# 1 1994


     The journal "Alpha and Omega (Papers of the Society for Dissemination of the Holy Scripture in Russia)" is published in Moscow.
     The editorial which opens the first issue of the journal outlines briefly the main purposes of the journal, defined as dissemination of knowledge about the Bible and Church and discussion of the problems of Bible translation.
     The body of the first issue begins with a cycle of sermons by ANTHONY, Metropolitan of Surozh. The cycle is entitled "Lessons of the Old Testament". There follows a further paper also concerning the Old Testament - "Wisdom in the Old Testament" by Sergej S. AVERINTSEV (Moscow) where the author, a prominent Russian philologist, concentrates on theological and cultural aspects of the concept of God's Wisdom in Parables. The essay "The poor in spirit" by Fr. deacon Andrej KURAEV (Moscow) analyses the biblical concept of "poverty" which is crucial for understanding the essence of the teaching of Christ.
     A group of papers about Church history provides some valuable information on the history of the Orthodox Church and discusses some ecclesiological problems. The paper "The idea of theocracy in late Byzantium" by Alexander DVORKIN (Moscow) gives a short account of the theological and political views prevalent in Byzantium in the period before the catastrophe of 1453. The paper "The role of the Russian emigration in the dissemination of Orthodoxy" by Dimitry POSPIELOVSKY (Canada) presents briefly main trends in Orthodoxy in America. The problems of Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical dialogue are discussed in the paper "Catholic-Orthodox relations in post-communist Europe: ghosts from the past and challenges for the future" by Fr. Ronald R. ROBERSON.
     Some verses by Sergej S. AVERINTSEV and Vjacheslav IVANOV represent the tradition of Russian religious poetry.
     The third section of the first issue of the journal contains reference materials on some relevant issues. The reader will find here brief information on the major Orthodox Churches prepared by Alexander DVORKIN; the results of a sociological investigation of attitudes toward a new Bible translation in Russia, outlined by Natalia EROFEYEVA (Moscow); a sketch of the activities of the Stockholm Institute for Bible translation by Konstantin KAZENIN (Moscow). Some test questions about church history elaborated by Alexander DVORKIN conclude the first issue of the journal.