How to the Read Holy Bible (Part V)

According to Saint Mark the Monk ("Mark the Ascetic"," fifth/sixth century), "He who is humble in his thoughts and engaged in spiritual work, when he reads the Holy Scripture, will apply everything to himself and not his neighbor." We are to look throughout Scripture for a personal application. Our question is not simply, "What does it mean?" but "What does it mean for me?" As Saint Tlikhon insists, "Christ Himself is speaking to you." Scripture is a direct, intimate dialogue between the Savior and myself--Christ addressing me, and my heart responding. That is the fourth criterion in our Bible reading.

Read More

How to Read the Holy Bible (Part IV)

The third requirement in our reading of Holy Scripture is that it should be Christ-centered. If we agree with the 1976 Moscow Conference that the "Scriptures constitute a coherent whole," where are we to locate their wholeness and coherence? In the Person of Christ. He is the unifying thread that runs through the entirety of the Bible, from the first sentence to the last. Jesus meets us on every page. It all ties up because of Him, "In Him, all things hold together" (Col. 1:16).

Read More

How to Read the Holy Bible (Part III)

Understanding the Holy Bible through the Church

In the second place, as the Moscow Conference affirms, "We know, receive, and interpret Holy Scripture through the Church and in the Church." Our approach to the Holy Bible is not only obedient but ecclesial. The words of Holy Scripture, while addressed to us personally, are at the same time addressed to us as members of a community. Book and Church are not to be separated.

Read More

How to Read the Holy Bible (Part II)

Each of the four Evangelists has his own particular standpoint. Matthew is the most "ecclesiastical" and the most Jewish of the four, with his special interest in the relationship of the Gospel to the Jewish Law, and his understanding of Christianity as the "New Law." Mark writes in less polished Greek, closer to the language of daily life, and includes vivid narrative details not found in the other Gospels. Luke emphasizes the universality of Christ's love, His all-embracing compassion that extends equally to Jew and Gentile. The Fourth Gospel expresses a more inward and mystical approach, and was aptly styled by Saint Clement of Alexandria "a spiritual Gospel." Let us explore and enjoy the full this Life-giving variety within the Holy Bible.

Read More

The 8th Day of Christmas-January 1st-St. Basil the Great

One of the most beautiful and inspiring traditions of our Greek Orthodox Church is the observance of Vasilopita which usually takes place on the Feast of Saint Basil the Great on January 1st every year. It is this annual observance, together with many other traditions of our Holy Church, which joins Our Orthodox Christian Faith with its history and heritage.

Read More

How to Read the Holy Bible

"All Scripture is inspired by God" (2 Timothy 3:16)

"If an earthly king, our emperor," says Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk (+1724-83), "wrote you a letter, would you not read it with joy? Certainly, with great rejoicing and careful attention." But what, he asks, is our attitude towards the letter that has been addressed to us by no one less than God Himself? "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." To open and read this letter, Saint Tikhon adds, is to enter into a personal conversation face to face with the living God

Read More

The Synaxis of Saint John the Baptist and Forerunner (January 7)

Saint John's greatest role during his life was enacted on the day of Theophany, and because of this the Church has, from the earliest times, dedicated the day following that feast to his memory. This day is also connected with an event involving the hand of the Forerunner. The Evangelist Luke desired to take Saint John's body from Sevaste, where the Great Prophet had been beheaded by Herod, to Antioch, his own birthplace. He succeeded, though, in acquiring and taking only one hand, which was kept in Antioch till the 10th century. I

Read More

A Theophany Within

Do you ever ask: "If Jesus is who He says He is, why don't I see Him more clearly?" Saint Thomas had the same doubts when his brother disciples told him that Jesus had resurrected. Jesus heard his plea and answered it: "Then He (Jesus) said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands, and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing...Thomas answered Him, 'My Lord and my God!'" (St. John 20:27-28).

Read More