Author Topic: the church's teaching on the jews  (Read 100219 times)

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Offline Christianus

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #315 on: March 26, 2010, 08:34:12 PM »

I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.

hehe you forget that French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Romanians etc. also killed God.
it's one of the greatest triumphs of the Roman Empire.
Imperium Romanum Deum crucificavit.
I don't know why the Jews wanted us romans to kill Jesus. I guess the Romans are the best killers in history: who else could claim to have killed God?

Luk 23:34  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

this fact makes me proud to be of Ancient Roman descent.
The Greeks may have God's book, but we have God's passion.
still I don't want to make it a «us versus them» debate: love your enemies.










Offline Christianus

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #316 on: March 26, 2010, 08:36:38 PM »

I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.




hehe you forget that French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Romanians etc. also killed God.
it's one of the greatest triumphs of the Roman Empire.
Imperium Romanum Deum crucificavit.
I don't know why the Jews wanted us romans to kill Jesus. I guess the Romans are the best killers in history: who else could claim to have killed God?


Luk 23:34  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.


this fact makes me proud to be of Ancient Roman descent.
The Greeks may have God's book, but we have God's passion.
still I don't want to make it a «us versus them» debate: love your enemies.

Roman soldiers the best in the world killed the most powerful being in existence.
there could be no cooler heritage than this.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 08:37:20 PM by Christianus »

Offline Rafa999

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #317 on: March 26, 2010, 09:02:21 PM »
Quote

I've never understood why the Italians are not held to account for the sin of deicide.

After all, who held all the authority in Palestine?   Who tried the case?  Who made the judicial decision?  Who carried out the scourging?  Who did the crucifixion.

This was all done by Italians.


No Italian under the face of the Earth should be blamed for anything whatsoever concerning the crucifixion:

Quote
For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16

There you go Fr. Ambrose...what you didn't want to say...in one line, by the Apostle Paul himself.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 09:10:52 PM by Rafa999 »
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #318 on: March 26, 2010, 09:24:46 PM »
Quote
For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16

There you go Fr. Ambrose...what you didn't want to say...in one line, by the Apostle Paul himself.

Not sure what you are wanting to say, dear Rafa.  Was it Jonathan who makes a clear distinction between Jews and Judeans?  Apparantely Jesus was not a Jew but a Judean.  So is it the Judeans and not the Jews who bear the sin of deicide as well as that of killing the prophets?  I am not sure that makes sense to me though....


Today (26 March) is the commemoration of St. Macartin of Clogher
See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints


Offline Rafa999

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #319 on: March 26, 2010, 09:43:50 PM »
So the Romans killed the prophets? No Father Ambrose, I don't think it is fair to blame Pilate and Italians for something they had far less complicity in than the presiding Jewish leadership:

Quote
Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."
John 19:11

Quote
so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation
Luke 11:50


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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #320 on: March 26, 2010, 09:51:06 PM »
So the Romans killed the prophets?

This is getting too surreal!   ;D


Quote
No Father Ambrose, I don't think it is fair to blame Pilate and Italians for something they had far less complicity in than the presiding Jewish leadership:

Of course it was the Jews, or as you have quoted above "the Judeans" although to tell the truth I don't buy into the distinction between Jews and Judeans.

Offline Rafa999

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #321 on: March 26, 2010, 09:55:41 PM »
You noticed I was a little sensitive right? I need to be honest: doing a CYA job for my uncle who is Italian.  ;D

I don't think anybody cares about this, just that the thought that my uncle is somehow a deicide who escaped punishment would be too much for me, rather than the honest history that the Sanhedrin, pharisees, along with Judas Iscariot conspired to kill the Messiah (not "Jews" in general, an absurdity as big as my "deicide" uncle).
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Offline Azul

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #322 on: March 29, 2010, 01:38:25 PM »
Which is the Orthodox Church which has the most jews?Will a significant part of the jews convert to Orthodoxy?
Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
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Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #323 on: March 29, 2010, 02:06:59 PM »
Jews and Judeans are etymologically the same. They both mean 'son of Judah'. Technically, only someone from the tribe of Judah is a Jew, but since the time of Christ Jew has been used to mean anyone of the twelve tribes. Also, in Christian discourse, since the time of St John the Theologian Jew has meant 'an ethnic Jew who rejects Christ', since an ethnic Jew who accepts Christ is as much a Christian as a pagan Gentile who accepts Christ ('for there is neither Jew nor Greek'). Note how, in the texts for Palm Sunday, the 'Jews' who called for Christ's crucifixion, are usually contrasted with 'the children of the Hebrews' who chanted Hosanna at Christ's entry into Jerusalem. You can see here that 'Jew' is being used in this narrower sense.

Offline Azul

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #324 on: March 29, 2010, 02:09:42 PM »
And how does that answer any of my questions?
Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #325 on: March 29, 2010, 02:14:05 PM »
And how does that answer any of my questions?
I find the way you worded your questions somewhat confusing.  What exactly do you want to know?
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #326 on: March 29, 2010, 03:32:15 PM »

Offline Rafa999

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #327 on: March 29, 2010, 04:59:07 PM »
Which is the Orthodox Church which has the most jews?Will a significant part of the jews convert to Orthodoxy?

Well, the ACOE is not the orthodox church but many many of its members are Jews. Its Patriarchs,chief historians, theologians, founders, and currently the priest who wrote the first catechism is Jewish. I know many of the Ethiopans are "falashas" namely they are descendants of people who fled the reign of Manasseh. The Ark of the covenant is beneath Axum too.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 04:59:57 PM by Rafa999 »
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #328 on: March 29, 2010, 05:33:08 PM »
Which is the Orthodox Church which has the most jews?Will a significant part of the jews convert to Orthodoxy?

The holy Patriarchate of Jerusalem.


http://www.interfax-religion.ru/print.php?act=news&id=5819

Summary of article:

Russian-speaking Jewish Orthodox believers today outnumber Orthodox Arabs in the Jerusalem Patriarchate -- according to Metropolitan Timothy, the Jerusalem patriarchate's Secretary General. Some statistics indicate 300,000 Russian Orthodox while others state no more than 150,000. In either case, they outnumber the Arab Orthodox faithful.

This will have some impact on the future of the Patriarchate.


-oOo-


http://portal-credo.ru/site/print.php?act=news&id=33276

Last wave of immigration sharply increased
the number of secret Orthodox Christians in Israel


Although official statistics indicate that the number of Christians in Israel is constantly decreasing, in reality, EAI data shows that there is a large number of secret Christians among the Jews who arrived from Russia and Ukraine between 1989-1993.

Thus, the research conducted among 86,000 new immigrants in 1999 demonstrated that approximately 53% of them cannot be considered Jews in accordance with Judaic law. Available data suggest approximately 400,000 "unregistered Orthodox Christians" arrived with the last wave of immigration.

-oOo-

The election of a Jewish Patriarch of Jerusalem is highly likely within two or three generations.  Russian Orthodox Jewish Christians in Israel now outnumber both the Greek and the Arab components of the Patriarchate.

The official version of the state of Christianity in the Holy Land is :"It is less than 2% of the entire holy land. Christianity in particular in Jerusalem subsists mostly of pilgrims. They visit only."

This is not in fact the case. The situation is looking quite optimistic, at least for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. A web search will turn up information on the growing number of Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land and the concern it is causing to the Israeli Knesset.


"The Russians Are Coming" to rescue the Holy Land?

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/494/op1.htm

There have been significant changes to Israeli religious demographics over the last 10 years, thanks to the influx of more than 1 million Russians. One in 5 Israelis is now Russian, 20% of the population. A proportion of these are Jews by ancestry but Russian Orthodox Christians by religion. Today new Orthodox churches are being built throughout Israel and even on the kibbutzim! The Russians and the Arabs are brother Orthodox in Israel and together they will bring a new springtime of Christianity to the Mother Church of Jerusalem.


"I was recently given two startling pieces of information by a visiting Palestinian friend from Jerusalem. One was that there were several Russian Orthodox Christian churches being built in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba.... <snip>

"Just as remarkable is Lustick's observation that a significant number of the newcomers had registered themselves either as Christians or persons of no religion at all. As a result of this situation, the Russians, or to put it another way, non-Arab Christians are the fastest growing Israeli religious community and now constitute 8-9 per cent of the non-Arab population of the state... <snip>"
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/494/op1.htm

One factor with which the Jerusalem Patriarchate will have to come to terms in the near future is the large numbers of Russian Orthodox who are now part of its flock. These are Jews genetically and Orthodox Christians religiously. Jerusalem has set up a church department for the Russians but it seems inadequate for the numbers of Russians involved. In the years ahead the character of the Patriarchate will be altered by the Russian Orthodox influx.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2010, 05:35:49 PM by Irish Hermit »

Offline Azul

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #329 on: March 30, 2010, 07:23:18 AM »
Which is the Orthodox Church which has the most jews?Will a significant part of the jews convert to Orthodoxy?

The holy Patriarchate of Jerusalem.


http://www.interfax-religion.ru/print.php?act=news&id=5819

Summary of article:

Russian-speaking Jewish Orthodox believers today outnumber Orthodox Arabs in the Jerusalem Patriarchate -- according to Metropolitan Timothy, the Jerusalem patriarchate's Secretary General. Some statistics indicate 300,000 Russian Orthodox while others state no more than 150,000. In either case, they outnumber the Arab Orthodox faithful.

This will have some impact on the future of the Patriarchate.


-oOo-


http://portal-credo.ru/site/print.php?act=news&id=33276

Last wave of immigration sharply increased
the number of secret Orthodox Christians in Israel


Although official statistics indicate that the number of Christians in Israel is constantly decreasing, in reality, EAI data shows that there is a large number of secret Christians among the Jews who arrived from Russia and Ukraine between 1989-1993.

Thus, the research conducted among 86,000 new immigrants in 1999 demonstrated that approximately 53% of them cannot be considered Jews in accordance with Judaic law. Available data suggest approximately 400,000 "unregistered Orthodox Christians" arrived with the last wave of immigration.

-oOo-

The election of a Jewish Patriarch of Jerusalem is highly likely within two or three generations.  Russian Orthodox Jewish Christians in Israel now outnumber both the Greek and the Arab components of the Patriarchate.

The official version of the state of Christianity in the Holy Land is :"It is less than 2% of the entire holy land. Christianity in particular in Jerusalem subsists mostly of pilgrims. They visit only."

This is not in fact the case. The situation is looking quite optimistic, at least for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. A web search will turn up information on the growing number of Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land and the concern it is causing to the Israeli Knesset.


"The Russians Are Coming" to rescue the Holy Land?

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/494/op1.htm

There have been significant changes to Israeli religious demographics over the last 10 years, thanks to the influx of more than 1 million Russians. One in 5 Israelis is now Russian, 20% of the population. A proportion of these are Jews by ancestry but Russian Orthodox Christians by religion. Today new Orthodox churches are being built throughout Israel and even on the kibbutzim! The Russians and the Arabs are brother Orthodox in Israel and together they will bring a new springtime of Christianity to the Mother Church of Jerusalem.


"I was recently given two startling pieces of information by a visiting Palestinian friend from Jerusalem. One was that there were several Russian Orthodox Christian churches being built in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba.... <snip>

"Just as remarkable is Lustick's observation that a significant number of the newcomers had registered themselves either as Christians or persons of no religion at all. As a result of this situation, the Russians, or to put it another way, non-Arab Christians are the fastest growing Israeli religious community and now constitute 8-9 per cent of the non-Arab population of the state... <snip>"
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/494/op1.htm

One factor with which the Jerusalem Patriarchate will have to come to terms in the near future is the large numbers of Russian Orthodox who are now part of its flock. These are Jews genetically and Orthodox Christians religiously. Jerusalem has set up a church department for the Russians but it seems inadequate for the numbers of Russians involved. In the years ahead the character of the Patriarchate will be altered by the Russian Orthodox influx.


Thanks.God bless you.

One question.Do you happen to know if they might be in big part of ROCOR?
Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent.
Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #330 on: March 30, 2010, 08:09:15 AM »
[One question.Do you happen to know if they might be in big part of ROCOR?

No. While both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad) have certain church properties and monasteries in the Holy Land, this is by kind permission of the Patrarchate of Jerusalem.  Neither Church is permitted to establish parishes.

The Jews who have emigrated from Russia and the Ukraine are in parishes formed by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.  It has created a department of the Patriarchate to care for these Russian Jewish Christians.  Services are conducted in Slavonic and (to a lesser extent) Hebrew.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #331 on: June 25, 2010, 11:38:34 PM »
So the very foundation of Christianity was laid by Jews. the fact remains that before one single gentile had the opportunity to repent ( as mentioned above) it was necessary that some Jews took faith in Jesus as the Christ, establish the fledgling Church and then evangelize to Gentiles.....

Jesus approached Jewish apostles first and asked them to follow him, but he also spoke often with centurions. On the other hand, it's worth pointing out that the first ones to declare Jesus as the Son of God are here:

Quote
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline augustin717

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #332 on: June 26, 2010, 12:16:06 AM »
Which is the Orthodox Church which has the most jews?Will a significant part of the jews convert to Orthodoxy?

The holy Patriarchate of Jerusalem.


http://www.interfax-religion.ru/print.php?act=news&id=5819

Summary of article:

Russian-speaking Jewish Orthodox believers today outnumber Orthodox Arabs in the Jerusalem Patriarchate -- according to Metropolitan Timothy, the Jerusalem patriarchate's Secretary General. Some statistics indicate 300,000 Russian Orthodox while others state no more than 150,000. In either case, they outnumber the Arab Orthodox faithful.

This will have some impact on the future of the Patriarchate.


-oOo-


http://portal-credo.ru/site/print.php?act=news&id=33276

Last wave of immigration sharply increased
the number of secret Orthodox Christians in Israel


Although official statistics indicate that the number of Christians in Israel is constantly decreasing, in reality, EAI data shows that there is a large number of secret Christians among the Jews who arrived from Russia and Ukraine between 1989-1993.

Thus, the research conducted among 86,000 new immigrants in 1999 demonstrated that approximately 53% of them cannot be considered Jews in accordance with Judaic law. Available data suggest approximately 400,000 "unregistered Orthodox Christians" arrived with the last wave of immigration.

-oOo-

The election of a Jewish Patriarch of Jerusalem is highly likely within two or three generations.  Russian Orthodox Jewish Christians in Israel now outnumber both the Greek and the Arab components of the Patriarchate.

The official version of the state of Christianity in the Holy Land is :"It is less than 2% of the entire holy land. Christianity in particular in Jerusalem subsists mostly of pilgrims. They visit only."

This is not in fact the case. The situation is looking quite optimistic, at least for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. A web search will turn up information on the growing number of Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land and the concern it is causing to the Israeli Knesset.


"The Russians Are Coming" to rescue the Holy Land?

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/494/op1.htm

There have been significant changes to Israeli religious demographics over the last 10 years, thanks to the influx of more than 1 million Russians. One in 5 Israelis is now Russian, 20% of the population. A proportion of these are Jews by ancestry but Russian Orthodox Christians by religion. Today new Orthodox churches are being built throughout Israel and even on the kibbutzim! The Russians and the Arabs are brother Orthodox in Israel and together they will bring a new springtime of Christianity to the Mother Church of Jerusalem.


"I was recently given two startling pieces of information by a visiting Palestinian friend from Jerusalem. One was that there were several Russian Orthodox Christian churches being built in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba.... <snip>

"Just as remarkable is Lustick's observation that a significant number of the newcomers had registered themselves either as Christians or persons of no religion at all. As a result of this situation, the Russians, or to put it another way, non-Arab Christians are the fastest growing Israeli religious community and now constitute 8-9 per cent of the non-Arab population of the state... <snip>"
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/494/op1.htm

One factor with which the Jerusalem Patriarchate will have to come to terms in the near future is the large numbers of Russian Orthodox who are now part of its flock. These are Jews genetically and Orthodox Christians religiously. Jerusalem has set up a church department for the Russians but it seems inadequate for the numbers of Russians involved. In the years ahead the character of the Patriarchate will be altered by the Russian Orthodox influx.

Well, I find it sad if the Russians (of Jewish ancestry) outnumber the Arabs in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. That shows that Israel has been successful in driving away the indigenous Orthodox faithful.
That only proves
She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #333 on: July 20, 2010, 01:37:42 AM »
The tangent on whether the indigenous Orthodox faithful in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem are descendants of the first Christians has been split off and moved to Religious Topics.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=28880.0
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 01:41:30 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #334 on: October 06, 2010, 01:48:23 PM »
Hairsplitting Terminology?

What is the Orthodox Church's term for political state of Israel? In Orthodoxy, we say that the Church is Israel. In Galatians 3 and Romans 9-11, St Paul explains that "all Israel is not of Israel" and that Christians are also of the seed of Abraham through Israel's Messiah.

Likewise, the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem is also called the "Church of Zion", and the term "Zion" has a special, spiritual meaning in Orthodoxy. In Orthodox terms, who are those that call themselves the "Zionists" and believe that the land of Zion explicitly belongs to those of Jewish ethinicity.

Further, I dislike statements like "the Jews killed Christ." The crowds and the Sanhedrin were not all the Jews. Jesus Himself said "salvation is of the Jews", in the sense that it descended as a promise to Abraham's seed and David's seed, the Messiah. Christ himself and the early Church were Jews. A significant number of Jews were upset when the Sanhedrin stoned Jesus' brother James, and today American and European Jews want freedom of religion.

Going a step further, perhaps Christianity is the true Judaism, if Christ is a Jewish Messiah.

Even David Ben Gurion who expelled the Christians from his territory was not Ben Gurion, but David Grun, who chose the name of the ancient ruling Ben Gurion family- and the ruler Nicodemus Ben Gurion was probably the Nicodemus who Jesus called a "Master of Israel."

So you see, in traditional Christianity, Israel and Zionism mean something different than the political groups that use those terms. In that case, what would traditional Christianity call them?

It doesn't work to call it "the Jewish State", since there is at least another Jewish State in Birobidjan.

John's Gospel and St Chrysostom often referred negatively to "the Jews", but I would prefer to be nicer to the people as a whole, not least because a significant number of Jews have become Christians, especially in Byzantine times.

When Gamaliel, himself a Jew and a pharisee, told the apostles' prosecutors that if Christianity "be of God, you will never overthrow it", whom was he addressing?

Peace - Shalom
« Last Edit: October 06, 2010, 02:08:59 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #335 on: April 07, 2011, 04:21:03 PM »
Exoneration?
Thirdly, Constantinople was the successor to Rome, not the Italian Republic.  So if you are going to pass blame through blood, who knows who.  If you are going to pass blame through authority, well, the successor to Rome inherited that.
1. Is there today a legal successor to Rome? Perhaps the Vatican? If so, I would like them to do an exoneration where they posthumously overturn the verdict. There were I think technical violations in Jesus' trial or condemnation, since Pilate said he found no fault with Jesus.

Switzerland for example recently exonerated a person who had been killed as a witch, and Germany in the last 40 years exonerated a leader of the anti-fascist resistance who had been executed by the Nazis.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #336 on: April 07, 2011, 04:28:37 PM »
Exoneration?
Thirdly, Constantinople was the successor to Rome, not the Italian Republic.  So if you are going to pass blame through blood, who knows who.  If you are going to pass blame through authority, well, the successor to Rome inherited that.
1. Is there today a legal successor to Rome? Perhaps the Vatican? If so, I would like them to do an exoneration where they posthumously overturn the verdict. There were I think technical violations in Jesus' trial or condemnation, since Pilate said he found no fault with Jesus.

Switzerland for example recently exonerated a person who had been killed as a witch, and Germany in the last 40 years exonerated a leader of the anti-fascist resistance who had been executed by the Nazis.

Are you joking? And no there is no legal successor to the Roman Empire now. The last ruler who could have made such a claim was murdered by Communists in 1918. And as he was an Orthodox Christian it's fair to say he did not recognize the legality of our Lord's conviction.

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #337 on: April 07, 2011, 04:34:37 PM »
Actually, in all seriousness, there is a tradition that St Mary Magdalene appealed to Emperor Tiberius to have Pilate's judgment overturned. The Emperor complied with the request, our Lord Jesus Christ was officially exonerated, and Pontius Pilate was reassigned to virtual exile in some God-forsaken part of Gaul, if I recall correctly.

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #338 on: April 07, 2011, 05:44:32 PM »
Exoneration?
Thirdly, Constantinople was the successor to Rome, not the Italian Republic.  So if you are going to pass blame through blood, who knows who.  If you are going to pass blame through authority, well, the successor to Rome inherited that.
1. Is there today a legal successor to Rome? Perhaps the Vatican? If so, I would like them to do an exoneration where they posthumously overturn the verdict. There were I think technical violations in Jesus' trial or condemnation, since Pilate said he found no fault with Jesus.

Switzerland for example recently exonerated a person who had been killed as a witch, and Germany in the last 40 years exonerated a leader of the anti-fascist resistance who had been executed by the Nazis.

Are you joking? And no there is no legal successor to the Roman Empire now. The last ruler who could have made such a claim was murdered by Communists in 1918.
Six years later, the Caliphate would be abolished.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #339 on: April 07, 2011, 05:56:24 PM »
Exoneration?
Thirdly, Constantinople was the successor to Rome, not the Italian Republic.  So if you are going to pass blame through blood, who knows who.  If you are going to pass blame through authority, well, the successor to Rome inherited that.
1. Is there today a legal successor to Rome? Perhaps the Vatican? If so, I would like them to do an exoneration where they posthumously overturn the verdict. There were I think technical violations in Jesus' trial or condemnation, since Pilate said he found no fault with Jesus.

Switzerland for example recently exonerated a person who had been killed as a witch, and Germany in the last 40 years exonerated a leader of the anti-fascist resistance who had been executed by the Nazis.

Are you joking? And no there is no legal successor to the Roman Empire now. The last ruler who could have made such a claim was murdered by Communists in 1918.
Six years later, the Caliphate would be abolished.

Hm, you have a point. I suppose I meant the last person who could make a legitimate claim, from the Orthodox point of view, was Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II.

Also, while I know for a time the Ottoman sultans were claiming to be the legitimate heirs of Rome, were they still claiming that in 1924?

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #340 on: April 07, 2011, 07:01:22 PM »
Exoneration?
Thirdly, Constantinople was the successor to Rome, not the Italian Republic.  So if you are going to pass blame through blood, who knows who.  If you are going to pass blame through authority, well, the successor to Rome inherited that.
1. Is there today a legal successor to Rome? Perhaps the Vatican? If so, I would like them to do an exoneration where they posthumously overturn the verdict. There were I think technical violations in Jesus' trial or condemnation, since Pilate said he found no fault with Jesus.

Switzerland for example recently exonerated a person who had been killed as a witch, and Germany in the last 40 years exonerated a leader of the anti-fascist resistance who had been executed by the Nazis.

Are you joking? And no there is no legal successor to the Roman Empire now. The last ruler who could have made such a claim was murdered by Communists in 1918.
Six years later, the Caliphate would be abolished.

Hm, you have a point. I suppose I meant the last person who could make a legitimate claim, from the Orthodox point of view, was Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II.

Also, while I know for a time the Ottoman sultans were claiming to be the legitimate heirs of Rome, were they still claiming that in 1924?
No, actually I wasn't claiming that the Caliphate was a successor to Rome, just that within a span of six years, there is the elimination of two, long-standing political lineages, Rome and the Caliphate.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Rafa999

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #341 on: April 07, 2011, 07:26:46 PM »
The Apostolic canons retained by each and every branch of the Apostolic Church prohibits frequenting the synagogues of the Jews even excommunicating those who do (I believe this is a canon of the Assyrian Church of the East as well, somebody correct me if wrong). We should remember that while posting on this thread, because it is what the One Holy Church founded by the Apostles teaches (that we are forbidden to have this type of fellowship with unbelievers) and may he who present another gospel be accursed (Galatians 1:8 ). Whoever posts or posted to the contrary (myself included since I might have made such a post) must be corrected.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 07:29:01 PM by Rafa999 »
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Offline Marc1152

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #342 on: April 07, 2011, 09:21:51 PM »
The Apostolic canons retained by each and every branch of the Apostolic Church prohibits frequenting the synagogues of the Jews even excommunicating those who do (I believe this is a canon of the Assyrian Church of the East as well, somebody correct me if wrong). We should remember that while posting on this thread, because it is what the One Holy Church founded by the Apostles teaches (that we are forbidden to have this type of fellowship with unbelievers) and may he who present another gospel be accursed (Galatians 1:8 ). Whoever posts or posted to the contrary (myself included since I might have made such a post) must be corrected.

There are Orthodox cannons prohibiting using a Jewish Doctor. How often is that violated? There is a cannon that says you cant be ordained to the Priesthood before age 33 ( or thereabouts). That cannon is viloated all the time.

I go home for the Passover every year. Every year I mention it to my Priest at the time and have never once gotten the slightest objection from any of them.
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #343 on: April 07, 2011, 10:41:35 PM »
The Apostolic canons retained by each and every branch of the Apostolic Church prohibits frequenting the synagogues of the Jews even excommunicating those who do (I believe this is a canon of the Assyrian Church of the East as well, somebody correct me if wrong). We should remember that while posting on this thread, because it is what the One Holy Church founded by the Apostles teaches (that we are forbidden to have this type of fellowship with unbelievers) and may he who present another gospel be accursed (Galatians 1:8 ). Whoever posts or posted to the contrary (myself included since I might have made such a post) must be corrected.

There are Orthodox cannons prohibiting using a Jewish Doctor. How often is that violated? There is a cannon that says you cant be ordained to the Priesthood before age 33 ( or thereabouts). That cannon is viloated all the time.
There is no cannon that says anything about using a Jewish doctor. The only cannons I know of go "BOOM!" ;D
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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #344 on: April 08, 2011, 04:20:30 AM »
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 04:21:57 AM by Michał Kalina »
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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #345 on: April 22, 2011, 12:29:46 AM »
Fr. Demetrios Tonias in the "Christianity and Judaism" series on Come Receive the Light.

Pensateomnia,

Thanks for sharing the 3 mp3s from the Judaism and Christianity series. Fr. Tonias' dissertation about Jews and Christians in the early Church sounds both interesting and worthwhile. The Jewish nature of part of early Christianity seems like an important topic.

In Part 1: the First Century, Fr. Tonias does a good job pointing out that at the end of Luke's gospel, it says the apostles were continually in the Temple praying. He adds that the N.T. says they were in the synagogues arguing with eachother. Thus, the synagogues were a place where disciples could and did meet and discuss ideas openly.

He says that the disciples likely said the Shema prayer, which makes sense because it's a standard, very common Judaic prayer. However the gospels don't specify this, and I'm unaware of the Fathers specifying it either. So the disciples could possibly be part of a sect that didn't mention some prayers. It just seems natural that they would.

It was also noteworthy that he said there is a hymn of the "three youths of the fire" in Orthodoxy that comes out of that experience of the Babylonian captivity. It would be interesting for me to see whether this hymn or something like it also existed in pre-Christian Judaism. However, I doubt it, because it seems like Orthodox hymns don't use the same passages as Judaic hymns, unless they are quoting the Old Testament.

He made a worthwhile point that there was a command in the Old Testament for the Jews to make a yearly pilgrimage to the Temple for Passover, and mentioned, correctly, that this Passover is our Paskha, although it might be said better that our Paskha is a continuation of the O.T. Passover. It's a worthwhile point, because Palestinian Christians also have a tradition of going to Jerusalem for Paskha, although currently the Israeli government gives too limited number of permits to Christians in the Occupied Territories for most of them to make the Paskha visit.

Fr. Tonias feels that it's an open question of how Temple worship interacted with house worship. In my opinion, the two aren't contradictory, as Christians often naturally pray in homes together, although I assume it would be less liturgical than in the Temple. One analogy could be how we have some prayers with a priest, and announcements, in our Church halls before we eat meals together.

He said that Christianity is different because we have no Temple and no sacrifice. This is true because the sacrifice, Christ's sacrifice, already occurred, although in Orthodoxy we say that the priest plays a role of offering up Christ's sacrifice to God during the Eucharistic ritual.

Fr. Tonias said that on the other hand, <<We have a Temple, we have a Church the "ekklesia," which we call "Naos.">> However, I'm unfamiliar with this term "Naos." By saying we have a temple, I assume he means the Church. He continued: <<... and we have a priest, "yeres">> I am familier with the term "yeres", from Russian, wherein "ierey" is a word for priest. Fr. Tonias adds that we have a High Priest, an "archieres". This word in Orthodoxy refers to a rank that priests attain once they reach a certain number of years in the priesthood.
"Archpriest - (Sl. Protoeierei) A title of dignity given to a priest as an award for his long and fruitful service to the Church."(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/dict/index.php/Archpriest)

Consequently, the correspondence between the two doesn't seem exact, as there was only one High Priest in the Temple order. Still, it seems like there could be a correspondence between the idea of Jewish chief priests and Christian archpriests, since there could be several of both serving at the same time.

However, Fr. Tonias then adds that our high priest is Jesus Christ, which makes sense in Christianity. He adds that we have a Holy Table and an altar. This is a bit confusing, because I understand that in the Temple, the altar was a place where the sacrifice was burned, and that there was a Holy Table for something called the "ShewBread" in it too. However, in Orthodoxy, there is an altar and a Holy Table, but it seems to me that the Holy Table is the big table in the middle of the Holy of Holies area behind the iconostasis, while the altar refers either to that table or to a smaller table somewhat behind it where the Eucharist is normally kept. This big Holy Table in Orthodoxy would seem to correspond more with the ark of the covenant, because the Ark was something on which the sacrificial blood was laid, like how the priest in Orthodoxy puts the Eucharist on the Holy Table about the time the Eucharist changes.

Fr Tonias added that St Ignatius, who lived in the beginning of the 2nd century AD, said that where the bishop, the presvyteri (elders), the priests, and deacons are, that's where the Church is. And there they have the Eucharist. So this corresponds to elements of Judaism: a priest, the sacrifice, and the "Shekinah," which is the presence of God in the Eucharistic cup. This is an important point Fr. Tonias is making. I'm not sure the Christians molded their idea of Christ's presence in the Eucharistic worship around the idea of God's presence in the Ark of the Covenant, as I haven't heard that they did. It seems like Fr. TOnias is simply drawing an analogy. Christianity introduces this aspect of Christianity simply as Christ saying that the Eucharist is His body and to continue the Eucharistic meal. But still, the ideas of God's presence in the Temple and in the Eucharist match eachother.

He makes a good point, mentioning that Eusebius referred to the Church as a new Temple, although from this mere mention it isn't clear if Eusebius is referring to similarities between Temple worship and church worship, or merely analogizing them as houses of God.

The radio host asked if Christianity's practices here were a fulfillment of Judaism. This idea about fulfillment makes sense, because one could say that the Judaic practices were an expectation of Christian events and/or practices. Fr Tonias said that suggestion was correct, and that the Christians saw themselves here as a continuation too, which makes sense because for example Christianity continued basic ideas from the Judaic practicess, like having a priesthood.

He said that it was a continuation like this change was to be expected which makes sense because Christianity saw itself as something the prophets had expected. He said the Temple's destruction in 70 AD was an affirmation, which also makes sense because Christ had prophesied its destruction too. And this destruction naturally resulted in more focus on rituals in Christianity carried out by the Church, rather than by the Judaic Temple's nonChristian leadership.

He said that they made the connection seamlessly between Judaic and Christian rituals, which makes sense. But still, it seems like some of them at least could have seen a "seam" somewhere. For example, having uncircumcised Christians significantly participating liturgically and being priests- whereas Judaism hadn't even allowed them into the Temple building- seems like a "seam" to me.

In Part 2: the Second Century clip, the speaker says that an idea about the Eucharistic meal came from the Old Testament, which presented the idea that eating and drinking together was a means of securing divine blessings. However, I'm not sure because I don't know where the O.T. presents this idea, and the speaker didn't specify where. He concludes when a community or family gathered to share a meal they gathered in the presence of God Himself. However, I doubt this conclusion is necessary, since simply getting God's blessing doesn't seem to necessarily mean that God has a special, unique presence Himself where the thing that secures the blessing occurs. Naturally, God is everywhere, so He would be there too, but I just think this is an exagerration.

He adds that this explains the benedictions said over the meal, but I think you could have benedictions over something even if you don't think God has a uniquely strong presence at that place.

He finds the idea of eating and drinking before the Lord is a strong apocalyptic idea connected with restoring Israel and establishing God's reign.

The speaker says that in Exodus 24:9-11, Moses and Aaron and the elders go to the mountain where they behold God and have a meal in His presence. OK, well, this doesn't necessarily mean that this meal was a means of securing His blessing. It could just be that they did something positive around Him.

More exactly, Exodus 24 says:
Quote
Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. 11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.
Thus, it portrays the eating as something they did, but not necessarily in order to obtain a result from God. It could be that the mention of eating shows how relaxed and OK they were with God.

The speaker asserts that whether the Last Supper was a Passover or prePassover meal depends on whoich gospel one reads, but I have doubt about this, because I somewhat remember reading attempts to harmonize the gospels on this point.

Fr. Tonias said that after the Bar Kokhba revolt is when we first see the term Palestine, which is true, except that the term seems like maybe it was a Latinization of Philistia, the land of the Philistines.

He felt that the destruction of the Temple, as well as the lack of a likely earthly liberator like Cyrus, created a crisis of faith for Judaism because it was a Temple-oriented religion, which makes sense. Fr. Tonias also said that Christianity was an expression of Judaism, and that Rabbinical Judaism was another expression of Judaism too. This appears to be an OK analysis. He said that the rabbis had predominant control at this point, but still not total control. It seems like they didn't have total control, as this time was not long after the Temple's destruction, and because its destruction the Sadducees had control, and it would be foreseeable that the change in power from the Saduccees wouldn't be both instant and total.

He explained that by the end of the 2nd century the rabbis were for the most part, if not entirely in control. He said that the rabbis saw the sacrifice system as no longer a way to access God's presence, and so the synagogues became not just a place of study and reading the scripture, but also worship and prayer. Still, I assume that even before this time the synagogue was at least one place of worship and prayer, because for example those far away, like in Greece, would want a place to worship God and pray to Him. So instead, it seems likely that the synagogue gained in importance as a place where such activities were focused, after the Temple's destruction.

Have a good Paskha.



The Canons

(Sdcheung cited his source as http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0835/_INDEX.HTM )
Sdcheung recommended we should "put back in place" some Canons restricting relations with Jews, which I assume refers to non-Christian Jews, because it doesn't make sense for them to refer to Jewish Christians, since after all the 12 apostles were Jews.

I assume the Canons he refers to have become outdated, and that in such a case the Canon wouldn't be enforceable anymore. Fr. George had written on the thread about Patriarch Irenios visiting a synagogue that Canons could become invalid after years of disuse.

For example, some of the Ecumenically-approved Canons demand rebaptism for nonOrthodox who convert to Orthodoxy. Yet this isn't followed by Russian Orthodox.

I am confused what Canon XI of "THE CANONS OF THE COUNCIL IN TRULLO" means when it refers to the unleavened bread when it says: "LET no one in the priestly order nor any layman eat the unleavened bread of the Jews".

This could make sense if it was referring to the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, which happens during Passover. The objection to this would be that the Eucharist is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Passover celebration, so continuing to celebrate it with the unleavened bread would contradict the idea that this festival has been fulfilled with the Eucharist.

And I would disagree with making this requirement absolute for all circumstances, because for example, even the New Testament said it could be OK for Christians to eat food offered for idols, so long as the Christians didn't accept the pagan ideas about the idols and merely ate it as food.

It seems strange for this to be a ban on eating Jewish-style unleavened bread, because Roman Catholics and Armenians for many centuries have used unleavened bread in the Eucharist based on the style used in Jewish Passover meals. Not to mention that I somewhat remember reading elsewhere that the Liturgy of St James or the Syriac Oriental Orthodox used unleavened bread at one point.

And yet the scholarly commentary Sdcheung cited about the Canon does say that this Canon bans using unleavened bread in Christian religious rituals, in contrast to the practice of Roman Catholicism:
Quote
<<Theodore Balsamon is of opinion that this canon does not forbid the eating of unleavened bread; but that what is intended is the keeping of feasts in a Jewish fashion, or in sacrifices to use unleavened bread (azymes), and this, says Balsamon, on account of the Latins who celebrate their feasts with azymes... While there can be no doubt that in all the Trullan canons there is an undercurrent of hostility to the West, yet in this canon I can see no such spirit, and I think it has been read into it by the greater bitterness of later times. This seems the more certain from the fact that there is nothing new whatever in the provision with respect to the passover bread, vide canons of Laodicea xxxvij. and xxxviij.>>
This Canon is confusing, because further down Sdcheung quotes a very similar passage to the above cited Canon XI, and begins it with the heading "11."
This passage, which would appear to be called "Canon 11", begins: "Let no one enrolled in the sacerdotal list, or any layman, eat the unleavened wafers manufactured by the Jews,". The interpretation for this verse is that "The present Canon commands that no person in holy orders and no layman may eat any unleavened wafers sent him by Jews". This has a different meaning than the interpretation for the earlier-cited "Canon XI", because Canon 11 only prohibits eating unleaved wafers manufactured by Jews, while Canon XI could be prohibiting eating religious unleavened bread whether manufactured by Jews or not.

Sdcheung next cites Apostolic Canon VII(VIII), saying:
Quote
"If any bishop, presbyter, or deacon, shall celebrate the holy day of Easter before the vernal equinox, with the Jews, let him be deposed." It appears that this specifically bans celebrating Easter before the spring equinox, and only notes in passing that celebrating it at that time would be "with the Jews."


It makes sense that the Church can choose to celebrate Easter when it wants, and that Orthodox clergy should celebrate Easter based on the same calendar dating. Offhand, I am not sure why the Orthodox chose to date it after the spring equinox. However, I know that in early Christian times, some Christians relied on the Jewish community to calculate the date of Easter and found out the date from their Jewish neighbors.

Plus I remember reading that last year the Orthodox, Catholic, and Judaic Holy Weeks of Pascha or Passover coincided. So I am confused how there could be a ban on Orthodox celebrating it before the spring equinox and yet that could still be the time Judaism would celebrate it. Perhaps sometimes Judaism would celebrate it after the equinox too, but like I said, I'm confused about this.

Next, Sdcheung cites Canon LXX:
Quote
"If any bishop, presbyter, or deacon, or any one of the list of clergy, keeps fast or festival with the Jews... let him be deposed. If he be a layman, let him be excommunicated."

This is confusing and seems like a bad rule. For example, if they are just fasting at the same time or having a service at the same time, it seems this would be incredibly impractical. Christians traditionally fast leading up to Passover.

Perhaps a group of Jews could choose to fast in a matching time period, since, for example, I think Jewish Passover and Orthodox Paskha coincided in 2010. In that case, the Orthodox would have to call off their fast to avoid fasting at the same time as the Jews, and calling off such an important fast should, violate the Canons, or at least Church tradition.

The same criticism could be made if the Canon also is viewed as banning the celebration of a feast the same time as a group of Jews, since by the coincidence of calendars Jews could be celebrating a Saturday Passover the same day as, say, the Orthodox "Sabbath of Lights" service of Holy Week in Jerusalem.
This would make more sense if this ban refers to deliberately and jointly coordinating fasting and festivities with the official Judaic community, or trying to participate in their fasts and festivals. But still, this seems like a problematic rule, because, for example, Jesus taught in the synagogue and was in the Temple during Hanukkah. Plus, the early Christians frequented non-Christian synagogues. It's foreseeable that such close relations could have involved mutual fasting, like if the Judaic synagogue they visited announced and observed the fasting. So this seems like a bad rule because it would prohibit the kind of acts the apostles took in the Judaic community and which appare to be portrayed in the New Testament in a positive way.

Canon VIII From the Seventh Ecumenical Council says: "That Hebrews ought not to be received unless they have been converted in sincerity of heart."
Ok, that sounds like a good rule. The same could be said about anyone who converts.

The rule explains it is made "SINCE certain, erring in the superstitions of the Hebrews,... feigning to be converted to the religion of Christ do deny him, and in private and secretly keep the Sabbath and observe other Jewish customs".
So it sounds like what the Canon is rejecting is not that Jewish Christians keep the Sabbath and other customs, but that some of the former religious Jews still actually reject Christianity and keep the customs as if they hadn't converted. The Canon appears to take a negative look at Jewish Christians keeping unique Jewish customs, and I at least partly disagree with such a negative attitude, because the Council of Jerusalem and St Paul in his Biblical writings were OK with Jewish Christians keeping unique customs like circumcision. I would take a negative attitude toward some Jewish observances in Christianity, like the Day of Atonement, because Christainity teaches that Christ fulfilled this.

The Canon then goes on to prohibit Jewish Christians from keeping their former unique customs:
Quote
"But if any of them, out of a sincere heart and in faith, is converted and makes profession with his whole heart, setting at naught their customs and observances, and so that others may be convinced and converted, such an one is to be received and baptized, and his children likewise; and let them be taught to take care to hold aloof from the ordinances of the Hebrews. But if they will not do this, let them in no wise be received."
I highly doubt the absolute validity of this absolute prohibition, because it gives as an example of such an ordinance the keeping of the Sabbath. Keeping the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments and I have heard from some Orthodox that keeping the Saturday Sabbath is still a concept in Orthodoxy. It's true that its observance has been moved to Sunday, but my understanding from some Orthodox is that observance of the Sabbath still has some validity as a Day of Rest. It could be said that Jesus also rested on the Sabbath in the Tomb. Also, it can be said that Christian observance of a Sabbath, whether a Saturday or Sunday one, wouldn't be as extreme as that advised by the pharisees, since in disagreement of their way of observing it, He picked grain on a Sabbath.

Sdcheung cited apparently another copy or version of the same Canon 8:
Quote
"Inasmuch as some persons who have been misled by their inferences from the religion of the Jews have seen fit to sneer at Christ our God, while pretending to be Christians, but secretly and clandestinely keeping the Sabbath and doing other Jewish acts, we decree that these persons shall not be admitted to communion... But if any one of them should be converted as a matter of sincere faith, and confess with all his heart, triumphantly repudiating their customs and affairs, with a view to censure and correction of others, we decree that he shall be accepted and his children shall be baptized, and that the latter shall be persuaded to hold themselves aloof from Jewish peculiarities. If, on the other hand, the case is not thus, they are not to be accepted under any other circumstances whatever."
My same criticisms to the above copy of this Canon 8 apply as my criticisms to the previous copy of Canon VIII.
 
