Author Topic: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services  (Read 3684 times)

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Offline wgw

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On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« on: October 08, 2016, 03:21:23 PM »
Diego made the claim in a thread in Faith issues that LCMS worship is equivalent to (Eastern) Orthodox worship in terms of scriptural references.  As someone who has copies of all three principle service books used in the LCMS, (the "Red Hymnal" of 1941, the infamous "Blue Hymnal" of the 80s, and the Lutheran Service Book) and a reasonably good if not entirely complete Orthodox liturgical library (I have the Fr. Seraphim Nasser "five pounder", the Festal Menaion, Triodion and additions to the Triodion by His Eminence Kallistos Ware of Diokleia and Mother Mary, the St. John of Kronstadt Pentecostarion, and several liturgikons, as well as the Unabbreviated Horologion of Jordanville and the Old Rite Horologion from Holy Nativity ROCOR in Erie; plus the usual suspects of freely downloadable material such as the Isael Florence Hapgood Euchologion), what I lack is a very good Oktoechos and of course the monthly Menaion), I feel safe in saying this is not the case.

Working from the LSB, for reasons of convenience, because I have it in electronic form on my iPad and for reasons of authority, since it repreesents the present liturgical "state of the art" in the LCMS, if we compare their  Eucharistic services of which there are five, with the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, we find a service that is substantially shorter, which begins in the case of the first three settings with an emaciated version of our Great Litany but with nearly all the clauses removed (a fuller version, but with the intercession to the Theotokos and all the saints predictably excised, appears in their Evening Prayer), and then proceeds to a very curious sort of non-anaphora, wherein the hymns associated with the Roman Canon and the Institution Narrative are preserved, but everything else, inclusing the various scripture references preserved in the Roman Rite, are gone, victims of Luther's contention that the Mass was not idolatrous but the Canon of the Mass was.   

Lutheran divine services often tend to end with the Song of Symeon, which is a major liturgical quirk which set them apart from Anglicanism. 

On the whole, less scripture is found in the wording and structure of the service than in the equivalent Anglican services.  And there is simply no comparison to the Orthodox liturgy, where virtually every line of text is taken from scripture beginning with the Liturgy of Preparation, of which in my experience Protestant clergy generally lack the categories to even describe, resulting in the usual accusations of idolatry or blasphemy.  Certainly one cannot imagine Luther, having basically deleted the canon of the mass over its sacrificial language, condoning the Prothesis, and to my knowledge the Ukrainian Lutherans who blasphemously use a mutilated form of the Divine Liturgy do not perform this rite. 

As far as the divine office is concerned, considering how few LCMS parishes actually bother to serve it, I am surprised the LCMS hymnals even include it.  Some parishes use parts of it once per year, for example, Evening Prayer or Compline is used as the skeleton of their Christmas Eve service.

This takes us to hymnody.  Whereas the majority of Orthodox hymns are essentially doctrinal statements constructed from Biblical verses or sentences and historically arranged into Greek metrical poetic forms which do not readily translate into English, so in a sense these become chanted prose-hymns, which nonetheless retain their sacred beauty, the majority of hymns found in the Lutheran Service Book are of the bland "chorale" variety espoused by Luther hymself;'rhyming, doctrine-light compoaitions which are incapable of directly quoting scripture without alteration in many of the cases because of the need to preserve the rhyming tempo.   At that, aome belligerant Lutheran minister took to YouTube to mock the Anglicans for the doctrine-free nature of their Christmas carols by pointing to the doctrine-light carols of the Lutheran tradition, but in both cases, these hymns are utterly destroyed by the first words of the canon of the the Nativity; there is simply no comparison, either in terms of dogmatic content or scriptural citation.

And when Lutheran hymns do contain doctrinal statements, or quote scripture, the doctrinal statements are often completely wrong; entire hymns exist as mere expresssions of the heresies of sola fide and sola scriptura, or grossly misleading; for example quoting John 3:16 out of context.

A commission of the Russian Orthodox Church at the request of the holy martyr St. Tikhon did determine that the Anglican Book of Common Prayer was salvageable, and produced a veritable laundry list of corrections needed to render it compatible with Orthodox usage, and the Western Rite Orthodox received by Antioch with piety and humility went through and actually implemented this list, giving us the Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon, St. Andrew's Prayer Book, and about five other corrected Orthodox derivatives of the Book of Common Prayer.

