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Author Topic: Anti-Semite Fathers of the Church?  (Read 9559 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 12, 2005, 11:08:42 PM »

I've always wondered how the followers of a Jewish prophet could have hatred toward the Jewish people. I am not surprised in finding anti-semitism in early Christianity and neither does it cause me to condemn those who held to it. However, this does show that the fathers of the church may not have been right on everything.

"...Ephraim the Syrian wrote polemics against Jews in the fourth century, including the repeated accusation that Satan dwells among them as a partner. These writings were directed at Christians who were being proselytized by Jews and who Ephraim feared were slipping back into the religion of Judaism; thus he portrayed the Jews as enemies of Christianity, like Satan, to emphasize the contrast between the two religions, namely, that Christianity was Godly and true and Judaism was Satanic and false. Like John Chrysostom, his objective was to dissuade Christians from reverting to Judaism by emphasizing what he saw as the wickedness of the Jews and their religion.

In his Dialog of Justin, Philosopher and Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew, the Christian scholar Justin Martyr advanced arguments for the truth of Christianity and wrote to his imaginary Jewish opponent: "You think that these words refer to the stranger and the proselytes, but in fact they refer to us who have been illumined by Jesus. For Christ would have borne witness even to them; but now you are become twofold more the children of Hell, as He said Himself."[3]

Saint Jerome (374-419 CE) - He denounced Jews as "Judaic serpents of whom Judas was the model." In his The Jews in the Roman Empire (Les Juifs dan L'Empire Romain) [Is this really a work by Jerome, or a modern history?] he wrote: "The Jews seek nothing but to have children, possess riches and be healthy. They seek all earthly things, but think nothing of heavenly things; for this reason they are mercenaries."

Saint John Chrysostom (ca 344 - 407 CE) - wrote of the Jews and of Judaizers in eight homilies Adversus Judaeos, Against The Jews (or Against the Judaizers) [4]. These quotes are translations from the original Greek posted by Paul Halsall: other researchers give slightly different translations.
"Shall I tell you of their plundering, their covetousness, their abandonment of the poor, their thefts, their cheating in trade? the whole day long will not be enough to give you an account of these things. But do their festivals have something solemn and great about them? They have shown that these, too, are impure." (Homily I, VII, 1)
"But before I draw up my battle line against the Jews, I will be glad to talk to those who are members of our own body, those who seem to belong to our ranks although they observe the Jewish rites and make every effort to defend them. Because they do this, as I see it, they deserve a stronger condemnation than any Jew." (HOMILY IV, II, 4)
"Are you Jews still disputing the question? Do you not see that you are condemned by the testimony of what Christ and the prophets predicted and which the facts have proved? But why should this surprise me? That is the kind of people you are. From the beginning you have been shameless and obstinate, ready to fight at all times against obvious facts." (HOMILY V, XII, 1)
...Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (467-533 CE) - In his "Writings", written about 510 CE, he states "Hold most firmly and doubt not that not all the pagans, but also all the Jews, heretic and schismatics who depart from the present life outside the Catholic Church, are about to go into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (See also: Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_anti-Semitism

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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2005, 11:26:25 PM »

Well Jews at that time were much more numerous and powerful than today and exercised their power and money to the detriment of Christians. So what do you expect?
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2005, 01:17:20 AM »

So what do you expect?

Love your enemies, turn the other cheek... you know, those things that one Jewish guy taught.ÂÂ   Roll Eyes

If we are to condemn the Jews as "Christ-killers", then we might as well do the same for Italians. Boycott spaghetti!
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2005, 01:55:18 AM »

Love your enemies, turn the other cheek... you know, those things that one Jewish guy taught.ÃÆ’Ãâ€Â ’‚ÃÆ’‚ ÃÆ’‚  Roll Eyes

The person you refer to i think was a Christian and not a Jew  Cheesy The most genuine Christian.In any case i don't feel that Jews are the enemy
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2005, 01:57:27 AM »

However, this does show that the fathers of the church may not have been right on everything.

When has Orthodoxy claimed a Church Father was?
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2005, 01:59:32 AM »

Christ was not 'the most genuine Christian', he was the Jewish founder of the Christian religion.
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2005, 02:01:33 AM »

OK  matthew thats correct
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2005, 02:03:20 AM »

Love your enemies, turn the other cheek... you know, those things that one Jewish guy taught.   Roll Eyes

The Church Fathers had a responsibility to protect Christianity against the heresies and pagan faiths of the day. That is exactly what they were doing. I don't see any outright hate of Jews as people here, just an exhortation to Christians that their faith is dangerous and a threat to the Church. Furthermore, the Church in this same time showed great love to the Jews by telling them of the good news that is Christ and how he is the path to our salvation.
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2005, 02:27:28 AM »

Furthermore, the Church in this same time showed great love...
Saint Jerome (374-419 CE) - He denounced Jews as "Judaic serpents of whom Judas was the model."

Yup, I can just feel the love. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2005, 04:20:03 AM »

Yup, I can just feel the love. Roll Eyes

If you deny Christ, then Judas is a good comparison. Yet, the ultimate goal of Jerome, as of any Christian, was to bring Jews to Christ. That is an act of love. And as soon as a Jew accepts Christ, then the comparison is no longer apt.
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2005, 06:02:18 AM »

It is fair to say that some of the Fathers were anti-Judaism or Anti-Judaisers, but it is wrong and slannderous to call them "anti-semetic". They spoke against the Jewish Faith and those who held and defended it, they were not speaking against a race (The Semitic race).
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2005, 07:16:08 AM »

If we are to condemn the Jews as "Christ-killers", then we might as well do the same for Italians. Boycott spaghetti!

Actually GiC and I had a conversation pertinent to this point last night in our lounge: the modern-day Italians are (for the most part) not descendants of the ethnic Romans, but are probably a mixture of the tribes that were indiginous to the peninsula before the rise of Rome, and the various Gothic tribes that invaded from the 5th century onward (and the Franks, too).
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2005, 07:19:01 AM »

If you deny Christ, then Judas is a good comparison. Yet, the ultimate goal of Jerome, as of any Christian, was to bring Jews to Christ. That is an act of love. And as soon as a Jew accepts Christ, then the comparison is no longer apt.

I believe that the Fathers also had the understanding that the members of this faith (the Jewish faith) had been preached to first by Christ and the Apostles, and the great majority rejected the message (either on its face, or by pressure/deception of the leaders and rulers of the synagogues and the temple).  This would weigh heavily in their decision to criticize Judaism.
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2005, 09:13:47 AM »

Well Jews at that time were much more numerous and powerful than today and exercised their power and money to the detriment of Christians. So what do you expect?

I'm not saying it is good to be anti-Semitic (even though I don't think those quotes reflect racism but anti-Judaism), but that what do you expect? You can talk all day about how we should love our enemies but in the end most people don't.ÂÂ  Again, I'm not saying that's right either, but you make it out like you are surprised or something that anyone could be anti-Semitic. My point is that you are taking today's standards of fairness and multiculturalism and projecting them back on a society where a large segment of Jewish people were powerful and rich and used that influence against Christians, so people are bound to mix these stereotypes up with religious opposition to Judaism as a religion (the former being bad while the latter being commendable).

