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The Theotokos in the holy of holies?


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#1 Karen Hammer

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 11:02 PM

St. Gregory Palamas in his "On the Entry into the Holy of Holies" said that Mary, from a very young child, grew up at the Temple in the Holy of Holies. What is the basis of this story?

Why should we accept it? It seems to me that St. Gregory drew or quoted a mythical portrait of Mary to make a mystical point, but I think the myth (if this is a myth) actually weakens his otherwise beautiful homily. It seems this story is highly imaginative and overdrawn in some Greek fashion, but has no basis in Scripture nor is it true to any Hebrew customs that I know of.

It seems highly unlikely that a female child would be allowed in the Holy of Holies when the High Priest himself was allowed in there only once a year. I do not know of any Hebrew custom that allowed females access to the inner courts of the Temple, much less the Holy of Holies. If she grew up there or anywhere on the temple grounds, then why would she be returned in her adolescence to the ordinary world to marry a mere carpenter?

St. Gregory also said that her parents were Joachim and Anna. I don't find them in the geneaologies of the New Testament.

Can someone speak to this?

#2 Paul Cowan

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 11:22 PM

Hello Karen,

I cannot speak to all of your questions and hope my explanation of some of it is corrected by the Fathers here...

Just because the Bible does not mention Joachim and Anna does not mean they were not real nor had the Mother of God as a child in their old age. Many things are just not written in there. So Holy Tradition must fill in the gaps for us.

Mary was given to the service of God since she was a gift from God. She was raised by the holy people in the temple, men and women. When she was of age she could no longer stay there. She had to marry or else just leave the temple and run the risk of injury as an unmarried woman.

Holy Tradition tells us the elders had their staves put into the temple and St. Joseph's budded. This was the sign that he was to be bethrothed to Mary. Bethrothed, not married. He would keep her under his protection yet not violate her.

http://mariannedorma...tionofMary.html

The source for the presentation is the Protoevangelium of James. Like Hannah, Anna has promised that any child she had would be offered as a gift to the Lord and presented in the Temple to serve Him. Tradition tells us that the Anna and Joachim took Mary to the Temple when she was three years old. In the Orthodox icon for this day the high priest Zachariah in his robes greets Mary and her parents at the doorsteps of the Temple. Behind Zachariah is the veil of the temple hiding the ark of the covenant. Mary is on the first step, and he takes her through the veil. From now onwards she will be the living ark. So in the scene in the upper left corner of the icon Mary is seated in the place of honour where only the ark should rest, alone as though in anticipation of the same throne where in more familiar icons she will be holding the Christ child on her knees. Her parents are in the outer courtyard making the traditional offering, but the whole focus is on the child who in the main part of the icon is stretching out her arms in willingness to perform whatever duties the Lord has entrusted with her. Mary is accompanied by twelve virgins carrying their lamps. Zachariah is shown to be both priest and prophet, for he sees what God intends for her. Her name will be blessed by all generations, and through her redemption will be revealed.

Mary served in the Temple where she was fed miraculously by the angels until she was twelve. Then Zachariah, prompted by the message of an angel, betrothed her to one of the widowers who was indicated by the Lord.


And the end of life of St Joseph.
http://www.serfes.or...es/stjoseph.htm

I pray the Fathers correct me in my error.

Paul

#3 Nina

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 05:14 PM

St. Gregory Palamas in his "On the Entry into the Holy of Holies" said that Mary, from a very young child, grew up at the Temple in the Holy of Holies. What is the basis of this story?

Why should we accept it? It seems to me that St. Gregory drew or quoted a mythical portrait of Mary to make a mystical point, but I think the myth (if this is a myth) actually weakens his otherwise beautiful homily. It seems this story is highly imaginative and overdrawn in some Greek fashion, but has no basis in Scripture nor is it true to any Hebrew customs that I know of.

It seems highly unlikely that a female child would be allowed in the Holy of Holies when the High Priest himself was allowed in there only once a year. I do not know of any Hebrew custom that allowed females access to the inner courts of the Temple, much less the Holy of Holies. If she grew up there or anywhere on the temple grounds, then why would she be returned in her adolescence to the ordinary world to marry a mere carpenter?

