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Question: Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?
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« Reply #5580 on: February 23, 2014, 03:56:26 PM »

Of either part. Is there an efficacious, easy-to-read Orthodox commentary on any of the OT?  Something I can go to Amazon and buy?

Something like the Artscroll OT commentaries -- that's the best comparison I could make -- I'd love a Christian version of these puppies.


Of the stoning part, I (now) assume, not the thoughts/actions sin part in the article? Now that I look back I'm not sure that what I had in mind is applicable.
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« Reply #5581 on: February 23, 2014, 03:58:19 PM »

Is there an Orthodox commentary as clear and cogent as this?

Is that sweater you're wearing woven out of two different fabrics? Do you stone your children for back talking you? These are also things God commanded us to do, but for obvious reasons we recognize that these laws are no longer enforceable. The apostles thought the same about God's command to Abraham and his posterity that the male children be circumcised at 8 days old. So why do you want to go back to being a Jew?

As far as the stoning thing I researched that in the past and am void of that because stoning is against the law. Also stoning was not done to death in nearly all cases. The Rabbi's say this was included to scare kids and was a common practice back then.


So throwing rocks at one's children to just scare them is fine?   Huh

 The passages of Scripture that refer to stoning people, be they children, women or men, refer to death being the result such as Deuteronomy 24:24 or Leviticus 24:15.  In the Gospel the Adulteress isn't being threatened with stoning to "scare her"  The intent is to kill her.

What sources of rabbis or other persons have you read that you make this claim please?  Can you give names and titles or web sites to back up your idea


Actually I just found a better explanation. Wow the Bible is such a book of wisdom:

http://www.njjewishnews.com/njjn.com/091108/torahSparingTheRebelliousSon.html

It doesn't really matter. This Jewish interpretation is very late in history, since Rashi (11th century) was the first Rabbinic commentator.

St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom (4th-5th century) pre-date him by a good 700 years.
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« Reply #5582 on: February 23, 2014, 04:05:34 PM »

Just wondering if there was a nice, contemporary (i.e., readable, understandable) Orthodox commentary available on the OT.

Is there an Orthodox commentary as clear and cogent as this?

Is that sweater you're wearing woven out of two different fabrics? Do you stone your children for back talking you? These are also things God commanded us to do, but for obvious reasons we recognize that these laws are no longer enforceable. The apostles thought the same about God's command to Abraham and his posterity that the male children be circumcised at 8 days old. So why do you want to go back to being a Jew?

As far as the stoning thing I researched that in the past and am void of that because stoning is against the law. Also stoning was not done to death in nearly all cases. The Rabbi's say this was included to scare kids and was a common practice back then.


So throwing rocks at one's children to just scare them is fine?   Huh

 The passages of Scripture that refer to stoning people, be they children, women or men, refer to death being the result such as Deuteronomy 24:24 or Leviticus 24:15.  In the Gospel the Adulteress isn't being threatened with stoning to "scare her"  The intent is to kill her.

What sources of rabbis or other persons have you read that you make this claim please?  Can you give names and titles or web sites to back up your idea


Actually I just found a better explanation. Wow the Bible is such a book of wisdom:

http://www.njjewishnews.com/njjn.com/091108/torahSparingTheRebelliousSon.html

It doesn't really matter. This Jewish interpretation is very late in history, since Rashi (11th century) was the first Rabbinic commentator.

St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom (4th-5th century) pre-date him by a good 700 years.
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« Reply #5583 on: February 23, 2014, 04:09:01 PM »

Just wondering if there was a nice, contemporary (i.e., readable, understandable) Orthodox commentary available on the OT.

Is there an Orthodox commentary as clear and cogent as this?

Is that sweater you're wearing woven out of two different fabrics? Do you stone your children for back talking you? These are also things God commanded us to do, but for obvious reasons we recognize that these laws are no longer enforceable. The apostles thought the same about God's command to Abraham and his posterity that the male children be circumcised at 8 days old. So why do you want to go back to being a Jew?

As far as the stoning thing I researched that in the past and am void of that because stoning is against the law. Also stoning was not done to death in nearly all cases. The Rabbi's say this was included to scare kids and was a common practice back then.


So throwing rocks at one's children to just scare them is fine?   Huh

 The passages of Scripture that refer to stoning people, be they children, women or men, refer to death being the result such as Deuteronomy 24:24 or Leviticus 24:15.  In the Gospel the Adulteress isn't being threatened with stoning to "scare her"  The intent is to kill her.

What sources of rabbis or other persons have you read that you make this claim please?  Can you give names and titles or web sites to back up your idea


Actually I just found a better explanation. Wow the Bible is such a book of wisdom:

http://www.njjewishnews.com/njjn.com/091108/torahSparingTheRebelliousSon.html

It doesn't really matter. This Jewish interpretation is very late in history, since Rashi (11th century) was the first Rabbinic commentator.

St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom (4th-5th century) pre-date him by a good 700 years.

Oh. On the Old Testament? I heard Christ in the Psalms is good. I also found a commentary on Isaiah translated by Robert Charles Hill. Roman Catholics published St. Jerome's commentaries on the OT too.
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« Reply #5584 on: February 23, 2014, 04:26:26 PM »

I guess what I mean is ... if I want to go look at was a piece of Bible means -- say, in this case, Genesis 1:5 -- the part where it says evening and morning were the first day -- then I could go to my Artscroll 2-volume Bereishis collected commentary, look up the verse, and I'll find a nice 2-3 page anthology of everything ever written about this verse and summarized in plain English.

Maybe a resource like this doesn't exist for the Orthodox -- a nice anthology of fathers' writings, organized by chapter and verse?  I guess I'll just have to win the lottery and commission something like this, then.
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« Reply #5585 on: February 23, 2014, 04:30:03 PM »

I guess what I mean is ... if I want to go look at was a piece of Bible means -- say, in this case, Genesis 1:5 -- the part where it says evening and morning were the first day -- then I could go to my Artscroll 2-volume Bereishis collected commentary, look up the verse, and I'll find a nice 2-3 page anthology of everything ever written about this verse and summarized in plain English.

Maybe a resource like this doesn't exist for the Orthodox -- a nice anthology of fathers' writings, organized by chapter and verse?  I guess I'll just have to win the lottery and commission something like this, then.

You mean like the Orthodox Study Bible?
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« Reply #5586 on: February 23, 2014, 04:32:13 PM »

Honestly, I don't know. Is that what an Orthodox Study Bible is like? Could you explain how it is, if so? 

I guess what I mean is ... if I want to go look at was a piece of Bible means -- say, in this case, Genesis 1:5 -- the part where it says evening and morning were the first day -- then I could go to my Artscroll 2-volume Bereishis collected commentary, look up the verse, and I'll find a nice 2-3 page anthology of everything ever written about this verse and summarized in plain English.

Maybe a resource like this doesn't exist for the Orthodox -- a nice anthology of fathers' writings, organized by chapter and verse?  I guess I'll just have to win the lottery and commission something like this, then.

You mean like the Orthodox Study Bible?
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« Reply #5587 on: February 23, 2014, 04:43:49 PM »

Honestly, I don't know. Is that what an Orthodox Study Bible is like? Could you explain how it is, if so? 

I guess what I mean is ... if I want to go look at was a piece of Bible means -- say, in this case, Genesis 1:5 -- the part where it says evening and morning were the first day -- then I could go to my Artscroll 2-volume Bereishis collected commentary, look up the verse, and I'll find a nice 2-3 page anthology of everything ever written about this verse and summarized in plain English.

