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Did the ECFs really know/understand the Scriptures better?

Discussion in 'Christian History' started by LittleLambofJesus, Jul 22, 2008.

Early ECFs better knew the Scriptures than those today do

  1. Yes of course they did

  2. No of course they didn't

  3. Not really sure right now

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus I AM WHAT I AM

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    Sorry I wasn't clear. I should have said those reading/studying the Bible today. After all, it wasn't until the 4th century I believe until it was all Canonized.
    Anyway thanks for all the responses so far. :wave:

    Matthew 24:15 `Whenever then ye may be seeing the abomination of the desolating, the being declared thru Daniel the prophet, having-stood in a place, holy (the one-reading/anaginwskwn <314> (5723) let him be minding/understanding) [Mark 13:14]

    Revelation 1:3 Blessed the one reading/anaginwskwn <314> (5723), and the ones hearing, the Words of the Prophecy, and keepings in it/her having been written, for the Time Is-Near/egguV <1451>.
     
  2. Xpycoctomos

    Xpycoctomos New Member

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    That's a very generalized question. I mean, even non-denominational protestants (who would usually claim to have no biases) would have to admit that there are many who study and pray over the scriptures but have a poor understanding of them (even if it were disagreed on who those people were). I'm not insulting your question but just pointing out some sticking points... at least in my mind.

    For the Orthodox or Catholic I think it would go without saying that the ECFs understood the Scriptures (or at the very least the message of the Scriptures) better than most Bible scholars today. Bible scholars, let's remember, are not necessarily very holy men (and most respectable ones I have read would readily admit this). They have degrees and such in Greek and Hebrew and the culture of the times of the Early Chruch, but many of them understand it as an outsider looking in (or an outsider trying to get in). But you and I can both agree that it takes more than a sharp mind to understand the Scriptures. It takes men and women of God who live the Scriptures, are faithful to God and serve others in the name of Christ. It takes... people who thirst after holiness. These people weren't ECFs simply becuase they were really intelligent or clever but first and foremost because they strived to lead holy lives... they weren't on the outside looking in... they dove into the center of it with their very lives ... and with their very deaths... and BECAUSE of this they understand better (not the other way around).

    I would suggest that the uneducated monk living alone in a skete in a Russian forest who prays constantly, goes to Church often, reads the words of the Scriptures and the writings of the Church Fathers daily and lives a life of obedience and love, without understanding anything of Greek or Hebrew or Hebrew Cultures or any of that knows more about the Scriptures than the brightest Biblical professor at St. Vald's seminary (one of ours) or Fulton Seminary and I would honestly be more interested in what they have to say about the Scriptures and the Faith than the professors mentioned. That isn't to say that the professors are not helpful or valuable... and perhaps they themselves are men and women that thrive after holiness and understand the Scriptures first and foremost through experience. I'm just saying that a holy recluse in Siberian forest may have words and insights far more invaluable than anything that can be obtained from a course at the Seminary.

    That is why Orthodox and Catholics are urged to read the lives of the saints. At least for Orthodox it is probably next on the list of prioroties of reading to be better Christians after the Holy Scriptures. I've only recently come to appreciate how true this is, unfortunately (even though I have been told this for the last 10 years of my life).

    Just my personal thoughts though,

    Xpy
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
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  3. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus I AM WHAT I AM

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    At least you said "most" ;)

    Acts 13:29 As yet they finish all-things the about Him having been written/gegrammena <1125> (5772,) according-lifting from the wood they place into a tomb.

    Revelation 1:3 Blessed the one reading/anaginwskwn <314> (5723), and the ones hearing, the Words of the Prophecy, and keepings in it/her having been written/gegrammena <1125> (5772), for the Time Is-Near/egguV <1451>.

    What are the Orthodox views on that Great City in Revelation btw?

    http://christianforums.com/showthread.php?t=7164949&page=2
    DO NOT WEEP!!!!! The Great City
     
  4. Xpycoctomos

    Xpycoctomos New Member

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    Well, we certainly don't deny that education can be a good thing in regards to biblical studies. It's just low on the list of priorities as far when it comes to "understanding" them.

    The problem is that those of us in the world of academia often use our credentials as a crutch. We assume that having read this or that book means something aobut our faithfulness. I shoudl say that it is easy for us to fall into that trap. There is nothing wrong with thirsting after knowledge... in fact I would guess that that is quite a holy attribute. But it can just as easily become an obstacle.

