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The Friend of the Bridegroom
On the Orthodox Veneration of the Forerunner

POD; Published: 2/7/2003
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4979-3
Price: $ 29.50
202 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6.25 x 9.25
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Translated by Boris Jakim

Spirit and Life
"Written from the standpoint of Orthodox theology by one of its finest theologians, this study of John the Baptist deftly explores areas of scriptural exegesis left largely untouched by Catholic theologians. In addition to being spiritually enriching, the book aims at restoring a proper appreciation of John's role in the economy of redemption. . . It would be difficult to absorb the message of the 'friend' and be left unmoved and unchanged."
Robert Bird
"In The Friend of the Bridegroom, as if in some exquisite Renaissance painting, Sergius Bulgakov places the angelic John the Baptist at the center of his Christian message. Bulgakov provides thorough scriptural and liturgical commentary, but his heartfelt depiction of John is also masterfully drawn and infused with color. Boris Jakim, the premier translator of Russian philosophy and theology into English, has succeeded in conveying all of the artistic power of Bulgakov's portrayal of John the Baptist. "
Paul Valliere
"There is no better introduction to Sergius Bulgakov's dogmatic theology than The Friend of the Bridegroom. This little book written in 1927 clearly displays the great Russian theologian's virtues: his love for concrete Orthodox tradition, his theological modernism and passionate moral activism, his biblical humanism and broad philosophical outlook, his glimpse of the Divine Glory and grasp of the humanization of that Glory in the Incarnation, and his powerful eschatological sense, which he shared with John the Forerunner. As John went out to meet the Kingdom of God and its Christ, so Bulgakov went out in joy to meet John the Forerunner, Mary the Mother of God, and the other men and women of historic Israel who ushered in the New Covenant. And Boris Jakim has gone out to meet Bulgakov, giving us yet another gem of modern Russian theology in graceful, lucid English. In our day, when New Testament scholarship favors a radical, leveling historicism, Bulgakov's powerful elucidation of the dogmatic substance of the gospel is more relevant than ever."