Author Topic: Is the Theotokos sinless from conception to dormition in Coptic/Oriental Church?  (Read 9292 times)

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Offline urg8rb8

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I'm getting conflicting information regarding Mary's state of sin as regarded by the Coptic Church or even the Oriental Churchs as a whole.

In the EOC, Mary was conceived like all other humans but wasn't predesposed to sin like the rest of us humans.  However, the Oriental churches believe, like the RCC, that humans have already sinned, because of Adam and Eve, at the moment of conception.  The RCC came up with the concept of the Immaculate Conception to rationalize Mary's perpetual sinless state.  But the Oriental Church doesn't agree with the Immaculate Conception; does this mean that they believe that she was sinful?
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Offline minasoliman

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As far as I'm aware, we neither take one view or another.  There is no view that she was sinless from conception, neither do we believe in the immaculate conception.  Neither do we believe in an Augustinian concept of Original Sin nor do we necessarily say she did sin either.  We simply believe that the purity of the Theotokos was because of the incarnation.  At the moment of the incarnation, she was clothed with divinity.  That is what we believe.  We believe she is the most righteous and worthy person for the incarnation.  Whether that translates to sinless from birth or not, I don't know, and care not to speculate.  She is the most perfect and pure human being, most worthy for the incarnation, more glorious beyond compare than the heavenly hosts, the second Eve of Christ's salvific work.

Very distinctly, we also do believe the moment of her salvation similar to baptismal grace was the moment of the Incarnation of our Lord.  So that can be a very blatant disagreement with Immaculate Conception.  Like all human beings, she was born in need of salvation, in the state of mortality and surrounded by a sinful world that may have done some hurt to her soul, but nevertheless was able by the grace of God to stay the goal of her perfection in the Lord.

Some OOs are coming from a position where they did not have access to their own ancient writings, but to the writings available to them from Protestant and Catholic scholastics which infiltrated their churches.  The same can be said for the EOs a century or two ago.  It is not a surprise to find the same goes for OOs, and rate of revival of a pure OO theological tradition is slower than EO revival.  We can safely say St. Severus of Antioch at the very least, a pillar in the OO churches (except MAYBE the Armenian church, which have their own fathers and traditions that more or less agree with the rest of the OOs), would not have accepted the Augustinian concept of Original Sin, rejecting such beliefs in the person of Julian of Halicarnassus.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 07:04:54 PM by minasoliman »
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Offline RaphaCam

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Doesn't the Coptic rite have the sinlessness of the Theotokos inscribed in them like the Byzantine? I'm asking strictly about the Coptic rite because it seems from the Kebra Nagast that the Ethiopians have a very singular Mariology, including concepts at least analogous to the Immaculate Conception. An Eastern Catholic friend said that and I found an old thread in this site discussing it.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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However, the Oriental churches believe, like the RCC, that humans have already sinned, because of Adam and Eve, at the moment of conception. 

No we don't.  The creeping Western influence Mina mentioned and ignorance of our own tradition notwithstanding, our belief concerning ancestral sin is identical to that of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The RCC came up with the concept of the Immaculate Conception to rationalize Mary's perpetual sinless state.  But the Oriental Church doesn't agree with the Immaculate Conception; does this mean that they believe that she was sinful?

No.  Our Lady (like all of us) was not held to be personally guilty of the sin of Adam.  Rather, she inherited the consequences of that sin, and thus was in need of a Savior.  Additionally, we do not teach that she committed any personal sin.

Doesn't the Coptic rite have the sinlessness of the Theotokos inscribed in them like the Byzantine? I'm asking strictly about the Coptic rite because it seems from the Kebra Nagast that the Ethiopians have a very singular Mariology, including concepts at least analogous to the Immaculate Conception.

