Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“Of course,
forcing a child
to rescind [his] religious beliefs
for the sake of nationalism
is a blatant violation of religious freedom” /

ο εξαναγκασμός ενός παιδιού
να αναιρέσει τις θρησκευτικές πεποιθήσεις [του]
για χάρη του εθνικισμού
αποτελεί κατάφωρη παραβίαση της θρησκευτικής ελευθερίας»

Students pledging allegiance to the American flag
with the Bellamy salute

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a socialist as part of a program for the National Public School celebration of Columbus Day. Bellamy's original text for the Pledge was as follows:
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

That September, it was published in The Youth's Companion, and gained steam from there. By 1905, 19 states had passed school flag laws involving the Pledge. By 1923, the words "my Flag" had been changed to "the flag of the United States", apparently to avoid confusion. One year later, the National Flag Conference added the words "Of America.”

In 1940, the landmark Minersville v Gobitis case was filed, after two children were expelled for refusing to recite the pledge. Their rationale for doing so was their faith, as they were from a family of Jehovah's Witnesses, who refuse to swear to any power besides God. The Pledge was adopted nationally as part of the Flag Code in 1942, the same year that the Supreme Court decided the Gobitis case was decided. In Gobitis, the court ruled that the Gobitis children did not have the right to abstain from saying the Pledge. Justice Frankfurter wrote the opinion of the court.
"The wisdom of training children in patriotic impulses by those compulsions which necessarily pervade so much of the educational process is not for our independent judgment. Even were we convinced of the folly of such a measure, such belief would be no proof of its unconstitutionality... What the school authorities are really asserting is the right to awaken in the child's mind considerations as to the significance of the flag contrary to those implanted by the parent. In such an attempt the state is normally at a disadvantage in competing with the parent's authority, so long-and this is the vital aspect of religious toleration-as parents are unmolested in their right to counteract by their own persuasiveness the wisdom and rightness of those loyalties which the state's educational system is seeking to promote."

Frankfurter's opinion clearly stated that the state has the right to teach children views counter to those of their parents. In this case, that view is that the flag and nation are entities worthy of praise, counter to what the Jehovah's witness doctrines would say. It also states that the schools are at a disadvantage to the parents, when it comes to education. Of course, forcing a child to rescind their religious beliefs for the sake of nationalism is a blatant violation of religious freedom. The refusal to say the pledge made many perceive Jehovah's Witnesses as being unpatriotic. This led to a string of hate crimes against Jehovah's Witnesses.

In an act of common sense, the court overturned the Gobitis decision one year later in Barnette, where the court ruled that students have the right to not speak, and abstain from the pledge. It also ruled unconstitutional any punishment for a student abstaining from the pledge. Justice Jackson wrote the opinion of the court.
"[I]f there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."

* Kyle T. Morrison,
"God Loves Flags, But I Don't:
Why the Pledge of Allegiance is an American Travesty
The Ohio State University,April 2013, pp. 6, 7.
[English/Αγγλικά, PDF]

Should Christians
join the army? /

Πρέπει οι χριστιανοί
να στρατεύονται;

Greek Orthodox Christian Chaplain
of the II Infantry Division in the Balkan Wars
and WWI, Fr. Eleutherios Nuphrákes
Greek Orthodox Christian Chaplains
during the Balkan Wars
Greek Orthodox Christian Chaplain
during the Balkan Wars
Greek Orthodox Christian Chaplain
in Albania during WWII


The controversy over whether Christianity sanctions violence has hounded the church from its very beginning. Some have argued that Christians were expected to follow Jesus' example of selfless love (agape), and "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt. 5: 44). Those who took the other side have referred to the incident in which Jesus drove the money changers from the Temple, and to his enigmatic statement: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace but a sword" (Matt. 10:34; cf. also Luke 12:51-2). The early Church Fathers, including Tertullian and Origcn, asserted that Christians were constrained from taking human life, a principle that prevented Christians from serving in the Roman army.

When Christianity was vaulted into the status of state religion by Constantine in the fourth century CE, it began to reject pacifism and accept the doctrine of just war, an idea first stated by Cicero and later developed by Ambrose and Augustine. The abuse of the concept in justifying military adventures and violent persecutions of heretical and minority groups led Thomas Aquinas, in the thirteenth century, to reaffirm that war is always sinful, even if it is occasionally waged for a just cause. Remarkably, the just war theory still stands today as the centerpiece of Christian understanding about the moral use of violence (see, e.g., Ramsay 1968; Potter 1969). Some Christian theologians have adapted the theory of just war to liberation theology, arguing that the church can embrace a "just revolution" (Brown 1987; Gutierrez 1988).

An American Protestant theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr, showed the relevance of the just war theory to contemporary social struggles by relating it to the Christian requirement to fulfill social justice. When violence is employed for the sake of justice, Niebuhr explained, it must be used as swiftly and skillfully "as a surgeon's knife" (Niebuhr 1932:134). In a famous essay answering the question, "why the Christian Church is not pacifist", Niebuhr—who had himself been a pacifist earlier in his career—built his case on Augustine's understanding of original sin. Because of the sinful nature of humanity, Niebuhr argued, righteous force was sometimes necessary to extirpate injustice and subdue evil within a sinful world (Niebuhr 1940).

«Οι πρώτοι εκκλησιαστικοί πατέρες, περιλαμβανομένου του Τερτυλλιανού και του Ωριγένη, δήλωναν ότι απαγορευόταν στους Χριστιανούς να αφαιρέσουν ανθρώπινη ζωή, μια αρχή που τους εμπόδιζε να συμμετέχουν στο ρωμαϊκό στρατό».

* The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion,
Peter Bernard Clarke (ed.),
Oxford Handbooks Online, 2008,
p./σ. 899.

*   *

Monday, April 29, 2013

Πότε θα ριχτούν στην πυρά οι επόμενοι
στο Τζυκανιστήριο; /

When wil be burned alive the next ones
at the Tzykanisterion?

