Posts Tagged ‘old testament’

Истории Ветхого Завета мультфильм / History of Biblbe old Testament in Russian – Kids movie

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

While looking for Bulgarian Orthodox Bible to listen. I submed upon a Russian video,re-telling the story of old testament in Russian. I decided to share the movie as I liked how the story of old testament is retold. Its on very understandable language, so even kids about 5 years old can understand. It is perfect for big kids like me too. After all as the saviour Jesus Christ said all of us Christians, has to "become like Kids to see the Kingdom of Heaven". Watching such movies is  definitely a good way to strengthen faith 🙂 Enjo!


 

History of Old Testament Russian Cartoon / Истории Ветхого Завета мультфильм все серии

By the way currently Russian Orthodox Church is in big bloom and there are plenty of other Animations for kids revealing the truths of faith for the tiny one. I hope one day, if God Bless and have kids myself I will play this video to teach them the wonders of our Christian faith.

Feast of Saint Stephen’s martyrdom in Bulgarian Orthodox Church / Saint Stephen the first Christian Saint

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Saint Stephen Martyrdom Orthodox Christian Icon

It is 27th of December, the 3rd day of Christmas and in those day in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church we co-memorate saint Stephen's Martyrdom.

Its a well known fact that by his martyrdom Saint Stephen become the first Christian martyr
Stephen's name etymology comes from Greek (Stephanos) and translated means "Crown".

What we know from Orthodox Church's tradition is that Stephen was a very young in his age of Martyrdom probably in his 20s.

Stephen's glorious martyrdom has inspired and strengthened significantly the early seveerly hunted Church and has give a lot of courage and faith to many of our early Saint Martyrs. These early Church saints now incesently pray to God to have mercy on our earthly Church.
Its not much known fact St. Stephen held a rank in the early Church clergy, he was a HieroDeacon.
Hierodeaconism in our church is considered the maximum rank of deaconship one can have just before he is ordained for a Priest.

St. Stephen Orthodox Christian icon

St. Stephen was burning for love in Christ and had a strong faith in God, turning many Jewish to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He has shown the truth way to many by teaching them, how to properly interpret the Old Testament (Ancient Jewish) writtings.
He explained to many jewish, how all the old scriptures testify about the coming of the Messiah (Christ), which will save all who believe in his name from sins hell damnation.
As Jewish looked for ways to shutter any kind of preaching of the Gospel and kill Christianity, they saw Stephen as a big enemy just like all Christians in those early days. Therefore they looked for ways to accuse him and execute them and end up the large numbers of jewish people converting from Jewism to Christianity
The whole story of stoning (execution) of st. Stephen is described in the Holy Scriptures in the book called Acts of the Apostles

As he was about to die, Stephen looked up to heaven and said;

"Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God."
Then, as he was being stoned, he cried out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.".Our Beloved saints last words were, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." manifesting his saintship and deep Christ love even during his last moments of earthly living.
St. Stephen is celebrated in almost all West Roman Catholic Church and in Anglicans.
Churches who co-mmemorate the great saint are located in all around the world.
St. Stephen is also considered a patron saint of Republika Sprska (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Stephen's name later probably become the origin name for western's so popular Steven name).
Saint Stephen Orthodox Christian Icon 11th century byzantine icon
 

Saint Stephen's Byzantine Icon from the 11th Century

Let by the Holy Prayers of St. Stephen God have mercy on the Church and increase our faith and mercies to us sinners.

Why does Orthodox Christian priests and monks wears long beards and why Roman Catholics does not

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

A really Long bearded Orthodox Christian Priest

One might question why does Orthodox Christian priests wear beards? and why does the long beards of our Orthodox priests makes differences with the Roman Catholics?

Here are the few reasons:

1. Long beards wearing’s tradition among Orthodox Christian priests and monks comes after Christ

Christ himself had a beard as it was normal and considered proper for a man to wear long beard.

The fact that our Lord Jesus Christ had a long beard himself can clearly be observed on all our Orthodox Christian icons:
The Lord Jesus Christ Sinai monastery ancient icon Pantocrator from the 6th century

The Lord’s Pantecrator Icon (Pantocrator / Pantecrator ) from the 6th century

2. Long beards priest wearing comes as a natural tradition from the Old Testament’s times and the tradition of early Church

If one reads thoroughfully the old testament, he will find out that even from Moses and Aaron and onwards the tradition is the same.
All the Godly man and the priests had their long beards unshaved as a mark for their belongship and dedication to God.
To generalize the long beards wearing is according to ancient old testamential ancient tradition.
The long beards tradition as an ancient Jewish religion (Old testamental) tradition can still be clearly observed in Jewish rabbis (nowdays the jewish priests), who still wears their beards long, like for example you can see in the picture below:

Jewish Rabbi weiss picture
A modern day Jewish Rabbi notice the beard 🙂

The long beards tradition later was adopted by Muslims when Islam emerged as a religion and more specificly by the muslim priests the Hodjas:

Sait Muslim Hodja Picture

One very interesting historical source of information which proofs that the ancient Church’s priests had the tradition not to cut their beards is given by the historian Egezit who writes in his Chronicles that st. Apostle James, the head of the Church in Jerusalem, never cuts his hair.

