Where Did the Holy Bible Come From?

Perhaps the days are gone when very many people have the impression that the Holy Bible was somehow mysteriously written in the English of the King James Version (KJV), all ready-made and bound in a book, at some unknown point since the day of the Apostles. Certainly, such a notion would be hard to find amongst Orthodox Christians. But in the society in which we live, perhaps many Orthodox Christians included, there is often a "that's the way it is" attitude, attached to whatever concept of "the Bible" one happens to have.

Read More

Ancestral "Orginial" Sin

In the Old Testament account of creation, God created mankind and established a place for him called Paradise. He also gave him a commandment regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "And the Lord God commanded Adam, saying, 'You may eat food from every tree in the garden, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not eat; for in whatever day you eat from it, you shall die by death' (Genesis 2:16,17). In that, Adam and Eve did not physically die the day they ate from the tree, the words "you shall die" indicate a spiritual death through the separation from God.

Read More

The Beginning of the Church Year and the Feast of Saint Simeon the Stylite - September 1

On the beginning of the Indiction, we also commemorate Christ's entrance into the midst of the synagogue of the Jews and His proclamation of the acceptable year of the Lord, spoken of in the Book of Isaiah the Prophet. Thus, no longer do we celebrate the feast of the ancient law; we now celebrate the feast of the new dispensation of grace on this first day of the present month, on which the very Lawgiver Christ has revealed Himself to the world, having come down from on high, bearing the Spirit of the Father in Himself and inscribing the Law of God not with His finger, but with His blessed tongue and most sweet lips, and "not on tables of stone, but on the fleshy tables of our heart" (2 Corinthians Ch. 3).

Read More

September 1 - The Beginning of the Indiction, that is, the Church New Year

Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the Indiction. Second Tone

O Maker of all creation, Who hast established the times and the seasons in Thine own power: Bless the crown of this year with Thy goodness, O Lord, and keep our rulers and Thy flock in peace, by the intercessions of the Theotokos, and save us.

Saints commemorated on September 1st: Our Righteous Father Symeon the Stylite. The Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos of Miasenae. The Righteous Jesus of Navi (Joshua, Son of Nun).

Read More

August 29--Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and Forerunner (Part II)

"Now Elizabeth's full time came to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. When her neighbor and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her. So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. His mother answered and said, 'No; he shall be called John.' But they said to her, 'There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.' So they made signs to his father--what he would have him called.

Read More

Augst 29 -- Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and Forerunner

Saint John the Baptist and Forerunner was the son of the Priest (Rabbi) Zacharias and his mother Elizabeth, a blood relative to the Most Holy Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary. This righteous Hebrew couple was childless, for Elizabeth was barren. They constantly prayed to the Almighty God to grant them a child. Their prayers were heard on high, an Angel was sent to them with the message telling them that the Lord God had been pleased with their faith and patience and that He was to fulfill their desire and supplication. Accordingly, Elizabeth bore unto her husband Zacharias a male child, who was given the name John.

Read More

The Four Orders in Church Government

An ancient visitor to modern Christendom would be shocked to find that factions have pulled away from Apostolic Christianity not just over doctrinal matters but even over the issue of how the Church is governed. Thus, in quite a recent development, some religious bodies call themselves Congregational (ruled by the people), others are Presbyterian (ruled by the elders), still others are Episcopal (ruled by the bishops).

Read More