A beginner questioning Orthodox Christianity

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Orion3003

New member
Sep 14, 2018
5
9
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#1
Hey all, I wanted to make a general Orthodox thread to gain more knowledge and information about it because I'm very curious. Apologies if I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject just yet, I may not get all the definitions right.

I was born and raised a roman catholic (Lithuania is majority Catholics followed by Orthodox which are mostly followed by the Slavic residents) but soon lost interest and due to time and work, I never really got back into studying it. It's a custom here to attend church including what I think is baptism (with the oil on your head) and where you must confess your sins in the booth which I never went through with because I had to emigrate west.

Anyway, now with more free time on my hands, I've begun studying history, philosophy and politics which naturally led to the study of theology. Im on the fence with Christianity again but I'm not exactly sure I want to be a Catholic even though I was baptised. So I have a few general questions to gain some perspective.

What are your general thoughts on Orthodoxy?

Is it worth converting? If so, what is the process?

Lastly, Is there a specific version of the bible to buy or is the KJV one ok?

Would appreciate your thoughts since I would be very interested.
 

calibob

Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
6,864
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lawton ok
#2
Hey all, I wanted to make a general Orthodox thread to gain more knowledge and information about it because I'm very curious. Apologies if I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject just yet, I may not get all the definitions right.

I was born and raised a roman catholic (Lithuania is majority Catholics followed by Orthodox which are mostly followed by the Slavic residents) but soon lost interest and due to time and work, I never really got back into studying it. It's a custom here to attend church including what I think is baptism (with the oil on your head) and where you must confess your sins in the booth which I never went through with because I had to emigrate west.

Anyway, now with more free time on my hands, I've begun studying history, philosophy and politics which naturally led to the study of theology. Im on the fence with Christianity again but I'm not exactly sure I want to be a Catholic even though I was baptised. So I have a few general questions to gain some perspective.

What are your general thoughts on Orthodoxy?

Is it worth converting? If so, what is the process?

Lastly, Is there a specific version of the bible to buy or is the KJV one ok?

Would appreciate your thoughts since I would be very interested.
I know nothing about the Eastern Orthodox religions but English translation bibles I know something about. Kte KJV can be quite tricky to understand because the English translation was completed in 1611 and the language has changed quite a bit since. Many others are paraphrased from it rather than the Latin, Greek or Hebrew texts we still have. The original copyright date of the New International English translation is 1974 according to mine and its written in modern English. I understand its more accurate according to friends who can read the original texts (I can't). That's the one I trust most. There are many more word for word translation also but I'd learn the general story first before diving into Lexicons looking for subtle differences between them. Have fun, learn lots, welcome aboard. by by.
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
27,905
6,367
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#3
The Eastern Orthodox Church is not a single church but rather a family of 13 self-governing bodies, denominated by the nation in which they are located (e.g., the Greek Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church). They are united in their understanding of the sacraments, doctrine, liturgy, and church government, but each administers its own affairs.

The head of each Orthodox church is called a “patriarch” or “metropolitan.” The patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) is considered the ecumenical—or universal—patriarch. He is the closest thing to a counterpart to the Pope in the Roman Catholic Church. Unlike the Pope, who is known as VICARIUS FILIUS DEI (the vicar of the Son of God), the bishop of Constantinople is known as PRIMUS INTER PARES (the first amongst equals). He enjoys special honor, but he has no power to interfere with the 12 other Orthodox communions.

The Orthodox Church claims to be the one true church of Christ, and seeks to trace its origin back to the original apostles through an unbroken chain of apostolic succession. Orthodox thinkers debate the spiritual status of Roman Catholics and Protestants, and a few still consider them heretics. Like Catholics and Protestants, however, Orthodox believers affirm the Trinity, the Bible as the Word of God, Jesus as God the Son, and many other biblical doctrines. However, in doctrine, they have much more in common with Roman Catholics than they do with Protestant Christians.

