The following comment, sent in by a blog reader, concerns yesterday’s post about the new Orthodox Study Bible:
I still wonder if this is really good. I mean, yes, having a Bible in hand that will motivate one to read it is good. But, like so many other scores of particular, niche market-driven study Bibles out there, I wonder if this isn’t just another evangelical/Protestant thing us converts are doing to Orthodoxy. I’ve seen what can happen when a group tries to promote their ideas using bad reasoning and logic (see the Reformation Study Bible and notes), and I’m wondering if we aren’t trying to “systematize” the Church Fathers by putting them all in tidy little notes at the bottom of each page of our Bibles. Is it really a good idea to have concise commentaries at the bottom of the page of every text? Is that really the Orthodox way?
I ask because I’m inquiring into the Orthodox faith right now, and this has been on my mind. I’ve seen what Protestants do with their Study Bible notes, and most of the time it isn’t good scholarship OR Christianity (New Interpreter’s Study Bible, NRSV, and again, the Reformation Study Bible). If you want to see how someone can manipulate the text in such a way that it just looks silly, read some of the notes in the Reformation study bible that try to reconcile some of the narrative differences in each of the Gospel accounts of Christ riding into Jerusalem on a donkey/mule/ass, whatever it was.