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Author Topic: Messianic Judaism  (Read 34160 times) Average Rating: 0
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2009, 12:46:50 AM »

This is an interesting video.

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

What a beautiful buffet!  A dash of Talmudic Judaism, a drop of 'Charismatic' Protestantism, and presto:  a new religion.
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« Reply #46 on: September 04, 2009, 01:01:28 PM »

Shalom again. OK for the questions about worship, asked by Andrew and Alpo:

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?

The Hebrew and Aramaic chanting is of the Masoretic text and the "Nestorian" Peshitta NT, using the pronunciation of the Yemenite Jews for the Hebrew and the Assyrian Church of the East for the Aramaic.

In my synagogue we use the Triennial Torah Parshot (lectionary) rather than the Annual one used by most Jews because it gives more flexibility for readings from the NT. We read from the Torah, Prophets, Gospels and Epistles every Shabbat and chant the Tehillim (Psalms). Readings from the Writings like Song of Songs or Revelation are only read on Feast days. We recite the Shema and the Lord's Prayer during every Shabbat service, currently the only "icons" to be found in our santuary are the Cross, the Fish, the Star of David, the Menorah, and the Name YHWH in paleo-Hebrew script. We have no chairs or pews, we sit on rugs - men on the right and women on the left, because when we do our "kneeling" prayers, we do so on all fours with our foreheads touching the ground. We enter the sanctury barefoot after washing our hands and feet. That's for the actual synagogue service, there is also of course the opening and closing services which are done in the home.

For our daily prayers, we pray the Lord's prayer 3 times per day and the recite the Shema twice a day, with appropriate Psalms for morning, evening and mealtimes. Before praying we recite hand washing blessings.

Some of the men do lay on teffilim but this is not mandatory because not everyone interprets "bind them to your forehead and right hand" literally. Since the Apostle Paul clearly said that it is the women who are to cover their heads, it is the women who wear tallit (prayer shawls/veils) with tzitzit (tassles on the four corners) on their heads. The men may wear them on their shoulders but not their heads, and they may not wear yarmulkes.

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.

At the moment no but we are looking into whether to permit it or not. Our principle is to only make what is specifically commanded by YHWH and His Son mandatory, everything else, as long as it doesn't conflict with what is commanded is optional. Prayer for the dead and asking saints for their intercession are not commanded in the Torah or by Yeshua, and we cannot find an example of this practice in the Prophets or Epistles of the Apostles. We do acknowledge that they are Jewish traditions in antiquity and are done by some Jews today. We do not look down on anyone who does these things, whether they are Jewish or Christian, though we will probably never make this practice mandatory. But this is not to say that we don't honour past saints in our prayers or liturgy.

And what about your worship. What is it like? Is it liturgical? Do you have an English translation online anywhere?

Yes our worship is certainly liturgical though at the moment it resembles synagogue worship more so than temple worship. I'm afraid that I don't have an electronic texts for the services my congregation uses, but here are a few sources to give you an idea of "mainstream" Messianic worship:

http://www.servant2000.org/Siddur/Siddur%20book%20cover%20Rev%20B.pdf (Weekdays & Shabbat)
http://messianicdefenseleague.com/Documents/Siddur.pdf (Shabbat & Festivals)
http://www.tushiyah.org/hRH.pdf (Pesakh/Paskha Haggadah)
http://www.torahwellsprings.org/Pages/parsha.htm (Triennial Torah Parshot)

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« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2009, 02:32:05 PM »


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

It reflects badly on me to have to admit I was being a tad sarcastic when I said this. I know lots of Orthodox who aren't Greek say Theokotos. I was trying to suggest that Nazarene's rather extensive sprinkling of non-English terms through posts isn't necessarily to do with becoming 'more ethnic after conversion', as ytterbiumanalyst was I think suggest, but maybe more to do with the way all of us sometimes reach towards our religion's parent language.

Quote

I've never heard any English-speaker use the term without knowing what it means in English.

Fair point, yes. I apologise for being a bit sarcastic.
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« Reply #48 on: September 04, 2009, 02:53:32 PM »

I've never heard any English-speaker use the term without knowing what it means in English.

Usually people don't use words which meaning they don't know
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« Reply #49 on: September 04, 2009, 02:57:04 PM »

I've never heard any English-speaker use the term without knowing what it means in English.

Usually people don't use words which meaning they don't know

INCONCEIVABLE!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58LpHBnvsI  (note: link is to a montage of scenes from the film "The Princess Bride")

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« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2009, 03:45:10 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.

Oh I can certainly relate. There is an interlinear translation of the Peshitta Gospels which also takes this approach to the Aramaic word Miltha, see this.

I'm actually quite interestind in how Miltha compares with Logos. Can you give an "amplified" translation of Logos, so to speak?
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« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2009, 05:28:53 PM »

I've never heard any English-speaker use the term without knowing what it means in English.

Usually people don't use words which meaning they don't know

Well ... that'd be a lot more convincing if you hadn't just used a word incorrectly! (you typed which and mean whose).  Wink
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« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2009, 06:11:34 PM »

Nevertheless, I have alot of respect for these Messianic Jews who live in Israel. They have to deal with alot of persecution for their beliefs.
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« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2009, 06:15:08 PM »

I've never heard any English-speaker use the term without knowing what it means in English.

Usually people don't use words which meaning they don't know

Well ... that'd be a lot more convincing if you hadn't just used a word incorrectly! (you typed which and mean whose).  Wink




Us inglish are watching your every move, Mike.  laugh
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« Reply #54 on: September 04, 2009, 08:45:34 PM »

Shalom again. OK for the questions about worship, asked by Andrew and Alpo:

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?

The Hebrew and Aramaic chanting is of the Masoretic text and the "Nestorian" Peshitta NT, using the pronunciation of the Yemenite Jews for the Hebrew and the Assyrian Church of the East for the Aramaic.

In my synagogue we use the Triennial Torah Parshot (lectionary) rather than the Annual one used by most Jews because it gives more flexibility for readings from the NT. We read from the Torah, Prophets, Gospels and Epistles every Shabbat and chant the Tehillim (Psalms). Readings from the Writings like Song of Songs or Revelation are only read on Feast days. We recite the Shema and the Lord's Prayer during every Shabbat service, currently the only "icons" to be found in our santuary are the Cross, the Fish, the Star of David, the Menorah, and the Name YHWH in paleo-Hebrew script. We have no chairs or pews, we sit on rugs - men on the right and women on the left, because when we do our "kneeling" prayers, we do so on all fours with our foreheads touching the ground. We enter the sanctury barefoot after washing our hands and feet. That's for the actual synagogue service, there is also of course the opening and closing services which are done in the home.

For our daily prayers, we pray the Lord's prayer 3 times per day and the recite the Shema twice a day, with appropriate Psalms for morning, evening and mealtimes. Before praying we recite hand washing blessings.

Some of the men do lay on teffilim but this is not mandatory because not everyone interprets "bind them to your forehead and right hand" literally. Since the Apostle Paul clearly said that it is the women who are to cover their heads, it is the women who wear tallit (prayer shawls/veils) with tzitzit (tassles on the four corners) on their heads. The men may wear them on their shoulders but not their heads, and they may not wear yarmulkes.

