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The Passion of the Christ

Mrs. Maggott

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My husband, the good Deacon John, did a bit of research while I was on this thread. I enclose it here with hopes it may help explain some things:

Septuagint - What is It?
Septuagint (sometimes abbreviated LXX) is the name given to the Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures. The Septuagint has its origin in Alexandria, Egypt and was translated between 300-200 BC. Widely used among Hellenistic Jews, this Greek translation was produced because many Jews spread throughout the empire were beginning to lose their Hebrew language. The process of translating the Hebrew to Greek also gave many non-Jews a glimpse into Judaism. According to an ancient document called the Letter of Aristeas, it is believed that 70 to 72 Jewish scholars were commissioned during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus to carry out the task of translation. The term “Septuagint” means seventy in Latin, and the text is so named to the credit of these 70 scholars.

Septuagint - Influence on Christianity
The Septuagint was also a source of the Old Testament for early Christians during the first few centuries AD. Many early Christians spoke and read Greek, thus they relied on the Septuagint translation for most of their understanding of the Old Testament. The New Testament writers also relied heavily on the Septuagint, as a majority of Old Testament quotes cited in the New Testament are quoted directly from the Septuagint (others are quoted from the Hebrew texts). Greek Church Fathers are also known to have quoted from the Septuagint. Even today, the Eastern Orthodox Church relies on the Septuagint for its Old Testament teachings. Some modern Bible translations also use the Septuagint along side Hebrew manuscripts as their source text.

Septuagint - What Does It Contain?
The Septuagint contains the standard 39 books of the Old Testament canon, as well as certain apocryphal books. The term "Apocrypha" was coined by the fifth-century biblical scholar, Jerome, and generally refers to the set of ancient Jewish writings written during the period between the last book in the Jewish scriptures, Malachi, and the arrival of Jesus Christ. The apocryphal books include Judith, Tobit, Baruch, Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus), the Wisdom of Solomon, First and Second Maccabees, the two Books of Esdras, additions to the Book of Esther, additions to the Book of Daniel, and the Prayer of Manasseh.

The Apocryphal books were included in the Septuagint for historical and religious purposes, but are not recognized by Protestant Christians or Orthodox Jews as canonical (inspired by God). Most reformed teachers will point out that the New Testament writers never quoted from the Apocryphal books, and that the Apocrypha was never considered part of the canonical Jewish scripture. However, the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches include the Apocrypha in their Bible (except for the books of Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh).

Septuagint: Part 2. (Read Part 1 First!)

Septuagint - Is it a Reliable Translation?

Since the Septuagint is a translation, scholars speculate if it accurately reflects the Hebrew scriptures of the 2nd century BC. A close examination of the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text (the early Hebrew text of the Old Testament) show slight variations. Were these errors in translation, or are the Septuagint and Masoretic Text based on slightly different Hebrew manuscripts? The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has helped to shed light on this question. Discovered in the Qumran region near the Dead Sea beginning in 1947, these scrolls are dated to as early as 200 BC and contain parts of every book in the Old Testament except Esther. Comparisons of the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint show that where there are differences between the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint, approximately 95% of those differences are shared between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masoretic text, while only 5% of those differences are shared between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint. Does this mean that the Septuagint is unreliable and that our Old Testament is wrought with contradictory sources? No. It is imperative to note that these “variations” are extremely minor (i.e., grammatical errors, spelling differences or missing words) and do not affect the meaning of sentences and paragraphs. (An exception is the book of Jeremiah, in which the actual passages are arranged differently.) None of the differences, however, come close to affecting any area of teaching or doctrine. The majority of the Septuagint, Masoretic Text and the Dead Sea Scrolls are remarkably similar and have dispelled unfounded theories that the Biblical text has been corrupted by time and conspiracy. Furthermore, these variations do not call into question the infallibility of God in preserving His word. Although the original documents are inerrant, translators and scribes are human beings and are thus prone to making slight errors in translation and copying (Hebrew scribal rules attest to how exacting scribes were). Even then, the Bible has redundancy built into its text, and anything significant is told more than once. If grammatical mistakes were introduced that makes a point unclear, it would be clarified in several other places in scripture.

