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Author Topic: Question about the Apocrypha.  (Read 1437 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: July 29, 2011, 02:14:55 AM »

Brief background: I grew up protestant but have since been studying Orthodox/Catholic faith and have come to find that I prefer a lot of things about it. Have been attending a High Anglican church that resembles an Orthodox Church, at least with the liturgy, use of Icons, Eucharist, etc. 

I have an Orthodox study bible which I love, and it has the apocrypha in it, which is something I wasnt used to.  Just had a couple of things I wanted to clear up. 

First of all, does the Orthodox teach that these books ARE scripture? Or are they just good, useful, supplementary books that are still acceptable to read in the liturgy? What I've gathered so far is that the answer is the latter, but I just wanted to confirm since Ive heard different things.

Second: I understand the Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Hebrew OT.  It was being translated during the 300 years before Christ was born. Was the apocrypha part of the original Hebrew? If so, where did they get lost when the Jews came up with the Masoretic texts (1000ish AD... right??) which so many newer OT translations are based off of? I realize a lot of Protestants dont use the apocrypha largely because of the reformation, but what about before then? If the Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Hebrew, werent these books originally contained in the Hebrew translation? Why arent they there now? Did the Jews get rid of them during the early centuries of the Church?

I'm not sure if the second one makes sense. Im having a hard time wording it/asking what I really want to ask.  If my history is in any way flawed, please correct me.  Im still trying to learn.  I have done research online, but its so hard to find definitive answers since so many people have different opinions.  I figured I would ask the Orthodox themselves!  Thanks in advance for your time!

-Kurtis

P.S. This was my first post, so go easy on me!
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 03:10:48 AM »

Welcome to the forum Smiley

First of all, does the Orthodox teach that these books ARE scripture? Or are they just good, useful, supplementary books that are still acceptable to read in the liturgy? What I've gathered so far is that the answer is the latter, but I just wanted to confirm since Ive heard different things.

There is a range of opinions on this. From what I can tell they are generally considered Scripture, but some would put them "on a lower footing," while a select few would question their canonical status entirely. The thing about it is, since the Orthodox Church is not so reliant on Scripture as the end-all, be-all for establishing doctrine, this isn't as big a deal as it would be for some other groups. Also, this leaves the Orthodox in basically the same boat that the early Church was in: and not having a dogmatically-settled canon in the early Church certainly didn't seem to keep them from practicing the Christian faith. Here are what two modern Orthodox writers say about this:

"The Orthodox Bible contains certain other Scriptures besides that normally found in the Hebrew bible and most English language Bibles. The word Apocrypha means things that are hidden, although why so is not positively known. Sometimes these books are given the title Deutero-canonicalas contrasted to Proto-canonical to distinguish the first (or proto) canonical books from those that came later (deutero—second). This term is to be preferred over Apocrypha since that word may have negative meanings. The Deutero-canonical books appeared as part of Holy Scripture with the translation of the Hebrew Scripture into Greek by Alexandrian Jews who had been gathered together for that purpose in Egypt just prior to the New Testament times. Over the centuries, however, these books have been disputed by many; many hold them to have little or no value as Scripture. However, both the Orthodox and Roman Catholics accept them as part of the Biblical Canon, whereas, since the Reformation, most Protestants have rejected them as being spurious. Although the Orthodox Church accepts these books as being canonical, and treasures them and uses them liturgically, she does not use them as primary sources in the definition of her dogmas." - A Monk of Saint Tikhon's Monastery, "These Truths We Hold," The Holy Orthodox Church: Her Life and Teaching

"The [Orthodox] Church accepts these latter books also as useful and instructive and in antiquity assigned them for instructive reading not only in homes but also in churches, which is why they have been called 'ecclesiastical.' The Church includes these books in a single volume of the Bible together with the canonical books. As a source of the teaching of the faith, the Church puts them in a secondary place and looks on them as an appendix to the canonical books. Certain of them are so close in merit to the divinely inspired books that, for example, in the eighty-fifth Apostolic Canon, the three books of Maccabees and the book of Joshua the son of Sirach are numbered together with the canonical books, and, concerning all of them together, it is said that they are 'venerable and holy.' However, this means only that they were respected in the ancient Church; but a distinction between the canonical and non-canonical books of the Old Testament has always been maintained in the Church." - Fr. Michael Pomazansky, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology

Quote
Second: I understand the Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Hebrew OT.  It was being translated during the 300 years before Christ was born. Was the apocrypha part of the original Hebrew?  .... etc....

