Re: Learning from the first heirs of Jesus, p. 9, Oct/Nov. 2020.
Though well-intentioned, the article on apostolic interpretation through an early patristic lens is misleading in its characterization of tradition, orthodoxy and the focus of patristic writings up to the third century.
Orthodox scholars, such as John Behr, have been engaged in similar source-text and milieu studies for the past 25 years. Their published works show clearly that the tradition called into question is comparable to that of articles 7 and 8 in the Augsburg Confession [The Church].
Likewise, orthodoxy in the first four centuries was hardly monolithic, but an ongoing dialogue of Christians interpreting Scriptures (Old Testament) as speaking about Jesus Christ and reflecting on the anthropological meaning of Christ’s death as the Son of God. As the patristic authors themselves knew, and those like St. Paul preached, the living experience of Jesus Christ in the Church and the Church’s encounter with those she serves is the source of Christian ethical reflection—not the Scriptures read for their legal content.—Rev. John Boyd, Kamloops, BC