The Authority of the Bible according to the Eastern Orthodox Church
Basil Vellas, Ευχαριστήριον, τιμητικός Τόμος Αμίλκα Αλιβιζάτου,
Αθήναι 1958, 490-503
According to the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church there are two sources of Christian faith and teaching, namely, Scripture and Tradition.
The Orthodox Church considers the Holy Scripture as the first and the more important of the sources of the Christian faith, because it accepts it as inspired by God, containing the supernatural revelation of God and of His will, which was made in the Old Testament by God through the Prophets, and other men, in the New Testament by the Word of God, Jesus Christ, Who became flesh, for the salvation of mankind.
Usually we use the word «Revelation» in the Scripture as « terminum technicum » and we mean by it the revelation of the highest religious and moral truths by God to men, which the human mind aline could not conceive and which lead to the «truth and the life» (John 14,6). These religious and moral truths have received their perfection in the person of the Son and Word of God, Who as the self-revelation of God is «the truth» (John 14,6).
The word «Revelation», however, has undoubtedly a broader meaning, showing every action and activity of God, as well as every manner by which God reveals Himself and His will to man.
Revelation taken in this broader sense can be divided into natural and supernatural. In the former God reveals Himself as almighty, good, omniscient, etc., in nature generally and in the underlying spiritual nature of man, inasmuch as he has been created in the image and likeness of God.
Holy Scripture speaks about this natural revelation ( Pss . 8.19.104; Acts 14,16-17; 17,26; Rom. 1,18) and modern Orthodox theologians also accept it (1) .
The supernatural revelation can and must be divided into two, external and the internal. According to the external revelation, man feels God acting and standing outside himself. He sees God, for instance, under various forms and appearances (2) or he hears His voice (3).
In this external revelation is included the miraculous in general and indeed the greatest miracle of all, the incarnation of the Son and Word of God.
In the internal revelation man comes into contact with God in the spiritual sphere, and feels God revealed within himself acting in himself in his spirit. This revelation, this action of God, takes place in different ways by visions or dreams (4) or by other inscrutable means, which are outside our experience, by which man achieves the Visio Dei, as usually happens with the Classical Prophets in particular of the Old Testament. Many of our theologians make this distinction in the supernatural revelation and it is fundamentally correct (5).
According to what has been said above, we can say that Holy Scripture contain, the supernatural revelation in both its manifestations, external and internal, finding their culmination in the person of Jesus Christ, Who constitutes the full and perfect revelation.
The main distinctive mark of that supernatural revelation, as has been rightly emphasised by us, is that which is creative, and new; which is brought into the spiritual, religious and moral sphere. That which is new is new not only for the person to whom it is revealed, not only for some human individual to whom it had not previously been revealed, but for the whole of mankind for whom from the first the revelation is made. Although this revelation in the beginning is made to some particular individual, it is so made in order that it may be communicated afterwards by him and through him to the whole human race.
This new thing which has been given by revelation and not contrived by the human mind, constitutes the content of Revelation in the narrower, but chief meaning of the word «Revelation» as it is defined in the first lines of this study.
While, however, there is no difference of opinion over the meaning of Revelation in Holy Scripture, on the question of the meaning of Inspiration and its relation to Revelation different opinions have been expressed among us. The problem has been examined by theologians both during the last century and recently (6) , whithout the Orthodox Church having made any official statement about it.
Some of the Orthodox theologians identify completely Insrpiration with Revela t ion. (K. Kondogonis , N. Papadopoulos) or especially with internal Revelation ( E. Antontades ); some others differing a little from them, consider Revelation to be a higher kind of Inspiration ( Konst . From Ikonomon ). Others, on the contrary, distinguish the two and accept Inspiration as the inspired guardian for the right recording of Revelation (P. Trembelas ).
