The Bible

‘No one is truly poor, but he who lacks the truth’ – St Ephrem the Syrian
‘Orthodoxy is what Christ taught, the Apostles preached and the Fathers kept’ – St Athanasius

The New Testament is the record of what Christ taught and the Apostles preached, and more besides. The texts were written in Greek by the Apostles and Evangelists themselves, and preserved for future generations by the Fathers. The Holy Scriptures are God’s gift to us. To neglect that gift is to impoverish our souls. Paul the Apostle wrote, ‘Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness, so that the people of God may be fully qualified, completely equipped for every good work.2 Tim 3:16-17

If you are unfamiliar with the New Testament:

  • The first four books, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John contain eye-witness accounts of the birth, life, teaching, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • The fifth book records the ‘Acts of the Apostles’ after our Lord’s ascension into heaven: the growth of the Church in Jerusalem, Antioch, and out across Asia Minor and into Europe.
  • There follow twenty-one Epistles – letters from the Apostles Paul, Peter, John, James and Jude to churches and to individuals.
  • Finally, we have the Apocalyse, the ‘Revelation of Jesus Christ’ which God gave to the Apostle John the Theologian.

The English of this translation reflects contemporary British English spelling and usage.

A brief note on Greek New Testament texts: The Greek text of the New Testament recognised by the Orthodox Church is that which has been handed down to us from the Fathers. In 1904 this ancient text received endorsement as the Patriarchal Text. It is this text that has been used to prepare the present translation.

The Patriarchal Text differs very little from the Byzantine Majority Text familiar to western scholars. Also of interest to many English speakers is the Textus Receptus of Erasmus, the text used by the translators of the New Testament portion of the King James Bible of 1611. Textus Receptus, although a Byzantine-type text, does differ in minor detail from the Patriarchal Text. Less suitable for Orthodox use are the great majority of modern western translations as these follow the heavily revised ‘critical texts’, typically the NU-text (Nestle-Aland/United Bible Societies) and its variants.