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Author Topic: A question for protestants...  (Read 26850 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: February 09, 2010, 04:54:14 PM »

So is the ecumenical view a new one, or can it be shown to be a historical position of your church?
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« Reply #46 on: February 09, 2010, 04:59:37 PM »

So is the ecumenical view a new one, or can it be shown to be a historical position of your church?
Very good question. I would like to know the answer.
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« Reply #47 on: February 10, 2010, 12:37:57 AM »

Here is the position of the COE from its catechism:

Quote
[Question]10)   How does this (i.e. the unity of the Church) reconcile the manifold differences within the Apostolic Traditions (Church), such as that of Rome, Greece, Armenia, Antioch, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Seleucia/Ctsiphon, etc?

These Apostolic Traditions within the One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic Church on the face, or primary appearance, would indicate separateness but in fact they are not; these identities are the result of understanding the revelation of our worshipful God and merciful Lord Jesus Christ within their national and traditional experience. This for certain does affect differences. These differences, which appear to be divisive, are not so!  They do not prevent any Apostolic Church from being a vital part of the spiritual oneness of The Church of Christ.  They are under One Head (Jesus Christ), of One Spirit of faith and grace. This unity is fully expressed, visually, by the unity of the Nicene Creed and by communion in prayer and Sacraments.  The beauty of the Apostolic Church is the room for the people of various ethnic colors to worship the Living God in their tradition and familiar settings.  Therefore, these varied differences are not the weakness of the Apostolic Church, but, rather, they are considered the richness and beauty of The Holy Apostolic Catholic Church.

 

[Question]11)  Is there unity between the earthly Church and the Heavenly Church?

YES!  Without doubt through the unity in communion with the One Head, Jesus Christ, and in communion with one another;  “for we being many, are One Bread, and One body, for we are all partakers of that One Bread . . .”  (I Cor 10:17)


That Catechism was written by the way by a Jewish priest (Qasha). The COE even accepts Protestants as Christians (though in private I have heard many priests saying that protestants have departed too much from the faith).
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« Reply #48 on: February 10, 2010, 03:19:48 AM »

That is self-evident: any group the Apostles through laying on of hands appointed as their successors is part of the apostolic Church. Human beings cannot undo what Heaven did and it is imprudent to assume that the Messiah would deliver the Keys that loose and bind to those who would not use them responsibly AS A COLLECTIVE. This is the stance of the COE, that the Patriarchs of the Orthodox, the RCC, the COE, etc. understood the Gospel within certain cultural and social perspectives unique to them.

Can you cite a source for this from each of the groups listed? (I know you listed the catechism of the COE. The COE tends to be very ecumenical in nature. I would like to see documentation from the RCC, EOC, and OOC.)

Thank you.
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« Reply #49 on: February 10, 2010, 04:34:15 AM »

Here is the position of the COE from its catechism:

Quote
[Question]10)   How does this (i.e. the unity of the Church) reconcile the manifold differences within the Apostolic Traditions (Church), such as that of Rome, Greece, Armenia, Antioch, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Seleucia/Ctsiphon, etc?

These Apostolic Traditions within the One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic Church on the face, or primary appearance, would indicate separateness but in fact they are not; these identities are the result of understanding the revelation of our worshipful God and merciful Lord Jesus Christ within their national and traditional experience. This for certain does affect differences. These differences, which appear to be divisive, are not so!  They do not prevent any Apostolic Church from being a vital part of the spiritual oneness of The Church of Christ.  They are under One Head (Jesus Christ), of One Spirit of faith and grace. This unity is fully expressed, visually, by the unity of the Nicene Creed and by communion in prayer and Sacraments.  The beauty of the Apostolic Church is the room for the people of various ethnic colors to worship the Living God in their tradition and familiar settings.  Therefore, these varied differences are not the weakness of the Apostolic Church, but, rather, they are considered the richness and beauty of The Holy Apostolic Catholic Church.

 

[Question]11)  Is there unity between the earthly Church and the Heavenly Church?

YES!  Without doubt through the unity in communion with the One Head, Jesus Christ, and in communion with one another;  “for we being many, are One Bread, and One body, for we are all partakers of that One Bread . . .”  (I Cor 10:17)


That Catechism was written by the way by a Jewish priest (Qasha). The COE even accepts Protestants as Christians (though in private I have heard many priests saying that protestants have departed too much from the faith).

When was this catechism written?
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« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2010, 02:13:29 AM »

This Egnlsi hcatechism is quite new. This is the first catechism ever written in English (except I believe maybe one written by Mar Shimun a long time ago which I can't find the link to). The COE never had any formal catechism for centuries actually (this English catechism I showed is actually a very new thing), though in personal experience I have seen certain decrements used as catechisms informally (ie: the Marganitha of Mar Odisho).
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« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2010, 12:59:03 AM »

Sorry of the spelling btw. I meant "English Catechism".
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« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2010, 08:55:12 PM »

My heart's sad at all this division made by protestants, and the pope,
I wish I was in the one holy catholic and apostolic church.
My mom should have baptized me roman catholic, but no, she didn't raise me on her roman catholic faith.
Later these protestants came and lied about my mother's church, I feel deceived, but now I see the true light, but I can't decide which one of the two catholic churches, God this would be a lot easier if they were one, personally I prefer the roman culture, but the faith....
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« Reply #53 on: February 17, 2010, 07:35:58 AM »

Getting back to the original question, having read some of the posts and glanced at others, may I say three things?