However I daresay that if confronted by the tangled mess that is Lutheran "liturgy," they would have simply given up amd decreed these books might well be consigned to the flames.  For whereas in the case of the BCP, the entire book is actually a prayer book, only the first quarter or fifth of the Lutheran books contains any prescribed liturgical forms at all, and the rest is a set of annoying, misleading and blasphemous chorales.   Fairness requires me to mention two books owned mainly by the Lutheran clergy, an Altar Book and an Agenda; the former I believe is used during the sacramental services, and the latter contains material for funerals and so on, but the urgent sense of a common prayer engendered by the Anglican book, which one finds in every pew (a non-Orthodox concept itself) besides the hymnals, is lacking; there is no unified liturgical piety to appeal to.

What is more, the LCMS lacks bishops and any means of enforcing its service books, and as a simple matter of fact, many Lutheran churches do not use them, but instead make use of praise and worship music according to their own preferences.
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Offline Diego

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2016, 06:47:55 AM »
Ok. Before I get to the liturgical issue, which I can't deal with til later, one subject must be dealt with, and that is Jews and Judaism. I've been reminded how anti-Semitic Luther was, even whilst the writer was fulminating against the existence of the State of Israel, and supporting Muslim "Palestinians" who like to blow stuff up. I just had someone inform me with pride how many Jewish converts their Church has.

To which I say, so? Some of the worst Jew haters have been Jews. Let's be straight. I was raised Catholic and Anglican. Almost became a monk. But I studied with Orthodox Jews for 11 years! I am not as stupid as some of you seem to think I am. In fact, the most horrifically anti-Semitic Churches in the world tend to be the Orthodox. I recall mentioning, "pogrom" is a Russian word. And some of the the most anti-Jewish stuff has occurred there.  Obviously, the Holocaust was German, and Luther was used as an excuse. But Hitler was Catholic.

All that having been said, I shall review the liturgical matters tonight  or in the morning. My tablet is WAY slow at the moment, and the computer is packed for transport. So, until tonight then. Or the morning. Pray for me, a sinner.

Offline Svirsky

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2016, 10:25:16 AM »
Ok. Before I get to the liturgical issue, which I can't deal with til later, one subject must be dealt with, and that is Jews and Judaism. I've been reminded how anti-Semitic Luther was, even whilst the writer was fulminating against the existence of the State of Israel, and supporting Muslim "Palestinians" who like to blow stuff up. I just had someone inform me with pride how many Jewish converts their Church has.

To which I say, so? Some of the worst Jew haters have been Jews. Let's be straight. I was raised Catholic and Anglican. Almost became a monk. But I studied with Orthodox Jews for 11 years! I am not as stupid as some of you seem to think I am. In fact, the most horrifically anti-Semitic Churches in the world tend to be the Orthodox. I recall mentioning, "pogrom" is a Russian word. And some of the the most anti-Jewish stuff has occurred there.  Obviously, the Holocaust was German, and Luther was used as an excuse. But Hitler was Catholic.

All that having been said, I shall review the liturgical matters tonight  or in the morning. My tablet is WAY slow at the moment, and the computer is packed for transport. So, until tonight then. Or the morning. Pray for me, a sinner.

How exactly is this at all related to anything in the OP? While I won't delve into the specifics, I would say that most of your claims, polemical and otherwise, are distorted. If you're willing to start another thread, maybe we could discuss this, but, regardless, stay on topic.

Offline Diego

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2016, 11:13:17 PM »
BRIEF Checkin. I have not disappeared. Yes, my response to the Jewish issue WAS necessary. Since I keep getting attacked for Luther's anti-Semitism, including in this thread, lets talk about anti-Semitism. Either put up, or shut up, as we said when I was a boy.

As to the rest of the post, I am going to have to take a bit of  a continuance until AT LEAST tomorrow afternoon. It is late, and I have a LOT of work to do tomorrow. I shall get back on after I finish tomorrow. Thanks.

Offline Diego

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2016, 04:21:20 PM »
Another unfortunate brief checkin. Plans DO keep getting interrupted, but that happens when your life is a disaster waiting for places to land.

