Festschrift in Honor of Professor Paul Nadim Tarazi- Volume 2

Studies in the New Testament

by Tom Dykstra (Volume editor) Vahan Hovhanessian (Volume editor)
©2015 Monographs XX, 170 Pages


This book, the second of three volumes dedicated to Professor Paul Nadim Tarazi, includes contemporary essays on the New Testament. The topics offer a rich array of exegetical studies related to the life and teachings of Jesus and the apostle Paul. Coming from America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, the contributors to Volume 2 of the Festschrift in Honor of Professor Paul Nadim Tarazi have gathered to advance the scholarly vision of Professor Paul Nadim Tarazi.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • V. Rev. Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi: Brief Biography and Bibliography
  • Bibliography
  • Selected Articles in Journals and Edited Volumes
  • Selected Presentations
  • Abbreviations
  • Jesus
  • Authority and Passion: A Concurrent View Christology in the Gospel of Mark, Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis
  • Conclusion
  • Jesus Christ “The Same Yesterday, Today and Forever” Bishop Athanasius Yevtic
  • On the Name of God יהךה =Yahweh
  • The Centurion and the Widow (Luke 7:1-17), Daniel A. Ayuch
  • Lucan Narrative and the Liberation of Man from Slavery and Poverty
  • Introduction
  • The Place of These Passages in the Lucan Gospel
  • God’s Salvation Enters a Gentile Home (7:1-10)
  • God’s Compassion to the Needy (7:11-17)
  • Conclusion: the Life-giving Power of the Gospel
  • The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), Rev. Fr. Aaron Warwick
  • Introduction
  • Common Interpretations and Resulting Problems
  • Common Interpretations
  • The Patristic Problem
  • The Modern Problem
  • “Secondary” Themes
  • An Alternative Approach
  • Parable Within Context
  • Solutions to the Problems
  • Metaphorical Interpretation: The Solution to the “Ancient Problem”
  • Metaphorical Interpretation: The Solution to the “Modern Problem”
  • Connecting the Metaphorical with the “Literal”
  • Conclusion
  • Epilogue: Preaching the Parable
  • Epiousios in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Rev. Fr. Ron Poworoznik
  • Conclusion
  • Paul
  • Revisiting “Baptism for the Dead” in 1 Corinthians 15:29, Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian
  • Assessing Scholarly Hypotheses:
  • Reviewing the Context
  • Why Baptize “for” the Dead?
  • Conclusion
  • Mysteriology: The Biblical Foundation of Sacramental Theology, Petros Vassiliadis
  • Christian Mystery, Mystery Cults and Contemporary Christian Witness
  • “Word” and “Mystery”
  • The “Mystery“ as viewed in Modernity
  • The “Mysteriological” Problem in the Christian Church
  • The Biblical Understanding of the Term “Mystery“ in Comparison with the Mystery Cults
  • The Pauline Contribution
  • The Johannine Contribution
  • The Ecclesiological Dimension of the Christian Mysteries and the Subsequently Acquired Sacramental Elements
  • Some Concluding Remarks
  • From Volkmar to Tarazi and Beyond: Mark as an Allegorical Presentation of the Pauline Gospel, Tom Dykstra
  • The Purpose of Mark
  • A Focus on the Gentile Mission
  • The Crucified Christ: Secrecy and Irony
  • Jesus’ Family and Disciples: Rocky Ground
  • The Two Main Parables
  • The Inconclusive Ending of the Gospel
  • Historical Improbabilities
  • Historical Context
  • Questionable Assumptions
  • Conclusion
  • Paul the Pastor: Exploring Metaphors for Ministry in Paul’s Writings, Rev. Dr. William C. Mills
  • Introduction
  • The Disintegration of Pastoral Care Today: A Brief Overview
  • The Apostle Paul: A Pastor’s Pastor
  • Pastor as Servant
  • Pastor as Builder
  • Pastor as Sower
  • A Pauline Vision of Pastoral Renewal
  • Notes
  • Authority and Passion: A Concurrent View Christology in the Gospel of Mark
  • Jesus Christ “The Same Yesterday, Today and Forever”
  • The Centurion and the Widow (Luke 7:1-17)
  • The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)
  • Epiousios in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke
  • Revisiting “Baptism for the Dead” in 1 Corinthians 15:29
  • Mysteriology: The Biblical Foundation of Sacramental Theology
  • From Volkmar to Tarazi and Beyond: Mark as an Allegorical Presentation of the Pauline Gospel
  • Paul the Pastor: Exploring Metaphors for Ministry in Paul’s Writings
  • Index
  • Series Index

| vii →


This book is the second of a three-volume compendium of scholarly papers dedicated to Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi. The background and occasion for this Festschrift (a bouquet of essays in celebration of a distinguished scholar) has already been noted by my colleague, Dr. Nicholae Roddy, in the Foreword to volume one. To those remarks, I would like to add further insight into the life and legacy of Fr. Paul.

