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Author Topic: Issues and Concerns with the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church  (Read 3321 times) Average Rating: 2
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NicholasMyra
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« on: October 07, 2011, 02:03:22 AM »

Recently, some other posters and I have heard some startling claims from the Ethiopian Orthodox on the board, and in some links that they have provided.

1. Ge'ez and linguistic Claims
The claim that Ge'ez is the mother tongue of all human language and a language imbued with some sort of divine power over and against other languages. Here is an example from Gebre:

"..Ge'ez... the very language that was spoken in the Garden of Eden! This was the very speech that Adam and Eve used to converse with the animals and with the Holy Trinity."

2. Ark of the Covenant
A focus on the Ark of the Covenant literally being in Ethiopia, against historical evidence, and amidst shadowy events like the Patriarch of Ethiopia backing out of displaying the Ark to the public after promising to.

3. Genetic Claims
Claims that Ethiopians are directly descended from Solomon, are more closely related to how Adam and Eve originally looked, etc.

4. Liturgical Claims
The claim that Ethiopia has maintained an unbroken liturgy from King David's time.

5. Ethiopia = Zion?

Are these sorts of superstitious, nationalist and racial claims a regular part of Ethiopian Orthodoxy in Ethiopia and in the diaspora?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 02:14:05 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 02:26:58 AM »

Not to be inflammatory, but I've also noticed some tendencies which seem Judaising (from the perspective of this outsider).
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2011, 02:31:26 AM »

I think you'll find a certain amount of nationalism in every national church.  The Armenians, for example, call the Armenian language "soorp lezoon," which means "the holy language."  Also, I was taught as a kid that the Garden of Eden was in Armenia.  I think this was supported by the reference to the Euphrates River in Genesis 2.  And of course the Armenians make much of Noah's ark resting on Mount Ararat.

Really, these things don't matter from a theological point of view.  I think these traditions developed as a way of connecting the people to the religion and making it their own.  

With regard to the Ark of the Covenant, the tradition that it rests in Ethiopia is really quite ancient.  I think the fact that it remains hidden from the public is evidence of the sincerity, and even veracity, of the Ethiopian Church's claims.  If it were a hoax, the Church there would be putting it on public display to get recognition, etc.  Their belief in its holiness, however, outweighs any desire to show it off, brag about it, or profit from it in any way.  It's been discussed before.  You may want to click on the tag about it, below.
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 02:34:10 AM »

Not to be inflammatory, but I've also noticed some tendencies which seem Judaising (from the perspective of this outsider).

I think that would be due to the fact that there was a very ancient Jewish population in Ethiopia before it was Christian.  That, I think, is connected to the presence of the Ark in Ethiopia.
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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2011, 02:35:59 AM »

Not to be inflammatory, but I've also noticed some tendencies which seem Judaising (from the perspective of this outsider).

I think that would be due to the fact that there was a very ancient Jewish population in Ethiopia before it was Christian.  That, I think, is connected to the presence of the Ark in Ethiopia.

Granted, but for the purposes of discussion, I will say that there is a difference between being a Jew (gentically) and a Judaiser -- it is only the latter which is potentially problematic.
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2011, 02:41:19 AM »

The videos linked in this post may be of interest regarding the Ark:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13693.msg221198.html#msg221198
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2011, 02:41:35 AM »

Add the "Age of the World" bit to this list.
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2011, 02:47:08 AM »

Not to be inflammatory, but I've also noticed some tendencies which seem Judaising (from the perspective of this outsider).

I think that would be due to the fact that there was a very ancient Jewish population in Ethiopia before it was Christian.  That, I think, is connected to the presence of the Ark in Ethiopia.

Granted, but for the purposes of discussion, I will say that there is a difference between being a Jew (gentically) and a Judaiser -- it is only the latter which is potentially problematic.

I seem to recall this being discussed before.  I don't think the Ethiopian Church is strongly dogmatic about its traditions that are rooted in Judaism, such as circumcision, etc.  At least not in a way that would be problematic.  For example, Armenians don't circumcise, and yet we are in communion with the Ethiopians.  It's not like they believe a person can't be a Christian if they don't practice those things.  That's the sort of thing that would be problematic to Christianity.
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2011, 02:48:33 AM »

Add the "Age of the World" bit to this list.

Not exactly scientific, but then neither is the Resurrection.   Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2011, 03:03:28 AM »

Add the "Age of the World" bit to this list.

Not exactly scientific, but then neither is the Resurrection.   Smiley
What do you mean not scientific? Doesn't the EOTC say the Earth was created 5000+ years ago?
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2011, 04:10:49 AM »

Recently, some other posters and I have heard some startling claims from the Ethiopian Orthodox on the board, and in some links that they have provided.

1. Ge'ez and linguistic Claims
The claim that Ge'ez is the mother tongue of all human language and a language imbued with some sort of divine power over and against other languages. Here is an example from Gebre:

"..Ge'ez... the very language that was spoken in the Garden of Eden! This was the very speech that Adam and Eve used to converse with the animals and with the Holy Trinity."

2. Ark of the Covenant
A focus on the Ark of the Covenant literally being in Ethiopia, against historical evidence, and amidst shadowy events like the Patriarch of Ethiopia backing out of displaying the Ark to the public after promising to.

3. Genetic Claims
Claims that Ethiopians are directly descended from Solomon, are more closely related to how Adam and Eve originally looked, etc.

4. Liturgical Claims
The claim that Ethiopia has maintained an unbroken liturgy from King David's time.

5. Ethiopia = Zion?

Are these sorts of superstitious, nationalist and racial claims a regular part of Ethiopian Orthodoxy in Ethiopia and in the diaspora?

Let me try to briefly address each issue in question:

1. Our Tradition does indeed maintain that the ancient and mystical Liturgical language of Ge'ez is the oldest language in existence, and is in fact the language that Adam and Eve used to converse with the animals and God prior to the Fall. I think brother Habte Selassie posted some comments in support of this Tradition, explaining that Ge'ez predates Hebrew and Arabic. I imagine that sister Hiwot and brothers HaileAmanuel, Hiywot, and other EOTC members of this forum can elaborate on this point. I will try to provide a reference soon, but here is some good information from N'bure-Id Ermias Kebbede Welde-Yesus, from his book “Servant of Ethiopia: The Kingdom of GodGe'ez is the first and original language that is referred to in Genesis 11/1 as "Now the whole earth had one language and one speech." This Divine Truth is authenticated by the following simple and unique characteristics of Ge'ez:

a) The inherent, literal and dual meaning of the word Ge'ez is "The First" and "The Free".

b) Each of the alphabets of Ge'ez constitutes and is identified by seven characters and phonetics, based on the Divine Number of Seven.

c) The first character of the alphabet of Ge'ez, as the basis and the key for the rest of the six characters, being itself non-phonetic, i.e., without vowel or soundless like a consonant, is designated as "Ge'ez", i.e., "The first".

d) The first character of the alphabet of Ge'ez "A" was used by the Biblical God for the first time into the making of the word that related to the specific name, "Adam", the name constituting both the first male and female human beings created in the Image of the Divine Creator.

e) While all the other languages and alphabets of the humans derive their designations from the names of the peoples who speak and write them, Ge'ez is the only language that is called by its own name that relates its unique status and nature.

f) There is a universal and conventional knowledge about the initial words that virtually all babies that are born of the human beings to inhabit the face of the Earth, whatever the language spoken and the alphabet written of the family and community to which they belong and in which they are reared, utter, right at their early infancy. It is invariably: "Ab Ab Ab", in short "Ababa!", which literally means in Ge'ez, "Father Father Father" meant to address the biological male parent, and "Im Im Im", in short "Im'ma!" which literally means in Ge'ez, "Mother Mother Mother" meant to address the biological female parent.

g) Ge'ez opens its alphabet by the first character "A", called "Aleph" in Ge'ez and closes with the "Last" character "O", called the "Seventh", both referred to as "Alpha" and "Omega" by the then contemporary Greek vernacular. When the Creator, known to and addressed by Ethiopians in their Ge'ez terminology as "Igziab'her", became Incarnate, born of the Holy Virgin Mary and revealed Himself to the world as Lord Jesus Christ, He affirmed the Divinity, Seniority and Originality of Ge'ez by assigning to Himself the same characters and nature of the Ge'ez Alphabets with His Apocalyptic Words that says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." This Divine Verification of the identity of the Language of Ge'ez demonstrates the Divine Truth that Ge'ez has been, not only the Divine Language God used to communicate with Adam and Eve, but also remains the Sacred Language by which He conveyed His Messages to humanity and His Faithful Ethiopians continue to worship Him.(Rev. 22/13)

It is worth noting here that the above specifics are substantiated by series of archeological and paleontological discoveries in modern times.