Sdcheung then cited a scholarly or official-soundsing "Interpretation" of the Canon:
Quote
"But if any Jew should be actually converted in good and guileless faith and with all his heart confess the orthodoxy of Christians, openly disparaging the religion of the Jews, in order that other Jews may be reproved and corrected, we ought to accept such a person, and baptize his children, ordering them persuasively to abstain from Jewish superstitions." The "Interpretation" listed the superstitions indicated here as: "keeping the Sabbath and other Jewish customs (or, more explicitly, circumcising their sons, deeming anyone unclean that takes hold of a corpse or leper, and other similar vagaries)".
As I mentioned earlier, I doubt whether circumcision and keeping the Saturday Sabbath are or should be banned in Orthodoxy, because some Orthodox told me that keeping the Sabbath on Saturday is still a certain rule or custom in Orthodoxy, and because the Council of Jerusalem and St Paul's writings approved of Jewish Christians keeping circumcision. On a sidenote, Copts, who don't follow all of the 7 Ecumenical Councils, perform circumcision. On the other hand, it makes sense that Christianity would reject keeping an observance that would consider anyone who touches a leper or corpse unclean, because Jesus Himself touched lepers and I think He may have touched a corpse once to resurrect the corpse. As for the "other vagaries", it is hard to tell what the Interpretation means here, because the ancient Jews had alot of customs, from reading the Psalms, which seems good and clearly exists in Christianity, to the hand-washing ritual, which seems extra and Christianity apparently lacks.
Still, it's worth pointing out that the Canon and the Interpretation don't explicitly mention all circumcision as banned, but rather the Interpretation only specifically mentions Jewish Christians circumcising their son(s) as prohibited.

Sdcheung quoted a "Concord" to this Canon 8 that says:
Quote
"Likewise ch. 47 of the same Title and Book decrees that no Jew shall have a slave who is a Christian, nor circumcise anyone who is being catechized".
The first part of this prohibition makes some sense, because it would make that a Christian was being owned and commanded by a non-Christian, and the Christian could be more easily put in a position directing him/her to non-Christian or anti-Christian ends. The New Testament says that slaves should obey their masters, and one time Paul had a slave return to his master. On the other hand, at that time the society wasn't a Christian dominated one. It's theoretically possible to tell slaves to obey their masters, and at the same time to arrange as a society for the abolition of slavery.

The second part of the above-quoted prohibition doesn't ban circumcision completely, but only circumcision performed by a Jew, by which it means non-Christian Jews. This prohibition makes sense too, because such a circumcision would be a non-Christian performing a religious ritual on a Christian.



The article "But Jesus Was a Jew"

Sdcheung commented about the website posting the article:
Quote
<<http://www.orthodoxrevival.com/orthodoxy/christ_jew.html
I know the webmaster of this website quite well. face to face and a Helleno-Orthodox Nationalist, I can vouch for this guy anyday.>>
However, this doesn't seem to show much that the article is good or bad. It appears to mean that Sdcheung personally finds the webmaster to be good morally and educated. And that could be true. But on the other hand, the website sounds like it isn't a canonical Orthodox one, so the website itself wouldn't have authority to describe our Church's views, although it's possible it could still have good views. Whether Sdcheung personally vouches for the webmaster of the site that posted the article only very weakly affects our trust in the article's views. Plus, since Sdcheung's is apparently a white supremacist, it isn't clear whether this weak affectation is good or bad.

I disagree with Sdcheung's comment:
<<Jesus wasn't just one of Todays Jews. Since Todays Jews are just Faux Jews who are really Khazar Turks>>
because:
(1) The "Khazar Turks" portrayal of European Jews is incorrect, because it appears to a large degree East European Jews came from Germany, as their Yiddish language and surnames often show, and moved east to Russia, rather than the other way around.
(2) The Khazar Turks idea doesn't really relate to the Mizrahi Jews, as they appear Middle Eastern, rather than Khazar, and have been living there for a long time. Plus, historical records show a continued Jewish presence in the Middle East. It makes sense that Jesus would be related to the Middle Eastern Mizrahi Jews.

Sdcheung responded:
Quote
<<"The fact IS, Jesus most certainly was a Jew. As for your anti-semitic remarks, I'm a little surprised you have not been cautioned about this. As Christians we are not about hate but rather love."-Douglas>>
I believe in in what the article says. You shouldn't be attending "Friends of Israel Nights" @ CUFI
The New Testament makes clear Jesus was a Jew in an ethnic sense. So even if most Jews today weren't descended from the tribe of Judah, then at most it would be they, rather than Jesus who wouldn't be Jewish. Further, the common idea is that Jesus was a Jew and wasn't a pharisee, so even if people commonly thought of the pharisees as Jews, people still WOULD think of Jesus as a Jew who wasn't a pharisee. Sdcheung had even implied, if not stated, that Jesus was a non-pharisaic religious person from the tribe of Judah who kept Jewish religious practices.

Since Jesus would apparently be commonly considered a Jew even within Sdcheung's reasoning, one obvious explanation for this view would be an anti-semitism. Still, I highly doubt that Sdcheung should be warned simply for suggesting irrational ideas with a possible anti-semitim origin, because I support freedom of expression even if somewhat offensive. Of course, perhaps there is a limit for incorrect extreme views, like they shouldn't be called official for Orthodoxy if they obviously aren't.

One need not be attending events supporting the State of Israel to take Douglas's view here, since the Orthodox Christian view is that Jesus was Jewish, and Orthodox differ in their support for the State of Israel. Traditionally, Orthodoxy has a critical, if not negative, view of the Christian Zionist movement that CUFI focuses on..

I assume Sdcheung was sarcastic about Palestine when he said he was:
Quote
More into... the Re-establishment of the Eastern Roman Empire (Possibly including Palestine
, since he had just said he was anti-Zionist, and earlier wrote sarcastically about C.U.F.I.

I disagree with his desire to reconstitute the Eastern Roman Empire because I disagree with imperial rule, since it's autocratic. Maybe it was good for ancient times, but in the modern era it's unnecessary and tyrannical.

It seems rational when Sdcheung says: <<Christ most certainly was not "Jewish" in the sense meant by modern Jewish spiritual descendants of the Pharisees, so-called "Orthodox Jews".>> I think maybe Orthodox Jews take the view that to be referred to as "Jewish" one must accept certain pharisaic religious tenets. It seems that they would maybe say Jesus lost his Jewishness, because their view is that He acted blasphemously. On the other hand, it seems possible to me that some Orthodox Jews may simply define Jewishness based on biological ancestry, or may take the view that Jesus didn't break with Judaism enough to lose his Jewish status.

I doubt that <<to identify the Lord Jesus Christ with them["The Jews who composed these normative works of Judaism..."] is to be guilty of anachronism at best>>, because it wouldn't be anachronistic to identify Jesus with the pharisaic movement, because Jesus lived in the 1st century AD, and the pharisaic movement existed at that time.

I also highly doubt that: <<to identify the Lord Jesus Christ with them... at worst, is a subversion of the economy of the Lord, He Who taught believers that all Judaeans, all the tribe of Judah, all inhabitants of Judah, ALL who rejected Him were "this generation," a phrase which in Greek (n autn genea) means those who share traits, especially negative traits, in this case the sin of having rejected Him.>>

I am alittle confused what he means by "economy", although it seems to me he means some characteristics of Christ. Wikipedia defines "Divine Economy" as <<God's "handling" or "management" of the fallen state of the world and of mankind — the arrangements he made in order to bring about man's salvation after the Fall.>>

Actually, this concept of Divine Economy seems consistent with Jesus being a Jew. The idea in Orthodoxy is that Christ became man since man was fallen or sinful and that in doing so Christ could redeem people. The idea that Jews have some negative sinful traits of rejecting God would be consistent with this kind of salvation system. That is, if Christ became man even though man collectively, or almost each person, was fallen, disobedient, and sinful, then becoming a Jew would still be consistent with Divine Economy even if Jews were likewise defined as fallen, sinful, etc.

Further, it isn't clear to me from the New Testament that when Jesus spoke about "this generation" He was only referring to Jews or Judeans. Rather, it seemed like He was referring to the human race collectively. Furthermore, when speaking in a collective sense, it seems that maybe there can still be some exceptions. Thus, naturally, some Judeans might have avoided rejecting Jesus.
It could be said that mankind collectively rejected its Messiah, so from this viewpoint, that the Jews collectively rejected Him doesn't mean He wasn't a Jew, just like mankind's collective rejection doesn't mean He wasn't a man. It's true that some men might not have rejected Him individually, because for example some men might not have known about Him when He came and then accepted Him when they heard of Him. But then this idea could foreseeably be said about some Jews too.

At first glance, it makes sense that "Those Judaeans who cut themselves off from Christ perpetuated a religion which defines itself in opposition to Him and His Church", in that non-Christian Judaism is, by definition, non-Christian.

However, I find this statement perhaps too broad. It seems conceivable that if the "religion" mentioned here merely referring to phariseeism, then in fact this statement is too broad, as the New Testament mentions some pharisees belonged to the Church. St Paul also considered himself a pharisee in one of his letters- it vauegly seems to my memory that this was in the Letter to the Galatians. If Phariseeism defines itself as a sect of Judaism looking for the Messiah, and some pharisees consider Jesus as that Messiah, then Phariseeism might not per se be anti-Christian by definition.

On the other hand though, the leaders of the Pharisee movement today do have a doctrine that rejects Jesus Christ, so perhaps the quoted statement above is correct after all.

I also doubt that <<No "real" Jew believes that the Lord Jesus Christ was a "real" Jew. Indeed, a "real" Jew believes that Christ perverted Judaism, that He was an apostate Jew.>> Some part of official Rabbinical Judaism today has this viewpoint. But on the other hand, I have some doubt about it, because Jesus was descended from the Tribe of Judah, which defines the term "Jew" in an ethnic sense. St Paul described himself as a religious Jew. Plus, many of the prophets, like Isaiah, who predicted Christ were Jewish, so I doubt it can be said absolutely from a Christian perspective that all Judaism by definition rejects Jesus Christ.

Perhaps this is like saying that one cannot be a Christian and an Oriental Orthodox at the same time. This idea only works if one already accepts that Oriental Orthodox is non-Christian. Likewise, only if one accepts the idea that Jesus wasn't the Messiah in Judaism, and that "Jew" only refers to a follower of such Judaism, could the idea that no Jew can accept Jesus as the Messiah make sense. And from a Christian perspective, Jesus was the expected Messiah of the Jewish religion, and thus it seems like maybe from a Christian perspective a "real" Jew could not reject Jesus Christ.

The same criticism can be made of the comment:
Quote
<<"Jewish" means accepting the synagogue's view of Christ---a false prophet, a deceiver who led Israel astray: therefore this term cannot honestly be retrojected into the Old Testament, since the Old Testament righteous were responding not to proto-Talmudists but to the pre-incarnate Christ. To call the Old Testament righteous men and women "Jewish" is to ahistorically assert that they were proto-Jews, spiritual ancestors of those who now inhabit today's synagogues.>>
This proposal only works if one already defines Judaism and the Jewish religion as anti-Christian. Sdcheung mentions that "the synagogue" rejected Jesus, but this isn't a definitive explanation, because the synagogue as an institution might not necessarily define all of Judaism, just like the prophets were sometimes social outcasts from the religious establishment, yet were still important in the religion.

Plus, some New Testament writings, like the Letter of St James, refer to Christian synagogues, so it seems like a possible over-generalization to say that "the synagogue" per se rejects Jesus, as opposed to His rejection by most Jewish synagogues, or, say, the religious leadership.

Furthermore, the Old Testament itself refers to many Old Testament righteous men and women as "Jews," so it isn't ahistorical or incorrect to assert they were Jews. Even if one accepts the idea that today the term Jew has only a nonChristian religious meaning, then the conclusion would be that the term Jew has at least two meanings, which differ based on whether the term is applied to the pre-Christian period.

I think Sdcheung made an incorrect interpretation of the passage in John 8, when Sdcheung wrote:
Quote
<<He says to those Pharisees (spiritual fathers of modern "Orthodox" Jews) who were rejecting Him by claiming that only Abraham was their father that "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see MY DAY" (JOHN 8:56).>>
The problem with this interpretation is that neither Jesus nor the pharisees specifically discussed whether they had another father besides Abraham here. Rather, the pharisees asked Him rhetorically whether He was greater than their father Abraham, and how He could get His authority if the prophets were dead. So they weren't rejecting Him by claiming that they only had Abraham as their father.

Further, that Jesus
Quote
<<says to those Pharisees (spiritual fathers of modern "Orthodox" Jews) "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see MY DAY" (JOHN 8:56).>>
 doesn't contradict the idea that
Quote
<<the Old Testament righteous men and women [were] "Jewish" [and] ...proto-Jews, spiritual ancestors of those who now inhabit today's synagogues.>>
That's because Jesus' reference to Abraham as "Your father Abraham" doesn't contradict the idea the Old Testament righteous like Abraham were spiritual ancestors of the pharisees whom He was addressing.

Also, I have some confusion over whether
Quote
<<all the Old Testament righteous were responding to the pre-incarnate Christ, Who in the Spirit reveals the Father.>>
My confusion is because it is an extremely wide-ranging statement that all the Old Testament righteous were responding to Him, yet I only remember that some of them prophecied Christ directly. For example, I think Gensis talks about some people in the pre-Flood times as good people, yet it doesn't explicitly reference them as responding to Messianic ideas. One explanation could be that Christ was God's Word, and part of God, so in a religious sense they were responding to Him as they were responding to God. But this seems like a somewhat vague idea, so I am alittle confused about it.



The article "THE JEWISH QUESTION IN THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH"

Irish Hermit,

You posted a good article.
The article by Gregory Benevitch, "THE JEWISH QUESTION IN THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH" mentioned:
"some dreadful pamphlets about Jewish sacrifices of Christian babies can be easily found in St Petersburg, Moscow or Sergiev Posad". Such pamphlets seem somewhat out of place, as there appears only to be one alleged instance of such a case involving an Orthodox Christian, which was a case in medieval Belorussia. Some posters on another thread I think criticized the story's accuracy. Plus, if the case was true, it would seem most likly just be the act of one crazy person, rather than a correct reflection of Judaism, which is commonly recognized as rejecting such acts. As such, it appears that such sacrifices, even if they ever existed, would be extremely rare for Orthodox communities. In practical terms, they would be meaningless except to have a weird view of Judaism, or as an individual martytdom story. So the pamphlets either have spurious martyrdom stories, or ones that would misrepresent Judaism and the history of Judaic communities in Orthodox lands.

Regarding Benevitch's statement:
Quote
<<Now I would like to draw your attention to quite a different problem. Yes, it is a matter of fact that maybe no where in the world is anti-Semitism so openly aggressive as in modern Russian Orthodoxy. However, one may easily find another striking tendency. I do not know if any Christian body in the world can boast of so great a number of Jews becoming Christians than the Russian Orthodox Church.>>
It seems he could mean that there's a problem with (A) that anti-Semitism is maybe no where "so openly agressive as in modern Russian Orthodoxy" and (B) that he doesn't know if any other Christian body can claim of so many Jews becoming Christian. I agree that it's a contradiction, and in that sense it's problematic. But on the other hand, the contradiction could be less problematic if the Jewish Christians he refer to serve to lower the anti-semitism.
Also, I highly doubt that these two fact claims are true. Israeli society portrays Islamic society as much more anti-Semitic than Orthodoxy. Plus, there would seem to be comparable, if not greater, numbers of Jews who joined the Church of Jerusalem, as DNA tests show many if not most Palestinians are descended from them. Plus, the Roman Catholic Church is the world's largest church and has had centuries of contact with large numbers of Jews. And besides, the Christian Messianic Jewish movement has significant numbers of Jews.

I am glad to read Benevitch's words that:
Quote
<<I do not like counting but I may testify that I personally know a lot of Jews who became, and are becoming Christians in this Church. Father Alexander Men is the most famous one. There are many Jews among priests and monks as well as among the best theologians... Those who stay in Russia, however, often have some spiritual reasons. The strongest one is their Christianity and their love for the Russian spiritual and cultural tradition which is inseparable from Russian Orthodoxy.>>
However, it would be better if he counted to give a better idea of how many Jewish Christians he knew, because the term "alot" could be vague. It could mean "alot" relative to what one would expect, or it could mean like alot of a percent of the Orthodox he knows. Yes, Father Men was famous and it's nice he knew Fr. Men. Likewise, the term "many" here is vague: "There are many Jews among priests and monks as well as among the best theologians." It also isn't clear whether he means current theologians in Russia or those in world history, or somewhere between the two. I assumt there are quite many in world history, but out of significant theologians in Russia I have alittle doubt, because it seems that this wouldn't go far beyond the limited number of seminaries there, and because it still seems to me that Jewish Christians are a small minority of Russia's Christians.

I agree that "Life in Russia now is quite hard and Jews can easily emigrate to Israel or to America and lead a much better life." I am not sure it's easy for them to emigrate to America, but maybe it is, based on previous waves of Jewish emigration to America.

Also, I see that spiritual connection to Russia's Christianity, and love for Russia's spiritual and cultural tradition would often be one reason for Jewish Christians to stay there. On the other hand, I disagree that Russia's cultural tradition is inseparable from Russian Orthodoxy, because, for example, some of it, like some folktales, must come from Russia's pre-Christian past.

I think the author overexaggerates here: "It seems that the number of Jews who became Christians in Russia is so great that it makes Russians themselves jealous". Naturally some Russians could be jealous seeing big numbers of another ethnicity turning to Russian Orthodoxy. But on the other hand, I expect that normally Russians wouldn't care about this ethnic difference or would be happy to see Jews becoming Christian.

Benevitch is right that such jealousy would be opposite to the situation described in Romans 11:11, which says that gentiles' salvation would provoke Jews to jealousy over the salvation.

So I have some doubt about Benevitch's words:
Quote
<<.*(*That is why one cannot agree with Jurgen Moltmann's statement:"For a gentile Christian... there is nothing more positive for his salvation than the Jewish no<to Christ>."/ Jewish monotheism and Christian Trinitarian Doctrine, A dilogoue by Pinchas Lapide and Jurgen Moltmann, Fortress Press Philadelphia 1981, p 89/. Modern Russian experience gives us quite an opposite result.)>>
(1) I have some doubt about Moltmann's statement, because, for example, for a gentile it's very positive to his salvation that the gospel resounded so strongly in the gentile nations. It could have been more positive if there had been mainly a Jewish yes to Christ, and the Jews had acted diligently in spreading the word among gentiles.
(2) Plus, it isn't clear that Russian experience gives the opposite result of St Paul's words or of Moltmann's. The fact Russians had salvation and became strong in belief about Jehovah in Christianity could have psychologically brought Russian Jews towards Christianity out of their attraction to the religious belief Russians showed. Plus, it could still be that the Jewish "no" led to St Paul and others ministering among the gentiles and that this gentile ministry and evangelization continued into and effected Russia's evangelization.

I believe Benevitch's statement, because it uses generalities that appear generally true:
Quote
<<After years of institutionalised atheism in Russia, a phenomenon which also comprised Russia's Jews,who usually were Jews not by their education and religion but only by blood, Jews have been among the first to search for the religious values lost during the years of communism.>>
Although of course, religious values weren't completely lost, but stayed on inside families, literature, monasteries, people's memories and broad principles, etc. It isn't true, for example, that ethics in the USSR was completely divorced from religious ethics, even though the link would rarely have been recognized. Rather, some ethics principles remained handed down from the 10 Commandments, Justinians' code, village proverbs, etc.

On the other hand, Benevitch's next staement seems like an overgeneralization that Jews admired Russian classical culture, or even that those who searched for lost values valued it. For example, someone could search for musical principles and themes from before Soviet times, without admiring "classical music." To me, "Russian classical culture" suggests ideas about the official political and social culture and the intelligentsia. But it seems like moral values could be important and separate from this, like some "family values", so to speak, among the peasants, or the kind of simple values of the hermit Sergei Radonezh. Plus, it seems like many of them were raised in shtetls that avoided Russian classical culture.

And Russian culture isn't thoroughly Christian, because there are pagan elements like some of the Russian supernatural folktales and pagan elements of festivites like jumping over fires and ideas about luck. There could also be influences from Judaic, Turkish, and Tatar culture. I heard that some bad words in Russian come from Tatar language.

Otherwise the statement would be true that:
Quote
<<Admirers of the older Russian classical culture in which they were once raised, many of them have been brought to the Church. The reason being, that Russian culture itself is Christian through and through.>>
Another deficiency is that the passage doesn't say how many of the Jewish Christians became Christian out of such a cultural discovery, as opposed to Christianization out of cultural assimilation and intermarriage.

I am sorry to hear the misguided, unChristian sentiments about Jews that:
Quote
<<Russians who find these Jews who became Christians in their, as they sometimes erroneously think, national Church are not always happy. Hence we can find a slogan: A Jewish Church for Jews. This is the title of an article by N.Dubrovin published in the right-wing nationalist news-paper Zemschina N 99. The author of this article refers to the Revelation of St John and sees the signs of the Last Days in this process of the conversion of Jews to Christianity. He is really frightened that this process can ruin the national characteristics of the Russian Church and argues for establishing a Jewish Church in Israel with its branches in all countries where Jews live and want to be Christians.>>
I believe that a small portion of Russians have the kind of racist dissension the author described, as he said about 10% of them are anti-Semitic. Two problems with this dislike of finding Jews in the Russian Orthodox Church and wanting to segregate the Church are that:
1) St Paul wrote about how there are neither Jews nor Greeks in Christianity, but that all are one in Jesus. Thus, in Christianity, we should no longer separate ourselves based on ethnicity.
2) the apostles and early Church didn't create a separate church or jurisdiction for Jews and gentiles even when the proportion of Jews and gentiles was similar.

I agree with the author when he writes:
Quote
<<But what is really interesting: the Orthodox Fathers' attitude towards Jews does not at all frighten those Jews who become Orthodox Christians in Russia, does not prevent them from becoming Christians.>>
It's interesting, as it is interesting how Jews were able to overcome and understand better the Fathers' attitude, such that it doesn't frighten them. Still, it could be that the most negative parts of it does at least frighten some of them alittle, if they fear that they could still be associated with the Jewish community, or if it causes them to fear for Jews who haven't become Christian. I'm not sure that it's "really" interesting though, because it could be that those Jews simply ignore it or feel that negative parts of it aren't directed at them once they're Christian.

I have some doubt about the author's remarks here:
Quote
<<Yes, being a Jew one cannot be pleased by these words of the Christian Fathers, but who ever said and when was it ever said that Christianity was established to bring us pleasure. Christianity does bring us pleasure, but a spiritual one, nevertheless, it demands from us something: to hate one's "soul in this world"(Jn.12.25), which is not a pleasant exercise.
The Anti-Semitism of Russian Orthodox Christians, however, is quite different from the anti-Judaism of the Fathers of the Church. The Fathers never said a word against Jews who became Christians, though this process was never of real importance, to say the truth.>>
, because:
1)A Jew could be pleased by some negative words if he/she is a Jewish dissident, like how American dissidents can be pleased by some criticisms of American society. Plus, the Jewish prophets also made strong criticisms of their people.
2) The Psalms for example talk about pleasure from faith in God. Plus the author states after asking who said Christianity was made for pleasure, that in fact there is a pleasure, a spiritual one, from Christianity. I assume that the New Testament also refers to heavenly pleasures at some point from following Christianity.
3) I am not sure Christianity demands hating one's soul in this world. For example, I heard that to love one's neighbor as oneself in a good way, one must also have a certain love of oneself.
4) But I agree that hating one's own soul in this world isn't a pleasant exercize, as it seems to me that hate is a strongly unpleasant exercize.
5) What he means by the anti-semitism of Christians being different from the anti-Judaism of the fathers is confusing, since some Christians will simply repeat the feelings of the Church Fathers. So instead, what he appears to suggest is that anti-semitism of regular Christians is directed against all Jews, whereas anti-Judaism of the Fathers is just against Judaism.

Still, it isn't clear how anti-semitism could be anything else. The prophets heavily criticized the Jewish people, but they would also heavily criticize non-Jews. One suggestion could be that Benevitch would take the view that the Fathers would have repeated this egalitarian criticism-making from the prophets, but that regular Russian anti-semitism doesn't criticise Russians, and in that sense is hypocritical. It makes sense that in this case, regular anti-semitism would be different from critical views by the Church Fathers. But anyway, I still think that Benevitch would be over-generalizing, as I'm sure many Russian Orthodox would simply repeat the mindset of the prophets.

Also, I disagree with the statement that the process of Jews becoming Christians "was never of real importance", which appears to be what Benevitch is saying here. The process of Jews becoming Christian would be important for Christianity, just as gentiles becoming Christian would be important.

I highly doubt the author's view that:
Quote
<<As for the Jews who come to Orthodoxy in Russia, I believe, there is something of God's providence in this process, because Jews remind Russian Orthodox Christians of the universal character of the Church which cannot be confined to any local concrete cultural forms.>>
It seems like what he is saying is that Russians have a jurisdiction that is confined to concrete cultural forms of Russian Orthodoxy, as opposed to say, Greeks, who also have separate cultural forms.

The problem is that:
(1) Jews aren't actually fully united in one cultural form: There is a Yiddish group, associated with Ashkenazis, and there are others: Mizrahis and Sephardic Jews. This varies based on location and each national group or sub-set has its own cultural variatons.
(2) What he sees as Jews' universal character actually is in a cultural form like Russians and Greeks. The Russians have Russia, as well as small diasporas in Alaska, and, depending on your definition of Russ-ian, then small diasporas in Yugoslavia and the Carpathians too. Likewise, the Jewish people had kingdoms of Judah and Judea, as well as an ancient kingdom of Israel. Before and after the conquests of the 1st century BC - 6th century AD, Jews lived in diaspora and in their homeland.

It makes sense when the author writes:
Quote
<<Each side in Russian Orthodoxy is taught by God in its own way. Jews are taught to hate their own souls when they are faced with the anti-Judaism of the Fathers which can also be found in the Church's services in the words of the hymns. Russians, on their part, are taught to hate their souls, which means to love their fellow-Jews in the Church in spite of all cultural, ethnic and other differences. All are taught to "hate their souls in this wold", which means to hate their own innate sinfulness, their failures to love God and their neighbours. This is a hard task for both sides, though God never demands simple things from his chosen people, and both Jews and Russian Christians claim to be one, claim to be God's beloved Israel.>>
Except that a Russian's hating his own soul in the world, ie. hating one's own innate sinfulness, must of course go beyond simply loving "their fellow-Jews in the Church." Also, I'm not sure that it's "innate" for Russians to hate Jews, anymore than it's "innate" for Russians to hate any other religion. It seems to that when little kids grow up together without being told about bad social conflicts, they often don't care about negative religious differences. On the other hand, the author could just be saying that loving others is part of hating one's innate sinfulness. This part of the passage is alittle confusing.

Plus, while Orthodoxy naturally teaches to hate one's innate sinfulness, it's a new term, and alittle strange, for me that this refers to one's soul in the world.

The author is right about the Orthodox perspective when he writes:
Quote
<<From the point of view of the Orthodox Church it is not correct to speak about the Church on the one hand and Israel on the other, as the post-Auschwitz theology often does. the Christian Church is not a Church of the Gentiles. Here lies the main misunderstanding of the Church on the part of both Judaism and the post-Auschwitz theology. Non-Orthodox Christians can call themselves gentiles if they want (take for example German theologian Jurgen Moltmann), Orthodox Christians will never call themselves gentiles and will never acknowledge this name being called in this way by the Jews. The reason is quite simple, the main point of Christ's mission in this respect was to destroy the wall of separation between Israel and Gentiles. According to Apostle Paul, Christ for us "is our peace who has made us both one and has broken down the dividing wall of enmity"(Eph 2.14). And this wall of separation is really destroyed in the Church as we believe. Orthodox Christians from any ethnic, cultural or national background become Israel in the Church, that very Israel of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac.>>
When he says "nonOrthodox can call themselves gentiles if they want", it isn't clear how he means this. He could mean:
(A)When Orthodox are in the Church they are together with Jewish Christians and a continuation of Israel, but nonOrthodox aren't in the Church, so they can consider themselves separate from Israel if they want to.
(B)NonOrthodox don't intentionally connect their ideas to Orthodox teachings or depend on them, so they can have propose such ideas for themselves if they want.

By the way, I do find the part about Abraham alittle confusing. Abraham wasn't a member directly of the Tribe of Israel. Rather, he was one of Israel's Patriarchal ancestors. Yet here it refers to the Israel of Abraham. Naturally, one can say that Israel existed spiritually even before Jacob was born and his family became 12 tribes. I just find it confusing terminology.

Along with this confusion, St Paul in Galatians and Romans explains like the author does here that Christians join Israel in accepting Israel's Messiah. This makes sense. But St Paul doesn't say this explicitly clearly. He doesn't say "Gentile Christians join Israel this way", or something like that so clearly. Rather, he talks about how a promise was made to Abraham about all nations being blessed in Abraham, and then he suggests that gentile Christians become Abraham's adopted children when they become Christian. So St Paul makes the connection to Abraham alot more explicit than he does with Israel. With Israel, St Paul makes explanations and gives images, like the olive tree, but he doesn't make it so explicit.

Anyway, if St Paul was very clear, concise, and explicit, then it seems Moltmann would be unlikely to have a divergent opinion on this issue.

I agree with the author when he writes:
Quote
<<This feeling of oneness with Israel of patriarchs and prophets is really very deep in Orthodoxy, and there are many feasts celebrated in their memory along with the memory of the Christian saints>>
Sometimes in my Orthodox spirituality I do feel this way. Like I was thinking about a prophet and then my mind made an association with a nice old rural person who was interested in astronomy and I think had a telescope for looking at the stars, even though he didn't have the internet or a computer. In other words, there was a real sense of associating the prophets with my own situation.

On the other hand, our conditions appear somewhat different, with a somewhat different language, geography, and surroundings. One thing I feel is lacking is that in Orthodox Churches we often miss reading the Old Testament in our liturgy, compared I think to western Churches and Judaic synagogues. Also, it was several years after I became Orthodox that I clearly learned Orthodoxy saw itself as a continuation of Israel.

However, in the Orthodox liturgy of St James, Old Testament passages are read. Plus, there are some feast days when Old Testament passages are read. Plus, there are Psalms that we sing occassionally. Of course the Old Testament is still read when Orthodox learn and study the faith.

The author gave a good example of Orthodoxy's connection to the Old Testament past when he mentioned that a
Quote
<<feast of patriarchs and prophets... was always celebrated and even several times a year in the Orthodox Church. (see Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II, Herder & Herder 1968, v III, p. 28). See also on this question, "Orthodoxy: Jewish and Christian." Fr. A. James Berstein, Concilliar Press, 1990 ]>>

This feast seems to show a special connection in Orthodoxy to the Old Testament past. I think I will mention this on my blog rakovskii.livejournal.com .
The author also cited a good authority in orthodox tradition to say that the Orthodox Church is one with Israel:
<<in the XIX -th century... the great Russian religious thinker Aleksey Khomiakov... said that the Church /i.e. Orthodox Church/ knows Herself as the Church, in other words as God's Israel.>>

I have some doubt about the author's words that:
<<The only thing which we know for certain that there can be only one Israel, one people of God, as there is only one God, and our Church understands Herself as a witness for this oneness.>>It makes sense that there can be only one Israel, but on the other hand, the Old Testament talked about non-Israelites turning to God, so it could be hypothetically that since several peoples turned to God, that God could have several peoples. So it seems rational that there could be more than one people of God. The author is right that: " there is only one God, and our Church understands Herself as a witness for this oneness". But it seems like just because there is one God and one Israel doesn't mean that God doesn't have any other people. For example, a car can have
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 12:57:43 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #346 on: April 23, 2011, 09:01:01 PM »
On recent Russian Orthodox Israeli Immigration

Irish Hermit,

Thank you for posting the article:
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http://www.interfax-religion.ru/print.php?act=news&id=5819
Summary of article:
Russian-speaking Jewish Orthodox believers today outnumber Orthodox Arabs in the Jerusalem Patriarchate -- according to Metropolitan Timothy, the Jerusalem patriarchate's Secretary General. Some statistics indicate 300,000 Russian Orthodox while others state no more than 150,000. In either case, they outnumber the Arab Orthodox faithful.
However, I am doubtful about this information because:
1. I am not aware of the 150,000 figure. This could be an underestimate due to a lack of significant religious feeling in the former USSR including among those of Orthodox membership, as well as due to a possible reluctance for immigration purposes to identify as Christian. The Israeli "Law of Return," I think has been amended to make it alot harder, if not impossible, for faithful Jewish Christians to immigrate based on the Law of Return.
2. The number of Russian-speaking Jewish Orthodox in the Jerusalem Patriarchate might not outnumber the Arab Orthodox in it, if the Jerusalem Patriarchate includes Arab Orthodox who have emigrated from the Jerusalem Patriarchate. The Jerusalem Patriarchate has a handful of monasteries in the USA, and it seems possible that it has some other emigre' churches abroad. However, nearly all those emigre' churches might not be under Jerusalem, but under a vicariate within another Orthodox Church. For example, there is a Palestinian Vicariate in the Greek Orthodox Church in the USA. Furthermore, it's still questionable whether the Orthodox Arabs of Jerusalem Patriarchate  background abroad outnumber the Russian-speaking Jewish Orthodox in the Israeli State and its controlled territory. For example, while Orthodox Arab seem to me to number about 150,000 in the Jerusalem Patriachate in the Holy Land as well as Jordan and Sinai, the number of Orthodox Arabs in emigration, including pre-Israeli emigration, might be, say 300,000. In that case the total number of Orthodox Arabs with Jerusalem Patriarchate background would be 450,000. One high estimate I saw of Russian-speaking Jewish Orthodox in the Holy Land was 400,000. As you see, these estimates are comparable.

Estimates for Russian-speaking Jewish Orthodox in the Jerusalem Patriarchate range from 150,000-400,000, while Arab Orthodox in it seem to me to range from 100,000- over 200,000.

Nonetheless, you are right that: This will have some impact on the future of the Patriarchate. But "this you refer to the strong numbers of Russian speaking Jewish immigrants. Naturally, it is expected to mold the Patriarchate in the direction of the culture of the immigrants.

Thank you for quoting the article:
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Last wave of immigration sharply increased the number of secret Orthodox Christians in Israel
Although official statistics indicate that the number of Christians in Israel is constantly decreasing, in reality, EAI data shows that there is a large number of secret Christians among the Jews who arrived from Russia and Ukraine between 1989-1993.
(A)I read from several sources elsewhere statistics confirming the article's claim that "Last wave of immigration sharply increased the number of secret Orthodox Christians in Israel... there is a large number of secret Christians among the Jews who arrived from Russia and Ukraine between 1989-1993." I didn't read that they came specifically in those few years, but rather that they came after the USSR's collapse, and I assumed that this wave would be from 1989 until, say, 2000, since in at least the last few years there has been a net immigration from Israel to Russia.
(B) It isn't clear how secret the Orthodox are, since Orthodoxy is allowed, but there is still some societal discrimination against them as Christians.
(C) I have some doubt that "official statistics indicate that the number of Christians in Israel is constantly decreasing", because I remember reading a quote by an official from an Israeli government organization that said that the number of conversions from and to Christianity and Judaism were roughly equal there.
(D) I believe that: "Thus, the research conducted among 86,000 new immigrants in 1999 demonstrated that approximately 53% of them cannot be considered Jews in accordance with Judaic law. Available data suggest approximately 400,000 "unregistered Orthodox Christians" arrived with the last wave of immigration." However, the term "unregistered" here is confusing. It seems likely that they would be registered with their churches, or in some things like marriages and baptisms. But it would make sense that maybe they wouldn't mention on their immigration forms that they were Orthodox Christian, because they might not have been very religious when they immigrated, and/or the immigration paperwork might not have required disclosure.

I doubt that:
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The election of a Jewish Patriarch of Jerusalem is highly likely within two or three generations. Russian Orthodox Jewish Christians in Israel now outnumber both the Greek and the Arab components of the Patriarchate.
My impression is that it's been probably over 1000 years since the Greek component was strong numerically, yet the Greek component has composed nearly all the bishoprics. And if this hasn't been the case in the last 1000 years, then it seems like at least the last 300. So the Russian Orthodox Jewish Christians strongly outnumbering Greeks and Arabs seems like it wouldn't likely make the Patriarch Jewish. Nonetheless, it's highly likely in my opinion that there will be a Jewish bishop, just as now there is now at least one bishop there of Arab heritage.

I disagree with your assessment"
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The official version of the state of Christianity in the Holy Land is :"It is less than 2% of the entire holy land. Christianity in particular in Jerusalem subsists mostly of pilgrims. They visit only." This is not in fact the case.
Here, you apparently are paraphrasing what you see as the official version, as I can't find such a quote on the internet. I think that the official story is that Christians in Israel and Palestine composes about 3% of the population: about 150,000 Jewish Israeli Christians + about 200,000 Palestinian Christians / (7.5 million Israelis +4 million non-Israeli Palestinians). When the number of Jewish Israeli Christians is raised to 350,000 as per some estimates, the portion of Christians becomes 4.7%.

Still, I think a few million Christian tourists visit the Holy Land each year, so it seems correct to say: Christianity in particular in Jerusalem subsists mostly of pilgrims. They visit only.

I am not sure if it's an exageration that: The situation is looking quite optimistic, at least for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. It seems that Orthodox Christians can still immigrate to Israel easily if they are 1/4 Jewish in ethnicity. Still, the high estimates of 400,000 Orthodox Christian immigrants and 100,000 Orthodox Christian Palestinians is still a very small number of the almost 12 million Israelis and Palestinians there.

You are right that:
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A web search will turn up information on the growing number of Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land and the concern it is causing to the Israeli Knesset.
One such web article is http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/796938/posts . There have been proposals in the Knesset over the last 15 years to remove the clause allowing immigration of immigrants whose Jewish background is only one grandfather, for this reason.

I believe you that:
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There have been significant changes to Israeli religious demographics over the last 10 years, thanks to the influx of more than 1 million Russians... A proportion of these are Jews by ancestry but Russian Orthodox Christians by religion. Today new Orthodox churches are being built throughout Israel and even on the kibbutzim!
I heard that the Kibbutzes are less idealistic than they were in the past, so it's believable that there would be an Orthodox Church on one of them. It isn't clear how often this happens.

It's an impressive statistic that "One in 5 Israelis is now Russian, 20% of the population." This statistic could refer to Russian speakers, as many Ukrainians are part of Russian culture, even if they aren't from Russia.

It's true that
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The Russians and the Arabs are brother Orthodox in Israel
and I hope that "together they will bring a new springtime of Christianity to the Mother Church of Jerusalem." I have some doubt about it because the Russians see themselves as Israelis, but not Palestinians, and there is an ethnic difference. Plus the Russians who emigrated are, I assume, less religious than in Russia, and there is some social pressure against their Christianity. But still, it seems natural for Russians and Palestinians living near eachother to wake up about their common religion, and this would make a new springtime like you say.

Thanks for posting the article ""The Russians Are Coming" to rescue the Holy Land?"
I think it's only alittle startling that there were several Russian Orthodox Christian churches being built in the southern Israeli town of Beersheba. It would make sense that for the Russian immigrants there would be Russian Orthodox churches in some towns, but more than one would be somewhat unexpected, since they are a tiny minority in percents and there is some societal pressure against developing a strong immigrant Christian community. But on the other hand, it's not startling either. They could have chosen the same town to stay together as a community, and had enough numbers for two churches.

It's impressive:
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The... well-known phenomenon, that a sizable proportion of Israel's Russian immigrants are not Jewish by any definition of the term. According to the annual report of the Ministry of Absorption for 1996, the portion of those unable to be registered as Jews reached 42 per cent of the new arrivals from the former Soviet Union, and almost 50 per cent for those under the age of 50. Lustick estimates the total number of non-Jewish Russian immigrants a year or two ago at some 325,000.
It's noteworthy because Israel dedicates itself to being a Jewish society. However, the phenomenon makes some sense since the Law of Return allows in those with only one grandparent who is Jewish, and to be Jewish one must have a Jewish mother or accept Judaism. This 42-50% of Soviet immigrants thus are nearly all either Orthodox Christian or non-religious with partial Orthodox Christian heritage. In Russia, between half and 2/3 of Russians are religious, so this suggests that statistically speaking, at least about 1/4 of the Soviet immigrants are religious Orthodox Christians, and this figure must be higher if one includes those with jewish mothers. Since I think you're right that about 20% of Israelis are Russian, this means that over 5% of non-Palestinian Israelis are Orthodox Christian.

I am unsure of Lustick's estimates of about 325,000 non-Jewish Russian immigrants, because I elsewhere read an estimate of the Orthodox Christian non-Palestinian population of 400,000, although the numbers can be consistent, as not all Orthodox Christians immigrant must be Russian. There are Bulgarians, for example.

I find this statement confusing:
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Just as remarkable is Lustick's observation that a significant number of the newcomers had registered themselves either as Christians or persons of no religion at all. As a result of this situation, the Russians, or to put it another way, non-Arab Christians are the fastest growing Israeli religious community and now constitute 8-9 per cent of the non-Arab population of the state.
It doesn't seem like an independently remarkable fact that a significant number of the newcomers were registered Christians or without religion, since the author had just commented that almost half were non-Jews. Also, Russians aren't the same as the non-Arab Christians, although they may be almost all of them. Naturally, there are also Serbian, Rumanian, and Bulgarian immigrants. However, the 8-9% figure seems like it could be an overestimate, since the article claimed 325,000 Russian Christians, and there are about 6 million non-Palestinian Israelis.

Lustick makes a good explanation for the phenomenon here:
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How can this be so? Lustick attributes a small part to the fact that a number of Russians leave for Israel with forged papers showing them as Jews. However, his main explanation derives from one of the unintended consequences of a 1970 amendment to the Law of Return. In the interests of preserving the unity of families in which inter-marriage had occurred Jewish parents were from then on allowed to bring with them children, grandchildren and their spouses regardless of whether they were Jewish or not.
This was of no particular importance until the first waves of Russians arrived in the 1990s. But even before then, religious opponents of the measure had been quick to discover a number of strange instances of the way the law was being administered. One which Lustick cites involved the admission to Israel of the Muslim relative of the son of Jewish immigrants from Iran who had himself converted to Islam.
It is to be expected that some Russians forge papers saying they're Jewish, like how illegal immigrants in other countries forge documents presenting themselves as eligible. But it isn't clear how often this occurs.

It's interesting to consider why the rule hasn't been amended, since having non-Jewish immigrants isn't part of the idea of a Jewish society. But it doesn't seem particularly strange either, since alot of countries like America allow having a relative who is already a citizen to be a basis for immigration. Plus, I feel like this explanation is cloudy:
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Lustick also has very interesting things to say about the reasons why the various attempts to amend this amendment have, so far, been unsuccessful. One is simply bureaucratic. The size and budget of the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption depend on the numbers of new migrants it brings in as well as its own estimate of the number of Russians still wishing to come.
Naturally the bureaucracy of this Ministry would like to have significant numbers of immigrants, because they would cause the bureaucracy to have a bigger budget and size. But if the immigrants were a drain on the economy, then their helpfulness to the bureaucracy would become meaningless. This is ultimately an economic explanation.