The identification of Inspiration with Revelation does not seem to me to be right, because in this case there is not guarantee either of the right and full understanding of what has been revealed by the person to whom the revelation was made, or of the right recording and assignation of it. If we examine the nature of the revelation, we shall remark that it is something which comes from outside, from the supra-sensory to man, for the purpose of passing what has been revealed through him to mankind. For this to succeed, however, some other factors must intervene. The first of them is man. Revelation is not made to anyone but to those who are well prepared, to men spiritually susceptible to receive and assimilate some higher spiritual good. However perfect this preparation may be thought, the mortal and human cannot understand fully the eternal, which comes from the supra-sensory. The supra-sensory can only be understood by the supra-sensory; there must be a heightening of man's spiritual powers, an internal illumination. It is exactly here that Inspiration finds its place. It does not remove man's individual character, but it is the strengthening and internal illumination of man, both for the right understanding of what has been revealed and for the faithful and right communication and recording of it, in which case Inspiration takes the form of guidance in the writing of books. Origen very accurately remarks: «The Jewish prophets, who were enlightened as far as was necessary for their prophetic work by the Spirit of God, enjoyed in advance the visitation of the Mightier One; and by the contact, if I may so say, of what is called the Holy Spirit they became clearer in mind and their souls were filled with a brighter light». ( Origen -Contra Celsum Book VII Chap. 4. Migne 11,1425).
Thus, the correct understanding and communication of the Divine Revelation is secured. According to all this, Divine Inspiration does not add anything new to what is revealed, neither is it a permanent condition but a transient one.
Divine I n spiration does not exclude free will, thought or conscience, because it does not bring a Scriptural writer into a state of ecstasy. The prophetic and ecstatic element is completely excluded from the real meaning of Divine Inspiration. This is proved by the differences in the expression, the words and the style as well as in the manner by which the things revealed by God are elaborated. The mental power which elaborates and develops the meaning of the revelation made to Isaiah, Jeremiah or Paul is different from that belonging to Ovid, etc. Theophilactes (in the eleventh century) very rightly says: «The Spirit spoke to each of the prophets and they transmitted what was said by the Spirit in the way they could» (7). This prevailing belief hindered the Orthodox Church and Theology from accepting the verbal inspiration of Holy Scripture, whish denies the author's personality as it was expressed by Justin (8) and Athinagoras (9), and accepted by the Protestant theologians of the seventeenth century. During recent years the rejection of such a meaning has also been very energetically supported by many of the modern Orthodox theologians (10).
If one takes into consideration the above-mentioned facts, one can only accept that Revelation and the Divine Inspiration which is connected with it can be applied only to dogmatic and moral truths which thus obtain a complete authority, but not to historical and scientific questions and knowledge of everyday life which could easily be obtained by the authors through their own mental powers. Consequently there is a distinction in Holy Scripture between the vital and the non-essential, the permanent and the transient, the divine and the human element. The New Testament has already made such a distinction, and St. Paul himself makes a distinction between the commands which are the Lord's sayings, and those which are recommended by himself (Rom 3,6, 19; I. Cor . 7,10,12,25,40; I. Thess . 4,15; Gal. 3,15 etc). John Chrysostom very aptly remarks: «Again he (Paul) discourses simply as a man and he does not everywhere enjoy the benefit of grace, but admits that he contributes something from himself» (11), and somewhere else he stresses: «See therefore how not eve r ything happens by grace, but God allows them to derive many things from their own wisdom and in human fashion» (12). Most modern Orthodox theologians (13) accept this distinction between the divine and the human element in Holy Scripture and the limitation of Revelation to religious and moral truths only; while others extend Revelation and Divine Inspiration to the whole Bible (14). These two opinions, however, are beginning to converge with us. The first one concerning historical events, either accepts «a superintendence of the Holy Spirit, meaning that it is impossible for anything opposed to the revealed religious and moral truths to be said in Holy Scripture», or it regards Divine Inspiration as referring not to the external historical events, which could be learned by anyone, but to the manifestation in and through them of the hand of Providence (15). The second one, with regard to knowledge of physical and historical events grant that the Bible expounds the facts according to the language and the ideas of the men who wrote it» (16). Really, the great events in the Sacred History which have a fundamental importance in Revelation (e.g. the great events of the Lord's Incarnation and Resurrection) cannot be deprived of authority and remain outside the very idea of Divine Inspiration. lt must be pointed out, however, that our Church has not issued an official decision on the above-mentioned subjects.
