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The Message of the Bible: An Orthodox Christian Perspective
|St Vladimirs Seminary Pr (1982)|
|1 copy available|
|From a reveiwer:|
The author, a college teacher of philosophy and comparative religion, sought to provide an introduction to the Scriptures that would reflect the role they play in the entirety of Orthodox tradition. In his introduction, Cronk makes clear that in the Orthodox Church, the reading of Scripture must be influenced by the life of the Church--the Church after all existed before the Bible. This is an important point to grasp for the American Protestant converts for whom Cronk was writing. Cronk also makes clear that the Orthodox Church does not take a literal reading of Scripture like those who believe in, say, a literal six-day creation. Rather, the contents of the Bible contain all that is spiritually true in the context of ancient storytelling.
Cronk describes the construction of the Bible: Old Testament laws and history, wisdom literature and prophets, New Testament gospels, Pauline epistles, catholic epistles and Relevation. But this is all in the most elementary and "non-denominational" terms. The book could have lived up to its title had it actually talked more of the meaning of certain key passages in the life of the Orthodox Church. The burning bush has often been seen in the Orthodox Church as prefiguring the life of the Theotokos, and this has influenced iconography, but Cronk doesn't discuss this. Nor does he speak of the three angels whom Abraham served at the oak of Mamre, who are seen to represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and who inspired one of the greatest of all icons, the Holy Trinity of St. Andrei Rublev.
As a basic introduction to the organization and content of the Bible, Cronk's book works. However, there is little content explaining the meaning of the Bible in the fullness of Orthodox tradition.