Very interesting. Thanks for answering. I'm surprised to see that the Messianics actually separate men and women. This is still practiced by the Oriental Orthodox Church and some Russian churches but most Christians have abandoned this practice. As also with the prostrations to the group which used to be a very large part of Eastern Orthodox practice but it's not done much anymore these days outside of Lent (and the introduction of pews has also been a problem) with the exception of Old Rite Churches who have stayed faithful to this old practice of doing prostrations during the Liturgy at appointed times. Prostrations are also commonly done in Oriental Churches and also with Ethiopians and I believe Coptics as well also remove their shoes when in church. I'm seeing similarities which I find fascinating and I see that the Nazarenes are using very traditional practices which were done in the early Church for example saying the Our Father three times which is written in the Didache and doing the other practices I have wrote about.

I am surprised by the practices that are kept at your synagogue. I wouldn't have guessed that such traditional practices are used the Messianic Jews. To be honest, my impression of Messianic Judaism was that it was just some Protestant thing where they wanted to be more Jewish and kind of adopted some Jewish practices but pretty much worshiped as Protestants with bands and some other weird stuff that really wouldn't resemble anything traditional. Such is my ignorance.

Now, I don't know if this was answered, is communion taken in Messianic temples? If so, do you believe in the actual presence of the Body and Blood of Our Lord in the Holy Mystery? In Orthodoxy, this is essential. Many Protestants believe it is only a symbol of the Body and Blood so what is the Messianic take on; it if it has one?

Thank you for answering these questions. I'm learning a lot about something I was very ignorant of before.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 08:46:05 PM by Andrew21091 » Logged
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« Reply #55 on: September 05, 2009, 02:47:14 PM »

I've never heard any English-speaker use the term without knowing what it means in English.

Usually people don't use words which meaning they don't know

Well ... that'd be a lot more convincing if you hadn't just used a word incorrectly! (you typed which and mean whose).  Wink




Us inglish are watching your every move, Mike.  laugh

Cheesy
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« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2009, 03:55:16 PM »

I've never heard any English-speaker use the term without knowing what it means in English.

Usually people don't use words which meaning they don't know

Well ... that'd be a lot more convincing if you hadn't just used a word incorrectly! (you typed which and mean whose).  Wink




Us inglish are watching your every move, Mike.  laugh

Cheesy

Yep, sorry, *puts on the pedant's cap* ;-)
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« Reply #57 on: September 06, 2009, 12:44:48 AM »


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.

I was just understanding how you felt Syrian Christianity compared to Messianic Judaism? If perhaps you identify with them much more closely than other stands of Christianity?
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« Reply #58 on: September 06, 2009, 12:49:49 AM »


and that your church's is looking for a Hebrew equivalent of the Western Rite Orthodox?

That would be awesome. Probably the Jewish liturgy completed with elements of the Syriac Liturgy of James.
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« Reply #59 on: September 06, 2009, 01:08:10 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.

I tend to agree. "Person" could just as easily be a translation of "prosopon", so it's not great to translate it as such.
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« Reply #60 on: September 06, 2009, 08:54:24 AM »

Shalom to all,


and that your church's is looking for a Hebrew equivalent of the Western Rite Orthodox?

That would be awesome. Probably the Jewish liturgy completed with elements of the Syriac Liturgy of James.

Awesome indeed! And yes we are certainly looking to incorporate elements from St. Jame's liturgy, and also the Anaphora of Addai & Mari. What we are basically looking to restore is the ancient Nazarene rite of Jerusalem, instituted by no doubt the then Bishop of Jerusalem - St. James. I'm not sure if we should necessarily classify it as "western", it did originate west of the Euphrates but there were Nazarenes in Mesopotamia and India too. When the temple was destroyed in 70 CE, most Nazarenes went east instead of west. This why I prefer to call it the "Hebraic rite", the classification being cultural instead of geographic.


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.

I was just understanding how you felt Syrian Christianity compared to Messianic Judaism? If perhaps you identify with them much more closely than other stands of Christianity?

Actually yes you are correct in your assumption, because Syrian Christianity is Semitic in custom and uses the language of Yeshua and His Apostles. So Syrian Christianity is our primary focuss, also because the Syrian church was predominantly Jewish for a longer period of time than the Greek church, which became predominantly gentile soon after St. John's death.




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« Reply #61 on: September 06, 2009, 04:27:47 PM »

Shalom to all,


and that your church's is looking for a Hebrew equivalent of the Western Rite Orthodox?

That would be awesome. Probably the Jewish liturgy completed with elements of the Syriac Liturgy of James.

I'm not sure if we should necessarily classify it as "western", it did originate west of the Euphrates but there were Nazarenes in Mesopotamia and India too. When the temple was destroyed in 70 CE, most Nazarenes went east instead of west. This why I prefer to call it the "Hebraic rite", the classification being cultural instead of geographic.

I think what he meant is make a Hebrew equivalent of the Western Rite that Orthodoxy has. The "Hebraic rite" wouldn't be like the Western Rite but it would have the same principle in the way since it would be another rite. There are Eastern Rite and Western and the Western is newer so ialmisry is saying that a "Hebraic rite" can also be established like the Western Rite was. The Orthodox Church also has the Old-Rite also. He's not saying that it would be like the Western-Rite since I think it would be quite different.
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« Reply #62 on: September 06, 2009, 04:49:56 PM »

Oh OK, now I understand.
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« Reply #63 on: September 07, 2009, 07:55:29 PM »


Awesome indeed! And yes we are certainly looking to incorporate elements from St. Jame's liturgy, and also the Anaphora of Addai & Mari. What we are basically looking to restore is the ancient Nazarene rite of Jerusalem, instituted by no doubt the then Bishop of Jerusalem - St. James. I'm not sure if we should necessarily classify it as "western", it did originate west of the Euphrates but there were Nazarenes in Mesopotamia and India too. When the temple was destroyed in 70 CE, most Nazarenes went east instead of west. This why I prefer to call it the "Hebraic rite", the classification being cultural instead of geographic.

Well, while those of the Assyrian Church of the East divide "East" and "West" according to the Euphrates, this is not so with most other Christian traditions. More typically it is understood that anything of the Western Roman Empire or west of it was Western Christianity, while anything of the Eastern Roman Empire or east of it was Eastern Christianity. A Hebraic rite, thus, would clearly be an Eastern rite because it originally developed within the Eastern Roman Empire. The person you were responding to was simply asking if it would be equivalent to the Western rites, in so far as it retains the independent liturgical rite while accepting the faith and practice of the Orthodox Church.


Actually yes you are correct in your assumption, because Syrian Christianity is Semitic in custom and uses the language of Yeshua and His Apostles. So Syrian Christianity is our primary focus

Then I would recommend that you study the Syriac Orthodox Church on top of the studies you are already doing of the Assyrian Church of the East.
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« Reply #64 on: September 07, 2009, 07:57:25 PM »


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

Are you still planning on making a post about Christology?

I'm particularly interested in this because Christology within Syrian Christianity is quite diverse.
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« Reply #65 on: September 16, 2009, 05:57:14 PM »

Well, while those of the Assyrian Church of the East divide "East" and "West" according to the Euphrates, this is not so with most other Christian traditions. More typically it is understood that anything of the Western Roman Empire or west of it was Western Christianity, while anything of the Eastern Roman Empire or east of it was Eastern Christianity.
A Hebraic rite, thus, would clearly be an Eastern rite because it originally developed within the Eastern Roman Empire.

Yes true, but the Nazarene understanding of east and west is actually derived from Scripture:

{Matthew 2:1} Now when Yeshua was born in Bet-Lekhem of Yehudah in the days of Herod the king, Magoshi came from the east to Jerusalem. (Peshitta)

{Revelation 16:12} And the sixth angel poured his bowl on the great river, Euphrates, and its water dried up to prepare the road for the kings from the east. (Peshitta)

Of course the NT was written before the Roman empire split into east and west, so back in the first century “the east” was the Persian empire which was east of the Euphrates. This was also the Jewish understanding before the first century and is still today, so I would say this is the traditional Jewish understanding of east and west and that's why we’ve chosen to keep it.

