Friday, December 29, 2017

THE SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS BY KING HEROD


“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not”. (Mt. 2:16-18)

There are Bible critics who make the claim that Herod could not have massacred the baby boys of Bethlehem because the Jewish Historian Josephus failed to make reference to King Herod committing this particular evil. But Josephus is not the only first century historian, or source of what happened in first century Judah. Matthew, the author of the gospel by his name, gives us a historical account of the slaughter of the innocents by King Herod. The Holy Spirit inspired Evangelist Matthew is much more trustworthy than a Jewish historian writing 100 years after the said event. There was, by the way, a Roman historian, Macrobius (c.a. 400 A.D.), that writes about Herod’s slaughter of the Innocents.

THE SCOPE OF THE SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENTS

Some historians, even Christian historians, say that only a few children were slain by King Herod because Bethlehem probably only had a population of about 1000 people, and therefore would have only had 10 to 30 two year old and under children that could have been slain. But the scope of the slaughter appears from the text of Matthew that it was not just the children in the little town of Bethlehem that were in danger of King Herod’s edict. The text states that the slaughter was not limited to the “little town of Bethlehem”, because it bluntly reads that Herod “slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, AND in all the coasts thereof” (KJV, 1599 Geneva, Wycliffe). In other translations we read, “and the borders” (Young’s, Douay-Rheims, ASV, Aramaic Bible in Plain English, Jubilee 2000, Darby, Webster’s); “and in the environs” (NASB, NAS 1977, ); “and in the region” (RSV, ISV ); “and in the vicinity” (NIV); “and in all the districts” (NKJV, Phillips). We can see from these translations that the massacre was not limited to the town of Bethlehem, but included a far greater territory, as far as the coasts and/or borders of Judah.

“There appears to be a hint in verse 18 as to what is being spoken of when we read, “AND in all the coasts thereof”, or “AND in all the borders thereof”. Ramah, the city of Jeremiah’s prophecy is located 5 miles north of Jerusalem (10 Miles north of Bethlehem). Ramah is the city where Rachel lamented from. She was buried in Bethlehem (Gen. 35:19). Ramah is a border town situated on the northern border of the kingdom of Judah, and the southern border of the kingdom of Israel. Judah’s borders ran from the east along the shores of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea to the west at the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, some 30 miles; in the south in the desert, and borders in the north, Samaria, some 55 miles. We also have a hint from the prophecy of Micah as to the scope of Herod’s slaughter; “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah…” (Micah 5:2). Let us take note that the prophecy that Herod was made aware of by the chief priests (Mt. 2:4-8) references Judah as the greater territory in which the Messiah-King would be born. Micah, of course, names the very birthplace of the Messiah, the little town of Bethlehem, and its 1000’s of villages (hyperbolic or not). So it appears from the textual evidence that the slaughter was not limited to “the little town of Bethlehem”, but spread all the way north to Ramah on the border with the kingdom of Israel and quite possibly to the remaining borders; west, south, and east.

An interesting note is that Ramah was the city where Jewish captives were gathered for deportation to Babylon (Jeremiah 40:1). Rachel, the wife of Jacob-Israel, was the mother of Benjamin, whose tribe became part of the southern kingdom, Judah. The city of Ramah was given to Benjamin by lots. So Rachel’s descendants, her beloved children, after much suffering as captives, are now suffering the slaughtering of Herod’s soldiers. Rachel weeps for her children.

So, exactly how many children were slaughtered? According to the Tradition of the Ancient Church, 14,000 children were slain. They are commemorated every year on December 29. For me, this number is far more likely than the 6 or 10 children as the modern scholars seem to prefer.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

WHAT IS ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

This wonderful and instructive multimedia presentation was produced over several years by Fr. Daniel Mackay, rector of St. John the Wonderworker Serbian Orthodox Church in Eugene, Oregon. It is truly a "labor of love" by a Priest with a missionary heart.


PART ONE: THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST https://vimeo.com/133268270

PART TWO: FALLING AWAY FROM CHRIST
https://vimeo.com/132086893

PART THREE: THE LIFE IN CHRIST
https://vimeo.com/132791183

I discovered this resource @ www.OrthodoxInfo.com

Monday, December 25, 2017

STEP TO THE SKIES

Fascinating Look Into Orthodox Monasticism
7-part Series on Youtube
Valaam "Step To The Skies" part 1 of 7 (English Subtitles)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GKWe0k6_04

Sunday, December 24, 2017

JESUS IN ORTHODOXY

THE NAMES OF JESUS - 55 Podcasts covering each and every Name given to Jesus - by FR THOMAS HOPKO

Friday, December 22, 2017

ORTHODOX MUSIC

The Terrifying Judgment 
by Serbian Orthodox Children's Choir

Psalm 135 


Saturday, December 2, 2017

A WEBSITE OF ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY



Please Check Out This Orthodox Website That Is Filled With Amazing Articles And Information About The One True Faith!!!
 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

SAINT SILUOAN MONASTERY - SONORA CA

Video about the Opening of Saint Silouan's Monastery, Sonora, CA




Friday, October 20, 2017

BIBLE STUDY DOWNLOADS

This is a great resource of "Bible Studies" based on the Gospel and Epistle readings from St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara CA.

These Bible Studies represent our best effort to describe what the Church Fathers have had to say about the Church Lectionary, which has its roots in Apostolic times, and which has a topic prescribed for each given day. 

