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JMC

An effective Bible-study tool...


Make to shine in our hearts, O Master Who loves mankind,
The in-corrupt light of Your divine knowledge,
And open the eyes of our mind to the comprehension of the preaching of Your Gospel.

Implant also in us the fear of Your blessed commandments, that, trampling down all carnal desires,
We may pursue a spiritual way of life, both thinking and doing all things well-pleasing to You.

For You are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies, O Christ God,
And unto You do we send up glory,
Together with Your Father, Who is without beginning,
And Your all-holy, good, life-creating Spirit.

Amen.


JMC

Quotes on Bible study

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God"
- St. Paul

"If an earthly king, our emperor, wrote you a letter, would you not read it with joy? Certainly, with great rejoicing and careful attention. You have been sent a letter, not by any earthly king, but by the King of Heaven. And yet you almost despise such a gift, so priceless a treasure... Whenever you read the Gospel, Christ Himself is speaking to you. And while you read, you are praying and talking to Him."
- St. Tikhon of Zadnosk (+1783)
JMC

Read the Holy Gospel, be penetrated by its spirit, make it the rule of your life, your handbook; in every action and question of life act according to the study of the Gospel. This is the only light in our life.
-Nikon of Optina


What then do I ask of you? That each of you take in hand that part of the Gospel which is to be read in your presence on the Lord's day [at the church service]; and before that day comes, sit down at home and read it through; consider often and carefully its content, and examine all its parts well, noting what is clear, what is confusing, what seems to assist the position of the adversaries but really does not. And, in a word, when you have sounded every point, then go and hear it read. From such zeal as this there will be no small benefit both to you and to me.
-St. John Chrysostom
bnabernard

Not exactly unique admonishments are they?
How come it's these people quoted for saying it that they shoulds be heard?

bernard (hug)
JMC

bnabernard wrote:
Not exactly unique admonishments are they?


No.... they would be more suspect if they were.

bnabernard wrote:
How come it's these people quoted for saying it that they shoulds be heard?


Because their words are better than mine. There are others' words of equal worth, but I'll be getting round to them too.
bnabernard

It's a shame that an idea is given credit so far from it's source and the one then taking credit becomes so 'idolised'

bernard (hug)
JMC

bnabernard wrote:
It's a shame that an idea is given credit so far from it's source and the one then taking credit becomes so 'idolised'


The people being quoted are not "taking" any credit themselves. Their words are taken from a variety of sources, many of which only become available after their death and when they have no control over whether they are recognized for their (gifted) holiness or not. I am giving them credit, and I am not ashamed in it.

Opinions and words posted on forums, on the other hand..... well, put it this way, I could listen to what you're saying, in which case I'd have to immediately disregard it because of the manner in which it is being offered. †
Leonard James

I am quite capable of working out my own way to live peacefully doing my best by my fellow-man .... I don't need to be instructed how to do it.

Just try to live your life without harming others, and helping them when you can, and you won't go far wrong.
JMC

Leonard James wrote:
I am quite capable of working out my own way to live peacefully doing my best by my fellow-man .... I don't need to be instructed how to do it.


Maybe best not to read anything in the Bible-study section of the forum then?? Or did you get to this thread by looking at my post-history and didn't realize your comments are unsuitable to this specific forum?*






* I don't think I am being unreasonable to say that a forum about "Bible-study" shouldn't really be the place for posts challenging the authority of the Bible itself. I also say this particularly because there are many other boards on this website where such discussions are more appropriate. Hopefully you, on balance, agree.
Leonard James

OK, I will try to avoid posting on this thread, but I'm rather old and forgetful, so just call my attention to it if I do.
JMC

Quotes on Bible Study

Brethren, be zealous for the things which lead to salvation!You have studied the Holy Scriptures, which are true and of the Holy Spirit. You well know that nothing unjust or fraudulent is written in them
- St. Clement of Rome, 1st Century


Divinely inspired Scripture, as the Divine Apostle calls it, is the Holy Spirit's writing. Its purpose is usefulness to men. 'All Scripture,' he says, 'is inspired of God and useful.'
- St Gregory of Nyssa, 4th Century


I especially love to read the Holy Scriptures, both Testaments. I cannot live without this reading. They contain so much. So many laws for the life of man's soul are revealed there! A person striving for spiritual renewal can obtain so much guidance in being reborn from evil to good.
- St. John of Krondstadt, 19th Century
gone

I read the Bible regularly, but regard it as a very human creation with no input from any deity.
bnabernard

JMC wrote:
bnabernard wrote:
It's a shame that an idea is given credit so far from it's source and the one then taking credit becomes so 'idolised'


The people being quoted are not "taking" any credit themselves. Their words are taken from a variety of sources, many of which only become available after their death and when they have no control over whether they are recognized for their (gifted) holiness or not. I am giving them credit, and I am not ashamed in it.

