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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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« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2011, 10:54:44 PM »

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.

I think that the ethos is more that the biblical canon is Orthodox, not that the Orthodox Church is Biblical. To say that something is "Biblical" is more coming from the reconstructionist point of view, that we have to "look back" to Scripture to figure out the right faith. We believe that we have maintained that faith from the beginning, and that the books we have included in the canon conform to our faith, not the other way around.
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« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2011, 11:01:18 PM »

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.

And how many of those Christians were even literate or able to read the Holy Scriptures at home?
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« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2011, 08:37:09 AM »

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.

I think the question is why we DO not read the Bible as voraciously as opposed as why we MAY.  We have permission, we just don't do it for some reason.
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« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2011, 08:43:17 AM »

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.

I think the question is why we DO not read the Bible as voraciously as opposed as why we MAY.  We have permission, we just don't do it for some reason.
Basically my question: WHY NOT?
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« Reply #49 on: October 09, 2011, 08:46:11 AM »

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.

I think the question is why we DO not read the Bible as voraciously as opposed as why we MAY.  We have permission, we just don't do it for some reason.

If Orthodoxy has a lot of other books and traditions that it includes in its teaching then scripture from the bible wouldn't seem as important. The bible is all we have and it's all we need because it's the living word of God.
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« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2011, 08:47:51 AM »

Twould be interesting if a priest read the sermon of St. John Chrysostom, in which he criticizes his flock for knowing all the names and activities of various celebrities--athletes, actors, politicians, etc.--but yet don't know the basic stuff about/from the Bible. The priest could introduce the text as "something a bishop once wrote," and then reveal at the end that it was written over 1,600 years ago. Things haven't changed much. Except he could point out that now it's no longer merely the rich who can afford the sacred texts, and it's not only a small portion of the population who are literate. I think, then as now, the reason people (and I'm not excluding myself) don't read the Bible is that we just don't take the Bible, or the claims we make about it, seriously enough. We like to speak about it in lofty terms, we like to kiss it and reverence it, and talk about how it's holy and whatever else. But we can't be troubled to read it. Ok, some read it, but do we really read as often and as deeply as we would if we truly believed that in it we could find the greatest wisdom available to man (or whatever language you want to use)?

Um... and with that I yield the soapbox.
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« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2011, 12:37:21 PM »

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.

I think the question is why we DO not read the Bible as voraciously as opposed as why we MAY.  We have permission, we just don't do it for some reason.

If Orthodoxy has a lot of other books and traditions that it includes in its teaching then scripture from the bible wouldn't seem as important. The bible is all we have and it's all we need because it's the living word of God.

So you're Calvinist now?
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« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2011, 02:01:22 PM »

The bible is all we have and it's all we need because it's the living word of God.

Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, not the bible. And the bible is not all that you need, because if you don't eat his Flesh and drink his Blood, you have no life in you.
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« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2011, 03:10:38 PM »

If Orthodoxy has a lot of other books and traditions that it includes in its teaching then scripture from the bible wouldn't seem as important. The bible is all we have and it's all we need because it's the living word of God.

Christ didn't give the apostles a New Testament, He founded a Church on them.
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« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2011, 03:15:47 PM »

Twould be interesting if a priest read the sermon of St. John Chrysostom, in which he criticizes his flock for knowing all the names and activities of various celebrities--athletes, actors, politicians, etc.--but yet don't know the basic stuff about/from the Bible. The priest could introduce the text as "something a bishop once wrote," and then reveal at the end that it was written over 1,600 years ago. Things haven't changed much. Except he could point out that now it's no longer merely the rich who can afford the sacred texts, and it's not only a small portion of the population who are literate. I think, then as now, the reason people (and I'm not excluding myself) don't read the Bible is that we just don't take the Bible, or the claims we make about it, seriously enough. We like to speak about it in lofty terms, we like to kiss it and reverence it, and talk about how it's holy and whatever else. But we can't be troubled to read it. Ok, some read it, but do we really read as often and as deeply as we would if we truly believed that in it we could find the greatest wisdom available to man (or whatever language you want to use)?

Um... and with that I yield the soapbox.

My Priest did, I think it was just the Sunday of or before the Superbowl, IIRC. He read that sermon as his homily and basically pointed out the obvious and what you did about the availability of Scripture.
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« Reply #55 on: October 09, 2011, 04:04:39 PM »

Well, if one goes to church on a regular basis, you'll wind up hearing a lot of Scripture over time. There's Orthros, then the Divine Liturgy, so all those readings add up. It is true, in the past a lot of people probably didn't have formal educations, but they would go and hear Scripture read in church. I bet they knew more of it than I do.  angel
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« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2011, 04:08:57 PM »

Quote from: Jetavan
What good is it to "know" a lot of Bible verses if you misunderstand what these verses are saying?

Dingdingding. I'd much rather know and digest Scripture in a modest amount, and get the main ideas, than be able to rattle off one-liners like a parrot, just because I liked the sound they made, or because I learned a false sense of wielding them like a stick in a bad debate.
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« Reply #57 on: October 09, 2011, 04:35:53 PM »

On a related note, what texts would one recommend for accurate studying (with or without cliffnotes)?  I have heard critiques of both the Orthodox Study Bible and New Oxford Annotated Bible (being NRSV).  Is there perhaps separate books for each parcel of the bible with faithful translations in English? 
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« Reply #58 on: October 09, 2011, 04:44:24 PM »

My Priest did, I think it was just the Sunday of or before the Superbowl, IIRC. He read that sermon as his homily and basically pointed out the obvious and what you did about the availability of Scripture.

