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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Homilies on the Apocalypse


This is a link of the Sermons of Fr. Athanasios Mitilinaios on the Apocalypse of St. John.


Introduction of the Apocalypse
part 2


For the rest of the homiles, you can go to the website.







JNORM888

Revitalizing Our Priestly Ministry in a Post Christian Culture - Part 2

From the podcast "Voices From St Vladimir’s Seminary"

As seen from the website:
"Today we bring you part 2 of Fr. Chad Hatfield's talk at the Serbian Clergy Brotherhood in June on the challenges facing our priests in today's culture."




The mp3:
http://audio.ancientfaith.com/svots/vsv_2008-07-30.mp3





JNORM888

The Heretic Cerinthus

"Cerinthus, a traditional opponent of St. John. It will
probably always remain an open question whether his fundamentally Ebionite
sympathies inclined him to accept Jewish rather than gnostic additions. Modern
scholarship has therefore preferred to view his doctrine as a fusing together
and incorporating in a single system tenets collected from Jewish, Oriental, and
Christian sources; but the nature of that doctrine is sufficiently clear, and
its opposition to the instruction of St. John as decided ad that of the
Nicolaitanes. Cerinthus was of Egyptian origin, and in religion a Jew. He
received his education in the Judaeo-Philonic school of Alexandria. On leaving
Egypt he visited Jerusalem Caesarea, and Antioch. From Palestine he passed into
Asia and there developed της αυτου απωλειας βαραθρον (Epiph. xxviii. 2).
Galatia, according to the same authority, was selected as his headquarters,
whence he circulated his errors. On one of his journeys he arrived at Ephesus,
and met St. John in the public baths. The Apostle, hearing who was there, fled
from the place as if for life, crying to those about him: "Let us flee, lest the
bath fall in while Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is there."
.....................skipped a paragraph........Unlike Simon Magus and Menander,
Cerinthus did not claim a sacred and mystic power. Caius the Presbyter can only
assert against him that he pretended to angeilic revelations (Eus., Theod.). But
his mind, like theirs, brooded over the co-existence of good and evil, spirit
and matter; and his scheme seems intended to free the "unknown God" and the
Christ from the bare imputation of infection through contact with nature and
man. Trained as he was in the philosophy of Philo, the Gnosis of Cerinthus did
not of necessity compel him to start from -opposition- in the sense of
malignity-of evil to good, matter to spirit. He recognized opposition in the
sense of difference between the one active perfect principle of life-God-and
that lower imperfect passive existence which was dependent upon God; but this
fell far short of malignity. He therefore conceived the material world to have
been formed not by "the First God," but by angelic Beings of an inferior grade
of Emanation (Epiph.). More precisely still he described the main agent as a
certain power (δυναμις) separate and distinct from the "principality" (η υπερ τα
ολα αυθεντεια, V. Suicer, Thes.s.v. αυθ.) and ignorant of τον υπερ
παντα θεον. He refused in the spirit of a true Jew to consider the "God of the
Jews" identical with that author of the material world who was alleged by
Gnostic teachers to be inferior and evil. He preferred to identify him with the
Angel who delivered the Law (Epiph. and Philastr.). Neander and Ewald have
pointed out that these are legitimate deductions from the teaching of Philo. The
conception is evidently that of an age when hereditary and instinctive reverence
for the law served as a check upon the system maker. Cerinthus is a long way
from the bolder and more hostile schools of later
Gnosticism.................skipped a paragraph..............The Chiliastic
eschatology of Cerinthus is very clearly stated by Theodoret, Caius,
Dionysius(Eus.), and Augustine, but not alluded to by Irenaeus. His silence need
perhaps cause no surprise: Irenaeus was himself a chiliast of the spiritual
school, and in his notes upon Cerinthus he is only careful to mention what was
peculiar to his system. The conception of Cerinthus was highly coloured. In his
"dream" and phantasy the Lord shall have an earthly Kingdom in which the elect
are to enjoy pleasures, feasts, marriages, and sacrifices. Its capital is
Jerusalem and its duration 1000 years: thereafter shall ensue the restoration of
all things. Cerinthus derived this notion from Jewish sources. His notions of
eschatology are radically Jewish: they may have originated, but do not
contain, the Valentinian notion of a spiritual marriage between the souls of the
elect and the Angels of the Pleroma.

Other peculiar features of his teaching may be noted.
He held that if a man died unbaptized, another was to be baptized in his stead
and in his name, that at the day of resurrection he might not suffer punishment
nd be made subject to the εξουσια κοσμοποιος (cf. I. Cor. xv. 29). He had
learned at Alexandria to distinguish between the different degrees of
inspiration, and attributed to different Angels the dictation severally of the
words of Moses and of the Prophets; ......................skipped a
paragraph
................The Chiliasm of Cerinthus was an exaaeration of
language so ingenuously as the Apocalpse. The conclusion was easy that Cerinthus
had but ascribed the Apocalypse to the Apostle to obtain credit and currency for
his own forgery. The "Alogi" argued upon similar grounds against the Fourth
Gospel. It did not agree with the Synoptists, and though it did not agree with
the Synoptists, and though it disagreed in every possible way with the alleged
doctrines of Cerinthus, yet the false-hearted author of the Apocalypse was, they
asserted, certainly the writer of the Gospel."

[1]





JNORM888

[1] pages 154-156 edited by Henry Wace & William C. Piercy, in the book "A dictionary of early Christian Biography"

Why is GeneMBridges putting Lvka and Orthodox on blast?

Both Lvka and Orthodoxthoughts are banned overthere, yet they are being talked about? They should leave them alone since they are not able to defend themselves in the comment boxes.



JNORM888

Justin Martyr's dialogue at Ephesus

"(6) He also wrote a dialogue against the Jews, which he
held at Ephesus with Tryphon, the most distinguished among the Hebrews of his
day. In this he showed how the divine grace stimulated him to this discourse on
the faith, what zeal also he had before evinced in the studies of philosophy,
and what indefatigable research he had applied in the discovery of the
truth."
[1]book 4 chapter 18









JNORM888
[1] page 132 by Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History: completed and unabridged, new updated edition. Translated by C.F. Cruse. reprinted 1998 by Hendrickson publishers.

Eusebius talking about Saint Papias

"(11)The same historian also gave other accounts, which he
said he added as received by him from unwritten tradition, likewise certain
strange parables by him from unwritten tradition, likewise certain strange
parables of our Lord, of his doctrine, and some other matters rather too
incredible. (12) In these he said there would be a millennium after the
resurrection and that there would be a corporeal reign of Christ on this very
earth which things he appeared to have imagined as if they were authorized by
the apostolic narrations, not understanding correctly those matters which they
propounded mystically in their representations. (13) He was very limited in his
comprehension, as is evident from his discourses; yet he was the cause why most
of the ecclesiastical writers, urging the antiquity of the man, were carried
away by a similar opinion, as, for instance, Irenaeus, or any other who adopted
such sentments."
[1] Book 3 chapter 39







JNORM888

[1] page 105 by Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History: completed and unabridged, new updated edition. Translated by C.F. Cruse. reprinted 1998 by Hendrickson publishers.

Cdero critique's Ras Kass

Ras Kass's song is very vulgar and filled with explicit lyrics. But Cruz (Cdero) did a good job responding to what was said in the song.

http://cdero.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/the-miseducation-of-ras-kass/#comment-215

" The following video is explicit and is an inside look at what many Blacks around my neighborhood and in low income communities in general think about when it comes to Christianity.
My comments are below:


Allow me to address Ras’ assertion that the cross and the symbol of a fish are craven images prohibited by God’s laws. While Ras has all the right to judge Christians guilty of idolatry, he can certainly do that and name a number of things that Christians are guilty of, nevertheless his assertion that the cross and the symbol of the fish as graven images mentioned in Ex 20 and in Duet 5 is misleading. First, lets look at scripture itself.
Exodus 20:4-6
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Leviticus 26:1-2

You shall make for yourselves no idols and erect no carved images or pillars, and you shall not place figured stones in your land, to worship at them; for I am the Lord your God. You shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:4
Do not turn to idols or make cast images for yourselves: I am the Lord your God.

Other passages are Ex 20:22-26,Deut 4:15-24,11:16-17,27:15.

As you can see, these graven images were objects that were worshiped.

Secondly, the law does not prohibit engravings, or other works of art in general. For instance, the Priest’s garment had pictures of pomegranates (Ex. 28:33-34) and the mercy seat had two images of angels made out of gold (Ex 25:18-22). All of these things had a religious function to it. The Law does not forbid religious use of ornaments or works of art but forbids worship of these things in place of God.

That being said, the symbol of a cross or a fish are not idols for Christians but symbols.

This brings me to my third point, the symbols of the cross and the fish direct worship to the true God. The cross symbolizes Jesus’ sacrificial love for us while the symbol of the fish has its roots within the first three centuries of the Church. It symbolized what Jesus said in Mark 1:17, “And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” In other words, the disciples were used to extend Jesus’ ministry.

