Transcripts

Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the Truth

Reading the Old Testament

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Fr. Tom responds to some email questions he received after his recent episode entitled "How to Read the Bible." In particular he talks about reading the Old Testament and explains the role of the Septuagint in the Church.

I would like to make a couple further comments about reading the Bible, particularly reading the Old Testament, and in some sense also understanding how the New Testament uses the Old Testament especially in its texts. I think my own opinion would be… And let me stress again, I want to always stress this: this is my own opinion. I mean, reading things, trying to understand things, making suggestions—this is how I understand it. It’s certainly not dogma;…

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Speaking the Truth

English Translations of the Bible

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In the third part of his series on reading the Bible, Fr. Tom discusses the various English language translations that are available and offers his recommendations.

I received a few emails about my suggestions about reading the holy Scripture, reading the Bible, and there were some questions that had to do with the English translations. I mentioned on my last reflection that I did not think that they were really major difficulties in the differences between the Hebrew Bibles that we have now, which is probably Masoretic, more or less medieval Jewish texts, and the Greek translation of the Scripture called the Septuagint, which…

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Speaking the Truth

The Temptation of Jesus

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As we begin the Lenten fast, Fr.Tom reflects on the 40 days Christ spent in the desert being tempted by Satan. Learn how some churches actually promise things that Christ rejected in the desert.

In the synoptic gospels, that is, the gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, it is recorded that immediately following Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan River, the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness 40 days, tempted by Satan, and he was with the wild beasts and the angels ministered to him. That I just read from St. Mark’s gospel. That’s all it says in Mark. It says that Jesus was baptized by John in…

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Speaking the Truth

The Myrrh-bearing Women

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Fr. Thomas examines who the myrrh-bearing women were and clears up some misconceptions about Mary Magdalene in the process.

The third Sunday of Pascha in the Orthodox Church is dedicated to the memory of the myrrh-bearing women, the women who ministered to Jesus during his lifetime, who stood afar off watching the crucifixion—although in St. John’s gospel they are closer—and those who came to the tomb on the first day of the week seeking to anoint the corpse of Jesus, the dead body of Jesus, for his burial.

This Sunday also we remember in the Church Joseph of Arimathea,…

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Speaking the Truth

How We Speak of God - Part 3

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This time, Fr. Thomas speaks of the Activities and Actions of God.

We have been reflecting about how Christians speak about God: the words that we use, the language that we use. And we have said, and I am convinced, that all speech about God can be classified or categorized in four different ways. There are the names of God, there are the attributes of God, there are the activities or actions of God, and then there are metaphors and similes that are used for God. For God, as God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit,…

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Speaking the Truth

How We Speak of God - Part 2

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Fr. Tom continues his discussion, this time focusing on the Divine Attributes of God.

Thinking about how Christians speak about God, we said in our introduction that there are basically four ways, four distinct, to use some technical term, avenues of discourse, ways of speaking, about divinity and about God. We already reflected that the most important, and in some sense the first way for Christians, are the names. And we said that in the holy Scripture the God that Christians believe in and believe in because of Jesus—it all begins with Jesus—being…

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Speaking the Truth

How We Speak of God - Part 1

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Fr. Thomas begins a four-part series on naming God and the language and words we use in the process.

It’s an ancient practice of the Christian Church, in East and West, from the earliest period, that the Church year, the Sundays of the Church year, the Lord’s days, the celebrations of the holy Eucharist on Sunday, the Lord’s day, throughout the year, following Pentecost would be called the Sundays after Pentecost. And the Sundays after Pentecost continue, as I mentioned already earlier, until the beginning of Great Lent. Then when Great Lent begins,…

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Speaking the Truth

The Sunday of Orthodoxy

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As we celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy and the victory over iconoclasm, Fr. Tom gives a personal reflection on icons and their use and misuse.

Every year at the beginning of Great Lent, we have of course what is called technically the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy. This celebration on the first Sunday of Lent commemorates the return of the holy icons to the Church and to the churches after more than a century of blood in which the icons were either removed from the churches completely or were placed at a height where they could not be venerated but could be only looked at for the sake of some type of…

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Speaking the Truth

St. Mary of Egypt

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Fr. Thomas contrasts the story of the fallen, then raised Mary of Alexandria with that of another Mary - the Theotokos.

At the end of the fifth week of Great Lent, and very particularly on the fifth Sunday, the Orthodox Church has all of its members and faithful Christians contemplating a very beloved and well-known person in Christian history for ancient Christians, and that is a woman named Mary of Egypt. On the matins of the Thursday of the fifth week, there is a penitential canon of St. Andrew of Crete that is read. That particular service, which is a long type of penitential vigil,…

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Speaking the Truth

Transfiguration - The Center of the Evangelical Narrative

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On August 6, we will celebrate the Transfiguration of our Lord, and Fr. Thomas Hopko helps us understand the pivotal nature of this event in Christian history.

If we read the synoptic gospels—that means the gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, called synoptic because they kind of look the same and they have the same material; there’s always the synoptic question, how they are interrelated, and the scholars can debate that, but in any case, we have those three gospels: Mark and Matthew and Luke—I honestly believe, personally, that they pattern the Old Testament genre. I think Mark is a kind of an apocalyptic…

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