According to the unanimous opinions of Orthodox theology and of all the dogmatic and moral teaching, the Revelation is gradually and progressively extended according to the Divine Economy for educational reasons from the more incomplete to the most perfect forms. It is extended until it reaches the Revelation made in Jesus Christ, which is accepted as the most perfect. St. Paul perfectly expressed this principle: «And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat; for hitherto ye not able (to bear it)». (I Cor . 3,1,2; cf. 13,11). The same Apostle determines the progressive development of Revelation, saying: «The Law has become our tutor to Jesus» (Gal. 3, 24). The Lord Himself shows same by saying: «Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish but to fulfil» (Matt. 5, 17). This progress is not from falsehood to truth but, from the less perfect to the more perfect. The same Spirit is speaking and the same God is gradually being revealed. In Holy Scripture we must search for the development of the revealed teachings until we reach their perfect form, which again is given in Holy Scripture. Even in the religious and moral teachings we shall be forced to distinguish the eternal and completely authentic from the transient and impermanent, as it was given to us by the Lord; «You have heard that it was said by them of old time... But I say unto thee...» (Matt. 5, 21). One must not think, however, that the Old Testament is thus obsolete; no, we find many teachings in the Old Testament so perfectly expounded that even the New Testament has not surpassed them.
The relation between Old and New Testament is thus fixed by what has been said above. For our Church, both Testaments have the same authority and they are inseparable. The same God is speaking in both of them and the authors are inspired by the same Spirit. There is, however, a more essential link between the two Testaments -the fact that they both include God's redeeming action which, being expressed in the history of the Israelite people, reaches its climax in the person of Jesus Christ. So the link that closely joins both Testaments is the name of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Old Testament has a progressive character, as is very correctly stressed by the Apostle Paul»: «thus the Law has become a tutor to Christ» (Gal. 3, 24).
It was made clear, from what we have said above, that the whole Revelation converges towards a unique centre, Jesus Christ, so that one could call Revelation « Christocentric ». From this point of view our Church and our theology try to understand the Revelation in the light of the Incarnate Son of God, Who enlightened and completed the whole preceding revelation. The entire Revelation, the entire Bible, is an announcement; it is the good news of the Lord's Incarnation. The aim of the Revelation is the salvation of mankind or, as the Evangelist John expressed it: «But these (things) are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life in his names (John 20, 31). In this way both our Church and our theology, due to their saving purpose, consider the history included in the Old and New Testament as sacred ( Heilsgeschichte ), and they seek to understand history and the revelation expressed in it from this point of view.
According to the Orthodox Church, the second source of the Christian faith is the Holy Tradition, to which the Protestants have so many objections. These objections are in a great measure due to the false understanding of the meaning of tradition. We, the Orthodox, are possibly responsible for this because, perhaps, we have not expounded fully the contents and the very nature of the Holy Tradition.
Although the Holy Tradition has such a fundamental importance for us, the Orthodox Church has not officially fixed its meaning, extension and time limits by the decisions of an Ecumenical or any other Synod. The Tradition is usually determined as the «unwritten teachings orally given by the Apostles to the Church which deal with the Synods, the Fathers and the actions of the Church», which is unanimously and continuously accepted by all churches. The Holy Tradition is thus, as Vincent of Lerins said, « quod ubique quod semper quod ab omnibus creditum est ». As regards the extension of the Holy Tradition, a number of theologians believe that it is extended to the 7th Ecumenical Synod, while others extend it until the schism of the churches.
The Holy Tradition is closely related to the problem of the written preservation and propagation of the Revelation made in Jesus Christ. No one denies the fact that the New Testament books do not include the whole revelation made in Jesus Christ. History testifies that the first Christian community, the first Church, was composed and existed before the first New Testament book was written. Although we have not any written monuments, the first Church, centred in the person of our Lord, existed and developed by his teachings which were necessarily orally delivered by the tradition. Consequently the Holy Tradition preserved the first Christian Church, and it is the only source of the revelation in Christ which existed long after his death and before the writing of the New Testament books. The New Testament many a time presupposes Holy Tradition and the Apostles seem to have the consciousness that they are to continue this Tradition (I Cor . 7, 10; 9,14; 11,2,23; 14,37; II. Thess . 2, 15; Gal. 2, 1 f ; II. Tim. 1, 13, 14; 2,2; II John. 12 etc.). And the New Testament books? What are they but the tradition, the writing of the Tradition since the Lord did not write anything and many of the New Testament authors neither saw nor heard the Lord, but wrote down they heard about him?