Αυτά αποφάνθηκε ο βασιλιάς και φαινομενικά έκλεισε την υπόθεση. Άρπαξαν αμέσως τους κατηγορούμενους και τους απομάκρυναν μπροστά στα μάτια του πλήθους που συνέρρεε από παντού. Άναψαν ύστερα «καμίνους επταπλασίως», για να μιλήσω όπως ο μελωδός, στο αποκαλούμενο Τζυκανιστήριον. Η φωτιά ανέβαινε ως τον ουρανό· στο ένα καμίνι στεκόταν ο σταυρός· οι ένοχοι μπορούσαν να διαλέξουν σε ποιο απ' τα δύο θα πήγαιναν με την ιδέα ότι όλοι θα καίγονταν. Βλέποντας πως ο θάνατος ήταν αναπόφευκτος, όσοι απ' αυτούς ήταν ορθόδοξοι κατευθύνθηκαν προς το καμίνι του σταυρού βέβαιοι πως τους περίμενε το μαρτύριο· οι δε αθεότατοι, παραμένοντας προσκολλημένοι στη μυσαρή αίρεση, στράφηκαν προς το άλλο.

They were at once taken and led away and a large crowd had gathered and stood round about them. Then pyres were lighted, 'seven times as large as they were wont to be,' as the hymn-writer says, in the place called Tzycanisterin; the flames rose to the heavens, and the cross stood above the one; each of the condemned was given his choice to walk to which of the two pyres he wished, as all were destined to be burnt. Seeing that there was no escape, the orthodox among them walked to the pyre with the cross, ready really to suffer martyrdom; whereas the godless ones who clung to their abominable heresy turned to the other.

Εἶναι γνωστόν ὅτι ὁ διεθνής Σιωνισμός διϊστορικά μισεῖ τόν Χριστόν Ἰησοῦν, τόν ἐνσαρκωθέντα Υἱόν καί Λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ τόν ἀληθῆ Μεσσίαν. Ἡ Καμπάλα καί τό Ταλμούδ βρίθουν ἀπό ὕβρεις ψευδολογίες, αἰσχρότητες καί γελοιότητες πού ἀφοροῦν στό Πανάγιο καί ὑπερύμνητο πρόσωπό Του. Καί εἶναι ἐπίσης γνωστό ὅτι ἀγωνίζονται μέ τήν Μασονία, τό Ἰσλάμ, τίς ἀποκρυφιστικές κινήσεις καί τόν νεοπαγανισμό τῆς Νέας Ἐποχῆς, νά ἀπομειώσουν τήν εἰς Χριστόν πίστιν.

29 Απριλίου 2013.


Μια ακόμη περίπτωση
εμπλοκής των χριστιανών στην πολιτική /

One more case
of involvement
of the Christians in politics

Έτσι, αντικατέστησε τα προνόμια που είχε αφαιρέσει από τους Χριστιανούς στην πρώτη ριζοσπαστική περίοδο του Μπάαθ με άλλα που επέτρεπαν ουσιαστικά στις κοινότητες να αποκτήσουν δικά τους δίκτυα και ομάδες καθώς και σύστημα απονομής δικαιοσύνης. Φυσικά το καθεστώς φρόντιζε να τοποθετεί τους κατάλληλους ανθρώπους μέσα σε αυτά προκειμένου να τα ελέγχει, ωστόσο αποτελεί παράδοξο το γεγονός ότι σε μια μουσουλμανική χώρα που το κράτος ασκούσε έλεγχο σε κάθε έκφανση της κοινωνικής ζωής οι μόνοι που μπορούσαν να έχουν δίκτυα ήταν οι χριστιανικές μειονότητες.

Αυτός ακριβός ο ρόλος των χριστιανικών κοινοτήτων ριζοσπαστικοποίησε τη νεολαία προς την κατεύθυνση όχι των κοινωνικών αιτημάτων αλλά του θρησκευτικού ακτιβισμού και της ενίσχυσης μιας χριστιανικής πολιτικής ταυτότητας.

Με την κατάσταση να είναι στα άκρα και την ίδια τους την ύπαρξη να τίθεται εν αμφιβόλω οι χριστιανοί πρέπει να διαλέξουν πλευρά. Τόσο οι φιλελεύθεροι αντικαθεστωτικοί όσο και οι κυβερνητικοί ξέρουν ότι η αδράνεια των Χριστιανών δεν ωφελεί κανέναν. Ξέρουν επίσης ότι η επιλογή που θα κάνουν θα έχει καθοριστική σημασία για την έκβαση της διαμάχης τόσο λόγω του μεγέθους τους όσο και της πολιτιστικής διασύνδεσης που έχουν με τη Δύση.

* Πηγή: www.lifo.gr
29.4.2013 | 12:20
Γιώργος Κόκκολης,
«Ποιος σκοτώνει τους χριστιανούς στη Συρία; Οι αντάρτες, ο Άσαντ και η ουδετερότητα».
Αυτός ακριβός ο ρόλος των χριστιανικών κοινοτήτων ριζοσπαστικοποίησε τη νεολαία προς την κατεύθυνση όχι των κοινωνικών αιτημάτων αλλά του θρησκευτικού ακτιβισμού και της ενίσχυσης μιας χριστιανικής πολιτικής ταυτότητας. Πηγή: www.lifo.gr
Αυτός ακριβός ο ρόλος των χριστιανικών κοινοτήτων ριζοσπαστικοποίησε τη νεολαία προς την κατεύθυνση όχι των κοινωνικών αιτημάτων αλλά του θρησκευτικού ακτιβισμού και της ενίσχυσης μιας χριστιανικής πολιτικής ταυτότητας. Πηγή: www.lifo.gr

Early & modern Christian positions
on the question of war /

Στάσεις απέναντι στο ζήτημα του πολέμου
των πρώτων και των σύγχρονων χριστιανών

What caused the mission of Greek Orthodox Church to Korea? /
Ποια ήταν η αιτία της ιεραποστολής στην Κορέα
από την Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία της Ελλάδος;

"Archimandrite Hariton Symeonides of the Greek Orthodox Church -
Holy Water Blessing with Greek Soldiers during the Korean War.
Archimandrite Hariton was the first Greek Chaplain to come in contact with the Korean Orthodox
whom were scattered throughout Korea due to the War. He worked to gather the flock in 1951." * * 

'Orthodox priests sprinkled holy water on nuclear warheads and blessed military factories,
navy vessels and army aeroplanes while mugging for cameras.' *

"NONVIOLENCE. Virtually every religious tradition contains some sort of injunction against taking human life. The biblical instruction “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex. 20:13, Dt. 5:17), considered normative for both Jewish and Christian traditions, is echoed in the New Testament (Mt. 5:21) and also in the Quran: “Slay not the life that God has made sacred” (6:152). In the Buddhist tradition, the first of the Five Precepts mandated as part of the Eightfold Path of righteous living is the requirement not to kill. A Jain text claims that “if someone kills living things . . . his sin increases” (Sutrakratanga 1.1), a sentiment that is also found in Hinduism: “The killing of living beings is not conducive to heaven” (Manusmrti 5.48).


