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Author Topic: Why was the Orthodox Church concerened over the Book of Revelation?  (Read 1945 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dnarmist
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« on: December 04, 2010, 07:47:09 AM »

Because of obvious misintrepretation since it is a book of mystery?

Wasn't it still disputed, along with the Book of James, if it should even be included in the Bible even after St Athanasius proposed the canon and accepted in the third council at Carthage? What is the original Orthodox take on Revelation?
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2010, 10:27:04 AM »

I am hardly a leading authority on such things, but it was so disputed because of it's content. There are some jurisdictions that still do not have the Apocalypse in their canon. It is also not read liturgically in the Orthodox Church. However, it goes both ways. The Church in her Wisdom employs many things from the Apocalypse in worship, such as the idea of heavenly Liturgy, but wisely IMHO, does not use it for public readings. I can't count the amount of people that have gone down very bizarre, and often heretical roads using the Revelation as a proof text. 2 Peter, and 2/3 John were also disputed as well. I think though for different reasons.
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2010, 12:32:49 PM »

Because of obvious misintrepretation since it is a book of mystery?

Wasn't it still disputed, along with the Book of James,

Martin Luther was the only one who disputed James, oddly enough because it is the only book to contain the phrase "by Faith alone." Of course, his problem was the "not" before.

Quote
if it should even be included in the Bible even after St Athanasius proposed the canon and accepted in the third council at Carthage? What is the original Orthodox take on Revelation?
It is a Book of the Age to Come, which is why it is read only on Great and Holy Saturday.
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2010, 01:13:19 PM »

It is a Book of the Age to Come, which is why it is read only on Great and Holy Saturday.
I've understood that what may appear to be quotations from Revelation are actually from the OT (Isaiah?) that Revelation itself happens to quote. I don't have a specific reference for that. In which service and a what point do you recognize a reading from Revelation?
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2010, 01:17:50 PM »

It is a Book of the Age to Come, which is why it is read only on Great and Holy Saturday.
I've understood that what may appear to be quotations from Revelation are actually from the OT (Isaiah?) that Revelation itself happens to quote. I don't have a specific reference for that. In which service and a what point do you recognize a reading from Revelation?
The Vigil over the Epitaphion.
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2010, 01:20:25 PM »

It is a Book of the Age to Come, which is why it is read only on Great and Holy Saturday.
I've understood that what may appear to be quotations from Revelation are actually from the OT (Isaiah?) that Revelation itself happens to quote. I don't have a specific reference for that. In which service and a what point do you recognize a reading from Revelation?
Not to contradict you either Isa, you are much more knowledgeable than myself, but I've always heard the the Apocalypse is never read liturgically. Could you elaborate?
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2010, 01:46:52 PM »

It is a Book of the Age to Come, which is why it is read only on Great and Holy Saturday.
I've understood that what may appear to be quotations from Revelation are actually from the OT (Isaiah?) that Revelation itself happens to quote. I don't have a specific reference for that. In which service and a what point do you recognize a reading from Revelation?
Not to contradict you either Isa, you are much more knowledgeable than myself, but I've always heard the the Apocalypse is never read liturgically. Could you elaborate?
During the Vigil from the Servive of Matins of Great and Holy Saturday on the Vigl of Great and Holy Friday until the Midnight Service of Pascha, many Eastern rite Churches read the NT, including Revelation, continously in vigil before the Tomb. Some read only Revalation. Depending on how you categorize such reading as liturgical or not would answer your question.  There is no Eastern lection reading from Revelation, though. In the Western Rite Churches, there are some readings from Revelation-the office of the Neo-Martyrs of Russia uses verses from Revelation, and IIRC Advent.
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2010, 03:09:21 PM »

I am hardly a leading authority on such things, but it was so disputed because of it's content. There are some jurisdictions that still do not have the Apocalypse in their canon. It is also not read liturgically in the Orthodox Church. However, it goes both ways. The Church in her Wisdom employs many things from the Apocalypse in worship, such as the idea of heavenly Liturgy, but wisely IMHO, does not use it for public readings. I can't count the amount of people that have gone down very bizarre, and often heretical roads using the Revelation as a proof text. 2 Peter, and 2/3 John were also disputed as well. I think though for different reasons.
That is interesting. Which jurisdictions might they be?
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2010, 03:40:21 PM »

I am hardly a leading authority on such things, but it was so disputed because of it's content. There are some jurisdictions that still do not have the Apocalypse in their canon. It is also not read liturgically in the Orthodox Church. However, it goes both ways. The Church in her Wisdom employs many things from the Apocalypse in worship, such as the idea of heavenly Liturgy, but wisely IMHO, does not use it for public readings. I can't count the amount of people that have gone down very bizarre, and often heretical roads using the Revelation as a proof text. 2 Peter, and 2/3 John were also disputed as well. I think though for different reasons.
That is interesting. Which jurisdictions might they be?

