We are tasked today with blogging about ignorance, and based on the quotes selected by Fr. Peck I think we are encouraged to talk about ignorance of scripture. This is a _huge_ problem in the Orthodox world at the lay and clerical levels. Among clergy, there is a tendency to overemphasize the Church Fathers to the detriment of scripture, even though the Fathers were by and large interpreting scripture. Shouldn’t we know our source material? If you search online – I will not link to it – there is a book on patristic wisdom that is subtitled “The Bible of Orthodox Spirituality” – and that is not a joke! There is also an ignorance of Hebrew – in my large graduating class from seminary only a couple of us knew Hebrew. Knowing Hebrew and other semitic languages gives you amazing insights into the original thinking of the scriptural writers.
On the lay level the main problem is lack of interest or, more likely, lack of time for reading the Bible. And those of us who grew up in the Church largely did not grow up in a Bible-reading culture the way a Baptist, say, would have. Yet until recently knowledge of scripture was the mark of a sophisticated and intelligent person, regardless of how devout he was. Muslims – again, no matter how devout – know their scripture. Admittedly, the Qur’an is even shorter than our New Testament, but still…We need to read the Bible!