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KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 29th 2008, 07:44 PM
We've heard it all before. The Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, and a few other groups of Christians all differ on one central topic of Christianity - the Bible. Each comes to the intellectual arena with differing systems of logic, demands, and Biblical interpretation. While it is not my hope to solve Christianity in a single post, I desire to gain some understanding of Protestantism's interpretation of the Bible. I will start with what has traditionally been offered- (if a MOD thinks this thread should be moved, sorry in advance for posting this in the wrong section).

My main struggle with the Bible has been the interpretation of doctrines throughout the history of Christianity. Most Protestants oppose some of the more "recent" doctrines of Catholicism that they hold on par with scripture (and I do as well). But, it seems unlikely to me that Christians would believe a doctrine, teach it throughout the entire church, and not teach otherwise if said doctrine were not true.

I hear many protestants demand (and not unrighty) "but where is it in the BIBLE?" when talking about things like infant baptism. But the reality of the situtation is the doctrine of "believer's baptism" was not taught in the Church for many centuries without exception. (this is fact, disagree as you might, we are not going to talk about this, although if you have a good argument otherwise, please post it).

My first question is-

1. Do you, as a Protestant Christian, have a problem believing a relatively "recent" doctrine (i.e. taught recently), as long as it can be logically deduced from the Bible? For the sake of the thread, let's use as an example "The Real Presence".

and

2. What are the "essential" doctrines (Biblical citations please!) Christians must believe if they are to be Christian? How much can we deviate from these doctrines and still be a Christian?

and

3. Where does the Bible mention a system of "essential doctrines"?

If you have any other info you would like to throw in, please do so!

markedward
Jan 29th 2008, 08:08 PM
1. What is "the real presence?" I'm unfamiliar with this term.

2. This is difficult to answer, unless I could cite entire epistles. Essentially, anything that could be considered "essential doctrine" comes from the authority of Jesus (who in turn affirmed the authority of the prophets) and from the apostles. Of course, deviation from "essential doctrine" would be questionable (for example, having faith in Christ is an "essential doctrine"), but as your thread points out, it is the interpretation that causes differences, so what one denomination may see as "deviation" from an "essential doctrine," the other may simply see it as how it should be interpreted and that it isn't "deviation."

3. The ten commandments, maybe for starters?

jeffreys
Jan 29th 2008, 08:09 PM
First of all, Kata, you've basically answered your questions already - but have not provided support for them (specifically, your assertions about baptism).

Second, you'll need to be a little more clear about these "recent doctrines" you're referring to.

Third, regarding the essentials of faith? Well, we need to believe in God - and in Jesus, the Son of the Living God. That belief needs to become faith that compels us to turn away from what is contrary to God, and to confess our faith in Jesus the Christ (though not necessarily in front of an assembly). We are called to be baptized into Christ, for the remission of our sins. We are called to remember the sacrifice of Jesus through communion. As as result of these things, our lives are to reflect our relationship with God in Christ.


I don't know if that's what you're looking for, but if it's not I'd appreciate some clarification.

uric3
Jan 29th 2008, 08:25 PM
1. Not familiar with "The Real Presence"...

2. The essential doctrines would be any all content in the Bible more so the NT seeing how the Old is done away with as far as following its commands. Note: Col 2:13-15; Heb 8:7; All of Galatians note chapter 5 it states that we if obey are part of the old law we are to do it all and Christ profits us nothing.

As far as how far we can deviate I would say none... look at Galatians once again notice Gal 1:6-12

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.



Note how serious it is that they changed just a wee thing in the NT order... all they tried to add if you read it in context is apply part of the old Law mainly circumcision. Paul tells them in chapter 5 if you do this Christ profits you nothing... we can't change or add/subtract anything from the NT. We need to follow it all to the letter crossing our T's and dotting our i's.



3. There is no system of essential doctrines at noted before its the entire NT that we are to follow. How one becomes a Christian is just as important as how we partake of the Lords Supper... it all matters, note in Cor 11 how those who partook of the Lords Supper wrong they where spiritually dead.

Since you brought this up and how so many people are like "Its not in the Bible"... "rightly so" but it amazes me how many of those people have all kinds of different answers for how one becomes a Christian... which guess what isn't mentioned in the Bible such as "The Sinners Prayer", "Accept Christ as your Personal Savior", "Just believe Christ is the Son of God", etc...

However when you do look at the Bible it clearly states what we are to do... What did Peter say when he was ask what a sinner must do? Acts 2:37-38 he told them to repent and be baptized... which is a common theme thought the entire Bible everyone was to repent and be baptized not once was any of the said above mentioned... anyway just a ironic thought.

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 29th 2008, 09:06 PM
1. What is "the real presence?" I'm unfamiliar with this term.


For those who don't know, the "real presence" is the belief that Communion is more than a symbol. The bread and wine (or grape juice, if you want to be PC) become the body of God. I have Early Church Writings published by Penguin right in front of me, and it seems like the earliest Christians seemed to assign more value to communion than we do today. If anyone has a good study or article, I would love to see it.


Second, you'll need to be a little more clear about these "recent doctrines" you're referring to.


Older Christians (before 300 AD) seem to assign more honor to mary, seem to believe in intercession of saints, the real presence, infant baptism, Grace through Baptism, being "Born again" in Baptism, and basically a whole bunch of other things that we would consider crazy. Mind you, most of the people who taught this knew someone who knew Jesus!

Pick one if you want to discuss it.

It seems hard to believe that the Church would become so completely under satan's control in a matter of decades!

bjones
Jan 29th 2008, 09:40 PM
2. The essential doctrines would be any all content in the Bible more so the NT seeing how the Old is done away with as far as following its commands.
...
As far as how far we can deviate I would say none... look at Galatians once again notice Gal 1:6-12

I don't think this recognizes the difference between scripture and your opinion of what scripture says.

I would begin a list with those clearly identified:

Romans 1 gives a list of doctrines, which the denial of, makes God angry.
That He is God (he alone)
That He is invisible, powerful, and the creator.

Others:
Jesus rose from the dead in the flesh.
Salvation by grace alone. (Dead to the law)

I think many doctrines are secondary and permit for differences of "constructs" as we grow in knowledge of Christ.

Important to me is a lifestyle that shows growth in obedience to Christ.

jeffreys
Jan 29th 2008, 09:50 PM
Older Christians (before 300 AD) seem to assign more honor to mary, seem to believe in intercession of saints, the real presence, infant baptism, Grace through Baptism, being "Born again" in Baptism, and basically a whole bunch of other things that we would consider crazy. Mind you, most of the people who taught this knew someone who knew Jesus!

Pick one if you want to discuss it.

It seems hard to believe that the Church would become so completely under satan's control in a matter of decades!

First of all, when you're studying the "early Church" you have to determine which early Church you're studying. There were marked differences between church in say, Egypt, and churches in Asia Minor. There was not one universal writing that basically spoke for all of them.

Second, I know of no early orthodox writings that espouse and promote infant sprinkling. It's evident that The Didache, for instance, is NOT talking about infant sprinkling.
Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.

Clifton
Jan 29th 2008, 10:22 PM
First of all, when you're studying the "early Church" you have to determine which early Church you're studying. There were marked differences between church in say, Egypt, and churches in Asia Minor. There was not one universal writing that basically spoke for all of them.

True... even overall not all Early Christian Writers were in agreement. Nonetheless, it appears once they started something, they started something that has carried on ever since then. Sometimes people assumed that since those Early Writers believed something or another, then their belief today is "justified", or "affirmed". I guess one could refer to heathens of old ages to "affirm" things.

What Early Christian Writings are good for are their antiquity and things going on in those times.


Second, I know of no early orthodox writings that espouse and promote infant sprinkling. It's evident that The Didache, for instance, is NOT talking about infant sprinkling."sprinkling", The Didache? The OP did not mention what the element of the baptism he was referring to (water, holy spirit, into the name...). I was wondering how anyone can determine if an infant was baptized or not (one of the "spiritual baptisms"). Yea, water as the element of baptisms, like in the movies? :)

Actually, The Essenes, which it is believed John The Immerser was associated with (though not in total agreement with them) would dip their infants in water as follows: 30 days for male, 32 days for females. But as for doing that today? I'll leave that alone.:) You did see baptism referenced in Didache 9, regarding thanksgiving[?], didn't ya? I was under the assumption that was a spiritual elemental form of baptism.

On the water baptism, and Didache 7, never heard of anyone these days fasting before preforming such a baptism.
Maybe in the movies.:D

jeffreys
Jan 29th 2008, 10:31 PM
"sprinkling", The Didache? The OP did not mention what the element of the baptism he was referring to (water, holy spirit, into the name...). I was wondering how anyone can determine if an infant was baptized or not (one of the "spiritual baptisms"). Yea, water as the element of baptisms, like in the movies? :)

Actually, The Essenes, which it is believed John The Immerser was associated with (though not in total agreement with them) would dip their infants in water as follows: 30 days for male, 32 days for females. But as for doing that today? I'll leave that alone.:) You did see baptism referenced in Didache 9, regarding thanksgiving[?], didn't ya? I was under the assumption that was a spiritual elemental form of baptism.

On the water baptism, and Didache 7, never heard of anyone these days fasting before preforming such a baptism.
Maybe in the movies.:D

Ummmmmm... What? What is your repeated reference to "in the movies" about? :hmm:

In Chapter 9 of The Didache, it's pretty clear that only baptized believers were to partake of the Eucharist/Communion.

Chapter 7 of The Didache is quite clearly about baptism in water - preferably cold, running (as in a river or stream) water. And it's also clear that the person to be baptized was to be spiritually/mentally prepared. Babies cannot do that.

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 12:02 AM
Ummmmmm... What? What is your repeated reference to "in the movies" about? :hmm:

Well, when I thought maybe the OP might be referring to water (hopefully, not blood!) as the element of the immersion (re: baptism), my reference was to these movies where some priest was splashing water on some baby in a little tub. The Preface to the VW Bible alludes to water "...being the dabbing of some water on one's head, or other pagan practices of flinging water outwards upon congregations of people..." (as erroneous immersions).


In Chapter 9 of The Didache, it's pretty clear that only baptized believers were to partake of the Eucharist/Communion.Yes, but what was "element" of the immersion being referred to? We might assume it referred to water due to 7:1, but much can change in just a few sentences, as is show in the Greek Scriptures. In 9:5, It looks like a spiritual immersion, i.e. being immersed "into the name of the Lord", (which occurs when one is born from above, John 3:3) but the same phrase is used (in the English) for 7:1, so one cannot be sure (unless he has an extant MS or copy of it) of what the "element" of the immersion was - not that it really matters - forgive me please, though I be American, I'm classified as a Greek Orthodox. Do you know where I can obtain a Greek Copy of the Didache, if it is being translated from Greek? Otherwise, if it is Latin, well I can't read any Latin, but have the tools to find out. It might be nice to have for my project, and my thread Immersions: Their Instruments, Modes, Agents, Etc. that I am so SLOWLY posting in for the benefits of referencing material for others, and to dispel the error of some "churches" claiming, in short, "we have sent countless numbers to hell by not baptizing them correctly, contact us and please return to be rebaptized as soon as possible!" (re: erroneously upsetting people about loved ones that have died).

If you know, or any other here does, where I can access the original language of the Didache, it would be appreciated. If not, that's okay - it really is not needed.:)


Chapter 7 of The Didache is quite clearly about baptism in water -Yea, I got that much out of the English translation. Looks more like being immersed with water [calling] upon The Name Of The Father, Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Somehow I doubt the Greek εις (“into”) is used - Maybe επι ("upon") or εν ("in") is, then it would be grammatically correct as well as the syntax would be proper.


preferably cold,No wonder The Didache didn't have a majority value upon it. My water immersion was in warm water - I will not partake in it again for the sake of this verse.;)


running (as in a river or stream) water.Well, as you originally quoted, "running water (as in a river or stream)" was not always available - especially when it came to cold climates, not to mention, with some areas of the world, are always under. Of course, now and days better heat and warm tubs are available in the world, mostly.


And it's also clear that the person to be baptized was to be spiritually/mentally prepared. Babies cannot do that.And where is this in the Didache? I've been acquainted with Greek for years, and studying it's Dictionary for the NT for years, and I have yet to see any mention in reference to babies concerning any elements of immersion: materialistic or spiritual. However, "immersion" can be inferred from a context, e.g. we see that John The Immerser was immersed with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb (Luke 1:15, 41), as those in Acts 2, etc. But in reference to water as the element, I thought babies always loved bathes :D Is that the issue against sprinkling?:D

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 01:00 AM
We've heard it all before. The Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, and a few other groups of Christians all differ on one central topic of Christianity - the Bible. Each comes to the intellectual arena with differing systems of logic, demands, and Biblical interpretation. While it is not my hope to solve Christianity in a single post, I desire to gain some understanding of Protestantism's interpretation of the Bible.

As an Orthodox, though American, I'm attempting to do the same - one of the reasons I started reading USENET group posts and this BibleForums System. Looks like people have pretty much read the Bible contextually, like chapter to chapter, so much does look good.

You say you desire to gain some understanding of Protestantism's interpretation of the Bible. Are you Orthodox or Catholic? Are you acquainted with Koine Greek? I see your handle here uses Greek. The issue with Protestantism's interpretation of the Bible no doubt stems from just using English as a source of the scriptures.


My main struggle with the Bible has been the interpretation of doctrines throughout the history of Christianity. Most Protestants oppose some of the more "recent" doctrines of Catholicism that they hold on par with scripture (and I do as well). But, it seems unlikely to me that Christians would believe a doctrine, teach it throughout the entire church, and not teach otherwise if said doctrine were not true.We know from history, not to mention the Greek Scriptures themselves, that opposing doctrines were introduced in the communities (or, "assemblies") of Christians. Some of those, if not all, have NOT vanished, but in fact have grown over the centuries.


I hear many protestants demand (and not unrighty) "but where is it in the BIBLE?" when talking about things like infant baptism. But the reality of the situtation is the doctrine of "believer's baptism" was not taught in the Church for many centuries without exception. (this is fact, disagree as you might, we are not going to talk about this, although if you have a good argument otherwise, please post it).Believer's Baptism (or "immersion") is spiritual immersion, as opposed to materialistic immersion like water, blood, or vinegar solution to make pickles! ;)
"...because Yochanan truly immersed in water, but you shall be immersed in the Set-apart Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5 The Scriptures 1998+)

"not many days from now" appears later, like in Chapter two and so on. The element for immersion is with, or in the "Holy (Set-apart) Spirit". Water was the element John ("Yochanan") used. They got a better immersion. Water was not the element for any immersions until Acts 8:36, where is the first occurrence of a "water immersion" took place, and even then it was questionable as to whether they could be forbidden from participating in a water immersion. As we see, they were not forbidden (my point towards those that say water immersions are "old" covenant, etc.). Water immersions took place in a couple of places or more later in Acts (beyond 8:36-39), e.g. 10:46-48, 22:16.

When you say "infant baptism", do you refer to water as the element?


My first question is-

1. Do you, as a Protestant Christian, have a problem believing a relatively "recent" doctrine (i.e. taught recently), as long as it can be logically deduced from the Bible? For the sake of the thread, let's use as an example "The Real Presence".

and

2. What are the "essential" doctrines (Biblical citations please!) Christians must believe if they are to be Christian? How much can we deviate from these doctrines and still be a Christian?

and

3. Where does the Bible mention a system of "essential doctrines"?

If you have any other info you would like to throw in, please do so!

I was a protestant years ago... we just took some snippets of The Bible and lived by them, like "drink and be merry" so we could stay drunk, though I would feel not "all" protestants are like that.;)

jeffreys
Jan 30th 2008, 01:04 AM
And where is this in the Didache? I've been acquainted with Greek for years, and studying it's Dictionary for the NT for years, and I have yet to see any mention in reference to babies concerning any elements of immersion: materialistic or spiritual. However, "immersion" can be inferred from a context, e.g. we see that John The Immerser was immersed with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb (Luke 1:15, 41), as those in Acts 2, etc. But in reference to water as the element, I thought babies always loved bathes :D Is that the issue against sprinkling?:D

What does the Greek word for baptize - baptizo - mean?

I think the definition of that word alone makes it pretty clear.


There is a different Greek word for "sprinkle," and a different Greek word for "pour." Neither of them is even remotely close to the word baptizo.

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 02:05 AM
What does the Greek word for baptize - baptizo - mean?

907 βαπτιζω: fut. baptiso, from bapto (911), to dip. Immerse, submerge for a religious purpose, to overwhelm, saturate, baptize.