Maybe a resource like this doesn't exist for the Orthodox -- a nice anthology of fathers' writings, organized by chapter and verse?  I guess I'll just have to win the lottery and commission something like this, then.

You mean like the Orthodox Study Bible?

It's the text of the Scriptures with footnotes that explain the meaning of the verses, their role in the Church and at times cites the Fathers to provide the interpretation.

http://www.thomasnelson.com/the-orthodox-study-bible.html
http://orthodoxstudybible.com/
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« Reply #5588 on: February 23, 2014, 04:46:46 PM »

Honestly, I don't know. Is that what an Orthodox Study Bible is like? Could you explain how it is, if so? 

I guess what I mean is ... if I want to go look at was a piece of Bible means -- say, in this case, Genesis 1:5 -- the part where it says evening and morning were the first day -- then I could go to my Artscroll 2-volume Bereishis collected commentary, look up the verse, and I'll find a nice 2-3 page anthology of everything ever written about this verse and summarized in plain English.

Maybe a resource like this doesn't exist for the Orthodox -- a nice anthology of fathers' writings, organized by chapter and verse?  I guess I'll just have to win the lottery and commission something like this, then.

You mean like the Orthodox Study Bible?

It's the text of the Scriptures with footnotes that explain the meaning of the verses, their role in the Church and at times cites the Fathers to provide the interpretation.

http://www.thomasnelson.com/the-orthodox-study-bible.html
http://orthodoxstudybible.com/
For us laymen, the OSB may be a decent source of commentary on the Scriptures, but I've seen a number of people just on this forum who criticize it as borderline schlock and who recommend much better, much more patristic, much more scholarly, etc., Orthodox commentaries on the Scriptures.
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« Reply #5589 on: February 23, 2014, 05:05:06 PM »

Well, I like action instead of talk -- so I'll get one of these Orthodox bibles and shut up about it for a while ... thanks folks for the help.

Still wish there was a nice, aggregate Orthodox OT commentary  ... but patience is a virtue. I'll stay tuned.
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« Reply #5590 on: February 23, 2014, 05:08:42 PM »

Well, I like action instead of talk -- so I'll get one of these Orthodox bibles and shut up about it for a while ... thanks folks for the help.

Still wish there was a nice, aggregate Orthodox OT commentary  ... but patience is a virtue. I'll stay tuned.

I went to a Russian Orthodox Bookstore online and it seemed that they had voluminous collections of all sorts of things Orthodox. If you can read Russian, go for it.
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« Reply #5591 on: February 23, 2014, 05:26:16 PM »

Of either part. Is there an efficacious, easy-to-read Orthodox commentary on any of the OT?  Something I can go to Amazon and buy?

Something like the Artscroll OT commentaries -- that's the best comparison I could make -- I'd love a Christian version of these puppies.

There are the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture volumes (cheaper prices can usually be found on amazon); though that's not exhaustive, it's a start. I also remember a website that I used in the late 90s (and perhaps early 00s) that gave all sorts of links to commentaries on the passages of the Bible. I think this was a Protestant site, so it wasn't limited to Orthodox or Catholic resources, but covered many groups and centuries. Unfortunately at some point I lost the link and have never been able to find it again--whether it got taken down or is still out there I don't know.

I will say that I increasingly wonder about how helpful such collections are. Don't get me wrong, I am all for putting information into the hands of people, otherwise I wouldn't participate on threads like this and this and this. Nonetheless, while I think such resources can be helpful, I think sometimes they can also be harmful. I happen to love certain study bibles, for example, and I'm sure many people have been helped by them in studying issues, and learning how to apply what they learn in their lives. But how many people pursue such studies, go down the wrong path, and are then given a false sense of assurance because of the study? Not that this always applies, but if we just come across passages haphazardly we are perhaps a bit more humble about our possible gaps of understanding, but if we think we've seen most of what their is to see in the Bible (or Fathers) about this or that, then perhaps we overestimate how much we truly have grasped things. Plus, for all the increasing number of resources we now have available, we don't seem to be making any progress coming towards a mutually agreed-to understanding about theology.

Anyway, I will go on contributing to the type of threads above. And in fact just over the last couple weeks I compiled a list of the writers through the first 10 (or so) centuries, with the idea of a site something along the lines of a orthodoxwiki + St. Pachomius library + CCEL. Probably just a flirtation. I do like making lists and bibliographies. Maybe some day someone will complete something along those lines--in a more completest form I mean, not the spotty resources most places currently have. Until then, I guess like you said, we'll make due and stay tuned. I will add that as I find time I do also do searches along the lines of what you are asking about, such as in threads like this one. I may be able to look up passages and give quotes (along the lines of this last link) at some point... I can't make any promises in that regard though. I'm afraid I am quite fickle and the mood has to hit me.  Undecided

Anyway, about the thoughts/actions thing, I'd like to start another thread on that, if I can locate the passages of different types of thoughts that I think I remember, one in St. Maximos and one somewhere in the Philokalia.
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« Reply #5592 on: February 23, 2014, 05:43:04 PM »

Is that sweater you're wearing woven out of two different fabrics? Do you stone your children for back talking you? These are also things God commanded us to do, but for obvious reasons we recognize that these laws are no longer enforceable. The apostles thought the same about God's command to Abraham and his posterity that the male children be circumcised at 8 days old. So why do you want to go back to being a Jew?

As far as the stoning thing I researched that in the past and am void of that because stoning is against the law. Also stoning was not done to death in nearly all cases. The Rabbi's say this was included to scare kids and was a common practice back then.


So throwing rocks at one's children to just scare them is fine?   Huh

 The passages of Scripture that refer to stoning people, be they children, women or men, refer to death being the result such as Deuteronomy 24:24 or Leviticus 24:15.  In the Gospel the Adulteress isn't being threatened with stoning to "scare her"  The intent is to kill her.

What sources of rabbis or other persons have you read that you make this claim please?  Can you give names and titles or web sites to back up your idea


Actually I just found a better explanation. Wow the Bible is such a book of wisdom:

http://www.njjewishnews.com/njjn.com/091108/torahSparingTheRebelliousSon.html

You "just found" this?  So it's a new source for you? Why would you have gone looking for a new one?

I ask you again- what sources were you basing your interpretation on before you found this essay please?  Also, this addresses one case where stoning was to be done.  It does not address the other cases that are listed in the Old Testament.  Nor have you explained how or from whom you got the idea that stoning was not a death sentence. 

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« Reply #5593 on: February 23, 2014, 06:25:18 PM »

Anyway, about the thoughts/actions thing, I'd like to start another thread on that, if I can locate the passages of different types of thoughts that I think I remember, one in St. Maximos and one somewhere in the Philokalia.

I changed my mind, I'm just going to post what I was thinking of here, because I'm not sure that there is much to discuss tbh, such that a new thread would be needed; but I did want to post it somewhere.