Septuagint - Dramatic Evidence for the Credibility of Messianic Prophecy

The Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls establish a very dramatic piece of evidence for Christianity – that the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah unquestionably predated the time that Jesus Christ walked the earth. All theories of 1st Century AD conspiracies and prophecy manipulation go out the door when we realize that prophetic scripture like Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 were fixed in written form at least 100 years before Christ, and probably many more. Again, despite time, persecution, and the incredibly minor instances of scribal mistakes, the Septuagint is just another example of how the Biblical text has remained faithful in its message and theme. The Holy Bible is truly a divinely inspired and preserved letter from God that is deserving of our time and attention.

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands
forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

Oh, and P.S. he didn't tell me how to spell "Masoretic" and so I misspelled it in my first post. Well, it isn't exactly a well known word! Anyway, I apologize for my "creative" spelling.
 

joxy

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To which the response must be a big expression of gratitude to Deacon John!
The amount of detail we see there must surely convince anyone that the concept of "sola scriptura" must be a very doubtful policy. The first question to that policy must be "which scripture?"
It is important to realise that copying manuscripts and translating languages are not precise operations. Between languages there are not only differences in structure and vocabulary, but differences which reflect different ways of thinking. The ultimate result of this is that almost anyone could justify almost anything by a clever choice of source material. When we set "sola scriptura" alongside its companions, such as "tradition", we have a much more secure basis for confidence in our understanding of the real meaning of those distant original writings.
 

Tar-Ancalime

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Exactly what i was trying to say earlier! (What! I was!) Since we've discussed the heck out of the protestant reformation, what about the Great Schism in 1096?
 

joxy

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Various disagreements had developed between the eastern and western churches, partly due to the the influence of Greek literary tradition on the former and of Roman legalism on the latter. Major doctrinal differences assumed greater importance, including the nature of the eucharist, and especially in the matter of the papal primacy. Pope Leo sent a delegation to the Patriarch Michael of Constantinople - which still had authority over parts of Italy, with the purpose of obtaining his concession to the primacy. The delegation failed, and the result was mutual excommunication of the two leaders - though by the time it came to that Leo had actually died! The Schism is dated from that year, 1054.
 

Tar-Ancalime

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i knew it! I hate getting dates wrong! It's 1054 not 1096, that was the date of the Third Crusade! Anywho, does anyone else think the mutual excommunication concept is funny? Or is it just me?

Ahh forgive me, i'm kind of tired....Wasn't another reason for conflict Icons?
 

joxy

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As one of the excommunicators was dead at the time, there was certainly a comically macabre element involved. It took just 900 years to make a start on putting things right though, when their successors mutually revoked the decrees!
The icons caused their problem rather earlier than 1054, only for the whole question of the second commandment to return in force five hundred years later, as part of the "reformation" process.
 
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Mrs. Maggott

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The iconoclast movement was influenced heavily by Islam which doesn't allow images. It was an ugly period with many martyrs who died to protect the true doctrines of the Church. In the end, the movement was overthrown and the use of icons in the Church reinstated. This "Triumph of Orthodoxy" is celebrated every year on the first Sunday in Great Lent which is called Orthodoxy Sunday.
 

joxy

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Yes, it's interesting to see realise that, presumably due to the eastern churches having closer contact with Islam, they were influenced by it to some extent, and that the specific matter of images extended also into the west for a time before the Schism, only to be brought to the forefront once again at the "reformation".
I'm pleased to hear the subject gives cause for celebrating Triumph at the beginning of Lent, as well as on Easter Day!
 

Mrs. Maggott

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That's true, but many matters raised by the more Calvinist Protestants (as opposed to Luther's problems with the Catholic Church) had to do with a rejection of Catholicism itself rather than an attempt to address what were considered to be errors within the Church. The Protestants who went about England smashing stained glass windows and other beautiful accoutrements of the Catholic and even the "High" Anglican faith might have considered that they were expressing "doctrine", but frequently the violence of the response had more to do with being 'against' rather than 'for' something. I remember one Englishman telling me of the way many of his countrymen felt about the two warring factions as it pertained to the Civil War: the Cavaliers were wrong but romantic while the Roundheads were right but repulsive! I don't know if that particular feeling is endemic, but much of what passed for "doctrinal disputes" between the Churches - East and West or Catholic and Protestant - often had other - and deeper - roots. How can it be otherwise when Christianity itself (no matter how one believes about "images" and "Popes") is supposed to be a religion of, first and foremost, love! And not only love for one's friends, but especially for one's enemies.
 

