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Author Topic: Is it appropriate to use the word "temple" when describing a church building?  (Read 3971 times) Average Rating: 0
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Pravoslavbob
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« on: May 10, 2009, 04:04:35 AM »

Yes, we are to give to the poor, and minister to those in need. But at the same time our Temples are to be beautifully decorated, as are our priest’s garments.

I know that there are many in high places who disagree with me, but the usage of "temple" to describe a church is wrong.  This usage came about because the Slavs could not bear to use the word "house" to describe the place of worship of God, because to them it could only mean their humble little huts.  For some reason, this understandable Slav adaptation has prevailed in, among others, English ROCOR translations of the Divine Liturgy and in the newest version of the OCA translation.

Sorry, Handmaiden.  I am not trying to pick on you, but I thought that your post would provide a good jumping-off point for a discussion like this. 
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 04:11:10 AM »

Can you please cite a source for this? I have heard Slavs and Greeks alike refer to the building we worship in called a Temple. And yes, it came from clergy.
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 04:39:48 AM »

I should be more precise.  The Greeks do use the word when applying it to churches of great size or distinction. However, as far as I know, the Greeks do not use the word liturgically at all, except sparingly in an allegorical sense in hymnography.  the Slavs use it all the time liturgically.  I will try to find some references.
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 04:51:51 AM »

I should be more precise.  The Greeks do use the word when applying it to churches of great size or distinction. However, as far as I know, the Greeks do not use the word liturgically at all, except sparingly in an allegorical sense in hymnography.  the Slavs use it all the time liturgically.  I will try to find some references.

You assume I've gotten my reference from Liturgical books. I've heard the word "Temple" used to describe our buildings outside of Liturgical worship, and in Bible studies and Adult Sunday School classes with clergy. Again, both Greek and Slav have used the reference.
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 06:06:54 AM »

Serbian word for temple is hram[XPAM]..and yes we can use it ....
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 07:17:34 AM »

If you were to look at the sign or description of any church building of Greek or Slavic tradition, you would find it described as "Ieros Naos XXXX" or "XXXsky Khram" (where XXXX is the name of the patronal saint or feast. The words naos and khram both mean temple, but the problem in the Slavic churches arises in the translation of the word khram. Many centuries ago (possibly before the tenth century), this word was used as temple or house interchangeably, so, when it came to render liturgical texts in Slavonic, khram was used for temple as well as for house. Thus, while in Greek liturgical texts, the word oikos (house) is properly used in the litanies, in Slavonic, the term has remained as khram, following its much older meaning of house in Slavonic.
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2009, 07:23:04 AM »

The Greek word for Temple is Ναός (Naos) and we use it to describe the church building. However in order to differentiate ancient pagan temples from the Christian ones, we use Ιερός Ναός (Holy Temple, both capitalized) for the Christian Church building, and ναός (temple) for the ancient buildings:
-O Ιερός Ναός Αγίας Τριάδος Πειραιώς (the Holy Temple of Holy Trinity at Piraeus)
-O ναός του Ποσειδώνος Σουνίου (the temple of Poseidon at Sounion).
Liturgically of course the word "Οἶκος" (Oekos, House-Thine House=Ὁ Οἶκος Σου) is used
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2009, 08:53:00 AM »

The Greek word for Temple is Ναός (Naos) and we use it to describe the church building. However in order to differentiate ancient pagan temples from the Christian ones, we use Ιερός Ναός (Holy Temple, both capitalized) for the Christian Church building, and ναός (temple) for the ancient buildings:
-O Ιερός Ναός Αγίας Τριάδος Πειραιώς (the Holy Temple of Holy Trinity at Piraeus)
-O ναός του Ποσειδώνος Σουνίου (the temple of Poseidon at Sounion).
Liturgically of course the word "Οἶκος" (Oekos, House-Thine House=Ὁ Οἶκος Σου) is used

Very good. That should end this debate.
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2009, 12:54:04 PM »

When I'm speaking English I use the English word to describe it; church. 