I'm sure our Jewish friend MBZ could come on here and tell us about how growing up in Philadelphia (I think that is where he originates) he probably heard at least once in his life anti-Christian comments from a Jewish leader. Just like many Blacks I know have latent anti-White feelings (and vice versa but I am talking about minority persecution).ÂÂ  It's to be expected; it's not right, but that's just reality.

Now if we are actually talking about the Church Fathers saying purely anti-Semitic things (which those quotes to me don't demonstrate) I would be quite a bit more upset, but anti-Judaic teachings peppered with an occasional cultural bias does not make someone a racist in their cultural milleu.ÂÂ  Just because St Basil wrote in the Hexameron that squids were vicious, evil, cunning beasts who ate other animals unfairly doesn't mean that he is anti-scientific; it means that he did not have modern science at his disposal to understand that animals don't have values like that.ÂÂ  And in the same way, if those saints above had our multicultural sensitivities they might have tried harder to separate laudable anti-Judaism (i.e. the Christ-denying Jewish religion) from individual Jews and even from the good aspects of the Jewish faith (i.e. what we as Christians can look to with respect and love).

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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2005, 09:27:02 AM »

It is fair to say that some of the Fathers were anti-Judaism or Anti-Judaisers, but it is wrong and slannderous to call them "anti-semetic". They spoke against the Jewish Faith and those who held and defended it, they were not speaking against a race (The Semitic race).

This is exactly the way I see it, and it is not anti-semetic to disagree with the principles of Judaism.

Jesus, himself challenged the way Judaism was being practiced, as having deviated off the path.  Does that make him anti-semetic? The early Church fathers were following the example of Christ and critiquing Judaism is far from being anti-semetic.
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2005, 10:18:23 AM »

Actually GiC and I had a conversation pertinent to this point last night in our lounge: the modern-day Italians are (for the most part) not descendants of the ethnic Romans, but are probably a mixture of the tribes that were indiginous to the peninsula before the rise of Rome, and the various Gothic tribes that invaded from the 5th century onward (and the Franks, too).

Modern archaeology holds that no European invasion was ever big enough to displace the autochthonist population. That's why genetically the European people are much the same as several thousand years ago in spite of getting hit from the Indo-Europeans, Celts, Goths, Lombards, Slavs, Huns, and Mongols. Culturally, however, yeah, the Germanic invasions did greatly change the way of life of the inhabitants of the peninsula.
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2005, 10:24:33 AM »

Modern archaeology holds that no European invasion was ever big enough to displace the autochthonist population. That's why genetically the European people are much the same as several thousand years ago in spite of getting hit from the Indo-Europeans, Celts, Goths, Lombards, Slavs, Huns, and Mongols. Culturally, however, yeah, the Germanic invasions did greatly change the way of life of the inhabitants of the peninsula.     

And this is, I think, the principal that says that most of the "Italians" are not "Romans" ethnically, only because even throughout the history of the empire the ethnic Romans were really only from around the city; the other tribes were only called Roman once citizenship was extended beyond Rome to the peninsula.
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2005, 10:55:54 AM »

Here is a good article dealing with the Fathers' alleged anti-Semitism.......

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/antisemitism.aspx

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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2005, 05:02:23 PM »

If you deny Christ, then Judas is a good comparison. Yet, the ultimate goal of Jerome, as of any Christian, was to bring Jews to Christ. That is an act of love. And as soon as a Jew accepts Christ, then the comparison is no longer apt.

Calling someone a 'Judaic serpent' will not win anyone over. This does not sound like an attempt to convert but an us vs. them mentality.
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2005, 05:06:11 PM »

I believe that the Fathers also had the understanding that the members of this faith (the Jewish faith) had been preached to first by Christ and the Apostles, and the great majority rejected the message

Jesus' ministry was no more than three years long and preached in a relatively small area. In the Gospels, Jesus even tells people to keep his ministry a secret. This begs the question of how one could reject a message that hasn't personally been heard.
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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2005, 05:24:26 PM »

Jesus' ministry was no more than three years long and preached in a relatively small area. In the Gospels, Jesus even tells people to keep his ministry a secret. This begs the question of how one could reject a message that hasn't personally been heard.

He said Christ AND THE APOSTLES.  The last apostle lived until 95 AD.  By that time, the Gospel had been spread to most major cities with Jewish populations in the Roman Empire.
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« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2005, 05:57:35 PM »

He said Christ AND THE APOSTLES.ÂÂ  The last apostle lived until 95 AD.ÂÂ  By that time, the Gospel had been spread to most major cities with Jewish populations in the Roman Empire.

The Jews have always wondered why Jesus did not fulfill the expectations of the Messiah within His lifetime. What we hope for in the Second Coming, they have have expected all along. This is probably the major reason why most Jews have not believed in Jesus.

"He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel -"And he shall set up a banner for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah 11:12)

Are all Jews living in Israel? Have all Jews EVER lived in Israel since the time of Jesus?

He must rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem - "...and I will set my sanctuary in their midst forever and my tabernacle shall be with them.." (Ezekiel 37:26 - 27)

At last check, there is NO Temple in Jerusalem. And worse, it was shortly after Jesus died that the Temple was DESTROYED! Just the opposite of this prophecy!

He will rule at a time of world-wide peace - "...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Micah 4:3)

Have you seen a newspaper lately? Are we living in a state of complete world peace? Has there ever been peace since the time of Jesus?

 

He will rule at a time when the Jewish people will observe G-d's commandments - "My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow My ordinances and be careful to observe My statutes." (Ezekiel 37:24)

The Torah is the Jewish guide to life, and its commandments are the ones referred to here. Do all Jews observe all the commandments? Christianity, in fact, often discourages observance of the commandments in Torah, in complete opposition to this prophecy.

He will rule at a time when all people will come to acknowledge and serve one G-d - "And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says the L-rd" (Isaiah 66:23)

there are still millions if not billions of people in the world today who adhere to paganistic and polytheistic religions. It is clear that we have not yet seen this period of human history unfold.

All of these criteria are best stated in the book of Ezekiel Chapter 37 verses 24-28:

And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. they shall also follow My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Yaakov my servant, in which your fathers have dwelt and they shall dwell there, they and their children, and their children's children forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, which I will give them; and I will multiply them and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. And my tabernacle shall be with them: and I will be their G-d and they will be my people. Then the nations shall know that I am the L-rd who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary will be in the midst of them forevermore.

If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be "The Messiah." A careful analysis of these criteria shows us that to date, no one has fulfilled every condition."
http://jewsforjudaism.com/jews-jesus/jews-jesus-index.html

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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2005, 06:27:38 PM »

Jesus' ministry was no more than three years long and preached in a relatively small area. In the Gospels, Jesus even tells people to keep his ministry a secret. This begs the question of how one could reject a message that hasn't personally been heard.   

yea, he said to keep it a secret - but there was a throng waiting for him at the gates (Triumphal Entry); there were throngs around for his preaching (5000+).  Truth is, people knew because things spread through word of mouth.  People heard the message, many were swayed and became better jews, still others heard the post-resurrection message and became followers of Jesus - the original Christians.  People heard it and, sadly, rejected it - either on their own account (because they didn't like or believe it) or on another's account (swayed by friends, pharisees, sadducees, scribes, whomever).
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« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2005, 06:35:46 PM »

"He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel -"And he shall set up a banner for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah 11:12)
But read what else Isaiah says:
[bible]Isaiah10:22-23[/bible]
And what Hosea says:
[bible]Hosea 1:10[/bible]
[bible]Hosea 2:23[/bible]
So, even the Old Testament Prophets fortold that a people who were not Israel wouold be counted as Israel- ie, the Church.

