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Author Topic: Will the OO and EO Reunite?  (Read 25351 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #225 on: January 07, 2010, 12:17:23 AM »

"How long will we, who are disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who are taught by the same Holy Bible, continue to be divided among ourselves?"

-His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I-


Selam

As long as it takes?

I'd like to see the OO, EO, and RC unite once again very soon.

Vivat Jesus!
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« Reply #226 on: January 07, 2010, 12:51:27 AM »

"How long will we, who are disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who are taught by the same Holy Bible, continue to be divided among ourselves?"

-His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I-





Selam

Are those not in visible union with the Church really even disciples of the Lord Christ in the same sense as those who are in visible union?
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« Reply #227 on: January 07, 2010, 01:29:06 AM »

"How long will we, who are disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who are taught by the same Holy Bible, continue to be divided among ourselves?"

-His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I-





Selam

Are those not in visible union with the Church really even disciples of the Lord Christ in the same sense as those who are in visible union?

I can only offer my own opinion in answer to your question. IMHO, I would say that they are indeed disciples, although not "in the same sense."

When I became Orthodox, I became zealous to spead the true Orthodox Faith to my Catholic and Protestant brothers. But in my zeal, I have tried to be cautious not to look upon my Protestant and Catholic brethren as unChristian. Certainly I do not hesitate to be a defender of the Orthodox Faith, as Emperor Haile Selassie was. But His Majesty was also a close friend of Billy Graham's, and he acknowledged that Billy Graham was a sincere Christian who was helping to spread the Gospel.

I try to let God separate the wheat and the tares. But it's tough, because we certainly can't compromise divine convictions for the sake of a superficial unity.

Selam   
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« Reply #228 on: January 07, 2010, 05:00:39 AM »

"How long will we, who are disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who are taught by the same Holy Bible, continue to be divided among ourselves?"

You brough up another thing which would be quite problematic if EO and OO were to reunite: the canon of the Holy Scriptures. In the EO Church it is more or less settled, in the OO Church it is not (especially when you compare its shape in the Tewahedo Churches and the rest of OO Communion).
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« Reply #229 on: January 07, 2010, 11:54:54 AM »

You brough up another thing which would be quite problematic if EO and OO were to reunite: the canon of the Holy Scriptures. In the EO Church it is more or less settled, in the OO Church it is not (especially when you compare its shape in the Tewahedo Churches and the rest of OO Communion).

I don't see us having any more problem with this than the Oriental Orthodox do. As long as the Ethiopians don't try to bind their additional books on anyone else (and no one tries to make them give them up), there's no reason they shouldn't have a greater local respect for certain texts than is held in other places.
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« Reply #230 on: January 07, 2010, 12:32:54 PM »

While I agree that Catholics and Protestants are not of the same faith as the Orthodox, we must admit that in front of the world, we're just a bunch of disorganized religions of men, and God's Church is not as apparent as it may seem to some of us.

So, where there are clear doctrinal issues between Christians, Christians would look like a fraud in front of the world.  So these divisions affects us Orthodox as well when we wish to reach out even to the Christians themselves, who wish to describe themselves as "non-denominational."
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« Reply #231 on: January 07, 2010, 12:36:02 PM »

You brough up another thing which would be quite problematic if EO and OO were to reunite: the canon of the Holy Scriptures. In the EO Church it is more or less settled, in the OO Church it is not (especially when you compare its shape in the Tewahedo Churches and the rest of OO Communion).

I don't see us having any more problem with this than the Oriental Orthodox do. As long as the Ethiopians don't try to bind their additional books on anyone else (and no one tries to make them give them up), there's no reason they shouldn't have a greater local respect for certain texts than is held in other places.

Biblical canonicity and even differences of opinions in sainthood for some people in history have been allowed so long as there is the same Orthodox faith.  The Faith is superior to all these things, and it's the faith that gives birth to our Biblical traditions, our conciliar traditions, the traditions of stories of saints, no matter how different or divergent, as long as it leads to the one faith.  If the EO can agree to this, then that is not a hindrance to unity, and in fact neither should the latter four councils.
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« Reply #232 on: January 07, 2010, 12:43:17 PM »

. . .there's no reason they shouldn't have a greater local respect for certain texts than is held in other places.

Tewahedo Christians cosider these texts a part of the Bible = a word of God = infailable. Other OO Christians simply don't know/read them. That's a different thing from a situation when some texts are respected more in one place and less (but still) in other places.
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« Reply #233 on: January 07, 2010, 12:44:58 PM »

Tewahedo Christians cosider these texts a part of the Bible = a word of God = infailable.

That's a very Protestant understanding of the Bible. The Ethiopians simply have a loser understanding of canon than we do.
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« Reply #234 on: January 07, 2010, 12:51:23 PM »

That's a very Protestant understanding of the Bible.