2.  Our Tradition maintains that the Ark of the Covenant is indeed in Ethiopia. It is believed that the Ark is located in St. Mary of Zion Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Axum. We have a book of Holy Tradition called The Kebra Nagast (“The Glory of Kings”) which gives a detailed history of how the Ark of the Covenant came to rest in Ethiopia. In spite of numerous efforts to do so, there is actually no historical or archaeological evidence to disprove our claim.

3. As for the genetic claims, this is not an essential part of our Tradition or our Faith. However the ethnic features of most Ethiopians portray a beautiful amalgamation of sub-Saharan African and Semitic blood. This fact indeed corresponds to the biblical and historical account of the Queen of Sheba’s meeting and procreative relationship with King Solomon.

4. I’m not sure what you mean by “has maintained an unbroken liturgy since David’s time”. We are Orthodox Christians, and our Liturgy is thoroughly and purely Christian. In fact, although most Ethiopian Orthodox Christians practice circumcision as a customary tradition, we confess in our Divine Liturgy: “Henceforth let us not be circumcised like the Jews, for we know that He who had to fulfill the law and the prophets has already come.”

5. The concept of Ethiopia literally being Zion is a Rastafarian idea, not an Ethiopian Orthodox doctrine. However, as Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, we believe that the hand of God will remain upon the nation and people of Ethiopia. We believe according the Scriptures that Ethiopia was part of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:13), and that Ethiopia has a divine prophetical promise that she will continue to “stretch forth her hand unto God.” [Psalm 68:31]

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is not exclusive, nationalistic, or prejudicial. Our Church embraces the evangelical mission given by Our Lord to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. [St. Mark 16:15; St. Matt 28:18-20] As His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie said:

 “This age above all ages is a period in history when it should be our prime duty to preach the Gospel of Grace to all our fellow men and women. The love shown in Christ by our God to mankind should constrain all of us who are followers and disciples of Christ to do all in our power to see to it that the Message of Salvation is carried to those of our fellows for whom Christ the Savior was crucified, but who have not had the benefit of hearing the Good News… As we do not practice or permit discrimination within our own nation, so we oppose it wherever it is found.”

6. In regards to the age of the earth, our Church does in fact teach that the earth is approximately 7,000 years old. This age has been derived at by holy monks who have deduced the age of the earth from a detailed examination of the Book of Jubilees (which is part of our biblical canon) according the guidance of the Holy Spirit. For more information on this topic, click on this link: http://www.ethiopianorthodoxchurch.org/old%20ver/ethiopian_calender_Gregorian_calender_2009.html

Thank you for your interest in our Church and our Faith. Please be assured that we are Orthodox Christians. It is unfortunate that our Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Faith has been so misunderstood. I think these misconceptions and confusions are due to the erroneous connection of our Church with certain fallacious aspects of the Rastafarian movement, and also to the prejudicial stereotypes portrayed by the media which make Ethiopian Christianity appear to be merely another form of exotic African superstition.

I think it is most helpful if all Orthodox Christians respect one another’s cultural traditions. Other Orthodox Christians may be skeptical about our claim to have the Ark of the Covenant or our teaching that Ge’ez was the language of Eden, and there is nothing wrong with asking us why we hold to these traditions. But we should be careful that we don’t disparage, mock, or challenge each other’s sacred traditions and customs, for we all come equally as sinners to receive the very Body and Blood of Christ, in which is our salvation.

If I have mis-stated or misrepresented anything here, I ask that my Ethiopian Orthodox brethren correct me.




Selam

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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2011, 10:09:36 AM »

I think you'll find a certain amount of nationalism in every national church.  The Armenians, for example, call the Armenian language "soorp lezoon," which means "the holy language."  Also, I was taught as a kid that the Garden of Eden was in Armenia.  I think this was supported by the reference to the Euphrates River in Genesis 2.  And of course the Armenians make much of Noah's ark resting on Mount Ararat.

Really, these things don't matter from a theological point of view.  I think these traditions developed as a way of connecting the people to the religion and making it their own.  

With regard to the Ark of the Covenant, the tradition that it rests in Ethiopia is really quite ancient.  I think the fact that it remains hidden from the public is evidence of the sincerity, and even veracity, of the Ethiopian Church's claims.  If it were a hoax, the Church there would be putting it on public display to get recognition, etc.  Their belief in its holiness, however, outweighs any desire to show it off, brag about it, or profit from it in any way.  It's been discussed before.  You may want to click on the tag about it, below.

I agree.  You know, I actually have the real burial shroud of Christ.  It is so holy, though, that I must not let anyone see it.  I'm glad you'll defend my decision.
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2011, 12:18:28 PM »

I think the fact that it remains hidden from the public is evidence of the sincerity, and even veracity, of the Ethiopian Church's claims.  If it were a hoax, the Church there would be putting it on public display to get recognition, etc.  Their belief in its holiness, however, outweighs any desire to show it off, brag about it, or profit from it in any way.  

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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2011, 01:23:09 PM »

Add the "Age of the World" bit to this list.

This is hardly unique to the Ethiopian church.
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2011, 04:20:08 PM »

I've heard about the Ark resting there. in fact I specifically remember that the Patriarch said he was going to show it off but then said he couldn't but he can attest that its there...wow, what proof....

whatever.

PP
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2011, 04:39:36 PM »

I've seen several segments on the history channel about the ark being in Ethiopia, so who can argue with that?
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« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2011, 04:59:59 PM »

I don't understand why the Ethiopian Church doesn't allow its faithful to venerate such an amazing relic.
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« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2011, 05:14:07 PM »

I don't understand why the Ethiopian Church doesn't allow its faithful to venerate such an amazing relic.

1 Chronicles 13:9-10 and Numbers 4:20
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« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2011, 06:01:49 PM »

I don't understand why the Ethiopian Church doesn't allow its faithful to venerate such an amazing relic.
Because its not there. Probably a very ornate forgery, but a forgery none the less.

PP
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« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2011, 06:10:10 PM »

I don't understand why the Ethiopian Church doesn't allow its faithful to venerate such an amazing relic.

1 Chronicles 13:9-10 and Numbers 4:20
Christians partake of the very Flesh and Blood of the Incarnate Logos without dying. I don't see why the Ark (a type which has now been fulfilled in the Theotokos) would kill anyone anymore so long as they approached it with fear and faith.
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« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2011, 06:12:03 PM »

I don't understand why the Ethiopian Church doesn't allow its faithful to venerate such an amazing relic.

1 Chronicles 13:9-10 and Numbers 4:20
Christians partake of the very Flesh and Blood of the Incarnate Logos without dying. I don't see why the Ark (a type which has now been fulfilled in the Theotokos) would kill anyone anymore so long as they approached it with fear and faith.
If indeed the Ark were with the Ethopians, your logic makes sense. We as Christians have nothing to fear from it provided our hearts are right.