All Oriental Orthodox Churches hold the Theotokos to be sinless so far as I am aware.  Admittedly, because of the foul Portuguese and Jesuit intrusion, some Latin strains of thought have crept into Ethiopia, and some Ethiopians, in their zeal to defend the integrity of the Theotokos against both Protestants and ignorant Oriental Orthodox who have taken in the poison of Protestant thought, have fallen into the trap of taking up Latin type apologetics on her behalf.  That said, I have read the Kebra Negast, and I think anyone trying to read a Latin type Mariology into it has an agenda.  I would recommend H.H. Abune Paulos I of Thrice-Blessed Memory's dissertation on the Theotokos here as well as the Ethiopic Life of the Virgin Mary translated by Budge.

An Eastern Catholic friend said that

Maybe he was trying to justify his own erroneous belief or create some connection between the Latin church and the Eastern Churches that isn't really there.  I think we've all seen those who wrongly consider themselves to be "Orthodox in communion with Rome" do the same.

and I found an old thread in this site discussing it.

Please link to it.

It is truly a shame that Catholic and Protestant thought has penetrated our Communion on a variety of topics.  A Coptic scholar and friend I trust recently told me a depressing story of some late and influential Coptic hierarchs of the last century (that I won't name so that I won't defame them) touring the US and snatching up books by Spurgeon and other Protestant theologians like they were candy, and this, as well as the influence of the accursed and demonic Protestant "missions to the Copts" of the late 19th and early 20th century, influencing modern Coptic thought on a variety of subjects.  As Mina pointed out, we're often ignorant of our own tradition as it pertains to a variety of subjects, but where that Tradition reveals itself as it pertains to the Theotokos, it is identical to the Eastern Orthodox understanding.  One of the best articles I ever read on the sinlessness of the Theotokos can be found here.  To my mind, the perspective articulated by the article is the Orthodox understanding.  I shared it with one of the most renowned Ethiopian scholars I know, and he not only heartily endorsed it, but started circulating it among his youth.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 09:51:07 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline RaphaCam

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Isn't the Kebra Nagast much older than the Portuguese contacts with Terra do Preste João Ethiopia? This was the thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=23741.0 I didn't it through, so maybe it contradicts something I said or already clarifies the whole issue.

It is truly a shame that Catholic and Protestant thought has penetrated our Communion on a variety of topics.  A Coptic scholar and friend I trust recently told me a depressing story of some late and influential Coptic hierarchs of the last century (that I won't name so that I won't defame them) touring the US and snatching up books by Spurgeon and other Protestant theologians like they were candy, and this, as well as the influence of the accursed and demonic Protestant "missions to the Copts" of the late 19th and early 20th century, influencing modern Coptic thought on a variety of subjects.  As Mina pointed out, we're often ignorant of our own tradition as it pertains to a variety of subjects, but where that Tradition reveals itself as it pertains to the Theotokos, it is identical to the Eastern Orthodox understanding.  One of the best articles I ever read on the sinlessness of the Theotokos can be found here.  To my mind, the perspective articulated by the article is the Orthodox understanding.  I shared it with one of the most renowned Ethiopian scholars I know, and he not only heartily endorsed it, but started circulating it among his youth.
As Mina said, we EO's have been there. Let's hope you guys have the same energy some Russians and Greeks had two/three centuries ago, and hopefully we can eventually learn from each other.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 10:02:21 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline urg8rb8

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However, the Oriental churches believe, like the RCC, that humans have already sinned, because of Adam and Eve, at the moment of conception. 

No we don't.  The creeping Western influence Mina mentioned and ignorance of our own tradition notwithstanding, our belief concerning ancestral sin is identical to that of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Ok, this is what is confusing me.  A very good friend of mine goes to Bible study all the time at their Coptic church and they are taught that Mary wasn't sinless.  Then I did web searches and couldn't really find anything solid.

Do you happen to have a link to a church website that explains the view of the church?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 10:10:15 PM by urg8rb8 »
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Isn't the Kebra Nagast much older than the Portuguese contacts with Terra do Preste João Ethiopia?

Yes.  It certainly predates that vile attempt at forcing the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia into the Latin fold.  I never said the Kebra Negast was influenced by the agents of the Vatican.  I said that Latin strains of thought entered the Ethiopian Church at that time.  I also said that anyone reading a Catholic understanding into the Kebra Negast was wrong to do so and probably had an agenda.