Baptize is just a transliteral word for "βαπτιζω", which comes from the Greek Stems βαπ/βαΦ: sprinkle, dip, wash. Formations of words (nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, etc.) are created upon the stems - sometimes giving more definition(s). Lately, English Bible Translations will not use transliterals of these βαπ* Greek words anymore due to the confusions in the English-Speaking countries. So far, from what I seen, is that they are using the English words, "Immers*". To put it like one Bible preface says:
"Even the way the world speaks of things, a person who is totally committed to their career is not spoken of as being "baptized in their work." No, they are "immersed in their work."


I think the definition of that word alone makes it pretty clear.There are 4 main Greek words used, and I am acquainted with 13 (ouch) pages of the definitions in my Greek Dictionary. It is a "process" that requires the employment of a spiritual, mental, or material "instrument/element" (spirit [or a spiritual element], death and resurrection, sufferings / calamities, water, vinegar solution [to make pickles], work, etc.). The adjuncts mark the object and effect of baptism: especially εις (-1519-), into, unto, with the acc., to baptize or to be baptized into anything means into the belief, profession or observance of anything (E.g. "...Into Moses" 1Corinthians 10:2; "Into Christ" Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38,41; Acts 8:16; 19:5; 1Corinthians 1:13, 15, etc., as opposed to materialistic immersions like water, and fire. I'll give a breakdown of these in my thread, slowly, but surely ;))


There is a different Greek word for "sprinkle," and a different Greek word for "pour." Neither of them is even remotely close to the word baptizo.Well, προσχυσις can relate to “sprinkling” and “pouring”, and ραντιζω and ραντισμοσ can relate to “sprinkling” (e.g. blood). That's not the point, since words like "dip", "immersions", "overwhelm", "saturate", and "submerge" requires an element/instrument adjoining it. Otherwise, without that, they are just words alone in a vocabulary - by themselves, as I am sure you know, does not "automatically" mean this or that (i.e. water / fire / etc.), if they have no elemental properties adjoining it. Immersions can be reasonably concluded where the word is not present, e.g.:
For “everyone who calls on the Name of יהוה shall be saved.”
Romans 10:13 The Scriptures 1998+
One seriously doing this, is immersed "into the name of יהוה (YHWH, The Lord)"

Thanks for your replies. I'll work on follow ups to my thread on immersions and their elements, Lord permitting.

Take Care.

jeffreys
Jan 30th 2008, 03:38 AM
Right.

Baptizo - and even related words, all have to do with immersion. Immerse, dip, overwhelm.

When all the dust settles, and all the fancy exegesis is done, it still comes down to that.

Does sprinkling of infants fit the concept of baptizo? No, it doesn't.
Though not Holy Writ, The Didache does indicate something about baptism - specifically that those to be baptized were to be spiritually prepared (through fasting). Does sprinkling of infants fit the directive for the person to be baptized preparing for it through fasting? No, it doesn't.

Regardless of what early churches did or did not do, concerning baptism, it's pretty clear what the New Testament teaches.

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 04:00 AM
Right.

Baptizo - and even related words, all have to do with immersion. Immerse, dip, overwhelm.

And saturate.


When all the dust settles, and all the fancy exegesis is done, it still comes down to that.

Hmmm - Not sure I would call differentiations of elements an exegesis - the scale is too broad.


Does sprinkling of infants fit the concept of baptizo? No, it doesn't.I doubt it. Infants were, I would say "dipped", as opposed to "submerged". 30 days after the males were born, 32 days after the females were born. John's baptism was to cease after Christ.

I really have no say in regards to infants where "water" is the element of immersions. I am neither a proponent or opponent of it.


Though not Holy Writ, The Didache does indicate something about baptism - specifically that those to be baptized were to be spiritually prepared (through fasting). Does sprinkling of infants fit the directive for the person to be baptized preparing for it through fasting? No, it doesn't.

That (The Didache 7:1-4) referred to "water" being the element of the immersion. I know of no scripture in the Greek New Testaments I have of talking about "fasting" before any materialistic immersions, and certainly not spiritual ones, which can be achieved by any person, any time, under any circumstances.


Regardless of what early churches did or did not do, concerning baptism, it's pretty clear what the New Testament teaches.

Adding ALL immersions and their elements, yes, The Greek Scriptures teaches all those. It is also pretty clear what the New Testament does not teach.;)

Take Care.

“Yochanan answered and said to them all, ‘As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire’” (Luke 3:16 HNV).

jeffreys
Jan 30th 2008, 04:11 AM
I gotta say, Clifton, for the most part I have no idea what you're saying, or what argument you're trying to make. :hmm:

jeffreys
Jan 30th 2008, 05:02 AM
Actually, The Essenes, which it is believed John The Immerser was associated with (though not in total agreement with them) would dip their infants in water as follows: 30 days for male, 32 days for females. But as for doing that today? I'll leave that alone.:)

I fail to see what John's (supposed) association with the Essene Sect would have to do with baptism - either John's baptism or Christian baptism.

Was John's not a baptism of repentance? (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 13:24; Acts 19:4.) That being the case, how can you reconcile that with the assertion of the Essenes' dipping of babies? Can babies repent?

What the Essenes - a Jewish sect - did regarding baptism has nothing to do with Christian baptism.

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 01:05 PM
Good Morning!


I gotta say, Clifton, for the most part I have no idea what you're saying, or what argument you're trying to make. :hmm:

Was not trying to make an "Argument" - was just originally siding with you on the issue that Early Christian Writers were not all in agreement, and like you, wanted some clarifications, in addition on "what" baptism the OP was referring to infants there - but I went ahead and have requested that info from KATA_LOUKAN now. I did not originally do that at first because he was addressing Protestantism, and I'm Orthodox - but I was involved in Protestantism in the last Century, so I have now asked to the question of the OP, and will await his answer - curiosity killed the cat, not the human.:D

Nonetheless, Thanks for the input ;)

ProjectPeter
Jan 30th 2008, 01:08 PM
Okay... apparently folks need reminded of a few very simple things which are clearly spelled out in the rule.

THIS IS A PROTESTANT BOARD. Not a Catholic Board... not an Orthodox Board. Stuff like this belongs in World Relgions. Not in Bible Chat.

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 30th 2008, 01:15 PM
Okay... apparently folks need reminded of a few very simple things which are clearly spelled out in the rule.

THIS IS A PROTESTANT BOARD. Not a Catholic Board... not an Orthodox Board. Stuff like this belongs in World Relgions. Not in Bible Chat.

I am looking for a debate, although any Christian interpretation of the Bible would be appreciated.


You say you desire to gain some understanding of Protestantism's interpretation of the Bible. Are you Orthodox or Catholic? Are you acquainted with Koine Greek? I see your handle here uses Greek. The issue with Protestantism's interpretation of the Bible no doubt stems from just using English as a source of the scriptures.


I have studied Greek for several years. I am a protestant, however.

Does the Orthodox church insist on triple immersion?


There were marked differences between church in say, Egypt, and churches in Asia Minor. There was not one universal writing that basically spoke for all of them.


I would be interested in reading anything you have on this topic.

ProjectPeter
Jan 30th 2008, 01:19 PM
I am looking for a debate, although any Christian interpretation of the Bible would be appreciated.On matters such as this you will have to look for that debate in World Religions. It isn't going to happen out on the open boards in the other sections as per the Forum Rules.

We do that for a very valid reason and we don't require folks like our reasoning nor even agree with our reasoning. All that we require is that folks stay within the rules we've laid out regardless.

uric3
Jan 30th 2008, 03:34 PM
I will throw a monkey wrench in this discussion just to see what people think... as we have been talking about baptism, all forms including infant. I would like to point out a few things.

Lets take a moment to read a few passages shall we... Acts 8:26-40 after reading it in context note vs 36-37 it states...

"36And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

37And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

Note the eunuch ask what hinder him from becoming a Christian. Then Phillip answered telling him he must have faith that Christ is the son of God. So we can see here that this is a requirement that we must have faith before we can become a Christian...

Also note Acts 22:16 " 16And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

Note here that even Paul has the requirement of speaking his faith... as well...

Other passages you might want to look at is Acts 19:1-7 which talks about those who was not baptized in the name of Christ and had to have redone it was so important.

So my point: how can a infant fulfill these qualifications since they can't talk nor can they have faith because they have no understanding?

Also note we don't inherit sin... Ezek 18:20-21. Note the OT is done away with and we don't obey its commands but we can learn from it. Such as Rom 15:4 states.

So from this I think we see infants don't mean the qualification to be baptized... nor do we see an example in the entire NT that would allow us to do so...

Unless someone can explain why how and give inspired NT order examples...

Edit: because I am sure it will come up if it must be spoken how would a mute person obey... can they not sign? Thats how they communicate after all?

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 04:23 PM
I fail to see what John's (supposed) association with the Essene Sect would have to do with baptism - either John's baptism or Christian baptism.

Was John's not a baptism of repentance? (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 13:24; Acts 19:4.) That being the case, how can you reconcile that with the assertion of the Essenes' dipping of babies? Can babies repent?

What the Essenes - a Jewish sect - did regarding baptism has nothing to do with Christian baptism.


My fine friend, I apologize for any confusion I may have caused - you seemed to have lost me like I have lost you, and we seemed to be in different fields, though, perhaps only with minimal differences, so I bid you well-being for this thread - since we most likely share many of the same things, we can catch-up with each other in those threads, and if not, when we are beyond this life and will be with The Lord.

All the best, happiness, and YHWH's blessings be with you.;)

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 04:30 PM
I am looking for a debate, although any Christian interpretation of the Bible would be appreciated.

I have studied Greek for several years. I am a protestant, however.

Does the Orthodox church insist on triple immersion?

Not that I have ever heard or read - at least not the Church Of The Brethren, and there is nothing in my Greeks works - I think that is considered unORTHODOX.;)

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 05:38 PM
I will throw a monkey wrench in this discussion just to see what people think... as we have been talking about baptism, all forms including infant. I would like to point out a few things.

Lets take a moment to read a few passages shall we... Acts 8:26-40 after reading it in context note vs 36-37 it states...

"36And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

37And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."As the context here shows, the eunuch was "saved" before the issue of being immersed in water came about.


Note the eunuch ask what hinder him from becoming a Christian.Take a peek again ;) It says nothing of the sort... the question was in regards to "what" would forbid him partaking in a water immersion. The new believer's immersion (spiritual) was in effect by then. If they were in a cold and freezing climate, do you think the question would have arisen?


Then Phillip answered telling him he must have faith that Christ is the son of God. So we can see here that this is a requirement that we must have faith before we can become a Christian...This is true (though 8:37 is not in the majority of MSS, the saying is pretty much in the context of the whole) - and as the book points out, people were immersed into the Lord and His Name, and with the Holy Spirit. Later they (at least some of them) partook in water immersions later, and as also the book shows, it is not something that "Saves" a person. It's the belief and spiritual immersion does. OTOH, I would not recommend an unbeliever to partake in water immersion, per Christian se.


Also note Acts 22:16 " 16And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Note here that even Paul has the requirement of speaking his faith... as well...

Other passages you might want to look at is Acts 19:1-7 which talks about those who was not baptized in the name of Christ and had to have redone it was so important.Yes, it does show there is nothing wrong "being immersed with water CALLING upon/INVOKING (επικαλεομαι (1941)) the Name Of The Lord" (this was done in c.10 as well, "by/with/in (εν (1722)) The name of the Lord"). The issue is, we cannot "automatically" assume that the element is "water", or worst, "fire", at the "appearance" of the words Baptis* and Immers*. Words like this, or say, "PUSH" require adjoining context (i.e., what is it that is being "pushed"?). But the words Baptis* and Immers* can be inferred from contexts. But on that note, the mere appearance of the "water" does not imply water immersions, however, I think there is one or more cases where "wash*" appears that water immersion can be inferred.

Acts 19 points out the differentials between the elements of immersions.... spiritual versus materialistic, i.e. "Water" versus "Into (εις (1519)) The Name". That is the catch I am driving at: understanding the different elements, and possibly modes, of immersions. Until late last year, I was unaware that there has been so much confusion within the community in regards to this (not to mention, the WDNT Greek Dictionary addresses this).

Question: Whose name where people immersed into in 1Corinthians 10:2 (http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=1Corinthians&chapter=10&verse=2)? - Spiritual Immersion can be, in short, "..into the belief, profession or observance of anything".

* "My Uncle and Neighbor are immersed into coin collecting" *
* She was immersed into the media frenzy of the O.J. Simpson Trial (of the Century). *
* I am immersed with/into joy when congregating with the brethren on BibleForums.com :) *


So my point: how can a infant fulfill these qualifications since they can't talk nor can they have faith because they have no understanding?

Also note we don't inherit sin... Ezek 18:20-21. Note the OT is done away with and we don't obey its commands but we can learn from it. Such as Rom 15:4 states.

So from this I think we see infants don't mean the qualification to be baptized... nor do we see an example in the entire NT that would allow us to do so...

Unless someone can explain why how and give inspired NT order examples...

Edit: because I am sure it will come up if it must be spoken how would a mute person obey... can they not sign? Thats how they communicate after all?Well, the OP does not specify which element it is for the infant immersion being referred to ("water" is assumed at this point), so it is hard to tell. It is the spiritual immersion that counts, which can occur at any age and as I have shown from scriptures in another thread and one here, even in the womb before birth. Since "water immersions" are something that is between the believer and man, I guess it might be debatable, (or at least a good in-depth study) whether an infant could be immersed in water. OTOH, the scriptures and historical texts shows no prejudices on ages in regards to being immersed in water, and in regards to many other things. Whether the parent wants to, or does not want to, have their infants immersed, is up to them and their ceremonial / religious beliefs. But this much I can state: IMO, I don't see sprinkling and dabbling of water over babies and congregations as "immersions" - my 2 dollars worth ;) (Due to inflation and the economy, it is 2 dollars instead of 2 cents now.:lol:).

Teke
Jan 30th 2008, 05:51 PM
We've heard it all before. The Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, and a few other groups of Christians all differ on one central topic of Christianity - the Bible. Each comes to the intellectual arena with differing systems of logic, demands, and Biblical interpretation. While it is not my hope to solve Christianity in a single post, I desire to gain some understanding of Protestantism's interpretation of the Bible. I will start with what has traditionally been offered- (if a MOD thinks this thread should be moved, sorry in advance for posting this in the wrong section).

My main struggle with the Bible has been the interpretation of doctrines throughout the history of Christianity. Most Protestants oppose some of the more "recent" doctrines of Catholicism that they hold on par with scripture (and I do as well). But, it seems unlikely to me that Christians would believe a doctrine, teach it throughout the entire church, and not teach otherwise if said doctrine were not true.

I hear many protestants demand (and not unrighty) "but where is it in the BIBLE?" when talking about things like infant baptism. But the reality of the situtation is the doctrine of "believer's baptism" was not taught in the Church for many centuries without exception. (this is fact, disagree as you might, we are not going to talk about this, although if you have a good argument otherwise, please post it).

My first question is-

1. Do you, as a Protestant Christian, have a problem believing a relatively "recent" doctrine (i.e. taught recently), as long as it can be logically deduced from the Bible? For the sake of the thread, let's use as an example "The Real Presence".

and

2. What are the "essential" doctrines (Biblical citations please!) Christians must believe if they are to be Christian? How much can we deviate from these doctrines and still be a Christian?

and

3. Where does the Bible mention a system of "essential doctrines"?

If you have any other info you would like to throw in, please do so!

Kata I believe to put this more in perspective in the differences, we must understand what canon and canonical tradition is and how that operates.

The Protestant uses the canon of scripture along with whatever canonical tradition they decide from the canon of scripture. These canonical traditions may be written or they may not be written, but orally passed to the faithful.

Eastern Orthodox, Roman catholics and others (not sure about Anglicans) have these traditional canons written for reference, such as the Apostles Canon and others. (I don't want to speak for everyone on this)

Like the canon of scripture, traditional canons are used as guidelines, so to speak. This is also how Israel used the Torah law.
The church always having been conciliar takes council of these matters. They just don't do it as one whole body as it was done in the beginning. They do it in their separate groups.

This is why we see differences in denominations and their decisions of the canon of scripture which reflect in their traditional canons. Like how baptism is done etc.

BTW, Eastern Orthodox canons direct to triple immerse for baptism, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.:)

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 30th 2008, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I now have some material to study!

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 06:55 PM
BTW, Eastern Orthodox canons direct to triple immerse for baptism, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.:)

By the time I made my post, it occurred to me that I may have read (in the last decade) about ancient lectionaries or liturgies performing triple immersions in water. Does Eastern Orthodox derive much from Greek Orthodox, or they one in the same, totally or virtually the same?

jeffreys
Jan 30th 2008, 07:09 PM
By the time I made my post, it occurred to me that I may have read (in the last decade) about ancient lectionaries or liturgies performing triple immersions in water. Doe Eastern Orthodox derive much from Greek Orthodox, or they one in the same, totally or virtually the same?

