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Author Topic: Joseph  (Read 3897 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: May 11, 2013, 01:37:56 AM »

A classic: St. Jerome - Against Helvidius.
DON'T read that.
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« Reply #91 on: May 11, 2013, 01:40:13 AM »

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Would it "tarnish" Mary somehow if Joseph had physically been with her as a husband?

Would it "tarnish" a chalice in which the Body and Blood of Christ is consecrated to pour coffee or tea into it and drink from it? Both the chalice and the Mother of God are vessels in which God was/is contained.

Sorry LBK, this will never be convincing.

No it wouldn't tarnish anything. This begs a radically odd view of the world that would separate the profane from the sacred which seems to be a radically pagan or at least unChristian notion.

If someone were dying of thirst and a chalice was used to save their life by giving them water, nothing is tarnished. I think the weight of the Gospels would witness to this.

More important than some boring sexual virginity or supernatural maintenance of a flap of skin (why are the midwives washing Christ in some of the frescos and icons I have seen?), the more important virginity is Mary's fidelity to God (the more important and near constant theme regarding the ideal state of Israel in the OT). This virginity it seems to me to be the one promised to all those who strive for such fidelity.

If such fidelity requires an outward sign for the weak and must be maintained through the act of sexual abstinence or the maintenance of a flap of skin, so be it.

More ponderous than not having sex (which I think more than a few oc.netters are quite adept at) is such a young woman consenting to such a terrible responsibility with what seems to be a remarkable degree of "lightness". I think I have more angst over what pair of shoes to buy than Mary had responding to the message she was delivered, so was her faith in God.

This is not to minimize the sexual abstinence and the like, but I think so many get hung up on this issue which seems much less problematic as one begins to believe the more important or at least foundational aspects of the faith.

There is an order to things. If YIM is wringing his hands over the sexual relations of Mary and how to pronounce Jesus' name, there are probably deeper and arguably more important problems at work.
I guess you're right.  We do agree more often than once a year.
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« Reply #92 on: May 11, 2013, 11:31:07 AM »

Would it "tarnish" a chalice in which the Body and Blood of Christ is consecrated to pour coffee or tea into it and drink from it?

"At that time, on the Sabbath day, Jesus was going through grain fields. Being hungry, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain and to eat them. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, 'Behold, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!'

But Jesus replied, "Have you not read what David did, when he and those who were with him were hungry? He entered into the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which was not lawful for him to eat, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath day, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and yet remain without guilt? But I tell you that someone greater than the temple is here! If you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice', you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
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« Reply #93 on: May 11, 2013, 12:21:26 PM »

I don't think anyone's arguing that you couldn't theoretically use sacred vessels in some "emergency" situation for a life-saving purpose.  Giving drink to a dying person to save their life using sacred vessels, presumably the only ones available, would be an example of this; how could anyone argue that this, too, was not a "sacred" purpose? 

But it's another thing to suggest, for example, that we offer visitors to our parish coffee and tea in the chalices because "They're the best cups we've got, and we need to be good to our guests".  In a non-emergency, reverence ought to prevail. 
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« Reply #94 on: May 11, 2013, 04:37:27 PM »

Would it "tarnish" a chalice in which the Body and Blood of Christ is consecrated to pour coffee or tea into it and drink from it? Both the chalice and the Mother of God are vessels in which God was/is contained.

No, because God redeemed matter. To suggest that it would creates a barrier between humanity and God that Christ allegedly removed at the Incarnation. That being said, Christ orders us to show human kindness and decency to others before adhering to formal religious rules. So if there was a person dying of thirst before our eyes, and the chalice was the only cup we had to put water in, I think the Christian thing to do would be to use the chalice as a drinking cup for that person. That being said, it begs a hypothetical question: if we are supposed to show human decency towards each other, even at the expense of external rules, why can't we say that perhaps the Theotokos gave herself sexually to her husband St. Joseph to satisfy his marital urges so that he didn't resort to fornication or adultery?
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You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
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« Reply #95 on: May 11, 2013, 04:59:27 PM »

So if there was a person dying of thirst before our eyes, and the chalice was the only cup we had to put water in, I think the Christian thing to do would be to use the chalice as a drinking cup for that person.

People can die because of severe dehydration. ”Sex starvation” - believe it or not - can never be fatal.
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« Reply #96 on: May 11, 2013, 08:08:02 PM »

Would it "tarnish" a chalice in which the Body and Blood of Christ is consecrated to pour coffee or tea into it and drink from it? Both the chalice and the Mother of God are vessels in which God was/is contained.

No, because God redeemed matter. To suggest that it would creates a barrier between humanity and God that Christ allegedly removed at the Incarnation. That being said, Christ orders us to show human kindness and decency to others before adhering to formal religious rules. So if there was a person dying of thirst before our eyes, and the chalice was the only cup we had to put water in, I think the Christian thing to do would be to use the chalice as a drinking cup for that person. That being said, it begs a hypothetical question: if we are supposed to show human decency towards each other, even at the expense of external rules, why can't we say that perhaps the Theotokos gave herself sexually to her husband St. Joseph to satisfy his marital urges so that he didn't resort to fornication or adultery?

I believe James its because at some point somebody was scared of their own nakedness and thought that married couples in a physical relationship were "dirty".   I have no proof of this, but you never know what people can come up with. 

"Eww gross St. Joseph couldn't possibly have copulated with the Theotokos, that would make them so dirty!"

Forgetting and slapping matrimony in the face.