This was the thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=23741.0 I didn't it through, so maybe it contradicts something I said or already clarifies the whole issue.

I'll look it over.

As Mina said, we EO's have been there. Let's hope you guys have the same energy some Russians and Greeks had two/three centuries ago, and hopefully we can eventually learn from each other.

Amen.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline urg8rb8

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« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 10:09:47 PM by urg8rb8 »
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Offline urg8rb8

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"Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise." - Psalm 51:15

Offline urg8rb8

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"Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise." - Psalm 51:15

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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However, the Oriental churches believe, like the RCC, that humans have already sinned, because of Adam and Eve, at the moment of conception. 

No we don't.  The creeping Western influence Mina mentioned and ignorance of our own tradition notwithstanding, our belief concerning ancestral sin is identical to that of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Ok, this is what is confusing me.  A very good friend of mine goes to Bible study all the time at their Coptic church and they are taught that Mary wasn't sinless.  Then I did web searches and couldn't really find anything solid.

Truthfully, you're likely to find all manner of heterodoxy in some Coptic Bible studies, up to and including lessons from A Purpose Driven Life.  Finding Latin teachings on original sin and Latin soteriology is the least of our worries.

Do you happen to have a link that explains the view of the church?

I too have done a web search, and unfortunately, all I can find from the Coptic side are the types of erroneous teaching your friend reports as here, which states that we inherit the sin of Adam and that we baptize babies in order to cleanse them of that sin.  That is, of course, not the Orthodox understanding.  The Orthodox answer to that assertion is here:

Quote
WILL UNBAPTIZED CHILDREN GO TO HELL IF THEY DIE?

No. The Orthodox Church does not believe that children are born guilty of Adam’s sin and that unless freed of that guilt through baptism and communion they will die without God’s mercy. Such a notion is pernicious both for its barbarism and for its distortion of God. Do we really think that God is so small that He is bound by our rites, the rites He has given us? God is sovereign, and He will have mercy on whom He has mercy and judgment on whom He has judgment (Romans 9:15).

We can talk about sin and guilt in three ways. First there is primordial sin, the sin of Adam. We understand this not in terms of inherited guilt, but in terms of a fallen world. Primordial sin introduced sickness, suffering, evil, and death into God’s perfect creation (1 John 5:19; Romans 5:12). We are born into Adam’s sin in that we are born into a fallen world. But without our participation, there is no guilt. Second, there is generational sin, which we see in terms of specific propensities to sin. A child of alcoholics, for example, will inherit not the guilt of his parents but the tendency to sin as they did, or other sins associated with this generational heritage. Again, we do not have to submit to this sinful heritage, we do not have to carry it on ourselves. Finally, there is personal sin, the stuff we do ourselves, whether as perpetuation of the general fallenness of this world, the generational fallenness of our parents or surroundings, or as the invention of sins of our own. A person becomes guilty when they personally sin. A child is not guilty until they make sin a personal decision, either consciously or unconsciously.

It is true that baptism is the washing away of sin, and one could say that it seems senseless to baptize a child if they have no inherited guilt to wash away. However, Christ’s sacrifice, in to which we are baptized, was a sacrifice of His whole life as a submission to God— “not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42)—and His death on the Cross not only washed away our sins, but also destroyed death itself. When we are baptized we are baptized into His life and death (Romans 6:4), and we become co-beneficiaries of a life which finally brought God and man into a union of love and a harmony of will. The infant is initiated into that union. This initiation will include the forgiveness of their sins, but is not limited to that forgiveness. The life and death of Christ, which reverses the primordial, generational, and personal falleness of this world, is what the child enters through baptism.

http://www.pravmir.com/infant-baptism-orthodox-church/

The Coptic Church is presently all over the place theologically.  We have taken in much Western poison, even to the point of some churches singing CCM in the Liturgy after Psalm 150 while the people receive communion, reducing said Liturgy to something approaching a clown mass, but we are correcting ourselves gradually and painfully with God's help.  Pray for us.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 10:33:41 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline urg8rb8

