Your Kerygmata Ran Over My Dogma
Friday September 21st 2007, 3:03 am
Filed under: Patristics

Kevin has posted my favorite passage from St. Basil, on Scripture and Tradition.

Concerning the teachings of the Church, whether publicly proclaimed (kerygmata) or reserved to members of the household of faith (dogmata), we have received some from written sources, while others have been given to us secretly, through apostolic tradition. Both sources have equal force in true religion. No one would deny either source—no one, at any rate, who is even slightly familiar with the ordinances of the Church. If we attacked unwritten customs, claiming them to be of little importance, we would fatally mutilate the Gospel, no matter what our intentions—or rather, we would reduce the Gospel teachings to bare words…

Do read the rest.


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He beat me to it!! We just talked about St. Basil and this passage yesterday in my development of doctrine and Tradition class and I was going to post it later on today! Early bird gets the worm I guess….

Comment by Danny Garland Jr. 09.21.07 @ 11:30 am

What fun! I’m glad to know that St Basil the Great is on everyone’s minds! On the Holy Spirit is the most memorable of patristic writings to me, leading to my own personal renaissance of faith nearly ten years ago. It’s fair to say that it was the luminous reasoning of St Basil’s writing that led me away from the modernist “we know better than they did” mindset into the depths and heights of the Fathers, and thence to Orthodoxy. Thank you St Basil!

I posted this quote in a roundabout way. I was busy reading some very dry archaeological stuff, and felt a need for a Patristic pick-me-up. So, I took down my copy of J. Robert Wright’s Readings for the Daily Office from the Early Church (the first Patristic compilation I ever picked up, by the way) and, as usual, flipped it open to randomly find something edifying. I landed upon a selection for St Basil that included an excerpt of the above passage, so I went to the full translation in the St Vladimir’s Seminary Press Popular Patristic Series, which Mike and I have both recommended in the past. That’s how that happened!

Also, in case folks don’t know, SVS Press has just come out with a very welcome new addition to the series: St Gregory the Great’s Book of Pastoral Rule. My copy arrived just last week, and I haven’t yet had a chance to read it, but a quick flip through shows it to be of the same quality of translation as all the others in the series, clear, contemporary language, in the usual high quality binding and perfect size for slipping into a pocket or purse for reading (they’re all about 4″x6″).

Comment by Kevin P. Edgecomb 09.21.07 @ 2:07 pm



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