Journey into the unknown…

HELLENIC BIBLE SOCIETY AND THE REFUGEES

The last 3 years, both Greece and Europe have experienced an unprecedented fact, millions of people have left their homes, have left the land that offered them security and have taken refuge into a world that has not welcomed them in the best way. The war that broke out in their homeland and the dangerous situations they experienced, living in tyrannical regimes, forced them to look for the “promised land” in other places.

Seeing the conditions the refugees were living in here in Greece, speaking with them and sharing in their pain and insecurity as Greece is going through tough times, we found ourselves sympathizing with them and remembering that the Greek nation has also found itself in a similar situation in recent history.

As a Bible Society, we wanted to help and give another hope from a piece of land, the hope that Jesus Christ has given us with the reconciliation he has done for us with God on the Cross and the Resurrection that foreshadows eternal life.

We accepted some donations that made this undertaking possible by both the Bible Society of New Zealand, the American and British and Foreign Bible Societies. We thank them and praise God that they responded during this difficult period, so that we can fulfill this undertaking.

We liaised with organizations that had the same burden seeing the conditions not only the refugees were facing, but also the people in the margin of the society. We liaised with “Helping Hands organization”, “Home Spot” in Lavrio refugee camp, “Carecenter” in Thessaloniki, “Caritas Hellas”, “New Life”, a non-profit organization for the support and rehabilitation of the people in prostitution, the Crucified” association for the support of prisoners under the auspices of the Holy Metropolis of Demetrias in Volos and ”Symparastasi” which is under the auspices of the 2nd Evangelical Church in Athens.  All these organizations try to meet the needs of these people with classes and studies on the principles of the Bible to whoever is interested in more. We were informed that there have already been some Christians and need Scriptures. In addition, they get in touch with people in their neighborhood, helping them wash their clothes, provide English and Greek lessons, meals and basic medical services. Finally, they desire to see holistic change of people in prostitution in order to find rehabilitation and a new life, as only Christ can offer. We were informed about their needs in Scriptures and communicated with other Bible Societies outside and within Europe. All responded immediately, and we were able to gather a large number of Scriptures. All the books are in the hands of the organizations at the moment. We pray and hope that the encounter with the Word of God will bring about a change in the lives of these people. The piece of land they try to find to be the cause to seek Jesus Christ through His Word.

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Hellenic Army Academy (Evelpidon) in Didymoteichon

On the 31st of May the Cadets of the 4th year of the Hellenic Army Academy (Evelpidon) visited his Eminence Metropolitan of Didymoteichon, Orestias and Souflion Mr. Damaskinos, who are currently carrying out their standard/established educational trip at the Turkish borders in Evros. His Eminence had the opportunity to welcome and guide them to the Holy Cathedral of Panagia Eleftherotria of Didymoteichon, where the Ecclesiastical Museum is, and to tell them about both the history and the monuments of the place.

The Cadets of the HAA were accompanied by their Commander, Major General Charalambos Lalousis, who served as a Commander of the XVI Division, based in Didimotichon. His Eminence offered to the Commander of the HAA a copy of the icon of the Hieromartyr Saint Cyril VI Patriarch of Constantinople, who was hanged in Adrianople on April 18, 1821, while distributed the New Testament in a military variation to the students, offer of the Hellenic Bible Society and wished them all the best for their lives.

Source: Holy Metropolis of Didymoteichon, Orestias and Souflion

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With the soldiers

On the 3rd of January his Eminence Metropolitan of Didymoteichon, Orestias and Souflion Mr. Damaskinos visited military outposts at the Turkish border, escorted by commander of Division XVI General Dem. Bonoras, its Deputy Governor Stavros Stavropoulos and the General of the 21st regiment Colonel Greg. Boutliakis. His Eminence was welcomed by the men of the outposts with Christmas carols. He first expressed admiration for their readiness and their excellent conviction and then he replied with wishes and gifts. His Eminence not only had the opportunity to communicate with members of the Armed Forces but also with the ordinary soldiers to whom he pointed out that they should be proud of serving their country and its values in this very sensitive and geopolitical neuralgic area of Evros. Finally, his Eminence distributed New Testaments in military variation to everybody, offer of the Hellenic Bible Society, emphasizing the value of the Holy Gospel in the life of man.

