Quite right about Righteous being a title for married saints of the New
Testament, as well as for saitns of the Old Testament.
On Mon, May 11, 2009 at 9:49 PM, randall hay <stortford@...>wrote:
> That's a very good point, Christopher, that the "Sheol" of the OT was
> translated as "Hades" in the NT. I could never understand Sheol till I
> became Orthodox, since sometimes in the OT it seemed like the place
> everybody went after death, and sometimes it seemed like a place of
> Yes, it was a place of punishment for those who spurned God; but for the
> faithful it was a time of waiting in Christ till He destroyed death by
> death. In fact God didn't grant them the promise till they could receive it
> with the us----Heb 11:40, "God had seen something better for us, that apart
> from us they should not be made perfect."
> Truly there is one church; the OT saints are not separated from us n any
> way, shape or form even if we can't see them. Paul praises the Colossians
> for "loving all the saints" as well as for their faith in Christ (1:4). "All
> the saints" obviously doesn't exclude anyone.
> The idea that "hell" (Greek 'gehenna') and "hades" are the same is a
> medieval Roman Catholic one, which the Orthodox have always denied.
> Scripture obviously differentiates them by using the two completely
> different words. How it made its way in the KJV is a mystery to me, other
> than that the translators were viewing things through the old RC lense.
> ---By the way, the term "righteous" in reference to certain saints refers
> to those who were married...simply a way of distinguishing one of the paths
> to holiness. Hence Joachim and Anna are known as "righteous." But in the
> broader usage, as you say, "righteous" does have connotations in Orthodoxy
> that are not found in the Western theological systems.
> From: Christopher Orr <xcjorr@... <xcjorr%40gmail.com>>
> To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 6:25:48 PM
> Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] 5 - correct observations? (Patrick
> On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 8:47 AM, nrinne <Nrinne@...<Nrinne%40excite.com>>
> > I would like to look at L1 and EO1 (see "question 2" post) a little bit
> > closely, because I find these differences in particular to be quite
> > interesting and important.
> > I will be following up on the idea of a patristic consensus that the
> > began with Abraham (footnote 72 - will get and read this article). I
> > more conservative, informed Lutherans tend to think, with Eusebius, that
> > "Abraham himself back to the first man, were Christians in fact if not in
> > name" (p 41), primarily because of "a profession of piety toward the one
> > only God over all", through "the knowledge and the teaching of Christ"
> > 41). In other words, there were "Gentile and pagan Saint" because they
> > God by faith, or trust, just as Hebrews 11 says. As Barnes says,
> > use of the term `Christian' for those who were virtuous and professed
> > in God helps to guide our thinking about those believers separated from
> > Church". The key, it seems to me, is that the Lutherans want to put the
> > emphasis on faith, which simultaneously obtains all and yet "naturally"
> > grows into all (and from which true virtue derives), whereas the EO want
> > emphasize virtue (and not necessarily a virtue, or righteousness, which
> > an evidence of faith in the true God, but one more generically defined,
> > open to all to accomplish or attain).
> The rest is a bigger question, but I will take a shot at this part of
> the question.
> Lex orandi est lex credendi.
> Whatever reasons one may come up with, the calendar of the Orthodox
> Church celebrates all the 'Righteous' of the Old Testament as saints,
> i.e., on at least the 2 Sundays prior to Christmas, as well as on
> specific Feast days for certain Old Testament saints.
> There are terms used in Orthodoxy that seem to have different emphases
> than how Lutherans use the same terms. For instance, 'righteous' is a
> term regularly used as a title for Old Testament saints, e.g.,
> Righteous Abraham. This is similar to the title 'venerable' for
> monastic saints of the New Testament that are not also ordained, e.g.,
> Venerable Antony.
> Righteous itself is also a term that is different than in preferred
> Lutheran jargon. Justification, for instance, to the Orthodox means
> 'to make righteous' and not simply 'to be counted as righteous'.
> There is also a difference in understanding regarding the state of
> those that died before Pascha. It is the Orthodox understanding that
> all those that died before Christ's Pascha back to Abel and Adam and
> Cain all went to the same place: Sheol. The righteous and sinners all
> went to this place of darkness. Heaven was not yet opened, death had
> not been overcome. When John the Baptist died he went to Hades, too,
> as Forerunner to Christ and preached the coming of Messiah. So, the
> Orthodox paschal icon is quite literal when it shows Christ breaking
> down the 'gates of Hades' to pull up Adam and Eve (and often other
> saints of the Old Testament such as David and Solomon and sometimes
> also the Magi - and all mankind that believed the Forerunner). They
> were 'made righteous' (justified) and saved by Christ's descent into
> Hell to carry them up.
> Any attainment any human makes is due to that gift and ability being
> placed into us as creations of God and by our being upheld by God.