1) I am forming an ever-strengthening impression that the Orthodox Church no more has its roots in the first century early church than we Baptists do, but rather that the characteristics of Orthodox church order and theologising developed in the second century, finding their first hints in Ignatius, and developed through Irenæus and Justyn etc as writers and then councils contributed down to the 4th century and beyond. I find no problem with the fact that Baptist churches, historically, began in the early 17th century, as it is the theology and practice of the early church we aim to recover, not historical continuity of an organisation. Since you assign enormous importance to historical continuity, and we accord it none, we are often discussing different matters when we think we are debating the same issue. Personally, I have no problem believing that your organisation does indeed stretch back unbrokenly to some churches founded by some apostles in the first century; it is not something you need to belabour with us, for we (or at least, I) readily concede it. The difference is that you see it as important in establishing where true Christian congregations are, and we don't.

2) The posts by Cleopas and Rosehip leave me with little or nothing to add up to this point. They have expressed it well.

3) Sadly, some posts seem to be written in a disrespectful, even sarcastic, style, which fails to commend the argument they are trying to persuade us of.
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« Reply #54 on: February 17, 2010, 08:49:38 AM »

Sadly, some posts seem to be written in a disrespectful, even sarcastic, style, which fails to commend the argument they are trying to persuade us of.
Sad but true of this and many internet forums. I always try to keep in mind that people on forums are not representative of their respective churches, cultures etc.
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« Reply #55 on: February 17, 2010, 09:10:17 AM »

1) I am forming an ever-strengthening impression that the Orthodox Church no more has its roots in the first century early church than we Baptists do, but rather that the characteristics of Orthodox church order and theologising developed in the second century, finding their first hints in Ignatius, and developed through Irenæus and Justyn etc as writers and then councils contributed down to the 4th century and beyond. I find no problem with the fact that Baptist churches, historically, began in the early 17th century, as it is the theology and practice of the early church we aim to recover, not historical continuity of an organisation. Since you assign enormous importance to historical continuity, and we accord it none, we are often discussing different matters when we think we are debating the same issue. Personally, I have no problem believing that your organisation does indeed stretch back unbrokenly to some churches founded by some apostles in the first century; it is not something you need to belabour with us, for we (or at least, I) readily concede it. The difference is that you see it as important in establishing where true Christian congregations are, and we don't.

I hear what your saying, David. It certainly does seem difficult to me to reconstruct the, say for example ministerial structure, of the New Testament Church. However the question for me is, even if the threefold ministry of bishop, priest and deacon as we know it today was not to come into existence until the second or third century, it was still the Church (couldn't we even say without controversy- especially this early on- the Holy Spirit in the Church) that made the decision to adopt this structure. Why reject the threefold ministry just because you don't feel it's undeniably obvious from Scripture. If the Church decided that's what's best isn't that good enough. I can understand that there may conceivably be a reason to change that sort of thing. But is it a good enough reason for someone to seperate from their Bishop?

I think it's a difference between putting tradition "in the dock" and giving it the benefit of the doubt.

Quote
3) Sadly, some posts seem to be written in a disrespectful, even sarcastic, style, which fails to commend the argument they are trying to persuade us of.
I'm sorry and I hope I haven't offended you.
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« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2010, 09:29:28 AM »

Let me add that the problem appears to me to be various Protestant groups trying to reconstruct the NT Church which assumes that they can better interpret the NT teachings better than those who received them from the Apostles themselves- or at least that somewhere along the line very early the Church Catholic misinterpreted what was passed down to it. Doesn't it make sense when you look at it like that why those with an organic connection to the apostles would be suspicious of groups who showed up 1500 years later saying that they had the right interpretaion of that Tradition instead?

I feel I'm not articulating myself very well. 
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« Reply #57 on: February 17, 2010, 10:12:53 AM »

Getting back to the original question, having read some of the posts and glanced at others, may I say three things?

1) I am forming an ever-strengthening impression that the Orthodox Church no more has its roots in the first century early church than we Baptists do, but rather that the characteristics of Orthodox church order and theologising developed in the second century, finding their first hints in Ignatius, and developed through Irenæus and Justyn etc as writers and then councils contributed down to the 4th century and beyond. I find no problem with the fact that Baptist churches, historically, began in the early 17th century, as it is the theology and practice of the early church we aim to recover, not historical continuity of an organisation. Since you assign enormous importance to historical continuity, and we accord it none, we are often discussing different matters when we think we are debating the same issue. Personally, I have no problem believing that your organisation does indeed stretch back unbrokenly to some churches founded by some apostles in the first century; it is not something you need to belabour with us, for we (or at least, I) readily concede it. The difference is that you see it as important in establishing where true Christian congregations are, and we don't.
You, however, have yet to demonstrate that it is not important.  For one thing, where did you get that Bible?  And it leaves hanging, for example, the question why St. Paul would tell St. Titus to set up bishops/presbyters in every city.  But besides that, that Bible claims that hell will not prevail against the Church (His words): how is it that your church has survived from the 17th century till now, while the one Christ founded, according to your claims didn't make it past the 1st century?  You speak of first hints in the likes of St. Ignatius, who knew the Apostles: since they are the ones who the NT was written to and for, and who canonized it, on what can you stand?  You cannot trash your evidence and stand on it at the same time.
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« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2010, 10:53:35 AM »

