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Aphesis vs aphiemi: is remission of sins the same as the forgiveness of sins?


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#1 Sacha

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:32 PM

Many christians outside Orthodoxy define aphesis and aphiemi in the same manner, making one tantamount to the other. Is this correct and if not, why not?

Secondly, Heb 9:22 says this:

"21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission."

What is the OC's understanding of v 22 above?

#2 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:49 PM

It is not an "either/or" situation. It is both. And some other things besides.

Or so it seems to this bear of little brain
Herman the Pooh

#3 Owen

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:29 AM

Aphesis "remission" is the process-noun derived from the verb aphiemi "I remit".

#4 Olga

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:44 AM

Aphesis, aphesin and aphiemi are simply different grammatical declensions of the same word.

#5 Sacha

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:33 AM

It is not an "either/or" situation. It is both. And some other things besides.

Or so it seems to this bear of little brain
Herman the Pooh


My brain must be even littler, because I don't follow what you mean. :-)

Can you elaborate? Thanks

#6 Sacha

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 04:18 AM

Aphesis "remission" is the process-noun derived from the verb aphiemi "I remit".


Dr Owen and Olga,

Thayer's defines Aphesis as such:

1) release from bondage or imprisonment
2) forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty

Is there a distinction between the two? If so, what is it and how can it help us understand what is meant by 'without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins" (Heb 9:22)

#7 Antonios

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 04:49 AM

We are imprisoned by our passions. Held bondage by our sins. When our sins our forgiven us by the Lord, we are released from this prison and find truly liberty. It is both, as Herman said.

As for the quote of St. Paul, he is simply stating what was according to the law. That by the law, shedding of blood was required for the remission of sins via the sacrificial offerings. Christ, the Eternal Lamb of God, has forever fulfilled this by the shedding of His own pure and guiltless blood. God, in good time, revealing the hidden truths of all the laws in the Person of His Only-begotten Son Jesus Christ.

#8 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 01:47 PM

My brain must be even littler, because I don't follow what you mean. :-)

Can you elaborate? Thanks


One of the main points of contention between Protestants is the fact that Holy Scripture often uses more than one word to describe a certain thing. They use many words to describe complex things, things ultimately beyond our understanding. Some people (particularly Protestants in my experience) tend to focus in on one word and ignore the others, saying "THIS is what it is, so it can't be these other things", not realizing that all the words apply, that they all describe different aspects of the same thing. That is what I mean by not "either/or". As fond as I am of simple things (and hunny), I have to accept that some things are not so simple after all. Some things are bigger than a single word can say.

And that is really all I that am saying.
Herman the Pooh

#9 Sacha

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:00 PM

I must say I'm not sure all the above is clear to me. On one hand, we have the fact shared that aphiemi and aphesis are declensions of the same word. I guess the implication there is that they mean the same thing. Yet we also know that there are 2 possible meanings to that word and Herman's post suggests that we should consider both. To complicate matters, in english Bibles, sometimes 'forgiveness' is used, and other times 'remission' is used.

So then I must ask, what is the import of the 2 definitions provided by the lexicon on Aphesis:

1) release from bondage or imprisonment
2) forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty

And also, how can the latter import help us understand what is meant by 'without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins" (Heb 9:22)?

#10 Sacha

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:07 PM

We are imprisoned by our passions. Held bondage by our sins. When our sins our forgiven us by the Lord, we are released from this prison and find truly liberty. It is both, as Herman said.

As for the quote of St. Paul, he is simply stating what was according to the law. That by the law, shedding of blood was required for the remission of sins via the sacrificial offerings. Christ, the Eternal Lamb of God, has forever fulfilled this by the shedding of His own pure and guiltless blood. God, in good time, revealing the hidden truths of all the laws in the Person of His Only-begotten Son Jesus Christ.


Protestants are quick to point out the larger context of the passage in chapter 9 of Hebrews:

"For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."

They argue that since v 23 speaks of the parallel between the Torah and Christ's sacrifice, linked by the 'therefore' and 'copies of the things in the heavens' in that verse, one cannot say that the phrase 'without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins' applies only to the law.

Note that they make this point to defend their doctrine of penal substitution (which I do not believe in btw). I believe Christ's death was substitutionary but in the Orthodox sense, and not in a juridical/western sense.

#11 Anna Stickles

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:07 PM

Forgiveness in its fullest sense is not a change of God's intentions toward us but a healing the consequences of the Fall. Part of the consequence of the Fall is that we have been weakened by our separation from God and loss of His grace, and through this have lost our dominion over creation - part of what we have lost dominion over is our own bodies and souls. "I do not do what I want to do, but what I hate I do." Thus we are in captivity, in bondage, to that which we were originally made to rule over.