St. Gregory also said that her parents were Joachim and Anna. I don't find them in the geneaologies of the New Testament.

Can someone speak to this?


Dear Karen,

As Paul has mentioned above, the Orthodox Church teaches what the Holy Tradition and Scripture have revealed to us about Virgin Mary.

There are many things to be said to answer your questions. It will take pages and pages. May I recommend to you these books:

The Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God by St. John Maximovitch (ISBN 0-938635-68-9)

The Feasts of the Lord: An introduction to the twelve feasts and Orthodox Christology [especially relevant the 1st chapter: Annunciation] by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos (ISBN 960-7070-47-X) Translated by Esther Williams, Published by: Birth of the Theotokos Monastery

The Life of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos by Holy Apostles Convent (Buena Vista Colorado)

If I come across other information I will post again.

#4 Nina

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 12:40 AM

Dear Karen,

I found the chapter from this book on line:

The Feasts of the Lord: An introduction to the twelve feasts and Orthodox Christology [especially relevant the 1st chapter: Annunciation] by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos

Also there is another part online from the book from The Orthodox veneration of the Mother of God by Blessed Archbishop John Maximovitch

Some more information you may find here and also here.

As you may see in the passage Virgin Mary is the Holy of Holies:

"As she is thus herself the "Holy of Holies"—herself "the Ark"—, again the Lord shall be manifested (Ex. 22:25) unto the race of man, the All-holy Virgin does not simply enter the Temple but goes into the very Holy of Holies, behind the veil with its depictions of the Cherubims. Just as Simeon the God-receiver came by inspiration into the Temple to meet the Infant Lord (Luke 2:27), so also by the inspiration of God the high priest met the Virgin in an extraordinary way, and led her into the holy place, which corresponded to her. In "the chambers built round the walls of the Temple, round the Temple and the oracle (the Holy of Holies), there in the chambers built around at the sides" (3 Kings 6:5), which were by the second Temple, there it was that the All-holy Virgin spent her youth." This passage may be found here.

Edited by Herman Blaydoe, 31 July 2010 - 11:16 PM.
fixed link


#5 Paul Cowan

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 03:21 AM

Here is another read from Fredricka Matthews Green.
http://www.amazon.co...olycrossanti-20

#6 Alexander Vernet

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:05 PM

I think that there is a very serious issue here. The Law clearly states who may and who may not enter into the Holy of Holies. This is the commandment from God Himself. No one, but no one, was allowed to LIVE in the Holy of Holies. Even IF the priest Zaccharias would have allowed it (making him a breaker of the Divine Commandments), do you really think that all the people of Israel would have allowed such a thing?

I have it on the authority of an Orthodox Professor who teaches scripture, that this story of Mary growing up in the Holy of Holies does not come from the Holy Tradition, either scriptural or oral, and is rubbish. This does not mean, however, that she did not grow up in the TEMPLE, which is another idea altogether.

#7 Olga

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:41 PM

I have it on the authority of an Orthodox Professor who teaches scripture, that this story of Mary growing up in the Holy of Holies does not come from the Holy Tradition, either scriptural or oral, and is rubbish. This does not mean, however, that she did not grow up in the TEMPLE, which is another idea altogether.


Then this Orthodox professor should pay closer attention to the hymnography of the feast of the Entry into the Temple of the Mother of God. Hymnography, like iconography, represents the Orthodox Church's teachings, which are derived from scripture, and all aspects of Holy Tradition - written, oral, conciliar.

From the Vigil of this feast:

The spotless maiden is led by the Holy Spirit to dwell in the Holy of Holies. She, who is truly the most holy temple of our holy God, is fed by an angel. He has sanctified all things by her entry, and has made godlike the fallen nature of mortal men.

With their lamps in hand, the maidens rejoice today as they go in reverence before the spiritual lamp, who enters into the Holy of Holies. They foreshadow the Brightness beyond words that is to shine forth from her, to illumine with the Spirit those that sit in the darkness of ignorance.

After your birth, O Mistress and Bride of God, you came to dwell in the temple of the Lord to be brought up in the Holy of Holies, for you are holy. Gabriel was sent to bring food to you, the undefiled virgin. O Mother of God, without blemish or stain, who is glorified in heaven and on earth, intercede for us.

