On Mystery

One day some of the brethren came to see Abba Antony, and among them was Abba Joseph. Wishing to test them, the old man mentioned a text from Scripture, and starting with the youngest he asked them what it meant.

Each explained it the best he could. But to each one the old man said, ‘You have not yet found the answer.’

Last of all he said to Abba Joseph, ‘And what do you think the text means?’

He replied, ‘I do not know.’

Then Abba Antony said, ‘Truly, Abba Joseph has found the way, for he said: I do not know.’”

— The Sayings of the Desert Fathers
As Quoted in The Orthodox Way (p. 11)
Bishop Kallistos Ware
Get My New, 3-Part Video Series—FREE! Ready to accomplish more of what matters? 2015 can be your best year ever. In my new video series, I show you exactly how to set goals that work. Click here to get started. It’s free—but only until Monday, December 8th.

Get my FREE video series now!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Daniel_Berman Daniel_Berman

    We as Christians in the 21st century would do well to go back and reread the wisdom of Church fathers throughout the first 1000 years of the church. From my extremely limited reading they had a way of reflecting on life in such a way that their advice and responses were often timeless….

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

    But we can know if we ask God to explain what it means. I've learned a lot about the Bible simply by asking God to help me understand it. True, sometimes understanding takes patience and hard work, but God did say that the time was coming when all will know Him (Hebrews 8).

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/TrueNorthQuest TrueNorthQuest

    I like the idea of reading Christians from other centuries. We desperately need it. I also the like the idea of a mysterious aspect to Christian faith at times. We hold the tension of mystery. But, certainly God has communicated to us through Scripture, and He intends to be understood. The Psalmist said, "Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things from your law." Jesus opened the minds of two disciples on the road to Emmaus so that they would understand the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit has come to illuminate truth to us, take of what is Christ's and disclose it to us, and even show us things to come (Gospel of John).

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Some timeless truths often needs great insight