It's the only reason I could think of - other than the possibility of further children by Mary, which of course somehow "became St. Josephs previous children from another marriage".   I don't know.

I just think its a weird claim based on nothing.  Still waiting for writings from the 2nd century speaking of her always being a virgin even after the birth.   Clearly the men in 553 were convinced, but from what?
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« Reply #97 on: May 11, 2013, 08:28:19 PM »

Would it "tarnish" a chalice in which the Body and Blood of Christ is consecrated to pour coffee or tea into it and drink from it? Both the chalice and the Mother of God are vessels in which God was/is contained.

No, because God redeemed matter. To suggest that it would creates a barrier between humanity and God that Christ allegedly removed at the Incarnation. That being said, Christ orders us to show human kindness and decency to others before adhering to formal religious rules. So if there was a person dying of thirst before our eyes, and the chalice was the only cup we had to put water in, I think the Christian thing to do would be to use the chalice as a drinking cup for that person. That being said, it begs a hypothetical question: if we are supposed to show human decency towards each other, even at the expense of external rules, why can't we say that perhaps the Theotokos gave herself sexually to her husband St. Joseph to satisfy his marital urges so that he didn't resort to fornication or adultery?

I believe James its because at some point somebody was scared of their own nakedness and thought that married couples in a physical relationship were "dirty".   I have no proof of this, but you never know what people can come up with. 

"Eww gross St. Joseph couldn't possibly have copulated with the Theotokos, that would make them so dirty!"

Forgetting and slapping matrimony in the face.

It's the only reason I could think of - other than the possibility of further children by Mary, which of course somehow "became St. Josephs previous children from another marriage".   I don't know.

I just think its a weird claim based on nothing.  Still waiting for writings from the 2nd century speaking of her always being a virgin even after the birth.   Clearly the men in 553 were convinced, but from what?

The men in 553 were just 4-5 centuries removed from the life of the Virgin Mary (and there were 4 Ecuemnical Councils that had already occurred if any Bishop was interested in disputing the ever-virginity of Mary) - nothing has changed in the last 14-15 centuries.
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« Reply #98 on: May 11, 2013, 10:25:57 PM »

So if you can't show me writings of the 2nd century that talks about this important issue, then all I can do is assume the men of 553 made it up.

That's why I posted what happened in the year 1460.  

Only large facts were recorded, not who slept with who.

4-5 centuries (actually 5.5 centuries at the point of discussion) is an awfully long time.   If you were born in 1460 (553 years ago), when you were 32 Columbus would have hit the shores of America.  Almost 300 years later, a constitution & country.  Almost 250 years later, we sit here today.

5.5 centuries is a LONG time to make claim on somebody's bedroom.  Even Nicea in 325....   Of course unless we knew of somebody's bedroom happenings in roughly the year 1690, that would equate the the bishop's expertise of 325 years back (bedroom expertise).

That's why I want to see this teaching in the 2nd century. 100-199 A.D.  If it was really taught, certainly it would have been written somewhere.

But somehow I can't imagine Joseph or the Theotokos sharing bedroom info with the general public either.

But the guys 553 years later SURE KNOW IT!
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« Reply #99 on: May 11, 2013, 10:33:56 PM »

So if you can't show me writings of the 2nd century that talks about this important issue, then all I can do is assume the men of 553 made it up.

If you see the writings from the 2nd century, would you reverse your apostasy and return to the Orthodox Church?  I have the answer for you, no you wouldn't.

That's why I demand to see this teaching in the 2nd century. 100-200 A.D.  If it was really taught, certainly it would have been written somewhere.

Blessed are those who haven't seen but believe (tomorrow is St. Thomas Sunday).

But somehow I can't imagine Joseph or the Theotokos sharing bedroom info with the general public either.

You're right because there was nothing to share.

But the guys 553 years later SURE KNOW IT!

Try 520 years later if Pentecost occurred in the year 33.   Shocked
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« Reply #100 on: May 11, 2013, 10:35:58 PM »

Would it "tarnish" a chalice in which the Body and Blood of Christ is consecrated to pour coffee or tea into it and drink from it? Both the chalice and the Mother of God are vessels in which God was/is contained.

No, because God redeemed matter. To suggest that it would creates a barrier between humanity and God that Christ allegedly removed at the Incarnation. That being said, Christ orders us to show human kindness and decency to others before adhering to formal religious rules. So if there was a person dying of thirst before our eyes, and the chalice was the only cup we had to put water in, I think the Christian thing to do would be to use the chalice as a drinking cup for that person. That being said, it begs a hypothetical question: if we are supposed to show human decency towards each other, even at the expense of external rules, why can't we say that perhaps the Theotokos gave herself sexually to her husband St. Joseph to satisfy his marital urges so that he didn't resort to fornication or adultery?

I believe James its because at some point somebody was scared of their own nakedness and thought that married couples in a physical relationship were "dirty".   I have no proof of this, but you never know what people can come up with. 

"Eww gross St. Joseph couldn't possibly have copulated with the Theotokos, that would make them so dirty!"

Forgetting and slapping matrimony in the face.

It's the only reason I could think of - other than the possibility of further children by Mary, which of course somehow "became St. Josephs previous children from another marriage".   I don't know.

I just think its a weird claim based on nothing.  Still waiting for writings from the 2nd century speaking of her always being a virgin even after the birth.   Clearly the men in 553 were convinced, but from what?

Dude....nevermind
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« Reply #101 on: May 11, 2013, 10:37:03 PM »

So who is the father of Jesus, then?  

