Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Digital Books

Previous // Contents // Next


An Orthodox Handbook

by Fr. Anthony Alevizopoulos


Prologue by the Author

During my long ministry in Germany, I had come to notice the lack of a simplified Orthodox catechesis that could introduce one to the Orthodox Faith and life in a manner that would allow an Orthodox placement in the modern world. 

This same absence I had also observed in Greece, where I was called upon to undertake the catechesis of adults who had asked to accede to Orthodoxy.  The aids which have been published - if not addressed to young students - did not have the introduction to the Orthodox Faith and life as their main concern.

Apart from this: Thousands of Orthodox brethren migrate without any prior spiritual preparation: workers, technicians, students, members of various diplomatic missions, educators etc.. It is imperative that they all be equipped with the Handbook of our Orthodoxy, so that they can victoriously confront the spiritual perils of a foreign land, and to live the Orthodox way conscientiously there also.

Among those perils is foreign propaganda - especially by the so-called "Jehovah's Witnesses", who work in a very organized manner, to the major detriment of our migrated brethren.  To confront this danger, I had published the book "The Dictatorship of Brooklyn", which circulated quite extensively abroad, and especially in Germany.

This preoccupation, as well as the multitude of letters that I had received from readers of the said book, helped me during the composing of this book to take seriously into account those points of Orthodox teaching and Orthodox spiritual life which are rejected by heretics and the cacodox.

Given that these deluded people proclaim that they study the Holy Bible, I took special care to Scripturally back the Orthodox Faith. Instead of using brief scriptural phrases and verses excised from their natural context (as usually done by heretics), I preferred to quote larger excerpts from the Old and the New Testaments, so that this book can also be used as an aid for the study of the Holy Bible.

With regard to the Old Testament, I have mainly utilized the Septuagint translation (into Greek) and have strived to provide the simplest possible rendition of those verses.  I also arranged to quote small narrations and excerpts from the Book of Saints and the liturgical books of our Church, in order to evidence the unison between the Orthodox dogma and Orthodox spiritual living, Orthodox truth, Orthodox worship and the Orthodox conscience.

The manuscripts of the present book were studied by: The Most Reverend Metropolitan Fr. Dionysios of Servia and Kozani, Fr. Amphilochius Radovic, Fr. Meletios Kalamaras, and theologians Panayiotis Nellas and Anthony Papantoniou. All of them have provided me with invaluable suggestions, which contributed towards the fullest possible compilation of the book. To all of them I would like to express my warmest thanks. I wish to also thank Professor Fr. John Romanides for his invaluable suggestions on certain topics of the book.

Presbyter Anthony G. Alevizopoulos


Guidelines on the use of the book

For a greater benefit when studying the present book, we would recommend that the reader:

a) studies carefully and without haste, every day, a small segment of the book.

b) tries to think during the day of all the truths that he has studied and strive to live them accordingly, with intense prayer.

c) If he finishes reading the book, he should study it all over again. This time, he should check the Holy Bible to locate the excerpts that are quoted in the book and underline them.

d) On the basis of those excerpts that have been underlined - that is, the teaching of our Church - he should begin a systematic study of the entire Holy Bible, but without ceasing his fervent prayer.  Prayer is what we should persist in; that is, to persevere steadily and be alert (Colossians 4:2), so that the Lord might reveal to us "the bounteous understanding, the complete knowledge of the mystery of God the Father and of Christ, in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."  (Colossians 2:2-3)



Previous // Contents // Next

Article published in English on: 1-5-2011.

Last update: 1-5-2011.