The only way for our human nature to be healed was for Christ to unite with it in the Incarnation - but this union was not enough - the old fallen nature, the old fallen order of things, had to be destroyed in order for Christ to re-create humanity in newness of life and free it from this condition of weakness and bondage. It was the Incarnation that assured that this destruction of the old order did not destroy humanity itself, but the shedding of Christ's blood, his death, was necessary for the fullness of the consequences of the Fall to really be healed and our release from captivity inaugerated.

Thus forgiveness in it's fullest sense is the release from captivity.

One of the things that can be confusing is that right now we are in an in-between state. Forgiveness has been inaugerated but not completed. We often say - God has forgiven, but when we look at reality we are still in bondage to our sins. I think this has to do with hope in God's promises and that He is bringing to completion what He started. "Hope that is seen is not hope at all, but if we hope for what we do not see we wait for it patiently."

It's necessary to talk about forgiveness in the meaning of pardon becuase this reminds us that God has not rejected us. He is still with us. Otherwise we would despair. But it is also necessary to realize that pardon is not all that God has to offer, but that real freedom from sin is the fullness of the reality in Christ.

#12 Joshua G.

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 04:57 PM

1) release from bondage or imprisonment
2) forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty

I guess they sound like two ways of saying the same thing to me.

#13 Ronnie Shakespeare

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 03:00 AM

Why does it say in the bible that baptism is for the remission sins:: Then elswhere it says the shedding of blood is for the remission of sins?

#14 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 03:25 AM

The shedding of Christ's blood and His death was the ultimate sacrifice. Fortunately for us, He does not require us to shed our blood, but we still must "die" to the old man through baptism. Being submerged in water is a symbol of death, being raised out of the water is a symbol of life.

#15 Ronnie Shakespeare

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 10:24 PM

So the shedding of Christs blood and his death is the ultimate sacrifice: So is baptism in water is a symbol like The baptism in the blood of christ for the washing and remission of Sins Also??
Like at the same time being submerged in water is a symbol of his death and burial.

#16 Paul Cowan

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 02:14 AM

Symbols abound in the EO church, but I believe I have heard the priest bless the water in the name of the holy spirit as THE water Jordan. Not a symbol of baptism, but the actual water Jesus was baptised in, we also are baptised in.

Can you explain the term "The baptism in the blood of christ for the washing and remission of Sins". As Jesus said, we drink His very blood and Eat His very flesh in the Eucharist. They are not symbols as protestants say. (I was for 34 years)

Being submerged thrice is also not a symbol, but we are raised anew in Life in Jesus by the sanctifiying waters of the Jordan.

All this from a simplistic point of view.

Paul

#17 Sacha

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 04:41 AM

Paul do you believe that it is His literal flesh and blood? I have read some of the threads on trans/consubstantiation on the forum and am very confused by the variety of thoughts offered...find it hard to discern what the Orthodox Church actually teaches...

#18 Ronnie Shakespeare

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 11:33 AM

Symbols abound in the EO church, but I believe I have heard the priest bless the water in the name of the holy spirit as THE water Jordan. Not a symbol of baptism, but the actual water Jesus was baptised in, we also are baptised in.

Can you explain the term "The baptism in the blood of christ for the washing and remission of Sins". As Jesus said, we drink His very blood and Eat His very flesh in the Eucharist. They are not symbols as protestants say. (I was for 34 years)

Being submerged thrice is also not a symbol, but we are raised anew in Life in Jesus by the sanctifiying waters of the Jordan.

All this from a simplistic point of view.

Paul


Jesus was baptised in water. As we know Not because he had sins to be washed away because he was without sin.
He said it was to fulfill Righteousnes.
To me believing being baptised in water washes away your Sins and remission of them Means you did not need the blood of christ. Its like putting this act of works above the shedding of blood for the remission of Sins
I was thinking because baptism symbols death and burial. Maybe also baptism symbols his blood:
Because Rev 1:5 says about Jesus who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.

#19 Paul Cowan

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 02:29 PM

Paul do you believe that it is His literal flesh and blood?


Yes I do. Or do you believe Jesus lied to us at the Last Supper? Many turned away from Him due to His words.
As the burning bush, He is always eaten yet never consumed.

Paul

#20 Sacha

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 03:28 PM

Forgive me for asking for more clarity: by 'literal', do you mean biologically literal flesh and blood made of white and red cells and nerves and sinews etc?




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