The person you were responding to was simply asking if it would be equivalent to the Western rites, in so far as it retains the independent liturgical rite while accepting the faith and practice of the Orthodox Church.

Oh I see. Well then in that case yes, that’s exactly what it will be.

Then I would recommend that you study the Syriac Orthodox Church on top of the studies you are already doing of the Assyrian Church of the East.

I will do so, this is one of the reasons I joined this forum. I also visit the ACE’s forum but I don’t post there as it’s not very bussy. The forum at peshitta.org (run of an ACE deacon) is also useful but the site manager disabled the registration link before I discovered it so I can’t post there, but this forum is more focussed on the Peshitta than on the ACE itself. And of course we can’t forget the Mar Toma Nasranis (St. Thomas Christians of India).


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

Are you still planning on making a post about Christology?

I'm particularly interested in this because Christology within Syrian Christianity is quite diverse.

I am though at the moment I’m struggling a bit to find the “words to say”. This has been a very sensitive issue throughout Church history, and I don’t want to treat it lightly. The thing I need everyone here to understand is that the average Nazarene Malpana (Aramaic for teacher, we only call Yeshua "Rabbi") are not as well versed in the Christological controversies as your average Orthodox Priest for two reasons:

1) The historical Nazarenes were not involved in the Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus or Chalcedon. By this time most Nazarenes were either killed or absorbed into the ACE and to a lesser extent the Roman Church. While the movement was still around during Jerome’s day it was basically almost extinct by this time. Modern Nazarenes are at the moment more concerned with Christian history pre-Constantine, when Jewish Christianity was still vibrant in the west (Roman empire) and predominant in the east (Persian empire). We want to deal with our own history first, before we do proper studies on the independent histories of our Gentile brethren.

2) Where Yeshua our Messiah is concerned, modern Nazarenes are primarily focussed on proving to the unbelieving Children of Abraham that He is the promised Messiah of Israel. Delving deep into the specifics of the Incarnation, and the relation between Messiah’s humanity and divinity is at the moment considered less important than demonstrating that He fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in the Tanakh.

What I can say for now is that our Christology resembles that of the ACE more than any other church. And so we, like them, confess that Yeshua the Messiah is both 100% man and 100% God, that He is one parsopa (person) who consists of 2 kyane (natures) which are preserved in their qnume.

Before I can properly go into detail on how Messiah’s humanity and divinity are united in His parsopa, I need to first talk about Yeshua’s eternal existence as the Miltha (Logos) of God from the Scripture of the Apostles – the writings of the Hebrew Prophets. In the next post (hopefully tomorrow) I will talk about the pre-Incarnate Miltha’s presence in the Tanakh as the “word of YHWH” and “arm of YHWH”. I apologise if I’m taking my time with this but I really want to try my best to properly represent how I understand our Saviour and King, and what He did for us, I will appreciate your patience.
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« Reply #66 on: October 09, 2009, 10:47:03 PM »

This is an interesting video.

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

What a beautiful buffet!  A dash of Talmudic Judaism, a drop of 'Charismatic' Protestantism, and presto:  a new religion.

If there were ever any astroturf, I believe Messianic Judaism would take the cake of being astroturf Christianity par excellence. It seems like they are trying to recreate the Church, but in Judaizer fashion. I thought Christianity was the fulfillment of Judaism? Does Messianic Judaism have any connection to the Church that Christ our Lord started? It just looks like as Alveus Lacuna alluded to some Protestant Christianity with lots of Jewish interpolations.

My prayers are for these people that they will come to know the Orthodox Church as the continuity of Judaism, not this invention, however well-meaning it may be.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #67 on: November 22, 2009, 01:06:49 AM »

Nazarene

What about the Eucharist ?

what do you believe about it ?

In Jesus and Mary

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« Reply #68 on: November 26, 2009, 04:51:26 AM »

This is an interesting video.

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

Yes, the video is interesting, especially the part about Messianic Jews' insistence on not being Christians.

Reading the New Testament, I've noticed that the apostles neither identified themselves as Christians nor addressed other believers as Christians. I've often wondered whether believers have hurt their witness to Jews by using the terms "Christian" and "Christianity." For the Old Testament nowhere predicts that the Messiah would start a new religion. Where in the New Testament do we read that Jesus or his apostles spoke of starting a new religion?

I've run into Jews who equate Jesus with the false prophet warned of in Deuteronomy 13:1-5. They acknowledge Jesus' miracles, but reject him for starting a new religion that they say leads people to depart from Torah and the true God.

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« Reply #69 on: November 26, 2009, 04:58:51 AM »

Oh OK, now I understand.

Nazarene, does your congregation have any policy on accepting or rejecting Bible translations? What versions of Scripture are preferred or rejected where you worship?
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« Reply #70 on: November 26, 2009, 05:03:04 AM »

This is an interesting video.

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

Yes, the video is interesting, especially the part about Messianic Jews' insistence on not being Christians.

Gee I wonder what they are then? The sure as sugar aren't Jews.
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« Reply #71 on: November 26, 2009, 05:52:55 AM »

Reading the New Testament, I've noticed that the apostles neither identified themselves as Christians nor addressed other believers as Christians. I've often wondered whether believers have hurt their witness to Jews by using the terms "Christian" and "Christianity." For the Old Testament nowhere predicts that the Messiah would start a new religion. Where in the New Testament do we read that Jesus or his apostles spoke of starting a new religion?

St. Luke tells us in the Acts of the Apostles that they were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26), and even the most skeptical of secular scholars date that text to the end of the first century, so the term "Christian" would have most likely been in use during the work of the Apostles themselves in the 40s or 50s, the period that the text is writing about.  It was a term applied externally intending to be pejorative, but it was embraced by the Jewish Christ-believers themselves as an identifier.  We all know that the church in Antioch dealt with the Judaizing of the Greeks and the blowup between Peter and Paul surrounding it, and even those communities in Antioch which St. Peter (Simon Bar-Jonah the Jew) founded embraced the term.

It wasn't a new "religion", whatever exactly any of us mean by that term, it was a new covenant (contract). Christ sure did talk about one of those:

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For this is my blood of the new testament (covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins - Matthew 26:28

As far as predictions about a new "religion", there are plenty of references to a new arrangement on the horizon:

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And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions... - Joel 2:28

Or the Lord's promise to Abraham:

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...and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you - Genesis 12:3

The old covenant was originally exclusively for the Jews, but from the beginning God planned to reveal Himself to the entire world through a new one.

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And he that sat upon the throne said: Behold, I make all things new. - Apocalypse 21:5

Don't forget that gospel itself means "good news", not "good olds."

Also, bear in mind that Christ did not come to cast away what came before, but to illuminate it and to fulfill it:

Quote
Think not that I have come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill - Matthew 5:17
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« Reply #72 on: November 26, 2009, 10:40:06 AM »

This is an interesting video.

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

Yes, the video is interesting, especially the part about Messianic Jews' insistence on not being Christians.

Gee I wonder what they are then? The sure as sugar aren't Jews.

Why is it that Jews who believe in Jesus must no longer be considered Jewish? In the New Testament, which I know you reject, the apostles still identified themselves as Jews and spoke the same of Jews who had also come to the same faith:

"If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified" (Galatians 2:14-16 NKJV).

"You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law ..." (Acts 21:20 NKJV).

