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Is Christ a "victim" (ἱερεῖον)?

passion crucifixion victim sacrifice

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#1 Peter Simko

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 04:31 PM

Blessed Fast, my friends:

A presbyter last year and a presbytera this year have explained to me that Christ, in being lifted up voluntarily, is not a victim (in contradiction to the Roman Catholic understanding, for instance); they explained that this term is also not in our liturgical hymnography.  I understand that Christ willingly and voluntarily gave Himself up to the Cross.  However, is it true that "Victim" is not within our liturgical tradition?  In the Paschal Canon, I hear in English: "O my Savior, the Victim, living and unslain..."  Does "iereion" in the sixth Ode not mean "Victim"?


Thank you.



#2 Lakis Papas

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 05:23 PM

the word "ιερείον" - iereion has the meaning of "sacred slaughtered for sacrifice".

 

The word "victim" is not the right one for the translation of "iereion" although it is used In the Paschal Canon. 

 

The translation from greek Paschal Canon: "My Saviour, Thou who art the living, that can not be sacrificed to God, sacred slaughtered for sacrifice..."

 

the greek text: Σώτερ μου το ζων τε και άθυτον, ιερείον, ως Θεός, σεαυτόν εκουσίως, προσαγαγών τω Πατρί, συνανέστησας, παγγενή τον Αδάμ, αναστάς εκ του τάφου.

 

But a literal tranlation is hard to be connected with the music.


Edited by Lakis Papas, 05 March 2015 - 05:27 PM.


#3 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 12:51 PM

Nowadays many English-speakers think a "victim" is someone wronged, but the English victim, like the Latin victima, originally meant a live sacrifice (cf. Latin victus, "living," from vivere, "to live"), as opposed to a sacrifice of grain, wine, precious metal, or other item of value. In that sense, it is the closest English word to iereion, although in Christ's case the offering of the victim was willed by the Victim.

 

I see nothing wrong with its use by the Church. More educated English-speakers know its meaning, and our use of language should lift people up to greater understanding, not dumb them down.  


Edited by Brian Patrick Mitchell, 07 March 2015 - 12:56 PM.


#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 06:55 PM

The word 'victim' does not appear in the KJV Bible nor in the Book of Common Prayer, but, following the Rhemish Bible which first gave the word currency, 'victim' has been used in relation to Christ since the late 17th century.



#5 Ryan

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 12:50 PM

I would second Brian's post. "Victim" historically means something intended for ritual sacrifice (whether animal or human). So "victim" is a fitting translation for ιερείον.



#6 Georgije Z.

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 10:44 PM

Sorry for taking this thread up again. Can we say that Christ's passion is - sacrifice? And that His sacrifice is both mystical and eternal? Of course in accordance with the Orthodox theology.

#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 11:34 AM

I think 'sacrifice' is a word which is used since if memory serves me correctly it is used in the service books. It is both eternal and mystical.



#8 Georgije Z.

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 01:30 PM

Thank you very much for your kind answer. Best, g

#9 Father David Moser

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 02:48 PM

To add a note of clarification.  To say "sacrifice" in this context one must separate it from the implications of propitiation.  Christ's sacrifice is not made to "appease" God or anyone else - it is giving oneself up to certain death in order to save another (as a mother would sacrifice herself to starvation so that her children might eat and live - or as a hero might throw himself into the line of fire so that another person might not be hit with a fatal shot).  This is the self sacrificing love of Christ for us.

 

Fr David



#10 Loucas

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 04:15 PM

To be sure, Christ is God incarnate. He is the New Adam. As Adam was in disobedience and so our nature becomes fallen, we no longer are in the "likeness" of our God. God himself, the one who is without beginning or end, willed himself to take on our image, the image he created, so to become our example and to show obedience, love and surrender of self-will to allow us the means to return to the original " Image and Likeness" of God. No he is not a victim in any way at all. But see how the creator displays great humility and cloths himself in his creation, so we the created now can cloth ourselves in him, Christ, and return to the original state he created us in. Glory to God!



#11 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 06:53 PM

One thinks of the word, 'kenosis', Christ's self-emptying since it is this we are enjoined to emulate in order to become Christ-like, to achieve the divine likeness or theosis. All that Christ accomplished for us was done voluntarily and so not qua victim.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 03 January 2016 - 06:55 PM.


#12 Loucas

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 08:08 PM

correct, preordained for our salvation. remember when Pilot mentioned his power to have him crucified, and Jesus told him "you could have no power at all against me unless it had been given you from above"...not the words of a victim.



#13 Peter Simko

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 10:48 PM

Friends,

 

I noticed that the translation "Victim" was used for our Triodion Stichera at Great Vespers this past Saturday.  The whole line is below, and the word translated as Victim in the OCA is θύματι. How should this word have been translated instead?

 

Ἐπιγνῶμεν ἀδελφοὶ τοῦ μυστηρίου τὴν δύναμιν· τὸν γὰρ ἐκ τῆς ἁμαρτίας, πρὸς τὴν πατρικὴν ἑστίαν, ἀναδραμόντα, Ἄσωτον Υἱὸν ὁ πανάγαθος Πατήρ, προϋπαντήσας ἀσπάζεται, καὶ πάλιν τῆς οἰκείας δόξης, χαρίζεται τὰ γνωρίσματα, καὶ μυστικὴν τοῖς ἄνω ἐπιτελεῖ ευφροσύνην, θύων τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτόν, ἵνα ἡμεῖς ἀξίως πολιτευσώμεθα, τῷ τε θύσαντι φιλανθρώπῳ Πατρί, καὶ τῷ ἐνδόξῳ θύματι, τῷ Σωτῆρι τῶν ψυχῶν ἡμῶν.



#14 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 01:22 AM

I'm no scholar of Greek but 'victim' seems right, in the sense of the One (Christ) Who is sacrificed. The word in another grammatical form is found at 1 Cor. 5:7. It is word 2380 in Strong's Greek lexicon.



#15 Lakis Papas

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 11:52 AM

http://www.perseus.t...=33:entry=qu=ma



#16 Peter Simko

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 01:14 PM

So, it would seem that the use of the English word "Victim" can be a correct title for the Son of God as far as the strict etymological denotation goes, but it must be used cautiously because the connotation is that a "victim" is generally one that is harmed against his will.  May God shed His Wisdom on us and on those whose ministry it is to translate and interpret!



#17 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 07:28 PM

The word 'victim' has only occured in English in Bible usage for some 400 years and so I wonder if 'sacrifice' is a better word.



#18 Loucas

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 12:28 AM

Hello. well todays reading shows clearly that the Great Apostle Paul, did not view Christ as a victim in any way at all. Glory to God, Doxa to Theos,,http://www.goarch.or...4&date=3/9/2016







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