Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Luther, Calvin, and Other Early Protestants on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary
http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ460.HTM ^ | Dave Armstrong compiles quotes from Martin Luther, John Calvin, et al.,

Posted on 06/24/2003 3:49:56 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid

click here to read article


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-50 ... 101-150151-200201-250 ... 301 next last
To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Ping me to this discussion. Looks interesting.

BTW, Pope Fiction was the working title of my autobiography.
151 posted on 07/06/2003 5:47:05 AM PDT by drstevej
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 150 | View Replies]

To: drstevej
Pope Fiction

LOL. I actually got it.
Fear not, but I am watching OP's posts here closely as well- he has greatly interested me in this topic.

152 posted on 07/06/2003 1:56:34 PM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 151 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Thank you, Steve. I will send you the book to the address you mentioned in your post. I sincerely appreciate your willingness to read the book. Also, I'll try to post an article soon (not written by me, btw) on the issue of James the Just and the brothers of the Lord. If nothing else, perhaps it will advance the dialogue here somewhat.

Best wishes in Christ,

Patrick
153 posted on 07/07/2003 4:48:11 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 150 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
"....if the Ecclesial Contributions of the BLOOD-BROTHERS of Our Lord Jesus Christ . . . etc."

My point was that nothing posted here has in any way demonstrated that James and Joses (cf. Matt. 13) were the "BLOOD-BROTHERS" of the Lord. I showed earlier that these two men were, in fact the sons of Mary the wife of Cleophas, not Mary the mother of the Lord.
154 posted on 07/07/2003 5:00:46 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 150 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
"At the moment, I am not interested in "30 answers". I am just interested in ONE. Who was James?"

New Advent

 Home   Encyclopedia   Summa   Fathers   Library   Bible 
   Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > B > The Brethren of the Lord
 A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z 

Please contact webmaster@newadvent.org if an ad appears here that contradicts Catholic teachings.

The Brethren of the Lord

A group of persons closely connected with the Saviour appears repeatedly in the New Testament under the designation "his brethren" or "the brethren of the Lord" (Matt 12:46, 13:55; Mark 3:31-32, 6:3; Luke 8:19-20; John 2:12, 7:3-5; Acts 1:14; I Cor 9:5). Four such "brethren" are mentioned by name in the parallel texts of Matt 13:55 and Mark 6:3 (where "sisters" are also referred to), namely, James (also mentioned Galatians 1:19), Joseph, or Joses, Simon, and Jude; the incidental manner in which these names are given, shows, however, that the list lays no claim to completeness.

Two questions in connexion with these "brethren" of the Lord have long been, and are still now more than ever, the subject of controversy: (1) The identity of James, Jude, and Simon; (2) the exact nature of the relationship between the Saviour and his "brethren".

(1) The identity of James, Jude and Simon. James is without doubt the Bishop of Jerusalem (Acts 12:17, 15:13, 21:18; Galatians 1:19; 2:9-12) and the author of the first Catholic Epistle. His identity with James the Less (Mark 15:40) and the Apostle James, the son of Alpheus (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18), although contested by many Protestant critics, may also be considered as certain. There is no reasonable doubt that in Galatians 1:19: "But other of the apostles [besides Cephas] I saw none, saving James the brother of the Lord", St. Paul represents James as a member of the Apostolic college. The purpose for which the statement is made, makes it clear that the "apostles" is to be taken strictly to designate the Twelve, and its truthfulness demands that the clause "saving James" be understood to mean, that in addition to Cephas, St. Paul saw another Apostle, "James the brother of the Lord" (cf. Acts 9:27). Besides, the prominence and authority of James among the Apostles (Acts 15:13; Galatians 2:9; in the latter text he is even named before Cephas) could have belonged only to one of their number. Now there were only two Apostles named James: James the son of Zebedee, and James the son of Alpheus (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13). The former is out of the question, since he was dead at the time of the events to which Acts 15:6 ssq., and Galatians 2:9-12 refer (cf. Acts 12:2). James "the brother of the Lord" is therefore one with James the son of Alpheus, and consequently with James the Less, the identity of these two being generally conceded. Again, on comparing John 19:25 with Matt 27:56, and Mark 15:40 (cf. Mark 15:47; 16:1), we find that Mary of Cleophas, or more correctly Clopas (Klopas), the sister of Mary the Mother of Christ, is the same as Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joseph, or Joses. As married women are not distinguished by the addition of their father's name, Mary of Clopas must be the wife of Clopas, and not his daughter, as has been maintained. Moreover, the names of her sons and the order in which they are given, no doubt the order of seniority, warrant us in identifying these sons with James and Joseph, or Joses, the "brethren" of the Lord. The existence among the early followers of Christ of two sets of brothers having the same names in the order of age, is not likely, and cannot be assumed without proof. Once this identity is conceded, the conclusion cannot well be avoided that Clopas and Alpheus are one person, even if the two names are quite distinct. It is, however, highly probable, and commonly admitted, that Clopas and Alpheus are merely different transcriptions of the same Aramaic word Halphai. James and Joseph the "brethren" of the Lord are thus the sons of Alpheus.

Of Joseph nothing further is known. Jude is the writer of the last of the Catholic Epistles (Jude 1). He is with good reason identified by Catholic commentators with the "Judas Jacobi" ("Jude the brother of James" in the Douay Version) of Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13, otherwise known as Thaddeus (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18). It is quite in accordance with Greek custom for a man to be distinguished by the addition of his brother's name instead of his father's, when the brother was better known. That such was the case with Jude is inferred from the title "the brother of James", by which he designates himself in his Epistle. About Simon nothing certain can be stated. He is identified by most commentators with the Symeon, or Simon, who, according to Hegesippus, was a son of Clopas, and succeeded James as Bishop of Jerusalem. Some identify him with the Apostle Simon the Cananean (Matt 10:4; Mark 3:18) or the Zealot (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). The grouping together of James, Jude or Thaddeus, and Simon, after the other Apostles, Judas Iscariot excepted, in the lists of the Apostles, (Matt 10:4-5; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13) lends some probability to this view, as it seems to indicate some sort of connexion between the three. Be this as it may, it is certain that at least two of the "brethren" of Christ were among the Apostles. This is clearly implied in 1 Cor 9:5: "Have we not the power to carry about a woman, a sister, as well as the rest of the apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?" The mention of Cephas at the end indicates that St. Paul, after speaking of the Apostles in general, calls special attention to the more prominent ones, the "brethren" of the Lord and Cephas. The objection that no "brethren" of the Lord could have been members of the Apostolic college, because six months before Christ's death they did not believe in Him (John 7:3-5), rests on a misunderstanding of the text. His "brethren" believed in his miraculous power, and urged him to manifest it to the world. Their unbelief was therefore relative. It was not a want of belief in His Messiahship, but a false conception of it. They had not yet rid themselves of the Jewish idea of a Messiah who would be a temporal ruler. We meet with this idea among the Apostles as late as the day of the Ascension (Acts 1:6). In any case the expression "his brethren" does not necessarily include each and every "brother", whenever it occurs. This last remark also sufficiently answers the difficulty in Acts 1:13-14, where, it is said, a clear distinction is made between the Apostles and the "brethren" of the Lord.

(2) The exact nature of the relationship between the Saviour and his "brethren". The texts cited at the beginning of this article show beyond a doubt that there existed a real and near kinship between Jesus and His "brethren". But as "brethren" (or "brother") is applied to step-brothers as well as to brothers by blood, and in Scriptural, and Semitic use generally, is often loosely extended to all near, or even distant, relatives (Gen 13:8, 14:14-16; Lev 10:4; 1 Par 15:5-10, 23:21-22), the word furnishes no certain indication of the exact nature of the relationship. Some ancient heretics, like Helvidius and the Antidicomarianites, maintained that the "brethren" of Jesus were His uterine brothers the sons of Joseph and Mary. This opinion has been revived in modern times, and is now adopted by most of the Protestant exegetes. On the orthodox side two views have long been current. The majority of the Greek Fathers and Greek writers, influenced, it seems, by the legendary tales of apocryphal gospels, considered the "brethren" of the Lord as sons of St. Joseph by a first marriage. The Latins, on the contrary, with few exceptions (St. Ambrose, St. Hilary, and St. Gregory of Tours among the Fathers), hold that they were the Lord's cousins. That they were not the sons of Joseph and Mary is proved by the following reasons, leaving out of consideration the great antiquity of the belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary. It is highly significant that throughout the New Testament Mary appears as the Mother of Jesus and of Jesus alone. This is the more remarkable as she is repeatedly mentioned in connexion with her supposed sons, and, in some cases at least, it would have been quite natural to call them her sons (cf. Matt 12:46; Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19; Acts 1:14). Again, Mary's annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Luke 2:41) is quite incredible, except on the supposition that she bore no other children besides Jesus. Is it likely that she could have made the journey regularly, at a time when the burden of child-bearing and the care of an increasing number of small children (she would be the mother of at least four other sons and of several daughters, cf Matt 13:56) would be pressing heavily upon her? A further proof is the fact that at His death Jesus recommended His mother to St. John. Is not His solicitude for her in His dying hour a sign that she would be left with no one whose duty it would be to care for her? And why recommend her to an outsider if she had other sons? Since there was no estrangement between Him and His "brethren", or between them and Mary, no plausible argument is confirmed by the words with which he recommends her: ide ho uios sou, with the article before uios (son); had there been others sons, ide uios sou, without the article, would have been the proper expression.

