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Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Wrath of God

This is from the podcast Glory to God by Fr. Stephen.

As seen from the website:
"Fr. Stephen looks at the Orthodox understanding of the wrath of God and the patristic teaching that His wrath is nothing other than His love given to us. The wrath is our own hatred for His love. It is an understanding of the good God who loves mankind."

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Related Links:
Wrath of God

A second look at the second coming


The January Ascetic Fathers

This is from the podcast Speaking the Truth in Love by Fr. Thomas Hopko.

As seen from the website:
"As we bring the month of January to a close, Fr. Tom thinks back on the spiritual fathers we have celebrated during this month in particular, St. Anthony."

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This is an awsome episode!!! It was awsome.


Imonks predictions "The coming Evangelical collaps", "what's next" & "Is it good or bad"

Imonk seems to be a Protestant evangelical, but he doesn't like what he sees in the near future (I think mostly for North America)

Part 1:
his prediction the coming evangelical collapse

I’m not a Prophet or a Prophet’s Son. I can’t see the future. I’m usually wrong. I’m known for over-reacting. I have no statistics. You probably shouldn’t read this. The “Gracious God” post depressed me

Part 1: The Coming Evangelical Collapse, and Why It Is Going to Happen
Part 2: What Will Be Left When Evangelicalism Collapses?
Part 3: Is This A Good e on the verge- within 10 years- of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity; a collapse that will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and that will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West. I believe this evangelical collapse will happen with astonishing statistical speed; that within two generations of where we are now evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its current occupants, leaving in its wake nothing that can revitalize evangelicals to their former “glory.”

The party is almost over for evangelicals; a party that’s been going strong since the beginning of the “Protestant” 20th century. We are soon going to be living in a very secular and religiously antagonistic 21st century in a culture that will be between 25-30% non-religious.

This collapse, will, I believe, herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian west and will change the way tens of millions of people see the entire realm of religion. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become particularly hostile towards evangelical Christianity, increasingly seeing it as the opponent of the good of individuals and society.

The response of evangelicals to this new environment will be a revisiting of the same rhetoric and reactions we’ve seen since the beginnings of the current culture war in the 1980s. The difference will be that millions of evangelicals will quit: quit their churches, quit their adherence to evangelical distinctives and quit resisting the rising tide of the culture."

To read the rest, please go to his blog.

Part 2:
the coming evangelical collapse 2 what will be left

"a. An evangelicalism far from its historical and doctrinal core. Expect evangelicalism as a whole to look more and more like the pragmatic, therapeutic, church growth oriented megachurches that have defined success. The determination to follow in the methodological steps of numerically successful churches will be greater than ever. The result will be, in the main, a departure from doctrine to more and more emphasis on relevance, motivation and personal success….with the result being churches further compromised and weakened in their ability to pass on the faith.

For some time, we’ve been at a point that the decision to visit a particular evangelical church contained a fairly high risk of not hearing the Biblical Gospel. That experience will be multiplied and expanded in the years to come. Core beliefs will become less and less normative and necessary in evangelicalism.

b. An evangelicalized Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Two of the beneficiaries of the coming evangelical collapse will be the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions. Evangelicals have been steadily entering these churches in recent decades and that trend will continue, with more media and publishing efforts aimed at the “conversion” of evangelicals to the Catholic and Orthodox ways of being Christian.

A result of this trend will be the increasing “evangelicalization” of these churches. This should yield interesting results, particularly in the Orthodox church with its ethnic heritage and with the tensions and diversities in Catholicism that most converts never see during the conversion process. I expect the reviews of the influence of evangelicalism in these communions to be decidedly mixed.

c. A small portion of evangelicalism will continue down the path of theological re-construction and recovery. Whether they be post-evangelicals working for a reinvigoration of evangelicalism along the lines of historic “Mere Christianity,” or theologically assertive young reformed pastors looking toward a second reformation, a small, but active and vocal portion of evangelicalism will work hard to rescue the evangelical movement from its demise by way of theological renewal."

To read the rest please visit the blog.

Part 3:
the coming evangelical collapse 3 good or bad

"I’ve received many notes and emails over this series of posts, and I’m glad that it has been provocative and discussion-producing.

Is the coming evangelical collapse entirely a bad thing? Or is there good that will come from this season of the evangelical story?

One of the most encouraging developments in recent evangelicalism is the conviction that something is very wrong. One voice that has been warning American evangelicals of serious problems is theologian Michael Horton. For more than 20 years, Horton has been warning that evangelicals have become something almost unrecognizable in the flow of Christian history. From the prophetic Made in America to the incredible In The Face of God to the most recent Christless Christianity, Horton has been saying that evangelicals are on the verge of theological/ecclesiastical disaster.

Horton’s diagnosis is not, however, the same diagnosis as we saw in the heyday of the culture war, i.e. that evangelicals must rise up and take political and cultural influence if America is to survive and guarantee freedom and blessing. Horton’s warning has been the abandonment of the most basic calling of the church: the preservation and communication of the essentials of the Gospel in the church itself.

The coming evangelical collapse will be, in my view, exactly what Horton has been warning us about for two decades. In that sense, there is something fundamentally healthy about accepting that, if the disease cannot be cured, then the symptoms need to run their course and we need to get to the next chapter. Evangelicalism doesn’t need a bailout. Much of it needs a funeral.

But not all; not by any means. In other words, the question is not so much what will be lost, but what is the condition of what remains?

As I’ve said in the previous post in this series, what will be left will be 1) an evangelicalism greatly chastened in numbers, influence and resources, 2) a remaining majority of Charismatic-Pentecostal Christians faced with the opportunity to reform or become unrecognizable, 3) an invigorated minority of evangelicals committed to theology and church renewal, 4) a marginalized emerging and mainline community and 5) an evangelicalized segment of the other Christian communions.

To read the rest please visit the blog.

Sunday, January 25, 2009



This was taken from the St.Vladimir’s Seminary website. The article is by Prof. Albert J. Raboteau

"Thank you Dean Erickson and faculty of St.Vladimir’s Seminary for inviting me to give this twentieth annual Fr. Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture. Before I begin, I must make a brief confession. Back, many years ago when I was a young graduate student in Theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, I and two of my fellow students, Jack and Marty, used to add some humor to solemn occasions by pretending to be eminent theologians and to comment irreverently upon the situation at hand – in the voices of those theologians. Once a very abstruse lecture by the Jesuit theologian and philosopher, Bernard Lonergan, prompted our routine. Jack became Karl Rahner, Marty Edward Schillebeecx, and I, I decided to become Alexander Schmemann! We had read one of Fr. Schmemann’s books, Introduction to Liturgical Theology I believe it was, for a course on Sacraments, so I tried as best I could to comment on the Lonergan lecture from what I thought would have been his perspective. Now after all these years, I finally have the chance to make amends to Fr. Schmemann, by addressing a topic with which he was deeply concerned -- the relationship of the Church to Culture.

“In the World, but not of the world.” These words capture the antinomical relationship of the Church to human society and culture. On the one hand, the incarnational character of the Church establishes her in history, in this particular time and place and culture. On the other, the sacramental character of the Church transcends time and space making present another world, the Kingdom of God, which is both here and now and yet still to come. Throughout the history of Christianity, the temptation to relax this antinomy has led Christians to represent the Church as an ethereal transcendent mystery unrelated and antithetical to human society and culture. Or, on the other hand, it has prompted Christians to so identify the Church with a particular society, culture, or ethnicity as to turn Christianity into a religious ideology. Because we are “not of the world” Christians stand over against culture when its values and behaviors contradict the living tradition of the Church. Take one early and famous example: the refusal of early Christians to honor the emperor by offering a pinch of incense before his image. “Being in the world,” the Christian acts as a leaven within culture, trying to transform it by communicating to others the redemption brought by Christ. The early Christian apologists stood within culture as they attempted to explain the faith in the philosophical and cultural terms of their times and recognized, within the culture, foreshadowings or adumbrations of Christian truth waiting to be fulfilled. Notice the reciprocal tension between Christianity and culture, as eloquently stated in a second century document, the “Letter to Diognetus”:

...Christians cannot be distinguished from the rest of the human race by country or language or customs. They do not live in cities of their own; they do not use a peculiar form of speech; they do not follow an eccentric manner of life. This doctrine of theirs has not been discovered by the ingenuity or deep thought of inquisitive men, nor do they put forward a merely human teaching, as some people do. Yet, although they live in Greek and barbarian cities alike...and follow the customs of the country in clothing and food and other matters of daily living, at the same time they give proof of their own commonwealth. They live in their own countries, but only as aliens. They have a share in everything as citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign land is their fatherland, and yet for them every fatherland is a foreign land...They busy themselves on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven.