But this economic explanation would fail if the immigrants were a net drain on the economy. In that case, we would have to look for another cause for the legislation. For example, if there was a US bureau of widgets, and widgets had no value for anything, then the bureau would soon close or shift to something more productive. The counterargument could be that lobbyists for some special interests want to see worthless widgets made. But in that case, the real motive is the special interests, not the mere fact that a bureaucracy is getting tax dollars to make widgets.

This is a decent explanation:
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A second is political, and involves the growing power of Natan Sharansky's Yisrael Be'aliyah party in the Knesset and the country at large. As the party depends almost entirely on the absolute size of the Russian community for access to votes and resources it makes no sense for it to question the credentials of any part of its now one million strong constituency.
If the party is made of Russian immigrants and has significant political power, it's likely to affect the flow of Russian immigrants. And even Russian Jewish immigrants naturally want to allow non-Jewish relatives to stay with them.

It makes sense when the author says:
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Two other reasons are more ideological. First, no meaningful debate on the question of the Jewishness of the Russian immigrants can be carried on without raising the whole notion of the Right of Return and so, by extension, one of the main rationales for the Zionist project in the twentieth century.
The Right of Return here apparently refers to the idea that the Jewish people have a right to return to their ancestral homeland in the Holy Land. Naturally, a discussion of how Jewish someone must be to have the right to return to the homeland depends on how strong of an ethnic tie this right requires. This right of return for the Jewish people is one of Zionism's main rationales, like the author says. But still, one can take the position that this right exists, and then discuss how Jewish someone must be for the right. Making this an open question in discussion also opens up the legitimacy of the return of a significant portion of other Zionists who are often likely of mixed background too. However, it's likely that the strong Zionists have more Jewish ethnicity than those of the non-Jewish Russian immigrants in question.

The second "more ideological" reason could more ideological than the first two reasons because it involves the ideology of maintaining a Jewish society by reducing the relative power of Palestinians:
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Second, given the demographic struggle between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians, the Jewish Israelis would be unhappy about any diminution in the numbers they claim for their side. This also makes sense if one considers that the non-Jewish Russians are just as likely to be anti-Palestinian as their Jewish compatriots.Seen from this point of view, the construction of Russian Orthodox churches in the communities where there is a heavy concentration of Russian immigrants makes perfect sense.
This is a pretty good explanation about the significant Russian immigration. Still, this seems like a practical reason that simply serves an ideological end.

If as the author says, "non-Jewish Russians are just as likely to be anti-Palestinian as their Jewish compatriots", then it contradicts your hopeful sentiment that "The Russians and the Arabs are brother Orthodox in Israel and together they will bring a new springtime of Christianity to the Mother Church of Jerusalem."

The author is also right when he says:
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Seen from this point of view, ...makes perfect sense. So too does the increasing unwillingness to question people's religion and ethnic origins. According to Lustick, the 1995 census was the first in Israeli history not to ask questions about what is obviously becoming an increasingly contentious, but also increasingly blurred, situation regarding individual religious and ethnic identity.
The government and society is naturally less willing to question the Russian immigrants' religion and ethnicity in order to avoid internal conflict while the Palestinians' number is growing. Should the Russians identify themselves less as Jewish and feel farther outside Israeli society, they would be more likely to associate with the Palestinians. On the other hand, it seems like there might also be an increasing willingness to question religion and ethnicity, as some politicians' occasional negative comments about the Russian immigrants, and proposals in the last 15 years to restrict the Law of Return, suggest.

I doubt whether the situation about religious and ethnic identity is becoming more blurred. One change in this direction is that now there are more non-Jews with partial Jewish ethnicity who have been raised in a strongly Jewish society and have participated to some extent in Jewish religious life as one article you posted mentioned. That seems to blur the line. On the other hand, it should still be as clear as before how many Jewish grandparents someone has, on which side, and whether the person is circumcized or baptized. So it may also be that the identity is blurred in the sense that people express their views on the topic more strongly and people become more confused by these conflicting definitions as a result. But on the other hand, people's objective characteristics involved- their grandparents' ethnicities and whether they are baptized or circumcised- don't seem more blurred.

I sympathize with Lustick's speculation here:
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What Lustick does speculate about is some of the implications of all this for Israel's own future. One possible consequence he mentions is growing support for the argument that the only obvious solution to the existence of major non-Jewish minorities is the so-called post-Zionist one in which the notion of Israeli citizenship is raised well above that of the historically Jewish character of the state. This, after all, is what Israeli/Palestinian politicians like Azmi Bishara now advocate.
If significant non-Jewish immigration and the Palestinian-Israeli population grew stronger, it could lower the Jewish presence to where it was somewhat more then a majority and there could be growing support for the argument that the only obvious solution would be raising an inclusive all-Israeli identity well above the Jewish one.

However, this isn't the current situation, where in fact about over 70% of the Israeli population is Jewish.

Nor is putting an all-Israeli identity far ahead the only obvious solution to the existence of minorities. After all, Sweden and Denmark have small, but significant minorities like Finns, Middle Easterners, and Lapps, yet those countries retain strong ethnic identities. Another obvious solution to the existence of minorities is to give them respect but still allow for a strong ethnocentric nationalist identity. Such an approach wouldn't really be equal, although it could be justified like how America has an English-language identity and discriminates against use of Spanish. Personally I prefer the all-Israeli solution, however, because it avoids ethnocentrism.

However, I am skeptical whether
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By the same token, the successful creation of a Palestinian alongside an Israeli state would make this [multicultural, non-ethnocentric] position much harder to sustain.
On one hand, this seems to make sense, because a mindset could arise that the Jews have one half and the Palestinians have the other. However, this is already the mindset, based on the 1948 UN Division and major events of the last 60 years there, like the construction of the Separation Wall, so simply creating a Palestinian state wouldn't necessarily change that for more or less. Failing to either create a Palestinian state or dedicate Israel to a national identity that rises above ethnicity, on the other hand, would simply establish an/the Apartheid system where Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories would have more rights than Palestinians, who would be under Israeli martial law.

Simply having a Palestinian State wouldn't necessarily determine for Israel that Israel couldn't dedicate itself to an all-inclusive national identity. It's true that Israel and Palestine have claims to the same land, and that Jews and Palestinians live in both Israel and the Palestinian territories. But America dedicates itself to an inclusive, non-ethnic identity, even though for a long time Mexico and the US had some claims to eachother's territory and Mexicans lived on US territory. The USSR dedicated itself to a Soviet identity even while the USSR and Poland claimed significant parts of eachother's territory and Polish, Belarussians, and Ukrainians lived in both Poland and the USSR. And the European Union also puts its all-European identity above ethnicities, even though non-EU ethnicities live on the EU's territory and have their own countries next to the EU.

I agree with the author when he writes:
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There is another possible implication which Lustick does not mention and that stems from the growing xenophobia of parties like Shas. Just like the New Right parties in Europe, Shas uses anti-immigrant feeling to whip up popular support, particularly against the Russians. In 1999, for example, a Shas cabinet minister accused them of introducing alcoholism, prostitution and drugs as well as of stealing jobs from poor Jewish workers.
That is, the implication from the Russian immigration is that since they are a minority in an ethnic-oriented society, there is some antagonism toward the Russian immigrants. And based on the immigrants and antagonism toward them, the exclusivist-leaning political party of Shas uses social antagonism toward the minority to stir up popular support.

I agree with you that:
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One factor with which the Jerusalem Patriarchate will have to come to terms in the near future is the large numbers of Russian Orthodox who are now part of its flock. These are Jews genetically and Orthodox Christians religiously. Jerusalem has set up a church department for the Russians but it seems inadequate for the numbers of Russians involved. In the years ahead the character of the Patriarchate will be altered by the Russian Orthodox influx.
They could avoid coming to terms with it, but such a failure would be counterproductive. The Russian immigrants are actually an asset. They are Jews genetically, and they also have Russian genes. A small portion of them aren't Jewish genetically, but have spouses who are.

I agree that the church department you mentioned seems inadequate, because we don't seem to hear much about them. That is, there are some articles occasionally and normal things about the community, but it seems like with 300,000-400,000 members we might expect to hear more activity related to them. 5-9% of a population is quite small, but it's not miniscule, either.

The Patriarchate's character will be altered as you say by the Russian Orthodox influence, since there are now 2 to 3 times as many of them as there are of other Orthodox there.

I think you're right when you say:
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<<One question.Do you happen to know if they might be in big part of ROCOR?>>

No. While both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church (Abroad) have certain church properties and monasteries in the Holy Land, this is by kind permission of the Patrarchate of Jerusalem. Neither Church is permitted to establish parishes.
The Jews who have emigrated from Russia and the Ukraine are in parishes formed by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. It has created a department of the Patriarchate to care for these Russian Jewish Christians. Services are conducted in Slavonic and (to a lesser extent) Hebrew.
The internet appears to confirm your words that the Russian Patriarchate and ROCOR lack parishes there. I think the Church's canon law or traditions prevent having overlapping jurisdictions, and this is why the Jerusalem Patriarchate must give permission for them to have church properties and monasteries there. The "Russian Compound" was a big arrangement of Russian church property in Jerusalem. It seems that the Jerusalem Patriarchate would've had to have given permission for it.
The ROCOR Ecclesiastical Mission website doesn't list any parishes, but only a handful of churches and/or monasteries.

The Russian Patriarchate website doesn't appear to list parishes either:
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At the present time the Russian Church Mission of the Moscow Patriarchate has ten churches: the Trinity cathedral and the church of St.Alexandra the Martyr Queen in the Russian Compound in Jerusalem, the monastery with the church of St. Peter in Jaffa, the church of St. Elijah on Mount Carmel in Haifa, the monastery with the Church of St. Mary Magdalena in Tiberias, the monastery with the Church of Holy Forefathers in Hebron, the monastery with the Church of St. John the Baptist in Jericho. The Gorny Convent in Ein-Karem near Jerusalem with three churches: the Cathedral of All RussianSaints, which was completed in October 2007, the church of the Icon of the Virgin of Kazan and the newly-built cave church of St. John the Baptist consecrated on June, 29, 1987, also belongs to the Russian Church Mission. In all these churches divine services are per­formed regularly.(http://www.rusdm.ru/en/history.php?item=9)
I don't clearly remember hearing that the J.P. made a special department for the Russian immigrants, but it seems that they did, as Fr. Winogradsky is in charge of the Hebrew-speaking Israelis who are Orthodox, and a big majority of them must be of Russian background.

Also, I assume they prefer to hear services in Slavonic like you say, since it would remind them of their parishes in Russia. On the other hand, Hebrew is the main, official Israeli language, and I remember Fr. Winogradsky saying that he has services in Hebrew and Slavonic. I'm not sure whether most Russian immigrants there usually speak Hebrew or Russian.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 09:35:57 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #347 on: April 23, 2011, 09:38:44 PM »
Irish Hermit,

Thanks for posting the sermon by Metropolitan Anthony. He said that:
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We must now strive to embrace with love all mankind, inviting them to share with us the spiritual ecstacy of that new life revealed so clearly to us, that everlasting life filled with blessed communion with God. Now is fulfilled that prophecy of Isaiah; "And everlasting joy ... illness, sorrow and sighing have, fled away" (Is 35:10).
But then he mentions a pogrom happening that year, which is sad. So it seems he means something different than simply that there isn't anymore sadness in the world, which is what it sounds like at first glance. The metropolitan could for example view it as meaning something else like that in the life with communion, those bad things go away in their spiritual effect.

When Metr. Anthony writes:
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Like Judas, these robbers enriched themselves with silver drenched in blood - the blood of these hapless human sacrifices! ... They resembled Judas who betrayed Christ with a kiss while blinded with the sickness of greed, but these murderers, hiding themselves behind Christ's name, killed His kinsmen according to the flesh in order to rob them.
, it sounds like he is comparing Judas' betrayal of Christianity for financial wealth to pogromist crowds betraying Christian morality for the same thing.

Also, it appears that a comparison can be inferred from his words, comparing (a) pogromists who hid themselves behind Christ's name to Judas who hid himself as a would-be Christian, and (b) Judas blind from the sickness of greed to pogromists who would also be sick from greed.

I am confused by Metropolitan Anthony's words here in bold:
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Observe for yourselves their dedication to their law, their preservation of the Sabbath, their faithfulness to their spouses, their love of work and their love toward their children, whom they encourage toward obedience. There was a time not so long ago when Christians excelled them in all these things, but in our present corrupt and degenerate age, we must look with regret upon all these qualities of the way of life of pious Jews.
I somewhat remember that tome posters elsewhere expressed on this forum that preserving the Sabbath on Saturday was no longer a custom or rule for non-Jewish Christians. But here it appears like Metr. Anthony is saying that it is. One counterargument could be that he is not speaking exactly, but means that Christians had a counterpart for the Sabbath- Sunday, and that modern Christians don't observe this enough.

Also, it's confusing what he means about Christians excelling in observing their law, since Russians especially didn't do ritual circumcision from the Mosaic law. Except that he could mean Christians observing their own law, which could be the parts of the Mosaic laws that still apply to Christians like the 10 Commandments.

I have some doubt about the statement:
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If the Jews had all believed, then we, brethren, would not have become Christians, but would still be worshipping Jupiter and Venus or Perun and Volass as our pagan ancestors did. ...Let us not beat, slay and rob people, but soften their hardness toward Christ and Christians by means of our own fulfilment of the law of God.
, because hypotheically it seems like if they had believed they could have gone and set a good example and brought gentiles to belief. On the other hand, it still seems uncertain, and plus it seems like they wouldn't have felt as urgent about it as compared to the situation that would exist if Judaism's religious leaders had accepted Christianity.

It's funny when you write:
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<Jesus was a 'Judean', not a Jew.>
For the sake of the readers of the Forum would you pleae prove that by referencing the Latin and Greek Fathers of the Church and their terminology, and also theologians, Greek, Russian, Arabic, if you wish.  I suspect that you are way outside of the Orthodox patristic tradition.
, because yes obviously the poster was outside of the patristic tradition. He got confused based on the fact that the English word "Jew" can refer to either Judeans, people from Judah, or followers of Judaism. His solution to this confusion was to limit the term to the last of the three categories, which is grammatically incorrect.

In my view, confusion between the terms sometimes appears to pass over to the Church fathers, like if the church fathers simplistically use the term as if followers of Judaism simply equals the descendants of Judah and vice verse, whereas in fact some Jews have become Christians and vice verse.

I agree with you when you write:
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So the inscription which was placed on the Cross in the three languages is not saying that His crime was to claim to be "King of the Jews."  But He was killed for the much lesser crime of simply being "King of the Judeans"?  Is that what you are saying?  He was killed merely for claiming to be the King of the one of the tribes?
I think you are playing silly linguistic games.
Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum
ישוע הנצרי ומלך היהודים (Yeshia haNasri ūmelek hayehudim)
Ἰחףןῦע ὁ ֽבזשסבῖןע ὁ Bבףיכוὺע פῶם Ἰןץהבשם

It appears that Yes, Sdcheung would agree that "the inscription which was placed on the Cross in the three languages is not saying that His crime was to claim to be "King of the Jews."  But He was killed for the much lesser crime of simply being "King of the Judeans."
That's because in Sdcheung's mistaken view, "Jews" only refers to followers of Judaism. However, it isn't clear for SDC, or objectively speaking, that being a false leader of Judaism would be a much greater crime than being a rebel king of the Judeans.

By the way, I think that the foreign language terms you cited actually do say that Jesus was king of the Judeans. However, it isn't clear to me whether "Judean" in those languages also means a follower of Judaism, or whether the religious term would be Judahite, someone from Judah.

I agree with you when you show that Jesus was within the religious definition of the ancient "Jews," citing Luke 2:
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<<I just think he was a Gallileean, and a NAzarene but certainly NOT A Jew.>>
Well, you would be totally wrong.  

"When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses
had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord,
'Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord')
and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said
in the Law of the Lord: 'a pair of doves or two young pigeons" (Luke 2:21-24).

You asked:
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How many non-Jews were circumsized?
I am not sure, but the ancient Egyptians used circumcision, as do Egyptian Copts.

However, I highly doubt that non-Jews underwent or were allowed to do any of the following actions you asked about here:
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How many non-Jewish children were taken to be presented in the Temple and the parents allowed to make a sacrifice for them?
How many non-Jewish children were allowed in the Temple to dispute with the elders?
How many non-Jews were allowed in the Temple to teach?
Although it seems like there was a small possibility that it occurred, because:
1. sometimes rules are ignored, broken, or avoided. So for example, a non-Jew could have taught in a synagogue at some point without people knowing the person was a non-Jew.
2. non-Jews were allowed in an outer court of the Temple, so perhaps there were rules allowing them to participate to some degree in other ways, and such ways could rationally have included the ones you mentioned, although I still highly doubt it, because the ways you mentioned still seem to have more authority over Judaism or closeness to the temple than simply being in the outer courtyard and doing a sacrifice or getting a priest to do a sacrifice. Although rationally making a sacrifice could be higher in authority and importance than simply teaching in a synagogue. But then again, it could be that the gentiles were only allowed to indirectly have the sacrifice and by request, in contrast to teaching, which would be a direct, authoritative act.

You are right that this would be a heresy:
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I recall that one particular priest with a Russian name (but he may have been Greek Old Calendarist, I need to check) informed us that Jesus Christ existed from all eternity and so He existed prior to the creation and the creation of humanity and therefore He had no Jewish genes and indeed no ethnic inheritance of any sort.  Quite an interesting heresy really.  And one he said his bishop also adhered to.
The problem with this is that even if Jesus didn't have Jewish genes before creation, He would still have incarnated with them, since in the incarnation in the flesh his mother was the Theotokos, who was descended from David and therefore Jewish, I assume. He would have thereby inherited her ethnicity.
I'm not sure it's a particularly interesting heresy, since it seems so flatly false. However, it could be one if the proponents of it gave better reasoning. It's too bad that his bishop adhered to such a big heresy.

When you write:
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<<May I ask, is "Walled-Off Orthodox Christians" a particular subset or splinter or is it a kind of jesting reference to "WO" with another meaning?>>
No, I have seen that there are Greek Old Calendarists, True Orthodox Christians and Walled-Off Christians (such as the Met Cyprian of Fili's Church.)  When your fingers get tired of writing the names out in full, there are useful acronyms:  GOCs, TOCs, and WOCs.
I believe you mean, to paraphrase: "No it's not a kind of jesting reference to WO with another meaning." Thanks for clarifying that you mean the WOCs are another sect.

I agree with you that:
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You have provided the reference and thank you but I would think that the onus is on the person posting an article to do that and not to have other Forum members scuttling around and looking for it.

The article is, as Sdcheung herself says, anonymous

Anybody can write the most misleading and vitriolic material and place it on the Internet anonymously.
Except that some people can't do this, like people in comas.  ;D

I can't seem to think of any integrity or accountability in writing "the most misleading and vitriolic material and" placing "it on the Internet anonymously." Probably there isn't any. Wait, maybe if the person added counterarguments to the vitriol, then there could be some integrity. But still, something anonymous by definition seems to lack accountability.

I disagree with your opinion here:
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I wonder if anonymous articles are acceptable to forum members and to the level of scholarship which we expect in discussions on the Forum; certainly they are not acceptable to me.
   
There's alot of OK anonymous articles on the internet that are OK. Wikipedia is somewhat anonymous, and its articles can be good even when they are written entirely anonymously. Wikipedia has good scholarship sometimes and is occasionally posted on the forum without objection. So are other anonymous articles. So they are OK with me, like if the ideas are OK or relevant. But naturally an anonymous article does have less reliability because it's harder to rely on the author's opinion when you can't find out who the author is.

I agree with you here:
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I suppose you are right, but I know other forums which would not be so tolerant of such anonymous articles and they do tend to drag the tone of the Forum down.  And it is noticeable from the brouhaha which has resulted that this article has angered several Forum members.
The key word being "such". Anonymous articles by default seem like they should be OK, like if an academic site posts a general history piece. In that case the post could simply cite to the history site. On the other hand, I could foresee a forum with a strict attitude saying that the article's negative tone, mistaken rationale, and anonymity were too much combined for posting.

You commented and asked sdcheung:
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You may be right and he was not a Jew at all.   Galilee was settled by Assyrian kings with an Aryan population, and in that case Jesus was an Aryan.  Would that be acceptable to you?
Certainly it would be acceptable to me if Jesus was Aryan, like it would also be acceptable to me if he was part Ethiopian. Jesus' race should be acceptable to us. However, I highly doubt that Jesus wasn't a Jew at all, because of the prophecy about "a sceptre from Judah" and the importance that Jesus would be a descendant of David, who I assume was partly descended from the tribe of Judah. Additionally, Jesus said "salvation is of the Jews", in the New Testament.
Plus, I doubt that the Assyrian Kings' population was Aryans, because I thought Syrian was a Semitic language. On the other hand, maybe they could have had some Aryans who mixed with them to some, perhaps tiny, degree.

You commented:
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Yes, I have seen it espoused by Greek Old Calendarists, True Orthodox Christians and Walled-Off Orthodox Christians who write on a particular Yahoo! group.  I remember a lengthy thread on the topic last year.
Sure I expect that there could be such ideas among them as they would be considered excessively conservative and are non-canonical, like the idea that Jesus wasn't Jewish.

You wrote to IPC:
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You are a member of the Russian Zarist Church but you do not know that the Tsar attended the services for Hanukkah in Jewish synagogues as well as other important festivals.
I wasn't aware of this either at all. I am surprised about this because there is some common portrayal of the Tsar as if he was intolerant of followers of Judaism. For example, in the good movie Fiddler on the Roof, the government agent looks at a picture of the Tsar when he makes orders about a pogrom or exiling a shtetl. I vaguely remember reading other things suggesting the Tsar had such a view. So now from your information, which I believe you mean seriously, the Tsar was personally tolerant and somewhat respectful of Judaism. Naturally he could have disagreed with some of their disagreement with Christianity while still having interest and respect for in their rituals like Hanukkah that were based in the Old Testament.

I am somewhat hesistant for your advice:
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Let us look to the example of His Imperial Majesty Tsar Nikolai Romanov and how friendly he was with Jews.
For example, I think that during his rule there were still some discriminatory rules about Jews like where they could live or about their education. Plus, it could be that the friendship wasn't sincere. On the other hand, maybe he did have sincere friendship, and this contradicted some of the rules about Jews in the Russian empire. Still, I think that because of the apparent contradiction, I'm not completely sure we should look to his example on this. Another reason for hesitation would be because he was a political figure, rather than a religious one. Still, I think this goes in the direction of better relations and is positive.

You tried to interpret Sdcheung's view as follows:
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I am getting the impression that there are two completely different genetics and peoples here.

1.  There are the Judeans and Judaism.  These are Christ's people, his genetic material if you like, and they are likely the Aryans settled in the Judean region by the Assyrians who removed all the Jews from the region and took them off to Assyria.   So Judeans are rather like proto-Aryans or Proto-Germanics.

2.  There are Jews and Jewryism (not sure of the word which matches Judaism?)    These are the people who occupied Jerusalem and drove out the Judeans, the Chosen People of God.
However, I highly doubt this is what Sdcheung thinks. My impression is that he defines the term "Jew" based only on its common English religious meaning, ie as someone who accepts nonChristian Judaism. His view is that Jesus was actually a Jew, actually in one of the ways you understand it, ie someone from the Kingdom of Judah. He just thinks that when people use the term Jew they refer only to the religious definition of Rabbinical Judaism, like the pharisees.

He never said there are two peoples/genetic groups. He did refer to Judeans as separate from Jews, but this is partly true, insofar as Jesus was from the province of Galilee rather than the province of Judea. Also, he never mentioned the Aryans, although hypothetically it seems possible that some Aryans could've settled in Assyria like you mention. Still, I thought that the Aryans were in Persia, India, Central Asia, etc., rather than in Assyria. Also, I don't remember him explicitly associating "Judaism" the religion with Jesus, although of course Jesus participated in pre-Christian Judaism, or at least part of it.

Judaism refers to a religion, not a people, and it's the religious term associated with the term Jews. So there is no separate Jewish counterpart for the religious term "Judaism", which you were apparently getting at when you mentioned the term "Jewryism." Also, he never mentioned that the Jews drove out the Judeans, and in fact they didn't. Anyway, the terms overlap, because many if not most people who lived in Judea were descended from the tribe of Judah, from whence comes the name Jewish, and they also practiced the Jewish religion, which is Judaism, and which in Jesus' time was apparently run by the Sadduccees and pharisees who Sdcheung refers to as Jews.

I have some doubt about your answer and explanation:
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<<Has the Church taken place of Israel?>>
The answer to that is a YES!
Orthodoxy's tradition of the Church and the teaching to be found in the Church Fathers is that of "Replacement Theology" -
the Church is the New Israel and replaces the Old Israel.
My understanding is that the Orthodox Church sees itself as in continuation with the Old Testament Prophets. The Old Testament saints are ours, so to speak. Plus, Jesus was from David's line and a big majority of the Christians when the Church was created were Israelites and followed the Israelite religion. Consequently, it isn't clear that the Orthodox Church merely sees itself as a new entity coming in and "replacing" a separate entity.

Thank you for the information, which makes sense, that:
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Early in the piece, the Christians replaced the Saturday Sabbath with Sunday to honour the Resurrection of the Saviour. It was a startling example of the people of the New Covenant exercising their power! But the Saturday Sabbath continued to have a high measure of respect and this remains in the Orthodox Church to some extent. For example, Saturdays and Sundays are treated equally with respect to fasting. They are also equal in that prostrations are forbidden on both days.
Except that the term "piece" here sounds weird and confusing. By this I assume you mean, to paraphrase, that "Early in the history of the Church..."
What you seem to be saying is that they replaced the observance of the Sabbath on Saturday with such an observance on Sunday, which still maintaining a sense of respect for the previous observance that was on Saturday. I have alittle doubt that the observance on Saturday was completely gone though, because at least one Orthodox friend told me that a Saturday Sabbath still exists.
And of course I believe you, as a priest, about such a simple, common practice as avoiding prostrations and fasting on Saturday.

I sympathize with your words:
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To be honest, I just don't see how an Orthodox Christian with a full liturgucal life would find time for observing the Old Testament feasts and fasts as well.
I expect the poor Orthodox wife would be exhausted with all the extra cooking for a double load of Christian Feasts and Old Testament Feasts, not to mention having to keep a double kitchen with the demands of kosher requirements for separate utensils and crockery.
Yes, it seems in practical terms difficult. I'm sure for some people it would be OK, though. This becomes clearer when you think of all the work restaurant chefs do, and compare this with the smaller number of people the wife would be serving. Plus, maybe she would have relatives to help.

You were right to point to Romans 11 when you wrote:
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This is what Saint Paul teaches the Church about the Jews. He writes to the Church at Rome (chapter 11):
<<"I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not become wise in your own estimation: a hardening has come upon Israel in part, until the full number of the Gentiles comes in, and thus all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come out of Zion, he will turn away godlessness from Jacob; and this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." In respect to the gospel, they are enemies on your account; but in respect to election, they are beloved because of the patriarchs. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.">>

We see that Saint Paul, while he sees them as the enemies of Jesus Christ and the Gospel still believes that they are beloved of God because of the patriarchs and with an irrevocable calling. But it belongs to the future. Israel is still, as Saint Paul says, hardened, against the Messiah who has come.
However, St Paul doesn't say simply that Israel is hardened against the Messiah. Rather, he says that a hardening has come upon it "in part". This means that part of Israel hasn't been hardened, and this non-hardened part would refer to Jewish Christians, non-Jewish Christians, or both.

I respectfully disagree that:
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If you look at icons of the Mother of God with the infant Jesus in nearly all cases he is holding a rolled up scroll in His left hand.
A google image search shows that out of 10 random images of the Theokos and child, about half have a scroll and half don't.

Scroll:



orthodoxincense.com
mliles.com

No scroll:






Unclear:


I believe you describe our orthodox perspective right when you say:
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This scroll represents the Old Testament. It is rolled up, finished and completed in the new baby who has been born. Jesus Christ has assumed into Himself the meaning and prophecies of the Old Testament, its "function, actuality and validity." From the day of His birth these things continue to have meaning only inasmuch as they have an expression in Him and in His teaching. He has replaced both the Old Testament and the Temple.
Naturally, since Christ is God's Word, the Old Testament only has meaning inasmuch as it expresses itself in God's Word. It's alittle confusing to think of God's Word assuming into Himself the meaning and prophecies of the Old Testament, since its spiritual meaning was itself part of God's Word from the beginning. Also, the assuming into Himself part seems alittle confusing, because there are some parts of the Old Testament, from God's Word, that seem to give a message dealing with a topic other than either God's Word or Christ, like when it talks about God's Spirit at the creation of the World.

Further, I'm unsure if it's correct to say Christ replaced the Old Testament, since the Old Testament was part of God's Word, which is Christ, and maybe this would confusingly mean He was replacing Himself, although perhaps this would also be possible. There are some parts of the Ten Commandments that it would seem are still important, like avoiding adultery, although I suppose it could be that Christ replaced this rule with one that matched it. It seems maybe better to say that Christ superseded the Old Testament, fulfilled it, or continued it.

Since Christ spoke of His body as a Temple, it makes sense that His body replaced the Temple as something that uniquely housed God's presence.

You commented to Rafa999:
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Apparantely Jesus was not a Jew but a Judean.
But I think that you were being somewhat sarcastic, and referring to Sdcheung's claim asserting this. It seems to me that Jesus was a Jew, since the term Jew refers to the Tribe of Judah and the Kingdom of Judah. The Messiah was to be of King David's line, the kings of the Kingdom of Judah I think were descended from David, and the genealogy of Jesus listed in the New Testament runs to King David. It's also confusing to me whether Jesus was a Judean. He was born in Bethlehem, which was in the Province of Judea, but He grew up in Nazareth, which is in the Province of Galilee. The pre-Roman Kingdom of Judea, run by the Hasomoneans included Galilee. The inscription on the cross over Jesus' head referred to Him as King of the Judeans, which could suggest that the Romans saw Him as a possible claimant to the position of King of Judea. So it seems correct to refer to Him as both a Jew and a Judean, although He was also a Galilean.



Azul,

Your name, which is Spanish for "blue", is pretty.


You asked:
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What is the Church`s teaching on the feasts,new moons and sabbaths of the Jews?Can a Jew who comes to the Church still keep them?Are they still in actuality?
Sunday is observed like a Saturday Sabbath. Also I heard from some Orthodox that we also keep the Saturday Sabbath but that there's alot less emphasis on this. Assuming this is the case, a Jewish Christian should be able to keep it in this way. Also, the Christian way of keeping the Sabbath would appear less strict than the pharisees' way, because for example Jesus picked grain on the Sabbath.
I am alittle confused what "new moons" refers to. We use the Julian Calendar or the "Revised Julian Calendar", which are different calendars than Judaism uses. However, our calendar has "months", which is a term that comes from the moon's cycles.
Some feasts seem OK for Christians, like Hanukkah, because the New Testament mentions Jesus being in the Temple for that feast. Other feasts like the Day of Atonement wouldn't seem OK even for Jewish Christians, because Christianity teaches that this was fulfilled in Christ's Atonement. However, our Eucharist and Good Friday may be celebrations connected to the Day of Atonement, because Good Friday celebrates the Crucifixion as Christ's atonement for us.

You asked:
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So the jewish feasts,including the sabbath are an inquity?Jews who come to the church are forbid to observe their old feasts, even sabbath?Has the Church taken place of Israel?
1. It isn't clear they are an iniquity. It seems like they're an iniquity insofar as breaking canons, the penalty for which is excommunication, are an iniquity. But like I said there is a rule that if one doesn't go to liturgy and communion once every three weeks they should be excommunicated, and that would excommunicate practically at least 2/3 of Orthodox Christians. So the iniquity you refer to might not be so serious as it sounds. Plus, this particular canon might be invalid, as Fr. George suggested a canon could become invalid if disregarded for a long time. Irish Hermit mentioned that Tsar Nicholas II attended Hanukkah service(s), and in the last 20 years Serbian and Georgian Patriarchs have attended Judaic services. These examples suggest such canons against observing Jewish feasts have fallen into disuse for a while.
Also, at least one Orthodox has told me that we still have a principle keeping the Sabbath on Saturday, although it isn't emphasized as much as the rest on Sunday.
2. Whatever those canons are, if they were valid they would also apply to Jewish Christians, because they are written for Christians in general.
3. It isn't clear to me whether the Church has taken the place of Israel. It appears Orthodoxy teaches the Church is a continuation of the pre-Christian Israel, which seems like a different idea than taking the place of Israel.

I understand that you "know what we celebrate, that is not why [you] asked though."

I'm not sure that
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there was a canon of the Church that said, that all who came to the Church, even from the jews would have to deny all their feasts and stop living in anything according to Judaism
. It seems you could be paraphrasing what you heard from memory, or the person who told it you could have been paraphrasing. Sdcheung cited a quote from a Canon earlier on this thread that said Jews who came to the Church would have to stop their uniquely Jewish religious observances. However, it seems like this couldn't be absolute, as in "stop living in anything according to Judaism", because there is alot of overlap with Christianity, like belief in the Old Testament and a teaching of obedience to the Ten Commandments. One of the Ten Commandments was to keep the Sabbath, but even that is observed in a way, as one of the Church Fathers said that the observance of it was transferred to Sunday.

I agree when you say:
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Just curious about their feasts.Some of them are said to be perpetual, like the Sabbath.What does that mean?
Yes, their feasts are interesting when considering early Christianity's relation to Judaism.
I'm not sure what it means that their feasts like the Sabbath are said to be "perpetual", and I don't clearly remember them being called this.
One idea could be that God rested on the Sabbath, so this event takes place outside of time, in God's time, and thus is perpetual. Another idea could be that God's covenant was by nature everlasting- unless it was broken, perhaps. A Christian view about this could be that Christ fulfilled this as He rested on the Sabbath in the tomb, and thus it isn't still a requirement for Christians.

You asked:
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Ok.One question are the feasts of the jews still godly or pleasant to God?

Is there a canon of one of the first Ecumenical Councils(Niceea or Constantinopol) which says that the jews are not to live anymore according to judaism and let aside their jewish feasts and habbits.

Why does it say that?
1. Your first question feels hard to answer, as its hard to know the mind of God unless He tells us. I have a personal feeling that some feasts are still godly or pleasant to God, since He said to do them at one point. In Orthodoxy, it seems that some holidays would still be godly or pleasant to Him, like Hannukkah, since Jesus is described as being in the Temple then. The Christian view about another feast, like the Day of Atonement, on the other hand, might be that God doesn't particularly care about its continued performance in nonChristian Judaism, since this holiday's religious meaning was already fulfilled with Christ's atonement.

2. I'm sure there's no canon that says nonChristian Jews shouldn't live anymore according to Judaism and let aside their feasts and habbits, as Christian rules don't attempt to dictate how nonChristian Jews may live or act. Except naturally they might encourage Jews to become Christian.

Canon 7 from the 7th Ecumenical Council saying Christians of Jewish background shouldn't follow nonChristian Judaism anymore, and should let aside nonChristian feasts and habits.

3. The canon notes that one reason for this prohibition was because some Jews remained believers in nonChristian Judaism. So the canon's stated motivation was to discourage Jews from becoming Christian if they didn't believe in Christianity.

You asked:
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How do you explain the two covenants?Is the Old Covenant still in effect?Are this two covenants going on in paralel?The one G-d made with the jews, and the New Covenant?
Well, the Old Testament says that God will keep His covenant with His people and protect them if they follow it. Then the Temple was destroyed and there was a prophecy that God would make a new covenant of protection with them and send them a good Shepherd. Zechariah 11 also prophesied the destruction of the Covenant by the Good Shepherd, whom the prophecy said would be rejected. The destruction of the Temple and the exile of the people would suggest that the Old Covenant of protection was annulled.
The resulting timeline could be that there was an Old Covenant until the First Temple's Destruction, then the Second Temple was rebuilt and there was another Covenant, and then that Covenant was destroyed with the destruction of the Second Temple.
So it would seem that the Old Covenant hasn't been in effect since the destruction of the First or Second Temple, although the Law, or "Torah", itself is in effect. Christianity teaches that Christ's sacrifice atoned and fulfilled the law though, so its penalty of spiritual death isn't in effect for Christians. Also, Christianity teaches that Christ brought a New Covenant. This could be the New Covenant prophesied in Ezekiel, which Ezekiel said the good Shepherd would bring.

I'm not sure that: "G-d said that he will never entirely abandon the jews for the covenant He made with their parents", because I don't clearly remember the Old Testament saying this. However, this was expressed by St Paul in at least one of his letters.

You are right when you say: But he warned them of what will happen if they forsake His covenant. The Torah mentions such a warning.

It appears you're right when you say:
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He also said through Moses in Deuteronomus 18 that whoever shall not obey(accept, believe) the Prophet(Messiah, Jesus Christ) He will send, that person would be responsable for their own soul.

Deuteronomy 18(NIV) says:
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The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name."
Still, I have doubt about your view because: (1) Christ was a prophet like Moses, but also much more, and (2) it doesn't specify "responsible for their own soul", but rather that God would call the person to account, although these ideas are similar.

Your explanation is consistent with only the remnant being saved:
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This is why only the remnant is saved from Israel till the time of the end, those who came to the Church
However, it is alittle unclear if only the remnant in the Church would be saved. One could be held to account, I suppose, without being killed, as in not "saved... till the end." The idea of a remnant being saved is familiar to me from the Bible, and the idea about the Church as what is saved is also familiar to me from it. St Paul writes about Jews becoming Christian and concludes that all Israel will be saved. So your idea sounds like  the case in Christianity, it's just that the idea that only the Church will be saved from Israel till the end seems very exclusive.

I highly doubt that:
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"Even now as Paul said "God put aside some of the jews" and left them a remnant."
, because I couldn't find this quote on the internet outside of this thread.

You suggested that the Bible says "If God would not have left us a remnant we would be as Sodom and Ghomorah". More exactly, Isaiah 1:9 says: Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

You asked: "There is a text in Isaiah 1 which says that their feasts are a burden and an inquity, and when they pray G-d turns away His eyes from them.Why would they be an inquity?"
Isaiah 1 says:
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3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD,
11 I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
13Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
15And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
The reason it calls them an iniquity appears to be that their hands are full of sinful killing and forsaking God. It seems that one view about this passage could be that Isaiah means that they have sinned so much in violation of God's commandments that they have in effect forsaken Him. It doesn't necessarily mean they have forsaken Him in an explicit doctrinal way, since they are keeping His feasts and sacrifices.

Your explanation was that: "Because they are without God, they are Christless." However, this might not be the reason he says this, because Isaiah 1 was written before the destruction of the First Temple. It could be that this passage was a prophecy of that destruction, or referred to the reasons surrounding God's allowance of the Temple's destruction. The words "I will not hear: your hands are full of blood" suggest that the reason God wasn't hearing and took offense was specifically because of violent sin.
It still could relate to forsaking Christ, because it begins by mentioning forsaking God, but still, it seems that the violent sin was enough to make God feel this way. Plus, it makes sense that if the people broke God's commandments could make God feel like they forsook Him. So it doesn't necessarily mean they are explicitly "without God, they are Christless", although the idea they were "without God" would relate to the destruction of the First Temple.

You are right that: And there is something in Hosea which says "I will make her festivals and sabbaths to come to an end". Specifically, Hosea 2:11 says:
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I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.
This could have happened after the Destruction of the First Temple and during the Babylonian exile. One counteragument could be that the Jews might have continued some of their sabbaths, feasts, and new moons during their exile. But even if that turned out to be the case, it still would seem like even after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD that they would have continued some of them.

You wrote:
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And as the prophets and the psalmists wrote in some places "Why did you forsake us, and turn your face from us" "Remmber us, God" etc.
The closest I found to this was:
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Lamentations 5
20Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time
21...renew our days as of old.

Psalm 88
14LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?
The Psalmist here isn't saying what you said, because the Psalmist only refers to himself as that which is forsaken, and it doesn't mention about God remembering him/them

Lamentations matches your idea except that it doesn't mention God's face. God remembering the people is similar to renewing their days, insofar as they both refer to God taking positive, helpful acts toward them. Lamentations also apparently refers to the time leading up to and maybe including the Babylonian exile.

You asked:
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But in terms of Eschatology what is the Church`s teaching on the jews?Will they convert to Orthodoxy, or what will it happen to them?
Besides what you yourself wrote, St Paul's writing in his canonical Epistles that Jews would become Christian, which Ialmisry cited to, is one explanation. Naturally, Orthodox consider themselves to have the correct Christianity, so it would make more sense, in the Orthodox view, for them to become Orthodox. Another explanation that seems to me a possibility is that some Jews would become Christian and others wouldn't, which goes along with the "remnant" idea you mentioned. St Paul's explanation would be an official Orthodox position, but I'm not absolutely certain I understand him correctly, that he means all the Jews will become Christian at some point.

I highly doubt your comment: "I know on the times of the Church that there were some Nazarenes just like Messianics." The Nazarenes were part of the Church at that time, and they merely differed in keeping some unique Jewish practices like circumcision. Actually, I'm not completely sure about the Nazarenes, because they could also have been one sect inside the Jewish Christians, and this sect might have even predated Christianity. In any case, Christian Nazarenes would've been within the Church. My impression is that Messianics today on the other hand, often take Protestant positions on differences with Orthodoxy. They are also separate from the Church as an organization, ie. they aren't baptized Orthodox, nor are they converted to it. That being the case, I assume Orthodox would consider them schismatic, heretical, or simply outside the Church.

You asked: <<Is the Old Testament still in function,actuality and validity?In one word do those "of the old testament" still work in worship and practice in the era of the Church?>>
1. The Old Testament has been fulfilled in Christ, although maybe some prophecies in it are left to be fulfilled, like maybe it prophecies the end of the world.
2. I am confused what you mean by those "of the old testament'. Naturally, Christianity would consider itself to have both the Old and New Testaments. The Church considers both canonical and includes them in our Bibles. In one sense, Rabbinical Judaism is of the Old Testament, since it still keeps the Old Testament. But in another sense, Christianity wouldn't consider Rabbinical Judaism to be "of the Old Testament", insofar as it views Rabbinical Judaism as misinterpreting important parts of it or failing those parts correctly. Plus, Orthodox Christianity differs somewhat with Judaism about which books are in the Old Testament, as Orthodox Christianity gives the apocrypha "secondary authority."
4. In a way, I suppose Rabbinical Judaism would lack effective religious practice or worship in the era of the Church, as the destruction of the Second Temple, would suggest itself to be a reflection of God's reject of their religious practices. But I'm not sure about this. It feels like maybe sometimes God even listens to pagan prayers if they are good. it seems possible that nonChristian religions have some truth. Like for example Zoroastrianism is monotheist, so maybe some of Rabbinical Judaism's worship was or is effective to some extent even when God has disassociated Himself from it, so to speak.