The decisive proof, however, is that the father and mother of at least two of these "brethren" are known to us. James and Joseph, or Joses, are, as we have seen, the sons of Alpheus, or Clopas, and of Mary, the sister of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and all agree that if these are not brothers of the Saviour, the others are not. This last argument disposes also of the theory that the "brethren" of the Lord were the sons of St. Joseph by a former marriage. They are then neither the brothers nor the step-brothers of the Lord. James, Joseph, and Jude are undoubtedly His cousins. If Simon is the same as the Symeon of Hegesippus, he also is a cousin, since this writer expressly states that he was the son of Clopas the uncle of the Lord, and the latter's cousin. But whether they were cousins on their father's or mother's side, whether cousins by blood or merely by marriage, cannot be determined with certainty. Mary of Clopas is indeed called the "sister" of the Blessed Virgin (John 19:25), but it is uncertain whether "sister" here means a true sister or a sister-in-law. Hegesippus calls Clopas the brother of St. Joseph. This would favour the view that Mary of Clopas was only the sister-in-law of the Blessed Virgin, unless it be true, as stated in the MSS. of the Peshitta version, that Joseph and Clopas married sisters. The relationship of the other "brethren" may have been more distant than that of the above named four.

The chief objection against the Catholic position is taken from Matt 1:25: "He [Joseph] knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son"; and from Luke 2:7: "And she brought forth her firstborn son". Hence, it is argued, Mary must have born other children. "Firstborn" (prototokos), however, does not necessarily connote that other children were born afterwards. This is evident from Luke 2:23, and Ex 13:2-12 (cf. Greek text) to which Luke refers. "Opening the womb" is there given as the equivalent of "firstborn" (prototokos). An only child was thus no less "firstborn" than the first of many. Neither do the words "he knew her not till she brought forth" imply, as St. Jerome proves conclusively against Helvidius from parallel examples, that he knew her afterwards. The meaning of both expressions becomes clear, if they are considered in connexion with the virginal birth related by the two Evangelists.

For the Cousin Theory: ST. JEROME, Adv. Helvid. in P.L., XXIII; MILL, Pantheistic Principles, 220-316; VIGOUROUX, Les Livres saints et la critique, V, 397-420; CORLUY, Les frères de N.S.J. C. in Etudes (1878), I, 5, 145; MEINERTZ, Der Jacobusbrief und sein Verfasser (Freiburg im Br., 1905), 6-54; CORNELY, Introductio (Paris, 1897), III, 592 sqq.; SCHEGG, Jacobus der Br¨der des Herrn (Munich, 1883); LAGRANGE in Rev. Bibl. (1906), 504, 505. For the Step-Brother Theory : LIGHTFOOT, Comm. on Gal., 252-291. For the Helvidian View : HASTINGS, Dict. Bib., I, 320; ZAHN, Forschungen, VI, Brueder und Vettern Jesu (Leipzig, 1900).

F. BECHTEL
Transcribed by Gerard Haffner

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II
Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by Kevin Knight
Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York

 
Subscribe to New Advent's FREE Catholic newsletter.
   Copyright © 2003 by Kevin Knight. All rights reserved. Updated 26 June 2003.
"Blessed be Jesus Christ in His Angels and in His Saints."

155 posted on 07/07/2003 5:08:20 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 150 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid; Polycarp; BibChr; the_doc; drstevej; MarMema
I showed earlier that these two men were, in fact the sons of Mary the wife of Cleophas, not Mary the mother of the Lord.

Except that explanation won't fly -- because we're talking about two different Marys (three, counting Magdalene, who is not relevant to the discussion) and two different James (three, counting Bar Zebedee, who is only relevant to the discussion in regard to the record of Clement as detailed below).

As previously anticipated and contraverted in my Post (see the footnoted Link), first-cousin James "the Lesser" (son of Mary of Cleophas) was already numbered by name among the Believers and Followers of Jesus as early as Matthew 10:3, whereas James "the Righteous" (son of Mary of Joseph) was still numbered by name among the Unbelievers and Doubters as late as Matthew 12:46-13:55.

Let me phrase the argument in two parts to make it even more explicit:

This is even further buttressed in the Linked Article, in the context of the related citation of John 7 :

So, allow me this review of my Arguments:

Ergo, to tie it all in with the discussion at hand: good interpretive evidence for something very dramatic happening after Jesus’ crucifixion lies in the very fact that Jesus’ brothers didn't believe who He was (would your brothers?) until the resurrection (which would convince anyone!). Suddenly, the oldest surviving sibling is the head of the Jerusalem Assembly of Jesus Movement Jews. -- Jack Kilmon, History and the New Testament

All of which militates strongly against the dogma of "Perpetual Virginity"; but, what is more, against the Romano-centric and Petrine-successionist view of the Early Church altogether.

best, OP

156 posted on 07/07/2003 6:30:17 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done our Duty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 154 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
"Except that explanation won't fly . . ."

Wrong. You need to examine the evidence I posted in my next post (from the Catholic Encyclopedia). It effectively demolishes your argument that that James was the son of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Also, keep in mind that the progenitor of your denomination, John Calvin, dismissed your arguments as incorrect and unbiblical. At the very least, that should give you pause.
157 posted on 07/07/2003 6:56:21 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 156 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
"HISTORICALLY, the Exaltation of James the Righteous in the Early Jewish Church makes perfect sense if James the Righteous were the eldest half-brother of Jesus, as the earliest Histories and Church Traditions on the matter (Clement, Hegesippus, Eusebius, Jospehus) roundly declare."

Hmmm, could you please provide the quotes Eusebius and Clement offer stating Jesus and James were "blood-brothers."

The references I've seen from these two sources would argue just the opposite.

158 posted on 07/07/2003 7:19:06 PM PDT by AlguyA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 156 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
"LINGUISTICALLY, the Greek prototokon means "First-Born Son" and does not mean "Only-Born Son", which is monogene and which is used quite expressly in John 3:16. The Holy-Spirit inspired writers of the New Testament had a clear choice between prototokon ("First-Born Son") and monogene ("Only-Born Son") and the Holy Spirit chose the word "First-Born Son"."

Is it your contention John 3:16 would be better translated, "only-born" Son rather than "begotten" son? Or that there is no difference between the two?

159 posted on 07/07/2003 8:21:01 PM PDT by AlguyA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 156 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid; Polycarp; BibChr; the_doc; drstevej; MarMema
"Except that explanation won't fly . . ." ~~ Wrong. You need to examine the evidence I posted in my next post (from the Catholic Encyclopedia). It effectively demolishes your argument that that James was the son of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Also, keep in mind that the progenitor of your denomination, John Calvin, dismissed your arguments as incorrect and unbiblical. At the very least, that should give you pause.

I did examine the evidence, Mr. Madrid. (Gosh, I've read the Catholic Encyclopedia entry before, natch; the first order of business for any collegiate Debater is to examine the Opponent's likely counter-arguments, and the C.E. is certainly the one-stop shopping mall for all your Opposition Research needs).

The problem is that Bechtel essentially attempts to use the commonality of Names amongst Jewish Families to side-step the Protestant Arguments. Basically, his argument boils down to the fact that since we know that Jesus had first-cousins named "James" and "Joses", it is therefore impossible that He had similarly-named blood-brothers -- and we should just presume that they are the same persons. But this is just sophistry on his part (IMHO); since we know that Jesus had at least two cousins named "James", and both a cousin and a (legal) Father named "Joseph", (not to mention at least three or four "Marys" in His family and immediate circle).

Rather than "demolish" the Protestant arguments, he hasn't even really bothered to address them.

Except it's not "QED" at all. In fact, given that Jesus had ancestors and relatives and cousins and a (legal) father named "James" and "Joseph" or "Joses", it is to be expected that the names of His brothers would continue this Family Tradition (gosh, you remember what a bloody row Zechariah caused by naming his infant Baptizer-to-be by the name of "John". If he wasn't named after your grandpa and your uncle and your second cousin, it just wasn't done).

So it is hardly surprising that Jesus would also have had Brothers named "James" and "Joseph" in addition to His cousins and (legal) father... especially since the Scriptures expressly declare that Jesus had brothers named James and Joseph, in addition to at least three similarly-named cousins (who are directly indentified in Scripture as His cousins by their specific identification with His aunts, whereas His brothers are directly indentified in Scripture as His brothers by their specific identification with His mother -- again see Matthew 12:46-13:55)

The question to be asked, especially in regard to James the Righteous (who was specifically identified as the son of Jesus' mother in Matthew 13), as distinct from James the Lesser (who was specifically identified as the son of Jesus' aunt in Matthew 10), is: "Are they really the SAME PERSON?"

And the answer is -- NO, THEY AREN'T. Despite the fact that James the Lesser is identified in Scripture as the son of Jesus' aunt (Matt. 10), whereas James the Righteous is identified in Scripture as the son of Jesus' mother (Matt. 13) -- which really ought be plain enough -- the Scriptural Chronology of Matthew makes the attempted equivalency of these two separate individuals an outrageous impossibility.