If it's so ridiculous that Mary could've remained a virgin after the birth of Christ, then it certainly seems ridiculous to believe a bunch of stories about an angel and a conception without the participation of a man when an alternative, but perfectly reasonable, perfectly natural explanation of the origin of that child is possible.
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« Reply #102 on: May 12, 2013, 01:11:45 AM »

So who is the father of Jesus, then?  

If it's so ridiculous that Mary could've remained a virgin after the birth of Christ, then it certainly seems ridiculous to believe a bunch of stories about an angel and a conception without the participation of a man when an alternative, but perfectly reasonable, perfectly natural explanation of the origin of that child is possible.

This.

If we can believe (and are required, as Orthodox Christians to believe), that God became incarnate, died and rose from the dead, why the resistance against the teaching, and a dogma at that, that the Mother of God remained ever-virgin? If Lazarus could be raised from the dead after four days' burial, and with a corpse that had begun to stink, why is it so preposterous to think The Virgin and St Joseph never slept together?
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« Reply #103 on: May 12, 2013, 01:57:48 AM »

Christ is risen!
Would it "tarnish" a chalice in which the Body and Blood of Christ is consecrated to pour coffee or tea into it and drink from it? Both the chalice and the Mother of God are vessels in which God was/is contained.

No, because God redeemed matter. To suggest that it would creates a barrier between humanity and God that Christ allegedly removed at the Incarnation. That being said, Christ orders us to show human kindness and decency to others before adhering to formal religious rules. So if there was a person dying of thirst before our eyes, and the chalice was the only cup we had to put water in, I think the Christian thing to do would be to use the chalice as a drinking cup for that person. That being said, it begs a hypothetical question: if we are supposed to show human decency towards each other, even at the expense of external rules, why can't we say that perhaps the Theotokos gave herself sexually to her husband St. Joseph to satisfy his marital urges so that he didn't resort to fornication or adultery?

I believe James its because at some point somebody was scared of their own nakedness and thought that married couples in a physical relationship were "dirty".   I have no proof of this, but you never know what people can come up with. 

"Eww gross St. Joseph couldn't possibly have copulated with the Theotokos, that would make them so dirty!"

Forgetting and slapping matrimony in the face.

It's the only reason I could think of - other than the possibility of further children by Mary, which of course somehow "became St. Josephs previous children from another marriage".   I don't know.

I just think its a weird claim based on nothing.  Still waiting for writings from the 2nd century speaking of her always being a virgin even after the birth.   Clearly the men in 553 were convinced, but from what?
Do you obsess this much about your parents love life?
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« Reply #104 on: May 12, 2013, 02:07:17 AM »

Christ is risen!
So if you can't show me writings of the 2nd century that talks about this important issue, then all I can do is assume the men of 553 made it up.

If you see the writings from the 2nd century, would you reverse your apostasy and return to the Orthodox Church?  I have the answer for you, no you wouldn't.
There is, so he could, but he hasn't, and won't, so he won't and so you're right.

That's why I demand to see this teaching in the 2nd century. 100-200 A.D.  If it was really taught, certainly it would have been written somewhere.
Oh? Why's that?

Blessed are those who haven't seen but believe (tomorrow is St. Thomas Sunday).
Amen!

I dread to think where our modern day Salome wants to stick his fingers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midwife_Salome

But somehow I can't imagine Joseph or the Theotokos sharing bedroom info with the general public either.

You're right because there was nothing to share.
so nothing to write anywhere.

But the guys 553 years later SURE KNOW IT!

Try 520 years later if Pentecost occurred in the year 33.   Shocked
Salome told them.
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« Reply #105 on: May 12, 2013, 02:08:19 AM »

Christ is risen!
So who is the father of Jesus, then?  

If it's so ridiculous that Mary could've remained a virgin after the birth of Christ, then it certainly seems ridiculous to believe a bunch of stories about an angel and a conception without the participation of a man when an alternative, but perfectly reasonable, perfectly natural explanation of the origin of that child is possible.

This.

If we can believe (and are required, as Orthodox Christians to believe), that God became incarnate, died and rose from the dead, why the resistance against the teaching, and a dogma at that, that the Mother of God remained ever-virgin? If Lazarus could be raised from the dead after four days' burial, and with a corpse that had begun to stink, why is it so preposterous to think The Virgin and St Joseph never slept together?
Ya'll stop talking sense, ye hear!
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« Reply #106 on: May 12, 2013, 08:59:38 AM »

St Joseph and the Mother of God followed the example of the Lord who humbled himself for our sake:
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Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8

St Joseph and the Most Holy Mother of God, freely and willingly chose to totally dedicate themselves to the infant Christ, the Savior of the world. They freely and willingly set aside all else to give undivided devotion to participate in the salvation of the world. Holy Tradition keeps the memory of their dedication and devotion.  
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And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
This was her assent to be the Mother of God, the Most Holy Theotokos--for eternity!

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But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21
St Joseph obeyed the angel indicating his assent.

St Paul freely chose the unmarried state for the sake of the gospel.
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Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink? Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?..

Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ...

For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them.

It is hard to grasp the utter dedication of the Saints much less imitate them. Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #107 on: May 12, 2013, 05:24:47 PM »

So if you can't show me writings of the 2nd century that talks about this important issue, then all I can do is assume the men of 553 made it up.

If you see the writings from the 2nd century, would you reverse your apostasy and return to the Orthodox Church?  I have the answer for you, no you wouldn't.

That's why I demand to see this teaching in the 2nd century. 100-200 A.D.  If it was really taught, certainly it would have been written somewhere.