Concerning the manuscripts, yes, there are no originals but we do have thousands of copies with minor variants that do not at all change the nature and message of the literature in the New Testament. The manuscripts are one of the biggest evidences of the validity of the New Testament.

Lastly, concerning the assertion that humans can be gods. They surely can since there are humans in this world that are worshiped. But Ras Kass perplexes me given that he condemns Christians for idolatry and then promotes idolatry by referring to himself as a god. Perhaps he is confused with the Bible’s various use of the Hebrew term Eloheem. He quotes, Psalm 82:6,”I say, “You are gods children of the Most High, all of you…” but what he does not reveal is that a) these “gods” were Judges over Israel and since they were judges they were refered to as gods since they were given the authority to judge and b) these “gods” were being diciplined for injustice acts and thus God reminded them who they really were, “mortal men (Ps 82:7). Ras forgot to quote the next verse.

As you see the video, please keep in mind that that kind of thinking is common among many Blacks in American Inner cities who have a vendetta against the Church and take up serious issues with us, some warranted while other unwarranted. Pray for Ras Kass that God would remove the bitterness from his heart and have him submit in willingness to the true God of the Church."


Cdero's blog:
http://cdero.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/the-miseducation-of-ras-kass/#comment-215



HCR is trying to put a group of rappers together to respond to Ras Kass, but I think Cdero can single handedly take on what Ras Kass said. But HCR banned him from their Forum.



JNORM888
Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Rapture and End Times

This is the "Man in Black, but not Johnny Cash" Orthodox Podcast.



The Rapture and End Times Part 1:
http://iconnewmedianetwork.com/mp3/tmib/rapture-show1.mp3



The Rapture and End Times Part 2:
http://iconnewmedianetwork.com/mp3/tmib/rapture-show1.mp3





JNORM888
Saturday, July 26, 2008

My rejoinder to Jason Engwer of Triablogue "round 2"

This is my rejoinder to Jason Engwer of Triablogue

Jason said:
"If there's an eighth day, then the seventh
probably does have a limit on it."


The Epistle doesn't put a limit on it. So if you are going to put a limit on something that doesn't have a limit then you mind as well put a limit on the eigth day as well.

When one looks at the book of Genesis, one will see that every day except for the seventh has a morning and an evening.


Day one "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1:5)

Day two "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1: 8)

Day three "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1: 13)

Day four "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1: 19)

Day five "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1: 23)

Day six "And there was evening, and there was morning" (as seen from Gen 1: 31)

The evening and morning are missing on day seven. We can also see God's rest in Hebrews chapter 4. To put a time limit on God's rest is to say that our resting in Him is not eternal.
The Epistle of Barnabas doesn't put a time limit on it, and I don't think we should either.



Jason said:
"If any day would be most different from the others, we
would expect it to be the eighth, the last day. Six thousand years, followed by
a millennial kingdom, followed by an eternal eighth day would make sense in a
premillennial framework, and we know that referring to the millennial kingdom as
a seventh day was popular among the ante-Nicene fathers."



But in the Epislte of Barnabas, a "time limit" is missing for both days. Some later ante-Nicene christians, who were "premillers" did put a limit on that day, but Barnabas didn't. Yes, I agree with you that it does make sense in a premillennial framework, but I don't think you can use Barnabas like you can the others. For unlike the others, Barnabas didn't do that.


Jason said:
"See the other passages I've cited from the ante-Nicene
fathers above."



They came later in time:

Justin Martyr lived from 100 A.D. to about 165 A.D. (from the east to Rome)

Irenaeus lived from 130 A.D. to about 200 A.D. (from Ashia minor to France)

Tertullian lived from 160 A.D. to about 230 A.D. (Carthage)

Hippolytus lived from 170 A.D. to about 236 A.D. (Rome)

Cyprian about 258 A.D. (Carthage)

Commodianus about 250 A.D. I don't know where he is from, but according to Newadvent he imated " Tertullian, Lactantius, and Papias." The site also makes note that in one of his works he seems to of read of St. Cyprian's "Testimonia".

Victorinus 304 A.D. (lived in Syria)

Lactantius 250 A.D. to about 325 A.D. (maybe Gaul, which is modern day France....I could be wrong about that)

My theory is that it went from the East to Rome (Through Justin Martyre) and Gaul(France) through Irenaeus, and from there to North Africa (Carthage)

Both Saints Justin Martrye and Irenaeus preceed most of the people on your list.
Some think that Saint Hippolytus was a disciple of Saint Irenaeus. Now this may or may not be true, but there seems to be some influence there.

Now I could be wrong in all of this, but It seems like a decent guess. Especially when you look at the dates and places of where the premillers lived.



Jason said:
"I agree that there's some room for reasonable doubt about
the premillennialism of Pseudo-Barnabas, but the weight of probability still
favors it."



I disagree about the wieght of probability, especially when one wiegh in the Alexandrian hermeneutical method. Let's say for the sake of argument that the Epistle of Barnabas did come from Alexandria, which is what the majority view is. Their hermeneutical method was different than that of Modern day Turkey.


Jason said:
"It's doubtful that he was using such a common premillennial
manner of describing world history, at a time when premillennialism was so
popular, yet meant it in a non-premillennial sense."



How do you know it was so popular?

You are making a claim that the premill view was widespread by 130 A.D. I doubt that. Maybe around 200 A.D. but I doubt it was that popular around 130 A.D. The Revelation didn't exist from 33 A.D. to about 70 Something A.D. Only Saint John knew of it's existence from 70 something A.D. to about 90 something A.D. And when Saint John was freed, it had to spread to most of the churches in as well as outside of the empire.

I highly doubt that in 40 years time it was widespread.....at least in the way you make it seem. Alot of churches didn't even have the book, so how would they know about a 1,000 year earthly reign?



Jason said:
"The fact that we don't have much to go by doesn't change
the fact that what we have favors a location outside of Asia Minor. Even if we
left the matter undecided, the presence of premillennialism in such an early
source that can't be tied to Asia Minor should caution us against associating
the doctrine with that region to the degree that you've done so."



But "premill" is weak to nonexistent in the Epistle of Barnabas. And Saint John didn't really travel that much in order for the book to have multiple origins. According to Saint Irenaeus, Saint John pretty much stayed put in Ephesus.

"The Church in Ephesus was founded by Paul, and John remained among them permanently until the time of Trajon. It is a true witness of the tradition of the apostles." [1] page 381

I really don't think the Epistle of Barnabas supports the pre-mill view. There are more modals of eschatology than just the modern western ones that you may know of.



Jason said:
"The fact that they traveled West doesn't prove that they
had the influence you claim they had in spreading premillennialism when they
traveled. The fact that both were in Asia Minor for part of their life before
traveling West doesn't prove that they derived their premillennialism from Asia
Minor. How do you know that Justin didn't attain his premillennialism in Israel,
prior to going to Ephesus (if he went there, as Eusebius reports)?"



If we take the Epistle of Barnabas out of the picture, then I think I can make that claim with them. The book of Revelation had to spread from the east to the west.I don't see anything wrong with the book traveling to different regions through people migrating from one place to the next. If one looks at both the times and place of those that supported "pre-mill" in their writings then one can see land marks of how it spread from the east to the west to North western Africa. But you do have a point, that it doesn't prove that Justin Martyre got it from Asia minor, but that's where the view came from. And we do know that he tought it, and went west.


Jason said:
""The fact that a source is later in time than Justin and
Irenaeus doesn't prove that he attained his premillennialism by means of the
influence of Justin and Irenaeus. And you aren't addressing what I said about
the unlikelihood that people in other regions would keep accepting
premillennialism when they already had an established contrary eschatology from
another apostolic source or multiple apostolic sources."



It doesn't "infallibly" mean that, but if these people later in time were familier with the works of Irenaeus & Justin then I don't see a problem with assuming that. Who knows, maybe Justin & Irenaeus brought the book of Revelations with them, while going west. They also could of brought some of the works of Papias with them as well.

I could be wrong about what I am about to say, but I think it was said that "Hippolytus" knew greek or wrote in greek. If this is true then he was able to read works that came from the east. I might be wrong again, but the same might be true for Tertullian. I know he knew old Latin, but he could of translated some manuscripts from greek to old latin.


We know that some people did reject it. Dionysius said "Some" people before his time.

