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Dan-Romania
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« on: September 01, 2009, 07:28:32 AM »

As I noticed we have a new member on the forum , wich is an Messianic Jew , i taught i would open this thread.Is the Messianic Judaism a cult?How is their worship , when did it appear?What doctrines do they have and what dogmas?
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 07:50:02 AM »

Ah yes, nothing says "Welcome to the Forum" as "So, do you belong to a cult?"  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 08:26:10 AM »

Shalom all,

Thanks for the welcome and no don't worry I'm not insulted LOL.

Messianic Judaism is in fact a modern revival of an ancient sect that the Church Fathers and Talmudic Rabbis call "the Nazarenes". So Nazarenes is our proper designation, while "Messianic Judaism" is the description - that being we are Jews who believe that Yeshua is the promised Messiah of Israel, the Son of God, ect. basically what the Disciples and most of the Apostles were. To use "Orthodox Christian" speak, we are "Hebraic Christians", or the "Hebraic Rite".

For our worship and theology, what makes us stick out like a sore thumb, so to speak, is that we are Torah observant. We eat kosher food, keep Shabbat (the Sabbath), and the Feasts of YHWH. The Feasts of YHWH in particular are very important to us because we consider them to be "icons" of YHWH's beloved Son, our Saviour and King Yeshua the Messiah. Each feast is a prophecy of key events in Messiah's work here on earth, He has fulfilled 4 of them, and when He returns He will fulfill the remaining 3.

We believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, though we define the "Godhead" a little differently. Our theology is based exclusively on Hebrew and Aramaic terminology, because these were the languages of the Prophets and Apostles. They spoke to God in these 2 languages, and likewise He spoke to them in the same 2 languages. Afterall you pray to God in your native language, so if He had to ever speak to you, audibly, wouldn't He do so in your native language?

I'm looking forward to answering your questions, and I sincerely enjoy talking about my faith. But be aware that my answers with usually contain a lot of Hebrew & Aramaic terminology, which I'll explain to the best of my ability. Imagine that most of my posts will be quite lengthly, so please try to ask one question at a time.

So what do you want to know?

Shalom in our Master, Saviour & King, Yeshua.

Nazarene.
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 08:29:31 AM »

We believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, though we define the "Godhead" a little differently. Our theology is based exclusively on Hebrew and Aramaic terminology, because these were the languages of the Prophets and Apostles. They spoke to God in these 2 languages, and likewise He spoke to them in the same 2 languages. Afterall you pray to God in your native language, so if He had to ever speak to you, audibly, wouldn't He do so in your native language?
That's not true, actually. Hebrew was a dead language by that point, and Christ and the apostles spoke in Aramaic and Greek. That's why all of the apostles' writings were in Greek. They spoke that language, as did all of the eastern Roman Empire.

As to the OP, Messianic Judaism is a part of Protestant Christianity. Most of its members are either ethnic Jews who convert to a Protestant faith or Protestants who want to embrace a more ancient faith.
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 08:53:39 AM »

That's not true, actually. Hebrew was a dead language by that point, and Christ and the apostles spoke in Aramaic and Greek.

In 1st century Israel, yes you are correct. But Hebrew was spoken by the Prophets (Moses, David, Isaiah, ect.). This is why I said the languages of the Prophets and Aposles - the Prophets spoke Hebrew (and some of the later ones like Daniel & Ezra, Aramaic), while Yeshua and the Apostles spoke Aramaic and Greek. However for most Aramaic was their native language which is why we give preference to Aramaic over Greek.

That's why all of the apostles' writings were in Greek. They spoke that language, as did all of the eastern Roman Empire.

We don't have an official stance on the original language of the NT books, though most of us are exploring the possibilty that they were originally written in Aramaic. This topic is beyond the scope of this thread, but nevertheless the Apostles being native Aramaic speakers would've still needed to translate what they thinking into Greek, albeit in written form. This is how we understand things. We have great respect for the Greek NT and still consider it authoritive, the word of God is the word of God no matter what language. But we feel that Aramaic shouldn't be ignored when studying the Apostolic writings.

As to the OP, Messianic Judaism is a part of Protestant Christianity. Most of its members are either ethnic Jews who convert to a Protestant faith or Protestants who want to embrace a more ancient faith.

Jews for Jesus are not Nazarenes, they are Jewish converts to Protestant Christianity who evangelize Rabbinical Jews. We are not part of Protestantism, though some of us to come from Protestant or Roman Catholic backgrounds. We worship on Shabbat and observe the Torah, and that's really as anti-Protestant as you can get.
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2009, 09:29:10 AM »

Jews for Jesus are not Nazarenes, they are Jewish converts to Protestant Christianity who evangelize Rabbinical Jews. We are not part of Protestantism, though some of us to come from Protestant or Roman Catholic backgrounds. We worship on Shabbat and observe the Torah, and that's really as anti-Protestant as you can get.
Oh, I don't know.  There are a number of Protestant denominations that worship on the Sabbath (Saturday), and some even strive to follow some of the dietary laws of the Torah.  Seventh Day Adventists come particularly to mind here.
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2009, 09:31:16 AM »

That's not true, actually. Hebrew was a dead language by that point, and Christ and the apostles spoke in Aramaic and Greek.

In 1st century Israel, yes you are correct. But Hebrew was spoken by the Prophets (Moses, David, Isaiah, ect.). This is why I said the languages of the Prophets and Aposles - the Prophets spoke Hebrew (and some of the later ones like Daniel & Ezra, Aramaic), while Yeshua and the Apostles spoke Aramaic and Greek. However for most Aramaic was their native language which is why we give preference to Aramaic over Greek.

That's why all of the apostles' writings were in Greek. They spoke that language, as did all of the eastern Roman Empire.

