Slavic Scriptures: The Formation of the Church Slavonic Version of the Holy Bible


"Literally thousands of items have been written about Cyril, Methodius, and the Church Slavonic Bible. And the Bible itself exists in fragments from perhaps as far back as 1000 C. E. In approaching the mass of scholarly, semischolarly, pseudo-scholarly, and popularizing material that has accumlated over the past two hundred years, Slavic Scriptures attempts to analyze and synthesize the most cogent arguments of the best scholars, from the earliest studies of the Czech proto-Slavicist and biblicist Joseph Dobrovsky to the contemporary works of Francis Thomson (Antwerp) and A. A. Alekseev (St. Petersburg). As for the manuscript evidence, it has been considered directly, in published editions, but in larger part indirectly, through the studies of those who have had firsthand access to basic material (most notoriously the first full manuscript of the Church Slavonic Bible from 1499, but published only in the 1990s and still only in part). Every conscious effort has been made to avoid confessional bias in interpreting the historical and textual records, but it must be admitted that some of the best analyses consulted for Slavic Scriptures rest on strongly held beliefs that chafe at scholarly dispassion. By and large the methodology of the volume is inductive, in order to minimize the role of preconceived theses, but with the abiding understanding that the uncontestable facts are few and often far between. Slavic Scriptures offers as its conclusions that neither Cyril nor Methodius (to whom it is traditionally ascribed) managed to complete a full translation of the Bible in their lifetimes. The bulk of the credit for creating the surviving version of the Church Slavonic Bible belongs to South Slavic translators of the ninth-fourteenth centuries. Its finishing touches were applied by East Slavs in rounding out the full canon, printing, revising, and authorizing the text between the late fifteenth and mid-eighteenth centuries. The Church Slavonic Version serves the Orthodox of the twenty-first century both as a touchstone of their millennial religious culture and a challenge to their further biblical development." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Madison, NJ
Publication year:
  • 2003


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