PP
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« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2011, 09:01:47 PM »

I don't understand why the Ethiopian Church doesn't allow its faithful to venerate such an amazing relic.
Because its not there. Probably a very ornate forgery, but a forgery none the less.

PP

Not ornate.  My understanding is that what is left of the Ark is basically a flat piece of wood, and that is what is in the church in Ethiopia.  It's not something that you would recognize from a Harrison Ford movie. 

This also, in my opinion, supports its authenticity.  After thousands of years, all you would expect to be left of it would be a fragment, not the whole thing as described in the Bible.  If the Ethiopians were going to pull a hoax, they would have reconstructed something that looked like the Ark in Raiders.

In the end, I don't think the Ethiopians really care if the non-Orthodox believe that what they have is the Ark or not.  If they cared, they would reconstruct it to make it look "ornate" and put it on public display.  All they seem to care about, however, is protecting this holy object that God has trusted to their care. 
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« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2011, 09:06:43 PM »

I don't understand why the Ethiopian Church doesn't allow its faithful to venerate such an amazing relic.

1 Chronicles 13:9-10 and Numbers 4:20
Christians partake of the very Flesh and Blood of the Incarnate Logos without dying. I don't see why the Ark (a type which has now been fulfilled in the Theotokos) would kill anyone anymore so long as they approached it with fear and faith.

Would you put a piece of the Eucharist on public display?  In the old days, they used to forbid those who couldn't partake from even watching as people took Communion. 

The Ark is not an ordinary relic.  No other object in the Bible ever had attributed to it the kind of power that the Ark had.
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« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2011, 09:40:09 PM »

Something bizarre has happened.  Last night I put an "Ark of the Covenant" tag on this thread.  It disappeared a couple of times and I replaced it each time.  Today when I got home from work, I saw that not only was that tag deleted from this thread, but it was also deleted from all the other threads that it had been on. 

So I have again put the tag on all the threads it should be on:


Ark of the Covenant   hedley   1   635

The Ark of the Covenant: How to reconcile our tradition with Scripture?   Gebre Menfes Kidus     13    985

Article on the Ark in Ethiopia   Eugenio   80   7004

The Ark of the Covenant and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church   Andrew21091   4   620

Article on Ethiopian Orthodox Church   Mor Ephrem   6   1414

Issues and Concerns with the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church   NicholasMyra   22   169


I suppose whoever has been deleting the tags can just do it again, but then I'll just put them back on.  A quick look at the statistics here on OCnet should inform anyone of the fact that I really don't have anything else to do with my life but log onto OCnet and replace tags.   Smiley

One would think the EO's were jealous of the Ethiopians for having the Ark.  And to think, it used to be you guys were only jealous of our hats and our food.   Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2011, 01:51:02 AM »

so Gebre..

where'd Sanskrit come from? is that a derivative of Geez?  Also, explain Avestan..

Sanskrit and Avestan are two of the oldest languages in the world, used by Zoroaster and the Vedic Brahmins.
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« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2011, 02:25:20 AM »

it is fortunate that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church does not get too caught up with the Ge'ez thing, because Coptic is the oldest surviving language in the world, having a history of around 4-6k years behind it Smiley

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« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2011, 02:28:05 AM »

You mean before they borrowed the Greek alphabet right? And were still writing in hieroglyphs..?  Sanskrit, Avestan, Coptic.. very old languages -- got ya
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« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2011, 02:35:52 AM »

even after the greek alphabet was borrowed, its the same spoken and written language, much like turkish changing into the latin alphabet.
i might call it egyptian to avoid confusion. egyptian has been around since 5000bc and is used in the coptic orthodox church Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2011, 02:37:05 AM »

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« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2011, 06:09:45 AM »

Coptic is not ancient Egyptian, any more than Arabic is Phoenician.
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« Reply #30 on: October 08, 2011, 06:14:12 AM »

its the same language written using a different alphabet Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: October 08, 2011, 06:18:38 AM »

its the same language written using a different alphabet Smiley
-_-
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« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2011, 06:21:33 AM »

"Coptic or Coptic Egyptian (ⲘⲉⲧⲢⲉⲙ̀ⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ Met Remenkēmi) is the current stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century. Egyptian began to be written using the Greek alphabet in the 1st century.[4] The new writing system became the Coptic script, an adapted Greek alphabet with the addition of six or seven signs from the demotic script to represent Egyptian sounds the Greek language did not have. Several distinct Coptic dialects are identified, the most prominent of which are Sahidic and Bohairic."
if you require scholarly evidence, let me know, i will dig it up.
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« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2011, 06:58:12 AM »

I don't understand why the Ethiopian Church doesn't allow its faithful to venerate such an amazing relic.


One might as well ask why Orthodox Christians are not allowed behind the altar. We don't need "proof", we accept what our Church says. Can any of us prove how the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Our Lord?


Selam
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« Reply #34 on: October 08, 2011, 07:00:51 AM »

I don't understand why the Ethiopian Church doesn't allow its faithful to venerate such an amazing relic.

1 Chronicles 13:9-10 and Numbers 4:20
Christians partake of the very Flesh and Blood of the Incarnate Logos without dying. I don't see why the Ark (a type which has now been fulfilled in the Theotokos) would kill anyone anymore so long as they approached it with fear and faith.

Would you put a piece of the Eucharist on public display?  In the old days, they used to forbid those who couldn't partake from even watching as people took Communion. 

The Ark is not an ordinary relic.  No other object in the Bible ever had attributed to it the kind of power that the Ark had.


Yes. Exactly Salpy.


Selam

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« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2011, 07:09:27 AM »

for the sake of argument: Christ specifically stated in the clearest of terms to eat of his holy body, and drink of his blood, attributing these two divine things to the bread and wine. not to mention countless church fathers re-affirming this. on the otherhand, the location of the ark is never mentioned in the holy bible following its disappearance. in fact the church fathers allude to St Mary being the Ark of Covenant (although allegorical, such description point to the fathers' conviction that the whereabouts of the Ark is neither important nor in ethiopia. also the new testament is the new covenant, the old one elapsed. much like the judaic sacrifice will never be consumed by the divine flame, the Ark will never have the same spiritual value as the eucharist. this is because we are now saved, the old covenant no longer directly binds us.
i hope i make sense...
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« Reply #36 on: October 08, 2011, 07:13:47 AM »

for the sake of argument: Christ specifically stated in the clearest of terms to eat of his holy body, and drink of his blood, attributing these two divine things to the bread and wine. not to mention countless church fathers re-affirming this. on the otherhand, the location of the ark is never mentioned in the holy bible following its disappearance. in fact the church fathers allude to St Mary being the Ark of Covenant (although allegorical, such description point to the fathers' conviction that the whereabouts of the Ark is neither important nor in ethiopia. also the new testament is the new covenant, the old one elapsed. much like the judaic sacrifice will never be consumed by the divine flame, the Ark will never have the same spiritual value as the eucharist. this is because we are now saved, the old covenant no longer directly binds us.
i hope i make sense...
God bless

Perfect sense.

Can a thread be moved to public? This ain't ugly. I think Nick was overly cautious about the polemical possibility of this thread.

A lot of people who might be interested in this don't have access to the private forums.

Is there is a precedent from going from private to public, mods?