I was wondering when you & Teke would link up & make the "Orthodox" connection.

Beware... she's very smart! :)

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 07:17 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I now have some material to study!


Ya know, considering the differing protestants, if you have the time, which would not be much, you can use google (http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&btnG=Search) to search various ones, but include the quotes ("") so you can refine the number of listings only to those sites containing the exact phrase you are looking for:

"Orthodox Protestant"

"Roman Protestant"

"Classical Protestant"

"Greek Protestant"

They may be more, but those of the ones I know of. Perhaps the contents will provide others.

Teke is better experienced and up to date on this stuff (for me, the studies are of older times), and can correct me, or amplify me, or whatever (I do not take Ginkgo Biloba anymore:)); but if I remember, just shortening down the greater three divisions, there was
"orthodoxy",
then "catholicism (mostly or all Roman)",
then centuries later, "Protestantism" (which brought some roman and orthodoxy derivations with it).

And as time went on, there were splits in groups and divisions. I mean, there is a "Catholic Church" just up the hill from where I live, and I do not believe it is "Roman". There is no sign of the sign, or any indication of church's building it is like that. It may be independent, orthodox, or another. Basically speaking, catholic means universal.

Who knows, what all the UFO coverage going on TV today, maybe there are "Alien Protestants" now too.:lol:

Clifton
Jan 30th 2008, 11:46 PM
I was wondering when you & Teke would link up & make the "Orthodox" connection.

Beware... she's very smart! :)


Yea, I got that... I love reading her posts.:)

mcgyver
Jan 31st 2008, 05:22 AM
Ummm....

I'll admit my Greek is rusty, so feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

If I remember correctly, the four PRIMARY Words used for "Baptize/Baptized/Baptism" are: Baptizo, Baptisis, Baptismos, Baptisma and various declensions thereof.

However, there is another word used: Baptistheis which is a compound word (Lit Washed {in} God..from classical Greek) which is found only twice in the NT.

The first occasion is in Matthew 3:16: ("When He had been baptized {Baptistheis}, Jesus came up immediately from the water...")

And in Mark 16:16: ("He who believes and is baptized {Baptistheis}will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.")

Now if I'm reading this correctly, Baptistheis has nothing to do with either immersion or water; but rather expresses the idea of being washed/full/immersed/regenerated/identified with/identified in/an identity defined by/ God .You get the idea, there is no direct translation into English (obviously).

In Matt 3:16: Baptistheis would refer to Jesus being revealed/identified in/having His identity defined in/by God...which is exactly why John came baptizing in the first place (John 1:31). After all, John's baptism was a baptism of repentance (Matt3:11) and Jesus had nothing to repent of.

As Matthew's Gospel focuses on Jesus as Messiah, it makes perfect sense that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit Baptistheis would be used here.

This being the case, Mark 16:16 would fit seamlessly and without problem with those passages referring to being born again, being born of the Spirit, "washed in" or regenerated by God. Let's face it...without faith in Jesus, all water baptism does is get one wet.

It is faith in Jesus that saves (Rom 10:9-10 et al) and not water baptism....

Just thought I'd throw that in...:rolleyes:

Greek text: Stephanus 1550, Erasmus 1624

losthorizon
Jan 31st 2008, 12:32 PM
...It is faith in Jesus that saves (Rom 10:9-10 et al) and not water baptism....

I don’t think anyone on this thread is promoting baptismal regeneration – it is the blood of Christ alone that saves. Baptism (immersion in water) is a command from God that unites the believer with his Lord when the believer is baptized into the death of Jesus Christ (Rom 6:3-5). As Barnes so well stated in the quote above –
“Baptism is the application of water, as expressive of the need of purification, and as emblematic of the influences from God that can alone cleanse the soul. It is also a form of dedication to the service of God.”

mcgyver
Jan 31st 2008, 12:58 PM
Thanks LH..:)

Things had gotten a little "muddy" so I wasn't sure :lol:

Teke
Jan 31st 2008, 02:11 PM
By the time I made my post, it occurred to me that I may have read (in the last decade) about ancient lectionaries or liturgies performing triple immersions in water. Does Eastern Orthodox derive much from Greek Orthodox, or they one in the same, totally or virtually the same?

I say Eastern Orthodox to leave off the ethnic labels. The American, Greek, Russian, Coptic, Oriential, Ukranian etc, are all Eastern Orthodox.

Teke
Jan 31st 2008, 02:36 PM
"Orthodox Protestant"



Such wording would be very contrary.

Teke
Jan 31st 2008, 02:40 PM
I don’t think anyone on this thread is promoting baptismal regeneration – it is the blood of Christ alone that saves.

"Faith" is the dogma of the church. Salvation by faith (Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; ).


Baptism is part of tradition established by the Apostles at the first council in Jerusalem.

The Apostle commands, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and bold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle” (2 Thess. 2:15).

David Taylor
Jan 31st 2008, 03:02 PM
Clifton and Losthorizon,

You guys seem to have gotten a discussion within a discussion going, and seem to be very intensly focused on one another's viewpoints; based on your volleys back and forth with each other in this thread.

To better accommodate you guys, and to let this thread have a more open feel to it for the other posters, I have moved your posts to one another out of this thread, and moved them over to another section that will be better
suited for your exchange back and forth.

It is The Arena (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=114220) subforum, and it is specifically designed for two people to carry on an exchange and debate between each other.

Everyone else, back to the OP. ;)

Clifton
Jan 31st 2008, 03:27 PM
Ummm....

I'll admit my Greek is rusty, so feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Well, if you remember what it taught you for the scriptures, that don’t matter ;-)


If I remember correctly, the four PRIMARY Words used for "Baptize/Baptized/Baptism" are: Baptizo, Baptisis, Baptismos, Baptisma and various declensions thereof.Yep! Those words are from the Greek Stems βαπ/βαΦ: sprinkle, dip, wash., as well as βαπτω (911). The ones you refer to are Strong’s # 907-910, respectfully. Nouns are declinable - the verbs are conjugations, and as you might remember, there are many of them for one primary verb (for the sake of tense, mood, voice, and additionally for others, case, person, and number). My Greek Dictionary WDNT has THIRTEEN Pages for # 907-910! If it were not for misinterpretations and Roman Doctrines, and the world religions adhering to those, the number of pages would have been less (this applies for other Greek words as well), not to mention, the cost would be less!


However, there is another word used: Baptistheis which is a compound word (Lit Washed {in} God..from classical Greek) which is found only twice in the NT.The Greek Verb βαπτισθεις {V-APP-NSM} is just a conjugation of βαπτιζω {907},
meaning it is parsed as follows:
V-APP-NSM
Part of Speech: Verb
Tense: Aorist
Voice: Passive
Mood: Participle
Case: Nominative (subject; predicate nominative)
Number: Singular
Gender: Masculine

The same for above, with the exception of “number”, being plural is: βαπτισθεντες. Of course, verb parsing is indeed important, but mostly for determining the context, as opposed to one of the definitions of a verb.


The first occasion is in Matthew 3:16: ("When He had been baptized {Baptistheis}, Jesus came up immediately from the water...")

And in Mark 16:16: ("He who believes and is baptized {Baptistheis}will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.")βαπτισθεις occurs in Acts 8:13 as well ;-)


Now if I'm reading this correctly, Baptistheis has nothing to do with either immersion or water; but rather expresses the idea of being washed/full/immersed/regenerated/identified with/identified in/an identity defined by/ God .You get the idea, there is no direct translation into English (obviously).It depends on the adjoining element of the verb. “Water” can be an element for βαπτισθεις if it is in the context, and for whatever the element might be, can be that of water, and be defined as an “immersion” (the primary definition for English), or even “submerge”. A “pocket dictionary” form would read like:

907 βαπτιζω: fut. baptiso, from bapto (911), to dip. Immerse, submerge for a religious purpose, to overwhelm, saturate, baptize (e.g. "with water", John 1:25-26 - Yochanan [pronounced yo-khaw-nawn'] The Immerser).

In my outline (this part I have already posted in my “immersions...” thread;
* Immersed with Overwhelming Sufferings / Calamities and identification WDNT 314:1 (IX):
#Matthew 20:22, 23; Mark 10:38, 39
** Matthew 20:22, 23: meaning to overwhelmed with sufferings as the life of Jesus Christ was characterized. A similar expression is in Isaiah 21:4 in the Sept., "lawlessness baptizes me" (a.t.)


In Matt 3:16: Baptistheis would refer to Jesus being revealed/identified in/having His identity defined in/by God...which is exactly why John came baptizing in the first place (John 1:31). After all, John's baptism was a baptism of repentance (Matt3:11) and Jesus had nothing to repent of.

As Matthew's Gospel focuses on Jesus as Messiah, it makes perfect sense that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit Baptistheis would be used here.

This being the case, Mark 16:16 would fit seamlessly and without problem with those passages referring to being born again, being born of the Spirit, "washed in" or regenerated by God. Let's face it...without faith in Jesus, all water baptism does is get one wet.

It is faith in Jesus that saves (Rom 10:9-10 et al) and not water baptism....

Just thought I'd throw that in...Yep! ;-) *And I’ll additionally throw a snippet in to confirm your statements;
WDNT p.313: ...On the other hand, by seeking to be baptized by John, Jesus did not identify Himself as a sinner, who had repented as all others had, but as indeed confirming that He was the One to whom John had pointed, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Thus we must clearly understand that John’s baptism was not the same as the baptism in the Name Of Christ (Acts 19:5), nor the baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19), which was to be practiced by the disciples who heeded the Great Commission to go and preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations.*
The WDNT further expresses that John’s baptism was to cease while baptism in the name of Christ was to continue. Of course, WDNT does uphold water immersions as valid, while other folks call it old covenant, but one can understand why context and Greek readers define “by adhering to Roman Doctrines and change the spiritual immersion in favor of material immersion in the Great Commission as seriously dangerous” - “it is more than the syntax and grammar that is mangled, it denies what Christ has done and accomplished” - which in your own words, have pointed out what He has done and accomplished ;-)


Greek text: Stephanus 1550, Erasmus 1624I do not have Erasmus 1624. Is it available for Bible Software, like Online Bible, e-Sword, or The Sword Project?

Take Care.

Clifton
Jan 31st 2008, 03:33 PM
I say Eastern Orthodox to leave off the ethnic labels. The American, Greek, Russian, Coptic, Oriential, Ukranian etc, are all Eastern Orthodox.

Hmmmm... is there not such a thing as "Western Orthodox" ? I've been on disability for years now - in short, I have no ties with any denomination or movement, thus, "you all" are my fellowship whom I congregate with: I in your homes, and you all in my home (
# Ro 16:5
# 1Co 16:19
# Col 4:15
# Phm 1:2
).

So I spend my time in Biblical and Biblical Studies on the computer and in the home.

Maybe I should be cataloged as a "BibleForumian" :D

Clifton
Jan 31st 2008, 03:35 PM
Such wording would be very contrary.

Not surprising... I assume a handful of the cataloging is contrary.

Clifton
Jan 31st 2008, 03:39 PM
Clifton and Losthorizon,

You guys seem to have gotten a discussion within a discussion going, and seem to be very intensly focused on one another's viewpoints; based on your volleys back and forth with each other in this thread.

To better accommodate you guys, and to let this thread have a more open feel to it for the other posters, I have moved your posts to one another out of this thread, and moved them over to another section that will be better
suited for your exchange back and forth.

It is The Arena (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=114220) subforum, and it is specifically designed for two people to carry on an exchange and debate between each other.

I'm sorry - I had already done my post by the time I returned to the thread (it was just a matter of preview and submitting. Can you move it or do you want me to edit it out and move the post. At least I now know from here.;)


Everyone else, back to the OP. ;)I thought Biblical Interpretation and baptism was of this thread - apologies.;)

jeffreys
Jan 31st 2008, 03:42 PM
Greek text: Stephanus 1550, Erasmus 1624

Uhh Ohh... We're not going to have another big ole knock down drag out about the Textus Receptus, and King James Version, are we? :lol:


If that happens, I'll be falling back on my tried & true response: "HE STARTED IT!" :)

mcgyver
Jan 31st 2008, 03:55 PM
King Who? :rofl:

mcgyver
Jan 31st 2008, 04:09 PM
Hey Clifton...thanks so much for the response...I missed Acts 8:13 (where's the "D'oh" icon? :lol:)

I must admit, I very rarely use Strong's for Greek. Strong's is an absolutely wonderful tool...to be sure! In fact, I'm in awe over the dedication Dr. Strong showed in this, his life's work.

Having said that though, I (personally) find the subtle shades and differences of meaning prevalent in Greek to be rather lacking in the Strong's concordance. Given the limitations of space etc. that is to be expected.

I prefer to first read the Greek, then cross with other passages of scripture, and then (to further get a "grasp" as it were) to go to other works, such a Trench's excellent work: Synonyms of the New Testament; and Wuest: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament; Lightfoot's various works; (among others).

As far as the Erasmus 1624 ed of the TR, I've had it so long I've forgotten where I obtained it! :rolleyes:

jeffreys
Jan 31st 2008, 04:14 PM
King Who? :rofl:

King James. You know - JAMES - the guy that wrote the Bible! :)

mcgyver
Jan 31st 2008, 04:18 PM
Teke:

Since you give well reasoned and intelligent answers, I'd like to ask you a question reference definition of terms:

What would you consider the "Marks of distinction" that would distinguish, or differentiate "Orthodox" and "Protestant" Churches from each other?

I'm particularly interested in: Ordinances, Sacraments, and Biblical interpretation (the interaction/correlation between Scripture and Tradition), as well as anything else you can think of....

Since this thread is about differences in Biblical interpretation, hopefully this question is in the spirit of the OP.

Not to start a debate, but for my own edification.

Thanks :hug:

mcgyver
Jan 31st 2008, 04:19 PM
King James. You know - JAMES - the guy that wrote the Bible! :)

Is that kinda like David...You know...the guy that killed all those Philistines with the axe of the Apostles?

jeffreys
Jan 31st 2008, 04:36 PM
Is that kinda like David...You know...the guy that killed all those Philistines with the axe of the Apostles?

Stupid NIV - it screws up ALL the good stories like that! :lol:

Teke
Jan 31st 2008, 08:03 PM
Teke:

Since you give well reasoned and intelligent answers, I'd like to ask you a question reference definition of terms:

What would you consider the "Marks of distinction" that would distinguish, or differentiate "Orthodox" and "Protestant" Churches from each other?

First you'd have to define what Protestant churches to speak of. As many denominations are lumped under the title of Protestant, and that is because they are all protesting the Roman church in one way or another, or so it is believed. ;) This type of thinking has really become quite boring to educated Christian folks. By that I mean those educated in Church and Christian history and so forth. IMO a person who is educated in these matters can make their own educated decision one way or another, and I'd respect that. But there are those who are not educated in the faith and are being misled by many. Those my heart goes out to for Christ's sake. :hug:

Anyhow, let me give some background info. into Protestants. The first Protestants are Lutherans, as they began with the protests of Luther against the Roman practices which contradicted the dogma of the Church.
I'll return to this subject of "dogma".

Luther did have some other options, but chose not to use those I suppose. IOW Rome is not the only patriarchate of Christianity, there was also the Antioch and Jerusalem patriarchates, along with that of Constantinople. The Russian patriarchate came along later. Nonetheless, he could have appealed to any of these others and they would have supported him, as he was correct about the Roman practice of indulgences.

Then we have the Reformation, of which Wesley was part. I mention Wesley in particular, because he is actually the only one who brought his theology to the eastern churches for their opinion. Rather than go into all the details, I'll just say they agreed with much of what he put forth. There are books on this subject, such as "Orthodox and Wesleyan Scriptural Understanding and Practice", "Orthodox and Wesleyan Ecclesiology", "Orthodox and Wesleyan Spirituality" by S T Kimbrough Jr.

So the Methodist would have more in common with Orthodox than any of the other "Protestant" groups.

There is a distinction made in "Protestant", as there is with "Reformed", and a distinction from "Evangelical". These distinctions describe what these groups are aiming for in distinguishing themselves in such a manner.




I'm particularly interested in: Ordinances, Sacraments, and Biblical interpretation (the interaction/correlation between Scripture and Tradition), as well as anything else you can think of....

Since this thread is about differences in Biblical interpretation, hopefully this question is in the spirit of the OP.

Not to start a debate, but for my own edification.

Thanks :hug:

The subject of "dogma" is the "interaction/correlation between Scripture and Tradition".

The Lutheran "Protestant" understands this, as does the "Reformed" Methodist. So there is no issues over such things as infant baptism.