Thorin

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Tar-Ancalime said:
i knew it! I hate getting dates wrong! It's 1054 not 1096, that was the date of the Third Crusade! Anywho, does anyone else think the mutual excommunication concept is funny? Or is it just me?

Ahh forgive me, i'm kind of tired....Wasn't another reason for conflict Icons?
You're just not having a good day, Tar. 1096 was the start of the first Crusade called by Pope Urban II, not the third. :D

If one wants to keep 'sacred tradition', then be my guest. However, the NT followers followed what was in the OT, not what the Jewish leaders were espousing at the time. The Pharisees had their tradition and misinterpretation of the Torah. Today is no different. Despite the fact that the 'church' compiled the scriptures doesn't mean that they have authority over them. Rather the process of compiling them was worked around the concept of which books were authoritative. Written by apostles and agreeing with the OT (Which is why many of the inter-testamental books were eliminated from canon). If they felt these books were authoritative, then what was written therein is to be our creed.

If the scriptures say that Christ is our mediator, He forgives my sins and I can boldly approach the throne of God for forgiveness and request, and the church says that without Her there is no salvation and that I must confess to a priest and be forgiven of my sins by Him, I will obey the Bible. Who is the church to consider me a 'heretic' against God if I obey His written word and not the church if I feel that the two are not compatible in certain issues? Why should I take the word of popes and cardinals over the words of Christ, Paul and Peter who's words predated the traditions, wealth and pomp of the church?

If the church wants to chant in Latin, wear long flowing robes, burn incense and sprinkle 'holy water' all around while displaying all the pomp of ritualistic ceremony, all the more power to them. I won't judge ceremony or tradition in these areas. However in terms of doctrine and theology, all Christendom believes what it does in these areas BECAUSE of the scriptures, not the church, and that is where my authority in these areas lie. I, nor anyone else needs church leaders to determine my beliefs for me. Nor, however, do I feel that anyone should take whatever from the scriptures and go hog wild with it. However, church leaders determining doctrine and interpreting scripture for everyone does not mean it will be free from error anyway, and it hasn't worked in the past, in either Catholic or Protestant fields.

And as far as the church interpreting for the common people and their ghastly fear that they would lose power if the people could actually read the scriptures, they sure did a poor job of relating the truth to the people. It was merely an effort on the church's part to keep a stranglehold on the spirituality of the people. We should thank the REformation that the common people could read about the love of God and true salvation that was hidden in the fear and ignorance people had through the church. The illerate people believed in salvation through the sacraments and works, buying there way out of heaven and hell. The church did more to further those beliefs then show the scriptural truths surrounding them. Is the church over the Bible or its followings? Absolutely not. Rather the church should be living out its precepts and instruction. This is where I feel the church failed.
 

Eriol

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Thorin said:
If the scriptures say that Christ is our mediator, He forgives my sins and I can boldly approach the throne of God for forgiveness and request, and the church says that without Her there is no salvation and that I must confess to a priest and be forgiven of my sins by Him, I will obey the Bible.
Good for you :). It would be even better for you if you learned what exactly is it that the Church is saying (no salvation outside the Church, which is simply a truism -- all who are saved belong to the Church). It would be even better if you could dismiss John's final chapters, which establish that the apostles could forgive and retain sins (John 20:23).

Who is the church to consider me a 'heretic' against God if I obey His written word and not the church if I feel that the two are not compatible in certain issues?
The Church is the group that received the commission directly from Jesus Christ to decide precisely such matters. It also received the promise of the Holy Ghost. That's "who is the church". If you feel that the two are not compatible, then look at it with other eyes. Millions of people do, and did, throughout history. It's not a problem of the mind, dear Thorin, it's a problem of the heart. As Augustine said, "believe so that you can understand". Don't you realize the similarity between your stance and that of the atheist here?

Why should I take the word of popes and cardinals over the words of Christ, Paul and Peter who's words predated the traditions, wealth and pomp of the church?
And why should you take the word of Luther, Calvin, Wycliff, etc., over the words of Christ, Paul and Peter, and the other apostles?

