Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Place of the Apocalypse in the Canon of St. Gregory Nazianzen

 By Frank Thielman

After explicitly naming every other New Testament book but the Apocalypse, St. Gregory Nazianzen closes his poetical list of ‘the genuine books of the inspired scripture’ with the statement, ‘You have all. And if there be any outside these, it is not among the genuine books’ (Πάσας ἔχεις. εἴ τι δὲ τούτων ἐκτός, οὐκ ἐν γνησίαις).1 Studies of the New Testament canon commonly understand the omission of any clear reference to the Apocalypse in the list and these definitive closing statements to mean that Gregory did not view the Apocalypse as canonical.2 If so, then Gregory, whose list comes from sometime in the 380s, did not agree with Athanasius’ judgement in his famous Easter letter of 367 but took the position of many in the fourth-century eastern church that the Apocalypse stands among the excluded books. Three pieces of evidence, however, should caution against coming to this conclusion too hastily.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A Gift Greater Than Clairvoyance, Foresight and Prophecy

By Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi

When I was a young monk, I was impressed by clairvoyance, foresight and the prophetic gift. Wherever I heard that there was an elder with such gifts I ran with enthusiasm to meet him.

Now that I'm old, I'm not impressed by these gifts.

For me it is more valuable to meet a man who has patience without complaining during long-term and painful sicknesses. This moves me and teaches me. 
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

Friday, November 19, 2021

The Prophet Obadiah and the Day of the Lord

By Dr. Athanasios Moustakis

On November 19, the Prophet Obadiah is celebrated in the Orthodox Church. His vision has been recorded in and is the smallest book of the Old Testament. The name Obadiah probably means "servant of God" and apparently was quite common in the Old Testament, since within the pages of its books it appears a total of thirteen people carry it.

In this little book we find a characteristic prophetic expression, the expression "Day of the Lord", which also appears in the books of the prophets Joel (1:15, 2:1, 4:14), Zephaniah (1:14), Malachi (3:19), Isaiah (13:9), Jeremiah (32:33) and Ezekiel (7:10, 13:5). It does not appear in any other books of the Old Testament except in the prophetic ones we have noted, and refers to the day when the will of God will prevail in our world, restoring injustice, eradicating evil, and presenting to all the glorious name of God.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Vaccines and the Antichrist

By Metropolitan Nektarios of Kerkyra

We are not entitled to take responsibility for what does not belong to us. It is inconceivable to read how there are spiritual fathers who threaten with a penance to abstain from Holy Communion those who are vaccinated! Our spiritual authority is to "bind and loose" sins and not to deal with medical issues and to make our personal positions and views positions and views of God and the Church.

It is a delusion to shift the events of the times to an eschatological level and take risks by scaring people that the end of the world is near.

It is a delusion to think that those who have been vaccinated have become followers of the Antichrist.

It is a delusion to believe that the freedom of our will is abolished with the vaccine. This freedom is an element of the image of God given to us by the Holy Spirit.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Was a Portion of the Book of Revelation Written on the Greek island of Kythera?

On an imposing mountain above Kapsali, the port of Chora on the island of Kythera, is perched the Church of Saint John on the Cliff. At an altitude of about 100 meters above sea level, and after climbing 130 steps into a beautiful pine forest, the visitor is in front of a cave, in which is a small church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.

Above the arched entrance is the guest house, with two rooms and a kitchen, originally built 500 years ago. Approximately 5-6 monks once lived at this skete in a couple of small cells nearby.

There are also ceramic basins for collecting water which was used for holy water and from which the faithful drank to cure their diseases. On the iconostasis there is the old icon of Saint John the Baptist which is the work of the great Cretan painter Angelos Akotantos of the 15th century which was offered by the Cretan Peter Kastrophylakas. Also on the iconostasis there is the icon of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist on which there is painted the coat of arms of the Kaloutsis family and the words: "Prayer of the servant of God George Kaloutsis". At the entrance there is a built-in marble plaque on which is written the name of the monk Ioannikios Saninos, who renovated the shrine in 1725. Around the church there are renovated buildings where monks could be accommodated.