To me, the key to the enterprise is the Bishops. We know from the writings of St Ignatius that the bishops were considered the key to the Church while the Apostles were still living. The bishops were needed to continue the ministry of the Apostles after they moved on or died. And as he wrote, without the bishop there is not even the name of a Church. Bishops require physical continuity, hence the extreme emphasis on it.

We don't seek to reconstruct the first century Church, because it no longer can exist. The Apostles are in heaven. So, we seek to follow the Apostles' successors as the first century Church did when they moved into the second century and beyond.

The problem is, Protestants read the New Testament in a way that applies everything said about Apostles (bishops) to all Christians, which is taking it all out of context. I have a book written by a prominent megachurch personality that explicitly instructs us to read the passage about binding and loosing to mean that all Christians can make new interpretations of scripture. But that's wrong. The Apostles were not the proto-laity, they were the proto-bishops.

If the office and unique authority of the bishop was acknowledged by Protestants, many other things would fall into place by necessity. But in the Protestant reading of the Bible, all Christians are bishops (effectively, if not in name).
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« Reply #59 on: February 17, 2010, 11:23:42 AM »

To me, the key to the enterprise is the Bishops. We know from the writings of St Ignatius that the bishops were considered the key to the Church while the Apostles were still living. The bishops were needed to continue the ministry of the Apostles after they moved on or died. And as he wrote, without the bishop there is not even the name of a Church. Bishops require physical continuity, hence the extreme emphasis on it.

I don't think St. Ignatius speaks of "Apostolic Succession."  If you know of a passage in which he does, please correct me.  He does speak of it as an essential office, as does also the plain language of the NT: translating "episkopos" as "overseer" doesn't get around that fact.

St. Ignatius' earlier colleague, St. Clement of Rome, who also knew the Apostles and was installed by them, does make Apostolic succession quite clear.  The letters of St. Clement and St. Ignatius, taken together (and only a decade, if that, seperates them, and St. Clement writes while the last of the NT still needed to be written, hence why his epistle was included in some canons) teach the sum of what the Orthodox believe on the episcopacy today.  There's a reason for that: we'll be celebrating that reason this Sunday. Cheesy

Quote
We don't seek to reconstruct the first century Church, because it no longer can exist.

Anymore than someone looks like his baby picture all his life.  The Orthodox Church is the 1st century Church in the 21st century.

Quote
The Apostles are in heaven. So, we seek to follow the Apostles' successors as the first century Church did when they moved into the second century and beyond.

The problem is, Protestants read the New Testament in a way that applies everything said about Apostles (bishops) to all Christians, which is taking it all out of context. I have a book written by a prominent megachurch personality that explicitly instructs us to read the passage about binding and loosing to mean that all Christians can make new interpretations of scripture. But that's wrong. The Apostles were not the proto-laity, they were the proto-bishops.

If the office and unique authority of the bishop was acknowledged by Protestants, many other things would fall into place by necessity. But in the Protestant reading of the Bible, all Christians are bishops (effectively, if not in name).
Not only that, but a Protestant reading requires ignoring the explicit designation of the office of bishop as an office set apart (in 1 Timothy) and the assertions of authority throughout the NT by the Apostles and their exhortations (e.g. in Timothy and Titus) for their hand picked (and hand laid) successors to exert their authority.

So, I'd be interesting in knowing what our protestants do with the office of bishop in the NT?
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« Reply #60 on: February 17, 2010, 12:50:18 PM »

To me, the key to the enterprise is the Bishops. We know from the writings of St Ignatius that the bishops were considered the key to the Church while the Apostles were still living. The bishops were needed to continue the ministry of the Apostles after they moved on or died. And as he wrote, without the bishop there is not even the name of a Church. Bishops require physical continuity, hence the extreme emphasis on it.

I don't think St. Ignatius speaks of "Apostolic Succession."  If you know of a passage in which he does, please correct me.  He does speak of it as an essential office, as does also the plain language of the NT: translating "episkopos" as "overseer" doesn't get around that fact.

St. Ignatius' earlier colleague, St. Clement of Rome, who also knew the Apostles and was installed by them, does make Apostolic succession quite clear.  The letters of St. Clement and St. Ignatius, taken together (and only a decade, if that, seperates them, and St. Clement writes while the last of the NT still needed to be written, hence why his epistle was included in some canons) teach the sum of what the Orthodox believe on the episcopacy today.  There's a reason for that: we'll be celebrating that reason this Sunday. Cheesy


Ah, you're right. Thank you for the correction and pointing out St Clement, who I often forget about. That only makes Orthodox ecclesiology more clear!