It is this perennial tension of being in the world, but not of the world, with which Christians, including we Orthodox, continue to wrestle in 21st century America.

What is American culture? So pervasive and amorphous a reality is hard to describe or pin down – the sum total of assumptions, values, ideals, world views, expressed in economic, legal, educational, civic and religious institutions and articulated aesthetically in literature, art, and music. Often the first images that come to mind when we think of American culture represent popular culture, such as the global spread of McDonald’s golden arches, or the exportation of our media driven consumerism through movies, television shows, and pop music. Beneath this shallow but seductive façade lies a deeper and more profound dimension of American culture, a set of values that constitute the “American experiment.” I want to identify three overarching themes that express basic aspects of American culture on this deeper level: Encounter, Freedom, and Community. These three, while not exhaustive, have preoccupied the imagination of Americans of diverse origins as they sought to give meaning to their experiences of becoming and being American. Within these themes let us see if we may find points of congruence as well as conflict with Orthodox Christianity.

To read the rest, please visit the website.


Ancient Christianity & African American Conference [video]

Googlevideo won't work on blogspot, so I had to do it this way.

Ancient Christianity & African American Conference from John Norman on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More on the Deuterocanonical Books

This was taken from the Catholic Legate website, and it was done by Wibisono Hartono.

"2.) "The New Testament never quotes from any of the deuterocanonical books. However, the New Testament also never quotes from Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes and it even quotes from outside the Old Testament. For example Jude 9 quotes from the apocryphal Ascension of Moses and Jude 14-16 quotes from the apocryphal 1 Enoch 1:9. 2 Peter 2:22 quotes two proverbs, the first is taken from Proverbs 26:11 but the second one comes from outside the Bible. In John 7:38 Jesus quoted from unknown scripture and so does James 4:5. What Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:9 (and preceded with the phrase "it is written") resembles but is not equal to Isaiah 64:4. According to Ambrosiaster the words were taken from apocryphal Apocalypse of Elijah, of which only fragments of its manuscript survive. Matthew 2:23 also quotes from outside the Bible and in 2 Timothy 3:8 Paul named the two magicians who opposed Moses, not mentioned in the book Exodus. Being quoted in the New Testament is not the reason to be included in the Old Testament; and not being quoted is not the reason to exclude it from the Old Testament either. While there are no direct quotations, there are some allusions from the deuterocanonical books in the New Testament. For example, pagan immorality in Romans 1:18-32 echoes Wisdom 12-14, and the attitude of Jews criticized by Paul in Romans 2:1-11 has affinities with Wisdom 11-15. The writer of Hebrews might refer to 2 Maccabee 6:18 to 7:41 when he wrote about torture which some endured through faith (Hebrews 11:35-38). Jesus words in John 6:35 echo Ecclesiasticus 24:21. The New Jerusalem described in Revelation 21:18-21 resembles the one in Tobit 13:16-17.

3.) The New Testament refers to Jewish scripture as the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12, 22:40, Luke 16:16, John 1:45, Acts 13:15, Romans 3:21). The Law and the Prophets are the first two division of the Jewish scripture. Does it show that it approves the Jewish scripture? Furthermore in Luke 24:44 Jesus approved the Jewish scripture when He mentioned The Law, the Prophets and Psalms. The phrase "the Law and the Prophets" indicates that the third part of the Jewish scripture, the Writings was still open-ended in Jesus' time. The New Testament never quotes from Esther, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Ezra-Nehemiah which all belong to the Writings. Note also that both LXX and the Jewish scripture have Law and Prophets. In Luke 24:44 Jesus said that He fulfilled the prophecies in the books of Law, the Prophets and Psalms. Psalms is one book of the Writings of the Jewish scripture, which also includes Daniel. Jesus identified Himself to be the Son of Man mentioned in Daniel 7:13, so it is strange that He did not include this book in Luke 24:44. Luke 24:44 may even indicate that Jesus placed Daniel as one book of the Prophets, which means He followed the LXX grouping of books.

4.) In Luke 11:50-51 Jesus mentioned the names Abel (Genesis 4:8) and Zechariah, who is identified to be the one in 2 Chronicles 24:20-22. Since Genesis and Chronicles are the first and the last book in the present Jewish scripture then the above verses prove that the Old Testament of the Christians is the same with that of the Jews. There are a number of persons with the name Zechariah in the Bible. Parallel verse in Matthew 23:35 says that Zechariah was the son of Barachiah while Zechariah in 2 Chronicles 24:20-22 was the son of Jehoiada. More suitable as a candidate is the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah (Zechariah 1:1). Bear also in mind that in Jesus' time there were no books like we have today. All books of the Scripture were then written in scrolls, each book in one scroll. While grouping them was possible, they had stack of scrolls, i.e. there was no clear order of the books. Even after Codex (plural Codices) which resembled modern book was later introduced to replace scrolls, the arrangement of the books of the Bible might be different with that of today. Encyclopedia Judaica Volume 4 page 829-830 gives eight different ancient arrangements of the Writings with Chronicles appearing as the first or the last book. Leningrad Codex made in 1009, the oldest complete manuscript of the Jewish scripture and the standard Masoretic text for both Catholic and Protestant Bibles has Chronicles as the first book of the Writings. Thus, Chronicles is not always the last book of the Jewish scripture.

6.) All existing (copies of) Septuagint manuscript were made by Christians and the earliest belongs to the fourth century. Thus the Septuagint known to Jesus and to the apostles in the first century might not have the deuterocanonical books. This claim is speculative and cannot be proved unless we discover a complete manuscript of LXX from that period. For comparison, the oldest manuscript of the Jewish scripture is the Dead Sea Scrolls but Esther is missing. Certainly it is not a reason to drop Esther from the Bible. The Dead Sea scrolls also include deuterocanonical books (Tobit, Sirach and Letter of Jeremiah) and apocryphal books (Jubilee, Enoch and Psalm 151). Furthermore we have the testimonies from the first Christians that their copies of LXX had deuterocanonical books. 1 Clement (written c 96 AD) quotes from Wisdom and Judith. Didache (written in 1st century AD) quotes from Sirach. In his epistle to the Magnesians Ignatius (died c. 107 AD), bishop of Antioch quoted from Susanna (or Daniel 13). Epistle of Barnabas, written in second century AD cites Wisdom as scripture. Polycarp (died c. 156) in his epistle quoted Tobit. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon (c. 115 to 202) quoted from Baruch as part of Jeremiah and from Greek chapters of Daniel. (Refer to the article on Canon of the Old Testament for all quotations)

7.) Some Church Fathers notably Jerome rejected the deuterocanonical books as part of the Bible. Origen, Athanasius, Hilary of Poitiers, Gregory of Nazianzus, Cyril of Jerusalem and Rufinus wrote that the canon of the Old Testament has 22 books, which is equal to 24 books of the present Jewish scripture. The fact that those books entered the canon of the Bible after dispute indicates that some Church Fathers did object to their inclusion. However, they were not in the position to determine the canon. While Jerome labeled the deuterocanonical (and 1 & 2 Esdras) books as apocrypha, he nevertheless translated them into Latin and included them in Vulgate. Only Rufinus and Jerome's lists are equal to 24 books of the Jewish scripture (or 39 books of Protestant's Old Testament), the rest (majority) have Letter of Jeremiah with/without Baruch and/or excludes Esther. Even if it differs only by one book, it is different; after all, Protestants would not compromise by dropping or adding just one book in their Old Testament. What we refer as Origen's list is actually the list of the Jewish scripture, as he indicated, and we have evidence that he cited as scripture a number of deuterocanonical books. The same applies to Athanasius, Hilary, Gregory of Naziansus and Cyril of Jerusalem. While their lists have 22 books (not equal to 24 Jewish scripture), they too still cites as scripture a number of deuterocanonical books. We have evidence that even Rufinus and Jerome later changed their mind and accepted them. Furthermore, most of these fathers had an incomplete canon of the New Testament as well! For more detail refer to the article on Canon of the Old Testament

9.) Deuterocanonical books were written at the period where there were no more prophets in Israel. 1 Maccabees 9:27 admits that the prophets already ceased to appear among the Jews. While there were no more Jewish prophets after fifth century BC, from the lips of Jesus Himself we know that there was no "silent period" in the prophecy: For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John [the Baptist] (cf. Matthew 11:13). Thus while the last Jewish prophets were Zechariah, Haggai and Malachi, prophecies and revelation did not cease and may be given not only through prophets; in fact in John 11:50-52, Caiphas who condemned Jesus was given the gift of prophecy. We do have a prophecy of Christ in the book of Wisdom 2:12-20. Furthermore while biblical prophecies are the words of God, the word of God is not always in the form of prophecy. i.e. not all books of the Old Testament have prophecy (for example Esther).

