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Offline Xenia1918

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Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« on: August 02, 2011, 12:14:38 PM »
I have a friend (raised RC, but spent most of his life as a Protestant fundamentalist), who has become convinced that the "original Jewish Christians are out there somewhere". He knows they're not the "messianic Jews", but he is on a search for the "real" Jewish Christians and their descendants.

He has discovered the "Knanaya Orthodox", and is asking me many questions about them because he knows I am on the path to becoming Orthodox. I have to admit I know nothing about them, I don't even know if they are in full communion with the "regular" Orthodox.

Can anyone fill me in and with info I can pass along to him? Thanks in advance!
"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 12:28:07 PM »
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Knanaya+Orthodox

There is a rule against posting bare links.  Next time please post an excerpt, or an explanation of what the link is about.  In this case, you could have written that the link was to the results of a Google search.
Salpy
  :)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 02:15:32 PM by Salpy »
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Online Jonathan Gress

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 12:36:32 PM »
:D

It was actually interesting to find out that the St Thomas Christians were descendants of Jews who had settled in India already in Roman times. I suppose it's a no brainer come to think of it, but it makes total sense that the Apostles would aim first of all for Jewish communities scattered around the known world. I just had this idea they went off into the middle of barbarian land, but this seems much more plausible.

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2011, 12:46:11 PM »
That's really cool. I didn't know about them. ;D
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2011, 01:18:07 PM »
I have a friend (raised RC, but spent most of his life as a Protestant fundamentalist), who has become convinced that the "original Jewish Christians are out there somewhere". He knows they're not the "messianic Jews", but he is on a search for the "real" Jewish Christians and their descendants.

He has discovered the "Knanaya Orthodox", and is asking me many questions about them because he knows I am on the path to becoming Orthodox. I have to admit I know nothing about them, I don't even know if they are in full communion with the "regular" Orthodox.

Can anyone fill me in and with info I can pass along to him? Thanks in advance!
The are OO, so judge that as you may.

They also circumcize, something others do not do in India.
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;
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                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2011, 01:31:01 PM »
I have a friend (raised RC, but spent most of his life as a Protestant fundamentalist), who has become convinced that the "original Jewish Christians are out there somewhere". He knows they're not the "messianic Jews", but he is on a search for the "real" Jewish Christians and their descendants.

He has discovered the "Knanaya Orthodox", and is asking me many questions about them because he knows I am on the path to becoming Orthodox. I have to admit I know nothing about them, I don't even know if they are in full communion with the "regular" Orthodox.

Can anyone fill me in and with info I can pass along to him? Thanks in advance!
The are OO, so judge that as you may.

They also circumcize, something others do not do in India.

They circumcise, which is weird, but no more so that the Judaic tendencies of the Ethiopian Orthodox.

Granted, Ethiopians are also Oriental Orthodox.
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Offline Xenia1918

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2011, 04:11:40 PM »
I have a friend (raised RC, but spent most of his life as a Protestant fundamentalist), who has become convinced that the "original Jewish Christians are out there somewhere". He knows they're not the "messianic Jews", but he is on a search for the "real" Jewish Christians and their descendants.

He has discovered the "Knanaya Orthodox", and is asking me many questions about them because he knows I am on the path to becoming Orthodox. I have to admit I know nothing about them, I don't even know if they are in full communion with the "regular" Orthodox.

Can anyone fill me in and with info I can pass along to him? Thanks in advance!
The are OO, so judge that as you may.

They also circumcize, something others do not do in India.

Thanks to everyone who posted info! BTW my friend will be very surprised to learn about the circumcision issue with the Knanaya too!
"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

REAL RC: http://www.traditionalmass.org
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2011, 04:21:42 PM »
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Knanaya+Orthodox

There is a rule against posting bare links.  Next time please post an excerpt, or an explanation of what the link is about.  In this case, you could have written that the link was to the results of a Google search.
Salpy
 :)

Sorry, in my head that link says what it is, but since I am probably the only person who believes google is their only friend, I can see how others with richer lives wouldn't understand.

