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What things in general have been brought with time into the Eastern Orthodox Church that the main stream protestant Christianity considers as not being able to be traced back to the times of the church of the first century?

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I apologize, but I don't really understand the question. I thought I did, but the response given doesn't relate as I thought I understood it. Please clarify. –  Dan Mar 21 '12 at 10:15
@DanO'Day - My question is about what kind of things the main-stream protestantism sees as new in the today's Eastern Orthodox Church. We know, for example, that the "Sola Scriptura" principle that was put forth by the Protestants has been deemed as something new by both the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches (meaning that originally there was no such thing as "Sola Scriptura" in the early Church of the time of the 12 apostles). So, here is the question about some such new things (as Protestant would deem them) in the Eastern Orthodox Church today. –  brilliant Mar 21 '12 at 11:37
Ahh, I see. Thanks for the clarification! –  Dan Mar 23 '12 at 14:13
@Daи - "The current answer is abysmal and does not answer the question. I'm not even sure why it was accepted" - I accepted this question because once in stackexchange somebody scolded me for not accepting answers for a long time saying that that was a bad practice causing me to be shunned upon by the community. However, I think the point about non-sainthood in the answer does hit the mark. –  brilliant Mar 16 '14 at 3:14
@brilliant yes but it provides no sources, doesn't elaborate on any of its assertions, and doesn't fully answer the question. Something like this would be better to leave unaccepted IMHO. But you are the OP so you are free to accept whatever you wish. –  Dan Mar 16 '14 at 17:34

3 Answers 3

In Eastern Orthodox Christianity certain paintings of Jesus or one of the saints are called Icons. Depending on the church these are venerated to a lesser or greater degree, and such veneration is rejected by Protestants. In and of themselves the paintings are not sinful, but if they are venerated that is considered sinful, just as veneration of relics in the Roman Catholic Church is considered sinful by protestants. Additionally there are associated beliefs which would be rejected by Protestants, like that some of the icons weren't painted by humans but instead appeared miraculously.

It's not certain when icons were first used by Christians, but Irenaeus (c. 130-202) argues against Gnostic use of them. In the Spanish Synod of Elvira (c. 305) the bishops concluded that "Pictures are not to be placed in churches, so that they do not become objects of worship and adoration."

Icons were used before the Great Schism and so could be argued not to be strictly an Orthodox innovation, but today they are very characteristic of the Orthodox church as the other branches of Christianity don't use them.

(Sourced largely from the Wikipedia page on Icons)

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If you downvoted my answer I would appreciate an explanation why so that I can improve it. –  curiousdannii Jun 2 '14 at 5:42

Separation of layperson from clergy would be a big one in my book, and for that matter formal recognition of sainthood. To many protestants, if you're not a saint you're not a christian, because all christians have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus. The two states are inseparable. Part of this would be that most protestants also reject the divinity of Mary.

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"protestants also reject the divinity of Mary" - Do the Orthodox recognize the divinity of Mary? –  brilliant Mar 19 '12 at 17:17
What is the "formal recognition of sainthood" in your answer? Can you, please, elaborate? –  brilliant Mar 19 '12 at 17:20
@brilliant that's a good question, I'm pretty sure the answer is no. –  Peter Turner Mar 19 '12 at 17:50
Orthodox believe that Mary, as a human being, could have sinned but chose not to. In Roman Catholic understanding, Mary is exempted from the guilt of original sin (Orthodox do not accept that humans share the guilt of the first sin but, rather, only the consequences) before all eternity, and thus could not have sinned. Jesus Christ is Mary's Savior, as well as ours, as testified in her own statement in Luke (the Magnificat). If Mary had been "sin-proof" from all eternity, Orthodox would argue as to why she would need a Savior. Mary is the new Eve who said yes to God where the first Eve said no –  Dan Mar 21 '12 at 10:12
Also, while this is a little late, how does this even answer the question? Both practices mentioned by @JoelCoehoorn predate Protestantism, which means it doesn't answer the question. I thought this was looking for practices that have become novel within Orthodoxy since the inception of Protestantism.... –  Dan Jul 15 '13 at 4:54

We are sola scriptura. Protestants oppose the entire set of things which are not founded in the Bible. These other items are instead are founded in the various other writings believer and non-believers from the times of first century and beyond. They call it Sacred Tradition. The most basic idea from such traditions protestants would see as error is "a church or group of churches as the Church (Universal)". That is to say a single group of believer the church at Corinth for example as being the only Church universal the entire body of Christ to the exclusion of the church at Philadelphia and all the other Pauline letter places.

All (non-fringe group) protestants except the belief that none of us have a monopoly on salvation because the Bible never gives any one person as such. The Orthodox believe they are the Church Universal and only true believers (by reason of perfection from origin).

Sacred tradition

Sacred tradition or holy tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority.

The word "tradition" is taken from the Latin trado, tradere meaning to hand over, to deliver, or to bequeath. The teachings of Scripture are written down in the Bible, and are handed on, not only in writing, but also in the lives of those who live according to its teachings. Likewise, though the teachings of Tradition are not necessarily written down, they are lived and are handed on by the lives of those who lived according to its teachings, according to the example of Christ and the Apostles (1 Corinthians 11:2 , 2 Thessalonians 2:15 ). This perpetual handing on of the teachings of Tradition is called a living Tradition; it is the transmission of the teachings of Tradition from one generation to the next. The term "deposit of faith" refers to the entirety of Jesus Christ's revelation, and is passed to successive generations in two different forms, sacred scripture (the Bible) and sacred tradition (apostolic succession).

In the theology of these churches, sacred scripture is the written part of this larger tradition, recording (albeit sometimes through the work of individual authors) the community's experience of God or more specifically of Jesus Christ. Hence the Bible must be interpreted within the context of sacred tradition and within the community of the church. Sacred tradition, and thus sacred scripture as well, are "inspired," another technical theological term indicating that they contain and communicate the truths of faith and morals God intended to make known for mankind's salvation. This is in contrast to many Protestant traditions, which teach that the Bible alone is a sufficient basis for all Christian teaching (a position known as sola scriptura).

-wikipedia Sacred Tradition

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You can't say that protestants oppose everything not in the Bible - many accept things that aren't! Things like: church hierarchies, different baptism doctrines, how to run church meetings... –  curiousdannii Mar 18 '14 at 7:34
@curiousdannii in principle we renounce anything else besides the Bible and the Holy Spirit as "sacred" for guidance. –  caseyr547 Mar 18 '14 at 7:38
That's true, but your answer is somewhat hard to understand. –  curiousdannii Mar 18 '14 at 7:40

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