This analysis could lead Rabbinical Judaism to simply try to rebuild the Temple. But actually the Talmud mentions that 40 years before its destruction in 70 AD, the strap associated with the Temple sacrifice failed to miraculously turn red as it regularly had previously. You had quoted passages earlier mentioning God ignoring sacrifices out of dissatisfaction with the Israelites, so it seems like the mere performance of sacrifices doesn't mean the practices are completely effective.

You asked:
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Which is the Orthodox Church which has the most jews?Will a significant part of the jews convert to Orthodoxy?
1. I am not sure which Orthodox Church has the most Jews, but it seems like it would be either the Russian Orthodox Church or the Church of Jerusalem. Many Jews moved from Germany to Eastern Europe, especially in the area between Germany and "Greater Russia", around the end of the Middle Ages and during the Medieval times. Over the centuries since then, many have assimilated into the predominant culture, which was Roman Catholicism and the Russian Orthodox Church.
Further, many if not most Jews living in Palestine became Christian during the Byzantine era, as historical records and DNA evidence suggest.
2. I think a significant part of the Jews will convert to Orthodoxy, since there is a significant rate of assimilation over the centuries between Jews and non-Jews, and many Jews still live in Ukraine and Russia, where about 80% of the population belongs to the Orthodox Church or has Orthodox Christian heritage.

You asked Jonathan Gress:
Quote
<<<Which is the Orthodox Church which has the most jews?Will a significant part of the jews convert to Orthodoxy? >>>-Azul
Quote
<<...in Christian discourse, since the time of St John the Theologian Jew has meant 'an ethnic Jew who rejects Christ', since an ethnic Jew who accepts Christ is as much a Christian as a pagan Gentile who accepts Christ ('for there is neither Jew nor Greek'). Note how, in the texts for Palm Sunday, the 'Jews' who called for Christ's crucifixion, are usually contrasted with 'the children of the Hebrews' who chanted Hosanna at Christ's entry into Jerusalem. You can see here that 'Jew' is being used in this narrower sense.>>
And how does that answer any of my questions?
Gress's words would mean that in the narrow sense of the term Jew in Christian discourse as an ethnic Jew who rejects Christ, there are no Jews in the Orthodox Church, because the Orthodox Church is Christian. Likewise, there are no Greeks in the Orthodox Church in this narrow thinking, either. I read elsewhere on the forum that the term "Greek" people at one point in Orthodox discourse only meant nonChristian-Greek.

In any case, I think it's possible that some people even at that time were actually using the terms Greek and Jewish in an ethnic and non-religious sense, while acknowledging that the terms also had a religious meaning. In fact, the term "Greek religion" at that time might connote Greek paganism, like the Greek gods.

Have a Good Paskha and Pentecost.

God Bless.



Peter the Aleut,

Your tagline name sounds funny. When I first read it, I guessed that Yetts referred to some ethnic group like an Indian tribe, like the Aleuts in your name. But then I found out that Yetts means "Gates".

The link you cited doesn't work anymore:
Quote
But the article can be read here:  http://www.orthodoxrevival.com/orthodoxy/christ_jew.html

I mostly agree with you when you write:
Quote
<<God help the Orthodox Church we've let Christian Zionist Protestant Converts in.>>

No.  We've let in those who were at one time Christian Zionist Protestants, if by that term you mean Protestants who followed after the Zionist doctrines espoused by such "teachers" as Hal Lindsey.  We've baptized, chrismated, and communed them and taught them to repudiate such heresies.

The real problem is that we have an advocate of anti-Semitism who denies history... claiming to represent the Orthodox Church.
1)More exactly, you are saying that we let those Protestants in, but not as adherents of the heretic ideas.
2) In some cases probably we have failed to baptize and teach them to repudiate their heresies. When I joined the Orthodox church from Protestantism, I wasn't rebaptised, nor was it specifically taught to me to reject the kind of doctrines you mentioned. In fact, it was only within the last few years that I clearly understood that Orthodoxy has the idea that Christians have joined Israel. One day at OCF, someone mentioned that the Church was a continuation of Israel, and this was a new idea for me.
So it seems likely that there are some Zionist Protestants who haven't been taught to reject those heresies. Also, there are probably alot who weren't baptized in Orthodoxy, since Protestantism, stricly speaking, is Trinitarian, and the Russian tradition, like the OCA, is to avoid rebaptizing those who've already received Trinitarian baptism.
3) It's likely Sdcheung is anti-semitic because he's a white supremacist, although apparently there are a few who aren't. Yes that sounds weird, but like I said it's only a few.
4) Taking the view that "Jew" has only a religious meaning is something of a denial of the non-religious ethnic aspect of the history of the Jewish people. Plus, historically, many early Christians considered themselves Jews and it seems likely that this also referred to the religious meaning of the term, because they practiced unique Jewish religious customs like circumcision.

I agree with you when you write:
Quote
<<You have provided the reference and thank you but I would think that the onus is on the person posting an article to do that and not to have other Forum members scuttling around and looking for it.>>

I know how you feel, since I usually follow the same wisdom, but it was ultimately my semi-moderatorial decision to go ahead and post the link.

<<The article is, as Sdcheung herself says, anonymous and I wonder if anonymous articles are acceptable to forum members and to the level of scholarship which we expect in discussions on the Forum;>>

I don't care who wrote the article, as long as we have posted a link to any online copies that may be out there in virtual land.  Maybe sdcheung knew of no such online copy, which is possible with paper documents that get copied and uploaded to an Internet site.

One can certainly question the integrity and accountability of posting an article anonymously or under a pseudonym, but quotes of and links to such articles in the course of a discussion such as this do not violate any forum rules that I know of.  After all, we're not in the business of moderating outside web sites.
However, I care a little bit who wrote the article, insofar as it shows what groups include the author's views among the views of their members. Plus it's possible sdcheung knew of no such online copy, and that it was merely emailed to him.

You comment is good:
Quote
<<And it is noticeable from the brouhaha which has resulted that this article has angered several Forum members.>>

I am aware of that, and I am watching this thread very closely as a result  :police:
I find negative misleading articles about Jews troubling here. On the other hand, I feel that such articles are worth discussing the factual information and issues they contain, because the ancient pre-Christian Jews' religion led to and became a big part of our own.

Yes, we should "stay focused on the Church's teaching on the Jews" on the thread. There is quite a bit of overlap because most of the early Christians were Jewish.

I believe you when you write:
Quote
<<I know the webmaster of this website quite well. face to face and a Helleno-Orthodox Nationalist, I can vouch for this guy anyday.>>

Yes, we also know the name of the guy, so he's not as anonymous as you might hope.
, since you have alot of knowledge about Internet Orthodoxy. :)
Also, by referring to him as "the guy" and by looking down on the poster's hope for his anonymity, it sounds like you wouldn't vouch for him as a good authority about the church.

You are right when you say:
There are Orthodox cannons prohibiting using a Jewish Doctor. How often is that violated? There is a cannon that says you cant be ordained to the Priesthood before age 33 ( or thereabouts). That cannon is viloated all the time.
There is no cannon that says anything about using a Jewish doctor. The only cannons I know of go "BOOM!" ;D
However I do know of some cannons that no longer go boom because they are displayed for educational purposes. ;)

Happy Paskha
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 09:45:03 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #348 on: April 23, 2011, 09:45:55 PM »
Jetavan,

You made a good point when you wrote:
Quote
And who knows how many Jews over the years have turned to Christ? But since they became Christian, nobody counts them as "Jews" anymore.

Sure, it's hard to say because so many centuries have gone by and there aren't alot of records it feels from over those centuries. It's more like in the last 200-300 years that alot of the remaining family records have been kept.

It seems first of all that there was alot of intermarriage, just like there is today. Just as we notice European traits among European Jews, we can notice some similar traits among some Eastern European communities. This kind of mixing is healthy for the human population.

Happy Paskha



Buzu,

It makes sense when you say:
Quote
The church does not have any specific teaching on the jews as a people that differs from other nationalities who do not believe in Christ, after the ressurection their role has ceased, the jewish race and the gentile believers should have been One fold, which is the Church, but most jews were seeking after a different kind of messiah.
Except that it does have a specific teaching different from other nationalities that applies to the time before the resurrection, as your words suggest: "after the ressurection their role has ceased". Also, some historians suggest that most Jews in fact have become Christian, either through intermarriage, or conversion in Byzantine Palestine.

It also makes sense when you say:
Quote
The church has always acknowledged that the messiah is born via the hebrew-jewish race, and that Jesus was a jew, that the jews played a major role in the historical events of Christ's ministry. That the majority of them rejected him (He came to his own and his own recieved him not). That the hymns speak of recompensing the jews for their deeds and their role in the crucifixion. This is a veiled reference of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 a.d., Christ visited them im judgement and His prophecy filfilled, they have been 'recompensed',
Except I'm not sure there is such thing as a separate "Jewish race". Rather, it seems clearer to refer to a Semitic race and a Jewish ethnicity, because an ethnicity is a more or less ethnically inidivisible category- like the Jews- within a broader category of race, which can include several ethnicities.

Also, I think that the recompense could go beyond the mere Temple destruction and include some other bad things that happened around that time, since Zechariah 13 talks about some bad things like eating the bones of the fat ones after the Good Shepherd's rejection.

I believe you that:
Quote
As for the biggest culprit in the crucufixion of Jesus as found in the holy week texts is none other than Judas Iscariot. A predominant theme is the betrayer Judas and the 30 pieces of silver as the price. As Christ taught you cannot serve 2 masters, money had a role in it as well. From the various chants which are the subject of Judas actions, one can conclude it is better to never have believed than believed then become an apostate.
Except I am not sure that Judas would be the biggest culprit. It seems more like the Sanhedrin leaders were the motivators behind it, and that Judas was more of a facilitator. On the other hand, maybe the holy week texts do portray Judas this way. Also, I retain alittle doubt about whether the chants lead to the conclusion that "it is better to never have believed than believed then become an apostate.", since offhand I don't clearly remember this principle elsewhere in Christianity, and don't remember reading such specific texts. It seems more like it would be the same whether you rejected Christ or accepted and then rejected Him. Although technically never to have known or rejected would certainly be better than either.

It makes sense when you say: "As Christ taught you cannot serve 2 masters, money had a role in it as well.", because Judas had the reward of money offered to him by the Sanhedrin, and he was also under Christ as his master, and then chose to go for the money before Christ.

Peace



Kav,

I liked your story. Thanks for sharing it:
Quote
Upstairs from me a group of Charismatics waited one morning until the local Chabbad Rebi and family came walking by to temple. They raced out, blowing a ram's horn and babbling on restoring the temple  that would be precursor to the second coming. I walked out and diplomaticaly told the Charismatics to stop intruding on their sabbath. They sort of slunked back inside.
Rebi invited me to walk with them to temple. His little boy Avi was looking at me a little strange and finally asked ' poppa, is Chris a jew? '  Rebi replied 'No, he's a Christian. But us Orthodox got to stick  together!'
It's better to avoid harassing people of other religions, which is what the charismatics appeared to be doing here.

Also, I like the word pun about Orthodox. My impression is that what Rebi means is that there is a similarity between Orthodox Christians and Jews in their more emotionally-conservative traditionalist attitudes which differs from the Charismatics, who have the emotional outbursts.

Regarding "sticking together," he must not mean that they are one "people", nor that they are in communion with eachother. I am confused what the Protestant idea of "fellowship" means, like whether this means being in spiritual communion, but if it simply means a vage feeling of friendship, then it could apply here. Jesus talked about how he who does God's will is His brother, and in this case you were acting in a brotherly way by acting protectively. Also, the Rebi could at some point act in a brotherly way by helping a non-Jew in a similar spirit of generosity. His statement about sticking together suggests that he would also act to help a non-Jew.

I assume that the boy was looking at you strange because it was strange for him to see his father walking so closely together and acting with such a close feeling of friendship with a non-Jew. One explanation could simply be that their sect keeps to itself more.

It is nice to be invited to walk together to the temple, which could even be an example of the togetherness and reaching out to non-Jews that Jesus showed, albeit perhaps a weaker example of such reaching out.

I think you're right when you say:
Quote
One could easilly argue the  jewish rebi Yeshua was the FULLFILLMENT of the old covenant.
Rebi here refers to Jesus' title as a "rabbi", which the gospels sometimes use to refer to Him. The gospels themselves it seems to me referred to Him as its fulfilmment, by saying for example that He fulfilled the penal requirements of the Law in dying for others' sins. Such an idea appears to be reflected in Isaiah 53.

Take care.



ROCORthodox,

Thank you for your clarification:

Quote
This should settle the question:  Acts 2:36 - Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
This disagrees with Gress's idea that the Jews refers only to nonChristian Jews who rejected Jesus. Although still, it seems grammatically OK to say that the Israel here no longer includes Jewish Christians, and that the "ye" refers just to israel.

Still, I think that more likely it refers to Israel collectively here. Further, I think it could be said, consistent with this, that gentiles, or some gentile nation(s) also participated in the crucifixion.

Have a good Paskha.



Eugenio,
I find your avatar alittle pretty, but it's strange for me too. It seems like a halo, but it doesn't make sense why it has dolphins.

You commented:
Quote
"The Church teaches us that jews come from the breakaway sect of Pharisees that fell away from God."

I know of no such church teaching. Which "church" are you referring to?
It seems like such an idea exists in the church, but it's not a correct view for the Church.
It is an oversimplification, because many Jews aren't religious, for example. It's not a correct view for the Church either, since some pharisees were Christians and were still pharisees, the New Testament mentions. But such a view appears to exist in the church, since some people in the church think this way, ie they don't understand the above and/or don't express such qualifications.

You made a good point when you asked rhetorically, showing that in the Holy Scripture, Jesus said salvation was from the Jews:
Quote
sdcheun, you then deny the words of Our Lord in John 4:21-23?
".21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."
What Jesus was saying was that he was the way of salvation...and he is a Jew!

Peace



Antiderivative:

I agree with you when you say:
Quote
Look, we aren't Christian Zionists, but we aren't anti-Semites.
Except that some members of the Orthodox Church could personally take a Christian Zionist position, although it's true that such a position would go against the tradition of the Church.

I highly doubt your words:
Quote
The Jewish religion is dead, it was fulfilled 2000 years ago,
Christianity teaches that ancient Judaism was fulfilled by Christ, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was dead. It could be said that Christianity is a continuation of ancient Judaism, which would mean that in a way it's still alive in Christianity.

You are also correct that:
Quote
And if you are advocating hate for the Jewish race, that is even more incompatible with Orthodoxy, since our religion was started by racial Jews
Christianity viewed the Jewish people no worse or better than anyone else, except for the degree to which they accepted and followed God, which goes the same for Christians of other races.

Happy Paskha



Fr. George,

You asked:
Quote
Wasn't He of the house of David?  Wasn't David of the house of Judah? (Or was he of the house of Joshua?)
I think Jesus was of David's house because the gospels emphasize that He was. Also, I don't clearly remember the Bible saying Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, but I assume He was, because for example there was the prophecy about how the sceptre won't depart from Judah until Shiloh comes. It seems Jesus could have been from the house of Joshua too if there was a mix among the descendants of those two houses.

Father Bless



Douglas,

You are right when you say:
Quote
So... some are now claiming that Jesus was not a Jew?   I've shared some of this with my wife who simply asked: "So, why do you insist on posting in such ridiculous discussions? Is this a Christian group?" Of course, I had to assure her that it is indeed a Christian group and an Orthodox one at that, but that there is always going to be the fringe element that make outlandish claims. What is the point of such a denial? Is anti-semetism at the heart of this?

The evidence that Jesus was a Jew is overwhelming.
Specifically, Irish Hermit had heard some noncanonical Orthodox asserting this, saying that He was slavic or that He lacked DNA. Since I don't remember you posting in this thread earlier, I assume you insist posting because you find it worthwhile to point out that those assertions are incorrect. Yes, the noncanonical Orthodox are Christian, but they are asserting heretical views here. So like you said, they are a fringe element making outlandish claims, I'm sorry to say.

The point of saying He was slavic is to associate Christ with one's own ethnicity and move His identity towards one's own. This is like the example Marc gave about Chinese Madonnas, which presumably would be an example of molding images of Christ to fit one's own identity.

The point of saying he didn't have any DNA at all would either be to: assert Monophysitism, overcome ethnic differences in a positive way, or deny His ethnicity. Considering that they are coming from a reactionary noncanonical viewpoint, I assume the latter would be true, so Yes, it appears that it would be out of anti-semitism.

You replied to Sdcheung:
Quote
<<Jesus wasn't just one of Todays Jews.
Since Todays Jews are just Faux Jews who are really Khazar Turks>>
You're playing word games.
Here it doesn't appear he's playing word games. Rather, he's making spurious claims about ethnicity that Today's Jews aren't really Jews, presumably because he claims they are Turks instead of being from the Tribe of Judah like presumably he finds Jesus to be.

Take Care



Lubeltri,

I agree with you when you write: <<And it must be admitted that those who act uncharitably towards Jews in their misguided attempts to convert them are also working against Christianity. Charity, the greatest of all virtues, is the heart of the Gospel, and those who act against it are acting as enemies of the Gospel.>> Like you said, charity is the heart of the Gospel and we must exercize it in our interpersonal relations. Offhand I'm not sure that charity is the greatest of all virtues, because I'm not sure what they all are :)

It wouldn't make sense for someone to have a "correctly-guided" attempt to convert someone and act uncharitable. It wouldn't even be effective, as the person would regret the conversion if it was successful.

Peace.



Observer,

I agree with you when you say:
Quote
Sorry if it offends but for Orthodox Christians, St John's homily is not infamous. Whatever is written about the Jews should in my humble opinion be seasoned with what is happening in our times. I am not equating Judaism with Zionism.
Except that it does have a certain infaminity, so to speak, as I vaguely remember reading that German anti-semites misused Chrysostom's words in their campaigns against Jews. This was a huge misuse as Chrysostom would have rejected the fascist genocide against the Jewish people. Just one reason is that the Nazis even genocided Jewish Christians. Not to mention that Christianity rejects genocide against Jews. Take for example St Paul's words to avoid arrogance against Jews and Jesus' extreme words to forgive even his crucifiers. The Nazis basically made a huge abuse of Christianity, which they didn't even respect anyway.

You are right that it should "be seasoned with what is happening in our times", although I'm not sure what exactly you're referring to. You wrote: "I am not equating Judaism with Zionism". So maybe you mean that we should disregard Zionism and just look at Judaism and religious Jews in our own times to understand Chrysostom's words.

I think that we can see a big change, from St Chrysostom's time when Christians had not too long before been persecuted by the religious authorities in Judaism, to today when we have a secular-oriented society and more respectful inter-religious relations and not too long ago there was an anti-semitic genocide in German-controlled parts of Europe. So you are right that rather than look at St Chrysostom's words as if they were written today, we should look at them as if they were written in the ancient time when the interreligious relations were worse from the religious authorities, not to mention that Christianity's place in society was probably weaker than we realize, despite the fact that a previous emperor had made it the official religion.

Have a good Paskha.



Xuxana,

You are pretty. I sympathize with your words:
Quote
Quote
Canon LXIV.
If any clergyman or layman shall enter into a synagogue of Jews or heretics to pray, let the former be deposed and let the latter be excommunicated.
http://www.voskrese.info/spl/aposcanon.html
wow. thats so mean. they oughtta change that cannon.
One problem with the canon is that the early Christians are described in the New Testament as praying in the Temple and attending Judaic synagogues. Personally I agree they should change it for this reason.

Fr. George elsewhere suggested that if a canon fell into disregard, then it would make the canon void. It does seem that this canon isn't often thought of. I could imagine some Russian priests being strict about this, but I doubt whether they would excommunicate the person on the first offense, so to speak.

On the other hand, I'm not sure it's mean. It seems too strict, and being too strict can have bad, mean effects.
But it's probably not meant to be mean: Orthodoxy has a rule that if someone misses communion three weeks in a row they are excommunicated. That would probably excommunicate over 2/3 of the world's Orthodox. So as you see, Orthodoxy's rules simply have a strict or ascetic attitude. Canon LXIV isn't directed at treating non-Christians in a mean way. Without being mean to Christians, the motive could be that if Christians believe Orthodoxy is "the True Faith", then they shouldn't be praying in other religions' institutions.

There seems is a "good cause" exception to the rule about missing communion. So maybe there is a good cause exception for Canon LXIV, like maybe if someone is forced to, if the person is acting in an official capacity, if the person is there to spread the gospel or help interreligious dialogue, if there aren't any Christian churches nearby, etc. I am not sure if any of these work, but it seems rational.

Happy Paskha



LBK,

You are right from an Orthodox point of view that:
Quote
We baptise into the faith, we do not circumcise. Baptism involves casting the "old man" aside, with the rebirth of the "new man" in Christ. We celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, not the Passover of the Hebrews. The new Israel is the Church. We are not Messianic Jews, nor are we Seventh-Day Adventists.
However, St Paul once made another Christian, Timothy, circumcised. The reference to Christians "of the circumcision" in the New Testament and early Church writings suggest that Jewish Christians continued to practice circumcision in first few centuries of the Church, which is our Church. However, my understanding is that our Church no longer practices religious circumcision. Personally, I think it would be OK for Jewish Christians who become Orthodox to continue this practice in their family if they want to, based on St Paul's words that those who are currently of the circumcision may keep it.
We refer to the Church as a "New Israel" in some of our Church chants. I have also heard the idea in Orthodoxy before that Baptism involves casting the "old man" aside, with the rebirth of the "new man" in Christ, like you say.

Peace



Layman Dan,

I believe you that
Quote
I have even heard Jews say that at the time of the redemption that they expect, Passover will be celebrated in a different way because the redemption will be so miraculous that the Jews being led out of Egypt will pale in comparison.
Although at least from their point of view, it seems like Passover as a remembrance of the first Passover could still be celebrated in the same way, even if the Redemption is seen as analogous in a way. For example, if there was a holiday for the founding of the 13 Colonies, I could still celebrate it the same way, even if there was an even bigger feeling about the founding of the USA.

I think you're right from the Christian point of view that:
Quote
I think the idea of the change in festivals is not that God hated the old ones, but that they found a superior meaning in the current ones due to the redemption... Little do they know that we actually already celebrate this miraculous redemption with Holy Week and the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. That is the new Passover, only the Lamb is the Lamb of God. Similar comparisons could be made with circumcision/baptism, Shavuot/Pentecost, Saturday/Sunday, etc. When you have new wine you need new wine skins.
Naturally, Christianity would see its holidays as superior to the Old Testament ones.

I do perceive a strong analogy between Shavuot and Pentecost, as they are both scheduled based on the date of Passover or Paskha, and receiving the Torah is analogous in a way to receiving the Holy Spirit:
Quote
Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai, although the association between the giving of the Torah (Matan Torah) and Shavuot is not explicit in the Biblical text. The holiday is one of the Shalosh Regalim, the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer.
The date of Shavuot is directly linked to that of Passover. The Torah mandates the seven-week Counting of the Omer, beginning on the second day of Passover and immediately followed by Shavuot. This counting of days and weeks is understood to express anticipation and desire for the Giving of the Torah. On Passover, the Jewish people were freed from their enslavement to Pharaoh; on Shavuot they were given the Torah and became a nation committed to serving God. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shavuot
Still, I haven't heard that Christian tradition makes this connection explicit.

Also, like you say, the comparisons are similar. But they aren't necessarily exactly the same as how Paskha is a fulfillment of Passover. It's true that Baptism plays a similar role in introducing the person to the Church as circumcision introduced the person to Israel. But I don't remember that Christian tradition sees baptism as a fulfillment of circumcision.

Happy Paskha



augustin717

You commented:
Quote
Well, I find it sad if the Russians (of Jewish ancestry) outnumber the Arabs in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. That shows that Israel has been successful in driving away the indigenous Orthodox faithful.
That only proves
You didn't finish your last sentence, so it isn't clear what you were going to say it "only proves", and you could have made a three-word typo.

That Russians of partial Jewish heritage outnumber Arab Orthodox doesn't mean Israel drove out the indigenous Orthodox, because the disparity could simply be due to an influx of Russian immigration that was larger than the number of Arab Orthodox already there. For example, in 1947, there were about 150,000 Palestinian Christians in Israel and Palestine. But the current figures for Russian Orthodox immigrants there range from 150,000-400,000. So one explanation is that the Russian immigration was simply very large.

From 1922 to 1947, the Palestinian Christian population increased as follows (from http://www.mideastweb.org/palpop.htm):
1922 Census 71,464
1947 Projection 153,621
The increase was steady each year, and over those 25 years it increased about 215.96%.
At that rate, in 2009 a Palestinian Christian population would be expected of 770,070. About half of the Palestinian Christians are Orthodox, so a native Orthodox population would be expected in 2009 of 385,035.

So if there are 400,000 Russian immigrants- the high estimate, then Russian immigrants simply outnumbering Arab Orthodox doesn't show that Israel was successful in driving out the indigenous Orthodox.

Anyway, there are only about 100,000 Arab Orthodox in Israel, so yes, the statistics strongly suggest that Israel was successful in driving  a big majority of them away. This is reflected in the enormous emigration from Orthodox villages since 1947. I think Taybeh has about 10% of the population it used to. Maybe I'm confusing that with Beit Sahour. The totally-abandoned village of Al-Bassa is another good example.

Peace
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline William

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #349 on: April 23, 2011, 09:48:07 PM »
Buzu,

It makes sense when you say:
Quote
The church does not have any specific teaching on the jews as a people that differs from other nationalities who do not believe in Christ, after the ressurection their role has ceased, the jewish race and the gentile believers should have been One fold, which is the Church, but most jews were seeking after a different kind of messiah.
Except that it does have a specific teaching different from other nationalities that applies to the time before the resurrection, as your words suggest: "after the ressurection their role has ceased". Also, some historians suggest that most Jews in fact have become Christian, either through intermarriage, or conversion in Byzantine Palestine.
Could you expound on this a bit?
Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #350 on: April 24, 2011, 12:02:28 PM »
Buzu,

It makes sense when you say:
Quote
The church does not have any specific teaching on the jews as a people that differs from other nationalities who do not believe in Christ, after the ressurection their role has ceased, the jewish race and the gentile believers should have been One fold, which is the Church, but most jews were seeking after a different kind of messiah.
Except that it does have a specific teaching different from other nationalities that applies to the time before the resurrection, as your words suggest: "after the ressurection their role has ceased". Also, some historians suggest that most Jews in fact have become Christian, either through intermarriage, or conversion in Byzantine Palestine.
Could you expound on this a bit?

William,

Sure.

http://(1) His words  "after the ressurection their role has ceased" implies that before the resurrection they had a special role. So traditional Christianity has a "specific teaching on the jews as a people that differs from other nationalities" for the time before the resurrection.

Jesus says that "salvation is of the Jews". God promised to David that the Messiah would be from David's line. And the kings of Judah were of that line. Plus, several books of the books of the Bible important to seeing Messianic prophecy, like Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, were written and kept by the Tribe of Judah. Thus, the Jews had a unique, specific role as a people in bringing about Christianity.

Naturally, after the resurrection, this role has ceased, in that Christianity has come about. St Paul describes how part of the Jews and part of the gentiles played a common role of becoming Christian and joined together in Israel.

He also writes that many other Jews and many other gentiles didn't become Christian, but adds hopefully that eventually the rest of the Jews and gentiles will become Christian too, which is also a common role.

The Jews have a special, unique role before the resurrection, and a role that they share and have in common with the other nations of becoming Christian.

Now I think an attempted counterargument is that nonChristian Jews still have a role of indirectly leading to Christianity, because they keep the scriptures that prophecy Christ.
But this role wouldn't actually be unique to the Jews, as now Christians of Greek, Roman, Russian, etc. nationality also keep those scriptures.

http://(2) His words "jews as a people that differs from other nationalities who do not believe in Christ" implies that Jews are not Christian. But this is not totally true. I clearly remember reading in at least 2 scholarly sources that by the 5th-6th centuries, most of the Holy Land was Christian. The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia suggests that many Jews became Christian too:
Quote
That many joined the Church only to escape the penalty of the Jewish law is evidenced by a decree of the emperor Arcadius demanding an investigation of each applicant for admission into the Church, as to his moral and social standing, and by the story of a typical Jewish impostor told by the Church historian Socrates (Jost, "Gesch. der Israeliten," iv. 225).   http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=1654&letter=A#4878#ixzz1KSN2pK8C
Plus, I believe that there has been alot of intermarriage over the centuries between Jews and Christians in Europe. So I think that a big portion of, if not most of the Jewish people have become Christian at some point.

Happy Paskha
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 12:03:23 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline borman09

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #351 on: April 25, 2011, 05:43:43 AM »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #352 on: April 25, 2011, 09:53:37 AM »
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« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 09:57:12 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #353 on: April 25, 2011, 10:00:13 AM »
Marc1152,

It is interesting reading your posts because you are smart, knowledgeable, and know alot about Christianity and Judaism.

For me, the topic of Orthodoxy in the Holy Land and Christianity's relation to the ancient Jews is interesting because Christianity is either the continuation of, or an offshoot of, ancient Judaism, as are the Jewish people and Judaism today. So it helps us better in learning about our faith.

You asked:
And who spread palms and their cloaks across the road as the Lord entered Jerusalem? Were they Greeks? Romans?
In this case they were Jews, hoping for the promised Messiah. They probably weren't Greeks, but it's a possibility that some of them could have been Greeks who converted to Judaism, or Jews from Jewish families in Greece, which would in a way have made them Greeks, like for example there were or are English Jews and English Celts, even though they weren't from the Anglo-Saxon tribes.

Also, some of them could have been Roman citizens like St Paul. It's possible that some of them weren't Jews

You asked:
Quote
Who were the people who first followed Jesus and become his apostles and disciples? And why don't they count as Jews?
The same could be said for Jesus' followers as I responded above. But none of the main 12 apostles appear to qualify as Greeks or Romans. On the other hand, St Paul numbered himself among the broader number of apostles or disciples, and he was a Roman citizen. Further, people were amazed when a Roman soldier, Cornelius, showed he had the Holy Spirit.

11 of the 12 apostles were Galileans, and I assume that the Galileans were descended from the Tribe of Judah, the largest of the 12 Tribes. On the other hand, those 11 weren't Judeans. The only Judean among them was Judas. The term Jew first came to refer to those of the Kingdom of Judah, and later included the Judeans.

So most of the first apostles and disciples count as Jews in an ethnic sense. On the other hand, St Paul wrote that there is no longer Jew nor Greek. So it seems from St Paul that in a certain super-natural spiritual sense, they are no longer Jews or greek but simply souls united with Christ.

You are right that your posting above addressed the topic at hand.

I agree with your response that
Quote
the Jews have remained stubborn in their refusal to repent.
But that is a narrow definition of "The Jews"
The definition was narrow because it would only include Jews who reject Jesus and accept his execution. This definition was too narrow, partly because many early Christians were Jews, as you showed.

You are correct when you write:
Quote
The Lord himself was a Jew
All of the Apostles were Jews ( Peter and Paul were Jews..etc)
The Theotokos was a Jew
The 70 disciples many of whom became the first Bishops were Jews
Etc.
So the very foundation of Christianity was laid by Jews.
Except that a high number were Galileans as explained above. Plus, it seems to me that the 70 probably included a few Romans like Cornelius.

I disagree that
Quote
That is rarely acccounted for in the Christian World View because of various historic and political reasons that we are all familiar with.
It is and has been clear in the Christian World View that the first Christians were nearly all Jews, many of them fishermen from Galilee.

Also, I highly doubt your view that:
Quote
But the fact remains that before one single gentile had the opportunity to repent ( as mentioned above) it was necessary that some Jews took faith in Jesus as the Christ, establish the fledgling Church and then evangelize to Gentiles.....
1. Some scholars feel that gentile Romans were included in the crowds that went to John the Baptist and repented. One of their reasons was that John the Baptist gave instructions to soldiers among the teachings he gave to the crowds.
2. Jesus reached out to Roman soldiers, like healing the soldier's daughter.
3. When Jesus was crucified, a Roman soldier said of him that "Surely this man" was of God.
4. Also, I am not sure that some Jews would have faith in Him first, and then establish the Church and evangelize first. It seems foreseeable that Jesus could have addressed groups of people and that in those groups there were non-Jews, and that they were included among those who took the actions you mentioned. For example, Idumeans went out to hear Jesus in the crowds. I am also not aware at the moment of any theological reasons why it would be necessary that only Jews would do these things first.

I have some doubt that Jonathan Gress's explanation about the category of "Jews" is "a very helpful explanation,  it sets out what is the ideal.", because as you pointed out, the term has an ethnic dimension too, which is separate from the spiritual meaning. Plus, even in theology, there could be an idea about the Jewish nation collectively doing a bad act that is consistent with the idea that some Jews and members of the collective opposed the bad act.

Likewise, I think your statement here is only part of the case:
Quote
It practice however , especially in the Orthodox Church, Greeks certainly remain Greeks and Serbians , Serbs and Russians Russian.
You are apparently referring to the jurisdictional issues. If a Russian, for example, moves to a village in Greece, he will attend or join the Greek church there. The same is true about Serbs and vice verse for all of them. So in the church it isn't necessarily true that Russians stay Russians, etc. These are simply jurisdictional differences which came out of the fact that each area had its own bishop, and there are cultural differences between areas. Yet when the foreigner joins the local jurisdiction, he/she becomes part of it, and for spiritually purposes is no longer even a foreigner, ie. of a foreign jurisdiction.

This rule applies even to Jews, where for example the Orthodox jurisdiction for Palestinians has some Jewish customs that Palestinians Christians have retained, since they themselves are partly descended from Jews.

Also I somewhat disagree with the statement:
Quote
So in the Worldly sense yes, the Apostles no longer had a spiritual connection with the Old Covenant .
For example, they still followed the 10 Commandments.

I somewhat agree with your statement:
Quote
But to say they were no longer "Jews" is a bit much while allowing Romans to remain Romans and Greeks left to be Greek etc.
1. Your statement about Jews here is only true if it is taken in an absolutist sense, because they, like gentiles, could be no longer one nor the other within Christianity as St Paul apparently wrote.
2. It would be too much if one group lost its ethnic identity completely and the others didn't.
3. Greeks and Romans would have also lost their own separate identities within the church, and are merely separated by jurisdictions that are identified as Greek or Roman based on their location. Also, there really isn't much of a Roman ethnicity either, outside of Rome itself. Thus, ethnic identities fall away as far as the religious identity is concerned and these things only become relevant insofar as they are part of a rite or jurisdiction in the Church.

One claim could be that Jews need their own jurisdiction just as every other ethnicity does. But each ethnicity doesn't have it's own jurisdiction, like the gypsies. Plus, ethnicity isn't supposed to be used anymore as a basis for church organization. In fact, the situation in America with overlapping ethnic jurisdictions is uncanonical. Finally, there are jurisdictions that have strong Jewish Christian influence, like the Church of Jerusalem and a still-existing Oriental Orthodox jurisdiction in India made of ancient Jewish Christian immigrants from western Syria.

I disagrees that Gress's words
Quote
also (inadvertently to be sure) plays into certain anti-semtic formulations that that either deny the Lords ethnic identification as a Jew ( producing Blond Haired, Blue Eyes depictions) or conjectures that the Jews back then were "different" than the Jew's of today.
because:
1. Gress was only referring to distinctions within the Church, rather than secular anthropological definitions,
2. It's undeniable that Christ was of Jewish background, and such depictions you described would be extremely rare in Orthodoxy,
3. It would be irrelevant to whether Jews then were different than Jews today, because even at the most extreme it would only say that once inside the church they were different than Jews outside it. Such an extreme idea would still be applied to Christian and non-Christian Jews both then and today, so it wouldn't by itself show suggest anything about ethnic changes over time.

I also highly doubt your words that:
Quote
Still, Pagan Greeks were free to remain Greeks in identity after Baptism but Jews somehow cease to be Jews once Baptised.. The ideal of, there are no Greeks or Jews in Christ, does not seem to be what has been done in practice
The thread about Notable Orthodox of Jewish Origin discussed Jewish converts to Orthodoxy who naturally remained of Jewish ethnicity after baptism.
There was a saint for example who became bishop of Gaza in about the 5th century who was known as Porphyrius the Israelite, as I somewhat remember. Plus, some other saints' biographies like those of Epiphanius mention that he was a Judean with parents of Judean background.
However, insofar as we describe the person's spirit, ie as they are in Christ, the practice was to no longer separate him or her based on whether they were Greek or Jewish.
Except that it does appear that there were sometimes customary rules that differed, like how some Jews continued some practices like circumcision, or as I vaguely remember one local church rule a very long time ago said that when Jews converted they weren't still to associate closely with nonChristian Jews without voicing religious disagreement with them.

You commented to Gress:
Quote
Actually 'Greek' used to be synonymous with 'pagan';...

Thanks for being so clear.
I think he was clear in the paragraphs you referred to, but still, it wasn't completely clear when he said Greek and pagan were synonymous. For example, based on this, it isn't clear whether a Greek-speaking Egyptian could say he/she was Greek in order to convey that he/she was pagan.

It's funny when you write about IPC's post:
Quote
Wow..Congratulations..That may be the most anti-semitic post on the entire Internet. You should win some kind of award...Nice work.  Get help
You are clearly exagerrating, since there are much longer and more offensive anti-Semitic rants on the web.
His post does sound anti-Semitic, because his condemnations explicitly refer to "the Jews." One possible way for him to avoid this charge would be if by Jews he only is referring to them as a religious category. I assume this is what he means because he specifies them as the pharisees. In such a case he would more clearly be said to have strong religious discrimination against followers of Judaism.

You asked:
Quote
Was there really a tower of Babel?
Did Jonah really get swallowed by a Whale ?
I think that there was a tower of Babel, although I'm not sure. Babylon and the area around where Babel would have been did have significant ancient civilization. And one would expect that the civilization there would have built a significant tower or architectural building. The fact that the ancient scriptures mention this suggests that this did in fact happen.

i highly doubt that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. This sounds at face value very extremely unlikely, although hypothetically, an extreme miracle could be possible, like if some advanced technology went back in time and did this. I'm just sayin'.

In this case, the miracle sounds even more extreme than Jesus' resurrection, because the whale's digestive juices would have had a more extreme reaction on the body.

Anyway, I think that the story of Jonah is an allegory. A Russian deacon who is somewhat famous in Russian Orthodoxy today, wrote an article where he mentioned his view that it's an allegory.

One possible view in my mind is that it's a vision-like prophecy of Christ's resurrection.

You conversed:
Quote
ALVEUS: So, your Catholic priest was busy pointing out factual errors in the Holy Scriptures?

YOU: Was there really a tower of Babel? Did Jonah really get swallowed by a Whale ?

ALVEUS: Did you really ask me those questions?

YOU: I am truly curious about what people accept in Scripture as "Factual" and what they don't. I remember sitting next to a very nice fellow during the trapeza meal who was trying to place the tower of babel in history, when it actually happened.


Alveus rhetorically suggested that it's bad for a priest to do alot of work pointing out factual problems in scripture in his sermons.

Your  response about Jonah went against Alveus' suggestion, because your response:
(A) suggested that scripture has factual errors, since the story about Jonah sounds fantastical
(B) pointed out a factual error, which was similar to what Alveus was complaining about the priest.

Alveus' response was a rhetorical question suggesting that your response was improper. But I feel that the substance of your response was proper, because it's worthwhile and relevant here to see whether there are in fact factual errors in scripture.

By capitalizing and putting the word "Factual" in quotation marks in your next response:
Quote
I am truly curious about what people accept in Scripture as "Factual" and what they don't.
, you suggest that people are  treating things with Respect and calling things "Factual" that they shouldn't. For example, if I tell you that I am selling someone a "Good" car, you would interpret this to mean that I am tricking them that it is a good car.

I believe you that you are curious about what facts people accept that you strongly believe aren't real. It seems that you are curious for its entertainment value, as in the example you give next:
"I remember sitting next to a very nice fellow during the trapeza meal who was trying to place the tower of babel in history, when it actually happened."
(A) By saying that he only "tried" to do this, you suggest that he failed to.
(B) On its face, placing the tower of bable in history would be a very hard task because it happened so long ago in a time from which there are few remaining records. Plus, by saying "actually happened", you suggest that this isn't clear.
(C) It isn't clear how it's relevant that the person was "a very nice fellow", except that his strong virtue in being nice is contrasted with his inability to locate the event in history.

You have some skill in entertaining, and I admit it's partly entertaining to see people accept as factual beliefs that appear obviously unfactual.

I somewhat disagree with you when you say:
Quote
Comparing ancient mythos with the Gospels seems a bit different to me.  I think we have to assume that the degree of reliability of the Gospels is a bit higher, but whatever.

But that isn't really the teaching of the Church either.. Where is the line when we get to pick and choose?
The church does give stronger weight to the gospels' factual reliability because the Church sees the Old Testament as a prefigurement of what it considers to be its physical realization in the gospels. Thus, the Church emphasizes the prophetic, figurative nature of the Old Testament and the real nature of the gospels.

I think it's a good question you ask:
Quote
Where is the line when we get to pick and choose?
And I think the clearest line by the Church is in the Nicene Creed. It describes the Old Testament prophecies as inspired, and also states what it sees as factual New Testament events, like the existence of Pilate and the fact of the crucifixion.

Also, I somewhat agree with you when you say:
Quote
We're all just making up our own personal religions as we go anyway, are we not?
Oh I don't really think so if you are participating in the Church with effort.
By this you mean the mental effort of participating in the Church, and I think you're right, because such participation would include some conformance to Church beliefs. On the other hand, a person could participate and merely make the effort, that is, merely trying, but still also have some made-up ideas of his own.

I sympathize with your statement:
Quote
We have trouble separating the words "factual" and "True".
, except sometimes the difference is clear. I could say that "rainbows are pretty", and we can clearly say this is true, even though we clearly say this is not a factual statement.

You're right that:
Quote
Everything in Scripture is there for a reason. And while some things in the Old Testament are clearly symbolic, it is just as true that there were no tape recorders during the Life of Christ... One must see the bigger picture of Love and living for others, even those we may think of as our enemies.

Also, I doubt the word "therefore" here is correct:
Quote
Therefore one must exercise a modicum of caution when we use passages such is as the "Blood Libal" as an excuse for burning Jewish towns, and hearding them into death camps.
Morally, we shouldn't "use passages such is as the "Blood Libal" as an excuse for burning Jewish towns, and hearding them into death camps", whether or not there were tape recorders in Jesus' time or the Old Testament was symbolic.