Blessed are those who haven't seen but believe (tomorrow is St. Thomas Sunday).

But somehow I can't imagine Joseph or the Theotokos sharing bedroom info with the general public either.

You're right because there was nothing to share.

But the guys 553 years later SURE KNOW IT!

Try 520 years later if Pentecost occurred in the year 33.   Shocked

This is one of those times where the point was ENTIRELY missed.  SolEX01 knows EXACTLY what did and did not go on behind closed doors apparently.  2000 years later!

Even the logic is wrong.

Assuming my math applied till after Pentecost... wrong too....   My logic applies when he was 1, 3, 8, 10, 14, 20, 26,...  
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« Reply #108 on: May 12, 2013, 05:32:47 PM »

That's why I demand to see this teaching in the 2nd century. 100-200 A.D.  If it was really taught, certainly it would have been written somewhere.
Oh? Why's that?

Because if they were so sure about it in 553, certainly it would have be recorded early on.

This stuff is PURE speculation on the church's behalf.  I'm not saying its wrong, but its pulled out of nothing based on nothing.  I totally believe that somewhere along the line, some celibate guy thinks sex was somehow dirty (even between spouses).... Oh no we can't have Mary doing that....

My personal opinion is that they were husband and wife, and there is nothing sinful involved.  I can totally respect & honor the Theotokos whether or not she was physically involved with Joseph.

My question stands. 
IF Mary had physical relations with Joseph, would that somehow tarnish her or make her less pure in the eyes of the Eastern Orthodox Christian?

Also -  I'm still waiting for an EARLY writing on this subject if there even is one.   Otherwise I'll just have to assume it was pulled out of thin air that she was a virgin all of her life (after the birth of Christ).  I fully believe she was a virgin at his birth as it was written.
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« Reply #109 on: May 12, 2013, 05:37:30 PM »

Assuming my math applied till after Pentecost... wrong too....   My logic applies when he was 1, 3, 8, 10, 14, 20, 26,...  

Some things defy one's personal logic. Ἡρώδης ληρώδης...
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« Reply #110 on: May 12, 2013, 05:39:27 PM »

So if you can't show me writings of the 2nd century that talks about this important issue, then all I can do is assume the men of 553 made it up.

If you see the writings from the 2nd century, would you reverse your apostasy and return to the Orthodox Church?  I have the answer for you, no you wouldn't.

That's why I demand to see this teaching in the 2nd century. 100-200 A.D.  If it was really taught, certainly it would have been written somewhere.

Blessed are those who haven't seen but believe (tomorrow is St. Thomas Sunday).

But somehow I can't imagine Joseph or the Theotokos sharing bedroom info with the general public either.

You're right because there was nothing to share.

But the guys 553 years later SURE KNOW IT!

Try 520 years later if Pentecost occurred in the year 33.   Shocked

This is one of those times where the point was ENTIRELY missed.  SolEX01 knows EXACTLY what did and did not go on behind closed doors apparently.  2000 years later!

I see.  You don't believe that anything can be believed for 2,000 years.

Even the logic is wrong.

Yours?

Assuming my math applied till after Pentecost... wrong too....   My logic applies when he was 1, 3, 8, 10, 14, 20, 26,...  

Can you stick on topic and not deviate into other things that you don't believe?   police
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« Reply #111 on: May 12, 2013, 06:10:07 PM »

That's why I demand to see this teaching in the 2nd century. 100-200 A.D.  If it was really taught, certainly it would have been written somewhere.
Oh? Why's that?

Because if they were so sure about it in 553, certainly it would have be recorded early on.

This stuff is PURE speculation on the church's behalf.  I'm not saying its wrong, but its pulled out of nothing based on nothing.  I totally believe that somewhere along the line, some celibate guy thinks sex was somehow dirty (even between spouses).... Oh no we can't have Mary doing that....

My personal opinion is that they were husband and wife, and there is nothing sinful involved.  I can totally respect & honor the Theotokos whether or not she was physically involved with Joseph.

My question stands. 
IF Mary had physical relations with Joseph, would that somehow tarnish her or make her less pure in the eyes of the Eastern Orthodox Christian?

Also -  I'm still waiting for an EARLY writing on this subject if there even is one.   Otherwise I'll just have to assume it was pulled out of thin air that she was a virgin all of her life (after the birth of Christ).  I fully believe she was a virgin at his birth as it was written.
OK Thomas.
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« Reply #112 on: May 12, 2013, 08:23:56 PM »

OK Thomas.

Don't be dissin' on Thomas now.  At least he believed and went to the end of the earth to preach to my people, some of whom believed, and others of whom speared him to death. 

The jury's still out here...  Tongue
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« Reply #113 on: May 12, 2013, 08:27:02 PM »

OK Thomas.

Don't be dissin' on Thomas now.  At least he believed and went to the end of the earth to preach to my people, some of whom believed, and others of whom speared him to death. 

The jury's still out here...  Tongue
As I always point out, although he said he wouldn't believe until he stuck his fingers in the wounds, he in fact did believe before.

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« Reply #114 on: May 13, 2013, 11:22:22 AM »

That's why I demand to see this teaching in the 2nd century. 100-200 A.D.  If it was really taught, certainly it would have been written somewhere.
Oh? Why's that?

Because if they were so sure about it in 553, certainly it would have be recorded early on.