As was pointed out in another thread about Protestantism, it's shocking how much value some Protestants put in deducing the Jewish roots of Christianity, while they completely ignore the teachings of the early Church on such basic matters.

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So, I'd be interesting in knowing what our protestants do with the office of bishop in the NT?

As would I!
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« Reply #61 on: February 17, 2010, 01:02:44 PM »

To me, the key to the enterprise is the Bishops. We know from the writings of St Ignatius that the bishops were considered the key to the Church while the Apostles were still living. The bishops were needed to continue the ministry of the Apostles after they moved on or died. And as he wrote, without the bishop there is not even the name of a Church. Bishops require physical continuity, hence the extreme emphasis on it.

I don't think St. Ignatius speaks of "Apostolic Succession."  If you know of a passage in which he does, please correct me.  He does speak of it as an essential office, as does also the plain language of the NT: translating "episkopos" as "overseer" doesn't get around that fact.

St. Ignatius' earlier colleague, St. Clement of Rome, who also knew the Apostles and was installed by them, does make Apostolic succession quite clear.  The letters of St. Clement and St. Ignatius, taken together (and only a decade, if that, seperates them, and St. Clement writes while the last of the NT still needed to be written, hence why his epistle was included in some canons) teach the sum of what the Orthodox believe on the episcopacy today.  There's a reason for that: we'll be celebrating that reason this Sunday. Cheesy


Ah, you're right. Thank you for the correction and pointing out St Clement, who I often forget about. That only makes Orthodox ecclesiology more clear!

As was pointed out in another thread about Protestantism, it's shocking how much value some Protestants put in deducing the Jewish roots of Christianity, while they completely ignore the teachings of the early Church on such basic matters.

Quote
So, I'd be interesting in knowing what our protestants do with the office of bishop in the NT?

As would I!

Has anyone done any studies of the 'Jewish' meaning of the word we translate as Bishop/Elder? Perhaps that would lend some insight as to how Protestants interpret it's meaning and role in the pre-Imperial Church... ?
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« Reply #62 on: February 17, 2010, 01:52:11 PM »

To me, the key to the enterprise is the Bishops.

Yes, I think you are right. Indeed, the late Michael Harper (alejhi wa salaam) left Evangelicalism and became an Orthodox priest mainly for that reason, if I understood his book aright. I get the idea he is by no means the only person to have been persuaded of Orthodoxy because of the argument regarding episcopacy.

The point which someone raised, about appointing bishops in every town, tells in our favour, not yours, for we believe that a "bishop" is the same as an "elder", and the church in every town should have them: the church is a local thing in its community, and its bishop/elder(s) will have no jurisdiction or authority beyond the local church.
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« Reply #63 on: February 17, 2010, 06:38:19 PM »

To me, the key to the enterprise is the Bishops.

Yes, I think you are right. Indeed, the late Michael Harper (alejhi wa salaam) left Evangelicalism and became an Orthodox priest mainly for that reason, if I understood his book aright. I get the idea he is by no means the only person to have been persuaded of Orthodoxy because of the argument regarding episcopacy.

The point which someone raised, about appointing bishops in every town, tells in our favour, not yours, for we believe that a "bishop" is the same as an "elder", and the church in every town should have them: the church is a local thing in its community, and its bishop/elder(s) will have no jurisdiction or authority beyond the local church.

Interesting. I never thought about it quite that way before.

Originally that was the case, and ideally there would be a bishop in every city. However, with all the schisms and Orthodoxy's relatively new appearance (or re-introduction) in the West, there is not the infrastructure for that right now. So we are forced to compromise by having a few bishops with massive dioceses.

However, that only answers the administrative side. What about Apostolic Succession, and by it, the guarantee that all bishops (and therefore parishes) are in communion with each other and believe and teach the same things?
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« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2010, 12:23:35 AM »

To me, the key to the enterprise is the Bishops.

Yes, I think you are right. Indeed, the late Michael Harper (alejhi wa salaam) left Evangelicalism and became an Orthodox priest mainly for that reason, if I understood his book aright. I get the idea he is by no means the only person to have been persuaded of Orthodoxy because of the argument regarding episcopacy.

The point which someone raised, about appointing bishops in every town, tells in our favour, not yours, for we believe that a "bishop" is the same as an "elder",

They are (Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5-7 ).

Quote
and the church in every town should have them:

They do: they are called priests, derived from the Chorbishops.  SS. Clement and Igantius write at a time when every town that had Christians had a bishop or chorbishop, and yet they still speak of the priests/presbyters, making the three fold ordained hiearchy.


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the church is a local thing in its community, and its bishop/elder(s) will have no jurisdiction or authority beyond the local church.

How do you explain Acts 15?

As we point out to the Vatican, the episcopacy is an ontological whole, and a bishop is a bishop is a bishop.  How the members of the episcopacy organize themselves is a different matter.  In Acts 20 St. Paul sends to Ephesus for the bishops there to come to him at Miletus. Why?  Because Ephesus was the capital of Asia, and its bishops ruled the province accordingly.
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« Reply #65 on: February 18, 2010, 12:29:20 AM »

To me, the key to the enterprise is the Bishops. We know from the writings of St Ignatius that the bishops were considered the key to the Church while the Apostles were still living. The bishops were needed to continue the ministry of the Apostles after they moved on or died. And as he wrote, without the bishop there is not even the name of a Church. Bishops require physical continuity, hence the extreme emphasis on it.

