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Poll
Question: Orthodox Christians/Church are...
Lacking in our scriptural knowledge and this must be improved - 21 (61.8%)
Lacking butknowing scripture is not important - 2 (5.9%)
Weak in details but strong in the biggerpicture - 4 (11.8%)
strong across the board, both details and big picture - 7 (20.6%)
Total Voters: 34

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« on: October 04, 2011, 05:41:15 PM »

A recent back and forth had me thinking. I would respectfully ask that this poll remain an internal self assessment; only chrismated members please, at least at first
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 06:05:18 PM »

we have a long way to go, but i think we are improving.
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 06:23:46 PM »

Every single Orthodox liturgical service, and the overwhelming number of its prayers, are stuffed full of scripture. It is a false premise to suggest that Orthodox are ignorant of scripture.
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2011, 06:26:03 PM »

Every single Orthodox liturgical service, and the overwhelming number of its prayers, are stuffed full of scripture. It is a false premise to suggest that Orthodox are ignorant of scripture. 

I agree in principle.  Orthodox Christians who attend services on a regular basis have a pretty good grasp on scripture, even if they are unable to cite chapter and verse.

The catch is getting people to attend services on a regular basis.
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 06:27:51 PM »

Making sure the liturgy is in a language that the common person can understand is top priority. Unfortunately though, this isn't enough. "We aren't able to properly understand the liturgy unless we have proper understanding of scripture" Fr. Tom Hopko

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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 06:31:20 PM »

I don't think we should ever get to a point where we say "we have a sufficient understanding of scripture" or "we know enough scripture". Imo, this can never happen. We should constantly strive to make ourselves more aware and better understand scripture and the gospel.
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2011, 06:41:35 PM »

"We aren't able to properly understand the liturgy unless we have proper understanding of scripture" Fr. Tom Hopko

Wrong. It is liturgical worship which gives the proper meaning to scripture. Hymnography, being the clearest expression of the consensus patrum, is the standard for gaining a proper understanding of scripture.
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2011, 08:04:01 PM »

"We aren't able to properly understand the liturgy unless we have proper understanding of scripture" Fr. Tom Hopko

Wrong. It is liturgical worship which gives the proper meaning to scripture. Hymnography, being the clearest expression of the consensus patrum, is the standard for gaining a proper understanding of scripture.

No. Books by intellectuals are.
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2011, 02:51:43 AM »

"We aren't able to properly understand the liturgy unless we have proper understanding of scripture" Fr. Tom Hopko

Wrong. It is liturgical worship which gives the proper meaning to scripture. Hymnography, being the clearest expression of the consensus patrum, is the standard for gaining a proper understanding of scripture.

Take it up with Fr. Hopko. Check out his series on AF.  We will never get the full meaning of the liturgy unless we have a solid understanding of scripture. Gospel is contained in scripture. The liturgy is the celebration of the gospel.
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2011, 04:54:13 AM »

Quote
We will never get the full meaning of the liturgy unless we have a solid understanding of scripture.

We cannot get a solid understanding of scripture unless we keep our eyes and ears open and attentive during liturgical worship. Not just the Divine Liturgy, but the other services of the liturgical cycle as well - and not forgetting services such as Baptism, Matrimony, Unction, etc. Otherwise, we are left to our own devices in understanding scripture.

I would also add that good canonical iconography is the visual counterpart to hymnography.
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2011, 07:52:19 AM »

"We aren't able to properly understand the liturgy unless we have proper understanding of scripture" Fr. Tom Hopko

Wrong. It is liturgical worship which gives the proper meaning to scripture. Hymnography, being the clearest expression of the consensus patrum, is the standard for gaining a proper understanding of scripture.

Take it up with Fr. Hopko. Check out his series on AF.

Brilliant man, but not always right.

  We will never get the full meaning of the liturgy unless we have a solid understanding of scripture. Gospel is contained in scripture. The liturgy is the celebration of the gospel.

