This book puts forward the view that Holy Scripture is part of holy tradition, and that holy tradition is the revelation of God, which was given once and for all to the saints on the day of Pentecost, and remains within the Church. When we speak of the revelation of God we mean first and foremost God’s manifestation of Himself to mankind.
The first chapter of the book, entitled ‘The Revelation of God’, and the section on ‘The Interrelationship between Holy Scripture, Tradition, Church and Saints’ explain that the tradition is preserved within the Church, which is the true Body of Christ, and the Church interprets revelation. Holy Scripture is not more important than holy tradition, but one of its forms. The saints, living organically united with the Church and enlightened by the Holy Spirit, receive God’s revelation and then give it authoritative expression. Revelation is closely linked with Orthodox teaching. The holy Fathers communicate the tradition, and are inspired and unerring teachers of the Church. ‘Prior Conditions for the Orthodox Interpretation of Holy Scripture’ asserts that the interpretation of the Scriptures is not just a matter of historical or philological knowledge, and does not depend on our intellectual abilities or human wisdom. Not everyone can interpret Holy Scripture, because our understanding of biblical texts is commensurate with our spiritual experience and spiritual life. The third part, ‘St Gregory Palamas as an Interpreter of the Scriptures’, sets out the truths of the Orthodox faith as they appear in the saint’s writings, and the way in which, inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, he interprets the Scriptures. As a genuine theologian and an ascetic who had seen God, St Gregory Palamas shows us the way to Orthodox theology. Having experienced the uncreated Light, he acquired spiritual kinship with all the saints, and thus became an authoritative commentator on the Scriptures and a divinely-inspired bearer of the tradition. Finally, in the fourth chapter, there are various texts by contemporary theologians, which refer to the revelation of God. In these passages we can see the variety of their gifts, but also their unity. It is emphasised that the Church writes and interprets Holy Scripture through the saints, and that the revelation of God is not completely identical with Holy Scripture. This book makes readers aware of Orthodox theology and life. Anyone who lives within the Church as a faithful member is changed, born again, and in a mysterious way receives the tradition and creates tradition.
Μητροπολίτης Ναυπάκτου Ιερόθεος