The Friend of the Bridegroom: On the Orthodox Veneration of the Forerunner

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003 - 190 pages
The Friend of the Bridegroom offers a compelling theological interpretation of John the Baptist as seen through the eyes of Eastern Orthodoxy. Written by Sergius Bulgakov, the greatest Russian theologian of modern times, this book sheds new light on the mission and meaning of John the Baptist, commonly referred to in Orthodoxy as the "Forerunner of the Lord." Bulgakov traces the Baptist's life from beginning to end - his birth, his preaching of repentance, his baptism of the Lord, his agony, his death, and his veneration in the context of Eastern Orthodoxy. In addition to its use of the Gospel narratives, Bulgakov's profound portrait of the Baptist is colored by sacred tradition as it is embodied in patristic literature, in liturgy, and in iconography. Yet this is not a work of arcane scholarship intended just for academic readers. Typical of all of Bulgakov's books, The Friend of the Bridegroom is steeped in devotional language and holy awe. In the words of translator Boris Jakim, it is "a work of prayer" that will stir the souls of Christians everywhere.

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Contents

St John Forerunner of the Lord
1
The Birth of the Forerunner
18
St John the Forerunner Preather of Repentante
42
The Baptism of John
46
The Baptism of the Lord Followed by the Testimony concerning the Lamb of God
51
The Friend of the Bridegroom
72
The Forerunners Agony and the Saviors Testimony about Him
85
The Saviors Distourse abaut John the Forerunner
104
John and Elias
115
The Honorable Death of the Forerunner
119
The Glorification of the Forerunner
129
On the Interrelationship of the Angelic and Human Worlds
156
St John the Forerunner and St John the Divine
171
St John the Forerunner and St Joseph the Betrothed
177
Index
189
Copyright

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Page 30 - And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child ; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so ; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
Page 113 - And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them ? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
Page 44 - And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do ? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely ; and be content with your wages.
Page 183 - And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them : but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Page 116 - But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not ; but have done unto him whatsoever they listed: likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Page 83 - There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
Page 122 - It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
Page 44 - What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none ; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
Page 30 - Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord ; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

About the author (2003)

Sergius Bulgakov was dean and professor of dogmatic theology at Saint Sergius Theological Institute in Paris.

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