Quote
'Put to death therefore whatever is earthly in you: unchastity, uncleanliness, passion, evil desire and greed'
(Col. 3:5). Earth is the name St Paul gives to the will of the flesh. Unchastity is his word for the actual committing of sin. Uncleanness is how he designates assent to sin. Passion is his term for impassioned thoughts. By evil desire he means the simple act of accepting the thought and the desire. And greed is his name for what generates and promotes passion. All these St Paul ordered us to mortify as 'aspects' expressing the will of the flesh. First the memory brings some passion-free thought into the intellect. By its lingering there, passion is aroused. When the passion is not eradicated, it persuades the intellect to assent to it. Once this assent is given, the actual sin is then committed. Therefore, when writing to converts from paganism, St Paul in his wisdom orders them first to eliminate the actual sin and then systematically to work back to the cause. The cause, as we have already said, is greed, which generates and promotes passion. I think that greed in this case means gluttony, because this is the mother and nurse of unchastity. For greed is a sin not only with regard to possessions hut also with regard to food, just as self-control likewise relates to both food and possessions. (1.83-84)

As much as it is easier to sin in thought than in deed, so is a war with thoughts more exacting than one with things. Things exist outside the mind while thoughts about them are put together inside. Therefore on it depends either their proper or improper use, for the abuse of things follows on the mistaken use of thoughts. The mind receives passionate thoughts from these three sources: sense experience, temperament, and memory. From the senses when things which are the source of passions impress them and move the mind to passionate thinking; from temperament, when because of intemperate living or the working of demons or some sickness, the bodily development is altered and it moves the mind again to passionate thinking or against Providence; finally from memory, when it recalls the thoughts of things that have aroused our passions and moves the mind once more to passionate thinking... Do not misuse thoughts, lest you necessarily misuse things as well. For unless anyone sins first in thought, he will never sin in deed. (2.72-74, 78)

Some thoughts are simple, others compound. The simple are without passion, but the compound are with passion, as composed of passion plus representation. In this case, one can see that many simple thoughts follow on the compound when they have begun to be moved to sin by the mind. Take money, for example. A passionate thought arises in someone's memory about gold In his mind he has the urge to steal and with his heart he accomplishes the sin. Now wiht the memory of the gold will come also the memory of the purse, the best, the room, and so forth. Now the memory of the gold is compound, for it displayed passion; but that of the purse, chest, and so forth is simple, for the mind had no passion toward them. And so it is with every thought, with vainglory, with women, and so on. For not all thoughts which accompny impassioned thoughts are themselves passionate, as the example has shown. Thus from this we can known what are impassioned representations and what are simple. (2.84)

As the world of the body consists of things, so the world of the intellect consists of conceptual images. And as the body fornicates with the body of a woman, so the intellect, forming a picture of its own body, fornicates with the conceptual image of a woman. For in the mind it sees the form of its own body having intercourse with the form of a woman. Similarly, through the form of its own body, it mentally attacks the form of someone who has given it offence. The same is true with respect to other sins. For what the body acts out in the world of things, the intellect also acts out in the world of conceptual images. (3.53)

-- St. Maximos the Confessor, The Four Hundred Chapters on Love
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« Reply #5594 on: February 24, 2014, 04:21:57 AM »

If you still believe in evolution, read these books.

Darwin on Trial, by Johnson (Last edition where he answers critics of first edition)
Icons of Evolution, by Wells
Refuting Evolution (Two Volumes), by Sarfati
The Evolution Handbook, by Ferrell
Darwin's Black Box, by Behe
The Evolution Conspiracy, by Oakland and Matrisciana
Genesis, Creation and Early Man, by Father Seraphim Rose.
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« Reply #5595 on: February 24, 2014, 06:47:06 AM »

Actually, I mean both. I'm interested in the Orthodox position on this, and was honestly asking if there was an useful commentary out there. Actually, if there was a nice Orthodox commentary on the OT, I'd go buy it right now. Just don't know if there is ... hence, the question.

Is there an Orthodox commentary as clear and cogent as this?

Are you speaking of the writing style, or the content? Because the latter is completely unorthodox, is why I'm asking.

That's exactly what i keep saying is wrong with Orthodoxy.

The Rabi's know our book so well. They have a wisdom that captures the origional intent of the book. They shed a light on it that is uncomparable anywhere else.

Its no surprise though that the Orthodox monk speaking on raising children agreed with the article. He blamed tha prents to be held responsible for their kids going astray.
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« Reply #5596 on: February 24, 2014, 09:07:13 AM »

Actually, I mean both. I'm interested in the Orthodox position on this, and was honestly asking if there was an useful commentary out there. Actually, if there was a nice Orthodox commentary on the OT, I'd go buy it right now. Just don't know if there is ... hence, the question.

Is there an Orthodox commentary as clear and cogent as this?

Are you speaking of the writing style, or the content? Because the latter is completely unorthodox, is why I'm asking.

That's exactly what i keep saying is wrong with Orthodoxy.

The Rabi's know our book so well. They have a wisdom that captures the origional intent of the book. They shed a light on it that is uncomparable anywhere else.

Its no surprise though that the Orthodox monk speaking on raising children agreed with the article. He blamed tha prents to be held responsible for their kids going astray.

No they don't. That's why they rejected Christ and the Holy Spirit. (c.f., Acts 7:51)

The Rabbis get their 'knowledge' beginning in the 11th century with Rashi. Not "original" by any means.
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« Reply #5597 on: February 24, 2014, 01:45:04 PM »


That's exactly what i keep saying is wrong with Orthodoxy.

The Rabi's know our book so well. They have a wisdom that captures the origional intent of the book. They shed a light on it that is uncomparable anywhere else.

In other words, there's something wrong with Jesus. 
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« Reply #5598 on: February 24, 2014, 02:09:46 PM »

Don't want to put words in Cackles mouth -- that's certainly a dangerous proposition! -- but my own two cents would be that I'd love love love to have an Orthodox perspective that could replace the Jewish perspective on very specific things:

- Such as, why is the first letter of the Bible a "Bet"?
- Such as, what does the "Aleph Tov" mean in the first sentence of Genesis?
- Such as, why does Leah have 'cow eyes' ?
- And what's the deal with Laban's shrunken heads that Rachael stole?

The Rebbis give awfully compelling answers to these things -- their answers to these questions, particularly the second one I listed above, is a huge reason I even have 'faith' -- and from what I can tell, nobody in Orthodoxy is even asking the questions.

I know, I know ... the 'mindset' is different. The Orthodox answer -- at least on this bulletin board -- seems to be "asking questions like that is the wrong approach to begin with." But still, people are going to have these questions -- or, if I have questions like this, I bet others do, too -- and I wish, earnestly wish, there was an Orthodox perspective to draw on.  


That's exactly what i keep saying is wrong with Orthodoxy.

The Rabi's know our book so well. They have a wisdom that captures the origional intent of the book. They shed a light on it that is uncomparable anywhere else.

In other words, there's something wrong with Jesus.  
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« Reply #5599 on: February 24, 2014, 02:50:25 PM »

Don't want to put words in Cackles mouth -- that's certainly a dangerous proposition! -- but my own two cents would be that I'd love love love to have an Orthodox perspective that could replace the Jewish perspective on very specific things:

- Such as, why is the first letter of the Bible a "Bet"?
- Such as, what does the "Aleph Tov" mean in the first sentence of Genesis?
- Such as, why does Leah have 'cow eyes' ?
- And what's the deal with Laban's shrunken heads that Rachael stole?

The Rebbis give awfully compelling answers to these things -- their answers to these questions, particularly the second one I listed above, is a huge reason I even have 'faith' -- and from what I can tell, nobody in Orthodoxy is even asking the questions.

I know, I know ... the 'mindset' is different. The Orthodox answer -- at least on this bulletin board -- seems to be "asking questions like that is the wrong approach to begin with." But still, people are going to have these questions -- or, if I have questions like this, I bet others do, too -- and I wish, earnestly wish, there was an Orthodox perspective to draw on.  

I don't know if "asking questions like that is the wrong approach to begin with".  Before I say that, I would want to know what the approach is.  For instance, "Why is the first letter of the Bible a 'bet'?"  To me, the question presumes that another letter might've been better.  Why presume that?  I think your post should've begun with "I" and not "D", but I can point to English grammar as my reason for that belief.  Is something similar going on with "bet"?  Or is it something more than that? 

