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St. Nersess Theological Review

The St. Nersess Theological Review (SNTR) is published annually by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. The SNTR considers articles, short notes, review articles and book reviews in all fields related to Christianity in the Armenian Church; e.g. theology, liturgy, philosophy, ethics, biblical studies, canon law, church history, ecumenics, literature, fine arts, archaeology, and interdisciplinary studies, as well as translations of Armenian patristic texts.

Articles submitted should be sent to sntr@stnersess.edu. All submissions should be sent in Microsoft Word. Hard copies can also be addressed to: SNTR, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, 486 Bedford Road, Armonk, NY 10504. Books to be considered for review should be addressed to the same.

Ideas and opinions expressed in articles and reviews appearing in the SNTR are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Armenian Church, the editors of SNTR, the SNTR Editorial Board, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, or the St. Nersess Armenian Seminary Board of Directors or faculty.

Editor: Dr. Christopher Sheklian

Associate Editors: Dr. Roberta R. Ervine and Julia Hintlian

Volume 1, Number 1 January, 1996

Volume 1, Number 1

Reflections on the Life and Ministry of Archbishop Tiran Nersoyan
Arshen Aivazian

The Theological Mission of he Holy Translators
Peter J. Cowe

Armenian Liturgical Chant – The System and Reflections on the Present Situation
Aram A. Kerovpyan

The Meaning of the Four Chalcedonian Adverbs in Recent Ecumenical Agreements
J. Robert Wright


PROCEEDINGS OF THE ORIENTAL AND EASTERN ORTHODOX SYMPOSIUM
March 21, 1995

Co-Sponsored by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and 
St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

Eastern Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox Dialogue: An Historical Perspective
John H. Erickson

Eastern Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox Relations: Practical Steps Toward Unity
Theodore Pulcini

Review of the Agreed Statements and Documents of the Joint Commission
Mesrob Krikorian

Non-Chalcedonian Response: On the Initiatives of Unity
Tadros Malaty

The Status of Inter-Orthodox Communion in the 
Armenian Church in Light of the Joint Communiqués
Arshen Aivazian

Restoring Unity Among the Orthodox Churches
Nicholas Apostola

Ecumenical Perspectives with Regard to the 
Discussion of Unity within our Family of Churches
Milton Efthimiou

Reconciliation and the Honoring of Memory
Susan Ashbrook Harvey

Antioch and Byzantium: Apostolic Witnesses to Christ and His Church
John Meno

APPENDIX
Joint Commission of the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches – Agreed Statement
Anba Bishoy Monastery, Egypt, June 20-24, 1989

Joint Commission of the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches – Recommendations on Pastoral Issues
Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Chambesy, Geneva, September 23-28, 1990

Joint Commission of the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches – Second Agreed Statement and Recommendations to the Churches
Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Chambesy, Geneva, September 23-28, 1990

Joint Commission of the Theological Dialogue between Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Churches – Proposals for Lifting of Anathemas
Orthodox Centre of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Chambesy, Geneva, November 1-6, 1993

BOOK REVIEWS
S. Peter Cowe, ed., Mxitar Sasneci’s Theological Discourses
(Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 542, Scriptores Armeniaci 21; 
Leuven: E. Peeters, 1993) xix, 182 pp.

S. Peter Cowe, trans., Mxitar Sasneci’s Theological Discourses
(Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 543, Scriptores Armeniaci 21; 
Leuven: E. Peeters, 1993) xvii, 209 pp.
David Bundy

Fr. Abel Oghlukian, The Deaconess in the Armenian Church – A brief Survey
Translated from the Armenian by S. Peter Cowe (New Rochelle, NY: 
St. Nersess Armenian Seminary press, 1994), 59pp.
Barbara Merguerian

Volume 1, Number 2 July, 1996

Volume 1, Number 2

Proceedings of the Armenian Church Patristics Symposium October 18, 1995
Co-Sponsored by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center

Surpassing the Biblical Worthies: An Early Motif in Armenian Religious Literature
Abraham Terian (117-144)
After Armenia’s conversion to Christianity, Armenian historians and theologians of the fourth and the fifth centuries began to portray their religious leaders and national heroes by comparison with biblical figures and events. Examples of this trend can be seen in the works of writers like Koriwn, Agat‘angełos, Ełišē, and Movsēs Xorenac‘i. The main concern of the Armenian historians was to show that the new Christian nation was in continuity with Biblical Israel, and was ready for martyrdom for the sake of Christ.

