God’s Word is revealed through man’s experience with God. In God’s word, we meet with Christ the Word. The Book says, “We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you dwell to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pet 1: 19). When we start to read the Bible, God’s word appears closed to us. But through experiencing and living the word of God by faith, our path becomes clear and our day illuminates. So we comprehend the true light of God, which is concealed in His word.
The word of God incarnates in stages that are very similar to the stages of pregnancy and delivery. The soul that adores the truth, and worships it in the heart, receives the annunciation of the word through a mysterious inexpressible inner joy, that’s unseen to people. The store of the bread of life suddenly opens its doors to the soul, which sees it, comprehends it, and enjoys its fullness. At this stage, the soul is totally incapable to express or to utter the thoughts, feelings, and reflections, even to itself. It perceives everything, but still, is unable to witness to it. The mouth becomes closed as Zacharias’ mouth after the angel announced the birth of St. John the Baptist.
The soul goes through a phase very similar to the period of pregnancy, where it deals with this new discovery, and experiences it from inside. It enjoys the word, contemplates in it, and discovers its minute details. These details purify and reform the soul itself, as the word of God grows from inside until it fills the spirit and the mind. Due to this growth, the newness of the soul cannot be hidden anymore. So, the sacrament of the word grows in the soul which “keeps all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Lk 2: 19). This is why St. Paul says, “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” (Gal 4: 19). Hence, Christ the Word Himself spiritually forms us and is formed in us. He was formed inside the virgin’s womb, representing the human race. And as she bears Him, we mentally receive Him, and keep Him inside of us as a hidden leaven in three measures of meal (the body, the soul, and the spirit) until it becomes all leavened. The time of the mental birth is reached when we bear the image of Christ, and the spirit bears the fruit of the practiced word of God. The fruit of the tree of life appears appealing and ripe; through eating it we live forever.
Let us move forward together, in the light of the “Word of Life” to pave a roadway to the heavenly life and prepare a place in our hearts for Him to rest. F. Y.
The second article “The Bible and its Interpretation”, by Fr. Duane M. Johnson, is continuation to the article posted before.
The third article is “A Brief History of the Bible (Part 2)”by Robie I. Samanta Roy.
Starting with this issue, we begin a special section on “Patristic Interpretations of the Scriptures”. This series of articles is provided by Fr. George Dragas on the bases of “St. Cyril’s interpretation of the Scriptures.” Fr. George has translated St. Cyril texts into English for the first time from their original Greek language and they are published for the first time in the “Word of Life Magazine.” Fr. George Dragas, is a Professor at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He is a specialist in St. Athanasius, having written his doctorate on his doctrine of Christ. At present he is working on St. Cyril, whom he regards as a great treasure of the universal Church. His attachment to these two great Fathers has led him to love the Alexandrian Church and to develop a great interest in the Coptic Church.
The Arabic section articles start with “Lectionary Teachings on the Mystery of Incarnation" by Fouad N. Youssef
The second Arabic article, “The Banquet of the Messiah in the New Testament (1),” is acontinuation to the series posted before by Dr. Rodolph Yanney. The thirdarticle, “The Prophets Before Exile” by Mrs. Nadia Monir, is a study of the books of prophets. In this issue, we present the “Book of Amos (2).”
We thank every person that offered help in translation and transcription, asking the Lord to reward them with His heavenly blessings.
This is the first issue of Volume II. We like to remind the subscriber to send the subscription for the Second Volume. Also, we ask for your continued prayers for the success of this work in glorifying God’s name.