    The thing is that the scriptures are known through experience... not by finding what the early Greek said.

    That's the thing about being in something you consider to be THE Church.

    It all comes down to that LLOJ. It really does. Becuase right now, your understanding depends on what YOU decide to believe. I believe fully that you approach this with sincerity of heart and in steadfast prayer... but the guy next to you in the pews did the same and holds contrary views on important issues. And I had a friend who I know was very sincere in his faith and then in prayer one night felt an intense burning in his soul that was very real and gave him peace... and he is now an extremely devout Mormon. That's not sad... it's tragic.

    The Holy Spirit will guide us, but He does so in part through the Chruch and the wisdom that has been passed through ages. I love learning that greek stuff and what the hebrew actually meant and all of the little known facts about this verse. But I can already learn that through experience if I just understand the Scriptures throught eyes of the Church. I don't need to be scholar. In fact, I can be illiterate, and listen to the Scriptures and use the tools of the Church to udnerstand what that means for the Christian living today. i can go to other brethern for advice. And all of those greek transliterations, if understood correctly, will only affirm what the Church has taught all along.

    An example of this is in the Scriptures where Christ siad pick up your cross. Apparently in the orginal greek, that is better translated as "be picking up your cross" showing that it's not jsut a one time decision, but a habit of life. Well, I'm not scholar so I could be wrong on something there, but either way, the message that I got is correct because I already know becuase of the Church that being a Christian is a constant, never-ending decision so for me... that only confirms what I already know to be the message of the Gospels and the Epistles.

    You see what I mean? I know that I will get a billion and one people jumping on me now and quoting scripture left and write and misunderstanding me to mean that the Scriptures aren't necessary or whatever. And that's fine... and perhaps that's important for certain people to do. It doesn't offend me.

    But I am talking to YOU LLOJ because I knwo that you are familiar with what I am talking about becuase you hang around us mary-lovin' Catholics and Orthodox and already at least undersand and give us that benefit of the doubt that we love Jesus and the Scriptures as much as you do. So I am talking to you when I say that there will come a time when YOU will realize more fully what I am saying here and will come to a fork in the road where Sola Scriptura will no longer make sense, at least not in the same way it does now to you. And by your own questions and your own sincerity... I think that time is coming up soon. I could be wrong... I am not prophet or wiseman... I've just seen "you" before.

    God bless you!

    Xpy



    Oh, and I don't know. :)
     
  5. InTheCloud

    InTheCloud Veteran

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    I think that there is no reason to suspect that the Apostolic Fathers who actually knew the Apostles, or the Early Church Father who actually have to gather around, copy and protect the New Testament writings and fight false gnostic gospels while at the same time avoiding persecution by the pagans. All of those people who spoke Greek or Aramaic as a natives and understood those languages in the context of the times would have better understanding of Scriptures than some French or Swiss Lawyer that lived 1500s year latter in Central Europe or some American from Hicksville Bible College.
    I do not see any reason at all.
     
  6. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus I AM WHAT I AM

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    Hmmm. A Divine book such as the Bible being low on the list of priorities? Never figured that. :sorry:

    Revelation 1:1 An-un-covering of Jesus Christ, which gives to Him, the GOD, to show to the bond-servants of Him, which-things is binding to be becoming in/en <1722> Swiftness/tacei <5034>.

    Revelation 22:6 And said to me: "These, the Words Faithful and True. And Lord, the GOD of the spirits of the holy Prophets, commissions the messenger of Him to show to the bond-servents of Him which-things is binding to be becoming in/en <1722> Swiftness/tacei <5034>.
     
  7. Anglian

    Anglian let us love one another, for love is of God

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    Dear LLOJ,

    You've created a great thread here; thank you. I always find your posts enlightening, but to get Xpy and resoto in on this too is a rare treat, and what wonderful and edifying things I am reading here.

    How much real wisdom is here in what our friend Xpy writes:
    Christ brought the Good News for all who will receive Him in their hearts with thanksgiving, and whatever helps us do that edifies.

    But you know, reading through St. Cyril of Jerusalem's Catechetical Lectures and seeing how the Church brought men and women the Good News before there were Bible texts available, is to be offered a wonderful example of how to bring the Lord to those who wish to receive Him. To be able to read how our ancestors in the Faith received it is truly moving; but it remains educative, and shows that the Faith we receive today was that taught in the early fourth century. Its message is timeless.

