On November 12, the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, who is in the USA with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All Russia and at the invitation of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada, attended the plenary sessions of the academic-theological conference on “Search for Scriptures”, which took place at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York.
The conference gathered leading American specialists in the New Testament studies, including Professor Emeritus Carl Holladay, Kendler School of Theology, the Emory University; Professor of Biblical Studies Craig Keenner, Asbury Theological Seminary; Professor of New Testament Studies Gregory Sterling, Yale School of Divinity; Professor Emeritus Edit Humphrey, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; Prof Garwood Anderson, dean of the Nashotah-House Theological Seminary; Mr John Barnet, Associate Professor at the Chair of the New Testament, St. Vladimir’s Seminary; Associate Professor Bruce Beck, the Holy Cross Seminary in Brooklyn, MA; Prof of Religion and Philosophy James Walles, dean of the Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Ten.
Each of the scholars who came to St. Vladimir’s Seminary presented a paper. Many speakers pointed to the importance of dialogue between the Orthodox Church and representatives of the contemporary biblical scholarship, which for the most part ignores the patristic tradition of interpreting Holy Scriptures while in Orthodoxy precisely this tradition is considered normative.
Summing up the conference, Metropolitan Hilarion noted that the four canonical Gospels are the main and only sources from which information about the life and teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ should be drawn. Neither the apocryphal Gospels, nor any other “alternative sources” can be perceived as containing reliable information about Him. And the most authoritative interpretations of the Gospels is that which has formed within the Church and has been approved by it. At the same time, Orthodox theologians should not ignore the achievements of contemporary Bible studies in those aspects that do not contradict the Orthodox doctrine. Dialogue between representatives of the Orthodox Church and contemporary biblical scholarship is important for the both sides, Metropolitan Hilarion emphasized.
DECR Communication Service