ANHYHOO, I just got a copy of a book I needed for this thread. I expected to have the darn thing about four days ago. At present, I have to prepare to go teach a class. When I get back, I have family matters to which I must attend. Tomorrow is ANOTHER busy day. More housework (my wife is the breadwinner, I admit to having to be on full Disability due to some serious medical malfunctions), and an appointment. But I SHOULD be able, if God is most gracious and kind, to be able to do my research for this thread tonight before bed, and then get back to it tomorrow. I do apologise for the delay.

In peace, pray for me, a sinner.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2016, 04:22:39 PM »
Please take as much time off as you need.  Family comes first. 
OC.NET is full of temptations, but in temptations we are enforced, remember about the thread "Temptation in the Desert: Rachel Weisz and the Undoing of Mor Ephrem". OC.NET helps in becoming unpassionate.

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Offline Diego

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2016, 04:47:11 PM »
Thank you. You are most kind. And by the way. I know we come down hard on each other in the unmoderated rooms, but please understand that there REALLY ARE NO hard feelings. For me its an escape valve, to blow off steam. I don't mean for you to take any of that personally. When I say you are being idiotic, or something, I don't want you to think that I am being personal. I hope its all good between us.

Do Pray for me, a sinner. I just answered some quick ones down there. I just don't have time to answer this one well, and it will take answering WELL. I don't want to look like a fool here. I have been challenged intellectually, which is entirely fair. I intend to take the challenge seriously. That is why I am making sure I have the time to do the thing right. Peace.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 04:48:37 PM by Diego »

Offline Keble

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2016, 06:20:49 PM »
I have no idea what's going on here but when one starts talking about scriptural content there's the question both of the readings and of which services one has in mind. I can't speak to the LCMS but most everyone these days outside the Orthodox is using some three year cycle for the eucharistic readings which for the Catholics cover about 60%of the gospels and 25% of the rest of the NT. It's a safe bet that those using the RCL or any other protestant 3 year lectionary are getting similar numbers. By comparison the pre-V2 Roman lectionary hit less than 25% of the gospels. Current lectionaries also include an OT reading on Sundays which wasn't there before. The two year daily office cycle for ECUSA reads essentially all of the gospels, most if not all of the rest of the NT, and a pretty sizeable chunk of the OT.

Offline Diego

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2016, 09:33:58 PM »
I have no idea what's going on here but when one starts talking about scriptural content there's the question both of the readings and of which services one has in mind. I can't speak to the LCMS but most everyone these days outside the Orthodox is using some three year cycle for the eucharistic readings which for the Catholics cover about 60%of the gospels and 25% of the rest of the NT. It's a safe bet that those using the RCL or any other protestant 3 year lectionary are getting similar numbers. By comparison the pre-V2 Roman lectionary hit less than 25% of the gospels. Current lectionaries also include an OT reading on Sundays which wasn't there before. The two year daily office cycle for ECUSA reads essentially all of the gospels, most if not all of the rest of the NT, and a pretty sizeable chunk of the OT.

I have only a moment, but I did want to look in. We are talking about more than that. But, on your point re: lectionaries, you are right. LCMS uses the RCL with SERIOUS changes. It almost ISN'T the RCL by the time the Church gets done with it. And the Episcopal Church is now using the RCL with very few changes, for both the Three year Sunday Cycle and the Daily Office Two Year Cycle. This began in 2006. Having been brought up Roman and Anglican (Anglican is what stuck until they started ordaining Homosexuals and marrying them), and almost becoming a Monk and Priest in that tradition, I STILL use an Old copy of the 1979 Prayer Book with the pre-2006 Lectionary in it for my daily devotions. To be honest, I have no idea WHAT the Orthodox are using.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2016, 10:11:05 PM »

This takes us to hymnody.  Whereas the majority of Orthodox hymns are essentially doctrinal statements constructed from Biblical verses or sentences and historically arranged into Greek metrical poetic forms which do not readily translate into English, so in a sense these become chanted prose-hymns, which nonetheless retain their sacred beauty, the majority of hymns found in the Lutheran Service Book are of the bland "chorale" variety espoused by Luther hymself;'rhyming, doctrine-light compoaitions which are incapable of directly quoting scripture without alteration in many of the cases because of the need to preserve the rhyming tempo.   At that, aome belligerant Lutheran minister took to YouTube to mock the Anglicans for the doctrine-free nature of their Christmas carols by pointing to the doctrine-light carols of the Lutheran tradition, but in both cases, these hymns are utterly destroyed by the first words of the canon of the the Nativity; there is simply no comparison, either in terms of dogmatic content or scriptural citation.



