After reading this post Oddities and the Orthodox Study Bible at Bryon’s Weblog, I commented that I too liked the OSB, to which Byron responded,
As I recall, you were everyone’s favorite guy that believed Jesus/Word is an emanation. And the Doctrine of the Trinity is more tradition than scripture. Hopefully I’m recalling correctly.
How come you’re attracted to a study Bible from the group (Orthodox) that formulated the original Doctrine of the Trinity? Inquiring minds want to know.
I had answered,
Indeed, I am Byron – and whose favorite am I?
I respect scholarship, and what better scholars than the Church Fathers. I do wish that they would have had more of Chrysostom and Augustine though.
It is essential to know the thoughts and understandings of those that formulated the doctrine, and further, they offer a great deal of insight in understanding the formulation. As well, some of their other doctrines I tend to agree with. Also, it has given me a greater appreciation of the Church Fathers.
But, as I sat pondering over that answer for the past few days, I thought of another.
In the world of one day religious wonders, cults, and new sects, we must be able to place our doctrine somewhere within the Apostles’ reach. I use the term ‘Economy’ (see The Two Hands of God and Towards a Biblically Based Theological Label) in explaining the relationship of Father and Son, finding the words of Ignatius most helpful, and biblical, over beyond that of ‘oneness’ or ‘modalist.’ Because I can find a linear thought from the Apostles to those that immediately followed them, I can place my views of the Godhead within reach of the Apostles. (Although that is debatable among the Trinitarians). Further, for our views on baptism, we can find that as well as modesty in appearance within reach as well. Unlike the many others who profess a new word or a new revelation, or admit that it seems only the Apostles followed their line of reasoning, it is important for me to be able to find one group after the Apostles have share my doctrine.
(Remember, the Mormons and other sects often claim that the true church disappeared with the death of the Apostles.)
Aren’t the Apostles enough? No. The New Testament has been twisted and turned by so many in attempts of getting it to agree with the current doctrinal trend that we must look for the generation(s) immediately following the Apostles – especially those that had met the Apostles – to truly get a grasp of what the Church understood the Apostles to mean.
Unlike many sects that spring up today, nothing of our own doctrine is based on some new revelation, but a call to an older understanding. I like the Orthodox Bible because it contains doctrines of which I would agree – Baptism, the Church, and others – and shows that this was not formulated by Councils but believe upon in antiquity. It shows that while there are great differences in some doctrines, we share a remarkable amount of thoughts and ideas. Plus, in many instances the men of old have a much better way of saying things than I do.
(This is one of the reasons that I must abandon the King James Version Only position – No version of Christianity held to such a view, although sometime later the Septuagint was held as an inspired translation with new translations from the original Hebrew meeting stiff resistance.)
So, why are other bloggers better than I? Because they push and push and get me thinking. I have to grow, and grow generally comes by friction.