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As far as I'm aware, we neither take one view or another.  There is no view that she was sinless from conception, neither do we believe in the immaculate conception.  Neither do we believe in an Augustinian concept of Original Sin nor do we necessarily say she did sin either.  We simply believe that the purity of the Theotokos was because of the incarnation.  At the moment of the incarnation, she was clothed with divinity.  That is what we believe.  We believe she is the most righteous and worthy person for the incarnation.  Whether that translates to sinless from birth or not, I don't know, and care not to speculate.  She is the most perfect and pure human being, most worthy for the incarnation, more glorious beyond compare than the heavenly hosts, the second Eve of Christ's salvific work.

Very distinctly, we also do believe the moment of her salvation similar to baptismal grace was the moment of the Incarnation of our Lord.  So that can be a very blatant disagreement with Immaculate Conception.  Like all human beings, she was born in need of salvation, in the state of mortality and surrounded by a sinful world that may have done some hurt to her soul, but nevertheless was able by the grace of God to stay the goal of her perfection in the Lord.

Some OOs are coming from a position where they did not have access to their own ancient writings, but to the writings available to them from Protestant and Catholic scholastics which infiltrated their churches.  The same can be said for the EOs a century or two ago.  It is not a surprise to find the same goes for OOs, and rate of revival of a pure OO theological tradition is slower than EO revival.  We can safely say St. Severus of Antioch at the very least, a pillar in the OO churches (except MAYBE the Armenian church, which have their own fathers and traditions that more or less agree with the rest of the OOs), would not have accepted the Augustinian concept of Original Sin, rejecting such beliefs in the person of Julian of Halicarnassus.

Thanks for the explanation!
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Offline urg8rb8

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However, the Oriental churches believe, like the RCC, that humans have already sinned, because of Adam and Eve, at the moment of conception. 

No we don't.  The creeping Western influence Mina mentioned and ignorance of our own tradition notwithstanding, our belief concerning ancestral sin is identical to that of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Ok, this is what is confusing me.  A very good friend of mine goes to Bible study all the time at their Coptic church and they are taught that Mary wasn't sinless.  Then I did web searches and couldn't really find anything solid.

Truthfully, you're likely to find all manner of heterodoxy in some Coptic Bible studies, up to and including lessons from A Purpose Driven Life.  Finding Latin teachings on original sin and Latin soteriology is the least of our worries.

Do you happen to have a link that explains the view of the church?

I too have done a web search, and unfortunately, all I can find from the Coptic side are the types of erroneous teaching your friend reports as here, which states that we inherit the sin of Adam and that we baptize babies in order to cleanse them of that sin.  That is, of course, not the Orthodox understanding.  The Orthodox answer to that assertion is here:

Quote
WILL UNBAPTIZED CHILDREN GO TO HELL IF THEY DIE?

No. The Orthodox Church does not believe that children are born guilty of Adam’s sin and that unless freed of that guilt through baptism and communion they will die without God’s mercy. Such a notion is pernicious both for its barbarism and for its distortion of God. Do we really think that God is so small that He is bound by our rites, the rites He has given us? God is sovereign, and He will have mercy on whom He has mercy and judgment on whom He has judgment (Romans 9:15).

We can talk about sin and guilt in three ways. First there is primordial sin, the sin of Adam. We understand this not in terms of inherited guilt, but in terms of a fallen world. Primordial sin introduced sickness, suffering, evil, and death into God’s perfect creation (1 John 5:19; Romans 5:12). We are born into Adam’s sin in that we are born into a fallen world. But without our participation, there is no guilt. Second, there is generational sin, which we see in terms of specific propensities to sin. A child of alcoholics, for example, will inherit not the guilt of his parents but the tendency to sin as they did, or other sins associated with this generational heritage. Again, we do not have to submit to this sinful heritage, we do not have to carry it on ourselves. Finally, there is personal sin, the stuff we do ourselves, whether as perpetuation of the general fallenness of this world, the generational fallenness of our parents or surroundings, or as the invention of sins of our own. A person becomes guilty when they personally sin. A child is not guilty until they make sin a personal decision, either consciously or unconsciously.