ain Entry:
    1church Listen to the pronunciation of 1church
Pronunciation:
    \ˈchərch\
Function:
    noun
Etymology:
    Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Late Greek kyriakon, from Greek, neuter of kyriakos of the lord, from kyrios lord, master; akin to Sanskrit śūra hero, warrior
Date:
    before 12th century

1: a building for public and especially Christian worship2: the clergy or officialdom of a religious body3often capitalized : a body or organization of religious believers: as a: the whole body of Christians b: denomination <the Presbyterian church> c: congregation 4: a public divine worship <goes to church every Sunday>5: the clerical profession <considered the church as a possible career>

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/church


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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2009, 04:11:19 PM »

Very good. That should end this debate.

If you think it is a worthless discussion or of no consequence, then you are not obligated to participate.
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2009, 04:15:49 PM »

In Arabic I often see "haykal" "temple" used, both by EO and OO, but mostly for the sanctuary.  I don't ever recall "ma'bad" being used, another word for temple, but the one used for Jewish and pagan ones.

Romanian uses chram too.
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2009, 04:23:10 PM »

You assume I've gotten my reference from Liturgical books. I've heard the word "Temple" used to describe our buildings outside of Liturgical worship, and in Bible studies and Adult Sunday School classes with clergy. Again, both Greek and Slav have used the reference.

I assume nothing.  Initially I tried to say that I didn't want to pick on you, but that I simply wanted to use your post as a springboard to begin this discussion.  I had severe insomnia at the time and I could have worded my argument more clearly.  I apologise.  I should have said that I think the term  is overused, rather than outright wrong.  My real issue is with the liturgical usage in English, since it is a really a much more "loaded" word in English than in Slavonic.  I also think that it is used a little too much to describe the church building in conversation or in classes.  Why?  Because it might obscure what Jesus and the Apostle teach us in the bible about how it is our bodies that are now temples, and not a special building (the Hebrew temple) any longer.  Of course, church buildings are places where God makes his presence manifest in a very unique way.  I am not trying to deny this at all.
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2009, 05:48:42 PM »

In Arabic I often see "haykal" "temple" used, both by EO and OO, but mostly for the sanctuary.  I don't ever recall "ma'bad" being used, another word for temple, but the one used for Jewish and pagan ones.

Romanian uses chram too.

In Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos' Catechism it states that the church building "is called a temple" (orig. Gr. Naos). 
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2009, 11:34:46 PM »

You assume I've gotten my reference from Liturgical books. I've heard the word "Temple" used to describe our buildings outside of Liturgical worship, and in Bible studies and Adult Sunday School classes with clergy. Again, both Greek and Slav have used the reference.

I assume nothing.  Initially I tried to say that I didn't want to pick on you, but that I simply wanted to use your post as a springboard to begin this discussion.  I had severe insomnia at the time and I could have worded my argument more clearly.  I apologise.  I should have said that I think the term  is overused, rather than outright wrong.  My real issue is with the liturgical usage in English, since it is a really a much more "loaded" word in English than in Slavonic.  I also think that it is used a little too much to describe the church building in conversation or in classes.  Why?  Because it might obscure what Jesus and the Apostle teach us in the bible about how it is our bodies that are now temples, and not a special building (the Hebrew temple) any longer.  Of course, church buildings are places where God makes his presence manifest in a very unique way.  I am not trying to deny this at all.

So basically this comes down to your personal opinion on an English word rubbing you the wrong way?

I'm sorry, but without any theological reason not to use the word, the debate is meaningless. Others have already proven how it is used in Greek, Slavonic, and Arabic. While it would be nice if English had multiple forms of the word "Temple" we don't, so one just has to use the context clues of the sentence to figure out that I'm not talking about a building built to honor Zeus.
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2009, 11:44:45 PM »

So basically this comes down to your personal opinion on an English word rubbing you the wrong way?
I'm sorry, but without any theological reason not to use the word, the debate is meaningless.

 Did you even read what I wrote?   Huh

 I also think that it is used a little too much to describe the church building in conversation or in classes.  Why?  Because it might obscure what Jesus and the Apostle teach us in the bible about how it is our bodies that are now temples, and not a special building (the Hebrew temple) any longer.  Of course, church buildings are places where God makes his presence manifest in a very unique way.  I am not trying to deny this at all.