Which has more alcohol and grape in it: 1 oz of (non-pasteurized) grape juice that has been sitting on the counter for 3 days, 1 oz of wine, or 1 oz of brandy?  All 3 are made from grapes, all 3 contain some measure of potency.  But while it may take 10 grapes to make the 1 oz of juice, it likely takes 20 to make the 1 oz of wine, and 40 to make the 1 oz of brandy.  The services (daily cycle, sacraments, etc.) are the brandy - filtering the scripture, combining principles that are separated by the (technically artificual) distinctions of chapter and verse, and providing you with a lot of scripture in not a lot of time.  Yes, it is beneficial to drink the grape juice in its pure form - but if you're time-limited, or you don't have many resources, then you'd get a lot more grapes and alcohol by drinking the brandy than by drinking the juice.  So, too, something can be gained by reading the scripture directly - but much more will be gained by spending that half hour or hour per day in Church.
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2011, 08:25:00 AM »

"We aren't able to properly understand the liturgy unless we have proper understanding of scripture" Fr. Tom Hopko
Wrong. It is liturgical worship which gives the proper meaning to scripture. Hymnography, being the clearest expression of the consensus patrum, is the standard for gaining a proper understanding of scripture.

Why does there have to be "vs" element to this?

Everything in our Tradition works together to clarify and proclaim the same message.

References in the liturgy to persons, places, and events make no sense whatsoever without the proper biblical understanding.

"I will not give thee a kiss like Judas, but like the thief will I confess thee."

The liturgy provides context for better understanding scripture.

"Today the Virgin gives birth to the transcendent One, and the earth offers a cave to the unapproachable One. Angels with shepherds glorify Him. The wise men journey with a star, since for our sake the eternal God is born as a little Child."
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2011, 09:59:30 AM »

I voted:
“Lacking in our scriptural knowledge and this must be improved”

This does not mean that we all need to be biblical scholars, but we need to make this part of our Holy Tradition more “user friendly”.  I agree 100% with that the liturgical cycle with the different readings, different hymns, and different icons, is the best way to gain knowledge of the message of the scriptures. Especially, a lifetime repetition of these cycles. 

But sadly, we do not participate in these cycles. Just attending services on weekends and feast days drastically reduces participation in hearing readings. Mostly attending Divine Liturgy and not the other services, in the cycles of services, drastically reduces participation in the hymns of the church. Added to this, many times services are celebrated with many readings and hymns skipped. 

But unless we live with monks, this learning by cyclic repetition will not happen. The Church has it for us, but in reality it does not work for us.

So what is the solution?  If we can’t fit more services into our schedules; we certainly can not fit formal bible study classes into our lives.    Buying a study bible and reading it from cover to cover a few times sounds like a good plan, but lacks support of others.
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2011, 10:34:42 AM »

Personally I used the Bible (& the Didache & not much else) as the source of my understanding of Orthodoxy after attending my 1st Liturgy & for a few weeks until further inquiry. I sensed the full expression of the worship given to Moses & fulfilled in the New Covenant by Christ. I also sensed a living, breathing presence of faith basics that actually all Christians should know; the 10 commandments, the 2 great commands, the Beatitudes, confession, a credal expression of faith, the Lord's prayer, confession, etc. & most important: the Eucharist. I could soon comprehend what a Christian life actually is on a daily basis in prayer, & when we are called to fast &  better focus on the role of alms giving. All of the muddled rationalizations often heard that almost produce a chicken vs. egg situation re faith & works dissolved into a sense of commitment to be lived in penitence, humility,& sobriety. St. John Climacus gives a monastic advice for lay people( &may I say "Biblical"?) advice for the general laity, "Do whatever good you may.Speak evil of no one. Rob no one. Tell no lie. Despise no one and carry no hate. Do not separate yourself from church asemblies..." etc. from a section of step 1 of the Ladder of Divine Ascent.
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2011, 10:39:27 AM »

Every single Orthodox liturgical service, and the overwhelming number of its prayers, are stuffed full of scripture. It is a false premise to suggest that Orthodox are ignorant of scripture. 

I agree in principle.  Orthodox Christians who attend services on a regular basis have a pretty good grasp on scripture, even if they are unable to cite chapter and verse.
Is "chapter and verse" biblical?
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« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2011, 12:05:23 PM »

From a former protestants perspective, it definitely seems like you guys are better informed when it comes to scripture.  Its probably because you guys actually read scripture in your services rather than just rant about what you think about certain topics for 45 minutes.
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2011, 04:05:29 AM »

Quote
We will never get the full meaning of the liturgy unless we have a solid understanding of scripture.

We cannot get a solid understanding of scripture unless we keep our eyes and ears open and attentive during liturgical worship. Not just the Divine Liturgy, but the other services of the liturgical cycle as well - and not forgetting services such as Baptism, Matrimony, Unction, etc. Otherwise, we are left to our own devices in understanding scripture.