I hope it motivated/convicted/edified/etc. people  Smiley
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« Reply #59 on: October 09, 2011, 04:49:56 PM »

On a related note, what texts would one recommend for accurate studying (with or without cliffnotes)?  I have heard critiques of both the Orthodox Study Bible and New Oxford Annotated Bible (being NRSV).  Is there perhaps separate books for each parcel of the bible with faithful translations in English? 

Fwiw I don't think there's a problem with either translation you mention. True, some texts are better than others, but nonetheless no version is going to be perfect, not even if you're in some library studying ancient manuscripts. I think sincerity and a level-headed docility are the most helpful things. But if you're looking for traditional understandings of certain passages/books, some of the texts given in this thread might be of interest.
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« Reply #60 on: October 09, 2011, 04:50:16 PM »

My Priest did, I think it was just the Sunday of or before the Superbowl, IIRC. He read that sermon as his homily and basically pointed out the obvious and what you did about the availability of Scripture.

I hope it motivated/convicted/edified/etc. people  Smiley

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« Reply #61 on: October 09, 2011, 04:55:47 PM »

I didn't participate in the poll because I am not baptized yet (and as I am an inquirer into the OO, not EO, I'm not sure how well I could answer the question even if I were), but I want to present something...a confession, if you will, for your consideration and understanding of how things can be sometimes for a convert.

Having been raised Protestant in an actively (not just culturally) Christian home, of course I was raised with the idea that the Bible is the self-contained font of all knowledge necessary to live a good Christian life. My mother, who did the raising, was never terribly dogmatic about it or anything, but certainly knew her way around the Bible (always reading it constantly, and writing notes in the margins) and raised me to know it, too. And she would even take me with her to her Bible study at the Presbyterian church, and made sure that when they embarked upon a "Read the Bible in a Year" schedule/project, I would also be reading the entire Bible in that time. It was fun, honestly! I liked it. Got to feel like a grown-up at age 11 or whatever, and learn a lot of things about the Bible.

Fast forward about a dozen years, she had been deceased for about a decade, and I was being received into the Roman Catholic Church. During that time, I learned again about the books of the Bible (especially those that are in common with the Orthodox church that are not found in Protestant Bibles; that was a revelation), what was in them, and how they supported the Roman church's claims.

So here I am now, at nearly 30 years of age, and I feel like I have been taught a lot about the Bible, its contents, and how it supports this or that doctrine of a/the church.

But honestly, I also feel a bit like I am playing a game of "catch-up" with actual Orthodox people (to say nothing of the great Fathers and other saints of the church, whom I would hope we all look up to in this way) in understanding what it all means, rather than simply reading it (as I did when I was a child, with my mother), or "proof"-reading it (as I did when I was Roman Catholic), or doing other things that are befitting it if you approach it from a literalist, or rational, or similar perspective.

I can read the Bible all day, every day (time permitting, of course), but can I understand it as the church has and does? Obviously outside of the church, the answer is no, but even as I approach the church, the answer is maybe still no, or more positively "maybe, but not yet" (or "not by myself"). I mean, I don't even have a proper translation of it yet (just the NAB given to me by the RC, and my mother's old NIV...neither of these are good or faithful translations), to say nothing of the fact that there has been a lack of a suitably Orthodox translation into English until very recently (yes, OO I know have recommended the Orthodox Study Bible, but at the church I go to we use the NKJV, so I hesitate to buy anything without first checking with one of our priests).

I guess my point is that it isn't as simple as the question in the OP, since knowledge of scripture can mean many different things. The devils can probably quote scripture at a level that would rival any Orthodox person...in fact, I know they can, because many people are led astray by anti-Christian heresies presenting themselves as "Biblical". Lord have mercy on us all.
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« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2011, 05:25:26 PM »

That is why a parish bible study is so important, since it is led by the priest.  He can teach the scriptures from the standpoint of the Church.  Commentaries, such as those by the ancient Fathers, are also invaluable. 
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« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2011, 05:38:28 PM »

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.

I think the question is why we DO not read the Bible as voraciously as opposed as why we MAY.  We have permission, we just don't do it for some reason.

If Orthodoxy has a lot of other books and traditions that it includes in its teaching then scripture from the bible wouldn't seem as important. The bible is all we have and it's all we need because it's the living word of God.

So you're Calvinist now?

What was i before?
/laughs
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« Reply #64 on: October 09, 2011, 05:48:01 PM »

Twould be interesting if a priest read the sermon of St. John Chrysostom, in which he criticizes his flock for knowing all the names and activities of various celebrities--athletes, actors, politicians, etc.--but yet don't know the basic stuff about/from the Bible. The priest could introduce the text as "something a bishop once wrote," and then reveal at the end that it was written over 1,600 years ago. Things haven't changed much. Except he could point out that now it's no longer merely the rich who can afford the sacred texts, and it's not only a small portion of the population who are literate. I think, then as now, the reason people (and I'm not excluding myself) don't read the Bible is that we just don't take the Bible, or the claims we make about it, seriously enough. We like to speak about it in lofty terms, we like to kiss it and reverence it, and talk about how it's holy and whatever else. But we can't be troubled to read it. Ok, some read it, but do we really read as often and as deeply as we would if we truly believed that in it we could find the greatest wisdom available to man (or whatever language you want to use)?

