Author Topic: Meet the Russian priest investigating the ‘miraculous’ Holy Fire of Jerusalem  (Read 778 times)

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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According to tradition, the Holy Fire ignites from the tomb of Jesus Christ at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It has been descending on the church for more than 1,500 years and it is believed that the year when it fails to light will be the last year in humankind’s history.

In those first few moments after it descends, the fire is only slightly warm. Pilgrims can easily take it in their hands and wash their faces in it, without hurting either their hands or faces.

Is this miracle? Some people, especially non-Orthodox Christians, have their doubts. But there was no doubt in the minds of the 100-plus pilgrims from Russia that they were witnessing a miracle: that was what had brought them to Jerusalem two days previously, on Friday. In total, thousands of Christians gathered in Jerusalem to light torches and candles from the holy flame on the eve of Orthodox Easter.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2016/05/02/meet-the-russian-priest-investigating-the-miraculous-holy-fire-of-jerusalem/
How can you be so incarnationally constipated?

Offline ttcmacro

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I know this thread is a little old, but I just wanted to say this was an interesting article.

There is also a very interesting book called "Holy Fire: The Miracle of the Light of the Resurrection at the Tomb of Jesus" by Haris Skarlakidis that not only documents personal testimony of the light throughout the centuries, but also mentions scientific investigations of the Holy Light. They find a mysterious electrical discharge occurred at the time in which the Holy Light appears, supporting the idea that it is of supernatural origin.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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I know this thread is a little old, but I just wanted to say this was an interesting article.

There is also a very interesting book called "Holy Fire: The Miracle of the Light of the Resurrection at the Tomb of Jesus" by Haris Skarlakidis that not only documents personal testimony of the light throughout the centuries, but also mentions scientific investigations of the Holy Light. They find a mysterious electrical discharge occurred at the time in which the Holy Light appears, supporting the idea that it is of supernatural origin.
If it's electrical, that would make it natural, wouldn't it?
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Offline ttcmacro

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I know this thread is a little old, but I just wanted to say this was an interesting article.

There is also a very interesting book called "Holy Fire: The Miracle of the Light of the Resurrection at the Tomb of Jesus" by Haris Skarlakidis that not only documents personal testimony of the light throughout the centuries, but also mentions scientific investigations of the Holy Light. They find a mysterious electrical discharge occurred at the time in which the Holy Light appears, supporting the idea that it is of supernatural origin.
If it's electrical, that would make it natural, wouldn't it?

Disclaimer: I'm not a a scientist.

I think they view it as supernatural because the source of the discharge is unknown. Since the Holy Light has appeared consistently for centuries, it would be hard to view this as some sort of natural meteorological event. It also indicates that the Patriarch is not simply sneaking a lighter into the Tomb.

Offline Velsigne

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I know this thread is a little old, but I just wanted to say this was an interesting article.

There is also a very interesting book called "Holy Fire: The Miracle of the Light of the Resurrection at the Tomb of Jesus" by Haris Skarlakidis that not only documents personal testimony of the light throughout the centuries, but also mentions scientific investigations of the Holy Light. They find a mysterious electrical discharge occurred at the time in which the Holy Light appears, supporting the idea that it is of supernatural origin.
If it's electrical, that would make it natural, wouldn't it?

What is the absolute origin of electricity?  Have taken many classes on electrical theory and no one has explained where exactly it comes from, just know how to harness it to produce work.  Or maybe I fell asleep in class the day they announced it.  While studying it seemed like a mystery of the universe they gloss over before discussing DC motors, rotors, windings  Ohm's law Kirchoff's Law etc

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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I know this thread is a little old, but I just wanted to say this was an interesting article.

There is also a very interesting book called "Holy Fire: The Miracle of the Light of the Resurrection at the Tomb of Jesus" by Haris Skarlakidis that not only documents personal testimony of the light throughout the centuries, but also mentions scientific investigations of the Holy Light. They find a mysterious electrical discharge occurred at the time in which the Holy Light appears, supporting the idea that it is of supernatural origin.
If it's electrical, that would make it natural, wouldn't it?

