The Holy Scripture in a Changing World
An International Conference was held from the 27th of September until the 1st of October 2018 in Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in which over 40 clergy and theologians participated from all over the world, representing the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the United Bible Societies.
The purpose of the Conference was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between both the Eastern Churches and the United Bible Societies. This historical meeting was hosted by the Armenian Apostolic Church and it was under the auspices of His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.
The visitors in the Conference were also special observers from the World Council of Churches, the Council of Middle Eastern Churches and guests from the Armenian Bible Society.
The purpose of the conference was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between both the Eastern Churches and the United Bible Societies.
The meeting was the final result of a long-standing process of talks between the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the United Bible Societies (UBS) that began in 1999 on the initiative of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Hellenic Bible Society with the aim of a mutual commitment to continue their cooperation in every level regarding the Bible.
The participants attended the Conference and participated in discussions on the below topics: “The Role and Place of the Bible in the Life of the Church”, “The Inspiration of the Bible”, “The place of the Bible in a secular world and under the shadow of the modern persecutions of Christians “,”The Translations of the United Bible Societies “,”The Mission, the Vision and the Values of the United Bible Societies, and Their Interest in Serving All the Churches” and “The Challenges and Opportunities of the Digital Age “.
The main point of the Conference was the presentation of the approval of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the UBS. According to this Memorandum, the Eastern Churches and the UBS “recognize commonly that the Bible is divinely inspired (2 Tim. 3:16), they recognize the ecumenical character of the divine revelation and the universal need for the living message of the Bible” (Agreement of Memorandum par. 2, 3).
The Conference was concluded with fruitful discussions on the practical applications of the Memorandum of Understanding. The participants also agreed that the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement wasn’t the ending of the discussions, but the beginning of a new cooperation for the glory of the Triune God.
The above agreement was signed by the co-chairmen of the Committee: His Eminence Metropolitan of Sassimon, Professor Dr. Gennadios, His Eminence Metropolitan of Damietta Professor Dr. Bishoy and the Director General of United Bible Societies Mr. Michael Perreau on September 29, 2018.