Whether or not the latter two underlined possibilities are true has nothing to do with the morality of such persecution.

Also, I sympathize with your words that:
Quote
Any Scripture that evokes hatred and murderous thoughts is being misused.
It seems that there are some Old Testament vengeance-style passages, like about bashing the Babylonian infants, that appear possibly intended to have these bad thoughts. But based on our strong principle of love and forgiveness, it would be a misuse to use these words for such bad purposes.

You asked:
Quote
Ought we strike it from the Scriptures
We should strike nothing. However, "Christian Hatred" should be an oxymoron. No?
I think to answer: "No, such a term can be consistent if it refers to hatred of doing much evil."

Regarding your comment:
Quote
In fairness it should be noted that from the Jewish perspective the reason for not accepting Jesus as the Christ is not because they are waiting for an "earthly Christ". That is the Christian analysis of their position.
(A) By "the Jewish perspective" you mean the perspective on Judaism.
(B) I highly doubt that there is "the" Christian analysis on this that differs from what Judaism teaches, because 1. it's such a basic question, 2. Christianity came from Judaism, 3. Christianity and Judaism have been living side by side for almost 2000 years, 4. Christianity cannot define for Judaism what Judaism teaches.
(C) My understanding is that most Jews were expecting an earthly Messiah, ie. a human being instead of God, and that Judaism and Christianity both teach that this is the view of Judaism.
(D) A human being is earthly, so what you may mean is that Judaism teaches he would be an earthly being with divine qualities. In that case, it still wouldn't be wrong to say Judaism's view is that he would be an earthly being. It's just that in addition, Judaism also teaches he has divine qualities. Further, Judaism has a range of schools, and the Reform school takes a more rationalist approach, so this school could actually think that he will only be an earthly being.
(E)Still, from Judaism's perspective, it wasn't simply failing to fulfill prophecies, it was also that they were expecting someone more earthly than God Himself. So for Judaism, it wouldn't merely be that "that if you hold Jesus to the standard set in scripture, he failed to meet it."
Rather, one of Judaism's criticisms is that Jesus went outside of those standards by being not merely earthly, but also God.
It seems to me that you could be partly right, though, and that some schools of Judaism could be hoping for a Messiah that is godlike as well as earthly.

I have some doubt that: "If you check off all of the ways we are to know the true Messiah he met some of them but not all." These ways you refer to are prophetic. Philosophy is sometimes an open-ended way of thinking. Poetry is also open-ended, as a form of art. Religion also had a philosophical aspect. It seems to me that the prophecies can be interpreted poetically in some open-ended ways, and it seems likely that philosophically, Jesus did fulfill all those ways, even if it would seem at first glance like He didn't.

For example, if it says that He would be a King, then we could interpret this philosophically and say that He was or is a King, as he has many people, the Christians, who acknowledge His kingly authority and follow his commands.

I have some doubt that:
Quote
Christians reply that the remainder will be fullfilled after the seconded coming, an argument that can fall a bit short if you are not preaching to the choir.
It seems like prophetic visions of the Old Testament about the Messiah could be interpreted in an open-ended, philosophical way, such that He fulfilled all the prophecies.

Also, it may or may not fall short if you are not preaching to the choir, depending on how open-minded your audience is.
For example, if (A)I tell you that I will take your money, fix your windshield wipers and fix your transmission, and (B) do the first two things and then go on a short, unannounced vacation, you will probably expect that I will do the last thing after the vacation.

In this case, Jesus had even announced that He would be leaving and would return.

It makes sense when you write:
Quote
I heard a debate some years ago between a Rabbi and a Protestant Minister. The Rabbi listed all of the scriptural requirements to recognize the Messiah and pointed that Jesus fullfilled only some of them. The reply was that the rest were to be fullfilled in the second coming.

I am not an Old Testament scholar ( to be sure). I cant site the complete list for you.

However, your words "I cant site the complete list for you. Consult your local Rabbi" are problematic because:
(A) The local Rabbi also might not have the complete list or know where to find it. It's foreseeable that he might have a partial list and feel that it's enough for him.
(B) The Rabbi might list some things as unfulfilled that Christianity sees as fulfilled. For example, one Judaic objection is that Jesus wasn't ceremonially anointed as a king. One Christian response could be that He was anointed by the woman with burial ointment, and that while an eartjly king might be anointed one way for his earthly rule, Christ was anointed to die and resurrect. It seems like a philosophical or religious argument, and it's better for a Christian to hear both sides than simply to hear the side of Judaism on such questions. Otherwise, the person could leave his/her religion and then regret it if they later felt that the Christian response was sufficient.

You commented:
Quote
The point is, the Jewish objections are not exactly as vacuous as we make them out to be.
However, I don't think that the objections of Judaism are portrayed so vacuously. The Christian portrayal is that Judaism mistakenly expected an earthly conquering Messiah because they wanted one. But the Christian view doesn't seem to me to be that this expectation was so vacuous.

For example, you could say that Judaism's assumption of a military conquest by the Messiah was reasonable because there might not seem at first to be alternative ways for Israel to overcome the Roman occupation. And yet Christianity did conquer Rome without force, contrary to the assumption that it would take Israelite force to do so.

I agree with you about Gress's comment when you say that:
Quote
Your first statement is ridiculous but then the rest of your post details why it is ridiculous.
However, the statement doesn't at first appear ridiculous, because at first glance it seems like a problem that Jesus didn't fulfill some things in His first coming. Plus, the fact that He didn't does place more doubt about Christianity than if He did.

I somewhat disagree that:
Quote
Yes indeed, the Rabbinical analysis of scripture is informed by a different paradigm than the Christian view.
The pharisees did have beliefs in Resurrection and in spirits, so it doesn't seem that they were necessarily "informed by a different paradigm" than Christianity based on the fact that Christianity uses those two beliefs to avoid the problem that some things were left unfulfilled in the First Coming.

However, I highly doubt your conclusion that this means:
Quote
The point is that it isn't a totally empty hand as Christians often  assume.
Whether it uses a different paradigm or ignores possibilities like the resurrection doesn't mean it "isn't a totally empty hand", because for example the different paradigm could be empty or the possibilities it ignores could be necessary.

It seems to me you are right that:
Quote
They have considerable scriptural arguments to present and reasonably so.
But all you showed here was that they complain many important things were left unfulfilled at the first coming, and that the counterargument is that they would be fulfilled at the second coming. You stated earlier in this particular post that this complaint by them was "ridiculous" and that the counterargument "details why it is ridiculous."

Also, I highly doubt that:
Quote
We tend to dismiss their viewpoint as if they are insane when the Truth is that our argument requires more than one leap of faith.
, because:
(A) I don't remember a Christian view treating the pharisees' view as if it was insane, that is, absolutely incoherent. At most, the Christian criticism portrayed the pharisees' view as simply mistaken or misguided.
(B)It appears we only mentioned two leaps of faith here: the resurrection and that Jesus would return. However, the pharisees already accepted the resurrection, so theoretically, it's not a leap of faith that the pharisees wouldn't make. Plus, the other leap of faith is that Jesus in particular will return. But having accepted the resurrection as a real phenomena, this is not so hard, because death would cease to be a barrier preventing His return.

As to your question: "Did he not teach in the Synagogues? Do you believe that non-Jews were allowed to teach in Synagogue?..", the New Testament records that Jesus taught in Nazareth's synagogue. This is the only specific case that I know. However I have alittle doubt about even this instance, because some archeologists claim that Nazareth as a village didn't exist until after Jesus' time.

It seems likely to me that non-Jews weren't allowed to teach in synagogues. However, it seems to me that maybe it's a possibility, because the Temple had an outer court for gentiles. There, the gentiles could purchase animals, apparently for Temple sacrifice. So perhaps there were some synagogues that would allow them to teach, but I think it's highly unlikely.

I somewhat disagree that SDC's confusion about Jews is "of the same sort as that of the Atheists who claim that Jesus never lived and was a factious charactor." In SDC's case, he is confused about the definition of a social term, while in the case of those Atheists, they are making a claim about whether something is factually true. So they are different types of confusion. Further, SDC wasn't making speculation like you said. Rather, he was just making an obvious confusion of simple logic. There really isn't any speculation involved in his mis-definition of the term.

I disagree that "Nothing discredits our faith more in the eye's of non-Christians than this sort of tripe", because for example some non-Christians have the idea that to really be a Jew one must adhere to certain religious principles. I think such an idea exists among some followers of Judaism, for example. Further, the idea that things are named differently in religion wouldn't seem to necessarily mean that the religion is wrong. In this case however, SDC is even confused within Christianity, because Christianity doesn't share his confused view.

Also, I highly doubt that simply a mistaken social definition of the word Jew led to violence "in the past". Religious and ethnic strife would be foreseeable however they defined the words. Either way you defined the term, it seems people would be just as capable of fighting eachother because they were of different faiths, whether or not the social term overlapped or was equated with the religious one, because there would still be separate entities. It's like how Christians fought eachother sometimes even when they both called themselves Christian.

You asked a good question, albeit in a hypothetical way:
"How can this Jesus have been the True Messiah if his followers are so deluded and hate filled?"
The same question could be asked about how could Jehovah be real if the Israelites did or thought such bad things, or how could Democracy be good if democracies do or think such bad things? Perhaps these similar example suggest the answer.
Likewise, Jesus Himself distinguished between people who did His will and those who said they did His will and didn't.
One answer to your question could be that the followers aren't really his followers. Another could be that while they feel this way now, they are still on the path to spiritual improvement so that they will be this way less in the future.
So just because some people who claim or try to follow something fail doesn't mean that the thing they are following is false.

You did a good job showing that Jesus fit within the Judaism of his time and was also of Jewish ethnicity when you wrote:
Quote
<<He was jew, but he was not a jew who we would label a Jew Today.>>

Okay....How so?
Ritual circumcision, keeping the Passover, attending Temple and reading from the Torah etc. are all still done today.
He was of a Jewish Mother and in the line of David.
But I am glad we have made some progress and you at least admit that he was a Jew. Perhaps it is your own personal anti-sematism that is clouding your judgement....
When Jesus had the ideology of Christianity He became someone who in today's religious sense of the word "Jew" wouldn't be called a Jew today. Today, the religious term "Jew" commonly refers to followers of nonChristian Judaism, although some Jewish Christians, eg. some "Messianic Jews", do refer to themselves as religious Jews.

Of course, I believe that people also understand that the term Jew has an ethnic meaning, and people would naturally commonly refer to Jesus as a Jew in this way.

You made a good point that "Ritual circumcision, keeping the Passover, attending Temple and reading from the Torah etc. are all still done today." However, for better or worse, the simplistic idea in common speech today is that Judaism is a separate religion from Christianity, and that once someone excepts the core beliefs of Christianity they become a Christian and would not be a Jew, with the possible exception of Messianic Jews.

In my opinion the simple linguistic idea would be that Jesus was a Christian who kept Jewish practices, and that He was rejected by Judaism and its followers. Of course, a similar view cold be made of other dissident schools in Judaism, like the Karaites. So in my view this idea seems maybe too simplistic.

Technically, for reasons like those you mentioned, it would seem that Christainity was either a school of Judaism or true Judaism itself. But anyway here I was referring to what seems to be simple common English, which seems to see Christianity and Judaism as separate.

Here you show that he was ethnically Jewish and refer to Sdcheung's admission that he sees Jesus as a Jew in this sense:
Quote
He was of a Jewish Mother and in the line of David.
But I am glad we have made some progress and you at least admit that he was a Jew.

You have made progress in further clarifying Sdcheung's view.

Further it isn't clear to me whether Sdcheung is anti-semitic and if so whether it has led to his mistake. He said he was a white supremacist, and this is a bad, prideful position. But still, a small portion of them don't direct themselves against Jews. His position deprives the Jewish people of their ethnic name, and this seems at least partly bad and anti-semitic. On the other hand, in the Old Testament, one of the requirements of belonging to the tribe was to have certain religious ideas, so it's possible Sdcheung's bad confusion would have a different source than simply his own anti-semitism, like say, an over-focus on religious definitions.

I agree with you when you write:
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<<I said he was Jew but not a Talmud - Pharasaical Jew, or the jews that murdered him.
Yeah yeah Anti-Semite whatever.
>>

Actually, many of his teachings are right in line with Pharisaical theology and World View, others were of course not as we all know. There were of course many Jewish currents and sects and sub sects during the time the Lord was on Earth. For example the Karaites claim Jesus was closer to their way of thinking ( even though their sect did not formally exist at that time).
Anyway, this silliness is not worth discussing much further except if we can help you find your way back to normalcy..
Except:
1. I am not sure there were many Jewish sects and sub sects then, because the only ones of which I know from then are: Christians, Nazarenes, Pharisees, Essenes, and Sadducees.
2. I am not sure Karaites collectively claim Jesus was closer to Karaiteism, or if this is just one view in Karaiteism, expressed for example in a video you posted on the thread "Jesus and the Pharisees."
3. Karaites claiming this would not necessarily show that Jesus' views were or were not in line with phariseeism, since Karaites aren't Christians. For example, early Christianity actually had pharisees like St Paul. Nor is it clear that Karaites even informally existed in Jesus' time, since for example the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia defines Karaite-ism as based on added ideas that developed in the Middle Ages and that went beyond merely focusing on the Old Testament and rejecting the authority of oral torah. The Encyclopedia characterized it as similar to Islam in a way.

I doubt Schdeung's "silliness is not worth discussing much further except if we can help you find your way back to normalcy.." It seems worthwhile, for example, to discuss whether Jesus could be considered a Jew in the religious sense, and whether Christianity can rightly be considered Judaism or part of it.

Your wish for Schdeung is nice:
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May the Lord heal you and protect you.
May He heal and protect you too.

You commented:
"I have changed my avatar picture for the duration of this thread."
I am curious what you changed your avatar picture to. This was in 2009, and since I've seen you on the forum, your avatar has been Conan O'Brien. Also, this thread is still continuing. But maybe you changed it again anyway. :)

I somewhat agree with you that:
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<<Denying Jesus was a Jew is a back door way of denying the incarnation. There are all kinds of  realities we are faced with as Christians that we may be personally comfortable with. But unlike many other groups, Orthodoxy demands that we conform and not change the religion to conform to our own petty preferences. This sort of antisemitic denial is surely the work of the Devil since it leads one into at least a partial denial of the incarnation...>>
(1) In the case Irish Hermit mentioned, it went in the direction of denying the incarnation. The afore-mentioned view was that Jesus lacked ethnicity before the incarnation, and so he lacked ethnicity afterwards. The view doesn't clearly deny the incarnation, as it could have an irrational idea that Jesus took on some human qualities, like a physical relation to the force of gravity, but not others, like ethnicity.
(2) Also, I highly doubt that they were trying to deny the incarnation. Rather it appears they were trying to deny one aspect of it, ie that he would naturally have taken on an ethnicity during the incarnation.
The other groups
(3) The other groups you referred to don't have the idea that you can change your religious ideas based on your own preferences. Rather, their view is that God tells each person their religious ideas. This would be the case with some evangelical groups, who take the view that each person always can interpret the bible himself/herself, and that the views of the Church are irrelevant. Naturally, they feel that when the interpreting happens, the Holy Spirit guides them. In fact though, they would probably say that the views of other Christians, ie what they see as the Church, are helpful. Plus, I assume we would probably take the view that sometimes a person really can interpret the Bible himself if the Holy Spirit so guides him. So it seems that really it's a big difference in emphasis, rather than absolutely a difference in beliefs between us and the evangelicals here.
On the other hand, your suggestion is in the right direction, as Orthodoxy emphasizes conformity tot he Church's views more than the evangelical groups, which could thus be considered giving more allowance for individual preferences about interpretations.
(4) It isn't clear that the denial you mentioned is anti-semitic. On its face, it could merely be monophysitism. On the other hand, since it appears that it comes from what could be considered a reactionary splinter group, the motivation for this view could be anti-semitism. It seems to me that this view could come indirectly from the devil, since it appears that there could be an anti-semitic motivation for what would be a rejection of basic ideas about the incarnation. Also, it seems really hard to know whether the devil directly or indirectly worked something unless a divine being told you this, or you observed this directly, because we are somewhat limited in our perceptions to earthly things.

On the other hand, I don't know for certain 100% that monophysitism is incorrect, although I believe it is incorrect. And it could be seen that this viewpoint overcomes ethnic differences, since it describes Jesus as lacking ethnicity. So it could be that this obviously mistaken view isn't from the devil, indirectly or directly.

I agree with you:
Quote
God actually was born to a real mother with a real heritage in a specific ethnic and religious line... Praise be his mercy and condescension to us.
In Christianity, since God, such a mighty being, has mercy on us and condescends to us by taking on human qualities and saving us using those qualities, it is good to praise Him.

I highly doubt your addition that taking on a specific ethnic and religous line would be: ".....just like the rest of us."
(1) Alot of people have mixed ethnicities and religious heritage. Others, like some Soviet or Chinese orphans, might have no ethnic or religious heritage passed down to them. It seems some of them have been raised from the beginning of their ideological nurturing with secularism without religion. Plus, they could be a mix of ethnicities where their ethnicity is nonspecific and unclear, like a Soviet child with mixed ethnicity from, say, Central Asia, the Baltics, Ukraine, Russia, native Siberians, etc., as well as a some immigrants from African countries. The USSR had some immigrants from African countries. By the way, Pushkin was Ethiopian.

You are right when you say "Judaizing Christianity is a heresy." Specifically, the heresy of "Judaizing Christianity" refers to the idea that circumcision and some other rituals like Passover observance are required for one's salvation. (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08537a.htm) The Council of Jerusalem took the view that gentiles could be saved without these observances.

Actually Judaism also took the view in the 1st-2nd centuries AD that gentiles could be saved by merely following the Noahide laws, which is a view somewhat analogous to Christianity's rejection of the Judaizing heresy.

Naturally, as a general principle "serious observance of any other religion except Christianity is never allowed." But the line for what would constitute this feels alittle vague. For example, it's not clear to me whether the following would all be considered Christians observing another religion:
(A) Congress having a public prayer led by a rabbi, if the prayer is "nondenominational"/"interreligious".
(B) Christians visiting a Judaic synagogue, because the apostles also visited them

Also, I feel conflicted about whether "the occasional secular oriented brisket dinner at Passover (if your family is Jewish) is probably okay with the blessing of your Priest."
I like Passover as a holiday and would like to participate in a celebration myself. Plus, if as you say it's secular-oriented, perhaps the particular participants don't feel religious or give it a religious meaning. Halloween, after all, is a druid religious holiday that people commonly don't care about in a religious sense. Yet American Christians commonly celebrate Halloween. In a strict Christian religious sense, Halloween could somewhat more offensive than Passover. God at least didn't command the Israelites to celebrate Halloween.
On the other hand, Passover is supposed to be a religious holiday by nature and is usually thought of as one. And then we have the archaic-seeming canons and tradition against celebration of "the feasts of the Jews".

I'm not certain what you mean when you say:
Quote
I think it is very true that combining Judaism and Christianity is a horse of a different color than combing other religions like Zen-Christianity. Judaism and Christianity have an Organic link with Christianity coming out of Judaism.
The most sensible way to interpret this is that unlike Zen Buddhism, pre-Christian Judaism has an organic link with Christianity because Christianity came from it. That's true.

I'm not certain that: "the great Saints, Doctors and Teachers of The Church have never seen fit to maintain Jewish holy days , feasts etc."It seems possible that some early Christians maintained them in the 1st century AD, but that this wasn't recorded. Acts records St Paul taking a disciple to the Temple to make vows, and it's foreseeable that he might have chosen a Jewish holy day to do this. Ialmisry on another thread posted a link to a book that discussed 1st century Jewish Christian relations and one chapter discussed the possibility that some early Christians celebrated Yom Kippur. However, I read alot of the chapter online and it didn't strongly persuade me that they did.

I'm unsure if:
Quote
we would consider doing so as "Judaizing". ...Despite the offensive language he uses, the essential advice to avoid Judaizing Christianity is sound and you would do well to heed it.
The Judaizing heresy referred to the idea that following Judaic observances like circumcision was necessary for salvation. On the other hand, Jewish Christians doing something Judaic in addition to Christianity doesn't necessarily always seem heretical.

Observing Jewish feasts seems like a kind of Judaizing by definition, as some canons from the Middle Ages forbid observing Jewish feasts. It's true those canons may have been invalidated by centuries of disregard like Fr George mentioned as a way they can become invalidated. Still, they inform our view on observing such holy days, and show that it would be doing something Judaic, and thus, Judaizing.

On the other hand, I'm not certain that Jewish Christians simply voluntarily observing some holidays would be heretical Judaizing, if it didn't change the rejection of the idea that non-Christian Judaizing is necessary for salvation. We have holidays for Old Testament persons: the Patriarchs & prophets, for Elijah the Prophet, and the three youths in the fire. So it seems like it would be OK to observe some Old Testament holy days, like, say Hanukkah, because the N.T. mentions Jesus walking in the Temple during Hannukkah.

You're right that
Quote
We as Orthodox are informed by the wisdom the Christian Tradition.

You are correct when you say:
Quote
Orthodox Tradition has the advantage of time to work things out. If "a mistake" was made, later Saints and Holy People would have had plenty of time to notice and make a correction. When disagreements were very profound, the entire Church gathered in Council and worked it out.

However, I disagree with your comment about Nazarene's opposition to a canon's prohibition on synagogue prayer:
Quote
At no time did the Church ever flirt with the path you suggest no matter your own personal logic about why it's okay with you.
, because in the last 20 years the Serbian and Georgian Patriarchs attended Jewish services. The Serbian Patriarch lit a candle in a synagogue, and Orthodoxy traditionally considers lighting a candle in a religious setting to be an act of prayer.

You make a good point when you write:
Quote
There are Orthodox cannons prohibiting using a Jewish Doctor. How often is that violated? There is a cannon that says you cant be ordained to the Priesthood before age 33 ( or thereabouts). That cannon is viloated all the time.
I go home for the Passover every year. Every year I mention it to my Priest at the time and have never once gotten the slightest objection from any of them.
However, you are referring to a canon that I vaguely remember prohibits only clergy from using the doctor's services. I assume that this canon is often violated as there are many skilled Jewish doctors. I believe you that there is a canon limiting the age to the priesthood. I think you are probably right that it is violated all the time, although you could be exagerrating.
You mentioned that you go home for Passover each year and that your priest doesn't object. This suggests that the Church often doesn't care about the canon against celebrating non-Christian Judaic feasts. However, it could be that Orthodoxy actually prohibits such participation and that most or nearly all the clergy don't care about this rule, and thus violate Orthodoxy themselves when they give such permission.

Alternately, as Fr. George suggested, it could be that if a rule is disregarded long enough it becomes invalid, and the disregard for this rule that you observed may be a reflection of previous disregard that has made it invalid.

Peace   שָׁלוֹם   Мир



Michal Kalina,

You did a good job rebutting Irish Hermit's view of Sdcheung's view here:
Quote
<<1.  There are the Judeans and Judaism.  These are Christ's people, his genetic material if you like, and they are likely the Aryans settled in the Judean region by the Assyrians who removed all the Jews from the region and took them off to Assyria.   So Judeans are rather like proto-Aryans or Proto-Germanics.
2.  There are Jews and Jewryism (not sure of the word which matches Judaism?)    These are the people who occupied Jerusalem and drove out the Judeans, the Chosen People of God.>>


I do not believe in such theories. They would have been discriminated in Jewish society as were Samaritans. And Zacharias (father of St. John) was Jewish Archpriest.
If they had been Aryans they would not be the Chosen People of God because it would have been they who were alien to Galilea.
Like you said, if such a proposed theory were true, then it would strongly go against the idea that John the Baptist's father would have been an archpriest, because in the proposed idea, John the Baptist would've belonged to a strongly-discriminated-against minority.
Plus, the Aryans wouldn't have been the chosen people because they weren't native to Galilee or the Holy Land, as they came from Persia and India. Although perhaps another mistaken idea could be invented that Aryans were native to Zion and were the actual Israelites.

You gave a good, funny analogy of what would be a similar made-up mistaken idea: "On the other hand Judeans might have been proto-Nordics and the "bad Jews" might have been proto-Innuits."

However, I partly disagree with you that:
<<It's not the point. What is Pravoslav09 doing is spreading racial and religious hatred basing of radical, and in my opinion false, interpretations of Scripture and Church Fathers>>
(1)What you mean is that the point isn't the genetic origins, but that Pravoslav09 is spreading hatred. This does seem to be the point of Irish Hermit's criticism, because Irish Hermit added in about the Aryans, which is associated with white supremacy ideas, and which Sdcheung hadn't mentioned.
(2) Sdcheung here was trying to describe Sdcheung's views, not Pravoslav09's views.
(3) It isn't clear that Pravoslav or Sdcheung are spreading racial hatred. Rather they appear to be spreading hatred of nonChristian Judaism and/or its followers. They don't seem to be spreading racial hatred, but rather spreading a confusion that the term Jew only refers to a follower of Judaism. It isn't clear that this is racial hatred or just ignorance about race. For example, the idea that Scottish aren't Celtic could be racist against one of those groups, but it could just be ignorant.
(4) I don't think Sdcheung or Pravoslav really used scripture or the fathers to promote the idea that Jews aren't from Judah and are only followers of Judaism, since the scriptures and the fathers don't take this view.

You asked:
Quote
Isn't Church interior based on the Temple's? Isn't the DL based of Jewish services?
The answer to both those questions is "Yes". Orthodox churches' interiors have a vestibule/entrance area, a main hall, and an area behind the gates where there is a Holy Table. This is intentionally similar to the Temple layout. It's possible that the Orthodox church layout is actually based on the pre-Christian synagogues' layout, but even in that case, the synagogues' layout was correlated witht he Temple's layout.

Likewise, the Divine Liturgy is based on Jewish services, with opening prayers, a reading, a homily, and a benediction prayer at the end. There are a few more matching elements between the services as well. The Great Entrance, for example, is shared by Orthodoxy and by Judaism at the time Christianity began.

The answer to your question "Weren't the Apostles arguing wether Christian must have been Jews?" seems to be "Yes." By this question you must mean Jews in the religious sense, because this question was raised at the Council of Jerusalem. There, the apostles argued with some other Church leaders about whether Christians who joined the Church would have to undergo circumcision and observe other important Judaic religious practices like I think certain food rules. It isn't clear to me whether the other leaders would be termed "apostles" or "disciples", but I believe the broader of those two terms would apply. I'm also unsure which is the broader of those terms. :)

The conclusion of the argument on this question was that Christian non-Jews would be saved just like Jewish Christians, yet some of the Jewish practices like circumcision were a burden that could deter people from Christianity. So the non-Jewish Christians wouldn't have to observe the unique Jewish practices like circumcision, because the practices were seen as a burden for them and they would be saved without them.

In a religious sense, converting to Judaism and becoming a Jew meant (A) accepting such Judaic religious practices, and (B) accepting Judaism's important religious ideas. Christianity considered itself to be a continuation of Judaism, or at least another level of it, like its fulfillment. And the early Jewish Christians still saw themselves as part of the broader Jewish religious community, like St Paul did when he referred to himself as a pharisee. So for the early Church, accepting Christianity meant accepting Judaism's religious ideas, albeit in a fulfilled and transcended form. So if one also observed the Judaic religious practices, then it would mean from a Christian point of view that one had become a Jew.

Consequently, the argument at the Council of Jerusalem was in effect whether a Christian convert would have to become a religious Jew, even though the argument was discussed in terms of whether the converts would have to observe unique Judaic religious customs.

C праздником, Михал!



Nazarene,

It's a pleasure writing to you. Your avatar, an icon with David ben Yessai, is pretty. It's also interesting. It looks like it has some Hebrew letters on either side of him. That's neat. The crown or headress he is wearing looks somewhat exotic, almost like the top half of a bee-hive. Also, I like your appreciation for the Hebrew and Jewish roots of Christianity.

I have some doubt whether "many of the Canons actually forbid Christians from celebrating the Jewish Feasts". Sdcheung cited 3 canons related to this issue. His source was a website with alot of canons from Ecumenical Councils. So I would rather say that "several of the Canons" forbid this celebration, rather than "many" of them.

More clearly, my impression is that by the Feasts of the Jews they refer exclusively to non-Christian Judaic feast celebrations individually organized by religious Jews, instead of all feasts of Jewish origin. That is, it's foreseeable that the canons might exclude Day of Atonement services conducted by non-Christian religious authorities. But it seems to me they wouldn't necessarily prohibit Christians from celebrating Hanukkah themselves.

Also, maybe there are some Jewish feasts that have been carried over fully into Christianity. There's an Orthodox Christian Holy Day for St Elijah the prophet, but I'm not sure if the feast day exists in Judaism too.

I believe you when you say: "St. John Chrysostom also forbade this in his infamous "Homilies Against the Jews".", because the Canons reflect such a prohibition, and this would be a simple, clear fact. However, I have some doubt that "infamous" would be the correct term. Chrysostom plays a big role in Orthodoxy, as he was behind our most common liturgy, so I doubt the Church would consider his writing infamous. His polemic phrases about Judaism are offensive when out of context, but they might not be so bad if they are seen in the tradition of Israel's prophets strongly criticizing God's people and humankind.

I agree with that the Canon against praying in synagogues:
Quote
kills opportunities for witness. But sometimes we make poor decisions in anger or in the heat of the moment, without taking the consequences or future implications into consideration. The Fathers for the most part tried the best they could but they made mistakes too, while their intentions were good...
It kills the opportunity of witnessing by going to a synagogue, praying, and making statements about Christianity there. It seems like a poor decision in light of this fact, and in light of that the apostles attended and preached in Judaic synagogues. This canon was made in the heat of the moment of the Middle Ages, and some canons against Judaism, perhaps including this one, were concerned with Jews becoming pretend Christians, perhaps because of social pressures. This is a good concern. However, the canon's authors probably did take into consideration some consequences and future implications, like the ability for someone to have relations with both religions. I assume the Fathers mostly tried the best they could to make good decisions. On the other hand, they may not have fully taken into consideration future negative implications this could have on spreading Christianity.

However, I doubt your suggestions here:
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it's a mean Canon as it promotes prejudice ...they didn't always do things in the way that would be pleasing to God or demonstrate the love of Yeshua.
That is, while it's true they "didn't always do things in the way that would be pleasing to God or demonstrate the love of Yeshua", like maybe how one time a church father slapped Arius, or how St Augustin had the idea that the guilt of original sin was passed down, I doubt your implication that this canon didn't please God or demonstrate love of Jesus. I have doubt about your implication, because the canon did have the positive effect of reducing involvement with anti-Christianity. That is, Judaic synagogue services have a regular prayer against what they consider heretics, and a canon forbidding Christians from prayer in synagogues would've reduced exposure to this prayer. Plus, there was a concern at the time about pretend conversions to Christianity, and this canon would've gone in the direction of reducing pretend conversions.

You linked to an article on "Jewish and Christian Orthodox Dialogue."
The article mentioned:
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"The Jewish tradition of the revelation of the written and oral Torah on Mt. Sinai was found to have a parallel in the Orthodox Christian tradition whereby God revealed on Sinai His uncreated Torah and thus inspired Mosses to give His chosen people the created or written Torah".
OK, well this makes sense, but the Orthodox Christian view here appears to be much less profound and unique than the words saying there is a significant parallel appear to imply. It seems like simple logic that besides writing the Ten Commandments, God gave Moses the Law, which he then wrote down as the written Torah. This wouldn't seem like a unique Orthodox Christian view. What's special about the Pharisaic tradition about the "oral Torah" is that a significant body of Mosaic law was passed down orally through many centuries, without ever being written down, even to the start of the Christian era. This special Pharisaic idea about the unwritten oral torah being passed down for so long doesn't appear to exist in traditional Christianity, and it's doubtful, because it seems like it would be referred to in the Old Testament if the oral Torah was so passed down, as the Old Testament itself was written over many of those same centuries when the oral torah would've been written down.

Peace   שָׁלוֹם   ܫܠܡܐ
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 10:20:53 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #354 on: April 25, 2011, 10:23:52 AM »
Jonathan Gress,

You commented:
Quote
whereas the Gentiles eventually repented and turned to Christ (when Rome became Christian), the Jews have remained stubborn in their refusal to repent.

Not all Gentiles eventually repented, like the Chinese collectively. But then on the other hand they weren't knowingly or directly involved, so it seems like they wouldn't have to repent of it.

Further, many Jews did repent of it:
1. Many Jews did become Christian and their descendants are the Palestinian Christians and also many Palestinian Muslims.
2. Some nonChristian dissidents of the Jewish community admire Jesus, referring to him as a prophet or a positive result of Judaism.

I am confused what you mean when you write:
Quote
And who knows how many Jews over the years have turned to Christ? But since they became Christian, nobody counts them as "Jews" anymore.
Regarding Jews who convert, that of course is entirely the point.
It's an important point that being Jewish isn't important anymore within the Church. On the other hand, it isn't important whether people are counted as Jewish in social terms. For example, if some Jews become Christian in a community, I think it's OK for them still to be counted as Jews, albeit Christian ones, if they choose. But not in a way that raises or lowers their status in society.

It makes sense when you say:
Quote
And when the Fathers contrast the Church of the Gentiles with the former Church of the Jews, it goes without saying that not all Gentiles are included. These terms should be understood symbolically.
Except I don't understand what the Church of the Gentiles vs the Churh of the Jews means, especially because the early Church in the 1st-2nd century at some point had a similar number of Jews and gentiles.

It sounds right when you say:
Quote
When the Church speaks of the Jews (e.g. in the reproaches during Matins on the Great Sabbath), clearly they don't mean the Jews who believed, but the Jews who did not. By reserving the name 'Jew' for the unbelievers alone, the Church is making the point that, after accepting Christ, Jews cease to be Jews in any meaningful theological sense,
However, I didn't fully think this out before. Plus, they could be referring to the Jewish nation collectively, like a trial is called, eg. "the People v. Darshun Woods". Obviously, Mr. Woods here wouldn't be suing himself, but in a way, he still would, like with his tax dollars and government agency. Likewise, it somewhat makes sense to say that Jewish society rejected Jesus and his followers, even though they Jews. So when the Church uses the term "the Jews" it could mean it in this internally-contradictory manner, of the society that rejects its own dissidents.

So I'm not sure that the Church reserves "the name 'Jew' for the unbelievers alone," and thereby "is making the point that, after accepting Christ, Jews cease to be Jews in any meaningful theological sense,"
However, it is true that Jewish Christians are not separate from gentile believers anymore in a theological sense.

So you are right when you say:
Quote
As St Paul says "in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female". The other side of this is that when Gentiles accept baptism, they are 'grafted on' to the old Israel, that is, they become partakers of the promises that were formerly made to the Jews alone, but are now available to all who accept Christ by faith.
Although I doubt that the promises were made to the Jews alone. It seems more likely that the promises you refer to- about the Messiah and redemption- were made to all Israelites, since they were made to David when he ruled the 12 tribes.

Also, I highly doubt that "baptism does away with the old covenant". It seems to make more sense, like St Paul's view, that it makes the old one "of no effect", because it overcomes its punishment of damnation.

It feels new for me to hear that:
Quote
Actually 'Greek' used to be synonymous with 'pagan'; the Greek-speaking Orthodox referred to themselves as Romans (a political rather than an ethnic identity) or simply as (Orthodox) Christians, up until the rise of Greek nationalism, when there was a conscious effort to return to the Hellenic (i.e. pagan) roots.
I have some doubt about this, because it sounds like what you are saying is that if someone referred to themselves as Greek at that time it meant they were pagan. But it seems like they could refer to themselves as of Greek background with Greek language and parents and living in Greece, and then say that they are Christian in faith. Also, I very vaguely remember hearing that they still considered themselves Romans after the empire had gone. But still, this feels strange to me, since for example in the late medieval times after the Byzantine empire fell I assume they didn't use Latin at all.

It sounds right when you say:
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Similarly, what was best about the Jewish law was kept (e.g. the Ten Commandments), but the rest was left behind.
That is, the 10 Commandments still figure prominently in Christianity. But on the other hand, I think some other parts of the Law, that were just OK, rather than the best, stayed. For example, there is a church canon against eating blood foods. It seems to me that this rule was a carry-over from the Law.

By the way, it's misleading to refer to it as the "Jewish Law", because it came from all the 12 tribes, rather than just Judah. It would be better to call it the Israelites' Law or Moses' Law.

I feel doubtful about your statement:
Quote
Certainly, there is also a definite sense that the Jews are the 'other', to use that hackneyed phrase, since we talk of ourselves as the Church of the Gentiles, in contrast with the OT Church of the Hebrews.
It seems to me that the term Church of the Gentiles here is misleading or incorrect because many Jews belong to it. It seems like a rare term for me, so I have some doubt that the Church collectively accepts this term, as opposed to some people and/or saints in the Church.

I admit that there is a sense that the Jews are the other, because Judaism is another religion and it has a strong association with the Jewish people, while Christianity views itself as overcoming ethnic divisions, and in it Jews are a minority. So it seems that this sense can be incorrect, and not necessarily even shared by everyone in the Church, like, say, the Church of Jerusalem, where almost half are Jews.

You are correct from the orthodox Christian viewpoint that:
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But we are also the New Israel; we believe in Christ because he fulfills Moses and the prophets.

Also, when you write:
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We are like Jacob, and the Jews are like Esau, since they were 'first', but they forfeited their inheritance. We used to be disinherited, but now we have come into the inheritance.
Of course, a Jew can always come over from Esau to Jacob...
, it feels to me you are using too absolute or collectivist thinking, because many Jews did become Christian.

I have some doubt about the statement that: "the Jews refusal to repent and accept Christ (since they continued to hope for an earthly Messiah, and still do).", because it seems like some of their descriptions of the hoped-for Messiah have some unearthly qualities, like that He would resurrect the dead. On the other hand, it could be that they hope for an earthly person who would have such seemingly divine qualities. In fact, it seems to me that we can say that in Christianity, we see the Messiah as being earthly, but that He also is divine.

You asked:
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All right, so how did Christ fail to fulfill the prophecies? We're all ears.
Alveus gave a good list of some possible objections abotu whether they were fulfilled, but I am doubtful about whether the objections cannot be overcome.

I partly disagree with your comment:
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<<I heard a debate some years ago between a Rabbi and a Protestant Minister. The Rabbi listed all of the scriptural requirements to recognize the Messiah and pointed that Jesus fullfilled only some of them. The reply was that the rest were to be fullfilled in the second coming. I am not an Old Testament scholar ( to be sure). I cant site the complete list for you. Consult your local Rabbi. The point is, the Jewish objections are not exactly as vacuous as we make them out to be. >>
Interesting. Well this would certainly pose a BIG problem for an Orthodox Christian if it were true, since it implies that the Apostles and Fathers didn't know what they were talking about, that the Pharisees, Sadducees, chief priests etc were justified in condeming Christ to death, and that basically we should all convert to Talmudic Judaism. That certainly seems to be where this is going.
1. Yes, it's interesting that apparently some prophecies weren't fulfilled in the First Coming, in the sense that it becomes a problem to explain how or why.
2. It's not necessarily a big problem that some things would be fulfilled at the second coming, ie that some things are yet to be flfilled completely. Jesus Himself made predictions about the future, like about heaven and earth falling away but his words staying. Revelations also makes future predictions about His second coming. So it doesn't mean the apostles and Fathers didn't know what they were talking about, because they could have said that, or maybe they could've disagreed with the Christian pastor Marc mentioned and taken a different view about whether certain prophecies had been fulfilled by Jesus in His first coming. That being the case, it isn't clear from Marc's information that we should convert to Talmudic Judaism.
3. It doesn't mean that the Judaic religious leaders you mentioned were justified in killing Jesus, because from their standpoint they could've let Him live to see whether He would fulfill the prophecies. Trying to kill Him because He hadn't fulfilled them yet would be bad if their basis for deciding if He was the Messiah or not was whether He had fulfilled the prophecies. If He did turn out to be the Messiah, then it would be bad for them because they would be doing something bad to Him.

However, Marc's statements that (a) the Christian reply "can fall a bit short if you are not preaching to the choir", (b) the Jewish objections aren't vacuous, and (c) to consult your local Rabbi for the list of unfulfilled predictions seem to go in the direction you mentioned.

I agree with you that:
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If that thought scares you, maybe you should treat the Rabbinical arguments with more skepticism. In particular, you need to question the underlying assumptions of Pharisaic/Talmudic reasoning. The patristic understanding of the rabbinical view is that the Jews see the redemption of Israel as an event to take place in this (fallen) world.
For example, one of the pharisaic assumptions would be that to conquer the nations, the Messiah would require a conventional military conquest. However, prophecy is poetic and thus appears more open-ended. Christianity for example spiritually conquered the Roman empire without such militaristic warfare.

However, I have some doubt about your words:
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The Church, on the other hand, has a more spiritual understanding; the redemption of Israel in fact takes place outside of this world, in the world to come.
Christ resurrected in this world, so it seems to make sense that Israel's redemption by Christ would take place within this world, although it seems rational to say that it also takes place outside this world.

You make a good, insightful explanation here:
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Read the passion accounts in the Gospels again, with commentaries like those of St Theophylact. The Jews were finally convinced Christ was NOT the Messiah when he willingly accepted death on the Cross. Their minds were limited to this world only, and so bodily death brought an end to their hopes.
Certainly this is absolutely correct regarding the Sadducees, who did not believe in life after death and controlled the religious institution then.

Even for the pharisees, your explanation makes sense. It seems that for us in our everyday lives, even if we theoretically accept the existence of the hereafter, are limited in thinking about what happens in our worldly plane of existence. Th idea of Christ completing his mission outside of his first coming is outside of our usual, normal way of thinking, so naturally this world put an end to their hopes. And anyway, probably alot of them had somewhat weak faith in the first place, so His death would've effectively ended what those with weak faith had.

So it makes sense and is insightful when you say:
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This is why we treat the rabbinical arguments with contempt, since they reveal a carnal, rather than a spiritual mindset. You can't really argue against them, since they won't understand until they change their mindset.
Except that I'm not sure that contempt here is appropriate. If someone gives flawed reasoning or a bad academic viewpoint like you show here, I feel that rather dismissal or skepticism would be the appropriate attitude.

For example, if someone says that you can't go to work because you don't have a car, then it's more appropriate to have an attitude simply dismissing this objection if for example you have a bike and that will work. Contempt here seems inappropriate because it seems like an academic issue rather than a moral one.

The contempt, like with the bike issue, is understandable, but I think a more patient, tolerant attitude is better.

You make a strong, deep point when you say:
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Christ doesn't just fulfill the prophecies in the sense of ticking off boxes on some checklist, but in a holistic sense of fulfilling the entire spirit behind the law and the prophets.
So for example, it isn't simply a matter of fulfilling the prophecy of being an asham, or guilt offering, and then prolonging one's days like Isaiah 53 said. Rather there is an overall holistic sense of sacrifice and redemption that comes from reading about the law and the prophets, which He fulfilled.

