Praxis, Scripture, Theology, Volume 2

Descending to Ascend: Prayer as Initiation Into Divine Judgment in the Apophthegmata Patrum

The Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee has ever been a cornerstone of Orthodox spirituality. But as the Desert Fathers remind us, it has eschatological significance as well.

by Father Joseph Lucas

In Late Antique Christian monasticism, there existed an interplay between scriptural exegesis and the mystagogy of prayer. Reading the Bible through the lens of asceticism, the monks looked for keys to understanding their spiritual practices. There are numerous biblical passages that deal directly with prayer, such as Jesus’ directive to ‘go into your closet to pray,’ which is generally interpreted in ascetical literature as entering into the heart when praying. But other passages are more subtle, such as Luke 18: ‘The Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee.’ And yet this parable greatly influenced the way in which monks have understood prayer. (more…)

Scripture, Volume 2

Jerome and Ezra as Instaurator: A Study in Tradition

A mistranslation of Jerome has had far-reaching consequences. It is high time to put paid to this error.

by Father Stephen De Young

In the field of biblical criticism, few figures of the early Christian centuries carry greater weight of authority than Jerome.[1] The enlistment of Jerome in the service of arguments against the traditional Mosaic dating of the Torah, at least at its earliest redactional layers, may, therefore, serve as a locus classicus of this form of argumentation. Jerome is presently named as an early proponent of late[2] dating of the composition of the Torah by scholars across the hermeneutical spectrum. An investigation of Jerome’s comments in this regard in their original context reveals the weakness of this modern approach (more…)

Scripture, Volume 1

Participants in the Altar: ΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΑ in I Corinthians 10:14-22

In a passage drawing on his readers’ experiences of Jewish and of pagan ritual sacrifice, St. Paul emphasizes the continuity of the Holy Eucharist with these familiar, though now superseded, practices.

by Father Stephen De Young

In response to what he viewed as not merely a malformation but a destruction of the Eucharist in Roman practice, John Calvin was dogmatic that the Eucharist is not a sacrifice. He preferred the terminology for the sacrament of “the Lord’s Supper” in order to present it as a meal,1 which he saw as standing in sharp contrast to the sacrificial conception.2 While Calvin himself consistently maintained that the Eucharist represented a real sacramental communion in the body and blood of Christ, this disassociation of sacrament and sacrifice led much of later Protestantism to reject even the sacramentality of the rite. (more…)