The Evangelical is misunderstood many times, because they are not of those groups. Their approach is just different. They are all about evangelism, not necessarily dogma. And actually that is quite appropriate as the Church has always guarded the mystery from non believers.

The U.S. has become an example of all of these combinations, which is both good and bad IMO. Bad because there is no council among all of them as One. Good because questions that the Church needs to answer or clarify have come to light by it.
But that is to be expected in a country which is made up of many different ethnic groups. It is also a challenge to Americans to better define themselves in view of the rest of the world. Which is why I brought up Christian education.

It has been my observation from different ethnic groups, that those with a good Christian education have little or no problem with different denominations. For instance, in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Curriculum, by the time one is in high school they have learned all about Church history, Church fathers, Protestantism and the Reformation. Into adulthood they continue to learn about the "mysteries" ("sacraments" is the Roman terminology), as well as studying more about other cultures, economy, philosophy and ecology. An example is scouting, it is utilized in Orthodoxy with Christian education.

Hope some of this helped, it is a vast subject.:)

Here is some scripture and Greek to clarify "dogma".
The definitions of truth declared by the Church have been called, since the days of the Apostles, dogmas. In the Acts of the Apostles we read of the Apostles Paul and Timothy that “as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees (dogmata) for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem” (Acts 16:4; here the reference is to the decrees of the Apostolic Council which is described in the fifteenth chapter of the Book of Acts). Among the ancient Greeks and Romans the Greek word dogmat was used to refer a) to philosophical conceptions, and b) to directives which were to be precisely fulfilled. In the Christian understand-ing, “dogmas” are the opposite of” opinions,” that is, inconstant personal conceptions.
excerpt from http://www.orthodoxcentral.com/articles/canonsdogma.htm

Christ's Church is known by "dogma" (Apostolic teaching, whether written or oral).

losthorizon
Feb 1st 2008, 12:10 AM
...Baptism is part of tradition established by the Apostles at the first council in Jerusalem.

I will respectfully disagree – Christian baptism is an ordinance of the church of God commanded (and established) by Jesus Christ before His ascension… "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16). It was put into practiced on the Day of Pentecost (AD 30) when more than 3000 souls “obeyed from the heart” the command from Peter to “repent and be baptized…for the remission of sins...” as recorded in Acts 2. The first Apostolic Council in Jerusalem is generally dated no earlier than AD 48.

Athanasius
Feb 1st 2008, 05:25 AM
I disagree with you both.
John the Baptist was the first to initiate baptism, in Matthew 3:1-6.
Before the ministry of Jesus, and before the disciples and Apostles.

losthorizon
Feb 1st 2008, 01:29 PM
I disagree with you both.
John the Baptist was the first to initiate baptism, in Matthew 3:1-6.
Before the ministry of Jesus, and before the disciples and Apostles.
But the fact remains that the ordinance of Christian baptism – the “one baptism” that puts the believer “into Christ” – the baptism that is “into His death” (Rom 6) was not practiced until after the death of Christ at Golgotha.

Clifton
Feb 1st 2008, 07:05 PM
Hey Clifton...thanks so much for the response...I missed Acts 8:13 (where's the "D'oh" icon? :lol:)

I must admit, I very rarely use Strong's for Greek. Strong's is an absolutely wonderful tool...to be sure! In fact, I'm in awe over the dedication Dr. Strong showed in this, his life's work.

Having said that though, I (personally) find the subtle shades and differences of meaning prevalent in Greek to be rather lacking in the Strong's concordance. Given the limitations of space etc. that is to be expected.

I prefer to first read the Greek, then cross with other passages of scripture, and then (to further get a "grasp" as it were) to go to other works, such a Trench's excellent work: Synonyms of the New Testament; and Wuest: Word Studies in the Greek New Testament; Lightfoot's various works; (among others).

As far as the Erasmus 1624 ed of the TR, I've had it so long I've forgotten where I obtained it! :rolleyes:


Hey mcgyver! Great to hear from you. Well, I got five Greek New Testaments, so I guess I can live with just those ;) Someday I would like to have The Majority by Hodges/Farstad Greek New Testament, especially since I am a Hodges myself:D.

Well, you are a "Baptist Pastor", and you are baptizing others "into the name of the Lord", and "spreading the gospel", so you most certainly are living up to the standards ;) As for the translations using the word "Immerser", I don't think I myself would changed the title to "Immerser Pastor":lol:

Take Care.

Clifton
Feb 1st 2008, 07:20 PM
The Lutheran "Protestant" understands this, as does the "Reformed" Methodist. So there is no issues over such things as infant baptism.

There does not appear to be any discrimination upon ages where water immersions are concerned that I have "seen." But I became quite curious as to why the Essenes chose to perform water immersions on females 2 days later than males (30 days old for the male, 32 days old for female). I dropped out of that study and never found out. If anyone here knows, I would like to hear it, cause I think it would still be in the spirit of the OP, since some people what to know where and why such practices exist.

When I was a kid, I would walk to a Methodist Church - I was fascinated with these things even then. Oh my, such a long time ago was I a kid.:P

Teke
Feb 1st 2008, 08:17 PM
There does not appear to be any discrimination upon ages where water immersions are concerned that I have "seen." But I became quite curious as to why the Essenes chose to perform water immersions on females 2 days later than males (30 days old for the male, 32 days old for female). I dropped out of that study and never found out. If anyone here knows, I would like to hear it, cause I think it would still be in the spirit of the OP, since some people what to know where and why such practices exist.

When I was a kid, I would walk to a Methodist Church - I was fascinated with these things even then. Oh my, such a long time ago was I a kid.:P

Well Clifton, those Nazarene Essenes did things according to sun cycles. And the mother was baptized along with the infant. It was more like the Jewish mikvah, than the Christian "baptism".
Here's some info.


A newborn Nazorean baby, along with its mother, is baptized together on the 30th day of life for a male, and 32nd if female. In the Cayce readings this is echoed:

“(Q) How long did the holy family remain in Bethlehem?

(A) Until the time of purification was passed. Twenty-nine days, as ye would count suns today.” [1]

Nazorean woman were purified after childbirth by six separate immersions, the last being on the twenty-eight day after birth. Cayce is apparently referring to Miryam’s purification, rather than Yeshu’s. A joint baptism of Yeshu and Miryam would also have taken place on the thirtieth day. Nazoreans counted “suns” from dusk, rather than dawn, thus the 29 as we “count suns today” could have been after the 30 day joint immersion. The corresponding Jewish rite was 40 days for a male, 80 for a female.

Orthodox Christians present their child to the church on the 40th day, as Jesus' parents did Him. They can be baptized at this time, or at another time (3 mos. - 9 mos. usually).

Clifton
Feb 1st 2008, 10:59 PM
Well Clifton, those Nazarene Essenes did things according to sun cycles. And the mother was baptized along with the infant. It was more like the Jewish mikvah, than the Christian "baptism".
Here's some info.


Orthodox Christians present their child to the church on the 40th day, as Jesus' parents did Him. They can be baptized at this time, or at another time (3 mos. - 9 mos. usually).


Thanks for the info Teke. BTW, I have bought ("The Sleeping Prophet") Cayce books. He lived in my home U.S. State.

Take Care.

excubitor
Feb 6th 2008, 11:15 AM
Luther did have some other options, but chose not to use those I suppose. IOW Rome is not the only patriarchate of Christianity, there was also the Antioch and Jerusalem patriarchates, along with that of Constantinople. The Russian patriarchate came along later. Nonetheless, he could have appealed to any of these others and they would have supported him, as he was correct about the Roman practice of indulgences.

Excellent post Teke. I just wanted to follow up with you on this point which is also noteworthy. As you say Luther could have submitted to Orthodox authority but instead he sought to start a completely new branch of Christianity. Your observation that Luthers teachings were very similar to Orthodox is very apt. However your statement that Luther and Orthodox are correct about the Roman practice of indulgences needs clarification. Which aspect of indulgences do you believe that the Orthodox would have supported him on and which aspect of the Roman practice of indulgences do you believe is incorrect?

There is a misapprahension amongst many protestants and orthodox that Orthodox do not believe in purgatory or indulgences. However I believe that this is a serious error of judgment and deserves some analysis.

At the Council of Florence where an attempt to reunite Orthodoxy and Catholicism was made the Orthodox position on purgatory and indulgences was made by Mark of Ephesus.

But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones [what Catholics call "venial sins"] over which they have not repented at all, or greater ones for which - even though they have repented over them - they did not undertake to show fruits of repentance: such souls, we believe, must be cleansed from this kind of sins but not by means of some purgatorial fire or a definite punishment in some place.[8] The souls of those who depart this life with true repentance and in the love of God, before they have rendered satisfaction for their trespasses and negligences by worthy fruits of repentance, are cleansed after death by cleansing pains.[9]

So we see that Mark of Ephesus is playing with semantics. Orthodox believe in a cleansing with cleansing pains after death but do not go to the extent that there is a particular place of cleansing or that the cleansing is necessarily by fire.

Nevertheless they vehemently denounce Catholics for these petty differences to the point where most people believe that Orthodox don't believe in purgatory. The orthodox basically have their nose out of joint because they don't want catholics to define anything and give a name or a place or a manner for this cleansing without consulting their patriarchates. And yet the Catholic church can't consult with them because the Orthodox are sworn to schism because of the filoque clause and the primacy of the pope issues. So the Catholics can't win.

Now in the matter of indulgences it is supposed that Orthodox do not have indulgences because they rail at the catholic doctrine. But then look at this quotation from a section of an Orthodox site which is expounds the efficacy of prayers for the dead. This site quotes St. John of Damascus who is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox church and hails from around 600AD

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/death/prayer_dead.aspx
"A certain holy man had a disciple who was living heedlessly. And what happened? Death found him in the midst of his carelessness. The merciful Heavenly Father, roused by the tears and cries of the elder, revealed to him the youth burning in flames up to his neck, like the merciless rich man mentioned in the parable of Lazarus. And when the saint subjected his flesh to strict mortification, fervently beseeching God for the forgiveness of his disciple, he beheld him enveloped in flame up to his waist. Finally, when the holy man had increased his ascetic labors yet more, God revealed him in a vision to the elder, removed from the flame and completely free."

AND

St. Cyril of Alexandria says: "At Our soul's separation from the body, there will stand before us on one side warriors and powers of Heaven, and on the other side the powers of darkness, the princes of this world, the aerial publicans, the torturers, the prosecutors of our deeds... Seeing them, the soul is dismayed, it shudders, and in consternation and horror will seek protection from the angels of God; but being received by the holy angels and passing through the aerial space, lifted on high under their protection, it encounters the toll-booths, as it were, certain gates or toll houses in which taxes are exacted which will bar its way into the Kingdom, will halt and hold back its progress towards it. At each of these toll-booths an account is demanded for particular sins."
The Venerable Theodora, as she passed through the toll-booths, was greatly aided by the intercession of her elder St. Basil the New, which served to outweigh the torments for those sins not covered by repentance.[3] Thus does commemoration benefit departed sinners.



Not only is this a clear description of a fiery purgatory it is also a clear description of indulgences. The strict mortification of the flesh and fervent prayer for the forgiveness of his careless sins is a clear description of indulgences. So really the Orthodox rail against the catholics because they came up with a name for indulgences and because they rudely attempted to define what types of mortification of the flesh is required in order to reduce the penalty without consulting Orthodox patriarches. Come on. Is that fair.

Astonishingly there is even a story on this website which highlights the efficacy of giving alms for the sake of the dead. Search for "Efficacy of Alms" to find this story which is endorsed by Orthodox christians. Ironically this website is one of the most effective apologetics for the doctrine of purgatory and indulgences which I have ever seen even though the actually names to define the doctrines are never stated.

None of this is to say that the Catholic church did not abuse the doctrine of Indulgences for financial gain, but abuse of a doctrine does not make the underlying doctrine false.

Now this long winded post is not so much to argue that the doctrine of indulgences is correct but rather to argue that the Orthodox and the Catholics both believe it even though the Orthodox want to split hairs about how to describe and define it.

The other little known point to make is that when Luther presented his 95 theses, Pope Leo X issued a papal bull requiring Luther to recant on 41 of these. In other words the Pope did not object to and may have even agreed with MORE THAN HALF of Luthers contentions.

So another recourse which Luther could have pursued was to tow the line and humbly work with the church authorities to reform the church from within then perhaps history would have panned out very differently. As it turned out the Catholic church did reform at the Council of Trent and did change the administration of indulgences whilst confirming the correctness of the underlying doctrine.

I think that the point where Luther may have agreed with the Orthodox is probably on the issue of whether or not the pope has powers to grant indulgences. In this the Orthodox would have been a willing ally with Luther as this seemed to be his main beef. This is very much related to the issue of the primacy of the pope and keys to the kingdom etc. and not so much to do with indulgences at all in my view.

David Taylor
Feb 6th 2008, 02:07 PM
Not only is this a clear description of a fiery purgatory it is also a clear description of indulgences. The strict mortification of the flesh and fervent prayer for the forgiveness of his careless sins is a clear description of indulgences. So really the Orthodox rail against the catholics because they came up with a name for indulgences and because they rudely attempted to define what types of mortification of the flesh is required in order to reduce the penalty without consulting Orthodox patriarches. Come on. Is that fair.

Good example of a situation where both Catholics and Orthodox should take the example set by Protestantism, and abandon both purgatory and indulgences.






None of this is to say that the Catholic church did not abuse the doctrine of Indulgences for financial gain, but abuse of a doctrine does not make the underlying doctrine false.

No, abuse of a teaching that is inherently false; doesn't make the doctrine inherently false.

The concept of indulgences is contrary to the full, sufficient, and complete atoning work of Christ on the cross; as told from God's Word.

That, not RCC leadership abuse, is what makes indulgences a false doctrine.

Teke
Feb 6th 2008, 04:23 PM
Excubitor, there is more to it than what you've put together here. The Roman churches doctrine of grace is actually the definer on this subject. It would take a book to lay that aspect out fully. But basically, the Roman church believes that the church has the power to dispense God's grace. They call this "dispensation". So, for instance in the case of "purgatory" and "indulgences", it is related to the matter of the church dispensing grace for the person in either situation. Such a concept is foreign to Orthodox understanding of "grace". Grace is seen as a energy of God which man participates in, and the church has no power over such an energy of God, nor how God operates in that (grace).

An example of such dispensing of grace in the Roman church, is in fasts. Orthodox are not dismissed from the prescribed fasts of the church, as they are for the well being, healing and spiritual growth of the Ecclesia. A Roman Catholic on the other hand, can go to their priest and he will "dispense" grace to them by authority of the church to allow them not to fast. This practice doesn't exist in Orthodoxy, if you can't fast you confess that later.

The "toll houses" you mentioned is a very misunderstood concept, even by some Orthodox. Toll houses is an analogy from a vision by an Orthodox, it is not a "doctrine" in Orthodoxy. Prayer for the reposed is not a doctrine in Orthodoxy either, it is a tradition. I believe I've posted before that Orthodox pray for the reposed for 40 days after their death. I may have even posted more info on this. But it is from the experience of the Ecclesia. IOW it has been the experience of Orthodox that those who have gone on request prayer, as well as appear to those here for other reasons. Orthodox do not deny these experiences by the Ecclesia, they address them.

I'm reminded of a story about a bishop who dismissed a priest who had a problem with alcohol. The bishop was then repeatedly addressed by a crowd of people crying out to him to bring back their priest. The bishop didn't know who these people were, as the people of the priest's parish were who launched the complaint originally. The bishop then called the priest before him to give an account of his daily activities. The priest told him that because he couldn't do anything about his problem, he would go to the cemetery every day and pray for those there, believing that if he couldn't help himself, he might do some others some good. The bishop then knew who the people were, and sent the priest back to pray for them.
The point is that we cannot limit God's grace and how He accomplishes His will through us, even if we aren't up to par with others.;)

Orthodox just do not feel the need to try to explain everything that God does, as He is a mystery to us, and we can only marvel at such a mystery. The Roman church sought to define and categorize such things (and they do so without the full support of the church ie. ecumenically). The Orthodox just don't. For instance, their "transubstantiation" of what they call a "sacrament". Orthodox call it a mystery and do not try to explain it at all. When asked what happens with the bread and wine, they reply, I don't know, it is a mystery, but it is the body and blood of our Lord.