10.) Deuterocanonical books were written in Greek, not in Hebrew. But from the dead sea scrolls we have (fragments of) manuscripts of Sirach and Tobit in Hebrews and Aramaic. In fact, further study indicated that deuterocanonical books were written either in Hebrews or Aramaic or Greek (refer to Table 2). Among the 39 books (or 24 in Jewish counting) Daniel 2:4-7, 28 and Ezra 4:8 – 6:18; 7:12-26, were also written in Aramaic, not Hebrew, and all New Testament books were written in Greek. Language is definitely not a criteria to determine canonicity.

11.) The 1st century Jewish historian, Josephus mentioned only 22 books as Jewish scripture, which are most likely equal to 24 (or 39) books the present day Jewish and Protestant Bible. Jewish philosopher and contemporary of Jesus, Philo of Alexandria who knew LXX also never quoted from deuterocanonical books and he accepted the three divisions of the Jewish scripture. Being a Palestinianm Jews might be the reason why Josephus wrote nothing about the (longer) LXX, the scripture of the Greek-speaking Jews and of the early Christians. Note that Josephus stated that the 22 twenty books are divided into the Law (5 books), the Prophets (13 books) and Hymns and Moral precepts (4 books). In contrast the present Jewish scripture has 5 books of Law, 8 books of the prophets and 11 books of the Writings. It is true that Philo did not quote from the deuterocanonical books, but neither did he quote from Ezekiel, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentation, Ecclesiastes, Esther and Daniel (cf. P.R. Ackroyd and C.A. Evans: The Cambridge History of the Bible. From the Beginnings to Jerome, page 148 and The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. 2, page 117). In his book, On the Contemplative Life, Philo wrote about the practice of the Jewish sect, Therapeutae whose members studied the Laws and the sacred oracles of God enunciated by the holy prophets; and hymns, and psalms, and all kind of other things by reason of which knowledge and piety are increased and brought to perfection. Thus what he wrote is the practice of Jewish sect, not of the Jews in Alexandria and it is not a clear evidence that they recognized the three divisions of the Jewish scripture.

12.) None of deuterocanonical books claim inspiration. 2 Maccabees 15:38 even says: If it is well told and to the point, that is what I myself desired; if it is poorly done and mediocre, that was the best I could do. But most books of the 39 proto-canonical and 27 of the New Testament do not explicitly claim inspiration either. Inspiration does not mean that God dictated to the writers of the Bible; they could still make full use of their own facilities and power to write only what God wanted. Thus 2 Maccabees 15:38 indicates the writer's humble opinion of what he wrote. For comparison in 1 Corinthians 7:10, 12, 25 Paul stated that what he wrote was not from the Lord but from himself. Luke wrote the third Gospel just because it seemed good to him (Luke 1:3).

13.) We should let the Jews determine the canon of the Old Testament (39 books) because they were entrusted with the oracles of God (Romans 3:2). Catholics do not deny that God spoke in the past through Jewish prophets (Hebrews 1:1) and their words were put in written form by the Jews; that is what Paul meant in Romans 3:8. Bear also in mind that deuterocanonical books were also written by Jews. During Jesus and His apostles' time the canon of the Old Testament was still open-ended. They never gave us the list of inspired books of both the Old and New Testaments. If the Church later through the guidance of the Holy Spirit defined the canon of the New Testament then why could She not define the canon of the Old Testament as well?

14.) No church councils in the first four centuries accepted deuterocanonical books. The true fact is there was no council in the first four centuries who approved only the 39 protocanonical books. The closest is the council of Laodicea (c. 362) that approved 39 books plus Baruch and Letter of Jeremiah of the Old Testament and 26 books (Revelation not included) of the New Testament. On the other hand, we have councils at Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) that approved the same books of both Old and New Testaments of the Catholic Bible

To read the rest, please visit the website.

Related links:


"Introducing the Apocrypha: Message, Context, and Significance" Review by Dr. Edith Humphrey

This review is by Dr. Humphrey, she is an Anglican/Episcopalian and a very good New Testament scholar. (her bible studies are great too)

This is her review of "Introducing the Apocrypha: Message, Context, and Significance"

As seen from her website:
"Here is a thorough and thoughtful introductory book to the deuterocanonical/apocryphal writings, offered in a winsome style that is certain to engage its designed audience. The author, indeed, signals his ideal reader both by the title of the book (which employs the term "Apocrypha") and by his introductory rhetorical questions, which admit the suspicion of many regarding these writings and proceed to plead "the value of the Apocrypha." In this manner, and throughout this piece, David A. deSilva addresses a Protestant readership and, more specifically, the Christian who both has a "high view" of the Scriptures and a clear idea of canonical boundaries. This is not to say that he is insensitive to those who not cast in this mould, however. He aspires, indeed, "to move readers past seeing the Apocrypha as one more thing that separates one group of Christians from another and toward seeing these books for what they are in and of themselves and to value them on that basis" (15).

His introduction is rightly given over to preliminary but key questions of definition, general historical context, the contents in their variety and breadth, and the importance of the deuterocanonical/apocryphal books for the Christian tradition. With regard to the latter issue, he attempts to be inclusive and so begins with a statement of the books’ role for the Orthodox and Roman Catholic (and, he might have added, Anglo-Catholic) communions. Quickly, however, deSilva emphasizes the concerns of his specific audience, indicating the "usefulness" (17) of these books for rounding out our picture of history, noting that the authors of the New Testament were highly familiar with them, and reminding us that the books form a common heritage Christians ignore at their peril: "Out of respect for … them [Orthodox and Catholics] Protestant Christians would do well to have a least a basic grasp of these texts’ meanings and an appreciation for their content, as one might for any widely read devotional or inspirational literature" (26).

Here the irenic purposes of the book bow to the author’s doctrinal integrity: the polemic against Oikonomos and deSilva’s construction of an argument against authoritative status dominate here, deflecting the author from his promotion of the corpus. His recommendation thus comes coupled with an expected caveat that bridges the gap between the academic author and his interested Protestant laity. Here deSilva presses into theological service the heuristic categories of his mentor, Vernon Robbins, arguing that the New Testament refers to the Apocrypha only through "recontextualisation, echo and allusion." The strength of his strategy (to quickly clear away the brush so that he can get on with the analysis at hand) is also its weakness, it seems. No one who is not already within his sympathetic readership will be convinced by the author’s avowal that the New Testament never cites deuterocanonical books directly "as Scripture" (21). To insist that the absence of an introductory formula (e.g., "as it says…") counts against a self-conscious treatment of these texts as Scripture is to assume that the New Testament writers had a view of inspiration characterized by verbal precision. Moreover, it implies that they had inherited an already delineated Old Testament canon rather than a fluid group of authoritative texts that they understood as pointing toward the Christ. Many of the examples he quotes, not least the words of Jesus regarding the yoke, go far beyond mere echo or even allusion, though they are certainly recontextualized; of course, similarly recontextualized are most of the explicit citations that the New Testament writers adduce! Though deSilva admits that Jude indeed directly quotes the pseudepigraphal 1 Enoch 1:9 (a citation, not an echo or an allusion), we could add that he employs the quote to establish teaching and introduces it as one might a "scriptural" quotation ("Enoch … prophesied, saying…"). How can one argue for a consistent view of inspiration based on the absence of such formulae from the deuterocanonical citations in the New Testament when one finds in Jude just such a preliminary phrase to a corpus that is even more dubious? The New Testament writings are intransigent, refusing to be squeezed into this mold, because, it seems, their battles about inspiration and canon were not those that we have inherited (as deSilva himself intimates on page 28)."

