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Author Topic: Scripture And Tradition by Abba Seraphim  (Read 389 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: April 24, 2010, 01:50:08 PM »

I reviewed the Scripture and Tradition written by Bp. Auxentios and Met. Chrysostomos before, but this Scripture and Tradition was written by Abba Seraphim El Souriani, Metropolitan of Glastonbury (British Orthodox Church under the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria). I bought this short book (less than 70 pages) through lulu.com, along with 3 other books/booklets by the same author. This particular book is based on "a talk given at the 2007 annual Conference of the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius on 16 August 2007" (p. 1).

The book begins with a short introduction and discussion of how we reverence the Scripture (p. 2-4). Met. Seraphim then goes on to discuss protestant views of scripture and tradition (pp. 4-14), and offers a corrected using the Church Fathers (pp. 14-20) and the Scripture (pp. 20-28). He explains what tradition and the Bible are and what they are not (pp. 31-45), and how the two must be balanced. Met. Seraphim then returns to speaking about issues with Protestant beliefs (pp. 46-51), and ends with a short discussion on ecumenical talks (pp. 54-60).

I only had two issues with this little book. First, Met. Seraphim speaks of the canon as though it is completely and finally settled and agreed upon (p. 5), which I think is an overstatement. And second, I disagree with Met. Seraphim when he says that "Christians in the Apostolic and post-Apostolic age did not distinguish between Scripture and Tradition, indeed they were regarded as expressions of the same Spirit of God, not as rival sources of authority in contention" (pp. 41-42). I agree with the latter part of the statement, that the early Christians did not see them as rival sources of authority, but the first part I do not agree with. Unfortunately, Met. Seraphim emphasises the first part in a footnote, quoting an Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue that says: "Any disjunction between Scripture and Tradition such as would treat them as two seperate 'sources of revelation' must be rejected. The two are correlative." (p. 42, fn 46)
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