We don't have an official stance on the original language of the NT books, though most of us are exploring the possibilty that they were originally written in Aramaic. This topic is beyond the scope of this thread, but nevertheless the Apostles being native Aramaic speakers would've still needed to translate what they thinking into Greek, albeit in written form. This is how we understand things. We have great respect for the Greek NT and still consider it authoritive, the word of God is the word of God no matter what language. But we feel that Aramaic shouldn't be ignored when studying the Apostolic writings.

As to the OP, Messianic Judaism is a part of Protestant Christianity. Most of its members are either ethnic Jews who convert to a Protestant faith or Protestants who want to embrace a more ancient faith.

Jews for Jesus are not Nazarenes, they are Jewish converts to Protestant Christianity who evangelize Rabbinical Jews. We are not part of Protestantism, though some of us to come from Protestant or Roman Catholic backgrounds. We worship on Shabbat and observe the Torah, and that's really as anti-Protestant as you can get.


LOL.  You haven't heard of Seventh Day Adventists?


From the Orthodox prespective, what your history and dogma says whether your are Protestant or not.  The Vatican has a Jewish ministry.  Among us, the Ethiopia Orthodox have retained their Hebrew roots, and of course we have the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

That you say that God spoke in Hebrew and Aramaic would seem to put you with the Protestant camp: we acknowledge that the Seventy were inspired in translating the Septuagint, and the Books of the Maccabbees, written in Greek, are inspired and part of the canon.  Do you accept the Anagignoskomena/Deuterocanonicals, or do you consider them Apocrypha and go with the Rabbinic canon?

The Patriarch of Jerusalem sits on David's throne in Jerusalem, as St. Epiphanios tells us in the Panarion, the cathedra of Jerusalem.  Do you have/claim Apostolic succession?  Lack of that almost makes you Protestant by default.

Do you believe that you partake of the True Paschal sacrifice on the altar?

Btw, on the Orthodox Calendar, today is the Beginning of Creation, and St. Joshua the Son of Nun a/k/a Jesus Navi day, my son's name's day.  The reading yesterday (Heb. 9:1-7) was preparing us for Yoom Kippur, September 14.

Jews for Jesus are not Nazarenes, they are Jewish converts to Protestant Christianity who evangelize Rabbinical Jews. We are not part of Protestantism, though some of us to come from Protestant or Roman Catholic backgrounds. We worship on Shabbat and observe the Torah, and that's really as anti-Protestant as you can get.
Oh, I don't know.  There are a number of Protestant denominations that worship on the Sabbath (Saturday), and some even strive to follow some of the dietary laws of the Torah.  Seventh Day Adventists come particularly to mind here.

As we can see, I was thinking the same thing. Scary. Tongue
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2009, 10:02:23 AM »

Quote
Each feast is a prophecy of key events in Messiah's work here on earth, He has fulfilled 4 of them, and when He returns He will fulfill the remaining 3.

Interesting wich are this 4 and the remaining 3?I don`t mind big posts btw.
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2009, 11:54:42 AM »

Quote
Each feast is a prophecy of key events in Messiah's work here on earth, He has fulfilled 4 of them, and when He returns He will fulfill the remaining 3.

Interesting wich are this 4 and the remaining 3?I don`t mind big posts btw.

Sure, in a nutshell:

Quote
The way in which Jesus fulfilled the Jewish feasts is a fascinating study. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Jewish prophet Amos records that God declared He would do nothing without first revealing it to His servants, the Prophets (Amos 3:7). From the Old Covenant to the New, Genesis to Revelation, God provides picture after picture of His entire plan for mankind and one of the most startling prophetic pictures is outlined for us in the Jewish Feasts of Leviticus 23.

The Hebrew word for feasts (moadim) literally means "appointed times." God has carefully planned and orchestrated the timing and sequence of each of these seven feasts to reveal to us a special story. The seven annual feasts of Israel were spread over seven months of the Jewish calendar, at set times appointed by God. They are still celebrated by observant Jews today. But for both Jews and non-Jews who have placed their faith in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, these special days demonstrate the work of redemption through God’s Son.

The first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks) and they all have already been fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament. The final three holidays (Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period.

Many Bible scholars and commentators believe that these fall feasts have not yet been fulfilled by Jesus. However, the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) for all believers in Jesus Christ is that they most assuredly will. As the four spring feasts were fulfilled literally and right on the actual feast day in connection with Christ's first coming, these three fall feasts, it is believed by many, will likewise be fulfilled literally in connection to the Lord's second coming.

In a nutshell, here is the prophetic significance of each of the seven Levitical feasts of Israel:

1) Passover (Leviticus 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening.

2) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) – Pointed to the Messiah's sinless life (as leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible), making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus' body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.

3) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) – Pointed to the Messiah's resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in I Corinthians 15:20 as the "first fruits from the dead."

4) Weeks or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16) – Occurred fifty days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and pointed to the great harvest of souls and the gift of the Holy Spirit for both Jew and Gentile, who would be brought into the kingdom of God during the Church Age (see Acts 2). The Church was actually established on this day when God poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 Jews responded to Peter's great sermon and his first proclamation of the Gospel.

5) Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24) – The first of the fall feasts. Many believe this day points to the Rapture of the Church when the Messiah Jesus will appear in the heavens as He comes for His bride, the Church. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and I Corinthians 15:52).

6) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27) – Many believe this prophetically points to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus when He will return to earth. That will be the Day of Atonement for the Jewish remnant when they "look upon Him whom they have pierced," repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36).

7) Tabernacles or Booths (Leviticus 23:34) – Many scholars believe that this feast day points to the Lord's promise that He will once again “tabernacle” with His people when He returns to reign over all the world (Micah 4:1-7).

Should Christians celebrate these Levitical feast days of Israel today? Whether or not a Christian celebrates the Jewish feast days would be a matter of conscience for the individual Christian. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Christians are not bound to observe the Jewish feasts the way an Old Testament Jew was, but we should not criticize another believer who does or does not observe these special days and feasts (Romans 14:5).

