Author Topic: Do We Need To Be Taught?  (Read 940 times)

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Offline Justin Kissel

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Do We Need To Be Taught?
« on: December 17, 2008, 07:07:38 PM »
Generally it's assumed in Orthodox circles (and rightly so IMO) that we need to be taught spiritual truths by others. The Ethiopian Eunuch is often held up as a good example to follow:

"And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him." - Acts 8:30-31

In light of this belief, though, there is one passage which confuses me:

"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." - 1 Jn. 2:27

What are we to make of this passage, and it's statement that with the Holy Spirit in us we "need not any man to teach [us]"?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 07:07:59 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline serb1389

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Re: Do We Need To Be Taught?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2008, 07:34:54 PM »
This is interesting because in the verses prior to what you provided John says:

1John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

So if they know the truth...where did they know it from?  ( a possible answer to this is:  1John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.)

also,

1John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

If they have "heard it from the beginning"  where did they hear it from?  Directly from God?  I think not.

It is also counter-intuative because John himself wrote a letter to these people to TEACH them to NOT be TAUGHT, so....yah...

I think that there is a lot to be said about LIVING a christian life, but even CHRIST was an example to us on how to live that "christian" life...so we were taught by His words and deeds, how to attain salvation and fulfill what it means to be truly human.  WIthout him...what we we be doing?  Figuring it out ourselves?   


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Offline zoarthegleaner

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Re: Do We Need To Be Taught?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 08:42:52 PM »
St. Paul addressed the Ephesians (chapter 4) saying:
"But you have not so learned Christ;
  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;..."


St. Paul addresses the Ephesians with "If so be that ye have heard him".

What does it mean to have a personal relationship with Christ...it means to hear him.

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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Do We Need To Be Taught?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 10:39:17 PM »
Since John's letter is written to believers, it should safely be assumed that:
1. they learned about the faith, and then
2. were baptized, and then
3. were anointed with the Spirit by the laying on of hands.

From this point, then John is telling them that the Spirit has perfected their knowledge, just as it had for the Disciples, who had been taught much, but seemed to have learned little by the time of Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection - then He sent the Spirit of Truth, Who perfected their knowledge and gave them the discernment and ability to use it as they needed.  So John is strengthening their resolve, telling them that the Spirit has perfected their understanding, and thus they should not assume that any one who teaches them something other than what they've already learned is actually teaching them something good.

At least this is my reading - I don't have any of my books here at home, so I can't find any corroboration.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Do We Need To Be Taught?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 11:36:04 PM »
Generally it's assumed in Orthodox circles (and rightly so IMO) that we need to be taught spiritual truths by others. The Ethiopian Eunuch is often held up as a good example to follow:

"And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him." - Acts 8:30-31

In light of this belief, though, there is one passage which confuses me:

"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." - 1 Jn. 2:27

What are we to make of this passage, and it's statement that with the Holy Spirit in us we "need not any man to teach [us]"?

Can't mean that we don't need teachers, as why would John try to teach us then by his epistle? (1:3-5, 2:1, etc.)
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Offline zoarthegleaner

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Re: Do We Need To Be Taught?
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2008, 11:05:21 AM »
An ammendment to:
1. they learned about the faith, and then
2. were baptized, and then
3. were anointed with the Spirit by the laying on of hands.


1.I would prefer it to read: they received the faith, and then...
Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.