I think you're dead wrong on this.  Have you ever read through Luther's poetic compositions?  My favorite is "Christ lag in Todesbanden" which, if memory serves, is a German paraphrase translation of a Latin paraphrase translation of St. John Damascene's Paschal Canon.  No one would ever accuse the Paschal canon of lacking Scriptural references or even dogmatic content nor does this Lutheran chorale.  Or what about the Gradual hymn for Christmas, "Von Himmel hoch da komm ich her"?  Full of Scriptural content and dogmatic content and nothing really that an Orthodox could find objection too.  Plus, they are also good melodies.  Now you may not like these. ANd you're entitled to.  But don't say they lack doctrinal or Scriptural content.  Now, they may not support the doctrines you want them , too, but that's not the same thing. 

On another note, Lutheranism is part of the Western Rite liturgical tradition (as a self-described liturgical enthusiast, i would think you'd be aware of that) so why are you expecting any of the various Western Rites to have developed along the exact same lines as the Byzantine Rite?
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Offline Diego

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2016, 10:38:47 PM »
I should point out a few things here. The very TITLE of this thread astounds me. It is, by definition, an ad hom, which is forbidden here. Note that the word "Orthodox" is a term you gave to yourselves. Non-Orthodox have been polite enough to accept that term for you (and I am not just talking about on this board). However, unilaterally, and arrogantly, calling someone else "heterodox", or a "heretic" or the like is simply a way of dismissing their claims without having to listen to what they mean. It is frankly juvenile and immature.

I am going to note that the Roman Catholic Church likes to be called either "Catholic" or "Roman Catholic" rather than "Roman". I have very little fondness for them, and generally call them "Roman", as I might call the Russian Church exactly that. We called ourselves "Evangelicals". It was the Romanists who called us "Lutherans" as a form of abuse, and we gradually took on the name proudly. Of course the State Churches generally call themselves that, such as "Church of Sweden", or "Church of Finland", or what have you, just like the "Church of Russia", or the Church of England, for that matter.

My whole point of this is that, in the title of a thread dedicated to talking about Scriptural content of Services, I think you need to be very careful what you call people. I am not really comfortable being called "Heterodox". If you CAN change the title of this thread, I hereby request that it be done. If that CANNOT be done, then I at least request that the creator of the thread acknowledge what I have said as a valid point.

Scamandrius has a valid point.The hymnody of Lutheranism has ALWAYS been noted, for the last 499 years, for being incredibly rich in doctrine and teaching. It may not be doctrine you like or agree with, but that is kind a  "DUH" moment. If we agreed with you we would be Orthodox. We are not. And you are not Lutheran. But to suggest that the hymns have not doctrinal value is simply to ignore logic.

Again, I am not yet prepared to take on full debate as my family life is still a bit crazy, but these are just a few thoughts. I have all three Hymnals of the LCMS of course, and now the Lutheran Study Bible. I also have several other service books from other Lutheran traditions. I only have a couple Orthodox items, although I have closely looked at stuff online. And that is where I'll be getting my information for this argument when I do get back.

But first, I would like a withdrawal of the insult that is clearly stated in the title of this thread, or at least and acknowledgement that the insult is there, and should be eliminated.

Offline wgw

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2016, 04:30:23 PM »
I am not going to be changing the thread title; no offense was in fact meant by it.  What is more, I did not even go so far in the thread title as to refer to the Lutheran church specifically, and am willing in the context of this thread to show how Orthodox liturgics are more scripture-ful and scripture-rich  than those found in the service books of any Protestant church I happen to have or the Novus Ordo Missae of the Roman church; alas, although I believe the Roman Catholic services at times convey errors of doctrine, I cannot find any general fault with the old Latin Rite compared with ours on a general textual level, other than the obvious inclusion of the filioque..