When on trial, the apostle Paul let it be known that he was still a Pharisee: "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!" (Acts 23:6 NKJV).

It's inconsistent to regard Jewish believers as no longer Jewish, but not do the same with Jews who have drifted into atheism, paganism, or some other non-monotheistic religion.
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« Reply #73 on: November 26, 2009, 11:10:52 AM »

St. Luke tells us in the Acts of the Apostles that they were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26), and even the most skeptical of secular scholars date that text to the end of the first century, so the term "Christian" would have most likely been in use during the work of the Apostles themselves in the 40s or 50s, the period that the text is writing about.  It was a term applied externally intending to be pejorative, but it was embraced by the Jewish Christ-believers themselves as an identifier.  We all know that the church in Antioch dealt with the Judaizing of the Greeks and the blowup between Peter and Paul surrounding it, and even those communities in Antioch which St. Peter (Simon Bar-Jonah the Jew) founded embraced the term.

It wasn't a new "religion", whatever exactly any of us mean by that term, it was a new covenant (contract). ...

Thanks for these thoughts, which I agree with wholeheartedly. My concern is with sharing our faith in such a way as doesn't give potential converts the wrong idea. Nowadays Christianity is considered a religion different from and newer than Judaism. For some Jewish people I've met, that alone is sufficient reason to reject Jesus as the Messiah predicted in the TaNaKH. They also cringe to hear anyone speak of being under grace instead of under the law.

To be sure, our Lord introduced a new covenant, and the bread and wine served signaled a change to a priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek, who had brought out bread and wine for blessing Abraham (Genesis 14:18). I agree that the OT foretold an influx of Gentiles to the true faith, but no OT passage expressly says the Messiah would introduce a new religion.


Also, bear in mind that Christ did not come to cast away what came before, but to illuminate it and to fulfill it:

Quote
Think not that I have come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill - Matthew 5:17

Yes, we should emphasize Christ's fulfillment of the law. As St. Paul wrote, "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law" (Romans 3:31 NKJV).
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« Reply #74 on: November 26, 2009, 03:30:16 PM »

Shalom all

This is an interesting video.

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

What a beautiful buffet!  A dash of Talmudic Judaism, a drop of 'Charismatic' Protestantism, and presto:  a new religion.

Before I answer your posts I first need to mention that I have not watched the above mentioned video and won't be doing so as I'm "bandwidth challenged". If you want me to commet on online Messianic sources I would prefer web/blog pages instead of streaming media.

If there were ever any astroturf, I believe Messianic Judaism would take the cake of being astroturf Christianity par excellence. It seems like they are trying to recreate the Church, but in Judaizer fashion.

As I've stated previously I can't answer for everyone who calls themselves a "Messianic Jew". Modern Nazarenes (like myself) differ from mainstream "Messianic Jews" in that we are much more traditional and liturgical. We are not trying to "recreate the Church" or "restore the original faith which was lost" because it wasn't lost. What we really want is to restore the original practices of The Faith - specifically the 1st century practices of the Mother Church in Jerusalem, that's all. Some of these practices have been retained in Orthodoxy while others were abandoned or altered.

I thought Christianity was the fulfillment of Judaism?

Depends what you mean by "fulfillment". Christianity/Messianity/Nazarenism or whatever you call it (the Assyrian Church doesn't call it "Christianity" either btw) is the natural continuation of the original Faith of Abraham, Moses and the Prophets who all had Faith in the pre-Incarnate Messiah (the Arm & Word of YHWH). When something "moves into a new phase" so to speak, it means that changes will occur, but doesn't neccessarily mean that everything changes or that everything that was previously established is completely abolished:

{Hebrews 7:11-12} Therefore, if perfection is by way of the priesthood of Levi, by which the law was established for the people, why was it necessary that another priest should be raised up in the likeness of Melchisedec? Then he [would have] said, "He will be in the likeness of Aaron." But in the same way as a change took place in the priesthood, so a change also took place in the law.

Note the above passage says "a change" - singular. What was this change? Messiah's Crucifixion abolished the need Levitical Sacrificial system and therefore the need for the Levitical Priesthood, which in turn was permanently abolished when the Temple was destroyed in 70CE. But that does not neccessarily mean that the other ordaninces of the Torah have been abolished as not all the ordinances (like the dietry laws) are about atonement for sin. God moved into the "next phase" of His plan for mankind as He promised, however God's plan as a whole has not be completed yet - that will only happen when Messiah returns. We interpret "Messiah fulfilled the Law" to mean that He fulfilled that Sacrificial laws of the Torah, but that He fulfilled all the Law? Not yet, as He Himself said:

{Matthew 5:17-18} Do not think that I have come to break down the Torah or the Prophets. I have not come to break [them] down, but to fulfill [them]. For assuredly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one stroke will pass from the law until everything happens.

If Messiah had fulfilled all of the Torah in 70CE there would be no point for Him to come a 2nd time now would there? While the Sacrificial laws of the Torah have been abolished by the Cross the rest of the Torah will only be abolished after the Final Judgement, cause if the Torah has been completley abolished then on what grounds will Messiah judge the unbelieving living and dead? Again this is why the Feasts of YHWH in particular are still so important to Nazarenes, we celebrate "what is to come" will just as much enthusiasm as we celebrate "what has come to pass". This is something most Protestants simply refuse to even try to understand, thankfully most Orthodox Christians I've met have been a lot more open minded regarding this.

Does Messianic Judaism have any connection to the Church that Christ our Lord started? It just looks like as Alveus Lacuna alluded to some Protestant Christianity with lots of Jewish interpolations.

Some of the practices done in mainstream Messianic Judaism were practiced in the 1st century Church but others weren't, that's all I can say on the matter.

My prayers are for these people that they will come to know the Orthodox Church as the continuity of Judaism, not this invention, however well-meaning it may be.

In Christ,
Andrew

Orthodoxy would need to reistate the original practices it abandoned and restore the ones it altered to their original forms in order to truely claim that it's the "continuity of Judaism" like it used to be.

This is an interesting video.

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

Yes, the video is interesting, especially the part about Messianic Jews' insistence on not being Christians.

Reading the New Testament, I've noticed that the apostles neither identified themselves as Christians nor addressed other believers as Christians.

That has been my observation too, though they had no problem with the label per se...

{1 Peter 4:16} But if he suffers as a Christian, he should not be ashamed, but he should glorify God in this name.

...it wasn't what they called themselves, no:

{Acts 24:5} For we have found this man to be one who is corrupt and stirs up uproar among all the Judeans in all the land. For he is a leader of the doctrine of the Nazarenes

They called themselves Nazarenes and this is why:

{John 15:5-7} I am the vine and you [are] the branches. He who remains in me and I in him, this [one] will bring much fruit, because without me you are not able to do anything. Now except a man remains in me, he is thrown outside like a branch that has withered and they gather and place it in the fire that it may burn. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, whatever you want to ask, you will have.

The Hebrew word netzar means "branch", so those who are in Messiah are Netzarim.

I've often wondered whether believers have hurt their witness to Jews by using the terms "Christian" and "Christianity."

Admittedly "Christian" and "Christianity" are terms with much negative baggage, while this shouldn't be so, the fact is it is so, much of Church history is indeed an embarresment. The Church has no one to blame but herself for her past wrongs against the Jews and other non-Christians, while the Church has done much good in this world she has also shed a lot of blood, fallen prey to prejudice, pride and corruption. Isn't it rather amazing that with outreach the Church has had the least success among the natural descendents of Abraham (both the sons of Isaac & Ishmael)?

