For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf. Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment, so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.
This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.” Again there was a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He is possessed and out of his mind; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one possessed; surely a demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”
Prayer of the Faithful, vol.I
as we trace upon ourselves the sign of your glorious cross,
grant that we may conquer all evil passions
and find a new source of strength to fight against the evil one.
May we draw help and strength from your cross
to confront our visible and invisible enemies;
and we shall exalt your glory,
and that of your Father, and your Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen.
Saint of the Day:
Saint Frumentius (Born in the city of Tyre, Eastern Roman Empire, in the early 4th century, died circa 383 AD, Kingdom of Axum) was the first Bishop of Aksum (or Axum), and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Aksumite Kingdom.
The Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of Frumentius on December 18, the Eastern Orthodox on November 30, and the Roman Catholic on October 27. Saint Frumentius is venerated on August 1 in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Ethiopian traditions credit him with the first Ge’ez translation of the New Testament.
The Four Ancient Sources:
Often called the Alexandrian Version, the Septuagint is the only Greek translation from as possibly seven or more translations to survive completely. Written most likely in the third century before Christ, in Alexandria, Egypt by order of the Greek ruler of that land, King Ptolemy II. The official title in the Koine (Common) Greek of the time is, The Translation of the Seventy, the title Septuagint coming from the Latin title given to the work Septuaginta, because it was thought to have been translated from the Hebrew by seventy Jewish scholars.
The Septuagint is considered by the Eastern Orthodox Church to be the official and inspired version of the Jewish Scriptures or Old Testament. It has significantly been used throughout history in translations of the Old Testament and in many instances employed texts from ancient Hebrew biblical sources that pre-date those used by the Masoretic Text that is considered today the official Hebrew Scripture in Judaism.
The Old Testament or Jewish Scriptures did not enter into their final stages of editing until the post-exilic period of Judaism (c.539 B.C./B.C.E). While the oral traditions of the Jewish Scriptures stretch back to the dawn of Near Eastern civilization, and the oldest written texts discovered so far from the time of King Solomon (c.970-931 B.C./B.C.E.), the final editing arose when the majority of Jewish believers used Aramaic and Greek as their everyday languages and Hebrew had become a “religious language”. This created the need to translate the Hebrew texts into Aramaic, known to us as the Aramaic Targums (translations).
Bruce M. Metzger writes in “Important Early Translations of the Bible,” Bibliotheca Sacra 150 (Jan 93), pp. 35ff. “The Targums are interpretive renderings of the books of the Hebrew Scriptures (with the exception of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel) into Aramaic. Such versions were needed when Hebrew ceased to be the normal medium of communication among the Jews. In synagogue services the reading of the Scriptures was followed by a translation into the Aramaic vernacular of the populace. For a reading from the Pentateuch the Aramaic translation followed each verse of the Hebrew; for a reading from the Prophets three verses were followed by the Aramaic translation.” The Aramaic Targums were therefore more than a scholarly translation, they were in a sense at one and the same time a translation, an interpretation, and a catechesis.
The Peshitta which can mean “simple”, “common”, or “straight” is the official version of the Bible for many churches of the Syriac tradition. It contains both Old and New Testaments, although in its original versions seems to have excluded 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and Revelation, these were later added in 616 A.D./C.E. Some scholars believe that the Peshitta was translated from a Greek text into Syriac, which had been a translation from Aramaic into Greek. However, the majority of scholars today seem to feel the Old Testament is a direct translation form Hebrew and the New Testament a direct translation from the original Greek.
While it is not totally clear when the Peshitta was translated, it is clear that it was intended for Syriac language communities in Mesopotamia that did not use Greek or Latin in their everyday lives. By the 5th century of the Christian era it was central to the life and worship of Syriac Christians, replacing the Diatessaron translation of Tatian, who had slipped into heresy in his final years.
The Peshitta is a window to, and a reminder of, the fact that Christianity flourished in a non-Roman (Latin) and non-Byzantine (Greek) world, from the very first centuries of the Church.
In 382 A.D./C.E., Pope Damasas gave St. Jerome the task of collecting the various Latin manuscripts of the Bible in use, known at the Vetus Latina (Old Latin) and create an improved and complete text of the Gospels for common (vulgar) use. The work however did not end with the Gospels, but came to encompass most of the books of the Bible. The Latin Vulgate would stand as the official version of the Bible in the Latin Church until the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
St. Jerome was a master of languages, with knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Even his contemporary St. Augustine, who himself preferred the Old Testament to be a translation of the Septuagint, acknowledges that St. Jerome was the first to translate the Hebrew Scriptures directly into Latin. Before the fall of the Western Roman Empire the Latin Vulgate became for most Latin speaking people their experience of Sacred Scripture. After the fall of the Western Empire the Latin Vulgate became common biblical ground for old Romans, Goths, Franks, Scots. and all the various “new peoples” who accepted the Christian faith in the West.
St. Jerome once remarked that, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” Indeed, as Christians we believe that all of Scripture is ultimately about Christ. Just as Jesus is the Eternal Word of the Father, the Sacred Scriptures being the Word of God reveal to us constantly the saving work of Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, in carrying out the will of the Father.
Sacred Scripture also reveals to us how God has used us, his earthen vessels, in all our weaknesses, with the limitations of our human languages, in creating his Word of Truth.
(Rev.) David A. Fisher