The Annunciation

St. Ignatius of Antioch, martyred in Rome in about the year 107, wrote that along with the death of the Lord, the virginity of Mary and her giving birth were mysteries that were hidden from the ruler of this age, and were accomplished in the silence of God (To the Ephesians, 19.1). That is, their full significance were not immediately perceived by the world. This was certainly true, for when news of…

Covid Catechesis

As I write these words, we are under effective lockdown because of the spread of the Corona Virus, often referred to as “Covid 19”. In the current absence of a vaccine, the health departments of the various governments here in Canada have determined that the only way to slow the spread of the disease is by “social distancing”—i.e. by staying away from others by a distance of several feet. This obviously presents…

A Handsome Volume and a Valuable Resource

I note with satisfaction that Lexham Press has just produced a new translation of the Septuagint in English. It is of course not the only translation of the LXX on the market. As noted in the book’s Introduction, Lancelot Brenton produced a translation in the middle of the nineteenth century; NETS (or the New English Translation of the Septuagint) produced a volume recently under the supervision of my old Greek prof, Albert…

A Guest Post by Matushka Donna Farley: Lenten Distancing

Church closed. Community members scattered widely. Weeks without normal daily and weekly routine, without spiritual instruction, without icons to venerate, without Sunday eucharist, without community agape meals. This was the deliberate practice of the monastery of Abba Zosima in the sixth century Palestinian desert, every Lent. On the Sunday of Forgiveness, the brethren would prostrate themselves to each other and ask forgiveness and receive a blessing from their abbot. Then each would…

“You Are Gods”

A dear friend of mine suggested that I might be interested in the Biblical exegesis of Mike Heiser (of whom I had never heard), so I looked up some of his works available on Amazon. Amazon allows one to peruse the initial chapters of the books they offer for sale, so I was able to look at the first chapters of Heiser’s The Unseen Realm. There I learned that “a watershed moment”…

Listening In

Recently I had two lovely conversations. The first was with Octavio and Claire, who work at Regent College, Vancouver.  Regent College is a Christian liberal arts college, where for many years I have given a talk as a guest lecturer each fall on the subject of Orthodoxy.  They arrange for interviews with guests on a number of topics, and they invited me to come and be interviewed by them about the history…