Orthodox Christians, both lay and clergy, may wonder how the EOB (Eastern/ Greek Orthodox Bible) compares with the OSB (Orthodox Study Bible), and indeed if there is competition or complementarity between the two.
It is important to understand that the main purpose of the EOB is different than that of the OSB.
The Orthodox Study Bible (New Testament and New Testament part of the Complete Edition) is not an Orthodox translation of the ecclesiastical Greek Orthodox text - it is a special edition of the New King James translation (copyright control by Thomas Nelson) designed to help "find Orthodox Christianity in the pages of the New Testament." It is especially helpful as an introductory tools to introduce other Christians, especially Protestants, to Orthodoxy. Hence, the OSB NT contains many explanatory and interpretive footnotes, although some of them are possibly problematic.
The EOB documents a few instances where sound Eastern Orthodox scholarship would not necessary agree with the OSB footnotes, as in Acts and Revelation.
One key aspect of the OSB has to do with copyright control. For the NT, the copyright limitations of this Protestant translation are quite restrictive:
Copyright and Usage Information
The Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
The text of the New King James Version® (NKJV®) may be quoted or reprinted without prior written permission with the following qualifications:
(1) Up to and including 1,000 verses may be quoted in printed form as long as the verses quoted amount to less than 50% of a complete book of the Bible and make up less than 50% of the total work in which they are quoted; (2) all NKJV quotations must conform accurately to the NKJV text.
Any use of the NKJV text must include a proper acknowledgment as follows:
"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
However, when quotations from the NKJV text are used in church bulletins, orders of service, Sunday School lessons, church newsletters and similar works in the course of religious instruction or services at a place of worship or other religious assembly, the following notice may be used at the end of each quotation: "NKJV."
By contrast, the EOB is made available in various formats with limited copyright restriction, especially to canonical Orthodox institutions and individuals. The EOB also offers a more authentically scholarly and Orthodox translation of the New Testament while using familiar Orthodox terminology and expression.
Moreover, it is presented to the English-speaking Orthodox community as an encouragement to study the Greek language and to produce a common New Testament text for Eastern Orthodoxy in North America.
The scholarly bent of the EOB is evident in the articles included in the Introduction and Appendices, which cover fewer topics but with a more in-depth approach.
As in the case of the OSB, the EOB Old Testament presents a unique challenge.
It seems that the approach taken by the OSB was to introduce LXX readings or variants in the New King James translation, at least in some of the books.
Also, one limitation of the OSB is that it does not contains any scholarly introduction to the Old Testament in generally, part of which could have allowed the readers to know what underlying manuscripts of existing translations were used.
By comparison, the EOB OT approach is to extensively update and revise the Brenton translation of the Septuagint with constant reference to the Greek Orthodox text published by the Apostoliki Diakonia + the NETS and the French edition.
Moreover, the EOB OT provides comprehensive footnotes documenting significant variants (relying on MT, DSS, NIV, ISV, NJB, NETS).
Thus, the EOB offers the text as an ongoing collaborative effort to improve the resulting translation.
It is also noteworthy that the EOB includes Job, Jeremiah and Esther in their LXX and Masoretic versions (which are quite different).
Special care was taken in the case of the EOB Psalter to offer a text that is laid out and suitable for liturgical use. Significant variants are documented in footnotes and the correspondence between the LXX and MT numbering is made very easy to understand.
Hence, the EOB and OSB are truly complementary editions of the Holy Scriptures for Orthodox Christians who are encouraged to use and promote both and to participate in the ongoing improvement process of the EOB.