This stuff is PURE speculation on the church's behalf.  I'm not saying its wrong, but its pulled out of nothing based on nothing.  I totally believe that somewhere along the line, some celibate guy thinks sex was somehow dirty (even between spouses).... Oh no we can't have Mary doing that....

My personal opinion is that they were husband and wife, and there is nothing sinful involved.  I can totally respect & honor the Theotokos whether or not she was physically involved with Joseph.

My question stands. 
IF Mary had physical relations with Joseph, would that somehow tarnish her or make her less pure in the eyes of the Eastern Orthodox Christian?

Also -  I'm still waiting for an EARLY writing on this subject if there even is one.   Otherwise I'll just have to assume it was pulled out of thin air that she was a virgin all of her life (after the birth of Christ).  I fully believe she was a virgin at his birth as it was written.
OK Thomas.

Please. don't insult St. Thomas
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« Reply #115 on: May 13, 2013, 02:14:11 PM »

I wonder if St. Matthew had ANY idea that so many people would be examining his gospel for a better understanding on the sex life (or lack thereof) of St. Joseph and Mary.
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« Reply #116 on: May 13, 2013, 02:53:41 PM »

One of my criticisms of the Orthodox Church is that the earliest authority we have on so many issues only goes back to the 3rd and 4th centuries at the earliest. I'd like more sources from the 2nd and 1st centuries to prove our doctrines. One example is Iconography; I have nothing against it, but, I can't find anything early to suggest that it was a part of worship. Sure, we have the stories of St. Luke being the first Iconographer and all, but where is the evidence? Those just seem like oral myths that developed in the 3rd and 4th centuries with really no earlier evidence to prove them.
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« Reply #117 on: May 13, 2013, 02:55:51 PM »

Considering Christians and Christian writings were being destroyed wholesale in the first 3 centuries, it is a miracle that ANY documentation survived.  The reason we have so much stuff from the time period after that is it was finally legal to own it then.
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« Reply #118 on: May 13, 2013, 03:13:39 PM »

One of my criticisms of the Orthodox Church is that the earliest authority we have on so many issues only goes back to the 3rd and 4th centuries at the earliest. I'd like more sources from the 2nd and 1st centuries to prove our doctrines. One example is Iconography; I have nothing against it, but, I can't find anything early to suggest that it was a part of worship. Sure, we have the stories of St. Luke being the first Iconographer and all, but where is the evidence? Those just seem like oral myths that developed in the 3rd and 4th centuries with really no earlier evidence to prove them.

Why do you jump to the conclusion that because there is no WRITTEN evidence of some teaching before a date, that teaching did not exist before that date? That is a very questionable logical leap. In any case, the Proto-evangelium of James is from the 2nd century.

In response to the OP, check out "The Life of the Virgin Mary" by Dormition Skete. It is absolutely packed with information and a huge list of references, including the traditions surrounding St Joseph.
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« Reply #119 on: May 13, 2013, 03:15:48 PM »

One of my criticisms of the Orthodox Church is that the earliest authority we have on so many issues only goes back to the 3rd and 4th centuries at the earliest. I'd like more sources from the 2nd and 1st centuries to prove our doctrines. One example is Iconography; I have nothing against it, but, I can't find anything early to suggest that it was a part of worship. Sure, we have the stories of St. Luke being the first Iconographer and all, but where is the evidence? Those just seem like oral myths that developed in the 3rd and 4th centuries with really no earlier evidence to prove them.

Why do you jump to the conclusion that because there is no WRITTEN evidence of some teaching before a date, that teaching did not exist? That is a very questionable logical leap.

Because there is no one alive from back then to confirm whether or not the oral stories are true or really went back that far. Written evidence is the only evidence we have that bears witness to that period of time.
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« Reply #120 on: May 13, 2013, 03:24:06 PM »

I'll probably be anathemized, but for me, many of the pious teachings of the Orthodox don't really affect me much.  I believe them because the Church teaches it, but if it was somehow found out that St. Joseph wasn't that much of a saint, that he ran out on Mary after getting her pregnant (with some other baby, not with Christ). That would be disappointing, but it wouldn't change how I view my faith or the Church.  If it was somehow discovered that Jesus never resurrected, THAT would definitely change my faith.  If it was proven that Christ was the illegitimate child of a Roman soldier, THAT would definitely be a game changer for me too.
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« Reply #121 on: May 13, 2013, 03:25:27 PM »

One of my criticisms of the Orthodox Church is that the earliest authority we have on so many issues only goes back to the 3rd and 4th centuries at the earliest. I'd like more sources from the 2nd and 1st centuries to prove our doctrines. One example is Iconography; I have nothing against it, but, I can't find anything early to suggest that it was a part of worship. Sure, we have the stories of St. Luke being the first Iconographer and all, but where is the evidence? Those just seem like oral myths that developed in the 3rd and 4th centuries with really no earlier evidence to prove them.

Why do you jump to the conclusion that because there is no WRITTEN evidence of some teaching before a date, that teaching did not exist? That is a very questionable logical leap.

Because there is no one alive from back then to confirm whether or not the oral stories are true or really went back that far. Written evidence is the only evidence we have that bears witness to that period of time.
the stories would still be true with or without written evidence since they fit into the larger mythical structure. it's a bit naive to ask  for "evidence".
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« Reply #122 on: May 13, 2013, 03:35:43 PM »

One of my criticisms of the Orthodox Church is that the earliest authority we have on so many issues only goes back to the 3rd and 4th centuries at the earliest. I'd like more sources from the 2nd and 1st centuries to prove our doctrines. One example is Iconography; I have nothing against it, but, I can't find anything early to suggest that it was a part of worship. Sure, we have the stories of St. Luke being the first Iconographer and all, but where is the evidence? Those just seem like oral myths that developed in the 3rd and 4th centuries with really no earlier evidence to prove them.