I don't think St. Ignatius speaks of "Apostolic Succession."  If you know of a passage in which he does, please correct me.  He does speak of it as an essential office, as does also the plain language of the NT: translating "episkopos" as "overseer" doesn't get around that fact.

St. Ignatius' earlier colleague, St. Clement of Rome, who also knew the Apostles and was installed by them, does make Apostolic succession quite clear.  The letters of St. Clement and St. Ignatius, taken together (and only a decade, if that, seperates them, and St. Clement writes while the last of the NT still needed to be written, hence why his epistle was included in some canons) teach the sum of what the Orthodox believe on the episcopacy today.  There's a reason for that: we'll be celebrating that reason this Sunday. Cheesy


Ah, you're right. Thank you for the correction and pointing out St Clement, who I often forget about. That only makes Orthodox ecclesiology more clear!

As was pointed out in another thread about Protestantism, it's shocking how much value some Protestants put in deducing the Jewish roots of Christianity, while they completely ignore the teachings of the early Church on such basic matters.

Quote
So, I'd be interesting in knowing what our protestants do with the office of bishop in the NT?

As would I!

Has anyone done any studies of the 'Jewish' meaning of the word we translate as Bishop/Elder? Perhaps that would lend some insight as to how Protestants interpret it's meaning and role in the pre-Imperial Church... ?

Why would you research the Jewish meaning of the word when Paul's letters were written in Greek?
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« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2010, 02:51:21 AM »

David, I'm sorry if my comments offended you. I should have known you weren't the typical "rapture ready" protestant the moment I saw you quote John Wellesley. It's not like you believe "Truth Triumphant- the Church in the wilderness":

http://www.godrules.net/library/wilkinson/wilkinson.htm


to be an accurate description of Ecclesiastical history. My apologies to you and also to Cleopas.  
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« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2010, 02:51:22 AM »

To me, the key to the enterprise is the Bishops. We know from the writings of St Ignatius that the bishops were considered the key to the Church while the Apostles were still living. The bishops were needed to continue the ministry of the Apostles after they moved on or died. And as he wrote, without the bishop there is not even the name of a Church. Bishops require physical continuity, hence the extreme emphasis on it.

I don't think St. Ignatius speaks of "Apostolic Succession."  If you know of a passage in which he does, please correct me.  He does speak of it as an essential office, as does also the plain language of the NT: translating "episkopos" as "overseer" doesn't get around that fact.

St. Ignatius' earlier colleague, St. Clement of Rome, who also knew the Apostles and was installed by them, does make Apostolic succession quite clear.  The letters of St. Clement and St. Ignatius, taken together (and only a decade, if that, seperates them, and St. Clement writes while the last of the NT still needed to be written, hence why his epistle was included in some canons) teach the sum of what the Orthodox believe on the episcopacy today.  There's a reason for that: we'll be celebrating that reason this Sunday. Cheesy


Ah, you're right. Thank you for the correction and pointing out St Clement, who I often forget about. That only makes Orthodox ecclesiology more clear!

As was pointed out in another thread about Protestantism, it's shocking how much value some Protestants put in deducing the Jewish roots of Christianity, while they completely ignore the teachings of the early Church on such basic matters.

Quote
So, I'd be interesting in knowing what our protestants do with the office of bishop in the NT?

As would I!

Has anyone done any studies of the 'Jewish' meaning of the word we translate as Bishop/Elder? Perhaps that would lend some insight as to how Protestants interpret it's meaning and role in the pre-Imperial Church... ?

Why would you research the Jewish meaning of the word when Paul's letters were written in Greek?

The NT was written in Aramaic according to the Holy Catholic Apostolic Assyrian Church of the East, and its compatriots in the different patriarchates of Antioch. The word Bishop in Hebrew is "Nasi" (also means Prince). The function of a Nasi is analogous to that of a Bishop in the OC, RCC, COE, etc. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem had a Nasi before 135 A.D. by the way (he was deposed when Jerusalem fell a second time). Why are you so anxious to consult outside the Church for information on a key authority of the Church? Don't you see this is dangerous? Why are you so interested in establishing what the rabbis believe in while denying the authority of the Church founded by the Apostles?

If Apostolic succession is not important, Jesus wouldn't have re-affirmed his semikha (the rabbinic equivalent of Apostolic succession) while debating the pharisees :

If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.

Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.

He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me.

You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

“I do not receive honor from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive."

John 5:31-43
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« Reply #68 on: February 18, 2010, 02:51:22 AM »

Quote
The Bishop’s powers are noted within the pages of the Sacred Scriptures in St Paul’s letter to Titus, the Bishop in Crete, these words of instruction, “ . . . for this cause I left you in Crete, that you should set in order they that are wanting and ordain qashishe (elders/priests) in every city where there is a need, as I have commanded to you . . .” (Titus 1:5) It is written by the same Apostle Paul to the young Bishop Timothy: “ . . . do not lay hands hastily upon any man, neither be a partaker of other men’s sin, keep yourself pure . . .” (I Tim 5:22)
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« Reply #69 on: February 18, 2010, 12:10:56 PM »

To me, the key to the enterprise is the Bishops. We know from the writings of St Ignatius that the bishops were considered the key to the Church while the Apostles were still living. The bishops were needed to continue the ministry of the Apostles after they moved on or died. And as he wrote, without the bishop there is not even the name of a Church. Bishops require physical continuity, hence the extreme emphasis on it.