    He loves us; He reached out to us; He died on the Cross for us; He arose from the dead on the third day so that we should have life eternal if we repent of our sins, receive Him and walk in His way. I end up, as always, marvelling that He loves me that much, when I know my sins, and even though I know my baptism sealed me as His, I know my weakness, and that I need the sacraments and teaching of His Church to enlighten my understanding and set my heart aright on Him and His will.

    Those whose understanding is enlightened in other ways, and who have their hearts set aright in those same ways, have their comfort as I have mine. The Truth, after all, is not a concept, it is the person of the Risen Lord. In Him we all live, move, and have our being.

    Great thread, LLOJ, and excellent posts from Xpy and resoto. We'll get you to those Fathers yet, I suspect.:wave:

    Peace be with you,

    Anglian
     
  8. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus I AM WHAT I AM

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    . Btw, could you give me your thoughts on this thread [for some reason everyone seems to "flee" whenever I bring up the book of Revelation ^_^] Thanks.

    http://christianforums.com/showthread.php?t=7263327
    Early ECFs and Queen/Babylon in Revelation
     
  9. Yarddog

    Yarddog Senior Contributor

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    No the Orthodox and Catholic Churches don't disagree on the Eucharist. It is many of the Protestant Churches which disagree with the Church about the body and blood.
    Again, the point was about the ECFs understanding the scripture better than some today.
     
  10. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus I AM WHAT I AM

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    Ok. :)

    Matt 24:19 "Woe yet to those in belly having and to those suckling in those the days! 20 "Be ye praying yet that no may be becoming the flight of ye of winter neither a Sabbath.

    http://www.davieapostolicchurch.com/studies/destuct/

    The day on which Titus encompassed Jerusalem, was the feast of the Passover. At this season multitudes came up from all the surrounding country,

    http://christianforums.com/showthread.php?t=7263327
    Early ECFs and Queen/Babylon in Revelation
     
  11. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

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    We all know a number of good faith Christians who come up with opposing doctrines under the guide of the only Spirit. Therefore either:

    a) The Holy Spirit teaches conflicting doctrine to different people
    or
    b) Some people, in good or bad faith, misinterpret Scripture and the guidance of the Spirit

    So at the end of the day, the appeal to "we all" cannot be the arrangement established by Christ in authentically interpreting Scripture.
     
  12. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus I AM WHAT I AM

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    Ya noticed that also? ^_^

    Matthew 24:31 and He shall be sending His messengers with a Trumpet sound, great, and they shall be together-gathering/episunaxousin <1996> (5692) the out-called-ones of Him out of the four winds, from extremities of heavens till the extremities of them.

    Revelation 8:6 And the seven messengers having the seven trumpets/salpiggaV <4536> make ready themselves, that they-should-be-trumpeting/salpiswsin <4537> (5661) ;

    http://christianforums.com/showthread.php?t=7255796
    Matthew 24/Olivet Discourse and Partial Preterists question
     
  13. Anglian

    Anglian let us love one another, for love is of God

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    Dear LLOJ,

    Hi there:wave:

    St. Paul pointed it out to the Galatians, St. John did to those who read his epistles, and St. Jude and St. Peter had noticed that there were those claiming inspiration who were preaching something they hadn't had from Christ and the Holy Spirit.

    Problem is after all this time, knowing who and how, so to say.

    The Fathers would have used Apostolicity of doctrine; orthodoxy of teaching and doctrine and catholicity of acceptance of those doctrines - and even they had punch ups at Councils! Which was one reason they came up with those useful Creeds at Nicaea and Constantinople.

    (Gonna get you to those ECFs yet ya know;))

    Peace,

    Anglian
     
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  14. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus I AM WHAT I AM

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    Greeting Anglian!! The knowing or quoting from the ECFs won't bring atheists, Jews and Muslims to the Christ of YHWH in the Bible.

    Btw, here is an interesting thread on how Muslims view some of the OT Scriptures and notice the NC verses I used with part of Psalm 91 which they distort and I also put a link there to this thread for Christians that post on the NCR board to also give there views of the ECFs. Peace and God bless. :)

    http://christianforums.com/showthread.php?t=7263932
    Do Muslims believe that Allah lied?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2008
  15. Gwendolyn

    Gwendolyn trying to figure things out

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    LLOJ, where do you copy and paste your Scripture from? I always have trouble reading the passages because of the codes/colours/random Greek words inserted into one long sentence.
     
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  16. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus I AM WHAT I AM

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    I translate verses from the Greek text to Wordpad then just copy paste them to my post.