This is an Orthodox website, and it is clear there is a didference between what the Orthodox Church teaches and what LCMS teaches; some of what the latter teaches was held to be heretical by the Eastern Orthodox communion at the Synod of Dositheus in the 17th century, and a cenrury before, the Lutherans who wrote to the Ecumenical Patriarch seemed fairly dead-set on adhering to certain ideas Luther taught, which the Patriarch explained that he was not at liberty to even consider as they were and indeed are contrary to the received Tradition of this church; in objecting to the errors that had crept into  Roman tradition, an Orthodox Christian might lament Luther went his own way rather than embracing the doctrines of the Eastern churches and restoring unity.   This lack of a doctrinal commonality is evident in the mutilated version of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom which remains in use, without our sanction, by the Lutherans of Ukraine, but it is also quite strikingly evident in the LCMS liturgy. which like the older ELCA liturgy, preserves the vestiges of our beautiful Litany of Peace and begins "the divine service" (which is not really a liturgy but a theurgy in Lutheran thought, one could argue) with these emptied-out litanies, most of the petitions removed, but elsewhere, tellingly, one can find the entire litany but with certain petitions relating to the saints and the departed absent.

This liturgical iconoclasm aside, an actual line by line comparison of the services of the two churches probably would not be greatly interesting, because whereas the prayers of the priest and deacon woth elaborate Scriptural content are distributed throughout our liturgy, and account for much of the content, and all of the content of our services is fixed, the prayers said by the Lutheran pastor in the Lutheran service would fit in two or three paragraphs, the fixed hymns are only a few basic sertings of the standard communion hymns of the Roman Rite (such as the Gloria, Sanctus) which we all agree are scriptural, and most of the rest is variable; in the LCMS hymnal there are no hymns of shocking and obvious heresy like what one finds in the new PCUSA hymnal, except for those which insist upon sola fide and the other solas, of which there are many; at least half of them contain these errors, but very few are directly built around scriptural texts in the manner of an Orthodox canon to be said at Matins, for example.

  I don't think the members of this forum would it spiritually profitable, nor does copyright legislation allow, for us to review all of the hymns in the Lutheran Service Book, but I believe most of us are sufficiently familiar with the mainstays including hymns written by Luther himself, such as "A Mighty Fortress is our God," to have a sense as to what these chorales consist of.

So in cloaing, there is no insult, far less an ad hominem, in my opinion, in the thread title; the Orthodox were if anything forced to call ourselves Orthodox when we are in fact the Catholic Church, and I believe that a statement that the Orthodox Chirch is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is in accordance with the rules of this forum and should be expected on an Orthodox message board.

 But a Lutheran reader who believes their church to be Orthodox and ours to be heterodox could simply read the title of my thread that way if they wished.   

One thing we cannot do however is say that one is Orthodox but the other is not heterodox. because the two churches are diammetrically opposed on several key questions of doctrine and cannot, as much as some people might wish otherwise, both be right.  Because we do not agree on the subject of the five solas, on soteriology, on the nature of the real change in the Eucharist (specifically, the Orthodox reject the Lutheran idea which has been, I think correctly, if not uncontroversially, called impanation, in favour of a belief in an absolute change), on the nature of the Priesthood, on the number of sacraments, on sacramental theology, and on the content of Scripture itself (Tobit, Wisdom, Sirach, and other such books, and indeed, I daresay the Epistle of St. James, are canonical in the Orthodox Church, not apocrypha and not antilegomennna).

So we both cannot be right; the thread title is based on that premise and written from an Orthodox point of view.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 04:53:30 PM by wgw »
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Offline wgw

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2016, 05:10:34 PM »
I have no idea what's going on here but when one starts talking about scriptural content there's the question both of the readings and of which services one has in mind. I can't speak to the LCMS but most everyone these days outside the Orthodox is using some three year cycle for the eucharistic readings which for the Catholics cover about 60%of the gospels and 25% of the rest of the NT. It's a safe bet that those using the RCL or any other protestant 3 year lectionary are getting similar numbers. By comparison the pre-V2 Roman lectionary hit less than 25% of the gospels. Current lectionaries also include an OT reading on Sundays which wasn't there before. The two year daily office cycle for ECUSA reads essentially all of the gospels, most if not all of the rest of the NT, and a pretty sizeable chunk of the OT.

