Chapter 1 contains a typological classification of Slavonic Bible MSS according to three main types: liturgical, continuous and exegetical. Till the 12th century special collections of lections were used in liturgy, later MSS with continuous text were adapted for this purpose; the ОТ Prophetologion was supplanted by Liturgical Menaias and Triodions. MSS with continuous ОТ text spreaded only at the end of the 14th century and lost their significance when the first printed edition of the Slavonic Bible was published in 1580. The Slavonic version of the Exegetical Type was formed by translating Greek Fathers' works and was never completed. The full list of Exegetical translations of the 9th to 16th centuries includes about 20 entries. Besides a number of Biblical compilations such as the Exegetical Palaia, Chronographs and Florilegia are listed.The Holy Scripture text in Exegetical compositions is characterised by some peculiarities.

Chapter 2 «Hand-written Text and Its Study» is of the methodological character; here the nature of the controlled text history transmission so typical of the Holy Scripture is described. All the discussed philological cases are illustrated by readings from Slavonic Bible MSS. The place of Biblical quotations in text history investigation is elucidated.

Chapter 3 treats Bible translation as a philological problem. The following questions are discussed: the measure of freedom in translation, medieval theories of translation, the original text as it is seen through translation, Latin influence on Slavonic Bible translations, philological criteria to be used to determine the place and the time of a translation.

Chapter 4 describes the main base texts of Slavonic Bible translations, i. e. the Masoretic Text, the Septuagint, the Greek New Testament as well as Latin versions. Special attention is paid to LXX and NT recensional history. For the Slavonic ОТ translations the Byzantine recension «R» revealed by Alfred Rahlfs in 1923 (and not so called «Lucianic») was of the greatest significance; for the NT translations ordinarily Byzantine MSS were used.

Chapter 5 gives a series of essays on the history of Bible translations among Slavs of the 9th through 16th centuries. It is maintained that the continuous NT text was translated at the middle of the 9th century by Stt Cyrill and Methodius; about 893 it was used for preparing the Short and Extended NT Lectionaria. In Bulgaria between 893-927 the both Lectionaria were revised and from there spreaded to East Slav and Serb regions. In course of revising ОТ texts some parts of Methodian translations were lost and several new Exegetical translations became popular. The Croatian Glagolitic Bible tradition rested on Cyrillo-Methodian as well as Bulgarian sources. The new liturgical Four Gospels text was prepared in the 12th century probably under the supervision of St Sava; this innovation was followed by adding the Extra Short Gospel Lectionarium. The exceptional weight of the Bogomil South Slavic tradition cannot be maintained with certainty. The translations and revisions from the 14th and the beginning of the 15th centuries made in St Athos, Turnovo, Resava practically renewed all the Slavonic Bible repertoire. Between the 12th and 16th centuries some new Exegetical translations as well as some translations from Hebrew were made in Old Rus, among them the NT of St Metropolitan Alexios from the middle of the 14th century is of special interest. In 1499 the first complete Bible corpus was compiled in Novgorod under the supervision of Archbishop Gennady, in 1580 it was used as a base of the first printed edition — the so called Ostrog Bible. With some slight emendations this printed text is still in liturgical use of the Russian, Bulgarian and Serbian Orthodox Churches.


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