"Some persons before our time have set this book aside and entirely rejected it. They have criticized it chapter by chapter, trying to demonstrate that it is without either sense or reason. They have also alleged that its title is false. For they have that John is the author.....they claim that non of the Apostles, nor indeed any of the Saints, nor any person belonging to the church, could be its author. Rather, they say that Cerinthus and the heretical sect founded by him.....attached that title to the book....However, I, for my part, could not venture to set this book aside. For there are many brethern who value it highly." Dionysius of Alexandria 262 A.D. [2] page 565



Jason said:
"We're not discussing appropriateness. We're discussing history. There's nothing inappropriate about the spreading of a belief from one region to another. But you've made historical claims about how a belief allegedly spread. You can't defend a historical claim by making an appeal to the acceptability of such a historical event in principle. It would be acceptable for me to have been born in California. But if I claim that I was born there, that's a historical claim that requires historical argumentation. To respond to somebody who challenges that historical claim by asking him whether there's anything wrong with being born in California wouldn't make sense."

Saint Irenaeus was a Native of Ashia Minor. But you do have a point about Saint Justin Martyr



Jason said:
"If premillennialism doesn't require "giving up much", then
why would it be considered a heresy? If it requires "giving up" something, even
if it's not much, you should explain why people who already had an apostolic
eschatology would keep giving that eschatology up in favor of another
eschatology with less apostolic support."


Not giving up much, as in "not being hard to change".

I use to believe in Premill and I switched/changed when I became Orthodox. It wasn't that hard for me. Unlike some forms of western amill or post mill. The christian East still believes in a future anti-christ. And maybe even a future tribulation.

I gave up premill because the Eastern view still believed in a future Anti-christ, a future resurrection of the dead, and a future second coming.

Some people in the west think the second coming already happened in 70 A.D. Yeah, it would be hard to change if you had to believe that. It would be hard to change if you couldn't believe in a future anti-christ.

But I doubt that was the case back then. They didn't have full-preterists back then, they didn't have partial prets that didn't believe in a future anti-christ back then. So I don't think they had to worry about some of the things western eschatology worries about.

The differences wasn't as major then, as it is now. In our day in time.

I use to defend pre-mill, and it wasn't that hard for me to change.

Now I don't know if you are a pre-miller, but if you are then I will say, "if it wasn't hard for me to change, then it shouldn't be hard for you either"



Jason said:
"And you haven't just been arguing that premillennialism had
"extra info" that another apostolic eschatology didn't have. Rather, you
referred to the alleged erroneous nature of premillennialism that people
objected to. You wrote:"


"This is one of the reasons why ancient PM was disliked by
most christians in other regions. They saw it as too carnal.....just like how
Islam is carnal in how it views heaven...Thus the Millenium was
'spiritualized/Allegoricalized' Along with it's carnal understanding of 'super
foods'." (
source)




People did object to it.

Caius said:
"Cerinthus [aheretic], through written revelations by a "great apostle" (as he would have us believe), brings before us marvelous things-which he pretends were shown to him by angels. He alleges that after the resurrection, the Kingdom of Christ is to be on earth and that the flesh dwelling in Jerusalem will again be subject to desire and pleasure." Eusebius, quoting Caius 215 A.D. [3] page 451

When Origen met people who believed it, he said:

"Certain persons,. . .adopting a superficial view of the letter of the Law,. . . are of the opinion that the fulfillment of the promises of the future are to tbe looked for in bodily pleasure and Luxury. Therefore, they especially desire after the resurrection to have the power of eating, drinking, and performing all the functions of flesh and blood. . .Consequently, they say that after the begetting of children. They image to themselves that the earthly city of Jerusalem is to be rebuilt, its foundations being laid in precious stones. . . Moreover, they think that the natives of other countries are to be given them as the servants of their pleasure. . . They think that they are to receive the wealth of the nations to live on. These views they think to establish on the authority of the prophets, by those promises that are written regarding Jerusalem. . . And from the New Testament, too, they quote the saying of the Savior. . ."Henceforth, I will not drink of this cup, until I drink it with you new in My Father's Kingdom.". . .[The millennialists] desire the fulfillment of all things looked for in the promises, all according to the manner of things in this life and in all similar matters. . . However, those who receive the interpretations of Scripture according to the understanding of the apostles, entertain the hope that the saints will indeed eat- but that it will be the bread of life that can nourish the soul with food of truth and wisdom. Origen (225 A.D.)" [4] page 451

Also in note 41 in regards to the second council. It says:
the online source

"There have been two battalions of millenarians. For some of them used to say that during those thousand years they are to enjoy every enjoyment, and bodily pleasure; these men were followers of Cerinthus, a pupil of Simon, in the first century, and the Marcionists in the second century of the Christian era. Others said that they were not to enjoy passionate pleasures, but rather intellectual pleasures befitting rational human beings, of whom the leader was Papias the bishop of Hierapolis (in Euseb. Eccl. Hist, book 3, ch. 34) and others. Hence it is evident that Apollinaris became such a millenarian of the first battalion, as is plain from what St. Basil the Great says (letter 332), and from what the Theologian says (Discourse 51), and from what Jerome says (Book 18 on Isaiah). On this account in refutation of this heresy this Council added to the Creed of the Nicene Council that statement, which it borrowed from the sentence which the Archangel Gabriel spoke to the Virgin, viz.: “and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:33)."


Jason said:
"We were discussing the status of early premillennialism,
not whether anybody was non-premillennial early on. I haven't denied that some
ante-Nicene sources rejected premillennialism."



You challenged my two tradition theory(eventhough, I'm not pointing the finger at Saint John). So I quoted 1st Clement which is dated around 90 something A.D. ....which is about the sametime Saint John was freed from the Island. It seems that 1st Clement supported an amill view. And he lived in Rome. It took time for the pre-mill view to reach Rome, and North Western Africa. So in showing 1st Clement I am also showing the time frame of when it could of been "popular". You want to believe most christians believed in pre-mill around 130 A.D. I am trying to show that most christians were not pre-mill, and that it probably became popularized around 200 A.D. and even then, people fought against it. So it had an up hill battle the whole time.

Christians didn't have it at all from 33 A.D. to about 70 something A.d., only Saint John had it from 70 A.D. to about 90 something A.D., and from that point on, it had to gain acceptance.

So most christians were not "pre-millers starting out". In order for one to be a pre-miller, they had to have the book first. And once they had the book, they had to interpret chapter 20 in a certain way.



Jason said:
"But Clement of Rome's belief that "Christ reigns right now
over His enemies" doesn't contradict premillennialism. It's not as though
premillennialists believe that Christ has no rulership before or after the
millennium. The issue is the nature of the rulership at different times in
history."


In your form of pre-mill, but you are trying to use the ancients to defend your form of pre-mill.


Jason said:
"That's note 41 of a later commentator, not canon 41 of the
council. Premillennialism continued among some mainstream Christians after First
Constantinople. Augustine, for example, was a premillennialist in his early days
as a Christian. For other examples, see Brian Daley's discussion in Everett
Ferguson, ed., Encyclopedia Of Early Christianity (New York: Garland Publishing,
Inc., 1999), p. 240. The note 41 you've cited claims that a portion of the
council's creed alluding to Luke 1:33 is meant to condemn a particular form of
premillennialism that was different from the form accepted by more orthodox
sources like Papias. Would you explain how you get from those comments in note
41 to the conclusion that this council condemned premillennialism in
general?"



Tru, that is note 41, not canon 41. But he gives the intended interpretation of what was condemned and why it was condemned. And in regards to Augustine, it really doesn't matter. It took a while for the second council to be embraced as "ecumenical". It was embraced as "ecumenical" by the council of Chalcedon.
As noted by the Roman Catholic scholar Leo Donald Davis:

"Moreover, until the council of Chalcedon in 451, the council was not regarded as ecumenical and, therefore, not of the stature of Nicea." [5] page 121

If Donald Davis is right, then it took about an extra 70 years for it to be seen as "ecumenical".

But note 41 does condemn "premillennialism". You are correct in that it explicitly condemned a certain kind of pre-millennialism. However, it also gives an interpretation on how chapter 20 should be interpreted.

"As for the thousand years referred to by St. John, they are not to come to pass after the second advent of Christ; and the kingdom of the Lord is not describable in terms of years, nor food and drink, as St. Paul said (Rom. 14:17): but, on the contrary, a thousand years are to be understood, according to those versed in theology, to mean the interval of time extending from the first advent of Christ to the second, during which Satan was bound, according to the words of the Lord, saying, “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31)."


So this leaves little room for "premill", especially when an interpretation of the chapter in question is givin. But I do see your point.


Jason said
[in regards to me posting my sources] "And you often
don't."



I do, as seen here and here. Not to mention the sources I post in forums, and other peoples blogs.



Jason said:
"That's not all you said. You also referred to one apostolic
eschatology "trumping" another, proponents of the different eschatologies
"arguing" and "bumping heads", etc. You compared the alleged differences between
John and the other apostolic sources to the differences between the apostles and
"the Circumcision group" in Acts 15, where contradiction was involved. In this
thread, you've referred to how those going from one apostolic eschatology to
another would have to give something up, though supposedly not "much"."




