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Bible/Scripture

“Because the Scriptures have a specific, God-given meaning (2 Peter 1:20, 21), it is impossible to truly understand them apart from the Church, for apostolic interpretation is held in the consciousness of the Church.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Acts 8:30-31)


“…to assert the "centrality" – even "sufficiency" – of Scripture does not mean a self-sufficiency. As Father Georges Florovsky writes, "We cannot assert that Scripture is self-sufficient; and this not because it is incomplete, or inexact, or has any defects, but because Scripture in its very essence does not lay claim to self-sufficiency. We can say that Scripture is a God-inspired scheme or image (eikon) of truth, but not truth itself. . . . If we declare Scripture to be self-sufficient, we only expose it to subjective, arbitrary interpretation, thus cutting it away from its sacred source.” (Rev. Dr. Eugen J. Pentiuc)


“The scriptures open the heavens to us, that is their goal. If we read them only to try to find past history, we miss the very thing they have to offer us. We are not reading the Bible to learn past history, but to discover the Way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Concerns about the literal truth of the Bible are often misguided as they turn people away from seeing God and to seeing only the things of this world…Holy Scripture ought not to be read in the spirit of worldly wisdom, which wrangles over words, but in the spirit of the wisdom of God, and of spiritual simplicity.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh, Alexei Khomiakov)


“It is not sufficient to read the Scriptures for inspiration, or even for edification. Our objective should be to make it possible for the word to sink down to the level of the spirit where it becomes one with our spirit. The more fully and more richly the word is hidden in our hearts the more certain will be the answer to our prayers from the Father…The more fully and more richly the word is hidden in our hearts the more certain will be the answer to our prayers from the Father…The proximity of the word to us must be the major pursuit of each believer. It is not so much how often you study the word of God that counts as much as it is how close and familiar the word remains with you. Has the word of God become part of your daily vocabulary? Does the word permeate your consciousness, your personality, your desires and your thoughts?” (Father Eusebius Stephanou)


“If you try to reduce the divine meaning to the purely external signification of the words, the Word will have no reason to come down to you. It will return to its secret dwelling, which is contemplation that is worthy of it. For it has wings, this divine meaning, given to it by the Holy Spirit who is its guide … But to be unwilling ever to rise above the letter, never to give up feeding on the literal sense, is the mark of a life of falsehood…It would be a good thing had we no need of the written Scriptures but instead had the Holy Spirit living and active in our hearts. But because we lost the grace of the Holy Spirit, God, in his love and mercy gave us the Holy Scriptures. And how bad are you if having lost the Holy Spirit and received the Holy Scriptures you don’t even read the Holy Scriptures.” (Origen, St. John Chrysostom)


“The Holy Bible (or Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments) is the most authoritative part of the Sacred Tradition of the Church. As with today's laws that govern the life of our modern society, these laws are the product of the life of the community; however, once produced, they are placed above and regulate this life. So it is with the Holy Scripture: once established by the Christian community, led by the Holy Spirit of God, then Scripture is placed above and regulates the life of the Christian community. The Bible is the product and the epiphenomenon [“outward form”] of the life of the Church, being also the work of men. But it is also the work of the Holy Spirit of God, working in this life of the Church. This is why the Church is subjected to the authority of the Bible.” (His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh)

“The Incarnate Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, is not only God but also man. Christ is a single Person with two natures-divine and human. To de-emphasize Christ's humanity leads to heresy. The ancient Church taught that the Incarnate Word was fully human-in fact, as human as it is possible to be-and yet without sin. In His humanity, the Incarnate Word was born, grew, and matured into manhood. I came to realize that this view of the Incarnate Word of God, the Logos, Jesus Christ, paralleled the early Christian view of the written Word of God, the Bible. The written Word of God reflects not only the divine thought, but a human contribution as well. The Word of God conveys truth to us as written by men, conveying the thoughts, personalities, and even limitations and weaknesses of the writers-inspired by God, to be sure. This means that the human element in the Bible is not overwhelmed so as to be lost in the ocean of the divine. It became clearer to me that as Christ Himself was born, grew, and matured, so also did the written Word of God, the Bible. It did not come down whole-plop-from heaven, but was of human origin as well as divine. The Apostles did not merely inscribe the Scriptures as would a robot or a zombie, but freely cooperated with the will of God through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” (Father James Bernstein)