While it is not required for Christians to celebrate the Jewish feast days, it is beneficial to study them. Certainly it could be beneficial to celebrate these days if it leads one to a greater understanding and appreciation for Christ’s death and resurrection and the future promise of His coming. As Christians, if we choose to celebrate these special days, we should put Christ in the center of the celebration, as the One who came to fulfill the prophetic significance of each of them.

Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/Jewish-feasts.html

The only one of these feasts that is not observed by modern Rabbinical Judaism is Yom HaBikkurim (the Feast of Firstfriuts), which isn't surprising as it symbolizes Yeshua's resurrection from the dead.

I can get into specifics of the liturgical rituals when we celebrate these feasts if you're interested. Eg: here's an example of a Pesakh/Paskha celebration, the one my congregation uses: http://www.tushiyah.org/hRH.pdf.


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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2009, 12:32:55 PM »

It's nice to meet you, Nazarene. I find it sad that many Christians undervalue or misunderstand the Jewish roots of their Faith (one of the reasons I chose Orthodoxy, in fact - I read up on the historical/Jewish roots of the Early Church and Eucharistic Theology). I look forward to reading your posts.

Shalom b'Mashiach Yeshua
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2009, 01:02:55 PM »

Does your Messianic 'church/synagogue' worship with guitars and PowerPoint?  I'm actually serious, and not trying to be patronizing at all.
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2009, 02:00:51 PM »

It's nice to meet you, Nazarene. I find it sad that many Christians undervalue or misunderstand the Jewish roots of their Faith (one of the reasons I chose Orthodoxy, in fact - I read up on the historical/Jewish roots of the Early Church and Eucharistic Theology). I look forward to reading your posts.

Shalom b'Mashiach Yeshua

Shalom aleikhem dear sister in Mashiach Yeshua.

I know that the Orthodox Church and other Apostolic communites (Ethiopians, ect.) have retain their Hebrew roots to varying degrees. This why I joined this forum, to study this indepth. And I too look forward to further discussion.

Does your Messianic 'church/synagogue' worship with guitars and PowerPoint?  I'm actually serious, and not trying to be patronizing at all.



The one I attend thank heavens doesn't! Some do though. My synagogue is very traditional, we chant the Scriptures in Hebrew & Aramaic (no background music), we kneel for prayers with our foreheads touching the ground, and women wear veils.  While most Messianic Jews are converts from Judaism many are converts from Protestantism. Usually when one takes on a different way of belief there's some baggage that comes along. This baggage takes time to shed and it's not easy. Some Messianics have "Greco-Roman Christian phobia", while others are still very attached to Talmudic and Kabbalistic customs. Here's how a friend of mine put it:

Quote
The whole Netzarim movement is about reconstructionism. We believe that the original way was lost very early on in the first centuries. I personally hold that there will be no full restoration without prophets like Eliyahu coming or even without the Mshikha himself. We look through a glass dimly. But I believe the Messiah will restore everything one day. But until then, we have a whole bunch of people trying to put all the pieces back together again. When that Job is the Messiah's. Sometimes it looks like chickens running around with their heads chopped off.

There is something very exciting about seeking out an ancient path which has been lost. But it is a small step before one reaches heresy. Caution is need. It's also important to remember that not everything was lost. We still have the Bible after all. So in my humble opinion, one should read the Bible regulary and study Orthodox Christianity and Judaism. See what they agree on first. And do that. Where they disagree, look up what the Bible has to say about it in the original languages. That is a good starting point, but to just run off and do it alone, to make something from scratch is a very dangerous thing to do.

Try and focus on the majors, not the minors. What beliefs, tenants, practices are the things that really matter in scripture. Scripture warns about entertaining pointless arguments. So try and focus on the fruitful ones.

Worship God regularly. With your mouth and how you live your life.

And in spite of the fact we've lost some things. Thank God for everything we DO have. All the blessings he's given us. We have so much to be truly grateful for.

Basically what we wish to restore is what the Fathers described on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazarene_(sect).

I agree with my friend that we will not restore everying 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.

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.

Thank you all again for the welcome.

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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2009, 03:36:02 PM »

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.
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2009, 04:54:50 PM »

We don't have an official stance on the original language of the NT books, though most of us are exploring the possibilty that they were originally written in Aramaic. This topic is beyond the scope of this thread, but nevertheless the Apostles being native Aramaic speakers would've still needed to translate what they thinking into Greek, albeit in written form. This is how we understand things. We have great respect for the Greek NT and still consider it authoritive, the word of God is the word of God no matter what language. But we feel that Aramaic shouldn't be ignored when studying the Apostolic writings.
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.

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.
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2009, 10:20:48 PM »

Can you move my above post to the one on Messianic Judaism? I tried to "report" my post to have it moved but apparently; "You can't report your own post to the moderator, that doesn't make sense!" laugh
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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2009, 12:05:15 AM »

Basically what we wish to restore is what the Fathers described on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazarene_(sect).

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.

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'?  If not, the Orthodox Church is not a reconstruction project.  Constantine did not hope to dig into the past and reconstruct his imperial church in the image of some long-lost idealized church.  He worked with the churches that the holy apostles founded in the major city-centers.  The bishops of these churches gathered and hammered out their theology, still firmly rooted in the apostolic teaching that came from the Jews that evangelized their cities.

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.
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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2009, 12:12:35 AM »

Can you move my above post to the one on Messianic Judaism? I tried to "report" my post to have it moved but apparently; "You can't report your own post to the moderator, that doesn't make sense!" laugh
DONE! Grin
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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2009, 01:13:27 AM »

Nazarene, have you studied Syrian Christianity at all?
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2009, 01:14:35 AM »


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.
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2009, 11:43:34 AM »

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.


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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2009, 01:24:07 PM »


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.


Just out of interest, I have read that this is not true of everyone. It seems that the time at which, and perhaps also the way in which, you learnt your second language has an effect on the way you switch between first and second languages. Certainly, my bilingual partner can't switch between English and Russian as quickly and seamlessly as you describe, and he's a true bilingual whose language skills are those of a first-language graduate.