What do you know of the "Quartodeciman controversy"?
For that is my template for the two tradition theory in regards to pre-mill vs nonpremill. Even you admitted that their were non premill ante-nicene fathers.

Now I know that the Quartodeciman controversy is a different topic than pre-mill so everything isn't going to be the same. There will be some differences, because they each have there own contexts. But that is where my diverce tradition theory of different regions comes from. However, when pressed on the issue. I saw that the argument for it, in regards to pre-mill wasn't as strong. Plus in regards to the Quartodeciman controversy. It was a difference in custom. And the New Testament allowed for a difference in certain customs. So yes, I may of been wrong to borrow that idea, and bring it into the pre-mill situation. I saw that primative christian eschatology wasn't a monolith. It is my theory, and yes, it has some weaknesses, but it also has some strengths. In the future, I will modify/revise my argument.



Jason said:
"How does your citation of that group justify your claim
that Revelation was rejected by most Christians? Does that group qualify as most
Christians of the timeframe we're discussing? No."



When you include both the christians outside of the Empire as well as those inside the Empire that either didn't have the book of Revelations or just didn't embrace it, in their compilation of books. Then you will have a pretty sizable number. But yes, it is true that everyone in the east didn't use it. Or just didn't have it.

As seen here:

"Those who were eventually called Nestorians, were not the only ones who used the Syriac Biblical scrolls and parchments. MY Jurisdiction used them as well. So we too lacked those very same books for a while.

"According to Burkitt, the earliest Syriac version of the New Testament is represented by the textual tradition known as Old Syriac, produced during the first two centuries of the Christian era. The Old Syriac is mainly represented today by the Syro-Curetonian Manuscript, produced in either the third or fourth century, and the Syro-Sinaiticus palimpsest, produced around 200 A.D."
[6] page 70

and

"From the beginning of the fifth century on, we can say the Old Syriac tradition reigns supreme in the Syriac Church. Its use is standard in both Church documents and translations of Grekk texts. The works of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nyssa, for instance, were translated in the fifth and sixth centuries using Old Syriac Scripture citations."[7]

I could be wrong, but I think Saint John Chrysostem also used the Old Syriac

Syriac New Testament

""Of the New Testament, attempts at translation must have been made very early, and among the ancient versions of New Testament Scripture the Syriac in all likelihood is the earliest. It was at Antioch, the capital of Syria, that the disciples of Christ were first called Christians, and it seemed natural that the first translation of the Christian Scriptures should have been made there. The tendency of recent research, however, goes to show that Edessa, the literary capital, was more likely the place.

If we could accept the somewhat obscure statement of Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, IV, xxii) that Hegesippus "made some quotations from the Gospel according to the Hebrews and from the Syriac Gospel," we should have a reference to a Syriac New Testament as early as 160-80 AD, the time of that Hebrew Christian writer. One thing is certain, that the earliest New Testament of the Syriac church lacked not only the Antilegomena--2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation--but the whole of the Catholic Epistles and the Apocalypse. These were at a later date translated and received into the Syriac Canon of the New Testament, but the quotations of the early Syrian Fathers take no notice of these New Testament books.

From the 5th century, however, the Peshitta containing both Old Testament and New Testament has been used in its present form only as the national version of the Syriac Scriptures. The translation of the New Testament is careful, faithful and literal, and the simplicity, directness and transparency of the style are admired by all Syriac scholars and have earned for it the title of "Queen of the versions.""


and

""The New Testament:
The Easter churches accept the traditional list of New Testament books. In the fourth century there were doubts in Asia Minor concerning the authenticity of the Aposalypse od St John the Divine. Gregory of Nazianzus, in one of his poems, lists the four Gospels, Acts, fourteen Pauline Epistles ans seven Catholic Epistles. He continues, 'You have them all. Any outside of these is not authentic.' His contemporary Amphilochios of Iconium, a friend of Basil the Great, writes in another poem, 'Again, some count John's Apocalypse, but the majority say it is spurious.' Cyril of Jerusalem and Cosmas of Maiuma both exclude the Apocalypse, though John of Damascus accepts it. The early Syriac-speaking churches did not accept the four minor Catholic Epistle and the Apocalypse, which did not, therefore, form part of th ePeshitta, but these were included in the sixth-century version commissioned by one of the leading opponents of Chalcedon, Philoxenus of Mabbug(see also Bible,Syriac.)
[8]

and


"Liturgical Use:
"The Byzantine Lectionary In the present Byzantine rite there are only two readings at the eucharist, both taken from the New Testament, which, except for the Apocalpse, is read throughout the year in a modified lectio cintinua............ect"
[9]



Jason said:
"In other words, you can't demonstrate that your earlier
claims about Justin and Irenaeus are probable. All you can do is suggest
possible scenarios in which the claim would be true."



I think they are probable. with the evidence we have, it is easier to believe that most christians were not pre-mill and that it took awhile for pre-mill to become popular. I don't see anything wrong with this, especially when one looks at the times, dates, and citations of the pre-millers you quoted.


Jason said:
"He also lived in other places and had access to documents
and individuals from other locations, so he could have been influenced by
sources outside of Asia Minor or by some combination of the two."


If he was a disciple of Polycarp then it is most likely that he got it from the East. When looking at the evidence we have. It is alot easier to believe he got it from that region. Since, that is where Saint John stayed. So the book was first known there. The two main places that we know of is Asia minor and Gaul. You will have to cite the other places Saint Irenaeus lived.



Jason said:
"Gene has already explained how your earlier claims implied
an error on the part of the apostle John."


Only by putting words in my mouth. He implied it from what I said in regards to the doctrine of the Trinity. But these are two different topics.



Jason said:
"If the Asia Minor tradition doesn't represent what the
apostle John taught, then why are you referring to it as an apostolic
tradition?"


The finger is pointed at Saint Papias, and according to Saint Irenaeus, he got it from "unwritten tradition". Saint John lived and died in that region, and that's why, I was very careful to say it, in the way I did.



Jason said:
"Why did you use such a comparison if you didn't mean to
suggest that the apostles disagreed with each other? And why did you also cite
the disagreement in Acts 15 between the apostles and those arguing for
circumcision?"



In regards to the Quartodeciman controversy I did say that, because of what happened between Bishop Polycarp & Bishop Anicetus.

"When the blessed Polycarp was visiting in Rome in the time of Anicetus,. . .they were at once well inclined towards each other, not willing that any quarrel should arise between them upon this matter [the observance ofEaster]. For Anicetus could not persuade Polycarp to forego the observance [of his Easter customs] inasmuch as these things had been always observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostle with whom he had been conversant. Nor, on the other hand, could Polycarp succeed in peruading Anicetus maintained that he was bound to adhere to the usage of the presbyters who preceed him. And in this state of affairs they held fellowship with each other. Irenaeus 180 A.D. [10] page 500

The controversy was my template for what I was saying in regards to pre-mill. For Saint Irenaeus seemed to have pointed the finger at "Apostolic tradition".

"Irenaeus, with his reverence for "apostolic tradition," described in glowing terms the transformation of the cosmos and the animals during the millennium; as his authority he cited Papias, who was a man of hoary antiquity, had heard the apostle John (writer of the book of revelation), and had been associated with Polycarp." [11] page 124 J. Pelikan

But Pelikan also admits:

"But there is striking evidence not only that the millenarian hope continued in the church after the apostolic age, but also that, probably from the beginning, it stood in tension with other descriptions of the reign of Christ, which were not as privy to the details of the timetable for this reign." [12] page 125 J. Pelikan


In regards to premill, I didn't want to point the finger at Saint John. Instead, I pointed it at Saint Papias.

So in regards to premill, I would like to say that the Apostolic traditions of the regions where the Apostles died at, seemed to be in tention, in regards to some of the finer details of "eschatology".

And in regards to the council of Acts? Yes, the Apostles, elders, and Holy Spirit gathered together to resolve a dispute. And it took another council (381 A.D.), to solve the dispute in regards to some of the finer points of eschatology. Those at the council represented the "Apostolic Tradition" of their regions. And just like in the first council, both the Bishops and the Holy Spirit agreed.


Jason said:
"Why would you relate premillennialism to John's having
lived and died in that region if John didn't teach premillennialism?"


That was his territory, and one person of his flock tought it, and claimed that he got it from "unwritten tradition". but this doesn't necessarily mean that Saint John tought it himself. especially when the finger is always pointed at Saint Papias.


Jason said:
"If there's no apostolic disagreement, then why does one
apostle or group of apostles "trump" another?"


It happened in regards to the custom of the "quartodeciman controversy", and in regards to the premill issue. It happened again, in regards to the "unwritten tradition" that Saint Papias embraced vs those that didn't have a premill view.


Jason said:
"If your eschatology is "equally ancient" in comparison to
premillennialism, then the implication is that both go back to the
apostles"


That's why I quoted 1st Clement. However, in regards to premill, I didn't want to point the finger at Saint John himself. Eventhough the view was tought by one of his flock.