I don't think St. Ignatius speaks of "Apostolic Succession."  If you know of a passage in which he does, please correct me.  He does speak of it as an essential office, as does also the plain language of the NT: translating "episkopos" as "overseer" doesn't get around that fact.

St. Ignatius' earlier colleague, St. Clement of Rome, who also knew the Apostles and was installed by them, does make Apostolic succession quite clear.  The letters of St. Clement and St. Ignatius, taken together (and only a decade, if that, seperates them, and St. Clement writes while the last of the NT still needed to be written, hence why his epistle was included in some canons) teach the sum of what the Orthodox believe on the episcopacy today.  There's a reason for that: we'll be celebrating that reason this Sunday. Cheesy


Ah, you're right. Thank you for the correction and pointing out St Clement, who I often forget about. That only makes Orthodox ecclesiology more clear!

As was pointed out in another thread about Protestantism, it's shocking how much value some Protestants put in deducing the Jewish roots of Christianity, while they completely ignore the teachings of the early Church on such basic matters.

Quote
So, I'd be interesting in knowing what our protestants do with the office of bishop in the NT?

As would I!

Has anyone done any studies of the 'Jewish' meaning of the word we translate as Bishop/Elder? Perhaps that would lend some insight as to how Protestants interpret it's meaning and role in the pre-Imperial Church... ?

Why would you research the Jewish meaning of the word when Paul's letters were written in Greek?
Because Jews wrote in Greek. Hence the LXX.

Yes studies have been done. For some:
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Volume 2 By Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich
http://books.google.com/books?id=4ziBMYrak5gC&pg=PA614&dq=%E1%BC%90%CF%80%CE%AF%CF%83%CE%BA%CE%BF%CF%80%CE%BF%CF%82+New+Testament+theological+dictionary&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false
see also on the laying on of hands
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semikha

There's more, which I had intended to post in these threads, but didn't get around to it:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19095.0.html
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19811.0.html
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« Reply #70 on: February 18, 2010, 01:15:32 PM »

My apologies to you and also to Cleopas.  

No problem!
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Someone asked how we understand Acts 15. What is it about Acts 15 that you'd like our thoughts on?

By the way, I'm away for a few days from tomorrow morning, so you won't get a quick reply.
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« Reply #71 on: February 18, 2010, 02:23:10 PM »

My apologies to you and also to Cleopas.  

No problem!
 Smiley

Someone asked how we understand Acts 15. What is it about Acts 15 that you'd like our thoughts on?

If this were true
Quote
the church is a local thing in its community, and its bishop/elder(s) will have no jurisdiction or authority beyond the local church.
Then Antioch would have solved the issue themselves, instead of going up to Jerusalem for a ruling.
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« Reply #72 on: February 18, 2010, 06:43:48 PM »

If this were true
Quote
the church is a local thing in its community, and its bishop/elder(s) will have no jurisdiction or authority beyond the local church.
...then Antioch would have solved the issue themselves, instead of going up to Jerusalem for a ruling.

It's a matter of where you start from. I guess if one believes in episcopacy in what I am suggesting is its 2nd century meaning (i.e. yours!), then you are right; if one assigns what I am saying is its 1st century meaning (the Baptist position) to the title "bishop/overseer/elder", there is no problem with a representative council of local men, from a wide area, gathering to seek God's mind on an issue which faces (or is likely soon to face) the church as a whole.

This is, of course, more a debate between Orthodox and Baptist/Congregational/Brethren/AoG principles than between Orthodox and Protestants as a whole. A lot of Evangelicals are Episcopalian, or (like Methodists) have a connexional system, whilst others run on a Presbyterian system of church government (which I have never fathomed, as there are very few Presbyterians in England).

Have a good few days, y'all. I'm off to York, and shall post no more replies for some days.
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« Reply #73 on: February 18, 2010, 07:11:48 PM »

It's a matter of where you start from....  its 1st century meaning (the Baptist position)

Either this is an anachronism (since the Baptist tradition dates from 1606) or a case of Baptist successionism.  I guess we'll have to wait until he returns from York to find out. 

Godspeed, Mr. Young.
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« Reply #74 on: February 18, 2010, 08:08:56 PM »

It's a matter of where you start from....  its 1st century meaning (the Baptist position)

Either this is an anachronism (since the Baptist tradition dates from 1606) or a case of Baptist successionism.  I guess we'll have to wait until he returns from York to find out.

LOL. No, we don't.

Quote
Godspeed, Mr. Young.
I hope the weather in York is better than here.
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« Reply #75 on: February 18, 2010, 08:45:36 PM »

If this were true
Quote
the church is a local thing in its community, and its bishop/elder(s) will have no jurisdiction or authority beyond the local church.
...then Antioch would have solved the issue themselves, instead of going up to Jerusalem for a ruling.