Thanks.
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« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2011, 08:39:06 AM »

Honestly, our salvation does not depend on the location of the Ark or on which language was the oldest. So let's everyone have whatever opinion on these matters and love each other as Borthers and Sisters in Christ. Because on him, our salvation does depend.
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« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2011, 08:55:47 AM »

Quote
Honestly, our salvation does not depend on the location of the Ark or on which language was the oldest. So let's everyone have whatever opinion on these matters and love each other as Borthers and Sisters in Christ. Because on him, our salvation does depend.
I totally agree. but there is no reason such things as the location of the Ark and the oldest language, not be discussed, as long as its within the confines of intellectual debate and brotherly love. however, these things are not "issues" with the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox church, (which i happen to share communion with), but they are areas of academic interest, the exploration of which, cannot yield harm.
God bless
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« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2011, 01:31:20 PM »

Pursuant to the request of a couple of our members, this thread was moved here from the private forum.
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« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2011, 02:09:40 PM »

Would you put a piece of the Eucharist on public display?  In the old days, they used to forbid those who couldn't partake from even watching as people took Communion.
I watch people take Communion. Should I stop and just look down or something when people are Communing?
Quote
The Ark is not an ordinary relic.  No other object in the Bible ever had attributed to it the kind of power that the Ark had.
So it would kill people who want to venerate it in faith?
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« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2011, 02:11:54 PM »

One would think the EO's were jealous of the Ethiopians for having the Ark.  And to think, it used to be you guys were only jealous of our hats and our food.   Cheesy

Did you really have to make this into an EO vs OO thing?
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« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2011, 02:25:30 PM »

One might as well ask why Orthodox Christians are not allowed behind the altar.
Why are Orthodox Christians not allowed behind the altar?
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« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2011, 02:33:49 PM »

One might as well ask why Orthodox Christians are not allowed behind the altar.
Why are Orthodox Christians not allowed behind the altar?

Who says they're not allowed? I was back there just last month, and I'm technically not even Orthodox.
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« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2011, 02:46:20 PM »

One might as well ask why Orthodox Christians are not allowed behind the altar.
Why are Orthodox Christians not allowed behind the altar?

Who says they're not allowed? I was back there just last month, and I'm technically not even Orthodox.
It is generally discouraged, though, right?

I'm wondering because if the reason is "it's too holy" or something like that then I don't really understand how that makes sense. Christians eat and drink the Flesh and Blood of Christ and the old covenant way of "protecting" people from the divine presence is obsolete.

Right?
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« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2011, 02:55:02 PM »

Hmm. I really hesitate to reply to some of this, but the thread title caught my eye...I don't think the Ethiopian church (which I love dearly, lest anyone get a different idea) is alone in these sorts of "concerns" (I have read, for instance, a variety of opinions on the phenomenon of the "Holy Fire" said to appear to the EO in Jerusalem), but yeah...I gotta say, on the language issue: This one of those things that, while entirely understandable and even potentially good as an edifying article of faith, is verging on "not even wrong" territory.

The Ge'ez language, while very old and venerable, is not some sort of "proto-world" language or what have you. It is not the oldest language in the world. In terms of mechanism, it evolved no differently than any other language evolved or evolves: From a common proto-(Family) ancestor. What can be said for it, as I have read in many scholarly sources (Fox, Kaye, etc.), is that it has preserved some rather unique and seemingly quite archaic features that are not present in other languages of the family. The same, however, can be said with respect to Lithuanian regarding its relative rate of change in comparison to the other Indo-European languages. Put another way, historical linguists argue that Lithuanian has preserved to a greater degree other Indo-European languages the assumed set of Proto-Indo European features that are taken to account for the variation now found among the Indo-European languages. This does not make Lithuanian the oldest language, either. That is a misunderstanding of how languages evolve and are dated.

Why this is almost "not even wrong" instead of just regular wrong (which it also is) is that any reputable disinterested linguist will tell you that answering the question of which language is "oldest" is a bit like answering the question of which language has the most "words", or which language is the "hardest" or "easiest". When you unpack those questions and try to make sense of them against the variety of linguistic expression that there is in the world, you realize that they are essentially not answerable as asked, because there are no solid definitions of these things (a "word", for instance; there are workable definitions, but they "outline the borders of the mystery", to borrow a phrase from Fr. Damick's "Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy" series. Smiley) We certainly can talk about the language with the oldest written evidence (which is the default way that most people think about this issue, since nobody was carrying tape recorders around in c.4000 BC), in which case that honor would have to go to the Sumerian language, a language isolate which was spoken in Mesopotamia around the time of the invention of writing itself. Does this mean that Sumerian is definitely the oldest language? No. But we have to be careful about what we mean when we throw ideas like that around. For the sake argument, Sumerian wins by default unless or until something can be proven to be older, but it is more or less a bedrock principle of linguistics that we do not go by the written form of a language to begin with, as it is essentially an approximation of the graphically-codified speech of a community, so it would be a mistake to assume that there weren't probably all kinds of other languages and dialects before Sumerians realized that they could do more with their hash marks and triangles than keep track of the month's grain sales.

Abbreviated version: No. I appreciate your zeal, but no. (Or, "We know where the language is not, not where it is.")
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« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2011, 02:58:11 PM »

One might as well ask why Orthodox Christians are not allowed behind the altar.
Why are Orthodox Christians not allowed behind the altar?

Who says they're not allowed? I was back there just last month, and I'm technically not even Orthodox.
It is generally discouraged, though, right?

I'm wondering because if the reason is "it's too holy" or something like that then I don't really understand how that makes sense. Christians eat and drink the Flesh and Blood of Christ and the old covenant way of "protecting" people from the divine presence is obsolete.

Right?

Yeah, probably... I mean, if they say it's some type of reminder about God's otherness or whatever, that it is just so we remember our place, or whatever, then I guess I could maybe sorta understand it.  Not sure how anyone could go in then, and why women in particular are generally excluded. *shrugs*
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« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2011, 03:01:28 PM »

why women in particular are generally excluded.
Because you're not supposed to be bleeding when you're in the altar.  police
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« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2011, 03:06:01 PM »

why women in particular are generally excluded.
Because you're not supposed to be bleeding when you're in the altar.  police

So apostates can go in the altar area if they're male, but women can't because 3 weeks later they might* be bleeding? Awesome!  Grin  Really, though, why are they allowed out of the kitchen to begin with?  Huh


*Do women who don't have periods get permission to go back there?
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« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2011, 03:13:45 PM »

*Do women who don't have periods get permission to go back there?
Maybe that's why it's generally only older nuns who get to serve during Liturgy in convents.
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« Reply #50 on: October 08, 2011, 03:22:44 PM »

One would think the EO's were jealous of the Ethiopians for having the Ark.  And to think, it used to be you guys were only jealous of our hats and our food.   Cheesy

Did you really have to make this into an EO vs OO thing?

Was it I who made it an EO vs. OO thing?  I'm trying to recall the last time a bunch of OO's ganged up on the traditions of an EO Church like this.

Also, if you care to read the entire post you quoted, it was about an EO who is repeatedly deleting the Ark of the Covenant tag on this and five other threads.  I've replaced them a number of times last night and today already.  It's troll like activity.  Again if you can cite an example of an OO trolling EO threads like this, I'd like to see it.
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« Reply #51 on: October 08, 2011, 03:25:47 PM »

Really, though, why are they allowed out of the kitchen to begin with?  Huh
Or on carpet.
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« Reply #52 on: October 08, 2011, 03:49:19 PM »

Would you put a piece of the Eucharist on public display?  In the old days, they used to forbid those who couldn't partake from even watching as people took Communion.
I watch people take Communion. Should I stop and just look down or something when people are Communing?
This is an honest question, btw.
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« Reply #53 on: October 08, 2011, 03:53:46 PM »

A polemical post was split off and put in the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,40190.msg651145.html#new
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« Reply #54 on: October 08, 2011, 03:55:41 PM »

Would you put a piece of the Eucharist on public display?  In the old days, they used to forbid those who couldn't partake from even watching as people took Communion.
I watch people take Communion. Should I stop and just look down or something when people are Communing?
This is an honest question, btw.
I try not to look at the bread/wine being given.
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« Reply #55 on: October 08, 2011, 04:03:37 PM »

Also, if you care to read the entire post you quoted, it was about an EO who is repeatedly deleting the Ark of the Covenant tag on this and five other threads.  I've replaced them a number of times last night and today already.  It's troll like activity.  