James the Lesser (His cousin) is identified in Matthew 10 as a Believer and a Follower of Jesus who followed Him all over the countryside and indeed, worked marvelous miracles in His name. By contrast, James the Righteous (His brother) is indentified in Matthew 13 as an UnBeliever who had remained in Nazareth all this time and was called upon by the Nazarene locals as a Witness against His messianic claims.

So, returning to the point:

John Calvin may be the founder of my denomination, but Calvin really had very little to say on this subject -- other than parroting the existing Roman Catholic party line.

And Bechtel... well, Bechtel doesn't even really bother with the Protestant arguments; rather, he attempts to evade them (see my three points immediately above, addressed by neither Calvin nor Bechtel). Which is understandable given the absurdity of his proposition, but it still leaks like a sieve.

Ergo:

This ain't bluster on my part. I've given you three quite specific arguments above (family, scripture, and tradition) and have been entirely forthright about my argumentation.

You are most honestly and cordially invited to address them.

I'd welcome it. You'd be the first. Bechtel, sure as apple pie, has not.

best, OP

160 posted on 07/08/2003 1:27:22 AM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done our Duty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 157 | View Replies]

To: AlguyA; Patrick Madrid; Polycarp; BibChr; the_doc; drstevej; MarMema
Hi, AlguyA!! It's nice to see you.

I have a habit of mentally categorizing each of my RC Opponents into the Roles they play in my own personal "education by Life-Theater" (I tend towards narcisstic solipsism. So sue me).

Much obliged, and always a pleasure. But in response, I think I'll address your comments in reverse order.

Is it your contention John 3:16 would be better translated, "only-born" Son rather than "begotten" son? Or that there is no difference between the two?

No. The simple issue here is that New Testament Greek has two entirely different terms for "First-Born" (prototokon) and "Only-Born" (monogene), and both are used quite effectively in Scripture.

Monogene, meaning "Only" born or begotten, is used appropriately in John 3:16 -- Christ Alone is Eternally-Begotten of the Father, the "only-begotten" Son (monogene). But this isn't the terminology used with Mary -- the term there is "prototokos", meaning "first-born" Son AND NOT MEANING "only-born" Son, which is "monogene" (cf John 3:16, again).

In the Catholic Encyclopedia, Mr. Bechtel attempts to fudge the issue by pointing out that the "only" child to breach a woman's birthing canal is, by definition, the "first" child to do so. Well, yes, that's biologically true -- which together with a buck-seventy-five, will get you a cup of Hemingway java at Baby's Coffee outside of Key West. But Bechtel is still trying to skirt around the basic fact that, while his pedantic observation is biologically correct, these concepts demand two entirely different words in the Greek -- MONOGENE "Only-Born" or PROTOTOKON "First-Born". The Gospel writers had a clear choice, used "only-born" where appropriate, and chose "first-born" in regard to Jesus birth of Mary.

Moving along....

Hmmm, could you please provide the quotes Eusebius and Clement offer stating Jesus and James were "blood-brothers." The references I've seen from these two sources would argue just the opposite.

Here's a dollop of the relevant quotes:

Now I've got two questions for you (and also Mr. Madrid):

So pardon my sarcasm, AlguyA...

But exactly where does Bechtel get off, 1900 years after the fact, with his delusional claims that Cleophas was the Father of James the Righteous when the Blessed Saint Clement expressly states that Cleophas was the UNCLE of James the Righteous?!?! (which, incidentally, would make Joseph and Mary the FATHER and MOTHER of James the Righteous)?

Vietnam, Deja Vu?

We must burn down Tradition, in order to save it?

No dice, kemosabe.

best, OP



161 posted on 07/08/2003 2:42:45 AM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done our Duty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 158 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid
Thank you, Steve. I will send you the book to the address you mentioned in your post. I sincerely appreciate your willingness to read the book.

Life is a journey. I will happily read your book... I read Boettner's Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination while still quite Arminian; I hated it, but I couldn't deny it. (Since you are, so the two-minute biographies relate, a former Presbyterian -- like every other major Lay Apologist fielded by Rome today -- perhaps you can appreciate that. If not, then just consider it instead my first real introduction to Augustinianism, which is certainly respectable).

And yeah, before you say it, I am talking about Boettner's good stuff... I do know that Boettner's Roman Catholicism was pretty shoddy work by compare. In fact, part of my own journey into Orthodox Christian Amillennialism (more Augustine for you) has been the realization that Rome, for all her faults, cannot be the Whore of Babylon (even when she acts like it, whatever Luther may have said), given that much of Revelation was fulfilled in AD 67-70.

More on that subject if you like, incidentally -- I do like to research my Arguments. Just don't tell Hal Lindsey, Dave Hunt, and Tim LaHaye I told you so; for my heretical refusal to identify Roman Catholicism with Babylon, and -- what is more damning -- my surely-apostate rejection of Dispensational Pre-Millennialism, they might (gasp!) excommunicate me from the Protestant Confession... whatever that means, nowadays.

Also, I'll try to post an article soon (not written by me, btw) on the issue of James the Just and the brothers of the Lord. If nothing else, perhaps it will advance the dialogue here somewhat.

I'll look forward to it.

Just do me a favor -- to abuse the name of a currently-popular English movie, let's not "Bend It Like Bechtel"...

Been there, done that. I'm hoping for better.

best, OP

162 posted on 07/08/2003 3:20:58 AM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done our Duty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 153 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
So should I take the name Pope James II rather than Pope Piel I?

Well reasoned material OP, as I would expect from you. I am anxious to see a detailed rebuttal from the opposing view. So far the response has been very timid IMO.

This issue is indeed a lynch-pin of RCC ecclesiology.
163 posted on 07/08/2003 6:09:33 AM PDT by drstevej
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 162 | View Replies]

To: drstevej; MarMema; Patrick Madrid
So should I take the name Pope James II rather than Pope Piel I? Well reasoned material OP, as I would expect from you. I am anxious to see a detailed rebuttal from the opposing view. So far the response has been very timid IMO. This issue is indeed a lynch-pin of RCC ecclesiology.

Thanks. By the way, while I'm burning poor Mr. Bechtel in effigy, let me throw another log of Tradition on the fire.

The Greek Orthodox Calendar of Saints assigns three different Commemoration Days to the three different James:

Certainly an odd custom for the ancient Greek Orthodox to have developed, if the latter two James were (as Bechtel claims) one and the same person. Will Rome be sending out papal legates to advise the poor, misguided Greeks of their error, and re-work the Orthodox Calendar of Saints on their behalf?

164 posted on 07/08/2003 1:19:14 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done our Duty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 163 | View Replies]

To: drstevej; MarMema; Patrick Madrid
So should I take the name Pope James II rather than Pope Piel I? Well reasoned material OP, as I would expect from you. I am anxious to see a detailed rebuttal from the opposing view. So far the response has been very timid IMO. This issue is indeed a lynch-pin of RCC ecclesiology.

Thanks. By the way, while I'm burning poor Mr. Bechtel in effigy, let me throw another log of Tradition on the fire.

The Greek Orthodox Calendar of Saints assigns three different Commemoration Days to the three different James:

Certainly an odd custom for the ancient Greek Orthodox to have developed, if the latter two James were (as Bechtel claims) one and the same person. Will Rome be sending out papal legates to advise the poor, misguided Greeks of their error, and re-work the Orthodox Calendar of Saints on their behalf?

165 posted on 07/08/2003 1:20:09 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done our Duty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 163 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
strike post #164, corrected for typos.
166 posted on 07/08/2003 1:20:33 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done our Duty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 165 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Does Catholicism have any merits?
167 posted on 07/08/2003 1:46:16 PM PDT by Codie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 165 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Steve,

Well, at least we can give you an A for effort, if not sound doctrine, but you simply aren't going to get anywhere with that futile attempt to use the Orthodox (the Orthodox!!!) liturgical calendar to "prove" your theory that Mary is not a perpetual virgin.

I'm sure it hasn't escaped the attention of others here, but even so, it's worth noting that even though there are multiple feast days for "the Jameses" in the Orthodox liturgical calendar, the Orthodox Churches all *vigorously* assert their belief in Mary's perpetual virginity. For example, the Orthodox Church In America's website says this in response to the claim that Mary the Mother of the Lord had other children besides him:

"Concerning Mary's perpetual virginity, the Orthodox Church also holds firmly to this doctrine. We firmly believe that Mary remained a virgin after she gave birth to Christ, while we reject the notion that she had other children after Him."

http://www.oca.org/pages/orth_chri/q-and-a_old/perpetual-virginity-of-mary.html

The Ukranian Orthodox Church in America -- http://www.uocofusa.org -- has this edifying and correct explanation of its teaching on Mary's perpetual virginity, among other Marian doctrines:

"The Ever-Virgin Mary has been given the title of the "Birth-giver of God" or in Greek, the "Theotokos". This is a placement of honour and reverence. Mary was and is, the Mother, the Birth Giver of God. It was through her and her alone, that God, the Word, the Logos, the second person of the Holy Trinity was united to His creation. It was through Mary alone that God and mankind are united. She was the focal point which made it possible for the Messiah to walk among mankind. Without her, Jesus Christ would not have become part of His Creation

"The exalted position of Mary within Orthodox Theology is extremely important both for worship and for contemplation. Mary herself, was the greatest example of human personhood that mankind had to offer to God. This places a hindrance to those who believe that the Orthodox Church is a "male" dominated Church. Not so. Mary, a woman, was and is the greatest example of the height of holiness that a human being can reach. As such, we should look upon her as the epitome of faith, love, devotion and unselfish giving that we have throughout history

"Christ Himself is the only Lord unto whom we place our trust, faith and love. Nevertheless, major figures throughout the 2,000 years of Christianity are extremely important as icons of true faith and unselfish love. These figures to whom we look up to are Mary, the Mother of God, the Apostles, St. John the Baptist and forerunner of Christ, along with the other holy teachers, martyrs and defenders of the Faith throughout the Centuries!