Sadly, the doctrine of justification by faith is virtually absent from the history and theology of the Orthodox Church. Rather, Orthodoxy emphasizes theosis (literally, “divinization”), the gradual process by which Christians become more and more like Christ. What many in the Orthodox tradition fail to understand is that “divinization” is the progressive result of salvation, not a requirement for salvation itself. Other Orthodox distinctives that are in conflict with the Bible include:

- The equal authority of church tradition and Scripture
- Discouragement of individuals interpreting the Bible apart from tradition
- The perpetual virginity of Mary
- Prayer for the dead
- Baptism of infants without reference to individual responsibility and faith
- The possibility of receiving salvation after death
- The possibility of losing salvation


While the Eastern Orthodox Church has claimed some of the church's great voices, and while there are many in the Orthodox tradition that have a genuine salvation relationship with Jesus Christ, the Orthodox church itself does not speak with a clear message that can be harmonized with the biblical gospel of Christ. The call of the Reformers for “Scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone, and Christ alone” is missing in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and that is too precious a treasure to do without.

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/Eastern-Orthodox-church.html
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
9,646
3,282
113
#4
What are your general thoughts on Orthodoxy?
Orthodoxy (as in the Eastern Orthodox churches) is a mixture of truth and error.
Is it worth converting? If so, what is the process?
You should go by what the Bible says about conversion. It is not conversion to a specific denomination or group, but conversion to becoming a born-again believer. Please note what the Bible says in the Gospel of John 1:2,13: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Bible says "repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted". The Bible also says "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved".
Lastly, Is there a specific version of the bible to buy or is the KJV one ok?
Stick with the King James Bible (not the New King James version).
 

Locutus

Senior Member
Feb 10, 2017
5,928
675
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#5
Don't even consider the KJV, use a modern English version.
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
42,425
15,279
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#7
Read the bible, pray and let God guide you into the truth...like Magenta said above...Eastern Orthodox churches are void of most biblical truth....this is a hard saying but true.........Start with the book of John migo.....Salvation is by grace through faith without any religious hoops to jump through.........!!
 

Orion3003

New member
Sep 14, 2018
5
9
3
#8
Thank you all for the replies, it has been a massive help, I will respond to everyone individually tomorrow. God Bless
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
10,757
1,825
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#9
My grandparents were Ukrainian Orthodox. So, I went to their Cathedral for weddings and funerals. And since I never learned the language, because my mom was French/English, I didn't really understand it.

My grandmother got saved in a Sunday night service in a Pentecostal Church. She prayed for the salvation of all her grandkids, and many of us are believers, even the ones whose parents were atheist. And she made my parents send me to Sunday School at a Baptist church located behind our house, where I learned all kinds of Bible verses that I never forgot. And really - how to be saved.

So again, you are not looking for a house (church building!). You are looking for a person. And that person is revealed in the Bible. His name is Jesus, the name above all names. People in this forum go to many different churches. Those of us in Protestant churches believe the same fundamentals, although some side issues we may disagree with.

Like the KJV. It is quite corrupted, because it was translated by Erasmus, a Roman Catholic priest only had access to 7 very late manuscripts. Many things were added. But mostly, it is not our language. I would advise a Bible like ESV, if you want something closer to the Greek (no such thing as a word for word translation. I think you know that no language really translates well directly into another.) I am reading the NET, but I just was in the HCSB. Next, I am going back to the NIV. It reflects the original languages better. Go to Biblegateway.com, and you can read many versions on-line. Find one you like, and buy a hard copy.

I had two uncles who were Lithuanian. One was vehement that Lithuanian was the original language of the world! The other had the best sense of humour. Good people, both! As to whether they were saved, I do not know.

So, if you want to talk more, send me a pm. Or post it here. Good to meet you, and glad to hear God is drawing you back to him.!
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
16,155
3,087
113
#13
My Uncle moved to Montreal, married a wonderful woman there and they had five children, all boys. He was your national Trap Shoot Champion for several years running back in the day, possibly long before you were born.

Now I ask you, does this make me just a little bit Canadian? It would be an honor.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
10,757
1,825
113
#14
My Uncle moved to Montreal, married a wonderful woman there and they had five children, all boys. He was your national Trap Shoot Champion for several years running back in the day, possibly long before you were born.