SOURCE: Holy Metropolis of Didymoteichon, Orestias and Souflion

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Readings of the Bible within the different Christian Traditions

The Hellenic Bible Society organized on December 15-16, 2017 at the Cultural Center of the Archbishopric of Athens, the International Conference “Readings of the Bible within the different Christian Traditions” on the occasion of the 500-year anniversary of Luther’s Reformation. The conference began with the welcoming greetings of Fr. Zisis Ktenidis, Director of the Cultural Center of the Archbishopric of Athens and of Fr. Georgios Polychronopoulos, representative of the Church of Greece, who read the message of the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Ieronymos. The opening of the conference was concluded with the welcoming addresses of the Hellenic Bible Society’s General Secretary, Mr. Michail Chatzigiannis and the of the Dean of A.U.Th’s Faculty of Theology, Mr. Miltiadis Konstantinou.

Fr. Theodosios Martzouhos, priest of the Church of St. John Chrysostom in Preveza, presented the topic of “Tetravaggelo” (The Four-Gospel Book) in the opening session of the Conference that was chaired by the Hellenic Bible Society’s General Secretary, Mr. Michail Chatzigiannis.

The Dean of A.U.Th’s Faculty of Theology Dean, Mr. Miltiadis Konstantinou, chaired the second session of the first day of the Conference, during which there were three presentations. The first one, by the Rabbi of Athens, Gabriel Negrin, was under the title “The Genuine place of the Pentateuch in Tanakh according to Jewish Readings”, the second presentation by the Dean of Nida Institute, Philip Towner, was under the title “The Bible in Anglican Liturgical Praxis”; the last presentation of the session, by Fr. Luigi d’Ayala, member of the Monastic Community of Bose was under the title “The Role of the Holy Scripture in the Life of the Monastic Brotherhood of Bose”.

In the beginning of the second day of the Conference on Saturday morning, two presentations were held in the first session that was chaired by Charalampos Atmatzidis, Associate Professor at the School of Theology at the A.U.Th. The first one by Myrto Theocharous, Lecturer at the Greek Bible College, was under the title “The Gospel of Moses for the Church: Luther’s Hermeneutical Approach to the Book of Deuteronomy”; the second presentation by Thanasis Papathanasiou, Director of Synaxis Journal was on “From the Women of the Bible to the Women with the Bible: Reformation and the Emergence of Women Missionaries”.

During the second, and last, session of the day that was chaired by Ekaterini Tsalampouni, Assistant Professor at the School of Pastoral and Social Theology of the A.U.Th., four presentation were held. The Director of the Norwegian Archaeological Institute at Athens, Jorunn Økland, presented on “Luther’s «method» and his views on celibacy (1Cor 7)”. Following her presentation, Moschos Goutzioudis, Assistant Professor at the School of Theology at the A.U.Th., presented his topic under the title “Luther’s Contribution in the Study of the Epistle to the Hebrews during the Reformation”. The Academic Director of the Greek Bible College, Jeff Baldwin presented on “The Only Acceptable Contribution: Cain and Abel in the Exegesis of Church Fathers and Reformers”. The last presentation by the Associate Professor of the School of Theology at the U.o.A., Christos Karakolis, was under the title “Sola Scriptura or Soli Patres? A Contribution Attempt in the Dialogue Between the Orthodox and Protestant New Testament Hermeneutics”.

The Academic Committee of the Conference consisted of: Miltiadis Konstantinou, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the A.U.Th., Charalampos Atmatzidis, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Theology at the A.U.Th., and Ekaterini Tsalampouni, Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Theology at the A.U.Th.

You can watch the presentations of the Conference following the link of the each title, as well as on our YouTube channel: Hellenic Bible Society.

You can find more photographs here


Bible and Visual Arts

The Hellenic Bible Society organized on the 16th and 17th of December at the Cultural Center of the Archdiocese of Athens, an International Conference on “Bible and Visual Arts”. The Conference began with the opening address of the Hellenic Bible Society’s General Secretary Mr. Michalis Chatzigiannis, while the representative of the Church of Greece Bishop of Velestino Damaskinos read the salutation of the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Ieronymos II.