The Church used especially this ancient tradition as a basis for fixing the canon of the New Testament. Of course, the Church has also taken into consideration the internal evidence of each book. It has used, however, the Tradition as a safe criterion for fixing the legitimate books and forming the canon by comparing it with the contents of the books. Holy Tradition, thus, was not only previous to the New Testament but it was also the basis for fixing it. The Church has validity and authority to canonical books of the New Testament. Without the Church we could not have authentic texts and without Holy Tradition the Church would not be able to distinguish the pure from the illegitimate, and the historical from the fantastic or the legendary.
After the writing of the New Testament books, Holy Tradition never lost or could lose its importance. Even after the first half of the second century, A.D., Holy Tradition was considered to have great authority according to Papias words (17) (second century, A.D.). It has this authority because «what are included in these books are not so valuable as what was said orally»; and secondly, the books of the New Testament do not include the whole revelation neither do they expound it completely and systematically. This fact is indisputable. St. John the Evangelist himself (20, 30) remarks «many other signs, therefore, did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book», and elsewhere (21, 25) «And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written » . The New Testament books were written for various reasons, and they pursue particular aims. That is to say, each one of the authors set down whatever contributed to this particular purpose, so that a part of the Lord's teachings and actions was not recorded, remaining only in the ancient Holy Tradition. This is a necessary conclusion from the historical data. If we want to have a complete picture of Jesus teachings and actions we must search in the very ancient Tradition for what is missing. This Tradition, which completes the historical picture of Christ, can be called Historical Tradition in contrast to the other tradition about which we shall speak later (18). This Historical Tradition has a supplementary character, completing the revelation given in the New Testament books. In all this we reject the teaching of the seventeenth-century Protestants about the self-sufficiency of Holy Scripture. It is evident that this inner Tradition cannot be extended beyond the second part of the second century, A.D.
The Ancient Fathers of the Church use this ancient Apostolic Tradition as a proof and place it beside the New Testament books. Saint Basil writes: «Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined, which are preserved in the Church, some we possess derived from written reaching, others we have received delivered to us «in a mystery* from the tradition of the Apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force» (19). And Saint Athanasius writes about the Council of Nicaea : «There upon they confessed their belief, in order to show that their own sentiments were not novel, but Apostolic, and what they write down was no discovery of theirs but is the same as was taught by the Apostles» (20).
Finally, we mention Epiphanios saying, «You cannot find everything in the Bible, because the Apostles gave a part in the Bible and the rest in the Holy Tradition» (21) .
Beside the above-mentioned trad ition there is another kind of tradition with a different character from the previous one. After the completion of divine Revelation in oral and written teachings, there begins the elaboration of the material which comprises the revelation and its interpretation development and systematisation. In other words, the theological thought about the Christian teachings then begins. All the work is formed and expressed in the writings oft the Fathers, in the liturgical forms, expressing ideas, in the Canons, also expressing certain teachings and in the Synodical decisions. A continuous Tradition thus appears which is nothing else than the theological development and systematisation of the Christian truths. This can be called Theological Tradition in contrast to the Historical Tradition.
The difference between Theological and Historical Tradition is evident. While the historical completes the revelation given in the books of the New Testament, the theological interprets, clarifies and systematises the whole Revelation. Its chief feature is not a new addition to the revelation but its deeper study and explanation. The Fathers of the Church clearly teach that this tradition does not form the basis for dogma (22).
If we, thus, consider Tradition as the study and elaboration of the Christian truths, then this tradition, having started in the first centuries, keeps on until now and will be continued in the future, because theological thought, the endeavour for a complete understanding and systematisation of the Christian truths has never stopped in the Orthodox Church and Theology. Every living organisation must create a tradition. Only the dead ones are deprived of this privilege because they lack life.