Are all Jews living in Israel? Have all Jews EVER lived in Israel since the time of Jesus?
Yes, they are, the Church is the New Israel.

He must rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem - "...and I will set my sanctuary in their midst forever and my tabernacle shall be with them.." (Ezekiel 37:26 - 27)
At last check, there is NO Temple in Jerusalem. And worse, it was shortly after Jesus died that the Temple was DESTROYED! Just the opposite of this prophecy!
The Temple has been rebuilt in Jerusalem....in three days
[bible]John 2:19-21[/bible]


He will rule at a time of world-wide peace - "...they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." (Micah 4:3)
Have you seen a newspaper lately? Are we living in a state of complete world peace? Has there ever been peace since the time of Jesus?
[bible]John 14:27[/bible]

 
He will rule at a time when the Jewish people will observe G-d's commandments - "My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow My ordinances and be careful to observe My statutes." (Ezekiel 37:24)
Isn't that what the Church does?

The Torah is the Jewish guide to life, and its commandments are the ones referred to here. Do all Jews observe all the commandments? Christianity, in fact, often discourages observance of the commandments in Torah, in complete opposition to this prophecy.
[bible]Matthew 5:17-22[/bible]

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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2005, 06:37:12 PM »

And this is, I think, the principal that says that most of the "Italians" are not "Romans" ethnically, only because even throughout the history of the empire the ethnic Romans were really only from around the city; the other tribes were only called Roman once citizenship was extended beyond Rome to the peninsula.

The entire central peninsula and most of Naples shared the same Latin language and culture before Rome rose to power. Most of Italy ended up culturally assimilating, as did Spain and north Africa.

Modern archaeology holds that no European invasion was ever big enough to displace the autochthonist population. That's why genetically the European people are much the same as several thousand years ago in spite of getting hit from the Indo-Europeans, Celts, Goths, Lombards, Slavs, Huns, and Mongols. Culturally, however, yeah, the Germanic invasions did greatly change the way of life of the inhabitants of the peninsula.

Though the Germanic invasions certainly did change the way of life, it's hard to say that it greatly changed the culture. No one in their right mind would confuse any germanic culture with Italian.

Though Italian culture isn't Roman any more than Greek culture is Byzantine, it certainly is decended from Roman culture.


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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2005, 06:44:25 PM »

People heard it and, sadly, rejected it - either on their own account (because they didn't like or believe it) or on another's account (swayed by friends, pharisees, sadducees, scribes, whomever).

Another possibility is that people heard the message and concluded that it didn't fulfill their messianic expectations.
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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2005, 06:45:09 PM »

Not that this has anything to do with the absurd OP.  Grin

Yes, it is rather absurd that certain Christians throughout history have hated Jews despite worshipping a Jewish prophet.
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2005, 06:52:57 PM »

Another possibility is that people heard the message and concluded that it didn't fulfill their messianic expectations.

Because their hearts were hard and they misunderstood the messianic expectations. Their fault, not chance's.
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2005, 06:53:17 PM »

Another possibility is that people heard the message and concluded that it didn't fulfill their messianic expectations.     

Rejection is rejection - if they were good Jews and knew the Law and the Prophets like they should have - in their hearts, not just in their minds - then rejection of Christ on doctrinal principles wouldn't have happened.

Of course, this parallels what would probably happen if Christ walked amongst contemporary Orthodox... some would accept, many would reject, and some would actively persecute.
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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2005, 06:55:56 PM »

Yes, it is rather absurd that certain Christians throughout history have hated Jews despite worshipping a Jewish prophet.

It's rather absurd that we are now expected to be hyper-sensitive towards any criticism of the Jewish religion, for fear of being accused of anti-semitism. It's also absurd that we now must go through ancient texts and attack the authors for the polemical passages that offend our post-holocaust eyes.

I don't see you making a thread accusing Saints of evil for their equally (sometimes more) harsh polemic attacks on paganism. Maybe St. Athanasius was racist against Greeks and Romans, since he attacked their religion so harshly.
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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2005, 10:07:38 PM »

Another possibility is that people heard the message and concluded that it didn't fulfill their messianic expectations.

Right, and that's why we should oppose these people--they were wrong.

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« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2005, 01:46:14 AM »

Right, and that's why we should oppose these people--they were wrong.

How so? Did Christ bring world peace in His first coming or is that something that is reserved for His return?

Consider these words of the Catholic Catechism:

839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."[325]
The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,[326] "the first to hear the Word of God."[327] The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ",[328] "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."[329]

840 And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.
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« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2005, 01:48:41 AM »

It's rather absurd that we are now expected to be hyper-sensitive towards any criticism of the Jewish religion, for fear of being accused of anti-semitism. It's also absurd that we now must go through ancient texts and attack the authors for the polemical passages that offend our post-holocaust eyes.

I don't see you making a thread accusing Saints of evil for their equally (sometimes more) harsh polemic attacks on paganism. Maybe St. Athanasius was racist against Greeks and Romans, since he attacked their religion so harshly.

There is a difference between criticizing a religion and calling someone the "Judaic serpent of Judas", etc.
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« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2005, 07:06:05 AM »

How so? Did Christ bring world peace in His first coming or is that something that is reserved for His return?

"I leave you peace, my peace I give you."

No matter what violence is going on, Christians are supposed to be utterly at peace, sure of God's providence. Yes, Jesus did fulfill the messianic requirements here.
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« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2005, 10:25:53 AM »

I happened across this article while looking for something else. It is about the early Christian view of the Jews from a Roman Catholic writer:

http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9705/articles/wilken.html

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« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2005, 01:02:51 PM »

I've always wondered how the followers of a Jewish prophet could have hatred toward the Jewish people.
Are you Orthodox or not?  Christ was not a prophet, thats what Muslims think!

I am not surprised in finding anti-semitism in early Christianity and neither does it cause me to condemn those who held to it. However, this does show that the fathers of the church may not have been right on everything.
You really are a convert of political correctness.  Instead of questioning YOUR understanding of what the fathers were saying, you conclude that you know what is right and what is wrong better than they did, and that therefore THEY must be wrong.  What arrogance!  Because the writings of the fathers does not coincide with your world view, they must be wrong!!

