A disciple once asked an elder, “From the time of Adam until Christ have there been exactly 5508 years?” In reply the elder said, “Son, if this is the thing important to your salvation, then I will personally find out the answer”.
There are plenty of difficult questions and mysteries in the Holy Bible (and in other spiritual works) that would be interesting to research. While this kind of study is not forbidden, the highest monasticism has always focused on what is most important: our deification through God’s grace. This requires great labor in order to cleanse our sin-laden souls, thus purifying our spiritual intellect and vision. Only after this are we able to tackle such mysteries. Moreover, if a humble person reaches, by God’s grace, a state of illumination, then Grace itself reveals the key to such mysteries to him, though he is unable to express in in words what he is experiencing.
In this photo, two school boys from Athonian Academy are asking something one of the Elders from Vatopaidi.