The Byzantine Rite lectionary reads the entire New Testament except the Apocalypse in a one year time period, and the Coptic Rite lectionary includes the Apocalypse.  For that matter, if you take a 1928 American BCP, or a 1962 Canadian BCP, for example, these Anglican service books, in the Holy Communion service and Morning and Evening Prayer combined, did read the entire New Testament, and I believe the Old Testament took two years with the old Anglican lectionary.  I have a PDF article from the 1990s by an Anglican Church of Canada priest who was quite unhappy about the RCL, amd who ran the numbers, and the results are fairly damning as far as the RCL is concerned.

That said, the Lutheran Service Book has both the RCL and a one year lectionary with three lessons, which was the approach used by most of the mainline Protestant churches in the US before the RCL.  I have not done any detailed survey of these one year lectionaries but I will say they are broadly agreeable, because the three year lectionary is an innovation, unprecedented in Christianity, and piety is not aided by having the subtle differences between the synoptics thrown in our face over a three year cycle; the old Protestant one year lectionaries tend to follow the Roman Rite lectionary, but with longer pericopes and other differences, and I would rather the LCMS do that vs. use the RCL.   Actually the fact that the Lutheran Service Book allows for the Revised Common Lectionary is a huge mark against it; the WELS hymnal I believe makes no such accomodation and is in that respect superior (but is otherwise just a somewhat boring, watered down 1941 hymnal).  For example, the editors of the RCL have taken it upon themselves to say that Christians should not hear on Holy Thursday 1 Corinthians 11:27-34; to their credit, the Episcopalians resisted this change in their RCL-based lectionary, which unfortunately they have now discontinued in favour of the RCL, so no one at a mainline Protestant or Novus Ordo Catholic church gets to hear of the dangers of partaking unworthily.

However, the lectionary is not my point in this thread; what I am referrring to is the scriptural matter in the liturgical texts themselves, which I contend is much more abundant in the Orthodox services, not only because Orthodox services are longer and more voluminous, but also because more scriptural material is written into our service books in the form of prayers said by the priest during the liturgy of preparation or the anaphora or in the other sacramental services.
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Offline wgw

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2016, 05:16:40 PM »
BRIEF Checkin. I have not disappeared. Yes, my response to the Jewish issue WAS necessary. Since I keep getting attacked for Luther's anti-Semitism, including in this thread, lets talk about anti-Semitism. Either put up, or shut up, as we said when I was a boy.

As to the rest of the post, I am going to have to take a bit of  a continuance until AT LEAST tomorrow afternoon. It is late, and I have a LOT of work to do tomorrow. I shall get back on after I finish tomorrow. Thanks.

This thread should not be read or interpreted as an attack on you personally and the OP does not mention anti-Semitism; I have addressed your concerns about the thread title, but behond that, I don't intend to discuss anything other than the argument I set out in the OP, in this thread.
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Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2016, 09:19:02 PM »
I've been listening to a lot of Fr. Hopko's podcasts on AFR, lately.  Something I've noticed he complained about persistently is that the Orthodox don't even know when something in their liturgy is from the Bible.  And they have a habit of cutting the Bible (instead of hymns) whenever the liturgy is shortened at all.

Obviously, there are some Orthodox who can point to every Biblical allusion in the liturgy, and say "Here's where it's found in scripture." But most cannot.  Many wouldn't even be able to identify something as being or not being from the Bible. 

And, frankly, my experience in churches is that very few Christians know their Bible well at all.  A large number of Episcopalians can't tell you that x line from the liturgy is reminiscent of the fourth chapter of Isaiah, or whatever.  And the same goes for the (ELCA) Lutherans I've known.

So what is the point of arguing over who's services have more scriptural content in them, when most people don't bother to learn the scripture?
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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2016, 09:46:23 PM »
I've been listening to a lot of Fr. Hopko's podcasts on AFR, lately.  Something I've noticed he complained about persistently is that the Orthodox don't even know when something in their liturgy is from the Bible.  And they have a habit of cutting the Bible (instead of hymns) whenever the liturgy is shortened at all.

Obviously, there are some Orthodox who can point to every Biblical allusion in the liturgy, and say "Here's where it's found in scripture." But most cannot.  Many wouldn't even be able to identify something as being or not being from the Bible. 

And, frankly, my experience in churches is that very few Christians know their Bible well at all.  A large number of Episcopalians can't tell you that x line from the liturgy is reminiscent of the fourth chapter of Isaiah, or whatever.  And the same goes for the (ELCA) Lutherans I've known.