That's all you find in the Catholic Church, Thorin. Nothing else; no new doctrine in contradiction with the old ones.

However in terms of doctrine and theology, all Christendom believes what it does in these areas BECAUSE of the scriptures, not the church, and that is where my authority in these areas lie.
"All Christendom" began in the 16th century, then, because before that all Christendom believed in the scriptures because of the authority of the Church, and not vice-versa. Down to the last Christian; down to the First Century. How could the first Christians believe in a Bible that didn't exist? (An often asked question of yours). How can you ignore Acts 8:31?

I, nor anyone else needs church leaders to determine my beliefs for me. Nor, however, do I feel that anyone should take whatever from the scriptures and go hog wild with it.
Great! So get back to the Scripture that was accepted since the First Councils, including 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, etc. etc... a

However, church leaders determining doctrine and interpreting scripture for everyone does not mean it will be free from error anyway, and it hasn't worked in the past, in either Catholic or Protestant fields.
Well, it has worked in the past, in the Catholic field; it has worked in Protestant fields, for as long as they stayed within orthodoxy. "Church interpreting scripture for everyone" is clearly sanctioned in Scripture itself (beginning with Acts 8:31).

And as far as the church interpreting for the common people and their ghastly fear that they would lose power if the people could actually read the scriptures, they sure did a poor job of relating the truth to the people. It was merely an effort on the church's part to keep a stranglehold on the spirituality of the people. We should thank the REformation that the common people could read about the love of God and true salvation that was hidden in the fear and ignorance people had through the church. The illerate people believed in salvation through the sacraments and works, buying there way out of heaven and hell. The church did more to further those beliefs then show the scriptural truths surrounding them. Is the church over the Bible or its followings? Absolutely not. Rather the church should be living out its precepts and instruction. This is where I feel the church failed.
You may feel the Church has failed there, notwithstanding the obvious taint of your viewpoint ("ghastly fear"?). But feelings don't make truth. Did the Church actually fail? It's a simple question, with a very simple answer. You just have to find one original doctrine that was not kept, or a new doctrine that contradicted the old ones.

Good luck in trying that :).
 

Tar-Ancalime

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I am (probably without actual reason) proud of at least remembering it was a crusade (I'm just that good!) And it hasnt been a very good weekend either....Damn, I'm exhausted!

On to the point of this thread, Eriol, congrats! I could have never said it like you, though I know i would have meant the same thing! Anyway, on the Great Schisim of 1054, there were both theological reasons (based on inteperatation) and political reasons.

I'm not going to get stuck in a hole with the theological reasons, but the Political Motivations had much to do with the Emperor believing he still ruled over the western (Roman) half of the Roman Empire.
 

joxy

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Thorin said:
Why should I take the word of popes and cardinals over the words of Christ, Paul and Peter....?

If the church wants to chant in Latin, wear long flowing robes, burn incense and sprinkle 'holy water' all around while displaying all the pomp of ritualistic ceremony....
You shouldn't, and no-one has asked you to, nor will anyone every ask you to, take the formers' words over the latter's. However we who are members of the Church founded by the latter are happy to know that when the former are speaking words on subjects to which, through their predecessors, descended from the latter, they were given an assurance of infallibility, they invariably speak words of equal value to those of the latter.

It doesn't want to do any of those things - sadly, some still think!
 
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Tar-Ancalime

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Very true, Eriol. The system of Bishops began, afterall with Christ choosing Peter to build his church upon. Ideally, The bishop's do the will of christ and occasions of abuses (whether it be multiple diocese posession,nepotism, or the current inflated scandal) is the fault of humans.
 
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G

greypilgrim

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I saw the movie last night...here's my review:

First hour...Jesus is put to trial

Second hour...They beat him

Third hour...He gets crucified

Well, thats about all the movie had to offer! Mel Gibson is a terrible moviemaker.
 

joxy

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For that breath of fresh air, thanks.
 

joxy

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I'm sure any of Amazon's web sites will be glad to supply the film as a DVD through the post.
However, I recommend a quick look at the recent posting by Grey Pilgrim before giving them your money.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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To WM and Mods: If religion is a verboten subject now, why is this thread still open? It should either be shut down, or the subject of religion in general re-opened.

Barley
 
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