How much writing in a second language would have bothered the Gospel writers is an interesting question, though.
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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2009, 02:28:32 PM »

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.

http://www.surprisedbychrist.com/
Quote
"Fr James Bernstein's roots are here in Jerusalem even as he ministers in the Pacific Northwest. Though separated by vast distance we are one and united in our desire to actualize an authentic Jewish Christian Orthodox Church in the Holy Land as in the beginning. His book compellingly presents why of all branches of Christianity, Orthodox Christianity has by far the greatest kinship to Judaism."
-- Fr. Alexander Winogradsky, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate – Jerusalem (Head of the Hebrew-speaking community)
http://the-illumined-heart.com/content/view/35/33/
Quote
Fr. James Bernstein: From co-founder of “Jews for Jesus” to Orthodox Priest - The Illumined Heart        
This week on the Illumined Heart Orthodox Christian Podcast:
This interview recounts the fascinating story of the dramatic conversion to Christ (from Orthodox Judaism) and the spiritual journey of a co-founder of the messianic Christian group, "Jews for Jesus" as he finds his way "home" to the Eastern Orthodox Church.
http://www.protomartyr.org/first.html
http://www.geocities.com/jej89/orthodoxlinks.html

From a Protestant viewpoint, but in many ways Orthodox:
http://www.ctsfw.edu/events/symposia/papers/sym2002maier.pdf
Quote
"Old Testament Paradigms for New Testament Worship”
CTS Exegetical Symposium
January 23, 2002
Walter Maier III

Orthodox worship: a living continuity with the temple, the synagogue and the Early Church By Benjamin D. Williams, Benjamin Anastall is good but not on line
http://www.amazon.com/Orthodox-Worship-Living-Continuity-Synagogue/dp/0937032727
http://www.conciliarpress.com/the-nation-of-israel-in-prophecy.html
Quote
The Nation of Israel in Prophecy
The Orthodox position on the Old and New Convenants, the Church as the new Israel, and the teaching of Christ regarding this important issue.
http://www.conciliarpress.com/orthodoxy-jewish-and-christian.html
Quote
Orthodoxy: Jewish and Christian
Meet Father James Bernstein: the son of a Jewish rabbi living in Jerusalem who became a "Jews for Jesus" evangelical Christian and is now an Eastern Orthodox priest.

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.

That's like saying the Semites can't understand modern engineering, because all the modern advances have been done in Indo-European or Finno-Uralic.

Much of the corpus of Classical Greek Philosophy (e.g. Aristotle) survives only in Arabic translation.

Yes, its a problem, but no, its not insurmountable. The Early Church, at least unto Chalcedon, managed in Indo-European, Semitic, Caucasan, Nilo-Saharan and Dravidian.  I submit than any problematic nuances still left fall under I Timothy 6:4

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.

Because the Peshitta is in Aramaic doesn't mean it is more in line with the Hebrew (read Masoretic, which is late) Tanakh.  For one, it includes the Anagignoskomena, and its text on Isaiah and Psalms favors the LXX over the Masoretic.

Btw, my working theory on Matthew is that his Hebrew text was a collection of logia like what is postulated for Q, and that the narrative version was made when he translated it (as Tradition tells us) into Greek. There is nothing to suggest that the rest of the NT was in Aramaic: the Epistles and Revelation are written to Churches in the Greek speaking world, a Greek (St. Luke) wrote his Gospel and Acts, Mark was written in Rome and translated Aramaic phrases (the only "exact words" of Christ we have.  Cf. "Amen," "Alleuja," "Sabaoth," etc. even to this day).

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.

Christ and the Apostles were indeed Torah observant, but they were not Talmud observant.  What specific rituals were done? The Divine Liturgy of St. James the Brother of God and Patriarch of Jerusalem.
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/ephrem/lit-james.htm

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.

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.

So, you admit that Orthodox Church has through all generations prevailed against Hell, and that your church's is looking for a Hebrew equivalent of the Western Rite Orthodox?

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.
http://sor.cua.edu/
http://www.socdigest.org/
http://www.jacobiteonline.com/
http://www.jacobitesyrianchurch.org/
http://www.epilgrim.org/syrian_liturgy.htm
http://www.malankarasyriacvoice.com/

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.

Looking forward to the post.  And you can always post links between posts (except to the private forums in the moderated).
« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 02:32:13 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2009, 03:33:11 PM »

How much writing in a second language would have bothered the Gospel writers is an interesting question, though.

For the Gospels in particular Aramaic needs to be brought into the disscussion for the following reasons:

1. Aramaic was the native language of Messiah. The majority of Yeshua's sermons and parables were preached to fellow Aramaic speaking Jews, usually of the lower, uneducated classes who likely were not fluent in Greek. Yeshua had more opportunities to speak His native language than Greek. Even if the Gospel authors first recorded these sayings of Yeshua in Greek, they are still translating what He said.

2. All the Gospels authors were native Aramaic speaking Jews from Palestine, save St. Luke. But where Luke is concerned all the Fathers actually have to say about him, is that he was from Syrian Antioch and that he knew Greek, but that's it. However that does not automatically mean that he was a native Greek speaker, as Antioch was a bilingual city which consisted of both native Aramaic and native Greek speakers. Furthermore being from Syrian Antioch and knowing Greek doesn't automatically make Luke a gentile either, he could very well have been a Jew too.
We must be careful not claim that something is fact when we don't have evidence to support it.

Now concerning if writing in a second language would've bothered the blessed Apostles:

The implications of this are enormous considering that they are essentially translating what was spoken by God in the flesh! And what's more, Yeshua's Disciples at times had great difficulty understanding some of His parables, and in their native language to boot!

Please, don't interpret this to mean that I'm doubting the power of the Holy Spirit, surely not. But I want you to try and contemplate the magnitude of the task God Almighty designated to these 4 saints: To record the most important words ever spoken in any language in human history!

