From the very first days of the establishment of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, His Holiness and Beatitude, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II set a plan of work for the future activity to set a link between modern science and Theology; application of scientific achievements for the spiritual development and perfection of an individual. The activities of the Publishing Office of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary represent one of the working links in achieving this goal.
They do their best at the Publishing Office to widen the students’ scope and to get it available for them to get acquainted with various outstanding originals or translations by old Georgian Theological writers; Georgian philologists and textologists are doing their best to realize these publications, and they have been doing that for decades Publishing Office of the Academy-Seminary among them. For the last nine years (2010-2019) about 15 academic publications of works by great Byzantine Holy Fathers - Basil of Caesaria, Gregoly the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, Basil Sell, Epiphanes Cyprus and many others - with the help of deeply rooted thinking of old Georgian translations it became possible to get acquainted with them. These translations were made by the greatest Georgian Christian thinkers and translators - St. Eptvime and Gregory Mtatsmindeli, Ephraim Small, Teofile Hiero-Monk and many others, who never lagged behind the originals. Thanks to their artistic value, they render great help to the formation of students, in making them worthy ecclesiastical servant and becoming theologians.
These publications and the environment of students’ were estimated by Professor of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary the following way: “I think that judging by today’s publications, we can openly declare that Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary has reached the greatest Philological achievements in publishing texts. In Korneli Kekelidze Institute of Manuscripts (today’s Korneli Kekelidze National Center of Manuscripts) where the publications of old ecclesiastical texts are carried out in the most established form on the academic level, it would have been impossible to enrich the nation with high level publications, but for the scientific high level, it’s firmness that is rooted in Tbilisi Theological Academy today”.
The Publishing Office Tbilisi Theological and Seminary coordinates periodical editions as well - scientific-theological works and ecclesiastical-scientific collection “The Scroll”. These two collections present another proof that teachers of the Academy-Seminary are occupied with active research work as well, that leads to their constant professional development. In scientific-theological works the articles that are published are mainly of research character in all branches of theology, in ecclesiastical philology, in church history, reviews concerning new theological-scientific publications. As for the “Scroll”, young teachers of the institution, PHP students and magisterial students take part in it.
The Publishing Office never forgets its priority - publication of high level textbooks, that cover all directions of theology and achievements of theological writers of all times.
We will dwell on several publications in detail.
We have a homily by St. Basil of Selevcian in Georgian : ''Basil the Selevcian, Sermon about the massacre of the Innocents in Bethlem'', belonging to the V-th c. to the period after Christ’s birth (Christmas) and the massacre of twelve thousand boys. The Georgian translation becomes more interesting when we learn the identity of the translator, who, in the opinion of a former student of the Faculty of Theology of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Rector of Kutaisi Theological Academy Irakli Akhaladze, should have been a great Georgian Monk from Black Mount, Ephraim Small. There exists a lot of research concerning his abilities as a translator. In fact, foundations were laid in elinophylic direction in the activities of this great Georgian translator. This great Georgian ecclesiastical Father, belonging to the XI-th c. St. Ephraim Small was right, considering that the Georgian nation was ready to accept the thoughts of Byzantine Fathers in the form they had existed in the originals. Thus, he refused to accept the method of translation of one of Athenian Fathers, St. Eptvime and started making word for word translations. The following deepening of this method was ultraelinophylers’ activity: the editor of the Publishing Office is Dr. of Philological Sciences, Dr. of Theology, Prof. of the Academy-Seminary Edisher Tchelidze.
The teaching of Church Fathers on God’s “Incarnation” (Georgian translations of homiletic monuments are carried out at the Academy under the above mentioned series. This work is prepared for publication by Dr. of Philological sciences Prof. Nino Melikishvili. Editor - Edisher Tchelidze. The book contains translations of old Byzantine Fathers’ homilies dedicated to the celebration of Christmas.
Some sermons had been published earlier, but in order to give the collection a thematically perfect appearance. They also included into collection some changes. The authors of sermons are the figures of high level ecclesiastical hierarchy, belonging to the IV-VIII c.c.-s. They are Archbishops and Bishops, Holy Fathers. One or more pages of translations by some authors belonging to the XI-XII c.c.-s thanks to the wills attached to them. Some of the translators are unknown because of the absence of the will attached. They have become greatest representatives of the Georgian spiritual culture: Eptvime and Gregory Mtatsmindeli, Ephraim Small. The publication of Georgian translations dedicated to God’s Humanization and celebration of Christmas is of great importance from many points of view, but besides that it gives an interested reader or an interested Theologian a chance to keep an eye on fights with various heresies, especially with the Arianians, their teaching with which Orthodox Christianity made its way.Sermons the speeches made before a large number of people on celebration days, was a wonderful chance for establishing true teaching. Byzantine Fathers, standing on the high level of church hierarchy, made a brilliant use of this weapon - their homiletical heritage is a good proof to that. All the above mentioned is depicted in this publication.
