Posted October 07, 2011 12:12:48Catholicism and Orthodoxy are not quite the same, but they are a fascinating combination, says a senior Catholic and the director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Cambridge, Mass.
“I think Catholics and Orthodox Christians share a common commitment to truth,” says Professor Christopher Osterholm, a professor of history at the University of Michigan.
Catholics and Orthodox believers are very different,” he says. “
And we both also believe that it is the Holy Scriptures that define the Catholic faith and its meaning.”
“Catholics and Orthodox believers are very different,” he says.
“There is much that is good about both religions, and there are things that are really bad about both.”
But while the two communities share many common features, they also share certain differences.
Osterhamms view is that there is no single ‘true’ Catholic or Orthodox.
“They are both about the word of God,” Osterheim says.
“There is no such thing as ‘Catholic’ or ‘Orthodox’ in either of them.”‘
A different language’Many of the problems between the two faiths stem from their different ways of understanding the Scriptures, which is why many of the same passages have been translated into both languages and used interchangeably.
“We think there is an inherent conflict between our two approaches to the Word of God, but we don’t have to look too deeply to see that there are two very different ways that the word is understood by both communities,” says Osterhof.
“The first way is that we think the Word is in two places, but the other way is we think that it comes from two sources: Scripture and Tradition.”
“Both of those are true, but it’s very different, because they’re two different languages,” he adds.
The second way of understanding Scripture, he says, is called the ‘New Testament’ or the ‘canon.’
“The New Testament is really the Bible of the Christian tradition.
The New Testament was written in the New Testament Church.
It’s the canon, and that is what the Church Fathers used to refer to it,” Oterholm says.
He says the Church has adopted a number of different versions of the Bible, such as the Greek New Testament, the Latin Vulgate, the Armenian New Testament and the Ethiopic New Testament.
“It’s an ancient tradition.
We’ve got a number,” he explains.
But the Bible is often interpreted in different ways by different churches.
“You’ll see a lot of that in the different versions.
Some versions of that text have been taken from the Hebrew Bible, but other versions have been inspired by other texts that are a little more contemporary, like the New King James Bible,” he continues.”
For example, the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Septum of Old Testament, has been inspired quite a bit by other translations of the Old Testament.””
There’s a lot that is inspired from other traditions, and it’s often very close to the original,” Oesterholm says, pointing to the Bible’s relationship with the Torah.”
But in the end, the Old and New Testament are all the same.”‘
The Bible is a language of the world’For some, that might be too much to ask.
“If you take the Bible literally, the Bible will always be a language that is a part of the larger world,” says professor Oster.
“In some ways, it will always have an important role to play in the lives of people around the world.”
This is a beautiful thing.
It makes people happy.
It gives people hope.
It helps people understand that God wants to do things for the good of people.
“Osterholm’s views on the meaning of Scripture are shared by many, including Osterhals students and the president of the University, William A. Smith.”
A lot of what they’re saying is true, I think,” Smith says.”[But] it doesn’t mean that we have to be faithful to it.
We should have our own way of interpreting it, because we are a people who have a different language.””
A language of love”The differences between the churches are also reflected in the ways they deal with issues of poverty and social injustice.
Oester says that, historically, the two churches have often disagreed on what is wrong with the world, but that the current climate of social justice is “unlikely to change anytime soon.””
The situation is not getting any better, and so there is still a lot to be done,” he said.”
And the way we can address the issue of poverty is by helping people who are poor to get the support they need.””
If we do that, we can make a difference,” Smith adds.”
That’s the reason I’m happy to say that the Church in the United States has made a commitment to addressing poverty in the next