The Armenian Literary Corpus Attributed to Ephrem the Syrian: Prologomena to a Project
Edward G. Matthews, Jr. (145-168)
The Armenian translations of the works of St. Ephrem the Syrian are numerous. While no definitive listing of Armenian manuscripts containing works attributed to St. Ephrem yet exist, they may however be categorized under five headings: prayers, homilies, hymns, commentaries, and biographical material. Although not all the works attributed to St. Ephrem in Armenian have yet been examined, it appears that many of the translations do not correspond to the style of St. Ephrem. The hymns and some of the commentaries are found to be more authentic than the prayers, homilies, and biographical materials attributed to him.

Notes on Eznik of Kolb’s Discussion of the Incarnation
Robin Darling Young (169-180)
Eznik’s doctrine of the incarnation as expressed in his work “Against the Sects” is examined. The treatise, which contains polemics against the pagans, the Persians, Greek pantheism, and Marcion, contains terminology that is different from that found in his other writings. The author finds Eznik to be one of the pillars of fifth-century Armenia’s understanding of the nature and person of Christ.

Gregory of Tat ‘ew and his New Version of his Commentary on the Psalms
Armine Keuchgerian


PRESENTED AT THE ORIENTAL AND EASTER ORTHODOX SYMPOSIUM:
“Christ in Worship”
March 12, 1996

Co-Sponsored by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and
St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

Liturgical Usages and Controversy in History: How Much Diversity can Unity Tolerate?
Michael Daniel Findikyan (191-211)
Disputes between churches regarding differences in liturgical usage were often the result of doctrinal differences. Political factors and ignorance of others’ traditions also resulted in a vast archive of invective in many traditions. The author cites numerous examples of benign variations in liturgical practice that were, and sometimes continue, however, to be interpreted as representing fundamental differences in dogma. Objective, irenic, historical study of the liturgy is the only way to evaluate the significance of differences in liturgical practice between one tradition and another. In many cases, such diversity does not represent an obstacle to ecumenical rapprochement.

Origins of the Eastern Liturgies
Paul Meyendorff (213-221)
The author presents a survey of the origin of the extant liturgical rites of Eastern Christendom: the East and West Syrian, Maronite, Coptic, Ethiopian, Byzantine and Armenian traditions. The factors that contributed to their development and evolution are discussed within the context of four historical phases of liturgical development: the initial period of formation in the first three centuries, the period of extension and development, the reformation, and the modern era.

“Parish Ethics” and the Teaching of Jesus
John Breck (223-231)
The relationships among religious authorities themselves, their relationship with their parish, and the inter-relationships among parish members must all be based on the foundation of Christ’s teaching if they are not to be utterly vain and hypocritical. Hypocrisy is the most deadly virus that attacks and destroys the unity of the church. It is overcome only by Christian love.

Curriculum of Educating Infants who are Called into the Rank of Priesthood: 
Necessary and Useful Advice Written by Lord Arak’el, Bishop of Siwnik and 
Grigor of Tat’ew, the Great Rhetor
Arakel Aljalian, Simeon Odabashian and Hratch Tchilingirian (233-245)
A curriculum composed by two bishops of the Armenian Church in the second half of the fourteenth, and the first half of the fifteenth centuries is presented in English translation. It is written to assist parents in raising and educating their children, especially those who have a calling to the priesthood. Founded upon faith in Christ and his teaching, the curriculum is divided into three stages: childhood, adulthood and manhood. Each stage comprises ten steps of religious education and spiritual growth leading to ordination at age thirty.

BOOK REVIEWS
Abp. Khajag Barsamian, The Calendar of the Armenian Church 
(New York: St. Vartan Press, 1995) [Arten Ashjian]

Abp. Mesrob Ashjian, Armenian Church Patristic and Other Essays 
(New York: The Armenian Prelacy, 1994) [Abraham Terian]

Fr. Krikor Vardapet Maksoudian, Chosen of God: 
The Election of the Catholicos of All Armenians from the Fourth Century to the Present 
(New York: St. Vartan Press, 1995) [Robert H. Hewsen]

Volume 2, 1997

Volume 2, Number 1

Volume 2, Number 2

PROCEEDINGS OF THE ARMENIAN BIBLE CONFERENCE
May 24-25, 1996
Co-sponsored by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center

Cox, Claude, “The Textual Criticism of the Armenian Bible an Example: 
Deuteronomy 6” (1-31)
As an example of textual criticism of the Armenian Bible, the author analyzes a relatively brief passage, Deuteronomy 6. To find the original wording of the text, he compares a large number of variants from the chosen text with the Greek MS and LXX Deuteronomy. He concludes that the methodology employed in this criticism can be employed in various other parts of the Armenian canon.