The next publication of the Publishing Office is the work by Gregory of Nyssa, on Virginty. The Georgian translation of this most important monument had been prepared for publication by Rector of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Dr. of Philology and Theology, Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze. Editor - Nino Melikishvili.
St. Gregory of Nyssa is one of those Cappadocian three Holy Fathers, who reached quite a different high level thanks to his Christian thinking, ecclesiastical writing, oratory art.
Special importance of the edited monument is caused by deep, systemic teaching of ecclesiastical asceticism, merits of the monks. This work is one of the foundations of ascetic theology. The present publication is noteworthy from some points of view. To begin with, not only its author is the greatest church Father, the same can be said about its translator - by the end of the X c. it was translated by one of the greatest Athenian Fathers, a luminary of the Georgian Orthodox Church, by St. Ephtvime. It was translated into Georgian at the end of the X-th c.
In the research added to the text, the Georgian translation is studied in detail, not a single detail is neglected, in order to throw light on the essence of St. Ephtvime’s method of translation, the way this greatest Athenian Father works, the results that can be seen by the reader in any of his translations.
Theological-philosophical character of St. Gregory’s work, the difficulty of the text made it necessary to add commentaries to the monuments in which separate words, phrases and textual extracts, are explained by Church Fathers.
The text is provided with Georgian-Greek documented dictionary. Specific character of the dictionary defines the free method of translation introduced by St. Ephtvime. Detailed or sometimes fundamental difference between units in the dictionary with their corresponding Greek translations clearly show on what heights the Greatest Athenian Fathers stood as a translator, now perfectly good he was at Theology, and how well he could deal with Greek originals without any change in the meaning and at the same time make it easier for the Georgian reader to understand.
Publication of the Georgian translation of the book by Gregory of Nyssa required additional efforts, as his editor was another of the Holy Athenian Fathers St. Gregory Mtatsmindeli. It is easy to imagine how interesting and important it was to define how many times and why, for what reason the latter had interfered with the writing of His Spiritual Father.
In 2012 the Georgian translation of the IV c. well-known theologian, Bishop of Constance St. Epiphanius of Cyprus, was made.
It was a detailed translation of polemical-historical character of the text from various volumes of “Panarioni”.''On Eighty Heresies'' The translation was prepared for publication by a scientist, now dead, Dr. of Philological Sciences, Soso Makharashvili. The editor of the book is Dr. of Philological Science, Maya Rapava. “The Burning of eighties” is a highly important antiheretical work, that had been carried out by an outstanding Church Father, Teofile Hiero-Monk. Highly interesting and important questions were discussed in the research added to the text. On the basis of comparing the original with the Greek text, the publisher investigated some sides of history, that had been unknown before. It was found out that the translation by Teofile originates from the Greek Publishing Office, that no longer exists nowadays. Such facts emphasize the importance of studying the monuments of old Georgian Theological writers. The writing of St. Epiphanes had a wide cognitive value among the Georgians in those days - this translation had become one of the main sources of the well-known literary work created in the XII c., ''Hymns to all Heresies,Damnations of each Heresy'' that had been used by John Shavteli in the poem “Abdulmesiani” as a literary document.
Maya Rapava, professor of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Dr. of Philological Sciences, thematically responded to this publication in the work prepared and published by her: The Georgian translation of Nikita Stitati's antimonophysistic Speach The editor of the publication - Dr. of Philology and Theology, Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze.
The book contains 5 polemic speeches directed against Armenian monophysitism by the XI c. outstanding Byzantine theologian Nikita Stitati. In accordance with this polemic work, the reader can imagine the XI-th c. Empire, with its theological issues, and ecclesiastical practice, in the existing discussion, that was directed against Armenien monophysitism. The Georgian translation of the writing is made by a well-known representative of Gelati literary school Arsen Ikaltoeli; thus the language of translation is characterized by the Gelati school literary translational norms and is another interesting monument from the view-point of studying the history of literary language.
