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THE ORTHODOX FAITH:
What's Orthodoxy?
Who started it?
Is it 2000 year old,
before catholicism
and protestantism?

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Church's Heritage


"The shadow of the law hath passed, and Grace hath come" (Octoechos, Dogmatic Theotokion of the 2nd Tone). The prefiguring paled before the Truth; the shadows that come just before dawn were dispersed when the Sun shone forth. There are no more Old Testament sacrifices; not only in the sense that they have lost their significance, but they no longer exist even physically. There is no tabernacle; there is no Old Testament temple in Jerusalem; the Jews have no high priest or priesthood according to the Law.

The Kingdom of Christ has come. And the very core of the Old Testament law God's Ten commandments, which were given on Mount Sinai yield their place to the commandments which were proclaimed on another mountain, the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount.

Two ancient commandments remain unshaken: that concerning loving God with all one's heart, all one's soul, and all one's mind, and the second concerning loving one's neighbor as oneself. They constitute the ideological essence of the Old Testament: the Saviour said that all the Law and the Prophets were based in them. But concerning love for one's neighbor, the Lord gave us a new, more exalted commandment, during His parting discourse with His disciples: A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Here the previous commandment is not abolished, but is exalted by the concept of love to the level of self-denial, of love which is greater than the love one has for oneself

At the Mystical Supper, the Lord revealed the mystical truth of the establishment of the New Testament: This cup is the New Testament in My blood. This truth became the subject of the Apostles' preaching.

Nevertheless, the Old Testament remains the foundation on which the Church of Christ stands and rises up to the heavens. The cornerstones of this foundation are the books of the Old Testament Bible: the nomothetic, historical, didactic and prophetic books. They contain great prophecies about Christ and an almost unlimited number of foreshadowings and reflections of the coming New Testament. In them, we hear early calls to repentance, meekness, and mercy, which were later proclaimed in all their force and depth in the preaching of the Gospel. In them, we find numerous examples of piety and an abundance of moral edification. Eternal truths about God, the world, man, sin, about the necessity of redemption and about the coming of the awaited Redeemer are here revealed to mankind.

Illuminated by the light of the Gospel, and with its full meaning revealed by the New Testament Church, the Old Testament Bible remains an inseparable part of the heritage of Christianity.


Missionary Leaflet # E82
Copyright 2001 Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission
466 Foothill Blvd, Box 397, La Canada, Ca 91011
Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant)


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