Originally posted as "Baaaad Exegesis" by Fr. Aris Metrakos.
Scripture separated from its context can be confusing, misleading, and even destructive. Take the well-worn Bible college criticism of the way Orthodox and Roman Catholic faithful address their clergy, Matthew 23:9 (call no man father). The literal application of Mark 16:19 (snake-handling) is downright scary. Women's southern summertime fashions being what they are, I'm grateful that no one is advocating an exact application of Mark 9:47 (if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out).
The ripping and twisting of scripture is not the sole domain of the folks who think that mega-churches are "non-denominational" and that the Orthodox Church was "founded" in the 19th century with the rise of nationalism. We Orthodox also know how to play the game of "Bible pick and choose." My favorite contemporary Orthodox exegetical distortion is Luke 15:4: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?"
Unless otherwise specified, the articles here are posted by Father Aleksey, who has no sense of humor and is extremely straight forward.
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