Why do you jump to the conclusion that because there is no WRITTEN evidence of some teaching before a date, that teaching did not exist? That is a very questionable logical leap.

Because there is no one alive from back then to confirm whether or not the oral stories are true or really went back that far. Written evidence is the only evidence we have that bears witness to that period of time.

Why do you assume that, without written confirmation, it didn't exist? Why not assume that it DID exist, absent evidence to the contrary? Has it occurred to you that perhaps some written documentation was lost in the meanwhile? How about the idea that these traditions were handed down orally, without the need for writing?

The whole Orthodox Church shares the same traditions about Mary Theotokos and St Joseph, which to me is strong evidence for an authentic tradition. Where's the evidence that Christians believed differently back then? In any case, there is plenty of written evidence already from the 2nd century that matches what we believe e.g. about Mary's conception, birth and marriage, such as the Proto-evangelium. Why are you ignoring this?
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« Reply #123 on: May 13, 2013, 03:41:45 PM »


So Mary & Joseph were husband and wife all these years, and NEVER "became one flesh?"

To say Mary is "Ever Virgin", I have no problem with, as the virgin birth of Christ remains "forever".   

But to say that her and her husband "never did anything" is rather troubling...   I mean, it is natural and a blessing of marriage.  No tarnishment if they had, as it is not sinful at all between husband and wife...

Sometimes I wonder what time machine using theologian was spying on them at night making those claims.


The marriage bed is indeed undefiled, but, like the OT Ark which contained the tablets of the Law, so sacred that touching it meant instant death, how much holier is the true Ark, the woman whose womb bore God Himself? Some food for thought:

Now, St Joseph was a good Jew, he would have been brought up with a strong sense of the sacred. He would have been raised knowing the stories in scripture of people touching the Ark of the Covenant and suffering instant death. He would have also known that only the high priest dared enter the Holy of Holies of the Temple to offer the yearly sacrifice to the presence of God who "dwelt there". Undoubtedly at some stage St Joseph would have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to realize the true meaning behind these images and stories from scripture, as well as the temple rituals.

Once the meaning of these became clear to him, how, then, could Joseph possibly consider marital relations with this woman, the living Tabernacle, the new Ark, the Holy of Holies, knowing that she has given birth to the Son of God? Not that sex is bad, evil or wrong between married couples, just as eating and cooking meat are not bad, evil, or wrong in themselves, but when put into service to God in the Temple, be it sacrificial animals, or, in the case of Mary who was dedicated to the Temple as a child, they became holy, and only the high priests could participate in the sacrifice. Christ Himself is the great and eternal High Priest, the "prince who eats bread before the Lord" (Ezekiel 44). Good man that he was, St Joseph would most likely have regarded himself as utterly unworthy to even be in the presence of such a treasure blessed and wholly sanctified by God, let alone consider sleeping with her.



Post of the month nominee. Well stated.
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« Reply #124 on: May 13, 2013, 03:46:27 PM »

Quote
My problem with this is that it assumes St. Joseph and the Theotokos knew just how significant and special that Jesus was. It's a given that they knew he was special, but whether or not they knew he was really the Son of God center-of-all-cosmic-history special? I don't know. And judging from Scriptures, it appears that no one knew until after the Resurrection.

Hymns concerning St Joseph from the service to the Three Holy Righteous Ones, being David the King and Prophet, James the Brother of the Lord, and St Joseph the Betrothed, commemorated on the first Sunday after the Nativity:

In old age Joseph the Betrothed beheld the things foretold by the prophets clearly fulfilled, having received a strange betrothal and a revelation from angels who cry: Glory to God, who has imparted peace upon the earth.

The choir of prophets divinely celebrates the wonder which took place in you, O Virgin; for you gave birth to God, incarnate upon earth. Therefore, angels and shepherds hymn, and the Magi and Joseph sing of the wonders to David, the forefather of God.

With the Magi let us worship him who has been born; and with the angels and Joseph let us join chorus, singing in godly manner: Glory to Christ our God in the highest.

Glory to You; glory to You, O God incarnate, whose good pleasure it was to take flesh of the pure Virgin; thus Joseph sang.

Today the divine David is filled with gladness, and Joseph offers praise with James. They rejoice, receiving a crown through kinship with Christ; they praise Him, ineffably born on earth, as they sing: O compassionate One, save those who honour You.
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On the mountain Moses beheld the unconsumed bush; and in the cave Joseph witnessed the ineffable birth: O Mother of God, Virgin undefiled and unwed Mother, we magnify you in hymns.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.



Awesome post. Through our hymnology, we learn much about our faith.
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« Reply #125 on: May 13, 2013, 03:51:20 PM »

St Joseph the Betrothed, the most humble of saints, who was entrusted the awesome task of protecting the Theotokos and care of the infant Lord, who received at least 2 divine visions related in Scriptures,  transfigured any fleshly drives and infirmities by the grace of the Holy Spirit--nothing to do with age or impaired libido.
Were you the one who said here that only no saint was ever married, or ever made love after their calling?



IIRC it was Maria.

No. It was not I. There are plenty of married saints. Let us not forget that St. Peter was married too.
The family of St. Basil are all canonized saints as his mother and father are saints and so were his brothers and sisters.
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« Reply #126 on: May 13, 2013, 03:55:08 PM »

That was Zenovia.
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« Reply #127 on: May 13, 2013, 03:56:01 PM »

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 It's the teaching specific, which I really can't find too much information on that bothers me.

