Author Topic: Orthodox interpretation of the Bible  (Read 3648 times)

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Offline Brent

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Orthodox interpretation of the Bible
« on: November 30, 2002, 01:07:16 AM »
I'm curious about the Orthodox interpretation of the Bible regarding
modern scholarship. Like what is the interpretation of the Creation,
a literal six-day time period or perhaps longer? Does the Orthodox
Church have a position on evolution?

Thanks,
Brent

Offline David

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Re:Orthodox interpretation of the Bible
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2002, 07:41:01 PM »
Brent,

As an Orthodox layman I consider myself fairly well versed with some of the teachings of the Church so I will state that the below is the position of the Church, but I can always be wrong so I humbly solicit correction from others if I misspeak.

Both your questions(Orthodox positions on chronological length of the creation period and the theory of evolution) is that the Church has no dogmatical stance on either issue.   I think if you polled most hierarchs, clergy, and layman, you would find that most hold a longer creation timeline and that many if they follow evolution at all, hold strictly to microevolution and not macroevolution.  However as this is not a "dealbreaker" you will find varied Orthodox opinion.  

You may find as you investigate Orthodoxy, that unlike many forms of Western Christianity, that we feel no need to codify that which is not viewed as essential for salvation and living life in Christ through the Church(which is of course the verb form of salvation).   God Bless you and I hope you find the answers you seek.
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Offline sinjinsmythe

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Re:Orthodox interpretation of the Bible
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2002, 10:19:04 PM »
Brent here is a link that will probably answer your question. http://www.holy-transfiguration.org/library_en/sc_e_develo.html
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Offline Anastasios

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Re:Orthodox interpretation of the Bible
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2002, 01:55:32 AM »
Interesting that at St. Vladimir's Seminary in my OT class we just addressed this!

Really the Orthodox response to creationism vs. evolution is: It doesn't make sense to argue one way or the other.

The Orthodox Church follows a homiletic reading of Genesis which means: Genesis exists to form you as a follower of God and that is its purpose.  To argue about whether it is literal or allegorical misses the point and gets you bogged down in nonsese.  God created the heavens and the earth.  Wow!  Isn't that amazing!  So make sure you stay free from sin!

You can believe in a literal 6 days or not; it's not dogmatized.  But in the end you have to rise above that level to the homiletic level.

The best patristic source on this in my opinion is St. Basil in his "Nine Homilies on the Hexameron" available at www.newadvent.org in the Church Fathers section.  You'll have to read his views on science and creation to understand more fully what I am saying (because I am not always clear!)

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anastasios
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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.