Don't you consider the canonical Scriptures a word of God? And isn't a word of God infailable?

I have no problem with having additional books in the Bible, as long as it is clearly stated that they are appendices, included for pious and didactic reasons (4 Maccabees and 3 Esdras would be EO examples of such texts).
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« Reply #235 on: January 07, 2010, 01:06:41 PM »

That's a very Protestant understanding of the Bible.

Don't you consider the canonical Scriptures a word of God? And isn't a word of God infailable?

I have no problem with having additional books in the Bible, as long as it is clearly stated that they are appendices, included for pious and didactic reasons (4 Maccabees and 3 Esdras would be EO examples of such texts).

What do you mean by infallible?

The Ethiopians had these same texts in their canon back in the 4th century, when they were part of the same Church as Constantinople, Rome, Jerusalem, etc. If it wasn't a problem then, why would it be now? The other Oriental Orthodox Churches (who are well aware the Ethiopians have a larger canon than the rest of us) don't seem to find that the Ethiopians are deriving any unorthodox beliefs or practices from these books--and if the EO and OO re-unite that would necessarily indicate that the EO considers the current Ethiopian Church to be Orthodox in faith and practice as well.
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« Reply #236 on: January 07, 2010, 01:14:47 PM »

Well, consider the fact that St. Athanasius didn't even consider the book of Esther should be part of our Scriptural readings, but just a pious on the side reading along with Shepherd of Hermas, among other books in our canon:

http://www.ntcanon.org/Athanasius.shtml#Festal_Letter
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« Reply #237 on: January 07, 2010, 01:36:54 PM »

Don't you consider the canonical Scriptures a word of God? And isn't a word of God infailable?

Containing no theological errors due to Divine inspiration (although I don't say that the extra book from the Ethiopian Bible contain such errors).

The Ethiopians had these same texts in their canon back in the 4th century. . .

Probably they had them circulating around, but did they from the very beginning consider them definitely canonical? I wouldn't be so sure.

If it wasn't a problem then, why would it be now?

Ethiopian Christianity, as an established Church, was in communion with the Byzantine Church for around one century. To less time to even notice the issue.

Well, consider the fact that St. Athanasius didn't even consider the book of Esther should be part of our Scriptural readings, but just a pious on the side reading along with Shepherd of Hermas, among other books in our canon

And that proves what?
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« Reply #238 on: January 07, 2010, 01:56:19 PM »

Don't you consider the canonical Scriptures a word of God? And isn't a word of God infailable?

Containing no theological errors due to Divine inspiration (although I don't say that the extra book from the Ethiopian Bible contain such errors).

Which is my point. The other Oriental Orthodox are fine with the expanded Ethiopian canon because they don't find the Ethiopians teaching any theological errors based on them. And if someone suddenly did start teaching something unorthodox based on those books, the Ethiopians themselves would oppose such an innovative interpretation (just as EO's do when someone starts preaching a new teaching supposedly based on our Scripture).

If we ever reach the point that the EO and the OO are willing to officially and unambiguously state that we are the same Church sharing the same faith, then we EO's would be taking the same attitude as the other OO's to the Ethiopian canon.

Quote
If it wasn't a problem then, why would it be now?

Ethiopian Christianity, as an established Church, was in communion with the Byzantine Church for around one century. To less time to even notice the issue.

Ethiopian Christianity was in existence from the time of Acts, as was Greek and Coptic Christianity, even if the 'official structures' (like Patriarchates as opposed to numerous local synods) developed later. And the various groups were in communion with each other. And I know of no evidence that any of their neighbors ever thought the Scriptures being used in Ethiopia were a problem.
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« Reply #239 on: January 07, 2010, 02:15:08 PM »

The other Oriental Orthodox are fine with the expanded Ethiopian canon because they don't find the Ethiopians teaching any theological errors based on them.

Well, I still believe it's necessary to distinguish between the books which simply happen to be correct and the books which are correct because of their Divine origin.

Ethiopian Christianity was in existence from the time of Acts. . .

If you are getting at Acts 8:27, you have to remember that Kandake was not the queen of what we know today as Ethiopia, but of what we know today as Sudan.

And I know of no evidence that any of their neighbors ever thought the Scriptures being used in Ethiopia were a problem.

We have to have in mind that:
1. Ethiopia was geographically isolated or at least distant,
2. Ge'ez wasn't a language known to many non-Ethiopians.
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« Reply #240 on: January 07, 2010, 02:39:17 PM »

The other Oriental Orthodox are fine with the expanded Ethiopian canon because they don't find the Ethiopians teaching any theological errors based on them.

Well, I still believe it's necessary to distinguish between the books which simply happen to be correct and the books which are correct because of their Divine origin.