Amalyan, H M., “The Critical Text of 1-3 Maccabees” (33-38)
Based on his work, Books of the Maccabees: a Critical Text, published in Erevan, Armenia in 1996, the author discusses typical text-critical questions raised in biblical scholarship such as: enumeration and classification of manuscripts, selection of representative manuscripts and of the base text, and identification of significant variants.

Cowe, S. Peter, “Text Critical Investigation of the Armenian Version 
of Third Corinthians” (39-51)
After reviewing earlier scholarly work on this deuterocanonical work, the author argues that what the Armenian version of Third Corinthians has lost as the sole surviving testimony to this writing is compensated by its interrelation with witnesses discovered later, especially in the commentary on this book by St. Ephrem. However, he suggests that a closer examination of the text may reveal the Armenian version to be the earliest translation of this work.

Hovhanessian, Vahan, “Third Corinthians: Its Relationship to the 
Apocryphal Acts of Paul” (53-64)
The hypothesis that Third Corinthians was part of the Apocryphal Acts of Paul was suggested by Theodore Zahn and Vetter, and further developed by Carl Schmidt. However, based on theological, textual, and stylistic differences between the Acts of Paul and Third Corinthians, in addition to the witness of available manuscripts, the author argues that Third Corinthians could not have been originally part of the Acts of Paul. Therefore the origin of these two works must be independent.

Thomson, R W., “Sebeos and the Bible” (65-76)
The language of the Bible conditioned the general mode of expression and the imagery of Armenian writers during the classical and medieval periods. Sebeos, a historian who describes events from the late-fifth to the mid-seventh centuries, is a good example of this. Sebeos wrote during the period of Byzantine-Persian conflict and the early Islamic conquest. The text shows how Sebeos has the ability to use scripture and to quote it in all contexts.

Terian, Abraham, “Biblical Interpretation in the Epic Poetry of Grigor Magistros” (77-93)
The author evaluates Grigor Magistros’ epic, Magnalia Dei, the first literary epic in classical Armenian literature, considering the place of the document in the history of Armenian biblical interpretation. The epic is a retelling of the biblical narrative in verse, and concludes with a personal confession and prayer. It was written in four days, while Grigor was on a visit to Constantinople. As a result of a chance encounter with a Moslem, the theologian wrote the piece to convince him that the Quran is imitable, and therefore of human, not divine origin.

Findikyan, Michael Daniel, “Armenian Funeral Rites: 
An Assessment of a Recent Study” (95-101)
An evaluation of Andrea Schmidt’s study of the Armenian funeral rites: Kanon der Entschlafenen. Das Begräbnisrituale der Armenier. Schmidt has used the oldest extant Armenian manuscript euchology in her investigation. The author emphasizes Schmidt’s successful examination of the earliest Armenian historiographical, canonical and exegetical literature, and her liturgical analysis in comparing the oldest shape of the rites with the current form, and its complete translation into German.

BOOK REVIEWS
Basilio di Cesarea: Il Libro delle domande (Le Regole). Edited and translated by Gabriella Uluhogian. Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 536-537 (Scriptores armeniaci 19-20). Louvain: Peeters, 1993. [Abraham Terian]

St. Nersēs Šnorhali: General Epistle. Introduction and translation by Fr. Arakel Aljalian. New Rochelle, NY:  St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, 1996. [Robert W. Thomson]

Nersēs di Lambron. Il Primato della carità. Discorso sinodale ‘Atenabanut‘iwn.’ Introduction and notes by Boghos Levon Zekiyan. Translation by Boghos Levon Zekiyan and Valerio Lanzarini. Magnano, Italy: Edizione Qiqajon Comunità di Bose, 1996. [Michael Daniel Findikyan]

Volume 3, Number 1 & 2, 1998

Volume 3, Number 1 & 2

PROCEEDINGS OF THE EASTERN AND ORIENTAL ORTHODOX SYMPOSIA
Co-Sponsored by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and
St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

“Reconciliation of Memories”
(March 18, 1997)

The Tome of Leo:
Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Perspectives
S. Peter Cowe