Now I ask you, does this make me just a little bit Canadian? It would be an honor.

Well, Trudeau said we welcome everyone! So, if you feel Canadian, then you are!
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
10,757
1,825
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#15
Thats what I hear in my dreams about future :sneaky:
We are not a “melting pot” in Canada. We are a mosaic, or patchwork quilt. People keep the identities of their home countries. Of course, after a few “mixed” marriages (and I am referring to countries, not race) it’s hard to not just melt in. My husband is 1/2 German, 1/2, English/Irish/Scottish. And some UEI/French Canadian/native!! So our kids? And their kids??

I would say the mosaic gets pretty muddy by the 5th generation! Lol
 
Sep 9, 2018
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Illinois
#16
Stick with the King James Bible. Every modern version has been corrupted.
Amen! Another KJB cultist! Like me!!!

It's pretty hard to trust in a promise-keeping God if He is responsible for a zillion variations in doctrinal truth. The Devil knew that quite well as that is his ultimate goal. Satan has a counterfeit for every good thing . . . how naive of people to believe that the Bible isn't one of them. In fact, the modern versions are his greatest accomplishments in his counterfeit gospel.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
10,757
1,825
113
#17
Amen! Another KJB cultist! Like me!!!

It's pretty hard to trust in a promise-keeping God if He is responsible for a zillion variations in doctrinal truth. The Devil knew that quite well as that is his ultimate goal. Satan has a counterfeit for every good thing . . . how naive of people to believe that the Bible isn't one of them. In fact, the modern versions are his greatest accomplishments in his counterfeit gospel.
There really is NOT one variation in doctrine at all! You have fallen for the cult propaganda. The same truth of Jesus Christ, comes through in all the modern versions, except for obvious real cults, like the JWs.

The problem is, once you know Greek and Hebrew, you can see all the mistake s in the KJV. And sometimes those were not mistakes when they were translated, 400 years ago. The word meaning has changed. Or the word doesn't exist any more.

How much better to read a Bible written in your own, contemporary English, so you can understand what it means. When people post in here in KJV, I either just don't read it, or I have to get out Bibliegateway.com and look it up in English, and the original languages.

Modern Bibles have 6000 Greek manuscripts to draw upon, from the 2nd century to the 15th. Those manuscripts are completely catalogued, each addition or deletion noticed, until you get to those 7 manuscripts that Erasmus used, from the 15th century. Even he knew there were mistakes in it, and fought the Catholic church and lost, when he wanted to exclude some verses that simply were not there in any of the earliest manuscripts, in the 4 schools.

I just read an interesting article on how there are actually NO early Byzantine manuscripts extant. They just pop into existence in the 4th century AD, and get copied a million times, making it look like it is the so-called "majority" text. Well, there may, be more Byzantine manuscripts, but most of them have copyist mistakes, and reach their maximum in the 9th and 10th centuries AD. A thousand years from the time of Christ, and up to 800 years after the earliest manuscripts in other traditions.

You might want to look up some scholarly research on this. And if you like the KJV, I encourage you to read it. The only bad translation is one that is not read!

PS. If you dare, here is a chart cataloguing all the Greek manuscripts. Notice that Byzantine doesn't appear till the IV or 4th century. Ponder it a bit, before you deify the KJV.

http://bibletranslation.ws/manu.html
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
11,323
5,720
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#18
Stick with the King James Bible. Every modern version has been corrupted.
Hogwash and codswollop. Don't try to turn this into a KJV-only argument.

There are many modern English translations at least as good, if not much better, than the KJV. They are also written in modern English. Recommending a partially-archaic translation to someone whose first language is not English is inconsiderate lunacy.
 
Sep 9, 2018
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Illinois
#19
The problem is, once you know Greek and Hebrew, you can see all the mistake s in the KJV. And sometimes those were not mistakes when they were translated, 400 years ago. The word meaning has changed. Or the word doesn't exist any more.
Greek scholars such as yourself will use the Greek to correct a passage and then later will use the same Greek to correct the same passage the next time it comes up for debate . . . only with a different meaning.

"Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."

Better to be a cultist for the KJB than an Alexandrian cultist.