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« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2005, 01:47:13 PM »

Are you Orthodox or not?  Christ was not a prophet, thats what Muslims think!
You really are a convert of political correctness.  Instead of questioning YOUR understanding of what the fathers were saying, you conclude that you know what is right and what is wrong better than they did, and that therefore THEY must be wrong.  What arrogance!  Because the writings of the fathers does not coincide with your world view, they must be wrong!!



a troll.
I read somewhere he was oriental orthodox

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« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2005, 02:08:15 PM »

And trolls don't like the light - it turns them into stone!
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« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2005, 03:28:39 AM »

Christ was not a prophet

On numerous occasions Jesus speaks of himself as a prophet:

"A prophet is not without honour except in his home town and his own house" (Mathew 13:57) (Mark 6:4) and (Luke 4:24)

We also read:

"I must journey today, tomorrow and the day following for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem" (Luke 13:33)

"This is the prophet Jesus" (Mathew 21:11)

Luke 24
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles[d] from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.

If Jesus was not a prophet then no man has ever been a prophet.
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« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2005, 03:29:59 AM »

a troll.
I read somewhere he was oriental orthodox



I am definitely not a troll and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a member of Oriental Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2005, 09:01:44 AM »

On numerous occasions Jesus speaks of himself as a prophet:

"A prophet is not without honour except in his home town and his own house" (Mathew 13:57) (Mark 6:4) and (Luke 4:24)

We also read:

"I must journey today, tomorrow and the day following for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem" (Luke 13:33)

"This is the prophet Jesus" (Mathew 21:11)

Luke 24
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles[d] from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.

If Jesus was not a prophet then no man has ever been a prophet.
Stop avoiding the question, you know exactly what i mean.  If your regard Jesus as only a mere prophet then you are not Orthodox, period.  I notice that you also ignored my second statemtent regarding you, where I questioned why you would consider the views of the Church fathers in light of your worldview and not the other way around.  Any chance im going to get a response?
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« Reply #41 on: December 26, 2005, 12:17:51 PM »

I hopefully don't hate anyone, striving to take the commandment to love my neighbour as myself, but I do not necessarily like everyone (we are not commanded to like everyone).

Any reading of the Old Testament witnesses to Israel repeatedly wondering away from God, despite the Law and the Prophets. And when the long promised Messiah came he was rejected by the many. Here lies the clue. However, I have no understanding that this then justifies persecution or genocide of a people, any people.

Sadly, among ordinary supposed believers of a number of beliefs I sometimes get the feeling their loyalty and adherence is to a totem or set of symbols, and not the belief 'per se'. As I have seen someone previously write 'they will do anything to defend their faith, except worship fully'. Theirs is little different to being a fanatical gang member or follower or some sports club, with all the primitive 'hate' of thos following the other 'team'. For them the Blessed Apostle Paul might never have written the thirteenth chapter of his First Letter to the Corinthians. Preferring to keep the outside of the cup clean while leaving the inside mired in filth, all the time proclaiming their own perfection.

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« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2005, 12:55:00 PM »

Quote
Any reading of the Old Testament witnesses to Israel repeatedly wondering away from God, despite the Law and the Prophets.

The problem is that the Church doesn't allow you to believe this, or at least not as the Old Testament recorded. One of the hardest things I have dealt with as a convert from Protestantism is the insistence of the Church Fathers to treat the Old Testament like a history book 10% of the time and allegorical story 90% of the time. Coming from Protestantism, I was taught to view Scripture from a "wow, they're just like us" perspective (one that is backed up by Scripture). But in Orthodoxy, everything from the sins of the Patriarchs, to the Mosaic law which states that a woman should be killed if her hand accidentally touches a man's privates (e.g., when trying to break up a fight), are spiritualized. They are reinterpreted and rendered completely void of any historical importance (or even actuality). This exegetical method continues into the New Testament, where St. John Chrysostom (for example) says that Paul and Peter didn't really fight as recorded in Gal. 2, and John the Baptist didn't really need to ask who Jesus was.

Maybe some of these points are correct, but taken as a whole they point to a way of interpreting Scripture which leads to one conclusion: Saints don't make many mistakes, and if they do they probably know it and are just doing it to teach others or to learn humility. All of this is magnified by Orthodox hagiographical literature, and the philosophical thoughts regarding saints, which paints a picture of increasing perfection and discernment (ie. as saints become holier, they can discern things people are thinking, know their sins, see the future, levitate, etc.). When a gaff so embarrassing that it can't be covered up happens, it is recorded as an example to teach humility and usually not touched past that (I am thinking, for example, as St. Gregory the Theologian's being tricked by Maximos the Cynic, before which he spoke of him like he was the bees knees, but after Maximos tried to dethrone Gregory and install an Alexandrian choice as Patriarch, Gregory spoke of him as though he was Satan himself). Anyway, so it's no wonder that Orthodox people (especially those wishing to remain faithful to "tradition"--however they perceive it) should have such an unrealistic and romanticised--and, of course, biased--view of Church History; they learnt such a mindset from those they are trying their hardest to emulate.
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« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2005, 02:10:43 PM »

Maybe some of these points are correct, but taken as a whole they point to a way of interpreting Scripture which leads to one conclusion: Saints don't make

many mistakes, and if they do they probably know it and are just doing it to teach others or to learn humility. All of this is magnified by Orthodox

hagiographical literature, and the philosophical thoughts regarding saints, which paints a picture of increasing perfection and discernment (ie. as saints

<Anyway, so it's no wonder that Orthodox people (especially

those wishing to remain faithful to "tradition"--however they perceive it) should have such an unrealistic and romanticised--and, of course, biased--view of

Church History; they learnt such a mindset from those they are trying their hardest to emulate.>

I am not a Patristric Scholar but as I understand it, the Fathers view Scripture in a Trinarian way (i.e. Triple). We should seek to understand Scripture as

historical, spiritual and prophetic. Of course you can't apply this logically nor can you pick and choose. Somethings we may never understand.  When St John

the Baptist is visited in prison, he tells his disciplines to go and ask i.e. find out for themselves,who Jesus is. Being the Lord's cousin he obviously

knew who He was.  The point the Fathers are making is that you can't read Scripture like Wikipedia.  You have to read it devotionally and you have to accept

that somethings don't gell because of one's spiritual state or may be wacky beliefs - just look at some of the stuff expounded on this forum! Often when I read the writings of a saint, the Biblical reference is inferred not accurate i.e. according to the letter. Often the reference doesn't make sense to me personally.  Leave it, move on. Being grounded in the Bible is not a bad thing, but dependence on it, is. Since the saints have a hotline to God, it makes sense to me to accept their understanding of what my 'rational' mind is telling me.  We all have a great reverence for the intellect.  How can it be otherwise?

“The fool has said in his heart, there is no God” - Psalm 52.
“Christ speaks to the heart, while the devil speaks to the mind” - Elder Paisios of Athos

 
For those of us who have been brought up in the west, the intellect is considered to be the crown of our humanity. Who can deny this?  While the role of the intellect is significant in our lives as Christians, its primacy is open to challenge from a spiritual perspective.
Since the Fall, the makeup of man has changed dramatically. 


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« Reply #44 on: December 27, 2005, 12:24:32 AM »

ÂÂ  I notice that you also ignored my second statemtent regarding you, where I questioned why you would consider the views of the Church fathers in light of your worldview and not the other way around.ÂÂ  

The fathers of the Church believed the earth to be flat and the center of the universe. If some also believed the Jews to be an evil race, I have no reason to follow such an opinion. While the consensus of the fathers is necessary in finding spiritual and theological truth, they were not right about everything.
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« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2005, 12:25:08 PM »

It is true that if any of the Fathers actually taught we should hate the Jews that would not be right. The fact that they often taught us to love all men without exception leads me to conclude that the harsh words they had for the Jews in other texts should be understood in a way that harmonizes with the totality of their writings. Any apparent contradictions should be given the benefit of the doubt vs. our own faulty understanding.

