The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies 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.
Torah to the Gentiles, by Fr. Marc Boulos, is the latest release by the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS), a center established to educate, inspire and challenge the faithful to recognize the centrality of sound biblical interpretation for life in Christ. The letter to the Galatians, notes the author, offers a brief but demanding exposition of the teaching of the Older Testament for a Gentile audience.
Highlighting the Bible's struggle against idolatry, power, and human identity, St. Paul's letter exposes Jerusalem's fatal misreading of biblical circumcision: a practice given to remove social barriers had been co-opted to build the same. By imposing their religious identity and practices on the gentiles, the Pillars of Jerusalem had betrayed the Torah, offering things that pass away as though they were eternal. Worse, they had done so at the expense of the weaker brother. Having been liberated by God from the worship of Caesar, why would the Galatians now turn to another human master?
Father Marc Boulos is pastor of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church, in Eagan, Minnesota. He and Dr. Richard Benton co-host The Bible as Literature Podcast, a weekly discussion of the biblical narrative and its implications for everyday life. He is also co-founder of the Ephesus School, a biblical studies program for children and adults that emphasizes the Bible's self-sufficiency for teaching in lieu of modern theories of religious education.
A new book in The Chrysostom Bible Series—Hebrews: A Commentary, by Antiochian priest and Biblical scholar The Very Rev. Paul Nadim Tarazi—is the latest release from the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies' publishing arm, OCABS Press.
In this volume, Fr. Tarazi notes the importance of the placement of Hebrews in the canon, which together with Romans, "bracketed [Paul's] literary corpus of fourteen epistles between two magisterial letters-Romans, addressed to the residents of the capital of the Gentile Roman empire, and Hebrews, addressed to the Jews who were still dreaming of the restoration of the earthly Jerusalem that was destroyed by the Romans."
However, Fr. Paul points out in this work, "God's city is not, as it was assumed by the Jews, the earthly Jerusalem that lay subjugated by Rome, but rather the 'Jerusalem above' (Gal 4:26), the heavenly city of Zion, toward which the believers are heading."
The Chrysostom Bible Commentary Series exists to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation. The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies also offers a variety of other commentaries, a journal, a society for the study of Scripture, and exegetical notes for teaching and preaching.
The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS) has released two new volumes in "The Chrysostom Bible" series titled Isaiah: A Commentary, and Jeremiah: A Commentary. Both are written by The Very Rev. Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi, professor of Biblical Studies and Languages at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. "Books in the Chrysostom Series are not so much written in honor of John Chrysostom as they are published to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God's congregation," notes Dr. Tarazi.
"Isaiah can well be viewed, without exaggeration, as a mini-scripture. By the same token it is no wonder that, besides Genesis—the tone-setting book for the entire scripture in both its Testaments, and Psalms—the book of psalmody of the new Zion, Isaiah is the most quoted Old Testament book in the New Testament," he says, adding that "...the Book of Jeremiah...is the book where God 'alone' stands 'over the nations and over the kingdoms' of his entire earth (Jer 1:10) in his office of sole supreme judge of all, including the deities of the nations (Ps 82)."
Order both books and many other Biblical commentaries from OCABS Press.