Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church
Archpriest Steven C. Kostoff
4285 Ashland Ave, Cincinnati OH 45212 - (513) 351-0907

June 4, 2011


Chapters 12-16

Wednesday evenings beginning June 29:
7:00pm - Vespers
7:45pm - Bible Study

From Fr Steven:

Dear Parish Faithful,

Due to the importance I ascribe to our annual Summer Bible Study – one reason being that the Bible comes from and belongs to the Orthodox Church - I always begin with a letter of exhortation to try and “recruit” new participants before we begin each year.  Whether or not that exhortation falls on deaf ears or not, is beside the point.  My pastoral conscience impels me to make the effort, and every year it seems as if we have some new members that join our circle.  So, if you belong to the species of homo sapien, and if you are simultaneously a member of our parish, then this letter is meant for you.   Continue reading...

In addition to the above, I would simply ask everyone to at least reflect for a moment:
+  How do I view and understand the Bible?

+  Have I cultivated a "relationship" with the Holy Scriptures?

+  Do I read the Bible with any regularity?

+  How am I able to guard against a mere "personal interpretation" of what I read?

+  Have I ever discussed the content of the Bible with others in a group setting and with a leader/facilitator?

+  If not the parish Bible Study, then what kind of regularly-scheduled event would I commit to during the summer months? 

+  Why do I venerate St. Paul as a great saint?

+  Have I ever read his Epistle to the Romans?

+  Do I understand the Epistle readings on any given Sunday morning at the Liturgy?

+  If not, what can I do to help myself understand the Epistles better?
It is my humble opinion that most of those questions can be answered in a very positive way within the context of our Spring/Summer Bible Study.
To summarize:  The Spring/Summer Bible Study will begin Wednesday evening, June 29 - the Lord willing.
~ Fr. Steven


Some Background on the Letter to the Romans
(from the Orthodox Study Bible - New Testament)

Romans is Paul's most significant Letter.  It summarizes the entire gospel. St John Chrysostom calls Romans "a spiritual trumpet."
Romans is Paul's most logical letter. He argues his case like a lawyer. 

Romans is the only letter Paul wrote to a church he had not yet visited (1:11, 15:22). Paul was hoping to obtain Rome's support for his planned mission to Spain (15:24, 28, 29). Some have suggested Romans contains what Paul preached and taught when he visited churches in person.

Romans is Paul's most doctrinally oriented letter. While most of Paul's epistles correct doctrinal or moral problems, Romans proclaims the faith more completely and systematically, addressing few specific problems. St John Chrysostom says, "[Paul] abounded more than all the rest in the word of doctrine."

Join us on Wednesday evenings as we search the scriptures together and grow in faith and understanding!