Um... and with that I yield the soapbox.

My Priest did, I think it was just the Sunday of or before the Superbowl, IIRC. He read that sermon as his homily and basically pointed out the obvious and what you did about the availability of Scripture.
Good priest.
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« Reply #65 on: October 09, 2011, 06:10:25 PM »

The bible is all we have and it's all we need because it's the living word of God.

Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, not the bible. And the bible is not all that you need, because if you don't eat his Flesh and drink his Blood, you have no life in you.

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

The bible words are the very words of God. Spoken by the Spirit of God and therefore living.

As far as the bread and wine is concerned. When blood is mentioned in scripture its referring to a violent death as in Psalm 27:2 where David is explaining that the wicked want to profit from his death not actually eat him! In 1 Chronicles 11:19 when he talks about drinking the blood of these men he doesn't mean it literally <it's water anyway> but he is talking about profiting from their death and benefiting from it.

Besides, eating and drinking of his flesh and blood, are not the only things related to having everlasting life, obeying, believing and coming to Jesus all have the result of gaining everlasting life. John 6:57 says that the Father sent Jesus and Jesus lives because of His Father and then says that if we feed on Him we will also live because of Him.
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« Reply #66 on: October 09, 2011, 06:22:19 PM »

The bible is all we have and it's all we need because it's the living word of God.

Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, not the bible. And the bible is not all that you need, because if you don't eat his Flesh and drink his Blood, you have no life in you.

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

The bible words are the very words of God. Spoken by the Spirit of God and therefore living.

As far as the bread and wine is concerned. When blood is mentioned in scripture its referring to a violent death as in Psalm 27:2 where David is explaining that the wicked want to profit from his death not actually eat him! In 1 Chronicles 11:19 when he talks about drinking the blood of these men he doesn't mean it literally <it's water anyway> but he is talking about profiting from their death and benefiting from it.

Besides, eating and drinking of his flesh and blood, are not the only things related to having everlasting life, obeying, believing and coming to Jesus all have the result of gaining everlasting life. John 6:57 says that the Father sent Jesus and Jesus lives because of His Father and then says that if we feed on Him we will also live because of Him.

Fountain Pen,

We Orthodox believe that we really partake of the Lord's Body and Blood in the Eucharist (as I assume you already know).  You won't find any support for your position here.
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« Reply #67 on: October 09, 2011, 06:25:01 PM »

I don't know why he brought that up, i was just responding to his post.
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« Reply #68 on: October 09, 2011, 06:25:47 PM »

"Take, drink of it ALL OF YOU, this is My blood..."

You can't really pick and choose from Christ's commandments, my friend. Clearly, eating Christ's body and drinking His blood are not the only things that are necessary to do to obtain eternal life, such that so long as you receive communion you are automatically "saved" (which is not something I have ever heard any Orthodox person argue, anyway), but just the same, they are absolutely, 10000000000000% necessary to having life. Unless you eat His body and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Christ said that IN the Bible! (John 6:53)

It is important to remember or realize that the Orthodox faith is not minimalist. I know that, and I'm not even Orthodox (or particularly bright)! It is not enough to say "well, there are other things involved and I'll do those other things, and not this thing that CHRIST HIMSELF COMMANDED." Remember, if you love Him, you will keep His commandments.
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« Reply #69 on: October 09, 2011, 06:26:27 PM »

I don't know why he brought that up, i was just responding to his post.

I apologize if I came across as rude and abrupt.   Smiley
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« Reply #70 on: October 09, 2011, 06:35:01 PM »

"Take, drink of it ALL OF YOU, this is My blood..."

You can't really pick and choose from Christ's commandments, my friend. Clearly, eating Christ's body and drinking His blood are not the only things that are necessary to do to obtain eternal life, such that so long as you receive communion you are automatically "saved" (which is not something I have ever heard any Orthodox person argue, anyway), but just the same, they are absolutely, 10000000000000% necessary to having life. Unless you eat His body and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Christ said that IN the Bible! (John 6:53)

It is important to remember or realize that the Orthodox faith is not minimalist. I know that, and I'm not even Orthodox (or particularly bright)! It is not enough to say "well, there are other things involved and I'll do those other things, and not this thing that CHRIST HIMSELF COMMANDED." Remember, if you love Him, you will keep His commandments.

I think i gave a fuller explaination than you're giving me credit for. You can't just say this is what he said so there! You have to know why it was said and in what context.

I didn't take it as rudeness pete, you're just telling me how it is <smiles>
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« Reply #71 on: October 09, 2011, 06:57:18 PM »

Quote
You can't just say this is what he said so there!

Uh...but that is what He said, and just as importantly, what He did. If He had not said and did those things, we would not be having this conversation.

Quote
You have to know why it was said and in what context.


I am not ignoring the context; I am suggesting to you that the context is understood completely and properly within the Church, as it has been since the founding of the church. This was my point in writing that Orthodox Christians do not take the view that because there are other things also to be done, therefore this very important thing that Christ told us to do can be neglected or thought of as minor, or not physically real, or whatever.