That is, He didn't just fulfill the law by checking off prophecy boxes, so to speak, but by fulfilling the moral, sacrificial spirit of the law.

Thanks for your mention:
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Still if you want to see an example of a Christian attempt to argue against the rabbis, you can start with St Justin's dialog with Trypho one of the earliest anti-Judaic polemics. It should at least give you some ideas about how to think about this issue.
I somewhat remember hearing about this from Fr. Bernstein's book "Surprised by Christ", so it should be a good example. Plus, it probably isn't merely polemics, because in a dialogue it would naturally present some of the opposing viewpoint.

It's a little confusing for me to think about spiritual reason v analytical reason, and I have alittle doubt whether the hesychasts succeeded in perceiving the uncreated light in a way others don't- with all due respect to them as deeply spiritual. Plus I have some doubt whether the Trinity is knowable not by analytical reasoning, since it seems rationally possible to distinguish between God as a source, God's spirit, and God's word, when we think about God the creator, God as a dove over the earth when it was made, and then God's words that He spoke to make the world. But I assume your writing is consistent with Orthodoxy here:
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Check out the book by Joseph Patrick Farrell, "God, History and Dialectic". He shows how the Western theological tendency to differentiate between a "God-in-general", knowable through reason, and the Trinity, knowable only by revelation, contrasts with the Eastern Orthodox (and patristic) teaching that God is only knowable as the Trinity, and even there only in His energies and not by analytical reason (dianoia), but by spiritual reason (noetical reason). Furthermore, he shows that knowledge of the Father, and hence the Trinity, is possible only through Christ. Thus, hesychasts only perceive the Uncreated Light after purifying their mind through constant repetition of the Jesus prayer.

Also, I have some doubt when you write:
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The revelations of the Old Testament are not self-sufficient, but they all point to Christ.
The seem to me like they would be self-sufficient in the way that a prophetic dream would be self-sufficient. Naturally, to understand the dream it would be important to understand the context. But it seems like a prophetic dream by itself is sufficient as a prophetic dream. On the other hand, it seems like the dream would be even clearer once its fulfillment was understood. So the revelations wouldn't be absolutely self-sufficient in that they don't explain everything absolutely clearly by themselves.

Also, it isn't clear to me that all the revelations point to Christ. It seems like some revelations could have been about other things that occurred in Old Testament times, but that those things in turn indirectly pointed to Christ. For example, sometimes I think Joseph and Daniel had dreams that were about specific things in the Old Testament. However, it could be said that they also were involved in other prophecies that pointed to Christ, like Daniel 9, and that those dreams that pointed to Old Testament things helped point to those figures' prophetic abilities when it came to their role in pointing to Christ.

Naturally:
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Just as we now look backwards in history to the time of the Fathers, and they look back to the Apostles, who followed Christ, the patriarchs and prophets of the OT, and the Law, looked FORWARD to Christ.
But it isn't in the same way, since we are looking backwards with a clearer memory, having the writings of those Fathers giving clear, refined descriptions of Christ, while the prophets looked forward with visions and prophecies.

You make a good, insightful point, and it's naturally true for Christianity that:
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The Incarnation of God is the CENTER of our sacred history. Rather than seeing God's revelation as 'split up' into different, mutually independent parts, we must see it as a whole. There isn't an Old Testament 'God-in-general' who provided one dispensation, and a New Testament Trinity who provided another. It was ALWAYS the Trinity, ALWAYS Christ.

I believe you that:
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Even when talking about pagan 'knowledge' of God, the Fathers interpreted their philosophy as, to a greater or lesser degree, pointing towards Christ. So St Justin Martyr talks of the 'spermatikos Logos', the 'seeded Word', in reference to Hellenic language about God. It was possible to interpret the better parts of Hellenic philosophy as imperfect prophecies about Christ. Contrast this with later Western interpretation of ancient philosophy as indications of Deism.
However, it seems to me a possible that maybe some Fathers somteimes interpreted some pagan deistic ideas as indications of Deism, as it seems simpler and more general than ideas about Christ and the Trinity. For example, the Egyptian religion had a belief in Ra, a sun god, which was seen in a very general way, that could at some point be seen as a kind of Deism perhaps, because there was a point when they rejected all other gods besides Ra.

When you comment:
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And remember the story about St Barbara, who became a Christian as a result of contemplating nature. She didn't just become a Deist, but her awareness of the Creator led to an angelic revelation of Christ
Well, I don't clearly remember this story, but it sounds nice. It sounds like you are saying that she became a Deist and had knowledge of the Creator from contemplating nature, and then had a revelation of Christ based on this knowledge. It wasn't merely interpreting her philosophy about nature as something that itself pointed directly to Christ, but rather her philosophy from nature indirectly led to an angelic revelation of Him.

I disagree with you about your statement:
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All that being said, I don't really see the point in us reading St Chrysostom's homilies against the Jews, unless we are in particular danger of Judaizing.
Sure, if we are going to make significant steps of making our faith Judaic, even for Jewish Christians, then it would be worthwhile to read St Chrysostom's sermons about Judaism's followers and Judaism, because the sermons would provide warnings related to such a direction. On the other hand, even if there was no danger, it is still worth reading them at least to get an idea of his views about Judaism, since he is such an important figure in our Church, and because Pharisaic Judaism is a significant topic in relation to Christianity. Simply reading his sermons doesn't mean that one must argee with him any more than reading Origen on a topic means one must basically agree with his views about the topic.

I believe you are right when you say:
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However, the Judaism of Chrysostom's time was not quietist on the whole. Active proselytism and aggressive behavior towards non-Jews, especially in Palestine and heavily Jewish areas, was common (the Roman poet Horace mentions Jewish proselytism in one of his satires). Messianism and rebellion, far from being modern aberrations, was very widespread in Judaism of the time. Jewish feeling was especially heated against Christianity, and this began long before Christians were numerous enough to defend themselves adequately. Here are some examples of Jewish aggression in late antiquity:
The Bar-Kochba revolt, which was not only aimed at the pagan Roman rulers, but against the Christian communities in Palestine. Most Christians were killed or driven out by the rebels, but some returned after the rebellion was crushed...
Under the reign of Julian the Apostate, the Jews in Palestine expelled the Christians and attempted to rebuild the Temple, which was thwarted by an earthquake.
(A) However, it's hard to say how quietist Judaism was in St Chrysostom's time. He was writing in the late 4th century. It seems possible that it was partly quietist, even if there was active, strong, aggressive behavior in other parts, or even in the majority. For example, it could be that while some Zealots revolted or were aggressive in Palestine, alot of Judaists in Spain and France were quiet or uninterested in the revolt.
(B) I heard that there was some Judaic proselytism in the 1st century, by I'm not sure from other sources how common it was in the 4th century. I suppose it was active though, since I think the emperor Julian partly accepted Rabbinical Judaism. I have alittle doubt whether Horace mentioned the proselytism, because Northern Pines said he wasn't able to find mention of it. But still, it's foreseeable that he mentioned it like you said. It's a simple historic fact whether he did, and based on other facts you give, you seem pretty trustworthy when it comes to such specific simple facts.
(C) You're right that aggressive behavior toward non-Jews in Palestine was common. This comes out for example in the life of St Joseph of Tiberius, who lived in that era. The persecution of Christians in the Bar-Kochba revolt and during the Persona conquest reflects this too.
(D)I'm unsure that Messianism was common in the time, the late 4th century, since the only Messianic movement I am aware of leading up to that time was the Bar-Kochba revolt of the 2nd century AD.
(E) Rebellion was widespread in the Judaism of the time like you say, as a big Judaic revolt in Palestine in about the 6th century shows.
(F) You're right that "Jewish feeling was especially heated against Christianity, and this began long before Christians were numerous enough to defend themselves adequately", as the anti-Christian synagogue prayers introduced in the late 1st century show.
(G) You gave two examples of Judaic aggression in late antiquity. I read elsewhere from at least one scholarly source that Christians were massacred during the Bar-Kochba revolt. I read that they were in favor of the revolt until Bar-Kochba claimed to be the Messiah, which naturally the Christians rejected. Thus, the revolt was aimed against the Christians insofar as they were seen as an opposition that the revolt massacred. I don't remember hearing that the revolt drove out the Christians, but I'm sure that in practical terms it did and that some Christians escaped to avoid the massacre. I'm not sure that the Christians returned however, since I think there was a Roman ban on Jews living in Jerusalem after the revolt. Consequently, the bishops of Jerusalem afterwards weren't "of the circumcision." However, I'm sure that at some point the Jewish Christians did return, just as Jews were there later in the early Middle Ages, when Julian allowed them to try to build a Temple.
(H) I read elsewhere about Jews trying to rebuild the Temple during Julian's rule, and this being unsuccessful due to the earthquake. However, I have doubt whether they expelled the Christians then, as I don't remember reading it in the information about the failed attempt. Plus, I remember that St Cyril of Jerusalem, a Christian, looked skeptically on the attempt to rebuild the Temple at that time. It seemed to me from the reading that St cyril wasn't expelled, which places further doubt on whether the Christians were expelled. But still, you seem pretty good with mentioning historical facts, so maybe you are right about this.

I agree with your statement:
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You can't argue on the one hand that the Bar-Kochba revolt had nothing to do with Christians and then offer excuses for the rebels' persecution of Christians! If you make the latter argument, you have already conceded that the revolt DID have something to do with the Christians. Which one are you going to choose?
By itself this doesn't make sense, as you correctly show. So what he meant was that the reason for the revolt didn't have anything directly to do with Christians. Rather, the purpose of the revolt was to oppose Rome, and so persecution of Christians was only incidental to the Revolt, that is, as an indirect consequence of the Revolt, Christians would have been persecuted for their abstention from it. I assume that his choice would be to explain this viewpoint, that the revolt's purpose had nothing to do with Christians, although persecution of Christians was related to the Revolt.

Still, I think that this is misguided reasoning, like saying that the Second World War had nothing to do with persecution of gypsies, even though they died in the Holocaust, since they weren't either a political or military cause of the war.

I think that the issue of Christians being expelled from Palestine is important. So thank you for correcting your mistake here:
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Thank you also for the correction about the status of the Christians in Palestine under Julian: I was mistaken that they were expelled.
Otherwise, I would've thought this was a possibility, because I have some trust of your judgments about these kinds of simple, important facts.

You are correct from the Christian viewpoint when you say:
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The Fathers, of course, interpreted this as a just humiliation for their earlier humiliation and murder of Christ, but the Jews did not see it that way, of course, since they were always expecting a worldly Messiah. The Jews could have learned their lesson and repented, but instead they continued to rebel, incurring more punishment while at the same time inflicting cruelties upon their enemies, the Christians and pagans.
However, one Church Father recorded that some Jews saw the destruction of the Temple as punishment for the stoning of St James earlier. Here, by referring to rebellion and continuing to inflict cruelties you refer to persecution of Christians during the Bar Kochba rebellion.

I believe you when you write:
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Note that there was also a law forbidding Christians from doing any harm to Jewish synagogues. But there was no legislation that made it permissible to do violence to Jews or their property, which is what I would consider real persecution.
However, it isn't clear whose law you mean when you say there was a law forbidding Christians from harming synagogues. Naturally, Christianity would disagree with such acts, and it would seem so obvious- and it seems unusual- that a Church canon (ie a religious rule) would go out of its way to specify that this was forbidden. So when you say "law" I assume you refer to a law of the Byzantine empire. I do know that there was a Byzantine law preventing Christians from disrupting Judaic synagogue services.

I agree that doing violence to someone based on their religion is real persecution. Also, doing violence to someone's property seems like persecution too, like breaking their windows and throwing stones at their house. I feel like minor damage to property like throwing a few stones would be minor persecution. If verbal and nonviolent expressive harassment was strong enough, it seems like it could be persecution too.

You are right that:
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The aggressively anti-Christian and anti-Moslem behavior of religious nationalists in Israel is, as you know, a fact. It hardly seems likely to happen anywhere else, and it seems to be on the increase because the secular authorities are half-hearted about restraining the violent and fanatical settler movement (they are a significant political base for the current government, and even left-wing governments have been careful about them). You began to see it in earnest precisely when the Likud party came to power in the late 70s: that's when you saw criminalization of conversion out of Judaism, when the settlers began to behave much more violently towards Arabs (both Christian and Moslem), you started hearing about public burnings of the New Testament and so forth.
Except:
(A) It's hardly meaningful that anti-Christian and anti-Moslem behavior by religious fanatics "hardly seems likely to happen anywhere else", since religious fanatics from other religions hardly anywhere else seem to have much power in a society where the fanatics' religion dominates. Hindus and Buddhists are the two other strongest religions and they don't seem to particularly care about acting against Monotheists. A few centuries ago Japanese persecuted and/or expelled Catholics, and I think some Chinese attacked some Orthodox about over 100 years ago, but no other serious incidents come to mind.
(B) I'm not sure that aggressive anti-Christian behavior was begun to be seen in earnest with Likud's rise to power in the late 1970's. I found accounts about extreme abuse of Christian sites from before that time and posted them in a discussion in the politics section. In fact, I consider the military expulsions of over 750,000 Palestinian Muslims and Christians in 1947-49, and of 1967 to be comparable to anything since. That's because while actions since then include severe mistreatment and discrimination, the expulsions simply removed masses of people altogether.
(C) I highly doubt there was criminalization of Judaism. We had a discussion about the topic on another thread and no one pointed to a specific law on this. The closest was a law criminalizing so-called proselytization, which includes in Christian terminology "evangelization." I often read in the news from the Holy Land about settlers acting significantly violently toward Arabic-speaking Palestinians. I don't clearly remember hearing about public burning of the New Testament. However, I just checked the internet and it says:
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General Harkabi writes: ‘Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, who is considered to be a moderate. . .(in 1979) issued a ruling that copies of the New Testament should be burned. This ruling did not remain a dead letter. An item in the newspaper Ma ‘ariv (14 June 1985) reported the burning of a copy of the New Testament found in the library of the Chief Educational officer of the Israeli army...’ http://www.truthtellers.org/alerts/christiansinisrael.html

I agree that:
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in Christian discourse, since the time of St John the Theologian Jew has meant 'an ethnic Jew who rejects Christ', since an ethnic Jew who accepts Christ is as much a Christian as a pagan Gentile who accepts Christ ('for there is neither Jew nor Greek').
In the New Testament, Jewish Christians appear specifically identified either as those "of the Circumcision" or "Nazarenes," rather than simply "Jews." Plus, those who strongly self-identify as Jews usually consider themselves ethnic Jews and reject Christ, and the early Church in the late 1st century apparently didn't simply identify Jewish Christians as "Jews", so it makes sense that in Christian discourse, since the time of St John the Theologian, "Jew" has meant 'an ethnic Jew who rejects Christ'.
Stll, the late 1st century feels like an early time for the Christian Jews to reject the term "Jew". It's true that St Paul wrote that there is no longer Jew nor Greek, but St Paul had at least some disagreement at one point with St James about unity with Christian gentiles, so it seems maybe the Church wasn't totally united about the term "Jew". One explanation could be that the Jewish Christians rejected the idea that they were merely a sect of Jews, but that they belonged to a group that identified itself as superseding ethnicity. From this idea, it's to be expected that the Greek Christians didn't consider themselves Greeks either. In fact, I read elsewhere on this forum that Christians actually simply used the term "Greek" to refer just to non-Christian Greeks, and this corresponds to the use of the term "Jew" mentioned here.

However, I have some doubt about your words:
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Note how, in the texts for Palm Sunday, the 'Jews' who called for Christ's crucifixion, are usually contrasted with 'the children of the Hebrews' who chanted Hosanna at Christ's entry into Jerusalem. You can see here that 'Jew' is being used in this narrower sense.
1. If the passage about the crucifixion you mentioned is taken by itself, it might not necessarily use the term "Jews" as if this word by definition means only anti-Christian Jews. If could simply use the term just to descrbe the particular Jews there assembled.
2. It isn't clear that the text for Palm Sunday the Jews who called for Christ's crucifixion are usually contrasted with the "children of the Hebrews." In fact, the text I saw for Orthodox Palm Sunday doesn't appear to use the term "Jews" (See: http://spiritus-gladius.blogspot.com/2011/04/passion-palm-sundayyear.html), although it's true that religious commentary does contrast the actions of the crowds on Palm Sunday and relating to the Crucifixion.
3. While the text for Palm Sunday doesn't appear to contrast the "Jews" with the "Hebrews", it does appear to associate the "Hebrews" here with the "children of Jerusalem". From the Palm Sunday text:
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The children of the Hebrews, waving olive branches, went to meet the Lord, crying aloud: hosanna in the highest. Ps. The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it John 12: 13 [By Flowing Waters, pp. 61-62]
~OR~
The Hebrew People spread their garments on the road and shouted, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Ps. O clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs. Matthew 21 [By Flowing Waters, pp. 62-63]

The children of Jerusalem welcomed Christ the King. They carried olive branches and loudly praised the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
~OR~
The children of Jerusalem welcomed Christ the King. They spread their cloaks before him and loudly praised the Lord: Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
4. It seems to me that one possible reason that the Palm Sunday text may use the term "Hebrews" is that while the term "Jew" may have a religious meaning, the term Hebrews has only an ethnic meaning, and that by the time the Palm Sunday text was written- I assume a few centuries after Christianity began- the term "Jewish religion" had come to be seen as more clearly as non-Christian. This explanation suggests that the term Hebrew was chosen for clarity, not because the term "Jew" could only refer to Jews who reject Christ. For example, the text doesn't refer to the crowd who cried Hosanna as Israelites or Judean, but this doesn't necessarily mean they were neither. In fact, being in Judea, they would naturally be Judeans.

Happy Bright Monday



IPC:

I highly doubt your comment:
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The Church teaches us that jews come from the breakaway sect of Pharisees that fell away from God, became His killers and called down upon themselves and their descendants the blood of the Son of God Whom they crucified
1. There were more than one sect among the Jews than the pharisees, like the Saduccees. I'm alittle uncertain what you mean that the pharisees were breakaway. It makes sense grammatically that you mean they broke from God, or from the Temple-controlling sadducees.
2. I don't remember scripture explicitly referring to the Pharisees this way, but Jesus did have big strong words opposing them collectively.
3. You must mean the pharisees collectively as a broad category, since Paul and some other early Christians still considered themselves to be of the pharisees, and thus it seems you should allow for exceptions. On the other hand, maybe there are no "exceptions" here, insofar as the Church does seem to have a view that the Jews and gentiles were collectively responsible for the crucifixion.
3. These same doubts about your words, like whether this can be said of the pharisees collectively, allowing for exceptions, applies to the rest of your comments in the selected quote above about them, like whetehr they fell away from God, since St Paul himself at some point accepted Jesus. Plus some early Christians Jesus ate with were pharisees, so it could be that some pharisees, like Nicodemus apparently, didn't even reject Jesus when he was crucified.

By the way, the verse you cited, "All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!", doesn't specifically refer to the pharisees, but to all the people.

You didn't specify where Acts says this, and offhand I don't know either, and I don't specifically remember what St Stephen said about the Jews so I have alittle whether you are exactly right about his words here:
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In the Acts of the Apostles, Protomartyr Stephen, filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit describes the jews as prideful with a bad heart and deaf ears, who continue to do what their fathers did before the coming of our Lord and God Jesus Christ: betray God, break His Law and persecute and murder His true servants the prophets, and others.
For exposing them, Saint Stephen was taken out of the city and stoned by the jews, becoming thus, the first Martyr after the coming of out Lord and God Jesus Christ.
Although your restatement of the events sounds right. Also, his references to the Jews are subject to the same qualifications I made above, since Stephen himself was Jewish, I assume, as he spoke in the synagogue.

Also, I find your words confusing: "concerning the Pharisees, whom we now call jews," :
1. This sounds confusing, because not all those we call Jews now are pharisees. For example, there are those we often refer to as Jews who are atheists. That is, there's a difference between ethnic and religious identities.
2. The pharisees weren't all of the Jews, because there were also sadducees, for example.

You prayed:
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Holy prophets martyrs of the Old Testament,  Protomartyr Stephen, Holy Child Martyr Gabriel of Zabludov, Holy Martyr Matrona of Salonica, and all the Holy Martyrs tortured and murdered by the jews, pray to God for us
Yes, may they pray for us.
However, I do have some doubt about whether it's accurate to refer to the Jews here collectively. With the prophets, it seems it could be OK to say this, because I think the OT itself could have such a statement. Plus I don't know about St Matrona's martyrdom, and I assume St Gabriel's martyrdom was an individual affair, rather than one planned collectively by the local Jewish community.

Anyway, I dislike referring to the mistakes of people as collective ones, because as in the case of St Stephen and the prophets, some of the people would've opposed this. On the other hand, the OT does seem to refer to mistakes as collective ones sometimes.

Also, your words "expose the members of the synagogue of satan" are confusing. It isn't clear who you mean by the "members." For example, it seems hard to say this is everyone who belongs to Judaism now, because some of them simply might not have an opinion about Jesus, for example, in which case it seems confusiong what there would be to expose abut them, as they don't really have any ideas about Him.

Plus, it isn't clear what you mean to expose them. For example, it doesn't make sense about why this would be such a big thing, because they would presumably just be on the lists of synagogues.

Also, the term synagogue of satan, when taken just simply like this by itself is confusing. For example, the non-Christian synagogue clearly doesn't explicitly or directly worship Satan. Rationally, it seems that you could say it in a very roundabout way, keeping in mind mankind's sinfulness, but here you haven't done so. Also, I have a feeling that it is alittle arrogant toward the synagogues just to put it so simply, and we must avoid arrogance toward nonChristians.

You commented:
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Seeing some reactions here against what Our Lord Himself teaches about jews, what is described in Acts 14 comes to my mind. The unbelieving Jews continue to stir up the people of God, and turn christians against their own brethen.
It's true Jesus had very strong words for the pharisees, but I feel that you made an over-simplification in equating Jews with pharisees, since it seems to me that there is merely alot of overlap, while many Jews aren't religious. Even in Jesus' time some Jews followed the Sadducees, so they aren't the same.

Also, only one poster appears to have reacted directly against you strongly. I doubt that Jesus used the term synagogue of Satan, as it doesn't sound familiar to me from the gospels. Also, the dispute you refer to seems to have more to do with some problems in your idea(s), and/or in Christian society becoming more tolerant in its language, than in Jews directly trying to create a dispute in Christianity like it sounds you suggest.

It's interesting that you say:
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There is a prophecy in the Church that says just before the second coming of Christ, the two witnesses, (Prophet Ellijah and Moshe) will come again to preach the Gospel again, and some jews will repent and convert.
I can foresee that someone in Orthodoxy could make such a visionary claim, as some people who are Orthodox have such kinds of visions. But on the other hand I doubt it's a common teaching for the Church as I haven't heard of it. It would be nice if it was true.

Also, it's true for Christianity that "descendants of Abraham, are christians, who do the works of the Father, which are, believing in the One He sent." I think the Israelite religion can accept this too, since as St Paul explained, Christians accepting belief in Jehovah and the Tanakh makes them spiritual children of Abraham, and the Old Testament appears to have described descent by adoption as valid as biological descent.

On the other hand, your statement "True descendants of Abraham, are christians" appears to imply that nonChristians aren't true descendants. But it appears that even when Jesus was criticizing some Jews, He implied that they did have Abraham as their ancestor. I am referring to the part where Jesus said God could even make sons of Abraham out of some rocks. So I have doubt about your statement.

I disagree that the three examples you gave below show that Jesus wasn't a Jew:
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JESUS CHRIST Our God, speaking to the Jews in the Gospel of St. John, VIII:44: " ...then answered the Jews - ” (which makes it clear that Christ was addressing the Jews.)

ST. JUSTIN, martyr stated in 116 A. D.: “The Jews were behind all the persecutions of the Christians..."

ST. JOHN, Gospel of St. John VII:1: “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry because the Jews sought to kill him.”
1. You could be confused from the quotes because Jews can mean people from Judah or Judea. Jesus would have been the former, but not the latter, since He was from Galilee instead of Judea. Yet the quotes simply refer to "Jews", which hides the difference.
2. It is possible to refer to an entity collectively and still talk about members of the collective entity individually. Maybe for an example, you could say that a dissident left America because the Americans were after him/her, even if he/she was an American. The legal phrase "The U.S. vs. ______ _____" contains this internal contradiction when the person in the blanks is a U.S. citizen.

I'm not sure it's against the canons and dogmas of the church for the Moscow Patriarchate to be:
Quote
close to the jews, it gives them recognition, praises them, to a greater or lesser extent... tolerates their false claims and false doctrine,... and give them priority and privileged treatment, as witnessed by countless the inter-faith activities of the MP and the Jewish Communities, which include... the meeting of Patriarch Kirill with Rabbi Arthur Schneier, head of New York's Park East Synagogue, who attended Patriarch Kirill's enthronement and visited his residence to discuss the future of mutual cooperation between the MP and jews shortly after the enthronement, and the MP support for the building of synagogues in Russia.
, because:
(1) Jesus Himself was close with nonChristian Jews, like when He had a meal with a pharisee. His attitude was to reach out to people with incorrect religious ideas, like the Samaritans. I somewhat remember that the canon against associating too closely with Jews referred to specifically religious situations, and am not aware of a rule that banned all Christians from simply having a close association.
(2) Recognition could be fine, depending on the type of recognition. I mean, Christianity certainly recognizes that Judaism does have sects and a religion.
(3) Tolerating false claims and doctrines could be OK, in the sense that we shouldn't persecute people for them. The canons don't demand persecution. But I highly doubt on the other hand, that this tolerance is absolute by the MP. Like I think they wouldn't be OK with having a priest reject Jesus in a sermon.
(4) Priorities and privilege could be OK, depending on what they are. Jesus for example talked about serving others. Plus, Judaism should still have some priority and privilege over paganism I think. I'm not aware of canons or dogmas banning that absolutely.
(5) Meeting with a lead rabbi should be OK, even in the Patriarch's residence as Jesus met with a pharisee for dinner. I'm not aware of canons or dogmas banning that absolutely.
(6) I'm not aware of a rule banning rabbis from attending Christian services.
(7) MP support for building a synagogue seems OK, depending on the support. Like if it's just support that says we are in favor of building synagogues, it seems OK. I'm not aware of a rule that bans being in favor of building synagogues.
I believe you that the MP does all the things you mentioned above in some way.

It would or could be against the canons and dogmas if the MP:
Quote
to a greater or lesser extent accepts... their false claims and false doctrine...[,] supports them [Judaism] in all they can[,] the official visit of Patriarch Alexis II to the Park East Synagogue in New York City
1. If they have a false claim and doctrine, like the idea that there are no prophecies of the Messiah being killed, then it would be obviously against the canons and dogmas of the Church for the MP to accept such an idea. However, I doubt that the MO does accept such false claims and doctrine.
2. I highly doubt the MP supports them in all they can. For example, the MP could support them in giving all the MP's money to them, but the MP hasn't done this.
3. There is a canon against attending Judaic services, but this rule has fallen into disregard, and I remember Fr. George suggesting elsewhere on the forum that when a canon falls into disregard it becomes invalid. Also, it isn't clear that this visit by the Patriarch was during a service. I don't clearly remember a ban on simply visiting a synagogue.

I'm glad that:
Quote
Jews are usually met with friendliness, and joy by members of the MP and and it's  newest branch: ROCOR under Met. Hilarion.
I am glad to share Christian happiness even with non-Christians. If they became attracted to warmhearted feelings and became Christian, it would also be a joy for Christianity. Plus, St Paul talked positively about having good relations with nonChristian Jews.

Jesus also talked about forgiving and asking blessings for people who do bad things to you, and like I said Jesus ate with a pharisee at dinner, so it appears that behavior matching Jesus' is from God, rather than an "Alliance with the enemy of salvation". It's somewhat joyful to develop friendly relations, although it would be stronger joy if both sides of the relation came to the Truth.

I think you accurately characterized your posts here:
Quote
I am not mentioning anything about race or genetics, as I consider that irrelevant.
We all come from Adam and Eve, we are the handwork of God.
I am focusing on three main things:
1.- The jewish believes and practices...
Michal Kalina was confused about whether you were criticizing race or religion, and confused Irish Hermit's criticism of Sdcheung's views as if Irish Hermit was criticizing your views.

I have some doubt that the Roman Catholic incorporation of Jewish rituals "go against the teachings of the Church in which it's clearly stated that there is no salvation without Christ," because some of the rituals could be from pre-Christian times when this wasn't an issue. Incorporation of rituals from Judaism that began after the separation of the two religions is less positive in my opinion, but it seems like it could be OK if it doesn't negate Christianity. For example, a Jewish blessing like you mentioned could be OK, like if it is simple and doesn't go against Christianity, like if a Jewish blessing said "Peace be with you".

You commented:
Quote
According to the judeo-christian erred doctrine, christianity is a sect of judaism.
I think that the term "Judeo-Christian" can be confusing. For example, it seems that from this terminology one could consider some Christian movements, like Mennonite Christian Pacificism as part of the "Judeo-Christian" heritage if it uses Old Testament justifications, even though it is separate, if not contrary, to non-Christian Judaism. On the other hand, if something developed in an Muslim-dominated part of the Judaic community where there was little contact with Christianity, it would seem harder to refer to that development as Judeo-Christian.

Regardless of the "Judeo-Christian" concept, it seems to me that one could have an idea that Christianity and modern Judaism are both sects of pre-Christian Judaism.

It seems rational to say Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Arianism were Christian sects, and that Orthodoxy reflects the views of the Church in its first 300 years. Likewise, it could be said that the ancient pre-Christian Judaism of the scriptures and Samaritanism were two sects of the ancient Israelite religion, and that pre-Christian Judaism was a better reflection of the religion, because, for example, it maintained allegiance to David's line.

Thus, in this sense, it seems to make sense to say that Christianity, Phariseeism, and Sadduceeism were three sects of the Jewish religion in 1st century Judaism. One idea could be that Christianity was the best, or truest sect of the Jewish religion, because it fulfilled the prophecies and correctly understood them, while Saduceeism rejected the General Resurrection. Phariseeism had an unlikely-sounding idea that an oral torah had been passed down from Moses over 1000 years earlier, with no mention of this in the scriptures, and it had a teaching that pharisaic commands and views were as strong, if not stronger, than Moses' own laws and those of the scriptures.

So simply calling Christianity a sect of ancient Judaism doesn't sound incorrect to me any more than saying ancient Judaism was a sect of the Israelite religion, or that Orthodoxy is a sect of Christianity. This seems like a valid way to look at it, even if one accepts that the correct line runs from the ancient Israelite religion to Orthodoxy today. It's true that Judaism's religious rulers rejected Christianity, but it's also true that Judaism's religious rulers rejected their prophets at one time. Plus, the prophets themselves described the Servant as rejected, and David it seems had been partly rejected, or at least was in hiding. The Pope, who was the foremost religious leader in Christianity, also rejected Orthodoxy. It's like the term "faith". There are several faiths, but Orthodoxy teaches it's the true faith. It seems that thus it could be said that there are several sects of religion, and Christianity is the correct one.

It's true that in the teachings of the Orthodox Church, "christianity is the continuation of the Old Testament Church, the completion of the Law of God and the fulfillment of His promises".

Your statement
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jews are a pernicious sect in constant rebellion against God, and His people, coming from the very same persons who killed the prophets, crucified our God and Lord, and killed His people, as witnessed in the words of Protomartyr Stephan in the Books of Acts, the lives of the Servants of Christ, like Saint James, Apostle and first Bishop of Jerusalem, and history of the Church.
is correct only when the term "Jews" is, simplistically in my opinion, applied to Jewish sects like the pharisees that collectively rejected Jesus. However, this statement is still broad and Christianity allows for exceptions, like pharisees who belonged to Christianity, as well as secret Christians who were religious Jews, religious Jews who hadn't heard the gospel yet, and religious Jews who had the seed planted in them and hadn't rejected it.

Also, I find it confusing when you say that Judaism came from the same people who killed the prophets. This is true, because Judaism's leaders killed the prophets. But on the other hand, it could be said that Judaism also comes from those same prophets, as Judaism's Holy Scripture was partly written by those same killed prophets.

Health and Happiness to you
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 10:27:25 AM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline ipm

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #355 on: April 25, 2011, 12:00:51 PM »
I read this as symbolic as well.

To me the terms Jjews' and 'Gentiles' mean 'non-Christian', or ‘non-believer’. It may have mattered at the time of authorship which societal source the unbelievers were from, and what background perhaps, but to me its not so much a big deal now.

For me it simply shows the one path that should be taken that many did not. The main spiritual sources at that time were both wrong in other words. They provide nothing but death to their practitioners. Hence the curse.

As for the curses comments here, I don't know how to take that one. I, myself, do not hold any one personally responsible for those acts that happened in the past.
Perhaps one way to read this is to again focus on Christ and see that the path is given by Him only. Continued praxis of religion outside of Christ is not valid so to speak.


Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #356 on: April 25, 2011, 01:30:30 PM »
IPM,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

When you write:
I read this as symbolic as well.
, I assume you were referring to the most previous time I used the root word "symbolic-":
Quote
It makes sense when you say:
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And when the Fathers contrast the Church of the Gentiles with the former Church of the Jews, it goes without saying that not all Gentiles are included. These terms should be understood symbolically.
Except I don't understand what the Church of the Gentiles vs the Churh of the Jews means, especially because the early Church in the 1st-2nd century at some point had a similar number of Jews and gentiles.

I agree with you when you write:
Quote
To me the terms Jjews' and 'Gentiles' mean 'non-Christian', or ‘non-believer’. It may have mattered at the time of authorship which societal source the unbelievers were from, and what background perhaps, but to me its not so much a big deal now.
For me it simply shows the one path that should be taken that many did not. The main spiritual sources at that time were both wrong in other words. They provide nothing but death to their practitioners. Hence the curse.
As for the curses comments here, I don't know how to take that one. I, myself, do not hold any one personally responsible for those acts that happened in the past.
Perhaps one way to read this is to again focus on Christ and see that the path is given by Him only. Continued praxis of religion outside of Christ is not valid so to speak.
To me, the term "Jews" doesn't only refer to non-Christians and "non-believers". To me, the term "Jews" has an ethnic meaning and a religious one. In one of these meanings, the term "Jews" refers to "the Jewish people" as an ethnicity, which naturally includes Jews who are Christians just as "the Bulgarian people" includes Christians. Another meaning refers to "followers of Judaism." In common English use, Judaism today refers to nonChristian Judaism, although actually, it seems to me that Christianity, or parts of it like Christian Messianic Judaism, can be a form of Judaism. Now since I think it's a small portion of self-identifying Jews who are Christian, then for the sake of clarity, one might say "I have a friend who is Jewish and a Christian." It's the same kind of clarity like specifying that someone is African American from the South instead of just saying the person is "a southerner", because the common term commonly connotes a white southerner.

I also think it's sometimes significant "which societal source the unbelievers were from, and what background perhaps", because this can give a better understanding of the particular mindset that is being addressed. For example, if a sermon is addressing pagan objections or non-Christian Judaic objections to Christianity, it's relevant to mentioning the societal source and background to give better understanding about this.

Also, it seems possible that even non-Christian Judaism and paganism bring the believer closer to knowledge of God and life related to Him, than simply having no spiritual knowledge or ideas at all.

Personally I don't think we should hold anyone personally responsible for the acts you referred to, as I highly doubt that guilt is inherited.

Thanks for writing. Peace.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #357 on: April 25, 2011, 01:31:12 PM »
Dan- Romania,

You're right to say, from a Christian viewpoint:
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Don`t forget salvation comes from jews and the parents and the promises ...  We all turn away from God and work inquity , we were like lost sheep , but He made our blame to fall on Him . Because of Israel turn away from God , we received Salvation . ...But Israel will be sowed in Izreel and will be one nation and one God upon all earth ...Remmeber Salvation comes from jews , and we earned Salvation thank to God`s big grace and mercy , and as we resurrected from death so will they ... He died for us , to redeem earth from damnation .
Israel here in Christianity refers to Israel and the Church as one, since this is read as a future prophecy and since the Church associates itself with the Old Testament Israel. Also by Izreel it appears you mean Zion, but here you make such an obvious typo since you spelled it right previously, it's confusing.

I doubt your statement:
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We all crucified Jesus with our sins before He came , the nations first , then Israel .
I am familiar with the first clause here that such a teaching exists in the Church. However, it doesn't appear that the nations committed such sins first, because Adam and Eve don't appear to be separate from Israel anymore than Abraham, as they were it's fore-parents, and Abraham is sometimes referred to as a Patriarch of Israel.

Also, I have some doubt about your statement here because I don't remember clearly the Bible saying this, although it sounds familiar:
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A way is made in desert , the lame , the blind , the orphans , and the deff became His people , the deff hear , the lame walk , the sick are healed , and the blind see , those who were orphans are adopted . Every mountain shall fall and every valley shall be filled .  The desert land became full of waters ... there circumcision became uncircumcised,
The last part is also little bit confusing for me.
Some of these things happened, but these seem to be described in too absolute terms here. For example, some orphans who weren't near where this was happening stayed orphans, it seems.

Quote
Israel seeking those of the law did not believe in Him  , and those to whom where given the law broke it,
sounds too absolute, because some of Israel did believe in him, eg. the early Christians.

Plus, this is confusing for me and seems too absolute, because some gentiles didn't believe:
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those who were uncircumcised kept the law , and the law was written in their hearts and their uncircumcision became circumcision and those believed in Him .

It makes sense when you write:
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These are the people who seek God with all their heart , the people who love light , who love righteouss and seek for the truth.People who worship Him in truth and spirit , this is what the prophet said "I will call my people , those who were not my people" . So us wich were pagans should not be hateful and proud against the jewish nations  , cause we were like them and wild olive tree , but we were instituated to the good roots , thanks to grace and mercy

Except that I have some doubt that the words "I will call my people , those who were not my people" apply so broadly here. It appears to me at first glance that this refers to words by Hosea where he refers to Israel or Judah becoming God's people again. Although perhaps I am confused, or this is simply being used in another way. Like saying that when Judah became God's people again, others were included in this harvest or acquisition to God.

However, based on the words from Hosea, it makes sense that as you next say:
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But they will also be instituated on this roots and we will all be one , they will be instituated on our roots as us were on theirs . So if their turning away from God , earned the nations the Salvation , their coming back will be a resurrection from the death .

Your statement here seems incorrect:
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.The Roman Empire became later all Europe and a part of Asia and Africa afaik , and from "the Roman Empire(Europe)" America was colonised . So between those who killed Jesus were the jews and the Romans , the romans represents in this case all nations .
, because the Roman empire didn't stretch to most of Eastern Europe, nor most of what are now Germanic countries. Although it's true in a cultural sense it's true that Rome played a big role in influencing all Europe. Also, it isn't clear about Rome representing all nations, because some places like China have only some weak or apparently indirect cultural links with Rome. Their culture seems more from non-Rome than Rome, too.

I agree with you that in Christianity:
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Salvation comes from jews . Thanks to the promises made to Abraham , Isaac , Jacob and others we have the possibility to be reedemed. Jacob(Israel) was not a jew himself , Moses refers somewere into the pentateuch to Jacob as being Syrian.Let`s not forget we are instituated to their roots , and thanks to the promises God made to some of our parents Abraham , Jacob , Moses , David , etc the Church exists.We were instituated to their parents , teaching , etc . Let`s not forget Israel was God`s given name to Jacob , a divine name , a name with wich His people is named.
In John's gospel, Jesus said Salvation is of the Jews. I somewhat doubt that Moses wrote Jacob was a Syrian, because:
(1) It isn't clear to me Moses wrote the Pentateuch, one reason being that it seems to me the Pentateuch refers to event that happened after Moses
(2) It seems to me that the name "Syria" might've developed after Moses left Egypt, but I'm not sure.
I don't understand the word instituated, but I think you mean connected by spiritual adoption, by this word.
It makes sense that Israel was a divine name, in that God gave in to Jacob, but I am not sure how else it is, or even if it is divine in other ways. One idea could be that the name itself has a meaning that involves the word for God, "El".

I don't clearly remember if or where in the Old Testament "Israel is compared with the first born wich is Jesus." However, I do have a vague memory of hearing that the Book of Isaiah might have mentioned God saying "Israel, my first-born." Or it could have explicitly been "Jacob" about whom the Book of Isaiah wrote this.

Also, you are right in Christianity that:
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Not all from Israel are Israel . Israel are the children of faith , the people of God , the christians. Israel is a spiritual name . And the sons of Abraham are the sons of promise and faith. Cause of faith and promise is this word : next year at this time , your wife Sarra will have a child.The sons of Abraham , the people of God are the faithfulls , those who serve God in truth and spirit , as Abraham did , as Moses did , as Samson did , as Ierubaal did , as Samuel did , as David did , and I can`t mention them all.Those are Israel. The real Israel are we , the Church , The Bride of Jesus
Here, you are paraphrasing some of St Paul's writings in the New Testament. Plus the idea that the Church is Jesus' bride comes from Jesus, when He talked about Himself as a bridegroom.

I believe you are also repeating basic Christian ideas when you write:
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we inherited a better name than Abraham , a better name than Jacob(Israel) a better name than Moses , a better name than David the name of Christ (christians). The only name given to people in whom we find Salvation. The one who descended in Hades and freed those justs of the OT.Let us not despise the jews or hate them , and remmber salvation is from jews.And as we are trough them , they will be trough us.
Even if the Jews were collectively our enemies, an idea I dislike and highly doubt, we still must love them since Christ said to love our enemies. Also, I sympathize with your claim that the name "Christ" is better than the other names you mentioned. Israel was the name of God's people, and David was a poetic name for Christ. However, the name Christ means Messiah, referring to God's Anointed, anointed with chrism. Messiah and Christ could be seen as titles, whereas Jesus, David, and Israel are proper names. So perhaps a name could be seen as better than a title, and in that case, the title Christ could be seen as inferior to the proper name for God's people Israel. For example, at one point the Bible refers to Nebechudnezzar as God's anointed. So in that case, it's conceivable that the name Israel could be better than the title Christ. On the other hand, "the Christ" refers to Israel's central, Davidic Messiah, and you pointed out the Bible calling Israel God's firstborn, like Jesus was, so it feels like the terms you listed are closely associated. It could be like comparing apples and oranges, where it is hard to really say one is better, especially since Israel is a reference to Christ's Church, which is His body joined with Him.

When you mentioned that the Jews would be through us, I think you mean nonChristian Jews would come to Christianity through us Christians.

