Monday, June 24, 2019

How to Read Scripture - Elder Aimilianos

When one undertakes to examine Scripture in an idle, intellectual way, he creates hatred and quarreling.
Elder Aimilianos says this because the intellectual study of Scripture does not help us to know our sins, but instead turns our intellectual faculties to focus on concepts and issues related to our study of Scripture. This intellectual  knowledge does not help us come closer to God. It does no more than emphasize our personal opinions and leads us to fell self-sufficient in our personal understanding. 

He says,
This kind of approach to Scripture immediately places you in conflict with others; it opposes your will and opinion to theirs, prompting you to disagree and argue with them...The correct way is to read Scripture with simplicity and to allow God to tell us what He wants to tell us.
When we develop our own opinions and become attached to them he says this blocks our ability to “receive anything from God.” We are mired in our own ego centered views wanting to prove that we know what is the correct interpretation from a logical and intellectual perspective. It only encourages us to enter into debate and arguments which can lead to making enemies.

He says,
It’s one thing to read Scripture because you want to collect information, and another thing to read because you want to acquire it’s true contents, that is, the Holy Spirit...The criterion for your study should be this: the way you read the Bible should bring peace to your heart, communion with God, love of neighbors, and the consciousness of your own sinfulness: the recognition of how unworthy and ill-prepared you are to stand before God.

Ref: Psalms and the Life of Faith, by Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra

Ten Points for an Orthodox Way of Life

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