Though I'm not sure what the other three questions refer to, I think my approach would be similar: it's not enough to ask a question, we must understand why it's being asked, and then we can ask whether Orthodoxy has or should have an opinion.  Why should we expect an Orthodox perspective on the Jewish questions you cited?  About what other questions should we expect an Orthodox perspective?  Once, I was invited to accompany friends shopping for furniture at IKEA, but they didn't ask me for an Orthodox perspective on dining room sets just because they had differing opinions on what to get--I'd simply never been to an IKEA before, and so I was there for the meatballs (and the only Orthodox position on those is that they can be eaten if it's not a fasting day).         
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« Reply #5600 on: February 24, 2014, 02:53:14 PM »

Don't want to put words in Cackles mouth -- that's certainly a dangerous proposition! -- but my own two cents would be that I'd love love love to have an Orthodox perspective that could replace the Jewish perspective on very specific things:

- Such as, why is the first letter of the Bible a "Bet"?
- Such as, what does the "Aleph Tov" mean in the first sentence of Genesis?
- Such as, why does Leah have 'cow eyes' ?
- And what's the deal with Laban's shrunken heads that Rachael stole?

The Rebbis give awfully compelling answers to these things -- their answers to these questions, particularly the second one I listed above, is a huge reason I even have 'faith' -- and from what I can tell, nobody in Orthodoxy is even asking the questions.

I know, I know ... the 'mindset' is different. The Orthodox answer -- at least on this bulletin board -- seems to be "asking questions like that is the wrong approach to begin with." But still, people are going to have these questions -- or, if I have questions like this, I bet others do, too -- and I wish, earnestly wish, there was an Orthodox perspective to draw on.  

I don't know if "asking questions like that is the wrong approach to begin with".  Before I say that, I would want to know what the approach is.  For instance, "Why is the first letter of the Bible a 'bet'?"  To me, the question presumes that another letter might've been better.  Why presume that?  I think your post should've begun with "I" and not "D", but I can point to English grammar as my reason for that belief.  Is something similar going on with "bet"?  Or is it something more than that? 

Though I'm not sure what the other three questions refer to, I think my approach would be similar: it's not enough to ask a question, we must understand why it's being asked, and then we can ask whether Orthodoxy has or should have an opinion.  Why should we expect an Orthodox perspective on the Jewish questions you cited?  About what other questions should we expect an Orthodox perspective?  Once, I was invited to accompany friends shopping for furniture at IKEA, but they didn't ask me for an Orthodox perspective on dining room sets just because they had differing opinions on what to get--I'd simply never been to an IKEA before, and so I was there for the meatballs (and the only Orthodox position on those is that they can be eaten if it's not a fasting day).         



This just made my day!
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« Reply #5601 on: February 24, 2014, 02:53:58 PM »

Also, Rambam, my comment to Cackles had more to do with "The Rabbis know our book so well": if they know our book so well and yet took/take the position on Jesus that they do based on that knowledge, then maybe it is we who are mistaken about Jesus, and not the Rabbis.  I don't see the point of calling yourself Orthodox if you think the Rabbis are right about Jesus.  On the other hand, if they're wrong about him, they're also probably wrong or misguided about a bunch of other stuff.    
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« Reply #5602 on: February 24, 2014, 03:29:09 PM »

Sure -- OK. It was hard to tell with your 'pithy' response to Cackles. I largely agree with you here -- I "may" also agree with Cackles that the Rebbis are a bit more aggressive in their OT exegesis than the Orthodox are, and I wonder why Orthodox folk couldn't be as aggressive. But to pursue that digression would take us down a path we've walked before.

On your post before last -- some questions are more compelling than others. Yeah, its kind of interesting that Laban possessed human heads that told the future. But delving into that strange realm isn't as important as other questions.

I think the Rebbis don't presume, as you say, that any letter could have started Genesis. I think their presumption is that Genesis begins with a 'Bet' for a reason, and it's worth knowing that reason.

The second question I listed above, like I said, is a powerful source of my own faith. Someone who knows Hebrew could quote the line better than I could, but suffice it to say that the first sentence of Genesis ends with the word "ET."  Spelled aleph tov. It's not actually a word, so what does it mean and why is it there? The Rebbis tell us that ET stands for the Hebrew language -- since it consists of the first and last letters of the alphabet. So, the first sentence reads something like, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language."

But let's back up -- why start with "In the beginning" at all? Can't we assume that's where we're starting? Long story short, the Rebbis tell us that this is actually better understood as "For Israel, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language." Church fathers tell us that 'Beginning' = Christ. So, we've got something like "For Christ, God created the heavens, the earth, and the Hebrew language."

This is tremendously powerful for me. Maybe for others. I dunno.

Okay, so bottom line: there isn't any Orthodox exegesis that walks this road or others like it, that I'm aware of. The fathers are good at the "Beginning = Jesus" (John literally spells it out for them); but the rest of it is just glossed over. So what's an Orthodox Christian to do when he or she arrives at that "ET" ?

This is how I interpreted Cackels' post -- that at least the Rebbis are asking these questions and trying to answer them. This doesn't = 'shedding light' or 'knowing our books better than we do' or whatever. It just means they're trying. I wish our folks would try, too.



Also, Rambam, my comment to Cackles had more to do with "The Rabbis know our book so well": if they know our book so well and yet took/take the position on Jesus that they do based on that knowledge, then maybe it is we who are mistaken about Jesus, and not the Rabbis.  I don't see the point of calling yourself Orthodox if you think the Rabbis are right about Jesus.  On the other hand, if they're wrong about him, they're also probably wrong or misguided about a bunch of other stuff.    
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« Reply #5603 on: February 24, 2014, 03:36:55 PM »

The second question I listed above, like I said, is a powerful source of my own faith. Someone who knows Hebrew could quote the line better than I could, but suffice it to say that the first sentence of Genesis ends with the word "ET."  Spelled aleph tov. It's not actually a word, so what does it mean and why is it there? The Rebbis tell us that ET stands for the Hebrew language -- since it consists of the first and last letters of the alphabet. So, the first sentence reads something like, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language."

But let's back up -- why start with "In the beginning" at all? Can't we assume that's where we're starting? Long story short, the Rebbis tell us that this is actually better understood as "For Israel, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language." Church fathers tell us that 'Beginning' = Christ. So, we've got something like "For Christ, God created the heavens, the earth, and the Hebrew language."

This is tremendously powerful for me. Maybe for others. I dunno.

Okay, so bottom line: there isn't any Orthodox exegesis that walks this road or others like it, that I'm aware of. The fathers are good at the "Beginning = Jesus" (John literally spells it out for them); but the rest of it is just glossed over. So what's an Orthodox Christian to do when he or she arrives at that "ET" ?



I personally...and i speak for no one but myself here....would merely take it to mean 'everything from A to Z' and nothing to do with the Hebrew language specficially.
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« Reply #5604 on: February 24, 2014, 03:44:29 PM »

Fair enough. It could mean that.   There are certainly hundreds or thousands of opinions on all sides here. I'm just asking, rhetorically: where's the Church's opinion?

I'd like to stick to Cackles' point for a second. The Rebbis have argued these topics for a while. Then, they take the trouble to write down their arguments and print them in easily readable, cogent anthologies. I long -- I ache -- for a similar Orthodox resource.

Until we have this resource, then we're reduced to the state we're in all too often -- where it's just one bulletin board poster's gut feeling over another.