CLICK HERE:
https://www.stathanasius.org/resources/bible-study-downloads/2017/

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CLASSICAL CHRISTIANITY

Please check out this wonderful resource @ www.ClassicalChristianity.com
Classical Christianity is an effort to further enhance, edify, and educate our fellow brethren in the Orthodox Church and help non-Orthodox become more familiar with our teachings; in particular, teachings of the Holy Fathers. We aim to organize the teachings of the Fathers and any articles that we write so that those of us in this busy society can easily access them and “acquire the mind of the Fathers,” as Fr. Seraphim Rose says.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

THE HEAVENLY BANQUET - Understanding The Divine Liturgy

The Heavenly Banquet - Understanding The Divine Liturgy

YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST PURCHASE THIS BOOK TODAY!!!

Simply an AMAZING commentary on the Divine Liturgy!!!

And it is more than a liturgical Commentary. It is filled with an abundance of "copiously documented biblical citations and rich patristic references." The author, Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis, brilliantly explains every aspect of the Divine Liturgy, and weaves through the text 40 "Mini Studies" expounding Doctrinal, Ecclesiological, and Moral Issues. He also adds 40 "A Word About..." where he provides expanded commentary on words and actions of the Liturgy.

Click Here To Read "About" This Book:
www.orthodoxwitness.org/the-heavenly-banquet.php

If You Desire For Your Church To Have Liturgical Renewal, Then This Is The Book For Instruction And Illumination.

NATHANIEL, Archbishop of Detroit says, "The Heavenly Banquet will forever banish that unfortunate utterance, 'I get nothing out of the Liturgy!'"

Fr. Thomas Hopko, says "...an absolutely spectacular book...an extraordinary book...totally awesome..."

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WORSHIP

Eye-opening Truth from the Holy Scriptures for Orthodox Christians, and Protestants too.

From Shadow to Reality - Biblical Foundations of Liturgical Worship - Fr. Thomas Hopko 

Friday, July 28, 2017

THE ISLAND - A BEAUTIFUL ORTHODOX MOVIE

You must watch this full-length Russian-made movie (with English subtitles) about the Providence of God, salvation, one Holy Fool, and a monastery on an island in Siberia.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms4TXwIDutM 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ORTHODOX MONASTICISM, MONKS, AND MONASTERIES








INTRODUCTION TO ORTHODOX MONASTICISM
> Monasteries And Monasticism
www.aggreen.net/monasteries/monastic.html
> Monasticism Studies
www.monachos.net/content/monasticism


MOUNT ATHOS - GREECE
> Welcome To Mount Athos
www.inathos.gr/athos/en/
> Images Of Mt Athos
www.bing.com/images/search?q=mt+athos&qvpt=mt+athos&FORM=IGRE

VALAAM MONASTERY - RUSSIA
> Welcome To Valaam
www.valaam.ru/en

ST CATHERINE MONASTERY - SINAI
> Documentary About St Catherine's (9:28)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hEgf1YDjaA

PSKOV-CAVES MONASTERY - RUSSIA
> Rare Video Footage Of The Only Monastery To Not Be Closed Or Destroyed During The Soviet Era > Footage includes Video of Numerous Holy Elders (24:21) > Filmed In 1986.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb_lOLauJHU


MEET SOME MONKS
> Holy Mount Athos - Elders & Hermits - Psalm 50
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw_n8kOhQ88

> Hermitage Of The Holy Cross - Wayne, West Virginia
www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1PKfLJVhdg

> Holy Trinity - Jordanville, NY
www.youtube.com/watch?v=SntIzmS0W5E

MONASTERIES I HAVE VISITED
> St Gregory Palamas - Hayesville Ohio
www.sgpm.goarch.org/Monastery
> St Isacc Of Syria Skete - Boscobel Wisconsin
www.skete.com
> St Anthonys - Florence Arizona
www.stanthonysmonastery.org
> New Skete - Cambridge New York
www.newskete.com
> Dormition Of The Mother Of God - Rives Junction Michigan
www.dormitionmonastery.org
> All-Merciful Saviour - Vashon Island Washington
www.vashonmonks.com
> Holy Trinity - Jordanville New York
www.jordanville.org
> Holy Transfiguration - Brookline Massachusettes
www.thehtm.org
> St Herman Of Alaska - Platina California
www.stherman.com
> Transfiguration - Elwood City Pennsylvania
www.orthodoxmonasteryellwoodcity.org
> Monastery Of St Tikhon Of Zadonsk - So. Canaan Pennsylvania
www.sttikhonsmonastery.org
> Nativity Of The Theotokos - Saxonburg Pennsylvania
www.NativityOfTheTheotokosMonastery.org
> The Sacred Monastery of Saint Nina - Union Bridge Maryland
http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/

Lists Of Monasteries:
> America
www.orthodoxwiki.org/List_of_American_monasteries
> Worldwide
www.orthodox-monasteries.com











Saturday, July 22, 2017

THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN DOGMA OF THE HOLY TRINITY

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty...and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, true God of true God...and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets. (The Nicene Creed)

Listen to Fr. Thomas Hopko explain The Holy Trinity


 
Names of Jesus - Son of God Part 2

Friday, June 16, 2017

THE BEAUTY OF THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FAITH

Eight Minutes Of Beauty That Will Create In You The Desire To Practice Orthodoxy With All Your Heart!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4xL0cDKWUs 
 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: VALAAM MONASTERY IN RUSSIA'S FAR NORTH

Discover The Resurrection Of Orthodox Monasteries In Russia!!!
 Step To The Skies - Valaam Monastery