Basically what I'm trying to point out to you, is that Orthodox don't "split hairs" with God and what He does with us. So if the fault is that all things are possible with God, then Orthodox are at fault in that belief. :)

excubitor
Feb 7th 2008, 12:53 AM
Excubitor, there is more to it than what you've put together here. The Roman churches doctrine of grace is actually the definer on this subject. It would take a book to lay that aspect out fully. But basically, the Roman church believes that the church has the power to dispense God's grace. They call this "dispensation". So, for instance in the case of "purgatory" and "indulgences", it is related to the matter of the church dispensing grace for the person in either situation. Such a concept is foreign to Orthodox understanding of "grace". Grace is seen as a energy of God which man participates in, and the church has no power over such an energy of God, nor how God operates in that (grace).

An example of such dispensing of grace in the Roman church, is in fasts. Orthodox are not dismissed from the prescribed fasts of the church, as they are for the well being, healing and spiritual growth of the Ecclesia. A Roman Catholic on the other hand, can go to their priest and he will "dispense" grace to them by authority of the church to allow them not to fast. This practice doesn't exist in Orthodoxy, if you can't fast you confess that later.

The "toll houses" you mentioned is a very misunderstood concept, even by some Orthodox. Toll houses is an analogy from a vision by an Orthodox, it is not a "doctrine" in Orthodoxy. Prayer for the reposed is not a doctrine in Orthodoxy either, it is a tradition. I believe I've posted before that Orthodox pray for the reposed for 40 days after their death. I may have even posted more info on this. But it is from the experience of the Ecclesia. IOW it has been the experience of Orthodox that those who have gone on request prayer, as well as appear to those here for other reasons. Orthodox do not deny these experiences by the Ecclesia, they address them.

I'm reminded of a story about a bishop who dismissed a priest who had a problem with alcohol. The bishop was then repeatedly addressed by a crowd of people crying out to him to bring back their priest. The bishop didn't know who these people were, as the people of the priest's parish were who launched the complaint originally. The bishop then called the priest before him to give an account of his daily activities. The priest told him that because he couldn't do anything about his problem, he would go to the cemetery every day and pray for those there, believing that if he couldn't help himself, he might do some others some good. The bishop then knew who the people were, and sent the priest back to pray for them.
The point is that we cannot limit God's grace and how He accomplishes His will through us, even if we aren't up to par with others.;)

Orthodox just do not feel the need to try to explain everything that God does, as He is a mystery to us, and we can only marvel at such a mystery. The Roman church sought to define and categorize such things (and they do so without the full support of the church ie. ecumenically). The Orthodox just don't. For instance, their "transubstantiation" of what they call a "sacrament". Orthodox call it a mystery and do not try to explain it at all. When asked what happens with the bread and wine, they reply, I don't know, it is a mystery, but it is the body and blood of our Lord.

Basically what I'm trying to point out to you, is that Orthodox don't "split hairs" with God and what He does with us. So if the fault is that all things are possible with God, then Orthodox are at fault in that belief. :)

I admit I have not read the book on the dispensation of Grace which outlines the differences between Catholic and Orthodox. Truly I don't see why I should have to. Surely your priests assess a potential new convert. The priest then decides whether or not to baptise them. How is that not a human intervention of the dispensation of grace? The priest also decides who should receive the eucharist. Again another example of the priest dispensing grace. What is greater? The dispensation of salvation through baptism. The dispensation of the body of Christ through the Eucharist or the dispensation of indulgences? Of course God grants grace to men but how does it diminish the power and completeness and energy of God's grace if he uses human anointed clergy to dispense it. A host brings a glass of wine which is dispensed in a glass. How does the glass diminish the work of service by the host. No it is a part of the service. If a host did not dispense the wine in a glass but poured it straight into your mouth you would think them rude or insane. Of course God uses the clergy to dispense his graces.

How else do you suppose he does it. Also what evidence can we have that he has dispensed those graces if the priest does not proclaim it. Without a priest to proclaim it we have no evidence except for our own inner feelings of peace and tranquility which we know can easily be manipulated into deception.

You mentioned another example, the confessional. The granting of absolution for sins is surely a dispensation of grace every bit as profound and daring as the granting of indulgences.

Basically you have confirmed what I stated in my post by saying that the problem with indulgences and purgatory in your view is not the reality of them but rather the attempt to define them and demystify them, and also the power of the clergy to grant indulgences. This is very similar to Luthers position when he wrote his 95 theses although I understand that towards the end of his life he also denied the existence of purgatory. In the end what it boils down in both Luther and the Orthodox is the denial of the authority of the pope. In substance the beliefs are almost identical.

Also I don't like the Orthodox approach to the fast. This sounds like "Its easier to ask for forgiveness than permission". What difference does it make whether the priest excuses at the confession or prior to the event. Surely its better to receive permission than to sin and then confess later.

You mentioned a couple of times "Its not a doctrine, its a tradition". What difference does that make? You still believe your traditions don't you? Or are these just like fairy stories to you. This is the other area where Orthodox get bent out of shape. They resent Catholics turning traditions into dogma. Why I cannot fathom. Surely the turning of tradition into dogma is an essential mechanism to combat heresy and false teaching which has been practiced since the council of nicea.

The fact is that there is virtually no practical difference between Orthodox or catholic belief so much so that at the Council of Florence the church came within a hairs breadth of reuniting.

Joe King
Feb 7th 2008, 01:21 PM
It seems hard to believe that the Church would become so completely under satan's control in a matter of decades!

Tell me about it. I hadn't gone to church in 9-10 years. Last year I started reading the bible on my own and understanding and basically changing my life. I went to find a Catholic church (I was raised Catholic) to see how much I understand about reading the word.

I get to the church and as I walk in, I start reading pamphlets. I see a pamphlet on Purgatory. I expect to find them disbunking it, but rather found them "explaining" it. I was very shocked and haven't been back since.

Now I prefer non-demominational Christian worship where the gospel is the focus. I prefer bible study as well.

Teke
Feb 7th 2008, 01:49 PM
I admit I have not read the book on the dispensation of Grace which outlines the differences between Catholic and Orthodox. Truly I don't see why I should have to. Surely your priests assess a potential new convert. The priest then decides whether or not to baptise them. How is that not a human intervention of the dispensation of grace? The priest also decides who should receive the eucharist. Again another example of the priest dispensing grace. What is greater? The dispensation of salvation through baptism. The dispensation of the body of Christ through the Eucharist or the dispensation of indulgences? Of course God grants grace to men but how does it diminish the power and completeness and energy of God's grace if he uses human anointed clergy to dispense it. A host brings a glass of wine which is dispensed in a glass. How does the glass diminish the work of service by the host. No it is a part of the service. If a host did not dispense the wine in a glass but poured it straight into your mouth you would think them rude or insane. Of course God uses the clergy to dispense his graces.

How else do you suppose he does it. Also what evidence can we have that he has dispensed those graces if the priest does not proclaim it. Without a priest to proclaim it we have no evidence except for our own inner feelings of peace and tranquility which we know can easily be manipulated into deception.

Really Orthodox do not believe such things. There is no limiting God's grace. A structured authority such as religion isn't even necessary to receive God's grace. Clergy is part of the Ecclesia. The Ecclesia operates within God's grace. It doesn't dispense grace. Grace is an energy of God which participates with humanity. Humanity responds to such grace in many ways.


You mentioned another example, the confessional. The granting of absolution for sins is surely a dispensation of grace every bit as profound and daring as the granting of indulgences.

Orthodox priests do not grant "absolution". They simply are following the command to hear confession. It is not in their power to grant such a thing as "absolution". Only God can grant forgiveness of sin.


Basically you have confirmed what I stated in my post by saying that the problem with indulgences and purgatory in your view is not the reality of them but rather the attempt to define them and demystify them, and also the power of the clergy to grant indulgences. This is very similar to Luthers position when he wrote his 95 theses although I understand that towards the end of his life he also denied the existence of purgatory. In the end what it boils down in both Luther and the Orthodox is the denial of the authority of the pope. In substance the beliefs are almost identical.

The "identical " part is from the Apostolic teaching. How each present that to the world, is different. If you believe that Roman catholics present that rightly in their scholastic presentations of God, then I suppose it addresses your understanding.


Also I don't like the Orthodox approach to the fast. This sounds like "Its easier to ask for forgiveness than permission". What difference does it make whether the priest excuses at the confession or prior to the event. Surely its better to receive permission than to sin and then confess later.

Did Jesus give permission to sin?


You mentioned a couple of times "Its not a doctrine, its a tradition". What difference does that make? You still believe your traditions don't you? Or are these just like fairy stories to you. This is the other area where Orthodox get bent out of shape. They resent Catholics turning traditions into dogma. Why I cannot fathom. Surely the turning of tradition into dogma is an essential mechanism to combat heresy and false teaching which has been practiced since the council of nicea.

All dogma proceeds from God (Trinity), found in faith by the Holy Spirits guidance. What other dogma can supersede this.


The fact is that there is virtually no practical difference between Orthodox or catholic belief so much so that at the Council of Florence the church came within a hairs breadth of reuniting.

Well, if you talked to a well educated European RC, you may not see much of any difference, but an American RC is a completely different sort.

The Council of Florence was an attempt of the RC to use a situation to their advantage. The situation at the time was that Constantinople needed help defending themselves against the Muslim invaders (Turks). Using such a situation to convince eastern Christians to submit to papal authority is, well just unChristian. Thousands of EO died because they wouldn't succumb to papal authority over all the churches. EO have never done such a thing to the other churches which include the Roman church. Such a thing is not easily forgotten either. The late pope John Paul is the only pope who apologized for it.

If you believe such is a minor issue, then why don't Protestants and Evangelicals submit to papal authority, they use the same scholastic approach with scripture, dispensing grace and juridical terms. And the pope is always accommodating of any who align themselves with the Roman patriarchate. I'm certain Rome would give Protestants and Evangelicals their own set of canons should they align themselves. Then they (Protestants and Evangelicals) could continue to dispense grace and offer absolution to followers. It doesn't matter if you don't "do it" like they do.;)

jtalexanderiv
Feb 18th 2008, 12:01 AM
Well first off I would say that 1) 'Real Presence' is to some extent a recent doctrine but is a watered down form transubstation which is not a recent doctrine. It states the Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. Many Anglicans that I know would go with a doctrine somewhere between trans and real presence. Saying that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ, even though they seem to be and taste like bread and wine. We base our belief on Jesus saying "This is my body... This is my blood..." So we are totally Biblical in our belief.

2.) As for essenial beliefs they are already laid out for us in the Apotsles Creed and Nicene Creed. These are two statements that I would say every Christian must believe to be Christian.

Apostles Creed:
"I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen."

Nicene Creed:

"We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

Amen."

3.) I would start witht he Shema in Deut. 6:4-9. The Ten Commandments. And Jesus summary of the Law of the Prophets.

losthorizon
Feb 18th 2008, 01:15 AM
Well first off I would say that 1) 'Real Presence' is to some extent a recent doctrine but is a watered down form transubstation which is not a recent doctrine. It states the Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. Many Anglicans that I know would go with a doctrine somewhere between trans and real presence. Saying that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ, even though they seem to be and taste like bread and wine.

Any theology that forces the “real presence” into the Lord’s Supper is a non-biblical theology that misunderstands the difference between figurative language and literal language.

KATA_LOUKAN
Feb 18th 2008, 10:22 AM
Any theology that forces the “real presence” into the Lord’s Supper is a non-biblical theology that misunderstands the difference between figurative language and literal language.

"Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord." 1 Cor. 11:27

So do we sin against him literally or figuratively?

What verses suggest that Jesus intended it to be a symbol and nothing more?

Two questions then:

1. What does this doctrine mean?

2. Why did some of Jesus's disciples leave him after he spoke about this?

jtalexanderiv
Feb 18th 2008, 11:12 PM
losthorizon,

Is that the same kind of difference between figurative language and literal language that most people find absent in the Book of Revelation, or in the 1st creation account? (In other words not say that it is not figurative but literal.) If we say that there is a difference between these two kinds of languages where do we draw them at? Luther believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which shows that this is not really a new doctrine.

Besides that the early church believe it to be the real body and blood of Christ. Justinus (Justin Martyr) says in Apologia I, lxvi "...We do not recieve these gifts as ordinary food or ordinary drink. But as Jesus Christ our Saviour was made flesh through the word of God, and took flesh and blood for our salvation; in the same way the food over which thanksgiving has been offered through the word of prayer which we have from him--the food by which our blood and flesh are nourished through its transformation--is, we are taught, the flesh and blood of Jesus who was made flesh."

Irenaeus Against Heareses Book 4 Chp. 18 "4. Inasmuch, then, as the Church offers with single-mindedness, her gift is justly reckoned a pure sacrifice with God. As Paul also says to the Philippians, "I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things that were sent from you, the odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, pleasing to God." Philippians 4:18 For it behoves us to make an oblation to God, and in all things to be found grateful to God our Maker, in a pure mind, and in faith without hypocrisy, in well-grounded hope, in fervent love, offering the first-fruits of His own created things. And the Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator, offering to Him, with giving of thanks, [the things taken] from His creation. But the Jews do not offer thus: for their hands are full of blood; for they have not received the Word, through whom it is offered to God. Nor, again, do any of the conventicles (synagogæ) of the heretics [offer this]. For some, by maintaining that the Father is different from the Creator, do, when they offer to Him what belongs to this creation of ours, set Him forth as being covetous of another's property, and desirous of what is not His own. Those, again, who maintain that the things around us originated from apostasy, ignorance, and passion, do, while offering unto Him the fruits of ignorance, passion, and apostasy, sin against their Father, rather subjecting Him to insult than giving Him thanks. But how can they be consistent with themselves, [when they say] that the bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood, if they do not call Himself the Son of the Creator of the world, that is, His Word, through whom the wood fructifies, and the fountains gush forth, and the earth gives "first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:28

5. Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity."

Irenaeus Against Heareses Book 5 Chp 2 "2. But vain in every respect are they who despise the entire dispensation of God, and disallow the salvation of the flesh, and treat with contempt its regeneration, maintaining that it is not capable of incorruption. But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body. 1 Corinthians 10:16 For blood can only come from veins and flesh, and whatsoever else makes up the substance of man, such as the Word of God was actually made. By His own blood he redeemed us, as also His apostle declares, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins." Colossians 1:14 And as we are His members, we are also nourished by means of the creation (and He Himself grants the creation to us, for He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills Matthew 5:45 ). He has acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of the creation) He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.

3. When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him?—even as the blessed Paul declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that "we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones." Ephesians 5:30 He does not speak these words of some spiritual and invisible man, for a spirit has not bones nor flesh; Luke 24:39 but [he refers to] that dispensation [by which the Lord became] an actual man, consisting of flesh, and nerves, and bones,—that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body. And just as a cutting from the vine planted in the ground fructifies in its season, or as a corn of wheat falling into the earth and becoming decomposed, rises with manifold increase by the Spirit of God, who contains all things, and then, through the wisdom of God, serves for the use of men, and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption, 1 Corinthians 15:53 because the strength of God is made perfect in weakness, 2 Corinthians 12:3 in order that we may never become puffed up, as if we had life from ourselves, and exalted against God, our minds becoming ungrateful; but learning by experience that we possess eternal duration from the excelling power of this Being, not from our own nature, we may neither undervalue that glory which surrounds God as He is, nor be ignorant of our own nature, but that we may know what God can effect, and what benefits man receives, and thus never wander from the true comprehension of things as they are, that is, both with regard to God and with regard to man. And might it not be the case, perhaps, as I have already observed, that for this purpose God permitted our resolution into the common dust of mortality, that we, being instructed by every mode, may be accurate in all things for the future, being ignorant neither of God nor of ourselves?"

Tertullian De Resurrectione Carnis, 8 "The flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ that the soul may be fattened on God."

I know you must want Scripture so I will give it to you but you have already started to deny it.

Matthew 26:26-28 "While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins...""

Mark 14:22-24 "While they wer eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many...""

Luke 22:19- 21 "Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." and he did the say with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.""

John 6:47-58 ""Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blook have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. this is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.""

1 Corinthians 11:23 "For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. do this in remembrance of me." In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this break and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves."

ravi4u2
Feb 19th 2008, 12:46 AM
losthorizon,

Is that the same kind of difference between figurative language and literal language that most people find absent in the Book of Revelation, or in the 1st creation account? (In other words not say that it is not figurative but literal.) If we say that there is a difference between these two kinds of languages where do we draw them at? Luther believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which shows that this is not really a new doctrine.

Besides that the early church believe it to be the real body and blood of Christ. Justinus (Justin Martyr) says in Apologia I, lxvi "...We do not recieve these gifts as ordinary food or ordinary drink. But as Jesus Christ our Saviour was made flesh through the word of God, and took flesh and blood for our salvation; in the same way the food over which thanksgiving has been offered through the word of prayer which we have from him--the food by which our blood and flesh are nourished through its transformation--is, we are taught, the flesh and blood of Jesus who was made flesh."