Remember also the preaching to the Pharisees in Luke: "These you ought to have done without leaving the others undone". This was to correct people who tithed while neglecting justice and the love of God, but with a little bit of work I know we can see how it applies to us as well, even when we aren't talking about tithing.  Wink

Perhaps it would help to mention that I am a student of the Alexandrian school of Biblical interpretation, which tends toward metaphor and allegory over more narrow literal or historical understandings. But anyway, my point is not to argue, only to show why your viewpoint is not likely to warmly received here. Peace!
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« Reply #72 on: October 09, 2011, 07:05:14 PM »

Perhaps it would help to mention that I am a student of the Alexandrian school of Biblical interpretation, which tends toward metaphor and allegory
Props to you! Then you'll understand the other scriptures i posted and that David didn't mean them literally.
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« Reply #73 on: October 09, 2011, 07:16:02 PM »

Eh...let's not jump the gun, friend; "tending toward allegory" is not the same as not taking a particular passage literally. When it comes to the understanding of the Eucharist as being the real body and real blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the passages that explicitly state this and state our need to partake of them, I see no essential difference between the EO and the OO (though I welcome EO corrections on this point, if needed).
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« Reply #74 on: October 09, 2011, 07:19:47 PM »

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

Yes, but Isaiah 23:13 says clearly what John 15:3 testifies, namely that there is much folly in the world as Exodus 12:19 promises. Bible Bible Bible without Christian historical context BIBLE BIBLE BIBLE MONSTER GRRRRRR!
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« Reply #75 on: October 09, 2011, 07:22:05 PM »

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

Yes, but Isaiah 23:13 says clearly what John 15:3 testifies, namely that there is much folly in the world as Exodus 12:19 promises. Bible Bible Bible without Christian historical context BIBLE BIBLE BIBLE MONSTER GRRRRRR!
Post of the month!
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« Reply #76 on: October 09, 2011, 07:25:55 PM »

"BIBLE MONSTER"?  Shocked  Smiley
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« Reply #77 on: October 09, 2011, 09:06:26 PM »

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

Yes, but Isaiah 23:13 says clearly what John 15:3 testifies, namely that there is much folly in the world as Exodus 12:19 promises. Bible Bible Bible without Christian historical context BIBLE BIBLE BIBLE MONSTER GRRRRRR!
You are saying what I am thinking much more eloquently than I ever could.

Refraining from being offensive as I possibly can, I think of it as a Bible machine gun. Firing verses at us, at God, with little to no regard to context. Not that the argument is always wrong, but the methodology leaves something to be desired.

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« Reply #78 on: October 09, 2011, 09:09:48 PM »

Another good way to put it.
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« Reply #79 on: October 10, 2011, 12:18:31 AM »

I don't think this is the proper forum to have Protestant-Orthodox debate...
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« Reply #80 on: October 10, 2011, 01:04:04 AM »

Well, if one goes to church on a regular basis, you'll wind up hearing a lot of Scripture over time.

It's not enough.

This is a critiscm I have with the Orthodox Church, and I'd love to be corrected on this, but it seems to me in the Divine Liturgy certain pieces of the Gosepl will be selected for the reading and that's it. No explanation for the text, no sort of interpretation, just read. I don't find that to be fulfilling. It's kind of like a "So What?"
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« Reply #81 on: October 10, 2011, 01:13:25 AM »

Well, if one goes to church on a regular basis, you'll wind up hearing a lot of Scripture over time.

It's not enough.

This is a critiscm I have with the Orthodox Church, and I'd love to be corrected on this, but it seems to me in the Divine Liturgy certain pieces of the Gosepl will be selected for the reading and that's it. No explanation for the text, no sort of interpretation, just read. I don't find that to be fulfilling. It's kind of like a "So What?"

At my parish, the priest gives a homily right after the Gospel reading and the homily is based on it.

I do wish though that more of the liturgy was in English.  It's about 80% Slavonic, and I hate spending the service looking at a translation book.  
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« Reply #82 on: October 10, 2011, 03:37:11 AM »

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

Yes, but Isaiah 23:13 says clearly what John 15:3 testifies, namely that there is much folly in the world as Exodus 12:19 promises. Bible Bible Bible without Christian historical context BIBLE BIBLE BIBLE MONSTER GRRRRRR!

I take it that you don't have an adequate response then.
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« Reply #83 on: October 10, 2011, 03:47:39 AM »

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

Yes, but Isaiah 23:13 says clearly what John 15:3 testifies, namely that there is much folly in the world as Exodus 12:19 promises. Bible Bible Bible without Christian historical context BIBLE BIBLE BIBLE MONSTER GRRRRRR!
You are saying what I am thinking much more eloquently than I ever could.

Refraining from being offensive as I possibly can, I think of it as a Bible machine gun. Firing verses at us, at God, with little to no regard to context. Not that the argument is always wrong, but the methodology leaves something to be desired.



Why would you want to create an "us" and them situation? I am discussing with one person about whether the bible words are living and Holy Spirit inspired. My citations are both in context and relevant. You might be refraining from being offensive <why there's a need to be offensive anyway is beyond me> but you are coming across as hostile.

There are many many references in scripture that show the Holy Spirit has given the words and that the words are inspired of God, too many to post whole chapters and paragraphs one after another. When people aren't short and to the point on forums, it's difficult for others to read a long post. Just because you see the scriptures posted for reference, please don't assume i haven't checked the context of them.

The reason i only quote the verse is because i know i am chatting to experienced Christians on the whole who would know the scriptures and the surrounding context and who don't have to be spoon fed.

I've yet to see a post from you that goes into scripture in any depth so why you would attack mine i have no idea.
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« Reply #84 on: October 10, 2011, 03:52:16 AM »

Well, if one goes to church on a regular basis, you'll wind up hearing a lot of Scripture over time.