#8 Olga

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:55 PM

From the Protoevangelion of James, a document which underpins and informs much of the theology and hymnography of the feasts of the Mother of God, and an important part of Orthodox holy tradition:

Now it was the sixth month with her, and behold, Joseph came from his building, and he entered into his house and found her great with child. And he smote his face, and cast himself down upon the ground on sackcloth and wept bitterly, saying: With what countenance shall I look unto the Lord my God ? and what prayer shall I make concerning this maiden? for I received her out of the temple of the Lord my God a virgin, and have not kept her safe. Who is he that hath ensnared me ? Who hath done this evil in mine house and hath defiled the virgin ? Is not the story of Adam repeated in me ? for as at the hour of his giving thanks the serpent came and found Eve alone and deceived her, so hath it befallen me also. 2 And Joseph arose from off the sackcloth and called Mary and said unto her O thou that wast cared for by God, why hast thou done this ? thou hast forgotten the Lord thy God. Why hast thou humbled thy soul, thou that wast nourished up in the Holy of Holies and didst receive food at the hand of an angel? 3 But she wept bitterly, saying: I am pure and I know not a man. And Joseph said unto her: Whence then is that which is in thy womb ? and she said: As the Lord my God liveth, I know not whence it is come unto me.

#9 Marie+Duquette

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 04:26 PM

Mary is herself, the Holy of Holies as God-Bearer, Theotokos! Why would not Mary be allowed to enter the Holy of Holies as a child, in prepartion for her sublime calling as the Theotokos, God Bearer of the Word made flesh, her Son our Lord Jesus Christ? As far as I can understand this Great Mystery, "this is all God's doing!" and in praise of God, with Mary my soul magnifies the Lord and my soul rejoices in God my Savior . . . through the words of the Magnificat!

#10 Evan

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 05:15 PM

This topic spawned an exhausting discussion, which I would highly recommend to "skeptics." Of whom I am (er, was) the first.

http://www.monachos....um-of-St.-James

I recommend reading through every page.

In Christ,
Evan

#11 Marie+Duquette

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 06:18 PM

Reading through the thread pointed out by Evan, is a good recommendation, for whoever wishes to plow through the discussions presented in multiple and varied ways.

Perhaps Mr. Vernet has pointed another facet, which should not be glossed over. Look at his post #6, where he awakens, at least in me, a caution as to what might be taught today, by who he calls an orthodox professor of Scripture.

Perhaps the Truth of the Holy of Holies personified in the Theotokos, could be looked at and approached with a certain awe that superceeds law, tradition, preuso-deutorinomical texts, and approached as St. Gregory Palamas or other Fathers have approached this awesome topic, and not as "rubbish" as is mentioned in post #6.

#12 Caleb Shoemaker

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 06:19 PM

Many respected scholars and clergy have addressed this issue in a variety of ways. Fr. Thomas Hopko in his lectures on the Theotokos takes the stance that the Protoevangelium was and is a midrash: a text designed to teach a particular point of discipleship through a story. It is inconceivable that the child Mary would have been allowed into the Holy of Holies; but it when understood in light of the fact that she was raised in the temple, and grew up surrounded by holy men and women who taught her the things of God and that she abided where He dwelt, it's not so strange. In a way, I could say my daughter was raised in the Holy of Holies for very similar reasons.

The point of midrash is not historical accuracy but doctrinal truth. Mary was raised by holy people and lived a spotless life and was/is the true Holy of Holies. A story told in the protoevangelium helps us to grasp her holiness and her uniqueness as God's highly favored one who would bear His only begotten Son.

#13 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 06:21 PM

Dear Mr. Vernet,

Don't let this be a stumbling block for you. You don't have to believe just as Olga and many others do on Monachos to be an Orthodox Christian.

In Christ,

Dn. Patrick

#14 Olga

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:06 AM

The Law clearly states who may and who may not enter into the Holy of Holies. This is the commandment from God Himself. No one, but no one, was allowed to LIVE in the Holy of Holies. Even IF the priest Zaccharias would have allowed it (making him a breaker of the Divine Commandments), do you really think that all the people of Israel would have allowed such a thing?