Many of the deuterocanonical books were written in the 2nd century BCE, and didn't gain widespread acceptance among the Jews as being worthy of inclusion in their canon (even though they were still discussing the boundaries of their canon centuries later).  When it came to which books were sacred Scipture, things were really quite foggy in those days, for both Christians and Jews.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 06:57:03 AM »

welcome to the forum Kurtis.   Hmmm.. my niece is dating an Anglo Catholic whose name is strangely similar to yours.  You don't happen to live in the DC area do you?  You can pm me if you don't want to give too much away on a public forum.
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 07:34:00 AM »

Asteriktos does a pretty good job at answering most of your questions.  Aside from what he said though..

"Why arent they there now? Did the Jews get rid of them during the early centuries of the Church?"

They are not there now because the Jews decided to remove them at the Council of Jamnia.  The Greek translation is what the Apostles and the Church Fathers used to prove that Jesus really was the Messiah that they had been waiting for.  When the Jews changed it to Hebrew, all of those verses which were seen as references to Jesus had their meanings interpreted differently.  For instance when Isaiah talks about a virgin giving birth to a child, and they shall call his name Immanuel.   Instead of parthenos, the Hebrew uses the word almah which means "young woman".  So in many instances such as this the Masoretic Texts started shifting away from Jesus, and more towards the way the Rabbis interpret it now. 

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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 09:00:09 AM »

Asteriktos does a pretty good job at answering most of your questions.  Aside from what he said though..
"Why arent they there now? Did the Jews get rid of them during the early centuries of the Church?"

They are not there now because the Jews decided to remove them at the Council of Jamnia. 

There seems to be a consensus today that no such "Council of Jamnia" ever existed.  Here is an interesting article on the subject of the "Council of Jamnia" and the Old Testament canon, written by a Roman Catholic:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0409fea4.asp
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 11:51:50 AM »

welcome to the forum Kurtis.   Hmmm.. my niece is dating an Anglo Catholic whose name is strangely similar to yours.  You don't happen to live in the DC area do you?  You can pm me if you don't want to give too much away on a public forum.


No, that isnt me. I live in Atlanta and am already happily married!


Thanks to everyone for the responses so far. And Asteriktos, thanks for the quotes from the Orthodox writers! I wont close the thread so if anyone else has anything they would like to add, feel free!
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 07:32:42 PM »

welcome to the forum Kurtis.   Hmmm.. my niece is dating an Anglo Catholic whose name is strangely similar to yours.  You don't happen to live in the DC area do you?  You can pm me if you don't want to give too much away on a public forum.


No, that isnt me. I live in Atlanta and am already happily married!


Thanks to everyone for the responses so far. And Asteriktos, thanks for the quotes from the Orthodox writers! I wont close the thread so if anyone else has anything they would like to add, feel free!

It was a long-shot, but I was hoping. 

Good luck with your inquiries. 
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2011, 03:12:17 PM »

Thanks. I guess I'm just trying to figure out whether or not I accept them as scripture.  I guess as of now I view them as scripture, but with a "secondary" status as compared to the rest of the OT. 

I would love to have a better understanding of what happened to these books in the first few centuries of the church, but its hard to find any solid information on it.
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2011, 03:24:40 PM »

Thanks. I guess I'm just trying to figure out whether or not I accept them as scripture.  I guess as of now I view them as scripture, but with a "secondary" status as compared to the rest of the OT. 

I would love to have a better understanding of what happened to these books in the first few centuries of the church, but its hard to find any solid information on it.

The 1611 Authorized Version of the Bible (the KJV) had the "Apocrypha" in it.

The reason for the those texts being left out is quite interesting, as they were very popular material among Christians at the time.