I would also add that good canonical iconography is the visual counterpart to hymnography.


What i'm saying is that if we want to get the most out of liturgy, we need to read scripture also, because the liturgy is found in there, even if we don't recognize it as such. I don't think that anyone here would say that we should just attend liturgy and neglect reading our bibles. Yet, it is possible that many Orthodox may subconsciously justify their not reading of the holy scriptures on a regular basis because they think they will get all they need out of the liturgy. I do not think this is so. I think reading scripture, guided by the wisdom of the fathers on a regular basis breathes new life and meaning into the liturgy, and enriches it immensely. I'm advocating a yes/and approach, not a either/or.
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2011, 04:10:43 AM »

"We aren't able to properly understand the liturgy unless we have proper understanding of scripture" Fr. Tom Hopko
Wrong. It is liturgical worship which gives the proper meaning to scripture. Hymnography, being the clearest expression of the consensus patrum, is the standard for gaining a proper understanding of scripture.

Why does there have to be "vs" element to this?

Everything in our Tradition works together to clarify and proclaim the same message.

References in the liturgy to persons, places, and events make no sense whatsoever without the proper biblical understanding.

"I will not give thee a kiss like Judas, but like the thief will I confess thee."

The liturgy provides context for better understanding scripture.

"Today the Virgin gives birth to the transcendent One, and the earth offers a cave to the unapproachable One. Angels with shepherds glorify Him. The wise men journey with a star, since for our sake the eternal God is born as a little Child."

I believe that it is our liturgy which came from the scriptures. Both are a source for better understanding the other.
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2011, 05:20:21 AM »

"We aren't able to properly understand the liturgy unless we have proper understanding of scripture" Fr. Tom Hopko
Wrong. It is liturgical worship which gives the proper meaning to scripture. Hymnography, being the clearest expression of the consensus patrum, is the standard for gaining a proper understanding of scripture.

Why does there have to be "vs" element to this?

Everything in our Tradition works together to clarify and proclaim the same message.

References in the liturgy to persons, places, and events make no sense whatsoever without the proper biblical understanding.

"I will not give thee a kiss like Judas, but like the thief will I confess thee."

The liturgy provides context for better understanding scripture.

"Today the Virgin gives birth to the transcendent One, and the earth offers a cave to the unapproachable One. Angels with shepherds glorify Him. The wise men journey with a star, since for our sake the eternal God is born as a little Child."

Stop your sensible hermeneutics.

If LBK had to engage in such things it would end her world, because she might have to question her LBK's Patristic Consensus (TM).

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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2011, 05:21:51 AM »

Every single Orthodox liturgical service, and the overwhelming number of its prayers, are stuffed full of scripture. It is a false premise to suggest that Orthodox are ignorant of scripture.

My personal experiences would suggest otherwise, except for the evangelical converts of course.

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« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2011, 05:33:04 AM »

Every single Orthodox liturgical service, and the overwhelming number of its prayers, are stuffed full of scripture. It is a false premise to suggest that Orthodox are ignorant of scripture.

My personal experiences would suggest otherwise, except for the evangelical converts of course.



Ditto. Evangelicals might have loads of false doctrines and misguided interpretation of Bible but they sure know it better than the Orthodox.
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« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2011, 06:58:28 AM »

When we're in a meeting with Father and we're discussing a specific Bible verse, he'll say, "Hey, why don't you look it up? I'm sure you'll beat me to it." Wasn't the case except for once or twice, but still. He's mentioned that he believes that Evangelicals by far have the corner on scripture knowledge, if we're talking about general.

But to be cynical for a moment, they usually remember verses that fit in with their beliefs (homosexuality, not calling anyone 'father,' etc.) or use them in a prayer to remind God exactly what He has promised us, because He obviously forgot what He said.

Sorry, I think the latter sounds like a weapon, basically threatening God that since He promised x, x needs to happen for us, and is utterly disrespectful.
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« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2011, 08:57:27 AM »

Every single Orthodox liturgical service, and the overwhelming number of its prayers, are stuffed full of scripture. It is a false premise to suggest that Orthodox are ignorant of scripture.

My personal experiences would suggest otherwise, except for the evangelical converts of course.