Certain Fathers and Reformers are known for anti-Semitic statements - let's call it what is is ok - hate speech. Yes slander is a sin too (I'm sure that more than a few here know what the Greek word diavolos literally means!), and to be frank I see far too much slander against the Jews by Orthodox Christians. "But they've slandered the Church too" well that's their business with God, and they have a veil over their eyes, Christians should know better, so what's their excuse? Constructive criticism is justified, slandering is never justified under any circumstances.

For the Old Testament nowhere predicts that the Messiah would start a new religion.

Correct.

Where in the New Testament do we read that Jesus or his apostles spoke of starting a new religion?

Nowhere.

I've run into Jews who equate Jesus with the false prophet warned of in Deuteronomy 13:1-5. They acknowledge Jesus' miracles, but reject him for starting a new religion that they say leads people to depart from Torah and the true God.

I don't blame them for feeling this way but this is why I encourage them to discover Yeshua for themselves - the embodiment of true Christianity is Messiah Himself. Truth be told if it wasn't for Yeshua and Yeshua alone I would'nt be a Christian. Christians have let me down and will continue to let me down (and I'm not perfect either I let people down too sometimes) but Messiah will never let me down, and it's this Faith that gives me the strength to carry on loving and trusting my brethren in Messiah as flawed as they are and no matter how much I disagree with them at times. Because while we can't trust people (even Christians), we still have to. While the Church is indeed the most pathetic institution on the planet (and has been for most of her history, especially with her relationship to the Jews), I'll give her this much - she knows this and confesses this every Sunday and humbly continues to ask "Lord have mercy on us sinners".

Oh OK, now I understand.

Nazarene, does your congregation have any policy on accepting or rejecting Bible translations? What versions of Scripture are preferred or rejected where you worship?

For liturgical use during services we only use Hebrew & Aramaic texts and English translations of those texts. The Qasha (elder) will read the Bible in Hebrew or Aramaic then verbally interpret the verse into English line by line, like what is done in most Orthodox Jewish Synagogues. We have provided our own English translations of the prayers, hymns and Parshot (lections), so we don't use any of the commercial Bible translations during our liturgy. Our English translations read similar Dr. Everet Fox's translation of the Torah (The Five Books of Moses) because his translation is a very rythmic and rhetorical translation of the Hebrew which is perfect for liturgical use, this is why we've used it for inspiration. You have to see it to understand what I mean, but it's the closest you'll get in English for a real poetic feel of the Hebrew, though we haven't retained his excessive use of hyphenated phrases.

For lay study we have no objections to any English translation as long as it's not based on the Alexandrian texts (like the NIV) or translated by a one-man-band cultist (eg: Lamsa's translation).

This is an interesting video.

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

Yes, the video is interesting, especially the part about Messianic Jews' insistence on not being Christians.

Gee I wonder what they are then? The sure as sugar aren't Jews.

Define what a "Jew" is.

Nazarene

What about the Eucharist ?

what do you believe about it ?

In Jesus and Mary

Altar Server

Eucharist means to "give thanks" and we are to give thanks to our Father everyday in whatever we do:

{Philippians 4:6} Do not be distressed about anything, but at all times, by prayer and by petition and with thanksgiving, your requests should be made known before God.

BUT how we give thanks depends on what we are thanking God for. Like Orthodox Christians we thank God for saving us from sin and death by sending His Son to die for us both weekly and annually in two special ceremonies. Our equivalent to the weekly Orthodox Eucharist in which we partake of the Body and Blood of Messiah is the Havdalah ceremony from which the weekly Orthodox Eucharist derives. Our annual ceremony is of course the Feast of Pesakh/Paskha which is more elaborate.

The Havdalah ceremony begins sometime after sunset on Saturday evening and can sometimes carry on into the early hours of Sunday morning:

{Acts 20:7} And on the first day of the week when we were assembled to break [the bread of] communion, Paul spoke with them, because the next day he was going to leave and he continued to speak until the middle of the night.

Our weekly Shabbat Siddur (liturgy) occurs on Saterday mornings so the Havdalah doesn't immediately follow. Only baptized members may partake of Holy Communion. We do not perform our Eucharistic meal in the same room in which we perform our "liturgy of the word", we do so in another room which has been consecrated for this purpose. Before we enter the room we perform ritual cleansing, remove our shoes and the women cover their heads. We stand around the table and the ceremony opens with the Shamasha (Deacon) leading the pre communion prayer. We then sit and the Qasha (Elder) blesses the bread loaf (unleavend) and the wine (must be homemade not store bought) by reciting the Eucharistic prayer (Anaphora). The Qasha then takes the bread loaf, tears off a piece and passes the loaf around and we all tear pieces off. Then the Qasha says "This is my body that is given for your sakes. This do for my remembrance," and we consume our pieces of the Body. The Qasha then pours the wine into a large cup and says "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do so, whenever you drink, for my rembrance", then he takes a sip, passes the cup around and we all take sips of the Blood. We stand and close with the Shamasha leading the post communion prayer and exit the room.

After communion we usually make our way to the fellowship hall for snacks and refreshments, on some nights we'll have dinner as a congregation, and activities for the kids, prayer meetings and Bible study classes, depending on how many people come to the service.
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« Reply #75 on: November 26, 2009, 04:54:16 PM »

Shalom all

This is an interesting video.

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

What a beautiful buffet!  A dash of Talmudic Judaism, a drop of 'Charismatic' Protestantism, and presto:  a new religion.

Before I answer your posts I first need to mention that I have not watched the above mentioned video and won't be doing so as I'm "bandwidth challenged". If you want me to commet on online Messianic sources I would prefer web/blog pages instead of streaming media.

Nazarene, thanks for your lengthy reply. Since you can't view the video, which concerned Messianic Jews in Israel, I should tell you that the Israeli announcer insulted our Lord and us believers by calling our Messiah "Yeshu." People at this forum may not realize it, but the acronym YESHU is a curse:

http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/yeshu

I hope you and all the other posters are having a Happy Thanksgiving.
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« Reply #76 on: November 26, 2009, 05:04:07 PM »

I am too ignorant to comment properly on that video, but is it not possible that someone made a mistake and put 'Yeshu' when they meant 'yeshua'? I don't quite understand.
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« Reply #77 on: November 26, 2009, 05:13:56 PM »

I am too ignorant to comment properly on that video, but is it not possible that someone made a mistake and put 'Yeshu' when they meant 'yeshua'? I don't quite understand.

Please don't feel ignorant. We're all learning. The announcer was not ignorant. He opened by identifying our Messiah as "Yeshu," then said the Messianic Jews call Him "Yeshua."

By the way, the correct response to this curse is to use the name "Yeshua" so that it will be evident that our Messiah's name is not going to be blotted out from memory.
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« Reply #78 on: November 26, 2009, 06:50:27 PM »

Shalom all

This is an interesting video.

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

What a beautiful buffet!  A dash of Talmudic Judaism, a drop of 'Charismatic' Protestantism, and presto:  a new religion.

Before I answer your posts I first need to mention that I have not watched the above mentioned video and won't be doing so as I'm "bandwidth challenged". If you want me to commet on online Messianic sources I would prefer web/blog pages instead of streaming media.

Nazarene, thanks for your lengthy reply. Since you can't view the video, which concerned Messianic Jews in Israel, I should tell you that the Israeli announcer insulted our Lord and us believers by calling our Messiah "Yeshu." People at this forum may not realize it, but the acronym YESHU is a curse:

http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/yeshu

I hope you and all the other posters are having a Happy Thanksgiving.