To read the rest, please visit her website.


Journey To Orthodoxy: "First Comes Saturday, Then Comes Sunday"#links

Journey To Orthodoxy: "First Comes Saturday, Then Comes Sunday"#links

Nathan Lee Lewis posted something very interesting.


Deacon David Fabula

As seen from the website:
"This week on Journeys Deacon David Fabula of St. Andrews Orthodox Church in Delta Colorado. Deacon David came into the Orthodox Church with the Evangelical Orthodox in 1987 in Ben Loman California. Find out how Deacon David came into the Orthodox Church and then ended up in Delta"

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Christian Converts in Ancient Corinth

As seen from the website:
"This week on “Between Two Worlds: Christian Converts in Ancient Corinth" continues with an engaging look at the text and context of St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. Host Dr. George Parsenios of Princeton Theological Seminary brings St. Paul's world to life."

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Adult Bible Study: Book of Acts, Part XIV

As seen from the website:
Special Moments in Orthodoxy
"This week's episode of Special Moments in Orthodoxy features the fourteenth installment of a new adult Bible Study series with Fr. Harry Pappas, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at St Vladimir's Seminary. In this installment, continue learning about the Book of Acts."

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Jane Roe (from Roe vs Wade)


150 Year Old Monk


The Meaning Of John’s Baptism

This is from the podcast Christ the Eternal Kalimat.

As seen from the website:
"Fr. Daniel explains the nature and purpose of John the Baptist, as one crying in the wilderness."

Play Audio

Direct Link


Circle of Life

This is from the podcast Steve the Builder by Steve Robinson.

As seen from the website:
"In his first episode, Steve reflects on fish, turtles, Disney, life and death."

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Direct Link


The Day After and The Day Before

This was taken from the podcast Speaking the Truth in Love by Fr. Thomas Hopko.

As seen from the website:
"Fr. Tom recorded this on Jan 21 - the day after the inauguration of President Barak Obama and the day before the March for Life in Washington DC. He draws on Scripture, Tradition and St. Maximus to help us know how to react to rampant abortions in our world."

Play Audio

Direct Link


God's Garden

As seen from the website:
"I am honored to announce the funding phase of God’s Garden, a full-length documentary. God's Garden is a journey of faith, race, and redemption through the eyes of Fr. Moses Berry, an African-American Orthodox Christian priest. It chronicles his incredible life as a direct descendent of frontier legend, Daniel Boone, through idyllic beginnings as a child in the Ozarks, a dramatic awakening and miraculous release from jail, and to a surprising discovery in his African-American roots. A young Fr. Moses once asked his mother, "Why are there so many races?” To which she replied, "We are all flowers in God's Garden.""

To read the rest, please visit the website.

A Video Invitation from Fr. Moses

watch the promo

You gotta see his Museum!!! It is awsome!!!!

To donate to the cause, please visit the website.

Related links:
2009 Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black National ...

Orthodoxy and the African American Experience

Orthodoxy And The African American Experience (podcast audio)


Orthodox Circle

Has a similar format to "myspace", but without all the negative adds. It's a private community website, so it's not open to all. I've been a member for hmmm, I know it's been over a year. I forgot how long I been a member there. But it's a cool place, with people from all over the planet.

As seen from the website:
"The first online community network designed for Orthodox Christians, Catechumen and those seeking to learn more about the Holy Orthodox Christian Faith through fellowship with our community members.

Since our launch in 2005, we have been dedicated to providing a safe, clean and Christian alternative to other social networking websites.

We are a member supported, laity-run ministry with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan JONAH, Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)."


Abortion Barack Obama

I hope no more harm will be done to the unborn.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Anjali's Journy: part 2

As seen from the Thoughts From The Otherside Of The Mountain blog.

"Anjali has created quite a stir in the blogosphere with her post about her conversion to Orthodoxy from Hinduism via Baha'i. She had one person ask her some specifics from a Hindu perspective about the relevance of the resurrection for Christians. Since she took the time to try to explain her point of view in detail, I have dug out the question and the response from the comments section and onto its own post for all to read. Maybe it's time for Anjali to start her own blog?! (Not that I mind her using mine at all but she has plenty of fodder to keep a forum of her own going for quite some time!)

Interesting to read about Anjali's conversion to Orthodox Christianity. As a fellow spiritual traveler, I would like to better understand your statement, "As for Hinduism and other ancient faiths pre-dating Christ - I have not "discarded" them, I believe Christ fulfills them - basically, every way in which Baha'u'llah claims to be a fulfillment, I believe that is already found in Christ and the Christian faith.

How is Christ the fulfilment of the Hindu tradition? As someone born in the Hindu tradition, I still don't get, what is so special about Jesus's resurrection as you experienced it in the Eastern Orthodox Church as different from other Christian sects? Why does it feel different to you from the hundreds of miracles that is commonplace in Indian epics and puranas? Regards.

Dear fellow spiritual traveler,

Well you are definitely right in not seeing it spelled out in this blog post – I actually originally wrote this to respond to Orthodox Christians who were curious about my religious background, so I think I’ve left a lot out with the assumption they already understood it – plus I was trying to make it short, since you can already see how long it is :-)

Well, in the beginning, the resurrection made no difference to me – especially because of all of the miraculous/supernatural phenomena I had heard concerning various Hindu yogis and the Hindu myths as well. That was one of the reasons why I never cared when Christians talked about the resurrection – a) Hinduism had its own miracles; b) why would I care if someone else (Hindu or not) had a miracle anyway, it had no effect on me; c) why would I care about a bodily resurrection anyway, since as Hindu I viewed the body as a source of bondage. The first time I realized Christians wanted to rise from the dead in new bodies, I was revolted by the idea. I thought it sounded like some very primitive fairy tale idea compared to Hindu concepts of the body, birth, and death. In any case, I figured Jesus was an enlightened yogi-type figure or maybe even an avatar, that maybe he was just misunderstood. As a Hindu, I read the Gospels and thought it was about Vedanta. And I know there are Hindu gurus who have written volumes about the Gospels from this perspective.

For these reasons, I didn’t see Jesus as unique, and in some ways, less sophisticated than his Hindu counterparts. In the course of reading Hindu myths, I had grown accustomed to the idea of oral traditions changing, different versions of myths being handed down, of the essentially important message having more to do with symbolic meanings and metaphysical issues, not necessarily the outward details of these stories. I assumed the same had happened with Jesus. And I certainly noticed certain universal themes, the idea of God coming to earth to save his people reminded me of the avatars of Vishnu.

What got me more interested in Jesus was when I realized that we actually have quite a bit written about him with an effort to preserve what historically happened, not just to convey various spiritual messages. Despite what people say about how little we know, we know more about him than the true historical figure of Krishna. And as I began reading more about Judaism and the earliest Christians, I became convinced that these people were genuinely trying their hardest to preserve their sacred scripture without mistake, and that they were intending to preserve the history, not taking the freedom to change details to reveal a new moral story – and not basing everything on mystical experiences and visions either (thought some of that is in there too, of course)."

To read the rest, please visit Thoughts From The Otherside Of The Mountain.

Related links:
Anjali's Journy


Smart Parenting: Combatting Secularism’s Most Serious Sin - Indifference

This is from the podcast HEALING.

As seen from the website:
Part 1:
"Fr. George explains how the cacophony bombarding our senses leads to the forgetfulness of God, causing us to commit a multitude of sins."

Part 2:
"In this segment, Fr. George talks about psychological factors of indifference and what we are modelling to our children."