Many apologies.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 04:21:57 PM by orthonorm »
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2011, 04:37:07 PM »
I have a friend (raised RC, but spent most of his life as a Protestant fundamentalist), who has become convinced that the "original Jewish Christians are out there somewhere". He knows they're not the "messianic Jews", but he is on a search for the "real" Jewish Christians and their descendants.

He has discovered the "Knanaya Orthodox", and is asking me many questions about them because he knows I am on the path to becoming Orthodox. I have to admit I know nothing about them, I don't even know if they are in full communion with the "regular" Orthodox.

Can anyone fill me in and with info I can pass along to him? Thanks in advance!
The are OO, so judge that as you may.

They also circumcize, something others do not do in India.

They circumcise, which is weird, but no more so that the Judaic tendencies of the Ethiopian Orthodox.

Granted, Ethiopians are also Oriental Orthodox.
The other Indian Orthodox are too, but I don't think they circumcize. Maybe someone can confirm that.

Everyone else OO outside of India circumcizes except the Armenians.
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

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2011, 04:54:53 PM »
Everyone else OO outside of India circumcizes except the Armenians.

Ritually?
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2011, 05:03:36 PM »
Everyone else OO outside of India circumcizes except the Armenians.

Ritually?
no, not as far as I know.
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

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2011, 05:29:17 PM »
Everyone else OO outside of India circumcizes except the Armenians.

Ritually?
no, not as far as I know.

So then it's not spiritual for them, but medical. Right?

Whereas the Knanaya Orthodox seem to ritually circumcise. Which begs the question...What about baptism?
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2011, 06:15:25 PM »
Everyone else OO outside of India circumcizes except the Armenians.

Ritually?
no, not as far as I know.
So then it's not spiritual for them, but medical. Right?
No, the Copts say they do it because the Hebrews triumphed over the nations thourgh Christ, and the Ethiopians do because of the Hebrew ancestry.
Whereas the Knanaya Orthodox seem to ritually circumcise. Which begs the question...What about baptism?
What about it?  The Knanaya are Hebrew.  The Copts, btw, always circumcize before baptism. I don't know about the Ethiopians, but I'll guess they circuncize on the 8th day and baptize on the 40th day after birth.
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

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2011, 07:00:09 PM »
Everyone else OO outside of India circumcizes except the Armenians.

Ritually?
no, not as far as I know.
So then it's not spiritual for them, but medical. Right?
No, the Copts say they do it because the Hebrews triumphed over the nations thourgh Christ, and the Ethiopians do because of the Hebrew ancestry.
Whereas the Knanaya Orthodox seem to ritually circumcise. Which begs the question...What about baptism?
What about it?  The Knanaya are Hebrew.  The Copts, btw, always circumcize before baptism. I don't know about the Ethiopians, but I'll guess they circuncize on the 8th day and baptize on the 40th day after birth.

Interesting.

I'm just curious as to the cultural/religious practices of the Knanaya. I didn't know other OOs circumcised, which is interesting in and of itself. I would expect it from the Ethiopians. The Copts not so much.
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Offline Xenia1918

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2011, 09:53:34 PM »
One thing my friend did learn about the Knanaya is that they practice endogamous marriage too....supposedly to preserve their Aaronic heritage and lineage.
"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

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Offline Irish Melkite

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2011, 04:51:38 AM »
The Knanya are Catholic and Orthodox descended from 72 families of Christian Jews, comprising about 400 persons, who emigrated to India in three ships about 345 AD under the leadership of Knaithomman or Thomas the Cananite. The immigrants are said to have been accompanied by a bishop, whom history records as Uraha Mar Yausef (Joseph), four presbyters, and deacons.

The Knanaites are a strictly endogenous community and retain particular liturgical, devotional, and cultural practices unique to themselves.