I first met Fr. Paul while a student of his at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY. Then, as now, I observed with profound respect a single unifying theme that has governed the entire span of his teaching career and literary output. That theme is the centrality of the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Fr. Paul seems never to have artificially imposed that Gospel on the historical-critical methods he has used when studying the Bible – controversial as those methods have been. The integrity of the Bible’s textual history was always respected. At the end of the day—when linguistic and historical complexities have been unraveled -- the church’s central confession of Jesus Christ as Lord, God and Savior is celebrated and proclaimed. As Fr. Paul ceaselessly reminds us, without Scripture, the church empties its Gospel of content and context. Thus, with keen historical insight, Fr. Paul has led us to see how the Scriptures contain the Word of God (as past revelation), are the Word of God (God speaking to us), and become the Word of God (when one personally appropriates its message). For that, we can only respond with a resounding “Axios!”

The papers in the present volume address subjects pertaining to the New Testament. The contributors are scholars, lay theologians and clerics of the Orthodox Church. Each brings his own special relationship with Fr. Paul as friend, colleague or student. It is impractical to comment on the particular value of each essay since each has made a different contribution to modern scholarship. I have organized them simply under the rubrics “Jesus” and “Paul.”

In presenting this collection, we should not assume that the conclusions reached in every essay are necessarily the right ones. That is left for the readers to decide freely for themselves, which is the way Fr. Paul always assumed. ← vii | viii → It is the intention of all conributors that these essays will honor Fr. Paul by helping readers to better understand significant themes in the literature of the New Testament. On behalf of each writer, we extend our warmest appreciation for the work he has offered to both the academy and the church.

Together, this three-volume collection of essays marks a significant milestone in the developing field of biblical exegesis in the Orthodox Church. Though much work remains to be done, it is to the credit of Fr. Paul Tarazi that the field has made such swift and substantive advances over the past 40 years. The editors, contributors and Fr. Paul himself will rejoice greatly if readers find in these articles a meaningful path to the final destination of biblical knowledge, namely, salvation through Jesus Christ, and love for God and neighbor.

Bradley Nassif
Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies

North Park University (Chicago)

| ix →


The Holy Bible, biblical text, exegesis and understanding the biblical message in its original context, without the influence of medieval and later doctrinal and theological precipitations, truly outline the scholarly career of the Very Reverend Dr. Paul Nadim Tarazi, a leading Orthodox theologian in the field of biblical study. The professor of Old Testament at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Professor Tarazi has also lectured extensively in universities and seminaries around the world. He is the author of numerous books and articles in the field of biblical theology and exegesis. Professor Tarazi is the founder of the “Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies” (OCABS) and its online Journal (JOCABS). He is also the founding pillar of the unit “Bible in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Traditions” of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL).

His forty-year teaching career around the world and his theological research in the field of biblical studies have produced generations of biblical scholars with a unique and critical approach to biblical exegesis and interpretation. It was, therefore, only befitting that leading international scholars who have been students or colleagues of Professor Tarazi come together in Festschrift to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his teaching career by offering a critical appreciation of his contribution to biblical studies, and by exploring the continuing scholarly discussion of issues related to the Biblical text, exegesis and theology.

A daylong celebration took place on Saturday October 23, 2010, under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Philip, Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Church of North America. The Festschrift convened at the conference hall of St. George Antiochian Church in Little Falls, New Jersey, was scheduled 9am–4pm, with the participation of over 30 international scholars.

This book is one of three volumes covering the proceedings of the Festschrift. Volume one includes the papers exploring the latest scholarly debate in the fields of Old Testament Studies. Volume two will include the articles dealing with the New Testament, and volume three will publish the papers discussing biblical theology in general. ← ix | x →

Heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Bradley Nassif, Ph.D., Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, North Park University (Chicago), for editing the articles this second volume. Special thanks and appreciation to Reverend Fr. Marc Boulos, Pastor of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Mission, in Eagan, Minnesota, for the layout and finalization of this volume.

Finally, congratulations to Professor Tarazi–a man “approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). May the Lord grant him many years of fruitful service and witnessing in the vineyard of the Lord.