EARLY CHRISTIANITY. Martyrdom was an important feature of early Christianity as well, partly because it seemed an imitation of the sacrifice of Jesus, but there has been disagreement among Christians from that time to the present over whether Jesus’ example of selfless love (agape) was meant to be followed to similar extremes by other members of the Christian community. Those who thought so expected that the peaceable kingdom of God that is often depicted in the Gospels would be realized in this world, and they took literally Jesus’ advocacy of a nonviolent approach to conflict: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt. 5:44).

The early church fathers, including Tertullian and Origen, affirmed that Christians were constrained from taking human life, a principle that prevented them from participating in the Roman army. The fact that soldiers in the army were required to swear allegiance to the emperor’s god was also a deterrent, since it would have forced Christians into what they regarded as idolatry.

The adoption of Christianity as the state religion by Constantine in the fourth century CE brought about a major reversal in Christian attitudes toward pacifism and led to the formulation of the doctrine of just war. This idea, based on a concept stated by Cicero and developed by Ambrose and Augustine, has had a significant influence on Christian social thought. The abuse of the concept in justifying military adventures and violent persecutions of heretical and minority groups led Thomas Aquinas, in the thirteenth century, to reaffirm that war is always sinful, even if it is occasionally waged for a just cause.

The late medieval period witnessed the rise of a series of movements dedicated to pacifism and the ethic of love that Jesus had advocated in his Sermon on the Mount. One of the first of such groups was the Waldensian community based in France and North Italy; this was founded by Pierre Valdès, who in 1170 had committed himself to a life of poverty and simplicity, and who refused to bear arms. Although Valdès was excommunicated from the church, he is said to have influenced the young Francis of Assisi, whose religious order later adopted many of Valdès’s principles. Similar pacifist teachings were advocated by John Wyclif and his Lollard followers in fourteenthcentury England, and in the same century the Hussite and Taborite movements in Czechoslovakia rejected all forms of violence, as did their successors, the Moravians.

The Protestant Reformation provided a new stimulus for groups that rejected the church’s compromise with what it often regarded as the political necessity of military force. In the first decades of the sixteenth century, the Anabaptists broke away from Ulrich Zwingli’s branch of the Swiss Reformation over the issues of voluntary baptism and absolute pacifism—teachings the Anabaptists affirmed and that, later in the same century, were adopted by Menno Simons and his Mennonite followers in Holland. In a tragic and ironic twist of fate, many of these pacifists were persecuted by fellow Protestants as heretics, and were burned at the stake.

Perhaps the best-known Protestant pacifist movement is the Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers, which was established by George Fox in England in 1649. The nonviolent ethic of this radical Puritan movement was based on the notion that a spark of the divine exists in every person, making every life sacred. With this in mind, the Quaker colonialist William Penn refused to bear arms in his conflict with the American Indians, with whom he eventually negotiated a peace settlement.

Many pacifist Christian movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, owe a substantial debt to Christian predecessors such as those mentioned above. Others have been influenced by Western humanist and Asian pacifist thought, especially, in the twentieth century, by the ideas of Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi, in turn, was influenced by Christian pacifists, including the Russian novelist and visionary Lev Tolstoi and the American Christian social activists Kirby Page, Clarence Marsh Case, and A. J. Muste. The largest Christian pacifist organization of modern times, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, was founded in England in 1914; and a number of statements urging nonviolence have been issued from the Vatican and from the World Council of Churches in response to the two world wars of this century. In the United States during the mid-twentieth century, Christian pacifist ideas played a significant role in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s nonviolent movement for racial justice, the movement against the American involvement in the Vietnam War, and in movements against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Some Christian “nuclear pacifists,” however, restrict their advocacy of nonviolence to nuclear arms, whose massively destructive power, they feel, vitiates the traditional Christian defense of weaponry in a “just war.”"

«Οι πρώτοι εκκλησιαστικοί πατέρες, περιλαμβανομένου του Τερτυλλιανού και του Ωριγένη, δήλωναν ότι απαγορευόταν στους Χριστιανούς να αφαιρέσουν ανθρώπινη ζωή, μια αρχή που τους εμπόδιζε να συμμετέχουν στο ρωμαϊκό στρατό».

* The Encyclopedia of Religion
[Εγκυκλοπαίδεια της Θρησκείας],
2nd ed., Macmillan Reference/Thomson Gale 2005,
vol./τόμ. 10, p./σ. 6647, 6648.

John Nelson Darby
on the places in the NT
that “Lord” means Jehovah /

Ο John Nelson Darby
σχετικά με τις περιπτώσεις
όπου στην ΚΔ
ο όρος «Κύριος» σημαίνει Ιεχωβά

Le Nouveau Testament

[French/Γαλλικά, PDF]

The Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and book of Revelation,
commonly called the New Testament
Notes and Corrections.
[English/Αγγλικά, PDF]

John Nelson Darby /
Τζον Νέλσον Ντάρμπι

bible-researcher.com, "John Nelson Darby’s Version".

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Nicolae Iorga
& the Byzantium after Byzantium /

O Nicolae Iorga
& το Βυζάντιο μετά το Βυζάντιο

Nicolae Iorga,

Byzance après Byzance:
Continuation de l’Histoire de la vie byzantine

[Το Βυζάντιο μετά το Βυζάντιο:
Η συνέχιση της Ιστορίας του βυζαντινού βίου

Association Internationale d'Etudes du Sud-Est Européen,
Comité National Roumain,
1971 [11935].