Irenaeus Against Heareses Book 4 Chp. 18 "4. Inasmuch, then, as the Church offers with single-mindedness, her gift is justly reckoned a pure sacrifice with God. As Paul also says to the Philippians, "I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things that were sent from you, the odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, pleasing to God." Philippians 4:18 For it behoves us to make an oblation to God, and in all things to be found grateful to God our Maker, in a pure mind, and in faith without hypocrisy, in well-grounded hope, in fervent love, offering the first-fruits of His own created things. And the Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator, offering to Him, with giving of thanks, [the things taken] from His creation. But the Jews do not offer thus: for their hands are full of blood; for they have not received the Word, through whom it is offered to God. Nor, again, do any of the conventicles (synagogæ) of the heretics [offer this]. For some, by maintaining that the Father is different from the Creator, do, when they offer to Him what belongs to this creation of ours, set Him forth as being covetous of another's property, and desirous of what is not His own. Those, again, who maintain that the things around us originated from apostasy, ignorance, and passion, do, while offering unto Him the fruits of ignorance, passion, and apostasy, sin against their Father, rather subjecting Him to insult than giving Him thanks. But how can they be consistent with themselves, [when they say] that the bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord, and the cup His blood, if they do not call Himself the Son of the Creator of the world, that is, His Word, through whom the wood fructifies, and the fountains gush forth, and the earth gives "first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear." Mark 4:28

5. Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity."

Irenaeus Against Heareses Book 5 Chp 2 "2. But vain in every respect are they who despise the entire dispensation of God, and disallow the salvation of the flesh, and treat with contempt its regeneration, maintaining that it is not capable of incorruption. But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body. 1 Corinthians 10:16 For blood can only come from veins and flesh, and whatsoever else makes up the substance of man, such as the Word of God was actually made. By His own blood he redeemed us, as also His apostle declares, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins." Colossians 1:14 And as we are His members, we are also nourished by means of the creation (and He Himself grants the creation to us, for He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills Matthew 5:45 ). He has acknowledged the cup (which is a part of the creation) as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread (also a part of the creation) He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.

3. When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal, which [flesh] is nourished from the body and blood of the Lord, and is a member of Him?—even as the blessed Paul declares in his Epistle to the Ephesians, that "we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones." Ephesians 5:30 He does not speak these words of some spiritual and invisible man, for a spirit has not bones nor flesh; Luke 24:39 but [he refers to] that dispensation [by which the Lord became] an actual man, consisting of flesh, and nerves, and bones,—that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body. And just as a cutting from the vine planted in the ground fructifies in its season, or as a corn of wheat falling into the earth and becoming decomposed, rises with manifold increase by the Spirit of God, who contains all things, and then, through the wisdom of God, serves for the use of men, and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ; so also our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth, and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time, the Word of God granting them resurrection to the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption, 1 Corinthians 15:53 because the strength of God is made perfect in weakness, 2 Corinthians 12:3 in order that we may never become puffed up, as if we had life from ourselves, and exalted against God, our minds becoming ungrateful; but learning by experience that we possess eternal duration from the excelling power of this Being, not from our own nature, we may neither undervalue that glory which surrounds God as He is, nor be ignorant of our own nature, but that we may know what God can effect, and what benefits man receives, and thus never wander from the true comprehension of things as they are, that is, both with regard to God and with regard to man. And might it not be the case, perhaps, as I have already observed, that for this purpose God permitted our resolution into the common dust of mortality, that we, being instructed by every mode, may be accurate in all things for the future, being ignorant neither of God nor of ourselves?"

Tertullian De Resurrectione Carnis, 8 "The flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ that the soul may be fattened on God."

I know you must want Scripture so I will give it to you but you have already started to deny it.

Matthew 26:26-28 "While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; for this my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins...""

Mark 14:22-24 "While they wer eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many...""

Luke 22:19- 21 "Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." and he did the say with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.""

John 6:47-58 ""Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blook have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. this is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.""

1 Corinthians 11:23 "For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. do this in remembrance of me." In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this break and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves."
Martin Luther - also ruled that polygamy was acceptable

Justin Martyr - There were blemishes in Justin's theology which are attributed to his influence by pagan philosophers.

Irenaeus - also believed that Adam and Eve were created children. He thinks of Christ as recapitulating, which means means that Christ goes through every stage of human life, from infancy to old age, and simply by living it, sanctifies it with his divinity. Irenaeus argues that Christ did not die until he was older than conventionally portrayed.

Tertullian - also believed that baptism and penance are two planks on which a sinner may be saved from being shipwrecked.

All the apologist had major points of error in the interpretation of the Word.

losthorizon
Feb 19th 2008, 12:54 AM
"Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord." 1 Cor. 11:27

So do we sin against him literally or figuratively?

What verses suggest that Jesus intended it to be a symbol and nothing more?

Two questions then:

1. What does this doctrine mean?

2. Why did some of Jesus's disciples leave him after he spoke about this?
First, let me say the RCC dogma of “transubstantiation” was not even formulated within the RCC until the 9th century – much too late to be taught and authorized by the apostolic church. And even at that late date it was rejected by many of the Catholic “doctors of the faith” of that day…why - because like many dogmas of Catholicism it was and remains to this day non-biblical, i.e., it is an aberrant doctrine...
“Paschasius Radbertus was the first to formulate the doctrine of transubstantiation in the ninth century. He was opposed by Ratranmus, a contemporary monk at the monastery of Corbie. Ratranmus wrote: "The bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ in a figurative sense".” ~ Dr Joe Mizzi, Church Fathers on TransubstantiationRatranmus held the view of many within the RCC at that time (and the correct view I would add). In his work, De corpore et sanguine Domini (“Concerning the Body and Blood of the Lord”), he correctly published the truth to counter aberrant teaching. He understood what had been taught by the church of God from the beginning – the simply truth that “the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ in a figurative sense”.
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35)

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:51)I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to understand that Jesus is not speaking about physical bread in these passages. He is referring to spiritual bread and those who eat this spiritual bread “will live forever”. And who is “the spiritual bread – of course the answer is Jesus the Christ. Jesus is using the “physical” to teach a spiritual truth just as He did when He instituted the Lord’s Supper. Ratranmus was quite correct - "The bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ in a figurative sense".
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Question for you – does the passage above require that Jesus be transformed into a literal plant or does common sense tell us that Jesus employed “figurative language” to express a spiritual truth just as He did when He instituted the Lord’s Supper?

losthorizon
Feb 19th 2008, 01:31 AM
losthorizon,

Is that the same kind of difference between figurative language and literal language that most people find absent in the Book of Revelation, or in the 1st creation account? (In other words not say that it is not figurative but literal.) If we say that there is a difference between these two kinds of languages where do we draw them at? Luther believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which shows that this is not really a new doctrine.

Besides that the early church believe it to be the real body and blood of Christ.

Hi jtalexanderiv,

The truth taught in the Bible always trumps the words of the “fathers” or the “traditions of Christendom” but Tertullian correctly understood the *symbolic nature* of the Lord’s words in the Supper – he referred to "This is my body," as a "figure of [Christ’s] body." His words do not sound like one who teaches the aberrant dogma of Transubstantiation…
"Taking bread and distributing it to his disciples he made it his own body by saying, "This is my body," that is a "figure of my body." On the other hand, there would not have been a figure unless there was a true body." (Tertullian, Against Marcion)What do you think he meant when he wrote, "there would not have been a figure unless there was a true body"? What "figure" was he referring to?:)

jtalexanderiv
Feb 19th 2008, 02:45 AM
losthorizon,

As I pointed out that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul thought that it was the body and blood.

On Tertullian, yes he says symbol but we must correctly understand symbol. Adolf von Harnack points out "Modern man means by 'symbol' something which is not which it stands for. In earlier times it denoted something that was what it symbolized."

But as we see since we both have different views on what the Bible says; where do we go then? I suggest we go to the fathers since they were closer to the Jesus and the Apostles.

jtalexanderiv
Feb 19th 2008, 02:54 AM
Martin Luther - also ruled that polygamy was acceptable

Justin Martyr - There were blemishes in Justin's theology which are attributed to his influence by pagan philosophers.

Irenaeus - also believed that Adam and Eve were created children. He thinks of Christ as recapitulating, which means means that Christ goes through every stage of human life, from infancy to old age, and simply by living it, sanctifies it with his divinity. Irenaeus argues that Christ did not die until he was older than conventionally portrayed.

Tertullian - also believed that baptism and penance are two planks on which a sinner may be saved from being shipwrecked.

All the apologist had major points of error in the interpretation of the Word.

And Peter was corrected by Paul.

Paul started out by hunting down Christians. And in Romans 7 states that he cannot stop doing a sin that he wants to.

David committed adultery and murder.

Moses struck the rock and was not allowed to enter the promised land.

No one is perfect why should we think that the fathers or reformers should be?

losthorizon
Feb 19th 2008, 02:55 AM
losthorizon,

As I pointed out that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul thought that it was the body and blood.

On Tertullian, yes he says symbol but we must correctly understand symbol. Adolf von Harnack points out "Modern man means by 'symbol' something which is not which it stands for. In earlier times it denoted something that was what it symbolized."

But as we see since we both have different views on what the Bible says; where do we go then? I suggest we go to the fathers since they were closer to the Jesus and the Apostles.
I say we default to the Bible which does not teach man’s doctrine of “transubstantiation”. Even the Catholic “doctor of the law”, Ratramnus of Corbie in the ninth century knew the truth taught in the scriptures when he correctly wrote, "The bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ in a figurative sense". Just like Tertullian he correctly understood the figurative nature of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper.

ravi4u2
Feb 19th 2008, 05:03 AM
And Peter was corrected by Paul.

Paul started out by hunting down Christians. And in Romans 7 states that he cannot stop doing a sin that he wants to.

David committed adultery and murder.

Moses struck the rock and was not allowed to enter the promised land.

No one is perfect why should we think that the fathers or reformers should be?But neither Peter, nor Paul, nor David, nor Moses, affected the centrality of the message of the Word. They were merely characters in a story written by the Spirit of God.

My post was not about the character perfection of the 'fathers' nor the 'reformers'. If you notice, I never attacked the character of Martin Luther, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus or Tertullian. I merely pointed out that there is no consistency in their apologetics of the Word. This is to point out that just because one part of their apologetics is right, the rest of the parts, does not necessarily have to be in line with the centrality of Word.

KATA_LOUKAN
Feb 19th 2008, 07:07 PM
“Paschasius Radbertus was the first to formulate the doctrine of transubstantiation in the ninth century. He was opposed by Ratranmus, a contemporary monk at the monastery of Corbie. Ratranmus wrote: "The bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ in a figurative sense".” ~ Dr Joe Mizzi, Church Fathers on Transubstantiation

Lost Horizon, thanks for the scripture reference. I remember reading that, but im curious about the history. Do you know any writers who believed that the act was completely symbolic?

But about Dr. Mizzi (just for catholics)...

We will forgive him for spelling Ratramnus's name wrong. But the actual content of the article is misleading. There are no indications on a key piece of material, namely that Ratramnus believed that Christ was present. He maintained that the host didnt turn into the historic body of Christ.

Both authors were united in their view that christ was present in communion. I would aviod Dr. Mizzi, there are many many instances of bad scholarship on his part. He is a medical doctor (not a theologian) so his research is a little shoddy. He's not too far above your average layman in terms of theology. (but his mission statement is right on)

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12659c.htm

HisLeast
Feb 19th 2008, 07:48 PM
"Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord." 1 Cor. 11:27

So do we sin against him literally or figuratively?


This verse only warns about coming to communion in an unworthy manner, not what the elements actually physically are. If we conduct communion in the manner Jesus taught ("in rememberance of me") then we should be remembering Christ, the innocent, who hours before his arrest sat to eat with his disciples knowing he'd be betrayed. It should evoke a sober look at how we're living our lives, and are we living in sin or really living the new life Christ afforded us on the cross. Coming to communion for communion's sake, or while you're still neck deep in your sin, would be a literal sin against Christ, despite the figurative nature of the elements.

My opinion: There's nothing that changes physical bread and physical wine into real blood and real flesh. If there is some kind of spiritual transformation, its on a spiritual/metaphoric level, and the elements are not and can not LITERALLY be Christ unless Christ was made out of crackers and wine.

Teke
Feb 19th 2008, 08:46 PM
Martin Luther - also ruled that polygamy was acceptable

Justin Martyr - There were blemishes in Justin's theology which are attributed to his influence by pagan philosophers.

Irenaeus - also believed that Adam and Eve were created children. He thinks of Christ as recapitulating, which means means that Christ goes through every stage of human life, from infancy to old age, and simply by living it, sanctifies it with his divinity. Irenaeus argues that Christ did not die until he was older than conventionally portrayed.

Tertullian - also believed that baptism and penance are two planks on which a sinner may be saved from being shipwrecked.

All the apologist had major points of error in the interpretation of the Word.

Ravi your right that no one person holds all the fullness of truth. But I must point out that you are incorrect about Irenaeus. He did not believe that Christ died at an older age. I don't know where that came from. His explanation of "recapitulation" is correct though. That is what the Apostles taught, and it agrees with the law (OT). :)

Clifton
Feb 19th 2008, 09:53 PM
Ravi your right that no one person holds all the fullness of truth. But I must point out that you are incorrect about Irenaeus. He did not believe that Christ died at an older age. I don't know where that came from. His explanation of "recapitulation" is correct though. That is what the Apostles taught, and it agrees with the law (OT). :)


Perhaps a memory refresher? ;)

in his AGAINST HERESIES (Book II) work:

Chapter XXII.-The Thirty Aeons are Not Typified by the Fact that Christ Was Baptized in His Thirtieth Year: He Did Not Suffer in the Twelfth Month After His Baptism, But Was More Than Fifty Years Old When He Died. (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iii.xxiii.html)

What was the quotation and misinterpretation of?

“So the Jews said to Him, "You do not yet have fifty years {fig., You are not yet fifty years old}, and You have seen Abraham?"” (John 8:57 ALT)

A slight slack of Hebrew talk and Numbers 4:3 on his part.;)

Teke
Feb 19th 2008, 11:49 PM
Perhaps a memory refresher? ;)

in his AGAINST HERESIES (Book II) work:

Chapter XXII.-The Thirty Aeons are Not Typified by the Fact that Christ Was Baptized in His Thirtieth Year: He Did Not Suffer in the Twelfth Month After His Baptism, But Was More Than Fifty Years Old When He Died. (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.iii.xxiii.html)

What was the quotation and misinterpretation of?

“So the Jews said to Him, "You do not yet have fifty years {fig., You are not yet fifty years old}, and You have seen Abraham?"” (John 8:57 ALT)

A slight slack of Hebrew talk and Numbers 4:3 on his part.;)

Hi Clifton. :)

Like scripture, pay attention to the subject. Ireneaus's subject is the heresy he is addressing, which is, that Jesus ministry was only for one year. Hence the references to the heretical approach, 1 day = one year or 12 months
Note that he presents his references from scripture, according with how many Passovers Jesus is spoken of attending (that being 3, equivalent with at least 3 yrs).

Believe it or not, I've seen the, only one year view, presented on this board. (The poster is no longer here, and had many conspiracy theories.)

I respect the writings of St Ireneaus, as he addresses many of the same heresies the church addresses to date.

What he is not arguing is how old Jesus was. Nor what his age should be for a Priest or Master (teacher). We can read for ourselves in these same scriptures by John, that He (Jesus) had already told them He "was before Abraham".

As to the OT on the subject of required age. That changed from time to time. ie. by King David's command

losthorizon
Feb 20th 2008, 12:42 AM
Lost Horizon, thanks for the scripture reference. I remember reading that, but im curious about the history. Do you know any writers who believed that the act was completely symbolic?

By “writers” are you referring to the writings of the “Church Fathers”? If you are then yes I do believe there were many who understood the emblems of bread and wine to be exactly what they are - symbols of the body and blood of Christ – “This do in remembrance of me.”


But about Dr. Mizzi (just for catholics)...

We will forgive him for spelling Ratramnus's name wrong. But the actual content of the article is misleading. There are no indications on a key piece of material, namely that Ratramnus believed that Christ was present. He maintained that the host didnt turn into the historic body of Christ.
I would disagree that the article is misleading – it isn’t. No one who understands the NT teaching of the “Eucharist” doubts the reality that Christ is present during the Lord’s Supper – “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt 18:20). The error Ratramnus fought against was the notion that the bread and wine in the Eucharist becomes Christ's “Real Presence”, i.e., His body and blood. Again, transubstantiation is a non-biblical dogma of the RCC and her daughter churches. What about you – do you believe transubstantiation is taught in the NT or is it a doctrine from men that arose well after the apostolic age?


