The Euphemist

Reflections on Jewish Studies and many other subjects big and little, by a perpetual student who sometimes searches a little too long for just the right word ...

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Orthodox Desert Island Book Meme

I'm picking up the tag on a meme which Orthodox fried Dave picked up from another Orthodox friend - so I suppose it'll get a bit Lutheranized in my hands. But here's the original meme idea:

"In the vein of Desert Island Discs, which ten specifically Orthodox and/or General Christian books would you take to your desert island ?
We will allow one copy of the bible as well as the ten books."

Dave graciously adjusts it for Protestants like me: "I'll put an open tag on this one as well, including Protestant readers who can ignore the "specifically Orthodox" part of question ..."

As you'll see, as I'm being shipped off to my desert island I'll be petitioning for another rule change, as three of my ten books are also portions of the Bible - but I think my choices make sense. As Michael H has noted here, I have a tendency to bend the rules of memes. Anyway, the way I'm interpreting the meme is "A collection of books of Christian interest, weighted a bit towards Eastern Orthodoxy." And I'm sticking to books I have on hand right now.

Though the NIV isn't necessarily my favorite version, I think my one (English) Bible would be my Concordia Self-Study Bible, a Lutheranized edition of the NIV Study Bible.

1. The Greek New Testament, ISBN 3438051133. Because if I'm really stuck on a desert island, I want to study the Bible in the original languages.

2. Biblia Hebraica (Hebrew Old Testament), ISBN 0564000299. Ditto.

3. Lancelot Brenton's Greek-English edition of the Septuagint. Very important ancient Greek version of the Old Testament, often quoted verbatim in the New Testament, also seems to be the "official" Old Testament of the Orthodox Church, and includes the Apocrypha.

4. The Apostolic Fathers, ISBN 0801022258.

5. The Seven Ecumenical Councils, ISBN 1565631307. One volume of the encyclopedic 38-volume set of the church fathers, the only volume I happen to own. Because if I'm going to be trying to figure out Orthodoxy on the desert island, I will be focusing on the basic primary texts behind it (applies to the previous entry, too).

6. A Practical Grammar For Classical Hebrew, ISBN 0198154224. So I can finish learning how to read the Hebrew Old Testament.

7. A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, ISBN 0023270705. In case I need a boost with the Greek NT & the Septuagint.

8. Bl. Theophylact's Commentary on Matthew , ISBN 0963518305. An important Orthodox Bible commentator, this 11th Century bishop of Bulgaria is actually mentioned very favorably in the Lutheran confessions, possibly because he sometimes uses Lutheran-friendly phrases such as "grace alone."

9. My Book of Assigned Readings from the course I took on "The Religion of Biblical Israel" at Spertus.

10. In the last minute before being shipped off, I'll have to make a choice between these two: C.S. Lewis' Discarded Image (which I blogged about here, ISBN 052147732; and Spiritual Counsels, by St. John of Kronstadt, ISBN 0913836923. Another of the more Lutheran-compatible Orthodox figures. I realize I just bent the rules of the meme once again, but "I yam what I yam."

For anyone who's packing their bags for their own desert island stay - feel free to purchase any of these fine books through my search box on the left (* shameless attempt to gain a few membership points for purchase of another book for me to leave behind *).

Feel free, one and all, to pick up on this meme, and adjust it if necessary, though I suppose we shouldn't twist it beyond recognition - I think the original Orthodox meme author had an Orthodox purpose behind it.


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