MisterOJ

Christian Discussion II: We are an Advent people

158 posts in this topic

Tywin,

The Orthodox teaching is that Joseph took Mary to wife to get someone who could care for his children by his first wife and that they never had sex.

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34 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Tywin,

The Orthodox teaching is that Joseph took Mary to wife to get someone who could care for his children by his first wife and that they never had sex.

I have a really hard time buying that, but I guess in theory it could happen. 

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45 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I have a really hard time buying that, but I guess in theory it could happen. 

Frankly, I'm not sure about it either, but it is the teaching of my church.

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18 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Man, this was a hard thread to necro.

Anyways, that’s interesting point that I had never heard about before. And I was always under the impression that there still wasn’t a consensuses that Jesus had biological siblings. Don’t some scholars claim that the texts actually can be interpreted to mean step siblings, cousins, other family members and the people he socialized with? Furthermore, don’t different sects have different conclusions on this issue?

Yes, as I said, Roman Catholics (and, as Scot points out, Orthodox) claim that (though I don't think anyone tries to explain the references to his brothers and sisters as being just "people he socialized with"). This is because they hold the tradition of Mary's perpetual virginity (which is not found in scripture) to be as important as the scripture in deciding this issue. Please look at the page I linked to in the other thread.

https://www.thoughtco.com/did-jesus-have-brothers-and-sisters-701981

 

Edited by Ormond

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21 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

I have a really hard time buying that, but I guess in theory it could happen. 

Two ways it could happen. Joseph was gay, or Mary Magdalene earned her rep. If the siblings of Jesus are younger than him, the second way seems most probable, apart from the blatant adultery.

Edited by maarsen

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As a Protestant I always find this obsession with Mary, Joseph and other similar background figures plain weird, and quite frankly an unnecessary diversion from what is really important. In my faith these figures are just people. The idea that any human has "saintly" properties or such is mind boggling to me. I guess that's one of the core differences between Protestantism and the Catholic type traditions, which Orthodoxy has some similarities to, based on my admittedly very limited knowledge of that particular denomination.

What Joseph, Mary, James etc. did with their lives is not really an issue, from my point of view.

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Ah, yes, the Veneration of Mary. I suppose one has to be Catholic to really "get it". As one, it's completely normal to me. It's awfully nice to have Mary and the Saints as go-betweens to God. I read somewhere, can't recall where exactly, that the Veneration of Mary in the Catholic tradition and faith is the result of Medieval beliefs of the characters of Jesus and Mary. Jesus being a bit stricter and Mary more compassionate. So people in the Middle Ages would pray to Mary, kind of like asking the cool parent if you can use the car.

  @Tywin et al. an analogy I would make to various religious doctrines and arguments for and against those beliefs based on scripture is to that of legislative interpretation. Each side of an argument will find proof for their interpretation and against their opponents through various means, i.e. legislative history, plain meaning, legal meaning, etc. Catholics have used a lost in translation argument (in addition to various passages in scripture supporting their belief) for the improper specificity  of the English "brothers" translated from the Greek adelphos, translated from Hebrew/Aramaic. The argument is the translation of adelphos is actually broader such as cousins or relations, etc. 

But here's another historical theory from John Prine:  :) 

 

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28 minutes ago, Astromech said:

Ah, yes, the Veneration of Mary. I suppose one has to be Catholic to really "get it". As one, it's completely normal to me. It's awfully nice to have Mary and the Saints as go-betweens to God. I read somewhere, can't recall where exactly, that the Veneration of Mary in the Catholic tradition and faith is the result of Medieval beliefs of the characters of Jesus and Mary. Jesus being a bit stricter and Mary more compassionate. So people in the Middle Ages would pray to Mary, kind of like asking the cool parent if you can use the car.

  @Tywin et al. an analogy I would make to various religious doctrines and arguments for and against those beliefs based on scripture is to that of legislative interpretation. Each side of an argument will find proof for their interpretation and against their opponents through various means, i.e. legislative history, plain meaning, legal meaning, etc. Catholics have used a lost in translation argument (in addition to various passages in scripture supporting their belief) for the improper specificity  of the English "brothers" translated from the Greek adelphos, translated from Hebrew/Aramaic. The argument is the translation of adelphos is actually broader such as cousins or relations, etc. 

But here's another historical theory from John Prine:  :) 

 

Howdy Astromech

I can't recall the detail anymore, but at one point it was suggested to me that the veneration of Mary in the Catholic faith was a legacy/corrupting influence from the earlier Greek and Roman religions where goddesses such as Aphrodite and the like had a more prominent role than in Christianity, where they are non-existent. So a sort of Mother figure, interceding on behalf of mortals, took the form of an increased status for Mary, to the point where people actualy pray to her.

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35 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Howdy Astromech

I can't recall the detail anymore, but at one point it was suggested to me that the veneration of Mary in the Catholic faith was a legacy/corrupting influence from the earlier Greek and Roman religions where goddesses such as Aphrodite and the like had a more prominent role than in Christianity, where they are non-existent. So a sort of Mother figure, interceding on behalf of mortals, took the form of an increased status for Mary, to the point where people actualy pray to her.