Ditto. Evangelicals might have loads of false doctrines and misguided interpretation of Bible but they sure know it better than the Orthodox.
What good is it to "know" a lot of Bible verses if you misunderstand what these verses are saying?
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« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2011, 11:45:09 AM »

Every single Orthodox liturgical service, and the overwhelming number of its prayers, are stuffed full of scripture. It is a false premise to suggest that Orthodox are ignorant of scripture.

My personal experiences would suggest otherwise, except for the evangelical converts of course.



Ditto. Evangelicals might have loads of false doctrines and misguided interpretation of Bible but they sure know it better than the Orthodox.
What good is it to "know" a lot of Bible verses if you misunderstand what these verses are saying?

It ain't like the Bible is James Joyce.

At the age of eight, I doubt I missed most of what was going on.

Now, if you want to get into whether you or not you understand how a buncha Greekish quasi-philosophers you never heard of understood it, then that is another question.

Basic Scriptual literacy is important even without recourse to your expensive Patristics library. Even one of those more famous Patrons said it. You know which one? He's really famous, well among the Orthodox. He is probably one of the few most Orthodox know about.

If there is something the Orthodox know less about regarding their Faith than Scripture it would be Patristics.

Now that IS where the Liturgy is helpful in Biblical hermeneutics, because it is in the Liturgy where such stuff gets draws in. A little on Sunday which some Orthodox attend. A lot more on not-Sundays, where a lot fewer do.
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« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2011, 01:21:29 PM »

It would be nice if more people caught onto the idea of attending church during the week for bible study (wednesday, for example) like many protestant churches i know do. It seems the "Sunday only" idea is rather pervasive in Odoxy today, unfortunately.
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« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2011, 01:32:27 PM »

It would be nice if more people caught onto the idea of attending church during the week for bible study (wednesday, for example) like many protestant churches i know do. It seems the "Sunday only" idea is rather pervasive in Odoxy today, unfortunately.
Yeah, I asked my priest about having a Bible study and he said that he's tried numerous times. I guess there were no takers. Sad That's upsetting.
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« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2011, 01:40:29 PM »

It would be nice if more people caught onto the idea of attending church during the week for bible study (wednesday, for example) like many protestant churches i know do. It seems the "Sunday only" idea is rather pervasive in Odoxy today, unfortunately.
Yeah, I asked my priest about having a Bible study and he said that he's tried numerous times. I guess there were no takers. Sad That's upsetting.

That is really unfortunate Ismi Sad But hey, you're all welcome to come to mine!  laugh  We only have about 5-10 people usually, but we're a boisterous bunch (including Father)  Grin
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« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2011, 02:01:30 PM »

Every single Orthodox liturgical service, and the overwhelming number of its prayers, are stuffed full of scripture. It is a false premise to suggest that Orthodox are ignorant of scripture.

My personal experiences would suggest otherwise, except for the evangelical converts of course.




Ditto. Evangelicals might have loads of false doctrines and misguided interpretation of Bible but they sure know it better than the Orthodox.
What good is it to "know" a lot of Bible verses if you misunderstand what these verses are saying?

Children don't necessarily understand them but they are taught scripture in most religious communities. Just at the right time, the Holy Spirit who is the teacher of all truth, can bring a verse to mind and teach you somethng. If you don't know any scripture, the living word of God, then you're not giving God a chance to teach you with something that Jesus himself used to combat the enemy in the desert.


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« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2011, 03:23:03 PM »

Every single Orthodox liturgical service, and the overwhelming number of its prayers, are stuffed full of scripture. It is a false premise to suggest that Orthodox are ignorant of scripture.

My personal experiences would suggest otherwise, except for the evangelical converts of course.



After hearing scripture and psalms, and explanatory hymns chanted repeatedly at the services, then, just like music therapy, the Holy Spirit, can also bring these to remembrance. 




Ditto. Evangelicals might have loads of false doctrines and misguided interpretation of Bible but they sure know it better than the Orthodox.
What good is it to "know" a lot of Bible verses if you misunderstand what these verses are saying?

Children don't necessarily understand them but they are taught scripture in most religious communities. Just at the right time, the Holy Spirit who is the teacher of all truth, can bring a verse to mind and teach you somethng. If you don't know any scripture, the living word of God, then you're not giving God a chance to teach you with something that Jesus himself used to combat the enemy in the desert.

After hearing scripture and psalms, and explanatory hymns chanted repeatedly at the services, then, just like music therapy, the Holy Spirit, can also bring these to remembrance. 