Bishop Vahan J. Hovhanessian, Ph.D.
Series Editor

| xi →


The Very Reverend Fr. Paul N. Tarazi Festschrift Committee would like to acknowledge with deep appreciation the following supporters and benefactors:

The Reverend Fr. Marc and Alla Boulos

Edward and Nina Costandi

John Josef Costandi

Payman and Carla Langroudi

The Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies

Ralph and Mary Lee Sergi

Bassam Tarazi

Jalal Tarazi

Jamal and Christine Tarazi

Nabil and Leila Tarazi and Children

Nouhad and Farida Tarazi

Kamal Tarazi

Paola Tarazi

Reem Tarazi and Family

| xiii →

V. Rev. Fr. Paul Nadim Tarazi: Brief Biography and Bibliography

Fr. Paul Tarazi has been teaching scripture for well over forty years. His teaching ministry includes full-time professorship at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, as well as adjunct positions at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA, and the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology in Balamand, Lebanon. His courses cover the full range of scriptural studies in Old and New Testaments, Biblical Hebrew and Greek, Academic Arabic, and Homiletics. He has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities and institutions in the United States and Canada, as well as Australia, Chile, Estonia, Finland, Israel, Palestine, Romania, and Serbia, and has represented the Antiochian Orthodox Church at various ecumenical gatherings.

A prolific writer, Fr. Paul has authored (as of this writing) seventeen books, including detailed commentaries on Galatians and 1 Thessalonians, a seven-volume Introduction to the Old and New Testaments, and six commentaries published in The Chrysostom Bible: A Commentary Series for Teaching and Preaching. His book, Land and Covenant, commissioned by His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, is a comprehensive scriptural analysis of the issues pertaining to what is popularly known as the Holy Land and to God’s promise regarding it. Many readers of this book consider it to be a thorough introduction to the totality of Scripture in both Old and New Testaments. Fr. Paul has also contributed numerous articles in books and academic journals. Ever in highest demand as a speaker, both nationally and internationally, Fr. Paul is known for his dynamic style and his ability to engage an audience’s interest while explaining complex matters of scriptural interpretation.

Fr. Paul has served as theological and editorial consultant for the General Assembly of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of JOCABS, a journal of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies (OCABS). A group of Fr. Paul’s former theological students founded OCABS in 1999 to promote the awareness of the centrality of the Gospel in the Christian life, to provide ← xiii | xiv → resources for those who teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the parish level, to conduct seminars in the area of advanced biblical studies, and to develop a foundation to provide material support for those pursuing advanced degrees and special research and publishing projects. Fr. Paul’s work with OCABS includes audio commentaries on all the books of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Fr Paul serves on the steering committee of the “Bible in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Traditions” unit of the Society of Biblical Literature, which was established in 2007 by an international group of scholars, all of which are his former students.

Born in Jaffa, Palestine, Paul Nadim Tarazi moved to Cairo, Egypt and then to Beirut, Lebanon, where he studied at the Christian Brothers French School prior to attending the Jesuit University School of Medicine, in Beirut. He then pursued theological studies at the Orthodox Theological Institute in Bucharest, Romania where he received his Th.D. degree in New Testament. Ordained to the holy priesthood in 1976, Fr. Paul has shepherded parishes in Connecticut and New York and is currently assistant priest at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Danbury, Connecticut.


The Chrysostom Bible, OCABS Press Commentary series:

Ezekiel: A Commentary (2012) 1 Corinthians: A Commentary (2011)

Romans: A Commentary (2010)

Colossians and Philemon: A Commentary (2010) Philippians: A Commentary (2009)

Genesis: A Commentary (2009)

The New Testament Introduction:

Volume 1, Paul and Mark (Crestwood: SVS Press, 1999; Beirut: An-Nour,
2001 [Arabic])

Volume 2, Luke and Acts (Crestwood: SVS Press, 2001)

Volume 3, Johannine Writings (Crestwood: SVS Press, 2004) Volume 4, Matthew and the Canon (St. Paul: OCABS Press, 2009)

The Old Testament Introduction:

Volume 1: Historical Traditions. Crestwood: SVS Press, 1991; rev. 2003; Beirut: An-Nour, 1998 (Arabic).

Volume 2: The Prophets. Crestwood: SVS Press, 1994; Beirut: An-Nour, 1998 (Arabic). ← xiv | xv →

Volume 3: Wisdom Literature. Crestwood: SVS Press, 1996; Beirut: An-Nour, 1999 Arabic).


XX, 170
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2015 (March)
Jesus life apostle Paul
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 170 pp.

Biographical notes

Tom Dykstra (Volume editor) Vahan Hovhanessian (Volume editor)

Bradley Nassif is Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at North Park University (Chicago). A theologian of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, Dr. Nassif is a specialist on patristic exegesis. He is the general editor of New Perspectives on Historical Theology: Essays in Memory of John Meyendorff, co-editor of The Philokalia: A Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality, and author of Bringing Jesus to the Desert. He has been a consultant for Christianity Today and Time magazines.


Title: Festschrift in Honor of Professor Paul Nadim Tarazi- Volume 2
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