It's not enough.

This is a critiscm I have with the Orthodox Church, and I'd love to be corrected on this, but it seems to me in the Divine Liturgy certain pieces of the Gosepl will be selected for the reading and that's it. No explanation for the text, no sort of interpretation, just read. I don't find that to be fulfilling. It's kind of like a "So What?"

Have you visited a DL? Did they not preach a sermon? This is the very small minority of parishes (in the states at least) that do not have a homily on the gospel reading of the day.
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« Reply #85 on: October 10, 2011, 03:53:48 AM »

There's usually a homily everytime I visit, and on occasion not. The sermon doesn't really expound on the Gospel or the epistles of St. Paul.

EDIT: To add, the homilies at my parish are of such high quality, it is unbelievable that I don't have to pay to hear them.

I just want to tell my fellow parishoners who only come for the Eucharist and leave to stay because they are in for a treat.
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« Reply #86 on: October 10, 2011, 03:57:33 AM »

There's usually a homily everytime I visit, and on occasion not. The sermon doesn't really expound on the Gospel or the epistles of St. Paul.

Hmm thats unfortunate. That's what the purpose of the homily is supposed to be.  Undecided
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« Reply #87 on: October 10, 2011, 03:59:11 AM »

I'm glad that you have good homilies otherwise though.
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« Reply #88 on: October 10, 2011, 04:25:19 AM »

Besides, eating and drinking of his flesh and blood, are not the only things related to having everlasting life, obeying, believing and coming to Jesus all have the result of gaining everlasting life.

Not the only things, but still necessary, biblically speaking.
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« Reply #89 on: October 10, 2011, 06:16:19 AM »

I don't think this is the proper forum to have Protestant-Orthodox debate...
Exactly; As originator of this poll and discussion, I would like to be able to discontinue or cap things when I believe they have moved in a direction that I, the originator, did not intend
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« Reply #90 on: October 10, 2011, 08:57:32 AM »

I take it that you don't have an adequate response then.

Enjoy the victory.
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« Reply #91 on: October 10, 2011, 09:14:29 AM »

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

Yes, but Isaiah 23:13 says clearly what John 15:3 testifies, namely that there is much folly in the world as Exodus 12:19 promises. Bible Bible Bible without Christian historical context BIBLE BIBLE BIBLE MONSTER GRRRRRR!
You are saying what I am thinking much more eloquently than I ever could.

Refraining from being offensive as I possibly can, I think of it as a Bible machine gun. Firing verses at us, at God, with little to no regard to context. Not that the argument is always wrong, but the methodology leaves something to be desired.



Why would you want to create an "us" and them situation? I am discussing with one person about whether the bible words are living and Holy Spirit inspired. My citations are both in context and relevant. You might be refraining from being offensive <why there's a need to be offensive anyway is beyond me> but you are coming across as hostile.

There are many many references in scripture that show the Holy Spirit has given the words and that the words are inspired of God, too many to post whole chapters and paragraphs one after another. When people aren't short and to the point on forums, it's difficult for others to read a long post. Just because you see the scriptures posted for reference, please don't assume i haven't checked the context of them.

The reason i only quote the verse is because i know i am chatting to experienced Christians on the whole who would know the scriptures and the surrounding context and who don't have to be spoon fed.

I've yet to see a post from you that goes into scripture in any depth so why you would attack mine i have no idea.
If you want to go this way, I can as well.

Are you saying that there is something wrong with me that my posts don't go into scripture in any depth? Let's start here.

First of all, I came from a church that when I would ask questions, all I would do is get a list of Bible verses in return. No consideration of context, nothing. I used to recite verses about healing each morning as if they were magical powers (my spiritual mother and friends recommended that I do so). I used to give the same advice to friends.

For two years I read nothing BUT the Bible (in terms of religious works) because I thought that the authors in my movement were selling a lot of hogwash and I didn't know where to turn. Now, my long-term memory or ANYTHING is pretty poor (which is why my posts generally don't have any factual substance), but believe you me, I read the Bible.

I don't quote verses because like you said, people here are pretty familiar with the verses, even if they cannot identify them right off or don't know which books they came from. I can quote verses in a situation, although I can't place them right off. No, that's not a good thing, but God and I am working on my memory. But I am more interested in what is underneath. And no, I don't comment on scripture because I said multiple times here that I feel like I'm at a place where I don't know enough to speak on the text with real authority. I can pull out verses like the best of you, with a concordance in my left hand, but that's not good enough for me anymore.

So I'm reading, listening, studying. So, if you went through my posts and didn't find me quoting scripture anywhere, that is my explanation.

And yes, I have an admittedly visceral reaction to people just spouting verses all the time. If I may quote Frank Schaeffer, whose views are...well...overly passionate at best and unnecessarily aggressive at worst...he had what I believe was a very good point with this quote from Crazy For God:

The logic of those prayers, if one was reading between the lines, was something like this:

"Dear Heavenly Father, in Your Word You say that when two or three are gathered together, You will be in the midst of them. Well, we're gathered here, so do what we're telling You to do because we have You over a barrel and can quote Your own books back at you! And in case You're thinking of weaseling out of this deal, we claim Your promises, and because You can't break any of those since You wrote it all in the Bible, You'll do what we say, and You'll do it NOW! AMEN!"