Yeah, that's another theory I've heard. Could be. I need to read up on the early history more. Maybe get a hold of some of Peter Brown's works. I have a few titles on my TBR list, but we all know how much of a dent we can put in those. Maybe after the current book I'm reading ;) 

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Regarding James, the sibling of Jesus, theres the Gospel of James for those interested- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_James

snippet from Wiki-

 The Gospel of James, also known as the Infancy Gospel of James or the Protoevangelium of James, is an apocryphal Gospel probably written about AD 145, which expands backward in time the infancy stories contained in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and presents a narrative concerning the birth and upbringing of Mary herself. It is the oldest source outside the New Testament to assert the virginity of Mary not only prior to, but during (and after) the birth of Jesus.[2] The ancient manuscripts that preserve the book have different titles, including "The Birth of Mary", "The Story of the Birth of Saint Mary, Mother of God," and "The Birth of Mary; The Revelation of James."

Edited by DireWolfSpirit

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Well, in Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism who both hold to the 7 Ecumenical councils of the 1st millennium Mary has always been highly venerated.  One of the issues of the third council was the Nestorian refusal to call Mary "Theotokos" (God bearer).  The Nestoriana wanted to call her Christotokos (bearer of Christ) because they did not believe Christ was fully man and fully God at the same time.  That was the council when St. Nicholas (yes that St. Nicholas) decked Nestor during the council.  

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Nestorianism, Arianism . . . the early councils. I find early Christianity and its evolution, or foundation, fascinating. I'm almost regretting my choice of books at the library today.

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4 hours ago, Astromech said:

Nestorianism, Arianism . . . the early councils. I find early Christianity and its evolution, or foundation, fascinating. I'm almost regretting my choice of books at the library today.

I agree! It's all fascinating.

It's funny how, as far as is known, Constantine called the council of Nicaea so that there was a clear decision made about whether God and Jesus were the same being and equal (Nicaean orthodoxy in modern terms), or if Jesus was born separately of God as a separate being (Arianism, mostly heresy under all modern Christian terms). But Constantine himself apparently didn't really care!

He just wanted there to be an answer in the hopes that bishops would stop politically undermining one another and to avoid a cultural fracture.

Funnily enough then, as now, most Christians really didn't care either. It is really weird which matters Christianity became divided upon and which they didn't. Sometimes they are huge philosophical questions (like the writing of Thomas Aquinas or Martin Luther) but other times it is technicalities that seem to have almost no real consequence one way or another.

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I never looked into this but I once had the idea that for "true man and true god" Jesus would need to be not only be born in the way of a normal human but also be begotten in the way of a normal human (i.e. with a human father and mother). Now, unlike the perpetual virginity etc. of Mary this is contrary to scripture because it is clearly said that Joseph had not had intercourse with Mary before the immaculate conception. But still think that it is an interesting line of thought.

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10 hours ago, Yukle said:

I agree! It's all fascinating.

It's funny how, as far as is known, Constantine called the council of Nicaea so that there was a clear decision made about whether God and Jesus were the same being and equal (Nicaean orthodoxy in modern terms), or if Jesus was born separately of God as a separate being (Arianism, mostly heresy under all modern Christian terms). But Constantine himself apparently didn't really care!

He just wanted there to be an answer in the hopes that bishops would stop politically undermining one another and to avoid a cultural fracture.

Funnily enough then, as now, most Christians really didn't care either. It is really weird which matters Christianity became divided upon and which they didn't. Sometimes they are huge philosophical questions (like the writing of Thomas Aquinas or Martin Luther) but other times it is technicalities that seem to have almost no real consequence one way or another.

Yeah, I could always picture Constantine saying something similar to Henry IV's Paris vaut bien une messe. He always seemed conveniently Christian rather than devoutly.

 

4 hours ago, Jo498 said:

I never looked into this but I once had the idea that for "true man and true god" Jesus would need to be not only be born in the way of a normal human but also be begotten in the way of a normal human (i.e. with a human father and mother). Now, unlike the perpetual virginity etc. of Mary this is contrary to scripture because it is clearly said that Joseph had not had intercourse with Mary before the immaculate conception. But still think that it is an interesting line of thought.

Pedantry incoming. The Immaculate Conception actually refers to Mary's conception being free from original sin. The conception of Jesus is the doctrine of Incarnation, which goes a bit towards answering your idea.

 

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19 minutes ago, Astromech said:

Yeah, I could always picture Constantine saying something similar to Henry IV's Paris vaut bien une messe. He always seemed conveniently Christian rather than devoutly.

 

Pedantry incoming. The Immaculate Conception actually refers to Mary's conception being free from original sin. The conception of Jesus is the doctrine of Incarnation, which goes a bit towards answering your idea.

 

Orthodoxy does not share the RC doctrine about Mary's conception being "immaculate".  Just Christ's.

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9 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Orthodoxy does not share the RC doctrine about Mary's conception being "immaculate".  Just Christ's.

Yeah, us Catholics are a bit obsessed with Mary. But hey, she's amazing!!!!

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Is Mary like the ultimate rape victim? After all who's going to say no to god?

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9 hours ago, TrueMetis said:

Is Mary like the ultimate rape victim? After all who's going to say no to god?

I know you're being facetious on purpose for humour, but she was asked in the scripture. Originally she said she wasn't worthy of such an honour but then went on to accept the request that she be Jesus' mother.

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13 hours ago, Yukle said:

I know you're being facetious on purpose for humour, but she was asked in the scripture. Originally she said she wasn't worthy of such an honour but then went on to accept the request that she be Jesus' mother.

I'm actually only being slightly facetious, seriously given the power difference how is meaningful consent possible here?

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