So what is the point of arguing over who's services have more scriptural content in them, when most people don't bother to learn the scripture?

True enough.  However, I think that the development of the Liturgy was for people to learn their Scriptures rather than the Scriptures be known first so people can point out from where in the Scriptures that particular text is. 

I believe that Fr. Constantine Nassar wrote a book in which he produced the entirety of the Divine Liturgy annotated with all the Scriptural references.  I've also been told, though I doubt the accuracy of the statement, that the entirety of the Scriptures can be reproduced from all of the Divine Services.
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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2016, 09:56:51 PM »
I've been listening to a lot of Fr. Hopko's podcasts on AFR, lately.  Something I've noticed he complained about persistently is that the Orthodox don't even know when something in their liturgy is from the Bible.  And they have a habit of cutting the Bible (instead of hymns) whenever the liturgy is shortened at all.

Obviously, there are some Orthodox who can point to every Biblical allusion in the liturgy, and say "Here's where it's found in scripture." But most cannot.  Many wouldn't even be able to identify something as being or not being from the Bible. 

And, frankly, my experience in churches is that very few Christians know their Bible well at all.  A large number of Episcopalians can't tell you that x line from the liturgy is reminiscent of the fourth chapter of Isaiah, or whatever.  And the same goes for the (ELCA) Lutherans I've known.

So what is the point of arguing over who's services have more scriptural content in them, when most people don't bother to learn the scripture?

True enough.  However, I think that the development of the Liturgy was for people to learn their Scriptures rather than the Scriptures be known first so people can point out from where in the Scriptures that particular text is. 

I believe that Fr. Constantine Nassar wrote a book in which he produced the entirety of the Divine Liturgy annotated with all the Scriptural references.  I've also been told, though I doubt the accuracy of the statement, that the entirety of the Scriptures can be reproduced from all of the Divine Services.

I'd be interested in the name of that book.

But anyway, I can certainly appreciate your point, but at the same time there's a fairly common view that each scriptural reference in the liturgy was intended to bring to mind the entirety of the passage it references.  Which also makes sense, since bishops and monastics were expected (there's actually a canon about it) to know the entirety of the Psalter and (at least in the East) the monastics were the primary shapers of the liturgy.  So of course, while the liturgy was meant to reinforce a person's knowledge of scripture, I think it's also fair to say that it was meant to remind - rather than simply teach - the scriptures.
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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2016, 10:08:15 PM »
I've been listening to a lot of Fr. Hopko's podcasts on AFR, lately.  Something I've noticed he complained about persistently is that the Orthodox don't even know when something in their liturgy is from the Bible.  And they have a habit of cutting the Bible (instead of hymns) whenever the liturgy is shortened at all.

Obviously, there are some Orthodox who can point to every Biblical allusion in the liturgy, and say "Here's where it's found in scripture." But most cannot.  Many wouldn't even be able to identify something as being or not being from the Bible. 

And, frankly, my experience in churches is that very few Christians know their Bible well at all.  A large number of Episcopalians can't tell you that x line from the liturgy is reminiscent of the fourth chapter of Isaiah, or whatever.  And the same goes for the (ELCA) Lutherans I've known.

So what is the point of arguing over who's services have more scriptural content in them, when most people don't bother to learn the scripture?

True enough.  However, I think that the development of the Liturgy was for people to learn their Scriptures rather than the Scriptures be known first so people can point out from where in the Scriptures that particular text is. 

I believe that Fr. Constantine Nassar wrote a book in which he produced the entirety of the Divine Liturgy annotated with all the Scriptural references.  I've also been told, though I doubt the accuracy of the statement, that the entirety of the Scriptures can be reproduced from all of the Divine Services.

I'd be interested in the name of that book.


It's by Fr. Constantine Nasr (not Nassar) and it's entitled The Bible in the Liturgy.  HEre's a PDF copy.
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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2016, 12:40:12 AM »
Awesome, thanks!
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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2016, 01:41:23 AM »
But anyway, I can certainly appreciate your point, but at the same time there's a fairly common view that each scriptural reference in the liturgy was intended to bring to mind the entirety of the passage it references.  Which also makes sense, since bishops and monastics were expected (there's actually a canon about it) to know the entirety of the Psalter and (at least in the East) the monastics were the primary shapers of the liturgy.  So of course, while the liturgy was meant to reinforce a person's knowledge of scripture, I think it's also fair to say that it was meant to remind - rather than simply teach - the scriptures.

