Transcripts

Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the Truth

The Book of Acts

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Comparing the two sources for readings during the Paschal season-- the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of John.

We have already commented many times that during the 50 days from the day of resurrection, the feast of Pascha, until the 50th day, the last and final day, when the Holy Spirit descends upon the apostles of Christ, the Lord promised that when he was raised and glorified that the fulfillment of the prophecy would take place, that God would pour his Spirit out upon all flesh, and that’s what happens on Pentecost. But between Easter or Pascha, the day of resurrection,…

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Speaking the Truth

The Healing of the Paralytic

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Fr. Thomas enumerates the seven great messianic signs of Jesus in St. John's Gospel, focusing on the healing of the paralytic at Bethesda.

During the 50 days of Pascha, from Pascha to Pentecost, the readings in the Church are from the book of Acts of the Apostles and from the Gospel according to St. John. There are two exceptions to this. One is the reading from the Tuesday of Bright Week, where you have the reading about the disciples going to Emmaus. The reason for that is, according to St. Luke’s gospel, Luke and Cleopas walked to Emmaus where the risen Lord came to walk with them, and then…

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Speaking the Truth

Theophany - The Radiant Shining Forth!

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From the Speaking the Truth in Love archives, Fr. Tom Hopko offers this very helpful meditation on the feast of Theophany.

It seems to be the case quite clearly that in the earliest Christian Church, in the darkness of winter was the celebration of the festival of lights, connected with the appearing of God in the world in his Son, Jesus, who is himself the light of the world. “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and those who dwelt in the shadow of death, upon them the light has shone.” It seems that in January, on the sixth of January, in the earliest…

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Speaking the Truth

The Genealogies

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What is the significance of all of those "begats" in the Gospel lesson just before Nativity? Fr. Tom breaks it down for us in the current episode.

The gospel reading at the Divine Liturgy on the Sunday before Christmas, the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ, is the entire first chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew. This Gospel of St. Matthew, it begins with the words: Biblos genesios Iesou Christou; the Book of Genesis (or Generation) of Jesus Christ. So Jesus is called Christ in the very first sentence, and then it continues: of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham. And the genealogy…

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Speaking the Truth

The Roots of Pentecost

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Fr. Thomas looks at the roots of Pentecost—the coming of the Spirit—in Old Testament worship.

The eighth Sunday of Pascha is Pentecost Sunday. It’s the 50th day after the Passover, after Pascha. Pentecost means “fifty,” and originally the term “Pentecost” referred to the entire 50 days of the Paschal season. Then the last day was called Pentecost, the final day. Originally in the Bible, as we know, Pascha and therefore its completion in Pentecost on the 50th day of Pascha, was an agricultural feast. It had to do with the firstfruits…

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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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