Conference sessions began with Prof. Miltiadis Konstantinou, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki presiding during the presentation of Professor of Philosophy Christos Yannaras under the title “How does Painting Read the Bible? Gruenewald’s Crucified and the Crucified from Dafni”.

The second session of the day was presided by Professor Emeritus from the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Dimitris Kaimakis and included two presentations. The first one from the Associate Professor at the School of Visual and Applied Arts at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Stella Lavva under the title “Bible Reception in European Painting of the thcentury” and the second one from the Assistant Professor at the School of History and Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Melina Paisidou under the title “Iconographical Issues from the Area of Prespes and Ohrid during the 15thcentury”.

The first session of Saturday morning was presided by Associate Professor from the Faculty of Theology at University of Athens Konstantinos Zarras and included three presentations. The first, by the archivist and librarian of the Catholic Archdiocese of Naxos-Tinos fr. Markos Foskolos had the title “Biblia Pauperum – Biblia Analphabetarum: The Holy Scripture during the Romanesque and Gothic Era”, the second, by the Director of the Greek Historical Evangelical Archive Mr. Ioannis Tsevas had the title “Van Gogh and the Bible”, and the third, by the Lecturer of the Faculty of Architecture at Ariel University in Israel Edna Langenthal, had the title “The Garden of Paradise as a Pre-House”.

The second session was presided by the Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki fr. Ioannis Skiadaresis included three presentations. Georgios Kordis, theologian, painter and iconographer presented on “Painting Dialogue with Biblical Subjects. Performance and Art”. The following presentation, by fr. Loukas Xenofontinos, an hagiographer, was on “Inspiration and Artistic Creation under the Light of the Holy Scripture”. Konstantinos Xenopoulos, Master Hagiographer of the Patriarchate of Alexandria presented on “Tradition in Art”.

During the final part of the Conference there was a round table discussion in which fr. Loukas Xenofontinos, Georgios Kordis, and Konstantinos Xenopoulos participated. The round table was presided by the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Miltiadis Konstantinou.

The scientific committee of the conference comprised of: Ioannis Karavidopoulos (Prof. Emeritus of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), Miltiadis Konstantinou (Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), and Konstantinos Zarras (Associate Professor of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Athens).

You can watch the Conference’s presentations by clicking on each title through our YouTube Channel: Hellenic Bible Society

For more photos click here.


Postgraduate Program on Bible Translation in an Orthodox Context

Bible translation stands at a unique intersection of linguistics, translation studies, hermeneutics and biblical studies. It is also an activity which has been carried out continuously from the time of ancient Alexandria (the Septuagint translation) until today, thereby providing a rich corpus of historical material for study. Within this framework the special characteristics of Bible translation in the Orthodox tradition are less well known.

From the 27th of September until the 29th a postgraduate program began at the offices of the Hellenic Bible Society that will lead to the award of a postgraduate degree. The program combines distance learning and residential seminars that will take place in various historical Orthodox centers. The participants in this program, coming from countries such as Greece, Albania, Romania, FYROM, Serbia, and Russia, will attend courses through which they will have the opportunity to get to know the history, theory and practice of Bible translation in the Orthodox world, with special attention paid to the delicate balance of tradition and innovation.

In the first meeting that took place in Athens and was hosted at the offices of the Hellenic Bible Society, participants had the opportunity to attend lectures by esteemed scholars both from Greece and abroad. The lectures were given by: Prof. Emeritus of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Ioannis Karavidopoulos with the title “Bible in Orthodoxy”, the Dean of the Nida Institute Rev. Dr. Phil Towner with the title: “Bible Translation and Bible Societies”, Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Athens Konstantinos Zarras with the title: “Biblical Scholarship in the Orthodox World”, Dr. Simon Crisp, Manager for Interconfessional Scholarship and Training and scholarly editions of the UBS with the title: “Introduction to Translation Studies”, and finally the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Miltiadis Konstantinou with the title: “The Translational Work of the Hellenic Bible Society”.