That verse hit me so hard because that's been my life for the past years. I want to go deeper now. I will be the first to admit that my understanding of the Bible is quite limited, based on how much I want to know. But that doesn't mean that I have to agree with everyone's method of discussing issues by basing it on an exhaustive list of verses with no explanation or justification. I can do that on Bible Gateway very well.
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« Reply #92 on: October 10, 2011, 12:09:27 PM »

If we remain and continue in Jesus' words we will know the truth and that is a promise John 8:31-32, 2 Timothy 1:13, 2 Timothy 3:7. God reveals Himself and information about Himself: Paul's Gospel came through a revelation of Jesus Christ Galatians 1:12. And many passages tell us that God has spoken the words of Scripture. Old Testament quotations are introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said David was inspired by the Spirit Matthew 22:43. Peter said "the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David" Acts 1:16. Hebrews 3:7 says "as the Holy Spirit says."

Yes, but Isaiah 23:13 says clearly what John 15:3 testifies, namely that there is much folly in the world as Exodus 12:19 promises. Bible Bible Bible without Christian historical context BIBLE BIBLE BIBLE MONSTER GRRRRRR!
You are saying what I am thinking much more eloquently than I ever could.

Refraining from being offensive as I possibly can, I think of it as a Bible machine gun. Firing verses at us, at God, with little to no regard to context. Not that the argument is always wrong, but the methodology leaves something to be desired.



Why would you want to create an "us" and them situation? I am discussing with one person about whether the bible words are living and Holy Spirit inspired. My citations are both in context and relevant. You might be refraining from being offensive <why there's a need to be offensive anyway is beyond me> but you are coming across as hostile.

There are many many references in scripture that show the Holy Spirit has given the words and that the words are inspired of God, too many to post whole chapters and paragraphs one after another. When people aren't short and to the point on forums, it's difficult for others to read a long post. Just because you see the scriptures posted for reference, please don't assume i haven't checked the context of them.

The reason i only quote the verse is because i know i am chatting to experienced Christians on the whole who would know the scriptures and the surrounding context and who don't have to be spoon fed.

I've yet to see a post from you that goes into scripture in any depth so why you would attack mine i have no idea.
If you want to go this way, I can as well.

Are you saying that there is something wrong with me that my posts don't go into scripture in any depth? Let's start here.

First of all, I came from a church that when I would ask questions, all I would do is get a list of Bible verses in return. No consideration of context, nothing. I used to recite verses about healing each morning as if they were magical powers (my spiritual mother and friends recommended that I do so). I used to give the same advice to friends.

For two years I read nothing BUT the Bible (in terms of religious works) because I thought that the authors in my movement were selling a lot of hogwash and I didn't know where to turn. Now, my long-term memory or ANYTHING is pretty poor (which is why my posts generally don't have any factual substance), but believe you me, I read the Bible.

I don't quote verses because like you said, people here are pretty familiar with the verses, even if they cannot identify them right off or don't know which books they came from. I can quote verses in a situation, although I can't place them right off. No, that's not a good thing, but God and I am working on my memory. But I am more interested in what is underneath. And no, I don't comment on scripture because I said multiple times here that I feel like I'm at a place where I don't know enough to speak on the text with real authority. I can pull out verses like the best of you, with a concordance in my left hand, but that's not good enough for me anymore.

So I'm reading, listening, studying. So, if you went through my posts and didn't find me quoting scripture anywhere, that is my explanation.

And yes, I have an admittedly visceral reaction to people just spouting verses all the time. If I may quote Frank Schaeffer, whose views are...well...overly passionate at best and unnecessarily aggressive at worst...he had what I believe was a very good point with this quote from Crazy For God:

The logic of those prayers, if one was reading between the lines, was something like this:

"Dear Heavenly Father, in Your Word You say that when two or three are gathered together, You will be in the midst of them. Well, we're gathered here, so do what we're telling You to do because we have You over a barrel and can quote Your own books back at you! And in case You're thinking of weaseling out of this deal, we claim Your promises, and because You can't break any of those since You wrote it all in the Bible, You'll do what we say, and You'll do it NOW! AMEN!"


That verse hit me so hard because that's been my life for the past years. I want to go deeper now. I will be the first to admit that my understanding of the Bible is quite limited, based on how much I want to know. But that doesn't mean that I have to agree with everyone's method of discussing issues by basing it on an exhaustive list of verses with no explanation or justification. I can do that on Bible Gateway very well.


No, nothing wrong with you at all. I haven't been here long enough to see your posts, that's what i was getting at.

I'm not surprised you dislike verses being rattled off given your explaination and believe me, so do i if they're not meant from the heart or haven't been read thoroughly and read in context. The reason i do it, is because i am so unsure of some of the things i have been taught that i have to make sure the words i say are rooted in the bible and that i'm not believing lies. It's more of a safeguard for me and to make sure i'm not shooting my own mouth off and it not being biblical. The bible is the only thing i have that i trust and as far as i'm concerned, everythng has to line up with it. So i'm not just spouting verses. I mean, i am spouting verses, but i'm not just spouting them, there is prayer and thought behind it, and much sincerity. If you think i have the context wrong then please correct me, i only know what i know and if you know different then i'm open. I'd rather a straight post to me, than being talked about in the way you did. I realise i am in some ways, i'm representitive of a lot of Protestants out there but please don't, i've been mislead by some of them as well.

The reason i pray the way i do, is for the same reason. It's out of humility in recognising that i shouldn't pray outside of the will of God, rather than demanding that God keep his promises. I don't think any of us are in a position to demand anything.