But you're not recording them in the language they were spoken in, but translating them into another language which is completely unrelated to the source language. The Apostles derserve much respect and admiration for what must've have been incredible faith to successfully undertake this task. I have conversed with native Aramaic speakers and they've told me that there are certain concepts in this language that can give one sleepless nights over trying to accurately explain them in a completely unrelated language like Greek or English.
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« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2009, 03:50:22 PM »

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.
There's no rule against submitting two or three posts in a row on the same thread if you really want to do that.  However, if you submit enough consecutive posts on one topic to turn the discussion into a monologue, you might become annoying to some, but you won't have broken any forum rules. Wink
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« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2009, 04:35:58 PM »

How much writing in a second language would have bothered the Gospel writers is an interesting question, though.

For the Gospels in particular Aramaic needs to be brought into the disscussion for the following reasons:

1. Aramaic was the native language of Messiah. The majority of Yeshua's sermons and parables were preached to fellow Aramaic speaking Jews, usually of the lower, uneducated classes who likely were not fluent in Greek. Yeshua had more opportunities to speak His native language than Greek. Even if the Gospel authors first recorded these sayings of Yeshua in Greek, they are still translating what He said.

2. All the Gospels authors were native Aramaic speaking Jews from Palestine, save St. Luke. But where Luke is concerned all the Fathers actually have to say about him, is that he was from Syrian Antioch and that he knew Greek, but that's it. However that does not automatically mean that he was a native Greek speaker, as Antioch was a bilingual city which consisted of both native Aramaic and native Greek speakers. Furthermore being from Syrian Antioch and knowing Greek doesn't automatically make Luke a gentile either, he could very well have been a Jew too.
We must be careful not claim that something is fact when we don't have evidence to support it.

I've never seen Antioch described as a bilingual city.  The books of Maccabbees militates against it.  And it contrasts with, say, Palmyra or Edessa, where Aramaic was spoken widely.
http://books.google.com/books?id=SOg7UGR3FrMC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=Antioch+aramaic+speaking&source=bl&ots=L0gEDZH1RU&sig=QT5h6xx_t3hDYIS536J6XlOxReI&hl=en&ei=gM6eSsrbG5Cc8Qb10ZmpAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#v=onepage&q=Antioch%20aramaic%20speaking&f=false
The school of Libanius in late antique Antioch By Raffaella Cribiore, p. 27.
http://books.google.com/books?id=x8LRPQp_-y8C&pg=PA49&dq=Antioch++Aramaic#v=onepage&q=Antioch%20%20Aramaic&f=false
Redefining ancient borders: the Jewish scribal framework of Matthew's Gospel By Aaron M. Gale
[also includes the saying of the ethnarch/patriarch Judah ha-Nasi who asks "why speak Aramaic in the Land of Israel.  Speak Hebrew or Greek!]
http://books.google.com/books?id=9y7nTpFcN3AC&pg=PA194&dq=Antioch++Aramaic&lr=#v=onepage&q=Antioch%20%20Aramaic&f=false
The Middle East under Rome By Maurice Sartre
http://books.google.com/books?id=uk0-ezJ_lx4C&pg=PA125&dq=Antioch++Aramaic&lr=#v=onepage&q=Antioch%20%20Aramaic&f=false
The Jews among pagans and Christians: in the Roman Empire By Judith Lieu, John A. North, Tessa Rajak

Colossians 4:10-11 contrasted to v. 14, and universal Tradition, show St. Luke was a gentile.

Quote
Now concerning if writing in a second language would've bothered the blessed Apostles:

The implications of this are enormous considering that they are essentially translating what was spoken by God in the flesh! And what's more, Yeshua's Disciples at times had great difficulty understanding some of His parables, and in their native language to boot!

Please, don't interpret this to mean that I'm doubting the power of the Holy Spirit, surely not. But I want you to try and contemplate the magnitude of the task God Almighty designated to these 4 saints: To record the most important words ever spoken in any language in human history!

But you're not recording them in the language they were spoken in, but translating them into another language which is completely unrelated to the source language. The Apostles derserve much respect and admiration for what must've have been incredible faith to successfully undertake this task. I have conversed with native Aramaic speakers and they've told me that there are certain concepts in this language that can give one sleepless nights over trying to accurately explain them in a completely unrelated language like Greek or English.

If the Church had to worry about that, the Scriptures would never be translated.
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« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2009, 05:01:25 PM »


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.

That's like saying the Semites can't understand modern engineering, because all the modern advances have been done in Indo-European or Finno-Uralic.

Much of the corpus of Classical Greek Philosophy (e.g. Aristotle) survives only in Arabic translation.

Yes, its a problem, but no, its not insurmountable. The Early Church, at least unto Chalcedon, managed in Indo-European, Semitic, Caucasan, Nilo-Saharan and Dravidian.  I submit than any problematic nuances still left fall under I Timothy 6:4


If I may, I'd suggest you are over-simplifying a little with your simile. There's a big difference between not understanding something, and conceptualising something in a different way. If you're responding through the prism of a second language, you'll understand all right, but there will be a particular inflection to your understanding that you might not have had if you hadn't had two languages in the mix. But perhaps I am making too much of this - I agree the problem's not insurmountable. I think language-learning and its effect on the brain are fascinating, and I suspect I'm being a bit of a psychology geek here!
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« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2009, 05:54:11 PM »

Thank you brother Peter for the clarification. OK first, the Nazrene doctrine of the Godhead:

Summary:

We believe in one God, YHWH Almighty who eternally consists of at least 3 qnume (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit), in one kyana (nature).

Now to the specifics:

Elohim: the most common Hebrew word for "God" in the Tanakh. Elohim is gramatically plural. YHWH is called Elohim most of the time in the Hebrew Tanakh to emphasize His ulimited power, glory and majesty. In our liturgy we address YHWH as Elohim.