Those completing the course will be well prepared not only for activity in the specific field of Bible translation, but also for work in areas like textual editing, libraries, documentation centres and museums. The postgraduate program is co-organized by the Hellenic Bible Society, Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship of the American Bible Society, and Fondazione Universitaria San Pellegrino.

 

 

 


New Testament distribution in Exarchia

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Exarchia is a region located in the center of Athens. From the dictatorship period the area was inhabited by students and people with controversial anti-authoritarian spirit and beliefs. Today it is still full of young people, as there are many universities nearby, but also drug addicts and people living on the margins of society. It is worth noting that even today during demonstrations in the city center, small groups of people who act violently, find refuge in the area, because there is some kind of asylum from the police intervention.

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The Exarchia area is full of cafes, bars and art galleries, where many young people hang out, teens that finished school, students and unemployed. Usually these people have general questions that form the basis of questioning of traditional values of the society and the authorities, as the political, judicial and religious.

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Our goal is to reach those who are frequently in the area with an illustrated edition of the New Testament with images which won’t have anything in common with the stereotypes that these groups of people have in mind about God’s Word. The selection of photos have already begun and will naturally incorporate the photos that have to do with everyday life in the region, which will help readers to feel comfortable with the book, recognizing in it images of their lives.

Pray

  • for the achievement of the program
  • to find places (cafes, bars) that would accept to have the New Testament
  • that God’s Word would play a catalytic role in people’s lives
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Near the akrites of our borders

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The Metropolitan of Didymotichon and Orestias, Damaskinos, accompanied by the Deputy Commander of the XVI Division Brigadier John Makris and the Commander of the 21st Regiment Colonel Andrew Floratos visited the Greek Military Posts of Marasion and Ormenion at the tri-border of Greece-Turkey-Bulgaria.

During the past four years 40,000 New Testaments have been distributed. Support us with a donation to our Society so that we may continue this project of distributing New Testament for free to men and women of the Armed Forces.


Affection love and concern was shown to the akrites of the borders by the Church and other than sweets, they distributed New Testaments offered by the Hellenic Bible Society. The Military Post staff reciprocated to his Eminence by singing the New Year Carols, the Commander gave the Metropolitan a commemorative with the emblem of the Unit.

 

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Holy Bible and Greek Literature

IMG_3019On December 11th and 12th 2015 the Hellenic Bible Society organized a Scientific Conference at the Cultural Center of the Archdiocese of Athens named “Holy Bible and Greek Literature”. The event began with a greeting from Fr. Basilis Christodoulou, Director of the Cultural Center of the Archdiocese of Athens, then followed the representative of the Church of Greece Fr. Demetrios Nikou who read the message of the Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and all Greece. Followed by greetings from the General Secretary of the Hellenic Bible Society Mr. Michael Chr. Chatzigiannis, the Dean of the Theological Faculty of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Mr. Miltiadis Konstantinou and President of the Faculty of Social Theology at the University of Athens Mr. Sotirios Despotis, read by Mrs. Kirki Kefalea Vice-President of the Faculty.

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The conference began under the chairmanship of Professor of the Faculty of Theology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Ioannis Karavidopoulos and the main introduction was made by the Ass. Professor of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Athens Konstantinos Zarras with subject: “Vision of Future after death: The Myth of Er to Plato and the early Christian eschatology.”

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The next speakers of the first day of the conference were Professor of the Faculty of Theatre Studies in the University of Athens Iossif Vivilakis on “The Bible and Neohellenic drama” and the writer Isidoros Zourgos on “Bible seeds into a novel”.

 

Saturday morning during the first session chaired by the Dean of the Faculty of Theology o12391877_1088635957827569_6592861053583291003_nf the University of Thessaloniki Miltiadis Konstantinou three introductions were made. The first was made by the theologian and poet Anastasia Gkitsi with subject “Poems. The psalms of the soul”, the second “A blasphemous reading of the Gospel: The man from Galilee by Ilias Lagios” and the third by the President of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Thessaloniki Chrysostomos Stamoulis on “The Biblical narratives in Nikos Kazantzakis’ The Last Temptation”.

