As with other dogmatic developments in the life of the Church, the canonization of scripture was largely done in response to heresy. For example, prior to Marcion (mid-second century), there was little activity on the part of the Church in establishing a closed ‘canon’ or rule of scripture. It was not until St. Irenaeus that […]
A great emphasis in the protestant reformation was the doctrinal formulation of “justification by faith alone,” which many asserted to be “the doctrine upon which the Church stands or falls” (Martin Luther: “articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae”).
While this was in and of itself a complete novelty (and devoid of Patristic warrant) — supposedly being based upon the Scriptures alone — it is quite easy to demonstrate that not only is this concept foreign to the Scriptures but is also foreign to the first century Judean mindset (not to mention the Christian). To be plain, Luther and other reformers were reading their contemporary disagreements with the mainstream Latin church into the words of St Paul.
In my last article, I explained how an Orthodox Christian might appropriate modern Biblical scholarship faithfully, and in submission to the Church. In this post, I would like to give more detail on how this works in practice, particularly with respect to the writings of the Apostle Paul and his teaching on justification. One of […]
I have long been interested in the development of the biblical canon. I probably wouldn’t have found my way into the Orthodox Church without such studies. Recently, I found a 13th century canon defined by Nestorian Metropolitan Mar Abd Yeshua (ca. A.D. 1298). He apparently served as the chief bishop of Nisibia and Armenia for […]
At some point in the early 60s AD, the apostle Paul—after three decades of preaching the Gospel, suffering for it, and both founding and encouraging dozens of churches throughout the Roman Empire—found himself in the capital city under house arrest (Acts 28:16). Having appealed to Caesar almost five years beforehand, he—a Roman citizen—was guaranteed an audience […]
John’s Gospel is the most “mystical” and symbolic of all the canonical Gospels. In fact, John’s Gospel is so filled with spiritual insight that the Church almost exclusively reads from it during the Paschal (post-Easter) season. This is done because all catechumens are baptized on Great and Holy Saturday, leaving no un-initiated among the laity. […]
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt recently published a new take on the Christian new testament, titled A New New Testament (ANNT hereafter). The publisher’s website gives some background on both its purpose and origins: Over the past century, numerous lost scriptures have been discovered, authenticated, translated, debated, celebrated. Many of these documents were as important to shaping early-Christian communities […]