It is true that baptism is the washing away of sin, and one could say that it seems senseless to baptize a child if they have no inherited guilt to wash away. However, Christ’s sacrifice, in to which we are baptized, was a sacrifice of His whole life as a submission to God— “not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42)—and His death on the Cross not only washed away our sins, but also destroyed death itself. When we are baptized we are baptized into His life and death (Romans 6:4), and we become co-beneficiaries of a life which finally brought God and man into a union of love and a harmony of will. The infant is initiated into that union. This initiation will include the forgiveness of their sins, but is not limited to that forgiveness. The life and death of Christ, which reverses the primordial, generational, and personal falleness of this world, is what the child enters through baptism.

http://www.pravmir.com/infant-baptism-orthodox-church/

The Coptic Church is presently all over the place theologically.  We have taken in much Western poison, even to the point of some churches singing CCM in the Liturgy after Psalm 150 while the people receive communion, reducing said Liturgy to something approaching a clown mass, but we are correcting ourselves gradually and painfully with God's help.  Pray for us.

I will pray for you!  I hope one day all the five churches reunite like in the olden days.
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Offline mcarmichael

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The RCC came up with the concept of the Immaculate Conception to rationalize Mary's perpetual sinless state.  But the Oriental Church doesn't agree with the Immaculate Conception; does this mean that they believe that she was sinful?

No.  Our Lady (like all of us) was not held to be personally guilty of the sin of Adam.  Rather, she inherited the consequences of that sin, and thus was in need of a Savior.  Additionally, we do not teach that she committed any personal sin.

If I may, on what basis do you make this statement? Is it from the hymnal, from an icon, something like that?
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Offline minasoliman

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A good OO writing on the Theotokos would be St. Jacob of Serug, a Syriac Orthodox anti-Chalcedonian bishop and father in the sixth century.  St. Vladimir's Press graciously translated some of his poetic homilies on the Theotokos:

https://www.amazon.com/Mother-God-Jacob-Serug/dp/0881411841

A lot of good theology here.  One key point St. Jacob mentioned, and I am quoting out of memory, so I may not be completely correct, is that if there was any other woman better than Mary, that woman would have been chosen as Mother of God.  So in the OO church, she is the ideal human being from whom was born worthily Salvation Himself
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 12:49:39 AM by minasoliman »
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline minasoliman

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However, the Oriental churches believe, like the RCC, that humans have already sinned, because of Adam and Eve, at the moment of conception. 

No we don't.  The creeping Western influence Mina mentioned and ignorance of our own tradition notwithstanding, our belief concerning ancestral sin is identical to that of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Ok, this is what is confusing me.  A very good friend of mine goes to Bible study all the time at their Coptic church and they are taught that Mary wasn't sinless.  Then I did web searches and couldn't really find anything solid.

Do you happen to have a link to a church website that explains the view of the church?

Have them read this thread, or at least the book recommendation.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline urg8rb8

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A good OO writing on the Theotokos would be St. Jacob of Serug, a Syriac Orthodox anti-Chalcedonian bishop and father in the sixth century.  St. Vladimir's Press graciously translated some of his poetic homilies on the Theotokos:

https://www.amazon.com/Mother-God-Jacob-Serug/dp/0881411841

A lot of good theology here.  One key point St. Jacob mentioned, and I am quoting out of memory, so I may not be completely correct, is that if there was any other woman better than Mary, that woman would have been chosen as Mother of God.  So in the OO church, she is the ideal human being from whom was born worthily Salvation Himself

There is no question she's the ideal women.  But the confusion is, did she ever sin?

"Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise." - Psalm 51:15

Offline urg8rb8

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However, the Oriental churches believe, like the RCC, that humans have already sinned, because of Adam and Eve, at the moment of conception. 

No we don't.  The creeping Western influence Mina mentioned and ignorance of our own tradition notwithstanding, our belief concerning ancestral sin is identical to that of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Ok, this is what is confusing me.  A very good friend of mine goes to Bible study all the time at their Coptic church and they are taught that Mary wasn't sinless.  Then I did web searches and couldn't really find anything solid.

