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Bible/Scripture


“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)

“Not all persons and things designated in Holy Scripture by the same word are necessarily to be understood in exactly the same way. On the contrary, if we are to infer the meaning of the written text correctly, each thing mentioned must clearly be understood according to the significance that underlies its visible form.” (St. Maximos the Confessor)

“We should never think that the Holy Scriptures of the Old or New Testament are a book of rules that contain within themselves certain rules for every circumstance of life and every difficulty. As though all a Christian has to do is deal with these rules and incorporate them into his life. It unfailingly will lead a person from a series of blindly-formulated questions to a series of blindly-formulated answers. It will lead every Christian to a literalist reading of the Scriptures and to a moribund interpretation of it. But it will never lead him to a living creativity filled with the Spirit and with meaning.” (Ivan Ilyin)

“An understanding of the Lord’s ways and actions does not come automatically, even among those who search the Scriptures…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.” (Edith M. Humphrey, Father Eusebius Stephanou)

"Typology is the interpretation of certain historical events occurring in the Old Testament as “types” that prefigure events to be fulfilled through the Incarnation of the Son of God, and in His life and ministry as confirmed in the New Testament. In each case, the type—the first event—is linked to its corresponding future event, called the “antitype.” It is a relationship that begins with a promise and ends with a fulfillment in Christ…With the Old Testament looking forward to the New through types, theophanies, and prophecies, and the New, in antitypes and fulfillment, pointing back to the Old, the essential unity of the two Testaments within one comprehensive Testament is revealed.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Typology)

“The Old and New Testaments together form a single mystery….The types, like patterns, anticipated and sketched out beforehand the dispensations [the order of things] which would be accomplished under the new covenant….If anyone, therefore, reads the [Old Testament] Scriptures with attention, he will find in them an account of Christ, and a foreshadowing of the new calling…The treasure hidden in the Scriptures is Christ, since He was pointed out by means of types and prophecies.” (St. Maximus, St. John Chrysostom, St. Irenaeus)

“Typology is the method of Biblical understanding which seeks the spiritual meaning of the historical events described in the Old Testament.” (John W. Morris, Ph.D)

“Allegorical interpretation is a label used to describe a certain type of interpretation, particularly of the scriptures…Strictly speaking, this would be designating this type of interpretation as other than literal interpretation, although the term ‘literal’ is itself subject to multiple definitions. So, for example, the idea of typology, that Old Testament figures are a type, or fore-image of Christ, is often not considered allegory, but as a part of literal interpretation.” (Father Stephen DeYoung)

“…typology stresses the connections between actual persons, events, places and institutions of the Old Testament, and parallel realities in the New Testament. Another way of understanding the relationship between Old and New Testaments of Scripture is allegory…a quest for the “hidden” or symbolic meaning of a given Old Testament narrative, a meaning considered to be higher, fuller or more spiritual than the meaning discerned by the typology.” (Fr. John Breck, Father George Morelli)

“When Christians are not growing spiritually, doctrine is difficult to explain to them. Let us repent of being dull of hearing (Hebrews 5:11)—a constant criticism Christ and the prophets had of God's people—and habitually and vigorously exercise ourselves in spiritual matters. The primary spiritual exercise is the study and knowledge of the Scriptures." (St. John Chrysostom)

“We must so train ourselves that the mind, as it were, swims in the law of God, under the guidance of which our life must be governed. It is very useful to be occupied with reading the Word of God in solitude and to read the whole Bible through with understanding. When a man so equips his soul with the Word of God, then he is filled with understanding of what is good and what is evil." (St. Seraphim of Sarov)

“Searching the Scriptures restores our right perspective on life. Secular humanism refers to a world devoid of God, or marginalizes God as an idea confined to people with a particular interest in religion. Scripture, by contrast, approaches God as the primary actor amidst all of human history. He alone offers salvation to all nations, and He alone makes sense of everything that bewilders us.” (Dynamis 1/19/2018)

