What “Bible” do we use?
We use use the “same Bible” as other Christians. Specifically:
canon and text of the Old Testament, because these are the
“Hebrew Scriptures” read by Christ in the synagogues and used
by the Apostles wherever they preached.
canon and text developed over the first several
centuries by the Orthodox Church.
abbreviated “LXX,” is a
Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures done by seventy (or
seventy-two) elders about two centuries before Christ in
Alexandria, Egypt. The Septuagint was the “Bible” in
first-century Palestine and the Jewish diaspora throughout the
the time of Christ, Hebrew was only used and understood at the
Temple in Jerusalem. Aramaic was the spoken language of Jews
in Palestine, and Koine Greek was the lingua franca,
the commonly-spoken language, of Mediterranean lands in the
Roman Empire. When Jesus read in the synagogue (e.g., Luke
4:16) He did so from the Septuagint. The Apostles preached in
Koine Greek, and used the Septuagint texts wherever they
quoted the Old Testament in their Gospels and Epistles.
scientific research absolutely supports both the canon (list
of books) as well as the text of the Septuagint Scriptures as
the original and authentic “Hebrew Scriptures.” The Hebrew-language
Dead Sea Scrolls
attest to the accuracy of the Septuagint translation as well
as to its canon. The Hebrew and Koine Greek texts are
identical, providing us with the only accurate versions of the
the other hand, neither the canon nor the text of “Hebrew
Scriptures” from the
Masoretic text –
which today are read and studied by Jewish, Roman Catholic,
and Protestant faithful, as well as by academic scholars – are
accurate. The canon was defined in the second century
after Christ, containing fewer Books than the
Septuagint, and is thus incomplete. The text is a Medieval-era
translation from the Septuagint Greek version by a group of
Jews, known as the Masoretes, completed between the seventh
and tenth centuries after Christ and differs significantly
from both the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scroll texts.
Orthodox Church has consistently used the Septuagint Old
Testament, which was the Bible of the Apostles, from the very
first years of Christianity – indeed from the time of Jesus
accepted canon of the New Testament developed gradually during
the first several centuries of the Church. The first known
listing (canon) of the New Testament in its final form as we
know it today is found in the Paschal Letter of Saint
Athanasius of Alexandria in AD 367. The Council of Carthage in
AD 397 was the first to synodically codify this same canon.
Orthodox canon and text of the “Bible” is the
on which all subsequent canons and translations are based.
Orthodox Christianity is the Church of the Bible, it gave the
Bible to the world, and it continues to proclaim the
Scriptures according to their ancient, original, Apostolic,
inevitably fall short of the original, and all English
translations of the Bible have deficiencies when compared to
the original Scriptural texts. The King James Version (KJV)
is, arguably, the most-accurate English translation available
but for practical reasons in English-speaking lands the
Orthodox Church uses the modified
New King James Version
(NKJV) for the instruction and spiritual edification of the
Orthodox Study Bible
is therefore our standard “Pew Bible” and home study Bible.