> There is no shortage of grace in the world. God showers grace and
> imbues as all with grace til we're sopping with it - we have merely to
> act, to will, to wish and intend and struggle and fight and do.
> Again, as to what the state of those outside of the Church is, we do
> not know. We know God is good and kind and patient and understanding
> and longsuffering, etc. so we hope in that. We have no surety. If
> you are taken up to the third heaven, you can tell us if you see any
> of them. God knows who are his and will not suffer accidental loss -
> all will be saved that are to be saved, and he does not wish the
> damnation of any, but the salvation of all.
> The early Apologists such as St. Justin Martyr were rather open to the
> non-Jewish righteous prior to Christ and apart from him. Why? Don't
> know, they just were. This is something that is continued in
> Orthodoxy, but which was forgotten in the systems of the West.
> > Here is my real question I guess: How does a person come to know God, and
> > does this true, personal knowledge of God (John 17: 3) mean that
> > at least, they will be members of the Church triumphant? It seems to me
> > the EO would say, according to Barne's book, that persons like Noah,
> > not being a part of the Church (which they suggest started with Abraham)
> > knew God. I am guessing that he is not seen as being a part of the
> > or assembly of the saints, during his earthly life, but only afterwards
> > heaven. This seems strange to me (Luther, or course, maintained that the
> > Church - yes visible! - started right away in the beginning of creation,
> > with Cain and Abel being the archetypes of human life, post-fall: i.e.
> > Christian assembly [faith] and non-Christian gathering [unbelief]). I
> > for Lutherans, persons are "one with us" (the Church) by the
> > of the heart", which is a faith in the Triune God that anticipates an
> > explicit Christian faith. As Chrysostom says, they that before Christ's
> > coming pleased God are "one body" because they knew Christ. More: "Now
> > is this one body? The faithful throughout the whole world, both which
> > and which have been, and which shall be". (p. 41, footnote 72). It seems
> > given that a man like Noah knew God and is a part of the Church
> > On what basis can we assert that He was not, in some sense, also a part
> > the church militant, Christ's body, while on earth as well, although he
> > not have been, or be, recognized as such by all (the other two of the
> > Hierarchs"? � for it seems Chrysostom is questionable here, and Eusebius
> > surely is)? Do we want to say that Noah only became a part of the body at
> > death? If so, it would seem that something other than "knowing God"
> > of marriage here, the intimacy implied � surely this is not just "falling
> > love"!) is that which organically unites us to the Church � namely simply
> > death itself�
> The primary difference between those before the incarnation and after
> the incarnation is the lack of our one, common human nature being
> united to the one, common divine nature. We are able to be one Body
> with Christ because He assumed our nature into Himself and His Body.
> Given time, those before the Annunciation had no such access.
> It should be remembered that theology in Orthodoxy is not a sort of
> science of specification and definition in a system. Orthodoxy has
> used poetry and imagery, philosophy and argumentation, all sort of
> things in an attempt to get at the indescribable. Orthodoxy is union
> with God, not a proper definition of Him. We see Him, we know Him, we
> then try to report back as best we could the experience and the path
> taken to get there. Just as Christ Himself "grew in stature and
> wisdom" as a man, so too has the Church grown in stature and wisdom
> and understanding of that which it was given in the beginning. New
> heresies have arisen that required the Church to reflect on the import
> of the depositum fidei in contrast to this new teaching. The prime
> example is how iconoclasm forced the Church to reflect deeply on
> triadology and christology and how this affected our understanding of
> images - this reflection led the Church to realize that iconoclasm
> actually implied a heretical christology. So, the saints of the
> Church have not always spoken with the degree of precision that the
> later Church was forced to. A prime example is St. Peter's phrase
> regarding us 'becoming partakers of the divine nature' which is
> heretical if one is applying later, Nicene and post-Nicene triadology,
> but which is perfectly understandable given the stage of growth in
> wisdom and stature in the first century. So, saints can speak
> differently, and can speak indistinctly when compared to the
> challenges and formulae required following future heresies. Also,
> sometimes people are just writing casually - for instance, Luther is
> not as 'exact' in his Table Talk as he is in his 'official' works,
> same with the saints.
> > So, again: "How does a person come to know God, and does this true,
> > knowledge of God (John 17: 3) mean that ultimately, at least, they will
> > members of the Church triumphant?"
> The Orthodox don't know this of themselves, much less of others long
> reposed or not of the Church. We know God, we know Him, whatever He
> does with me, with them, with anyone, I know Him to be good and kind
> and loving, etc. I am sure of that, and that gives me hope; simple
> hope goads me to pray for all, myself and all, living and reposed, my
> enemies and friends, even the demons. St. Silouan the Athonite is a
> wonderful, 20th century account of a saint of great love for the whole
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