The Eastern Church Fathers stressed that the Bible is not of its own kind but was born and shaped in a community of faith. They understood Scripture to be an essential element of Holy Tradition: the apostolic witness passed down and developed into the fundamental teachings of Orthodox Christianity.
This book offers a fresh look at the way Eastern patristic writers used Scripture in elaborating what would become the body of Orthodox doctrine. It begins with a discussion of the aims and methods of biblical interpretation as they were developed among the Greek Fathers. The second section introduces the reader to the ancient literary form known as chiasmus and shows how important a proper "chiastic" reading of the biblical text can be for revealing its "literal" meaning.
The final section takes up several crucial issues concerning the Orthodox doctrines of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Raising from a new perspective the divisive question of the filioque, it demonstrates the continuing importance of the Nicene Creed for expressing the most basic and significant teachings of Orthodoxy: God as Trinity and God incarnate. These doctrines reflect as clearly as any others the way Scripture takes shape in Tradition, while it serves as the ground and measure of Tradition.
About the Author: The Very Rev John Breck was Professor of New Testament and Ethics at St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary from 1984 to 1996. He is presently Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Ethics at St Sergius Theological Institute, Paris, France, and with his wife, Lyn, directs the St Silouan Retreat Center near Charleston, SC.