Irenaeus of Lyons on the Greek Old Testament

Irenaeus of Lyons on the Greek Old Testament

In the twenty-first chapter of the third book Against Heresies, St. Irenaeus of Lyons addresses the translation of Isaiah 7:14 among Ebionites and Jews. In doing so, he underlines the antiquity and importance of the Greek translation of the Old Testament as inherited by the apostolic Church. By the end of the second century (A. D.), two […]

Where Greek Philosophy and Theology Intersect

Greek Philosophy and Orthodoxy

Philosophy has changed a great deal over the centuries. While today philosophy is often an idle occupation of the undecided undergrad, to be a philosopher in the ancient world was to be a vested guardian and steward of the culture. Philosophers were more like monastics of the early Christian desert, isolating themselves from the world in order to focus […]

Justin Martyr on the Greek Old Testament

Justin Martyr on the Greek Old Testament (The Septuagint)

Considered one of the ‘Apostolic Fathers’—a Saint who lived within the lifetime of the first seventy apostles of Jesus Christ—Justin Martyr is one of the earliest, and most important Christian apologists. Spending much of his life searching for truth in Greek philosophy, St. Justin (commemorated June 1) was introduced to Christianity by a learned elder who showed him the superiority […]

The Strength of Oral Tradition

The Strength of Oral Tradition

In a world characterized by the rationalism of the Enlightenment and the instant knowledge of Google, it’s hard to believe things have not always been so. In the ancient world, ideas, customs, stories, and even history were committed primarily not to books, but rather memorized through both poetry and song. They were preserved through oral tradition. And of […]

Building a Wall Around the New Testament

Building a Wall Around the New Testament

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 […]

The Canon of Christ

The Canon of Christ

For the earliest Christians—the first two generations or more—the ‘Bible’ was what we now call the Old Testament. The ‘memoirs of the apostles’ and four canonical Gospels spread more widely by the middle of the second century, but before this there was no consensus on which scriptures of the New Testament were canonical. This is […]

The Church is Apostolic

The Church is Apostolic

The fourth attribute of the Church is ‘apostolicity.’ According to the Greek tradition, salvation involves the transformation of a sinner into the likeness of God; it is to become by grace what Christ is by nature. This perspective of salvation, called theosis or deification, is at the heart of what it means to say the […]

The Church is Catholic

The Church is Catholic

The third ‘attribute’ of the Church is catholicity. In Russian, this is sometimes Собо́рность or sobornost, meaning ‘symphony’ or a unity of consciousness. In this, the conciliar essence of the Church is emphasized, though the meaning of catholic goes deeper than conciliarity alone—the monarchical unity of the Church is also essential, a reflection of the […]

Early Christian Worship and the Bones of Martyrs

Early Christian Worship and the Bones of Martyrs

In the Apostle’s Creed (an early Roman baptismal statement of faith) a person confesses belief in “the communion of saints.” While this creed is not widely used in the East, it is important that we understand the communion of saints as a matter of both ontology and incarnation—it is related to the essence or ‘being’ […]

An Orthodox Response to Feminism (Part 3)

An Orthodox Response to Feminism (Part 3)

When it’s correctly recognized that we are called to hold to the traditions that have been delivered to us by Christ and the apostles—one of the places where we are so called is 1 Cor. 11:2, just prior to the apostle’s discussion of male headship, examined in a previous post—then the problem with feminism and […]