I would aviod Dr. Mizzi, there are many many instances of bad scholarship on his part. He is a medical doctor (not a theologian) so his research is a little shoddy. He's not too far above your average layman in terms of theology. (but his mission statement is right on)
I disagree – Mizzi appears to be right on – what examples do you offer of his alleged “bad scholarship”? Are you saying a physician cannot be a theologian or a theologian cannot be a physician? ;)

ravi4u2
Feb 20th 2008, 03:14 AM
Ravi your right that no one person holds all the fullness of truth. But I must point out that you are incorrect about Irenaeus. He did not believe that Christ died at an older age. I don't know where that came from. His explanation of "recapitulation" is correct though. That is what the Apostles taught, and it agrees with the law (OT). :)Thank you for the acknowledgment. I am no expert on Irenaeus, but there were errors in his apology as well...another example of his error; he considered Mary to be the second eve. I like Tertullian quite a bit, but he too was not free from error in apology.

Teke
Feb 20th 2008, 03:37 PM
Thank you for the acknowledgment. I am no expert on Irenaeus, but there were errors in his apology as well...another example of his error; he considered Mary to be the second eve. I like Tertullian quite a bit, but he too was not free from error in apology.

I believe some study would be necessary to understand the analogies that are made, IOW the understanding behind them.

It is quite common in eastern Christianity to compare Mary to Eve. Eve is depicted in scripture as mother of all living in the flesh, while Mary is the mother who brought forth the Spirit/God. In Eastern Orthodoxy she is known as the Theotokas (God-bearer), which also leads to analogies with the Church, who is also the God-bearer to the world.
It is a manner of connecting humanity with God, which is also part of Trinity theology and which relates Jesus humanity and divinity, as well as the ontological reality of the Church, His Body in the world.

This is no different than Paul's approach with analogies, such as Hagar and Sarah.
They are both relating spiritual truths in a manner which we can relate to.

Patristics have also used such analogies for Mary as the east gate in Ezekial, which only is open to the Lord and no one else. This is in relation to her ever virginity.
Jacobs ladder is another analogy used in relating the spiritual significance of Mary. A symbol of the connection between heaven and earth.

This is all not to elevate Mary above Jesus, but to ground the truth of the reality that Mary was a mere mortal human being who cooperated with God in grace in bringing forth Jesus Christ our Lord, the new creation.

In eastern thought not only does God work with us by grace, but we may also cooperate with Him in grace (an energy of God). As His grace is eternal as He is, we but have to respond to that grace. :)

Tertullian was a good apologist. Later in his life he turned to the Montanists who were influenced by stringent moralism. He found the Montanists not rigorous enough so he founded his own group, the Tertullianists.

Clifton
Feb 20th 2008, 05:28 PM
Hi Teke, :)


Hi Clifton. :)
Like scripture, pay attention to the subject. Ireneaus's subject is the heresy he is addressing, which is, that Jesus ministry was only for one year. Hence the references to the heretical approach, 1 day = one year or 12 months
Note that he presents his references from scripture, according with how many Passovers Jesus is spoken of attending (that being 3, equivalent with at least 3 yrs).
Yes, I see that he is refuting the idea that Christ only preached one year, but in the same Chapter, I see that he contends that Christ lived at an old age, and the translator notes concur, as additional “proof” that Christ preached for more than one year (para. 5 & 6);

I got Irenaeus’ works in the Ante-Nicene Father Volumes in one of my Bible Software programs (he is referred to as Iranaeus in that work); The translation of Irenaeus is not even consistent in two paragraphs right together (4 & 5) in the very chapter we are referring to - of course, we do not know the time lapsed between the two paragraphs - could’ve been a substantial amount of time, then, the there is the issue of translation, which they convey there are some difficulties with here. A snippet from para. 4:


4. Being thirty years old when He came to be baptized, and then possessing the full age of a Master, He came to Jerusalem, so that He might be properly acknowledged by all as a Master...
Here, he seems to suggest that he had the knowledge that Christ was thirty years old when He was baptized by John, which is far as I know, we have no textual evidence of. Luke 3:23 states “about thirty years old”, which could range from 28 to 32 years old. But, right in the following paragraph (#5):


5. ...For when He came to be baptized, He had not yet completed His thirtieth year, but was beginning to be about thirty years of age (for thus Luke, who has mentioned His years, has expressed it: “Now Jesus was, as it were, beginning to be thirty years old,” (Luk_3:23) when He came to receive baptism);
“And Jesus Himself was about thirty years old when He began [His public ministry], being, as was being supposed, [the] son of Joseph, the [son] of Eli,” (Luke 3:23 ALT)

Mercy, I hope readers realize that Luke 3:19-20 is either a dislocated text or abrupt interruption and not think John baptized Christ in prison ;)

But, to what you note and what the refutation was about, and to what I and others note, here is the rest of para. 5:


and, [according to these men,] He preached only one year reckoning from His baptism. On completing His thirtieth year He suffered, being in fact still a young man, and who had by no means attained to advanced age. Now, that the first stage of early life embraces thirty years, and that this extends onwards to the fortieth year, every one will admit; but from the fortieth and fiftieth year a man begins to decline towards old age, which our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher, even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, [affirming] that John conveyed to them that information. And he remained among them up to the times of Trajan. Some of them, moreover, saw not only John, but the other apostles also, and heard the very same account from them, and bear testimony as to the [validity of] the statement. Whom then should we rather believe? Whether such men as these, or Ptolemaeus, who never saw the apostles, and who never even in his dreams attained to the slightest trace of an apostle?
I see that three Passovers are referred to, and in relating to that, the text states that Christ had to have preached at least 3 years. However, a footnote (#110, attached to within para. 3) in this text states:

[110] Joh_5:1, etc. It is well known that, to fix what is meant by the εορτη, referred to in this passage of St. John, is one of the most difficult points in New Testament criticism. Some modern scholars think that the feast of Purim is intended by the Evangelist; but, upon the whole, the current of opinion that has always prevailed in the Church has been in favour of the statement here made by Irenaeus. Christ would therefore be present at four passovers after His baptism: (1) Joh_2:13; (2) Joh_5:1; (3) Joh_6:4; (4) Joh_13:1.


I respect the writings of St Ireneaus, as he addresses many of the same heresies the church addresses to date.
I’ve been quite fond of Irenaeus’ writings for years, especially the eschatology parts of his writings.


What he is not arguing is how old Jesus was. Nor what his age should be for a Priest or Master (teacher). We can read for ourselves in these same scriptures by John, that He (Jesus) had already told them He "was before Abraham".
A response which the assumption on their part was that Christ was “physically” on the Earth for centuries “in the flesh”. He became “invisible/hidden” for a brief time after that. My response is to your statement “He did not believe that Christ died at an older age.” True enough, that the focus of the refutation “itself” was not on “the purpose of ascribing Christ to an older age”. ;)

Now, it is, and has been, well known that Irenaeus “believed” Christ was older than He really was when He was crucified. It is conveyed in para. 5, and furthermore, even more so, in para. 6, in his refutation that Christ preached for more just one year. Here is para. 6:


6. But, besides this, those very Jews who then disputed with the Lord Jesus Christ have most clearly indicated the same thing. For when the Lord said to them, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad,” they answered Him, “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?” (Joh_8:56, Joh_8:57) Now, such language is fittingly applied to one who has already passed the age of forty, without having as yet reached his fiftieth year, yet is not far from this latter period. But to one who is only thirty years old it would unquestionably be said, “Thou art not yet forty years old.” For those who wished to convict Him of falsehood would certainly not extend the number of His years far beyond the age which they saw He had attained; but they mentioned a period near His real age, whether they had truly ascertained this out of the entry in the public register, or simply made a conjecture from what they observed that He was above forty years old, and that He certainly was not one of only thirty years of age. For it is altogether unreasonable to suppose that they were mistaken by twenty years, when they wished to prove Him younger than the times of Abraham. For what they saw, that they also expressed; and He whom they beheld was not a mere phantasm, but an actual being of flesh and blood. He did not then wont much of being fifty years old; and, in accordance with that fact, they said to Him, “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?” He did not therefore preach only for one year, nor did He suffer in the twelfth month of the year. For the period included between the thirtieth and the fiftieth year can never be regarded as one year, unless indeed, among their Aeons, there be so long years assigned to those who sit in their ranks with Bythus in the Pleroma; of which beings Homer the poet, too, has spoken, doubtless being inspired by the Mother of their [system of] error: —
Οἱ δὲ θεοὶ πὰρ Ζηνὶ καθήμενοι ἠγορόωντο
Χρυσέῳ ἐν δαπέδῳ:
which we may thus render into English: —
“The gods sat round, while Jove presided o’er,
And converse held upon the golden floor.”
Perhaps you have a different translation?


As to the OT on the subject of required age. That changed from time to time. ie. by King David's command
In David’s time and afterwards, in the fixed tabernacle and temple, the laboriousness of the service no longer existed, and hence twenty years was the age fixed on for all Levites to enter into the work of the sanctuary. The rabbins say that the Levites began to learn to do the service at twenty-five, and that having been instructed five years, they began the public service at thirty, and thus they reconcile the two periods referred to above. We may well suppose that the sons of the prophets continued a considerable time under instructions before they were called fully to exercise themselves in the prophetic office.

BTW, speaking of “Eschatology”, if Antipas <493 (http://net.bible.org/strong.php?id=493)> (mentioned in Revelation 2:13 (http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Revelation&chapter=2&verse=13)) and April 11 means anything to EO, and you are acquainted with this and any tradition related to Antipas, your input would be appreciated in a thread, “Properly understanding REVELATION”, in the End Times Forum at post # 1543230, and there roundabout. The WDNT Greek Dictionary also makes mention of a “Greek Tradition”.

Later.

Teke
Feb 20th 2008, 07:08 PM
Hi Clifton. :)

Let me just say first, that for me to try to defend "oral" tradition would be futile here. Ireneaus is certainly relating oral tradition passed down. Personally I don't doubt this information. But to others, like Protestants, it would be futile to uphold, other than citing other fathers writings in relation to it.

So if I was asked if Jesus could have been in his forties, I'd be willing to agree with that. Fifties, I don't know....but I'd keep in mind that He taught the 12 disciples and more than these also (the 70 sent by two's). Could He do it in three yrs. I would suppose He could, but not likely (the students may not have been able to learn that fast). Meaning there are other factors to be considered on the subject, such as oral tradition (passing of information orally), likely hood of such instance etc.

In certain instances of oral tradition, one is inclined to agree according to the person. Such as St Ignatius, who according to oral tradition, is the child who sat on Jesus lap. One would consider information from one such as him to be valid. As he would have known the Apostles in person, as well as others associated with them.

As to the feast in John 5:1, I've heard much speculation about it. Those who believe His ministry was one year, and this is a modern invention, connect it with the second Passover instituted by Moses for those who couldn't attend the first and foremost one, for whatever reason (distance, illness etc).
However, it is traditionally seen, by St John Chrysostom and other fathers as pertaining to the feast of Pentecost due to the references to the law of Moses later in the chapter. The feast of Pentecost centers around the theme of the giving of the law on Mt Sinai.
I do not know who provided the references at CCEL.

As can be seen one can only go so far with such information. Then it is a matter of the hearer or reader to decide according to their faith and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Such is also the case with decisions, such as what age or time one is able to do a thing. Scripture also proves this is flexible ie. David and Goliath. In EO there is no fixed time or age. We all develop at different levels or stages. Traditionally catechumens (students) had to study for at least three yrs before being accepted into the church. Some groups made them wait longer. Presently there is no fixed time for this, as many come into Orthodoxy, already having some knowledge of the church and history, having been called by our Lord..

As to St Antipas, yes he is a celebrated saint in Orthodoxy and his day of commemoration is on April 11 (old calendar, the new calendar is 13 days ahead of the old). He was a bishop appointed by the Apostles to Pergamum. He contested during the reign of Domitian, he was then cast, as it is said, into a bronze bull that had been heated exceedingly. Thus he became a martyr.

I'll check out the thread you posted a link to in End Times.:)

Joyfilled
Feb 21st 2008, 02:26 AM
We've heard it all before. The Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, and a few other groups of Christians all differ on one central topic of Christianity - the Bible. Each comes to the intellectual arena with differing systems of logic, demands, and Biblical interpretation. While it is not my hope to solve Christianity in a single post, I desire to gain some understanding of Protestantism's interpretation of the Bible. I will start with what has traditionally been offered- (if a MOD thinks this thread should be moved, sorry in advance for posting this in the wrong section).

My main struggle with the Bible has been the interpretation of doctrines throughout the history of Christianity. Most Protestants oppose some of the more "recent" doctrines of Catholicism that they hold on par with scripture (and I do as well). But, it seems unlikely to me that Christians would believe a doctrine, teach it throughout the entire church, and not teach otherwise if said doctrine were not true.

I hear many protestants demand (and not unrighty) "but where is it in the BIBLE?" when talking about things like infant baptism. But the reality of the situtation is the doctrine of "believer's baptism" was not taught in the Church for many centuries without exception. (this is fact, disagree as you might, we are not going to talk about this, although if you have a good argument otherwise, please post it).

My first question is-

1. Do you, as a Protestant Christian, have a problem believing a relatively "recent" doctrine (i.e. taught recently), as long as it can be logically deduced from the Bible? For the sake of the thread, let's use as an example "The Real Presence".

and

2. What are the "essential" doctrines (Biblical citations please!) Christians must believe if they are to be Christian? How much can we deviate from these doctrines and still be a Christian?

and

3. Where does the Bible mention a system of "essential doctrines"?

If you have any other info you would like to throw in, please do so!

Why would one even want to deviate from the bible? :confusedThe only correct doctrine is what the bible says. That means that one doesn't add or subtract words. So verses like Matthew 23;9-10, Matthew 1:25, Leviticus 18:22 are easily understood as written. All one has to have is a a knowledge of basic word vocabulary and grammar to understand those and other verses as well. But the problem is that many people simpy don't like what God has to say. So they try to change simple words into their opposite and think they're fooling God. :rofl:But they don't fool anyone who can read and they certainly don't fool God. ;)

KATA_LOUKAN
Feb 21st 2008, 12:45 PM
By “writers” are you referring to the writings of the “Church Fathers”? If you are then yes I do believe there were many who understood the emblems of bread and wine to be exactly what they are - symbols of the body and blood of Christ – “This do in remembrance of me.”


Could you cite some?


The error Ratramnus fought against was the notion that the bread and wine in the Eucharist becomes Christ's “Real Presence”, i.e., His body and blood.

That is what is misleading. Both authors believed that Christ was present. The error in question was whether the bread and wine became the actual flesh of Jesus.


What about you – do you believe transubstantiation is taught in the NT or is it a doctrine from men that arose well after the apostolic age?


It is not taught in the Bible, although I am wondering how it became taught so early in the Church.


disagree – Mizzi appears to be right on – what examples do you offer of his alleged “bad scholarship”? Are you saying a physician cannot be a theologian or a theologian cannot be a physician? ;)

Most of his work appears to be correct, although I found a few errors (like not spelling the name correctly, as mentioned above). It might be good for a quick read, but not for serious scholarship.


Are you saying a physician cannot be a theologian or a theologian cannot be a physician? ;)

Nah. I'm just saying that he is not a professional (theologian).

losthorizon
Feb 21st 2008, 03:47 PM
Could you cite some?

Justin Martyr and Augustine come to mind among others. As Mizzi correctly points out regarding the “Fathers” - many “believed in the physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, they also believed that the bread and wine do not cease to be bread and wine… the consecrated elements “bread” and “the cup…are the flesh and blood of Christ insofar that they are given in remembrance of his incarnation and blood.


That is what is misleading. Both authors believed that Christ was present. The error in question was whether the bread and wine became the actual flesh of Jesus.
It’s really not misleading. I think we can understand there is a world of difference in the biblical concept that Christ is in our presence when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper “in remembrance” of Him and the non-biblical dogma that the bread and wine literally become the flesh and blood of Jesus (they do not). Ratramnus correctly understood the error of transubstantiation and that is what he argued against.


It is not taught in the Bible, although I am wondering how it became taught so early in the Church.
I don’t think there is any mystery regarding false teaching in the early church – Paul wrote of false teachers soon to come “from your own number”, "Even from your own number men will appear who will try, by speaking perversions of truth, to draw away the disciples after them." (Acts 20:30)


Most of his work appears to be correct, although I found a few errors (like not spelling the name correctly, as mentioned above). It might be good for a quick read, but not for serious scholarship.
I hardly think a spelling error would constitute poor scholarship and sometimes we can learn much from a “quick read”. What other “few errors” did you find in his work?

ravi4u2
Feb 21st 2008, 05:17 PM
The last supper is a celebration of the Passover seder. Therefore, what Jesus and the disciples did at that meal, and the way they understood that meal, evoked and invoked all the Jewish meanings of the Passover seder, not just the meanings later Christians found in or projected onto the "words of institution."