Part 1:
Play Audio

Direct Link

Part 2:
Play Audio

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The Seven Ecumenical Councils

The Seven Ecumenical Councils:

The Canons and notes of the Seven ecumenical councils:


The Legacy of St Paul and the Church

This was taken from the podcast The Illumined Heart.

As seen from the website:
"Fr. Ted Stlylianapolous (PhD), professor emeritus at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological Seminary, St Paul scholar and author, speaks with host Kevin Allen about justification, sanctification, the sacraments and new perrspectives on St Paul. Kevin says this is one of his best interviews because it tackles the major issues which divide the patristic and Protestant understandings of the foremost expositor of the Christian faith."

Part 1:
Play Audio

Direct Link

Play Audio

Direct Link



My last comment to Catz206

[sidenote: This is my personal opinion and not necessarily the view of the Church.]

This was taken from his blog. I still don't know what form of Protestantism(in regards to this issue) he is trying to defend. He never answered my question in regards to "Anglican, Lutherian, Dutch Reformed, or English Puritan". From the conversation I assumed it was English Puritan.

You said:
"I have already openly acknowledged that they use the LXX and do not deny the DC in the LXX. I am still waiting for you to give me indication that Wisdom and other texts were quoted as Scripture in the NT."

This is too subjective. Just for the fact, if I show you that they were refering to a D.C. book, you can always explain the reference away. Or find a P.C. verse that would look similar. Your Bias would never allow you to see a quote or refernce as scripture. Also those books (in the LXX family of texts) were not isolated from all the other books. They were intermixed with the P.C.'s. This fact alone should hint at the idea that the compilers(of the LXX) saw these works as Scripture. If they didn't then they would of done what Martin Luther did (separate them) or they would of done what Saint Jerome did(write a negative preface about them).

You said:
"In response to your use of my quote: If you are going to argue from my quote please be true to its context and what I have said in past discussions. Also, for inspirational status I am looking for indication primarily in writings around the time of Acts and (at this present time) in official lists afterwards."

You are limiting yourself By refusing to look at what the Jews wrote at Qumran. There is always the Talmud, but other than that.....there really isn't much to look at in the mid first century. The contexts of some of those official lists(especially when it comes to looking at the nonbelieving Jews to see what they had) was mostly for evangelistic reasons. Origen clearly says this when it came to him looking at what they had.

You said:
"Why am I looking at canonical lists? Because the Church was indeed confused over their OT canon and those making the lists generally went the extra mile to know what was or ought to be used. This is precisely why Melito sought the east for the contents. He did this because of the confusion."

I disagree:
(go see)
More wise words from Michuta (this time about Melito's list)

And Origen did it for evangelistic reasons as well. The Churches didn't drop what they had only to grab the books of the nonbelieving Jews.

You Said:
"What you have provided me for the most part are not lists and definitely indicate the canonical confusion within the Church at the time- I am not denying this. After all, we wouldn’t have Melito’s list if everything had been clear."

How do you know Melito didn't do it for evangelistic reasons? All we have is a fragment by Eusebius.
(go see) More wise words from Michuta (this time about Melito's list)

You said:
"There is a reason why the Muratorian fragment is not used as a list for the OT canon by Scholars. This is because it is actually a list of New Testament books! Here is what is said about the copy: “This copy was made by an illiterate and careless scribe, and is full of blunders; but is of the greatest value as the earliest-known list of N.T. books recognized by the church.” “The mention of Wisdom in a list of N.T. books is perplexing. Perhaps we should read "ut" for "et"; and the Proverbs of Solomon and not the apocryphal book of Wisdom may be intended. There may be an inaccurate reference to Prov. xxv. 1 (LXX).” The poor Latin and state of the manuscript make it hard to translate. Not only this but the dating is heavily debated some placing it as far as the 4th century. The fragment is traditionally dated at 170 because of the ref to Pius I, bishop of Rome."

(Some Puritan) Protestant (apologists) are always hostile to something that disagrees with their presup. So what they said doesn't mean a thing. To turn "Wisdom" into "Proverbs", you would have to ignore what they said about the book being written by "friends of Solomon in his honor".

Was the book of Proverbs written by "the friends of Solomon"? No, I think not. They are clearly talking about the book of Wisdom. And that was the only reason why I quoted the fragment. To show that Melito was talking about "the book of Wisdom". (some puritan) Protestant Apologists will always try to explain this away. Any other time, the book of Wisdom means, the book of Wisdom. They knew how to say the words "Psalms, and proverbs".

You said:
"“The presence of books within the LXX (as diverse as that term is) does not necessarily indicate the books were considered inspired. That I believe will be your task.”"

If they were not seen as inspired, then why have them intermingled with all the other books? Why not isolate them? Isn't that what Martin Luther did? If they were not seen as inspired then why not write a negative commentary about them as Saint Jerome did?

If they were not inspired then why were they used to settle doctrinal well as to talk about doctrinal issues throughout the history of the Church? The letter of Barnabas was written around 70 A.D. and it quotes them as if they were authoritative. He quoted them when talking about doctrine. The same is True for Saint Clement of Rome (90A.D.).

These are first century works, and they quoted them without distinction.

The book of Hebrews in chapter 11 references the Maccabees, but you will simply explain that away as not meaning anything.

You said:
"Here is what I specifically wanted you to answer:

1) What in the NT indicates that the apocryphal books are inspired (these are the documents that date around the time of Acts)?"

This is too subjective.

You said:
"Given that we both acknowledge canonical confusion later on in the Church and even later on there are attempts at stability, why accept the Apocryphal books as Scripture or authoritative? On what grounds? Specifically: Why revel (as you have) in having a confused canon?"

Because they were always embraced as Authoritative. When you look at the regional councils, they always embraced at least one D.C. The D.C.'s were always embraced when the Church gathered as a council.

A few individuals may have rejected some of them or all of them, but when the Church gathered as a collective, they were always confirmed.

If I were to talk to you about my Jurisdiction's O.T., then I would argue for a stable O.T. canon, but I am not. I am argueing for Pan-Orthodoxy. And in Pan-Orthodoxy there is a slight difference in O.T. canons. But it's always been that way when talking about Pan-Orthodoxy. Even when Rome was in communion with us she had 3 less books than us. So when it comes to multi-jurisdictions......the Church never had a 100% stable canon. And it's always been that way. Always! The Ancient Worldwide(multi-Jurisdiction) Church never had a 100% stable canon. And that's a fact.

You said:
"I think I may see where we are speaking past each other. In this stream I have said the Church may have had a more limited canon resembling the Prot."

And this is what I disagree with. Also you will have to make a distinction between a local region, and the Church as a whole(all regions).

Now when I say that the church never had a 100% stable O.T. ....I am only talking in the sense of "All regions". Now if I was talking about distinct local regions then I would talk about distinct 100% stable local O.T. canons.
So that is where I am coming from. And this is my context.

You said:
"I am using "canon" loosely and do not mean to indicate that the contents were decided in a Christian council."

I see, it would be helpful to use a different word. This is why I refuse to use the word "canon" for both the ancient Palestinian & Alexandrian traditions. It's a myth in both cases.

You said:
"I also do not mean to deny that no part of the Church thought one or more apocryphal books were canonical. Still, I hold that the Christian East generally had a more limited canon. This is not to say it was identical to the Protestant in every way."


However, I would argue with you about the Christian East thing....especially if it's post 130 A.D.

You said:
"Since I believe the canon of the Palestinian Jews at the time of Jesus and the Apostles to be what we have inherited, the contents of Melito would tell us two things: 1) that the Jews may have had a wider canon and 2)what the canon was like for these Christians (here is where I am going: unstable but Smaller and overall CLOSER to the Prot)."

Well, I'm glad you are finally saying the word "unstable". We will naturally disagree about your # 2. But I am starting to see where you are coming from.


A Journy through Romans 9

Billy, over at the Classical Arminian blog is going through Romans chapter 9.

Romans 9:1-2

Romans 9:3

Romans 9:4-5

Romans 9:6

Romans 9:7-8

Romans 9:9

Romans 9:10-13

Romans 9:14

Romans 9:15

Romans 9:16

Romans 9:17-18

Romans 9:19

Romans 9:20-21

Romans 9:22

Romans 9:23-24

Romans 9:25-26

Romans 9:27-28


The Word Magazine!