YHWH: The Sacred Name of God as revealed to Moses, of which we are not 100% sure how to pronounce. Some Nazarenes insist on pronouncing it as Yahweh (scholarly concenses) or Yahwah (from the Samaritan liturgy), some refuse to and use acceptable substitutes like HaShem (The Name), Yah (the shortened version found in the Targums) or MarYah (Master Yah, the substitute given in the Peshitta). We generally do not like to use Adonai (The Lord) as we feel it's not specific enough, and Jehovah or Yehovah are not accepted because the vowels are artifical (borrowed from Adonai). The synagogue I attend uses MarYah as both the Father and the Son are called MarYah in the Peshitta. I have chosen when writing God's name to only write it without vowels (YHWH), because that's how His name appears in the Hebrew text and was originally written by Moses. Most of our Siddurim (Prayer books) print the Tetragrammaton without vowels as well.

Qnume: The Aramaic word qnuma (singular, qnume, plural) has caused many native Aramaic speakers countless headaches throughtout the centuries. I will try my best to explain what it means, with quotations from experts for those interested. But I'll have to save that for another thread as the topic is too delicate and complex to treat it in brief. What I will say for now is the most important thing to grasp about it: Qnuma is a concept that doesn't exist in any language but Aramaic, not even Hebrew, it's closest sister language! The closest possible meaning is "substance" (hypotasis/substantia), but it's not an exact match - there is no exact match! My only humble request for those who want to discuss qnuma is:

Please always keep in mind that Aramaic is completely different to Greek/Latin/English, and to please not try to force qnuma in what you think is a Greek/Latin/English equivalent because there are none! Please, I beg you, don't treat Aramaic like Greek/Latin/English but for what it is - a language that is completely different and unrelated to them. To do otherwise is to invite disaster!

at least 3 qnuma: Trinity is a term that we generally prefer to avoid when describing the Godhead. The chief reason for this we feel that it limits YHWH:

{1 Kings 8:27} "But will God really dwell on earth? Even the heavens to their uttermost reaches cannot contain You, how much less this House that I have built!

God is infinite and ineffable, His vastness and grandiosity is beyond human comprehension. Because of this we believe in the possibility that God may not have revealed everything about His nature. While we recognize that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the 3 qnume of His kyanna (nature) revealed in Scripture, there is a verse which suggests that He may in fact consist of more:

{Isaiah 11:2} The Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of YHWH.

And hence the 7 Spirits of Revelation 1:4

1. Spirit of YHWH
2. Spirit of Wisdom
3. Spirit of Understanding
4. Spirit of Counsel
5. Spirit of Might
6. Spirit of Knowledge
7. Spirit of the Fear of YHWH

These Spirits are symbolized by two of Judaism's most commonly recognized symbols: the Menorah and the Star of David.

Only God knows how many qnume and attributes consist within His nature, while we will say 3 qnume, we are reluctant to declare only 3 qnume as emphatic dogma, out of fear we may have spoken falsely of that which we do not know. But even if YHWH Elohim's nature only consists of 3 qnuma we still feel that Trinity is an incomplete explantion because He is still infinite, eternal, outside time and cannot be contained by any number. So instead of Trinity we describe YHWH as ekhad, as per the Shema:

{Deuteronomy 6:4} "Hear, O Israel: YHWH our Elohim, YHWH is ekhad!

The Hebrew word ekhad (Aramaic khad) means one in both an exclusively singular sense and in a collective sense but number isn't specified (eg: one bunch of grapes). So this is the term we prefer to use instead of Trinity, because YHWH is only one deity, and because ekhad reveals His plurarity without applying mathematics to it. And for the much simpler reason - there is no other explicit statement in Scripture on the plurality of God's nature while the word Trinity itself is not in Scripture.

Kyana: Aramaic for nature. Unlike qnuma kyana is always singular. Just as there's only one human nature, there is only one divine nature.

Next, all about Yeshua the Messiah, including His nature and incarnation...

« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 06:00:45 PM by Nazarene » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2009, 06:04:45 PM »

Nazarene,

What you say about the natures of God is fascinating. I do know what you mean about that feeling of being right on the edge/ over of human capacity when you think about the Trinity. Can you explain something for me? I don't see why linking the concept of God to a larger range of numbers helps you not to limit that concept. What was the theology behind that, can you explain?

Good to have you on the forum, it's very interesting!

Liz.
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« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2009, 06:28:15 PM »

Thank you brother Peter for the clarification. OK first, the Nazrene doctrine of the Godhead:

Summary:

We believe in one God, YHWH Almighty who eternally consists of at least 3 qnume (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit), in one kyana (nature).

Now to the specifics:

Elohim: the most common Hebrew word for "God" in the Tanakh. Elohim is gramatically plural. YHWH is called Elohim most of the time in the Hebrew Tanakh to emphasize His ulimited power, glory and majesty. In our liturgy we address YHWH as Elohim.

YHWH: The Sacred Name of God as revealed to Moses, of which we are not 100% sure how to pronounce. Some Nazarenes insist on pronouncing it as Yahweh (scholarly concenses) or Yahwah (from the Samaritan liturgy), some refuse to and use acceptable substitutes like HaShem (The Name), Yah (the shortened version found in the Targums) or MarYah (Master Yah, the substitute given in the Peshitta). We generally do not like to use Adonai (The Lord) as we feel it's not specific enough, and Jehovah or Yehovah are not accepted because the vowels are artifical (borrowed from Adonai). The synagogue I attend uses MarYah as both the Father and the Son are called MarYah in the Peshitta. I have chosen when writing God's name to only write it without vowels (YHWH), because that's how His name appears in the Hebrew text and was originally written by Moses. Most of our Siddurim (Prayer books) print the Tetragrammaton without vowels as well.