Severus of Antioch:
Eastern and Orthodox Perspectives
John Behr

Reconciliation of Memories:
The Maligned Dioscorus
Krikor Maksoudian

St. Dioscorus of Alexandria:
A Coptic Orthodox Perspective
Jacob N. Ghaly

RESPONSES
The Agreed Statements
Oriental Orthodox Responses
Bishop Youssef

A Response
(Romanian Orthodox Tradition)
Nicholas Apostola

A Response
(Syrian Orthodox Tradition)
John Meno


“Anathemas: Obstacles to Unity”
(March 17, 1998)

Anathema: An Obstacle to Reunion?
John H. Erickson

The Anathemas in the Armenian Ordination Euchologion
Abraham Terian

Anathema! Some Historical Perspectives of the Athonite Statement of May, 1995
Alexander Golitzen

The Monastic Concerns Regarding Unity and Reconciliation of Traditions
Bishop Suriel

REPORT
The Current State of the Dialogue for Orthodox Unity in the Middle East
Gabriel Habib

Volume 4, Number 1 & 2, 1999

Volume 4 Numbers 1 & 2 – January/July 1999 PDF

ARTICLES
Yovhannes Sarkawag’s “Concerning the Symbol of Faith of the Three Hundred 
and Eighteen [Fathers] of the Council of Nicaea”
Mesrop Aramian

The Holy Spirit in the Liturgy of the Armenian Church: 
The Significance of the Hymns of Pentecost
Abraham Terian

REVIEW ARTICLES
An Essay on the English Translation of Yeznik by Blanchard and Young
Thomas J. Samuelian

Virtue Ethics in Angst: A Critical Look at Vigen Guroian
Michael Merry

BOOK REVIEWS
A Treatise on the Veneration of the Holy Icons Written in Arabic 
by Theodore Abu Qurrah, Bishop of Harran (c 755 – c 830 A.D.).
Translated by Sydney H. Griffith.
Abraham Terian

L”ufficio divino della Chiesa Etiopica: 
Studio storico-critico con particolare Riferimento alle ore cattedrali.
By Habtemichael-Kidane.
M. Daniel Findikyan

Russia and the Armenians of Transcaucasia, 1797-1889: 
A Documentary Record: Annotated Translation and Commentary
By George Bournoutian
Robert H. Hewsen

From the Holy Mountain: A Journey among the Christians of the Middle East
By William Dalrymple
M. Daniel Findikyan

Volume 5 & 6, 2000-2001

Volume 5 & 6

ARTICLES
The Ecumenical Ministry of Catholicos Karekin I (+1999)
J. Robert Wright

Peter, Paul and Related Accounts in the Earliest Edition of the Armenian Synaxarion
Abraham Terian

The Armenian Version of the “Life of Evagrius of Pontus”
Monica Blanchard, Carl Griffin, Cornelia Horn, Janet Timbie

Kirakos Erzngaci’s On the Eight Thoughts of Evagrius
Tigran Karapetyan

Psychological Considerations Concerning Christian Penance
Michael Merry

Problems That Result from Locating Spirituality in the Psyche
Rama P. Coomaraswamy

Translating Our Vision: The Ethical Dimension
John Boojamra

Toward a Comprehensive Theory in Ethics in Pragmatism
Sara Karkkainen Terian

ESSAY
To Gabrielle Winkler on the Occasion of the Publication of a Festschrift in Honor of Her Sixtieth Birthday
Michael Daniel Findikyan

CRITICAL NOTE
A Note on Nets
James R. Russell

BOOK REVIEWS
Crossroads of Cultures: Studies in Liturgy and Patristics In Honor of Gabrielle Winkler
Edited by Hans-Jurgen Feulner, Elena Velkovska, and Robert J. Taft, S.J.
Aelred Cody, O.S.B.

The Shah’s Silk for Europe’s Silver: The Eurasian Trade of the Julfa Armenians in Safavid Iran and India (1530 – 1750)
By Ina Baghdiantz McCabe
George Bournoutian

Worcester Is America The Story of Worcester’s Armenians: The Early Years.
By Hagop Martin Deranian
Sara Karkkainen Terian

The Life and Work of Coadjutor Catholicos Papken Guleserian
Translated and Edited by Vatche Ghazarian
Arten Ashjian

Volume 7, 2002
Volume 8, 2003
Volume 9, 2004
Volume 11, 2006
Volume 12, 2007
Volume 13, 2008