You can read the latest edition online.


The March for Life Principles

This was taken from their website.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all human beings are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which is the right to life, and Therefore

The right to life of each human being shall be preserved and protected by every human being in the society and by the society as a whole, and

The life of each human being shall be preserved and protected from that human being's biological beginning when the Father's sperm fertilizes the Mother's ovum, and

The life of each human being shall be preserved and protected from the biological beginning throughout the natural continuum of that human being's life by all available ordinary means and reasonable efforts, and

The life of each human being shall be preserved and protected at each stage of the life continuum to the same extent as at each and every other stage regardless of state of health or condition of dependency, and

The life of each human being shall be preserved and protected to the same extent as the life of each and every other human being regardless of state of health or condition of dependency, and

When there is any doubt that there exists a human being's life to preserve and protect, such doubt shall be resolved In favor of the existence of a human being, and

When two or more human beings are in a situation in which their lives are mutually endangered, all available ordinary means and reasonable efforts shall be used to preserve and protect the life of each and every human being so endangered:

WHEREFORE, Pursuant To These Principles, we recommend and urge the adoption of a Mandatory HUMAN LIFE AMENDMENT to the Constitution of the United States of America."

To read the rest, please visit the webpage.



This was taken from the website.

"O holy Father, heavenly Physician of our souls and bodies, who hast sent thine Only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to heal all our ailments and deliver us from death: do thou visit and heal thy servant N., granting him release from pain and restoration to health and vigor, that he may give thanks unto thee and bless thy holy Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen."


orrologion: Saint Maximus the Confessor, Father of Dyotheletism and the 6th Ecumenical Council

orrologion: Saint Maximus the Confessor, Father of Dyotheletism and the 6th Ecumenical Council

Orrologion posted a post about Saint Maximus!

Related links:
Maximos the Confessor: On the Free Will of Christ

Free Choice in St. Maximus the Confessor

Rob talks about Peter Enn's book and the Reformed perspective in general


Obama to lift funding ban for abortion groups abroad

As seen from Yahoo News.

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday will lift restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, reversing a policy of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, an administration official said.

"It will be today. He's going to make an executive order (lifting the global gag rule)," the official said.

The Democratic president's decision is a victory for advocates of abortion rights on an issue that in recent years has become a tit-for-tat policy change each time the White House shifts from one party to the other.

When the ban was in place, no U.S. government funding for family planning services could be given to clinics or groups that offer abortion services or counseling in other countries even if the funds for those activities come from non-U.S. government sources.

It has been called the Mexico City Policy because it was unveiled at a United Nations conference there in 1984 and became one of the centerpiece social policies of the conservative administration of former President Ronald Reagan, a Republican.

Critics call it the "gag rule" because it also cuts funds to groups that advocate or lobby for the lifting of abortion restrictions, so they say it infringes on free speech. They also say it has reduced healthcare for some of the world's poorest women.

Former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, rescinded the rule when he took office in January 1993 and his successor, Republican George W. Bush, reinstated it in January 2001.

When he reinstated it, Bush said taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for or advocate abortions.

Anti-abortion activists agreed with Bush and criticized the move to lift the ban on funding.

"When we wake up every morning to a deepening financial crisis, it is an insult to the American people to bail out the abortion industry," said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life.

"Planned Parenthood is a billion dollar company and they do not need additional resources to burden the American taxpayer," she added.

The United States spends more than $400 million on overseas family planning assistance each year."

To read the rest please visit Yahoo News.

I wonder what's next?


orrologion: Entries on 'Interest' & 'Usury' in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia

orrologion: Entries on 'Interest' & 'Usury' in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia

Awsome research by Orro!

Related links:
Calvinism & Usury




(The Link leads to Orro's blog. That is where I first saw the video)

This is hard to watch, but all need to know that we are fighting for human lives. We live in an evil generation. May the Lord be with us!


orrologion: "It is not sufficient to affirm or to deny something about Him. What matters is to speak to Him"

orrologion: "It is not sufficient to affirm or to deny something about Him. What matters is to speak <i>to</i> Him"

Orrologion posted an awsome quote by Saint Augustine.


A Catechumen's Tale: Saint Ambrose on Baptism

A Catechumen's Tale: Saint Ambrose on Baptism

Tony Allen posted what Saint Ambrose had to say about Baptism.

Great post!


A Catechumen's Tale: Does God Hate Tradition?

A Catechumen's Tale: Does God Hate Tradition?

An awsome post by Tony Allen!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My comment to Catz206

This is taken from the comment section of By Whose Authority. I won't be able to go back and forth with him for much longer for I'm kinda bizzy. I told him that we could chop it up again in a few months.

* I believe that the idea of a Palestinian "fixed" Canon in the 1st century to be a myth.

* I don't believe the Jews in Alexandria formed a council to canonize the books they used. This is why I reject the idea of an "Alexandrian Canon". Instead, I believe that their tradition was different than that of Palestine, and that they used more books in their Sacred/Divine scrolls/Scriptures.

* The Jews at Qumran hated the Pharisees. If you read their works, you would see this. And this is why I think they should be included in our discussion.

* The early Pharisees persecuted the early Christians so why would they want to use their "tradition" of collected books?

* You would have to assume two things. 1.) That the Alexandrian Hellenistic Jewish tradition was 100%ly the same as that of the Pharisee tradition. 2.) And that the Pharisaic tradition was " 100%ly stable" in the first, second, and 3rd centuries. If not, then you have no argument.

* I believe that the Septugient was the scriptural tradition that Jesus, the Apostles, and the early Christians mostly used.

* I believe that the Septugient family of texts has more books than the later Pharisaic tradition.

* I believe that it took time for the non believing Jews to have a "stable" canon. It was not stable in the first couple of centuries. If one book was missing or if one book was added or was argued over then their collection of texts was still "unstable".

* I also believe that when it comes to "believers"/ A.K.A. the early Christians......they too didn't have a "stable" Old Testament. Now when I say stable, I mean 100% uniformity. If one book was missing, added or disputed then they didn't have stability.

* I believe that since the Apostles mostly used the LXX, that Eastern Orthodoxy is the keeper of the Scriptural tradition that the Apostles themselves used. We don't need a stable O.T. canon in order to be true to the LXX family of texts.

* I believe that for the most part, most early Christians simply embraced the D.C.'s as scripture. Most of them quoted the D.C.'s along with the P.C.'s without distinction, Some of them even used words like "scripture", The Holy Spirit Says, Divine, it is written, when quoting from the D.C.'s. They made no distinction. Many of them also used the D.C.'s as an authority when talking about doctrine, or in a dispute about doctrine. Also, the D.C.'s were read in Churches......This is very important, and everyone who belongs to a Liturgical Church understands the importance of this.

Now my Questions for you.

1.) If the early Christians followed the tradition of the Pharisees then why didn't they follow the "Hebrew structure" that Jews use today? And why is the Protestant structure different from the Pharisaic tradition? The Protestant structure is an edited version of the Septugient structure......not the Pharisaic one.

2.) What Protestant tradition do you follow? The Anglican, the Lutherian, the Dutch Reformed, or the English Puritan? This is very important for they differ in degree when it comes to the issue of the D.C.'s

3.) Do you really believe the Early Christians rejected the D.C.'s? If so why?

4.) If Pharisees were arguing over a few books in the 1st and early second century then you can't say that they had a stable canon. All it takes for me to prove my point is to show that one book was either missing or added or was disputed over. So why are you claiming that it was stable when it wasn't?

You said:
"Oh, and I have another question. I've been wondering for a while now whether the Eastern Orthodox Church uses the LXX and if so- how? Since we have a lot of fragments and different manuscript traditions..."

