There is a tremendous amount of connection between traditional Jewish worship and Eastern Orthodox worship. My priest Fr James Bernstein identifies himself as Jewish and Christian. He teaches our catechism class and went over the connections in the classes. There are a couple great books on the subject that he suggested. The book; "The Shape of the Liturgy" by Dom Gregory Dix, is the one he suggested the most. I can find my notes or ask him what other books he suggests if you like. Just a note; Dix is actually an Anglican scholar not an Orthodox scholar. So this isn't a book on Orthodoxy persay, it is a book on the formation of the liturgical service.
As well you could read his book; "Surprised by Christ." He writes about some of the connections in his book (a great deal of our catechism classes were based on his notes for the book) There are so many correlations that I couldn't list them all.
Thank you very much for the suggestions and if you have anything in electronic format don't hesistate to PM me.
My native language is English, but I also speak (and teach) Spanish. I can tell you that although my students often do translate their thoughts from English to Spanish, there is a point at which one no longer needs to do so, but can simply think in Spanish. Sometimes I will talk to a student in Spanish and then need to translate what I just said into English.
I understand what you're saying but things can get very complicated when you are dealing with two completely unrelated languages. English and Spanish are both Indo-European languages, Greek is Indo-European while Aramaic (and Hebrew) is Semitic. And languages are more than words; idioms and concepts are involved too. In some cases a common concept is understood differently in Semitic thought than in Greco-Roman thought. There are also cases where the two languages don't share a concept at all. Though I'd rather not delve into specifics at this point as I fear it will take this thread into places I don't want it to go.
As for the New Testament, it was originally written in Greek, with certain phrases in Aramaic (those phrases are typically left in Aramaic in modern English translations). This is an historical fact, not a belief.
I once met a Greek Orthodox lady who told me that the NT was originally penned in 3 languages - Greek, Aramaic and Latin by 70 people (the 70 Apostles?). I she didn't name her source, but she spoke in broken English so maybe I misunderstood her, or she got confused with the 72 Jews who translated the Old Testament into Greek?
Nevertheless for us modern Nazarenes, nothing is set in stone yet. Some Nazarene scholars who are dedicated to textual criticism have been doing research on the history of Christianity outside the Roman empire, and their studies have shown that there's a lot that the west doesn't know. Plus there are statements in the Fathers (Papias, Jerome) which state that Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew and that Hebrews was also written in Hebrew. But there is debate whether "Hebrew" refers to the Hebrew language or (more likely) the "Hebrew" dialect of Aramaic (of Jerusalem), which was written in the "Hebrew" script. In the meantime we have chosen to use the Peshitta because it's in Aramaic and is therefore more compatible with the Hebrew Tanakh than the Greek NT. In addition to the reason I stated in my previous post. In short, we are not argueing against the mainstream position (Greek primacy), we are merely questioning it.
But surely you must realize that it is impossible to to reconstruct something almost 2000 years later! This is a failed project from the beginning. Attempts to 'restore' a pure faith have resulted in religious movements like Islam and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
This is true however the faith itself is not what we are seeking to restore. We don't need to as it was never lost in the first place, God forbid! We are merely seeking to restore our ancient practices of the faith - specially our ancient liturgical traditions. We know that Yeshua and His Apostles (the Jewish ones that is) were Torah observant, and this we have restored though for most of us who were observant Jews before "the veil was lifted from our eyes", this wasn't a difficult, as it merely meant discarding some the Talmudic stuff. But what we still need to find out are the specifics of our worship services, what rituals were done, what prayers and blessings were said, etc., though the NT itself does provide some of these (headcoverings, kiss of peace). And so some of us are exploring Orthodox Christian worship in order to see if we can find some of these.
I agree with my friend that we will not restore everything we once had on our own, only Yeshua will restore all things when He returns. So my reason for joining this forum is to seek out what the Orthodox Church has restored.
Surely you must realize how this statement is offensive to Orthodox Christians? Perhaps rather than 'restored', you meant to write 'retained'?[/quote]
My apologies! "Restored" was indeed a typo, I honestly thought I wrote "preserved" which was my implication. Thank you notifying me this.
I am a Jew who simply loves my Messiah and Saviour and wish to live the way He and His disciples lived. My sect is not without problems and even heresy, and I'm not afraid to talk about these problems and ask my Orthodox brothers and sisters for advice and prayer.
If you wish to live the way they lived, then you must receive His true Body and Blood as the source of your life. My advice to you, since you were baptized Orthodox, would be to strongly consider confessing to a local Orthodox priest, and to again begin to receive the sacred Mysteries. Of course, an honest personal assessment would require you reexamine what the Church is, and if the gates of hell have indeed prevailed against her.[/quote]
The gates of hell will never prevail against the Church, or else Messiah is liar, God forbid! The Church has lost some battles in the past but she will not lose the war.
Nazarene, have you studied Syrian Christianity at all?
I have studied a bit about the Assyrian Church of the East, and have some friends who are members but not the other Syrian churches like the Syrian Orthodox and St. Thomas Christians of India. Please do feel free to recommend reading materials or users on this forum who are members of these churches for answering questions.
We believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, though we define the "Godhead" a little differently.It would be nice if you could explain a little bit how you understand the Godhead and how you understand Christ.
Sure I would be happy to, but I will do so in my next post as this one has become a bit long. BTW what is this forum's stance on "double posting"? Some forums forbid 2 or more posts in a row by the same user, so I just want to make sure that I don't break any rules first.