Formal Knanya jurisdictions exist only in the Syrian Orthodox Jacobite (Indian) Church and the Syro-Malabarese Catholic Church. However, there are small Knanaite communities within each of the Indian ecclesial communities (other than the Latin Catholic Church) and, officially or otherwise, provisions are made to accommodate their praxis in all of the Churches of Saint Thomas Christians.

Your friend will find, however, that the Knanaites do not accept 'converts'. A Knanaite who marries outside his or her community (not necessarily outside his or her Church) is no longer considered to be of the community. If the spouse-to-be is a Knanaite of the other Knanaite Church (either Syriac Jacobite or Syro-Malabar Catholic) that is acceptable. Being of the smaller Knanaite communities in either the Syro-Malankara Catholic or Malankara Orthodox Syrian Churches is generally accepted.

Those of Knanaite birth who are of the 'Knanaite' communities within the Mar Thoma, Malabar Independent Syrian, Anglican (Church of India), and Knanaite Pentecostal Church are effectively deemed to have left the community (they are not 'shunned' but they would neither be considered to be Knanaites any longer nor considered acceptable as spouse to a Knanaite from the traditional groups).

Btw, the Knanaites do not ritually circumcise, nor do they require circumcision.

Many years,

Neil
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 05:12:26 AM by Irish Melkite »
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Online Jonathan Gress

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2011, 05:38:49 AM »
The Knanya are Catholic and Orthodox descended from 72 families of Christian Jews, comprising about 400 persons, who emigrated to India in three ships about 345 AD under the leadership of Knaithomman or Thomas the Cananite. The immigrants are said to have been accompanied by a bishop, whom history records as Uraha Mar Yausef (Joseph), four presbyters, and deacons.

The Knanaites are a strictly endogenous community and retain particular liturgical, devotional, and cultural practices unique to themselves.

Formal Knanya jurisdictions exist only in the Syrian Orthodox Jacobite (Indian) Church and the Syro-Malabarese Catholic Church. However, there are small Knanaite communities within each of the Indian ecclesial communities (other than the Latin Catholic Church) and, officially or otherwise, provisions are made to accommodate their praxis in all of the Churches of Saint Thomas Christians.

Your friend will find, however, that the Knanaites do not accept 'converts'. A Knanaite who marries outside his or her community (not necessarily outside his or her Church) is no longer considered to be of the community. If the spouse-to-be is a Knanaite of the other Knanaite Church (either Syriac Jacobite or Syro-Malabar Catholic) that is acceptable. Being of the smaller Knanaite communities in either the Syro-Malankara Catholic or Malankara Orthodox Syrian Churches is generally accepted.

Those of Knanaite birth who are of the 'Knanaite' communities within the Mar Thoma, Malabar Independent Syrian, Anglican (Church of India), and Knanaite Pentecostal Church are effectively deemed to have left the community (they are not 'shunned' but they would neither be considered to be Knanaites any longer nor considered acceptable as spouse to a Knanaite from the traditional groups).

Btw, the Knanaites do not ritually circumcise, nor do they require circumcision.

Many years,

Neil

So does the term "Thomas Christians" originally refer to this "Thomas the Canaanite"?

Offline Irish Melkite

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2011, 07:39:04 AM »
So does the term "Thomas Christians" originally refer to this "Thomas the Canaanite"?

No, St Thomas Christians refers to the belief that St Thomas the Apostle traveled to India and preached the Gospel there and in the neighboring regions. (Legend says that he encountered the Magi, Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, advanced in years, baptized them, and ordained them as bishops.) He is revered particularly by the Assyro-Chaldeans and the Christian communities of India, both Orthodox and Catholic. His burial place is said to be in India.

Many years,

Neil
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 07:39:41 AM by Irish Melkite »
"Not only is it unnecessary to adopt the customs of the Latin Rite to manifest one's Catholicism, it is an offense against the unity of the Church."

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Online Jonathan Gress

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2011, 07:44:56 AM »
So does the term "Thomas Christians" originally refer to this "Thomas the Canaanite"?

