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Stirring Up Trouble

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Written by Basil on 08/16/2002 6:04 PM. Filed under:

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There appears to be quite a discussion over at Chris’ blog. I was going to ignore it altogether, but then I realized that Chris allows you to add comments. Fun.

Anyway, a comment by James got me thinking about the relationship of Scripture to the Logos, or Word, of God. James refers to his grace, Bp. Kallistos, saying that the Bible is about the word of God but not itself the word of God. Since I’m not sure to which of his grace’s writings James refers, I went looking. I found an electronic version of his How to Read the Bible, originally published in the Orthodox Study Bible. Although perhaps not the reference James was alluding to, it opens with an interesting statement,

We believe that the Scriptures constitute a coherent whole. They are at once divinely inspired and humanly expressed. They bear authoritative witness to God’s revelation of Himself — in creation, in the Incarnation of the Word, and the whole history of salvation. And as such they express the word of God in human language.

That seems to make a very strong coupling between the word of God and the Scriptures. Moreover, there is a canon in the Seventh Ecumenical Council (Nicea II) that essentially says (paraphrase): “The ikons are the Word of God expressed in images. What the Scriptures express in words, the holy ikons express in images.”

I have always wondered about the importance of saying that the Scriptures are the Word of God. It seems to come down to authority. The Scriptures must have authority for the Christian. Yet, that authority does not find its expression in the interaction of the individual person with the Scriptures, but with the interaction of the whole assembly — the Church — with the Scriptures. For the Church, the Scriptures, as they have been passed down to us, are ultimately the determining factor for faith. But for the individual Christian, it is the Scriptures as interpreted by the Church. There’s an interesting tension there, which I need to explore further.

Just stuff to think about. I’m such a troublemaker.

Update: I fixed the link, Chris. And, hey, the pop-up has got to go. Ewww.

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