[French/Γαλλικά, PDF]

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Where did NT writers
derive the Greek appellation Kyrios
for Jehovah? /

Από ποιά πηγή
παρέλαβαν οι συγγραφείς της ΚΔ
την επωνυμία Κύριος
για τον Ιεχωβά;

κύριος, ου, ὁ κύριος owner, master, lord; Lord

6. Κύριος is otherwise used of Yahweh in the following NT passages (? indicates that κύριος may refer to Jesus): Matt 1:20, 22; 3:3*; 4:7*, 10*; 5:33*; 11:25; 21:9*, 42; 22:37*, 44a*; 23:39*; 24:42(?); 27:10*; Mark 1:3*; 5:19 (?); 11:9*, 10; 12:11*, 29a, b*, 30*, 36a*; 13:20; Luke 1:6, 9, 15, 16, 17, 25, 28, 32, 38, 45, 46, 58, 66, 68, 76(?); 2:9b, 15, 22, 23a, b*, 24, 26, 39; 3:4*; 4:8*, 12*, 18*, 19*; 5:17; 10:21, 27*; 13:35*; 19:38*; 20:37, 42a*; John 1:23 *; 5:4; 12:13*, 38a, b*; Acts 1:24; 2:20*, 21*, 25*, 34a*, 39, 47; 3:20, 22; 4:26, 29; 5:9; 7:31, 33, 49*; 8:22, 24, 39; 10:4, 14(?), 33; 11:8, 16(?), 21a, 23(?); 12:11, 17; 13:2, 11, 12, 44, 47; 15:17a, b, 40; 16:14, 15, 30, 32(?); 17:24; 18:8, 9(?); 20:19(?), 28, 32; 21:14; Rom 4:8*; 9:28, 29*; 10:12, 13*, 16*; 11:3*, 34*; 12:19*; 14:4b, 6a, b, c, 11*; 15:11*; 1 Cor 1:31*; 2:16*; 3:5, 20*; 4:19; 7:17; 10:26*; 14:21*; 2 Cor 5:11(?); 6:17*, 18*; 8:19, 21; 10:17, 18 ; 2 Tim 2:14(?), 19a*, b*, 22(?), 24(?); Heb 1:10*; 7:21*; 8:2(?), 8*, 9*, 10*, 11*; 10:16*, 30a*, b*; 12:5*, 6*; 13:6*; Jas 3:9; 4:10, 15; 5:4, 11a, b; 1 Pet 1:25*; 2:3*, 13(?); 3:12a*, b*; 2 Pet 2:9, 11(?); 3:8, 9, 15; Jude 5(?):9, 14; Rev 1:8; 4:8, 11; 11:4, 15, 17; 15:3, 4; 16:5, 7; 18:8; 19:6; 21:22; 22:5, 6.

7. Whence did NT writers derive this Greek appellation for Yahweh? Use of absolute (ὁ) Κύριος for Yahweh has been thought to be derived from the LXX, in the great parchment codices of which Heb. Yhwh is translated by κύριος (so Cullmann, Hahn, et al.). But this tr. is found only in fourth- and fifth-century Christian copies of the LXX, not in those prepared for Greek-speaking Jews in pre-Christian times (e.g., Pap. Fuad 266 [from Egypt] and 8ḤevXII gr [from Palestine]). In these versions of the OT Yhwh is inserted in Hebrew or palaeo-Hebrew characters into the Greek text, and both Origen and Jerome knew of such copies in their days. Moreover, at least since W. Bousset it has been maintained that it was "unthinkable" that a Palestinian Jew would call God absolutely "the Lord" (see Bultmann, Theology I, 51f.).

Yet there was clearly a custom beginning among Palestinian Jews of the last two centuries B.C. of referring to God as "(the) Lord," in Aramaic as mārêh (indefinite, 11QtgJob 24:6-7; 1QapGen 20:12-13) or māryā’ (definite, 4QEnb 1, iv.5), in Hebrew as adôn (even without the controversial suffix -āy, Ps 114:7; 11QPsa 28:7-8), and in Greek as κύριος (Josephus Ant. xx.4.90; xiii.68 [quoting Isa 19:19]; T. Levi 18:2 [κύριος]; 1 Enoch [Greek] 10:9 [ὁ κύριος]). Even though none of these examples indicates that Yhwh was translated by κύριος, they at least show that it was not "unthinkable" for Palestinian Jews to call "God" (’ēl) or "the Almighty" (šadday) "Lord." The direct line has not yet been traced from this pre-Christian Jewish custom to the NT writers, but its influence on these writers is not unimaginable.

* Horst Balz & Gerhard Schneider,
Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament,
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004,
Vol./Τόμ. 2, p./σ. 330.

Monday, April 22, 2013

O. Eissfeldt as source
for the L. Köhler & W.Baumgartner claim
concerning the “Jehovah” form /

Ο O. Eissfeldt
ως πηγή της θέσης των L. Köhler & W.Baumgartner
σχετικά με τη μορφή “Ιεχωβά”