While it would be nice if English had multiple forms of the word "Temple" we don't, so one just has to use the context clues of the sentence to figure out that I'm not talking about a building built to honor Zeus.

My issue is not with confusion with pagan temples.  My issue is confusion with the old Jewish temple.
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2009, 12:11:07 AM »

My issue is not with confusion with pagan temples.  My issue is confusion with the old Jewish temple.
This is why we should use the word temple to describe the buildings we worship in. Remember there was only one temple in Jewish practice and that was in Jerusalem. In the Jewish mind this was the only place on Earth that Yaweh, that is God, could be worshiped. So with Christ death and resurrection the Old Jewish Temple worship was destroyed and rebuilt with the understanding the God should be worshiped everywhere. Our places of worship are built in the fashion of the old Jewish temple for a reason, they are temples. So ultimately you have the temples of the body coming together in the temples of the buildings to form the Church.
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2009, 09:28:23 AM »

Very good. That should end this debate.

If you think it is a worthless discussion or of no consequence, then you are not obligated to participate.

No, Mr. Testy, I think the question has been answered. But I guess in true OC.net style an argument will follow, nevermind what "Greeks" and their command of their language have contributed.
Frankly, I was about to post what Apostolos anticipated myself, rending my post redundant. Touchy, touchy...
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2009, 11:52:51 AM »

My issue is not with confusion with pagan temples.  My issue is confusion with the old Jewish temple.
Yet our churches are patterned after the Jewish temple, and are really its evolution. God resides in His temples, the buildings in which we worship as well as humanity, which is His ultimate Temple. Really, whether other cultures have used the word "temple" is irrelevant; different words have different connotations in different cultures, as you yourself have noted. In English, the word "temple" brings with it a connotation of regality, mystery, and sincerity--qualities of our Orthodox houses of worship. Rather than the common "house," with its ideas of privacy and individuality; or the ambiguous "parish," with its multiple meanings; "temple" brings us directly to the church building, and therefore is a perfectly suitable word for this use.
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2009, 12:28:34 PM »

Yet our churches are patterned after the Jewish temple, and are really its evolution. God resides in His temples, the buildings in which we worship as well as humanity, which is His ultimate Temple. Really, whether other cultures have used the word "temple" is irrelevant; different words have different connotations in different cultures, as you yourself have noted. In English, the word "temple" brings with it a connotation of regality, mystery, and sincerity--qualities of our Orthodox houses of worship. Rather than the common "house," with its ideas of privacy and individuality; or the ambiguous "parish," with its multiple meanings; "temple" brings us directly to the church building, and therefore is a perfectly suitable word for this use.

Quite so. Well stated.  Cool

In the Antiochian Orthodox Church, all churches are referred to as the Church Temple. Additionally, our Ektenia of Fervent Supplication in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom prays for "...the blessed and ever-memorable founders of this Holy and All-Venerable Temple...", and "Again we pray for those who bear fruit and do good works for this Holy and All-Venerable Temple...".

The Prayer of the Cherubimic Hymn reads "For Thou alone, O Lord our God, rulest over those in heaven and on earth; Who art borne on the throne of the Cherubim, Who art Lord of the Seraphim and King of Israel, Who alone art Holy and restest in Thy Holy Place" (the Church Temple).

Enough said!  Smiley

+Cosmos  Wink

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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2009, 02:43:11 PM »

Yet our churches are patterned after the Jewish temple, and are really its evolution.

This is extremely debatable, to say the least.  I don't think it is necessarily a good thing at all that the altar area is referred to in folk tradition as the holy of holies.  In fact, I might think that this is quite a dangerous way to think.  There is no evidence to show that the solid iconostasis evolved originally because of an equation of the altar with the Jewish holy of holies.   Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, but it is not its evolution.   The resurrection of Christ and all its implications for humanity have turned everything on its ear. 

Quote
God resides in His temples, the buildings in which we worship as well as humanity, which is His ultimate Temple.