Yes we use the LXX family of texts. Over time a certain LXX tradition was used as a standard for Byzantines, but I am not talking about a certain jurisdiction, instead I am talking about Pan-Orthodoxy. So yes we use the LXX family of texts. If Rome was still in communion with us then I would include her into "Pan-Orthodoxy", but since she isn't....I am not including her. Now if I was to debate you about my own jurisdiction then I would change my argument of one of "a stable O.T.", but I am not. I am looking at this from the perspective of Pan-Orthodoxy. So those different manuscript traditions mostly came from different regions of the World in where we dwell. This is why I am saying that we embrace the LXX family of texts. So it doesn't matter if you are talking about Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus, Ephraemi Rescriptus, N+v2......ect. Archeaology didn't steal every book or copy we have. Our books are mostly scattered with our service books. Before the time of the printing press no one had all the books in one big book. They were mostly scattered in different places. So no, we didn't loose the books only to find what the west took from us centuries later in a museum....only to copy them and put them back in our churches. We always had copies. We need them for our Liturgy.
We use the LXX because that's what the Apostles used, and when they died, we kept their stuff. And this is the only reason why we use the LXX. Other than that, there is no other reason.

You said:
"Would you include the Christian Recensions (Origen) and Jewish ones as well (Aquila…ect)? Are you referring to all the parts of the Hebrew text (including Apocrypha) that were translated into Greek?"

Yes, I would include the Revisions/Recensions, although Origen's Recension was nothing more than a 6 colomn parallel Bible. He needed it to debate the Jews, for the Jews wouldn't accept the books we had nor the extra verses we had that they didn't. So when christians debated Jews, they had to know what books the Jews were using.

However, the Jewish ones are not LXX. So no, Aquila and the rest would not be part of the LXX (eventhough Origen included them in his Parallel Bible), but they were known not to be part of the LXX. Infact, they were made to help the Hellenistic Jews reject the LXX. So no!

You said:
"Alright, what are your thoughts on the Alexandrian collection of sacred Scripture? Are they known? Has a definite collection been found?"

You keep trying to look for 100% stability in the ancient world. You won't find 100% stability back alot of things. However, it was known that the LXX had more books. Some LXX may have a few less books, than another LXX but over all they had more books than what was found in Palestine.

The Old Latin translations of the LXX included the D.C.'s and that was in the 2nd century. Some parts of the LXX(D.C.'s) was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and that was first century.

And then we have the quotes, and references of the New Testament, and Pre-Nicen Christians. In whose main text was the LXX. In Origen's day, when he argued with Africanus, he said:

"“In answer to
this, I have to tell you what it behoves us to do in the cases not only of the History of Susanna, which is found in every Church of Christ in that Greek copy which the Greeks use, but is not in the Hebrew, or of the two other passages you mention at the end of the book containing the history of Bel and the Dragon, which likewise are not in the Hebrew copy of Daniel; but of thousands of other passages also which I found in many places when with my little strength I was collating the Hebrew copies with ours.”


"“4. Again, through the whole of Job there are many passages in the
Hebrew which are wanting in our copies, generally four or five verses, but sometimes, however, even fourteen, and nineteen, and sixteen. But why should I enumerate all the instances I collected with so much labour, to prove that the difference between our copies and those of the Jews did not escape me? In Jeremiah I noticed many instances, and indeed in that book I found much transposition and variation in the readings of the prophecies. Again, in Genesis, the words, "God saw that it was good," when the firmament was made, are not found in the Hebrew, and there is no small dispute among them about this; and other instances are to be found in
Genesis, which I marked, for the sake of distinction, with the sign the
Greeks call an obelisk, as on the other hand I marked with an asterisk
those passages in our copies which are not found in the Hebrew. What needs there to speak of Exodus, where there is such diversity in what is said about the tabernacle and its court, and the ark, and the garments of the high priest and the priests, that sometimes the meaning even does not seem to be akin? And, forsooth, when we notice such things, we are forthwith to reject as spurious the copies in use in our Churches, and enjoin the brotherhood to put away the sacred books current among them, and to coax the Jews, and persuade them to give us copies which shall be untampered with, and free from forgery! Are we to suppose that that Providence which in the sacred Scriptures has ministered to the edification of all the Churches of Christ, had no thought for those bought with a price, for whom Christ died;[2] whom, although His Son, God who is love spared not, but gave Him up for us all, that with Him He might freely give us all

5. In all these cases consider whether it would not be well to remember the words, "Thou shalt not remove the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set."[4] Nor do I say this because I shun the labour of investigating the Jewish Scriptures, and comparing them with ours, and noticing their various readings. This, if it be not arrogant to say it, I have while I paid particular attention to the interpretation of the Seventy, lest I might to be found to accredit any forgery to the Churches which are under heaven, and give an occasion to those who seek such a starting-point for gratifying their desire to slander the common brethren, and to already to a great extent done to the best of my ability, labouring hard to get at the meaning in all the editions and various readings;[5] bring some accusation against those who shine forth in our community. And I make it my endeavour not to be ignorant of their various readings, lest in my controversies with the Jews I should quote to them what is not found in their copies, and that I may make some use of what is found there, even although it should not be in our Scriptures. For if we are so prepared for them in our discussions, they will not, as is their manner, scornfully laugh at Gentile believers for their ignorance of the true reading as they have them. So far as to the History of Susanna not being found in the Hebrew
. Origen(185A.D.-230A.D.)

Origen rejected the idea that the Church should get rid of the books they had in favor of what the Jews had. Most of the scholars I J.N.D. Kelly, Pelikan and others all believe that the LXX had more books, and that the early christians embraced many of the D.C.'s.

I hope this helps, and I'm sorry if I was a little rude or mean.


The book of Wisdom & Early Christians

Most of these quotes are about the book of Wisdom. One or two are about Sirach or one of the other D.C.'s. When one reads the works of the Early Church, you will notice that there is no distinction made in most of their writings between D.C.'s & P.C.'s. Also they often used these books to talk about doctrine. This is something Puritan Protestants reject, but this is something early Christians did. So if someone comes to you and tells you that they know that the eary Christians quoted from the D.C.'s, but that doesn't mean they saw them as scripture. Then you ask that person if it's ok to use the D.C.'s when talking about "Doctrine"? Or to settle a dispute in Doctrine? If they say no, then you tell them that early Christians used these books to settle issues of Doctrine, and that most of them didn't see a distinction between the D.C.'s & P.C.'s. And many of these books were read in the Churches........ So yes, most of them did see these books as scripture.

“What synagogue of wicked men encompasses me [Ps. 22:16b], they surround me as bees around honey [Ps. 118:12a], and for my garments they cast lots [Ps. 22:18b].
7. Thus, since he was about to be manifested in flesh and to suffer, his passion was revealed beforehand. 7b. For the prophet says concerning Israel:
Who to them, for they devised a wicked plot against themselves when they said, “Let us bind the Righteous One, for he is displeasing to us”
[Isa. 3:9b-10a; see Wisd. 2:12]. Barnabas (70 A.D.) page 277 “The Apostolic Fathers” edited by Jack N. Sparks

“Both the Virginity of Mary and her giving birth escaped the notice of the prince of this age, as did the Lord’s death-three mysteries of a cry, wrought in the stillness of God. 2 How then was he made manifest to the ages? A star shone forth in heaven brighter than all the stars, and its light was ineffable and its novelty produced astonishment; all the other stars, with sun and moon, gathered in chorus about this star, and it outshone them all [cf. Wisd. 7:29,30; 18:14,15]. There was perplexity as to the origin of this novelty, so unlike the others. 3. Thus all magic was dissolved and every bond of wickedness [cf. Isa. 58:6] vanished; ignorance was abolished and the old kingdom was destroyed, since God was becoming manifest in human form for the newness of eternal life [cf. Rom. 6:4]; what had been prepared by God [cf. 1 Cor. 2:9] had its beginning. Hence everything was shaken together, for the abolition of death was being planned." Ignatius (110 A.D.) page 83 “The letters of Ignatius of Antioch Ephesians” “The Apostolic Fathers”, edited by Jack N. Sparks