It's a matter of where you start from.
We start from Pentacoast and ya'll start from John Smyth's Separation, so I guess you are right.

Quote
I guess if one believes in episcopacy in what I am suggesting is its 2nd century meaning (i.e. yours!),

St. Clement wrote in the 1st century, so you are misdating.  And since St. Ignatius was plainly not 7 when he wrote his epistles, he is 1st century (and Apostolic, like St. Clement) as well.

Quote
then you are right; if one assigns what I am saying is its 1st century meaning (the Baptist position)

LOL.  Too bad the Apostles (or for that matter, anyone in the 1st century) didn't assign it that meaning.  At least what seems to be that meaning (nonmeaning) to it.  But not to put words in your mouth, what exactly does the 21st century Baptist mean by "bishop/overseer/elder"

Quote
to the title "bishop/overseer/elder", there is no problem with a representative council of local men, from a wide area, gathering to seek God's mind on an issue which faces (or is likely soon to face) the church as a whole.

The problem is that it wasn't a representative council of local men, from a wide area: the Apostles (Apostles, mind you) SS Peter, Paul and Barnabas passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, but no representative from there goes up to Jerusalem.  St. James makes a judgement (judgement, mind you), he does not take a vote.  The Apostles of Antioch receive the judgement, which is made not only to Antioch, but Syria and Cilicia as well (i.e. the area that would become Antioch's jurisdiction at her autocephaly).  That they sought God's mind is not debated. What is, is their authority to enforce God's mind on the matter.

Quote
This is, of course, more a debate between Orthodox and Baptist/Congregational/Brethren/AoG principles than between Orthodox and Protestants as a whole. A lot of Evangelicals are Episcopalian, or (like Methodists) have a connexional system, whilst others run on a Presbyterian system of church government (which I have never fathomed, as there are very few Presbyterians in England).

Since no Protestant orders are recognized, for us you all are pretty much in the same boat.

Quote
Have a good few days, y'all. I'm off to York, and shall post no more replies for some days.
Enjoy.
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« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2010, 10:33:14 PM »

We start from Pentacoast
Which coast of the US is that?
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« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2010, 11:38:07 PM »

It's a matter of where you start from. I guess if one believes in episcopacy in what I am suggesting is its 2nd century meaning (i.e. yours!), then you are right; if one assigns what I am saying is its 1st century meaning (the Baptist position) to the title "bishop/overseer/elder", there is no problem with a representative council of local men, from a wide area, gathering to seek God's mind on an issue which faces (or is likely soon to face) the church as a whole.

What a daring hypothesis!  My cheeks are positively flushed!

Seriously though, I could have sworn I heard some similar restorationist rhetoric from some other group.  Who was that again?

Oh, yeah:



Somewhere else too, but they predate the Baptists and their ideas by about eight centuries.  Here we go:

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« Reply #78 on: February 19, 2010, 01:04:38 AM »

I won't take this thread anymore off track talking about my lineage, I just have to share that I found an amazing website that tracks my lineage all the way back to AD 555.  I am the descendant of many French kings!  Unbelievable!
I had a baptist friend, who said herself to be a descendant of a french king.I wonder why so many people claim to be descendants of French kings, if you still speak French you'll understand this, Vive le Roi.
but that's great man, the farthest I got was to a Spanish Knightly Order, Spanish knights.
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« Reply #79 on: February 19, 2010, 01:13:06 AM »

I won't take this thread anymore off track talking about my lineage, I just have to share that I found an amazing website that tracks my lineage all the way back to AD 555.  I am the descendant of many French kings!  Unbelievable!
I had a baptist friend, who said herself to be a descendant of a french king.I wonder why so many people claim to be descendants of French kings, if you still speak French you'll understand this, Vive le Roi.
but that's great man, the farthest I got was to a Spanish Knightly Order, Spanish knights.

As a claim it's easy to make.  Let's face it, those french kings got around.
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« Reply #80 on: February 19, 2010, 01:42:21 AM »

We start from Pentacoast
Which coast of the US is that?
Both Alexandria and Antioch are on the Mediterranean.
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« Reply #81 on: February 19, 2010, 07:10:55 AM »

We start from Pentacoast
Which coast of the US is that?
Both Alexandria and Antioch are on the Mediterranean.
Cheesy
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« Reply #82 on: February 19, 2010, 02:02:00 PM »

I won't take this thread anymore off track talking about my lineage, I just have to share that I found an amazing website that tracks my lineage all the way back to AD 555.  I am the descendant of many French kings!  Unbelievable!
Not really, considering the promiscuity of most of the French kings. I think just about every French person has some royalty in them.
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« Reply #83 on: February 19, 2010, 04:59:06 PM »

I won't take this thread anymore off track talking about my lineage, I just have to share that I found an amazing website that tracks my lineage all the way back to AD 555.  I am the descendant of many French kings!  Unbelievable!
I had a baptist friend, who said herself to be a descendant of a french king.I wonder why so many people claim to be descendants of French kings, if you still speak French you'll understand this, Vive le Roi.
but that's great man, the farthest I got was to a Spanish Knightly Order, Spanish knights.
I am jealous!
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« Reply #84 on: February 22, 2010, 05:41:04 PM »

the farthest I got was to a Spanish Knightly Order, Spanish knights.