I am also curious, as I think this is false. He might be thinking of the fact that this was missing from the Syriac Miaphysite canon for a long time with some of the catholic epistles, and also I believe from the Nestorian canon, I believe as late as a couple of centuries ago. I am not certain on any of this, these are just recollections off the top of my head. Anyway, I don't think that the Syrian/Syriac/Assyrian whatever people necessarily had a huge issue with the excluded books, they were just never included on a local level. But after their acceptance by the rest of the Christian world, I think they were added in to conform to the larger canon list of 27 books worldwide.
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2010, 03:50:26 PM »

I am hardly a leading authority on such things, but it was so disputed because of it's content. There are some jurisdictions that still do not have the Apocalypse in their canon. It is also not read liturgically in the Orthodox Church. However, it goes both ways. The Church in her Wisdom employs many things from the Apocalypse in worship, such as the idea of heavenly Liturgy, but wisely IMHO, does not use it for public readings. I can't count the amount of people that have gone down very bizarre, and often heretical roads using the Revelation as a proof text. 2 Peter, and 2/3 John were also disputed as well. I think though for different reasons.
That is interesting. Which jurisdictions might they be?

I am also curious, as I think this is false. He might be thinking of the fact that this was missing from the Syriac Miaphysite canon for a long time with some of the catholic epistles, and also I believe from the Nestorian canon, I believe as late as a couple of centuries ago. I am not certain on any of this, these are just recollections off the top of my head. Anyway, I don't think that the Syrian/Syriac/Assyrian whatever people necessarily had a huge issue with the excluded books, they were just never included on a local level. But after their acceptance by the rest of the Christian world, I think they were added in to conform to the larger canon list of 27 books worldwide.

The Syriac and Indian Orthodox, as well as the Assyrians, traditionally use the Peshitta, which excludes Revelation, Jude, John 2, John 3, and Second Peter.  Like you said, I don't think they have a problem with the substance of those books; they just were not included in that manuscript tradition.  My understanding, though, is that today the Syriac and Indian Orthodox faithful use Bibles which include these books, but they are still not read liturgically:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,26347.msg415961.html#msg415961
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2010, 04:32:57 PM »

The Orthodox Church has never really had a "problem" with Revelation/Apocalypse, rather, the issue over it was an Eastern-Western perspective within the Orthodox Church, before the East-West split. There are many solid, patristic commentaries on the book, for example St. Andrew of Caesarea. Modern commentaries like the book by Archbishop Averky or the book called "Ultimate Things" also comment from the Orthodox perspective.
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2010, 01:05:43 AM »

Interesting and relevant comment by our bishop, Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco (OCA), during his visit to our parish for our patronal feast yesterday--may His Grace forgive me if I mistype his words here: "Why don't we read the Apocalypse in Church? Because we DO it (the Apocalypse--more accurately, the liturgical worship described in the Apocalypse)!"
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2010, 04:01:50 PM »

Because of obvious misinterpretation since it is a book of mystery?

Wasn't it still disputed, along with the Book of James, if it should even be included in the Bible even after St Athanasius proposed the canon and accepted in the third council at Carthage? What is the original Orthodox take on Revelation?

The "Book of Revelation", yes difficult to understand, and misused by some. Some reform pastor claim to have the wisdom to understand it. On the other hand, what good does it do to essentially ignore it? To my surprise, some orthodox believers (including at least 1 priest that I know off) appear to believe that its mostly/all about the past.

Can we recite the Lords prayer and undermine that the Book of Revelation or that it pertains (ultimately) to the return of The Savior? I hope that all the Patriarchs (and all other Christian Churches) have believers with the gifts of prophecy and wisdom to discern and guide us appropriately.
   
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2010, 04:45:11 PM »

To my surprise, some orthodox believers (including at least 1 priest that I know off) appear to believe that its mostly/all about the past.

Revelation is all about the intersection of timelessness with time -- the Roman persecutions of the 1st century are juxtaposed with the fact that God and the saints in heaven have already witnessed the final triumph of Christ's people from their viewpoint in eternity. Recognizing this fact doesn't undermine the Lord's Prayer, but rather motivates us all the more to stay in the race until we too see God's plan come to fruition.
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