    The Bible/Devil is pretty kewl huh? ^_^ I would say it represents the 2 Comings of Jesus.......

    Luke 16:24 And He sounding said: "Father Abraham! be thou merciful to-me! and send Lazarus!........that I am being pained in the Flame, this." [Acts 7:30]
    26 "And on all of these, between Us and Ye a GREAT CHASM hath been established,....."

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

    http://www.kingdombiblestudies.org/a...hams_bosom.htm
    relatives will be able to look across the gulf and see their loved ones in the torment of the fiery regions. ....

    http://users.aristotle.net/~bhuie/lazarus.htm
    The parable of Lazarus and the rich man has been the foundation for many of the erroneous beliefs about "hell" within traditional Christianity.........
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2008
  17. calluna

    calluna Regular Member

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    It's quite possible that modern scholarship makes for a level of understanding of Scripture that surpasses that of these men. But that is not so important. They knew the Scripture well enough to know that it was dangerous, particularly for the rich patricians of the Roman Empire. Moreover, they knew enough of Scripture to know that they were themselves condemned by it.

    Three things should be noted about these men. First, there are very few of them. In a religion that grew so popular that it forced a great empire to change its religion, in name if nothing else, the tiny handful of spokesmen it apparently produced is simply incredible, and historians have lied in a most disgraceful and cowardly manner in not pointing out this notorious fact. Even if these writers had all been alive at the same time, their paucity would hardly be convincing, but this handful was scattered in time over several centuries. This is a very strange fact that can only really be explained by a process of censorship that made the writing of genuinely Christian opinions dangerous, and the likelihood of survival of such writing almost impossible. (The New Testament survived simply because there were so many copies made that it became impossible to destroy them all.) But the fact that they were so few in number, and that they knew that they cannot have been any part of the true church, means that these men cannot have been Christians. Everyone must have known it, but of course to say so, particularly after Constantine's 'conversion', would have been to ask for sudden death.

    The second fact of significance is that almost all of these surviving writers were monarchical, 'bishops' of something labelled the 'church'. They ruled their congregations, and expected deference from the people 'under' them who called themselves Christians. Now there is not one reference to a monarchical bishop in the New Testament- the reference is always to plural bishops for any one congregation. But the monarchs were soon not even members of local congregations. They took charge of 'dioceses', geographical regions often coterminous with Roman civil administrations, within which they were expected to control all that called itself Christian. Now this all grew up in conditions of illegality of Christianity! Despite any appearances to the contrary, these men were under the thumb of the Roman emperors, and their writings reflect the views of emperors, whose interests were in extracting the maximum material wealth from the unstable empire for the benefit of the rich of Rome, otherwise they were in danger. This hierarchical 'church' was so very different from the church in Jerusalem, which democratically elected the successor to Judas. And of course, these men read their NTs and knew all about that, and that is another reason why they were not Christians.

    The third fact of importance is that not one of these 'bishops' could claim any authority from anyone provable to have had authority in the apostolic church. There is no indication of any named person being given authority by an apostle as a bishop of any place, and even there was, such a man would be part of a team of bishops, and would have no authority invested in him working apart from others. There are Scriptural references to those taught by apostles becoming apostate, though. Anyone could claim to have been taught by an apostle, but that does not mean that the pupil was Christian; or even that the apostle was! All these people had was the pathetic witness of their own, tiny number of illicit persons, mere rumor, or hearsay.

    Now in this context, hearsay is heresy. To claim connexion with the original church when no proof can be offered is itself disqualification as Christian, because not even decent citizens of the world do such a thing.
     
  18. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus I AM WHAT I AM

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    Greeting calluna and thanks for your contribution to this thread.
    So what would be your vote? :wave:
     
  19. Mary of Bethany

    Mary of Bethany Only one thing is needful.

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    That's not what he meant. If you read it more carefully, I think you'll see that. The Scriptures are best understood through living them, through understanding with the heart, not just with the mind. :)

    Mary
     
  20. calluna

    calluna Regular Member

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    Sorry, forgot about that detail. :)

    This word 'Fathers' is itself the language of rebels. They weren't fathers, they weren't Christians, they weren't early. They were johnny-come-latelys, much, much too lately. How can they be regarded seriously? It takes Christians today approx. 0.000002 seconds to recognise the Master's Voice (though it took longer with the KJV). It took these 'Fathers' 400 years to work out what was Scripture and what was not! (And then they got it wrong. :))
     
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