The following publication of the Publishing Office of Tbilisi Theological Academy is the work of bibliographical character. “The translated monuments by old Georgian writers” that contain two spheres of old Georgian Theological writers. Dr. of philology consultant of the Publishing House of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary Enriko Gabidzashvili, prepared a complete thematic bibliography in six volumes. Volume 5, published by the Academy, is the guide for those readers and researches interesed in Lirtugics and Hymnography. Volume 5 contains all information conserning all Georgian monuments existing in these two spheres in which manuscripts the monument is kept, who the author or translator is,whether the monument had been published or not; this material is preceeded by general survey based on the authors personal research or on the existing scientific literature.
Another most important work has been published in the Publishing Office of Theological Academy, The exegetic monument 'The Comentary on the Song of Songs'' by the Great Byzantine theologian St. Gregory of Nyssa.
The Georgian translation was performed by the -XI-th c. greatest Church Father and Theologian St. Giorgi Mtatsmindeli ''The comentary on the Song of Songs'' is one of his least known biblical books, and more than one of Holy Fathers was trying to find explanations. That’s why the writing by St. Gregory of Nyssa. is highly important and valuable for both researchers of old Georgian writers and interested readers. Detailed commentaries, so characteristic of Gregory of Nyssa, are based on the Bible and it contains the commentaries from the Bible. Though it contains commentaries from the most important Biblical book still, it is considered to be a book on a large scale and highly valuable. The Publishing Office is ready to publish the work by former teacher of the Academy Dr. of Philological Science, now dead, Gulnaz Kiknadze. Editor- Nino Melikishvili.
Serial “Georgian translations of homiletic monuments” is published in volume II. The Georgian translation of the IV-th-V-th cc.-s great Byzantine theologian John Chrysostom’s homiletic collection the “Pearl”. The Georgian translation was made in the X-th-XI-th cc.-s by the greatest Georgian Church Father and translator, St. Ekvtime Mtatsmindeli (publisher- N. Melikishvili). The collection contains passages with forms of teaching from sermons of John Chrysostom, translations and talks. The structure of the “Pearl” was worked out by the translator Ekvtime Mtatsmindeli as a result of working at the Greek source the way so characteristic of him, he simplified the theological thought and made it available for understanding for any reader. In the appendix to the text with research commentaries, he surveyed those old ages (X-th-XI-th cc) the publication is based on, he shows interrelation between them, and also links between the “Pearl” and the later centuries (XVIII-XIX) Reference of the editions to Greek sources is also studied.
The Publishing Office of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary published two periodical collections in 2010-2018; volumes III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII of theological-scientific works and also volumes I, II, III, IV, V of ecclesiastical-scientific collection the “Scroll”. The publication of this collection began from 2012. Letters of theoretical character are mostly published in the collection. Theological-Scientific works cover all branches-researches in theology, church philology, church History, reviews on newly written theological-scientific publications.
Articles showing research results are systematically published in the Theological collection by Dr. of Philology and Theology, Rector of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary, Protopresbyter Giorgi Zviadadze. Some oldest Georgian translatins of highly important monuments caught his interst.''St. Gregory of Nyssa,on Virginity'',''St. Simeon's Regret'', ''St. Clement of Rome,the first Epistle to the Corinthians''. Besides studying the oldest Georgian translations of the above mentioned works, Protopresbyter published some interesting letters in this collection:''The Monastery of Iviron on Mount Athos- Spiritual Leader of Kartli'' and ''The Teaching of Saint Apostle Paul Concerning the Iternal high-Priesthood after the Order of Melchidezek and the Change of the Old Testament Chuch into the New Testament Church''. Doctors of Philology and Theology, Academicians of Gelati Scientific Academy - E. Chelidze, Archpriest Bidzina Gunia, Metropolitan Anania Japaridze, Doctors of Philology - M. Rapava, L. Khachidze, Archpriest Michael Galdava, Archpriest Irakli Akhaladze, Doctors of Theology and History - Sergo Vardosanidze and Archpriest Giorgi Gugushvili., closely cooperate with the collection.
Nowadays, the works published in the Theological-Scientific collection mostly define the development of theological thinking in Georgia.