Do you happen to have a link to a church website that explains the view of the church?

Have them read this thread, or at least the book recommendation.

I will, thanks!
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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I will pray for you!

Thank you.

I hope one day all the five churches reunite like in the olden days.

Which five.

A good OO writing on the Theotokos would be St. Jacob of Serug, a Syriac Orthodox anti-Chalcedonian bishop and father in the sixth century.  St. Vladimir's Press graciously translated some of his poetic homilies on the Theotokos:

https://www.amazon.com/Mother-God-Jacob-Serug/dp/0881411841

A lot of good theology here.  One key point St. Jacob mentioned, and I am quoting out of memory, so I may not be completely correct, is that if there was any other woman better than Mary, that woman would have been chosen as Mother of God.  So in the OO church, she is the ideal human being from whom was born worthily Salvation Himself

Great recommendation, Mina!  But I thought he was looking for modern writings outlining our position.
There is no question she's the ideal women.  But the confusion is, did she ever sin?

Honestly, I think that some Copts - at least some that I know, including clergy - hesitate to say this because 1) they mistakenly think that acknowledging this truth in some way denigrates Our Lord Jesus Christ or indicates that salvation could be achieved apart from His Incarnation and sacrifice and 2) they are afraid of being accused of idolatry by Protestants, even as the Catholics are.  They simply need to stand on the Orthodox teaching which is our heritage and let the chips fall where they may.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

Offline Remnkemi

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A good OO writing on the Theotokos would be St. Jacob of Serug, a Syriac Orthodox anti-Chalcedonian bishop and father in the sixth century.  St. Vladimir's Press graciously translated some of his poetic homilies on the Theotokos:

https://www.amazon.com/Mother-God-Jacob-Serug/dp/0881411841

A lot of good theology here.  One key point St. Jacob mentioned, and I am quoting out of memory, so I may not be completely correct, is that if there was any other woman better than Mary, that woman would have been chosen as Mother of God.  So in the OO church, she is the ideal human being from whom was born worthily Salvation Himself
One also can look at our liturgical texts. Liturgical texts will not say Mary was without sin but they will say Mary was "atkakia" (without filth), "attholeb"(without blemish), "atgamos" (not married), etc. All of these point to the Coptic view of St Mary's status as the perfect mother for the Incarnation. Our Coptic liturgical texts will also say "Many women received honor and gained the kingdom, but did not reach your honor" and "You are exalted more than heaven, you are honored more than earth, and all creation therein, for you became the Mother of the Creator." If any woman was better than Mary, she would have at least "reached Mary's honor" but no other woman ever did. Not only is St Mary the most perfect human mother, but she is higher than every creation.

This all agrees with Mina's comments that "We believe she is the most righteous and worthy person for the incarnation.  Whether that translates to sinless from birth or not, I don't know, and care not to speculate. " Evidently, neither did our liturgical tradition care to speculate if St Mary was sinless.

The only thing I would partially disagree with Mina is "OOs are coming from a position where they did not have access to their own ancient writings, but to the writings available to them from Protestant and Catholic scholastics which infiltrated their churches." We Copts always had access to our liturgical writings that came out of the patristic heritage that explain our faith quite adequately. (Coptic liturgical manuscripts flourished Egypt's dry climate and the Coptic tenacity for liturgical conservatism from the 10-19th centuries). We may not have always had access to patristic writings, but that is no excuse. We simply chose (and still choose) to ignore our heritage and seek Protestant and Catholic alternatives which do not even conform to our faith.


Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Not only is St Mary the most perfect human mother, but she is higher than every creation.

+100

One also can look at our liturgical texts...We Copts always had access to our liturgical writings that came out of the patristic heritage that explain our faith quite adequately..We may not have always had access to patristic writings, but that is no excuse. We simply chose (and still choose) to ignore our heritage and seek Protestant and Catholic alternatives which do not even conform to our faith.

