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Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS)

The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS) was established to educate, inspire and challenge the faithful to recognize the centrality of sound biblical interpretation for life in Christ. The last 50 years have seen a wonderful renewal in the areas of liturgy, music, iconography, patristics, and monasticism. OCABS is part of a growing community of faithful in the Orthodox Church who are embracing the same renewal in the development of serious Scriptural studies and preaching.

Make sure to visit OCABS at their primary website here.


Book by Antiochian Scholar Presented to Patriarch JOHN X

The Very Rev. Fouad Saba, pastor of St. George in Coral Gables, FL, presents a copy of the book to Patriarch JOHN X.The Very Rev. Fouad Saba, pastor of St. George in Coral Gables, FL, presents a copy of the book to Patriarch JOHN X.Recently, His Beatitude JOHN X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, honored his American flock by visiting our nation's capital to raise awareness of the plight of Christians in the Middle East. The cradle of our faith—the land that has sustained our families, communities, and churches for centuries—finds itself trapped in the crossfire of international unrest. In the face of spiritual and cultural despair, His Beatitude, accompanied by His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, took the international podium at the Hudson Institute to stress the permanency of Christians in the Middle East.

It is providential, even as the Patriarch proclaimed his message of hope, that another son of Antioch—one who taught His Beatitude during his studies in the early seventies at the St. John of Damascus Theological Institute in Balamand, Lebanon—released a new book touching on similar themes. In The Rise of Scripture, published by OCABS Press, Fr. Paul Tarazi transports his readers back two millennia, to the people of the same same region, struggling to survive in the face of similar challenges. (Learn more about Fr. Paul's new book.)

The basic point in Scripture, Fr. Paul explains, is reflected in the Bible's lengthy discussion of our liberation from the powers of servitude under Pharaoh: God is our Father and our Shepherd, and under his care we have nothing to fear from our enemies. The hope for our future, Tarazi teaches, is not in the many human powers and civilizations, but in the Scriptural God, who has sustained us in peace since the time of the Apostles, and will forever sustain us through the vicissitudes of human history.

New from OCABS Press: The Rise of Scripture, by Fr. Paul Tarazi

The print edition of Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi's The Rise of Scripture is now available: Order Now.

Those who experience the Bible as a living text, understand that Scripture possesses a life and power all its own. Written by human hands, texts become sacred when they resonate with ultimate truths encountered in the direst of human circumstances. Paul Nadim Tarazi's The Rise of Scripture offers a cogent argument for the particulars of how it is the Bible as we have it became Scripture. Avoiding futile speculation over Israelite textual and ethnic origins, Tarazi lays bare the Bible's strategic defense against Hellenistic urban hegemony over the fertile clay and desert environs of western Asia. With the help of biblical Hebrew—a "concocted language," according to Tarazi—scribes wrote and shaped oral and textual materials into a manifesto of cultural resistance in response to the ethnocentric arrogance of the alien occupation. The successful accomplishment of such a defense relied upon a kind of leveling of the playing field, in which the writers of the Bible came to throw all their own false idols into the fire, resulting in the production of the most scathing collective self-examination in human history.

OCABS Releases Next Commentary in Chrysostom Bible Series

The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS) has released a new title in The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series, The Pastorals.

In this volume the author, Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi, notes that the verb paradidomi (deliver) and its cognate paradosis (tradition) are totally absent from the Pastoral Letters. "Instead," he writes, "the verb paratithemai (entrust as deposit) and its cognate paratheke (deposit) are used to emphasize that what is written is not to be interpreted subjectively, nor is it to be modified, changed, or developed in any way."

The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series is not so much in honor of John Chrysostom as it is to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation.

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