  As for the "flat earth" theory. It's an idea that seems to have originated with the same man who invented the Headless Horseman. It was never the widespread belief in ancient or medieval times by any educated person- Christian or not. An excellent debunking book is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/027595904X/104-9852932-2859940?n=283155 Also, a google search of fathers+flat earth will turn up a lot of info on this as well..........

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« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2005, 11:35:33 PM »

It is true that if any of the Fathers actually taught we should hate the Jews that would not be right. The fact that they often taught us to love all men without exception leads me to conclude that the harsh words they had for the Jews in other texts should be understood in a way that harmonizes with the totality of their writings. Any apparent contradictions should be given the benefit of the doubt vs. our own faulty understanding.   

Amen.

As for the "flat earth" theory. It's an idea that seems to have originated with the same man who invented the Headless Horseman. It was never the widespread belief in ancient or medieval times by any educated person- Christian or not. An excellent debunking book is: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/027595904X/104-9852932-2859940?n=283155 Also, a google search of fathers+flat earth will turn up a lot of info on this as well..........     

I can't remember where else I've heard the debunking of the supposed "flat earth" beliefs of the ancients...  But I've heard it before somewhere else...
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« Reply #47 on: December 28, 2005, 12:18:05 AM »

Catholic e-pologists seem to enjoy debunking that myth...

Though Matthew's point about the Fathers and science is an interesting one. The same false dichotomy which saves Matthew's unnecessary attempt to cling to modern science remains a false dichotomy when religious people use it to rationalize the fallibility of the Church and her speakers. Matthew's "science and faith are two seperate things" belief is not tenable within an Orthodox Christian framework, but I am increasingly coming to believe that an Orthodox Christian also cannot hold to the the belief that "the Fathers [or Scripture writers] might have erred in some area of science, but they spoke correctly when taken unison on matters of faith and morals". Where does such a distinction come from?ÂÂ  How does one distinguish between anthropology as a science and the aspects of anthropology which directly effect faith and morals? Where did the Fathers or Scripture writers speak of such distinctions anyway? Is it not really just a modern attempt to protect ourselves against our intellectual enemies?ÂÂ  But even supposing that the distinction were valid, would we say that the estrangement from millions of people (e.g., OO's) for sixteen hundred years isn't a matter of faith and morals? Or can the Fathers perhaps have been wrong? Could the Church have been wrong for hundreds of years?
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« Reply #48 on: December 28, 2005, 01:25:20 AM »

We have a copy of Russell's book.  It's an excellent volume, that gives names and dates and real historical information. 

Why would it be a problem to seperate an error on a scientific matter from writings on morality.  I recall that in the last year, Matthew777 was having thread(s) about evolution/Natural Science/biology.  There was link to some father writing about fishes and sea creatures that was just biologically wrong.  An easy division from morality, maybe

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« Reply #49 on: December 28, 2005, 01:53:45 AM »

I've read St. Basil's Hexaemeron and in this sermon, he clearly insists that the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth.
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« Reply #50 on: December 28, 2005, 02:04:35 AM »

Quote
Why would it be a problem to seperate an error on a scientific matter from writings on morality.

Certainly there can be writings which are seperate, I did not mean to say that every discussion of everything from bacteria to asteroids had to have a moral aspect, and vice versa. If I said that then I apologize, I did not mean to. I meant to speak of those issues (e.g., contraception, evolution, demonic possession, etc.) in which science and faith did seem to intersect. I am thinking especially of those areas where an incorrect scientific understanding seems to imply an incorrect moral belief, or at least cases in which inaccuracy in a non-moral aspect leads to suspician as to the accuracy of the moral aspect. Also, what I disagree with is the application of the faith vs. other stuff dichotomy to Scripture and other similar texts. I mean, in all the attempts by early Christians to reconcile "contradictions" in Scripture, did anyone ever say "Well we must remember that while the mustard seed does not truly grow up to be the biggest tree, Jesus was still right on when it came to the moral point that was being made"? (I can feel ozgeorge coming in here, saying why the mustard seed thing really isn't about a tree, but a bush... ÂÂ  but anyway that's the first example that came to mind and is the type of thing that I am thinking of).
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« Reply #51 on: December 28, 2005, 02:26:31 AM »

I've read St. Basil's Hexaemeron and in this sermon, he clearly insists that the earth is flat
Then I suggest you re-read St. Basil the Great’s Hexaemeron, with particular attention to Homily IX where the Great Saint says in regards to the shape of the Earth:

"Moses, is silent as to shapes; he has not said that the earth is a hundred and eighty thousand furlongs in circumference; he has not measured into what extent of air its shadow projects itself whilst the sun revolves around it, nor stated how this shadow, casting itself upon the moon, produces eclipses. He has passed over in silence, as useless, all that is unimportant for us. Shall I then prefer foolish wisdom to the oracles of the Holy Spirit? Shall I not rather exalt Him who, not wishing to fill our minds with these vanities, has regulated all the economy of Scripture in view of the edification and the making perfect of our souls?"

In other words, St. Basil the Great says: “I don’t know, Moses didn’t say, and I don’t care ‘cause knowing it won't save my soul”. What he definitely doesn’t say is “The earth is such and such a shape."

and that the sun revolves around the earth.
Relatively speaking, the Sun does revolve around the Earth.

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« Reply #52 on: December 28, 2005, 02:40:31 AM »

Then I suggest you re-read St. Basil the Great’s Hexaemeron, with particular attention to Homily IX where the Great Saint says in regards to the shape of the Earth:

Since when is the spherical shape of the earth a matter of 'foolish wisdom'?

Relatively speaking, the Sun does revolve around the Earth.

Objectively speaking, St. Basil was wrong. We don't need to defend the fathers when they erred but only when they were correct.

Peace.
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« Reply #53 on: December 28, 2005, 03:41:28 AM »

Since when is the spherical shape of the earth a matter of 'foolish wisdom'?
Since hundreds of thousands of souls managed to become Saints without knowing it.

Objectively speaking, St. Basil was wrong.
Relatively speaking, St. Basil is right. And even today we talk about the Sun's movement across the sky, so by your standards, we are just as wrong as St. Basil.

We don't need to defend the fathers when they erred but only when they were correct.
Just as well St. Basil didn't err then! Cheesy
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« Reply #54 on: December 28, 2005, 03:51:12 AM »

And even today we talk about the Sun's movement across the sky, so by your standards, we are just as wrong as St. Basil.

By our standards, we know that we are only utilizing figurative language.

This is a compilation of quotes from ancient thinkers on the flatness of the earth:
THE FLAT EARTH
A Detailed Study of Personal Bias and Historical Thinking.
http://www.ethicalatheist.com/docs/flat_earth_myth_ch5.html

While the source may be questionable, one could find the same quotes on other sites.
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« Reply #55 on: December 28, 2005, 03:57:24 AM »

By our standards, we know that we are only utilizing figurative language.
And how do you know St. Basil wasn't simply describing what everyone saw- the relative movement of the Sun around the Earth?