The Protestant Churches cannot reject tradition from this point of view. They also have a tradition, since even in the Protestant Churches theological thought for the understanding of Christianity is continuously carried on. The Reformation itself is nothing else than a new-endeavour.
We are not obliged to accept all the elements of tradition understood in this more general sense. God entrusted His Revelation to the Church by means of the Spirit of God which abides in her, and the Church has authoritatively explained and expressed the various teaching in the Ecumenical Synods. She has created an official tradition which has an authentic and obligatory character for the Orthodox. We can call this tradition contained in the decisions reached: Dogmatic tradition. Historically it came to an end after the seventh Ecumenical Synod; no one, however, can deny the fact that other Ecumenical Synods can be held in the future and possibly fix new dogmatic traditions by their decisions.
According to this, the difference between dogmatic tradition and the rest of the theological tradition, which we can now call mainly theo1ogical, is that the former is considered infallible with complete authority, while the second lacks these marks. Neither the teachings of the Holy Fathers, nor the decisions reached at the local Synods are considered infallible (23), when we examine from a historical point of view the appearance of the Dogmatic Tradition, we find that theological tradition is prior to the dogmatic. The Church did not hasten to make an official statement on the various questions that arose. A great work proceeded it, a great theological tradition was formed, and when at last the various questions been had ripened by the tradition, then the Church fixed the dogmatic tradition. The main theological tradition has, of course, validity. What happened in Revelation was repeated for the theological tradition also. Not everything from the theological tradition that was right was included in the dogmatic tradition. The dogmatic tradition is not a systematic selection from the theological tradition. It arose out of the question and disputes of the day and included only what had bearing on the problems under discussion. The Protestant Churches also have such distinctions in their tradition, but of course they are not so concrete. The Reformers' opinions have greater validity and authority than the opinions of the other theologians. The prayer book has greater validity than any other book.
As the Church was able to judge what is genuine Revelation by means of the Holy Spirit in-dwelling in her, and as she fixed the books which contain it, so she is the only one who can give an authentic explanation of it. Our Church, of course, permits every examination made by scientific means and methods. She teaches, however, that she is the authentic judge and interpreter of the divine revelation. This teaching, that originates from the very essence of the Church divinely instituted, is also a demand of human reason. Even the applied methods of science are subject to error and mistakes as being products of the human mind. We need an authentic criterion not based on human means which will interpret the Divine Revelation. The Church is the only one to take this office. When we say authentic interpretation, we mean the true meaning officially given by the Church at the various Synods (24). This teaching derives from what is written about the divine inspiration of the Bible. If the guidance of the Holy Spirit was needed from the communication and writing down of divine revelation, one can understand how even more essential is the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the correct interpretation of that Revelation. This cannot be achieved by individuals, but only by the Church which is the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit. This is the difference that exists between the Orthodox Church and certain Protestant circles. They accept the direct private enlightenment of each in individual person. This belief abolishes all authority and each man becomes himself the judge.
In the interpretation of Holy Scripture, the Orthodox Church and theology have as their starting-point the principle that Holy Scripture constitutes an inseparable whole. The Old Testament was thus from the very beginning translated in the light of the Revelation made by Christ. Each passage of the Old Testament, related to subjects concerning faith or morals, must be related to and interpreted by the New Testament just as on the other hand we must search in the Old Testament for the roots which sprang many of the passages of the New Testament. The ancient Church used the allegorical and typological method in addition to the historic method in this close coherence of the two Testaments and in the endeavour to understand the Old Testament by the light of the revelation in Jesus Christ. According to the first method, the historical or literal meaning is either dispensed with, or another much deeper meaning is found in addition to it. According to the typological method, the historical meaning of the text is not excluded but the various things described in it are considered as the types of things and events to take place in the future (25). This typological explanation had already been used by the New Testament authors (Matthew 12,39; John 19,36; I. Cor . 10,4, etc.). It is understood that this typological Method can only be applied to the Old Testament and not to the New Testament. Now, however, we use the allegorical and typological method Jess. Only the Old Testament passages that were thus understood by the New Testament writers and all that clearly refer to the Messiah is still interpreted by this method.