A source of confirmation that the long hear and beards wearing was an established tradition that dates back to the old testament is found in the old testament in (Ezekiel 8:3)

Here is what exactly we read there:

He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head.
The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem,
to the entrance to the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood.

3. Long hair and beards wearing by the Monks

An interesting fact is why does the Monks and novice neophyte lay brothers also stick to the ancient tradition.
It appears long hair and beards wearing traces back to the holy life of the ascetics of the deserts (e.g. the hermits).

The reason why ascetics did not shaved their hairs or bears as a way to avoid vanity and therefore this old hermitage practice has also had a spiritual reason.

4. The Nazarite old testament tradition

In the old testament in Numbers 6:1-21, we read about the term nazarite which means consecrated / separated

Each boy or man who was to become a Nazarine has been devoted to God for a certain period of time or in some cases for his all life, one of the many conditions for one to be a nazarite is not to shave his beard or hair.
One can read about this in the old testament in Leviticus 21:5

Leviticus 21:5
"They shall not make baldness upon their head,
neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard nor make any cuttings in their flesh."

There are some other prohibitions relating to Nazarite’s one of the most notable ones is found in Numbers 6:4:

All the days of his Naziriteship shall he eat nothing that is made of the grape-vine,
from the pressed grapes even to the grapestone.

One example for people who gaves vow to become temporary Nazarites is found in 1 Maccabees 3:49 (this book is only available in the Orthodox Holy Bible).
One of the most important figure in Christianity that used to be Nazarite is Samson, his life can be read in the old testament in Judges 13 – 16

As we read in Judges , Samson’s great God given power consituted in a prohibition to shave his hair and not to drink wine.

5. Reason why Roman Catholic Priests and monks abandoned the ancient tradition of wearing long hairs and beards

In the early Roman Empire it was a customfor a men to shave. The “enlightened” Romans believed that only the barbarians did not shaved themselves, and as you can imagine Jewish people and early Christians were of course considered to be barbarians, e.g. being unshaved was a sign for a cultural inferiorness in according to Romans comprehension.

The long hairs and beards tradition in the Western Church has started disappearing and consequentially completely lost with the Tyranny of Charlemagne at the end of the eight century.
With his massive ‘barbarian’ inferiority complex, it was his desire in all things to imitate pagan classical Rome.
It was therefore under him that Western clergy were ordered to shave regularly.
For example at the Council of Aachen (816), it was stipulated that priests and monks were to shave every two weeks.

By the beginning of the 11th century the tradition of wearing long beards was already completely torned apart and almost all the Roman Catholic clergy was regularly shaving.

In the sixteenth century beardlessness for Roman Catholic clergy was enforced by further canons,
which appear to have been dropped since the Second Vatican Council.

6. Why does protestants does not wear beards

As we all know protestant Church denominations has emerged as schismatics from Roman Catholic church and therefore mostly the influence they had was from Roman Catholics which already had the tradition within their clergy to regularly shave, thus pastors shaving was completely out of question and never come to an established reality among the Protestant Church pastors.

7. Is the Orthodox Christian layman obliged to wear beards

Absolutely not! The layman within the Orthodox Church can choose for themselves, if they want to wear their hair and beard and through that possess an image physically similar to Christ.
In my view it’s more righteous for us the layman to wear our hairs and beards as I personally believe long hair and beards demonstrates mans dignity and God’s dedication, but this is my own private opinion.
At many cases wearing beards or long hairs is an obstacle for a good integration in nowdays society, so if wearing a beard or hair as laymans does become an obstacle for our normal daily lifes then I believe cutting a long beard or hair is perfectly acceptable.
Moreover even the Orthodox Christian priests are not enforced to wear beards and in some cases where the priest’s wife is against the beardness the Orthodox priest is allowed to shave himself, though as a matter of fact having a completely shaved priests in our Orthodox Churches is rare and less common today.

In conclusion wearing of beard and long hair by Orthodox Christna clergy, has come from the desire to physically resemble Christ.
This physical resemblance is a symbol of the spiritual resemblance of Christ’s humility, which is the ultimate aim of our life.

Is there a chosen God people today / What is God’s Chosen Nation / What is the Promised land in the Old Testament?

Friday, December 31st, 2010

s-there-God-chosen-people-nation-today-Holy_Irinity_Andrey_Rublev_icon

Many of you certainly remember the Holy Bible's old testament. There God chooses the Jewish (Israel) nation to be the nation to inherit the promised land.

If we read the Holy Scriptpures in a spiritual manner, all the things written in are clearly referring to the teachings of the new testament and the other way around.