Since the age of the new covenant was inaugurated, God does not "reside" in a special place anymore.  There is no longer a demarcation between "sacred" and "profane" as there was in the time of the old covenant, when there were very clear lines of delineation between what was considered holy and what was considered profane.  I agree that, paradoxically, that churches are places where God's kingdom regularly comes closer to us, and I do not wish to say that we should not acknowledge this when it comes to church buildings.   

Quote
In English, the word "temple" brings with it a connotation of regality, mystery, and sincerity--qualities of our Orthodox houses of worship.

It also brings an association with the old Jewish temple.  My argument has become not really whether or not the word should be used, but that it can be used too much.  Here is a case in point: all of a sudden now in my parish, we  have adopted the new OCA translation whole hog.  At every turn now, the church is referred to liturgically as "holy temple" instead of "holy house", and the clergy seem to be using the word even more outside of liturgy than before.  This smacks of overkill to me.  Following the priniciple of lex orandi, lex credendi, I think that the laity will come more and more to think of the church building as the special place where God dwells, and no where else.  So I think it is okay to refer to it as a temple sometimes, but not always, and to keep in mind how much Orthodox thought is fond of paradoxes, in keeping with the eschatological tension of the present age.  So it might be great to say something like "we call the church building a temple" but then to follow this with "yes, that is true, BUT..." statement. 

Quote
Rather than the common "house," with its ideas of privacy and individuality; or the ambiguous "parish," with its multiple meanings; "temple" brings us directly to the church building, and therefore is a perfectly suitable word for this use.

I think the word "house" is perfectly suitable as a word to describe the church building.  Liturgically, I believe it is the only word the Greeks use, with perhaps the odd allegorical exception here and there. It is always preceded by the qualifying word "holy" or "your" (ie "God's) so I think that this word is just fine liturgically.  We did perfectly well with it before we started to use "temple" everywhere in my parish. 

I have concerns about Judaizing in Orthodoxy and, in a related way, with a loss of eschatological tension.  We do still live in the fallen world of this present age, but we also live in the age where the Kingdom has been inaugurated.  I am concerned with the idea that some simply see Orthodoxy as the "continuation" of Judaism, and not something, that, while respecting the Jewish heritage on the one hand, also represents something radically new and inestimably wonderful.
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« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2009, 02:45:30 PM »

Very good. That should end this debate.

If you think it is a worthless discussion or of no consequence, then you are not obligated to participate.

No, Mr. Testy, I think the question has been answered. But I guess in true OC.net style an argument will follow, nevermind what "Greeks" and their command of their language have contributed.
Frankly, I was about to post what Apostolos anticipated myself, rending my post redundant. Touchy, touchy...

I am not testy or touchy.  But I think you are rude and abrasive.  If it makes you happy to be this way, that is fine. 
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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2009, 02:50:05 PM »

My issue is not with confusion with pagan temples.  My issue is confusion with the old Jewish temple.
This is why we should use the word temple to describe the buildings we worship in. Remember there was only one temple in Jewish practice and that was in Jerusalem. In the Jewish mind this was the only place on Earth that Yaweh, that is God, could be worshiped. So with Christ death and resurrection the Old Jewish Temple worship was destroyed and rebuilt with the understanding the God should be worshiped everywhere. Our places of worship are built in the fashion of the old Jewish temple for a reason, they are temples. So ultimately you have the temples of the body coming together in the temples of the buildings to form the Church.

Very interesting thoughts.  I hadn't thought of some of the points you raise here before.
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« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2009, 03:42:58 PM »

Very good. That should end this debate.

If you think it is a worthless discussion or of no consequence, then you are not obligated to participate.

No, Mr. Testy, I think the question has been answered. But I guess in true OC.net style an argument will follow, nevermind what "Greeks" and their command of their language have contributed.
Frankly, I was about to post what Apostolos anticipated myself, rending my post redundant. Touchy, touchy...

I am not testy or touchy.  But I think you are rude and abrasive.  If it makes you happy to be this way, that is fine. 

