or guides him, with the rod and staff (the Shepherd's crook) of the Spirit, for the One who guides or comforts is the Spirit" (St. Gregory of Nyssa). "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever...when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth..." (John 14:16; 16:13).

(5.) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies (...in the presence of those that afflict me...): thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over (...thy cup which inebriates me, how excellent it is). "What does David mean by this ("Thou has prepared a table...") if not the mystical and spiritual table which God has prepared for us?...He anointed thy head on the forehead with the seal of God, which thou didst receive so that thou mightest bear the seal impressed as the sign of consecration to God. And you see that David is speaking of the chalice, over which Christ said after giving thanks, "This is the chalice of my blood" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem). "Having abandoned the remains of the former error and renewed his youth like that of an eagle, the newly baptized hurriedly approaches the celestial banquet. He arrives and seeing the altar prepared, he exclaims, 'Thou has prepared a table before me...'" (St. Ambrose). "In these lines the Word clearly designates the sacramental unction (Chrism) and the holy sacrifice of Christ's table" (Eusebius of Caesarea). "The Holy Spirit expresses in the Psalms the same figure of the Eucharist when the Lord's chalice is mentioned; 'Thy cup which inebriates me, how excellent it is!' But the inebriation which the Lord's chalice gives is not similar to that of profane wine. It intoxicates in such a way that it does not make one lose his reason; it leads souls to spiritual wisdom..." (St. Cyprian of Carthage). "Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter...said unto them...these are not drunken, as ye suppose...but this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: and it shall come to pass in the last day, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:13-17).

(6.) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (...mercy shall pursue me...); and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. "Christ, providing the world with the wine 'that maketh glad the heart of men,' provokes in it that sober intoxication which elevates the dispositions of the heart from transitory to eternal things...He who has tasted, in fact, this inebriation trades the ephemeral for that which has no end and remains in the house of the Lord all the days of his life" (St. Gregory of Nyssa).

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02 July 2011

REVIEW: The Orthodox Psalter by Holy Apostles Convent

As mentioned before, Holy Apostles Convent put out their own Psalter, named "The Orthodox Psalter" and sub-titled "The Psalterion According to the Seventy, With the Nine Odes, and Patristic Commentary".

Also I mentioned I was weary of any need for any other than Holy Transfiguration Monastery's "The Psalter According to the Seventy".

To be completely clear, I love HAC's woodenly literal "The Orthodox New Testament" and other books, so I anticipated good work here.

My first impression is that I like it. In some places, it will be hard to use it, as I am so used to the HTM translation instead. For instance HAC likes to use unlawfulness rather than inequities. It may be less poetic, but it is much more accurate.

Just to give you a taste, I want to compare Psalm 1 from some different Psalters:
HAC's THE ORTHODOX PSALTER: Blessed is the man who walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, and stood not in the way of sinners, and sat not in the seat of the pestilent. But rather in the law of the LORD, and in His law will he meditate day and night. And he shall be like the tree, the one planted by the outlet of the waters, which shall bring forth its fruit in his season; and its leaf shall not fall, and all things whatsoever he do shall be prospered. Not so are the ungodly, not so; but rather are they like the chaff which the wind doth cast forth from the face of the earth. For this reason shall the ungodly not stand up for themselves in judgment, nor sinners in the council of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, and the way of the ungodly shall be undone. 
HTM's THE PSALTER ACCORDING TO THE SEVENTY: Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the pestilent. But his will is rather in the law of the Lord, and in His law will he meditate day and night. And he shall be like the tree which is planted by the streams of the waters, which shall bring forth its fruit in its season; and its leaf shall not fall, and all things whatsoever he may do shall prosper. Not so are the ungodly, not so; but rather they are like the chaff which the wind doth hurl away from the face of the earth. For this reason shall the ungodly not stand up in judgement, nor sinners in the council of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, and the way of the ungodly shall perish. 
KJV or THE AUTHORIZED KING JAMES VERSION: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. 
RSV or THE IGNATIUS REVISED STANDARD VERSION: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
So, while it is a good translation, it also has other advantages, as it has Psalm 151, all the unabbreviated Kathisma prayers, the 9 Biblical Odes, Tables of Usage, Verses and Couplet to David, Commentary, Bibliography, and Indices, as well as Saint Basil the Great's "In praise of the Psalms".

Interestingly, it has more than the HTM Psalter, but is roughly the same size.

Some oddities are that there is no publisher forward unlike the ONT, odd quotation marks like in the ONT, and the Psalms are all in boldface. However the later probably makes it more readable in a low-lit church.

Overall, this is probably the best Psalter available for Orthodox Christians IMO. I recommend it highly. You can purchase it directly from the convent or buy it and get free shipping from Amazon at http://amzn.to/2onexaE

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