The prefigurations of the Old Testament, these "types and shadows", were just that - a prelude to the coming of God in the flesh, the incarnate God who was/is the fulfilment and completion of the Law of Moses. Zachariah was indeed divinely illumined to recognise the sanctity of the little daughter of Joachim and Anna, and the part she would later play in obeying the Lord and accepting the awesome and incomprehensible task of conceiving and giving birth to God Incarnate. Along with Joachim and Anna, Zachariah, his wife Elizabeth and son John the Baptist, and the Temple figures Symeon the God-receiver and Anna the Prophetess, are important figures in the transition from the Law of the OT to the fulfilment of the Law through Jesus Christ in the NT.

From the Vigil of Sts Zachariah and Elizabeth:

Zachariah, inspired by God, you saw a Child, like His Father without beginning, born from the Maiden, and you spoke prophetically to your child, ‘You will be truly a Prophet, preparing His paths’. With him we call you blessed, and we observe your revered festival, most blessed God-bearer.

O, marvellous wonder! Zachariah’s muteness prophesies most clearly the silence of the Old Covenant and the manifestation of the New; for silencing the completion of the Law, it revealed the light of grace. O, Your wise foresight, Lover of mankind! Through which watch over us all, as all-powerful.


Robed like Aaron in the priestly tunic, you received the Maiden sprung from Jesse’s root, who bore the Redeemer in her womb.

Make straight my life, all-pure Mother of God, who made radiant the life and house of Zachariah.

You served as priest to God according to the Law, Zachariah, and you prophesied Christ incarnate from the Virgin and the Holy Spirit. You appeared to the inhabited world as a pillar of light, and spoke of the Daystar of righteousness who would shine on the world from on high and guide our feet into the way of peace, and who saves mankind.

You served blamelessly as priest to God almighty in the order of the Law, O Prophet Zachariah; and so, as you offered incense, an Angel appeared to you saying: You will beget the Forerunner of Christ, mediator between the Law and inspired Grace.

From the feast of the Entry into the Temple of the Mother of God:

Today let us, the faithful, dance for joy, and sing to the Lord with psalms and hymns, as we venerate His holy tabernacle, the living ark, that contained the Word who cannot be contained. A young child in the flesh, she is offered in wondrous fashion to the Lord, and with rejoicing, Zachariah, the great high priest, receives her as the dwelling place of God.

The blessed Anna cried out, rejoicing: Zachariah, take her whom the prophets of God proclaimed in the Spirit, and lead her into the holy temple to be brought up in reverence, that she may become the divine throne of the Master of all: His palace, His resting-place, and His dwelling filled with light.

A day of joy has dawned, and a feast worthy of all reverence. Today, she who was virgin before childbirth and remained virgin after bearing a child, is offered in the temple. The venerable Zachariah, father of the Forerunner, cries aloud, rejoicing: “The expectation of those in affliction has come to the holy temple, there to be consecrated as dwelling‑place of the Almighty.” Let Joachim, the forefather, be glad, and let Anna rejoice exceedingly, for they have offered to God a three-year-old maiden, the queen without blemish. Rejoice with them, O mothers, and dance for joy, O virgins, those who are barren, be of good cheer. For the preordained queen of all has opened the kingdom of heaven to us. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, all people.

The fruit of righteous Joachim and Anna is brought as an offering to God in the holy sanctuary, she who sustains our life, a young child in the flesh; and she receives the blessing of Zachariah the priest. Let all of us in faith call her blessed, for she is the Mother of the Lord.

#15 Olga

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:13 AM

Don't let this be a stumbling block for you.

It is most apt that Fr Dcn Patrick uses the term "stumbling block", as it well illustrates his stance on certain matters of Orthodox doctrine, holy tradition and theology, expressed in this thread, and in those of Women and Liturgy and Protoevangelion of James. Consider the following from Isaiah ch 8:

13 The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow;
Let Him be your fear,
And let Him be your dread.
14 He will be as a sanctuary,
But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence
To both the houses of Israel,
As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

and, from 1 Cor ch 1:

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“ I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

If it were possible for God to become incarnate, to be conceived and born as a human Child from a virgin "who knew not a man", while still maintaining full divinity and omniscience, to suffer, die, rise from the dead, and ascend into heaven, why is it so impossible that the girl God chose to bear His Son in the flesh could enter the Holy of Holies? Is the will and power of God subordinate to the mores and customs of the Levitical priesthood?