And all I see is a misplaced sensitivity to a slight that was not intended, but then some folks just love to be offended, whether or not the alleged insult is real.
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2009, 04:41:54 PM »

I still see this whole thread as a personal issue YOU have with the word without any theological reason behind it.

We are no where even close to "Judaizing" our faith. Orthodox Christians know we are not Jewish, and those who are not Orthodox and think we are Jewish think so because of the word "Orthodox"; not because of the word "Temple."

Furthermore, I hear the words "Temple" and "Church" used interchangebly. I wouldn't worry about our people breaking out menorahhs and calling themselves "Jews for Jesus" just yet. Wink
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2009, 05:45:51 PM »

Hey I don't care what you call it, temple, church, house of God... just show up and join us! Hahah!
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« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2009, 12:33:47 AM »

The Prayer of the Cherubimic Hymn reads "For Thou alone, O Lord our God, rulest over those in heaven and on earth; Who art borne on the throne of the Cherubim, Who art Lord of the Seraphim and King of Israel, Who alone art Holy and restest in Thy Holy Place" (the Church Temple).

No.  First of all, the majority of translators read this phrase as "restest in thy saints" or "restest in the saints" or "restest in thy holy ones", or even "dwellest in thy saints" or some such thing, and not "restest in thy holy place".  Secondly, there is no way that this is a reference to the church building, partly because of what I have just mentioned about translations and partly because it is theologically inappropriate to talk about God resting in the church building and makes no sense in the context of the prayer of the Cherubic hymn.  But your assertion that this is what it means may in fact give credence to my concern that people are placing an emphasis on God dwelling in the "temple" of the church building as opposed to everywhere else in general, and the people of God in particular.   Ironically, in fact, what this text is saying is that God rests in his holy people, and not in a building.
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« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2009, 01:06:20 AM »

I don't think it is necessarily a good thing at all that the altar area is referred to in folk tradition as the holy of holies.  In fact, I might think that this is quite a dangerous way to think.  There is no evidence to show that the solid iconostasis evolved originally because of an equation of the altar with the Jewish holy of holies.

But even if there is not a direct relation between the two, clearly brought forth by substantial historical documentation, what does the iconostasis teach the laity?

The Veil of the Temple has been torn, and that is clearly illustrated by the fact that the Beautiful Gates open up for the laity.  The presence of God manifests itself in a concrete way within the Eucharist, just as God dwelt within the Holy of Holies.  Except now, the very presence of God is brought forth from the altar into the nave, and the faithful receive the deifying mysteries, clearly teaching that the temple of God is now truly within each believer.

So in most ways your concern seems unwarranted to me.
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« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2009, 02:05:14 AM »

I still see this whole thread as a personal issue YOU have with the word without any theological reason behind it.

You are free to think what you wish.  I have presented quite a few theological concerns here.  And I know that I am not the only person on the face of the earth to have this concern.

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We are no where even close to "Judaizing" our faith. Orthodox Christians know we are not Jewish, and those who are not Orthodox and think we are Jewish think so because of the word "Orthodox"; not because of the word "Temple."

Furthermore, I hear the words "Temple" and "Church" used interchangebly. I wouldn't worry about our people breaking out menorahhs and calling themselves "Jews for Jesus" just yet. Wink

My concern over Judaizing has little or nothing to do with a concern about Orthodox people coming to think of themselves as Jewish.  It is rather a concern about not seeing that a new age has come about through the life-saving death, resurrection, ascension and giving of the Spirit by our Lord.  In this sense, the Church is not a "continuation" of Judaism at all.  It is radical new life given to humanity by the unbelievable Divine condescension and love of our Saviour.  But the more we keep adding allegorical explanations about the faith that parallel Judaism, the more we might be in danger of seeing Christianity as simply a logical continuation of Judaism and not something that is in fact on some levels actively opposed to it.  In Phillipians 3:7-8, St. Paul refers to the gains that he made in Judaism as garbage compared to what he might gain in Christ.  I think we have to remember this.  If we want to use allegory when describing our liturgy or our church building that is fine, but I think we should remember that there are many different allegories that might be applied and that none of them should be seen as absolutes.  Sometimes, they are even beside the point.  We even have a concrete example right in this thread of how a "creeping Judaization" might be dangerous.  I don't wish to belittle this poster, but he has  asserted here that the prayer of the Cherubic Hymn says that God rests in the church building, something that he was very happy to refer to as the temple, and in fact the prayer says no such thing, but rather probably says its "opposite", that God rests in holy people.  The Holy Gospel takes pains to emphasize that Jesus spoke of the temple of His body, and not the temple of stone when he said that He would raise it up in three days.  (John 2:19-22).  Should there not be a warning here for us to be careful about using allegory from the period of the old covenant when describing the Church?  Why should we focus on a temple of stone when the Lord is telling us that it is the temple of the body that now takes precedence?
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« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2009, 02:25:30 AM »