I'm seeing red Angry but as our dear Master says: "pray for those who persecute you", so may YHWH have mercy on him.

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« Reply #79 on: November 27, 2009, 10:44:04 AM »

Nazarene,  I am wondering which Nazarene group you belong to that are your headquarters or leadership?  From my understanding there are several groups that call themselves Nazarene in the messianic community.  Please note that I am not looking for your parish location, just the Nazarene group.
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« Reply #80 on: November 27, 2009, 03:23:03 PM »

I'm not sure what you mean by group. Are you referring to an estblished organization like the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America? We're not associated with any of these groups and have no headquarters, we are just (at the moment) a small network of Nazarene synagogues & individuals around the world with no presence on the web in the form of an official website or blog. (BTW my congregation is not based in the US or Israel). I wish I could point you to some informative online source which best represents our beliefs and practices and so far all I've managed to find is this one: http://www.natzraya.org/, it needs updating but so far from what I've read this is group is the closest to match mine.
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« Reply #81 on: November 27, 2009, 03:29:51 PM »

I'm not sure what you mean by group. Are you referring to an estblished organization like the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America? We're not associated with any of these groups and have no headquarters, we are just (at the moment) a small network of Nazarene synagogues & individuals around the world with no presence on the web in the form of an official website or blog. (BTW my congregation is not based in the US or Israel). I wish I could point you to some informative online source which best represents our beliefs and practices and so far all I've managed to find is this one: http://www.natzraya.org/, it needs updating but so far from what I've read this is group is the closest to match mine.

Thank you.  I was just wondering how mainstream you were or if you were a start  up group of some sorts to get a better handle of your faith. 
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« Reply #82 on: November 27, 2009, 04:46:08 PM »

I'm not sure what you mean by group. Are you referring to an estblished organization like the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America? We're not associated with any of these groups and have no headquarters, we are just (at the moment) a small network of Nazarene synagogues & individuals around the world with no presence on the web in the form of an official website or blog. (BTW my congregation is not based in the US or Israel). I wish I could point you to some informative online source which best represents our beliefs and practices and so far all I've managed to find is this one: http://www.natzraya.org/, it needs updating but so far from what I've read this is group is the closest to match mine.

Thank you.  I was just wondering how mainstream you were or if you were a start  up group of some sorts to get a better handle of your faith. 

You're welcome. Were not very mainstream and we try to avoid it as much as we can because many mainstream Messianics are starting to embrace heresies like polygamy and Arianism. We do want to eventually form a Beit Din (Episcopate), but right now it's more important for us to form a common liturgy and witness to the Jews. The Apostles started slowly too, with one thing at a time. While Messianics in general are doing the right thing (going back to their "Hebrew roots") they are doing it the wrong way. Just like they don't agree with everything in gentile Christianity, neither do we, but are willing to approach the Orthodox Church for assistance in discovering our ancient customs.
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« Reply #83 on: November 27, 2009, 04:51:57 PM »

While Messianics in general are doing the right thing (going back to their "Hebrew roots") they are doing it the wrong way. Just like they don't agree with everything in gentile Christianity, neither do we, but are willing to approach the Orthodox Church for assistance in discovering our ancient customs.

Couldn't you also say that you're robbing Her of the treasures which She alone has preserved?
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« Reply #84 on: November 27, 2009, 05:46:30 PM »

While Messianics in general are doing the right thing (going back to their "Hebrew roots") they are doing it the wrong way. Just like they don't agree with everything in gentile Christianity, neither do we, but are willing to approach the Orthodox Church for assistance in discovering our ancient customs.

Couldn't you also say that you're robbing Her of the treasures which She alone has preserved?

Couldn't you say that your Greco-Roman pagan (physical) ancestors robbed these treasures from us (your spiritual ancestors) and mass murdered us by the thousands, and therefore you didn't directly receive them from us but from them?

Couldn't you say the while you have preserved many of these treasures, you haven't preserved them all because you thought it some were "Judaizing junk", and ones you have preserved include ones that are not in their original form?

Couldn't you say that the fact that most Nazarenes of the Roman empire fled to the east not west, cause at least there we wouldn't be killed not only for our faith but for our ethnicity too, and because the church there was still predominently Jewish and less tollerant of "fresh out paganism Antisemitic amatures" at the time, that therefore the Assyrian Church of the East has preserved more of these treasure (unaltered) than you have?

Couldn't you say that the earth is and all that is within belongs to God, and the right to live for God through the example of His son belongs to all?

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« Reply #85 on: November 27, 2009, 07:14:51 PM »

While Messianics in general are doing the right thing (going back to their "Hebrew roots") they are doing it the wrong way. Just like they don't agree with everything in gentile Christianity, neither do we, but are willing to approach the Orthodox Church for assistance in discovering our ancient customs.

Couldn't you also say that you're robbing Her of the treasures which She alone has preserved?

Couldn't you say that your Greco-Roman pagan (physical) ancestors robbed these treasures from us (your spiritual ancestors) and mass murdered us by the thousands, and therefore you didn't directly receive them from us but from them?

a) To say that you'd have to ignore the Biblical testimony--you know, where St. Peter (and company), at the direct command of the Most High, offer the Gospel to the Gentiles. Can't have stolen what was freely offered.
b) Your group has been around less than a century. The only connection you have to the first-century Jews who founded the Church is conceptual ("we want to be like them"). If you wish to engage in your historical restorationist project that's your business. But to claim some sort of ancestry for your modern group to the two-thousand year old Orthodox Church which can be objectively traced, both physically and historically (even if you reject the doctrinal and sacramental linkage), to that original gathering at Pentecost just makes you sound like an idiot.
(c) a bit to the side, but why are you assuming that someone who posts here has physical 'Greco-Roman' ancestors?)

Quote
Couldn't you say the while you have preserved many of these treasures, you haven't preserved them all because you thought it some were "Judaizing junk", and ones you have preserved include ones that are not in their original form?

Couldn't you say that the fact that most Nazarenes of the Roman empire fled to the east not west, cause at least there we wouldn't be killed not only for our faith but for our ethnicity too, and because the church there was still predominently Jewish and less tollerant of "fresh out paganism Antisemitic amatures" at the time, that therefore the Assyrian Church of the East has preserved more of these treasure (unaltered) than you have?

Ahistorical. Though I suppose I shouldn't be surprised given the ahistorical nature of your entire project.
The major migration of the Jews occurred after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. It's pretty obvious why a significant number (majority?) would choose to head out of the Roman Empire to rejoin the Jewish communities of Babylon and Persia which had been there since the Babylonian captivity--but it had nothing to do with moving away from non-Jewish Christians (who were as subject to Roman persecution as Jews at that time) or the 'Jewish nature of the church there'--since in 70 AD, they were bringing the Church with them, not the other way around.
The Church of the East didn't separate from the rest of the Church until 400 years laters, after the Council of Ephesus. At which point the 'non-Jewish' churches they were separate from (like Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, etc) had all been Christian for three-and-a-half- centuries. If you recognize the extension of the gospel to gentiles at all, calling those Churches 'fresh out of paganism' at that point is nearly as ridiculous as your claim to 'spiritual ancestry' to Churches founded by the Apostles.
And by the way, the split with the Church of the East is fairly well documented--and I would imagine you would have a very hard time finding any contemporary Churchman who thought the issue was how "Jewish" the Church of the East was or the rest of the Church was not.


Quote
Couldn't you say that the earth is and all that is within belongs to God, and the right to live for God through the example of His son belongs to all?