No, St Thomas Christians refers to the belief that St Thomas the Apostle traveled to India and preached the Gospel there and in the neighboring regions. (Legend says that he encountered the Magi, Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, advanced in years, baptized them, and ordained them as bishops.) He is revered particularly by the Assyro-Chaldeans and the Christian communities of India, both Orthodox and Catholic. His burial place is said to be in India.

Many years,

Neil

So the Knanaya don't consider themselves St Thomas Christians?

Offline Irish Melkite

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2011, 08:15:15 AM »
So the Knanaya don't consider themselves St Thomas Christians?

Interesting question. The term is used so broadly by Christans in India, particularly those in the area of Kerala, that I've never given thought to it as regards the Knanya in particular. The Churches within which they form distinct subgroups certainly consider themselves to be St Thomas Christians, but I'm not sure that the Knanaites would necessarily self-identify as such. It's likely individuals would, just because the usage is so prevalent that one would assume the title without thinking, but I suspect that institutionally they might not - because of having come after the time of the Saint's vsit there.

Otoh, some might adopt or identify such styling as referring to Knai Thomma/Thomas the Canaanite in their own case - but doing so would be counter to the ordinary usage.

Many years,

Neil
"Not only is it unnecessary to adopt the customs of the Latin Rite to manifest one's Catholicism, it is an offense against the unity of the Church."

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2011, 08:17:53 AM »
So the Knanaya don't consider themselves St Thomas Christians?

Interesting question. The term is used so broadly by Christans in India, particularly those in the area of Kerala, that I've never given thought to it as regards the Knanya in particular. The Churches within which they form distinct subgroups certainly consider themselves to be St Thomas Christians, but I'm not sure that the Knanaites would necessarily self-identify as such. It's likely individuals would, just because the usage is so prevalent that one would assume the title without thinking, but I suspect that institutionally they might not - because of having come after the time of the Saint's vsit there.

Otoh, some might adopt or identify such styling as referring to Knai Thomma/Thomas the Canaanite in their own case - but doing so would be counter to the ordinary usage.

Many years,

Neil

Thanks. The wikipedia article on the Nasrani Christians (the general population of Christians in Kerala that you talk about) claims that they descended from Jews already living in that part of India during the time of the Apostles and converted by St Thomas the Apostle. The Knanaya would then simply be a later immigrant wave of Jewish Christians.

Offline cs

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2011, 08:41:54 AM »
Quote
No, the Copts say they do it because the Hebrews triumphed over the nations thourgh Christ, and the Ethiopians do because of the Hebrew ancestry.

Quote
The Copts, btw, always circumcize before baptism. I don't know about the Ethiopians, but I'll guess they circuncize on the 8th day and baptize on the 40th day after birth.

Is there a reference for this statement? Our priest has told us that Coptic Orthodox men do not have to be circumcised.  Before our son was baptised, I discussed the issue with my priest who said that my decision should be based on the current medical evidence available, and that the issue was not a spiritual one. 

God bless :)

Offline Irish Melkite

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2011, 08:43:32 AM »
Thanks. The wikipedia article on the Nasrani Christians (the general population of Christians in Kerala that you talk about) claims that they descended from Jews already living in that part of India during the time of the Apostles and converted by St Thomas the Apostle. The Knanaya would then simply be a later immigrant wave of Jewish Christians.

That would be a later wave separated by 300 yrs (52AD vs 345AD) - on that basis, it's a bit of a stretch to tie the two together. If memory serves, in 40 years of studying the Eastern and Oriental Churches, I've only once read a suggestion that the Knanaites traveled to India in emulation of St Thomas - and it wasn't particularly persuasive. Generally, the Knanaites set themselves as so much apart from their fellow Christians that I can't see them persuing a commonality of origin via such a connection - if it existed, then they would see much less need to maintain an endogomous identity.