Because the seder was first and foremost a celebration of the Jewish feast of Passover, it was an irreducibly and peculiarly Jewish event. A full meal, a feast, not just a sharing of a little bread and a little wine, it required celebrants to recall and recite the liberating deeds of God throughout Jewish history. As such it was the prototype and the most privileged example of the weekly Sabbath eve celebration in the home, which similarly included the offering of bread and wine and the remembrance of redemption.

So, when Jesus says, "...this is the new covenant, do this in remembrance of me...", He was saying that henceforth when His disciples come to share a meal, the celebrants should remember how Christ liberated them with His sacrifice.
The other important passages about communion in the NT come from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. The early communities were uncomfortably and painfully diverse. Paul understood why the human, flawed, complicated Corinthian community needed the shared meals Jesus employed in his ministry. They were occasions for a truly open and socially transformative table fellowship.

An open table fellowship is both exuberantly joyful and unnervingly dislocating. The occasion of the Corinthian misconduct about which Paul complained was, like the Last Supper, a meal. Like so many of Jesus’ meals, the agape meal was open and included groups not accustomed to eating together or mixing socially: rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, men and women.

When these usually-segregated groups feasted together, tensions ran high and disputes erupted. When believers eat together in open table fellowship, Paul urged that they must treat one another as equals and share their food equally. The practices he advises are reminiscent of Jesus’ own practice of open table fellowship, sharing meals with disparate persons and groups unaccustomed to eating together, who consequently fell into tension and dispute at table.

In order to argue for a peaceable agape meal which brings followers of Jesus into deeper communion with one another, Paul invokes Jesus’ words over bread and cup at the Last Supper. Jesus’ words and Paul’s recollection of them make sense only from the vantage point of open table fellowship.

Sharing in open table fellowship at which we remember Jesus’ suffering makes us a part of his suffering and one another’s, and brings us into deeper communion with one another. Jesus took onto himself the suffering of the world; those who share bread with one another in his name do likewise. To share in prophetic open table fellowship is already to share in Jesus’ body and his blood, his very being, and his participation in human suffering. It is to share both his power and his brokenness.

And if where two or three are gathered, Jesus is also there, then, the Real Presence of Christ Jesus is really present whenever His people come together over an open table fellowship.

David Taylor
Feb 21st 2008, 05:34 PM
The last supper is a celebration of the Passover seder. Therefore, what Jesus and the disciples did at that meal, and the way they understood that meal, evoked and invoked all the Jewish meanings of the Passover seder, not just the meanings later Christians found in or projected onto the "words of institution."

Because the seder was first and foremost a celebration of the Jewish feast of Passover, it was an irreducibly and peculiarly Jewish event. A full meal, a feast, not just a sharing of a little bread and a little wine, it required celebrants to recall and recite the liberating deeds of God throughout Jewish history. As such it was the prototype and the most privileged example of the weekly Sabbath eve celebration in the home, which similarly included the offering of bread and wine and the remembrance of redemption.

So, when Jesus says, "...this is the new covenant, do this in remembrance of me...", He was saying that henceforth when His disciples come to share a meal, the celebrants should remember how Christ liberated them with His sacrifice.
The other important passages about communion in the NT come from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. The early communities were uncomfortably and painfully diverse. Paul understood why the human, flawed, complicated Corinthian community needed the shared meals Jesus employed in his ministry. They were occasions for a truly open and socially transformative table fellowship.

An open table fellowship is both exuberantly joyful and unnervingly dislocating. The occasion of the Corinthian misconduct about which Paul complained was, like the Last Supper, a meal. Like so many of Jesus’ meals, the agape meal was open and included groups not accustomed to eating together or mixing socially: rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, men and women.

When these usually-segregated groups feasted together, tensions ran high and disputes erupted. When believers eat together in open table fellowship, Paul urged that they must treat one another as equals and share their food equally. The practices he advises are reminiscent of Jesus’ own practice of open table fellowship, sharing meals with disparate persons and groups unaccustomed to eating together, who consequently fell into tension and dispute at table.

In order to argue for a peaceable agape meal which brings followers of Jesus into deeper communion with one another, Paul invokes Jesus’ words over bread and cup at the Last Supper. Jesus’ words and Paul’s recollection of them make sense only from the vantage point of open table fellowship.

Sharing in open table fellowship at which we remember Jesus’ suffering makes us a part of his suffering and one another’s, and brings us into deeper communion with one another. Jesus took onto himself the suffering of the world; those who share bread with one another in his name do likewise. To share in prophetic open table fellowship is already to share in Jesus’ body and his blood, his very being, and his participation in human suffering. It is to share both his power and his brokenness.

And if where two or three are gathered, Jesus is also there, then, the Real Presence of Christ Jesus is really present whenever His people come together over an open table fellowship.




I liked what you said above, and I understood it; however I see it slightly differently.

When you said, "The last supper is a celebration of the Passover seder", I would see that differently.

From our earthly timeline perspective, that would be true; the Passover occurred before the Lord's Supper; and it was the Passover that the Lord's Supper was tying into.

However, at a level beyond time and space, venturing into the realm of God Himself; and the full vision and panorama of the Scriptures; it is clear to me that the Lord's Supper, is the focal-point, and the Apex of fulfillment; that the Passover only pointed to in pre-type and shadow.

Therefore your original statement:
"The last supper is a celebration of the Passover seder"
From an ultimate perspective becomes:
"The Passover seder is a celebration of the last supper"

All O.T. passover observances, sacrifices, offerings, etc...point to the Lord's Supper for their ultimate intent and fulfillment.

Teke
Feb 21st 2008, 07:42 PM
It is not taught in the Bible, although I am wondering how it became taught so early in the Church.





Jhn 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

Jhn 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

Jhn 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

This is why during the Eucharist celebration the Holy Spirit is called to transform the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.
The Ecclesia is praying for this to happen for them, IOW that they are worthy.

Teke
Feb 21st 2008, 07:46 PM
I liked what you said above, and I understood it; however I see it slightly differently.

When you said, "The last supper is a celebration of the Passover seder", I would see that differently.

From our earthly timeline perspective, that would be true; the Passover occurred before the Lord's Supper; and it was the Passover that the Lord's Supper was tying into.

However, at a level beyond time and space, venturing into the realm of God Himself; and the full vision and panorama of the Scriptures; it is clear to me that the Lord's Supper, is the focal-point, and the Apex of fulfillment; that the Passover only pointed to in pre-type and shadow.

Therefore your original statement:
"The last supper is a celebration of the Passover seder"
From an ultimate perspective becomes:
"The Passover seder is a celebration of the last supper"

All O.T. passover observances, sacrifices, offerings, etc...point to the Lord's Supper for their ultimate intent and fulfillment.


The Passover related to the Hebrews coming out of Egypt is unique to them alone. This is why the church decided to fix the date of Easter, rather than follow the Jewish tradition. The church is unique in each culture it relates to.:)

David Taylor
Feb 21st 2008, 08:10 PM
The Passover related to the Hebrews coming out of Egypt is unique to them alone. This is why the church decided to fix the date of Easter, rather than follow the Jewish tradition. The church is unique in each culture it relates to.:)

The Passover, at the time it occurred, was specific to the Hebrews.

However, the Passover, in its fullest intent and meaning, pointed to Christ as the Passover Lamb that would defeat the Angel of Death to all men who would trust in Him.

That is what Paul writing to the church in Corinth wrote: "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us"


The Slain Passover Lamb, points to Jesus; the ultimate slain Lamb; for all people.


In the same manner

...With the Exodus of the Hebrews the spotless firstfruit male lamb was slain, and its blood being splattered on the post, and death via the death angel was swallowed up in victory for those in Moses day; it pointed forward to the ultimate and complete fulfillment of that pattern and shadow...

...with Christ Himself becoming the spotless firstfruit male lamb that was slain, and His blood being splattered on the post, and death again, for all who would believe, being swallowed up in victory for those of all days.

Teke
Feb 21st 2008, 08:21 PM
The Passover, at the time it occurred, was specific to the Hebrews.

However, the Passover, in its fullest intent and meaning, pointed to Christ as the Passover Lamb that would defeat the Angel of Death to all men who would trust in Him.

That is what Paul writing to the church in Corinth wrote: "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us"


The Slain Passover Lamb, points to Jesus; the ultimate slain Lamb; for all people.


In the same manner

...With the Exodus of the Hebrews the spotless firstfruit male lamb was slain, and its blood being splattered on the post, and death via the death angel was swallowed up in victory for those in Moses day; it pointed forward to the ultimate and complete fulfillment of that pattern and shadow...

...with Christ Himself becoming the spotless firstfruit male lamb that was slain, and His blood being splattered on the post, and death again, for all who would believe, being swallowed up in victory for those of all days.


OK if that is how you understand it. I would just say their faith saved them. IOW it was an act of faith which His grace acknowledged. :)

losthorizon
Feb 21st 2008, 10:37 PM
...This is why during the Eucharist celebration the Holy Spirit is called to transform the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.

Where exactly does the NT teach this transformation?

Teke
Feb 21st 2008, 10:55 PM
Where exactly does the NT teach this transformation?

It teaches the concept of transformation of created matter. Such as the Incarnation, Transfiguration, Resurrection (supernatural). If God is able to do so with such complex matter as humanity, then bread and wine is a piece of cake. ;)

losthorizon
Feb 22nd 2008, 12:00 AM
It teaches the concept of transformation of created matter. Such as the Incarnation, Transfiguration, Resurrection (supernatural). If God is able to do so with such complex matter as humanity, then bread and wine is a piece of cake. ;)
But can you direct me *specifically* to where is it taught in the NT that “the Holy Spirit is called to transform the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ” – chapter and verse, please. Remember, I do not accept OC/RCC dogma/tradition. :)

Joyfilled
Feb 22nd 2008, 01:47 PM
And saturate.



Hmmm - Not sure I would call differentiations of elements an exegesis - the scale is too broad.

I doubt it. Infants were, I would say "dipped", as opposed to "submerged". 30 days after the males were born, 32 days after the females were born. John's baptism was to cease after Christ.

I really have no say in regards to infants where "water" is the element of immersions. I am neither a proponent or opponent of it.



That (The Didache 7:1-4) referred to "water" being the element of the immersion. I know of no scripture in the Greek New Testaments I have of talking about "fasting" before any materialistic immersions, and certainly not spiritual ones, which can be achieved by any person, any time, under any circumstances.



Adding ALL immersions and their elements, yes, The Greek Scriptures teaches all those. It is also pretty clear what the New Testament does not teach.;)

Take Care.
“Yochanan answered and said to them all, ‘As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire’” (Luke 3:16 HNV).


Sorry, but nowhere in the bible does it tell us to baptize unrepentant sinners. And babies have not repented for their sins. So infant baptism is a lie of Satan. People only believe infant baptism because they've been brainwashed by pastors who they think are infallible. :rofl:

KATA_LOUKAN
Feb 22nd 2008, 02:04 PM
I hardly think a spelling error would constitute poor scholarship and sometimes we can learn much from a “quick read”. What other “few errors” did you find in his work?

In the section "Sacraments" on his website, he only lists 5 of the 7 sacraments (leaving out unction and marriage). Unless he agrees with the Catholic position, I find it funny he failed to mention this.

He also says that the Catholic church forbids marriage, which it does not. Celibacy for the kingdom of God is not unbiblical.

He believes that Catholics are not Christians (even as a Protestant I believe this is wrong).

And a spelling error would count as poor scholarship, especially when talking about a person central to his argument! It seems he didnt check outside sources (poor scholarship).

It not that I disagree with the guy - in fact most of his website is pretty brilliant. I would just be careful before sending an intelligent Catholic friend to check it out.

But I digress. I didnt mean to start this big of a discussion!

Teke
Feb 22nd 2008, 02:25 PM
But can you direct me *specifically* to where is it taught in the NT that “the Holy Spirit is called to transform the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ” – chapter and verse, please. Remember, I do not accept OC/RCC dogma/tradition. :)

Trinity dogma isn't only believed by OC/RCC. The Reformers also agreed with Trinity theology/dogma. And you won't find Trinity theology in scripture as was formulated by the Church.

Anyway, this is drawn from examples in scripture of God relating to us through created matter. Understand that I am not saying that the bread and wine are literally human flesh and blood. I admit that I do not know what constitutes the Resurrected Body of Christ.

The Church simply upholds what Jesus said. "Take, eat; this is my body." "this is my blood "

Jhn 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Jhn 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?

Jhn 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

Clifton
Feb 22nd 2008, 05:14 PM
Sorry, but nowhere in the bible does it tell us to baptize unrepentant sinners. And babies have not repented for their sins. So infant baptism is a lie of Satan. People only believe infant baptism because they've been brainwashed by pastors who they think are infallible. :rofl:


And this has to do with the Essenes (which was the CONTEXT of what you replied to) of the Pre-Christian era how?:hmm:

Clifton
Feb 22nd 2008, 06:20 PM
Hi Clifton. :)

Let me just say first, that for me to try to defend "oral" tradition would be futile here. Ireneaus is certainly relating oral tradition passed down. Personally I don't doubt this information. But to others, like Protestants, it would be futile to uphold, other than citing other fathers writings in relation to it.

So if I was asked if Jesus could have been in his forties, I'd be willing to agree with that. Fifties, I don't know....but I'd keep in mind that He taught the 12 disciples and more than these also (the 70 sent by two's). Could He do it in three yrs. I would suppose He could, but not likely (the students may not have been able to learn that fast). Meaning there are other factors to be considered on the subject, such as oral tradition (passing of information orally), likely hood of such instance etc.

So you think it may be possible that Christ was in His 40's when crucified in his 40's, and maybe 50 or older, yes? And this came to Irenaeus by oral tradition - obviously not everyone was carrying around written works, like the Hebrew Scriptures and Gospels, etc., so things were more oral then.


As to St Antipas, yes he is a celebrated saint in Orthodoxy and his day of commemoration is on April 11 (old calendar, the new calendar is 13 days ahead of the old). He was a bishop appointed by the Apostles to Pergamum. He contested during the reign of Domitian, he was then cast, as it is said, into a bronze bull that had been heated exceedingly. Thus he became a martyr.

I'll check out the thread you posted a link to in End Times.:)Yea, got it, thank you again. Antipas was martyred in 92 or 93 A.D.? I wonder what that does to the "pantelist view" (aka Full / Hyper Preterist), which has evolved since the time of it's primary founder Spanish Jesuit Luis De Alcazar, "in turning the clock back on the compilation of the date of the Book Of Revelation" - I'm sure they will find ways to weasel.:lol:

Teke
Feb 22nd 2008, 07:05 PM
So you think it may be possible that Christ was in His 40's when crucified in his 40's, and maybe 50 or older, yes? And this came to Irenaeus by oral tradition - obviously not everyone was carrying around written works, like the Hebrew Scriptures and Gospels, etc., so things were more oral then.


Well, he gives his testimony according to the testimony of others who knew the Apostles.

..."which our Lord possessed while He still fulfilled the office of a Teacher, even as the Gospel and all the elders testify; those who were conversant in Asia with John, the disciple of the Lord, [affirming] that John conveyed to them that information. And he remained among them up to the times of Trajan. Some of them, moreover, saw not only John, but the other apostles also, and heard the very same account from them, and bear testimony as to the [validity of] the statement. Whom then should we rather believe? Whether such men as these, or Ptolemaeus, who never saw the apostles, and who never even in his dreams attained to the slightest trace of an apostle?"

Seems he was convinced. ;)

ravi4u2
Feb 22nd 2008, 07:07 PM
Trinity dogma isn't only believed by OC/RCC. The Reformers also agreed with Trinity theology/dogma. And you won't find Trinity theology in scripture as was formulated by the Church.

Anyway, this is drawn from examples in scripture of God relating to us through created matter. Understand that I am not saying that the bread and wine are literally human flesh and blood. I admit that I do not know what constitutes the Resurrected Body of Christ.

The Church simply upholds what Jesus said. "Take, eat; this is my body." "this is my blood "

Jhn 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Jhn 6:52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us [his] flesh to eat?

Jhn 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.Jesus also said, "If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire." Is this to be taken literally as well?

Teke
Feb 22nd 2008, 07:16 PM
Jesus also said, "If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire." Is this to be taken literally as well?

I didn't say anyone had to take it literal. It's a spiritual concept, take it spiritually (whatever spiritual means to the individual). It is mystical to me. Orthodox call it a mystery (not a sacrament).:)