I agree with you when you write:
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Yes , Jesus after the flesh , in His human side , He was a jew , as the fullfilment of the promises God made to the jewish justs.That is why salvation is from jews , we can`t deny that.Also let`s not forget , the jews(jewish tribes) "mixed" between the nations.
The last sentence is true. I vaguely remember Moses having at least one close, non-Israelite family member, like maybe a sister and/or wife. I know they lived together with gentiles in the Holy Land. Plus I believe the Bible also mentions gentiles joining Israel and/or Judah in the Old Testament.

Take care



Alveus,

Yes, it appears Marc really did ask you those questions.

I agree that:
Quote
Comparing ancient mythos with the Gospels seems a bit different to me.  I think we have to assume that the degree of reliability of the Gospels is a bit higher
, because the Gospels were written alot later in time, and St Paul wrote that Christianity wasn't "some myth", as I remember.

I am not sure that:
Quote
but whatever.  We're all just making up our own personal religions as we go anyway, are we not?
It seems like sometimes we are also conforming ourselves to religions shared with others, although sometimes we also qualify those beliefs. Like I might find it more or less likely that the 6 days were literal than other people.

I am confused about your words:
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I ignore plenty of things that I don't want to see in the Holy Scriptures, so I suppose I can't fault that presbyter anymore than I am at fault.
It seems like at some level you are paying attention to them if you are aware that you are ignoring them. For example, if I am going for a walk and I see a dog and ignore it, then in a way I have paid attention to it and then chosen to ignore it afterwards. So I really haven't completely ignored it. In fact, with some dogs, you may try hard to act as if you are ignoring them, even if in fact you are paying attention, to avoid provoking them.

I sympathize with your words that:
Quote
It just seems a little brazen even to me to openly preach to your congregation that something recorded in a Gospel is not "true" and also never happened.
The poster didn't mention the priest as explicity saying the story wasn't "true", but the priest did say it didn't happen. It could be a "true" story in that it reflected or summarized the crowd's expressions, even if it didn't happen so to speak, or vice-verse. Like maybe someone in the crowd noted to another person that their children could be effected, and the other person thought this was ok. Or maybe Pilate, who was reluctant to do the crucifixion, mentioned something like this to the crowd to dissuade them, but they accepted it.

The gospels present themselves as if the things in them happened or at least that they are trying to present what happened. So it seems alittle brazen for a priest to teach "no it didn't", so to speak. To figure out whether it was brazen, you would have to ask whether a church sermon was a proper place to mention this. And I think it was improper: taken as it is, a church sermon, which is about morality, spirituality, and uplifting, seems like the wrong place to point out that some parts didn't happen, in the view of the sermonizer. On the other hand, maybe in this particular sermon the priest was trying to use what he saw as a gospel inaccuracy to teach a positive Christian message, but I just think it's unlikely. I disagree with suppressing the truth, so if he thinks it's true, it makes sense that he should be able to say this, but since he's a priest and he's going against the chrch on this, then it would be alittle brazen, unless he added that it's his opinion, or that it still could have happened despite what he sees as countervailing circumstantial evidence.

On the other hand, sometimes you could say something described in the gospels didn't happen and it wouldn't be brazen, and other times it seems really brazen. It would be very brazen to say St Peter didn't exist, but it doesn't seem brazen to say that specific things mentioned in Jesus' parables didn't happen.

Still, one view that could be acceptable could be to say that people tried to record some parts of the gospels as best they could, and that even if not factually exact they still reflect the situation and give a moral commentary about it.

You are right when you say:
Quote
Because with the mythos the question of "truth" is never violated; the stories are true even if they aren't facts.  In those cases, the point of the stories is the spiritual truths they convey, not the "scientific" details.  
But eagerly profess that the Gospels contain falsehoods, well that would be incredibly damning (for the Gospels) to say the least.  That quote by the Jews is meant to convey a truth.  It's included for a reason.  So perhaps a better question would be why that presbyter thought the passage was included in the gospel, if it clearly would not have happened and if there is no greater truth to convey to the reader?  Ought we strike it from the Scriptures?
Except: (A) it wasn't clear from the poster that the priest was eager to say this, or just mentioned it in passing
(B) The speaker in the post was a Catholic priest, not a presbyter.
(C) I'm not sure it would be the least thing to say that to "eagerly profess that the Gospels contain falsehoods, well that would be incredibly damning (for the Gospels)". "Incredibly damning" sounds like a big statement.
(D) I doubt it would be incredibly damning, because it could be that the falsehood wasn't a big one, like when they are quoting someone if the person gave the same message but said it with some different words.
Like saying "I'm going to the store" instead of "I'm out shopping", or something. The former leaves open whether the person has left yet, unlike the latter. So there is even a slightly different message, but still, it seems like not so much a big deal. The conclusion would be that the gospels aren't a 100% carbon copy of what physically happened, but still, such a small difference, coupled with an honest attempt to record events, might not be damning. It's like saying "she told me the car is blue," vs. she told me the vehicle is blue".

Or "alittle birdy told me a rumor." Well, that's false, but is it really so damning when you say this? It seems like it isn't, because you meant to convey that you got an anonymous rumor. Likewise, maybe in the 1st century, the audience would also have understoof that the gospel writers were trying to convey as best they could what happened, and that it was only later, after certain writings got canonized, that people started thinking about them more often in absolute terms.

As for your questions:
Quote
So perhaps a better question would be why that presbyter thought the passage was included in the gospel, if it clearly would not have happened and if there is no greater truth to convey to the reader?  Ought we strike it from the Scriptures?
1. It isn't clear why the priest thought it was included "if it clearly would not have happened and if there is no greater truth to convey to the reader", since the poster didn't relate the priest's view on this.
One answer,  if the "if" you proposed were true, would be that it was a failed guess about what happened.
2. We can't strike it from the scriptures, because we don't know if the same person that wrote it also wrote other important parts of the gospel.

It seems like even if the other "ifs" you presented in the quote above were true, then only if we knew that the passage was later inserted by some editor with little relation to the original writing, like over 10 years after the gospel was written, could we strike it. Otherwise, it's an integral part of the gospel, because it would have been written together with the rest of the gospel, or by the Christian community in the period in which the gospel was written. If it was an integral part of the gospel, then it can't be struck without striking out the gospel itself. On the other hand, if it was an integral part it could be struck out in such a way that two versions remained: the integral version with it and another version without it.

Thanks for your laundry list about unfulfilled prophecies. It's a long list, so offhand I assume you're right that:
Quote
Some of them were fulfilled in ways they did not expect, others are yet to come, and others are problematic

Offhand, Christianity could say that "the building of the future temple Ezek 40-46" occurred when Jesus' body was reconstituted after the Resurrection, since Jesus spoke of His body as a Temple.

This prophecy could have been fulfilled in the Sermon on the Mount:
Quote
the renewal of the Covenant as sanctification for the Israelites
Ezek 37:26-28

As for the statement:
Quote
- Jerusalem being safely inhabited
Zech 14:11
this could be true up to the time Jesus was killed.

The rest of them appear that they were not completely fulfilled at the first coming. Another way to deal with some of the objections listed of would-be unfulfilled prophecies is that they are in the process of being fulfilled and that Jesus is still with us, as He said "I will be with you until the ends of the earth."

For example, it could be said that where there is Christianity, Christ's spirit has gone and there is "the abolishment of idolatrous images". A counterargument could be that in some Christian regions there is idolatry. But then again, Christianity wouldn't really be reigning in the specific location(s) where the idol and its worshippers would be.

I think Jonathan Gress's post you nominated would have been worthy of "post of the month." It covered alot of issues giving context to St Chrysostom's criticism of Judaism, which seemed simply ignorant in the modern context of OK relations between the two religions.

Happy Bright Monday



Ebor,

I believe you about Jesus that He:
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He was also taken to the Temple as a faithful Jew was supposed to dedicate the first born son, circumcised as is in accordance with the Jewish law, kept the Passover as a Jew and more.  As Marc1152 wrote he taught in the synagogues and as is written in the Gospel he read from the Scroll.
Except that:
(1) I don't remember whether Jesus' dedication in the Temple comes from tradition or directly from scripture, so I do have a little doubt about it. But on the other hand, I think there was a tradition among the Jews to dedicate their sons in the Temple, and that even the Old Testament mentions such a practice.
(2) I'm not absolutely sure He kept the Passover, because there were dissident Jews like John the Baptist who acted differently than the conventional ways. John the Baptist for example ate locusts and wild honey I think, so it seems unlikely that John would've had Passover. Also Josephus the historian got education from a lone hermit, who seemed somewhat outside the common religious society. There were also the Essenes and Nazarenes who acted differently than normal for the society. The early Christians could have been Nazarenes or mixed partly with them. It's possible that Jesus was a fish-eating vegetarian as the New Testament never specifies that he celebrated the Passover meal before the Last Supper, nor does it even specifically mention Him eating meat.

You commented about Sdcheung:
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Interesting that actually taking the Gospel as truth and citing it makes one a "Christian Zionist Protestant Converts"
However, Marc's comment, to which Sdcheung was responding with his claim about Converts, went beyond referencing the gospel and taking it as truth. Rather, Marc added that Sdcheung's mistaken idea that the word "Jews" refers only to a religious group is the same kind of mistake as saying Jesus never existed. So Sdcheung could have been responding to the added evaluation of the mistake rather than to the gospel citation you referred to.

I sympathize with your comment:
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<<You may be right and he was not a Jew at all.   Galilee was settled by Assyrian kings with an Aryan population, and in that case Jesus was an Aryan.  Would that be acceptable to you?>>

??? ???
Woah.  
I know that you are not serious, though I have come across in the past a couple of bits where Jesus was "really" slavic or something else so that He wasn't Jewish.  How could one  come up with pseudo-information/fake history to support such a claim I wonder.  Have you come across this idea in real life?
Yes, claiming Jesus was Aryan would be a big, weird claim, so I assume that Fr George is joking or alittle sarcastic, and referring to Sdcheung's apparent excessive admiration for Aryans. It could be that Fr George has an idea that Jesus was a tiny big Aryan from among the Assyrians, but I think this is very unlikely as I believe they were Semitic. I read a claim that Jesus was Gaulic and that the term Galilee was a reference to the Gauls, but don't remember the claim he was slavic, except that this claim might've added that Ukrainians were Gauls too. It sounds like a funny claim.

To come up with the fake history you mentioned, one could make a claim that the Gauls lived across the ancient world, including in Galilee and that Galilee where Jesus was from was named after them.

You commented:
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<<Yes, I have seen it espoused by Greek Old Calendarists, True Orthodox Christians and Walled-Off Orthodox Christians who write on a particular Yahoo! group.  I remember a lengthy thread on the topic last year. >>
Fascinating.  Would you happen to remember any of the details of their reasoning or "historical evidence"?  I ask for information's sake and not because I believe anything of that sort, as you can probably tell.
For me, it's not fascinating as I think they're ideas are spurious and they are non-canonical. Perhaps if it seemed likely it could be interesting. Another problem is that the New Testament portrays Jesus as Jewish, like when He says Salvation is of the Jews.
I don't clearly remember the particular claims among those non-canonical groups to this effect.

I agree with your comment and criticism of the heresy that:
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<<I recall that one particular priest with a Russian name (but he may have been Greek Old Calendarist, I need to check) informed us that Jesus Christ existed from all eternity and so He existed prior to the creation and the creation of humanity and therefore He had no Jewish genes and indeed no ethnic inheritance of any sort.  Quite an interesting heresy really.  And one he said his bishop also adhered to.>>
Intriguing.  The denial that Jesus had any "Jewish genes" might be taken to suggest that the person with this idea could be denying that Our Lord was Fully Human as well as Fully God.  No genes, not genetics, no human body maybe.  As you wrote, an interesting heresy.  My word.
It's intriguing insofar as it implicates a discussion of the incarnation. But by itself, once you see that it's a heresy, it doesn't seem particularly intriguing to me. Although I admit it's an interesting heresy as far as the discussion would be concerned. You are right that this denial would naturally be a denial that Christ was fully human, and you explained why: no human genetics, no human body.

One way to try to get around this problem could be that what they mean is that Jesus' soul didn't have any genes, since he lived before the incarnation. But still, this takes a genetic-oriented view of the soul, like that genetics are part of the soul. Personally I disagree with this idea. And even if they were part of the human soul, then to be fully human, it seems He would have taken the genetics into His soul.

You asked:
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Is the Assyrian/Aryan thought line part of the views of the priest you mentioned above?  Or is that a totally different idea on how to make Jesus "no-Jewish"?
It would be a totally different idea, because the noncanonical priest's way to get around Jesus' Jewishness was to say that He lacked genes at all, whereas the Aryan thing would be an attempt to say that He had a different ethnicity and genes. However, the Aryan thing was just something made up by Irish Hermit in an apparently failed attempt to understand Sdcheung's confusion about the term "Jew."

I sympathize with your words:
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<<What is the point of such a denial? Is anti-semetism at the heart of this?>>
I'd say, yes.  For some people, unfortunately, to have an "Other" to blame, to look down on, to castigate, to deny that they are as Human as the speaker/writer is something that they embrace and which makes them feel good about their diatribes because it makes them feel righteous maybe.
However, I find that this is a deep part of psychology, so I do find it alittle doubtful or confusing. This is getting into the deep motivations for why people make stereotypes and apply them to large groups of people and why they rant about them.

In fact, it could be that one can over-generalizing about people making stereotype diatribes. It seems to me, for example, that the prophets made generalized words of criticism to bring their people to repentence. Sometimes it feels like the words are generalized too much. Like if a prophet says the people worshipping idols made of physical objects. It seems like alot of people might not have been doing this. Plus, when they talk about the other nations negatively, it feels like this could be an over-generalization. Maybe some nations were militarily neutral and didn't want to bother people. Armenia and Switzerland, for example, feel like a kind of mountain country that isn't particularly aggressive. So just as it seems bad to make bad stereotypes, it also feels like it's bad to make stereotypes about stereotypes. Sometimes they can be positive warnings that reflect the prophet's strong feelings of concern. Like some Americans complain that Americans eat too much junk food. I'm sure you understand what I mean with this tangent-paragraph.

I sympathize with your comment:
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And as may be seen here and with such things as a "List of Jewish Names" (which often they aren't) they spread out their negative feelings and attacks on others who do not agree with them either.
Sigh.
His list isn't online anymore, but I believe you that often the list is incorrect. Obviously some Jews can have non-Jewish names, and naturally he could see this an get confused and think it's a Jewish name. I think you're right that he spread his negative feelings on those who didn't agree with him, as in his mind he associated those who disagreed with him with that about which they didn't agree.
However, I don't think he was using his apparently made-up name list as a way to attack people with whom he disagreed, since you were the only one to mention his list, except that he only admitted it was his and mentioned some names on it.

You asked IPC rhetorically:
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And what is "the Old Testament Church" of not the faithful Jewish people as recorded in the Scriptures? Have you read all of the Old Testament?
The Old Testament Church would include the faithful Jewish people, but it would include some others too, like other tribes of Israel. It seems that it could include non-Israelite righteous like the prophet Balaam, and some others who had good relations with the Israelites and respect for God, although I think Balaam and some, if not all the others here mentioned might have become Israelites. Also, it isn't clear whether Cyrus, who was a highly-praised Messianic figure in the Bible could be considered one of God's people, the Old Testament Church, since it isn't clear whether he himself worshipped Jehovah or just had respect and served Him, perhaps unwittingly.

I can't speak for IPC, but I read all the Old Testament with the New Revised Standard Version or another protestant translation, but the translation wasn't the KJV or NKJV.

Peace

-Rakovsky



Heorhij,

You made a good insight into the noncanonical priest's views:
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<<I recall that one particular priest with a Russian name (but he may have been Greek Old Calendarist, I need to check) informed us that Jesus Christ existed from all eternity and so He existed prior to the creation and the creation of humanity and therefore He had no Jewish genes and indeed no ethnic inheritance of any sort.  Quite an interesting heresy really.  And one he said his bishop also adhered to.>>
<<Intriguing.  The denial that Jesus had any "Jewish genes" might be taken to suggest that the person with this idea could be denying that Our Lord was Fully Human as well as Fully God.  No genes, not genetics, no human body maybe.  As you wrote, an interesting heresy.  My word.>>


Indeed sounds like a very crude Monophysite heresy to me. According to what the Church teaches, AFAIK, our Lord assumed the human body from the Most Holy Theotokos, with genes and everything. And Her genes were most definitely Jewish (or Hebrew), because Her cousin Elizabeth was a "descendant of Aaron" and married to a Hebrew priest "from the priestly order of Abijah" (Luke 1:5).

It does sound like a monophysite heresy as you say, because it would be a denial of Christ's human nature. That is, it said He had no ethnicity because He existed before all eternity. In other words, it uses the fact of His divinity to denial part of His humanity, ie His human genes and ethnicity.

I also agree with your characterization of the Church's views and about the Theotokos' ethnicity. I assume she was Jewish and not merely Hebrew because she was from David's line too, I remember hearing. And plus, after David ruled, David's line ran through the Kingdom of Judah, from whence came the term Jews.

You asked:
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Interesting that some people view the apostolic canon that forbids entering a synagogue for prayer as "harsh." Why is it particularly harsh?
It appears harsh because it places the severe penalty of excommunication on those who violate it. Plus, it seems like a canon that some people could violate for reasons I feel sympathy for: former Judaists wishing to participate in their families' religious life, appreciation of remaining elements of pre-Christian Judaism, lack of knowledge about the canon, continuation of the apostles' behavior of attending synagogues, etc. Further, the act of simply praying in a location seems relatively minor. After all, God is everywhere, even in non-Christian worship places.

A counterargument could be that maybe there are exceptions to this canon, like if there are no Churches in the vicinity. Another counterargument could be that yes it's harsh, but not too harsh. To claim that it's not too harsh, one could propose that it's important to have a purely Christian spirituality, and that praying in a non-Christian worship place would contradict such spirituality. Personally I feel it's too harsh, because the apostles themselves acted differently than the canon says.

I sympathize with your statement:
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I would think, for example, that the canon that forbids a clergyman to re-marry under any circumstances (or, else, to be deposed!) as a lot harsher one. If any canons should be changed, I would by all means vote for changing that second canon.
, because having a spouse is a very personally important thing. Praying in a non-Christian synagogue seems less important for Christians. Your example shows that as far as canonical prohibitions go, the one about synagogue prayer isn't extremely severe, relatively speaking.

I respectfully differ with your opinion here:
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If any canons should be changed, I would by all means vote... not [for] the [canon about avoiding non-Christian synagogue prayer].
Living here, in the USA, I see so much of this so-called "cafeteria religion," when people arbitrarily pick a little bit of something from different faiths, forming "their own." In this regard, I think Canon LXIV (about not entering a synagogue) is a jem... It should be kept.
Your view is that a Christian praying in a synagogue would be part of arbitrarily picking from another faith as part of their own. In a way, that's true. If someone chooses to make a single synagogue prayer event part of their spirituality, they have added it to their own religion.

But on the other hand, if someone intentionally rejects praying in a synagogue, he/she has also made this rejection part of his/her own spirituality. For example, old-order Amish reject electrical use. Thus, rejection of a behavior is also part of own's own religion.

Further, I don't think that "cafeteria religion" is always necessarily seriously bad. Carpatho-Russian Orthodox churches often have more western art styles than most other Orthodox, while the eastern styles may be considered better from a traditional Orthodox doctrinal point of view. Some Orthodox have rebaptism of converts, others don't. Some places require women to wear veils, while in other places a lack of veils is the norm. If one person wants to wear a veil and another doesn't, then depending on the circumstances, this seems OK to me. I feel similarly about the other variances mentioned in this paragraph.

Personally, I feel like if the person has a church to go to, they should pray regularly there instead of at the synagogue. But this particular canon is too absolute for my preference.

Your quote from http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7062 is correct about Orthodoxy. However, I am unsure about the statement: "The Old Testament is a collection of forty-nine books". These 49 books include the Old Testament apocrypha.

Additionally, I note:
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"In Orthodox Christianity, deuterocanonical means that a book is part of the corpus of the Old Testament (i.e. is read during the services) but has secondary authority. In other words, deutero (second) applies to authority or witnessing power, whereas in Roman Catholicism, deutero applies to chronology (the fact that these books were confirmed later), not to authority"(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deuterocanonical_books)

Thus, it would only have secondary authority in "express[ing] God's revelation to the ancient Israelites." Thus, I'm not sure how much or how many of the Deuterocanonical books may be considered divinely inspired and expressing God's revelation.

I agree with you when you say:
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<<But in terms of Eschatology what is the Church`s teaching on the jews?Will they convert to Orthodoxy, or what will it happen to them?>>

AFAIK, the adherents of Judaism are just like adherents of any other religion outside Orthodox Christianity. Some of them will convert; hopefully, all of them will. Some already have. What will happen to those who won't convert - only God knows.

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Rafa,

I agree with you, and you make a strong point about the canon's wording when you say:
Well...I agree that canon is somewhat harsh. We do need to take into account though that it only says we cannot pray in a synagogue (otherwise everything is ok- there is no prohibition from going to a Synagogue and having some fellowship).  ;)

It makes sense when you say:
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I am not a scholar on Orthodoxy, but I presume this canon was written because at the time prayers like the Birkat Ha'minim were being recited by Jews in Synagogues. These prayers required Christians to 1) Curse themselves and their predecessors, 2) Curse the Roman Empire (unfeasible since Christians had by then overthrown the Roman empire and become their successors) 3) Curse Jewish "collaborators" (namely any Jew who believed in the New Testament or collaborated with the Christians). So it would be not realistic to say these prayers and remain in good standing truth be told.

Wikipedia's article on the "Council of Jamnia" mentions such a prayer:
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<<In passages referring to the Christian period, "minim" usually indicates the Judæo-Christians, the Gnostics, and the Nazarenes...instead of the original "Nozerim" ... the present text has "wela-malshinim" (="and to the informers"). The cause of this change in the text was probably, the accusation brought by the Church Fathers against the Jews of cursing all the Christians under the name of the Nazarenes.">>

A "Jewish skeptic" writes on his blog that the prayer is directed against supposed heretics and is still regularly recited in their synagogues. http://jewishsceptic.blogspot.com/2008/03/birkat-haminim.html

The Virtual Jewish library writes:
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We find the following wording in a Palestinian siddur from the Cairo Genizah:
"For the apostates let there be no hope. And let the arrogant government be speedily uprooted in our days. Let the nozerim and the minim be destroyed in a moment. And let them be blotted out of the Book of Life and not be inscribed together with the righteous. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who humblest the arrogant"
as early as the first centuries C.E. we find church fathers voicing the claim that the Jews curse the Christians in their prayers. Such contentions, alongside censorship of siddurim, wrought significant changes in the wording of the benediction during the Middle Ages. Also contributing to this modificatory process were shifts in the social environment of the Jews and in their worldview. Without exception, the word nozerim was expunged from all Jewish prayer rites, and in many, substitutions were made for minim (heretics) and meshummadim (apostates), as in the accepted opening in the Ashkenazi rite: "may the slanderers (malshinim) have no hope." Some Reform prayer books omit this benediction entirely.
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0003_0_02999.html

Consequently, your analysis of the Birkat Ha'minim appears correct. The existence of the prayer in services would be a good reason for the Christian Canons cited on this thread that forbid Christians from participating in nonChristian Judaism. It's true that praying in a synagogue by itself wouldn't necessarily mean interaction with this so-called "Birkat", but it makes sense that the Church would want Christians to avoid religious interaction with the Judaic establishment for this reason.

Xuxana had commented elsewhere:
gosh they r so cool. im following this messianic jewish lady on twitter & she has all sorts of interesting tweets about her religion. plus they have a fabulous ashram/kibbutz or whatever thingy in israel that i'd like to go to one day.
You wrote:
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Xuxana, you said you were tweeting with a Jewish lady in a Kibbutz in Israel who was a believer in the True Messiah, part of the Edtha. Can you tweet to her about the Peshitta New Testament written in the original Ktav Ashurri script used by the first Jewish believers, the Peshitta New Testament preserved by the Assyrian Church of the East ? Here is an interlinear by a ACOE Deacon I have only the highest trust for:
http://peshitta.org/
and a Jewish translation by a friend of mine and Nazarene's with many useful footnotes and the Khabouris codex side by side to it:
http://www.aent.org/
also give her this:
http://www.hebrewaramaic.org/
(links to the Peshitta Tanakh, old testament of the ACOE and Mesopotamian Jewry)
1. I doubt whether the Peshitta New Testament was used by the first Jewish believers. Some historians claim Matthew's Gospel was composed from passages written first in Hebrew. Most historians apparently think Luke's Gospel and the Acts were written in Greek first. Also, some things, like at least some of Paul's letters to Rome and Greek places would naturally have been written in Greek.
Maybe you just meant that the original Ktav Ashurri script was what was used by the first Jewish believers. It sounds like this script was an ancient Aramaic script from that time, so it would make sense that when they wrote in Aramaic they would've used this script.
2. However, I doubt the Old Testament used most often would've been in Aramaic. The Septuagint was common among Greek-speaking Jews, and naturally in the synagogue services it seems likely Hebrew would've been used. Still, I suppose that with Aramaic as their common language they might also have often used a Peshitta version.
Use of the Septuagint was one serious base for ideas in the New Testament and/or early Christianity, which do take sayings and ideas from the Septuagint apocrypha. The apocrypha is not part of the TaNaKh, which is an abbreviation for the Torah, Prophets, and Scriptures. Consequently, I highly doubt the Peshitta TaNaKh would've overwhelmed the Septuagint in usage by the early Christians.
3. Your links appear worthwhile for scholarship and academics. They give a better understanding of ideas in the Bible, because the translation adds a dimension of understanding how the early Christians would've viewed the same verses.

I feel that your words are exaggerated when you say:
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I would appreciate if you gave her these links since it is important for her to feel her beliefs are validated and she can rest in peace at night
Based on my comments 1 & 2 above, tt doesn't seem to me that having an Aramaic version of the Bible would make a significant difference in whether Jewish Christian beliefs are validated and allow a Jewish Christian to "rest in peace at night." Even if early Christian commentaries said Aramaic was the Bible version used by early Christians, simply having a copy wouldn't make that big a difference I think, since the lack of such a version could easily be explained by the passing of many centuries since then, in addition to the use of Greek and Hebrew in Christian liturgy and scholarship in the intervening years, as well as the severe reduction in the use of the Aramaic language in the last 1200 or so years.

When you wrote:
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The Apostolic canons retained by each and every branch of the Apostolic Church prohibits frequenting the synagogues of the Jews even excommunicating those who do.
I assume that you mean branches besides the Eastern Orthodox Church, as the Eastern Orthodox Church doesn't refer to its jurisdictions as "branches." There is something called the "Branch Theory", which I think says that some Churches like the Roman Catholic Church are valid "branches" as they can trace their line of Bishops to the early apostles.
The Roman Church decided at the Ecumenical Council where the Greek Church adopted the "Canons of the Holy Apostles" that the Roman Church would only accept part of those Canons. I don't know whether the Roman Church accepted those Canons prohibiting Christians from frequenting Judaic synagogues.

I doubt your words:
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We should remember that while posting on this thread, because it is what the One Holy Church founded by the Apostles teaches (that we are forbidden to have this type of fellowship with unbelievers) and may he who present another gospel be accursed (Galatians 1:8 ). Whoever posts or posted to the contrary (myself included since I might have made such a post) must be corrected.
, because:
1) It isn't clear that the Orthodox Church still teaches this. Fr. George commented on the thread about Serbian Patriarch Irineos' lighting a candle at a synagogue that a Canon can become invalid if disregarded for long enough. The Patriarch's visit to the synagogue could be a reflection of a disregard for this Canon.
2) The term fellowship here is unclear. I think some Protestants refer to spiritual communion as fellowship. Yet simply attending a synagogue isn't the same as communion in the way Protestants think of it, I suppose. If a Christian simply visited a synagogue occasionally when no one else was present, it wouldn't seem like significant fellowship.
3) Allowing Christians to visit synagogues despite the Canons doesn't clear seem to be preaching a different gospel than that of the Apostles, since the apostles themselves frequented synagogues, where they at least occasionally preached the very gospel referred to in Galatians 1:8.  Nor apparently did the Apostles view the decisions of Church Councils to be infallible no matter what. The Council of Jerusalem decided that some Christians would follow some food rules- presumably including a ban on pork-, but then, subsequently I presume, St Peter had a vision that it would be OK to eat any kind of animal.
4)Naturally, whoever posts contrary to the gospel should be corrected verbally. But I think that if someone asserts, like I do, that frequenting a synagogue might be OK should merely have the truth about this explained. For me, I think that the actions of the apostles to frequent synagogues strongly suggest that this is OK, although on the other hand a Church-sanctioned Canon from the Middle Ages prohibits it. I find allowing it, and banning it, both at least alittle problematic.

Peace   שָׁלוֹם   ܫܠܡܐ



Simplygermain,

You commented:

Quote
<<Still, Pagan Greeks were free to remain Greeks in identity after Baptism but Jews somehow cease to be Jews once Baptised.. The ideal of, there are no Greeks or Jews in Christ, does not seem to be what has been done in practice>>

Comparibly, In Acts, , one sees that Paul made his disciple Timothy (source, Acts 16) and made him circumsized because his mother was Jew and father was Greek, so as not to digress the laws of the Jews. But in the case of Titus and those whom Paul preached to in Antioch ( Acts 15 )it was not necessary for them to be circumsized - they were Gentiles.
What you seem to be suggesting is that gentiles kept a somewhat gentile identity in the sense that they could avoid circumcision. And you're suggesting that actually Jews seemed to keep a Jewish identity too, because Paul made Timothy circumcized because his mother was Jewish.

Plus, your example of Timothy also goes against Marc's statement in another way: Timothy had at first apparently self-identified as Greek, since he hadn't been circumcized. But then St Paul made him circumcized. So actually it could be said that Timothy lost his Greek identity and took on a Jewish identity after he became Christian.

Nevertheless, Marc could have right with regards to Europe in the medieval ages, while you would be correct in reference to 1st century Christianity. The reason I say Marc could be right is that Sdcheung cited one interpretation of a Canon of the 7th Ecumenical Council, in which the interpretation took the view that the Canon disallowed a Jewish Christian from circumcising his son.

Happy Bright Monday
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 01:52:24 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #358 on: April 25, 2011, 02:00:43 PM »
Ialmisry:

You made a good comment when you said:
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But whereas the Gentiles eventually repented and turned to Christ (when Rome became Christian), the Jews have remained stubborn in their refusal to repent.

Really? I see a lot of Gentiles who remain pagan.  And a lot of Jews have "repented," Fr. Men', all the first bishops of the Mother Church of Jerusalem and the original generation of Christians, including those 3, 120 at Pentacost come to mind.
So these terms about gentiles and Jews can't be taken as absolute. When you said "including those 3," it seems to me based on grammar that you meant to say "besides those 3," since it seems to me that there weren't 3,120 at Pentecost.

On the other hand, I think that none of the gentiles descended from those who collectively made the Crucifixion, ie the Roman citizens, failed to repent at some point, since Rome became officially Christian, as did Europe later, although I guess some people could've slipped through the cracks. Whether some of those Christian gentiles' descendants later reverted away from Christianity is irrelevant to whether at some point, all the responsible gentiles collectively had at some point repented.

I'm confused about your words:
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<<God help the Orthodox Church we've let Christian Zionist Protestant Converts in.>>
Yes, the Church let St. Paul in:...
, because St Paul was neither a Christian Zionist Protestant, nor do the quotes by Paul showing Christianity's Jewish roots clearly contradict Zionist Protestantism.

More likely it appears you are showing in effect that Paul had favorable associations between Christianity and the Jewish people, based on St Paul's quotes you put in the post.

For example, your citation: "Romans 16:11 Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew" simply shows Paul, a prominent Christian to identify with Herodion as a Jew.

The word "dialect" in your citation feels misleading:
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Acts 22:1 “Brethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you.”
2 And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet;
The Greek wording may literally say "dialect" here, but it feels like Hebrew language would be more appropriate. They were in a religious setting, and simply addressing Jews in the common language of Aramaic, a dialect among the Jews, wouldn't seem to be particulary impressive for them or likely to make them quiet. Rather, speaking the Hebrew language to them would be more impressive and likely to have such an effect.

But I'm confused why you cited ACTS 19:30-34 here, because it appears like it refers to Alexander as the Jew referred to in the passage, and doesn't specify that St Paul was a Jew.

Plus, in the quote from 1 Corinthians 9, it appears that St Paul only says that he was like a Jew and made himself like he was under the law even though he wasn't. So it isn't clear from 1 Corinthians whether he was actually Jewish or only like a Jew, which is confusing how he could be like a Jew without being one, except that he doesn't see Christians really as Jews:
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20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law.

Your passage from Acts 9 doesn't explicitly say St Paul was Jewish, although it is related to that fact, because it mentions that the disciples were afraid of him. The reason was that he had been persecuting them on the Sanhedrin and/or chief priest's order.

Plus, the passage Romans 10:1 doesn't specify that St Paul was a Jew. But the other passages you cited obviously and clearly do specify St Paul was a Jew.

You are also correct when you say:
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Yeah, God got out of the Real Estate business when He sent down His Son, but note the verses above, where the term Jew is used AFTER the Hebrew covenant was fulfilled.  In other words, the NT is still the Jews' family story.
Except that He didn't clearly get out of the real estate business, by which you mean designating land ownership. He did for example designate I think that the world would be transformed and that all of it would worship Him. It seems also to me that He promised the whole world to Christians and those who love Him, but I don't clearly remember this.

Also, like you said, in the verses you cited, the term Jew is used for St Paul as a Christian after the covenant would have been fulfilled in Christianity. So with the fulfillment of the New Testament, the New Testament is still part of their family story, although of course the Old Testament would be another part of it, which is why it seems the New Testament is only part of it.

I agree with you:
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yes, the pharisees and their progeny missed the boat.  That doesn't mean that they can't get on, and the history of the Church proves that.

unfortunately, I don't have the time now (real life calls), but in brief: The Gospel of John, the last written, identifies Christ as a Jew, even saying "Salvation is from the Jew," so the idea that the term was totally discredited is, well, discredited.
Except that I'm unsure about whether your quote from St John's gospel is exact, because I somewhat remember it saying that "Salvation is of the Jews."

The gospels appears to have Jesus referring to the pharisees collectively as missing the boat of Christianity, so to speak. On the other hand, the New Testament also mentions individual pharisees, like St Paul, who became pharisees. It also mentions the pharisee Nicodemus as if he never rejected Christianity, and it isn't clear that Nicodemus missed the boat, so to speak. Rather, it seems that he could have been secretly on board as long as he knew about Jesus, which was even when Jesus was in His mission before the Crucifixion.

I am not sure about your comment:
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"Problem is the Talmud's "requirements" are post-NT, and have been doctored in response to the Church, e.g. the M'shiah ben Yosef.  Somewhere I have a post from a Jewish site on this."
(1) I read that some of the Talmud's information, sources, or passages are from several or a few centuries before it was written. And it seems to me from my vague memory about this that it references some elders like Shimmai who lived before the New Testament time. So it could be that its requirements are from before the NT time.
(2)Marc's words "I cant site the complete list for you. Consult your local Rabbi." suggest that the rabbi, who would presumably accept the Talmud, would be able to direct the person towards the full list. However, Marc didn't say that the rabbi would take the list from the Talmud or that the Talmud's ideas about this would go beyond what existed before the New Testament. Offhand, I'm not sure whether the Talmud's list would go beyond that.
(3) I'm also not sure if the Talmud's list has been doctored in response to the church. Plus, I am not sure what the Messiah ben Yosef concept has to do with it or if or how it shows such doctoring. Maybe you mean that the concept of Messiah ben Yosef was created in post-NT times as a way to remove traits of suffering from the Messiah ben David that were known in pre-NT times. But like I said I don't remember reading that elsewhere, so I have some doubt about your simple assertion here. The same goes for the chance that you mean that after the NT times, the idea of a suffering Messiah became more common and the Messiah ben Yosef idea was invented to accommodate it.
(4) It would be interesting to see your post from the Jewish site you mentioned on this. However, a search of the OC.net forum shows this thread to be the only one on which you posted the term "Yosef".

You are right that:
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Btw, the Talmud records that the doors of the Holy of Holies would open of their own accord everday 40 years before the Temple's destruction,
However, I am not sure this was
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i.e. the same date as Matthew  27:51.
, because that would have been in 30 AD, and I think scholars disagree over what year exactly in 26-33 AD Jesus was crucified. So offhand that sounds like maybe a 1 in 6 the dates match. Assuming that a combination of 3 dates like 30-33 AD were equally likely as the date, then it sounds like there's a 1 in 3 chance the dates match.

I am alittle confused about the genetic information you showed:
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Muslim Arabs from Israel and the Palestinian Authority Area; and Bedouin from the Negev) was analyzed... In comparison with data available from other relevant populations in the region, Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors. The two haplogroups Eu 9 and Eu 10 constitute a major part of the Y chromosome pool in the analyzed sample. Our data suggest that Eu 9 originated in the northern part, and Eu 10 in the southern part of the Fertile Crescent. Genetic dating yielded estimates of the expansion of both haplogroups that cover the Neolithic period in the region. Palestinian Arabs and Bedouin differed from the other Middle Eastern populations studied here, mainly in specific high-frequency Eu 10 haplotypes not found in the non-Arab groups. These chromosomes might have been introduced through migrations from the Arabian Peninsula during the last two millennia.
It sounds like the study means that Jews and Kurds, Turks, and Armenians are connected by the Eu 9 haplogroup from the northern part of the Fertile Crescent, while Palestinian Muslims and Bedouins have high-frequency Eu 10 haplotypes from the southern part of the Fertile Crescent.

Here is a map of the Fertile Crescent: Thus, if the Eu 10 haplogroup came from the sourthern Fertile Crescent, it looks like this would mean it came either from Zion/Palestine or southeastern Iraq. This places doubt on the idea that the Eu10 group came from the Arabian Peninsula, as opposed to Zion/Palestine.

If modern Jewish DNA better matches the DNA of Turks, Armenians, and Kurds than Palestinian Muslims, two explanations could be:
(#1) the Jewish population migrated from the northern Fertile Crescent into Zion/Palestine and that the Palestinian Muslims are a continuity of the earlier population from before that migration.
The problem with this view is that the pre-Israelite population mixed alot with the native Canaanite/Philistine population.
(#2) the Palestinian Muslim population could be from the Arabian Peninsula as the study's summary suggests. The problem with this view is that history records a significant Aramaic-speaking population even before the Arab invasions in the late Middle Ages.

The information on the J haplogroup sheds a different light on these results: http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/1716700
This website informs that the Eu 9/10 haplogroups have been changed into J1/J2 haplogroups.

The J1 haplogroup is found among 62-82% of Bedouins, who are considered "true Arabs" in a 2000 DNA study by Hebrew University. The J1 haplogroup is found among 38.4% of Palestinian Arabs. "In Jewish populations overall, J1 constitutes 19.0% of the Ashkenazim results and 11.9% of the Sephardic results".

The J2 haplogroup is found commonly among the Levant too, like 25% of Lebanese (The article doesn't say how common it is among Palestinian Arabs, but presumably it's a similar level because they are part of the Levant and even 18.9% of Saudi Arabians have it), 23.2% of Ashkenazi Jews, and 28.6% of Sephardi Jews.

One conclusion about the study you cited seems to be that the study is misleading or too simplistic in its discussion of Palestinians, like when it says: "Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors." It may be true that on average Jews are closer in DNA to those living in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent, because the Palestinians on average have a significantly higher level of the J1 haplogroup associated with the Arabian peninsula. But this is misleading if applied to Palestinians in an absolute way. It would make sense that Jews are actually much closer in DNA to a portion of the Palestinian population than they are to the population of the Northern Crescent, and that the difference between Jews and the Palestinian Muslims on average comes from significant numbers from the Arabian Peninsula intermixing with a portion of the Palestinian population.

So one idea consistent with the DNA results would be that Jews are more closer related to some of their neighbors with an Arab social identity, like Palestinian Christians and Palestinian [Mizrahi] Jews, than others like some sections of the Palestinian Muslim population. In fact, the failure to include Mizrahi Jews in the cited study also adds to a simplistic contrast of only non-Middle Eastern Jews, Palestinian Arabs, and Kurds, leading to the misleading conclusion that Jews are more like Kurds than Palestinians, seen as a single, somewhat monolithic ethnicity.

Furthermore, the fact that the usually-Arabic J1 haplogroup is found among average Palestinians at a level almost 20% higher than that of Ashkenazi Jews is a significant difference, but still not one that shows they don't share a common origin in the same region of Zion/Palestine. This difference could be looked at another way: as if 80% of Jews and 80% of Palestinians matched eachother in regards to the Eu haplotype. In other words, a 20% difference is also an 80% similarity.

One idea consistent with these results would be the idea that Jews, Palestinians, and inhabitants of the northern Fertile Crescent are relatively similar in DNA, but that at some point 19-27% of the Palestinian population was mixed with DNA associated with the Arabian Peninsula to a degree that 19-27% of the Jewish population wasn't.

You responded to Sdcheung's bold-faced paragraphs by saying: <<The only problem is that the term Jewish is used in the NT, as I have postetd above. Both Christ and Paul apply it to themselves.>> However, this isn't the only problem, as the Old Testament also refers to the Jewish people as Jews, which would include righteous figures like Isaiah.

Also, I'm not sure Jesus explicitly referred to Himself as a "Jew" by word, but it was still clear from His words, like "Salvation is of the Jews", and I assume from His genealogy, which traced Him back to David. Naturally, this line would have ran through the Kingdom of Judah, from whence comes the name "Jews", after the exile's return from the Babylonian Exile. The other tribe that composed this kingdom was the Tribe of Benjamin, but it was a small tribe, and while St Paul remarks that he belonged to it, the New Testament doesn't specify this about Jesus, and the princely line of the Kingdom of Judah came from David, it seems to me.

I somewhat remember reading that the Old Testament had a ritual of sprinkling of sacrificial lamb's blood on the people, cleansing their sins. I assume that not everyone in Israel was physically sprinkled, but that a group of Israelites were, representing the people. So one way the crowd that asked for Jesus' blood to be on them could represent all Jews would be as a poetic reference to this sacrifice. Thus, this image could be actually a somewhat positive one.

Happy Bright Monday
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 02:07:06 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: the church's teaching on the jews
« Reply #359 on: April 25, 2011, 02:12:19 PM »
Northern Pines,

I think you are right when you say that in the Second Temple period of Judaism:
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There are also conflicting interpretations of who or what the Messiah would be and what his role would be.
The Talmud, which claims to take its sources from as far back as the Second Temple period, does mention conflicting interpretations, like you said.

