By St. Hilarion Troitsky
HOLY SCRIPTURE AND THE CHURCH In the Church there are no stone tablets upon which letters were written by the Divine finger. The Church possesses her Holy Scripture, but the One who established the Church left nothing in writing. Only once was it mentioned of Christ in John’s Gospel, how leaning down He had written something: even then, Christ wrote using his finger and made marks upon the ground. Who knows? It may be even possible that he did not write any words, but had merely drawn some patterns with His finger pointing to the ground. Nevertheless, the Church has a Scripture, which is called by her – Holy and Divine. Christ left nothing in writing. It seems quite likely that one who ponders this fact would grasp clearly the very essence of Christ’s mission. The other religious leaders of humanity, the founders of different philosophical schools, have written willingly and in abundance, yet Christ wrote nothing at all. Would this not mean that the work of Christ, in its essence, has nothing in common with the endeavors of other philosophers, teachers or other outstanding representatives of mankind’s intellectual life!? Furthermore, did the Church ever view her Founder as one of the teachers of humanity? Has she ever considered His teachings as the quintessential purpose of His mission? No, the Christian Church with the outmost exertion of her theological abilities has held firm the greatest truth of religion – that Christ is the incarnate on earth Only-begotten Son of God, of one Essence with God the Father. For that truth, all the greatest Fathers of the Church were willing to put their lives at stake. They stood fearless in the battle for this truth. Here they didn’t back off even for an inch before their adversaries, quite literarily not even for a single Iota, since this Iota (ι) in the Greek language denotes the difference between the words “of similar essence” (oJmoiou>siov) and “of one essence” (oJmoou>siov). “Those, who are called Arians by the Christians, abide in deep and extreme delusion” writes Saint Athanasius the Great. In such unbending terms this Diamond of Orthodoxy holds the opinion that it is impossible to be a Christian if one denies the Incarnation of the Son of God, Who is of one Essence with God the Father.