Imo the knowledge about the content is more important than literature studies.
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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2016, 01:43:59 AM »
But anyway, I can certainly appreciate your point, but at the same time there's a fairly common view that each scriptural reference in the liturgy was intended to bring to mind the entirety of the passage it references.  Which also makes sense, since bishops and monastics were expected (there's actually a canon about it) to know the entirety of the Psalter and (at least in the East) the monastics were the primary shapers of the liturgy.  So of course, while the liturgy was meant to reinforce a person's knowledge of scripture, I think it's also fair to say that it was meant to remind - rather than simply teach - the scriptures.

Imo the knowledge about the content is more important than literature studies.

By content, do you mean the words or the meaning of the words?
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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2016, 01:44:56 AM »
But anyway, I can certainly appreciate your point, but at the same time there's a fairly common view that each scriptural reference in the liturgy was intended to bring to mind the entirety of the passage it references.  Which also makes sense, since bishops and monastics were expected (there's actually a canon about it) to know the entirety of the Psalter and (at least in the East) the monastics were the primary shapers of the liturgy.  So of course, while the liturgy was meant to reinforce a person's knowledge of scripture, I think it's also fair to say that it was meant to remind - rather than simply teach - the scriptures.

Imo the knowledge about the content is more important than literature studies.

By content, do you mean the words or the meaning of the words?

Both.
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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2016, 01:46:00 AM »
But anyway, I can certainly appreciate your point, but at the same time there's a fairly common view that each scriptural reference in the liturgy was intended to bring to mind the entirety of the passage it references.  Which also makes sense, since bishops and monastics were expected (there's actually a canon about it) to know the entirety of the Psalter and (at least in the East) the monastics were the primary shapers of the liturgy.  So of course, while the liturgy was meant to reinforce a person's knowledge of scripture, I think it's also fair to say that it was meant to remind - rather than simply teach - the scriptures.

Imo the knowledge about the content is more important than literature studies.

By content, do you mean the words or the meaning of the words?

Both.

I agree.  But I think that requires knowing more than just what's in the liturgy.
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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2016, 02:00:03 AM »
But anyway, I can certainly appreciate your point, but at the same time there's a fairly common view that each scriptural reference in the liturgy was intended to bring to mind the entirety of the passage it references.  Which also makes sense, since bishops and monastics were expected (there's actually a canon about it) to know the entirety of the Psalter and (at least in the East) the monastics were the primary shapers of the liturgy.  So of course, while the liturgy was meant to reinforce a person's knowledge of scripture, I think it's also fair to say that it was meant to remind - rather than simply teach - the scriptures.

Imo the knowledge about the content is more important than literature studies.

By content, do you mean the words or the meaning of the words?

Both.

I agree.  But I think that requires knowing more than just what's in the liturgy.

I think the ability to tell whether the particular hymn originates from the James or Jude and where exactly is not really important. It's more important to keep the sense of the words.
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Re: On the scriptural content of Orthodox vs. heterodox services
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2016, 02:07:10 AM »
But anyway, I can certainly appreciate your point, but at the same time there's a fairly common view that each scriptural reference in the liturgy was intended to bring to mind the entirety of the passage it references.  Which also makes sense, since bishops and monastics were expected (there's actually a canon about it) to know the entirety of the Psalter and (at least in the East) the monastics were the primary shapers of the liturgy.  So of course, while the liturgy was meant to reinforce a person's knowledge of scripture, I think it's also fair to say that it was meant to remind - rather than simply teach - the scriptures.

Imo the knowledge about the content is more important than literature studies.

By content, do you mean the words or the meaning of the words?

Both.

I agree.  But I think that requires knowing more than just what's in the liturgy.

I think the ability to tell whether the particular hymn originates from the James or Jude and where exactly is not really important. It's more important to keep the sense of the words.

But that's part of the issue.  Individual sentences have contexts.  If you don't actually know what the hymn is referencing, you can't know the context of what it's referencing (which it should be bringing to your mind), so you haven't actually learned the meaning.
"Homosexuality has been a popular topic, but not Satanic trances."

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011