Welcome!

I’m Fr. Silviu, an Orthodox priest and a professor of early Judaism and Old Testament. Welcome to my website, on which I will post updates (and pieces) of my work.

Please feel free to follow for updates at the bottom of this page, in the “leave a reply” section.

I grew up and lived in Romania before my family and I moved to the United States. I studied early Judaism and ancient Christianity at Marquette University with Deirdre Dempsey, Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin), Sharon Pace, and Michel Barnes (among others). Since 2007 I have taught as Bible faculty at the University of Dayton, where I am currently an associate professor. I was ordained to the diaconate and the priesthood in 2012 and I serve under the omophorion of Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin) in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

Educational background

  • Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Marquette University 1999-2005
  • M.A. in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, University of Oradea, Romania 1997-1998
  • Undergraduate studies in Classics, University of Cluj, Romania 1996-1998
  • B.Div. in Orthodox Theology, University of Sibiu, Romania 1993-1997

Academic positions

  • Associate Professor of Early Judaism and Old Testament, University of Dayton 2015-2022
  • Visiting Associate Professor of Old Testament, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary 2020-2022
  • Assistant Professor of Early Judaism and Old Testament, University of Dayton 2007- 2015
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Biblical Theology, Marquette University 2006-2007
  • Lecturer in Biblical Theology, Marquette University 2005-2006

Research and teaching interests

Early Judaism (scriptural hermeneutics, ascetical and mystical traditions), Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Jewish pseudepigrapha, the Old Testament in early Christianity, the Old Testament in the Orthodox Church, Scripture and liturgy, scriptural and liturgical translations.

Current projects

I am working on a critical edition, translation, and close study of the Romanian recension of the Life of Adam and Eve. As soon as this project is finished, I will continue to translate, with Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin), the works of St. Dionysius the Areopagite, of which half will be published with St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, and the other half with Cherubim Press. He and I are also translating the first collection of the Macarian Homilies, that is, the parts of the first collection which are not also present in the second collection, popularly known as the Fifty Spiritual Homilies.

In my spare time I translate scriptural, liturgical, and patristic texts for Cherubim Press, which I co-founded in 2018 together with Fr. Matthew-Peter Butrie. My current translation work is on the Sylleitourgikon of the Simonopetra monastery (with Fr. Matthew-Peter), the Euchologion of the Simonopetra monastery (with Fr. Matthew-Peter), and the mystagogies attributed to St. Sophronios of Jerusalem, Nicholas of Andida, and St. Gregory of Sinai. I am also constantly working on the second volume of my koini grammar dedicated to syntax and issues of translation (to be published in 2023).

Publications

Books—in print

The Lord God of Gods. Divinity and Deification in Early Judaism. Perspectives on Hebrew Scripture and Its Contexts 35. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2021. On sale here: https://www.gorgiaspress.com/silviubunta

Greek Grammar: Biblical and PatristicVol. 1: Morphology. Dayton: Cherubim Press, 2021. On sale here: https://cherubimpress.com/shop/ols/products/silviu-n-bunta-greek-grammar-i-biblical-and-patristic

Ieratikon according to the Simonopetra Tradition. Introduction, translation, and notes. Dayton: Cherubim Press, 2019. Second edition in 3 volumes, 2021. [with Rev. Matthew-Peter Butrie]. The second edition is on sale here: https://cherubimpress.com/shop/ols/products/ieratikon-according-to-the-simonopetra-tradition-second-edition-3-volume-set. The fourth volume of the first edition, with comments and studies, is available for sale separately, here: https://cherubimpress.com/shop/ols/products/ieratikon4-notes.

Diakonikon according to the Simonopetra Tradition. Introduction, translation, and notes. Dayton: Cherubim Press, 2021. [with Rev. Matthew-Peter Butrie]. On sale here: https://cherubimpress.com/shop/ols/products/diakonikon-according-to-the-simonopetra-tradition.

The Orthodox Psalter. Introduction, Translation, and Notes (McAllen: Cherubim Press, forthcoming in July 2022). It will be for sale here.

‘Your Life Will Be Hung Before Your Eyes’: Meanings of Our Life in Orthodox Liturgy (foreword by Archbp. Alexander [Golitzin]; Dayton: Cherubim Press, 2022). On sale here.

Articles in scholarly journals and in edited volumes (latest)

“For a hermeneutics of referent: On the Sinai Tradition and a Reinterpretation of ‘Covenant’.” Forthcoming. 

