Greek Orthodoxy - From Apostolic Times to the Present Day
Excerpts in 22 Pages, from Constantelos' The Historical Development of Greek Orthodoxy; full text at the Church of Greece. Here published with Notes, Study Links and Illustration by Elpenor
GREEK and Greek-speaking Christians constituted the greater part of the early Church. With the diffusion of Hellenism, as early as the fourth century before the Christian era, the Greeks had come to constitute a very important if not a dominant element in the Near East and North Africa, especially in the large and metropolitan cities. It was because of this Greek world expansion that the rise of Christianity as a world religion was made possible. …
The first contact of the Greeks with Christ is related by the author of the Fourth Gospel. He writes that some Greeks among those who used to visit Jerusalem at the Passover approached Philip and Andrew and asked to see Jesus (Jn. 12.20-24). The Greeks, as seekers after truth, were eager to listen to something novel, to meet the new master. …
Jesus was aware that the Greeks who came to Him were men with a searching mind and a troubled spirit. Upon His confrontation with them, He exclaimed, "The hour has come for the son of man to be glorified"(Jn. 12.23). Indeed, these Greeks were few in number, but Christ saw in them not only Greeks but Romans and Scythians and other peoples of all times and places who would also seek to find Him. Jesus said the hour had come for the Christian Gospel to be proclaimed outside the limited boundaries of ancient Israel. The Greeks have played a major role in the kerygma and the didache of Christ. The Greeks found in the person of Christ the eternal Logos and the "unknown God" of their forefathers, while Christ discovered in them sincere followers and dedicated apostles of the New Kingdom.
It was through this historical meeting between the "unknown God" and the Greeks themselves that Christianity became an ecumenical religion. As T.R. Glover has put it: "The chief contribution of the Greek was his demand for this very thing – that Christianity must be universal… the Greek really secured the triumph of Jesus…. Even the faults of the Greek have indirectly served the church." Thus Christianity and Hellenism embraced each other in a harmonious faith and culture enriching each other. The Greek Orthodox Church of today is the people born out of the union between the incarnate Logos and Hellenism.
Cf. Books for getting closer to Orthodox Christianity ||| Orthodox Images of the Christ ||| Byzantium : The Alternative History of Europe ||| The pulse of Ancient Rome was driven by a Greek heart ||| Vasilief, A History of the Byzantine Empire ||| Schmemann, A History of the Orthodox Church ||| Videos about Byzantium and Orthodoxy ||| Aspects of Byzantium in Modern Popular Music ||| 3 Posts on the Fall of Byzantium ||| Greek Literature / The New Testament
Reference address : http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-orthodox-history.asp