The second question I listed above, like I said, is a powerful source of my own faith. Someone who knows Hebrew could quote the line better than I could, but suffice it to say that the first sentence of Genesis ends with the word "ET."  Spelled aleph tov. It's not actually a word, so what does it mean and why is it there? The Rebbis tell us that ET stands for the Hebrew language -- since it consists of the first and last letters of the alphabet. So, the first sentence reads something like, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language."

But let's back up -- why start with "In the beginning" at all? Can't we assume that's where we're starting? Long story short, the Rebbis tell us that this is actually better understood as "For Israel, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language." Church fathers tell us that 'Beginning' = Christ. So, we've got something like "For Christ, God created the heavens, the earth, and the Hebrew language."

This is tremendously powerful for me. Maybe for others. I dunno.

Okay, so bottom line: there isn't any Orthodox exegesis that walks this road or others like it, that I'm aware of. The fathers are good at the "Beginning = Jesus" (John literally spells it out for them); but the rest of it is just glossed over. So what's an Orthodox Christian to do when he or she arrives at that "ET" ?



I personally...and i speak for no one but myself here....would merely take it to mean 'everything from A to Z' and nothing to do with the Hebrew language specficially.
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« Reply #5605 on: February 24, 2014, 03:46:54 PM »

Fair enough. It could mean that.   There are certainly hundreds or thousands of opinions on all sides here. I'm just asking, rhetorically: where's the Church's opinion?

I'd like to stick to Cackles' point for a second. The Rebbis have argued these topics for a while. Then, they take the trouble to write down their arguments and print them in easily readable, cogent anthologies. I long -- I ache -- for a similar Orthodox resource.

Until we have this resource, then we're reduced to the state we're in all too often -- where it's just one bulletin board poster's gut feeling over another.


The second question I listed above, like I said, is a powerful source of my own faith. Someone who knows Hebrew could quote the line better than I could, but suffice it to say that the first sentence of Genesis ends with the word "ET."  Spelled aleph tov. It's not actually a word, so what does it mean and why is it there? The Rebbis tell us that ET stands for the Hebrew language -- since it consists of the first and last letters of the alphabet. So, the first sentence reads something like, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language."

But let's back up -- why start with "In the beginning" at all? Can't we assume that's where we're starting? Long story short, the Rebbis tell us that this is actually better understood as "For Israel, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language." Church fathers tell us that 'Beginning' = Christ. So, we've got something like "For Christ, God created the heavens, the earth, and the Hebrew language."

This is tremendously powerful for me. Maybe for others. I dunno.

Okay, so bottom line: there isn't any Orthodox exegesis that walks this road or others like it, that I'm aware of. The fathers are good at the "Beginning = Jesus" (John literally spells it out for them); but the rest of it is just glossed over. So what's an Orthodox Christian to do when he or she arrives at that "ET" ?



I personally...and i speak for no one but myself here....would merely take it to mean 'everything from A to Z' and nothing to do with the Hebrew language specficially.






Actually that is NOT true.


You should never take anything here as -the- answer even if we all did agree on it.

ASK YOUR PRIEST. 

Thats the bottom line....nothing online is a substitute for that, no matter how eurdite, or seemingly intelligent.
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« Reply #5606 on: February 24, 2014, 03:58:05 PM »

I guess what I mean is ... if I want to go look at was a piece of Bible means -- say, in this case, Genesis 1:5 -- the part where it says evening and morning were the first day -- then I could go to my Artscroll 2-volume Bereishis collected commentary, look up the verse, and I'll find a nice 2-3 page anthology of everything ever written about this verse and summarized in plain English.

Maybe a resource like this doesn't exist for the Orthodox -- a nice anthology of fathers' writings, organized by chapter and verse?  I guess I'll just have to win the lottery and commission something like this, then.

Only the Jews and Muslims have this kind of Library set. Those are all the books you see in the background with Jews and Muslims. The Catholics have a set i think. Theres also that hard drive source, but honestly anything evangelical is extremely low grade and low quality. Not woth you time compared to the fruits of the link i posted.

I personally just go look up each questioned verse on a blog or Youtube and get summaries.
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« Reply #5607 on: February 24, 2014, 04:01:57 PM »

Honestly, I don't know. Is that what an Orthodox Study Bible is like? Could you explain how it is, if so? 

I guess what I mean is ... if I want to go look at was a piece of Bible means -- say, in this case, Genesis 1:5 -- the part where it says evening and morning were the first day -- then I could go to my Artscroll 2-volume Bereishis collected commentary, look up the verse, and I'll find a nice 2-3 page anthology of everything ever written about this verse and summarized in plain English.

Maybe a resource like this doesn't exist for the Orthodox -- a nice anthology of fathers' writings, organized by chapter and verse?  I guess I'll just have to win the lottery and commission something like this, then.

You mean like the Orthodox Study Bible?

It's the text of the Scriptures with footnotes that explain the meaning of the verses, their role in the Church and at times cites the Fathers to provide the interpretation.

http://www.thomasnelson.com/the-orthodox-study-bible.html
http://orthodoxstudybible.com/

Its the King james Version. I still cant figure out how that happened.
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« Reply #5608 on: February 24, 2014, 04:05:32 PM »

Orthodoxy is not a self-service gas station proposition.   It is the (US based analogy here...sorry) NJ or Oregon Full service only model.


For those who don't know...you -cannot- pump your own gasoline in those states.  You have to be served by someone trained to do so (a legacy from when flamable gas was still considered a safety risk for amateurs to handle)

In Orthodoxy our trained 'put the Gasoline of information and knowledge into parishoners' person is our Priest.  If he for some reason doesn't have an answer, he is to consult with his Bishop on the matter.

That's how it works.

all the study in the world is great, but bottom line is, it's not a self serve system.  Making it one...causes fires.
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« Reply #5609 on: February 24, 2014, 04:09:23 PM »

Orthodoxy is not a self-service gas station proposition.   It is the (US based analogy here...sorry) NJ or Oregon Full service only model.


For those who don't know...you -cannot- pump your own gasoline in those states.  You have to be served by someone trained to do so (a legacy from when flamable gas was still considered a safety risk for amateurs to handle)

In Orthodoxy our trained 'put the Gasoline of information and knowledge into parishoners' person is our Priest.  If he for some reason doesn't have an answer, he is to consult with his Bishop on the matter.

That's how it works.

all the study in the world is great, but bottom line is, it's not a self serve system.  Making it one...causes fires.
I'm not sure I can articulate exactly why right now, but this attitude speaks of a level of clericalism that makes me very uncomfortable. Does the Holy Spirit indwell only the priests and bishops, or does He indwell ALL the members of the Church. Are priests and bishops the only agents qualified to dispense knowledge to us, or does the Holy Spirit empower everyone to discern the truth? Is the Church made up solely of priests and bishops, or are all we who repent, are baptized and chrismated, and receive the Eucharist the Church?
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« Reply #5610 on: February 24, 2014, 04:10:52 PM »

Orthodoxy is not a self-service gas station proposition.   It is the (US based analogy here...sorry) NJ or Oregon Full service only model.


For those who don't know...you -cannot- pump your own gasoline in those states.  You have to be served by someone trained to do so (a legacy from when flamable gas was still considered a safety risk for amateurs to handle)

In Orthodoxy our trained 'put the Gasoline of information and knowledge into parishoners' person is our Priest.  If he for some reason doesn't have an answer, he is to consult with his Bishop on the matter.

That's how it works.

all the study in the world is great, but bottom line is, it's not a self serve system.  Making it one...causes fires.
I'm not sure I can articulate exactly why right now, but this attitude speaks of a level of clericalism that makes me very uncomfortable.

