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Author Topic: What is the Oriental Orthodox understanding of Hell?  (Read 312 times) Average Rating: 0
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aiernovi
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ghaly8
« on: August 07, 2013, 03:43:05 PM »

Hi all,

I post very rarely here but frequent the forums quite often. A certain blog post caught my attention:

http://afkimel.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/st-isaac-the-syrian-the-triumph-of-the-kingdom-over-gehenna/

It discusses St. Isaac the Syrian's understanding of hell. While he does not exactly espouse universal salvation (which is clearly non-orthodox) this post is definitely a far cry from what I have learned in my studies of Orthodoxy.

Please read the blog, but to summarize, St. Isaac is saying that God's love would not allow for punishment just for the sake of punishment, but rather this punishment serves a purpose. People will be punished to varying degrees, but this punishment is a means to an end. Namely the soul's eventual salvation.

Would love to hear what you all think.

In Christ,

aiernovi
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mabsoota
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 04:54:50 PM »

hi, and i love your name ('i have sinned').

some of that article was good, eg:

"If we do not share St Isaac’s horror of an everlasting hell, then perhaps that says something very important about us. This, I suggest, is St Isaac’s unstated argument."

i think if we really love people, we will be horrified at the idea of them going to hell and we will work tirelessly towards their (and also our) salvation.

and some is less so:

"He [Saint Isaac] invokes two respected Oriental Fathers specifically in support—Theodore of Mopsuestia and Diodore of Tarsus."

errrm... these guys were nestorians. at least one of them was excommunicated. i wouldn't take their views too seriously. i know some of their work was good, but i will wait to be orthodox many more years before i start reading stuff from guys who got into trouble with the orthodox church. i don't want to get confused.

as for the long discussion after the article, it is a bit over my head, i don't understand that much theology.
i think there are some good points, though.
i have previously read some very good things on father aidan's blog, i think he is a lovely writer who is much wiser than i am.
i think he posts here too sometimes, so you could ask him about it, if you like.
 Smiley
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mabsoota
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 05:00:42 PM »

oops, forgot to add this link:

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_against_diodore_01_text.htm

"Cyril of Alexandria, Against Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia (fragments of book 1), LFC 47 (1881) pp. 320-336."
sorry about the bad english - it makes it hard to read, but saint cyril is replying to nestorian ways of looking at the incarnation of the Word of God.
(and maybe you will understand it more than i do!)
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aiernovi
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ghaly8
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 09:56:15 PM »


"He [Saint Isaac] invokes two respected Oriental Fathers specifically in support—Theodore of Mopsuestia and Diodore of Tarsus."

errrm... these guys were nestorians. at least one of them was excommunicated. i wouldn't take their views too seriously. i know some of their work was good, but i will wait to be orthodox many more years before i start reading stuff from guys who got into trouble with the orthodox church. i don't want to get confused.


I agree that the use of Theodore and Diodore is questionable, but most of the other points are coming straight from St. Isaac. Just thought it was interesting. I wonder how these views reconcile with when the Bible talks about "everlasting fire" and "weeping and gnashing of teeth" and "was better if he had never been born"
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Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 10:17:47 PM »

I don't know that there is a specifically OO position on this question as opposed to the general Orthodox view shared with the EO.  For this, there are a number of threads in which this topic has been discussed, some of which have been active recently. 
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