How do you know it's not an OO who is embarrassed by their fellow OO's defending the Ark of the Covenant thing, and doesn't want inquirers seeing this kind of stuff? I certainly wouldn't want this to be the first thing inquirers saw about my religion if I was OO.
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« Reply #56 on: October 08, 2011, 04:05:52 PM »

Also, if you care to read the entire post you quoted, it was about an EO who is repeatedly deleting the Ark of the Covenant tag on this and five other threads.  I've replaced them a number of times last night and today already.  It's troll like activity. 

How do you know it's not an OO who is embarrassed by their fellow OO's defending the Ark of the Covenant thing, and doesn't want inquirers seeing this kind of stuff? I certainly wouldn't if I was OO.

Because it started right after I first put an Ark of the Covenant tag on this particular thread, back when it was in the private forum.  No other OO had clicked onto the thread yet at that time. 
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« Reply #57 on: October 08, 2011, 04:10:14 PM »

As for the language issue: I have heard (or read somewhere) that Ge'ez is the oldest language in existence. I cannot verify this, and I am not an expert on linguistics. I don't believe that this is a crucial matter of faith for us. But I do know that according to our EOTC tradition, Ge'ez is the language that was spoken in the Garden of Eden. Some claim that Hebrew was the language that was spoken in the Garden, and apparrently there are others who claim that other languages were spoken. So, it may be possible that there was more than one language which was spoken, without these languages being confused or misunderstood. Since none of us were present at that time, I don't think it's profitable or wise to dispute our tradition that Ge'ez was spoken by Adam and Eve.


Selam
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« Reply #58 on: October 08, 2011, 04:15:37 PM »

Would you put a piece of the Eucharist on public display?  In the old days, they used to forbid those who couldn't partake from even watching as people took Communion.
I watch people take Communion. Should I stop and just look down or something when people are Communing?
This is an honest question, btw.
I try not to look at the bread/wine being given.
I will refrain from doing so in the future.

It's ok to look at the chalice when the priest blesses the people with it, right?
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« Reply #59 on: October 08, 2011, 04:15:51 PM »

One would think the EO's were jealous of the Ethiopians for having the Ark.  And to think, it used to be you guys were only jealous of our hats and our food.   Cheesy

Did you really have to make this into an EO vs OO thing?

Was it I who made it an EO vs. OO thing?  I'm trying to recall the last time a bunch of OO's ganged up on the traditions of an EO Church like this.

Also, if you care to read the entire post you quoted, it was about an EO who is repeatedly deleting the Ark of the Covenant tag on this and five other threads.  I've replaced them a number of times last night and today already.  It's troll like activity.  Again if you can cite an example of an OO trolling EO threads like this, I'd like to see it.

Show the EOs ganging up.

I am an equal opportunity BS caller. I know a lot of people say that, but really ask around about me.

I can't even begin to appreciate the level of absurdity in Gebre's rejoinder about Ge'ez alone. I am still trying to process it.

I am glad for the post above explain why it is madness from a certain linguistic point of view, but it didn't pick up the problem the Ethiopian Church seems to suffer from in its views and the conduct of its posters: extreme triumphalism.

We all worship IN the original language that is less than 6,000 years old

Is patently absurd.

We have the Arc of the Covenant, but we can't show it to you.

Is cool to say but don't expect me to buy it. And Salpy if you do, I have a title to a bridge which I would like to sell you. Your reasoning on that is off the meter blind apologetics.

Again where are the EOs?

Nick ain't one. He still torn (if he don't mind my bring certain stuff public) IIRC between EO and OO. And I ain't one. And I think this is my first post in the thread.

*? Can you even believe what the guy says about his faith? Take a look at his username . . . //:=)

This is about bringing to discussion some of the fringe and triumphal elements of the Ethiopian Church's claims which seem to me to lead to the triumphal nature of some of the posts around here.

Salpy, read the blue words in Gebre's post. If you don't laugh, which I guess some people are THAT serious, tell you can possible take any of that "scholarship" seriously.

If it is off the chart wrong, then to what end would any Church claim such thing? Why?

Even the Jews don't that snarky about Hebrew.

Or the RC about Latin.

Or the GOC folks about Greek.

DISCLAIMER: One of my best friends Someone I work with is Ethiopian. //:=)

Really I like many of the Ethiopian posters / posts around. It ain't anything "personal" toward the Church, I would hope per se. Just some of the claims its proudly makes.



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« Reply #60 on: October 08, 2011, 04:19:38 PM »

Also, if you care to read the entire post you quoted, it was about an EO who is repeatedly deleting the Ark of the Covenant tag on this and five other threads.  I've replaced them a number of times last night and today already.  It's troll like activity. 

How do you know it's not an OO who is embarrassed by their fellow OO's defending the Ark of the Covenant thing, and doesn't want inquirers seeing this kind of stuff? I certainly wouldn't if I was OO.

Because it started right after I first put an Ark of the Covenant tag on this particular thread, back when it was in the private forum.  No other OO had clicked onto the thread yet at that time. 

Hey! You are a perceptive one, I'll give you that.
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« Reply #61 on: October 08, 2011, 04:24:40 PM »

The Edenic language is surely English since that is the language that Adam and Eve use to speak to God in the Bible.
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« Reply #62 on: October 08, 2011, 04:28:44 PM »

One would think the EO's were jealous of the Ethiopians for having the Ark.  And to think, it used to be you guys were only jealous of our hats and our food.   Cheesy

Did you really have to make this into an EO vs OO thing?

Was it I who made it an EO vs. OO thing?  I'm trying to recall the last time a bunch of OO's ganged up on the traditions of an EO Church like this.

Also, if you care to read the entire post you quoted, it was about an EO who is repeatedly deleting the Ark of the Covenant tag on this and five other threads.  I've replaced them a number of times last night and today already.  It's troll like activity.  Again if you can cite an example of an OO trolling EO threads like this, I'd like to see it.

Show the EOs ganging up.


Again, my comment was about the EO who is repeatedly deleting tags about the Ark.

If you want to discuss how OO's have been treated by some EO's here, please take it to the new thread down in the private forum.
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« Reply #63 on: October 08, 2011, 04:28:59 PM »

As for the language issue: I have heard (or read somewhere) that Ge'ez is the oldest language in existence. I cannot verify this, and I am not an expert on linguistics. I don't believe that this is a crucial matter of faith for us. But I do know that according to our EOTC tradition, Ge'ez is the language that was spoken in the Garden of Eden. Some claim that Hebrew was the language that was spoken in the Garden, and apparrently there are others who claim that other languages were spoken. So, it may be possible that there was more than one language which was spoken, without these languages being confused or misunderstood. Since none of us were present at that time, I don't think it's profitable or wise to dispute our tradition that Ge'ez was spoken by Adam and Eve.


Selam

I do. Because you at least use it as implicit argument about the your Church triumphal place in Orthodoxy. It is all profitable to call out nonsense.

Frankly your Church can teach whatever it wants, but strange that it holds its liturgical language to be the one Adam and Eve spoke to the animals, God, and each other.

And by implication, unless you believe Adam before Eve showed up used a buncha other languages before Ge'ez, then you are saying Ge'ez is the FIRST language. Which you submit you have now no linguistic evidence of nor ground for saying so.

Good on you. Seriously. Take chutzpah not to just admit when you were wrong, but when you were just saying stuff for no reason at all. Seriously good on you.

I guess the demons about have spoken the other tongues first, I dunno how your apologetics work, well don't work technically, but you get the point.