Fair enough....I am speaking most specifically in regards to -questions-......some things are just in essense obvious common sense...but if you don't know, or you have a quandry....sorting it out yourself by say coming here and getting a peanut galleries worth of opinion.......
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« Reply #5611 on: February 24, 2014, 04:12:19 PM »

How would this work, practically? Is Bishop Basil supposed to get involved every time I ask a Bible question? Would it even be prudent to bother my priest each time I came up with a wacky angle on a piece of scripture.  The practical consequence of this advice might be to stop asking questions.



Orthodoxy is not a self-service gas station proposition.   It is the (US based analogy here...sorry) NJ or Oregon Full service only model.


For those who don't know...you -cannot- pump your own gasoline in those states.  You have to be served by someone trained to do so (a legacy from when flamable gas was still considered a safety risk for amateurs to handle)

In Orthodoxy our trained 'put the Gasoline of information and knowledge into parishoners' person is our Priest.  If he for some reason doesn't have an answer, he is to consult with his Bishop on the matter.

That's how it works.

all the study in the world is great, but bottom line is, it's not a self serve system.  Making it one...causes fires.
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« Reply #5612 on: February 24, 2014, 04:13:46 PM »

Quote
It just means they're trying. I wish our folks would try, too.

Let's say I knew where some of the answers were. What languages can you speak, so that I know what resources to point you to?
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« Reply #5613 on: February 24, 2014, 04:17:53 PM »

Orthodoxy is not a self-service gas station proposition.   It is the (US based analogy here...sorry) NJ or Oregon Full service only model.


For those who don't know...you -cannot- pump your own gasoline in those states.  You have to be served by someone trained to do so (a legacy from when flamable gas was still considered a safety risk for amateurs to handle)

In Orthodoxy our trained 'put the Gasoline of information and knowledge into parishoners' person is our Priest.  If he for some reason doesn't have an answer, he is to consult with his Bishop on the matter.

That's how it works.

all the study in the world is great, but bottom line is, it's not a self serve system.  Making it one...causes fires.
I'm not sure I can articulate exactly why right now, but this attitude speaks of a level of clericalism that makes me very uncomfortable. Does the Holy Spirit indwell only the priests and bishops, or does He indwell ALL the members of the Church. Are priests and bishops the only agents qualified to dispense knowledge to us, or does the Holy Spirit empower everyone to discern the truth? Is the Church made up solely of priests and bishops, or are all we who repent, are baptized and chrismated, and receive the Eucharist the Church?



Well if we all could discern the truth....this would be a much more peaceful forum... Wink



I am not saying it is an exclusivly priestly thing, but taking into account that we are on the internet...and the person is not sitting at coffee hour with wise people in his parish... who the background and biases of are known....I stand by the -analogy- I made.

people who want to just read the bible or torah or koran for themselves and in essense decide what it means.....are using their own mental prowess to interpret...how is that -not- sola scriptura?
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« Reply #5614 on: February 24, 2014, 04:19:01 PM »

Well, I'm stuck with English only.  

However, if there really were a Christian version of the Artscroll publishers, just in Russian (or any language), I'd strongly consider commissioning a translation. Put my tithing money to actual good use.



Quote
It just means they're trying. I wish our folks would try, too.

Let's say I knew where some of the answers were. What languages can you speak, so that I know what resources to point you to?
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« Reply #5615 on: February 24, 2014, 04:27:34 PM »

Orthodoxy is not a self-service gas station proposition.   It is the (US based analogy here...sorry) NJ or Oregon Full service only model.


For those who don't know...you -cannot- pump your own gasoline in those states.  You have to be served by someone trained to do so (a legacy from when flamable gas was still considered a safety risk for amateurs to handle)

In Orthodoxy our trained 'put the Gasoline of information and knowledge into parishoners' person is our Priest.  If he for some reason doesn't have an answer, he is to consult with his Bishop on the matter.

That's how it works.

all the study in the world is great, but bottom line is, it's not a self serve system.  Making it one...causes fires.
I'm not sure I can articulate exactly why right now, but this attitude speaks of a level of clericalism that makes me very uncomfortable. Does the Holy Spirit indwell only the priests and bishops, or does He indwell ALL the members of the Church. Are priests and bishops the only agents qualified to dispense knowledge to us, or does the Holy Spirit empower everyone to discern the truth? Is the Church made up solely of priests and bishops, or are all we who repent, are baptized and chrismated, and receive the Eucharist the Church?



Well if we all could discern the truth....this would be a much more peaceful forum... Wink



I am not saying it is an exclusivly priestly thing, but taking into account that we are on the internet...and the person is not sitting at coffee hour with wise people in his parish... who the background and biases of are known....I stand by the -analogy- I made.

people who want to just read the bible or torah or koran for themselves and in essense decide what it means.....are using their own mental prowess to interpret...how is that -not- sola scriptura?

How you interpret what your Bishop or Priest means? Sola Scriptura is a canard and that is it.

Once you have allowed the for possibility for something like a private subjectivity, you are also already in its trap. Which is why nearly every anti-Protestant / Catholic / Muslim on this forum are hypermodernists. They more than anyone are afraid of the big bad wolf of subjectivity.
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« Reply #5616 on: February 24, 2014, 04:30:56 PM »

Well, I like action instead of talk -- so I'll get one of these Orthodox bibles and shut up about it for a while ... thanks folks for the help.

Still wish there was a nice, aggregate Orthodox OT commentary  ... but patience is a virtue. I'll stay tuned.

I think the problem, is the sources. It would be nice for a layperson to compose something, but if i was to do something, I could only use Jewish sources.

The fruit of life is in the Old Testemant. The Jews are the only one that care to read it. I spend most of my time in the old testement. I thank God for perserving the Wycliffe Bible as 'The Word'.

Lately, i've taken a great interest in singing the Bible in English because both the Muslims and Jews enjoy those fruits and again we have nothing. There's a whole system behind singing this but books do exist. There doesnt seem to be any translation for Genesis and birth of Jesus etc. only Psalms and man made hymms. Psalms are nice but we need the art of actual recitation. Ilet me know if you you know of any.

But anyhow, the New Testement has a few gems.. Like offering the other cheek, give unto ceasar, and cast the first stone. The fruit of the New Testement is in St Pauls writings, but those can be considered the Christian version of Rabinical writings. They werent meant as actual doctrine for Christianity. But they hold fruit like 1 Corinthians 11.

The Jews read the NT all the time as its the only thing they have written for that time period and offer certain clues to what they were doing.

They read Paul saying that a womans hair is like her natural viel, so now, all the Hasidic women are wearing wigs. Paul was a Jewish Rabbi after all and had authority to interpret scripture. Same with Jesus. That is a very high ranking position.

The Jews think that because of circumscision, they could not be considrered 'Jewsish converts'. So they became their own sect that Paul himself was NOT a part. He was helping get another 'version', or non authentic Judaism set up where they did not need to get circumsized and follow the law.

Id wager most secretely believe the Messiah was Jesus. Or at least they reserve Judgement on this. They ban the suffering servant from readings. They ban Christian evangelism in Israel. They're obviously afraid of something the Truth. But todays Judaism is nothing like the old.
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« Reply #5617 on: February 24, 2014, 04:43:39 PM »

Don't want to put words in Cackles mouth -- that's certainly a dangerous proposition! -- but my own two cents would be that I'd love love love to have an Orthodox perspective that could replace the Jewish perspective on very specific things:

- Such as, why is the first letter of the Bible a "Bet"?
- Such as, what does the "Aleph Tov" mean in the first sentence of Genesis?
- Such as, why does Leah have 'cow eyes' ?
- And what's the deal with Laban's shrunken heads that Rachael stole?