Jason said:
"I don't think the problem is that we're being unreasonable
in how we interpret your comments. Rather, you seem to keep changing your
arguments or communicating poorly or both."



What I said in regards to the topic of the doctrine of the Trinity, should stay with that topic. What I said in regards to "premill" shouldn't be interchanged with another conversation.


Jason said:
"I've explained that I was citing ante-Nicene sources.
Eusebius of Caesarea isn't usually classified as such. And, again, I haven't
denied that there were people who opposed premillennialism, especially as more
time passed."


They lived within the same era. That's why I quoted him.
Lactantius lived from 250 A.D. to 325 A.D.
Victorinus about 304 A.D.

The non-premiller Eusebius lived from 270 A.D. to about 340 A.D. This is why I thought it was fair to use him.

And remember, your view is that "most pre-nicen christians" believed in pre-mill.

""Eusebius was certainly speaking for a large body of theological opinion in the East when he called Papias's millenarianism "bizarre" and rather mythological." [13] page 129

Around the sametime Lactantius and Victorinus lived. The Majority view in the east was non premill.



Jason said:
"I know. I cited the passage where he comments on the
subject. But we have no reason to conclude that those people were a
majority."



Why not? Your time frame for a pre-mill majority is pretty small. I will agree that it probably became popular around 200 A.D., but popularity and majority are two different things.

You had Caius from Rome, that argued against the view, and he lived around 215 A.D.

You had Origen and Dionysius from Alexandria who both fought against the view.
Origen lived from 185 A.D. to about 255 A.D.
And Dionysius was ordained a Bishop around the 247 A.D. and he mentioned that there were people before his time, that rejected the book.

The window for a premill majority is small.


Jason said:
"I've acknowledged that some people rejected the canonicity
of Revelation. I'm not asking you for documentation of that fact. Rather, I'm
asking for documentation of your assertion that a majority rejected Revelation's
canonicity. You still haven't provided such documentation."


When you combine those in and outside of the empire who didn't have the book. With those that either fought against the book or with it's interpretation of chapter 20, along with the fact that readings from it wasn't in the Divine liturgy of Eastern christian churches. I can't speak for western church, but the same could be true for Rome as well. But when you include all of this then I think one can say that the Majority didn't embrace it, in the same mannor they did most of the other books.


Jason said:
"I know, but that's irrelevant to the issue at hand. He
accepted the canonicity of the book."


No, I don't think you can say that. "canonicity" doesn't = inspired when you look at how the ancients understood the word "Canonicity". You can believe a book to be inspired without having it in your canon. And this is what you had back then.


Jason said:
"I've noticed that you seem to have modified one of the articles at your web site that I linked to. One of the articles now reads:"

Yes, I did modify it.



Jason said:
"That seems to be a revision of what you said earlier, when you were arguing that it was a sixth-century council that condemned premillennialism. Have you also revised other portions of your articles? Are you going to keep revising them?"


Yes, I was wrong about it being in the sixth century, as seen here. So I revised it. And no I don't recall revising other portions of the article. Any future modifications of my theory, will be seen in future posts.


Jason said:
"But you don't explain why. I explained why I view the
document as I do. Why don't you interact with what I wrote on the
subject?"



I just did.


Jason said:
"How so?


You need him to prove your multiple origin theory, as well as your 130 A.D. date in regards to premill being the majority view in the pre-nicene era.


Jason said:
"I didn't say that premillennialism was widespread by that
time. But, since you've brought the issue up, yes, I do believe it was
widespread by that time. Later sources who advocate premillennialism cite
earlier sources who did the same, and some of those earlier sources date to
around the time of The Epistle Of Barnabas. Justin Martyr's Dialogue With Trypho
wasn't written until a little past the middle of the second century, but the
debate he recounts in that document occurred around the year 135. In that
debate, Justin refers to premillennialism as if it's a widely held belief
(Dialogue With Trypho, 80). Trypho's knowledge of premillennialism and Justin's
references to disputes on the subject among professing Christians suggest that
the doctrine was known and discussed for a long time prior to Justin's debate
with Trypho. Similarly, Irenaeus refers to disciples of the apostle John who
advocated the doctrine (Against Heresies, 5:33:3-4)."




I don't think you can prove it with all the evidence I've shown that would say otherwise.



Jason said:
"But you haven't given us any good reason to "take the
Epistle of Barnabas out of the picture". And Justin Martyr tells us that the
doctrine was already widely known and discussed, both by Christians and
non-Christians, around the year 135. I cited The Epistle Of Barnabas as an
example of early premillennialism outside of Asia Minor, but it's not the only
example."



You are going to have to quote Justin saying that the view was "widely known and discussed among christians and nonchristians".



Jason said:
"But you haven't given us any good reason to "take the
Epistle of Barnabas out of the picture". And Justin Martyr tells us that the
doctrine was already widely known and discussed, both by Christians and
non-Christians, around the year 135. I cited The Epistle Of Barnabas as an
example of early premillennialism outside of Asia Minor, but it's not the only
example."


I gave good reasons. the Epislte of Barnabas doesn't really prove "premillennialism".


Jason said:
"There's no evidence that would lead us to your "decent
guess". It's an unverifiable speculation that you've come up with as a result of
a desire to lessen the significance of the widespread acceptance of
premillennialism. And you still aren't explaining why so many people who
allegedly had a contrary eschatology from other apostles and a larger number of
apostles would give up their eschatology in order to adopt premillennialism.
What does such a scenario, in which Christian leaders in so many locations keep
abandoning their apostolic eschatology in favor of a false eschatology, suggest
about the degree of credibility you've been assigning to the Christians of the
patristic era?"



I disagree, the unverifiable speculation is assuming that the book as well as the interpretation of chapter 20 came from muliple origins. You probably assume that all the Apostle tought it. This is probably why you think it was a majority view, and had multiple origins.
This is something you can't prove. And the evidence that we have, would say otherwise.



Jason said:
"Regarding the Quartodeciman controversy, I suspect that
there were differing apostolic traditions on that issue, partly because of what
I mentioned in the other thread. The apostles considered such holiday
observances a matter of freedom (Romans 14:5-6). The differing traditions are
early and credible, and I see no reason to deny that different sources received
different traditions from the apostolic church."



So we agree on something. Good.



Jason said:
"But premillennialism is a doctrinal matter. The apostolic
documents and the early post-apostolic sources suggest that the apostles were
united in their doctrine."


So you think that all the Apostles tought premill? This is something you can't prove.
Now I'm starting to understand why you are saying what you are saying.



Jason said:
"You referred to one eschatological tradition coming from
John and another coming from men like Paul and Peter."


One coming from Saint John's region. And another coming from men like Saint Paul and Saint Peter.



Jason said:
"If Revelation was written in the last decade of the first
century, as I believe, then John wrote around 30 years after Paul and Peter had
died. He surely knew what their eschatology was, and what they had taught would
have been widespread by the time John wrote. "



Saint John was locked up for about 10 to 20 years. Saint John was the one who was givin that Revelation. You must assume that Jesus gave the same Revelation to every Apostle. Meaning that every Apostle was givin the revelation about the 7 churches and they told their flock about the seven church.

This is something you will have to prove.



Jason said:
"If he had been proposing an eschatology contrary to theirs,
I would expect to see many and explicit traces of that conflict in the
historical record. Instead, the mainstream approach toward eschatology was to
treat all of the apostolic sources as harmonious. And the disciples of John
speak highly of the other leaders of the apostolic church, such as Paul and
Mark."



The problem isn't what Saint John wrote. The problem is the interpretation of chapter 20. The finger is mainly pointed at Saint Papias, not Saint John. This is the real issue.



Jason said:
"The early opponents of premillennialism don't seem to claim
the same degree of extra-Biblical confirmation of their eschatology as the early
premillennialists claimed for theirs. Papias and Irenaeus refer to men from the
apostolic generation (apostolic leaders or those who knew them) teaching
premillennialism outside of scripture. I'm not aware of any comparable claim
from the early opponents of premillennialism, related to their eschatology. Both
the widespread acceptance of premillennialism early on and the nature of the
claims made about its history by its proponents suggest to me that it's more
likely to be the eschatology of the apostles."




The fact that they had to prove where their view came from by pointing at tradition, only shows that their was opposition. But you are right. From there writtings, we only know their claim of authority for their view. But the fact, that they had to do that shows oppositions.

You will have to prove that all the Apostles tought it. Let alone one Apostle. You will also have to prove that it was the majority view before Saint John's revelation. As well as After Saint John's Revelation......since you think all the Apostles tought it.







