Monday, 1 February 2010


One of the challenges I face (indeed, we all face), when we read the "New Testament" in the Bible, is the matter of context. A lot of the Biblical material is based in Greek philosophy. If you don't understand Greek philosophy — particularly Plato and Aristotle — you'll have trouble figuring out what the New Testament writers were saying, particularly outside the gospels and the Acts of the Apostles.

We all live in a specific context. Our 21st century context is radically different from that of the New Testament writers and their ethos of Greek philosophy. And, as in everything else, much gets lost in translation.

I find it increasingly frustrating to have to deal with the Greek philosophy, which influenced the Christian Church well into the middle ages (and in some cases, right up to today). I'm not alone in that. When the Renaissance came along, people were thinking "outside the box" of Greek philosophy — and the battle lines were drawn along that front. (The people who say it was "science versus religion" do not understand the deeper philosophical context that motivated the battle.)

Today, there is much science can tell us about life. which is good. And there is much, particularly about relationship, which science cannot, at this point, measure. Love is one of those items; "compassion" (if you prefer that word). Neither of those is logical or based in science, yet we dare to believe in them.

All very interesting.

About the icon of St. Anthony . . .
The icon comes from Eastern Christian Supply Company. With thanks!