But even if there is not a direct relation between the two, clearly brought forth by substantial historical documentation, what does the iconostasis teach the laity?

The Veil of the Temple has been torn, and that is clearly illustrated by the fact that the Beautiful Gates open up for the laity.  The presence of God manifests itself in a concrete way within the Eucharist, just as God dwelt within the Holy of Holies.  Except now, the very presence of God is brought forth from the altar into the nave, and the faithful receive the deifying mysteries, clearly teaching that the temple of God is now truly within each believer.

So in most ways your concern seems unwarranted to me.

I think you raise some good points.  However, unfortunate as this is, most laypeople in the Orthodox Church still receive the Eucharist very infrequently.  Thank God, this is slowly changing.  Even if this were not the case, however, I don't think that my concerns would be unwarranted.  It is confusing to speak of the church building as  "temple" so often during church services as is done in churches of Slav derivation if one does "not really mean it." Again, the principle of lex orandi, lex credendi comes into play.
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« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2009, 02:47:53 AM »

Its normal to call the Church, Тhe Holy Temple Sveti Hram [Свети Xpam] in the slavic language,,Its not odd sounding..
The serbian Orthodox paper, The Path of Orthodoxy [Стаза Православна ] uses Sveti Hram all the time ,i see nothing wrong with it...
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« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2009, 02:56:30 AM »

Its normal to call the Church, Тhe Holy Temple Sveti Hram [Свети Xpam] in the slavic language,,Its not odd sounding..
The serbian Orthodox paper, The Path of Orthodoxy [Стаза Православна ] uses Sveti Hram all the time ,i see nothing wrong with it...

I think you are absolutely right.  In Slavic languages, the term does not carry the same baggage as in English.
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« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2009, 02:58:02 AM »

However, unfortunate as this is, most laypeople in the Orthodox Church still receive the Eucharist very infrequently.  Thank God, this is slowly changing.  Even if this were not the case, however, I don't think that my concerns would be unwarranted.

Well, seeing as I have never received the Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox Church, and yet I still somehow manage to understand this truth, I again think that your concerns are unwarranted.  The truth of the teaching doesn't change whether the laity receive the Eucharist weekly or annually.  Frequently or infrequently communing, the faithful remain the temples of the Holy Spirit.  Why is weekly communing such an important thing for you?  There's no rule about how much we are supposed to receive Him.  Weekly communing has just as high a degree of danger as the infrequent does.  In one case, people are denied the nourishment of the Life-Giving Mystery, and in the other, their eventual laxity about receiving can bring condemnation to them by their receipt.

It just seems like you're making a big deal out of nothing.  Even if we did understand "temple" as referring to the Jewish temple, what's the difference?  Before, there was only one temple, but now the Orthodox temples fill the whole world, distributing the presence of God through the Eucharist.  So the grace and presence of God is multiplied and supplied to all mankind rather than a specific single national/tribal/ethnic group (the Judeans).  The one temple has become many.  This is Orthodox.

