Christ is risen!
Fr Stephen has written a post worth reading called, “An Orthodox Hermeneutic.” In my short and limited experience with Orthodoxy, I have to admit that a lot of what he says makes sense. Personally, I no longer adhere to Sola Scriptura since it strips Scriptures out of the very context that created them and gives them meaning — the Church and its Living Tradition. In addition both modern biblical scholarship and the teaching from the pulpit are examples of what happens when Sola Scriptura runs its course — every person has an interpretation of Scripture.
Yet, at a deep level, I also struggle with some of what Fr Stephen says. I have my own pet biblical interpretations and some of them are not embraced by the Orthodox Church. In those moments, I have to ask myself, “Can I honestly hold up the interpretative conclusions that I have reached from my limited study before 2000 years of the Church’s Living Tradition and believe that I’m right and they’re wrong?” You see, it boils down to pride rather that correct interpretation. Here’s a bit from Fr Stephen’s post:
“Thus it is that the Church itself is the proper hermeneutic of Scripture – having been written by Christ, ministered by the apostles, not with ink, “but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” Thus, to a certain extent, to say that the Scriptures are the Church’s book is a tautology. Either the Church is that epistle, written in the fleshy tables of the heart, or it is not the Church at all. It is partly for this reason that Orthodoxy sees the interpretation of Scripture as something that does not take place apart from the Church nor without the Church, but in the midst of the Church, which is herself the very interpretation, constantly echoing the Word of God in her services, sacraments, and all of her very life.
“It is, of course, the case that there are things to be found within the Church that are not “of” the Church, but are things to be purged, to be removed, to be met with repentance. Indeed the life of the Orthodox Church is only rightly lived as a life of constant repentance. “A broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 50 (51):17.”