Exodus and Isaiah in Orthodox Christian Tradition: Freedom, Faith and Prophecies

Bible Study on Exodus, photo by Luke Soboleski

Join us in this Bible Study co-hosted by the Bucknell University Orthodox Christian community and St. John’s Russian Orthodox Mission Church in Lewisburg, PA. Video summaries follow below of our “live” Bible Studies usually held on Sundays at 2:30 p.m. at the Bucknell University Barnes & Noble Bookstore Cafe (to confirm the schedule, please see stjohnthewonderworker.com). All are welcome regardless of background and no homework or previous knowledge is needed! (For video summaries of our earlier Bible Study, “Genesis and Job in the Orthodox Tradition,” please look here.)

Learn how the Church Fathers and Orthodox Tradition provide truths that go far deeply beyond the famous 1956 American film The Ten Commandments (which in many ways represented the high-water mark of what is called American “civil religion”), by drawing on Scripture and Tradition that date back across cultures and geography and generations to the days of Moses in the 16th century BC, accounts from more than 3,600 years ago, to find their fulfillment in our Lord’s Orthodox Church today. For biblical study we as Orthodox Christians turn to the holy elders, saints, and prophets of the Church, seeing in the Old Testament the prefiguring of the full realization of its accounts in our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ (still the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, “He Who Is”), and His Church as the new Israel, leading us out from the bondage of sin and death and freeing us from Pharaohs ancient and modern. We read the Bible both literally and, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Church, symbolically, while we pray and struggle together to put into practice unworthily but with God’s grace what we learn.

As the Apostle Paul puts it: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16). And the Holy Prophet Solomon: “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Prov. 30:5-6). To which St. John Chrysostom adds: “This is the cause of all evils: the ignorance of the Scriptures. We go into battle without arms, and how ought we to come off safe?”

Introduction to Exodus, and Exodus 1-2
Freedom, and Exodus 3-4
Exodus 5-6
Exodus 7-12
Exodus 12-15
Exodus 16-20. I just wanted unworthily to share briefly at this juncture in our study of Exodus, as we read in the Septuagint of Moses’ appointment of teachers of the law and the writings revealed to him and written by him, my memories of first reading the Bible, more than three millennia after Moses. It was a children’s Bible that my dad’s Irish Catholic aunt Mary gave me, and then I must have been in middle school when I got a King James Version Bible at the now-closed North Park College Covenant bookstore in an old Swedish neighborhood in Chicago, part of my mom’s heritage. I would read the KJV Bible at night under a blanket with a flashlight or in a closet, because in our Unitarian-Universalist family being too interested in the Bible was considered a potential problem. During my time as a Christian Scientist I would study the KJV along with its gnostic Bible Lessons. It took me a long time to understand that the Bible involves more than reading. The Holy Scriptures are about embodied doing and living related to the Incarnation of Christ, nestled within the ark of the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church, which in unbroken historical tradition brought them forth for us from God, and which in Her Ecumenical Councils, Church Fathers, saints, and elders provides a sure guide through the Holy Spirit. My early love of Scriptures unworthily through God’s grace helped move me very sinfully (like the children of Israel of old heading out of Egypt) towards the Truth that I did not know, our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ in His Church. As St. Cyprian of Carthage truly said, to have God is our Father, we must have the Church as our Mother. Within Her, the Body of Christ, we find the fulfillment of the Old Testament and the coming forth in our lives of the New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ. Glory to God!
Exodus 20. The Ten Commandments.
Exodus 21-22 in light of the Orthodox Church Fathers. Please note that Bible Study after 8/13 will be on pause until it resumes, God willing, in October. We encourage you to engage in prayerful study of the Holy Scriptures in the Orthodox Tradition in the meantime with the Fathers, and resources such as the Orthodox Study Bible, Glory to God!
From our last meeting before our “break.” God willing, we will resume Sun. Oct. 1, 2:30 p.m., with Exodus 25-28. Glory to God!

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