Habte, I am sure will have a scientific take on this. Which will be interesting to read.

I gotta get cleaned up. Going to liturgy where they speak the language of God: English.

Not really, cause my preacher growing up said it was the sorta English in the KJV. That is nonsense. I think we can see how such claims are made outta pride and the desire to lord over others.

At my church's case. I can be honest about this.



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« Reply #64 on: October 08, 2011, 04:31:25 PM »

The Edenic language is surely English since that is the language that Adam and Eve use to speak to God in the Bible.

You stole my joke.

But srsly Father, I went to a God words were perfected in the KJV finally church as a kid.

Preferable Black Leather Bound Christ's Word in Red Letter Scofield Chain Reference Edition.
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« Reply #65 on: October 08, 2011, 04:32:58 PM »


Salpy, read the blue words in Gebre's post. If you don't laugh, which I guess some people are THAT serious, tell you can possible take any of that "scholarship" seriously.



The words in blue are not mine. They are a quotation from Nibur Id. I posted them simply to provide one explanation of the use of Ge'ez. However, Nibur Id was probably not the best person for me to quote, as some of his views and opinions are not within the mainstream of EOTC teaching. I will try to find a more authoritative source that states that Ge'ez was the language of Eden. I know I have read it somewhere, but it is possible that I could be mistaken. I hope one of our other EOTC posters can provide something specific regarding this matter.

Again, I would like to say that while legitimate questions are fine, I don't think it is spiritually profitable to mock and disparage the traditions of others. Let's all try to be respectful when asking questions about each other's traditions and beliefs.


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« Reply #66 on: October 08, 2011, 04:44:33 PM »

As for the language issue: I have heard (or read somewhere) that Ge'ez is the oldest language in existence. I cannot verify this, and I am not an expert on linguistics. I don't believe that this is a crucial matter of faith for us. But I do know that according to our EOTC tradition, Ge'ez is the language that was spoken in the Garden of Eden. Some claim that Hebrew was the language that was spoken in the Garden, and apparrently there are others who claim that other languages were spoken. So, it may be possible that there was more than one language which was spoken, without these languages being confused or misunderstood. Since none of us were present at that time, I don't think it's profitable or wise to dispute our tradition that Ge'ez was spoken by Adam and Eve.


Selam

I do. Because you at least use it as implicit argument about the your Church triumphal place in Orthodoxy. It is all profitable to call out nonsense.

Frankly your Church can teach whatever it wants, but strange that it holds its liturgical language to be the one Adam and Eve spoke to the animals, God, and each other.

And by implication, unless you believe Adam before Eve showed up used a buncha other languages before Ge'ez, then you are saying Ge'ez is the FIRST language. Which you submit you have now no linguistic evidence of nor ground for saying so.

Good on you. Seriously. Take chutzpah not to just admit when you were wrong, but when you were just saying stuff for no reason at all. Seriously good on you.

I guess the demons about have spoken the other tongues first, I dunno how your apologetics work, well don't work technically, but you get the point.

Habte, I am sure will have a scientific take on this. Which will be interesting to read.

I gotta get cleaned up. Going to liturgy where they speak the language of God: English.

Not really, cause my preacher growing up said it was the sorta English in the KJV. That is nonsense. I think we can see how such claims are made outta pride and the desire to lord over others.

At my church's case. I can be honest about this.






I find it unfortunate that you feel the need to be so snide and judgmental about our Church's beliefs. I have never argued for the superiority of the EOTC based on the belief that Ge'ez was spoken in the Garden of Eden. Our Church is not "triumphalistic," as you accuse. Our triumph is the death and resurrection of Christ, a triumph that we share with all our Orthodox Christian brethren. The belief that Ethiopia has the Ark of the Covenant is not something that causes us to feel superior to others. In fact, it is very humbling for us. "To whom much is given, much is required;" and I have never seen or heard of Ethiopian Christians demeaning and mocking other Christians by saying, "We have the Ark, and you don't!"


Selam
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« Reply #67 on: October 08, 2011, 04:44:55 PM »


Salpy, read the blue words in Gebre's post. If you don't laugh, which I guess some people are THAT serious, tell you can possible take any of that "scholarship" seriously.



The words in blue are not mine. They are a quotation from Nibur Id. I posted them simply to provide one explanation of the use of Ge'ez. However, Nibur Id was probably not the best person for me to quote, as some of his views and opinions are not within the mainstream of EOTC teaching. I will try to find a more authoritative source that states that Ge'ez was the language of Eden. I know I have read it somewhere, but it is possible that I could be mistaken. I hope one of our other EOTC posters can provide something specific regarding this matter.

Again, I would like to say that while legitimate questions are fine, I don't think it is spiritually profitable to mock and disparage the traditions of others. Let's all try to be respectful when asking questions about each other's traditions and beliefs.


Selam

Questioning or not agree does not equal mocking.

If you want to hear mocking . . .

I am "funny" guy and can mock just about anything (even myself, which really is sorta easy) till people vomit in laughter, unless they are really uptight.

So enough with the let's not be critical because it is mocking caveats.
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« Reply #68 on: October 08, 2011, 04:45:38 PM »

The Edenic language is surely English since that is the language that Adam and Eve use to speak to God in the Bible.

I have proof too. I can assure all of you with 100% certainty that I have the original KJV Bible, which descended from heaven on the day of Pentecost in 33 AD, was lost, was miraculously restored by King James' translators, and then was dug up (the original copy straight from heaven) by me, here in America, on the hill next to the one where Joseph Smith found the golden plates.
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« Reply #69 on: October 08, 2011, 04:49:10 PM »

As for the language issue: I have heard (or read somewhere) that Ge'ez is the oldest language in existence. I cannot verify this, and I am not an expert on linguistics. I don't believe that this is a crucial matter of faith for us. But I do know that according to our EOTC tradition, Ge'ez is the language that was spoken in the Garden of Eden. Some claim that Hebrew was the language that was spoken in the Garden, and apparrently there are others who claim that other languages were spoken. So, it may be possible that there was more than one language which was spoken, without these languages being confused or misunderstood. Since none of us were present at that time, I don't think it's profitable or wise to dispute our tradition that Ge'ez was spoken by Adam and Eve.


Selam

I do. Because you at least use it as implicit argument about the your Church triumphal place in Orthodoxy. It is all profitable to call out nonsense.

Frankly your Church can teach whatever it wants, but strange that it holds its liturgical language to be the one Adam and Eve spoke to the animals, God, and each other.

And by implication, unless you believe Adam before Eve showed up used a buncha other languages before Ge'ez, then you are saying Ge'ez is the FIRST language. Which you submit you have now no linguistic evidence of nor ground for saying so.

Good on you. Seriously. Take chutzpah not to just admit when you were wrong, but when you were just saying stuff for no reason at all. Seriously good on you.

I guess the demons about have spoken the other tongues first, I dunno how your apologetics work, well don't work technically, but you get the point.

Habte, I am sure will have a scientific take on this. Which will be interesting to read.

I gotta get cleaned up. Going to liturgy where they speak the language of God: English.

Not really, cause my preacher growing up said it was the sorta English in the KJV. That is nonsense. I think we can see how such claims are made outta pride and the desire to lord over others.

At my church's case. I can be honest about this.






I find it unfortunate that you feel the need to be so snide and judgmental

Selam

Are you psychic now and are able to feel what I do? Btw, nothing above is snide or "judgmental". (You know nearly every human utterance is a judgement? But I think I get you point.)

I can show you that to you in the private forum as well.

This is just a situation where you were wrong on a point by all accounts including your own to be sure.

I have COMPLIMENTED you on being humble on admitting it.

Keep my feelings out of it and defend your statements. That will be harder to do, but still as much as I like to talk about me, let's keep the focus on what matters.