The Orthodox Church and Theology set out from the principle that Old and New Testament history is a Sacred History ( Heilsgeschichte ) presenting God's redeeming activity in the world and search for the deeper meaning of the events, referring to a spiritual interpretation penetrating to the deeper meaning, in the true spirit of the text, which renews and redeems man.
On the other hand, Orthodox theology, starting from the fact that Revelation was made to men in time and was communicated by them, set down in human writing and language applies the literary and historical methods in the interpretation of Holy Scripture to restore the text, to discover the literary background of each book, to determine the authenticity of each book and the historical circumstances in which it was written, without the authority of Holy Scripture being damaged by the application of any of these methods. In more recent times in Orthodox Theology great use is made of the literary, historical and religious method (26). It is remarkable that in modern problems of historico -literary criticism which is closely related to the authority of Holy Scripture, the Orthodox Church did not hasten to take up the position of the complete exclusion of scientific research. Orthodox theology brings the Revelation in Holy Scripture into connection with all that is spiritual outside the Bible, not for its perfection but in order to show that even among the Gentiles God «left not Himself without witness» (Acts 15,17), but gave to them also some seed of Revelation. Justin's theory about the «Spermatic Word» is well known. This position can help us in the solution of the problem
about the relation between Revelation and other non biblical sources For us Christiana, God is always the God of love, and as such He could not but care even for the Gentile world, according to the teachings of the New Testament (Acts 14,17; 17,26; Rom. 1,21; 2,14). From an Orthodox point of view we can thus find and fix the relation between all the teachings included in the Bible and all the other non-biblical teachings without diminishing the authority of the Holy Scripture. On the contrary, we become able «to understand the natural and the supernatural, the direct and the indirect Divine Revelation as a whole and thus to form a better, broader and deeper picture about the plans of the Divine Providence for the salvation of mankind» (27). All this is fully confirmed by the example of the Fathers of the Church, who wanted to bring the Christian teachings into close connection with Greek philosophy.
Inasmuch as in the Revelation contained in Holy Scripture, the Orthodox Church sees revealed the eternal Word of God for the salvation of mankind, she demands that all her faithful fully accept the revealed truths, which also include moral values, and are not limited simply to the theoretical sphere but are also converted into action, inasmuch as the Christian must regulate his everyday life by them. Of course, the Orthodox Church does not look to Holy Sc r ipture for a complete system of life down to its smallest details. General principles are, however, laid down in the Bible with complete validity and authority, from which many other particular teachings are derived, whose development is simple. Holy Scripture, of course, is the book of man's salvation; but this salvation do not come about in a magical way, but only through the perfecting of man. The Christian faith is thus a practical religion with various commandments about man's individual and social life which, are based on the valid authority of Holy Scripture.
The Revelation contained in Holy Scripture, as the good news of the salvation of the whole world, is addressed to the whole world. The Church, as the organisation to which God entrusted the Revelation, is charged with the duty to teach it to the Christian world as well as to those who are not Christian. This duty is not only derived from the very nature and purpose of the Church, but also from Holy Scripture itself, the authority of which on religious and moral questions is absolute.
(1) See Z. Rossis , System of Doctrine of the Orthodox Catholic Churches, Athens 1903, p. 447; Chr . Androutsos , Doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Athens, 1907, p. 34, etc.
(2) Gen . 32,34. Ex. 19,9. 17,7. Mat. 3,16; Luk . 1,11.
(3) Gen. 3,8. Ex. 33, 11. Mat. 3,17; John. 12,29; Acts. 2,1.
(4) Gen. 15,1,12. 37, 5. Isa , 6,1; Am. 7,1. Act. 9,10; 9,12; 10,3; 10,10; 11,5; 22,7; 2nd Cor . 2, etc.
(5) See Lycourgos Logothetis Ieromnemon 1859, p. 280. Z. Rossis as above p. 453. Evg . Antoniades , «about the problems of Divine Inspiration of Holy Scripture», Athens 1938, p. 31.