Qnume: The Aramaic word qnuma (singular, qnume, plural) has caused many native Aramaic speakers countless headaches throughtout the centuries. I will try my best to explain what it means, with quotations from experts for those interested. But I'll have to save that for another thread as the topic is too delicate and complex to treat it in brief. What I will say for now is the most important thing to grasp about it: Qnuma is a concept that doesn't exist in any language but Aramaic, not even Hebrew, it's closest sister language! The closest possible meaning is "substance" (hypotasis/substantia), but it's not an exact match - there is no exact match! My only humble request for those who want to discuss qnuma is:

Please always keep in mind that Aramaic is completely different to Greek/Latin/English, and to please not try to force qnuma in what you think is a Greek/Latin/English equivalent because there are none! Please, I beg you, don't treat Aramaic like Greek/Latin/English but for what it is - a language that is completely different and unrelated to them. To do otherwise is to invite disaster!

at least 3 qnuma: Trinity is a term that we generally prefer to avoid when describing the Godhead. The chief reason for this we feel that it limits YHWH:

{1 Kings 8:27} "But will God really dwell on earth? Even the heavens to their uttermost reaches cannot contain You, how much less this House that I have built!

God is infinite and ineffable, His vastness and grandiosity is beyond human comprehension. Because of this we believe in the possibility that God may not have revealed everything about His nature. While we recognize that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the 3 qnume of His kyanna (nature) revealed in Scripture, there is a verse which suggests that He may in fact consist of more:

{Isaiah 11:2} The Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of YHWH.

And hence the 7 Spirits of Revelation 1:4

1. Spirit of YHWH
2. Spirit of Wisdom
3. Spirit of Understanding
4. Spirit of Counsel
5. Spirit of Might
6. Spirit of Knowledge
7. Spirit of the Fear of YHWH

These Spirits are symbolized by two of Judaism's most commonly recognized symbols: the Menorah and the Star of David.

Only God knows how many qnume and attributes consist within His nature, while we will say 3 qnume, we are reluctant to declare only 3 qnume as emphatic dogma, out of fear we may have spoken falsely of that which we do not know. But even if YHWH Elohim's nature only consists of 3 qnuma we still feel that Trinity is an incomplete explantion because He is still infinite, eternal, outside time and cannot be contained by any number. So instead of Trinity we describe YHWH as ekhad, as per the Shema:

{Deuteronomy 6:4} "Hear, O Israel: YHWH our Elohim, YHWH is ekhad!

The Hebrew word ekhad (Aramaic khad) means one in both an exclusively singular sense and in a collective sense but number isn't specified (eg: one bunch of grapes). So this is the term we prefer to use instead of Trinity, because YHWH is only one deity, and because ekhad reveals His plurarity without applying mathematics to it. And for the much simpler reason - there is no other explicit statement in Scripture on the plurality of God's nature while the word Trinity itself is not in Scripture.

Kyana: Aramaic for nature. Unlike qnuma kyana is always singular. Just as there's only one human nature, there is only one divine nature.

Next, all about Yeshua the Messiah, including His nature and incarnation...



Isaiah 11:
Quote
וְנָחָ֥ה עָלָ֖יו ר֣וּחַ יְהוָ֑ה ר֧וּחַ חָכְמָ֣ה וּבִינָ֗ה ר֤וּחַ עֵצָה֙ וּגְבוּרָ֔ה ר֥וּחַ דַּ֖עַת וְיִרְאַ֥ת יְהוָֽה׃
Quote
καὶ ἀναπαύσεται ἐπ' αὐτὸν πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ πνεῦμα σοφίας καὶ συνέσεως πνεῦμα βουλῆς καὶ ἰσχύος πνεῦμα γνώσεως καὶ εὐσεβείας

In both you have only one Spirit: the whole verse is apposition, not conjunctive.

Christ commanded us to be baptized in the Name (singular) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, etc. . If there was any more hypostasis, He would have told us so.  Hence, the Orthodox have no such reluctance.  Three angles at Mamre when the LORD spoke to Father Abraham, three Hypostasis:

http://theklines.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/trinity-rublev.jpg

God not being contained by His Own essence gets into the Essence/Engeries, which all Three share as One.
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« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2009, 06:35:02 PM »

In a nutshell different understanding of the same concept. Just one question:

If you say that the Trinity consists of 3 hypostasis then why do you call them "persons" in English?
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« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2009, 06:43:46 PM »

In a nutshell different understanding of the same concept.


Ok - but a concept is a product of the understanding, no? So, at what point do you say you've got two different understandings and therefore two different concepts?

Just one question:

If you say that the Trinity consists of 3 hypostasis then why do you call them "persons" in English?
[/quote]

Because English has a paucity of words, and because 'persons' was less likely to be interpreted simply as a synonym for 'people' at the time when this term became common.
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« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2009, 06:58:39 PM »

I do find this discussion quite interesting. Nazarene, you said in an earlier post that the Scriptures are chanted from Hebrew & Aramaic and I really find this fascinating. I would like to know more about what the services are like in the Messianic circle. Also, what about dress for men; is a shawl worn or just a yarmulke? Do you lay on teffilin during prayer and other such Jewish practices?
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« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2009, 06:58:51 PM »

In a nutshell different understanding of the same concept. Just one question:

If you say that the Trinity consists of 3 hypostasis then why do you call them "persons" in English?
For the people who speak English and not Greek. It's also why we call Jesus by his English name. There's just something unnatural about people becoming more ethnic after their conversion.

BTW, "hypostasis" is singular; "hypostases" is the plural. Still wish we'd stick with the Greek term?
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« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2009, 07:34:26 PM »

In a nutshell different understanding of the same concept. Just one question:

If you say that the Trinity consists of 3 hypostasis then why do you call them "persons" in English?
For the people who speak English and not Greek. It's also why we call Jesus by his English name. There's just something unnatural about people becoming more ethnic after their conversion.

BTW, "hypostasis" is singular; "hypostases" is the plural. Still wish we'd stick with the Greek term?

Right, and that's why I've never heard any non-Greek Orthodox refer to the bearer of Christ as Theotokos.
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« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2009, 04:32:45 AM »

Right, and that's why I've never heard any non-Greek Orthodox refer to the bearer of Christ as Theotokos.

