The Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group
Recommended Reading List
First & Foremost: English is a difficult language for Bible translation. The English vocabulary is very limited in comparison to Hebrew or Greek. Therefore, we suggest abandoning use of the King James Version of The Holy Bible.
The KJV was jointly compiled by Roman Catholics & Protestants, but due to time constraints the Latin Vulgate and earlier (poor) English translations were used as source material, rather than the original Hebrew & Greek texts. King James did not demand spiritual accuracy: he demanded a single Bible they would all agree not to burn! If you like the prosaic styling of the KJV, the Revised Standard Version (1885) is linguistically similar, but according to the Greek Orthodox Church, contains a far more complete and accurate translation of the original Greek texts. For the modern English version, the GOC has published (and we recommend) The Orthodox Study Bible (Thomas Nelson publishing ISBN 978-0-7180-0359-3) In addition to its Greek accuracy, the study notes are very valuable!
The early Orthodox Church recognized 81 canonical books, rather than KJV’s 66 books. The Ante- (“ante” meaning “before”) Nicene Fathers often reference these writings, so it is worth keeping a copy of The Universal Bible (Fifth Estate Publishing, ISBN 978-1-933580-93-7) on your shelf. The Universal Bible provides the English translations of the various texts, albeit without any commentary. Nevertheless, it’s a good reference tool.
NON-CANONICAL, BUT IMPORTANT BOOKS
The Way of a Pilgrim & A Pilgrim Continues His Way is an excellent introduction to the concepts of a life of continual prayer, humility, and the principle of individual Christianity. These are two separate installments, which can be purchased either separately or together. The translation by R.M. French (Harper & Row Publishers, ISBN 0-86683-902-X) contains helpful explanations of Russian traditions and historical context footnotes.
Becoming Orthodox (Rev Fr. Peter Gillquist, Conciliar Press, ISBN 978-1-936270-00-2) is the story of 35 ministers of Campus Crusade for Christ (each previously Ordained in either Methodist or Baptist sects) who all became Orthodox as they endeavored to find SOUND DOCTRINE in which to disciple their converts. It addressed their initial misperceptions and how they overcame them. “Becoming Orthodox was instrumental in MY becoming Orthodox!
Welcome to the Orthodox Church (Frederica Mathews-Green, Paraclete Press, ISBN 978-1-55725-921-9) is an excellent resource written with Protestants in mind.
The Orthodox Way (Bishop Kallistos Ware, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, ISBN 978-0-913836-58-3) is a general account of the doctrine, worship and life of Orthodox Christians, raising the basic issues of theology, serving as a modern catechism of the ancient Faith. It contains a wealth of texts drawn from theologians and spiritual writers of all ages, and shows the meaning of Orthodox doctrine for the life of the individual believer. Doctrinal issues are not seen as abstract propositions for theological debate, but rather as affecting the whole of a believer’s life.
The Philokalia: The Eastern Christian Spiritual Texts. “Philokalia” means “Love of the Beautiful”. It contains time-proven life-changing teachings on prayer, watchfulness, stillness & self-control. Skylight Paths Publishing’s version (ISBN 978-1-59473-103-7) is annotated with the new student in mind.
Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking & Health (Dr Caroline Leaf, Baker Books, ISBN 978-0-8010-1839-8). The science behind “the renewing of our minds” by the Power of God’s Spirit and Biblical Truth!
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Glory and Honor: Orthodox Christian Resources on Marriage (edited by Dr. David C. Ford, Mary S. Ford, & Alfred Kentigern Siewers, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, ISBN 978-0-88141-540-7) The Orthodox Church embodies a living tradition that integrates a long, unbroken practice of marriage with its theology, cosmology, liturgy, mystical asceticism, and anthropology. As such, the Church has a great deal to offer all those who desire to come to a deeper understanding of marriage and family life. This collection draws upon the riches of this tradition to present an inspiring vision of Christian marriage, and to offer insight end guidance about marriage and family life that are adapted to moderate questions and challenges, yet firmly grounded in the global teaching and practice of The Church. The experienced clergy, scholars, and professionals contributing to this volume come from a wide variety of Orthodox Christian communities present in North America.
Towards Authentic Christian Spirituality (Metropolitan Emilianos Timiadis, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, ISBN 1-885652-18-6) Reflections of an Orthodox Pastor: short, insightful passages akin to the Philokalia.
Bread & Water, Wine & Oil (Archimandrite Meletios Webber, Ancient Faith Publishing, ISBN 978-1-888212-91-4) explores the role of mystery in Christian life, then walks the reader through the seven major mysteries (sacraments), showing the way to a richer, fuller, Christian life.
On The Acquisition of The Holy Spirit (St. Seraphim of Sarov)
Ultimate Things: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on the End Times (Dennis E. Engleman, Conciliar Press, ISBN 0-9622713-9-X) A biblical & historical work written to help serious Christians prepare our hearts and minds to meet The Lord when He comes.
EMERGENCY SERVICE CORPS CHAPLAINCY REFERENCES
Disaster Spiritual Care: Practical Clergy Responses to Community, Regional & National Tragedy (Rabbi Stephen B. Roberts & Rev. W.C. Ashley Sr., Skylight Paths Publishing, ISBN 978-1-59473-240-9) An interdenominational compilation. Topics include Defining a Disaster; Life Cycle of a Disaster; Congregational & Community Work in Small, Regional & National Disasters; Recognizing Coping Mechanisms – Healthy & Unhealthy – Within Your Congregation & Community; Preparing Congregants Prior to Disaster; Cultural & Religious Considerations in Disaster Response; Clergy & Compassion Fatigue; Working With Children, Adolescents & the Elderly; Responses to Anniversaries & Other Reminders; and Lasting Readjustment Issues.
Parish Nurses, Healthcare Chaplains & Community Clergy: Navigating the Maze of Professional Relationships (Rev. Larry Vandecreek & Sue Mooney, BSN, The Haworth Press, ISBN 0-7890-1617-6) With professional perspectives from all three fields, this unique book provides practical advice and resources that can increase your ministry team’s effectiveness.
You, God & PTSD: Faith-Based Healing in our Military’s Chaplain Corps (Chaplain Todd D. Fowler, USN, Dog Ear Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4575-2670-1) A Chaplain’s first-hand account, providing more practical advice on Lasting Readjustment Issues.