What is the absolute origin of electricity?  Have taken many classes on electrical theory and no one has explained where exactly it comes from, just know how to harness it to produce work.  Or maybe I fell asleep in class the day they announced it.  While studying it seemed like a mystery of the universe they gloss over before discussing DC motors, rotors, windings  Ohm's law Kirchoff's Law etc

That's certainly true. But most people would still attribute it to natural causes, not supernatural. If you do, that's fine considering it's true what you say. We don't really know what energy is either, just that it exists and we've made theories of how it behaves etc.
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"He who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen." (1 John 4:20)

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To investigate fully, one would want to secretly put hidden cameras inside the sepulchre, or else watch or record the supposed lightning in the public sanctuary, or else bring in ones own packs of candles and see if they light up automatically when they are among the pilgrims in the public sanctuary where they supposedly do.

Otherwise we are just left with anecdotes like the account of the lightning coming in and striking a pillar or rare claims by orthodox that they have inside knowledge of how it is performed artificially.
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Offline IreneOlinyk

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To investigate fully, one would want to secretly put hidden cameras inside the sepulchre, or else watch or record the supposed lightning in the public sanctuary, or else bring in ones own packs of candles and see if they light up automatically when they are among the pilgrims in the public sanctuary where they supposedly do.

Otherwise we are just left with anecdotes like the account of the lightning coming in and striking a pillar or rare claims by orthodox that they have inside knowledge of how it is performed artificially.

I guess the "rare claims by Orthodox" include the writings of  Bishop Porphyrius (Uspensky) (1804–1885).

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Some Greeks have been critical of the Holy Fire, such as Adamantios Korais, who condemned what he considered to be religious fraud in his treatise "On the Holy Light of Jerusalem." He referred to the event as "machinations of fraudulent priests" and to the "unholy" light of Jerusalem as "a profiteers' miracle".
In 2005, in a live demonstration on Greek television,[20] Michael Kalopoulos, author and historian of religion, dipped three candles in white phosphorus. The candles spontaneously ignited after approximately 20 minutes due to the self-ignition properties of white phosphorus when in contact with air. According to Kalopoulos' website:
If phosphorus is dissolved in an appropriate organic solvent, self-ignition is delayed until the solvent has almost completely evaporated. Repeated experiments showed that the ignition can be delayed for half an hour or more, depending on the density of the solution and the solvent employed.
Kalopoulos also points out that chemical reactions of this nature were well known in ancient times, quoting Strabo, who states: "In Babylon there are two kinds of naphtha springs, a white and a black. The white naphtha is the one that ignites with fire." (Strabon Geographica 16.1.15.1-24) He further states that phosphorus was used by Chaldean magicians in the early fifth century BC, and by the ancient Greeks, in a way similar to its supposed use today by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem.[21]
Russian skeptic Igor Dobrokhotov[22] has analysed the evidence for an alleged miracle at length on his website, including the ancient sources[23] and contemporary photos and videos.[24] He has also reproduced fire-bathing and has uncovered contradictions in the story of the "column split by lightning."
Dobrokhotov and other critics, including Russian Orthodox researcher Nikolay Uspensky,[25] Dr. Aleksandr Musin of Sorbonne, and some Old Believers quote excerpts from the diaries of Bishop Porphyrius (Uspensky) (1804–1885),[26] which told that the clergy in Jerusalem knew that the Holy Fire was fraudulent. Porphyrius was a Russian Orthodox archimandrite who was sent on the official Church-related research mission to Jerusalem and other places (Egypt, Mount Athos). While in Jerusalem, he founded the Russian Mission there.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Fire 

Probably the pilrims who go to Jerusalem at Easter are going for the experience of celebrating Easter in such a holy place as this church and not for a miracle alone.