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Reputable biblical scholarship

FinnJames

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"Liberal" biblical scholarship came in for criticism in another thread, which got me to wondering who some of the reputable contemporary Orthodox biblical scholars who could be read by laymen/women are. I assume Paul Naim Tarazi must be on the list, but who else?
 

scamandrius

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FinnJames said:
"Liberal" biblical scholarship came in for criticism in another thread, which got me to wondering who some of the reputable contemporary Orthodox biblical scholars who could be read by laymen/women are. I assume Paul Naim Tarazi must be on the list, but who else?
Why do you assume that?  I know he's somewhat popular, but he's also criticized just as frequently as he is praised.  Some people whom I know who have had him as a teacher have even go so far as to describe him as a heretic.
 

mike

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scamandrius said:
Why do you assume that?  I know he's somewhat popular, but he's also criticized just as frequently as he is praised.  Some people whom I know who have had him as a teacher have even go so far as to describe him as a heretic.
Everyone is described as heretic by some people.
 

FinnJames

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scamandrius said:
FinnJames said:
"Liberal" biblical scholarship came in for criticism in another thread, which got me to wondering who some of the reputable contemporary Orthodox biblical scholars who could be read by laymen/women are. I assume Paul Naim Tarazi must be on the list, but who else?
Why do you assume that?  I know he's somewhat popular, but he's also criticized just as frequently as he is praised.  Some people whom I know who have had him as a teacher have even go so far as to describe him as a heretic.
Just because he has a book co-authored with Merja Merras out in Finnish* that I happen to be reading at the moment. Of course the very fact that his work has been published in Finland may be damnation enough for some posters.  ;)

(* Merja Merras & Paul Naim Tarazi, Raamattu itämaisin silmin [The Bible through Eastern Eyes]. Atena kustannus Oy: 2005.)
 

Porter ODoran

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Contemporary biblical textual criticism from a sacred frame of reference doesn't exist, as I see it.
 

Mor Ephrem

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mike said:
scamandrius said:
Why do you assume that?  I know he's somewhat popular, but he's also criticized just as frequently as he is praised.  Some people whom I know who have had him as a teacher have even go so far as to describe him as a heretic.
Everyone is described as heretic by some people.
+1
 

scamandrius

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mike said:
scamandrius said:
Why do you assume that?  I know he's somewhat popular, but he's also criticized just as frequently as he is praised.  Some people whom I know who have had him as a teacher have even go so far as to describe him as a heretic.
Everyone is described as heretic by some people.
Fair enough, but Dr. Paul Tarazi is a teacher at an Orthodox school of theology, i.e. St. Vlads, teaching future priests for the Orthodox faithful in America across all of the jurisdictions.  And the people whom I know who have been there who describe Dr. Tarazi in this way are NOT people who throw around the "heretic" label lightly.

BTW, Mor, weren't you a student at St. Vlad's.  What was your opinion of him, if I may ask?
 

Onesimus

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FinnJames said:
"Liberal" biblical scholarship came in for criticism in another thread, which got me to wondering who some of the reputable contemporary Orthodox biblical scholars who could be read by laymen/women are. I assume Paul Naim Tarazi must be on the list, but who else?
Maybe I'm reading into the use of the quotation marks above....but Liberal shouldn't really be in quotes...its the accepted term used for modern academic methodologies, even within the academy.  It is not a political or social disparagement.  Liberal scholarship (including liberal biblical scholarship) has at its foundation various Enlightenment philosophical presumptions which were birthed, evolved, re-birthed, cannibalized, regurgitated - ad infinitum - post-Enlightenment.

Anyway...to your question, it probably needs a little more definition.  By "scholars" we can mean Orthodox clergy, laypeople, etc. who are scholars but don't adhere to the modern mouse maze of liberal scholarship.  Then there are those who, like Tarazi, jump in with both feet.  So one really has to choose what they're going to accept / not accept as "scholarship."  Orthodox people are among the most educated, degreed scholars out there.  But because they don't worship at the altar of modern philology, you won't find their works quite "academic" enough. (though they are often far more rigerous academicians than their compatriots.)  There's too much faith involved.  And faith goes directly to the heart of "reputable" scholarship in the world of liberal scholarship, which is understandable.

Tarazi is probably the one most married to using modern critical methods, though he gives nods to Tradition, he is clearly a critical scholar that would fit well in many moderate Protestant or Evangelical seminaries.  He most certainly won't toe the line for either scholastic "consensus" or for Tradition.  Most scholars for instance repudiate Hebrews as Pauline.  Tarazi is adamant about Pauline authorship using higher criticism.  I use his commentaries quite often as a bridge between Protestant commentaries and Patristic sources.  I've found the ones I've used so far to have both good and bad points, and I'd use them only in a scholastic sense.  They're not bad, but I wouldn't really recommend them.  I've got a mixed view of his work.

Other, less prolific Orthodox scholars exist who engage with liberal critical methods, probably many untranslated Greeks and Slavs, (?) but on the English front - Hart, Nassif, Tibbs, Presvytera Jeannie Constantinou, etc.  You'll likely only be able to track down articles and professional presentations of theirs, not books.

The issue is that there is really an kind of impasse here.  Critical scholarship allows criticism of everything except its own currently held premises.  In this sense it is always looking to destroy that which came before it and find a new shiny propaeduetic to catapult "knowledge" into a new age.  Orthodoxy doesn't do that, and because it is critical of the modern critical project, is essentially anti-establishment in a conservative sense that is unpalatable to modern visions.  Thus, listing intellectuals from the Orthodox Tradition who are critical of modern methods will be seen by moderns as citing "apologists" or "anti-intellectuals," without engaging at all with the valid criticisms and counter-balance they actually offer.   

 

FinnJames

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Thanks, Onesimus, for a very informative reply. To answer your question, I put "liberal" in quotes since that was the only way I could think of to get in the sneer that seems to be implied when some posters use the word.
 
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