"“For whatever things were written before were written for our instruction, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Rom 15: 4) Here St. Paul states the obvious about the Scriptures: that they were written for us. That is, for us actually to read them, and to be instructed and comforted by them. And that we might have hope; the hope of His Kingdom. They are not written as some kind of legal or political system, as a plan for an earthly kingdom. So I need not bash other people over the head with my Bible, because I’m not called to impose my reading of it on anyone but myself." (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin)

“For though Holy Scripture, being restricted chronologically to the times of the events which it records, is limited where the letter is concerned, yet in spirit it always remains unlimited as regards the contemplation of intelligible realities.” (St. Maximos the Confessor)

“A prayerful reading of the Bible leads to the revelation of the secrets of a Godly life. Why do I say “secrets,” as if to say “hidden messages”? Because for the one who does not read the Bible, or the one who does not read it carefully, or for the one who “reads” and does not allow its words to penetrate his soul and affect his life, then the Gospel is just words on paper. For the one who reads it carefully, for the one who reads it prayerfully, allowing the words of the Gospel to touch his soul and affect his life, the Gospel is a powerful tool, a holy “book” and the “best news” one can ever hope to hear.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“In all things that you find in the Holy Scriptures, seek out the purpose of the words, that you may enter into the depth of the thoughts of the saints and understand them with greater exactness. Do not approach the reading of the Divine Scriptures without prayer and asking the help of God. Consider prayer to be the key to the true understanding of that which is said in the Holy Scriptures." (St. Isaac the Syrian)

“One of the most important ways we come to know God is through study of the His Word. The more we read the Bible, the greater our understanding of God and His divine plan for our lives becomes. As we prayerfully study the scripture, the words will take hold and dwell in our hearts bringing us peace and joy.” (Melissa Tsongranis)

“Just as important as knowing why we should read the Bible is knowing how we should read the Bible…The holy Fathers recommend serious preparation before reading and studying the Bible; but of what does this preparation consist? First of all in prayer. Pray to the Lord to illumine your mind--so that you may understand the words of the Bible--and to fill your heart with His grace--so that you may feel the truth and life of those words. Be aware that these are God's words, which He is speaking and saying to you personally. Prayer, together with the other virtues found in the Gospel, is the best preparation a person can have for understanding the Bible.” (St. Justin Popovich)

“During prayer, and when reading God’s Word, we must reverence every thought, every word, as the Spirit of God Himself, the Spirit of Truth.” (St. John of Kronstadt)

“…the faithful do not read the Bible simply to learn about the Lord, but rather to meet the God the Word in the words of Holy Scripture.” (Dynamis 1/13/15)

“The Bible is about our relationship with God and if we don’t understand it that way, but rather see it as a rulebook or textbook, our orientation to it can become the obstacle that blocks our relationship with God instead of fostering it. He says this is what the Jewish religious leaders did that caused them to miss the truth of who Christ was. They used the Scriptures for the very purpose of avoiding Him.” (Dallas Willard)

“One of the great mysteries of the Christian faith is our belief that the Old and New Testaments are a living word, with the capacity to train us in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). In a way that is beyond our conscious knowing, the word of God slowly remakes our hearts, slowly puts love in order in us.” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)

“Christians often reduce the Bible to a book of doctrine or abstract truth about God which you can read and study endlessly but never have a personal encounter with God as a result of this effort. Human rationality alone will never penetrate the workings of God.” (Dallas Willard)

“Anyone who wants to be always united to God must pray often and read the Bible often. For in prayer it is we who are speaking to God, but in the readings it is God speaking to us. All spiritual progress is based on reading and meditation. What we do not know, we learn in the reading; what we have learned, we preserve by meditation."'(St. Isidore of Pelusium)

“Reading Scripture regularly leads us deeper into the ways of Lord, so that we may acquire His perspective on the activities of the world. Scripture provides a light to our minds amidst the swirl of popular opinion, trends, and fads.” (Dynamis 5/27/2015)

“Reading the Bible provides us with a two-fold advantage. It instructs our minds, and introduces us to the love of God by taking our attention off vanities. None can understand the meaning of the Bible if they do not acquire familiarity with it through the habit of Bible reading." (St. Isidore of Pelusium)