And with that I AM out!



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« Reply #70 on: October 08, 2011, 05:19:45 PM »

When I attended my first Coptic liturgy a little while ago, abouna talked to me about the Coptic language after I told him about my academic background. "You must know, then, about how the Coptic alphabet is the source of the Greek..."

Now, I know that this is not the case. Abouna is the first person (Coptic or otherwise) who I have ever heard make this claim. But I listened to the talk without interruption because it occurred to me that the point of telling me about how the church views its liturgical language and related cultural aspects of its life isn't to impart to me scientifically-verified knowledge or to tell me what I have to believe in order to be Orthodox or anything like that. As near as I could tell, Abouna was talking to me about language because it helps make an otherwise very difficult to relate to cultural circumstance somewhat relatable to me (as I am not an Egyptian, cannot really keep up with the usual conversations they have in Arabic, etc). I thought it was nice, in that way. It relates something of history as Copts see it, and doesn't even remotely bother those among them (and I have met more than a few) who do serious, methodologically-reliable research into their church's beautiful and ancient liturgical language, and have no less pride in their own history and culture just because it turns out that Coptic is NOT the source of the Greek alphabet.

That's how I interpret such linguistic hagiography, anyway. I would most definitely extend the same to the Ethiopian church's claims about Ge'ez. It is only if or when there start to be specific points of theology wrapped up in the claims about the language that there start to be problems (i.e., Muslims and Arabic being literally the preferred language of God, and some of what flows out of that idea). As far as I can tell, the EOTC does not go that far with Ge'ez, unless we take talk of it being the language of Adam and Eve as somehow establishing the primacy of the Ethiopian church over others (not a point I believe anyone in this thread is making).
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« Reply #71 on: October 08, 2011, 05:38:20 PM »

*? Can you even believe what the guy says about his faith? Take a look at his username . . . //:=)

My username is my faith. What I put as my faith/jurisdiction below the avatar, what I put in my signature, what I put as my avatar, etc. are merely ongoing flirtations.  Smiley
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« Reply #72 on: October 08, 2011, 06:07:47 PM »

selam to all  Grin

hey I never been to these private groups, i think its best I visit sometime, looks like there is a lot of stuff being discussed , I guess you need some code right?

so ....

NicholasMyra, as you might know there is a difference between a church’s dogmatic and canonical claim and a cultural and nationalist claim of those within her. This distinction I think is fully understood when we study the judaistic roots and Hellenistic roots of Christian culture and those that evolved as a mixture or integration of both.

1,Yes there are those nationalists that claim geez to be the mother tongue of the first human family, however as the official liturgical and linguistic history of the church  this claim has been looked at  as nothing more than a misguided nationalistic sentiment of those few Christians who being in a Christian dominated country saw it fit to link their nationalistic sentiments and ideas to their faith. This is not new in history if you would care to check, so those authorities within the church tolerate it, and they look the other way, though it is discouraged from being endorsed by any one credible. So it is presented only as one opinion held among the people, as it is useful for studies purposes to know of these myths. Of course the historians of Ethiopia simply lough at it and say while it does good for the ego of certain groups in Ethiopia to claim that, it is one of those things you claim in jest among friends over a good drink.

2, Now the Ark of the Covenant is the exception to the above. Ethiopia has gone through a lot of wars before Christianity and after, and throughout our recorded history, and we do record our history since we do have our alphabet so we did not wait for scholars of the west to come and chronicle our history for us.Wink The claim of the Ark has existed long before the west came to know about it, long before the TV got invented and the media sensationalization  of the Ark and its significance started, long before tourists started to show up and demand that we ‘ prove’ our claim by showing it to them. The tradition of protecting that which is sacred and one of a kind is as old as our history, you can even find its recent examples around you, in the banks, in forts like fort Knox, or in security companies who specialize in the high-tech protection of what they deem as valuable and in danger of thievery or desecration. The common consensus in Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has been no one native or foreign other than the assigned guard and those few who have sworn to protect the secret can ever get to see it, come close to it. No matter how much the speculation rages, no matter how much taunting goes on. The ark will remain one of those things that Ethiopians really chose to remain deaf to what the other part of the world thinks of it enough to buy into the demand for exposure. I can guarantee you, that in your life time and mine, no one, not even the patriarch has the power to disclose the Ark. He might have assumed that he did, but obviously he does not, the protectors are far far, credible and wield great power of influence over the public than the patriarch on this matter. Along with the guardians, the general Christian public agrees on the need for the secrecy and the high security practiced since the beginning. When places like forts that supposedly only stored the nations treasury in Gold become coffee houses for all or, museums then may be that spirit might translate to the Ethiopians who think of the Ark and the fragment of the Holy Cross as the highest , and holiest treasures of their country. But here is my  unsolicited advice to those who worry too much about the ark being in Ethiopia, don’t stop looking for it somewhere else, and  if you believe the Ethiopians have it,  tantrums or no tantrums, you and I will never get to see it, so don’t waste your time coming to Ethiopia demanding or hoping to see the Ark, and do not waste your time arguing about it, you are free to believe what you will, that will not take or add to what you believe as a Christian.

3 genetic claims lol yeah there is the Jewish ancestry in Ethiopia, but not all Ethiopians share it as we are multitude of nationalities, however its sacred ancestry as it is tied with the travel of queen Shaba and later the bringing of the ark and the introduction of Judaism and later our conversion to Christianity, however its  purpose becomes functional only as historical and political right of leadership of the royalty, this type of claim is practically the same in all royal families of the world, a certain house of royal ancestry is required to be part of the royal family and even claim the crown.  as to the implied genetic superiority or what not, since at least we are all referring to Adam and Eve and not some other superior beings ,since  we are all humans and as such we are all decedents of the first family , until someone tells us after looking at Adam and Eve, and comparing each one of us to them well I doubt the claim ‘ you look exactly like Adam, or Eve’  while quite funny, will hold any water as an argument, I do not even look like neither my  father or mother, I have never seen the’ photos’ of Adam and Eve except may be on some of the ancient church frescos loll  on what those ancient iconographers must have assumed what they must have looked like ,and  I got to say those frescos got huge eyes , that would lead me to believe that they look like the grey man than human.lol  oh a few weeks ago , my little sister told me to watch one program from History Channel, and it was about how ancient aliens built the St. George Church of Lalibella lol and after watching that we all toasted for the long life of the Christian Alien brethren  that are out there building churches on other planets. We were sure the Ethiopians existing ‘Exotic’ status will be cranked up a notch with that bit of info hitting the public libraries even as mere speculation lol

4 liturgical claims? Are you asking if there was Judaism practiced before the conversion of Ethiopia? The answer is yes it was, the scriptures will attest to that without our existing traditions and historical records adding to it. If you mean we are still practicing Judaism then I would say that is wrong claim, the natural transition of the judaistic practice into a Christian practice has occurred in Ethiopia, I am sure most of the early Christians who were Jews might be quite comfortable with our tradition from cultural point of view. That is not a crime, we are not Judaizing the message of the gospel  nor are we demanding those with a judaistic cultures to be Hellenized , that is not what the apostles thought St. Paul ministered to the gentiles and St. peter mainly to the Jews, that should show us that there is a huge difference between altering the message of the gospel and say unless you are circumcised you will not be saved and continuing to retain certain practices as cultural practices and Christianizing the rest , the message of the gospel is preached for all mankind as is , and along the way all cultures of men will become Christianized, that is the way it has been done.  So I still do not know what you mean when you said, unbroken liturgy...