I have to go with Orthodox11 that this sounds like you are taking a very Protestant view of Scripture. We don't believe any of the books of Scripture were transcribed word for word by God Himself (in the entirety, certainly certain passages are direct quotes of the Divine). They were all written by human beings. Sanctified human beings inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, but human beings nonetheless. As such, there is not a qualitative difference between the Scriptures and any other text written by a sanctified human being inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit--difference in magnitude, yes: the Gospels are more important than the Epistles, for example. But in the Byzantine practice, the Paschal sermon of St. John Chrysostom is ordained for reading in every church on the Holiest day of the year. The Nicean Creed is ordained for reciting in every Church at every liturgy. These are documents which we do not call Scripture but which are clearly placed on par with them as documents written by sanctified men inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, documents which are authoritative and free of theological error.

Coptic and Armenian Churches do not (I presume) read St. John's Paschal sermon as a fixed part of the Paschal cycle. In the event of a reunion, we would not require them to start--nor would they require us to stop. Just as in the case of a reunion with the Ethiopians, we wouldn't make them stop reading their extended canon; nor would they make us start reading it.
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« Reply #241 on: January 07, 2010, 03:16:34 PM »

We don't believe any of the books of Scripture were transcribed word for word by God Himself (in the entirety, certainly certain passages are direct quotes of the Divine). They were all written by human beings. Sanctified human beings inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, but human beings nonetheless.

I don't believe otherwise.

As such, there is not a qualitative difference between the Scriptures and any other text written by a sanctified human being inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit--difference in magnitude, yes. . .

There is also a difference in certainty about inspired status of a text - about the Scriptures and about the Ecumenical Councils we are 100% sure. As far as other texts are concerned, we need to be cautious. And that's my concern. When I am reading the Bible and something strucks me as possibly wrong, I know that what is wrong, is my reasoning, not the Bible. But if I were to read, for example, the Ethiopian books of Meqabyan, I wouldn't have the same absolute certainty.
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« Reply #242 on: January 07, 2010, 08:10:03 PM »

There is also a difference in certainty about inspired status of a text - about the Scriptures and about the Ecumenical Councils we are 100% sure. As far as other texts are concerned, we need to be cautious. And that's my concern. When I am reading the Bible and something strucks me as possibly wrong, I know that what is wrong, is my reasoning, not the Bible. But if I were to read, for example, the Ethiopian books of Meqabyan, I wouldn't have the same absolute certainty.

But that's exactly my point: The Ethiopians have been reading these books for centuries and don't find anything that the rest of us consider unorthodox in them (again, that's true of the OO's now and we're presuming that reunion with the EO is on the same basis). So if *you* find something unorthodox in them, you must be introducing it via your personal interpretation, the same way Calvinists who find once saved, always saved and Baptists who find 'baptism is just an optional outward sign of an inward event' in the words of the New Testament are.

Just as with the standard canon of Scripture, to get the Truth rather than falsehood out of it, you have to read it with the understanding of the Church. And the hypothetical reunion only occurs if the (EO) Church agrees that the Ethiopian understanding of their own canon does not contain anything counter to the Truth.
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« Reply #243 on: January 07, 2010, 09:35:57 PM »


If the EO can agree to this, then that is not a hindrance to unity, and in fact neither should the latter four councils.

Unless the latter four councils are not sufficiently orthodox.
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« Reply #244 on: January 07, 2010, 09:40:11 PM »


Well, I still believe it's necessary to distinguish between the books which simply happen to be correct and the books which are correct because of their Divine origin.

No, it's not. It's not even possible. For all truth is from God.
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« Reply #245 on: January 07, 2010, 10:22:44 PM »

Tewahedo Christians cosider these texts a part of the Bible = a word of God = infailable.

That's a very Protestant understanding of the Bible.

Yes, very.

You guys want me to freak you out even more?  That's not all there is to the diversity that exists between the OO's in matters concerning the canon of scripture.  The Armenians have a canon which is very similar to, if not identical to, the EO's.  The Copts, from what I understand, have a canon more like that of the Catholics.  (Mina correct me if I'm wrong here.)  I'm not even sure what the Syriac Orthodox have.

I go more into the diversity of practice that exists between the OO Churches in reply 25 here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21421.msg324027.html#msg324027

There have been threads about the OO canon of scripture.  Just click on the tag for it, below.
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« Reply #246 on: January 07, 2010, 10:49:37 PM »

No, it's not. It's not even possible. For all truth is from God.

All animals are also from God. But we ackowledge that there are different spicies of them. The same thing is with true texts - there are different types, one of which is 'the canonical texts of the Bible.' Some people don't care what's the difference between the jaguar, the cheetah and the leopard, just like some people don't care what's the difference between the Biblical texts which are just canonical, the Biblical texts which are canonical but labled as anagignoskomena, and the quasi-Biblical texts which are included as appendices. But I do. Maybe it's because of my liking for systematics.
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« Reply #247 on: January 08, 2010, 06:56:25 AM »

No, it's not. It's not even possible. For all truth is from God.