Let's also not forget that when the 40-day-old Christ was presented to the Temple, Orthodox tradition, both in hymnography and iconography, shows the Child's mother presenting Him, not St Joseph, contrary to the Jewish custom of the father presenting the child. It is also significant that, in St Luke's Gospel, Symeon addresses the Mother of God, not Joseph, saying to her: “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Does this mean that Fr Patrick also disputes the hymnographic and iconographic depicton of the Virgin presenting her Son to the Temple, as it is contrary to Jewish practice of the time?

You don't have to believe just as Olga and many others do on Monachos to be an Orthodox Christian.


The clear proclamation of the Virgin entering the Holy of Holies in Orthodox hymnography (which, like iconography, represent the consensus patrum of the Church) elevates this event above the realm of theologoumena (theological opinions), and into the realm of doctrine. Lex orandi, lex credendi. To suggest that one can pick and choose which bits of hymnography one believes in is disingenuous, to say the least. Herman exposed with great clarity the problem with this approach on the Protoevangelion thread:

If we believe as we pray and pray as we believe, I would be very reluctant to say that any formal prayers of the Church are "optional". As a cantor I am not going to tell my priest that I can't sing those particular stichts because I don't believe them, and I would be a hypocrite if I did sing them and not believe them. Are we saying it is OK to sing hymns we don't actually believe?


Edited by Olga, 31 July 2010 - 10:34 AM.


#16 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 12:26 PM

The maximum FDA daily dosage for irony has certainly been exceeded.

Why should we accept it? Because the Church teaches it. Anyone who claims the Church does not teach it really should make themselves more familiar with the service books. The bigger question is why should we believe ANYTHING the Church teaches us? Because archeology backs it up? Because this noted authority or that actor who plays one on TV says so?

Why believe in a crucified God? Why believe that bread and wine become the Body and Blood of the Christ? There are plenty of good excuses not to, it hasn't been scientifically reproduced in a laboratory, the archeological evidence is sketchy at best and there are no shortage of "other" explanations for just about everything.

We believe that the Orthodox Church faithfully preserves the Apostolic Witness to the Revealed God, or we don't. Not the conjectured god, not the reasoned god (or even "reasonable" god), not the god of guesswork, but God as revealed in Christ Jesus. If we don't believe this or cannot accept this, then we are, eventually, going to have to deal with the idea that we might be in the wrong place.

At some point, you either come to terms and accept what the Church teaches, or you don't, because we believe that the Church teaches what Christ revealed. We are not Gnostics, we don't believe that the "real" truth is hidden from the rabble and only known by the elite, although I have met one or two of such types in the Church, an "inner circle", a church within the Church who do not have to believe as the others do, because they "know better".

This is another case that shows the wisdom of the Fathers, who say that humility is the highest virtue. Which is more humble: "I know better" or "I accept the teachings of the Church"? And if you do not have the resources or the stamina to fully research the Fathers of the Church, I don't see where you can go very wrong by listening to the hymnography of the Church. The truth is in our prayers, whether you choose to call it literal or allegorical, as long as you let it change your life, you will find salvation.

In this case, the testimony of the Church in its prayers has been presented. The opinions of several individuals have also been presented. But to simply say "you don't have to believe as other Orthodox Christians do" extremely problematic, particularly in the face of St. Paul's admonition that we should strive to be "of one mind", especially when it comes from one charged with preserving the Apostolic Witness.

Thanks be to God that we do have the hymnody and prayers of the Church. It helped preserve the Russian Church through the communist oppression, and it will also preserve us from intellectual/rationalistic oppression. To God be the Glory.

Herman the irrational Pooh

#17 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 04:30 PM

I think that there is a very serious issue here. The Law clearly states who may and who may not enter into the Holy of Holies. This is the commandment from God Himself. No one, but no one, was allowed to LIVE in the Holy of Holies. Even IF the priest Zaccharias would have allowed it (making him a breaker of the Divine Commandments), do you really think that all the people of Israel would have allowed such a thing?