I can really understand the way you feel and why you are so hostile towards things like this because i've pulled away from some Protestants too for very similar reasons as you've said, so please don't judge this book by the cover. I might look a bit Barbara Taylor Bradford but i'm much more Elizabeth Strout once you get into it. *laughing*

Hopefully we can both understand each other a bit better and i do sincerely apologise if i personally came across offensively, it really wasn't my intention IsmiLiora. I will still be posting verses to back up what ii post though *smiles* just think of it as a tick if it helps.

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« Reply #93 on: October 10, 2011, 12:20:43 PM »

Hopefully we can both understand each other a bit better and i do sincerely apologise if i personally came across offensively, it really wasn't my intention IsmiLiora. I will still be posting verses to back up what ii post though *smiles* just think of it as a tick if it helps.


No worries and I look forward to your posts here.

I am still dealing with a lot of anger issues towards my past. Mr. Ismi tells me to calm down a lot with it, but I practically hyperventilate when I hear some prayers or particular verses used, since it was used like a weapon against me or my lifestyle. I hope that my explanation helped and I appreciated you providing one as well.
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« Reply #94 on: October 10, 2011, 12:46:22 PM »

Hopefully we can both understand each other a bit better and i do sincerely apologise if i personally came across offensively, it really wasn't my intention IsmiLiora. I will still be posting verses to back up what ii post though *smiles* just think of it as a tick if it helps.


No worries and I look forward to your posts here.

I am still dealing with a lot of anger issues towards my past. Mr. Ismi tells me to calm down a lot with it, but I practically hyperventilate when I hear some prayers or particular verses used, since it was used like a weapon against me or my lifestyle. I hope that my explanation helped and I appreciated you providing one as well.

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« Reply #95 on: October 10, 2011, 11:52:59 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.

Maybe since the Protestant church doesnt have one "official" teaching on scripture (other than its the ONLY authority) more people read and study in order to decide what they believe about what the scripture is saying.  I hear so many people say "well this is what this passage means to me..." While they certainly dont have bad intentions, this can be  a dangerous thing.  This is, i guess, how you get "sola imagination."

We should obviously study and know scripture, but maybe doing this too much outside the church may not be as good of an idea as it might seem.  People doing too much of this on their own is how so many different ideas came about.  Thats why I think a tool like the Orthodox Study Bible is helpful.  If you arent a fan of that, which I know some people arent, then maybe some other Orthodox commentary should be available to you.
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« Reply #96 on: October 11, 2011, 05:02:47 AM »

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.

Maybe since the Protestant church doesnt have one "official" teaching on scripture (other than its the ONLY authority) more people read and study in order to decide what they believe about what the scripture is saying.  I hear so many people say "well this is what this passage means to me..." While they certainly dont have bad intentions, this can be  a dangerous thing.  This is, i guess, how you get "sola imagination."

We should obviously study and know scripture, but maybe doing this too much outside the church may not be as good of an idea as it might seem.  People doing too much of this on their own is how so many different ideas came about.  Thats why I think a tool like the Orthodox Study Bible is helpful.  If you arent a fan of that, which I know some people arent, then maybe some other Orthodox commentary should be available to you.

Timon, what do you mean by this phrase? I realise it's to do with authority, but whose?
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« Reply #97 on: October 11, 2011, 10:04:33 AM »

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.

Maybe since the Protestant church doesnt have one "official" teaching on scripture (other than its the ONLY authority) more people read and study in order to decide what they believe about what the scripture is saying.  I hear so many people say "well this is what this passage means to me..." While they certainly dont have bad intentions, this can be  a dangerous thing.  This is, i guess, how you get "sola imagination."

We should obviously study and know scripture, but maybe doing this too much outside the church may not be as good of an idea as it might seem.  People doing too much of this on their own is how so many different ideas came about.  Thats why I think a tool like the Orthodox Study Bible is helpful.  If you arent a fan of that, which I know some people arent, then maybe some other Orthodox commentary should be available to you.

Timon, what do you mean by this phrase? I realise it's to do with authority, but whose?

I meant without the guidance and Tradition of the Church.  It was just a thought I tossed out there.  Certainly not trying to act like I know thats the answer to the question.
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« Reply #98 on: October 11, 2011, 01:00:32 PM »

There's a thread on here somewhere concerning the proper exegesis of the passage where Jesus tells the people to obey those who sit in the seat of Moses and do as they say but not as they do.

One person argues that this passage is proof of sola scriptura and that Jesus was telling the people not to obey the religious authorities placed over them ond to disregard their traditional teachings. That everyone should personally decide whether or not a command, tradition, or teaching should be followed by using nothing but scripture.

A number of people read the text to say just the opposite.

Both sides of the discussion use the same passage to prove their point.

This is why sola scriptura doesn't work.
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« Reply #99 on: October 11, 2011, 02:24:42 PM »

There's a thread on here somewhere concerning the proper exegesis of the passage where Jesus tells the people to obey those who sit in the seat of Moses and do as they say but not as they do.

One person argues that this passage is proof of sola scriptura and that Jesus was telling the people not to obey the religious authorities placed over them ond to disregard their traditional teachings. That everyone should personally decide whether or not a command, tradition, or teaching should be followed by using nothing but scripture.

A number of people read the text to say just the opposite.

Both sides of the discussion use the same passage to prove their point.