The Rebbis give awfully compelling answers to these things -- their answers to these questions, particularly the second one I listed above, is a huge reason I even have 'faith' -- and from what I can tell, nobody in Orthodoxy is even asking the questions.

I know, I know ... the 'mindset' is different. The Orthodox answer -- at least on this bulletin board -- seems to be "asking questions like that is the wrong approach to begin with." But still, people are going to have these questions -- or, if I have questions like this, I bet others do, too -- and I wish, earnestly wish, there was an Orthodox perspective to draw on. 


That's exactly what i keep saying is wrong with Orthodoxy.

The Rabi's know our book so well. They have a wisdom that captures the origional intent of the book. They shed a light on it that is uncomparable anywhere else.

In other words, there's something wrong with Jesus. 

I'm sure there is. I read a homily by a Saint, I think it was John Maximovitch who did exegesis on the basis of single letters, (this one was on Ezekiel) like certain Rabbis do. Have you by chance read the Epistle of Barnabas? It's a good explanation of certain ways the Orthodox interpret the Old Testament.

I think Ss. Isaac and Ephrem of Syria both interpreted the Old Testament in this way, as did the Desert Fathers.
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« Reply #5618 on: February 24, 2014, 04:53:57 PM »

Orthodoxy is not a self-service gas station proposition.   It is the (US based analogy here...sorry) NJ or Oregon Full service only model.


For those who don't know...you -cannot- pump your own gasoline in those states.  You have to be served by someone trained to do so (a legacy from when flamable gas was still considered a safety risk for amateurs to handle)

In Orthodoxy our trained 'put the Gasoline of information and knowledge into parishoners' person is our Priest.  If he for some reason doesn't have an answer, he is to consult with his Bishop on the matter.

That's how it works.

all the study in the world is great, but bottom line is, it's not a self serve system.  Making it one...causes fires.
I'm not sure I can articulate exactly why right now, but this attitude speaks of a level of clericalism that makes me very uncomfortable. Does the Holy Spirit indwell only the priests and bishops, or does He indwell ALL the members of the Church. Are priests and bishops the only agents qualified to dispense knowledge to us, or does the Holy Spirit empower everyone to discern the truth? Is the Church made up solely of priests and bishops, or are all we who repent, are baptized and chrismated, and receive the Eucharist the Church?

I recall a long ago essay on the subject the Clergy and the Laity by the late Father Alexander Schmemmann first published in the 1950's. He observed: " Our people in their criticism of the clergy fear the excessive "power" of clergy, yet too often they do not realize that the priest represents nothing else than the "Power" of the Church, of which they are members and not any specific "clerical" power. For it is clear to everybody that the Church existed before we were born and has always existed as a body of doctrine, order, liturgy, etc. It does not belong to anyone of us to change the Church or to make it follow our own taste, for the simple reason that we belong to the Church, but the Church does not belong to us. We have been mercifully accepted by God into His household, made worthy of Hid Body and Blood, of His Revelation, of Communion with Him. And the clergy represent this continuity, this identity of the Church in doctrine, life and grace throughout space and time. They teach the same eternal teaching, they bring to us the same eternal Christ, they announce the same and eternal Saving Act of God.

Without this hierarchical structure the Church would become a purely human organization reflecting the various ideas, tastes, choices of men
. She would cease to be the Divine Institution, God’s gift to us. But then "laity" could not be "laity"— the People of God — any more, there would be no Amen to be said, for where there is no gift there can be no acceptance... The mystery of Holy Orders in the Church is that which makes the whole Church truly and fully the Laos, the Laity, the very People of God." http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/clergyandlaityinthechurch.html

At the risk of being presumptuous, I think that the bolded section is what Denise was driving at, not some excessive elevation of the clergy to some sort of religious 'Answerman' to any and all questions.

Like the line in the old song, 'Love and Marriage', when it comes to the Church and the Clergy and the Laity, you can't have one without the other.
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« Reply #5619 on: February 24, 2014, 05:04:18 PM »

Orthodoxy is not a self-service gas station proposition.   It is the (US based analogy here...sorry) NJ or Oregon Full service only model.


For those who don't know...you -cannot- pump your own gasoline in those states.  You have to be served by someone trained to do so (a legacy from when flamable gas was still considered a safety risk for amateurs to handle)

In Orthodoxy our trained 'put the Gasoline of information and knowledge into parishoners' person is our Priest.  If he for some reason doesn't have an answer, he is to consult with his Bishop on the matter.

That's how it works.

all the study in the world is great, but bottom line is, it's not a self serve system.  Making it one...causes fires.
I'm not sure I can articulate exactly why right now, but this attitude speaks of a level of clericalism that makes me very uncomfortable. Does the Holy Spirit indwell only the priests and bishops, or does He indwell ALL the members of the Church. Are priests and bishops the only agents qualified to dispense knowledge to us, or does the Holy Spirit empower everyone to discern the truth? Is the Church made up solely of priests and bishops, or are all we who repent, are baptized and chrismated, and receive the Eucharist the Church?

I recall a long ago essay on the subject the Clergy and the Laity by the late Father Alexander Schmemmann first published in the 1950's. He observed: " Our people in their criticism of the clergy fear the excessive "power" of clergy, yet too often they do not realize that the priest represents nothing else than the "Power" of the Church, of which they are members and not any specific "clerical" power. For it is clear to everybody that the Church existed before we were born and has always existed as a body of doctrine, order, liturgy, etc. It does not belong to anyone of us to change the Church or to make it follow our own taste, for the simple reason that we belong to the Church, but the Church does not belong to us. We have been mercifully accepted by God into His household, made worthy of Hid Body and Blood, of His Revelation, of Communion with Him. And the clergy represent this continuity, this identity of the Church in doctrine, life and grace throughout space and time. They teach the same eternal teaching, they bring to us the same eternal Christ, they announce the same and eternal Saving Act of God.

Without this hierarchical structure the Church would become a purely human organization reflecting the various ideas, tastes, choices of men
. She would cease to be the Divine Institution, God’s gift to us. But then "laity" could not be "laity"— the People of God — any more, there would be no Amen to be said, for where there is no gift there can be no acceptance... The mystery of Holy Orders in the Church is that which makes the whole Church truly and fully the Laos, the Laity, the very People of God." http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/clergyandlaityinthechurch.html

At the risk of being presumptuous, I think that the bolded section is what Denise was driving at, not some excessive elevation of the clergy to some sort of religious 'Answerman' to any and all questions.

Like the line in the old song, 'Love and Marriage', when it comes to the Church and the Clergy and the Laity, you can't have one without the other.


Not presumptous at all.   Probably much closer to what I meant than I was capable of explaining.   I like analogies...and in this case mine was probably not super accurate but the intent was we cannot go around deciding for the Church how to interpret Scripture and Doctrine for ourselves, ie the flow of gasoline has to come from them....
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« Reply #5620 on: February 24, 2014, 06:39:15 PM »

Sure -- OK. It was hard to tell with your 'pithy' response to Cackles. I largely agree with you here -- I "may" also agree with Cackles that the Rebbis are a bit more aggressive in their OT exegesis than the Orthodox are, and I wonder why Orthodox folk couldn't be as aggressive. But to pursue that digression would take us down a path we've walked before.

Have we?  Please show me where, as I'd like to review the definition of "aggressive OT exegesis" before I decide whether or not to agree that the Orthodox are not as aggressive as the Rabbis. 

Quote
I think the Rebbis don't presume, as you say, that any letter could have started Genesis. I think their presumption is that Genesis begins with a 'Bet' for a reason, and it's worth knowing that reason.