Regarding a confusion in similarity to "pagan" (whatever that means) temples, all we have to do is remember that the Church fulfills all things before it.  So the Church has incorporated aspects of sun worship into its practices, as well as symbols from pre-Christian cultures and religious traditions that were in sync with the Christian message.  As such, the temples used to be dedicated to specific regional deities, but eventually came to be dedicated to the one Supreme Creator God.  Its not as if humanity was totally off base before Christ.  Even though they worshiped false gods, many of their intentions were good.  It's not as though most intentionally sought out evil or maleficent spirits.  Many wanted to serve their gods faithfully, with love and devotion.   So the fact that our many "temples" are ultimately dedicated to the One True God instead of many disparate lesser gods testifies to our unity and the greater truth that has been manifest through Jesus Christ.

You could easily lob the same critique at the use of the word "church" to describe the buildings that the Orthodox gather in to worship, because everyone knows that the Church is really not the building itself, but rather the community of believers through the ages.  So you could claim that the use of such a term might lead the ignorant and impressionable laity to think of "church" in terms of a physical place, rather than a mystical body, which in fact many do.  You should give people more credit.  They're not all bumbling idiots, and even if they were, they probably wouldn't be able to understand the subtle distinctions in terminology you are making.  In that case, you have nothing to worry about!
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« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2009, 03:28:16 AM »

Well, seeing as I have never received the Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox Church, and yet I still somehow manage to understand this truth, I again think that your concerns are unwarranted.  The truth of the teaching doesn't change whether the laity receive the Eucharist weekly or annually.  Frequently or infrequently communing, the faithful remain the temples of the Holy Spirit.  Why is weekly communing such an important thing for you?  There's no rule about how much we are supposed to receive Him.  Weekly communing has just as high a degree of danger as the infrequent does.  In one case, people are denied the nourishment of the Life-Giving Mystery, and in the other, their eventual laxity about receiving can bring condemnation to them by their receipt.

I will not discuss this here, there are plenty of other threads that discuss this topic; discussing this here will only serve to derail this thread.  Oh, and BTW, you are dead wrong.


Quote
Regarding a confusion in similarity to "pagan" (whatever that means) temples, all we have to do is remember that the Church fulfills all things before it.  So the Church has incorporated aspects of sun worship into its practices, as well as symbols from pre-Christian cultures and religious traditions that were in sync with the Christian message.  As such, the temples used to be dedicated to specific regional deities, but eventually came to be dedicated to the one Supreme Creator God.  Its not as if humanity was totally off base before Christ.  Even though they worshiped false gods, many of their intentions were good.  It's not as though many intentionally sought out evil or maleficent spirits.  Many wanted to serve their gods faithfully, with love and devotion.   So the fact that our many "temples" are ultimately dedicated to the One True God instead of many disparate lesser gods testifies to our unity and the greater truth that has been manifest through Jesus Christ.

For the last time, my concern is not with pagan temples but with the old Jewish one.

Quote
You could easily lob the same critique at the use of the word "church" to describe the buildings that the Orthodox gather in to worship, because everyone knows that the Church is really not the building itself, but rather the community of believers through the ages.  So you could claim that the use of such a term might lead the ignorant and impressionable laity to think of "church" in terms of a physical place, rather than a mystical body, which in fact many do.  You should give people more credit.  They're not all bumbling idiots, and even if they were, they probably wouldn't be able to understand the subtle distinctions in terminology you are making.  In that case, you have nothing to worry about!

(Throws up hands)  Just forget it then.  I have tried to be nuanced in my responses.  I have freely admitted that it is not always bad to use the term "temple".  Have you heard the news?  Subtle distinctions are important in Orthodoxy.  Some weird thing about the difference between  "homoousious" and "homoiousious" that happened in the fourth century.  Or a few dozen other such things.  Weird.  Didn't those guys back then know that subtle distinction is not important?  They should have known, because some posters here seem to know that it is not really important at all.  I have acknowledged that you and others have made good points, that you have looked at the situation in ways that I might not have thought of.  I might even have changed the way I look at the issue because of it.  But if you would like to think that I am just on a mission to utterly condemn usage of the word "temple", go right ahead.  That way, you won't have to deal with any pesky nuances of thought.
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« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2009, 03:38:06 AM »

Oh, and BTW, you are dead wrong.

Man, it must feel so good to be so right.

For the last time, my concern is not with pagan temples but with the old Jewish one.