R. Cawdry, A table alphabeticall (1604)

3594 יהוה
1. forms: a) (Driver ZAW 46:7ff; Albright JBL 43:370ff) first instances Gn 24 426; pronounced as אֲדֹנָי in MT, → אָדוֹן, since first century AD (Baudissin 2:305f: even earlier; Rudolph 231f, on Lam 331); editions consequently יְהוָֹה, Leningrad יְהוָה, from which BH3 and BHS; usu. understood as שְׁמָא, Arm. for הַשֵּׁם (Baudissin 2:124f) :: Katz ThZ 4:467f; Alfrink 5:72ff: having become unpronounceable; when together with אֲדֹנָי rd. as “Elohim” יְהוִה, יְהוִֹה and לֵיהוִה Ps 6821 † (Baudissin 1:590); b) Jehovah, wrong pronunciation, improperly mixing K and Q, generally used since ca. 1500; first reference in 1381 (Eissfeldt Kl. Schr. 1:1674
); pronunciation אֲדֹנָי leads to writing לַ/כַּ‍/וַ/בַּיהוה; pronounced baʾadonāi etc. (or beyahweh etc.), מֵיְהוָה (Lam 29), pronounced mēʾadōnāy or miyyahweh; c) that *yahweh was the original form (Fohrer Geschichte 63, :: LDelekat Fschr. Kuhn 23ff: orig. yāhō/ū) is shown i) by the play on words with אֶהְיֶה Ex 314; ii) by the transcription Ιαουαι/ε in Clement of Alexandria Stromata 5:6, 34 (Baudissin 2:116f :: Ganschinietz in Pauly-W. 9:700: Ιαου); iii) by the transcription Ιαβε in Field on Ex 63 (Baudissin 2:222f); d) in names in which יהוה is the final element, *yahweh changes to yahw (cf. יִשְׁבֶּה > jussive יִשְׁבְּ) and *yā́hū, (cf. יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה > יִשְׁתַּ֫חוּ, and שָׂ֫חוּ swimming < *śaḥw, Bauer-L. Heb. 420k, 576g), and נְתַנְיָ֫הוּ reduced > נְתַנְיָה; word initially *yāhū > *yehū < yehō (dissimilated or back-formation < yō ?): יְהוֹנָתָן > יוֹנָתָן; before ū dissimilated > yē → יֵשׁוּעַ and יֵהוּא (?); according to others (Baudissin 2:1955; Hehn 228) יָהוּ was an independent word, with יָה/יָהּ. as short forms.

* Ludwig Köhler, Walter Baumgartner & Johann Jakob Stamm (eds.),
The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT),
vol./τόμ. 1, pp./σσ. 394-95.

Otto Eissfeldt,
Kleine Schriften, vol./τόμ. 1,
1962,pp./σσ. 167, 168.

Η πατερναλιστική παραβίαση
των επιλογών βάσει συνείδησης
είναι κάτι χειρότερο από δολοφονία /

Violating paternalistically
the choices made by conscience
is worse than killing

Gettysburg Times,
January 11, 1982 / 11 Ιανουαρίου 1982,
p./σ. 2


“[The] violation of [another's] conscience does grave damage to man.
It is the most painful blow inflicted to human dignity.
In a certain sense, it is worse than inflicting physical death, or killing.”

* Pope John Paul II,
Pope denounces Polish crackdown”,

New York Times, January 11, 1982, p. A9.


«Η παραβίαση της συνείδησης [ενός άλλου ανθρώπου]
προκαλεί τεράστια ζημιά στον άνθρωπο.
Είναι το πιο οδυνηρό χτύπημα
που μπορεί να δεχτεί η ανθρώπινη αξιοπρέπεια.
Με μια ορισμένη έννοια,
αυτό είναι χειρότερο από το να σκοτώσουν το σώμα κάποιου,
δηλαδή να τον θανατώσουν».

* Πάπας Ιωάννης Παύλος Β΄,
«Ο πάπας καταγγέλλει τα αυστηρά μέτρα που επιβάλλονται στην Πολωνία»,
New York Times, 11 Ιανουαρίου 1982, σ. A9.


Κοσμάς Ινδικοπλεύστης:
Σύμφωνα με την προφητεία του Δανιήλ,
η Ρωμανία θα διατηρηθεί από τον Ιησού Χριστό
ως το τέλος αυτού του κόσμου /

Cosmas Indicopleustes:
According to Daniel's prophecy,
the Roman Empire will be sustained by Jesus Christ
until the end of this world

Κοσμάς ο Ινδικοπλεύστης, Χριστιανική τοπογραφία /
Cosmas Indicopleustes, The Christian topography,
WINSTEDT (1909), 2.113B.

The empire of the Romans thus participates in the dignity of the Kingdom of the Lord Christ, seeing that it transcends, as far as can be in this state of existence, every other power, and will remain unconquered until the final consummation, for he says that it shall not be destroyed for ever. Now, if that expression for ever be taken as applying to the Lord Christ, it signifies endless duration, in accordance with what Gabriel also says to the Virgin: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there shall be no end. If again the expression be taken as applying to the Roman empire which made its appearance in the world along with Christ, this shall not be destroyed while this world continues. For I assert with confidence, that though, by way of chastisement for our sins, hostile barbarians rise up for a short while against the Roman dominion, yet that by the valour of him who governs us the empire will continue to be invincible, provided it does not restrict but widens the influence of Christianity. I say so because this imperial family believed in Christ before the others, and this empire is the servant of the dispensation established by Christ, on which account he, who is the Lord of all, preserves it unconquered till the final consummation.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ο μακραίωνος αντισημιτισμός
του κυπριακού χριστιανισμού /

The centuries-long antisemitism
of the Cypriot Christianity

Κυπριανός αρχιμανδρίτης Κύπρου *,
Ιστορία χρονολογική της νήσου Κύπρου,
Ενετίησιν: Παρά Νικολάω Γλυκεί τω εξ Ιωαννίνων, 1788,
σ./p. 95.

[Ελληνικά/Greek, PDF]

John Hackett,
A history of the Orthodox church of Cyprus
from the coming of the apostles Paul and Barnabas
to the commencement of the British occupation (A. D. 45-A. D. 1878)
together with some account of the Latin and other churches existing in the island
Methuen & co., 1901,
pp./σσ. 5, 6.

Let's play the tricky game
about the correctness
of eras, epochs, and calendars /

Ας παίξουμε το πονηρούτσικο παιχνίδι
περί ορθότητας
των χρονολογικών περιόδων,
των εποχών και των ημερολογίων

b.c.e. / c.e.
π.κ.χ. / κ.χ.

The term ‘era’, for a chronology in which years are numbered continuously from a starting point or epoch without reverting to 1, is derived from the post-classical Latin word aera or era, properly denoting the place of an item in a numbered sequence and hence used for the serial number of the year (now called by the French term millésime). The chronological use originated in Spain, where years expressed in the local dating-system (for which see below) were indicated not by anno but by (a)era (e.g. era mclxxiii, as it were ‘no. 1173’ = ad 1135); the word was extended to mean the dating sequence itself, and then others like it. The great merits of era datings are that the intervals between events are easily calculated without the need to add up the lengths of reigns or count off magistrates from a list, and that future years may be identified as far ahead as one wishes.