JNORM888


[1] page 381, [2] page 565, [3] page 451,[4] page 451,[10] page 500 edited by David Bercot, in the book "A dictionary of Early Christian beliefs"

[5] page 121 by Leo Donald Davis, in the book "The first Seven Ecumenical Councils(325-787) their history and theology

[6] pages 69-70,[7] pages 73-74, from the book "Antioch: Incarnational Theology & Ministry" edited by Joseph Allen & Michel Najim

[8] page 83, [9] pages 83-84 of the Blackwekk dictionary of Eastern Christianity. Edited by Ken Parry, David J. Melling, Dimitri Brady, Sidney H. Griffith & John F. Healey. published by Blackwell, copyright 1999,2001

[11] page 124, [12] page 125, [13]page 129 by Jaroslav Pelikan, in the book "The Christian tradition: A history of the Development of Doctrine" Vol 1, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600)

Introduction to the Bible - Lesson 8: The Septuagint

This week, Dr. Jeannie Constantinou talks about the Septuagint in the podcast "Search the Scriptures"



As seen from the website:
" In her continuing series entitled Introduction to the Bible, Jeannie looks at the Septuagint and the influence of Greek thought and culture."



The Mp3:
http://audio.ancientfaith.com/searchthescriptures/sts_2008-07-26.mp3


JNORM888

The Suffering Messiah

In the podcast "Faith and Philosophy - Reflections on Orthodoxy and Culture"


Clark Carlton talks about a modern archeological discovery. As seen here:
"A recent archeological discovery is in the news and Clark is more fascinated with the reactions of people than the discovery itself."



The Mp3:
http://audio.ancientfaith.com/carlton/fap_2008-07-26.mp3



JNORM888

From Classic Evangelicalism to Orthodoxy


This is from the "Illumined heart" podcast. John Maddex is interviewed. I could be wrong, but I think he was the one who started "Ancientfaithradio". The podcast traces his life journy starting with his Dad's involvment in christian radio. And from there he was able to work for a Moody Radio station, and eventually "focus on the family" with James Dobson, he later left there to return back to moody. Where he was over several moody radio stations in the midwest.

He also talks about how he eventually became a 5 point Calvinist while working for moody. Some years later he became Orthodox and started Ancient Faith radio.




From the website:
"In this encore presentation of The Illumined Heart, hear the story of John Maddex who, along with his wife Tonya, found the Orthodox Church after nearly 40 years in Evangelical Christian radio."




The Mp3:
http://audio.ancientfaith.com/illuminedheart/ih_maddex_encore.mp3



JNORM888
Friday, July 25, 2008

blog testing

This is the Blog readability test. I first saw it on "energetic procession"


blog readability test

TV Reviews








JNORM888

Practical applications

In the Podcast "Generation Orthodox" Fr. John, his wife Deborah, Turbo, and Matt talk about some of the practical applications of Orthodoxy.


As seen from the webpage:
"This week Fr. John Tomasi and his wife Deborah join Generation Orthodox. Fr. John shares his vision for encouraging a house of industry type of life. This podcast includes practical applications of the Orthodox Christian faith and tips for being more like our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jacob, Turbo, Matt and Calee join in the conversation"




The mp3:
http://iconnewmedianetwork.com/mp3/go/GEN-O-Fr-John-t.mp3




JNORM888

The genuine tradition of Apostolic doctrine

Polycarpus (1) bp. of Smyrna, one of the most prominent figures in the church of the 2nd cent. He owes this prominence less to intellectual ability, which does not appear to have been pre-eminent, than to the influence gained by a consistent and unusually long life. Born some 30 years before the end of the 1st cent., and rasied to the episcopate apparently in early manhood, he held his office to the age of 86 or more. He claimed to have known at least one apostle and must in early life have met many who could tell things they had heard from actual disciples of our Lord. The younger generation, into which he lived on, naturally recognized him as a peculiarly trustworthy source of information concerning the first age of the Church. During the later years of his life Gnostic speculation had become very active and many things unknown to the faith of ordinary Christians were put forth as derived by secret traditions from the Apostles. Thus a high value was attached to the witness Polycarp could give as to the genuine tradition of apostolic doctrine, his testimony condemning as offensive novelties the figments of the heretical teachers. Irenaeus states (iii.3) that on Polycarp's visit to Rome his testimony converted many disciples of Marcion and Valentinus. Polycarp crowned his other services to the church by a glorious martyrdom." [1]





JNORM888

[1] page 846 from the book "A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography: A Reference Guide to over 800 Christian men and women, Heretics, and Sects of the first six centuries" edited by Henry Wace & William C. Piercy. Originally published in London 1911 by John Murray, republished by Hendrickson publishers 1999

The Regula Fidei

"Tradition was in the early church, first of all, a hermeneutical principle and method. Scripture could be rightly and fully understood and assessed only in the light and in the context of the living apostolic tradition, which was an integral factor of Christian existence.
This was so, of course, not because tradition could add anything to what has been manifested in theScripture, but because it provided that living context, the comprehensive perspective, in which alone the true intention and the total design of the Holy Writ, of divine revelation itself, could be detected and grasped. The truth was, according to Irenaeus, a "well-grounded system," a corpus, a "harmonious melody." This harmony could be grasped only by the insight of faith. Indeed, tradition was not just a transmission of inherited doctrine in a Judiac manner, but continuous life in the truth.
It was not a fixed core or complex of binding propositions, but an insight into the meaning and impact of revelatory events, of the revelation of the God who acts. And this was determinative in the field of biblical exegesis. George Prestige has well put it: "The voice of the Bible could be plainly heard only if its text were interpreted broadly and rationally, in accordance with the apostolic creed and the evidence of the historical practice of Christendom. It was the heretics that relied on isolated texts, and the Catholics who paid more attention on the whole to scriptural principles."
Summarizing her careful analysis of the use of tradition in the early church, Ellen Flesseman-van Leer has written: "Scripture without interpretation is not Scripture at all; the moment it is used and becomes alive it is always interpreted Scripture," which is disclosed in the regula fidei. Thus this regula becomes, as it were, the controlling factor in the exegesis. "Real interpretation ofScripture is church preaching, is tradition."[1]





JNORM888
[1] pages 103-104 by George Florovsky, edited by Daniel B. Clendenin, in the book Eastern Orthodoc Theology: A contemporary reader

Person, Nature And Action

Ft. Thomas Hopko, in his podcast Speaking the Truth in Love.


Talks about the greek terms of "Person, Nature, and Action".

As seen from the website:

"As an epilogue to his series on the language of God, Fr. Tom explains these technical, theological, terms used by the Church."

The MP3:
http://audio.ancientfaith.com/hopko/stt_2008-07-24_pc.mp3










JNORM888
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My rejoinder to Jason Engwer of Triablogue

This is my rejoinder to Jason Engwer of Triablogue



Jason said:
"Jnorm888, an Eastern Orthodox poster, has
been making some dubious, undocumented claims about the history of
premillennialism."



These are my personal oppinions. Not the view of the Church. And just because I refused to dig in my books and type for you my sources at your command, doesn't mean I never post my sources. I often do.


Jason said:
"He's argued that the apostles taught
contradictory views of eschatology, that premillennialism came from John,
whereas men like Paul and Mark taught a different eschatology."



This is your spin, to what I said. My view is that early christians from different regions didn't always have a 100% uniform "interpretation" of eschatology.

Dr. Jaroslav Pelikan seems to say something similar:

"If the teachings of the early church and of Jesus could simply be described as consistent eschatology, we could then trace the decline of such an eschatology as the primary factor in the establishment both of ecclesiastical structures and of dogmatic norms. Neither primative Christianity nor the church catholic was consitent in so single-minded a way, as each new bit of evidence or new study of old evidence makes clear. But once the dialectic of already/not yet is permitted to emerge from the texts, the magnitude of the change may become visible. It was nothing less than the decisive shift from the categories of cosmic drama to those of being, from the Revelation of St. John the Divine to the creed of the Council of Nicea."[1]




Jason said:
"He's claimed that the canonicity of
Revelation was rejected by most Christians for a while."


What's wrong with this claim? The Assyrian Church of the East(what some have traditionaly called Nestorian) still doesn't have it in their canon. They only have 22 books in their New Testament. They don't include 2nd Peter, 2nd John, 3rd John, Jude, & Revelation.

I could be wrong, but I think they broke away around the time of the 3rd Ecumenical Council. So they were in communion until about 431 A.D.

You can always go to one of their websites to look at the number of their new testament books.


Jason said:
"And he's claimed that a sixth-century
ecumenical council condemned premillennialism."