This is why sola scriptura doesn't work.
Sola scriptura doesn't work if you are outsider looking in, trying to decide who is correct.

But, if you're an insider, who already has made a decision, sola scriptura works just fine. Shocked
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« Reply #100 on: October 15, 2011, 07:31:16 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...
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« Reply #101 on: October 15, 2011, 08:44:17 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...

For me the greatest benefit of bible studies is having our priest interpret the scripture for us in light of Holy Tradition; i.e. demonstrate for us the proper context and understanding of them.
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« Reply #102 on: October 15, 2011, 10:05:52 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...

Well said
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« Reply #103 on: October 15, 2011, 10:15:11 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...

Just my opinion- I wonder if many people aren't intimidated by the sheer length and complexity of the Bible. They look at it and it's over a thousand pages long. Of course, it is divided into shorter books, but it still looks large on a bookshelf. Maybe this will change with the rising popularity of e-books and audiobooks. I've been using an audio Bible, and it helps.
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« Reply #104 on: October 15, 2011, 10:56:49 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...

Just my opinion- I wonder if many people aren't intimidated by the sheer length and complexity of the Bible. They look at it and it's over a thousand pages long. Of course, it is divided into shorter books, but it still looks large on a bookshelf. Maybe this will change with the rising popularity of e-books and audiobooks. I've been using an audio Bible, and it helps.

I don't think people find the length daunting. If anything they may be intimidated by the level of justifiable reverence for it, and are afraid that they might not "get it". If one person's weakness is their overconfidence, it may be the shortcoming of others to lack realistic confidence.
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« Reply #105 on: October 16, 2011, 02:51:59 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...
I fully agree with what you're saying. However, that shouldn't rule out an "Old Testament Survey" or "Biblical History" or some such study that helps to connect the dots. It wouldn't hurt either to study the biographies of some persons such as Moses or David since they and their works figure so highly in our liturgical services.
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« Reply #106 on: October 16, 2011, 05:34:33 PM »

I voted for #1.

I've never been a big fan of "bible studies". And if the issue is biblical illiteracy, having a weekly Bible study will only give people minimal exposure to the Scriptures. A chapter or two every day, along with regular participation in the life of the Church will have a much more profound effect. Now, if only we could get ourselves to do that...

Study can be a daily thing when people are engrossed in a book that is as profoundly interesting as the bible. It's not that you sit down and have a time to study, though that's part of it but study in that you are thinking through scripture, chewing it over and going back to the bible and commentaries for reference. This can happen along side living out your faith in the life of the church.
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« Reply #107 on: October 16, 2011, 05:49:38 PM »

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.

I think the question is why we DO not read the Bible as voraciously as opposed as why we MAY.  We have permission, we just don't do it for some reason.

If Orthodoxy has a lot of other books and traditions that it includes in its teaching then scripture from the bible wouldn't seem as important. The bible is all we have and it's all we need because it's the living word of God.

I'd like to remind that this section of the board is dedicated to discussing the Orthodox Christian Faith from the Orthodox Christian POV. Members of other religious communities are allowed to ask questions and rectify misunderstandings on their religious communities but are not allowed to criticise teachings and practises of the Orthodox Church or advocate for teachings and practises of their religious communities. There are other sections of the forum (Orthodox -Other Christian section and its subsections, Religious Topics or Private Fora) for such things.
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« Reply #108 on: October 16, 2011, 06:24:14 PM »

Apologies all, if that came across as critical, that wasn't my intention just the clumsy way i put it. All i meant was that rightly or wrongly, Protestants rely solely on one book, the bible. While Orthodoxy has many rich resources to get spiritual teaching from so you're not as narrowly focused on just the one book but study fervently across all the sources of inspired Holy words that you have.

I hope that's helped to clarify either that or i've just dug myself further into a hole.
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« Reply #109 on: October 16, 2011, 06:32:29 PM »

Apologies all, if that came across as critical, that wasn't my intention just the clumsy way i put it. All i meant was that rightly or wrongly, Protestants rely solely on one book, the bible. While Orthodoxy has many rich resources to get spiritual teaching from so you're not as narrowly focused on just the one book but study fervently across all the sources of inspired Holy words that you have.

I hope that's helped to clarify either that or i've just dug myself further into a hole.
Are you trying to correct a stated misunderstanding of your apparently Protestant faith, or does your apologetic on this thread go beyond that? That's the real issue here.

(This is more of a rhetorical question, so I'm not really expecting an answer.)
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« Reply #110 on: October 16, 2011, 06:50:19 PM »

Apologies all, if that came across as critical, that wasn't my intention just the clumsy way i put it. All i meant was that rightly or wrongly, Protestants rely solely on one book, the bible. While Orthodoxy has many rich resources to get spiritual teaching from so you're not as narrowly focused on just the one book but study fervently across all the sources of inspired Holy words that you have.

I hope that's helped to clarify either that or i've just dug myself further into a hole.
Are you trying to correct a stated misunderstanding of your apparently Protestant faith, or does your apologetic on this thread go beyond that? That's the real issue here.

(This is more of a rhetorical question, so I'm not really expecting an answer.)

Even though you're not expecting an answer, i'm always willing to go the extra mile.

While i'm undecided as to whether my "apparently Protestant faith" needs correcting at this time, as i'm still struggling through the Saints issue right now, though i do remain open to God's correction on the matter. I was apologising for the clumsy way i put the paragraph that caused the 'reminder'. I hope that's cleared up the "real issue" for you.
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