God has promised to Moses and the Old Testament patriarchs to give them the land, where a milk and honey will be and they wouldn't need to work for it. etc. etc.

But if we really read this kind of promises from a jewish perspective (following the word of the law), this makes no sense?
How is it possible that somebody gets food and drink if he didn't work?
It's not possible!

This verses were clearly referring to the Kingdom of Heaven , where a man doesn't have to work or do thing but lives through God's grace in peace and love eternally, something our limited minds cannot really grasp and thus by trying to explain it we profane what Heaven really is.

So it's that simple the promise land that the Holy trinity has promised us is simply his eternal kingdom which is in heaven.
Thus we as Orthodox Christians should perceive after the looking always of the Heavenly gift and not care too much for the present world.
I'm closely observing myself and sadly enough the world power is too much attractive and I'm always about to be seduced to completely get out of our rock of Salvation which (Christ) is.

It's a very hard times for a true Christians, internationalization makes it even worser for a man to keep even the minimal amount of faith and hope in God.

That's why our Orthodox Churches has long ago been warning us about the internationalization and it's position right now is against the mixture of nations.

The mixture of nations and beliefs is a spiritual babylon in practice.

Back to the topic, thus read from our Orthodox Christian perspective this chosen people which Israel were is actually today God's true servants the devoted Orthodox Christians.

You might argue, why the Orthodox Christians and protestants or Roman Catholics. Well it's very simple Catholics and Protestants has broken too much of the ancient traditions already and had adopted the spirit of rationalism which has been ruling the world for too much.

We in the Orthodox Church as we have kept the traditions as much intact as possible up-to today are still struggling and mostly keeping the ancient Christian spirit, though very sadly this is changing nowdays.
The faith nowdays even in Orthodox Christians has been on a line to completely fade-away, with Roman Catholics and Protestants situation is even worser I believe.

So is there actually nowdays a chosen God people?

The Monks, layman and all Orthodox Church people who try to keep Christ's commandments of love brotherhood and keeping God as a head in our lives

We have that benefit that the path that leads to the Blessed promised land for which the Old Testament teaches us about is already set in, the promised land is existent even while we still live here in the body on this earth.

God's promised land and island of salvation is actually our Holy Orthodox Church, the dovoted God lovers within the realm of the Church is God's chosen people!

We as an Orthodox Christians has been granted by God a big grace and a big blessing, but with the big blessing always comes bigs responsibilities.

When I look in my life and try to weighten how much I do live a life like an Orthodox Christian I do really want to cry hard.

I know many other Orthodox Christians can also recognize this in our lives, we're living in a terrible times truely.

Further on on the question Are there a chosen God People in modern times ?, are the Israel chosen people yet like in the Old Days?

Definitely not, Jewish were chosen because The Messiah our saviour Jesus Christ (The Son of God) and God himself had to be incarnated in flesh die and suffer for all of the humanity.

But since the Jewish had crucified our Saviour, all that Jewish that haven't repented earnestly and turned to Christ by entering the Orthodox Church are not a chosen people any more.

Whoever is against the Son of God and Jewish are definitely against is actually against God. Whoever doesn't recognize God's eternal love, a love that has made God turn into man and suffer for our sins couldn't inherit the promised land neither be chosen anymore.

I've heard some of the prophecies made by some of Our Orthodox Christian Saints (Holy Fathers) says that Slavonic Orthodox Christian Nations would have an union when the Anti-Christ appears in the World.

According to this ancient prophecies by St. Nile/ st.Nil – a Athonite Monk the Slavonic Nations will have a king presumably (The King of Russia) and he will lead all the Slavonic nations to wage a war against the Anti-Christ.

I don't know if this prophecies are credible, but as far as I've read they're if it's really true this means that maybe someday my country Bulgaria Along with Russia and the other Slavonic Nations will really unite in faith and will fight the ungodly kingdom of the AntiChrist.

It's really I can't find any resources which had an exact translation about this prophecies.
Anyways back to the topic What are the God's chosen people nowdays (today)? , just in case if the Prophecies about the Chosen Slavonic Nations by God who will oppose the kingdom of the AntiChrist are true, then certainly, we the Slavonic (Bulgarians, Serbians, Macedonians, Russians, Ukrainians etc. etc.) and presumably other Orthodox Christians will unite and will march against the tyranny of the AntiChrist.
In that sense it could be that we The Orthodox Slavonics are also today's God chosen people.
I truly hope so! Only time will tell if this is true or not. And time and future is in God's hands for sure!

Sorrow

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

It’s quite common lately that I experience a deep Spiritual Sorrow. I googled around searching for answers but it seems like there is no answer. Today we the Christians celebrate “Transfiguration”. The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ on the Olive mountain and his meeting with the Old testament’s prophets. Lately I can’t pray much and I’m starting to loose faith which is pretty bad. I still hope God would do something to change that. Tomorrow I’m thinking to go to the Office in Varna, will see what will happen there.END—–