I have it on the authority of an Orthodox Professor who teaches scripture, that this story of Mary growing up in the Holy of Holies does not come from the Holy Tradition, either scriptural or oral, and is rubbish. This does not mean, however, that she did not grow up in the TEMPLE, which is another idea altogether.


Not so clearly as all that at, least as far as how the Law itself was applied. Thus for example see Mt 12:4 how David "entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat." However beyond that, the Law was not taken to be so externally applying as all that- it had to be and was interpreted according how it was rooted in faithfulness to the One God. And from here Christ continued to focus on the essence of the Law, its actual purpose- which is communion with God, as all the Fathers maintain. Thus it is not correct to maintain that Mary could not have entered the Holy of Holies just because we find it written in the Scriptural Law or find that awesome fear of the Holy of Holies was adhered to by the Jews. Again getting to the heart of this Law we find that Mary could well have been allowed into the Holy of Holies by revelation of the temple elder, precisely because this denotes the highest purpose of and reverence for the Temple and Law which defended it. Thus I think that depicting this as 'rubbish' is off base and in a sense denies God's purpose for man as it actually was worked out through the Law within the Church.

As to the written testimony itself- the Protoevangelion- if I remember the gist of Fr Irenei's comments correctly; it is unsafe to deny this testimony just because it is not found directly in the Gospel or implied directly by the OT Law. We have a far wider tradition of verity beyond written Scripture and which has been deeply deeply held to as reflecting the Truth of the Church, and that for many centuries now. Only in this way after all, as Olga points out, could this testimony have passed so resolutely into the hymnography of our services.

Finally- as to whether not accepting what is written here makes you not Orthodox- no one from what I can see has said this here. Perhaps not accepting it means the non-acceptance of a very important part of the Orthodox tradition or way of seeing; but this does not mean that such a person is not Orthodox. At least to my way of thinking.

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#18 Father David Moser

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 04:57 PM

Another historical circumstance that needs to be taken into account here is that by this time the Holy of Holies was empty. The ark of the covenant was lost (or at least hidden possibly in Ethiopia to prevent its capture). Thus the injunctions against entry into the Holy of Holies were no longer applicable as the (earthly) throne of God, the visible symbol of His presence, was no longer there.

The Prophet and High Priest Zachariah, upon receiving the Virgin at the temple as she was presented was himself overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and he saw her truly to be the Ark, of which the former ark of the covenant was but a foreshadowing. It was only right therefore that the True Ark, which was truly the Throne of God, take the place long vacated by the ark of covenant which was the symbol of that throne.

To deny that it was possible that the Virgin could have entered the Holy of Holies is to doubt her place as the Birthgiver of God. This is no less than the Holy icons or the dogmatic decisions of the Councils a part of the affirmation that the Virgin is indeed the Theotokos and not the Christotokos as the Nestorians would have it.

Fr David

Edited by Father David Moser, 31 July 2010 - 04:58 PM.
finish the last sentence


#19 Andrew Prather

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 06:00 PM

I have it on the authority of an Orthodox Professor who teaches scripture


What authority? In Orthodoxy a professor does not really have authority.

#20 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 06:18 PM

St. Gregory also said that her parents were Joachim and Anna. I don't find them in the geneaologies of the New Testament.

Can someone speak to this?


Spelling of names is a funny thing, especially when you are going from one language with its own alphabet to another and yet again to another, like from Hebrew to Greek to English. Direct letter for letter translation is impossible because different languages have different phonetics. Often, the best we can do is approximations that come close to the original, but then THAT gets translated into another alphabet and you get approximations of approximations, the copies end up not quite as sharp as the original. The two genealogies of Christ given in the New Testament vary quite a bit. There are those who rather convincingly argue (at least for this bear of little brain) that the genealogy in the Gospel of Luke is that of the Theotokos rather than of Joseph. Now, that is still a problem because he gives the name of the "grandfather" of Jesus as "Eli" which, on the face of it is not "Joachim". However, we can fairly certain that "Joachim" was NOT his actual Hebrew name, since there is no "J" in Hebrew. It has been suggested that Eli is short for Eliakim, which in the Old Testament is an alternate name of King Jehoiakim, for whom Joachim is named. So there you go.




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