Sure, but it seems to me that this depends on some underlying presuppositions.  What are those?  What is their provenance? 

The Church doesn't reject everything Jewish, but even St Paul, that pharisee of pharisees, warned about the danger of following "Jewish myths" (cf. Titus 1.14).  Rather than take for granted that Jewish exegesis is more aggressive than Orthodox exegesis, I think the question we need to ask is which is true or more likely to lead us to the truth.   

Quote
The second question I listed above, like I said, is a powerful source of my own faith. Someone who knows Hebrew could quote the line better than I could, but suffice it to say that the first sentence of Genesis ends with the word "ET."  Spelled aleph tov. It's not actually a word, so what does it mean and why is it there? The Rebbis tell us that ET stands for the Hebrew language -- since it consists of the first and last letters of the alphabet. So, the first sentence reads something like, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language."

But let's back up -- why start with "In the beginning" at all? Can't we assume that's where we're starting? Long story short, the Rebbis tell us that this is actually better understood as "For Israel, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language." Church fathers tell us that 'Beginning' = Christ. So, we've got something like "For Christ, God created the heavens, the earth, and the Hebrew language."

This is tremendously powerful for me. Maybe for others. I dunno.

What do the Church Fathers tell us about the Hebrew language?  That's the startling omission in your Christianisation of this particular rabbinic tradition. 

Using the initial and final letters of an alphabet is not just a Hebrew thing.  Christ calls himself the alpha and omega in Apocalypse, but we don't take that to mean "I am the Greek language".  So when it is used in the OT, does it mean that God created the "Hebrew language" or "everything from A to Z"?  What's the basis for concluding it refers specifically to the language and not to "everything"? 

Quote
Okay, so bottom line: there isn't any Orthodox exegesis that walks this road or others like it, that I'm aware of. The fathers are good at the "Beginning = Jesus" (John literally spells it out for them); but the rest of it is just glossed over. So what's an Orthodox Christian to do when he or she arrives at that "ET" ?

How much of the fathers have you read to conclude that they gloss over "the rest of it" (which is what?)?

Quote
This is how I interpreted Cackels' post -- that at least the Rebbis are asking these questions and trying to answer them. This doesn't = 'shedding light' or 'knowing our books better than we do' or whatever. It just means they're trying. I wish our folks would try, too.

I'm amazed that Christians are willing to blindly trust the tradition of exegesis of those who misunderstood Scripture and rejected Christ while questioning the tradition of exegesis of those who were baptised into his death and resurrection.  Maybe I shouldn't be, I don't know.   
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« Reply #5621 on: February 24, 2014, 06:43:56 PM »

But anyhow, the New Testement has a few gems..

On behalf of Jesus, I thank you for the compliment.
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« Reply #5622 on: February 24, 2014, 06:47:29 PM »

I'm familiar with "Rabbi", "Rebbe", "Reb" or "Rav", but have never seen "Rebbi".
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« Reply #5623 on: February 24, 2014, 06:53:30 PM »

Thanks for the thoroughly considered response. But we may be talking across each other here.

My only issue is this: there are articulate, cogent, clear-to-read sources on Judaic exegesis. These sources may be wrong. These sources may be harmful to read. I get it. What I wish we had was an Orthodox source of exegesis that was as articulate, cogent, and clear to read as what Judaism has. In English, too. An index would also be helpful.

Clearly, if such a source existed, many of the issues you raise below would be easily addressed.

If someone wants to understand Judaic exegesis on a particular scripture today, they could do it.  Is the same true for Orthodoxy?

And I'm not just trying to be difficult here -- I'm really asking. Asteriktos hinted that something like this exists, which makes me hopeful that I'm not barking up the wrong tree.  

Sure -- OK. It was hard to tell with your 'pithy' response to Cackles. I largely agree with you here -- I "may" also agree with Cackles that the Rebbis are a bit more aggressive in their OT exegesis than the Orthodox are, and I wonder why Orthodox folk couldn't be as aggressive. But to pursue that digression would take us down a path we've walked before.

Have we?  Please show me where, as I'd like to review the definition of "aggressive OT exegesis" before I decide whether or not to agree that the Orthodox are not as aggressive as the Rabbis. 

Quote
I think the Rebbis don't presume, as you say, that any letter could have started Genesis. I think their presumption is that Genesis begins with a 'Bet' for a reason, and it's worth knowing that reason.

Sure, but it seems to me that this depends on some underlying presuppositions.  What are those?  What is their provenance? 

The Church doesn't reject everything Jewish, but even St Paul, that pharisee of pharisees, warned about the danger of following "Jewish myths" (cf. Titus 1.14).  Rather than take for granted that Jewish exegesis is more aggressive than Orthodox exegesis, I think the question we need to ask is which is true or more likely to lead us to the truth.   

Quote
The second question I listed above, like I said, is a powerful source of my own faith. Someone who knows Hebrew could quote the line better than I could, but suffice it to say that the first sentence of Genesis ends with the word "ET."  Spelled aleph tov. It's not actually a word, so what does it mean and why is it there? The Rebbis tell us that ET stands for the Hebrew language -- since it consists of the first and last letters of the alphabet. So, the first sentence reads something like, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language."

But let's back up -- why start with "In the beginning" at all? Can't we assume that's where we're starting? Long story short, the Rebbis tell us that this is actually better understood as "For Israel, God created the heavens and the earth and the Hebrew language." Church fathers tell us that 'Beginning' = Christ. So, we've got something like "For Christ, God created the heavens, the earth, and the Hebrew language."

This is tremendously powerful for me. Maybe for others. I dunno.

What do the Church Fathers tell us about the Hebrew language?  That's the startling omission in your Christianisation of this particular rabbinic tradition. 

Using the initial and final letters of an alphabet is not just a Hebrew thing.  Christ calls himself the alpha and omega in Apocalypse, but we don't take that to mean "I am the Greek language".  So when it is used in the OT, does it mean that God created the "Hebrew language" or "everything from A to Z"?  What's the basis for concluding it refers specifically to the language and not to "everything"? 

Quote
Okay, so bottom line: there isn't any Orthodox exegesis that walks this road or others like it, that I'm aware of. The fathers are good at the "Beginning = Jesus" (John literally spells it out for them); but the rest of it is just glossed over. So what's an Orthodox Christian to do when he or she arrives at that "ET" ?

How much of the fathers have you read to conclude that they gloss over "the rest of it" (which is what?)?

Quote
This is how I interpreted Cackels' post -- that at least the Rebbis are asking these questions and trying to answer them. This doesn't = 'shedding light' or 'knowing our books better than we do' or whatever. It just means they're trying. I wish our folks would try, too.

I'm amazed that Christians are willing to blindly trust the tradition of exegesis of those who misunderstood Scripture and rejected Christ while questioning the tradition of exegesis of those who were baptised into his death and resurrection.  Maybe I shouldn't be, I don't know.   
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« Reply #5624 on: February 24, 2014, 07:12:42 PM »

What I wish we had was an Orthodox source of exegesis that was as articulate, cogent, and clear to read as what Judaism has. In English, too. An index would also be helpful.

Clearly, if such a source existed, many of the issues you raise below would be easily addressed.

If someone wants to understand Judaic exegesis on a particular scripture today, they could do it.  Is the same true for Orthodoxy?

What are the "sources" of exegesis in Judaism that are articulate, cogent, and clear in helping us understand all of the OT and/or particular passages thereof?  If we are comparing these sources to what's available in Orthodoxy, we should be clear on what we're talking about. 
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