Cause I am lazy, here is a wiki summary:

Quote
English-language Protestant Bibles in the 16th Century included the books of the Apocrypha – generally in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments – and there is evidence that these were widely read as popular literature, especially in Puritan circles.[136][137] However, starting in 1630, volumes of the Geneva Bible were occasionally bound with the pages of the Apocrypha section excluded. In 1644 the Long Parliament forbade the reading of the Apocrypha in Church, and 1666, the first editions of the King James Bible without Apocrypha were bound.[138]

The standardisation of the text of the Authorized Version after 1769 together with the technological development of Stereotype printing made it possible to produce Bibles in large print-runs at very low unit prices. For commercial and charitable publishers, editions of the Authorized Version without the Apocrypha reduced the cost, while having increased market appeal to non-Anglican Protestant readers.[139] With the rise of the Bible societies, most editions have omitted the whole section of Apocryphal books


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorized_King_James_Version#Apocrypha

Emphasis obviously mine.

In a way it was considered somehow "less important" though for most Protestants who included it in their Bibles, even if they enjoyed reading those portions of Scripture.
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2011, 04:02:28 PM »

The Orthodox prefer not to use the term "Apocrypha," but use the term "Anagignoskomena,"  which I think means "worth reading."  The Orthodox view of Scripture tends to be layered, with the Gospels first , then the letters, and then the Psalms and then the rest of the O. T.  I did not read the "Anagignoskomena"  the first many years of my life, but at some point toward the end of high school or a few years later, I read it under a separate cover.  Now I read it in my Orthodox Bible. The older I get and the more I read it, the more I appreciate it.  Since it was written during a time that Greek was prevalent, it is hard to say if it was originally written in Hebrew or not.  It is possible, but we may never know.
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2011, 12:03:57 AM »

The Orthodox Study Bible contains these books. They are also present in Roman Catholic Bibles.
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2011, 03:40:17 AM »

The Orthodox prefer not to use the term "Apocrypha," but use the term "Anagignoskomena,"  which I think means "worth reading."  The Orthodox view of Scripture tends to be layered, with the Gospels first , then the letters, and then the Psalms and then the rest of the O. T.  I did not read the "Anagignoskomena"  the first many years of my life, but at some point toward the end of high school or a few years later, I read it under a separate cover.  Now I read it in my Orthodox Bible. The older I get and the more I read it, the more I appreciate it.  Since it was written during a time that Greek was prevalent, it is hard to say if it was originally written in Hebrew or not.  It is possible, but we may never know.

There there are certain portions that, if I'm not mistaken, we do know to have been written in Hebrew originally, such as the Wisdom of Sirach, which was translated by his grandson (I believe) into Greek.
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2011, 05:13:26 AM »

Hey, Kurtis. Welcome to the forum.

Please allow me to say I appreciate your attitude towards things of the Orthodox faith.

However, this:

Thanks. I guess I'm just trying to figure out whether or not I accept them as scripture.

... is crazy protestant-speak.

The first thing you must do to understand Orthodoxy is do away with "I" and "me".

You are not the authority on what is and is not Scripture.

You must encounter a higher authority and conform yourself to it.
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2011, 06:53:26 AM »

Hey, Kurtis. Welcome to the forum.

Please allow me to say I appreciate your attitude towards things of the Orthodox faith.

However, this:

Thanks. I guess I'm just trying to figure out whether or not I accept them as scripture.

... is crazy protestant-speak.

The first thing you must do to understand Orthodoxy is do away with "I" and "me".

You are not the authority on what is and is not Scripture.

You must encounter a higher authority and conform yourself to it.

That is true.  Protestant churches are all about determining "what they believe." I guess thats part of the reason there are some 29,000 different denominations/variations of denominations!
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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2011, 07:18:31 AM »

Brief background: I grew up protestant but have since been studying Orthodox/Catholic faith and have come to find that I prefer a lot of things about it. Have been attending a High Anglican church that resembles an Orthodox Church, at least with the liturgy, use of Icons, Eucharist, etc.  