"These people are our Christian heroes! They are the ones who devoted and donated their entire lives and their whole beings and their whole bodily and spiritual energies to defending and teaching the Word of God, the lessons of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It is upon the blood of these people that we learn about true faith and devotion. It is upon the true examples of virtue and faith that Mary the Mother of God had, that we can ourselves aspire to a greater spiritual plain.

"Mary, the Theotokos, is the first and chief among the Saints. She is a model of devotion and commitment to God. She is an Icon of moral purity. She is an example - the greatest example! - of a person who lived in communion with God. This is true since God chose Mary to be the Mother of His Son. Since Mary found this great level of favour with God (see Luke 1:28-30) it should be conceivable that we, as human beings struggling to find this same Divine favour, look upon Mary as an example of one who has already found that which we constantly seek.

"Was Mary an example of purity? Yes. Luke 1 :27 states that she was a Virgin and would remain a Virgin ever after giving birth! Is this inconceivable? Probably for the human mind, but for God, all things are possible! Mary was born to an elderly couple, Joachim and Anna. These people had no children but wished desperately to have one. They vowed to donate their child’s life to the Service of God. When Anna, in her old age, gave birth to Mary; this was seen as a miracle. The child was brought to the Temple in her third year and left with the Priests and other young people to learn the Scriptures and the life of service to God.

"Mary stayed at the Temple until age 14 at which time it was necessary for her to return to her parents or become married. Joachim and Anna had already deceased, therefore, she was destined to be married. Mary, however, explained to the High Priests that she had given a vow of virginity and service to God. Upon hearing this, the High Priests betrothed her to an elderly man, who was a Godly person. That man’s name was Joseph, a carpenter, who was 80 years old. Joseph had children from a previous marriage and he was charged with looking after Mary and watching over her vow of chastity and service to God.

"Furthermore, it would be silly to even contemplate that after such a glorious, earth shattering, once in an eternity event such as giving birth to God Himself, should anyone ever seek after the pleasures of the Marriage bond Once Mary herself came into direct contact with God and her body contained the glorious presence of God, I am sure that she could not nor would not be able to search for anything as fulfilling ever again, on this earth!

"It was through Mary’s devotion to God; her unfaltering love and desire to serve Him that she became the chosen one for the birth place of God’s only begotten Son. Throughout the first and especially the second chapter of Luke, we find the deep faith of Mary and her willingness to give her life for her God (Luke 1:3 1-35 and 38). In these Chapters, we find the blessedness of the person of Mary and we realize that she shines forth in this Gospel as a person to be deeply respected.

"In Luke 1:43, she is honoured as the "Mother of the Lord". In Luke 1:48 we read, "All generations will call her blessed." If it is true that we are to "pray for one another" and that "the prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effect", (James 5:16), why then should we not ask for the prayers of Mary who is "full of Grace", "blessed", and the greatest representative of the whole human race in Christ’s incarnation?"

http://www.uocc.ca/on%20mary.html

Check the doctrinal statements of all the recognized Orthodox communions around the world, and you'll find the same firm belief in Mary's perpetual virginity. By denying that historic Christian teaching, you've put yourself at odds with the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, the unanimous teaching of the early Church Fathers, the ecumenical councils, and even, ironically, with major Protestant reformers such as John Calvin and Martin Luther, both of whom utterly rejected your claim that Mary the Mother of the Lord had other children besides him.

If nothing else, I would think (and hope) that this massive, 2000-year preponderance of authoritative weight on this doctrine being squarely against your theory would give you pause for reflection that maybe, just maybe, you are wrong and the Catholics, Orthodox, Church Fathers, Ecumenical Councils, and even the Reformers all reject your view as unbiblical.

You're free to believe as you wish, of course, but at least be aware that your vuiew does not represent (indeed it is vigorously rebuffed by) the historic Christian teaching on this issue.

Patrick Madrid
Envoy Magazine
168 posted on 07/08/2003 3:30:03 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 165 | View Replies]

To: Codie
Does Catholicism have any merits?

Yes.

Next question?

169 posted on 07/08/2003 6:13:02 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done our Duty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 167 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid; drstevej; MarMema
Well, at least we can give you an A for effort, if not sound doctrine, but you simply aren't going to get anywhere with that futile attempt to use the Orthodox (the Orthodox!!!) liturgical calendar to "prove" your theory that Mary is not a perpetual virgin.

That wasn't really the point of my #165; rather, I was simply observing that the Orthodox liturgical calendar at least admits the fact that, contra Mr. Bechtel, James the Righteous and James the Lesser were almost certainly NOT the same person.

See again my #160 and #161 for explanations as to why this is so.

best, OP

170 posted on 07/08/2003 6:16:00 PM PDT by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are Unworthy Servants; We have only done our Duty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 168 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid; OrthodoxPresbyterian
With all due respect, an artful dodge. Please, if you have few moments to spare, I would be delighted to see you directly address his points from posts 160 and 161. A restatement of familiar Marian doctrine in insufficient in this case.
171 posted on 07/08/2003 6:18:27 PM PDT by jboot (Faith is not a work; swarming, however, is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 168 | View Replies]

To: jboot
In=is. Grrr-lack of sleep kills!
172 posted on 07/08/2003 6:19:36 PM PDT by jboot (Faith is not a work; swarming, however, is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 171 | View Replies]

To: jboot
No, not a dodge at all. Actually, I did post a response to #s 160 & 161, but did so, inadvertently, I think, in another thread.

#155 posted on 07/07/2003 5:08 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid.
( http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/934893/posts?page=155#155 )
173 posted on 07/08/2003 7:08:10 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 171 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Yes, Tim, I understood your post to mean about the Orthodox seeing more than one James in Scripture. But my point was that you used it -- or at least you certainly appeared to try to use it -- in an attempt to bolster your argument against Mary's perpetual virginity. That was the specific problematic issue I responded to.

Pax
174 posted on 07/08/2003 7:10:25 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 170 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Apropos of our conversation dealing with the Orthodox Churches' teaching on Mary's perpetual virginity, have you noticed how quiet they've been about this? One would think that, given the historic Orthodox affirmation of this doctrine, some of the more, shall we say, "persistent" and "vocal" Orthodox folk on this message board, who always show such alacrity in posting their comments when the Catholic Church is the issue, would have added their voices to defend Holy Tradition, now that Orthodoxy has recently entered the picture in your and my comments. Fascinating.
175 posted on 07/08/2003 7:19:41 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 170 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid
I confess to not being very knowledgeable in this topic, but I have been reading and trying to follow along.

My understanding, from searching the internet, is that we also differ from your view on it. I found this paragraph on a site I consider reputable and sound, and offer it here.

"As for the idea that James was brother in the sense of half-brother, being the son of Joseph by a previous marriage, "still the dominant position within the Orthodox churches" (the eastern or Byzantine Orthodox) Bernheim is, perhaps, less dismissive. "While no passage in the New Testament suggests this, none allows us to reject it" but notwithstanding new arguments produced in support of this interpretation Bernheim considers them "not enough to make it completely credible." Which suggests to my mind that he doesn't dismiss it altogether - maybe not completely credible but evidently so to a certain extent.."

176 posted on 07/08/2003 8:28:22 PM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 175 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian
Oops, the phone rang just as I was posting and I forgot to add your name to ping also above.
177 posted on 07/08/2003 8:30:03 PM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 176 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid
Additionally I am unsure about the actual significance of this belief in the Orthodox church, as I have never once heard it discussed in any sermon, etc. Nor does the average Orthodox surfer tend to find writings and discussion about it on the net, on Orthodox sites.

We're a lot more into the Holy Spirit and especially the Trinity when it comes to being theological...or even persistent and vocal, for that matter.

178 posted on 07/08/2003 8:35:19 PM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 175 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
Hmm. It's curious that you failed to include the link to this "reputable" expression of Orthodox Faith. At best, all I can conclude (being very familiar with the many official Orthodox statements of belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary) is that you either don't understand Orthodox theology as well as you would like others to think you do, or you do know the historic Orthodox position but yet you obscure it in an attempt to (as if it were possible) counter the Catholic teaching on this age-old issue. Even more fascinating!
179 posted on 07/08/2003 9:01:58 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 176 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
"I am unsure about the actual significance of this belief in the Orthodox church, as I have never once heard it discussed in any sermon, etc. Nor does the average Orthodox surfer tend to find writings and discussion about it on the net, on Orthodox sites."