I was wrong about the 6th century. It was in the 4th.
The second Ecumenical council of 381 A.D. note 41, says:

note 41

""[41] Led astray by the words in ch. 20 of the Book of Revelation (v. 3 to 7), where it says that Satan was shut up and bound for a thousand years, and that the righteous who participated in the first resurrection reigned together with Christ as kings for a thousand years, many men have imagined that after the second advent and common judgment take place, the righteous are to reign here on the earth as kings for a thousand years together with Christ, and thereafter to ascend to heaven; and on this account they have been called millenarians or millennialists. There have been two battalions of millenarians. For some of them used to say that during those thousand years they are to enjoy every enjoyment, and bodily pleasure; these men were followers of Cerinthus, a pupil of Simon, in the first century, and the Marcionists in the second century of the Christian era. Others said that they were not to enjoy passionate pleasures, but rather intellectual pleasures befitting rational human beings, of whom the leader was Papias the bishop of Hierapolis (in Euseb. Eccl. Hist, book 3, ch. 34) and others. Hence it is evident that Apollinaris became such a millenarian of the first battalion, as is plain from what St. Basil the Great says (letter 332), and from what the Theologian says (Discourse 51), and from what Jerome says (Book 18 on Isaiah). On this account in refutation of this heresy this Council added to the Creed of the Nicene Council that statement, which it borrowed from the sentence which the Archangel Gabriel spoke to the Virgin, viz.: “and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:33). As for the thousand years referred to by St. John, they are not to come to pass after the second advent of Christ; and the kingdom of the Lord is not describable in terms of years, nor food and drink, as St. Paul said (Rom. 14:17): but, on the contrary, a thousand years are to be understood, according to those versed in theology, to mean the interval of time extending from the first advent of Christ to the second, during which Satan was bound, according to the words of the Lord, saying, “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31). The first resurrection, by contrast, took place for justification of souls through mortification of infidelity and wickedness, concerning which Christ said “He that heareth my words, and believeth in him who sent me, hath life everlasting, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life” (John 5:24); and the Apostle said “If then ye be risen with Christ . . . set your mind on the things that are above” (Col. 3:1-2). And thereafter in this interval of time the reign of the righteous with Christ took place, being their union with Him through (i.e., by means of) the Holy Spirit, and the contemplation and enjoyment of His divine illumination, respecting which the Lord said, “Some of them that stand here shall not taste of death till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1)."




Jason said:
"Premillennialists like Justin Martyr and
Irenaeus lived in multiple locations, so how does Jnorm know where they acquired
their premillennialism, and how does he know that such men had the role he
claims they had in spreading premillennialism?"


I don't know with 100% certainty that Saint Justin Martry got it in Ashia minor. It is true, that he did live in alot of places. It is my speculation that he picked it up while living in the East. For that is where the view most likely came from.

On the otherhand, it is said that Saint Irenaeus was a disciple of Saint Polycarp, who was a disciple of Saint John. And it is also said that Saint Papias was friends with Saint John. Saint Papias is mostly the one that people point the finger at. So I am pointing the finger at him too.

So Saint Irenaeus seems to have come from that line of Tradition. He was a Native of Ashia Minor

"Very little is known of his personal history except that he was a native of Asia Minor;" [2]

And in regards to the role they played in spreading the view. The view was in their writtings, and other people during their time as well as after their time, read their works.


Jason said:
"Here are some examples of ante-Nicene
sources who advocated premillennialism while living outside of Asia Minor:

Pseudo-Barnabas (The Epistle Of Barnabas, 15)
Justin Martyr
(Dialogue With Trypho, 80)
Irenaeus (Against Heresies, 5:28:3, 5:33:2-4)
Tertullian (Against Marcion, 3:24)
Hippolytus (On Daniel, 2:4)
Cyprian (section 2 in the preface and chapter 11 in Treatise 11, On the
Exhortation to Martyrdom)
Nepos (Eusebius, Church History, 7:24)
Commodianus (Writings, 44)
Victorinus (On The Creation Of The World)
Lactantius (The Divine Institutes, 7:14"




I don't think you can put "The Epistle Of Barnabas" 100%ly in the pre-mill camp. He talks about 6 days equaling six thousand years, but just like in the book of Genesis, the 7nth day doesn't have a "time limit" on it.

He doesn't say that the 7nth day will last for a thousand years. Nor does he say that for the 8th day.

As seen in chapter 15:
as seen here

"Barnabas 15:1
Moreover concerning the Sabbath likewise it is written in the Ten
Words, in which He spake to Moses face to face on Mount Sinai; And
ye shall hallow the Sabbath of the Lord with pure hands and with a
pure heart.

Barnabas 15:2
And in another place He saith; If my sons observe the Sabbath then
I will bestow My mercy upon them.

Barnabas 15:3
Of the Sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation; And
God made the works of His hands in six days, and He ended on the
seventh day, and rested on it, and He hallowed it.

Barnabas 15:4
Give heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days. He
meaneth this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all
things to an end; for the day with Him signifyeth a thousand years;
and this He himself beareth me witness, saying; Behold, the day of
the Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six
days, that is in six thousand years, everything shall come to an end.


Barnabas 15:5
And He rested on the seventh day. this He meaneth; when His Son
shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall
judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon and the
stars, then shall he truly rest on the seventh day.

Barnabas 15:6
Yea and furthermore He saith; Thou shalt hallow it with pure hands
and with a pure heart. If therefore a man is able now to hallow
the day which God hallowed, though he be pure in heart, we have gone
utterly astray.

Barnabas 15:7
But if after all then and not till then shall we truly rest and
hallow it, when we shall ourselves be able to do so after being
justified and receiving the promise, when iniquity is no more and all
things have been made new by the Lord, we shall be able to hallow it
then, because we ourselves shall have been hallowed first.

Barnabas 15:8
Finally He saith to them; Your new moons and your Sabbaths I cannot
away with. Ye see what is His meaning ; it is not your present
Sabbaths that are acceptable [unto Me], but the Sabbath which I have
made, in the which, when I have set all things at rest, I will make
the beginning of the eighth day which is the beginning of another
world.

Barnabas 15:9
Wherefore also we keep the eighth day for rejoicing, in the which
also Jesus rose from the dead, and having been manifested ascended
into the heavens."


This is why I didn't mention him.

And as far as where he was from....well that's mostly speculation.

As seen from the intro to the Epistle of Barnabas edited by Michael W. Holmes,

He says on page 373:

"A lack of information renders difficult any determination regarding location. Nevertheless, Barnabas is widely thought to have originated in Alexandria in view of its numerous affinities to have originated in Alexandria in view of its numerous affinities in hermeneutical approach and style with Alexandria Judaism and Christianity and because its earliest witness is Clement of Alexandria (who accorded it the same authority as the Catholic Epistles). It appears to have been written after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in AD 70 (16.3-5) but before the city was rebuilt by Hadrian following the revolt of AD 132-135. Within these limits it is difficult to be any more precise."[7]

We really don't know where he was from, but the majority view is Alexandria, but like I said before. You can't really put him in the chilism camp. And that is why I never included him.

Also in regards to the Apostolic church Father 1st Clement. He seems to have an "amill" view When he asserts that Christ reigns right now over his enemies. He doesn't assert a future 1,000 year period.
as seen here

""CHAPTER 36

36:1 This is the way, beloved, in which we found our salvation; even Jesus Christ, the high priest of our oblations, the champion and defender of our weakness.

36:2 Through him we look steadfastly to the heights of the heavens; through him we behold, as in a glass, the immaculate and lofty countenance of God the Father; through him the eyes of our heart were opened; through him our foolish and darkened understanding springeth up again to his marvellous light; through him the Lord hath willed us to taste of immortal knowledge; who, being the brightness of his glory, is so far better than the angels, as he hath, by inheritance, obtained a more excellent name than they.

36:3 For it is thus written: Who maketh his angels spirits, his ministers a flame of fire.

36:4 But of his Son the Lord hath thus said: Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the world for thy possession.

36:5 And, again, he saith unto him: Sit on my right hand until I make thy enemies thy footstool.

36:6 Who then are the enemies? Even the wicked, and they who resist the will of God."



Plus J. Pelikan seems to show that it wasn't the only view.


"But there is striking evidence not only that the mellenarian hope continued in the Church after the Apostolic age, but also that, probably from the beginning, it stood in tension with other descriptions of the reign of Christ, which were not as privy to the details of the timetable for this reign. Although he himself entertained the expectation that Jerusalem would be rebuilt and that the saints of both the Old and New Testament eras would share with Christ in the joys of the new age, Justin admitted that there were other christian believers, no less pious and orthodox than he, who did not have such an expectation. It would seem that very early in the post-apostolic era millenarianism was regarded as a mark neither of orthodoxy nor of heresy, but as one permissible opinion among others within the range of permissible opinions. Although its terminus a quo is set very early, its terminus ad quem is much more diffucult to fix, Origen's polemics against millenarianism recounted the exegesis of the literalists on the various promises concerning the Kingdom of Christ, but concluded that such an interpretation was "unworthy of the divine promises";""[8]





Elsewhere Jason said:
" The apostle John taught
premillennialism, but he was wrong. The Christians in Asia Minor "had a little
more detail about end time views that other regions didn't have. And they lost
the fight". Apparently, they were mistaken because they accepted the "details"
John gave them. The apostle led them astray."