The epoch of an era may be a correctly dated historical event, such as the Prophet Muhammad’s hijra or departure from Mecca to Medina, from which the Muslim era is reckoned (see Chapter 6); but for chronological purposes it makes no difference if the date is wrong or doubtful, as in the case of the Christian era, nor if the event itself is legendary, like the accession of the Emperor Jinmu in 660 bc, from which in the ultra-nationalist period Japanese years were counted.

Eras may be reckoned either in current years, in which year 1 begins immediately after the epoch, or in elapsed years, in which it begins only when a year has already been completed. Both systems are familiar to us for stating ages: when we say that a person is in his or her 25th year we are counting current years, but when we say that the same person is 24 years old we are counting elapsed years. In era dating current years are the norm except in India; of the many Indian eras the most important is the Saka era, reckoned in elapsed years from ad 78, on which the National Calendar is based (see Chapter 6).

In Hellenistic and Roman times there were numerous local eras, commemorating political events, but few were of any significance outside the city or province concerned. These eras do not include the ab urbe condita reckoning from 753 bc familiar in modern writings about Rome, since Romans were not agreed on the correct date of foundation; when an event is said to have taken place so many years after the foundation, this is no more a formal dating than ‘a hundred years after the Norman Conquest’ would be in English.

The most important era in classical antiquity was the Seleucid era of western Asia. In 311 bc the Macedonian satrap or governor of Babylon, Seleucus, having restored himself to power by force of arms, began numbering his years of renewed office from 1 Nisanu, in that year corresponding to 3 April; when a few years later he took the title of king, he did not alter the count. His Macedonian and other Greek subjects adopted it, but, being used to Macedonian years that began in the autumn, they placed the epoch six months earlier, in late 312 instead of early 311. After his death – by which time his realm extended from Turkey to Tajikistan – the count was maintained by his successors; it remained in use throughout antiquity, was kept up by Jews (who called it ‘the reckoning of contracts’) till the Renaissance (even longer in Yemen), and survived amongst Nestorian Christians till the second half of the 20th century, when, styling themselves the Assyrian Church of the East, they adopted an era with epoch 1 April 4750 bc, based on a surmised foundation date of Asshur.

Other eras, such as that of Provincia Arabia (epoch 22 March ad 106), were more localized and mostly short-lived; an exception in the latter respect is the Hispanic era, with epoch 1 January 38 bc. This is traditionally associated with Augustus, for no clear historical reason, but may commemorate the beginning of Roman conquest in the Pyrenaean region where the earliest (but contested) examples of this reckoning have been found. The era is indubitably attested from the late 4th century; it was used in Visigothic Spain (except for the easternmost portions, where it appears only after the Reconquista), and lasted in official use till the later Middle Ages: in Aragon till 1350, in Castile till 1383, and in Portugal till 1422.

World eras

The era that would ultimately displace the Seleucid era amongst Jews was a world era, that is one reckoned from the creation of the world; for this purpose they adopted the epoch already used for calendrical calculation, 3761 bc (see Chapter 6). The Jewish year from 16 September 2004 to 3 October 2005 is thus am 5763, often (especially in Hebrew) written ’763; am, standing for annus mundi, or ‘year of the world’, is the conventional qualification for a year in any world era, including those devised by Christians. The basis of such eras was the chronology of the Old Testament, which is far from simple and is also considerably shorter in the Hebrew text and St Jerome’s Latin version than in the Greek translation known as the Septuagint. World eras were mainly developed by Greekspeakers, beginning with Sextus Julius Africanus (c. 221), who placed the conception of Christ on 25 March and made it the first day of am 5501. This is commonly taken to be 2–1 bc (though not all his datings fit). Nearly a century later, Eusebius of Caesarea dated Creation to 5200 bc, Christ being born in am 5199; however,
he preferred to call this ‘year of Abraham 2015’.

Disseminated through Jerome’s translation of his Chronicle, Eusebius’ calculation became the standard theory in the West till Bede, using the Latin Bible, reduced the period between Creation and Nativity to 3952 years. Other Greek-speakers, however, preferred the higher interval of Africanus, or one close to it, but adjusted so that the Creation should take place on a Sunday; the most favoured was the era of Annianus (early 5th century), in which the Creation took place on Sunday, 29 Phamenoth = 25 March 5492 bc, and the Incarnation, meaning the Conception of Jesus Christ, on Monday, 29 Phamenoth am 5501 = 25 March ad 9.

However, although reckoning the year from the anniversary of Creation was theologically attractive, in practical life it was inconvenient; the epoch was therefore adjusted to the civil New Year before Creation, 1 Thoth/29 August 5493 bc. This caused Incarnation and Nativity to fall in different years: rather than redesignate the year of Nativity 5502, the Alexandrians reassigned the Incarnation to am 5500, which had the advantage of placing it on a Sunday, 25 March ad 8; the am 5501 in which the Nativity supposedly took place now began on 29 August ad 8. This became the first year in an era still used in Ethiopia, where the Year of Grace 2000 will begin on 30 August Old Style = 12 September 2007.

The 7th-century Chronicon Paschale (so called because it began with an account of Easter reckoning) opted for 25 March 5509 bc. Later Byzantines, however, preferred to defer the Creation till the beginning of the civil year on 1 September; an unsuccessful alternative was 25 March 5508. In Russia the year of Creation was the regular dating system, reckoned originally from 1 March 5508 (less often 5509) bc but by the later 14th century from 1 September 5509 bc, till by decree of Peter the Great 31 December am 7208 was followed by 1 January 1700 Old Style.

Perpetuated reigns
Some eras developed out of regnal years continued after the death of the monarch: as we saw in Chapter 6, the Zoroastrian era commemorates Shah Yäzdegird III, whose first regnal year began on 16 June ad 632. Several such eras were created by astronomers, who found continuous numeration helpful; one is the era of Nabonassar, reckoned in Egyptian anni vagi from 1 Thoth = 26 February 747 bc, the first year (on the Egyptian reckoning) of the Babylonian king from whose time onwards astronomical records were preserved. Another is the era of Diocletian.

