Author Topic: Sola Scriptura or How to interpret the Holy Scriptures  (Read 2581 times)

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Offline Ryan2010

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Sola Scriptura or How to interpret the Holy Scriptures
« on: Sat Jan 02, 2010 - 10:53:00 »
This is spill-over from a discussion on sola scriptura on the RCC thread.  I thought I would post this article on how Orthodox "interprets" scripture and who "The Church" interprets scripture for those interested. 

It was written by Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky), Archbishop of Verey (+1929) and translated by Felix Cupa (i think):

There are two parts so I'll post them on two separate reply posts. 

God bless  ::smile::


Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Sola Scriptura or How to interpret the Holy Scriptures
« Reply #1 on: Sat Jan 02, 2010 - 10:53:48 »
    Holy Scripture… yet Christ did not write anything! It is said of Him only once, in the Gospel according to John, that He wrote anything, and in that case He wrote with His finger (c.f., Jn 8:6), and He wrote on the ground. The founders of different religions, the originators of philosophical schools, wrote much, and wrote gladly, but Christ wrote nothing. This is an entirely characteristic circumstance for a Christian. The entire essence of the matter of Christ becomes clear and comprehensible to us if we properly appreciate the fact that Christ wrote nothing. Christ did not write anything… That means that the Son of God came to earth not at all in order to write and give people some sort of book. Could it be that to write a book the Incarnation of the Only-Begotten Son of God was necessary? The Incarnation of the second Person of the Holy Trinity was necessary for people’s salvation. A book, no matter which, could not and cannot save mankind. Christ is not a teacher, but precisely the Savior. Human nature, corrupted by sin, needed to be renewed, and the beginning of this renewal was laid by the very Incarnation of the Son of God. The great theologian of the second century, St Irenaeus of Lyons, writes: “But if a thought of this kind should then suggest itself to you, to say, What then did the Lord bring to us by His advent – know that He brought all [possible] novelty, by bringing Himself Who had been announced. For this very thing was proclaimed beforehand, that a novelty should come to renew and quicken mankind

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Sola Scriptura or How to interpret the Holy Scriptures
« Reply #2 on: Sat Jan 02, 2010 - 10:54:36 »
Thus, the Church is the guide to the interpretation of Holy Scripture.

The necessity of precisely this guidance becomes especially clear when one considers to the end the great lie that Protestantism drew on its flag, and after it every imaginable sectarianism and human frivolousness and free-thinking generally. Protestantism rejected the necessity of Church norms and principles for the interpretation of Scripture. But then, obviously, everyone has to be directed in the interpretation of Scripture by his own so-called common sense [literally, sound mind]. There is no need to mention that people’s common sense can very often judge the very same phenomenon, the very same fact, differently; but I think, and this is indisputable, that our minds, in the understanding of Holy Scripture, left to themselves, cannot at all be sound. To speak frankly, how often it happens that we go astray in our lives, that our reason does little more than justify our (fallen) will through sophistries.

Normally we agree with one another very easily about questions that do not affect our lives, that do not concern the direction of our wills. That is why in questions of natural science, and particularly in mathematics, there are so many universally accepted and unquestioned truths. Why, in fact, should I not accept that the sum of the angles of a triangle is always equal to that of two right angles? Or that the sum of the areas of the squares on the cathedi is equal to the area of the square on the hypotenuse, as the Pythagorean theorem affirms? Why should I not accept these mathematical truths? Their recognition binds me to absolutely nothing. I think one can, and even should, agree with the brilliant philosopher Leibniz, who said: “If geometry conflicted with our passions and our present concerns as much as morality does, we would dispute it and transgress it almost as much – in spite of all Euclid’s and Archimedes’ demonstrations, which would be treated as fantasies and deemed to be full of fallacies – and Joseph Scaliger, Hobbes and others who have written against Euclid and Archimedes would not find so few supporters as they do in fact

Offline Ryan2010

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Re: Sola Scriptura or How to interpret the Holy Scriptures
« Reply #3 on: Sat Jan 02, 2010 - 11:01:52 »
There are two more installments of this article to come but it appears they've not yet been translated.   Despite the other half missing, I found the first half relevant. 