Which I addressed.

(Throws up hands)  Just forget it then.  I have tried to be nuanced in my responses.  I have freely admitted that it is not always bad to use the term "temple".  Have you heard the news?  Subtle distinctions are important in Orthodoxy.  Some weird thing about the difference between  "homoousious" and "homoiousious" that happened in the fourth century.  Or a few dozen other such things.  Weird.  Didn't those guys back then know that subtle distinction is not important?  They should have known, because some posters here seem to know that it is not really important at all.  I have acknowledged that you and others have made good points, that you have looked at the situation in ways that I might not have thought of.  I might even have changed the way I look at the issue because of it.  But if you would like to think that I am just on a mission to utterly condemn usage of the word "temple", go right ahead.  That way, you won't have to deal with any pesky nuances of thought.

I wasn't saying that I couldn't handle the distinctions you were making, I was saying that your posts seemed to imply that you didn't think that others could handle them.  I just feel like the Church is very clear that we are temples and that we are the Church, but that referring to our meeting places as such is not inappropriate.  Even if people used the term 'house', there is still the same danger as with church or temple, because the word implies a place of indwelling; a residence.  And according to this logic, that God is not 'located' at any address except "7606 My Heart Avenue", we would have to imply that God the Spirit is constricted by physical parameters when He is not.  He is, in fact, "everywhere present and filling all things."
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 03:39:39 AM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2009, 03:42:36 AM »

However, unfortunate as this is, most laypeople in the Orthodox Church still receive the Eucharist very infrequently.  Thank God, this is slowly changing.  Even if this were not the case, however, I don't think that my concerns would be unwarranted.

Well, seeing as I have never received the Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox Church, and yet I still somehow manage to understand this truth, I again think that your concerns are unwarranted.  The truth of the teaching doesn't change whether the laity receive the Eucharist weekly or annually.  Frequently or infrequently communing, the faithful remain the temples of the Holy Spirit.  Why is weekly communing such an important thing for you?  There's no rule about how much we are supposed to receive Him.  Weekly communing has just as high a degree of danger as the infrequent does.  In one case, people are denied the nourishment of the Life-Giving Mystery, and in the other, their eventual laxity about receiving can bring condemnation to them by their receipt.

It just seems like you're making a big deal out of nothing.  Even if we did understand "temple" as referring to the Jewish temple, what's the difference?  Before, there was only one temple, but now the Orthodox temples fill the whole world, distributing the presence of God through the Eucharist.  So the grace and presence of God is multiplied and supplied to all mankind rather than a specific single national/tribal/ethnic group (the Judeans).  The one temple has become many.  This is Orthodox.

Regarding a confusion in similarity to "pagan" (whatever that means) temples, all we have to do is remember that the Church fulfills all things before it.  So the Church has incorporated aspects of sun worship into its practices, as well as symbols from pre-Christian cultures and religious traditions that were in sync with the Christian message.  As such, the temples used to be dedicated to specific regional deities, but eventually came to be dedicated to the one Supreme Creator God.  Its not as if humanity was totally off base before Christ.  Even though they worshiped false gods, many of their intentions were good.  It's not as though most intentionally sought out evil or maleficent spirits.  Many wanted to serve their gods faithfully, with love and devotion.   So the fact that our many "temples" are ultimately dedicated to the One True God instead of many disparate lesser gods testifies to our unity and the greater truth that has been manifest through Jesus Christ.

You could easily lob the same critique at the use of the word "church" to describe the buildings that the Orthodox gather in to worship, because everyone knows that the Church is really not the building itself, but rather the community of believers through the ages.  So you could claim that the use of such a term might lead the ignorant and impressionable laity to think of "church" in terms of a physical place, rather than a mystical body, which in fact many do.  You should give people more credit.  They're not all bumbling idiots, and even if they were, they probably wouldn't be able to understand the subtle distinctions in terminology you are making.  In that case, you have nothing to worry about!


Brother Don't bust his Chops He Means well..He Happens to see more in the word temple than we do, thats all...
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 03:43:16 AM by stashko » Logged

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