I have an Orthodox study bible which I love, and it has the apocrypha in it, which is something I wasnt used to.  Just had a couple of things I wanted to clear up.  

First of all, does the Orthodox teach that these books ARE scripture? Or are they just good, useful, supplementary books that are still acceptable to read in the liturgy? What I've gathered so far is that the answer is the latter, but I just wanted to confirm since Ive heard different things.

Second: I understand the Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Hebrew OT.  It was being translated during the 300 years before Christ was born. Was the apocrypha part of the original Hebrew? If so, where did they get lost when the Jews came up with the Masoretic texts (1000ish AD... right??) which so many newer OT translations are based off of? I realize a lot of Protestants dont use the apocrypha largely because of the reformation, but what about before then? If the Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Hebrew, werent these books originally contained in the Hebrew translation? Why arent they there now? Did the Jews get rid of them during the early centuries of the Church?

I'm not sure if the second one makes sense. Im having a hard time wording it/asking what I really want to ask.  If my history is in any way flawed, please correct me.  Im still trying to learn.  I have done research online, but its so hard to find definitive answers since so many people have different opinions.  I figured I would ask the Orthodox themselves!  Thanks in advance for your time!

-Kurtis

P.S. This was my first post, so go easy on me!

This is my pet issue, and was one of the first things that caused me to begin looking into the Orthodox Church! You need to see this excellent video, that explains a lot of what you ask in a nutshell:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7H6wJ43K_s

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« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2011, 09:11:59 AM »

That is true.  Protestant churches are all about determining "what they believe." I guess thats part of the reason there are some 29,000 different denominations/variations of denominations!

No, there aren't.
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2011, 11:44:33 AM »

That is true.  Protestant churches are all about determining "what they believe." I guess thats part of the reason there are some 29,000 different denominations/variations of denominations!

No, there aren't.

A couple thousand, at least
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13407.msg611420/topicseen.html#msg611420
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« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2011, 01:44:42 PM »

That is true.  Protestant churches are all about determining "what they believe." I guess thats part of the reason there are some 29,000 different denominations/variations of denominations!

No, there aren't.

A couple thousand, at least
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13407.msg611420/topicseen.html#msg611420

I remember when, as a kid, I first became interested in other religions, and I was studying a book at the local library, called "Directory of Denominations" (something like that).

I saw one that stayed in my mind because it sounded so bizarre: "Two-Seed-In-The-Spirit Predestinarian Baptists". I remember thinking, "What the....?
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« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2011, 08:05:26 PM »

That is true.  Protestant churches are all about determining "what they believe." I guess thats part of the reason there are some 29,000 different denominations/variations of denominations!

No, there aren't.

Why does this number bother you so much, Keble?

Thirty or three hundred would be too many.

I must say, if I were Anglican, instead of expending so much effort trying to demonstrate how protestantism isn't as fundamentally flawed and often stupid and bizarre as the Orthodox make out, I'd spend my time arguing (what seems to me the less difficult proposition) that the Anglican church is simply the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in England and elsewhere, having undertaken certain reforms to its practices and theology.
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2011, 08:43:41 PM »

I guess the 'number thing' may be due to the fact that there have been, especially in the last few decades, a large number of self-described non-denominational churches, for which the individual church itself may constitute the entire organization. Or, there may be just a few 'satellite' congregations, but that's it. A lot of these come from groups founded by different ministers. They may have a few doctrines in common, but they differ a lot as well. These independent churches therefore don't really fall into the large blocs such as the Methodists, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, etc. We see this a lot in the U.S., where there are megachurches, some of which are affiliated with televangelists; once the organization gets big enough, they start sending missionaries overseas, and a new group of one-by-one churches will spring up. 
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« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2011, 08:51:11 PM »