Opinions and words posted on forums, on the other hand..... well, put it this way, I could listen to what you're saying, in which case I'd have to immediately disregard it because of the manner in which it is being offered. †



 One thing that I am not fooled into thinking is that at any time you might take notice of what I say, however there is the opotunity to in the nature of your posting to make evident the corruption of beleif systems.
In the case in question the whole concept of God is lost in the concept of attributing words of wisdom to men rather than the source, GOD.
Consequently we have various men plagerising the word of God as passed through His appointed representatives up to and including His son.
Thereafter man apears to take credit and become the object of adoration numbing the minds of men in as much as they are led by men than God.

If for one moment I thought that the penny would drop and you see the iconic worship that leads you to adore the words of the men you quote then I would fall of me zimmer frame in an apopletic fit.  

Oh if I could find a wonderful well spoken man to follow, but would one be anough?  

bernard (hug)
JMC

Quote:
In the case in question the whole concept of God is lost in the concept of attributing words of wisdom to men rather than the source, GOD.


With regards to the bolded part, you do, and can only, speak for yourself. If reading these words makes you lose the concept of God, then I don't think I need to advise what the best thing is to do.

Of course, you don't actually think you're speaking only of yourself, and are instead presuming how others interpret these words and their relationship with God.
JMC

The Bible is in a sense a biography of God in this world. In it the Indescribable One has in a sense described Himself.

       The Holy Scriptures of the New Testament are a biography of the incarnate God in this world. In them it is related how God, in order to reveal Himself to men, sent God the Logos, Who took on flesh and became man, and as man told men everything that God is, everything that God wants from this world and the people in it.

       God the Logos revealed Godís plan for the world and Godís love for the world. God the Word spoke to men about God with the help of words insofar as human words can contain the uncontainable God.

       All that is necessary for this world and the people in it ó the Lord has stated in the Bible. In it He has given the answers to all questions. There is no question which can torment the human soul, and not find its answer, either directly or indirectly in the Bible.

       Men cannot devise more questions than there are answers in the Bible. If you fail to find the answer to any of your questions in the Bible, it means that you have either posed a senseless question or did not know how to read the Bible and did not finish reading the answer in it.

- Justin Popovich
bnabernard

it means that you have either posed a senseless question or did not know how to read the Bible and did not finish reading the answer in it.

- Justin Popovich

Get out of that without noddong your head,
Eric Morecombe



bernard (hug)
JMC

The Psalms

"When the Holy Spirit saw that the human race was guided only with difficulty toward virtue, and that, because of our inclination toward pleasure, we were neglectful of an upright life, what did He do? The delight of melody He mingled with the doctrines so that by the pleasantness and softness of the sound heard we might receive without perceiving it the benefit of the words, just as wise physicians who, when giving the fastidious rather bitter drugs to drink, frequently smear the cup with honey. Therefore, He devised for us these harmonious melodies of the Psalms, that they who are children in age, or even those who are youthful in disposition, might to all appearances chant but, in reality, become trained in soul. For never has any one of the many indifferent persons gone away easily holding in mind either an apostolic or prophetic message but they do chant the words of the Psalms, even in the home, and they spread them about in the market place, and if, perchance, someone becomes exceedingly wrathful, when he begins to be soothed by a Psalm, he departs with the wrath of his soul immediately lulled to sleep by means of the melody."
-St. Basil the Great



"Perhaps it will happen that you will die without having once in your life read in full the Psalter of David... You will die, and only then will good people read over your lifeless body this holy Psalter, which you had no time even, to open while you lived on earth! Only then, at your burial, will they sing over you the wondrously instructive, sweetly-wise-but alas, to you completely unknown-words of David: Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord... Blessed are they who search His testimonies. who keep His revelations, and seek Him with their whole heart. Do you hear: Blessed are they who search His testimonies, seek out the revelations of the Lord; and you had no time even to think of them! What will your poor soul feel then, your soul to which every word of the Psalmist, repeated by a reader or singer over your coffin, will sound as a strict reproach that you never read this sacred book?... Open now, before it is too late, this wondrous book of the Prophet King. Open it and read with attention at least this 118th Psalm, and you will involuntarily feel that your heart becomes humble, soft, that in the words of David are the words of the merit of God, and you will repeat involuntarily, many times, with sighing of heart, the verse of this Psalm: I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost; seek out Thy slave, Lord!"
-St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco
bnabernard

So now it was the Holy spirit that decided to flood the world.

bernard (hug)
JMC

On the Psalms contd...