Now, Matthew, are you going to retract your claim that St Basil said the Earth was flat? Or do I have to quote him again?
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« Reply #56 on: December 28, 2005, 04:04:11 AM »

Now, Matthew, are you going to retract your claim that St Basil said the Earth was flat? Or do I have to quote him again?

The flatness of the earth is at least implied. Furthermore, when he speaks of the sun's revolution around the earth, it is clear that he is not speaking in reference of time given that such a concept as relativity was not discovered yet. St. Basil is not alone among the church fathers on erring in cosmology. The point is that they were not correct in everything.

 "The earth is flat and the sun does not pass under it in the night, but travels through the northern parts as if hidden by a wall" 
Severian, Bishop of Gabala
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« Reply #57 on: December 28, 2005, 04:09:58 AM »

The flatness of the earth is at least implied.
By what? By St. Basil's reference to the circumference of the Earth?

it is clear that he is not speaking in reference of time given that such a concept was on discovered yet
Errr... perhaps you should read a history book or two.... Erastothenes of Alexandria not only proved that the Earth was round in 300BC, he also calculated it's circumference. http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/courses/satex/sp96/noon-project/Eras.html What do they teach you guys in school these days? Wink
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« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2005, 04:17:16 AM »

What do they teach you guys in school these days? Wink

You've missed the point. Whether or not it was proved the earth was round does not show what the fathers actually believed.

"There is evidence that the round Earth was accepted by many Christians. For example, Emperor Theodosius II of the Byzantine Empire placed the globus cruciger (which depicts the Earth as round) on his coins.

However, the antipodes (thought to be separated from the Mediterranean world by the uncrossable torrid clime) were difficult to reconcile with the Christian view of a unified human race descended from one couple and redeemed by a single Christ. Consequently, some of the Church Fathers questioned their existence and even the roundness of the Earth. Saint Augustine (354-430) wrote:
"Those who affirm [a belief in antipodes] do not claim to possess any actual information; they merely conjecture that, since the Earth is suspended within the concavity of the heavens, and there is as much room on the one side of it as on the other, therefore the part which is beneath cannot be void of human inhabitants. They fail to notice that, even should it be believed or demonstrated that the world is round or spherical in form, it does not follow that the part of the Earth opposite to us is not completely covered with water, or that any conjectured dry land there should be inhabited by men. For Scripture, which confirms the truth of its historical statements by the accomplishment of its prophecies, teaches not falsehood; and it is too absurd to say that some men might have set sail from this side and, traversing the immense expanse of ocean, have propagated there a race of human beings descended from that one first man." (De Civitate Dei, 16.9)

Augustine denied the antipodes, not the round Earth. However, the phrase "even should it be believed or demonstrated that the world is round" suggests that he was skeptical of the round Earth, and perhaps even that many others were as well.

A few authors directly opposed the round Earth. Lactantius (245—325) called it "folly" because people on a sphere would fall down. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315—386) saw Earth as a firmament floating on water. Saint John Chrysostom (344—408) saw a spherical Earth as contradictory to scripture. Severian, Bishop of Gabala (d. 408) and Diodorus of Tarsus (d. 394) argued for a flat Earth. Cosmas Indicopleustes (547) called Earth "a parallelogram, flat, and surrounded by four seas" in his Christian Topography, where the Covenant Ark was meant to represent the whole universe. Saint Basil (329—379) argued that knowledge about Earth's shape was irrelevant."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth#The_Early_Church
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« Reply #59 on: December 28, 2005, 04:20:22 AM »

What shape has a circumference Matthew?
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« Reply #60 on: December 28, 2005, 04:30:20 AM »

What shape has a circumference Matthew?

A circle or a sphere. While perhaps a minority of fathers explicitly taught a flat earth, geocentrism was still the prevailing view.
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« Reply #61 on: December 28, 2005, 04:59:39 AM »

A circle or a sphere. While perhaps a minority of fathers explicitly taught a flat earth, geocentrism was still the prevailing view.

OK, so then let's review your claims on this thread and examine thier objective validity. You said:
I've read St. Basil's Hexaemeron and in this sermon, he clearly insists that the earth is flat
Well, I think we've shown that in his Hexaemeron, St. Basil clearly does not insist that the Earth is flat. In fact, he makes reference to it being round. So "clearly" you were wrong.

The flatness of the earth is at least implied.
Wrong again, as we have just shown, St. Basil implied the Earth was round, not flat.

Furthermore, when he speaks of the sun's revolution around the earth, it is clear that he is not speaking in reference of time given that such a concept as relativity was not discovered yet.
Wrong again, it is not relativity "in reference of time", but in reference of space. Your claim here would be like saying that St. Basil had no idea that that someone standing South of him could possibly have someone standing North of him who is South of St. Basil. This is basic relativity in space which even the Ancients (and probably Neanderthals) understood.

To illustrate relativity of position in space:

* <- St. Basil 

*<- Man #1

*<- Man #2

If North is up the page, then "Man #1" is relatively North of "Man #2" but both Man #1 and Man #2 are relatively South of St. Basil. So Man #2 is either North or South depending on your reference point...hardly revelational, even to the ancients. In the same way, depending on your reference point, the Sun rotates around the Earth relative to the Earth. What's more, the ancients had theorised that the Earth rotates and the Sun was the centre of the planets (Heracleides of Pontus  c388BC). None of these ideas were foreign or undiscovered, and they only became lost in the West during the Dark Ages. These theories abounded at the time of the Fathers.

So you see Matthew, in this one thread you yourself have been wrong about objective facts more times than you accused St. Basil of being wrong. Wink
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« Reply #62 on: December 28, 2005, 06:11:45 AM »

Wrong again, as we have just shown, St. Basil implied the Earth was round, not flat.

St. Basil does not affirm either way, probably out of fear that he would upset those who did believe in a flat earth.

So you see Matthew, in this one thread you yourself have been wrong about objective facts more times than you accused St. Basil of being wrong. Wink

Again, one must not forget that geocentrism was, at one time, the prevailing understanding within the Church. This arose from a hyper-literal interpretation of Scripture.

1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.”

Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ...”

Psalm 96:10: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable ...”

Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”

Isaiah 45:18: “...who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast...”
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« Reply #63 on: December 28, 2005, 07:54:55 AM »

Again, one must not forget that geocentrism was, at one time, the prevailing understanding within the Church. This arose from a hyper-literal interpretation of Scripture.
Geocentrism was the prevailing understanding in the Roman Catholic Church, not "The Church". Possibly because they and the protestants made the same mistake you just made. The Scripture you quote is an English translation of the Masoretic text, Matthew, and this is not the Text which the Fathers used. They used the Greek Septuagint. So I think you are being ethnocentric, anachronistic and projecting your own misunderstanding of the scriptures on to the Fathers.

For example:
1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.”
In the LXX reads:
"Let all the earth fear before Him, let the earth be established and not be moved."
Clearly not a reference to the act of creation, since it calls on the earth to become established (as though it is not established now).

Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ...”
In the LXX reads:
"The Lord reigns, He has clothed Himself with honour; The Lord has girded Himself with strength, for He has established the ecumene, it shall not be shaken."
"Established" means "strengthened" or "made firm". "Ecumene" can mean "the inhabited earth" or "the universe" and "shaken" means "occilated" or "disturbed". Now the ancient's experienced earthquakes, so clearly something other than "the earth not moving" is meant here, since the word for "shaken" "σαλευθήσεται" is exactly the word used to mean the movement of the earth during an earthquake.

I could go through your other quotes, but it would just be repetition of the same, and I'm off to bed.
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« Reply #64 on: December 29, 2005, 01:56:09 AM »

Geocentrism was the prevailing understanding in the Roman Catholic Church, not "The Church".

If you are correct, please give one pre-Copernican example of a father of the church who insisted that the earth revolves around the sun. My only intention in stressing this point is that the fathers were not infallible, not that they were altogether unreliable.
We can forgive the fathers for erring on scientific matters because of their truthfulness in almost everything else. Again, some fathers of the church may have hated the Jews. But this only shows that they were human. In order to resolve the dilemma of how the Jews could have rejected their own Messiah, some insisted that the Jews themselves must be an evil and corrupt race rather than having Jesus be an inadequate Messiah. One need only read the Epistle of Barnabas to see that this line of thinking exists in the early Church among some members. I'd rather take the view of Pascal that while Jesus is the true Messiah, a true Jew may none the less have God without Christ.

Peace.
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« Reply #65 on: December 29, 2005, 02:27:54 AM »

So when Christ said "no man comes to the Father but through me," what he really meant was "If you're cool with me, I can get you in,  otherwise you can get in another way"?
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« Reply #66 on: December 29, 2005, 02:52:56 AM »

As Paul wrote, the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. If that is true, how can we say that God's chosen no longer have God?
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« Reply #67 on: December 29, 2005, 03:38:53 AM »

Have you ever read where Jews are those who follow God's will, not those descended from Abraham (ie. Jewishness in God's eyes is a matter of spirituality, not ethnicity)? The old covenant has been superceeded; being "a faithful Jew" today means something different than it did in 1000BC.
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« Reply #68 on: December 29, 2005, 04:42:59 AM »

I don't believe that Romans 11 would allow for such semantic games:

Rom 11:26   
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:    
Rom 11:27   
For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.    
Rom 11:28   
As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers' sakes.    
Rom 11:29   
For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.
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« Reply #69 on: December 29, 2005, 07:36:23 AM »

Rom 11:26   
And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
"ALL Israel" means that the Old Israel will be saved along with the New Israel by the incorporationof the former into the latter.
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« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2005, 07:52:51 AM »

"ALL Israel" means that the Old Israel will be saved along with the New Israel by the incorporationof the former into the latter.

That is your own interpretation. The chapter is obviously speaking of the Hebrew people.
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« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2005, 08:16:11 AM »

That is your own interpretation.
No it isn't.
It's the interpretation of the Fathers. I am an Orthodox Christian, and therefore I must understand the Scriptures in light of the Fathers' interpretations within the Church.

The chapter is obviously speaking of the Hebrew people. 
St. Paul didn't divide his Epistle (and thoughts) into chapters, we did. In the same Epistle, St. Paul says not all who are of Israel are israel:
[bible]Romans 9:6-12[/bible]
and again
[bible]Romans 9:25-26[/bible]
He describes how we (the gentiles) become Children of Abraham according to promise and according to Faith, and how this saves us since we receive the promises made to the children of Abraham.
And he developes this thought in his Epistle saying how eventually "All Israel" (Old and New) shall be saved. And that the disbelief of Old Israel shall come to an end, and they will believe in Christ when the all the Gentiles who are to come into the Church have come into it:
[bible]Romans 11:25[/bible]
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« Reply #72 on: December 29, 2005, 11:43:51 PM »

In Romans 11, if Paul is referring to Gentile Christians as 'Israel' how could 'Israel' be our enemy?
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« Reply #73 on: December 30, 2005, 06:41:44 AM »

In Romans 11, if Paul is referring to Gentile Christians as 'Israel' how could 'Israel' be our enemy?

Forgive me. I have obviously not been clear in my communication, otherwise you could not have made this remark.

Firstly, Romans 11 is not about the New Israel, but the Old Israel. Only one verse of this chapter (verse 26) refers to both Old and New Israel together as "All Israel". Why would St. Paul use the term "All Israel shall be saved" to mean "all the the people of Jewish descent shall be saved" when he himself in the same chapter writes that only a remnant of Old Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:5)? Wouldn't he be contradicting himself (and God) by saying that only a remnant of Israel will be saved in verse 5 and then saying that "All Israel" will be saved in verse 26? If only a remnant of something is saved, then it is not all saved.
So clearly, by the term "All Israel", St. Paul must be referring to something other than :"all the people of Jewish descent", otherwise, as pointed out, he would be contradicting himself, since he says earlier in the same Epistle that only "a remnant" of Israel (i.e. "the people of Jewish descent" or "Old Israel") shall be saved.

By "All Israel" in Verse 26 of the 11th Chapter of Romans, St. Paul means the "New Israel" composed of the Jews and Gentiles who have entered the Church. He leads up to this by developing his thoughts (like the skilled orator he is).

St. Paul developes his thoughts in Romans in the following way:

1) God has made promises to Israel, and they were adopted as sons of God:[bible]Romans 9:4[/bible]

2) The apparent failure of Israel to believe in Christ is not evidence that God's promises have failed, because there is a New Israel composed not solely of descendants of Abraham accoding to the flesh (i.e., the Jews) but this New Israel is comprised of those who believe in Christ and become children of Abraham by Faith (whether Jew or Gentile). [bible]Romans 9:6-8[/bible]

3) The disbelief of the Jews has meant that the Gentiles can now be saved, because God's plan for Israel was that it should receive Christ, yet Old Israel rejected Him.[bible]Romans 9:30-33[/bible] [bible]Romans 10:16-21[/bible][bible]Romans 11:11-12[/bible]

4) But we must, on no account, boast or gloat over Old Israel because of this, because we are heirs of God's promises by adoption, whereas the Jews were the "natural" heirs and because just as the "natural heirs" were not spared, the "adopted heirs" may not be spared either. Not all who are baptised will be saved- we too may not be saved:[bible]Romans11:17-21[/bible]


5) Furthermore, even though for the time being New israel is being saved because of Old Israel's disobedience, a time is coming when a remnant of the Old Israel will be joined to the New Israel, and so "ALL Israel" (that is, the TRUE Israel) will be saved. And this is happening even now since Old Israel's blindness is only "in part" (i.e. "partial" in that some Jews, like St. Paul, were entering the Church).[bible]Romans 11:25-27[/bible]

6)And the saving of this remnant of Old Israel will occur because, even though Old Israel is at emnity with the Gospel because of disobedience and disbelief, she is still loved by God for the sake of the Patriarchs.And this disobedience of Old Israel has allowed salvation to come to the Gentiles (therefore, the "emnity" is "for our sake"). Even so, God has made promises to Israel, and He will not revoke them. [bible]Romans 11:28-29[/bible]

7) The promises made to Israel are being fulfilled in the New Israel, however, God will also save "a remnant" of Old Israel in the same way He saved us, the Gentiles. That is, we who were once disobedient as Gentile pagans received the mercy promised to Israel because Old Israel disobeyed. Now that the Old Israel is disobedient, a remmnant will be saved through God's mercy which is ministered through the Church ("through your mercy") [bible]Romans 11:30-32[/bible]



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« Reply #74 on: December 30, 2005, 06:25:31 PM »

I've always wondered how the followers of a Jewish prophet could have hatred toward the Jewish people. I am not surprised in finding anti-semitism in early Christianity and neither does it cause me to condemn those who held to it. However, this does show that the fathers of the church may not have been right on everything.


