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Biblical Criticism #130784
10/16/05 05:34 PM
10/16/05 05:34 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Offline OP
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Sub-Deacon Ghazaros  Offline OP
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Dear Reverend Fathers and Friends,

If interested, here is an analysis of Western rationalistic biblical criticism from an Orthodox perspective. It gives many interesting insights of why Eastern Christians should not be quick to abandon the historic, patristic approach to the "Breath of God" in favor of modern "scientific" approaches.

http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/biblical_criticism_pomazansky.htm

Trusting in Christ's Light,
W. Ghazar Der-Ghazarian

Orthodox Evangelization Mission
www.geocities.com/derghazar/OEM

Re: Biblical Criticism #130785
10/16/05 06:56 PM
10/16/05 06:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
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Meriden, CT
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RayK Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Ghazar:
Dear Reverend Fathers and Friends,

If interested, here is an analysis of Western rationalistic biblical criticism from an Orthodox perspective. It gives many interesting insights of why Eastern Christians should not be quick to abandon the historic, patristic approach to the "Breath of God" in favor of modern "scientific" approaches.

http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/biblical_criticism_pomazansky.htm

Trusting in Christ's Light,
W. Ghazar Der-Ghazarian

Orthodox Evangelization Mission
www.geocities.com/derghazar/OEM
I read through some of this article.

Let me ask you - did you read it and did you find it reasonable?

I have a mind to tear it apart - but before I do - I want to be cautious and ask your opinion. I do not want to personally offend you.

-ray


-ray
Re: Biblical Criticism #130786
10/16/05 10:40 PM
10/16/05 10:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 937
Tampa Bay, FL
Michael B Offline
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Michael B  Offline
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Greetings to all.

+Fr. Michael Pomasansky is the author of the above cited work provided by Ghazar. Thank you for showing us this commentary. +Father Michael was a member of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, and is also the publisher/author/editor? of Orthodox dogmatic theology. Orthodox dogmatic theology can be found here .

+Father Michael Pomasansky's memorial obituary (I do not know what this is called in the Byzantine world, if anything) is located here .

Performing a search on Google using "Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky" as the search term brought up quite a substantial amount of information.

Take care,

Michael

Re: Biblical Criticism #130787
10/17/05 05:16 PM
10/17/05 05:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Offline OP
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Sub-Deacon Ghazaros  Offline OP
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Dear Ray,

I liked the article as I can't stand most Biblical Criticism. But go ahead and tear in into it, if you like. You won't offend me. Thanks for asking. The only thing though, try to be brief if your looking for me to reply. Sometimes your posts are a bit long winded smile (despite their being packed with good info), and I've got very little time right now. Maybe pick the comments you found most disagreeable and we could discuss these.

your brother in Christ,
Wm. D.G.

Re: Biblical Criticism #130788
10/17/05 06:42 PM
10/17/05 06:42 PM
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RayK Offline
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>Sometimes your posts are a bit long winded

Who? ME? I am the quintessential man of brevity!

(not!)

I must be honest - that after a closer reading (shaking off my Roman defensiveness knee-jerk from what looked like anti-Rome statements) - there are some things - which I tend to agree with him on.

This portion about F. Vigourue - is very interesting to me.

Dear Ghazar … I must admit that there is some good fruits in the article. It deserves my closer reading and a little research.

(surprise!)

Forgive me for moments of being "too Catholic". smile

-ray


-ray
Re: Biblical Criticism #130789
10/18/05 08:53 PM
10/18/05 08:53 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Offline OP
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Sub-Deacon Ghazaros  Offline OP
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Dear Ray,

you said:
"Who? ME? I am the quintessential man of brevity!"

reply: yeah, and I'm Santa Claus! smile

Actually, you have nothing to be forgiven for. You were, unlike myself, quite restrained and respectful. And you certainly have never come off to me as "too Catholic." I have nothing but respect for your good attitude on this forum and your erudite replies. I'll check back occasionally and see if there was anything about the article you felt needed a reply. Until then, may the peace of Christ be with you my brother.

Ghazar

p.s. Btw, I don't see this as an East/West debate (although some may play it up like this). I see this more as a discussion of modern vrs. traditional approaches to the Holy Scripture.

