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St. John of Kronstadt on Scripture


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#21 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:41 AM

Aaron, Fr John Whiteford, the person you urge us to consider, writes of the purpose for which scripture was written, and says it was not to provide a ‘Dictaphone account’. It was intended to convey the truth of God’s economy of salvation. As Fr John writes:

 

We believe that Scripture does not contain any error in anything that it intends to convey. (My emphasis.)

 

What he writes about the Gospels can be applied to all scripture:
 

The Gospels do not have the intention of providing a strict chronology, they have the intention of telling us who Jesus Christ was, what he did, and what all that means. If they fulfill that intention accurately, to hold up standards that they did not intend to fulfill is wherein lies the error. (My emphasis.)

 

If there are incidental inaccuracies of fact, they need not concern us, and indeed, in the locked thread, I quoted what St John Chrysostom said about this (though you ignored that)

.
Remember that the Bible is the book of the Church and is to be understood only within the Church. Remember also that no translation is inspired – only the original Greek text is God-inspired.

 

Aaron, you write:

 

I am completely stunned that anyone could read the quote from St John of Kronstadt at the top of the page and say he meant anything other then that Scripture is perfect.

 

Note that St John of Kronstadt says that the Bible is sometimes written not in true narratives but in figurative language, and this surely is the point: the Bible is true for what it intends to convey, namely God's revelation of Himself and of the whole economy of salvation. It is, as Olga keeps trying to make you understand, 'complete'. It is simply not appropriate to use the word 'perfect' - no one does. We do not doubt what St John wrote but we note that he was writing with emphasis for the reason given.


Edited by Andreas Moran, 19 March 2014 - 09:51 AM.


#22 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:33 AM

Aaron, on one small point - you refer to the Catchesis of St Philaret in post #14 - can you say why in particular?



#23 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 05:58 PM

The written or spoken word is not the perfect expression of anything, let alone of God Who is inexpressible.

 

Indeed the only word that perfectly expresses God is the Word of God since He is God.

 

Scripture then is holy, it is a verbal icon depicted by and understood only within the Church.

 

A rhetorical question at this point then would be: is the word of Scrpture identical to the Word Himself?

 

Such an idea is deeply heretical.



#24 Aaron R.

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:02 PM

I do not know how to answer your questions and comments till I clarify terms. Are any of you saying the Holy Scriptures contain errors and are not inerrant?

I am utterly floored if any of you are saying that saying the Word of GOD is
inerrant is heretical.

Respectfully

Aaron

Edited by Aaron R., 19 March 2014 - 11:04 PM.


#25 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:11 PM

I would be grateful if you would respond to my post #22 because I cannot see why you mentioned the Catechism.



#26 Aaron R.

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:16 PM

I mentioned the Catechism to prove the Church believes the Holy Scripture are written by GOD through prophets and Apostles. Therefore it can not contain errors if its author is GOD, who also perserved them till this day.

Edited by Aaron R., 19 March 2014 - 11:16 PM.


#27 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:22 PM

Please refer us to the relevant paragraphs of the Catechism.



#28 Aaron R.

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:33 PM

(from the catechism by st Philaret of Moscow approved by the holy synod. http://www.pravoslav...of_philaret.htm)

Which states in question 19 19. What is that which you call holy Scripture? Certain books written by the Spirit of God through men sanctified by God, called Prophets and Apostles. These books are commonly termed the Bible.

#29 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:50 PM

The key part of this is 'through men sanctified by God'. This refers to how the Church accepts scripture (in its original language, remember). I repeat the relevant parts of the statement of Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh which I quoted more fully before:

 

The Holy Bible … … 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.

 

Much has been said regarding the Divine authorship and inspiration of the Bible (theopneustia). Various theories have been expressed throughout the centuries concerning the way in which the Bible is the work of the Holy Spirit. Philo of Alexandria is the main exponent of the so-called "mechanical theory" of understanding the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. According to Philo, the authors of the Bible were in a condition of "possession" by the Spirit of God, who was just using these authors as blind instruments.


A better view is the so-called "dynamic view" of the co-operation between man and the Holy Spirit in the case of the Bible. In any case of "synergy"  (co-operation) between God and man, God leads, and man follows; God works, and man accepts God's work in him, as God's co-worker in subordination to Him. So it is with divine inspiration in the case of the Bible: the Holy Spirit inspires, and the sacred author follows the Holy Spirit's injunctions, utilizing his own human and imperfect ways to express the perfect message and doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

 

In this sense, we can understand possible imperfections in the books of the Bible, since they are the result of the co-operation between the all-perfect and perfecting Divine Author, the Spirit, and the imperfect human author. …Nothing human is perfect, including the Bible, which is the end product of human co-operation with the divine Spirit.