This is very true, and most vexing and perplexing.  I honestly can't express how much it hurts and saddens me that we have reached the point that in at least three churches I know of for a fact, they vitiate the Divine Liturgy which so perfectly expresses our theology by introducing heterodox pop music into it.  Lord, have mercy! :'(

Your point about our Faith being described in our prayers is very well taken though.  I was arguing with a young priest who said to me, "How can you say that the Protestant churches aren't part of the Church!  How arrogant and divisive!  Didn't Christ say 'I have other sheep who are not of this flock?" (I am paraphrasing, but this is almost verbatim.) Another priest interjected and said, "Our definition of the Church is in our Liturgy: 'Remember O Lord Our One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church...and all of the Orthodox bishops that are within her.'  The Orthodox Church is the Church".  The younger priest - although of course he knew the Liturgy by rote, was dumbfounded.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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Your point about our Faith being described in our prayers is very well taken though.  I was arguing with a young priest who said to me, "How can you say that the Protestant churches aren't part of the Church!  How arrogant and divisive!  Didn't Christ say 'I have other sheep who are not of this flock?" (I am paraphrasing, but this is almost verbatim.) Another priest interjected and said, "Our definition of the Church is in our Liturgy: 'Remember O Lord Our One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church...and all of the Orthodox bishops that are within her.'  The Orthodox Church is the Church".  The younger priest - although of course he knew the Liturgy by rote, was dumbfounded.

The youth these days!
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Your point about our Faith being described in our prayers is very well taken though.  I was arguing with a young priest who said to me, "How can you say that the Protestant churches aren't part of the Church!  How arrogant and divisive!  Didn't Christ say 'I have other sheep who are not of this flock?" (I am paraphrasing, but this is almost verbatim.) Another priest interjected and said, "Our definition of the Church is in our Liturgy: 'Remember O Lord Our One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church...and all of the Orthodox bishops that are within her.'  The Orthodox Church is the Church".  The younger priest - although of course he knew the Liturgy by rote, was dumbfounded.
One more thing (and I hope that you can answer this), how does this "jive" with that the ETOC didn't have a bishop until around 400 AD?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 05:54:25 PM by mcarmichael »
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Your point about our Faith being described in our prayers is very well taken though.  I was arguing with a young priest who said to me, "How can you say that the Protestant churches aren't part of the Church!  How arrogant and divisive!  Didn't Christ say 'I have other sheep who are not of this flock?" (I am paraphrasing, but this is almost verbatim.) Another priest interjected and said, "Our definition of the Church is in our Liturgy: 'Remember O Lord Our One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church...and all of the Orthodox bishops that are within her.'  The Orthodox Church is the Church".  The younger priest - although of course he knew the Liturgy by rote, was dumbfounded.
One more thing (and I hope that you can answer this), how does this "jive" with that the ETOC didn't have a bishop until around 400 AD?

fist bump
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Your point about our Faith being described in our prayers is very well taken though.  I was arguing with a young priest who said to me, "How can you say that the Protestant churches aren't part of the Church!  How arrogant and divisive!  Didn't Christ say 'I have other sheep who are not of this flock?" (I am paraphrasing, but this is almost verbatim.) Another priest interjected and said, "Our definition of the Church is in our Liturgy: 'Remember O Lord Our One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church...and all of the Orthodox bishops that are within her.'  The Orthodox Church is the Church".  The younger priest - although of course he knew the Liturgy by rote, was dumbfounded.
One more thing (and I hope that you can answer this), how does this "jive" with that the ETOC didn't have a bishop until around 400 AD?

The date that an individual bishopric was established has no bearing on whether or not the Orthodox Church (en toto) is the Church or not.  Ethiopia may not have received her first bishop until c. AD 305, but she received him from the Church, and where the bishop is, the Church is.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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So, you's guys have in your Liturgy the line "Only Christ is without sin..." too, don't you?
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So, you's guys have in your Liturgy the line "Only Christ is without sin..." too, don't you?