I'm Podlachian Belarus, live in Poland and never been to Greece but I definitely call Mary - Theotokos.
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« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2009, 06:42:44 AM »

BTW, "hypostasis" is singular; "hypostases" is the plural. Still wish we'd stick with the Greek term?

Thanks for the grammar correction. As for whether it is better to stick to the Greek term, I suppose it depends on who you're talking to. For a Jew, I don't advise translating hypostasis into English as "person" but rather explaining what it means in Greek. This is how we do things with Hebrew and Aramaic, we prefer not to translate the word into English but rather explain what it means in Hebrew/Aramaic, because after all there are few Hebrew and Aramaic words that can be translated into one English word (a direct cognate). And that's only dealing with "dictionary definitions" and not getting into the subject of idioms and spiritual implications.
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« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2009, 02:57:39 PM »


Right, and that's why I've never heard any non-Greek Orthodox refer to the bearer of Christ as Theotokos.
[/quote]


I've heard Theotokos consistently here, (Kansas city area), but haven't been to a Greek orthodox church, nor do I know anyone that I am aware that is Greek
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« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2009, 03:53:12 PM »

So what do you want to know?

Do you practise prayer for the dead and ask for intercession of the saints? If I've understanded correctly at least some of the Jews do and I'm curious whether the Nazarene follow this practise.

And what about your worship. What is it like? Is it liturgical? Do you have an English translation online anywhere?
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« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2009, 05:05:13 PM »

In a nutshell different understanding of the same concept. Just one question:

If you say that the Trinity consists of 3 hypostasis then why do you call them "persons" in English?
For the people who speak English and not Greek. It's also why we call Jesus by his English name. There's just something unnatural about people becoming more ethnic after their conversion.

BTW, "hypostasis" is singular; "hypostases" is the plural. Still wish we'd stick with the Greek term?

Right, and that's why I've never heard any non-Greek Orthodox refer to the bearer of Christ as Theotokos.

The only Greek I know is "baklava," but I refer to her as the Theotokos, as do all the members of my OCA English-speaking parish. (all right, all right, so we're Southern and we really speak a "form" of English, nevertheless...!) It's actually pretty standard usage amongst us Orthodox.
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« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2009, 05:15:38 PM »

In a nutshell different understanding of the same concept. Just one question:

If you say that the Trinity consists of 3 hypostasis then why do you call them "persons" in English?
For the people who speak English and not Greek. It's also why we call Jesus by his English name. There's just something unnatural about people becoming more ethnic after their conversion.

BTW, "hypostasis" is singular; "hypostases" is the plural. Still wish we'd stick with the Greek term?

Right, and that's why I've never heard any non-Greek Orthodox refer to the bearer of Christ as Theotokos.
I've never heard any English-speaker use the term without knowing what it means in English.
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« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2009, 05:45:38 PM »

As I noticed we have a new member on the forum , wich is an Messianic Jew , i taught i would open this thread.Is the Messianic Judaism a cult?How is their worship , when did it appear?What doctrines do they have and what dogmas?

I'm not looking at anything right now so I can't really go into detail, but from what I can recall, they mostly come from either the Southern Baptists or Assembly of God protestant denominations. At least, that is where their """ethos / template""" comes from.


You have some that are Prespyterian, but as far as I know, they still are not allowed to form their own churches, whereas the other ones (Baptist and Assembly of God) are.


It's mostly a modern movement, but I have to review and skimm through some books I have laying around in order to go into more detail.









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« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2009, 05:54:06 PM »

Jews for Jesus are not Nazarenes, they are Jewish converts to Protestant Christianity who evangelize Rabbinical Jews. We are not part of Protestantism, though some of us to come from Protestant or Roman Catholic backgrounds. We worship on Shabbat and observe the Torah, and that's really as anti-Protestant as you can get.
Oh, I don't know.  There are a number of Protestant denominations that worship on the Sabbath (Saturday), and some even strive to follow some of the dietary laws of the Torah.  Seventh Day Adventists come particularly to mind here.

The 7nth day Baptists, as well as the Worldwide church of God international. There is a small oneness pentecostal sect in Alabama that tries to keep the 7nth day as well, but I don't know what their official name is. They follow a man by the name "the apostle Ford".











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« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2009, 05:58:08 PM »

Does your Messianic 'church/synagogue' worship with guitars and PowerPoint?  I'm actually serious, and not trying to be patronizing at all.

Some do, the more charismatic ones come from the Assembly of God background. The noncharismatic ones mostly come from the Southern Baptist line/stream.







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« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2009, 06:47:59 PM »

BTW, "hypostasis" is singular; "hypostases" is the plural. Still wish we'd stick with the Greek term?

Thanks for the grammar correction. As for whether it is better to stick to the Greek term, I suppose it depends on who you're talking to. For a Jew, I don't advise translating hypostasis into English as "person" but rather explaining what it means in Greek. This is how we do things with Hebrew and Aramaic, we prefer not to translate the word into English but rather explain what it means in Hebrew/Aramaic, because after all there are few Hebrew and Aramaic words that can be translated into one English word (a direct cognate). And that's only dealing with "dictionary definitions" and not getting into the subject of idioms and spiritual implications.

It depends on where you go though. In my parish whenever the term comes up we always say hypostasis. I like that better than "person". I think it's good to keep it as is and not translate the word because you lose meaning. The same goes for "Logos" since "word" doesn't really do it justice since "Logos" is very complex and "word" doesn't capture the full meaning really. I was shown the entry for "Logos" in a patristic dictionary and it takes up a few pages. One of the reasons why I like the Orthodox New Testament published by Holy Apostle's Convent is because they don't translate "Logos" but just leaves it as is and that way with explanation, the meaning can be better understood.
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« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2009, 09:30:47 PM »

This is an interesting video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sEBAldf4L0
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