What a pity that the Orthodox sites you frequent have fallen away from proclaiming and defending Holy Tradition on this issue! I encourage you to make the effort to gain a deeper knowledge of Orthodox theology, in particular the constant Orthodox teaching on Mary's perpetual virginity, before you attempt to speak on its behalf in fora such as this one. You should begin frequenting instead the many reputable Orthodox sites (e.g. the books and official websites of the various Orthodox communions around the world: Greek, Russian, Constantinopolitan, etc.)

Have you not read your own Orthodox saints on this issue?

"The Church teaches that Christ was truly born of the ever-virgin Mary" (St. Epiphanios of Cyprus, "True Exposition of the Faith"). "It is indispensable for us to confess that the holy, ever-virgin Mary is truly the Birthgiver of God, so as not to fall into wicked blasphemy. For those who deny that the Holy Virgin is truly the Birthgiver of God are no longer believers; they are disciples of the pharisees and sadducees" (St. Ephraim the Syrian, "To the Monk John").

Who knows? Maybe you don't attend the Divine Liturgy as you should, if you are, in fact, Orthodox. If you did, you would know that the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom contains numerous references to and invocations "Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God." But then, perhaps you don't attend Liturgy often enough to know about that fact.

Or, perhaps you do know it, but for some unfathomable reason, you've placed personal agendas against the Catholic Church before your obligation as an Orthodox believer to speak the truth. I don't know, and I won't pass judgement. God alone knows.
180 posted on 07/08/2003 9:22:12 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 178 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
http://home.it.net.au/~jgrapsas/pages/Brothers.htm

click here to go to our main website

On the Ever-Virginity of the Theotokos (Mother of God)

by Bishop Lazar Puhalo

The Orthodox Church has always proclaimed the Ever-Virginity of Mary, the Mother of our God (Theotokos). The verse referring to Mary's "Firstborn" has been misinterpreted by a countless number of the heterodox.

"...and he knew her not up to [Greek = eos] her having brought forth her firstborn son..." (Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7).

This verse seems to be often translated as "he knew her not until after..." This is not, however, what is meant. The Greek original, "eos", indicates the true meaning, of "he had no sexual relations with her prior to her giving birth." The Evangelist makes this statement in order to assure us that Joseph had no part in the conception of Jesus. The term eos ou does not require the understanding that he had relations with her after Christ was born. It merely indicates that, as regards the birth of Jesus, Joseph had not had relations with Mary prior to the birth, thus, he was not the father of Jesus. This is merely a usual turn of phrase, the use of a standard and familiar form of expression. This same term and meaning is used elsewhere in the Bible as a standard expression, and it clearly does not indicate what the heterodox (non-Orthodox) claim it does. At 2 Samuel 6:23, for instance, we read, "And Milchal, the daughter of Saul, had no child until [eos] her death. Did she, then, have children after her death? Of course not!, and neither did Joseph "know" Mary after the birth of Jesus. At Genesis 8:7, we read that Noah "sent forth a raven; and it went forth and did not return till [eos] after the water had gone from off the face of the earth." We know from Scripture that in fact, the raven never returned to the ark. It says that it did not return "until after," but in fact, it never returned at all. The Scripture says that "Joseph knew her not till after...", but in fact, he never "knew" her at all. In another example, the Bible says, 'The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand until [eos] I make Thine enemies Thy footstool" (Mark 12:36). Does this mean that Christ will cease to sit at the right hand of the glory of the Father once His enemies have been overcome? Of course not ! Hence, the Bible does not say that "Joseph knew her not until after she brought forth her first born, but then he did." The Bible says, "He did not know her before (up until) she had brought forth her firstborn," meaning simply and clearly, "Joseph was not the father. He had not come together with her before her pregnancy, thus he was not involved in the conception of Jesus."

The Sacred Tradition concerning these matters is certainly derived from Mary's own testimony and, like all things in the Church, it is guided and guarded by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Mary was, in fulfilment of the Mosaic Law, betrothed to Joseph, an older man who was in fact her own uncle (as the Holy Spirit guided Sacred Tradition tells us). Thus their "marriage" was a marriage which, according to the Mosaic Law did not allow for sexual intercourse between them, because she was the bearer of the inheritance, her Firstborn, the Messiah. The term Firstborn means simply that. It does not imply any further births, but simply describes the first. In the Mosaic law the first born of any female (human or even animal) has religious significance, and this is why Jesus as Firstborn is emphasised.

Finally, you might ask "how is it physically possible for Mary to remain a virgin after the birth of Christ ?" The simple answer, as given in the Scriptures is "With men this is impossible, but with God ALL things are possible." (Matt. 19:26)

The meaning and identity of the "Brothers of Jesus"

Who were the "brethren of the Lord" (Matthew 12:46-47), and if He had brothers, why do we call the Theotokos "Ever-Virgin" ?

The "brethren" of Jesus are mentioned several times in the New Testament. Four are mentioned by name. To explain who they were is not difficult, because the Scripture itself names four of them and identifies their parentage. Matthew (13:55) and Mark (6:3) list, as brethren of Jesus, James, Joses, Simon and Jude.

We know for certain that James and Joses were not sons of Mary or Joseph, for the Scripture identifies them, as children of a different Mary, who was the wife of Alphaeus-Cleopas (Matthew 27:56 ; Mark 15:40). James is also referred to as the "son of Alphaeus", in the listing of the Apostles (Matthew 10:3 ; Mark 3:18 ; Luke 6:15 ; Acts 1:13). The relationship between these "brethren" (including "sisters") must be seen in the context of Hebrew-Aramaic tradition, according to which even cousins were called brothers and sisters. This is the case also in Greek and Slavic languages and cultures to this day, so we do not have to speculate about it. This is a fact we know very well from our own families and lives. We have a perfect example of this in the Old Testament Scripture. The word used to describe the relationship between Lot and Abraham at Genesis 14:16 is "adelphi" in the original Greek, which can only be translated as "brother" in English. Nevertheless, we know that Lot was Abraham's nephew. The Greek word "adelphos" and "adelphi" are only attempts to translate an unknown Aramaic word - and no one has any idea what the actual word was which is rendered in Greek and English as "brothers" or "brethren".

There could have been no "first blood" brothers of Christ, otherwise He would not have given the care of His mother to St. John the Theologian (John 19:26) at the foot of the Cross. Indeed, Christ would have done His 'brothers' great disrespect and harm if He had done this ! The Old Testament prophecies explain the virginal marriage and ever-virginity of Christ's mother, and we also have the testimony of the Holy Spirit speaking through the Church that Mary is "Ever-Virgin".

Further evidence from the Holy Scriptures that in the Hebrew tradition "brothers" and "sisters" are not necessarily siblings. Our Orthodox Tradition teaches us that the Holy Virgin Mary was the only child of Saints Joakhim and Anna, but at John 19:25 we read, "Standing near the Cross of Jesus was His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary of Klopas, and Mary magdala." If our Church history is correct, how could Mary have had a sister? The first clue to our answer is that both women are named Mary. ! No family has two daughters and gives them both the same name! Therefore it is evident that the relationship between the two women has to be something different than our modern English concept of "sister". The second clue to our answer is that the Bible clearly identifies this Mary of Klopas (Cleopas in KJV), as the mother of Jesus' "brothers". The name Klopas or Cleopas is the same as Alphaeus in the Aramaic language which Jesus spoke. Therefore the so-called brothers of Jesus mentioned at Mark 6:3 are elsewhere clearly identified as the sons of Alphaeus and his wife Mary of Klopas - the "sister" of the Virgin Mary.

Thus the Scriptures show that the "brothers" of Christ are not His brothers, but some relation. There is no scriptural evidence to support the notion that the Virgin Mary bore any other children apart from Jesus Christ our God.

Seeing Him born as an infant in Bethlehem. Let all creation glorify Him!

All Glory be to Jesus Christ our God.

Adapted from
The Ever-Virginity of Mary, the Title Theotokos, and the veneration shown to Her
published by Synaxis Press


Return to homepage (framed) | Return to homepage (no frames) | Return to home page

181 posted on 07/08/2003 9:25:53 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 176 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/dormition.html

A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

by St. Gregory Palamas


Both love and duty today fashion my homily for your charity. It is not only that I wish, because of my love for you, and because I am obliged by the sacred canons, to bring to your God-loving ears a saving word and thus to nourish your souls, but if there be any among those things that bind by obligation and love and can be narrated with praise for the Church, it is the great deed of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. The desire is double, not single, since it induces me, entreats and persuades me, whereas the inexorable duty constrains me, though speech cannot attain to what surpasses it, just as the eye is unable to look fixedly upon the sun. One cannot utter things which surpass speech, yet it is within our power by the love for mankind of those hymned, to compose a song of praise and all at once both to leave untouched intangible things, to satisfy the debt with words and to offer up the first fruits of our love for the Mother of God in hymns composed according to our abilities.