“Post-loguing the Prologue: The Johannine Gospel and the Priority of Christ.” Forthcoming in From Scripture to Philosophy. New Essays on Contemporary Topics by Romanian Theologians. Edited by Nichifor Tănase et al. Münster, Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2022.

“Tradition: Generated by Scripture or Generating Scripture?” Pages 229-243 in The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Orthodox Christianity. Edited by Eugen Pentiuc. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2022.

For a Hermeneutics of Death. Dying and Exegeting in 2 Cor 3-6.” Pages 39-49 in Simpozionul de Educație și Spiritualitate Ortodoxă „Polis & Paideia”. Edited by Nichifor Tănase and Constantin Jinga. București: Editura Academiei Române, 2021. [in Romanian]

 “In Defense of Inheritance. Observations on a New, Non-traditional Orthodoxy.” Pages 167-179 in Simpozionul de Educație și Spiritualitate Ortodoxă „Polis & Paideia”. Edited by Nichifor Tănase and Constantin Jinga. București: Editura Academiei Române, 2021. [in Romanian] 

“The Voices of the ‘Triumphant Hymn’: The Orthodox Sanctus as a Christian Merkabah Text.” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 64/1-2 (2020): 93-127.

Driven Away with a Stick: The Femininity of the Godhead in y. Ber. 12d, the Emergence of Rabbinic Modalist Orthodoxy, and the Christian Binitarian Complex.” Pages 66-84 in Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism. Studies in Honor of Alexander Golitzin. Edited by Andrei A. Orlov. Vigiliae Christianae Supplements. Leiden: Brill, 2020.

Reversing Genesis 3,6-7: Adamic Traditions in the Cursing of the Fig Tree (Mk 11,12-14.20-25; Mt 21,18-22).” Pages 111-144 in Sfânta Scriptură în Istorie și Tradiție. Volum Omagial Păr. Prof. Vasile Mihoc (Sacred Scripture in History and Tradition. Festschrift Pr. Prof. Vasile Mihoc). Sibiu, Romania: Editura Andreiana, Colectia Theologia Universitaria, 2019.

Older articles in scholarly journals and in edited volumes (selection)

“The Convergence of Adamic and Merkabah Traditions in the Christology of Hebrews.” Pages 277-296 in Searching the Scriptures: Studies in Context and Intertextuality. Edited by in Craig A. Evans and J. J. Johnston. London: T & T Clark/Bloomsbury, 2015. 

Dreamy Angels and Demonic Giants: Watcher Traditions and the Origin of Evil in Early Christian Demonology.” Pages 116-138 in The Fallen Angels Traditions: Second Temple Developments and Reception History. Edited by Angela Kim Harkins, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, and John C. Endres. Catholic Biblical Association Monograph Series 53. Washington, DC: The Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2014.

In Heaven or on Earth: A Misplaced Temple Question about Ezekiel’s Visions.” Pages 28-44 in With Letters of Light: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Early Jewish Apocalypticism, Magic and Mysticism in Honor of Rachel Elior. Edited by Daphna Arbel. Berlin/New York: W. de Gruyter, 2011. 

Metamorphosis and Role Reversal: Anthropomorphic Demons and Angelomorphic Humans in the Life of Adam and Eve and 2 Enoch.” Henoch 33/1 (2011): 47-60.

‘Your Own of Your Own’: Jewish Adam Speculations and Orthodox Liturgy in the Slavonic and Romanian Life of Adam and Eve.” Scrinium 5 (2009): 112-128.

“The Mesu-Tree and the Animal Inside: Theomorphism and Theriomorphism in Daniel 4.” Scrinium 3 (2007): 364-384.

YHWH’s Cultic Statue after 597/586 B.C.E.: A Linguistic and Theological Reinterpretation of Ezekiel 28:12.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 69/2 (2007): 212-232.

The Likeness of the Image: Adamic Motifs and tselem Anthropology in Rabbinic Traditions About Jacob’s Image Enthroned in Heaven.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 37 (2006): 55-84.

Too Vast to Fit in the World: Moses, Adam, and צלם אלהים in Testament of Moses 11:8.” Henoch 26/2 (2004): 188–204.

Encyclopedia/dictionary entries

Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2012-: “Adam and Eve, Life of (Book),” “Adam and Eve, Story of, in Judaism,” “Adam in Judaism, in Medieval Jewish Literature,” “Adam in Judaism, in Rabbinic Literature,” “Adam in Judaism, in the Hellenistic Period,” “Cain (Person) in Judaism,” “Cain and Abel, Story of, in Rabbinic Judaism,” “Cain, Mark of, in Judaism,” “Mysticism in the Second Temple Period.”