Re: Biblical Criticism #130790
10/19/05 01:48 PM
10/19/05 01:48 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,042
Chattanooga
JonnNightwatcher Offline
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what's really sad, is that the New American Bible relies on such criticism to serve as introductions to various books and sections of the Bible.many of these critics have no use for the historical orthodox faith,including the Christological statements that have been defined for believers. there are some Catholic scholars of Scripture, a Father Brown (+ eternal rest), being one of them, who defend the integrity of the Holy Bible. I am happy to say, then, that defending the Bible is not the monopoly of conservative Evangelical Protestants, who shouldn't have to carry the burden alone, in the first place.
Much Love,
Jonn

Re: Biblical Criticism #130791
10/19/05 05:47 PM
10/19/05 05:47 PM
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Meriden, CT
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RayK Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Ghazar:
Dear Ray,

And you certainly have never come off to me as "too Catholic."
Yes.. well... I have been at times. I think everyone falls into the 'Catholic myth' and 'Orthodox myth' at times. Some people are there permanently (but no one at this board). We can all use ceremonies and rites and methods and theology - as a substitute for conscience - instead of an aide to good conscience.

Yes, after a bit of re-reading - it was about some trends that some Western biblical scholars (Catholic included) took between the 1700's and 1900's. Actually I think it started before that because Issac Newton did a few commentaries that had great influence (I do not know what he was - Catholic I suppose). Newton did some computations which he assign a set number of years to Daniel's "70 weeks" … and is widely accepted by all today (variations of it anyway). A few weeks study allowed me to see that - his concept was - all wrong. He ignored an unusual gender use in the Hebrew. The blind lead - and hundreds follow him into the error. But then again occasional error is the price of progress - yes?

In the West - I would guess that the first rationalistic biblical criticism - was born with the French Revolution. French at that time produced wither horrific biblical research - or terrific biblical research. There was no middle road. Rosicrucians and Masons on one hand - the rosay and Cassuade on the other.

The good Father is certainly right that the compilation theory of Genesis (Y and E sources etc..) is way wrong (and his opinion there made me sit up and take notice). A theology student has to learn all about the “compiled sources” thing - to get your masters and doctorate in theology… so it is a self-perpetuating - mistake - pounded into each new theological student. It reminds me of Darwin - an unproven theory - some bits of truth - many holes - in the end contradicting itself - yet it is taught as if it was beyond doubt - anyone who doubts it - must be crazy.

The main vein of Catholic biblical research has turned to “textual criticism” which has been very valuable. By that method - one looks at words and phrases used - and compares that use to other places in scripture where the same words or phrase are used. By that - one can sometimes - tune in - the phrase better.

The Issac Newton thing is a perfect example of that.

Catholic and Jewish scholars and Orthodox - translated it as “70 weeks (of years)”… but they ignore a peculiar turn of one of the word to feminine ( I think that was it - I posted something of it last year I think). In any events - it turns out that this phrase is found in two more places. Jesus uses it in the gospels and there it is translated “7 times 70” … and it is used in a Temple scroll found at Qurum where it is a formula for identifying the holy days by lunar cycles. That formula is really “7 sets of 7s” …
7 sets of days -= weekly Sabbath
7 weekly Sabbaths = a special Sabbath.
7 special Sabbaths = blah blah blah
Etc..
Etc..
Etc..

It is really quite interesting how they calculated the movable feasts by the lunar cycles.

In any event… the base formula - to use to find any holy day or feat day - is “7 times 7 sets” (notice that in Daniel - what follows that formula is sever visions containing seven items each.)

The particular formula for locating the Jubilee (when all exiles are set free - all land taken for debit returned to its original owner etc.. etc..) is, of course “7 sets of 7s” and since the Jewish year was 10 moths - 7 years is equal to = 70!

So “7 times 70” is the Temple formula for locating the Jubilee Year - the year in which freedom is proclaimed - Providence is restored - all time begins again (the Temple cycles) and the messiah comes.

So the answer given to Peter when he asks “How many times must I forgive” is essentially “Every time - until I come to get you myself.”.

On the good side - the Pontifical Biblical Institute - was founded in 1909 - became active in 1920 - and has remained independent of all these popular trends.

In efforts to be brief (too late!!) I will only say this…

I think … blah blah blah blah..

And I will stand by that!

-ray


-ray
Re: Biblical Criticism #130792
10/21/05 03:33 PM
10/21/05 03:33 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Offline OP
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Sub-Deacon Ghazaros  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Dear Ray,

you wrote:
"The good Father is certainly right that the compilation theory of Genesis (Y and E sources etc..) is way wrong (and his opinion there made me sit up and take notice). A theology student has to learn all about the “compiled sources” thing - to get your masters and doctorate in theology… so it is a self-perpetuating - mistake - pounded into each new theological student. It reminds me of Darwin - an unproven theory - some bits of truth - many holes - in the end contradicting itself - yet it is taught as if it was beyond doubt - anyone who doubts it - must be crazy."

