St. Irenaeus Ministries
Scripture Studies brought to you by the St. Irenaeus Center.
St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

The Lord exhorts the Hebrews present at the Jordan to follow His law, unlike the generation of Sinai.  The law is more than a dated legal code applicable only to this ancient people.  Careful study of this book brings a deep understanding of our faith.  Deuteronomy was well studied by Jesus and Paul, and its study is strongly encouraged by the Psalmist.

Direct download: DeuteronomyPodcastEpisode3.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EST

The dating of the book of Deuteronomy is discussed.  Archaeological and Biblical evidence is considered, as well as its literary style in comparison to Suzerain treaties of the time.

Direct download: DeuteronomyPodcastEpisode2.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Deuteronomy is the book of God's law, written for the benefit of His people--both the ancient Hebrews and the Christian disciples of today.  More than a mere legal code, it is God's continuing marriage covenant.

Direct download: DeuteronomyPodcastEpisode1.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EST

In chapter 3 Paul tells Christian what they are to put off. "Members of the Earth" refers to all of our worldly passions and appetites, in particular sexual sin, idolatry, greed and malice. Paul tells us to decisively put to death what is Earthbound in us.

The practical exhortations of this chapter of Paul's letter contains many guidelines for the Christian life. We are enjoined to live in peace with one another, approaching our interactions with fellow Christians with a sense of empathy and kindness. 

Direct download: Colossians_6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:05pm EST

The third chapter of Colossians invites us to consider the practical applications of Paul's spiritual message. Paul pulls things together, the various elements of this letter, in the third chapter. There is a certain logic to Paul's Letter to the Colossians, wherein each chapter builds on the previous chapter and drawing on several key themes. The first of these is reorienting ourselves to our true life in Christ. 

Following this section are two parallel sections. The first has to do with putting off the old man, putting off the old nature and all that inhibits us from growing closer to God. This is where many Christians falter today.

The next section deals with what we are to put on. We are to put on our life together, our common life with other Christians. We are not meant to merely associate with one another or sit next to each other in the pews. Paul speaks to our corporate Christian life which contains a light that is to be manifest to the world. 

Finally, Paul tells of the mundane, everyday tasks that involve us living out our life in Christ.

Direct download: Colossians_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:02pm EST

The great theme of the second chapter of Paul's Letter to the Colossians is the sufficiency of Christ. Paul urges Christians to do more than accept the Gospel message on an intellectual level, but to also live it out. In doing so Christians will be filled with a joyful spirit of thanksgiving. Would that our parishes today be filled with such a spirit.

Paul also warns against deceptive philosophy and spiritual forces that run counter to the Gospel. This anticipates the early Church's battle with Gnosticism and other philosophies that opposed orthodox Christian belief. 

Direct download: Colossians_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:44pm EST

Toward the end of the first chapter of Paul's Letter to the Colossians, Paul spoke of the Colossians' "love in the spirit". This expression points to a supernatural love beyond mere human affection. He will go on to speak about how the Christian community is to be built up in such a love.

All is centered on Christ. This is a key theme of the letter. Paul praises Christ as the key to everything, the "first born" of Creation, above all other powers and authorities. Christians then, as now, need to open themselves to a greater experience of Grace.

In this section, Paul speaks of his trials and danger he has experienced at sea, on land, and at the hands of false bretheren. And yet his message is hopeful - drawing our attention to the redemptive power of suffering and our ability to cooperate in Christ's suffering.

Direct download: Colossians_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:17pm EST

"Who is this Christ?" is the fundamental question whose answer is cast in one of the great Christological hymns of the Bible. It is far more than great poetry. Paul expands the terms of the Old Testament to speak of Christ as the head of both creation and redemtpion, as well as a new order of creation on a different level of life. Christ is above all authorities, a truth which the Colossians had effectively forgotten.

This dense and theologically rich section of Paul's letter is often forgotten by Christians today. We would do well to read and reread these passages in order to be reminded of the uniqueness of Christ and to enter into both the understanding and living of this message. 

Direct download: Colossians_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:22pm EST

The mystery of Christ, the key to the Christian life, is unpacked in four brief chapters in St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians. There are many parallels between Ephesians and Colossians, which suggests they may have been written close to the same time. Paul was writing for a particular reason - he had received word that they were threatened by certain heretical ideas. Though he had no founded the church himself, he had close ties to Epaphras and was concerned with the wellbeing of the church there and its members.

We will be taking on the first 23 verses of the first chapter, and consider this section in five basic parts. The initial salutation, the thanksgiving section, an apostolic prayer, and a great poetic hymn about the person of Jesus Christ. Finally, Paul concludes with a statement on our peace and reconciliation with God through Christ.

Direct download: Colossians_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:05am EST

In Isaiah we read of the Servant songs, a collection of poems or songs speaking of the servant of God. There are ancient Rabbinic sources that see Isaiah 53 as referring explicitly to a suffering Messiah. The Babylonian Talmud, the midrash on Ruth, the Aramaic Targum, the writings of Moses Maimonides, and the mystical texts of the Zohar all contain exegesis to this effect. 

We have two strains of thought in these servant songs - the suffering Messiah and the reigning Messiah. Christians have interpreted these texts as referring to the First and Second Comings of Christ. At the critical turning point of the Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples "Who do people say I am?" It is here that Peter gives his confession and Jesus the prediction of his crucifiction. He then goes on to talk about discipleship and his Second Coming. In Mathew 16:27 we read a prediction about the Son of Man at the End of Time. 

Christ came 2000 years ago to show us the way, but he showed more. He, of his own will, voluntarily died for our sins and was raised again triumphantly. This triumphance was not seen by everyone and he did not remain on Earth to reign. There is a great deal yet to be established. Our Earth is not yet the Messianic Kingdom; there is more yet to be accomplished in this great drama. A great drama that includes each of us.

Direct download: Advent_9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:39pm EST