The whole subject of Nasrani Christians and who is or is not, whether it includes Brahmins reportedly converted by St Thomas, whether there was a trading community of Jews there before his arrival whom he converted, whether a large contingent of already converted Jews accompanied him, whether there is DNA evidence to identify an ethnically common origin, etc, is a huge source of argumentation in Indian fora (and I've seen it fought out elsewhere in other fora - including here at one time, as I recollect).

I've no notion to get embroiled in that - the argumentation quickly gets beyond any and all observers, as folks quote from ancient and modern texts - lambaste one another, etc. And it is a very internalized argument; you have to know absolute minutiae about Indian ecclesio-ethno-cultural history to follow the discussion or make sense of it. Typically, it would quickly make the average brouhaha between Isa and Mary look like an agape.

Many years,

Neil
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Offline Jonathan

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2011, 08:45:31 AM »
Quote
No, the Copts say they do it because the Hebrews triumphed over the nations thourgh Christ, and the Ethiopians do because of the Hebrew ancestry.

Quote
The Copts, btw, always circumcize before baptism. I don't know about the Ethiopians, but I'll guess they circuncize on the 8th day and baptize on the 40th day after birth.

Is there a reference for this statement? Our priest has told us that Coptic Orthodox men do not have to be circumcised.  Before our son was baptised, I discussed the issue with my priest who said that my decision should be based on the current medical evidence available, and that the issue was not a spiritual one. 

God bless :)

Also, for Copts, 40 days for baptising boys and 80 days for girls is new. My priest said that not long ago everyone was after about 30 days, when the mother and child were well enough to leave the house again. Fairly recently someone introduced this practise to mirror the OT, but it has not become universal. Some texts list 50 days for girls. There is no need to follow these times strictly, the concern has been about infection and waiting for the baby to be strong enough, not about spiritual requirements.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2011, 10:10:24 AM »
Quote
No, the Copts say they do it because the Hebrews triumphed over the nations thourgh Christ, and the Ethiopians do because of the Hebrew ancestry.

Quote
The Copts, btw, always circumcize before baptism. I don't know about the Ethiopians, but I'll guess they circuncize on the 8th day and baptize on the 40th day after birth.

Is there a reference for this statement? Our priest has told us that Coptic Orthodox men do not have to be circumcised.  Before our son was baptised, I discussed the issue with my priest who said that my decision should be based on the current medical evidence available, and that the issue was not a spiritual one. 

God bless :)
Meinardus mentions it.  I don't know a single Copt who isn't circumcized (for most, I take their word for it), and I first heard questioning of the practice by Copts here.  Its not a spiritual matter like baptism, but not totally unconnected either, sort of the same level as naming children after saints, almost if not universal, but not mandatory.  Btw, it has the same status in Islam, in contrast to Judaism.
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

Offline cs

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2011, 08:59:50 AM »
Thanks, ialmisry. I learn a lot from your posts :).

I do remember my priest telling me that circumcision predates Christianity in Egypt - that is, it was common since the time of the pharoahs.  Therefore, I would think that this is a cultural issue for Copts.

Offline Andrew Crook

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2011, 02:15:17 PM »
Is there really much evidence that St. Thomas the Apostle actually DID visit India?  http://apostlethomasindia.wordpress.com/the-myth-of-saint-thomas-and-the-mylapore-shiva-temple-2010-ishwar-sharan/thomas-in-india-is-neither-factual-nor-secular-koenraad-elst/  is something I've seen recently that the beloved Apostle probably didn't go there as we suspected, at least not to the current day political boundaries of India.. where Francis Xavier went and destroyed Hindu artwork and statues, deeming them demonic idols.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2011, 04:37:33 PM »
So how do the Knanaya view, say, the Armenians? Do they consider them fellow Christians?
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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2011, 05:26:24 PM »
Is there really much evidence that St. Thomas the Apostle actually DID visit India?  http://apostlethomasindia.wordpress.com/the-myth-of-saint-thomas-and-the-mylapore-shiva-temple-2010-ishwar-sharan/thomas-in-india-is-neither-factual-nor-secular-koenraad-elst/  is something I've seen recently that the beloved Apostle probably didn't go there as we suspected, at least not to the current day political boundaries of India.. where Francis Xavier went and destroyed Hindu artwork and statues, deeming them demonic idols.

Fr. Peter Farrington of the British Orthodox Church wrote an article about St. Thomas here:

http://britishorthodox.org/glastonbury-review-archive/glastonbury-review-archive-issue-118/7/
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2011, 07:20:02 PM »
Is there really much evidence that St. Thomas the Apostle actually DID visit India?  http://apostlethomasindia.wordpress.com/the-myth-of-saint-thomas-and-the-mylapore-shiva-temple-2010-ishwar-sharan/thomas-in-india-is-neither-factual-nor-secular-koenraad-elst/  is something I've seen recently that the beloved Apostle probably didn't go there as we suspected, at least not to the current day political boundaries of India.. where Francis Xavier went and destroyed Hindu artwork and statues, deeming them demonic idols.
It's a big place, and unfortunately the Christians never took over.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2011, 07:28:09 PM »
Thanks, ialmisry. I learn a lot from your posts :).

I do remember my priest telling me that circumcision predates Christianity in Egypt - that is, it was common since the time of the pharoahs.  Therefore, I would think that this is a cultural issue for Copts.
yes, there is also the account that St. Mark (who of course was circumcized) found the Egyptians doing it, and let them be.  The problem is that excuse is also used to OK female genital mutulation, one of the very few things about Copts that I am absolutely against.

Btw, we know it went way back in Egypt:
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline Jonathan

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2011, 07:37:46 PM »

 The problem is that excuse is also used to OK female genital mutulation, one of the very few things about Copts that I am absolutely against.


But female genital mutilation is not practiced or condoned by the Coptic Orthodox Church. There is no canon allowing or requiring female circumcision. There is no canon even requiring male circumcision, though that is a cultural thing that is not sinful and so allowable, unlike female circumcision which is contrary to Christianity. There are probably some Copts in rural areas who practice this, but there are also some Copts in rural areas who name their sons Muhammed. That doesn't make it a Coptic thing, any more than the common cultural practice of drinking heavily found among the Russian Orthodox make drunkenness a Russian Orthodox thing... H.H. Pope Shenouda has spoken against this practice (as no doubt Russian clergy speak out against drunkenness without that meaning that drunkenness was ever a Russian Orthodox thing).

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2011, 07:42:45 PM »

 The problem is that excuse is also used to OK female genital mutulation, one of the very few things about Copts that I am absolutely against.


But female genital mutilation is not practiced or condoned by the Coptic Orthodox Church. There is no canon allowing or requiring female circumcision. There is no canon even requiring male circumcision, though that is a cultural thing that is not sinful and so allowable, unlike female circumcision which is contrary to Christianity. There are probably some Copts in rural areas who practice this, but there are also some Copts in rural areas who name their sons Muhammed. That doesn't make it a Coptic thing, any more than the common cultural practice of drinking heavily found among the Russian Orthodox make drunkenness a Russian Orthodox thing... H.H. Pope Shenouda has spoken against this practice (as no doubt Russian clergy speak out against drunkenness without that meaning that drunkenness was ever a Russian Orthodox thing).
H.H. Pope Shenoudah has spoken out against this, and its demise has been more rapid among the Copts than the Muslims, as it is an Egyptian thing.  http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/4b6fe1cd0.pdf One that I wish the Copts had let die when they converted from paganism.

It was one of the reasons, though, why the Vatican never got much of a following.  The Vatican absolutely banned FGM and IIRC circumcision (male that is).  But no one would marry the uncircumicized, so they married the Orthodox and were brought back to Orthodoxy.  At some point the Vatican dropped the ban.

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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2011, 07:44:37 PM »

 The problem is that excuse is also used to OK female genital mutulation, one of the very few things about Copts that I am absolutely against.


But female genital mutilation is not practiced or condoned by the Coptic Orthodox Church. There is no canon allowing or requiring female circumcision. There is no canon even requiring male circumcision, though that is a cultural thing that is not sinful and so allowable, unlike female circumcision which is contrary to Christianity. There are probably some Copts in rural areas who practice this, but there are also some Copts in rural areas who name their sons Muhammed. That doesn't make it a Coptic thing, any more than the common cultural practice of drinking heavily found among the Russian Orthodox make drunkenness a Russian Orthodox thing... H.H. Pope Shenouda has spoken against this practice (as no doubt Russian clergy speak out against drunkenness without that meaning that drunkenness was ever a Russian Orthodox thing).

Probably off-topic, but I read that the drunkenness for which Russians have become (in)famous is only really attested from around the time of Peter the Great. Possibly this kind of behavior became more common in the context of Westernization, since drunkenness was already much more common in Western Europe.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2011, 07:54:05 PM »

 The problem is that excuse is also used to OK female genital mutulation, one of the very few things about Copts that I am absolutely against.


But female genital mutilation is not practiced or condoned by the Coptic Orthodox Church. There is no canon allowing or requiring female circumcision. There is no canon even requiring male circumcision, though that is a cultural thing that is not sinful and so allowable, unlike female circumcision which is contrary to Christianity. There are probably some Copts in rural areas who practice this, but there are also some Copts in rural areas who name their sons Muhammed. That doesn't make it a Coptic thing, any more than the common cultural practice of drinking heavily found among the Russian Orthodox make drunkenness a Russian Orthodox thing... H.H. Pope Shenouda has spoken against this practice (as no doubt Russian clergy speak out against drunkenness without that meaning that drunkenness was ever a Russian Orthodox thing).

Probably off-topic, but I read that the drunkenness for which Russians have become (in)famous is only really attested from around the time of Peter the Great. Possibly this kind of behavior became more common in the context of Westernization, since drunkenness was already much more common in Western Europe.
No, can't blame this one on the West. It is said St. Vladimir turned down Islam because of the ban on alcohol.
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

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2011, 08:30:11 PM »
Probably off-topic, but I read that the drunkenness for which Russians have become (in)famous is only really attested from around the time of Peter the Great. Possibly this kind of behavior became more common in the context of Westernization, since drunkenness was already much more common in Western Europe.

Along with what ialmisry said, it was discussed a bit on this thread:)
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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2011, 12:33:07 AM »
It was one of the reasons, though, why the Vatican never got much of a following.  The Vatican absolutely banned FGM and IIRC circumcision (male that is).  But no one would marry the uncircumicized, so they married the Orthodox and were brought back to Orthodoxy.  At some point the Vatican dropped the ban.

So that's why the ancestors of all you Orthodox weren't Catholic!!! Wow, and all these centuries we thought it was the filioque and papal infallibility. Wait until Rome hears about this! It'll be circumcisions all around!!!   ;D

Many years,

Neil
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2011, 12:36:39 AM »
Wait until Rome hears about this! It'll be circumcisions all around!!!   ;D
Whether you want one or not  :o?
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Offline Irish Melkite

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #38 on: August 06, 2011, 01:26:11 AM »
So how do the Knanaya view, say, the Armenians? Do they consider them fellow Christians?

These comments are essentially limited to the faithful of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches; there is not a lot of material available on the small Knanaite bodies within the Protestant Churches that have a presence in Kerala. The Knanaites' views of those who are members of any of the Apostolic Churches are not really any different than those of their co-religionists (whether those be Orthodox or Catholic). As a whole, they are as accepting of other Oriental Orthodox and Oriental Catholics as would be the case if they were not Knanaites. They just simply don't intermarry with them, not if they wish to retain their standing in their ethno-ecclesial community, and they typically would be unlikely to worship with them. As I'll explain, absent a parish of their own particular form, they would worship with other Indians of the Church in which they are a distinct etho-cultural subgroup.  

In both the Orthodox and Catholic instances (Syrian Orthodox Jacobite Indian Church and the Syro-Malabarese Catholic Church), they have their own parishes, canonical jurisdiction, and hierarch. Separate parishes essentially date from time immemorial. The distinct eparchy and hierarch in each Church date from around  1910-1911, when both Churches made those provisions. In those few instances where Knanaites are geographically separated from their parishes, they'll worship with others of their own Church - but that is pretty much limited to the diaspora and even there, they tend to gravitate to areas where others of their ethnicity/culture have already settled, as did most of our ancestors when coming from the 'Old Countries' (in the neighborhoods dubbed 'Little Araby', 'Little Russia', etc).  

In the US, neither the Orthodox (unless things changed recently) nor the Catholic Knanaites have their own bishop. However, each has a Knanaite vicar within the eparchy of their respective Churches who has superintendency of their parishes. (Last I checked, there were 10 parishes in the Vicariate for the Knanaite Catholic Community in North America, a suffragn jurisdiction of the Eparchy of St Thomas the Apostle in Chicago of the Syro-Malabars.)  

The smaller groups within the Syro-Malankara Catholic and Orthodox Churches do not have eparchies or hierarchs, but do have parishes. I'm not sure how the Syro-Malankara Orthodox handle that arrangement (other than that they do accomodate the Knanaite praxis) but the Catholic approach to it affords a curious situation.

The Syro-Malabarese Catholics (who serve according to the Assyro-Chaldean Rite) maintain parishes in 2 of their eparchies for Syro-Malankara Knanaites, in which the liturgical forms employed are those of the Malankarese Knanaites' ancestral (Antiochene) Rite, as modified to include the particular Knanaite usages. Fifteen of these parishes are subject to the autonomous Metropolitan Arch-Eparchy of Kottayam of the Knanaites; they are clustered in an Episcopal Vicariate for Malankara Knanaites, headed by a Syro-Malankara Knanaite prelate. As memory serves, there are an additional two such parishes situated in a non-Knanaite Syro-Malabarese eparchy.

Many years,

Neil
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 01:39:55 AM by Irish Melkite »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2011, 01:49:59 AM »
Cool. Thanks for the info.
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Offline Irish Melkite

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Re: Knanaya Orthodox Church?
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2011, 02:07:40 AM »
Is there really much evidence that St. Thomas the Apostle actually DID visit India? 

Well, let's see, I'd put a lot of faith in a site that starts out by saying:

Quote
It is clear enough that many Christians including the Pope have long given up the belief in Thomas’s Indian exploits, or – like the Church Fathers – never believed in them in the first place. In contrast with European Christians today, Indian Christians live in a 17th century bubble, as if they are too puerile to stand in the daylight of solid historical fact. They remain in a twilight of legend and lies, at the command of ambitious “medieval” bishops who mislead them with the St. Thomas in India fable for purely selfish reasons.

and so complimentary to our Indian brothers  ::)

To answer your question, is there really much evidence that most of the Apostles DID travel to the places in which they are revered to have brought the Faith?  We feel relatively sure of where Peter, Paul, and James went. But, we have little to support that:

  • Bartholomew traveled to Armenia, India, or Ethiopia
  • Andrew traveled to Georgia, Romania, Ukraine, or Russia
  • Simon traveled to England, Armenia, or Ethiopia

and the list goes on.

As is the case with so much of the historical record, there is none, and we rely on what pious tradition and legend tell us.

I have no problem being comfortable with that, whether it be the travels of the Apostles and the 70 Disciples or that, when "Agia Sophia is returned to its holy purpose, the south wall will part and allow the presbyters who, on 29 May 1453, departed through it with the Holy Gifts in hand, to re-enter and resume the Interrupted Liturgy.

Many years,

Neil  
"Not only is it unnecessary to adopt the customs of the Latin Rite to manifest one's Catholicism, it is an offense against the unity of the Church."

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