I know exactly what you speak of here and have experienced it first hand. You can't take a Scripture class in a Catholic setting without getting a healthy helping of it. Now I see Orthodox are beginning to use it here in the U.S. too. Too bad.

Re: Biblical Criticism #130793
10/21/05 04:02 PM
10/21/05 04:02 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,103
Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Sub-Deacon Ghazaros Offline OP
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Sub-Deacon Ghazaros  Offline OP
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Metropolitan Detroit, MI
Dear Jonn,

I'm not so sure I'd put Fr. Brown in the camp of the "Bible defenders" either. I've heard that he went through different phases throughout his career. His book "The Virginal Conception & Bodily Resurrection of Jesus" I came away from wondering why he even was a Christian. I mean, why bother if he's not even sure the Bible teaches these? A very strange thing for a priest to write.

His book "The Critical Meaning of the Bible" I found extremely arrogant in tone and almost sickening. He basically flat out says no Bishop can tell a Biblical Scholar the meaning of a given Biblical passage. Its the bishops who need to listen to the "scholars" (like himself).

This is the whole problem I have with Biblical Criticism: The idea that the Bible is to be interpreted in a scientific way through scientific means. The Fathers of the Church were not scientists but rather men of faith. The "Breath of God" (as we Armenians refer to the Bible) states, spiritual things are discerned spiritually. For me, the Bible is the book of the Church, and this is where it belongs -not under a microscope in a laboratory.

As the writer of the above mentioned article states, historical findings can shed light on questions, but this does not mean the Bible becomes property of the Bible Critics nor are they to have the last word when it comes to the meaning of the Bible.

Re: Biblical Criticism #130794
10/21/05 05:47 PM
10/21/05 05:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
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Meriden, CT
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RayK Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Ghazar:

I know exactly what you speak of here and have experienced it first hand. You can't take a Scripture class in a Catholic setting without getting a healthy helping of it. Now I see Orthodox are beginning to use it here in the U.S. too. Too bad.
I myself am so sick of 'scholars' who sell books. Put a few letters after a man's name - sell some books - and he is immediately some type of angel from God.

Quoted and used as 'proof' these 'scholars' and 'eminent theologians'... most of them are (let me try to be charitable) ... book sellers.

Even Scott Hahn - has crossed the line into - book seller.

Ah… but this is the way the world is and there is nothing that can be done about it. If there was – we wouldn’t need a conscience.

At one point in my life, I felt that I wanted to go back to school and learn theology properly. But a mystic told me - not to do that. He said that with the light that God had given me - I would not be able to tolerate most classes. My philosophy and theology teachers would consider me a pain in the ass (he did not use those words) and I would finally drop out from deep frustration. Even if I had determined to keep my mouth shut and regurgitate on que exactly what they wanted me to – the credentials are not worth it. The light would move away from my heart and into my head and become useless - just - knowledge - nothing more than clutter. We all have too much - clutter.

-ray


-ray
Re: Biblical Criticism #130795
10/22/05 03:16 PM
10/22/05 03:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,042
Chattanooga
JonnNightwatcher Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Ghazar:
Dear Jonn,

I'm not so sure I'd put Fr. Brown in the camp of the "Bible defenders" either. I've heard that he went through different phases throughout his career. His book "The Virginal Conception & Bodily Resurrection of Jesus" I came away from wondering why he even was a Christian. I mean, why bother if he's not even sure the Bible teaches these? A very strange thing for a priest to write.

His book "The Critical Meaning of the Bible" I found extremely arrogant in tone and almost sickening. He basically flat out says no Bishop can tell a Biblical Scholar the meaning of a given Biblical passage. Its the bishops who need to listen to the "scholars" (like himself).

This is the whole problem I have with Biblical Criticism: The idea that the Bible is to be interpreted in a scientific way through scientific means. The Fathers of the Church were not scientists but rather men of faith. The "Breath of God" (as we Armenians refer to the Bible) states, spiritual things are discerned spiritually. For me, the Bible is the book of the Church, and this is where it belongs -not under a microscope in a laboratory.