I guess the 'number thing' may be due to the fact that there have been, especially in the last few decades, a large number of self-described non-denominational churches, for which the individual church itself may constitute the entire organization. Or, there may be just a few 'satellite' congregations, but that's it. A lot of these come from groups founded by different ministers. They may have a few doctrines in common, but they differ a lot as well. These independent churches therefore don't really fall into the large blocs such as the Methodists, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, etc. We see this a lot in the U.S., where there are megachurches, some of which are affiliated with televangelists; once the organization gets big enough, they start sending missionaries overseas, and a new group of one-by-one churches will spring up. 
This is the real sticking point.  On the one hand such "churches" are highly atomistic, and should be counted seperately, on the other many of them share enough in common that they can be considered on "church."  It doesn't help that they practice open communion, if they practice communion at all.
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« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2011, 08:55:09 PM »

Just a note: while "deuterocanonical" and "readable books" are fine terms, the term apocrypha goes back to the 4th or 5th century and was used by Church writers, and there's nothing wrong with it just because those evil Protestants use it.
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« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2011, 09:01:47 PM »

I guess so. It's just I've gotten so used to people using the term as dismissive, I sort of built around it.  Smiley I've almost wished somebody would coin a completely new catch-all word for the books. Tertiary? Complementary? Plenary? Thingamawhatsis?  Wink (Kidding on that one.)
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« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2011, 11:29:38 PM »

Why does this number bother you so much, Keble?

Thirty or three hundred would be too many.

Well, when it comes to that, more than one is a problem, which pretty much means Rome wins on that point.

But that has nothing really to do with why I continue to object. The problem is that people embrace this number, knowing nothing of how it was devised or generally even where it comes from, and they cannot resist the exaggeration it offers. If you take Barrett's own count of Protestants, there are of course more of them than of Orthodox or Anglican or Catholic, but there aren't even remotely thirty thousand Protestant bodies. Nor, by Barrett's count, is there even a single Catholic church.

If you look solely at the USA, what you find is that for the Anglicans, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, and the Methodists, there is one main church which encompasses the vast majority of parishes and members, and then there are some small number of dissident groups which encompass nearly everyone else. So for these traditions the situation is like that of the Orthodox, except better because there is one main body and nothing like SCOBA. In the USA you have to go out into the various congregationalist and baptist-polity churches to find these large numbers; but it is unsurprising that they are unified since they put no value in it. The 30,000 number, besides not being what people claim it to be, isn't relevant to people who aren't in Africa.

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I must say, if I were Anglican, instead of expending so much effort trying to demonstrate how protestantism isn't as fundamentally flawed and often stupid and bizarre as the Orthodox make out, I'd spend my time arguing (what seems to me the less difficult proposition) that the Anglican church is simply the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in England and elsewhere, having undertaken certain reforms to its practices and theology.

My presence here is predicated on not making that sort of argument, even assuming that it is the way I would argue things. My job is to keep the rest of you honest when it comes to talking about Protestantism, not to argue that we're right and the Orthodox are wrong.
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« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2011, 11:37:03 PM »

I must say, if I were Anglican, instead of expending so much effort trying to demonstrate how protestantism isn't as fundamentally flawed and often stupid and bizarre as the Orthodox make out, I'd spend my time arguing (what seems to me the less difficult proposition) that the Anglican church is simply the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in England and elsewhere, having undertaken certain reforms to its practices and theology.

My presence here is predicated on not making that sort of argument, even assuming that it is the way I would argue things. My job is to keep the rest of you honest when it comes to talking about Protestantism, not to argue that we're right and the Orthodox are wrong.

Fair enough!

By the way, I hope you know my final paragraph indicated my affection for the Anglican church.
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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2011, 12:04:31 AM »

Why does this number bother you so much, Keble?

Thirty or three hundred would be too many.

Well, when it comes to that, more than one is a problem, which pretty much means Rome wins on that point.
You mean the Vatican?  How you figure?


But that has nothing really to do with why I continue to object. The problem is that people embrace this number, knowing nothing of how it was devised or generally even where it comes from, and they cannot resist the exaggeration it offers. If you take Barrett's own count of Protestants, there are of course more of them than of Orthodox or Anglican or Catholic, but there aren't even remotely thirty thousand Protestant bodies. Nor, by Barrett's count, is there even a single Catholic church.
Which makes your giving the prize to the Vatican above all the odder.