When Augustus (as he later became) conquered Egypt in 30 bc, he ruled it as king through a viceroy or prefect, outside the general provincial system, counting his years on the established nonaccession system. His successors followed suit until Diocletian, at the end of the 3rd century ad, integrated Egypt into his reformed provincial structure and introduced consular dating. That was highly inconvenient for astronomers, who would need to keep lists of consuls in order to understand their own observation-records; instead, they continued to count by Diocletian’s regnal years, of which the first was 284/5, even after his abdication in 305. This was the method used to designate years in Alexandrian Easter tables; it spread to general dating purposes, and is still the favoured era of the Coptic church. However, since Diocletian, in his last years of power, had unleashed the Great Persecution against the Church, from the 7th century the era was renamed that of the Martyrs. After year 532 of the Martyrs (= ad 815/16) years are sometimes numbered over again in Paschal cycles of 532 years, so that (for instance) year 257 may be not 540/1 but 1072/3 or 1604/5.

Christian era
The odiousness of the persecutor’s name was also the reason given by Dionysius Exiguus for replacing, in his Easter table, the era of Diocletian with that of the Incarnation, ‘so that the beginning of our hope might be better known to us and the cause of human restoration, that is the passion of our Redeemer, might shine forth more clearly’. The Incarnation is not the Passion; but Dionysius was brushing aside his predecessor Victorius, who had designated the years in his table by an era of the Passion reckoned from ad 28, his compatriot Prosper’s inaccurate date for the two Gemini. (This was not the only Passion era known: at Rome in Bede’s day years were counted from ad 34, or perhaps 33; other dates are found in the East.)

Dionysius treats his Incarnation date as unproblematic and uncontroversial, neither explaining how it is known nor claiming it as his own discovery. Since most earlier writers had dated the Incarnation to 2 bc, this has been difficult to explain: one theory requires him to misread or misrepresent the Olympiad date of Diocletian’s accession in Eusebius’ Chronicle, compiled in the late 3rd century, or its translation by Jerome; however, since the Nativity in ad 1 is already found in a calendar written in 354, another scholar shifts the blame to Eusebius, supposing a miscalculation in the Easter table that we know him to have written.

Another suggestion is that Dionysius deliberately fudged his figures in order that leap years should continue to be divisible by 4, as in the Alexandrian tables; for although the leap day had been added in the previous year, it was in the exact multiples, such as year 244 of Diocletian, that it affected the Easter calculations. It was and is convenient that year 248 of Diocletian should be 532 of the Incarnation, rather than 531 or 533. The Church historian Socrates, translating into Greek the report that the emperor Valens began his reign on V Kal. Mart., rendered it in the normal way as 25 February without realizing that the year in question was a leap year, so that the correct date was the 26th. Had he, like us, known the year as 364, he could have seen the fact at once.

Nevertheless, Dionysius’ date shares with the 2 bc it displaced the defect of being incompatible with both Gospel narratives, for St Matthew’s story of the Magi and the Holy Innocents requires the Nativity to have taken place at least two years before the death of Herod the Great at Passover 4 bc, and St Luke’s narrative places it in ad 6, when ‘Cyrenius’, that is to say P. Sulpicius Quirinius, was incorporating Judaea into the Roman province of Syria. No solution of the problem has yet satisfied either believers or non-believers in the literal truth of the Bible.

The year of the Incarnation
When preachers say on Christmas Day that Christ was born so many years ago, they always give the number of the current year, implying that the Nativity took place on 25 December 1 bc; that was also the view of those churches and orders that counted the era from that date (see below). By contrast, although this is the first year in Dionysius’ 19-year cycle, Bede, following Irish sources, took him to have put the Incarnation in a year whose characteristics match the second year of his cycle, ad 1; this is more compatible with the preference for current over elapsed years, though the computist of 243 had devised an elapsed-year era of the Exodus. Dionysius himself is unlikely to have given the matter any thought.

The spread of AD dating
Dionysius’ Incarnation era, like Victorius’ Passion era, was originally devised for the sake of Easter tables; a few authors use it for relative chronology, typically in conjunction with the incompatible chronology of Eusebius. However, the habit of writing
annals, or brief records of a year’s events, in the blank spaces of Easter tables encouraged a closer association between era-date and year; this was particularly congenial to Irish and English monks, for whom the Emperor was a foreign potentate and whose countries were divided among numerous kings and kinglets.

Although the prevalent means of identifying the year in Ireland, at least in monastic writings, was by the feria and lune of 1 January, we find explicit dating by Victorius’ Passion era as early as 658. In Northumbria by the late 7th century Dionysius’ Easter reckoning prevailed over Victorius’; it was therefore Dionysius’ era that Willibrord, the apostle of the Frisians, employed when he noted in his calendar that he had crossed the sea to Francia ‘in the 690th year from Christ’s Incarnation’, had been ordained bishop in 695, and was now living in 728.

The decisive moment, however, was Bede’s decision to use this reckoning in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, rather than the world era of his chronicle; the History, an instant classic, brought Incarnation dating to the attention of Continental readers, who in due course began to adopt it for themselves. Although alternative epochs of 22 bc (Abbo of Fleury in the 10th century) and 23 bc (Marianus Scottus of Fulda in the 11th) were proposed in order to salvage the Western tradition that the Crucifixion took place on 25 March, which was luna XIV in ad 12, and Gerlandus of Lotharingia in the 11th century adapted the Alexandrian Incarnation era to the Julian calendar by subtracting seven years from the date ad, the Dionysian era prevailed, ousting even the deep-rooted Hispanic era, to become the world-wide standard even outside Christendom.

Dating ‘before Christ’
The Christian era is the only era in which dates before the epoch are regularly identified as such; if occasional instances in the Middle Ages are still comparable with casual references to events so many years before the foundation of Rome or the Hispanic era, since the 18th century it has been normal to count ‘years before Christ’ on the same footing as ‘years of our Lord’. The main resistance came from German historians of ancient Rome, who preferred to canonize the ‘Varronian’ date for the city’s foundation, and switch to the Christian era only from the epoch onwards, so that 753 was followed by 1; this usage is now obsolete.