As the writer of the above mentioned article states, historical findings can shed light on questions, but this does not mean the Bible becomes property of the Bible Critics nor are they to have the last word when it comes to the meaning of the Bible.
mmmmmmmmmmm, I'll take what you have said as a word of wisdom to me. I'm a bit miffed that Brown had done this. I do recognize that many of us go through a dark night of the soul, so to say, and that night should not preclude an intellectual night, I should like to have granted Brown that benefit of a doubt. perhaps we need sound Bible scholars coming from Orthodox and Catholic (Eastern or Latin, that is not an issue)perspectives. and not have what seems a disappointment as I now see in Brown, and certainly not the liberal trash that Crossan barfs up. you know, bro, I almost wonder if that someone to defend the Bible should be armed with a Masters, like myself. without sounding presumptious, or at least not meaning to, I wish God would provide a way for me to do that. or if not me, then someone else. I still have a few good years left. but someone needs to rise to the call, and perhaps not just one person, but a host of such people.
Much Love,
Jonn

Re: Biblical Criticism #130796
10/23/05 08:50 AM
10/23/05 08:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
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Pittsburgh, PA
Steve Puluka Offline
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Well, as someone who has chosen to pursue a Masters degree in theology with a concentration in scripture I'll attempt to respond. I am currently taking my eleventh of thirteen classes in the joint masters program between Duquesne University and SS Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Pittsburgh. In addition, I am on staff with the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health. In that capacity I am serving on the accreditation committee preparing documentation that demonstrates our ability to grant meaningful advanced degrees.

1-Patrisitc literature and science: I disagree that the fathers are NOT scientists. The fathers used the latest scientific knowledge of their day to engage scripture and preach the good news. They used the most advanced techniques of science to analyze scripture and present the findings to the community. Allegory and typology in biblical interpretation come directly from secular practice as accepted techniques of science. In the west Aristotalian logic and in the east neo-Platonism are widely applied to the interpretation of scripture. These are not random selections, but a conscience use of "modern" techniques to advance the gospel. Perhaps the clearest example is Basil’s Hexaemeron. I believe that if Chrysostom or Basil were alive today they would be using all of these modern critical tools in the service of the gospel, just as they did with the techniques of their own day.

2-Academic foundations: Every academic discipline has the foundations of the craft. These must be studied and understood to achieve an advanced degree, BUT they may be challenged. At all of the institutions that I have studied at and in the reading of expectations by accrediting bodies, academic discourse includes an explicit protection of dissent. However, the dissenter must understand and be able to correctly articulate the propositions to which they wish to present an alternative. My experience has been that many of the responses to the historical critical method have failed in this regard. Too often these responses setup a "straw man" that is a caricature of the method or simply dismiss the results of the method without understanding the nuances that are part of that result. Further, in every class I have had the criteria for examination is called critical engagement. One does NOT have to agree with the foundations presented, only fully understand them and engage with them critically. Perhaps other institutions allow less of this, but I tend to doubt it. Critical engagement is the key to advancing a discipline and appears to be an activity looked for by accreditation bodies.

3-Spiritual value of advanced education: I have found that graduate education has helped me understand the questions about scripture from our society better. Prior to really studying the historical critical method and the approaches of the reformation to scripture, I lacked context in discussions with those outside my tradition. This journey has deepened my own faith and provided me with the tools to understand and engage with meaningful conversations about scripture to those in other traditions. These studies have also advanced by understanding of my own tradition and strengthened my faith.

Steve




Re: Biblical Criticism #130797
10/23/05 07:31 PM
10/23/05 07:31 PM
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Meriden, CT
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RayK Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Steve Puluka:
Well, as someone who has chosen to pursue a Masters degree in theology
Steve
My own statements were not - across the board. I painted with a wide brush out of some frustration. Believe me - there are a few theologians and book writers - that I have the highest regard for.

I would have flown to Italy to meet Eugenio Corsini - Professor at Turin University. I regret that most of his works are in Italian. And I have known the Orthodox theologian Father Tarazi as a guest in my home several times.

May your own study be fruitful.

-ray


-ray
Re: Biblical Criticism #130798
10/24/05 02:07 AM
10/24/05 02:07 AM
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California
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tobit Offline
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Father William Most with his book "Free From All Error" was a great protector of the Bible not Father Brown who fell in love with textual criticism at certain points, he is not nearly as bad as most protestant mainline scholars but he wasn't always orthodox.
THE NAB leans heavily towards the liberal side of catholic biblical criticism. THe Jerusalem Bible while very scholarly is in the middle ground of Biblical criticism. I like its study notes a lot better than the NAB which can be bordering on heterodoxy.

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