What more specific Orthodox teaching could there be on the matter, when her ever-virginity is a dogma of the Church, and is constantly and unwaveringly expressed in innumerable Orthodox hymns and prayers??

Yet again, you're trying to impose your own thoughts and feelings into a teaching of the Church which is crystal-clear, unequivocal, and not negotiable.

There's even an anathema against those who deny her every-virginity.
Where?

Here's one I quickly found:

If anyone shall not confess that the Word of God has two nativities, the one from all eternity of the Father, without time and without body; the other in these last days, coming down from heaven and being made flesh of the holy and glorious Mary, Mother of God and always a virgin, and born of her: let him be anathema. (Fifth Ecumenical Council)

QFT

So why are we continuing to discuss this topic?
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« Reply #128 on: May 13, 2013, 03:59:45 PM »

One of my criticisms of the Orthodox Church is that the earliest authority we have on so many issues only goes back to the 3rd and 4th centuries at the earliest. I'd like more sources from the 2nd and 1st centuries to prove our doctrines. One example is Iconography; I have nothing against it, but, I can't find anything early to suggest that it was a part of worship. Sure, we have the stories of St. Luke being the first Iconographer and all, but where is the evidence? Those just seem like oral myths that developed in the 3rd and 4th centuries with really no earlier evidence to prove them.

Why do you jump to the conclusion that because there is no WRITTEN evidence of some teaching before a date, that teaching did not exist? That is a very questionable logical leap.

Because there is no one alive from back then to confirm whether or not the oral stories are true or really went back that far. Written evidence is the only evidence we have that bears witness to that period of time.

JamesR, this sums up the major issues I have with the church itself.  Something as important to the Eastern Orthodox church such as iconography, and there is NO WRITTEN RECORD.   Not only that, there are not any icons preserved from those periods.   Only the legend of St. Luke.

However, the church does sing the psalms.  Also the EO believe in the Eucharist as the 2nd century Christians.

That said there are some things of the earliest church but most things occurred AFTER 300.  I get ripped all the time on here for just stating the obvious truth and fact.  

Things made up out of thin air.  Discos, asterisk, iconostasis, the fact pushed on that Mary & St. Joseph never had sex after Christ was born....    The gospel of Matthew makes a pretty clear indication that:

Joseph did not know her till after the birth.
The word "till" translates into "until" in other parts of the scriptures.

Joseph did not know her until after the birth.

But we get told by men 553 years later that "she was forever a virgin and never engaged in physical relation with St. Joseph".

Funniest thing about this argument is that truly it would NOT MATTER.  If you think about it, a woman is pure if she is with her husband.  So Mary & Joseph would be pure in a physical relationship bound in matrimony that GOD promoted.

Whether she did or not is not the point however, it's the fact that somebody came out and said "She didn't" at a council and the entire church bought into it.  553 years after the birth.

The reason James that I consult the earliest writings is I seek the truth past anything that "just came about" has "said" or "created".   I am resolute in saying "I don't know", as I don't.  And I certainly believe a bishop 500 miles away 553 years apart knew of what was in that bedroom.  AND IT DOESN'T matter, it's just the fact "he says so and passes it off as fact".

Thus the "ever virgin" status exists in many many EO prayers.   As I've stated in previous posts,  I can accept "ever virgin" as always recognizing the virgin birth forever, but to state "Joseph never was physical with her" is so bizarre.

Again it only draws two conclusions:
1) Joseph or the Theotokos talked about their bedroom activities (probably to several people), and for some odd reason it was never recorded but passed orally (no telephone game applies) for 500+ years and it was the absolute correct message.

2) A celibate bishop decided that sex in marriage was somehow defiling or tarnishing a married woman.  That somehow the bearer of God who was "one flesh" with her husband would be reduced somehow through physical means.  This slaps matrimony in the face.

But it doesn't matter to me entirely if she did or didn't.  What matters is how it seems made up.
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« Reply #129 on: May 13, 2013, 04:05:14 PM »

I think some people aren't satisfied unless figures of the faith are just like them. Insecurity, a demanding sense of democracy, ego - I don't know, but they just want to wish away the things that take strong faith to believe.
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« Reply #130 on: May 13, 2013, 04:08:51 PM »

One of my criticisms of the Orthodox Church is that the earliest authority we have on so many issues only goes back to the 3rd and 4th centuries at the earliest. I'd like more sources from the 2nd and 1st centuries to prove our doctrines. One example is Iconography; I have nothing against it, but, I can't find anything early to suggest that it was a part of worship. Sure, we have the stories of St. Luke being the first Iconographer and all, but where is the evidence? Those just seem like oral myths that developed in the 3rd and 4th centuries with really no earlier evidence to prove them.

Why do you jump to the conclusion that because there is no WRITTEN evidence of some teaching before a date, that teaching did not exist? That is a very questionable logical leap.

Because there is no one alive from back then to confirm whether or not the oral stories are true or really went back that far. Written evidence is the only evidence we have that bears witness to that period of time.

Why do you assume that, without written confirmation, it didn't exist? Why not assume that it DID exist, absent evidence to the contrary? Has it occurred to you that perhaps some written documentation was lost in the meanwhile? How about the idea that these traditions were handed down orally, without the need for writing?

