Vol. 54, No. 6 (323) November-December, 2018
On Holy Pentecost
by St. John Chrysostom
This issue of
The Orthodox Word features a sermon on the feast of Pentecost by the “golden-tongued” preacher of the Orthodox Church, St. John Chrysostom. The homily, which appears here for the first time in English, was delivered by the saint when he was still a priest in Antioch, between the years 386 and 397. Like St. Gregory the Theologian before him, St. John devoted much of his Pentecost homily to the Orthodox understanding of the Holy Spirit. In delivering their pneumatological discourses, the Holy Fathers at the end of the fourth century were responding to the need to combat the errors of the Pneumatomachians, a sect that denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit.
In the same homily, St. John answers a question that was heard even in his era: “Why did all those baptized [on Pentecost] speak in tongues at that time, but no longer now?” Today, when “speaking in tongues” and all manner of other outward signs have become the very basis of worship in many non-Orthodox churches, St. John’s reply to this question is just as relevant, if not more so, as it was in the fourth century.
Also featured in this issue is a talk given by Archpriest Oleg Stenyaev entitled “The Family Tragedy of King David.” Fr. Oleg is a missionary-minded Moscow priest who often gives talks on Old Testament themes. In this one he speaks about the tragic relationship between King David and his wayward son Absalom, while drawing forth lessons for his contemporary audience. This lecture was originally given in 2015 on the popular Russian radio program,
This issue also contains
The Orthodox Word Index for 2018.