If, then, "death of the righteous man is honorable" (cf. Ps. 115:6) and the "memory of the just man is celebrated with songs of praise" (Prov. 10:7). How much more ought we to honor with great praises the memory of the holiest of the saints, she by whom all holiness is afforded to the saints, I mean the Ever-Virgin. Mother of God! Even so we celebrate today her holy dormition or translation to another life, whereby, while being "a little lower than angels" (Ps. 8:6), by her proximity to the God of all, and in the wondrous deeds which from the beginning of time were written down and accomplished with respect to her, she has ascended incomparably higher than the angels and the archangels and all the super-celestial hosts that are found beyond them. For her sake the God-possessed prophets pronounce prophecies, miracles are wrought to foreshow that future Marvel of the whole world, the Ever-Virgin Mother of God. The flow of generations and circumstances journeys to the destination of that new mystery wrought in her; the statutes of the Spirit provide beforehand types of the future truth. The end, or rather the beginning and root, of those divine wonders and deeds is the annunciation to the supremely virtuous Joachim and Anna of what was to be accomplished: namely, that they who were barren from youth would beget in deep old age her that would bring forth without seed Him that was timelessly begotten of God the Father before the ages. A vow was given by those who marvelously begot her to return her that was given to the Giver; so accordingly the Mother of God strangely changed her dwelling from the house of her father to the house of God while still an infant . She passed not a few years in the Holy of Holies itself, wherein under the care of an angel she enjoyed ineffable nourishment such as even Adam did not succeed in tasting; for indeed if he had, like this immaculate one, he would not have fallen away from life, even though it was because of Adam and so that she might prove to be his daughter, that she yielded a little to nature, as did her Son, Who has now ascended from earth into heaven.

But after that unutterable nourishment, a most mystical economy of courtship came to pass as regards the Virgin, a strange greeting surpassing speech which the Archangel, descended from above, addressed to her, and disclosures and salutations from God which overturn the condemnation of Eve and Adam and remedy the curse laid on them, transforming it into a blessing. The King of all "hath desired a mystic beauty" of the Ever-Virgin, as David foretold (Ps. 44:11) and, "He bowed the heavens and came down" (Ps. 17:9) and overshadowed her, or rather, the enhypostatic Power of the Most High dwelt in her. Not through darkness and fire, as with Moses the God-seer, nor through tempest and cloud, as with Elias the prophet, did He manifest His presence, but without mediation, without a veil, the Power of the Most High overshadowed the sublimely chaste and virginal womb, separated by nothing, neither air nor aether nor anything sensible, nor anything supra-sensible: this was not an overshadowing but a complete union. Since what overshadows is always wont to produce its own form and figure in whatever is overshadowed, there came to pass in the womb not a union only, but further, a formation, and that thing formed from the Power of the Most High and the all-holy virginal womb was the incarnate Word of God. Thus the Word of God took up His dwelling in the Theotokos in an inexpressible manner and proceeded from her, bearing flesh . He appeared upon the earth and lived among men, deifying our nature and granting us, after the words of the divine Apostle, "things which angels desire to look into" (1 Pet. 1:12). This is the encomium which transcends nature and the surpassingly glorious glory of the Ever-Virgin, glory for which all mind and word suffice not, though they be angelic. But who can relate those things which came to pass after His ineffable birth? For, as she co-operated and suffered with that exalting condescension (kenosis) of the Word of God, she was also rightly glorified and exalted together with Him, ever adding thereto the supernatural increase of mighty deeds. And after the ascent into the heavens of Him that was incarnate of her, she rivaled, as it were, those great works, surpassing mind and speech, which through Him were her own, with a most valiant and diverse asceticism, and with her prayers and care for the entire world, her precepts and encouragements which she gave to God's heralds sent throughout the whole world; thus she was herself both a support and a comfort while she was both heard and seen, and while she labored with the rest in every way for the preaching of the Gospel. In such wise she led a most strenuous manner of life proclaimed in mind and speech.

Therefore, the death of the Theotokos was also life-bearing, translating her into a celestial and immortal life and its commemoration is a joyful event and festivity for the entire world. It not merely renews the memory of the wondrous deeds of the Mother of God, but also adds thereto the strange gathering at her all-sacred burial of all the sacred apostles conveyed from every nation, the God-revealing hymns of these God-possessed ones, and the solicitous presence of the angels, and their choir, and liturgy round about her, going on before, following after, assisting, opposing, defending, being defended. They labored and chanted together to their uttermost with those who venerated that life- originating and God-receiving body, the saving balsam for our race and the boast of all creation; but they strove against and opposed with a secret hand the Jews who rose up against and attacked that body with hand and will set upon theomachy. All the while the Lord Sabaoth Himself, the Son of the Ever-Virgin, was present, into Whose hands she rendered her divinely-minded spirit, through which and with which its companion, her body, was translated into the domain of celestial and endless life, even as was and is fitting. In truth, many have been allotted divine favor and glory and power, as David says, "But to me exceedingly honorable are Thy friends, O Lord, their principalities are made exceeding strong. I will count them and they shall be multiplied more than the sand" (Ps. 138:17). And according to Solomon, "many daughters have attained wealth, many have wrought valiantly; but she doth exceed, she hath surpassed all, both men and women" (cf. Prov. 31:29). For while she alone stood between God and the whole human race, God became the Son of Man and made men sons of God; she made earth heavenly, she deified the human race, and she alone of all women was shown forth to be a mother by nature and the Mother of God transcending every law of nature, and by her ineffable childbirth-the Queen of all creation, both terrestial and celestial. Thus she exalted those under her through herself, and, showing while on earth an obedience to things heavenly rather than things earthly, she partook of more excellent deserts and of superior power, and from the ordination which she received from heaven by the Divine Spirit, she became the most sublime of the sublime and the supremely blest Queen of a blessed race.

But now the Mother of God has her dwelling in Heaven whither she was today translated, for this is meet, Heaven being a suitable place for her. She "stands at the right of the King of all clothed in a vesture wrought with gold and arrayed with divers colors" (cf. Ps. 44:9), as the psalmic prophecy says con- cerning her. By "vesture wrought with gold" understand her divinely radiant body arrayed with divers colors of every virtue. She alone in her body, glorified by God, now enjoys the celestial realm together with her Son. For, earth and grave and death did not hold forever her life-originating and God-receiving body -the dwelling more favored than Heaven and the Heaven of heavens. If, therefore, her soul, which was an abode of God's grace, ascended into Heaven when bereaved of things here below, a thing which is abundantly evident, how could it be that the body which not only received in itself the pre-eternal and only-begotten Son of God, the ever-flowing Wellspring of grace, but also manifested His Body by way of birth, should not have also been taken up into Heaven? Or, if while yet three years of age and not yet possessing that super- celestial in-dwelling, she seemed not to bear our flesh as she abode in the Holy of Holies, and after she became supremely perfect even as regards her body by such great marvels, how indeed could that body suffer corruption and turn to earth? How could such a thing be conceivable for anyone who thinks reasonably'? Hence, the body which gave birth is glorified together with what was born of it with God-befitting glory, and the "ark of holiness" (Ps. 131:8) is resurrected, after the prophetic ode, together with Christ Who formerly arose from the dead on the third day. The strips of linen and the burial clothes afford the apostles a demonstration of the Theotokos' resurrection from the dead, since they remained alone in the tomb and at the apostles' scrutiny they were found there, even as it had been with the Master. There was no necessity for her body to delay yet a little while in the earth, as was the case with her Son and God, and so it was taken up straightway from the tomb to a super-celestial realm, from whence she flashes forth most brilliant and divine illuminations and graces, irradiating earth's region; thus she is worshipped and marvelled at and hymned by all the faithful . Willing to set up an image of all goodness and beauty and to make clearly manifest His own therein to both angels and men, God fashioned a being supremely good and beautiful, uniting in her all good, seen and unseen, which when He made the world He distributed to each thing and thereby adorned all; or rather one might say, He showed her forth as a universal mixing bowl of all divine, angelic and human things good and beautiful and the supreme beauty which embellished both worlds. By her ascension now from the tomb, she is taken from the earth and attains to Heaven and this also she surpasses, uniting those on high with those below, and encompassing all with the wondrous deed wrought in her. In this manner she was in the beginning "a little lower than the angels" (Ps. 8:6), as it is said, referring to her mortality, yet this only served to magnify her pre-eminence as regards all creatures. Thus all things today fittingly gather and commune for the festival.

It was meet that she who contained Him that fills all things and who surpasses all should outstrip all and become by her virtue superior to them in the eminence of her dignity. Those things which sufficed the most excellent among men that have lived throughout the ages in order to reach such excellency, and that which all those graced of God have separately, both angels and men, she combines, and these she alone brings to fulfillment and surpasses. And this she now has beyond all: That she has become immortal after death and alone dwells together with her Son and God in her body. For this reason she pours forth from thence abundant grace upon those who honor her-for she is a receptacle of great graces-and she grants us even our ability to look towards her. Because of her goodness she lavishes sublime gifts upon us and never ceases to provide a profitable and abundant tribute in our behalf. If a man looks towards this concurrence and dispensing of every good, he will say that the Virgin is for virtue and those who live virtuously, what the sun is for perceptible light and those who live in it. But if he raises the eye of his mind to the Sun which rose for men from this Virgin in a wondrous manner, the Sun which by nature possesses all those (lualities which were added to her nature by grace, he shall straightaway call the Virgin a heaven. The excellent inheritance of every good which she has been allotted so m uch exceeds in holiness the portion of those who are divinely graced both under and above heaven as the heaven is greater than the sun and the sun is more radiant than heaven.