"If we keep vigil in church, David comes first, last and central. If early in the morning we want songs and hymns, first, last and central is David again. If we are occupied with the funeral solemnities of those who have fallen asleep, or if virgins sit at home and spin, David is first, last and central. O amazing wonder! Many who have made little progress in literature know the Psalter by heart. Nor is it only in cities and churches that David is famous; in the village market, in the desert, and in uninhabitable land, he excites the praise of God. In monasteries, among those holy choirs of angelic armies, David is first, last and central. In the convents of virgins, where are the communities of those who imitate Mary; in the deserts where there are men crucified to the world, who live their life in heaven with God, David is first, last and central. All other men at night are overcome by sleep. David alone is active, and gathering the servants of God into seraphic bands, he turns earth into heaven, and converts men into angels."

-St John Chrysostom on the importance of the Psalms.
JMC

Such is [the heretics'] error, such their pestilent teaching; to support it they borrow the words of Scripture, perverting its meaning and using the ignorance of men as their opportunity of gaining credence for their lies. Yet it is certainly by these same words of God that we must come to understand the things of God. For human feebleness cannot by any strength of its own attain to the knowledge of heavenly things; the faculties which deal with bodily matters can form no notion of the unseen world. Neither our created bodily substance, nor the reason given by God for the purposes of ordinary life, is capable of ascertaining and pronouncing upon the nature and work of God. Our wits cannot rise to the level of heavenly knowledge, our powers of perception lack the strength to apprehend that limitless might. We must believe God's word concerning Himself, and humbly accept such insight as He vouchsafes to give. We must make our choice between rejecting His witness, as the heathen do, or else believing in Him as He is, and this in the only possible way, by thinking of Him in the aspect in which He presents Himself to us....

In this spirit we eschew all blasphemous and reckless assertion concerning God, and cleave to the very letter of revelation. Each point in our enquiry shall be considered in the light of His instruction, Who is our theme; there shall be no stringing together of isolated phrases whose context is suppressed, to trick and misinform the unpractised listener. The meaning of words shall be ascertained by considering the circumstances under which they were spoken; words must be explained by circumstances not circumstances forced into conformity with words. We, at any rate, will treat our subject completely; we will state both the circumstances under which words were spoken, and the true purport of the words. Each point shall be considered in orderly sequence.

- Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity
JMC

Do not grow conceited about your interpretations of Scripture, lest your intellect fall victim to blasphemy.
-St. Mark the Ascetic

When you hear the words of the Prophets, spoken as it were personally, do not imagine that they were spoken by the inspired persons themselves. It is the Divine Word Who moves them.
-St. Justin Martyr

Moreover, in regard to the righteousness which the law enjoined, the Prophets and the Gospels are found to be consistent with each other, because they all spoke as being inspired by the one Spirit of God.
-St. Theophilus of Antioch
JMC

The reading of the word of God should be performed in solitude, in order that the whole mind of the reader might be plunged into the truths of the Holy Scripture, and that from this he might receive warmth, which in solitude produces tears; from these a man is wholly warmed and is filled with spiritual gifts, which rejoice the mind and heart more than any word.

-St Seraphim of Sarov
JMC

Never cease studying the Gospel until the end of your life. Do not think you know it enough, even if you know it by heart. The Lord's commandments are exceedingly broad, even though they are expressed in few words. The Lord's commandment is infinite, just as the Lord Who uttered it is infinite. The practice of the commandments and progress in them is unlimited. The most perfect Christians, brought to a state of perfection by divine grace, remain imperfect in regards to the commandments of the Gospel.

-St Ignatius (Brianchaninov)
Leonard James

Erased for JMC.
JMC

ďIt would be better for the sun to fall from its orbit, than to neglect reading the Psalter, for it is of great benefit to study the psalms, and to read the Psalter diligently."
- St John Chrysostom
JMC

The word of God is food for the soul. The word of God is both power and light for the soul. He who reads the word of God gives food, power and light to his soul. He who can, should read read the word of God in Holy Scripture, and he who cannot shold listen to him who reads Holy Scripture. All the saints emphasized the benefit of reading Holy Scripture. St Seraphim of Sarov says: "The soul should be provided with the word of God. For the word of God, as Gregory the Theologian says, is the bread of angels, which feeds the soul that is hungry for God. But, above all, one should read the New Testament and the Psalter. From this proceeds the illumination of the mind.... It is very beneficial to read the word of God in solitude and to read the entire Bible with understanding. The Lord gives His mercy to a man for endeavoring to do this, more than for other good deeds, and fill him with the gift of understanding. When a man provides his soul with the word of God, then he is filled with the understanding of good and evil."

Saint Nikolai Velimirovich

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