Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Essays about Orthodoxy & Mission


Spiritual fishing: the labour of the Church

by Efthymios Zigavinos




Prior to the advent of Christ in this terrestrial world, the darkness of delusion prevailed and almost no-one was familiar with the precise faith.

In that spiritual darkness, the Prophets labored in vain.  Hardly any of their audiences could be convinced, because people resembled ill-natured fish that slipped through the nets of the Prophetic kerygma.

However, when the Sun of Righteousness, Christ - who illumines the souls of people - rose, then, upon His command, the Apostles cast the nets of the Gospel's teaching and a great host of people (logical fish) - entire nations - were collected.

Collaborators and continuers of that wondrous Apostolic fishing are in fact the Bishops, the Clergy and the Preachers of local churches, and they are also the ones who can sense the pain and the labours that this Apostolic opus demands.





OODE note:  Efthymios Zigavinos (or Zigadinos) (ca. 10501118 or 1120) was a scholar, a theologian and author who lived in the Eastern Roman ("Byzantine") Empire. He was a monk, and he lived in Constantinople. (At an earlier date there was a mistaken impression that he lived in the Perivleptos Monastery, however that was another Monk named Efthymios).  He was an important theologian - a fact that justifies the unlimited trust that the emperor Alexios I Comnenos (1081-1118) had for his person and who also displayed a special interest in theological matters, as well as his daughter Anna Comnene, who lauded his powerful rhetoric and the profound knowledge of dogmas that he had.      Upon the request of Alexios I Comnenos, Efthymios composed his most important work, "Dogmatic Armor" which he dedicated to the Emperor.  This work is a collection of texts and opinions, in 28 titles. According to the emperor's plan, this composition aspired to collecting Patristic texts which had contributed in the best manner towards confronting all the heresies. Apart from its theological value, the work offers invaluable historical information. One part of it includes an essay on the teaching of the Orthodox Church; however, the greater part of the work examines heretic beliefs and refutes them.


Translation:  A.N.

Article published in English on: 19-9-2010.

Last update: 19-9-2010.