The whole Orthodox Church shares the same traditions about Mary Theotokos and St Joseph, which to me is strong evidence for an authentic tradition. Where's the evidence that Christians believed differently back then? In any case, there is plenty of written evidence already from the 2nd century that matches what we believe e.g. about Mary's conception, birth and marriage, such as the Proto-evangelium. Why are you ignoring this?

I for one understand this.  So there is evidence of these aspects of Mary recorded.  No problem there at all.   Easy to see it and understand it.  But on the "no physical after the birth", well that's a claim not recorded with the other stuff.  It is broadly taught, without backing of any kind.

I can back up the EO Eucharist with writings of early Christians.
I can back up several other teachings of the EO church with the writings.

Unfortunately, these writings could to the Lutherans, RC, and EO church.  (amongst others).

But on such a personal topic of physical contact, on prayers recited so often, and the teaching of the church so strong on the issue.... There is nothing backing it up that was written.  Logical is strange too in relation to matrimony and God stating "one flesh".

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« Reply #131 on: May 13, 2013, 04:13:43 PM »

That said there are some things of the earliest church but most things occurred AFTER 300.  I get ripped all the time on here for just stating the obvious truth and fact.  

Things made up out of thin air.  Discos, asterisk, iconostasis,

I never thought someone can hate so much liturgical utensils. What did they do to you?

Quote
I can accept "ever virgin" as always recognizing the virgin birth forever, but to state "Joseph never was physical with her" is so bizarre.

This statement is bizarre. Or illogical at least.

BTW Wouldn't it be epic to have God as an uncle? Imagine: "- That Dude with a beard is my mother's Brother. He is the God too". Sound epic for me.
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SolEX01
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« Reply #132 on: May 13, 2013, 04:19:57 PM »

One of my criticisms of the Orthodox Church is that the earliest authority we have on so many issues only goes back to the 3rd and 4th centuries at the earliest. I'd like more sources from the 2nd and 1st centuries to prove our doctrines. One example is Iconography; I have nothing against it, but, I can't find anything early to suggest that it was a part of worship. Sure, we have the stories of St. Luke being the first Iconographer and all, but where is the evidence? Those just seem like oral myths that developed in the 3rd and 4th centuries with really no earlier evidence to prove them.

Why do you jump to the conclusion that because there is no WRITTEN evidence of some teaching before a date, that teaching did not exist? That is a very questionable logical leap.

Because there is no one alive from back then to confirm whether or not the oral stories are true or really went back that far. Written evidence is the only evidence we have that bears witness to that period of time.

< snip >

Again it only draws two conclusions:
1) Joseph or the Theotokos talked about their bedroom activities (probably to several people), and for some odd reason it was never recorded but passed orally (no telephone game applies) for 500+ years and it was the absolute correct message.

Talk about your own bedroom activities on this board.  Nope, I didn't think you would.  As if we really cared.   Roll Eyes

In your world, the Virgin Mary would go on Oprah or Dr. Phil and "spill the beans."

2) A celibate bishop decided that sex in marriage was somehow defiling or tarnishing a married woman.

Bishops became celibate so that they wouldn't pass down their office from father to son and become like Emperors.  You said it; cite an Orthodox Bishop who has taught what you just said.

That somehow the bearer of God who was "one flesh" with her husband would be reduced somehow through physical means.  This slaps my definition of matrimony in the face.

Your definition of matrimony mandates sexual intercourse.

But it doesn't matter to me entirely if she did or didn't.  What matters is how it seems made up.

318 Bishops had the chance to debunk Mary's ever-virginity at Nicaea.  Instead, they debunked Arius.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 04:27:07 PM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #133 on: May 13, 2013, 04:25:20 PM »

Weren't married bishops quite common in times of Chalcedony?
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« Reply #134 on: May 13, 2013, 04:43:09 PM »

The gospel of Matthew makes a pretty clear indication that:

Joseph did not know her till after the birth.
The word "till" translates into "until" in other parts of the scriptures.

Joseph did not know her until after the birth.

But we get told by men 553 years later that "she was forever a virgin and never engaged in physical relation with St. Joseph".

Funniest thing about this argument is that truly it would NOT MATTER.  If you think about it, a woman is pure if she is with her husband.  So Mary & Joseph would be pure in a physical relationship bound in matrimony that GOD promoted.

YIM (unless I'm mistaken, this seems to be the commonly used abbreviation of your name),

I have some questions for you:

1)  St Matthew makes a point of saying that Joseph didn't know Mary until after the birth, and you take this to mean that they had normal marital relations after Jesus' birth (cf. Mt. 1.25).  Assuming you're right for argument's sake, what do you think is the point of Matthew's singling out the sex life of this particular couple?  How do we as Christians benefit from knowing definitely that they had sex, as opposed to just keeping quiet about it and letting it remain "none of anyone's business"?  No where else in the NT, as far as I know, does anyone make an explicit point of affirming "So-and-so and his wife had sex regularly".  Why these two?   

2)  If it "truly does NOT MATTER", then why are you so intent on rejecting this teaching as an un-Scriptural creation of some celibate men hundreds of years later?  Whether you want to make Mary and Joseph like "normal" people, or whether you protest a perceived attack on the sanctity of matrimony, or whether you protest the right of celibates to speak about sexual matters, or any such thing, it clearly "DOES MATTER" to you.  Why insist that it doesn't matter and then spend so much energy to fight it?  What does it mean for you?

3)  I asked a question earlier directed to you, but perhaps you didn't see it because I didn't specifically address you.  Now I do: Who is the father of Jesus?         
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