Academic papers, invited lectures, and conference chairs (latest)

“Referent Reading: Translating the Psalms with an ‘I’ toward Tradition,” 3rd International Symposium on Biblical Exegesis, Faculty of Letters, History and Theology, West University of Timișoara, Romania (November 12, 2022, online)

“For a Hermeneutics of Death: Death and Exegesis in 2 Cor 3-6,” The Day of the Bible, The Romanian Academy—West University of Timișoara. Timișoara, Romania (November 13, 2019).

“In Defense of Inheritance: Thoughts on a New Orthodoxy, Non-traditional,” Symposium Polis & Paideia, West University of Timișoara. Timișoara, Romania (November 9, 2019).

“For a Hermeneutics of Death: An Essay on the Reading to which Tradition Writes,” Bridging Voices: Orthodoxy and Modernity, Fordham University-University of Exeter-University of Oxford. Oxford, England (August 17, 2019).

“In the Words of Scripture: An Ascetical-Mystical Reading of Rom 2:8–9 and 2 Cor 4:8; 6:11–13,” Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, Biblical Interpretation in Early Christianity section, Pontifical Biblical Institute. Rome, Italy (July 3, 2019).

Session chair, Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, Hellenistic Judaism section, Pontifical Biblical Institute. Rome, Italy (July 2, 2019).

“Hebrews 9 and the Temple-Sinai Tradition: A Reinterpretation of “Covenant,” Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting, Epistle to the Hebrews section, Pontifical Biblical Institute. Rome, Italy (July 2, 2019).

“Theophaneia: A Theological Vision,” International Orthodox Theological Association. Iași, Romania (January 10, 2019).

“Response to Ben Sommer, ‘The Bodies of God,’” Ryterband Symposium, United Theological Seminary, University of Dayton, Wright State University. Dayton, Ohio (November 8, 2018).

“The Voices of the ‘Triumphant Hymn’: The Orthodox Sanctus as a Christian Merkabah Text,” International Conference “Dumitru Stăniloae,” West University of Timișoara. Timișoara, Romania (October 1, 2018).

Church and public talks (latest)

“Liturgy and the Life in the Spirit,” four talks given to the Mississippi River Deanery RetreatOCA, at the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, Clinton, Mississippi (Nov 2-3, 2022), available here.

“Scriptural interpretation as the encounter of Christ,” three talks given at the annual Emmaus retreat, in Monrovia, Indiana (Oct 29, 2022). Audio recordings of the talks are available here.

1. “The Scripture is our life: the healing of our mindset;” 2. “The Scripture is our life: the healing of our pain;” 3. “The Scripture is our life: the healing of our thoughts,” talks at the 2022 meeting of Orthodox Women in the Healing Ministries, at Holy Dormition Monastery, Michigan (Sep 30-Oct 1, 2022). Talks will be here: https://owhm.org.

“How do the Scriptures interpret themselves within me?,” talk at Restoration Park Church, Medway, Ohio (May 3, 2022). Talk is here: https://youtu.be/ez9sCqBPcD4.

“Scripture in our Lives” Lenten retreat at St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, Palos Heights, Illinois (April 1-3, 2022).

“Discovering the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts,” “Discovering the Liturgy of St. Basil,” talks at St. Athanasius Orthodox Church, Nicholasville, Kentucky (March 11-12, 2022)

“Spiritual study according to Elder Aimilianos,” talk given at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, New York (Dec 1, 2021).

“Tradition and Scripture.” Series of talks given for the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Cincinnati, Ohio (Oct 21-32, 2021).

“Tradition and New Forms of Orthodoxy.” Bulgarian Diocese of the OCA. Cleveland, Ohio (Sep 26, 2021).

Invited Address, St. John’s Summer Camp, Mitchell, Indiana (July 14, 2021).

“Of what Tradition do we speak? A brief look at a new, evangelical Orthodoxy,” “Ethics or immorality? A false dilemma,” Diocese of the Midwest, Annual clergy conference, Orthodox Church in America (May 12, 2021) [online]

“An Orthodox Response to Tragedies and Acts of Evil,” Orthodox Christian Fellowship—University of Michigan Ann Arbor (September 22, 2020). [online]

“A new Orthodoxy in the making,” “Translation Matters: Insights from Translating the Liturgy,” St. Athanasius Orthodox Church, Lexington, Kentucky (December 14, 2019).