You are putting words in my mouth. This is what I said:

""only the christians from Ashia Minor were mostly PM [premillennial]. Ashia minor is where Saint John mostly lived and died, and so the Apostolic Tradition that came from his region mostly held on to 'Chilism'.""

Where in that quote did I say that Saint John tought premill? I was very careful not to say that. It is you who are making that connection from some of my statements.

I said that the Apostolic tradition that came from his region, mostly held to it. You guys have been putting words in my mouth for the past few days. For three days you have been either putting words in my mouth, or gave a meaning I never gave. I came here a few days ago in regards to John Calvin's noval view of the Asiety of the Son, and you guys change topics to pound me over the head with premill.

"Probably the first indication that the prophecy in this chapter was being interpreted to mean an earthly reign of a thousand years following the return of Christ is that associated with the name of Papias. The only doctrinal position definitely attributed to him was the teaching, which he clamed to have derived from "unwritten tradition," that there will be a millennium following the resurrection of the dead, when the kingdom of Christ is to be established physically on this earth."[3]


Jason also said:
" The book of Revelation, which the
large majority of professing Christians today accept as canonical, was rejected
as uncanonical by most of the earliest Christians, and the book taught a false
view of eschatology. It can be reinterpreted in an orthodox manner, but the book
was initially written with the intention of conveying false eschatology."



You are putting words in my mouth again. I never said any of that. In my rejoinder with King Neb, I said that the Canon was still in a state of flux. and that alot of christians didn't embrace the book of Revelation. I never said anything about the book of Revelations teaching a false view anywhere. How can I say that when the book itself doesn't even tell us how we should interpret that chapter.

I never said any of what you asserted.


Jason also said:
" The reason why men like Justin Martyr
and Irenaeus advocated premillennialism and spoke of it as if it was the
mainstream Christian view when they were outside of Asia Minor is because they
were at the forefront of spreading the belief to other regions. Apparently, men
like Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Cyprian accepted premillennialism under the
influence of men like Justin and Irenaeus. We aren't told why premillennialism
would be so widely accepted outside of Asia Minor if it had initially been
rejected in such places. We aren't told how Jnorm888 allegedly knows that the
doctrine was spread in the manner he suggests."



You are putting words in my mouth again.
Why should I say that about Saint Justin Martye when even he admited that not everyone agreed with his "eschatology", and yet you wonder why I wouldn't always answer your posts. Well for starters, you keep putting words in my mouth, and I didn't originally come here to talk about Premill. I came to talk about John Calvin & friends.


Jason said:
"The apostle John lived in Asia Minor, and
he wrote Revelation to some of the churches there. But premillennialism's origin
and prominence in that region don't imply some of the other conclusions Jnorm
has reached. Premillennialism is found early in Asia Minor (Papias), but also is
found early outside of Asia Minor (The Epistle Of Barnabas)."


I think I already answered why "The Epistle of Barnabas shouldn't be included.


Jason said:
"Premillennialism became much less popular
in later centuries, but it was widespread during the ante-Nicene era."


In your list you included "Lactantius & Victorinus ". Lactanius lived from 250 A.D. to about 325 A.D.

Victorinus lived around 304 A.D.

Well since you included these pre-millers. I think it's only fair that I include Eusebius who lived anywhere from 270 A.D. to about 340 A.D.

on page 129 Pelikan says:

"Eusebius was certainly speaking for a large body of theological opinion in the East when he called Papias's millenarianism "bizarre" and rather mythological." [4]



Jason said:
"A smaller number of mainstream ante-Nicene
sources opposed premillennialism, such as Origen and Dionysius of Alexandria,
but not with the sort of argumentation we're getting from Jnorm."


Pelikan seems to think that Origen reacted against Millenarianism with alot of vigor. And Dionysius of Alexandria at least knew of some who rejected the book.

"Some persons before our time have set this book aside and entirely rejected it. They have criticized it chapter by chapter, trying to demonstrate that it is without either sense or reason. They have also alleged that its title is false. For they have that John is the author.....they claim that non of the Apostles, nor indeed any of the Saints, nor any person belonging to the church, could be its author. Rather, they say that Cerinthus and the heretical sect founded by him.....attached that title to the book....However, I, for my part, could not venture to set this book aside. For there are many brethern who value it highly." Dionysius of Alexandria 262 A.D. [5]

And it seems that Dionysius of Alexandria didn't believe that Saint John was the author either.

"I do not deny that this person was called John, therefore, and that this was the writting of somone named John. I also acknowledge that it was the work of some holy and inspired man. However, I could not so easily acknowledge that the author was one of the aposltes. I cannot so easily acknowledge that it is the same person who wrote the Gospel that bears the title, "According to John," and the author of the general epistle. Rather, from the character of both those works and the forms of expression in them....I draw the conclusion that the authorship is not his. For the evangelist nowhere else affixes his name [to his works]. He never proclaims himself either in the Gospel or in the epislte. Dionydius of Alexandria (262 A.D.) [6]



Jason said:
"The tendency was to classify apostolic
books as scripture, so acceptance of the apostolic status of Revelation tends to
suggest acceptance of the book as scripture. I can document that tendency, and I
can give examples of the citation of Revelation as scripture by such sources, if
Jnorm wants to dispute the point."



There is no need to do that for I never disputed/fought againt the claim.






JNORM888

[1] page 131,[3] page 124,[4] page 129,[8] page 124 & 125 by Jaroslav Pelikan, in the book "The Christian tradition: A history of the Development of Doctrine" Vol 1, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600)

[2] page 520, edited by Henry Wace & William C. Piercy, in the book "A dictionary of early Christian Biography"

[5] page 565,[6] page 565 edited by David Bercot, in the book "A dictionary of Early Christian beliefs"


[7] page 373, edited by Michael W. Holmes, in the book "The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations 3rd eition"

premill and the council that condemned it

I made a mistake on when "premill" was condemned. I knew it was condemned because I read an article on when it was rejected. But at the time of writting a rejoinder to King Neb, I said that it was condemned in the 6th century. The truth is, it was condemned at the second council, which was around 381 A.D.

As sen here

Note 41

""[41] Led astray by the words in ch. 20 of the Book of Revelation (v. 3 to 7), where it says that Satan was shut up and bound for a thousand years, and that the righteous who participated in the first resurrection reigned together with Christ as kings for a thousand years, many men have imagined that after the second advent and common judgment take place, the righteous are to reign here on the earth as kings for a thousand years together with Christ, and thereafter to ascend to heaven; and on this account they have been called millenarians or millennialists. There have been two battalions of millenarians. For some of them used to say that during those thousand years they are to enjoy every enjoyment, and bodily pleasure; these men were followers of Cerinthus, a pupil of Simon, in the first century, and the Marcionists in the second century of the Christian era. Others said that they were not to enjoy passionate pleasures, but rather intellectual pleasures befitting rational human beings, of whom the leader was Papias the bishop of Hierapolis (in Euseb. Eccl. Hist, book 3, ch. 34) and others. Hence it is evident that Apollinaris became such a millenarian of the first battalion, as is plain from what St. Basil the Great says (letter 332), and from what the Theologian says (Discourse 51), and from what Jerome says (Book 18 on Isaiah). On this account in refutation of this heresy this Council added to the Creed of the Nicene Council that statement, which it borrowed from the sentence which the Archangel Gabriel spoke to the Virgin, viz.: “and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:33). As for the thousand years referred to by St. John, they are not to come to pass after the second advent of Christ; and the kingdom of the Lord is not describable in terms of years, nor food and drink, as St. Paul said (Rom. 14:17): but, on the contrary, a thousand years are to be understood, according to those versed in theology, to mean the interval of time extending from the first advent of Christ to the second, during which Satan was bound, according to the words of the Lord, saying, “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31). The first resurrection, by contrast, took place for justification of souls through mortification of infidelity and wickedness, concerning which Christ said “He that heareth my words, and believeth in him who sent me, hath life everlasting, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life” (John 5:24); and the Apostle said “If then ye be risen with Christ . . . set your mind on the things that are above” (Col. 3:1-2). And thereafter in this interval of time the reign of the righteous with Christ took place, being their union with Him through (i.e., by means of) the Holy Spirit, and the contemplation and enjoyment of His divine illumination, respecting which the Lord said, “Some of them that stand here shall not taste of death till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1)."

I got into a little scuffle with Triablog, and they wanted me to post my sources. I appreciate the sparring, for I was able to see some of the weakness in my view. Most of the weakness had to do with my "absolute" type of language.

I have learned that in dealing with Triablog, I can't use such language, for they are too technical about precise wording and detail.

So the next time I deal with them, I will have to learn to be patient, and just take my time. Move slow. And think slower.

Now I will have to edit what I said over at HCR.




JNORM888
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