Who can describe in words thy divinely resplendent beauty, O Virgin Mother of God? Thoughts and words are inadequate to define thine attributes, since they surpass mind and speech. Yet it is meet to chant hymns of praise to thee, for thou art a vessel containing every grace, the fulness of all things good and beautiful, the tablet and living icon of every good and all uprightness, since thou alone hast been deemed worthy to receive the fulness of every gift of the Spirit. Thou alone didst bear in thy womb Him in Whom are found the treasuries of all these gifts and didst become a wondrous tabernacle for Him; hence thou didst depart by way of death to immortality and art translated from earth to Heaven, as is proper, so that thou mightest dwell with Him eternally in a super-celestial abode. From thence thou ever carest diligently for thine inheritance and by thine unsleeping intercessions with Him, thou showest mercy to all.

To the degree that she is closer to God than all those who have drawn nigh unto Him, by so much has the Theotokos been deemed worthy of greater audience. I do not speak of rnen alone, but also of the angelic hierarchies themselves. Isaiah writes with regard to the supreme commanders of the heavenly hosts: "And the seraphim stood round about Him" (Isaiah 6:2); but David says concerning her, "at Thy right hand stood the queen" (Ps. 44:8). Do you see the difference in position? From this comprehend also the difference in the dignity of their station. The seraphim are round about God, but the only Queen of all is near beside Him. She is both wondered at and praised by God Himself, proclaiming her, as it were, by the mighty deeds enacted with respect to Him, and saying, as it is recorded in the Song of Songs, "How fair is my companion" (cf. Song of Songs 6:4), she is more radiant than light, more arrayed with flowers than the divine gardens, more adorned than the whole world, visible and invisible. She is not merely a companion but she also stands at Cod's right hand, for where Christ sat in the heavens, that is, at the "right hand of majesty" (Heb. 1:3), there too she also takes her stand, having ascended now from earth into the heavens. Not merely does she love and is loved in return more than every other, according to the very laws of nature, but she is truly His Throne, and wherever the King sits, there His Throne is set also. And Isaiah beheld this throne amidst the choir of cherubim and called it "high" and "exalted" (Isaiah 6:1), wishing to make explicit how the station of the Mother of God far trancer Is that of the celestial hosts.

For this reason the Prophet introduces the angels themselves as glorifying the God come from her, saying, "Blessed be the glory of the L,ord from His Place" (Ezek. 3:12). Jacob the patriarch, beholding this throne by way of types (enigmata), said, "How dreadful is this Place! This is none other than the House of God, and this is the Gate of Heaven" (Gen. 28:17). But David, joining himself to the multitude of the saved, who are like the strings of a musical instrument or like differing voices from different generations made harmonious in one faith through the Ever-Virgin, sounds a most melodic strain in praise of her, saying: "I shall commemorate thy name in every generation and generation. Therefore shall peoples give praise unto thee for ever, and unto the ages of ages." Do you see how the entire creation praises the Virgin Mother, and not only in times past, but "for ever, and unto the ages of ages"? Thus it is evident that throughout the whole course of the ages, she shall never cease from benefacting all creation, and I mean not only created nature seen round about us, but also the very supreme commanders of the heavenly hosts, whose nature is immaterial and transcendent. Isaiah shows us clearly that it is only through her that they together with us both partake of and touch God, that Nature which defies touch, for he did not see the seraphim take the coal from the altar without mediation, but with tongs, by means of which the coal touched the prophetic lips and purified them (cf. Isaiah 6:6-7). Moses beheld the tongs of that great vision of Isaiah when he saw the bush aflame with fire, yet unconsumed. And who does not know that the Virgin Mother is that very bush and those very tongs, she who herself (though an archangel also assisted at the conception) conceived the Divine Fire without being consumed, Him that taketh away the sins of the world, Who through her touched mankind and by that ineffable touch and union cleansed us entirely. Therefore, she only is the frontier between created and uncreated nature, and there is no man that shall come to God except he be truly illumined through her, that Lamp truly radiant with divinity, even as the Prophet says, "God is in the midst of her, she shall not be shaken'(Ps. 45:5).

If recompense is bestowed according to the measure of love for God, and if the man who loves the Son is loved of Him and of His Father and becomes the dwelling place of Both, and They mystically abide and walk in him, as it is recorded in the Master's Gospel, who, then, will love Him more than His Mother? For, He was her only-begotten Son, and moreover she alone among women gave birth knowing no spouse, so that the love of Him that had partaken of her flesh might be shared with her twofold. And who will the only-begotten Son love more than His Mother, He that came forth from Her ineffably without a father in this last age even as He came forth from the Father without a mother before the ages'? How indeed could He that descended to fulfill the Law not multiply that honor due to His Mother over and above the ordinances of the Law?

Hence, as it was through the Theotokos alone that the Lord came to us, appeared upon earth and lived among men, being invisible to all before this time, so likewise in the endless age to come, without her mediation, every emanation of illuminating divine light, every revelation of the mysteries of the Godhead, every form of spiritual gift, will exceed the capacity of every created being. She alone has received the all-pervading fulness of Him that filleth all things, and through her all may now contain it, for she dispenses it according to the power of each, in proportion and to the degree of the purity of each. Hence she is the treasury and overseer of the riches of the Godhead. For it is an everlasting ordinance in the heavens that the inferior partake of what lies beyond being, by the mediation of the superior, and the Virgin Mother is incomparably superior to all. It is through her that as many as partake of God do partake, and as many as know God understand her to be the enclosure of the Uncontainable One, and as many as hymn God praise her together with Him. She is the cause of what came before her, the champion of what came after her and the agent of things eternal. She is the substance of the prophets, the principle of the apostles, the firm foundation of the martyrs and the premise of the teachers of the Church . She is the glory of those upon earth, the joy of celestial beings, the adornment of all creation. She is the beginning and the source and root of unutterable good things; she is the summit and consummation of everything holy.

O divine, and now heavenly, Virgin, how can I express all things which pertain to thee? How can I glorify the treasury of all glory? Merely thy memory sanctifies whoever keeps it, and a mere movement towards thee makes the mind more translucent, and thou dost exalt it straightway to the Divine. The eye of the intelfect is through thee made limpid, and through thee the spirit of a man is illumined by the sojourning of the Spirit of God, since thou hast become the steward of the treasury of divine gifts and their vault, and this, not in order to keep them for thyself, but so that thou mightest make created nature replete with grace. Indeed, the steward of those inexhaustible treasuries watches over them so that the riches may be dispensed; and what could confine that wealth which wanes not? Richly, therefore, bestow thy mercy and thy graces upon all thy people, this thine inheritance, O Lady! Dispel the perils which menace us. See how greatly we are expended by our own and by aliens, by those without and by those within. Uplift all by thy might: mollify our fellow citizens one with another and scatter those who assault us from without-like savage beasts. Measure out thy succor and healing in proportion to our passions, apportioning abundant grace to our souls and bodies, s fficient for every necessity. And although we may prove incapable of containing thy bounties, augment our capacity and in this manner bestow them upon us, so that being both saved and fortified by thy grace, we may glorify the pre-eternal Word Who was incarnate of thee for our sakes, together with His unoriginate Father and the life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto the endless ages. Amen.


Copyright Holy Transfiguration Monastery


The End and Glory Be to God


[---- Orthodox Page in Europe ----] [---- Orthodox Page in America ------] [-------- Holy Scriptures --------] [------- The Divine Liturgy --------] [------- Orthodox Prayers --------] [------ Orthodox Reading -------]
[--------- Orthodox News ---------] [---------- Orthodox Icons ----------] [------ Orthodox Resources -------] [----------- Information -----------] [------- Acknowledgements --------] [------------ E-mail Us! ------------]

182 posted on 07/08/2003 9:28:03 PM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 178 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid
It is truly fascinating to observe you in action.
Please continue to display your skills in foolish, arrogant, uncharitable behavior. You serve me well by confirming impressions I have previously posted about your church.
183 posted on 07/08/2003 11:43:35 PM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 182 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
"It is truly fascinating to observe you in action. Please continue to display your skills in foolish, arrogant, uncharitable behavior. You serve me well by confirming impressions I have previously posted about your church."

Right, right. Okay, well, such comments might make you feel better, but reverse psychology won't work here. So how about this? What if you actually deal with the *issue* instead of lapsing into name calling? After all, you made the statement, in response to my earlier posts:

"I am unsure about the actual significance of this belief in the Orthodox church, as I have never once heard it discussed in any sermon, etc. Nor does the average Orthodox surfer tend to find writings and discussion about it on the net, on Orthodox sites."

I provided examples, drawn from bona fide Orthodox sources you could easily double-check, demonstrating that this doctrine is indeed significant in Orthodox Tradition. And that is somehow "foolish," "arrogant," and "uncharitable"? Is it possible that your apparent grudge against Catholics and the Catholic Church is clouding your good judgement when you should be standing up for a significant doctrine of your Church? I don't know, but based on the tone of your comments (see above as an example of what I mean), it seems that way.

Do you want to know what's truly fascinating? The truly fascinating thing is that I've been defending here the Orthodox Churches' Holy Tradition about Mary, but yet you, an Orthodox believer, sit back and take potshots at me, a Catholic, for doing so. I wonder why that is.
184 posted on 07/09/2003 6:07:28 AM PDT by Patrick Madrid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 183 | View Replies]

To: ventana
Is this more appropriately posted on the Neverending Story thread? It is where Calvinists and Catholics engage in debate and Apologetics is advanced. Jim Robinson seems to have it particularly for that purpose. Just noting Fe. V's wife.