Where did Alveus question your right 'to live for God'. What he questioned was your stated intention/desire to cherry-pick from the Apostolic Tradition preserved in our Church.
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« Reply #86 on: November 27, 2009, 07:28:42 PM »

While Messianics in general are doing the right thing (going back to their "Hebrew roots") they are doing it the wrong way. Just like they don't agree with everything in gentile Christianity, neither do we, but are willing to approach the Orthodox Church for assistance in discovering our ancient customs.

Couldn't you also say that you're robbing Her of the treasures which She alone has preserved?

How can such treasures be robbed? You surely refer to intangible things - surely, the only way to 'take' these would be to become Orthodox? Or do you in fact believe that many people may 'carry away' the same historical understanding and beliefs that Orthodox holds, whilst not being Orthodox themselves?

I don't understand how what Nazarene describes could diminish you. From your point of view, isn't the re-discovery of your ancient customs by someone so far removed from your faith, rather like someone going to a well and carrying away an empty pitcher under the impression that it contains water?

(Nazarene, I'm not intending to comment on your faith, only wondering how Alveus comes to his position)
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« Reply #87 on: November 27, 2009, 09:29:03 PM »

Couldn't you say that your Greco-Roman pagan (physical) ancestors robbed these treasures from us (your spiritual ancestors) and mass murdered us by the thousands, and therefore you didn't directly receive them from us but from them?


Not my "Spiritual Ancestor".. Not every Orthodox Christian is a Gentile

I think you begin from a healthy motivation, to be like the Original Church. In the past, other groups with the same motivation learned that the Original Ancient Church still exists. Once you are faced with that fact, there is no need for a separate group of any kind.

In Christ we are neither Jew nor Greek.
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« Reply #88 on: November 28, 2009, 07:45:12 PM »

a) To say that you'd have to ignore the Biblical testimony--you know, where St. Peter (and company), at the direct command of the Most High, offer the Gospel to the Gentiles. Can't have stolen what was freely offered.

I don't know how you got the impression that I'm denying that the Gospel was meant to go to the gentiles. That said at the same time you can't deny the Biblical testimony that the Gospel is meant to go to the Jews first:

{Matthew 10:5-6} Yeshua sent these twelve and commanded them and said, "Do not go on the road of the heathens and do not enter the cities of the Samaritans. But go rather to the sheep that are lost from the house of Israel.

{Romans 1:16} For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the gentiles.

That is the blueprint for sharing the Gospel which the Apostles followed both at Pentecost (there were no pagans at that event just Jews and converts to Judaism, from all over the world not just the Roman empire) and when they went on missions to the Roman and Persian empires (their first stop was always the Jewish synagogues, unless there were no Jewish synagogues in the location).

Everyone has the right to be given the opportunity to choose eternal life, including the Jews. But the Jews are the first point of call, that is how the Most High said it's to be done. He said go into the world and make disciples of all men of all nations, he did not say sit and wait for them to come to you. How much active outreach has the Orthodox Church done amongst the Jews throughout it's history? How much is it doing now? When I read your history, I see very little of this. Instead I see many of your saints engaging in theological debate with Jews, not for the purpose of helping them to "see the light" but solely to bash them by telling them that they're "lost Judaizing scum who are hated by God", thereby cultivate hatred in their hearts. I see many of your saints forbidding Christians from having any contact with Jews - and so countless opportunities have gone wasted, and therefore countless souls have gone lost as a result. And don't get me started with the continous slander against the Jews which is still found among many Orthodox Christians today, again I refer to the literal English translation of the Greek word diavolos - so if one slanders who are they immitating? Gentile Christianity has made the biggest contribution in pushing the Jews further and further away from God - that is the truth.

Let me tell you why Nazarenes believe that the Most High said the Gospel is to go to the Jews first:

The Gospel is especially significant for Jews because YHWH divorced His wife Israel for "playing the harlot". Because He divorced her she cannot remarry Him, she commits adultery if she does. But YHWH loves His wife and He wanted to take her back, in fact He promised to take her back. But how could He do this without violating His own commandments? There was only one way, a divorced woman cannot remarry without committing adultery, unless her husband had died. Did Israel's husband die? Yes He did, and because of this she is now free to remarry Him if she so chooses. The Rabbis argue that Gospel violates the Torah, but the truth is the Gospel is the only way through which the Jews can become "YHWH's people" again, the only way they (as broken branches) can be regraphted into the Olive Tree. For the gentiles the Gospel is good news, but for the Jews it's excellent news - love the Jews and tell them that their loving husband has fulfilled His promise to them, it's not too late. "Shout it from the rooftops", where they take it from there is up to them. Paul understood this, this is what Paul meant when he said:

{Romans 3:31}  Therefore, do we make the Torah of none effect by faith [in the Gospel]? Let it not be so! Rather, we establish the Torah [by sharing the Gospel].

Don't keep making the same mistakes too many of your fathers made, don't slander the Jews or disrespect their traditions, don't get into useless theological debates with them. Rather go to them by doing what Paul did here:

{1 Corinthians 2:1-2} And my brothers, when I came to you, I declared to you the mystery of God, not with excellent speech nor with wisdom.  And I did not judge myself among you as though I knew anything, except Yeshua Meshikha and him crucified.

b) Your group has been around less than a century. The only connection you have to the first-century Jews who founded the Church is conceptual ("we want to be like them"). If you wish to engage in your historical restorationist project that's your business.

I'm not the one who started this thread of interogation, I'm just answering your questions. I don't mind this but it's starting to distract me from the purpose I joined this forum - to research the Hebrew roots of ancient Christian worship. But this hasn't discouraged me enough to abandon my mission and leave the forum. This thread was inactive for weeks before the discussion was resumed, and that's what I've been doing for the rest of time and what my main focuss is.

But to claim some sort of ancestry for your modern group to the two-thousand year old Orthodox Church which can be objectively traced, both physically and historically (even if you reject the doctrinal and sacramental linkage), to that original gathering at Pentecost just makes you sound like an idiot.

Who say's I'm rejecting the Orthodox Church's historical, doctrinal and sacramental linkage to the original gathering at Pentecost? Of course the first members of the Greco-Roman Christian communities were Jews who were at that gathering. Same goes for the first members of the Egyptian, Ethiopian, Armenian, Palestinian, Persian, and Indian Christian communities. But is that to say that you have preserved all the Apostolic Traditions EXACTLY as you received them? Your history proves you haven't, you've made changes in the form of additions, subtractions and alterations. And these changes started happening when the power of the Greco-Roman church started shifting from the Jews to the gentiles.

(c) a bit to the side, but why are you assuming that someone who posts here has physical 'Greco-Roman' ancestors?)

"Greco-Roman" is a popular secular term for the Roman empire before it split, because it was legally Roman and culturally Greek. The Orthodox Church being the Church of Constantinople, the Byzantine rite, is the Greco-Roman Church. My use of "Greco-Roman" is geographical (the regions controlled by the Romans), I am not referring to ethnicity, I'm well aware that the Greco-Roman world, and later the Byzantine empire were ethnically mixed. BTW I'm half Greek, so I also have Greco-Roman pagan ancestors.

Quote
Couldn't you say the while you have preserved many of these treasures, you haven't preserved them all because you thought it some were "Judaizing junk", and ones you have preserved include ones that are not in their original form?

Couldn't you say that the fact that most Nazarenes of the Roman empire fled to the east not west, cause at least there we wouldn't be killed not only for our faith but for our ethnicity too, and because the church there was still predominently Jewish and less tollerant of "fresh out paganism Antisemitic amatures" at the time, that therefore the Assyrian Church of the East has preserved more of these treasure (unaltered) than you have?