What does sin mean?  Sin means separation from God.  Was the Theotokos - like all of humanity - estranged from God in that she inherited a fallen nature?  Yes.  She needed a Savior.  That is why she says, "my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior" (St. Luke 1:47).  Does this necessarily mean, however, that she was committing sinful acts?  No, it doesn't.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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[edited for content]

No comment.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 04:14:39 PM by mcarmichael »
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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It seems that a lot of the questions which bedevil you have to do with the positive attributes of the Theotokos (as articulated here and in your other thread about her perpetual virginity).  Why do you have this fixation on her and this seeming need to prove that she was not unblemished?
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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It seems that a lot of the questions which bedevil you have to do with the positive attributes of the Theotokos (as articulated here and in your other thread about her perpetual virginity).  Why do you have this fixation on her and this seeming need to prove that she was not unblemished?

You take my strength for weakness.

I'm not fixated. I don't need to disprove anything.

Instead it's people like Fr. Seraphim Rose (Memory Eternal) to whom it seems to be so important.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 04:43:24 PM by mcarmichael »
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I might be willing to settle for no "willful" sins, ... but no promises.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 04:50:07 PM by mcarmichael »
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I might be willing to settle for no "willful" sins, ... but no promises.

No one cares.

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from http://www.antiochian.org/node/17079

"The Orthodox Church calls Mary “immaculate,” and “all pure,” as a manifestation of the Orthodox understanding of salvation as deification. Orthodox Christians believe that through the grace of God Mary has been deified or made by grace what God is by nature or, as St. Paul wrote, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another …” Vladimir Lossky wrote, “ … the very heart of the Church, one of her most secret mysteries, her mystical center, her perfection already realized in a human person fully united to God, finding herself beyond the resurrection and the judgment. This person is Mary, the Mother of God.” Thus salvation for Orthodox theology is more than the forgiveness of sins or justification, but is also the transformation of the believer by the grace of God to become a partaker of the Divine Nature. Orthodox Christians see the realization of salvation in the deification of Mary."
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No one cares.

"Anyone lived in a pretty how town." - ee. cummings
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 06:21:39 PM by mcarmichael »
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e e cummings sucks
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

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e e cummings sucks

heresy!

*(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 06:43:32 PM by mcarmichael »
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You take my strength for weakness.

What?

I'm not fixated. I don't need to disprove anything.

And the Church doesn't need to prove anything to you.

Instead it's people like Fr. Seraphim Rose (Memory Eternal) to whom it seems to be so important.

Specifics please.


I might be willing to settle for no "willful" sins, ... but no promises.

No one cares.

+1

http://www.antiochian.org/node/17079

Nice article.
I'm with the camp of 13 million Americans that believe politicians are, or are controlled by, Reptilians. I think only monks can solve this problem. It doesn't seem right that they prefer to ignore it.

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"Use the force." - Yoda

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I might be willing to settle for no "willful" sins, ... but no promises.

No one cares.

+1

Nobody but mcarmichael, you meant. Maybe the OP. Maybe the Almighty..

But, hey, who got points? Mor Ephrem, that's who.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 09:45:12 PM by mcarmichael »
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According to the good book: "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God."

Somebody prove to me that this doesn't apply to the Theotokos, according to your "alternate" mathematics?

Serious. Try to prove it.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 10:01:30 PM by mcarmichael »
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Offline minasoliman

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Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (even over those who had not sinned) according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

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Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (even over those who had not sinned) according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam), who is a type of Him who was to come. - NKJLT

Points either way. +1
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 10:16:39 PM by mcarmichael »
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Offline minasoliman

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Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (even over those who had not sinned) according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam), who is a type of Him who was to come. - NKJLT

Points either way. +1

Actually St. John Chrysostom tells us that the "likeness of the transgression of Adam" describes the reigning of death, not those who had not sinned.  That phrase is all on its own without any descriptions.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline mcarmichael

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Actually St. John Chrysostom tells us that the "likeness of the transgression of Adam" describes the reigning of death, not those who had not sinned.  That phrase is all on its own without any descriptions.
<--- Not a huge fan of St. John Chrysostom's commentary, especially on the letter to the Hebrews.
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Ah yes, let's listen to what English grammarians say about Romans rather than Ancient Greek readings
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.