5. Ethiopia =Zion lol I think this has been answered quite well by Gebre.

6 the old earth, vs. young earth argument, seriously?! Okay may be you are serious , so according to the literal interpretation of the genesis story, young earth has been generally accepted for a long time, however, it is also the teaching of the church not to read the genesis story literally and many theologians have speculated on it.  For our liturgical calendar we have been using and still use the young earth calculation. Seeing as this (the calculation of time) is not a dogma, and while  the Orthodox Church  looking into the reveled truth that comes from science with respect,  still holds the theological responsibility of marrying that without compromising theological truth so in due time we might get to agree about the mystery surrounding the days of creation.

7 this last one as an FYI the arks that you see in processions are tablets on which  is written the 10 commandment, the Alpha and Omega, the Name of the Holy Trinity, the Theotokos and at the bottom the God bearers ( whom the Law of our Lord written in their hearts) the Saint or Angel’s name . this is where the fraction of the Body and Blood of our Lord takes place on the holy table of the Altar. This is done in full understanding of the New and Everlasting Covenant.

selam hunu Grin
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« Reply #73 on: October 08, 2011, 06:19:55 PM »

lol the heat is on up in here, hey dzheremi, there is an ethiopian saying ' yetemare yigdelegne' / 'I rather die by the hand of the Educated' this I say for your full understanding of the impact and the place of  hagiaography that is found be it in lingustic or other historical accounts.

selam hun.
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« Reply #74 on: October 08, 2011, 07:29:41 PM »

When I attended my first Coptic liturgy a little while ago, abouna talked to me about the Coptic language after I told him about my academic background. "You must know, then, about how the Coptic alphabet is the source of the Greek..."

Now, I know that this is not the case. Abouna is the first person (Coptic or otherwise) who I have ever heard make this claim. But I listened to the talk without interruption because it occurred to me that the point of telling me about how the church views its liturgical language and related cultural aspects of its life isn't to impart to me scientifically-verified knowledge or to tell me what I have to believe in order to be Orthodox or anything like that. As near as I could tell, Abouna was talking to me about language because it helps make an otherwise very difficult to relate to cultural circumstance somewhat relatable to me (as I am not an Egyptian, cannot really keep up with the usual conversations they have in Arabic, etc). I thought it was nice, in that way. It relates something of history as Copts see it, and doesn't even remotely bother those among them (and I have met more than a few) who do serious, methodologically-reliable research into their church's beautiful and ancient liturgical language, and have no less pride in their own history and culture just because it turns out that Coptic is NOT the source of the Greek alphabet.

That's how I interpret such linguistic hagiography, anyway. I would most definitely extend the same to the Ethiopian church's claims about Ge'ez. It is only if or when there start to be specific points of theology wrapped up in the claims about the language that there start to be problems (i.e., Muslims and Arabic being literally the preferred language of God, and some of what flows out of that idea). As far as I can tell, the EOTC does not go that far with Ge'ez, unless we take talk of it being the language of Adam and Eve as somehow establishing the primacy of the Ethiopian church over others (not a point I believe anyone in this thread is making).
may be Abouna did not express himself correctly, or his educators did not express upon him the correct linguistics of the sentence. the hieratic and demotic scripts WERE the basis of the Phoenician, which is the source of the Greek alphabet. so when generations after, the Egyptians adopted the Greek alphabet, with 8 demotic letters, they were virtually adopting a refined version of their own alphabet, that is why it was seamless. Coptic= Greek alphabet +8 ancient Egyptian letters.
ancient Egyptian ---->Phoenician ---->Greek------>Coptic
so he was not off the mark, he just attributed the characteristics of ancient Egyptian, to a restricted phase which is Coptic Smiley
God bless
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« Reply #75 on: October 08, 2011, 07:54:34 PM »

That's not generally how scripts are thought of, however. The sort of "skipping" or rearranging various levels of development is not a little matter. It's like we have been talking about this "first language" business. Within the context in which linguists do comparative and historical linguistics, it is not wrong to presume that every language ultimately descended from a common ancestor (the mythical "Proto-World"), but we cannot therefore say that (just randomly picking languages here) Mongolian came from Greek, or Quechua from Bengali, or any other pairing based on the idea that there is a common ancestor way back when. Now, I know that that's NOT what you're saying, but my only point is that it is wrong to say that Greek is developed from Coptic because it is a matter of documented history that the Greek alphabet came first (meaning: Coptic is written in an adapted form of the Greek alphabet), regardless of the fact that the Greek ultimately is derived from the Egyptian hieroglyphs. They're not "backwards compatible", if you will. If it were otherwise, we could say that English is written in Egyptian, too, but it's not. Subsequent developments mean to the parent system make that a big stretch, to say the least.

But yes, as I wrote, I gave abouna the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone can be a linguist.  Tongue

may be Abouna did not express himself correctly, or his educators did not express upon him the correct linguistics of the sentence. the hieratic and demotic scripts WERE the basis of the Phoenician, which is the source of the Greek alphabet. so when generations after, the Egyptians adopted the Greek alphabet, with 8 demotic letters, they were virtually adopting a refined version of their own alphabet, that is why it was seamless. Coptic= Greek alphabet +8 ancient Egyptian letters.
ancient Egyptian ---->Phoenician ---->Greek------>Coptic
so he was not off the mark, he just attributed the characteristics of ancient Egyptian, to a restricted phase which is Coptic Smiley
God bless
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Pikhristos Aftonf
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« Reply #76 on: October 08, 2011, 09:05:11 PM »

you speak of languages, i speak of alphabets and writing systems. otherwise greek WOULD be newer than coptic, which is around 6000 years, compared to 3000 max for greek. what is stress is that coptic IS ancient Egyptian written in the Greek scripts.
what is also important to note is that while lanuages are very difficult to date and trace the origins off, scripts aren't, its clear from merchant dealings that there is an order of
hieratic--->phonecian--->greek--->coptic<--------
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #77 on: October 09, 2011, 12:29:51 AM »

Would you put a piece of the Eucharist on public display?  In the old days, they used to forbid those who couldn't partake from even watching as people took Communion.
I watch people take Communion. Should I stop and just look down or something when people are Communing?
This is an honest question, btw.
I try not to look at the bread/wine being given.
I will refrain from doing so in the future.

It's ok to look at the chalice when the priest blesses the people with it, right?
I don't think it's wrong to look. I just don't out of piety/anticipation of receiving it when I'm baptised.
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kijabeboy03
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« Reply #78 on: August 15, 2013, 06:50:45 PM »

I've heard about the Ark resting there. in fact I specifically remember that the Patriarch said he was going to show it off but then said he couldn't but he can attest that its there...wow, what proof....

whatever.

PP

The patriarch said this, and shortly thereafter had his administrative authority removed by the Holy Synod. Such a holy thing doesn't need to be exposed to the whole world.


I don't understand why the Ethiopian Church doesn't allow its faithful to venerate such an amazing relic.
Because its not there. Probably a very ornate forgery, but a forgery none the less.

PP

Not ornate.  My understanding is that what is left of the Ark is basically a flat piece of wood, and that is what is in the church in Ethiopia.  It's not something that you would recognize from a Harrison Ford movie.  

This also, in my opinion, supports its authenticity.  After thousands of years, all you would expect to be left of it would be a fragment, not the whole thing as described in the Bible.  If the Ethiopians were going to pull a hoax, they would have reconstructed something that looked like the Ark in Raiders.

In the end, I don't think the Ethiopians really care if the non-Orthodox believe that what they have is the Ark or not.  If they cared, they would reconstruct it to make it look "ornate" and put it on public display.  All they seem to care about, however, is protecting this holy object that God has trusted to their care.  

That's certainly possible, but I've seen pictures from the monthly (?) procession of the Ark in Axum - it leaves its church shrouded in brocades, much like the church "arks" (tabotat) on Theophany - and it looked rather the shape the Ark ought to be, much unlike the tabotat, which are flat.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 06:51:37 PM by kijabeboy03 » Logged

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