If you look solely at the USA, what you find is that for the Anglicans, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, and the Methodists, there is one main church which encompasses the vast majority of parishes and members, and then there are some small number of dissident groups which encompass nearly everyone else. So for these traditions the situation is like that of the Orthodox, except better because there is one main body and nothing like SCOBA. In the USA you have to go out into the various congregationalist and baptist-polity churches to find these large numbers; but it is unsurprising that they are unified since they put no value in it.

You mean "disunifed" "ununified" (I'm not sure of the English negation of unifed)? Fragemented?

The Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists all have several churches, the large groups you refer to resulting from mergers of several churches, not the smaller bodies resulting from schisms from a main body.  In the case of the Lutherans, there was at least four varities of Lutheranism brought over from Europe, let alone what happened here.

The 30,000 number, besides not being what people claim it to be, isn't relevant to people who aren't in Africa.
where the rising tide of Christianity is located.  Isn't that also where the conservative Episcopalians are getting their bishops?

Quote
I must say, if I were Anglican, instead of expending so much effort trying to demonstrate how protestantism isn't as fundamentally flawed and often stupid and bizarre as the Orthodox make out, I'd spend my time arguing (what seems to me the less difficult proposition) that the Anglican church is simply the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in England and elsewhere, having undertaken certain reforms to its practices and theology.
My presence here is predicated on not making that sort of argument, even assuming that it is the way I would argue things. My job is to keep the rest of you honest when it comes to talking about Protestantism, not to argue that we're right and the Orthodox are wrong.
Do we have a thread where we can count how many churches going by "scripture alone" has created?
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2011, 12:27:21 AM »

I thought that I had heard the number 29,000ish tossed around before. Maybe it's not accurate, and I guess I hope it isn't accurate! If it is inaccurate, just pretend I was exaggerating. After all, the point was that there are so many different sects of Protestantism.  As a contract musician who has played music for every type of major denomination I can think of, except orthodox, I would say that no two churches agree on 100% of everything. Everyone has different beliefs somewhere. I guess bc with sola scripture people interpret te scriptures how ever they want, then start a church based on their interpretation. This, I would imagine, is how all these different denominations come about.
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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2011, 06:53:46 AM »

Why does this number bother you so much, Keble?

Thirty or three hundred would be too many.

Well, when it comes to that, more than one is a problem, which pretty much means Rome wins on that point.
You mean the Vatican?  How you figure?


It doesn't seem to me that this map has much to do with the present; presenting it is rather like saying that the need to have a council over Arianism means that there is no unified Orthodoxy now.

Quote
The Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists all have several churches, the large groups you refer to resulting from mergers of several churches, not the smaller bodies resulting from schisms from a main body.  In the case of the Lutherans, there was at least four varieties of Lutheranism brought over from Europe, let alone what happened here.

Oh, of course the Lutherans have as many bodies in the USA as the Orthodox, but more than the Anglicans. And anyway, to get back in perspective, ELCA is ten times the size of WELS, the third place body, and the others are really tiny.

Also, there's not a lot of point to talking about the way in which these bodies were formed by unification (which isn't true about the Anglicans; they've always been one big body) when the Orthodox don't seem to think that unification is even necessary.

Quote
The 30,000 number, besides not being what people claim it to be, isn't relevant to people who aren't in Africa.
where the rising tide of Christianity is located.  Isn't that also where the conservative Episcopalians are getting their bishops?

At the moment the Anglicans in the USA consist roughly of five groups. ECUSA is of course by far the largest and the only one recognized at Lambeth. AMIA was started by some African bishops but in the long run its reason for existence is disappearing because of the schism of San Joaquin, Fort Worth and Pittsburgh from ECUSA; they absorbed most of the REC and some other continuers to form ACNA. The remaining continuers are either going to Rome as part of the ordinariate, or remain spread over a bunch of tiny groups.

The African Anglican churches are organized nationally, just like the Orthodox, and they are pretty much one church to country/region. Life is too short to go back to Barrett and read all the data for each country in Africa, but it's a very safe bet that Catholic membership and the Anglican church are far and away the largest single church bodies in the countries south of the Islamic area, save in Ethiopia.

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