11/16/2016 1:45:00 PM

CHICAGO (Nov. 16, 2016) – The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), participated in a ceremony Nov. 15 at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) at which the seminary returned a rare 9th century Greek manuscript of the complete New Testament to the Greek Orthodox Church. LSTC is one of eight ELCA seminaries.

The manuscript, known among biblical scholars as Codex 1424, was one of many manuscripts taken in 1917 from the Kosinitza Monastery near the Greek city of Drama. It came into the possession of a European book dealer and was purchased in 1920 by Levi Franklin Gruber, who later became president of Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary, one of LSTC’s predecessor schools.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the United States, received the manuscript from the Rev. James Nieman, president of LSTC.

In her remarks during the ceremony, Eaton said, “Lutherans cherish our relationships with the Orthodox Church in the United States and around the world. Nearly 50 years ago, the fourth preparatory meeting of the Pan-Orthodox Conference encouraged ecumenical dialogue with The Lutheran World Federation, the global Lutheran communion.”

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