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Oriental Orthodox Discussion / Re: Is this statement accurate?
« Last post by minasoliman on Today at 10:14:15 PM »
I think the Palamite definition of uncreated energies was used to uphold Orthodox doctrine against non Orthodox redefinition.

Precisely.  Given the current events in the Coptic Orthodox Church, who knows what will happen in the next century.  A new Palamas might arise among us to fight against the Metropolitan who seems to spew Barlaamite teachings.

But for now, given my reading and research, the real distinction OOs hold is not essence/energy, but is/partake.
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Also check out John of Damascus, his first homily on the dormition (Is it not thee, conceiving without man and still remaining a virgin? Let the inspired Ezechiel come forth and show us the closed gate, sealed by the Lord, and not yielding, according to his prophecy--let him point to its fulfilment in thee. The Lord of all came to thee, and taking flesh did not open the door of thy virginity. The seal remains intact.) and chapter 14 of his fourth book on the exposition of the Orthodox faith (But just as He who was conceived kept her who conceived still virgin, in like manner also He who was born preserved her virginity intact, only passing through her and keeping her closed.).
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A more honest question:  do you really think the Fathers differentiated both?  I think one meant the other.
I suppose, but anatomically speaking just because a hymen is no longer in tact, it does not mean that virginity is lost. Perhaps it is just my modern sensibilities, but it seems strange to think that Fathers of the Church were really contemplating the Holy Theotokos' anatomy.  :o

It's very easy to find patristic references.  Here's one very explicit reference by Romanos the Melodist:

The mother’s Father has willingly become her Son,
the infants’ saviour is laid as an infant in a manger.
As she who bore him contemplates him, she says,
“Tell me, my Child, how were you sown, or how were you planted in me?
I see you, my flesh and blood, and I am amazed,
because I give suck and yet I am not married.
And though I see you in swaddling clothes,
I know that the flower of my virginity is sealed,
for you preserved it when, in your good pleasure, you were born
 a little Child, God before the ages.


Source: http://dce.oca.org/assets/files/resources/romanos_nativity.pdf

The structure and function go hand in hand in the Church fathers.  I agree with you that we know today that just because there's no seal does not mean loss of virginity.  Nevertheless, from the earliest of times, like the Protoevangelium of James (which let's face it, is where we get our Mariological tradition from), the anatomy has become synonymous with ever-virginity.  "Seal" is not just a figure of speech in the ancient Church.
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A more honest question:  do you really think the Fathers differentiated both?  I think one meant the other.
I suppose, but anatomically speaking just because a hymen is no longer in tact, it does not mean that virginity is lost. Perhaps it is just my modern sensibilities, but it seems strange to think that Fathers of the Church were really contemplating the Holy Theotokos' anatomy.  :o
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Oriental Orthodox Discussion / Re: Is this statement accurate?
« Last post by recent convert on Today at 09:37:41 PM »
I think the Palamite definition of uncreated energies was used to uphold Orthodox doctrine against non Orthodox redefinition.
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A more honest question:  do you really think the Fathers differentiated both?  I think one meant the other.
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Reviews / Re: What is everyone reading?
« Last post by Mor Ephrem on Today at 09:14:56 PM »
I like the content but the translation itself is terribly wooden IMO. It serves in my mind as a prime example of how neo-Elizabethan prose is not necessarily more musical or poetic than contemporary English.

And you would translate it better?  How many languages do you know and/or conversant in?

Since when is translation an excuse for poor English style? Or are you saying Saint Ephraim's originals are badly written too?

I don't think Reader Isaac knows Syriac, so whatever language he translated from, it's already at least step removed.

Three steps actually... from the Russian translation of the Greek translation of the Syriac.

It's better than nothing, but from a translation perspective that's hardly ideal. 
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Okay. Where I'm coming from is the fact that hymns and fathers talk about the "seal" remaining intact or unbroken. Maybe you're right, it's a little weird and besides-the-point for us to get caught up in these details of anatomy. But in that case, what exactly is the "seal" referring to, in relation to the womb? What else could it be? Or are our hymnographers themselves engaging in needless speculation? 

I don't think they're engaging in needless speculation.  I guess I see as a parallel the following: How was Jesus conceived?  We believe rightly that the Holy Spirit came upon the Virgin Mary - but how was her egg (which always have X chromosomes) transformed into a male child?  How did the Spirit do that?  I think we can affirm that He was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary without getting too caught up in the details.  In the same way, I think we can affirm Mary's ever-virginity (as we do, and frequently) without working out the details.  It's not a question of squeamishness at the discussion of parts of a woman's anatomy, but a question of theological necessity - we get into trouble when we try to hammer out details beyond what we really need to affirm our faith.

Okay, but how are the hymnographers not hammering out details unduly when they talk about the unbroken seal?
I'm not really up on all the hymns, but could "unbroken seal" be referring to her virginity as opposed to a anatomical feature? 
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Reviews / Re: What is everyone reading?
« Last post by Iconodule on Today at 08:39:28 PM »
I like the content but the translation itself is terribly wooden IMO. It serves in my mind as a prime example of how neo-Elizabethan prose is not necessarily more musical or poetic than contemporary English.

And you would translate it better?  How many languages do you know and/or conversant in?

Since when is translation an excuse for poor English style? Or are you saying Saint Ephraim's originals are badly written too?

I don't think Reader Isaac knows Syriac, so whatever language he translated from, it's already at least step removed.

Three steps actually... from the Russian translation of the Greek translation of the Syriac.
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Reviews / Re: What is everyone reading?
« Last post by Mor Ephrem on Today at 08:33:19 PM »
I like the content but the translation itself is terribly wooden IMO. It serves in my mind as a prime example of how neo-Elizabethan prose is not necessarily more musical or poetic than contemporary English.

And you would translate it better?  How many languages do you know and/or conversant in?

Since when is translation an excuse for poor English style? Or are you saying Saint Ephraim's originals are badly written too?

I don't think Reader Isaac knows Syriac, so whatever language he translated from, it's already at least step removed.
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