This is a paper I wrote as a requirement for a Diaconate training course within the OCA (Orthodox Church in America) under Fr. Silviu Buntu. The topic of the course was traditional Orthodox interpretation of Scripture.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The goal of this paper will be to illustrate traditional interpretation of Scripture as practiced by the Jews and early Christians and continued primarily in the Eastern Church.
In the West there is a recent movement to treat the scriptures as a piece of literature. Dead words on a dead page to be dissected and picked apart, its organs harvested and distilled, at best down to medicine or tools, and at worst mere entertainment.
Contrast this with historical understanding and practices, where Scripture is alive and timeless.
The fundamental lens through which its authors and early audiences looked at scripture is the bifocal lens of:
- God is speaking to and about you.
- When God speaks, it is for your edification (it is useful to you).