“Having this hope, then, let our souls be bound to him who is faithful to his promises [cf. Heb. 10:23] and just in his judgments. 2. He it is who commanded us not to lie: how much the more will he not lie himself! For the one thing that is impossible to god is to be false [cf. Heb. 6:18]. 3. Let our faith in him then be rekindled in us, and bear in mind that all things are near him. 4. By the word of his majesty he established all things, and by his word he can bring them to nought. 5. “Who will say to him, “What have you done?’ Or who can stand against the might of his power?” [Wisd. 12:12; 11:22]. When he wills and as he wills he shall accomplished all things, and not one of the things he has decreed can fail. 6. All things lie open to his sight, and nothing has escaped his will, 7. since “the heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork; day to day pours forth speech and night to night declares knowledge; yet there are neither words nor speech, and their voices are not heard” [Ps. 19:1-3]. 1st Clement (90A.D.) page 33 “The letter of Clement of Rome to Corinth” “The Apostolic Fathers” edited by Jack N. Sparks

“For this reason righteousness and peace stand at a distance, while each one has abandoned the fear of God and become nearly blind with respect to faith in him, neither walking according to the laws of his commandments nor living in accordance with his duty toward Christ. Instead, all follow the lusts of their evil heart, inasmuch as they have assumed that attitude of unrighteous and ungodly jealously through which, in fact, death entered into the world.” [Wisdom 2:24] 1st Clement (90 A.D.) page 49 “First Clement salutation” 3.4 Michael W. Holmes, “The Apostolic Fathers: 3rd edition”

(The book of Wisdom was compiled as Scripture in some regions of the Church along with New Testament books)
“There are extant also a letter to the Laodikeians, and another to the Alexandrians, forged in Paulus' name to further Markion's school of thought. And there are many others which cannot be received into the universal assembly, for "it is not fitting for vinegar to be mixed with honey."
“Indeed, the letter of Judah, and two entitled Johannes, are accepted in the universal assembly, along with the Wisdom, written by the friends of Solomon in his honor. We receive also the Revelations of Johannes and Peter, the latter of which some refuse to have read in the assembly.”
Muratorian Fragment (155 A.D.)

(Tertullian calls the book of Wisdom a Christian authority)
“However, Dicæarchus has several authorities against him— and philosophers too— Plato, Strato, Epicurus, Democritus, Empedocles, Socrates, Aristotle; while in opposition to Andreas and Asclepiades (may be placed their brother) physicians Herophilus, Erasistratus, Diocles, Hippocrates, and Soranus himself; and better than all others, there are our Christian authorities. We are taught by God concerning both these questions— viz. that there is a ruling power in the soul, and that it is enshrined in one particular recess of the body. For, when one reads of God as being the searcher and witness of the heart; [Wisdom 1:6] when His prophet is reproved by His discovering to him the secrets of the heart; [Proverbs 24:12] when God Himself anticipates in His people the thoughts of their heart, Why do you think evil in your hearts?” Tertullian (155-250)

(in talking about the book of Wisdom)
“. I produce now the prophecy of Solomon, which speaks of Christ, and announces clearly and perspicuously things concerning the Jews; and those which not only are befalling them at the present time, but those, too, which shall befall them in the future age, on account of the contumacy and audacity which they exhibited toward the Prince of Life; for the prophet says, The ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright, that is, about Christ, Let us lie in wait for the righteous, because he is not for our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings and words, and upbraids us with our offending the law, and professes to have knowledge of God; and he calls himself the Child of God. And then he says, He is grievous to us even to behold; for his life is not like other men's, and his ways are of another fashion. We are esteemed of him as counterfeits, and he abstains from our ways as from filthiness, and pronounces the end of the just to be blessed. And again, listen to this, O Jew! None of the righteous or prophets called himself the Son of God. And therefore, as in the person of the Jews, solomon speaks again of this righteous one, who is Christ, thus: He was made to reprove our thoughts, and he makes his boast that God is his Father. Let us see, then, if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him; for if the just man be the Son of God, He will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies. Let us condemn him with a shameful death, for by his own saying he shall be respected.” Hippolytus (170 A.D. -235 A.D.) “Against the Jews”

“The divine Wisdom says of the martyrs, “They seemed in the eyes of the foolish to die, and their departure was reckoned a calamity, and their migration from us an affliction. But they are in peace. For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope was full of immortality.”28312831 Wisd. iii. 2, 3, 4. [Ws 3:1-4] He then adds, teaching martyrdom to be a glorious purification, “And being chastened a little, they shall be benefited much; because God proved them,” that is, suffered them to be tried, to put them to the proof, and to put to shame the author of their trial, “and found them worthy of Himself,” plainly to be called sons." Clement of Alexandria (150 A.D.-216 A.D.) “The Stromata 4:16”

“The Holy Spirit shows and predicts by Solomon, saying: “And although in the sight of men they suffered torments, yet their hope is full of immortality. And having been troubled in a few things, they shall be in many happily ordered, because God has tried them, and has found them worthy of Himself. As gold in the furnace, He hath tried them; and as whole burnt-offerings of sacrifice, He hath received them, and in its season there will be respect of them. They will shine and run about as sparks in a place set with reeds. In many editions this clause is wanting. They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the peoples; and their Lord shall reign for ever.” [Wisdom 3:4] In the same also our vengeance is described, and the repentance of those who persecute and molest us is announced.” Cyprian (200A.D.-258A.D.) ch 12 “Exhortation to Martydom”

“The prophet threatens that evils will be kindled by the north wind upon all who inhabit the earth. Now the north wind is described in holy Scripture as cold, according to the statement in the book of Wisdom, That cold north wind; Sirach 43:20 which same thing also must undoubtedly be understood of the devil.” Origen (180A.D.-230A.D.) “De principiis”

(at this time Jews rejected the book, and it’s possible that a few Christians did too…like Africanus, but most Christians thought it was scripture, Origen included)
“And if this word matter should happen to occur in any other passage, it will never be found, in my opinion, to have the signification of which we are now in quest, unless perhaps in the book which is called the Wisdom of Solomon, a work which is certainly not esteemed authoritative by all. In that book, however, we find written as follows: For your almighty hand, that made the world out of shapeless matter, wanted not means to send among them a multitude of bears and fierce lions.” Origen(180A.D.-230A.D.) “De Principiis”

“By this drowning, however, it is not to be supposed that God's providence as regards Pharaoh was terminated; for we must not imagine, because he was drowned, that therefore he had forthwith completely perished: for in the hand of God are both we and our words; all wisdom, also, and knowledge of workmanship, as Scripture declares.[Wisdom 7:16]” Origen(180A.D.-230A.D.) “De Principiis” Book 3

(at this time Jews rejected the book, and it’s possible that a few Christians did too…like Africanus, but most Christians thought it was scripture, Origen included)

“And if this word matter should happen to occur in any other passage, it will never be found, in my opinion, to have the signification of which we are now in quest, unless perhaps in the book which is called the Wisdom of Solomon, a work which is certainly not esteemed authoritative by all. In that book, however, we find written as follows: For your almighty hand, that made the world out of shapeless matter, wanted not means to send among them a multitude of bears and fierce lions.” Origen(180A.D.-230A.D.) “De Principiis”

“By this drowning, however, it is not to be supposed that God's providence as regards Pharaoh was terminated; for we must not imagine, because he was drowned, that therefore he had forthwith completely perished: for in the hand of God are both we and our words; all wisdom, also, and knowledge of workmanship, as Scripture declares." [Wisdom 7:16]”Origen(180A.D.-230A.D.) “De Principiis” Book 3

“But Marcella, interrupting, said, O Theophila, there appears here a great mistake, and something contrary to what you have said; and do you think to escape under cover of the cloud which you have thrown around you? For there comes that argument, which perhaps any one who addresses you as a very wise person will bring forward: What do you say of those who are begotten unlawfully in adultery? For you laid it down that it was inconceivable and impossible for any one to enter into the world unless he was introduced by the will of the divine Ruler, his frame being prepared for him by God. And that you may not take refuge behind a safe wall, bringing forward the Scripture which says, 'As for the children of the adulterers, they shall not come to their perfection, ' Wisdom 3:16 he will answer you easily, that we often see those who are unlawfully begotten coming to perfection like ripe fruit.” Methodius (311 A.D.)

“If she were, in some fit of weakness, to admit the defilement to her heart, she would herself have broken the covenant of her spiritual marriage; and, as the Scripture tells us, into the malicious soul Wisdom cannot come Wisdom 1:4 .” Saint Gregory (385A.D.)

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