(6) See Evlog . Kurilas : «The question of the Divine Inspiration of Holy Scripture in the Eastern Orthodox Church», Salonika 1933; D. Balanos : «The recent Orthodox Theology in relation to the Theology of the Fathers and the recent ideas and methods», Athens , 1937; Evag . Antoniades «Orthodox principles and methods of interpreting the New Testament and their theological presuppositions», Athens 1927. By the same author: «About the problems of Divine Inspiration of Holy Scripture», Athens , 1938. B. Vellas , «Criticism of the Bible and Ecclesiastical Authority», Athens , 1937; P. Trembelas , «The Divine Inspiration of Holy Scripture», Athens , 1938.
(7) Migne 126,569.
(8) I Apol . 31 Migne 6,384, of Ps. Justin, Speeches to Hellenes 8 Migne 6, 257.
(9) Leg. 9,2. Migne 6,908.
(10) Cf. Z. Rossis p. 470; Chr . Androutsos Dogmatics , p. 4; D. Balanos , Evg . Antoniades , p. 167; P. Trembelas , p. 54. etc.
(11) John Chrysostom , Homily XLIX on the Acts of the Apostles. Migne 60, 337.
(12) John Chrysostom -Homily XLIX on the Acts of the Apostles. Migne 60,164.
(13) See Alexander Lykurgos , D. Kyriakos «A believer's speeches, Athens 1907, p. 145, 151; K. Diovuniotes : Due Reply, Athens 1907 p. 16; D. Balanos , V. Vellas , etc.
(14) See Chr . Androutsos Dogmatics p. 5, P. Trembelas p. 67-68.
(15) See B. Antoniades Manual about Sacred Translation, Konstantinople 1921, or Evg . Antoniades , p. 180.
(16) Cf. Z. Rossis , p. 471; D. Balanos , p. 123; Ev. Antoniades , p. 41-42; P. Trembelas , p. 45.
(17) «Nevertheless Papias himself, in the preface to his discourses, makes it plain that he was in no sense a hearer and eye-witness of the holy apostles; but tells us, by the language he uses, that he had received the things pertaining to the faith from those who were their pupils: «But I will not hesitate also to set down for thy benefit, along with the interpretations, all that ever I carefully learnt and carefully recalled from the elders, quarantining its truth. For I did not take delight, as most men do, in those who have much to say, but in those who teach what is true; not in those who recall foreign commandments, but in those who recall the commandments given by the Lord to faith, and reaching us from the truth itself. And if anyone chanced to come who had actually been a follower of the elders, I would enquire as to the discourses of the elderes , what Andrew or what Peter said, or what Philip, or what Thomas or James, or what John or Matthew or any other of the Lord's disciples and the things which Aristion and John the elder, disciples of the Lord, say. For I supposed that things out of books did not profit me so much as the utterances of a voice which liveth and ebideth .»
(Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History, III 39. Migne 20, 296).
( 18) In a verba l discussion, Mr. Evangelos Antoniades , former professor of the University, made this distinction.
(19) Saint Basil : «De Spirito Sancto » XXVII 66. Migne 32,188.
(20) Saint Athanasius : «De Synodis » 5. About the Council of Arminium . Migne 26, 688.
(21) Epiphanius , Migne 41,1048.
(22) Saint Basil writes: «Those of the audience who are instructed in the Scriptures must examine what is said by the teachers, and accept what is in harmony with the Scriptures and reject what is foreign to them. (Saint Basil: Initium Mora- lium , Regula LXXII . Migne 31, 845). John Chrysostom remarks: «Neglecting what any particular man thinks, take all your instruction from the Scriptures.» ( Migne 61, 497).
(23) See Chr . Androutsos .
(24) The fifth Ecumenical Synod explained: John 20,24. The Synod in Carthagena : Rom. 5, 12; etc.
(25) Thus e.g. the Jewish Passover is considered the type of the Christian Easter, the crossing of the Red Sea as the type of the future salvation, and Moses gesture when he raised his hands during the battle with the Amalekites as representing the Cross, etc.
(26) See B. Vellas Old Testament Studies in Modern Greek Orthodox Theology, Athens 1948.
(27) For the above-mentioned see Evg . Antoniades work, p. 198, or P. Trembelas : p. 81-82, who also accept the same view.