As for the “Scroll”, most young teachers, Magisterial and PHD students cooperate with this collection. The first volume includes three highly important monuments, two of which are of ecclesiastical character (preparated by Vladimer Vakhtangadze) and the second one was prepared by Magisterial student Giorgi Kitesashvili.''Thirty Chapters of the Armenian Heresies'', ''The Image of the Covenant''. They are published a second time as for the third one Cassian the Roman's ''Acount on the Rule and Order of the Monastic Communities of Egypt and East'' (prepared by Archpriest Irakli Akhaladze) has been published for the first time. Publication of already published texts was caused by the desire to study the above mentioned monuments from theological point of view as well as possible. The second and third volumes of the “Scroll” contain no less important monuments of Georgian translations of Georgian monuments: for example, Epiphany homilies of Saint Sophronius of Jerusalem;the text of the Order of Baptism, Epiphany text on the Book by Prophet John (II vol.); the third volume includes the book by St. Basil of Cappadokia, ''his Teachings on Prayers Various Other Virtues Profitable for the Saving of the Soul'' , the homily of St. John Chrysostom, ''On Contrition and Virginity and Patience'', the homily of Andrew of Crete, ''On the Vanity of Fleshly Deeds and Those Who Have Passed Over''.Besides the above mentioned texts, two works of theoretical character:Besides the enumerated texts, two theoretical works entered this book : they are Saint Euthymius the Athonite's '' A Relation of the Decrees of the Sixth Ecumenical Council (''The minor Canon Law'') with the Text of the Great Canon Law'' and Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus '' A Theological Analyses of the Homily Delivered on the Great Sabbath''.
As for the IV volume of the “Scroll”, many letters of theoretical character have been published by the PHD students of the Theological Academy.
The material included in the V-th volume is no less interesting. We will touch upon just several letters. Archpriest Kakhaber Gogotishvili, in his long letter, speaks about Gregory of Nyssa’s exegetic principles in the highly important monument according to “Moses’ Life” and clears up many extracts for the reader that had been difficult to understand earlier.
The graduate of the Academy Kakha Scherbakov touches upon the greatest Byzantine Theologian Maxim the Confessor in his address to “Talase” concerning the old Georgian translations of “questions and answers ” fro the frist time between Ekvtime Athenian and an old unknown translator of Gelati School.
Some news were introduced by PHD students - Tsotne Chkheidze’s, Levan Chankvetadze’s, Longinoz Suarishvili’s letters. Some authors participate in this volume. Their articles provide the readers with the information unknown hitherto, that is valuable for the students’ of the Academy.
For the students of the Academy and Seminary highly valuable is the Georgian Version of Hegumen Eunemius' (Peristi) work ''An Intoduction to the Psychology of Human Being's Personality'' prepared by one of the teachers of the Academy and released by the Publishing Office of the Academy; also various rules and orders Liturgical feasts and several issues of Liturgical studies, which comprehend researches done on the most significant issues of ecclesiastical calendar.
It is very useful for students of the Academy to have a textbook compiled by Murad Tkemaladze in 2016 “The Technology of Iconography”, which is based on Church architecture, Icon painting, restoration of Easel and Monumental Icon painting, in accordance with the program requirements.
Editing of books compiled on ''religious topics'' published in 1978-2015 and annotated biographics was done by students in the publishing Office. The publication was dedicated to the 35-th anniversary of the Enthronization of the Patriarch. The coordinator of students in this important affair was headed by head of the chair of Church History, Dr. of Theology, professor, Archpriest, Maxime Tchanturia. Editor - Dr. of Philology Khatuna Memanishvili.
The same year the work “Upbringing in Biblical Judaism” was published by the teacher of the Academy Avtandil Memanishvili. The book gives a full description of those passages from Old Testament that belong to the sphere of upbringing. This publication, in some respect will play the function of assisting textbook for students of Theological Academy.
An important publication was carried out in 2017. “Eastern Patriarchates of the Orthodox Church (Before the IX-th c.). The author of the book is a well-known researcher Sergei Ternovski (1848-1916). It was translated by Nora Gabriadze, but the edition of the translation belongs to one of the members of the Publishing Office Tamar Chubinidze. This book will also be of use for students of the Academy, as it represents the history of Oriental Christian countries. In order to understand the Holy Bible properly, one should know Biblical geography. In this respect too, this textbook is going to be of great help for those interested in this sphere.
During the period of 2018-2019 two collections of conference reports were published at the Publishing Office of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary. These reports were added to the reports made by students and teachers during the period of 2017-2018. Publishing of such a collection is supposed to take place yearly.
The work is going on many other interesting projects at the Publishing Office of Tbilisi Theological Academy and Seminary. After the realization of these projects, many new books will be added to the above mentioned ones.