Astronomical dating
Whereas in normal usage ad 1 is preceded by 1 bc, in astronomical reckoning the year 1 (unlabelled) is preceded by year 0, and that in turn by −1, corresponding to 2 bc; correspondingly 45 bc is −44, 100 bc is −99, and so on. This not only assists calculation (from −7 to 3 is 3 − (−7) years = 3 + 7 years = 10 years), but makes all years divisible by 4 leap years; in the normal reckoning this applies only to years ad, those bc being leap if of the form 4n + 1.

Ideological content of eras
Although a regnal year may send a message at a time of political contention, it is eras that are the most obviously ideological form of chronology. To the many examples already seen may be added the turmoil caused in Iran when on 24 Esfänd 1354 solar Hejri (the Farsi pronunciation of hijrı¯), corresponding to 14 March 1976, Mohammad Reza Shah decreed a new Shahänshahi (‘Imperial’) era, reckoned from Cyrus the Great’s accession to the Persian throne in 559 bc, to begin a week later (1354 being a leap year) at Nawruz 2535.

This, one of many attempts at associating the dynasty with the glorious Achaemenids of ancient times, was received by the people as an affront to Islam. A Western reader may conceive some faint idea of the indignation aroused by imagining that Mussolini, instead of instituting a Fascist Era with epoch 29 October 1922 to be used concurrently with the Christian, had replaced the Christian era with that of Rome, so that 1923 had become 2676. Popular protest forced restoration of the Hejri era from 5 Shährivar 1357 (27 August 1978).

The Christian era is too well established to be challenged for its religious origin; in China indeed, where Christianity has never been more than a minority religion, it was made official by the antireligious Communists. However, the name has come under attack; whereas Muslims freely speak of the mı¯la¯dı¯ or ‘Nativity’ year, Continental secularists prefer to call the era simply ‘ours’ (notre ère, unsere Zeit), and amongst English-speakers the term ‘Common Era’, already standard in Jewish usage (compare Hebrew ha-sefirah, ‘the count’), has become widespread in American academic writing. Even some Christians have accepted it, whether in an anti-proselytizing spirit or because there are no grounds for believing the era’s epoch to be the true date of the event that it commemorates. Nevertheless, if it does not commemorate the birth of Christ, it has no business to exist at all, for no other event of world-historical significance took place in either 1 bc or ad 1.

Beginning of the year
If Incarnation and Nativity are to fall in the same year, it must begin no later than 25 March; but this date is impossible for a computistic year, since Easter may precede it. Yet Dionysius’ lunar regulars presuppose a year beginning in September as at Byzantium (it was Bede who recalculated them from January); if forced to specify, he might have stated that his epochal year ran from 1 September to 31 August, incorporating the Incarnation, from which he counts, but not the Nativity, from which he does not.

His Western readers, however, took some time to recognize the difference between Incarnation and Nativity. It was quite frequent for years to be reckoned, not from 1 January ad 1 – a date disliked by the Church on account of the pagan festivities it had failed to suppress – but from seven days previously, 25 December 1 bc, the supposed date of the Nativity. This, despite Bede, was the practice in Anglo-Saxon England, and long remained in use in Benedictine monasteries; but it was ultimately supplanted by the rival principle of counting from the Incarnation proper on 25 March, the Annunciation or Lady Day. In the late 10th century, we find in parts of southern France and northern Italy an epoch of 25 March 1 bc, resulting in a millésime 1 higher than in the modern reckoning till 31 December; this fell out of favour except in Pisa, for which reason it is known as the calculus Pisanus. More widespread was Annunciation in ad 1, with a millésime 1 lower than the modern between 1 January and 24 March; this was characteristic of Florence and England, for which reason it is known as the stilus Florentinus, or the ‘custom of the English church’ (consuetudo ecclesiae Anglicanae).

Pisa and Florence retained their respective usages down to 1749, before being ordered to count from 1 January by Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany; the English style was reformed by Act of Parliament in 1751 (Scotland had used 1 January since 1600). Venice preferred to count from the beginning of the Incarnation month, that is 1 March ad 1, and continued to do so in official documents till the suppression of the Republic in 1797. If this mos Venetus was more convenient than changing the millésime within a month, the French custom, mos Gallicus, of beginning the year at Easter was less so: but even after the royal ordinance abolishing it in 1564 local resistance prolonged its use in some parts of the country (in the Beauvaisis till 1580).

Exact study of documents has shown that the medieval dates for the change of millésime varied within as well as between countries to an even greater extent than is stated in reference books. Nevertheless, throughout Europe west of the Byzantine Empire, ‘New Year’ and its equivalents in other languages regularly meant 1 January even before the adoption of the Modern Style, as counting from that day is known.

Hybrid systems
Some Christian chronologies state the years of their eras according to the 532-year Paschal cycle: in Georgia from the 9th to the 19th century, dates were given in years of the kronik’oni, a Paschal cycle reckoned from ad 781 or 1313, respectively the 13th or 14th from Creation in 5604 bc. Coptic years of the Martyrs may also be reduced to years of a Paschal cycle (see p. 122).

* Leofranc Holford-Strevens,
The History of Time: A Very Short Introduction,
Oxford University Press 2005,
pp./σσ. 118-128.

Δημοσίευση του Δρ Δ. Δακουρά:
«Συγκριτική θρησκειολογική θεώρηση»
ή αντισεκταριστική πολεμική απολογία;
Δείγμα η μεταφορά
της γερμανικής αιρεσιολογικής βιβλιογραφίας
της δεκαετίας του 1960
σε ελληνικό άρθρο του 2003 /

An article claiming comparative religion analysis
but actually using old-fashioned
German antisectarian bibliography of the 60's

April, 2013: Jehovah's Witnesses site
at the national book fair at Colombia

* Διονύσιος Γ. Δακουράς,
«Θρησκεία και λύτρωσις:
Οι Μάρτυρες του Γιεχωβά και η σωτηρία των
(Συγκριτική θρησκειολογική θεώρησις)
Επιστημονική Επετηρίς της Θεολογικής Σχολής
του Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών
vol./τόμ. ΛΗ', 2003,
pp./σσ. 375-415.

* See / Βλέπε:
Wikipedia, “Comparative religion
(Συγκριτική θρησκειολογία).