The True Vine and the Dangers of Academic Biblical Scholarship
The fullness of the Grace of God which is contained in the Holy Scriptures is part of the nourishment that the Holy Church uses to form Christ within the hearts of Her members. It is for this reason that the Holy Scriptures are such an integral part of the Divine Services and it is for the same reason that individual study and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures is essential to the forming of our Lord within us.
The forming of the Mind of Christ within us is possible only for those who are nurtured by the Church of Christ . Only within the Church can one receive the Grace of God as it is communicated to us through the Holy Scriptures of the Church. Many people believe that any individual can simply pick up the Holy Bible, read it and that this is sufficient. Without the Church, Holy Scriptures remain unknown.
The enemies of our Lord have, throughout the centuries, attempted to obstruct the Grace of God as it is communicated to us through Holy Scripture. We must come to a realization of how much we need this Grace and make every effort to familiarize ourselves with the written word of God as it is opened up for by the Church..
The latest issue of The True Vine, published by the Holy Metropolis of Boston, contains two articles which can help us to avoid the pitfalls of academic Biblical interpretation. Biblical interpretation outside the Orthodox Church is alien to the Mind of Christ which the Holy Church seeks to form within us. The two articles in the latest issue of The True Vine are presented as reviews of the latest edition of The Orthodox Study Bible. They are in fact, much more than “reviews”.
These lengthy articles (almost 80 pages) offer us a wealth of information and guidance concerning the attempts of Biblical scholars to distort the Holy Scriptures. Protestant academic theology has infiltrated “Orthodox Academic Theology” to such an extent that it has transformed it into “Protestant Academic Theology”. As such, it openly contradicts the Holy Fathers and is no longer capable of nurturing the soul of an Orthodox Christian so that the Mind of Christ can be formed within it.
This issue of The True Vine should be read by all who wish to draw closer to the revealed and written Word of God. We should all undertake the great struggle that is required to nourish our souls so that we can be conformed to the Image of Christ. It will take a certain effort to read these articles, but, on the other hand, to take the easy path and ignore these articles and not be serious about the study of the Word of God places us in peril of starving our souls or, even worse, poisoning them.
Please write to the Metropolis of Boston and order this issue as well as becoming subscribers to future issues.In Christ,+Fr. Panagiotes
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