 


The 'better view' follows the official catechism of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which says:

 

inspiration and infallibility are confined only to the ideas and especially to those of the ideas which concern Religious and moral truths, as they come from revelation and therefore being necessary for the salvation of man
 


 


Edited by Andreas Moran, 19 March 2014 - 11:53 PM.


#30 Aaron R.

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:03 AM

Why is it a better view?? The catechism I quoted was written by a saint and approved by a Holy Synod and reflects the teachings of the fathers and Church from the last 2000 years.

Edited by Aaron R., 20 March 2014 - 12:09 AM.


#31 Aaron R.

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:04 AM

Can you give a longer version of your quote and a link if you have one?

#32 Aaron R.

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:17 AM

Just looked up the official ecumenical Patriach catechism. Could not find your quote but found this in it

" THE BIBLE

THE BIBLE is the divinely inspired Word of God (II Timothy 3:16), and is a crucial part of God's self-revelation to the human race. The Old Testament tells the history of that revelation from Creation through the Age of the Prophets. The New Testament records the birth and life of Jesus as well as the writings of His Apostles. It also includes some of the history of the early Church and especially sets forth the Church's apostolic doctrine. Though these writings were read in the Churches from the time they first appeared, the earliest listings of all the New Testament books exactly as we know them today, is found in the 33rd Canon of a local council held at Carthage in 318, and in a fragment of St. Athanasius of Alexandria's Festal Letter in 367. Both sources list all of the books of the New Testament without exception. A local council, probably held at Rome in 382, set forth a complete list of the canonical books of both the Old and New Testaments. The Scriptures are at the very heart of Orthodox worship and devotion.

#33 Aaron R.

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:27 AM

from http://www.bible.ca/cr-Orthodox.htm

Your quote I don't see. Maybe you quoted a wrong source.

#34 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:31 AM

Why is it a better view?? The catechism I quoted was written by a saint and approved by a Holy Synod and reflects the teachings of the fathers and Church from the last 2000 years.

 

Do you seriously think that an official Catechism of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is not based on the teachings of the Fathers and the Church? There is no conflict between the Catechism of St Philaret and the official position of the Greek Orthodox Church as I tried to show. St Philaret says, 'through men' which is what Metropolitan Maximos and the Ecumenical Patriarchate are describing. You would hardly expect the Russian and Greek Churches to differ in this. But you are seeking a difference where none exists.

 

The full paragraph of the Official Catechism of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is below and prefers the 'better view' or 'more satisfactory' opinion which is NOT different from what St Philaret says (and incidentally, nowhere in the Catechism of St Philaret does it say scripture is 'perfect'):

 

Q. What is the Holy Scripture?


A. Books written by the Prophets and other holy Hebrew men, before the birth of the Christ: and also the books which were written by the Apostles, and disciples of Christ.


Q. How do we accept the Holy Scripture?


A. As inspired and infallible. (There are two theological opinions about inspiration and infallibility of Holy Scripture. According to the first, inspiration and infallibility extend not only over religious and moral questions but also to all other matters which Holy Scripture touches, even to the words themselves. According to the second, which is the more satisfactory, inspiration and infallibility are confined only to the ideas and especially to those of the ideas which concern Religious and moral truths, as they come from revelation and therefore being necessary for the salvation of man, must be guaranteed.)



#35 Aaron R.

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:54 AM

Your quote says " the more satisfactory view"

Which does not sound like it is making that view the only view or an infallible view.

#36 Aaron R.

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:58 AM

Do you have a link for that catechism quote?

#37 Aaron R.

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:01 AM

Are you claiming that the Official Catechism of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is infallible and without errors?

#38 Aaron R.

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:06 AM

The Bible says all Scripture is inspired by GOD.

Not just the parts dealing with morals but all.

#39 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:09 AM

Are you claiming that the Official Catechism of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is infallible and without errors?

 

Wrong question. One supposes that the Ecumenical Patriarch knows the doctrine of the Orthodox Church. Do you find anything in the Catechism which is doctrinally wrong?



#40 Aaron R.

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:20 AM

Why is it a wrong question?




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