 ::smile::

Offline Josiah

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Re: Sola Scriptura or How to interpret the Holy Scriptures
« Reply #4 on: Thu Jul 08, 2010 - 10:51:58 »



"Sola Scriptura" is typically viewed as a PROTESTANT praxis, often associated with Lutherans, and so perhaps, as a Lutheran, I may poke my nose here?

Sola Scriptura has nothing to do with hermeneutics (the interpretation and application of Scripture).  Protestants have some commonly embraced tools and approaches to hermeneutics (not very different from Catholic ones, I don't know about Orthodox).  Sola Scripture has solely and only to do with NORMING - the issue of evaluating if a position (especially a doctrine) is correct.  Sola Scriptura is the PRAXIS of our embracing Scripture as the "rule" (straight edge)/ "canon" (measuring stick)/ or as it is called in epistemology, the "norma normans" (the norms that norms).

Let's say you and I are neighbors.  We desire to have a fence built on our property line that is 6 feet tall.  So, we hire Bob the Builder to do just that.  The work is now done, and Bob the Builder invites us to inspect and approve the fence, which he says is, in fact, six feet tall.   THAT (the fence is 6 feet tall) becomes the position under review; is it?   Bob SAYS so, of course, but is it?  The FIRST issue in norming is the embrace of a common rule/canon, WHAT will WE use as the standard, the rule, the measuring stick (this is called the "canon" - a 'canon' is what is looked to as the standard, measuring stick, norm, standard, the determining thing).  The more objective, the more knowable (and less alterable and subjective), the more embraced by all as reliable for this purpose - the better.  Perhaps you, me and Bob all decided to use a standard Sears measuring tape.  We all have one, we all agree it's sufficiently accurate for this purpose.  In THAT case,  that standard Sears measuring tape would be the rule/canon/norma normans.  Follow?

Over and over and over, Scripture warns us of false teachers, of false prophets, of antichrists, of those that lead many astray.  Sadly, our Christian history has been peppered with heretics.  All this causes Protestants to believe that it is, at least theoretically POSSIBLE, that a teacher COULD be wrong, and thus should be regarded as accountable.  It is not sufficient that self alone says that self alone is correct in a position that self alone presents as doctrine, it is accountable.   Thus, it is sound to ask, "is it correct?"   This, of course, means NORMING has just been embraced.   And what is the first requirement in the norming process?  The choice of a rule/canon/norma normans, the WHAT we will use as the standard, rule, measuring stick.  In Sola Scriptura, that is, primarily and above others, Scripture.   We embrace that this is objective (OUTSIDE all of us, ABOVE all of us), knowable (the written words of Scripture are knowable to all and alterable by none), embraced by all as reliable (in fact, the inerrant inscripturated words of God Himself).  We see it as the most sound norm.   The RCC rejects this praxis NOT because it has a better alternative (it doesn't) but because it rejects all norming by any norm in the exclusive, sole, singular case of it itself alone since it insists that it is INCAPABLE of error and thus exempt from accountability (to WHAT is moot, thus Sola Scriptura is moot in the singular case of itself).   The fundamental disagreement between the RCC and Protestants on this issue is not Scripture but whether the RCC should be accountable to anything - we say yes, it insists no. 


I hope that helps!


Pax


- Josiah







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Re: Sola Scriptura or How to interpret the Holy Scriptures
« Reply #4 on: Thu Jul 08, 2010 - 10:51:58 »



Offline Macrina

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Re: Sola Scriptura or How to interpret the Holy Scriptures
« Reply #5 on: Fri Jul 09, 2010 - 16:23:32 »
Great article Ryan, manna to you.  ::smile::

But the only way people will believe any of it is if they actually experience it.
Otherwise it is just a  ::juggle:: act.

Josiah makes a good point of how Lutheran's apply their logic. ie. norm..norming

The church holds all the truth one needs. The world just doesn't want to believe and know it.
Many a time I've witnessed Protestant debates on the "original manuscripts". If they only knew that they just have part of something that they have just stolen for their own personal use....well maybe they would be utterly convicted by God for doing such.
However, if God leads them to His church, I'm sure they would be over joyed at learning the truth about "manuscripts".

Josiah, to an Orthodox that Sears measuring tape would be replaced by three witnesses. One being the canons of the church, another being patristics, and thirdly oral tradition (which is not written down anywhere).
The proof that this is correct is in the actual experience of it being true. Such tangible proof of Christ's teachings exist in the person of the Church who puts them into practice as they were meant to be.