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« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2011, 03:24:58 PM »

It would be nice if more people caught onto the idea of attending church during the week for bible study (wednesday, for example) like many protestant churches i know do. It seems the "Sunday only" idea is rather pervasive in Odoxy today, unfortunately.
Yeah, I asked my priest about having a Bible study and he said that he's tried numerous times. I guess there were no takers. Sad That's upsetting.

That is really unfortunate Ismi Sad But hey, you're all welcome to come to mine!  laugh  We only have about 5-10 people usually, but we're a boisterous bunch (including Father)  Grin
I suspect that it would be a long commute to your Bible study, but thank you for the offer. Wink
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« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2011, 03:25:35 PM »

The spoken word has more influence on a person than just their intellect or reasoning faculties. In many ways receiving of the word by reading or hearing is regarded as a sacrament for the healing of soul and body as are the other sacraments of the church.
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« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2011, 03:33:54 PM »

Our Bible study starts off strong, like 20, which is a lot given the size of parish and commitments people have, then goes to 5 by the end.

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« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2011, 06:39:58 PM »

Who actually selected the second option?  Are you kidding?  The Holy Fathers would really disagree with you on that one.
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« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2011, 07:05:29 PM »

Who actually selected the second option?  Are you kidding?  The Holy Fathers would really disagree with you on that one.
Yes, I quite agree! When I first read your post I thought it was a joke. Sad that it is not. I dare whoever said that to stand up at their next church meeting and tell the priest and members that knowing the Bible is not important. This is definitely not my understanding of the Orthodox Church's take on things anyway. The following is a quote of Saint Tikhon via Bishop Kalistos Ware:

“If an earthly king, our emperor, wrote you a letter, would you not read it with joy? Certainly, with great rejoicing and careful atten­tion. You have been sent a letter, not by any earthly emperor, but by the King of Heaven. And yet you almost despise such a gift, so priceless a treasure.” He goes on to say: “Whenever you read the Gospel, Christ Himself is speaking to you. And while you read, you are praying and talking to Him.”
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« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2011, 09:58:51 PM »

Who actually selected the second option?  Are you kidding?  The Holy Fathers would really disagree with you on that one.

Part of the problem is the poll question: it's not narrow enough, IMO. Asking about the Church as a whole (Orthodoxy) is a different question than asking about the majority of specific Orthodox Christians (especially laity, but also some clergy). I think Orthodoxy as a whole does a great job explaining and understanding Scripture... however, many parishioners are biblical illiterate.  So how does one vote in the poll, since two contradictory answers are valid?
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« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2011, 11:04:33 PM »

Who actually selected the second option?  Are you kidding?  The Holy Fathers would really disagree with you on that one.

Part of the problem is the poll question: it's not narrow enough, IMO. Asking about the Church as a whole (Orthodoxy) is a different question than asking about the majority of specific Orthodox Christians (especially laity, but also some clergy). I think Orthodoxy as a whole does a great job explaining and understanding Scripture... however, many parishioners are biblical illiterate.  So how does one vote in the poll, since two contradictory answers are valid?

I've met a few priests who could even be labeled as "biblically illiterate".  I've shared this story on another thread, but I will recap it here since it is relevant.  At a Liturgy of the Presanctified which was presided over by the late Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER of the Serbian diocese here in America, a priest made an offhand remark at the meal following the service about how the Old Testament shouldn't even be read at the services since Orthodox Christians focus exclusively on the New.  I do not know the name of this priest nor is that important.  I don't know how much this particular line of thought pervades the clergy ranks but if this is being taught at seminaries (and I have no proof that it is), then the churches and the Church also must make more efforts to be bibilically literate.  I believe that Bishop KALLISTOS, in his book, The Orthodox Church, laments that the lack of Orthodox commentaries and scholarship in Biblical studies is of particular concern.

I see your point.  The Church and her teachings is not always synced up with her members one to one, so maybe the question should have been directed only towards people and not a both...and including the Church as a whole.  I just hope that the incidents I have observed of the clergy with regards to the knowledge of the Scriptures are very isolated and not being condoned by seminaries (and again, I have no proof of this; I'm not making an accusation).
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« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2011, 11:19:03 PM »

I had considered after I designed the poll that maybe I should have differentiated between "Orthodox Christians" and the single, cohesive "Orthodox Church" The former certainly has members who are "Biblically Illiterate". Any church that doesn't have this? Meanwhile I say that the Orthodox Church is thoroughly versed in Holy Scripture. Trick is, how to in effect make our members better 'Orthodox Christians' by listening to the church's teachings
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« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2011, 12:37:47 AM »

Quote
I do not know the name of this priest nor is that important.  I don't know how much this particular line of thought pervades the clergy ranks but if this is being taught at seminaries (and I have no proof that it is), then the churches and the Church also must make more efforts to be bibilically literate. 