Ahistorical. Though I suppose I shouldn't be surprised given the ahistorical nature of your entire project.
The major migration of the Jews occurred after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. It's pretty obvious why a significant number (majority?) would choose to head out of the Roman Empire to rejoin the Jewish communities of Babylon and Persia which had been there since the Babylonian captivity--but it had nothing to do with moving away from non-Jewish Christians (who were as subject to Roman persecution as Jews at that time) or the 'Jewish nature of the church there'--since in 70 AD, they were bringing the Church with them, not the other way around.

I'm not talking about the Jews but about the Nazarenes - I said the majority of Nazarenes went east rather than west - and this is proven by the fact that the only church outside of Israel that was ever known as Nazarenes is the Church of the East, look it up. Not all Nazarenes were of Jewish descent (ethnically) many were gentile proselytes to Judaism before the embraced Messiah, and many gentile Christians (converts from paganism) also went eastwords to escape persecution. Yes we preferred to go to Persia, not only to escape persecution and Antisemtism, but also because our gentile brethren in the Greco-Roman world were giving us less and less support and compromising more and more with the pagans for the sake of survival, eventually to the extent where the Antisemitism of the pagans rubbed off onto the Greco-Roman gentile churches. The Persian church wouldn't experience persecution for another 300 years so, and up to that point it was still predominetly Jewish because the majority of converts there for the first 300 years were converts from Judaism, the Gospel didn't appeal much to the Zoroastrians.

Compromise with paganism was a major issue in the churches of the Greco-Roman world almost from day one, to the extent where the Apostles themselves had to address it numerous times (eg: 1 Corinthians, Colossians, Revelation 2-3), and after the death of the last Apostle the problem just got bigger. In 230CE Tertullian wrote:

"By us who are strangers to Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia are now frequented, with gifts being carried to and fro."

According to Tertullian gentile Christians had become "strangers" to the Jewish traditions of the Apostles by his time, and "now" took part in the pagan Greco-Roman festivals. The only way this could've happened is with compromise, or are you going to tell me that Messiah and the Apostles observed these feasts and were "strangers" to the Feasts of YHWH? This is what I meant about the Orthodox Church "abandoning" some Apostolic Traditions and "adding" traditions which are not Apostolic in origin.

The Church of the East didn't separate from the rest of the Church until 400 years laters, after the Council of Ephesus. At which point the 'non-Jewish' churches they were separate from (like Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, etc) had all been Christian for three-and-a-half- centuries. If you recognize the extension of the gospel to gentiles at all, calling those Churches 'fresh out of paganism' at that point is nearly as ridiculous as your claim to 'spiritual ancestry' to Churches founded by the Apostles.

And by the way, the split with the Church of the East is fairly well documented--and I would imagine you would have a very hard time finding any contemporary Churchman who thought the issue was how "Jewish" the Church of the East was or the rest of the Church was not.

If I want to know the history and teachings of the Church of the East I will ask them about it because it's their history and their teachings and they will always know it better than any outsider who studies it can ever hope to. Likewise if I want to know the history and teachings of the Ethiopian church, I'll ask the Ethiopians, and so on and so on. You would end up with a very distorted view about the RCC if you confine yourself exclusively to the writings of their rivals like the Protestants. You cannot be objective if you refuse to break out of your own little universe, and we are all guilty of forming our own little universes, aren't we? You have to interpret the writings of other churches from their perspective not your own, because it's their writings not yours, otherwise you will forever remain biased and a biased scholar is not a good scholar.

This "fairly well documented" split as it is explained by the west, is utterly rejected by the COE. The COE is persistant that they never split from the western Church, as they were never under the subjection of the western Church to begin with. They may have formally declared their independence at the Synod of Markataba, but this declaration was nothing more than an affirmation of the independence they have always enjoyed. It's their history, their story to tell, so let them tell it:

Quote from: Paul Younan
Shlama Akhan Abudar,

I'm assuming you're referring to this quote:

Quote
Commonly referred to as the Church of the East, this community at first remained in communion with the churches of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. Yet, it grew under the watchful eyes of the Sassanid Persians — followers of the prophet Zoroaster — who suspected the church of harboring loyalties to Byzantium.

Yes, we very frequently encounter it. Unfortunately if what is implied by "remained in communion" with the other Churches meant any sort of jurisdictional/ecclesiastical authority...then of course that is simply a fabrication of history. It's hard for the West to imagine that a completely independent (jurisdictional speaking) branch of the Church existed from the Apostolic days. It does not fit in well with how they have written the history of Christianity.

However if what is meant by "remained in communion" is that we considered every other Christian a part of the One Church, then absolutely yes. That remains the case even till today where any baptized Christian, no matter who, is welcomed at the communion meal as part of the CoE himself/herself.

All depends on what they mean by "communion."[/url]

Quote
Couldn't you say that the earth is and all that is within belongs to God, and the right to live for God through the example of His son belongs to all?

Where did Alveus question your right 'to live for God'. What he questioned was your stated intention/desire to cherry-pick from the Apostolic Tradition preserved in our Church.

I don't know about "cherry-picking" Apostolic Tradition but I do know the following, which even your clergy and scholars admit to:

1) not all your traditions are Apostolic in origin
2) you have not kept all the Traditions of the Apostles, you have abandoned some of them
3) not all the Apostolic Traditions which you have kept are in their original forms, you altered some of them

I have no interest in why you've added other traditions, dropped certain traditions or altered some traditions, but the fact is you did. I and other Nazarenes are only interested in the following:

1) only including Traditions of Apostolic origin preserved by the EO, OOs, RCC & COE into our liturgical rite
2) reinstating the Traditions of Apostolic origin which the EO, OOs, RCC & COE have abandoned
3) restoring the Apostolic Traditions which the EO, OOs, RCC & COE has altered to their original forms, or failing that, their most ancient forms.

That's all.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 07:48:42 PM by Nazarene » Logged
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« Reply #89 on: November 28, 2009, 08:10:54 PM »

(Nazarene, I'm not intending to comment on your faith, only wondering how Alveus comes to his position)

No worries. Since it's Alvenus position only he/she can answer how he/she came to this position.

Couldn't you say that your Greco-Roman pagan (physical) ancestors robbed these treasures from us (your spiritual ancestors) and mass murdered us by the thousands, and therefore you didn't directly receive them from us but from them?


Not my "Spiritual Ancestor".. Not every Orthodox Christian is a Gentile

I think you begin from a healthy motivation, to be like the Original Church. In the past, other groups with the same motivation learned that the Original Ancient Church still exists. Once you are faced with that fact, there is no need for a separate group of any kind.

In Christ we are neither Jew nor Greek.

Well our intention is not to form a separate group but a distinct group, i.e that Nazarenes are "separate" from the EOs the way the OOs are "separate" from EOs. All I've been talking about this whole time is a liturgical rite, one that is specifically designed to serve all the needs of Jewish converts, not only because we are very active in Jewish outreach but also because as a whole more Jews are embracing the Gospel now than in the past 1700 years or so. I'm afraid liturgically speaking the EO, OOs and even the COE all fall short, the COE comes the closest. There are plenty of Jews who have converted to EO, but there are plenty more who won't because they want Hebrew and Aramaic, they want to hear the Torah and Prophets read every Shabbat, they want to celebrate the Feasts of YHWH, i.e. they want do worship EXACTLY as the ancient Nazarenes worshipped - they don't want the changes that the EO has made. Someday we would eventually like to have the Episcopate of the circumcision reinstated, but it's unlikely that it will happen before Messiah returns, but that's fine because the liturgy is more important.
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