Resolved: Precision in the treatment of deuterocanonical/apocrypha/non-canonical texts

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 26 2019 6:50 AM

Paul:
Shouldn't we simply accord Faithlife and the editor of this resource to express their own denominational leanings?

Absolutely, Paul. The marketing problem, is where the customers have stumbled over what proposes to be general reference resources, but turns out to be an embedded agenda. Then marketing has to paddle upstream, especially with the added new meaning of evangelical.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 26 2019 2:55 PM

Paul:
Shouldn't we simply accord Faithlife and the editor of this resource to express their own denominational leanings?

Yes, but ... they still have an obligation to use their terms consistently. If they normally call LXX only texts "apocrypha" and suddenly refer to them as "unbiblical", the latter becomes insulting. They have gone from saying "I don't believe them to be Biblical but I know some do. They're wrong but . . ." to saying "They aren't Biblical. period. any idiot would know that" [okay, I exaggerate to make the point]

Paul:
in giving leeway to writers no one really expects them to abide by a counsel of perfection.

Sorry but for things like dictionaries I do expect sufficient editing to be near perfection. A reference work is not a reference work unless it has been held to a high standard. Outside reference works and common tools, I agree with you.

But it appears that something I would not have gotten by with on an undergraduate paper, is acceptable to many people. I'm baffled but accept that.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Doug Mangum | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 2 2020 12:52 PM

MJ, I apologize on behalf of the LBD editors. We missed that this sentence gave the impression 1 Esdras wasn't part of the LXX. And you're right that we should have been more careful with how we described the material without parallel in the Hebrew Bible (3:1–5:6). "Apocryphal" would have been better than "non-biblical."

With LBD we tried to avoid misrepresenting the traditions we were not personally familiar with, but I'm sure many cases like this might have slipped through. We did have editors from Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, but they didn't review everything. I'll send a request to have the wording of these two sentences revised.

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Doug Mangum | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 2 2020 2:02 PM

Here's my proposed edit to these two sentences. There's time for any of you to speak into this wording and correct me if it still gives any wrong impressions:

"The book of Ezra is found in the Septuagint within the books of 1–2 Esdras. First Esdras (Έσδράς Α) is a Greek version based primarily on 2 Chr 35–36, Ezra 1–10, and Neh 8:1–13. The story in 1 Esdras 3:1–5:6 is without parallel in the Hebrew Bible. Second Esdras (Έσδράς B) in the Septuagint is a Greek translation of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah."

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Doug Mangum | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 2 2020 2:12 PM

Doug Mangum:

"The book of Ezra is found in the Septuagint within the books of 1–2 Esdras. First Esdras (Έσδράς Α) is a Greek version based primarily on 2 Chr 35–36, Ezra 1–10, and Neh 8:1–13. The story in 1 Esdras 3:1–5:6 is without parallel in the Hebrew Bible. Second Esdras (Έσδράς B) in the Septuagint is a Greek translation of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah."

Should I add an explicit statement that these books are considered canonical in some Orthodox churches? Or is it enough to explicitly acknowledge they are both in the Septuagint? Since the section is on "Versions," I could note they are in the Vulgate (and other traditions), but that's where it starts to get confusing since 1 Esdras in Vulgate = first part of Esdras B. And what is LXX Esdras A = 3 Esdras in Vulgate. Now I'm wondering why we're mentioning the versions at all in this "Ezra, Book of" article and not just pointing to the article on the books of Esdras which attempted to explain some of the complexity around books called Ezra/Esdras in various canonical traditions.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 2 2020 4:08 PM

Doug Mangum:
Should I add an explicit statement that these books are considered canonical in some Orthodox churches?

I think simply putting them both in the LXX is sufficient. While one could simply point to the Esdras article, I think it is helpful to have basic information here as the book of Ezra is partially/wholly included in them. Thank you for the rewrite.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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