1. Never mind! My grandmother's lot used to own a castle in Scotland, and were among the first to swear fealty to the English king in the 1200s. Not sure whether that's good or bad.  Wink

2. Thank you. The weather in York was lovely sunshine on Saturday, and heavy snow on Sunday.

3. No, my use of the word Baptist to refer to the 1st century meaning was not an anachronism: what I meant was, that today, twenty centuries later, we Baptists use the words bishop, overseer or elder in the sense they had in the first century, whereas you use the word bishop in the sense which developed in the second century. I was not suggesting we could trace our history back to the first century - though I did once read a pamphlet which argued that, in the early church period, all churches were Strict and Particular Baptist. (But I shan't argue for that: I wouldn't persuade you anyway!)

We believe that our beliefs were around in the first century and yours developed later: which is exactly what you believe the other way round. We'll probably all go to our graves thinking the same, but at least we may have gained a better understanding of each other.
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« Reply #85 on: February 23, 2010, 11:08:37 PM »



twenty centuries later, we Baptists use the words bishop, overseer or elder in the sense they had in the first century, whereas you use the word bishop in the sense which developed in the second century.
This is still an anachronism, friend.  The usage of those words that you all use did not develop until you all developed it, a millennium and a half after the first century (give or take a few years).  You have absolutely no basis, whatsoever, for the belief that your usage is from the first century, outside of your interpretation of the New Testament (which, again, didn't develop until hundreds of years after the New Testament).  It is purely your opinion and nothing more.  And, as usual, you have yet to show us any evidence whatsoever that our usage did NOT exist in the first century.   police

Quote
We believe that our beliefs were around in the first century and yours developed later: which is exactly what you believe the other way round. We'll probably all go to our graves thinking the same, but at least we may have gained a better understanding of each other.
Key words in bold.  What I still can't figure out is how you continue to believe this when all evidence is to the contrary. 

Hope you had a great trip to York!   angel
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« Reply #86 on: February 24, 2010, 12:41:58 AM »

What I still can't figure out is how you continue to believe this when all evidence is to the contrary.

Cognitive dissonance.
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« Reply #87 on: February 24, 2010, 07:19:30 AM »

Cognitive dissonance.

Quid in terra est hoc?!
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« Reply #88 on: February 24, 2010, 07:35:51 AM »

you have yet to show us any evidence whatsoever that our usage did NOT exist in the first century.   

It's dashed hard to prove that something does not exist! Are you perhaps asking the impossible? It's what atheists fail to achieve, on a rather different scale. All I can say is, that I am not aware of any documentary evidence from the 1st century which substantiates your interpretation of the words (elder, overseer, bishop) or gainsays ours. I am of course influenced by the books on Church History that I read, and I believe they all give our meanings for those words at that period; and I don't read only Evangelical books on the subject: I even recently enjoyed Hans Küng's Christianity.

Happily from our point of view, one's salvation does not depend on one's ecclesiology, so having or not having bishops in apostolic succession is not important to us as it is to you, as we have discussed at length when exploring whether Baptist ordinances (or sacraments: some prefer one word, some the other) are valid means of grace.

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Hope you had a great trip to York! 

As ever, a great place to visit - you should give it a try some time -, and Saturday's splendid weather gave opportunity for a long walk in the beautiful nearby wolds. However, not being Orthodox, and thus not observing Lent, I did put on 3lb in 3 days.  Sad Perhaps I ought to follow your admirable example more closely in some ways.
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« Reply #89 on: February 24, 2010, 09:54:17 AM »

Hope York was nice.
you have yet to show us any evidence whatsoever that our usage did NOT exist in the first century.   

It's dashed hard to prove that something does not exist! Are you perhaps asking the impossible? It's what atheists fail to achieve, on a rather different scale. All I can say is, that I am not aware of any documentary evidence from the 1st century which substantiates your interpretation of the words (elder, overseer, bishop) or gainsays ours.

Actually, as I have posted above, we do:Clement is first century, as is Igantius. In fact, to be more precise, both saints, who knew the Apostles and were set in authority by them, wrote within a half century of the first book of the NT being written for St. Clement and just over for St. Ignatius. In fact, Clement I may have been written before the last books of the NT.

As for your definition: what exactly are you arguing?  What is your present day definition of the "overseer" (I assume you won't say bishop), the source and scope of his authority?

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I am of course influenced by the books on Church History that I read, and I believe they all give our meanings for those words at that period; and I don't read only Evangelical books on the subject: I even recently enjoyed Hans Küng's Christianity.

Happily from our point of view, one's salvation does not depend on one's ecclesiology,


Hand Kung thinks because he says so, it is true.  But such is not the case.  At the very least you are claiming our ecclesiology and its hierarchy are an impediment to salvation.

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so having or not having bishops in apostolic succession is not important to us as it is to you, as we have discussed at length when exploring whether Baptist ordinances (or sacraments: some prefer one word, some the other) are valid means of grace.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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