Calvinists are not really very welcome there Ven. The only "regular"Calvinist poster you have is Dr.Steve that is a want to be Calvinist 4 points..( One pedal short:>))

JR did not start the NET infact he considered ending it a year or so ago.

The religion forum is not for meditation it is for debate or Catholic discussion (as it often appears to be).

185 posted on 07/09/2003 7:31:41 AM PDT by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Invincibly Ignorant
First of all his death was on a stake, not a cross. So if anything is flippant, its the way his death has been erronious been portrayed for the past hundreds of years

JW's were visiting huh? You have clarified the origin of your theology..

186 posted on 07/09/2003 9:21:04 AM PDT by RnMomof7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 145 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid
It is true that it is our position, but our views on Mary are very different from yours, as evidenced by the following, I think.

Dormition

"The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary is without personal sins. In the Gospel of the feast, however, in the liturgical services and in the Dormition icon, the Church proclaims as well that Mary truly needed to be saved by Christ as all human persons are saved from the trials, sufferings and death of this world; and that having truly died, she was raised up by her Son as the Mother of Life and participates already in the eternal life of paradise which is prepared and promised to all who "hear the word of God and keep it." (Luke 11:27-28)

Thus, the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is the celebration of the fact that all men are "highly exalted" in the blessedness of the victorious Christ, and that this high exaltation has already been accomplished in Mary the Theotokos. The feast of the Dormition is the sign, the guarantee, and the celebration that Mary's fate is, the destiny of all those of "low estate" whose souls magnify the Lord, whose spirits rejoice in God the Saviour, whose lives are totally dedicated to hearing and keeping the Word of God which is given to men in Mary's child, the Saviour and Redeemer of the world.

Finally it must be stressed that, in all of the feasts of the Virgin Mother of God in the Church, the Orthodox Christians celebrate facts of their own lives in Christ and the Holy Spirit. What happens to Mary happens to all who imitate her holy life of humility, obedience, and love. With her all people will be "blessed" to be "more honorable than the cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim" if they follow her example. All will have Christ born in them by the Holy Spirit. All will become temples of the living God. All will share in the eternal life of His Kingdom who live the life that Mary lived."

In other words, we honor her for giving birth to Christ but we stop short of making her into a fourth member of the Holy Trinity.

187 posted on 07/09/2003 9:35:27 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 184 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid
I provided examples, drawn from bona fide Orthodox sources you could easily double-check, demonstrating that this doctrine is indeed significant in Orthodox Tradition.

Correction. You think you did. I already have this writing of Saint Gregory Palamas, and a great deal more of his writings, on my bookshelf. It says nothing that is new to me, and contrary to your church's belief, apparently, the topic is not one he spent much time on.

The link you provided is from a clergy member who has been very controversial in our church and some would say less kind things about. I surmise from a previous thread with my friend Hermann that you think you can just go find some person using the word "Orthodox" and put their quotes up and bingo, you have it now.

If you were truly observant you might have noticed that I posted very early in this thread agreeing with you that the early church did hold this position. What I have found recently indicates to me, however, that we hold a slightly different position on this than your church does.

Finally, significant is a subjective word. From outside the church you are free to create your own beliefs, but I am willing to bet that most of the clergy at my church would not consider this doctrine to be very significant, and after all you are *outside* of the church.

So, in spite of your many unkind accusations about me - that I must not really be Orthodox or go to liturgy very often, or that I don't read very much about Orthodoxy, you are the one who is ignorant here.

You are new here, Patrick. Some of the Protestants here have become good friends to me and with many of them we Orthodox share a wonderful opportunity to discuss differences and exchange doctrine, and we still maintain respect for each other and don't get nasty.
OP is one of those people. So don't think that finding one trivial thing in which the Orthodox church agrees with the RC church is going to work as a divisional tactic.

188 posted on 07/09/2003 9:53:45 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 184 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid; George W. Bush
Is it possible that your apparent grudge against Catholics and the Catholic Church...

Yeah, something about hundreds of thousands of my people being tortured, burned alive, hung in markets with meat signs on their bodies, and having their throats slit by members of your church....well, you know, it just kind of sticks with a person. After your current pope decided to beatify the person in charge of these sadisms, we Orthodox knew what the writing on the wall said. We're slow, admittedly, but not completely stupid.

189 posted on 07/09/2003 10:04:25 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 184 | View Replies]

To: Patrick Madrid
"Remembering our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God."

Just FYI, for your future, Patrick, I know the liturgy quite well enough to sing the entire thing for you at a moment's notice.
This is, however, exactly a good presentation you made to show the Orthodox position on Mary. We remember her as holy, pure, blessed, and we then commit ourselves as a parish to Christ, our God.

190 posted on 07/09/2003 10:14:57 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 180 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
In other words, we honor her for giving birth to Christ but we stop short of making her into a fourth member of the Holy Trinity.

Please cite the Catholic source for the above statement or admit that the statement is only your personal opinion.

From your website "Orthodox Church in America" I read:

The feast of the Dormition or Falling-asleep of the Theotokos is celebrated on the fifteenth of August, preceded by a two-week fast. This feast, which is also sometimes called the Assumption, commemorates the death, resurrection and glorification of Christ's mother. It proclaims that Mary has been "assumed" by God into the heavenly kingdom of Christ in the fullness of her spiritual and bodily existence. As with the nativity of the Virgin and the feast of her entrance to the temple, there are no biblical or historical sources for this feast. The Tradition of the Church is that Mary died as all people die, not "voluntarily" as her Son, but by the necessity of her mortal human nature which is indivisibly bound up with the corruption of this world.

Which is exactly what the Catholic Church teaches and believes.

"Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened, upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven. Today, the belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is universal in the East and in the West.

Note: By promulgating the Bull Munificentissimus Deus, 1 November, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared infallibly that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a dogma of the Catholic Faith. Likewise, the Second Vatican Council taught in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium that "the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things."

I wish you would see that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have much in common.

191 posted on 07/09/2003 10:31:32 AM PDT by american colleen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 187 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
So don't think that finding one trivial thing in which the Orthodox church agrees with the RC church is going to work as a divisional tactic.

Theotokos is a trivial thing?

192 posted on 07/09/2003 10:34:31 AM PDT by american colleen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 188 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
Yeah, something about hundreds of thousands of my people being tortured, burned alive, hung in markets with meat signs on their bodies, and having their throats slit by members of your church....well, you know, it just kind of sticks with a person.

Aren't you a convert?

193 posted on 07/09/2003 10:36:24 AM PDT by american colleen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 189 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
It is the exact same link which I posted above in number 187. Unlike Patrick, I chose to copy only the excerpts which made my point.

So do you then agree with my post in 187, from the church website, "that Mary's fate is the destiny of all those of "low estate" whose souls magnify the Lord"?

194 posted on 07/09/2003 10:39:03 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 191 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
Yes I am a convert to the Orthodox church.
195 posted on 07/09/2003 10:39:51 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 193 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
I know it is the exact same link you used. I just copied the "teaching" portion which you left out and which mirrors Catholic teaching.

And yes, Mary's ultimate fate (Heaven) is the destiny of all those of "low estate" whose souls magnify the Lord - but of course, we are not sinless, will not be bodily assumed into heaven and of course we are not the Theotokos.

196 posted on 07/09/2003 10:43:22 AM PDT by american colleen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 194 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
Yes I am a convert to the Orthodox church.

Well then, I don't understand how "your people" would be any less "my people" as we are all the brethren of the Lord and the adopted children of God.

197 posted on 07/09/2003 10:44:57 AM PDT by american colleen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 195 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
You know I read a terrific post on a group list recently that I think says it all. It was a commentary on a conference which was held by your church and attended by one member of the Russian Orthodox church, apparently. I am posting this to address my use of the word "significant" and to show the view from our side about your comment on all we have in common.

"This sort of thing really upsets me. The Papacy holds these "conferences," to which they invite people like this "Russian" whom they can count on to accept their premise, that the substantial fact of their having left the Church because it wouldn't recognize their pontiff as dictator does not matter. Then they look at "all we have in common" and play down all the false doctrines they have come up with in the last thousand years. Why? To seduce. If the Poles and Germans won't conquer us for them, they'll just have to trick us. That is what the Unia was for; they will negotiate everything, if only we will say their Pope is Peter. Like Odysseus sailing past the Sirens, here let ear wax be our friend!"

198 posted on 07/09/2003 10:48:40 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 192 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
I know you don't understand that. :-)
199 posted on 07/09/2003 10:49:08 AM PDT by MarMema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 197 | View Replies]

To: MarMema
So, is your statement "In other words, we honor her for giving birth to Christ but we stop short of making her into a fourth member of the Holy Trinity" your own personal opinion or did you find it somewhere else... like maybe in the non-existant New York catechism (invented by Lorraine Boettner) that you've cited before?

I'm sorry this post, upon my re-reading it, sounds confrontational. I don't mean it to be. But please, for the sake of honesty and decency and to avoid slander (after all, we are discussing Him and the Church He left us), use sources for when you talk about Catholicism and don't rely on your personal opinions.

200 posted on 07/09/2003 10:52:57 AM PDT by american colleen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 195 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-50 ... 101-150151-200201-250 ... 301 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson