Author Topic: Are Traditions infallible?  (Read 9505 times)

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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Are Traditions infallible?
« Reply #90 on: August 30, 2011, 02:46:05 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The protoevangelion of St. James says that St. Joseph underwent the trial of the bitter waters, something that historically was reserved for women, as a test of their celibacy (I think). I'm not too sure of the specifics. This inclusion has been used by scholars to show that the PE is basically nonsense, and the author has no idea what he is talking about or what Jewish tradition was really like. Hence, temple virgins, Mary in the holy of holies, St. Joseph and the theotokos not being married ect. At least, that is what they say. I'm not saying that this is the case, but it seems a strong argument from those who make it.

Orthodox hymnographic and iconographic tradition state that the 40-day-old Christ was presented to the Symeon the Righteous at the Temple by the Virgin, not by St Joseph. This is contrary to established Jewish custom at the time (that the father presents the child). The earthly life of Christ is full of such contradictions to the established order, be it His conception and birth by a Virgin, His miracles, His resurrection. Similarly, hymnography and iconography attest to the three-year-old daughter of Joachim and Anna not only entering the Temple, but entering and dwelling in the Holy of Holies itself, in preparation for the astounding and incomprehensible task of bearing the Son of God.

These are but a few examples of the many paradoxes of salvation history. So why would it be beyond possibility that Joseph was subjected to the trial of bitter waters? The testimony of Orthodox hymnography, iconography, and Orthodox saints and fathers are the standards to follow, not the musings of modern scholars, particularly those outside the Orthodox fold.

There is nothing against Judaism in any other those references, the 40-day is straight out of Leviticus, the circumcision on the 8th day happened int the home, the presentation in the Temple occurred after the Mothers' ritual purification, much as we in Ethiopian Orthodox maintain to this day in baptizing our children on the 40th and 80th day after Birth. Further, His miracles often fit right in accordance with Jewish law and Jewish expectations and Jewish symbolism, one of my favorite being the sending out the Legion of demons into the herds of swine (which obviously insinuated the Jews would be safe)  In regards to the Protoevangelium, that particular medieval text is indeed pseudogospel, however the events which are also correlated into hymn, lectionary readings, and the Sinaxarium are legitimate tradition,  not extrapolations or exaggerations. We can be assured that these references within Tradition are themselves accurate, it is not these in the proteevanulem that are not Orthodox so much as that text itself.  We use the Orthodox versions within our Hymns and writings which tell of the same stories.
Protestants scripturalist are always trying to find :ah ha" moments, but it most often based upon ideological misinterpretation and willfull ignorance of the Orthodox.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10