Panagiotes Boumis

Concerning our contacts with the heterodox

translated by: Dr Miodrag Petrović

pages: 93-101

Abstract

This contribution tries to interpret in the clear way the vers of St. John's Second Epistle 10: „ ... neither bid him God-speed".

Many have been puzzled by such a stern prohibition to greet an Heterodox, especially because this prohibition comes from the Evangelist of Love. This seems to be contradictory with the Lord's sayiing: „And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even publicans so?" (Math 5,47).

In St. John’s „neither bid him God-speed" the Greek original in reality says: „Neither bid him ’rejoice". One must keep in mind that the Lord also in His sermons used the word „aspasasthe" (greet ye), and not „hairetesate" (rejoice ye). That means that he recommends to the Apostles entering the house „aspasasthe" (auten) and not „hairetesate" (auten). That means that the difference is made between a simple greeting and the wish of rejoicing. That is because the beloved disciple of Christ, Evangelist John, as well as his Lord ,are inseparably linking joy with truth. St. Paul is indicating all the same reality in 1 Cor 13,6. One who does not possess truth in him, can neither possess the authentic joy. That is why St. John said: „Neither bid him rejoice". If an Orthodox would greet like this an Heterodox that would be rather an empty politeness and even hypocrisy. If an Orthodox would sincerely greet an Heterodox with „rejoice", that would mean that he recognizes that the Heterodox possess joy together with truth, which would, furthermore, suppose relativization of his own Orthodoxy.

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