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In the second session chaired by Chrysostomos Stamoulis the program contained three introductions. The poet Kyriakos Haralambidis began with the subject: “Poetry and theology (self-commentary)”. Then the author Savvas Michail spoke about “The Biblical poet Andreas Embirikos”. The President of the Biblical Foundation “Artos Zois” Stavros Zoumboulakis suggested the theme “For T.K. Papatsonis”.

 

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In the last session of the conference, the presentation of our new edition “Psalter” which contains the text of the Septuagint and in parallel the text in demotic language. The “Psalter” completes the trilogy of the liturgical editions of the Hellenic Bible Society, which began with the release of “Eklogadion” which includes text and translation of readings from the New Testament of the entire ecclesiastical year and continued with portions from the Old Testament version of “Prophetologion”. The presentation was attended by the Dean of the Faculty of Theology Miltiadis Konstantinou, Pastor of the First Greek Evangelical Church in Athens Panagiotis Kantartzis, Ministry of Education adviser and Director of the magazine “Theologia” Stavros Yagazoglou and Ass. Professor of the Faculty of Social Theology at the University of Athens Kirki Kefalea.

Others that attended12373399_1088635987827566_5943937832375662800_n this two-day conference were, the Metropolitan of Ilion Acharnes and Petroupolis, Athenagoras, the Catholic Archbishop of Athens Sevastianos Rossolatos, the Rabbi of Athens Gabriel Negrin, the poet Kiki Dimoula, Professors of the two Theological Schools, graduate and PhD students, teachers and people from all ecclesiastical denominations.

The Scientific Committee of the conference consisted of Ioannis Karavidopoulos (Professor of the Faculty of Theology, University of Thessaloniki), Miltiadis Konstanntinou (Dean of the Faculty of Theology, University of Thessaloniki), Ekaterini Tsalampouni (Ass. Professor of the School of Pastoral and Social Theology, University of Thessaloniki) and Konstantinos Zarras (Ass. Professor of the Faculty of Theology, University of Athens).

You can watch the conference and speeches by clicking on each speaker’s subject through our YouTube channel: ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΒΙΒΛΙΚΗ ΕΤΑΙΡΙΑ


SALVUM ME FECIT – The Lord has redeemed me

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The Hellenic Bible Society presented in collaboration with the Metropolis of Demetrias and Almyros at the Ascension of Christ church in Volos on Thursday October 22nd and with the Institute of Humanity Science of Jesuits at Saint Dionysius of Catholics in Athens on Saturday 24th of October two separate concerts of religiouDSC07934s music, with the vocal ensemble CONSORTIUM VOCALE OSLO from Norway. The event in Volos was attended by the Metropolitan of Demetrias and President of the Hellenic Bible Society, Ignatius, while in Athens the Catholic Archbishop of Athens Sevastianos and the representative of the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos II, Bishop Chrysostomos of Dodonis.

DSC08089The program “Salvum me fecit” presented hymns from ancient Gregorian repertoire which date back to the 8th and 9th century. The Gregorian compositions use texts from the Bible, mainly from the book of Psalms and the New Testament. The compositions presented in this program were derived from the Mass of the 6th to the 10th Sunday, their common theme is God who brings healing and salvation, making man and all mankind complete and holy.

The vocal ensemble is connected to the Cathedral in Oslo, Norway, and for many years appreciDSC07913ated for their performances in Gregorian Chanting throughout Europe and beyond. In celebrations and concerts Consortium Vocale Oslo proposes an interpretation of Gregorian chanting based on the evidence of the older musical manuscripts. The vocal ensemble has received international recognition and has released 6 Gregorian Music CDs. For more information please visit: www.consortiumvocale.no

DSC07906The conductor, Alexander M. Schweitzer, is a theologian and musician. He studied Gregorian chanting in Rome, Cremona and Munich. For 25 years Schweitzer has been training Gregorian choirs for the Diploma of Higher Studies in Palaeography and Gregorian program Semiotics of the Music University of Lugano School and in seminars of the International Organization Membership Gregorian Studies at St. Ottilien, Germany. In September 2015, Schweitzer was elected Chairman of the International Organization Membership Gregorian Studies (AISCGre).

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