I'm alittle confused about whether
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Some even believed there would be two Messiahs, one spiritual, and one a conquering Messiah. Though this was probably a minority view.
This refers to the Two Messiahs theory wherein the first Messiah would be a suffering Messiah ben Joseph, and the second would be successful with his mission, which I assume would include a conquest. It wasn't clear to me, however, that in this view the first Messiah was supposed to be just a spiritual one, as opposed to, say, an unsuccessful military leader.

I have some doubt about your words:
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Whether we Christians like it or not, a lot of our theology about the Messiah comes directly from uncanonical sources like Philo of Alexandria, various oral traditions, and non canonical Apocalyptic literature, especially the book of Enoch.
Regarding Philo, Wikipedia's entry on him says: "His concept of the Logos as God's creative principle apparently influenced early Christology; some scholars, however, deny direct influence but say both Philo and early Christianity borrow from a common source".

It doesn't seem necessarily bad that our theology about the Messiah comes from oral traditions, since those oral traditions could have come from prophets, those who composed the scriptures, and/or early Christians themselves. If early Christian theologians accepted ideas in noncanonical Apocalyptic literature like the Book of Enoch, this might be OK if that literature itself was using ideas already accepted in the Christian community. It's possible, for example, that the early Christians had some theological ideas they kept as part of their oral tradition or that hasn't survived to us in written form by itself, but that was mentioned in some noncanonical Apocalyptic literature of the time.

On the other hand, if the ideas were invented by some gnostic sects and put in their noncanonical writings, it would seem strange or inappropriate for the Orthodox Christians to take their theology from the groups they considered heretical.

Also, it isn't clear how much of our theology about Christ comes from the sources you mentioned. The term "alot" in "alot of our theology about the Messiah comes directly from..." could be relative. If Church fathers often assert some doctrines from such sources then it would certainly be alot. On the other hand, maybe these ideas from such sources are secondary to central ideas about the Messiah that come directly from the Scripture, which would lower the importance of those secondary ideas.

You commented: "None of which are part of any Christian or Jewish canon (with the exception of Enoch in the Ethiopian Church), and the truth is, many Jews of the Second Temple period did not accept these writings even before the birth of Christ, because they believed prophecy had ceased in Israel." It isn't necessarily bad if some ideas come directly from sources not in the canon like you mentioned. The writings of early Saints, and theologians like Origen, are important in Christianity, even though the writings aren't part of of the Christian or Jewish canon. Plus, depending on the meaning of "canon", some parts of the oral tradition may be part of official writings in Judaism, since the Talmud and Targums were considered oral tradition and have what sounds like canonical or semi-canonical status in Judaism. That is, they aren't in anyway accepted as part of the scriptures, but still have some legal, official status in Judaism, as the term "canon" can simply mean officially sanctioned writings.

I have some doubt about your words: "many Jews of the Second Temple period did not accept these writings even before the birth of Christ, because they believed prophecy had ceased in Israel". Since one of the writings you mentioned was oral tradition, it wouldn't necessarily seem to matter if they believed prophecy had ceased, as some parts of the Jewish oral tradition from that time didn't purport to be prophetic. For example, if some ideas about the Messiah came from Jewish oral tradition used by the pharisees, this criticism would be irrelevant. Likewis, Philo might have repeated or expressed ideas that were accepted or acceptable in Second Temple Judaism, while not purporting to be himself a prophet. On the other hand, your criticism here appears correct about apocalyptic Jewish writing from that time, which, like you said, isn't part of a Jewish canon.

You wrote:
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"So if one puts themselves in the shoes of Second Temple Judaism, and the Sanhedrin, it is somewhat understandable when a guy comes along claiming to be "the Son of Man", (imagery drawn right out of what they considered to be un-canonical tradition) that for some people this would be pretty hard to accept."
In other words, you mean that one problem with seeing someone as the Son of Man was that this concept comes from some noncanonical writings or traditions. I have some doubt about your criticism, because I somewhat remember that the Book of Daniel describes Daniel's vision in which "one like a son of man" was presented to God and received authority to rule forever. One problem with my objection is that the quote from Daniel says He was "like" a son of man, rather than literally saying He was one. However, Isaiah described a Messiah coming from "among" the Israelites and the scriptures predicted that the Messiah would be a descendant of David. So the term "Son of Man" was used in reference to the Messiah, and it was used in a way that suggested His divine nature, even while the Bible strongly suggested in Isaiah and in the Chronicles that the Messiah would be a human.

Plus, Psalm 80:18(JPS) is a prayer asking God:
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Let Thy hand be upon the man of Thy right hand, upon the son of man whom Thou madest strong for Thyself. So shall we not turn back from Thee; quicken Thou us, and we will call upon Thy name. O LORD God of hosts, restore us; cause Thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.
This could be a reference to David as the son of man, or it can be a prophetic reference about the Messiah and people's resurrection, since it talks about people being quickened, that is, made to live.

I have some doubt about your comment:
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Not to mention, even though there was a concept of a dying Messiah, and a conquering Messiah, the dying Messiah was to die WITH his people, and not "for" his people.
You earlier wrote that there were conflicting interpretations, so perhaps there were different interpretations on this. I vaguely remember reading that there was an interpretation about the dying Messiah that he would die with his people, but if like you said there were different interpretations, maybe there was still an interpretation that he would die separate from them and this interpretation hasn't survived in writing.

Plus, it could just be that the interpretation was that he would die, and then another commentator or commentators added that this would happen together with his people, even if the original interpretation didn't go that far in describing the circumstances of his death. In such a casse, it could be that some interpretors didn't take a position on whether his death would occur with his people.

Anyway, I doubt that his dying with his people would be absolute, like absolute genocide, because then it would seem there wouldn't even be a remnant from which the second, conquering Messiah could come.

Further, his dying with his people doesn't necessarily mean he wouldn't die for them too. King Josiah, for example, in the Old Testament was described as dying in battle as a result of His people's sins.

I remember reading a midrash from the Middle Ages or medieval times describing the Messiah being weighed down with wooden or iron bars, and I think this was a reference to the Davidic Messiah. Also, a medieval “Midrash Konen” BhM 2:29-30 says:
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...And there sits Messiah ben David and Elijah and Messiah ben Ephriam... And in it is Messiah ben David who loves Jerusalem. Elijah of blessed memory takes hold of his head, places it in his lap and holds it, and says to him: “Endure the sufferings and the sentence of your Master who makes you suffer because of the sin of Israel.” And thus it is written; He was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5) until the time when the comes. (http://www.truthnet.org/TheMessiah/4_Messiah_of_Judaism)
Here the vicarious suffering is incurred by the Davidic Messiah, rather than the dying one you mentioned, who in this text would be Messiah ben Ephriam. But still, the idea that a Messiah could have vicarious suffering isn't absent. One problem is that these two midrashes are from about 500-1500 years after Christianity started, which weakens their relevance. But on the other hand, it could be that they reflect similar ideas in non-Chriostian Judaism from when Christianity started, and that those ideas haven't survived in writing.

I have some doubt that "The Sadducees didn't believe in any Messiah", since the Protestant commentator John Gill writes:
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As to the Sadducees, they as impatiently expected the Messiah, as the rest of the Jews did, were as intent upon detecting of Jesus, whom they supposed not to be the true Messiah, and were as violent opposers of him and his followers, as any others; which they would not have concerned themselves about, had they not believed in a Messiah. Some say, that the Caraites, are of the old stock of the Sadducees, and hold the same doctrines as they did, who it is certain expect a Messiah, as much as the other Jews do. (www.pbministries.org/books/gill/Misc/misc01_preface.htm )
I vaguely remember that the Sadducees only took the Pentateuch as their canon. But I vaguely remember that the Pentateuch had a prophecy that God would raise a leader for the Israelites as great as Moses, which sounds like a Messianic prophecy.

I assume you're right that: "the Pharisees believed basically in an earthly Messiah", because they had the idea that the Messiah would be from David's line.

Also, I'm unsure whether "the Essenes/Qumran sect believed in something closer to Christianity", because my impression is that they were looking for a divine Messiah figure, but their sect also had what I remember seemed to be strange ideas about the Messiah figure that differed from Christianity. One difference might have been that they didn't think the Messiah figure would be human, which is a difference with Christianity, which views the Messiah as both human and divine.

I'm confused whether in the sect of the Saduccees there could have been differing interpretations, because it seemed like they had a strong centralized institution, which would have more clearly defined their important ideas.  If they limited their canon to the Pentateuch, it would limit their ideas about the Messiah. And if they didn't believe in a Messiah, then it seems they wouldn't have different interpretations about their belief, as it seems impossible to have different interpretations about what something is or would be, if the interpetations are all that the thing is not or would not be.

I have some doubt about whether:
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The populace at large was probably not really concerned or understood all these different theological schools, but just did their best to be "good Jews".
It would seem likely that they cared about the idea of a Messiah at that time because they wanted a leader to free them from Rome. So it would seem like an important topic for them.

Further, it seems possible that alot of the population didn't care about being a "good Jew". Jesus complained about the faithlessness of His generation, He complained that the pharisees' ways were pushing people away from religion, and some Jews visited a Terebinth tree that was the site of pagan ceremonies. It seems hard to know how religious people really were, even if the literature describes religious activity among the population. For example, today it seems that in some places like in the US South people care alot about religion. But then there is another part of the society that doesn't care about it, and Church attendance is actually higher in the North. Today in the State of Israel the conservative religious establishment has strong political power, but alot, if not most, people don't keep the Sabbath in the way their religion demands.

My point is that it seems possible that the population at large was mixed about whether they were doing their best to be "good Jews" in the cultural-religious sense, which I think is what you mean by the term.

I'm unsure about your statement:
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It doesn't have to be an "either/or" issue. The Church fathers most certainly knew what they were talking about, but so did the Talmudic Rabbis.
Here, you are referring to Messianic prophecies as the issue. Religious interpretation of prophecy is like philosophy and art. It seems somewhat open-ended, like the saying goes: "it's in the eye of the beholder." On the other hand, maybe in philosophy and art there can be a right view and a wrong view.

Take for example Psalm 22's words to play the Psalm on the "ayeleth hashachar". This was written over 2500 years ago, and it seems very hard to say what is the correct interpetation of this. The word means "Doe of the Morning" and "Star of the Morning." for us today, it isn't clear which idea is referred to, so it seems very hard to say which translation was wrong. The Psalm's author may have meant only one of the two ideas, or he could have meant both, like an intentional play on words. The author could have just been referring to an instrument by that name, in which case the person who named the instrument could have had either or both meanings in mind when he named it. And then from a religious point of view, it seems rational to say that the author had one meaning in mind when he wrote it, but God had another meaning in mind when God inspired the song, so that it could be presented to some audience in a more prophetic way.

Also, I'm not absolutely certain that
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The Church fathers most certainly knew what they were talking about, but so did the Talmudic Rabbis.
The Church fathers sometimes differed on which books of the Old Testament Apocrypha were canonical, so it seems to me that some of them didn't "know" for certain which books were.

Also, in his thread on [url]Jesus and the Pharisees[/u], Marc posted a link to a talk on the pharisees that explained that the Pharisees considered all the rabbis' teachings to be authoritative. Consequently, it seems foreseeable that different rabbis could have thought up differing possible interpretations for a prophecy and then asserted their interpretations. The result would be that since they were rabbis their interpretations would have been treated as authority and as a valid viewpoint, even if it wasn't clear which of their differing viewpoints was right. For example, a rabbi could simply have read a prophecy using David as an image of the Messiah, guessed that this meant the Messiah would simply be David reincarnated, and asserted this guess as if it was a valid interpretation. In fact, I remember reading that one of the rabbis' views was that the Messiah would be David reincarnated. But perhaps it wasn't a valid interpretation, because Judaism didn't accept reincarnation. Or maybe Judaism did accept reincarnation, and this view was wrong because the scriptures referred to the Messiah as David's heir, rather than David himself. In that case, it seems hard to say that the person who asserted this view knew what he was talking about, as opposed to just asserting a guess about it.

I agree with you when you say:
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Remember, Rabbinic Judaism descended from the Pharisees, all the other "Judaisms" ceased to exist after the Temple was destroyed, with the exception of the Jesus movement.
The Karaites assert that their movement had predecessors from around Jesus' time, and I vaguely remember reading that there were non-Christian Judaic apocryphal or apocalyptic writings in the late 1st - 2nd centuries AD.
Wikipedia's entry on 2 Enoch says: "Late 1st century CE is the dating often preferred...
Most scholars consider 2 Enoch to be composed by an unknown Jewish sectarian group, while some authors think it is a 1st century Christian text".


Your use of the word "but" here seems incorrect:

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<<The Jews were finally convinced Christ was NOT the Messiah when he willingly accepted death on the Cross. Their minds were limited to this world only, and so bodily death brought an end to their hopes.>>

Yes, but it brought an end to their hopes because the way they understood the Messianic prophecies were not spiritual. Or at least that was one interpretation, and probably the main interpretation at the time of Christ.
The reason it seems incorrect is that your words that the Jews mainly didn't understand the Messianic prophecies in a spiritual way don't contradict Jonathan Gress's idea that "their minds were limited to this world only." If some people lacked a spiritual understanding of prophecy, it could be that their minds were limited to this world only.
Plus, it's foreseeable that they interpreted the prophecies in both a spiritual and material way, so that they expected the Messiah would be victorious in both a spiritual and earthly way, like making people's spirits righteous while ruling them institutionally.

Still, it appears that the people's focus was mainly on a material interpretation, like you said, with the Messiah ruling an earthly kingdom. This expectation would be partly based on the fact that Israel's religious history had occurred in the earthly realm, like with the destruction and restoration of the Temple. Still, it could have just been one interpretation, with some others, apparently in a minority, simply taking a completely spiritual view, like some people do today. For example, I read an article in Reform Judaism that took the view about Messianic interpretation that everyone can be a Messiah as they do God's will. Technically this can be correct, as even Cyrus was called a Messiah, but still, the Messianic prophecies do focus on a single person or a very few persons.

I have doubt about your view:
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it[Christ's acceptance of the crucifixion] brought an end to their[the Jews'] hopes because the way they understood the Messianic prophecies were not spiritual... That's why the early Church believed Jesus would come back within their lifetime and "restore the Kingdom to Israel"....as the Apostles ask Jesus moments before His Ascension. Even they still didn't "get it". Even St. Paul strongly implies Christ's return was to happen any day. Indeed, Christianity's understanding of itself was immediate
Assuming the Jews mainly didn't understand the prophecies spiritually, it seems like too much of a jump to strongly conclude the Christians didn't either. For example, Isaiah 53 describes the Servant suffering for others' sins, and the gospels record Jesus forgiving sins and driving out demons, which both appear to be spiritual acts. However, it seems you would be correct that the Christians also expected that the prophecies would be fulfilled in a physical way, not just a spiritual way.

Further, the early Church's interpretation that He would return physically and physically restore the kingdom seems justified based on the fact that He rose in the flesh and promised that He would return in the way in which He left, which seemed to me like He was referring to the Ascension. So even if one saw the prophecies as spiritual and material, this physical interpretation would seem justified.

Further, it seems that whether the early Church took a spiritual or material approach to prophecy shouldn't affect the timeline of whether Jesus' return and the restoration would happen in the early Christians' lifetime, would be "any day", and/or be immediate. That is, taking a spiritual or material approach would seem to affect the determination of whether the fulfillment of the prophecy would be physical or spiritual, rather than the timeline. Granted, if a "lifetime" here is meant spiritually, then the fulfillment might take place much later than if it is meant physically, which would seem limited to the person's physical life, which at most would be 120 years.

Further, Christ talked about the judgment day like it would come as a thief in the night, so this sense of immediate expectancy seems OK for Christianity. Plus, there are alternative interpretations of Jesus' words that apocalyptic events would unfold before some people then living died, but on its face this prophecy seems like a basis for expectations about the Messiah's return. One other interpretation of this prophecy is that it meant the apocalyptic events were to begin during their lives, rather than that everything, including the end of the universe, would happen during their lives.

I agree when you say:
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I think it's not right to say:
<<This is why we treat the rabbinical arguments with contempt, since they reveal a carnal, rather than a spiritual mindset.>>

You speak as though we, are oh, so much better than "the Jews" because our minds are on "higher things". Have you not read St. Paul where he admonishes us not to boast, because while yes, some Jews were cut off from the tree so that we could be grafted on, God can just as easily cut us off from the tree, in order to graft the Jews back on in our place?
...Today when people say things like "the Rabbis were thinking carnally and on "worldly" things, while we Christians think spiritually" it gives a tone of superiority. And sorry, but we're not superior.
Except that I that offhand I don't remember Paul saying "God can just as easily cut us off from the tree, in order to graft the Jews back on in our place". Rather, I remember Paul writing that we could lose faith and thus be removed from the tree, and that those Jews who were unfaithful can become grafted back into the tree even stronger than us, since they were part of it before.
The problem with the statement you referred to was that it seems to have an attitude of "contempt" directed at the pharisees, who it describes as thinking "carnally", which is also a negative term. Still, the statement doesn't seem strongly bad, because it criticizes the arguments, rather than the people directly.

I sympathize with your words:
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It's dangerous to use the same type of polemic phrases the Church fathers used because one, we're not saints or Church fathers, and two, that was a different time with different rules of argument based in a much older school of oratory and debate. That's why I don't believe St. John Chrysostom was flat out anti-semetic because debate, and argument was of a different "flavor" back then... Yes there is some language in the Gospels, and Revelation that confuses and leads some people to use the same language. I say, when YOU write a Gospel, and become a Church father and a saint, then you too can use that sort of language and tone. Until then, please stop.
I have a feeling of appreciation for religious tolerance, and there has been in Europe persecution of minorities in the last 500 years, so my feeling is sympathetic to your warning of the dangers from the polemics. One counterargument is that the polemics could be OK if combined with words of personal respect, love, and forgiveness, and if it was clear that bad discriminatory acts were rejected.
But logically speaking, it seems like the Fathers' polemic phrases should be OK. The prophets used very strong polemics against idol-worshippers, yet today, such polemics could be considered disrespectful, which of course it actually is. For example, I heard some Hindu-oriented sects have what the prophets would have considered idol worship. Further, in some sermons we hear our priests using strong words about some negative parts of pop culture.

Strong polemics sometimes occur in political discourse. If a government or political party is proposing a bad program, like removing an ethnicity from an area, then it seems strong polemics against the government or politics is OK. So logically speaking, the kind of polemics the fathers used should be OK, as the subject they were attacking, Judaism's rejection of Jesus, would have been a bad doctrine for them, just like bad parts of pop culture or some government policies are bad.

I am not sure it matters for this that we aren't Saints or Church Fathers ourselves, since Christianity teaches us to try to emulate them. Plus, I'm not sure debate styles are so different today that it changes whether the polemics were OK.  Some fundamentalist Calvinists, fundamentalist Muslims, and followers of ultra-conservative Judaism sometimes use strong polemic phrases, although mainstream Christians and Jews appear to avoid such phrases.

Further, if the style of debate was better, more Christian, and more effective, then it would seem appropriate to use it today. Jesus had strong words for some pharisees, but it seems St Paul avoided such polemics when relating to pharisees.

Of course I'm sure that St Chrysostom wasn't flat-out anti-semitic about all the Jews. He would've known that the early Christians were mostly Jews, and so when he used the term Jewish in his polemics, he meant it in a way that ignored the word's ethnic meaning, instead using it in a simple religious sense, probably because it was easier to throw around like you said. Still, I dislike with using the term Jewish in this way, because it has several meanings, and using it broadly in religious polemics sounds simply anti-semitic even if the speaker didn't intend it this way. Another reason is because I prefer religious tolerance that avoids strong polemic phrases. On one hand, the prophets criticized their people strongly, but on the other St Paul was respectful toward Judaism's followers. So the polemics themselves are a confusing topic.

I don't feel it's my place to give spiritual advice, but I think the posters who used the most extreme polemics here should stop and think about your comments and get spiritual advice before they would further polemicize. And if they do, they must try to follow St Paul's advice about avoiding arrogance.

I think it depends on the circumstances when you say: "if a Church theologian were to come out TODAY and speak with the same phrases St John Chrysostom did, I would be disgusted and cry foul". It seems to me that the negative polemic phrases could be OK if the theologian used them together with the principle of taking the log out of one's own eye before that of others. So for example, it might be OK if the theologian first strongly polemicized the failings of his/her own society before using strong polemic phrases about the Judaic religious community.

For example, once when Isaiah wrote that no one of us is worthy or clean, the prophet included himself in this criticism. One time I think St Chrysostom both wrote about God hating Jews, and God hating "you," which was addressed to his audience, the sinful people of the world. So rather than singling out Jews, I think St Chrysostom was rather including even them, the Old Testament chosen people, in his polemics about the sinful nature of people and our separation from God.

You are right when you say:
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<<You can't really argue against them, since they won't understand until they change their mindset.>>

And no one can convince you to see the Rabbinic argument until you try and understand their mindset. It swings both ways.
Except that someone could convince him to see the Rabbinic argument by convincing him to first try and understand their mindset. :)

I agree with you when you write:

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<<Still if you want to see an example of a Christian attempt to argue against the rabbis, you can start with St Justin's dialog with Trypho one of the earliest anti-Judaic polemics. It should at least give you some ideas about how to think about this issue.>>

Good suggestion. And yet, some of Trypho's arguments are pretty much in line with the Old Testament as well. So again, arguments swing both ways.

Trypho was a rabbi and Justin Martyr was an early Christian theologian, so this is a good example of such an argument and how to think about the issue. One of Trypho's arguments in line with the Old Testament was that Christians don't keep Old Testament commandments. The argument is in line with the Old Testament because Christians didn't necessary keep the Sabbath on Saturday, nor did they follow circumcision. HOWEVER, this criticism, might also be misleading or partly incorrect, because some Christians, "those of the circumcision", may still have been following these Old Testament rules. And those Christians who weren't following those rules were still keeping some of them, like rules against adultery. Plus, perhaps they could be considered as following the looser "Noahide Laws", which even at least part of Judaism considered an acceptable behavior for non-Jews.

That is, Judaism considered gentiles OK if they followed a much looser code called the Noahide Laws, and I read on Wikipedia that some Judaic scholars consider that the rules for non-Jewish Christians in the early Church were similar to Judaism's prescriptions for gentiles who still wanted to follow Jehovah.

One Christian response to this criticism by Trypho would be that some of the commandments, like keeping the Day of Atonement, were fulfilled by Christ's atonement. So yes, the Christians weren't following this commandment any more, or at least if they were following it, it was in the Eucharist. If one accepts this Christian counterargument, as well as the others, then it seems the door wouldn't "swing both ways" as you say.

I agree with you that:
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I think the important thing is to remember just how "Jewish" early Christianity actually was, and how it wasn't invented by a bunch of gentile anti-jewish pagans....this is one of the things that always helps me in understanding this.
Keeping in mind the Jewishness of early Christianity adds more context to understanding early Christianity and its relation to Judaism.

I'm confused what you mean when you say: "And the "Jew vs Christian" approach never helps me for some reason. But to each his/her own I suppose."
The Dialogue with Trypho appeared to take a "Jew vs Christian" approach, and you thought reading the Dialogue would be helpful.

I agree with you when you say:
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"I've always found Christian anti-semitism absurd. Like it or not, Jesus was a Jew. End of discussion. You follow, and WORSHIP a Jew. (and since we're not Nestorians, that statement is theologically accurate)"... And the absurdity of absurdities is to claim to be a Christian (worshipping a Jew) and at the same time "disliking" Jews.
You're right it appears ironic. Understanding it would be like how you said one must understand another ideology's mindset to understand its arguments. The racist mindset can avoid the irony by making claims that people whose ancestors did something bad inherit bad traits. So for example, they could claim that a societal rejection of Jesus hurt the society's racial traits. Some racists don't even get this far and their thinking is just plain ironic. One big problem with the racists' ideology is that they failed to show that morality strictly correlated with race, as opposed to other factors like upbringing and societal discrimination.

Christianity rejects racism, because it praises individuals from supposedly-bad ethnicities and religions, like Samaritans, who do good. This praise is part of the lesson of the "Good Samaritan."

I assume there are some things that are more absurd than being a Christian worshipping a Jew and disliking Jews. It could be compared to a confused love-hate relationship. What could be more absurd?... hmm... Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

I disagree when you say:
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If anyone has a problem with that, then it's your problem, not the Jews, not anyone elses, yours!
When they have a problem with Jesus' Jewishness, they can make it others' problem by spreading the problem to us and others. Plus, as Christians, in principle we should help others with overcoming their problems.

I sympathize with your comment:
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I'm an anti-Zionist as well. I do not like the nation-state of Israel, but that's a secular government, and not the Jewish people.
However, I'm not completely anti-Zionist, because Zionism can simply mean Jews returning to their ancestral homeland without necessarily implying a specific state system, and I think this kind of non-state Zionism is fine. Plus, the nation-state of Israel isn't really secular, as it does give preference to Judaism. The military for example has a strong Judaic orientation, and the chief Rabbinate has a ruling political party.

I understand you when you say:
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It's funny, that as someone who has at least been a nominal Christian my whole life, every time I see these sorts of discussion/debates and comments about "The Jews", it always causes me to take pause and question my own faith.
It doesn't make me want to be more Christian, it makes me want to be less Christian. (or at least less a part of "Churchianity")
Sometimes when we see bad attitudes in our Church it pushes us away from our religion. For me, seeing alot of churchpeople support hitting kids as punishment is discouraging. However, I am somewhat past this. I somewhat accept that how churchpeople act isn't quite like the ideal. It's probably only somewhat better than the rest of the population because at least they are thinking about moral teachings more than they would otherwise. It's true that the Holocaust happened in Europe with a Christian culture, but actually the Nazis weren't really Christian. The SS leadership was occult, and there were small anti-Christian campaigns like a proposal to ban the Old Testament. The point is that I think Christianity actually makes people better than they would be otherwise, and this includes the problem of anti-semitic immorality.

Also, I remember that all-out child abuse and violent racism is rejected by the Church. So what you are objecting to from this thread represents more of a fringe element and non-canonical views outside the Church.

In fact, if you object to manifestations of anti-semitic chauvinism then your objection and feelings are even more in line with what you would refer to as "Churchianity", as the sermon Irish Hermit posted by the Metropolitan against pogroms.

I disagree with you that:
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I mean, why else would one single people on earth be so despised by almost every culture on earth, if they weren't in fact "the chosen people", or the suffering servant? Yes, other ethnic groups have been despised in history, but none are universally despised by the entire planet except the Jews.
, because:
I think that the gypsies were despised to a comparable degree, if not more than the Jewish people. The gypsies suffered genocide in the Holocaust at a rate proportionately higher than the Jewish people and have never had their own nation-state anywhere. The gypsies apparently came from the "Untouchables", the lowest caste of Hindu society. That is, they have been despised and treated with the utmost contempt even in their own creation as a group.
While not denying the discrimination and unjust feelings against the Jewish people, there were some praiseworthy popular images of them as well, like the common admiration for Moses, David and Solomon's Temple, not to mention images of their resourcefulness, ingenuity, intelligence, skill, and cosmopolitanism. I think that in the popular mindset, at best gypsies are respected for their alleged magical abilities.

Further, I doubt Jews are despised in some East Asian cultures. I heard that Chinese respect the Jewish people out of respect for their ingenuity.

Regarding your words:
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I wonder, if indeed because of this underlying anti-Jewish undertone that seems to penetrate most societies on earth, if there isn't some legitimacy to the Jewish interpretation of Isaiah 53.
(A) I doubt the anti-Jewish undertone you refer to is so unique a phenomenon. It seems that there is an element in many, if not most societies of discrimination against its minorities. In predominantly European Christian societies, paganism was totally and absolutely persecuted as alleged witchcraft. Those governments persecuted religious Jews too, but in principle they had at least a minimal amount of tolerance. In the American South, there was and is more discrimination against blacks, as the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" suggests. In sub-saharan Africa, discriminators care more about other tribes than they do about anti-semitism. My point is that anti-semitism seems more part of the general phenomenon of societal intolerance to minorities.
(B) If it turned out that there was a unique underlying tone in most societies, it wouldn't confirm either Christianity's or Judaism's interpetations of Isaiah 53. The reason is that:

Isaiah 52:2,14 ; 53:3-4 (NKJV, Christian view in brackets) says:
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...Loose yourself[Israel] from the bonds of your[Israel] neck,
O captive daughter of Zion [Israel]!

Just as many were astonished at you[Israel],
So His [Christ's] visage was marred more than any man,
And His [Christ's] form more than the sons of men

He[Christ] was despised, and we[Israel] did not esteem Him[Christ].
Surely He[Christ] has borne our[Israel's] griefs

So in the Christian interpretation, Isaiah compares the gentiles' astonishment at the redeemed/suffering Israel to Christ's suffering. It says that the despised Christ bore Israel's griefs.

So your idea that Israel was despised and suffered is consistent with the Christian view of Isaiah 53, which comparatively relates Israel's suffering to Christ's.

Your idea that the Jewish people have been despised is also in keeping with Judaism's view of Isaiah 53 like you say, since Judaism views the Servant as Israel, and Isaiah 53 describes the Servant as suffering and despised.

You asked a broad question:
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I mean, why else would one single people on earth be so despised by almost every culture on earth, if they weren't in fact "the chosen people", or the suffering servant?
The gypsies are a people apparently so despised by almost every culture, and it appears they haven't been chosen by Jehovah as the main people to bring knowledge of Jehovah to the world, since their traditional religion was a kind of Hinduism and/or paganism. The reason they were despised would probably be that almost every culture on earth has a discriminatory societal system that discriminates against impoverished minorities, and their origin is apparently the "untouchables" caste from Hindu society. Lord have mercy on them.

I think you are asking thought-provoking and worthwhile questions:
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Yes, other ethnic groups have been despised in history, but none are universally despised by the entire planet except the Jews. Is this not therefore some "proof" of their divine calling? (again this is what I think, it's not really a question I'm asking to anyone here)
These are the thoughts that go through my mind when I see stuff like this.
The Jewish people being despised could be a proof of their divine calling, since the Old Testament describes Old Testament Israel as despised. Further, Zechariah 11,13 also describes hardships for God's people after the Good Shepherd's rejection. On the other hand, since Christianity sees the Church as Israel, those hardships in Zechariah could refer to the Church's persecution for a few hundred years. Still, it isn't clear to me even from Christianity that non-Christian Jews are no longer part of Israel at all.

I don't remember the Old Testament saying that the people Israel would be persecuted or despised more than everyone else, or that it would always be despised.

The Old Testament did say that if Israel would call on God, then God would send a shepherd and make a protective covenant. Based on the Old Testament's explanation of the first Temple's destruction, it would seem that if the Second Temple was destroyed, it would seem to be that the society had done something bad. This goes against Judaism's view of Isaiah 53, because it describes the Servant suffering for others' sins.

Your ideas are worthwhile.

Naturally, you are right when you ask rhetorically:
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<<To be honest, I just don't see how an Orthodox Christian with a full liturgucal life would find time for observing the Old Testament feasts and fasts as well.
I expect the poor Orthodox wife would be exhausted with all the extra cooking for a double load of Christian Feasts and Old Testament Feasts, not to mention having to keep a double kitchen with the demands of kosher requirements for separate utensils and crockery.>>

Or maybe the husband could get off his rump and help her out in the kitchen? ;D (speaking as a single guy who likes to cook)
Sure, a husband could help his wife in the kitchen.

However, it would be exhausting for the wife in what normally happens in American spousal relations: the husband usually is the one who works, comes home after expending alot of his energy, and the wife raises the children and prepares food. They often both have jobs and help raise children and prepare meals, but usually the wife has alot more focus on meal preparation that the husband.

It's true that as a single guy who likes to cook you might not see this as a problem, but on the other hand, you might not have children either. Plus, you may like to cook more than alot of other people do.

You asked:
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<<However, the Judaism of Chrysostom's time was not quietist on the whole. ...aggressive behavior towards non-Jews, >>

What aggressive behaviors? I ALWAYS hear about how aggressive the Jews where "in Roman times" yet I never get any concrete evidence of this proactive aggressive behavior. (at least not from historically reliable or scholarly sources)
Epiphanius, a major Church historian from the 4th or 5th century AD wrote a biography of Joseph of Tiberias, who had been a major figure in Rabbinical Judaism and became Christian. The biography discusses aggressive behavior against him by followers of Judaism.

You should be aware of concrete evidence from historical sources about proactive aggressive behavior in Judaism from the New Testament where it discusses persecution of Christians during Roman rule in the 1st century.

You commented:
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<<especially in Palestine and heavily Jewish areas, was common (the Roman poet Horace mentions Jewish proselytism in one of his satires).>>
Especially in Palestine? Well yeah...if you can't figure out why they would take aggressive action in their ancient homeland then you probably should reread the Old Testament.
1. Your comment "Especially in Palestine? Well yeah" suggests that you accept his claim that aggression was especially significant there.
2. Your words "if you can't figure out why they would take aggressive action in their ancient homeland" misunderstand Gress's comment. Gress wasn't saying that he didn't understand why they would choose to emphasize Palestine in the aggressive action, rather he simply was showing the location of where it happened in order to describe the event(s).
3. However, your suggestion is at least partly correct:
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if you can't figure out why they would take aggressive action in their ancient homeland then you probably should reread the Old Testament.
That is, one can find examples of the Jewish people taking aggressive action to claim their homeland for their religion in the Old Testament, and it makes sense that followers of Rabbinical Judaism, which traces itself to Old Testament Judaism, would be encouraged by these accounts. However, the Old Testament by itself may be an insufficient explanation. It seems that religio-nationalists of many lands and creeds would naturally take aggressive action against minorities in order to secure their position over their land. Yet we find examples in history where some Judaists didn't believe in taking such aggressive action. For example, it appears that the Temple leadership preferred to have peace witht he Romans. So the Old Testament doesn't seem like a conclusive explanation of why some Jewish people would take such aggressive action there.

You asked:
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<<Messianism and rebellion, far from being modern aberrations, was very widespread in Judaism of the time.>>
And this is relevant to antisemitism and anti Jewish tirades in some Church fathers how?
If strong Messianism existed at that time, it would be seen by the Fathers as looking for anti-Christ. A Judaic rebellion at that time would have been a judaic rebellion against the Christian Byzantine empire, which would naturally have acted in an opposite direction to that of the Fathers, who had secured their religious position in the Byzantine Empire. These phenomena could explain the Fathers' strong rhetoric.

You commented:
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<<The Bar-Kochba revolt, which was not only aimed at the pagan Roman rulers, but against the Christian communities in Palestine. Most Christians were killed or driven out by the rebels, but some returned after the rebellion was crushed.>>
Are you serious? The bar Kochba Revolt had almost NOTHING to do with Christians...
1. Although you ask rhetorically "Are you serious? The bar Kochba Revolt had almost NOTHING to do with Christians.", your views are practically reconcilable. You never rejected here that the Bar Kochba revolt attacked Christians. Rather, you suggested in your post that the revolt considered the Christians as traitors and this event separated Christians from Judaism. This is reconcilable with Gress's statement about the revolt aiming at Christians, in that the revolt apparently targeted Christians once it saw them as traitors.
2. The Revolt had something to do with Christians in that during the revolt, it attacked Christians.

I agree with you when you say:
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It was a revolt against ROME, and Roman oppression. Now I don't not agree with the revolt, but that's because I'm basically a physical pacifist. However, my disagreement with the revolt because of my own personal views and conscience doesn't prevent me from seeing the reasons WHY the Jews revolted as an armchair historian. (and as someone who has studied Christian origins for 10 years now)
However, another reason I don't agree with it is, like the early Christians, I disagree with the Revolt's leadership's belief that its leader was the Messiah. And on the other hand, I partly sympathize with it as an anti-imperialist revolt of an oppressed nationality.

You are correct when you say:
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The only way Christians played any role at all was because non Christian Jews became upset with the Christian Jews only when they refused to partake in the revolt. They refused because for Christians of course the Messiah had already come and the "Son of the Star" could not be the Messiah. ...This event is in fact what pretty much finalized the seperation between Judaism and Christian Judaism, where Christian Judaism became a seperate religion.

I disagree with your view:
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Most Jews didn't understand this and felt that the Jewish Christians were betraying their country men.
That is, you mean that most Jews didn't understand that Christians disagreed with the idea that Bar Kochba was the Messiah and that this was the reason the Christians refused to participate in the revolt. The name "Christian" itself is a reference to the belief that Jesus was the Christ. It's obvious that a huge majority of Jews would know that by definition Christians believe that Jesus, not Bar Kochba, was the Messiah. So it would have been obvious to that this difference was a big reason Christians would have abstained from Bar Kochba's revolt.

Perhaps the rebels would have seen the Christians who abstained from the revolt as betraying their nation by abstaining. But this abstention is justifiable, considering the "anti-Christ" nature of the revolt from the Christian viewpoint. Further, if the Christians considered following Bar-Kochba bad for the Jewish nation, and if it was in fact bad, then their abstention wouldn't really be a betrayal. And if Bar-Kochba had some crazy, incorrect idea that he was a Messiah, and was going to make a bad earthly theocracy about himself, then it seems like the revolt's success would've been bad for the Jewish nation too.

I agree with you when you say:
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they were an oppressed minority, in many ways they were in the same situation that many Palestinians find themselves in today. ...Which is why I do NOT support the Israeli state because of it's sheer hypocrisy, but then I'm not a fan of any government who politicizes religion.
What you mean is that the Israeli State politicizes religion. You may be referring to the idea that it makes its claim to land and politically tries to orient its society based on Rabbinical Judaism. Furthermore, it tries to prevent Palestinians from achieving total independence, and instead has a military presence there, making the Palestinians an oppressed minority. Furthermore, it accepts as Israelis Palestinians who lived in the West Bank for centuries and maintained a Jewish identity, but it doesn't give the same acceptance to Palestinian Christians and Muslims who live in the West Bank. Further, just as it's hypocritical that America supported colonialism, like in Puerto Rico and Pacific "territories", since America revolted against its colonial status under Britain, it's hypocritical for Israel to militarily oppress Palestinians, since the Jewish nation was itself militarily occuped under Rome.

I have some doubt about your statement:
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<<Under the reign of Julian the Apostate, the Jews in Palestine expelled the Christians and attempted to rebuild the Temple, which was thwarted by an earthquake.>>
Julian did that. Not the Jews. The Jews had no power or authority in the Roman Empire to do such a thing. In fact many Jews weren't all that excited about rebuilding the Temple.
Julian had either partly accepted Judaism or was highly sympathetic to it. Thus, it would seem likely that he had significant connections to the Judaic community. So it's true that in official terms "The Jews had no power or authority in the Roman Empire to do such a thing." But it seems reasonable that some of them could have had significant input in Julian's actions, much like how if the US government takes favorable steps toward Native Americans, like supporting a reservation, it would be likely that the Native Americans would have some input, despite their relatively small official political control. I assume better analogies could be made with some favorable actions taken by European kings regarding their kingdoms' minority population(s).

I assume you are correct that:
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In fact many Jews weren't all that excited about rebuilding the Temple
, because it would make sense that there were different opinions in the broad Jewish community on alot of religious questions. But it still seems strange for religious Jews to not care about whether their Temple was rebuilt, since the Temple seems important in Judaism, even though it was destroyed.

You use good humor when you write:
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And what on earth is all this talk on the boards about "well the jews started it by killing us...well not us exactly, but Pagans, but that makes it ok for us to hate them!"
The best example of this talk is Jonathan Gress's post. There, if you look closely, he deals with St Chrysostom's rhetoric. Gress says that the rhetoric sounds bad for modern times, because today Judaism usually appears a quietist faith, but that St Chrysostom's rhetoric is mitigated by the idea that Judaism was more aggressive at that time. Gress gives examples of Judaism attacking pagans to show that Judaism was more aggressive then, which in turn supports the idea that there was some aggression against Christians too. This in turn mitigates St Chrysostom's rhetoric from a modern viewpoint.

You commented:
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If there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with a "just" war (if one adhere to that theory) then certainly the Jewish Revolts under Rome would absolutely fit into that theological construct. They were oppressed, abused, taxed into and below poverty... So in this case the just war theory would fit precisely into this mold and would not make the Jewish revolts the bad things some people make them out to be, but actually "good" things ordained by God.
Although I don't know whether just war theory approves revolts. My impression was that it just deals with defense. However, I suppose that a nationalist revolt could by nature be OK with just war theory. Still, it seems like just war theory might go into other aspects, like how just is the cause being fought for. If the Jewish revolts were meant to install Rabbinical Judaism, then secularists and Christians might naturally feel that they were somewhat bad instead of good things from God.

Further, I disagree with your comment:
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The same (or similar things) could be said of Jews who "persecuted" Christians. The Christians said those who didn't accept Jesus as Messiah, were not only deceived but not even "real" Jews. A dangerous prospect considering the only thing that kept Jews from an Empire wide persecution was Augustus' old proclamation that ancient faiths, including Judaism were legal in the Empire...
The Christians wouldn't have been oppressing Jewish nationalism during the revolts of 70 AD or the Bar Kochba revolt. Further, persecuting an oppressive religious group could not be acceptable even in relation to just war theory, as the just war theory would at best approve of removing the oppressive religion's dominant political power, rather than actually persecuting it.

Naturally, Christianity considers those who reject Jesus as Messiah to be deceived about Jesus. But still, I highly doubt the Christians considered all of them not even "real" Jews. The New Testament repeatedly refers to groups of people who reject Jesus as "Jews." Plus, Chrysostom in his homilies actually used the term Jews as if it applied to nonChristian jews. It's true that one view in Christianity could be that such Jews have been separated from Israel, but still, St Paul wrotes that the promises made to them can't be destroyed, so St Paul suggests that in a way they are still Israelites.

OK, it would be a dangerous prospect to call them not Jews, since the Empire made ancient faiths like Judaism legal. But still, the nonChristian Jews would've been pharisees at that point, and the pharisaic sects had some ancient roots. And like I said, the idea that all nonChristians were not real Jews was not an idea that the Empire would realistically have accepted.

You commented:
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The point is if one just accepts war as an acceptable outcome of some circumstances then what better circumstances can a person come up with than the plight of the Jews under Rome? Yet people are on these boards saying things like those were horrible deeds the Jews did, and so it makes Christian anti-Judaism all ok. Well, what was so horrible about if in fact one is not a pacifist?
I can't speak for certain for Gress, but it appears that he was using the revolts to suggest that Judaism was aggressive, not that Judaism or revolting against Rome was necessarily bad because of reasons other than pacifist arguments. The horrible deeds Gress appears to be referencing as making Christian anti-Judaism OK are instances of persecution committed by followers of Judaism during the revolts. That there was Judaic persecution goes in the direction of making anti-Judaic feelings from a Christian viewpoint in St Chrysostom's time OK, although it doesn't mean that St Chrysostom was necessarily correct in his expression from a Christian viewpoint.

All the Best
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20