Dear Matthew777,

If some early church fathers denounced certain things that Jewish people as a whole were supposedly doing at that time, that does not mean that they have "hatred" towards the Jewish people. Did their quotes in your post state that they "hated" Jews? And does condemming certain undesirable actions and/or traits (assuming they were true) automatically translate to one being anti-semitic? I don't think you can automaically assume they "hated" the Jews, as you suggest....
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« Reply #75 on: December 30, 2005, 08:16:42 PM »

We are taught only One is Perfect. The Saints are not perfect, nor are we. Is it easier to try to find 'fault' with the Fathers rather than to reflect on one's own sinfulness?
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« Reply #76 on: December 30, 2005, 08:35:52 PM »

StephenG:
   Well said !!!!!
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« Reply #77 on: December 30, 2005, 08:54:36 PM »

I would agree with StephenG, even further: seeking out things like Anti-Semitism in the Fathers, is it a way for us to try to find fault and discredit them?  We know they are but human, and their writings reflect that.  But trying to find something sinister in them is a stretch...
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« Reply #78 on: December 31, 2005, 01:19:53 AM »

It's a rather hateful statement that the 'serpent Judas' represents the Jewish people as a whole.
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« Reply #79 on: December 31, 2005, 01:26:50 AM »

It's a rather hateful statement that the 'serpent Judas' represents the Jewish people as a whole.

meh..
think what you want...
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« Reply #80 on: December 31, 2005, 03:06:56 AM »

It's a rather hateful statement that the 'serpent Judas' represents the Jewish people as a whole.

Judas wouldn't mean anything if there weren't a large crowd of Jewish leaders ready to take Christ off his hands.
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« Reply #81 on: December 31, 2005, 03:33:18 AM »

Judas wouldn't mean anything if there weren't a large crowd of Jewish leaders ready to take Christ off his hands.

Only a small minority of the Jews, encouraged by the temple leadership, supported the crucifixion of Christ.
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« Reply #82 on: January 01, 2006, 08:20:08 PM »

What is your evidence please for their being only a small minority, or even simply a minority?

Their 'voice' at the time appeared to be enough to sway a Roman prefect who appeared to be reluctant to be pushed as far as he was. Was he so weak and insecure that a 'small minority' could be so persuasive?
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« Reply #83 on: January 01, 2006, 08:21:49 PM »

Their 'voice' at the time appeared to be enough to sway a Roman prefect who appeared to be reluctant to be pushed as far as he was. Was he so weak and insecure that a 'small minority' could be so persuasive?

Do you honestly think that all the Jews living at the time were present at Jesus' crucifixion? Even if they were, Pilate's decision was ultimately based on the ones who shouted the loudest.
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« Reply #84 on: January 01, 2006, 08:28:43 PM »

It would appear clear from your various posts that you appear determined to interpret both the Fathers and the events surrounding certain events in a negative and hostile way. For my sinful and unworthy self I may struggle to understand, to grasp or to embrace the teachings and the ascetic struggle of the Fathers. I may at times not comprehend the differences in theological debates between the Orthodox and the heretics, but judgement of them who the Church in Her wisdom has recognised as Saints and Fathers of the Church I should be very slow to do, preferring to question first my own inadequacy and shortcomings.
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« Reply #85 on: January 01, 2006, 08:40:44 PM »

The Church has always recognized that saints are sinners too. No one is infallible but God alone.
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« Reply #86 on: January 02, 2006, 07:49:45 PM »

True, was this not my point several posts back?

Now to your arguments.

First, the feast of Passover at that time was attended by many from all over Judea and Gallilee and beyond. A great many. In that crowd before Pilate were not only numbers but the leadership of the people. No small crowd and not simply a loud one, but an influential one.

Second, you choose as your title '....Anti-Semite Fathers of the Church?' Is your wisdom and insight greater than the 'mind' of the Church over centuries on the Fathers, and can you be sure you understand their writings in the Trinitarian way so lucidly explained in an earlier post?

Third, the Jews were the chosen people and very, very many did accept their promised Messiah but at that time and since have rejected Him. Just as many of their forbears rejected even the Law and the Prophets. And since His coming many so-called Christians too have rejected or betrayed Him. It is one thing for someone who has never known of the True God to reject Him but for His chosen people, and subsequently a Christian to reject Him quite something else. Is this the sense of word "Jew' used by the Fathers?

The term antisemitism is one of comparative origin and I suspect you are understanding these things in a worldly way (and a modern one at that). Have you sort the advice of an Elder or such before making such criticisms of Fathers of the Church and their teaching? Or are you in your perfection and wisdom greater than they? I ask this not to offend or to ridicule but to understand how you can make such bold statements on those whose shoes we are not fit wear.
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« Reply #87 on: January 04, 2006, 03:58:52 PM »

Perhaps Matthew questions the Fathers alone but also Scripture?

"You are of your father the devil, and the desire of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof." (Jn. 8:44)

"And the whole people answering, said: His blood be upon us and upon our children." (Mt 27:25)

"For you brethren, are become followers of the churches of God which are in Judea, in Christ Jesus: for you also have suffered the same things from your own countrymen, even as they have from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men; prohibiting us to speak to the Gentiles, that they may be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath of God is come upon them to the end."" (I Thess. 2:14-16)



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« Reply #88 on: August 02, 2006, 10:35:07 PM »

Saint John Chrysostom (ca 344 - 407 CE) - wrote of the Jews and of Judaizers in eight homilies Adversus Judaeos, Against The Jews (or Against the Judaizers) [4]. These quotes are translations from the original Greek posted by Paul Halsall: other researchers give slightly different translations.
"Shall I tell you of their plundering, their covetousness, their abandonment of the poor, their thefts, their cheating in trade? the whole day long will not be enough to give you an account of these things. But do their festivals have something solemn and great about them? They have shown that these, too, are impure." (Homily I, VII, 1)

"But before I draw up my battle line against the Jews, I will be glad to talk to those who are members of our own body, those who seem to belong to our ranks although they observe the Jewish rites and make every effort to defend them. Because they do this, as I see it, they deserve a stronger condemnation than any Jew." (HOMILY IV, II, 4)

What rites of the Jewish-Christians was he referring to during that time?
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« Reply #89 on: October 14, 2006, 10:42:05 AM »

The Holy Fathers were no more "Anti-Semitic" than St. Paul and St. John (both Jewish themselves). Take a concordance and do a word study on how the New Testament writers used the term and you will find a number of things that could be called anti-semitic if the Scriptures were not written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
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