“The Incarnation and Human Brokenness,” Orthodox Christian Fellowship—University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky (December 13, 2019).

“Can we Orthodox speak of ‘Scripture and Tradition’?,” “In defense of freedom: thoughts on Orthodox evangelicalism,” “Notes on ancient Christian hermeneutics,” Carolinas Deanery, Clergy conference, Orthodox Church in America, Charlotte, North Carolina (September 7-8, 2019).

“Translation matters: Things that struck me in Translating the Ieratikon,” “The Father takes us into His house’: Insights into the Liturgy from Fr. Aimilianos of Simonopetra,” Diocese of the South Annual Conference, Orthodox Church in America, Jupiter, Florida (July 24-25, 2019).

Invited Address, St. John’s Summer Camp, Mitchell, Indiana (July 18, 2019).

“Seeking my Beloved: Dating, Discernment, and Finding ‘the One’,” Orthodox Christian Fellowship—Great Lakes, Annual Retreat, Camp Kern, Oregonia, Ohio (March 29, 2019).

“‘Who Do You Say that I Am?’ The Way Christ Sees Us,” Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Annual College Conference, Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Antiochian Village, Pennsylvania (December 27, 2018).

“How does our Orthodox Tradition read the Scripture differently?,” Association of the Orthodox Churches of Edmonton, Annual Advent Talk, Edmonton, Canada (November 17, 2018).

“In defense of freedom: an ancient Stoic value central to Orthodox spirituality,” The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, Annual Gala, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Dayton, Ohio (November 12, 2017).

Interviews and public media appearances (latest)

Restoration Park Church, Medway, Ohio: “How do the Scriptures interpret themselves within me?” (May 3, 2022). Talk is here: https://youtu.be/ez9sCqBPcD4.

St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary: “Spiritual study according to Elder Aimilianos,” talk (Dec 1, 2021). Talk is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8GYJPtaSD4.

Romanian Orthodox Youth Association: “What does God want from us? Intellect, feelings, and the heart in the time of Corona,” Facebook interview (April 5, 2020). Interview is here:  https://www.facebook.com/ROrthodoxYouth/videos/roya-live-ep-10-pr-silviu-bunta/667499837408801/

Romanian National TV Timisoara (TVR), channel 3: “Orthodoxy and political correctness” (November 12, 2019). The interview is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-o-bQVa42g  

Holistic Christian Life: “The significance of the Incarnation” (October 9, 2019). The interview is here: https://mybeautifuladvent.com/father-silviu-bunta/

Ancient Faith Radio: “Translation Matters: Things That Struck me in Translating the Ieratikon” (August 12, 2019);   “The Father Takes Us into His House: Insights into the Liturgy from Fr. Aimilianos of Simonopetra” (August 12, 2019);   “The Bible: An Orthodox Perspective” (October 13, 2015);   “Tending on God: A spiritual perspective on healing” (October 5, 2015);   “Toward a spirituality of care” (October 5, 2015);   “Understanding and Encountering the Holy in Ancient Israel” (August 12, 2013). The podcasts are on the website of the Ancient Faith Radio: https://www.ancientfaith.com .

The Mysterion Theology podcast: “What is Lent?” (Jan 20, 2020). Interview is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q9xc-w4Q-0 .   

“What do we Do? Mass Shootings and spiritual sickness” (August 5, 2019). Interview is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyHPlRT6xr0&t=10s.   

“Vampires and Crosses: A Holy Week Special,” (April 15, 2019). Interview is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A54IFiDnh6g&t=9s

International Orthodox Theological Association podcast: “ Theophaneia: A Theological Vision” (February 2, 2019). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf5UVFXzTuU

The Deep Voice Show: “How Does Our Orthodox Tradition Read The Scriptures Differently?” (November 23, 2018). In four parts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndqrfT6i4LA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gRf1wIhZjg, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co0Ljr4w5e8&list=RDLV8gRf1wIhZjg&index=7, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMuBi1QR3K8&list=RDLV8gRf1wIhZjg&index=2.

Restoration Park Church: “Religiously Divided. Interview on religious diversity” (July 2, 2018). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7g70lCdeaY.

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Dear visitor, I am announcing an upcoming online class which will begin in March 2023: Introduction to Orthodox Hermeneutics! More information to come, in the top menu link dedicated to this course.