“Regular reading, study, and reflection on God’s Word in the Bible is an essential part of Christian ascetic life.” (Father Thomas Hopko)

“Ultimately, the goal of personal Bible study is a transformed life and a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ…Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ." (Kay Arthur, St. Jerome of Stridonium)

“Holy Scripture is like a fountain or an endless spring, of the wisdom of God in which we must be steeped and partake in accordance with our level of wisdom and spiritual maturity. Just as we take water from the well with a bucket, empty it into our pitcher and then into our glass in order to quench our body’s thirst, so must we also do with our spiritual thirst when we are urged to drink of the deepest ocean of wisdom, the Holy Scriptures." (Elder Cleopa of Romania)

“The primary spiritual exercise is the study and knowledge of the Scriptures.” (St. John Chyrsostom)

"The essence of Scripture is to reveal the Uncreated Word, who inspired the human authors of Scripture, and to reveal Him as Scripture’s fulfillment." (Dynamis 1/19/2014)

“The Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths, or merely human ideas about God. It is not a human book. Through the Holy Spirit, God revealed His person and plan to certain believers, who wrote down his message for his people… This process is known as inspiration.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Timothy 3:16)

“Scripture is the written expression of the revelation fulfilled in Christ through whom we come to know the true God and how God truly is. Through the words of Scripture, Christ continues to address us, evoking a response in and through the Holy Spirit.” (Father Joseph Loya)

“It is necessary for everyone to know Scriptural teachings, and this is especially true for children. Even at their age they are exposed to all sorts of folly and bad examples from popular entertainment. Our children need remedies for all these things! We are so concerned with our children’s schooling: if only we were equally zealous in bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord!" (St. John Chrysostom)

“Even today, when an abundance of books and audio recordings are available through stores, libraries, and the electronic media, we are to come to Scripture as the Church teaches us: reverently and attentively, never treating the Bible as merely one book among many. The secret to receiving grace from the Holy Scriptures lies in humility. We expect God to correct us, leading us more deeply into the divine mind and steadily away from our limited human biases and our arrogant certainty.” (Dynamis 8/15/2014)

“In all things that you find in the Holy Scriptures, seek out the purpose of the words, that you may enter into the depth of the thoughts of the saints and understand them with greater exactness. Do not approach the reading of the Divine Scriptures without prayer and asking the help of God. Consider prayer to be the key to the true understanding of that which is said in the Holy Scriptures." (St. Isaac the Syrian)

“If reading scripture becomes a daily habit, there will be days where it makes sense and speaks to us, and then other days when we won't seem to remember in the very next minute what we just read. Never mind. The practice is to keep showing up, if even for a few minutes, trusting that God's word in scripture restores.” (Rev. Christopher H. Martin)

“Reading the Scriptures is a great means of security against sinning. The ignorance of Scripture is a great cliff and a deep abyss; to know nothing of the divine laws is a great betrayal of salvation. This has given birth to heresies, this has introduced a corrupt way of life, this has put down the things above. For it is impossible, impossible for anyone to depart without benefit if he reads continually with attention." (St. John Chrysostom)

"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." (St. Jerome)

#DallasWillard #RevChristopherHMartin #StIsidoreofPelusium #FatherThomasHopko #KayArthur #StJeromeofStridonium #ElderCleopaofRomania #StJohnChrysostom #FatherJosephLoya #StIsaactheSyrian #StJerome #FrStavrosNAkrotirianakis #SaintIsaactheSyrian #MelissaTsongranis #StJustinPopovich #StJohnofKronstadt #StSeraphimofSarov #Dynamis #SrDrVassaLarin #StMaximostheConfessor #OrthodoxStudyBible #StIrenaeus #JohnWMorris #FatherStephenDeYoung #FatherJohnBreck #FatherGeorgeMorelli #MetropolitanMaximosofPittsburgh #FatherJamesBernstein #IvanIlyin #EdithMHumphrey #FatherEusebiusStephanou

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