All animals are also from God. But we ackowledge that there are different spicies of them. The same thing is with true texts - there are different types, one of which is 'the canonical texts of the Bible.' Some people don't care what's the difference between the jaguar, the cheetah and the leopard, just like some people don't care what's the difference between the Biblical texts which are just canonical, the Biblical texts which are canonical but labled as anagignoskomena, and the quasi-Biblical texts which are included as appendices. But I do. Maybe it's because of my liking for systematics.

That's fine. But I just wanted to establish that the distinctions have nothing to do with some being of "divine origin" and others not. If a scriptural text teaches the truth unadulterated then it is obviously of divine origin.
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« Reply #248 on: January 08, 2010, 01:07:12 PM »


Well, consider the fact that St. Athanasius didn't even consider the book of Esther should be part of our Scriptural readings, but just a pious on the side reading along with Shepherd of Hermas, among other books in our canon

And that proves what?

It just means different people believed in different canons at different times in different cultures all leading to the differences we have today, but within these differences, we hold together the same Orthodox faith.  So clearly, canonicity of Scriptures is not a big issue, at least in the communion of OO churches.  Just as we don't believe in conciliar fundamentalism, we also don't believe in Biblical fundamentalism.
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« Reply #249 on: January 08, 2010, 01:33:15 PM »

Here's the Coptic Canon:

http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=691&catid=188

Like Salpy said, it's the same as the Catholics plus the Prayer of Mannassah.
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« Reply #250 on: January 08, 2010, 11:48:08 PM »


Ethiopian Christianity was in existence from the time of Acts. . .

If you are getting at Acts 8:27, you have to remember that Kandake was not the queen of what we know today as Ethiopia, but of what we know today as Sudan.




Well, geographically, Ethiopia during the time of Queen Candace may have encompassed what is now Sudan. The land of "Cush" that is referred to in the Bible is generally considered to be the entire area of Northeast Africa (AFAIK). But Queen Candace was without doubt the Queen of what was religiously and ethnically Ethiopia. This is evident from the fact that the Ethiopian eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, which indecates that he was from the Judaic-practicing land of Ethiopia.


Selam  
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« Reply #251 on: January 11, 2010, 12:11:05 AM »

"How long will we, who are disciples of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who are taught by the same Holy Bible, continue to be divided among ourselves?"

You brough up another thing which would be quite problematic if EO and OO were to reunite: the canon of the Holy Scriptures. In the EO Church it is more or less settled, in the OO Church it is not (especially when you compare its shape in the Tewahedo Churches and the rest of OO Communion).

"We in Ethiopia have one of the oldest versions of the Bible. But however old the version may be, or in whatever language it may be written, the Word remains one and the same."

-His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I-
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« Reply #252 on: January 11, 2010, 12:14:31 AM »

Hail to  the Emperor! I totally agree, in the COE there is a temptation to say people who don't read the aramaic are introducing "another gospel" but thats so not true. By the way, Matthew went to Ethiopia, I think the Hebrew original is there....underneath Axum perhaps.
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« Reply #253 on: January 11, 2010, 02:01:41 AM »

Here's the Coptic Canon:

http://www.suscopts.org/q&a/index.php?qid=691&catid=188

Like Salpy said, it's the same as the Catholics plus the Prayer of Mannassah.

Was this before or after Westernization? Also, what's the Armenian canon like?






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« Reply #254 on: January 11, 2010, 02:19:39 AM »

You brough up another thing which would be quite problematic if EO and OO were to reunite: the canon of the Holy Scriptures. In the EO Church it is more or less settled, in the OO Church it is not (especially when you compare its shape in the Tewahedo Churches and the rest of OO Communion).

I don't see us having any more problem with this than the Oriental Orthodox do. As long as the Ethiopians don't try to bind their additional books on anyone else (and no one tries to make them give them up), there's no reason they shouldn't have a greater local respect for certain texts than is held in other places.

Biblical canonicity and even differences of opinions in sainthood for some people in history have been allowed so long as there is the same Orthodox faith.  The Faith is superior to all these things, and it's the faith that gives birth to our Biblical traditions, our conciliar traditions, the traditions of stories of saints, no matter how different or divergent, as long as it leads to the one faith.  If the EO can agree to this, then that is not a hindrance to unity, and in fact neither should the latter four councils.

EO already has a slite difference in Biblical books, and so, it shouldn't be a problem if we have more differences when it comes to the Biblical books..




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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

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Tags: trisagion Chalcedon Chalcedon polemics ecumenical councils cheval mort Church of the East Assyrian OO Canon of Scripture 
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