ISTM that this priest's problem is liturgical illiteracy. Even a layman regularly attending Vespers or Matins (or Vigil) soon comes to realise how much OT scripture is in these services. And all the prokeimena of Liturgy, of Vespers and Matins, and the verses between the Praises are straight out of the OT. Seminary training is not necessary to come to this conclusion.  Keeping one's ears open is. police
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« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2011, 01:00:15 AM »

From a former protestants perspective, it definitely seems like you guys are better informed when it comes to scripture.  Its probably because you guys actually read scripture in your services rather than just rant about what you think about certain topics for 45 minutes.

Except that in the majority of the Orthodox world the services are in an incomprehensible archaic sacred language. So you average parishioner has little knowledge of biblical texts from the services. But this is changing. I have heard that in Serbia modern Serbian is becoming the norm across the board. Hopefully others will follow the same path.
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« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2011, 01:31:16 AM »

From a former protestants perspective, it definitely seems like you guys are better informed when it comes to scripture.  Its probably because you guys actually read scripture in your services rather than just rant about what you think about certain topics for 45 minutes.

Except that in the majority of the Orthodox world the services are in an incomprehensible archaic sacred language. So you average parishioner has little knowledge of biblical texts from the services. But this is changing. I have heard that in Serbia modern Serbian is becoming the norm across the board. Hopefully others will follow the same path.

Why is that?  Why would they not be done in a language everyone in the area can understand?  It certainly seems like that would be important...
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« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2011, 08:42:36 AM »

Why is that?  Why would they not be done in a language everyone in the area can understand?  It certainly seems like that would be important...

How many Orthodox does it take to change a light bulb?

Every liturgical language was at one pont in time the common language of the people. Unfortunately, as languages changed, the language of the liturgy didn't.

In areas where there is recent evangelization, there are liturgies in the spoken language of the people, like Hawaiian.
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« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2011, 02:37:36 PM »

From a former protestants perspective, it definitely seems like you guys are better informed when it comes to scripture.  Its probably because you guys actually read scripture in your services rather than just rant about what you think about certain topics for 45 minutes.

Except that in the majority of the Orthodox world the services are in an incomprehensible archaic sacred language. So you average parishioner has little knowledge of biblical texts from the services. But this is changing. I have heard that in Serbia modern Serbian is becoming the norm across the board. Hopefully others will follow the same path.

Why is that?  Why would they not be done in a language everyone in the area can understand?  It certainly seems like that would be important...

Indeed it is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, our priorities are not always where they should be.
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« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2011, 04:16:07 PM »

We usually have some book study on Wednesday evenings.  The first priest I had was heading a study of the Gospel of John using the commentary by the Blessed Theophylact.  Under my second priest we studied Ascending the Heights by Fr. John Mack, and we are currently reading Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica.
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« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2011, 04:38:31 PM »

This is an interesting question. Those of us who's parents and grandparents came from the Old Country probably know that the old folks never read Bibles and probably were only familiar with the Epistle and Gospel readings in church.  This was common both among ethnic Orthodox and even Catholics. Some years ago we had an Orthodox bible study group on post led by the chaplain who was sort of evangelical leaning and into prophesy. Then I went to an RC bible study which used books that were protestant and the group leaders used to stop speaking if a priest entered the room for something or came by and said "they have no business here."  no two bible study groups are ever the same.
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« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2011, 05:09:06 PM »

This is an interesting question. Those of us who's parents and grandparents came from the Old Country probably know that the old folks never read Bibles and probably were only familiar with the Epistle and Gospel readings in church.  This was common both among ethnic Orthodox and even Catholics. Some years ago we had an Orthodox bible study group on post led by the chaplain who was sort of evangelical leaning and into prophesy. Then I went to an RC bible study which used books that were protestant and the group leaders used to stop speaking if a priest entered the room for something or came by and said "they have no business here."  no two bible study groups are ever the same.
I don't think we ever answered the question of WHY we may not read the Bible as voraciously as our Protestant neighbors if we believe that (Eastern) Orthodox Christianity is so Biblical.
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