Extremists Desecrate Shrine at Grave of Mother of God

Source: Pravoslavie


On the morning of November 8, 2016, the feast of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki, Israeli settlers, members of the radical right organization “Ateret Cohanim,” which has proclaimed as its goal the liberation of the Holy Land from all non-Jewish elements, desecrated the Tomb of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, reports Sedmitza.ru, with reference to the French Orthodox site orthodoxie.com.

Jewish extremists destroyed the roof and smashed the fencing around the courtyard of the metochia at the Tomb of the Mother of God, located directly opposite the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem. Then the extremists broke into the building.

The extremists committing this act of vandalism belong to the same faction which attempted to usurp the hospice of St. John near the Church of the Resurrection, belonging to the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in 1991.

Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, and Metropolitan Hesychios of Capitolina, Archbishops Aristarchos of Constantina and Isidore of Heliopolis, accompanying the primate of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, expressed their resolute protest against the recurring provocations of Jewish extremists. The hierarchy of the Jerusalem Patriarchate has demanded that the police and justice authorities of the state of Israel ensure the safety of all churches in Jerusalem.

In collaboration with the Jerusalem Patriarchate the Israeli police forced the settlers to leave the places illegally occupied by them. The next day the demand to release the belongings of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church was confirmed by court ruling.

On the morning of Wednesday November 9, Patriarch Theophilos, accompanied by the Greek Consul Christos Sofianopoulos and the aforementioned bishops, during the course of a meeting with representatives of the Israeli police, expressed the desires that counsel on both sides work together to reach a guarantee of a higher degree of protection for places of pilgrimage from such assaults by extremists.

Translated by Jesse Dominick


14 / 11 / 2016

About GShep


  1. George this is nothing new. My Spiritual Father , memory eternal, visited Israel quite often. The priests and monks told him that some Israeli punks thought it amusing to have sex in our churches. The grand achievement would be having sex in or near the tomb of Christ.

    They have no repect for our holy sites or churches. Performing a sexual act in our churches, is similar to cow tipping ,here in America, for Israeli youth, and “Adults”.

    • Peter Millman says

      These are some of the many reasons that I support the Palestinians over the Jews. It’s amazing that there are Christian ” Zionists.” I would like to see the state of Israel peacefully dismantled and replaced by a state called Palestine where the rights of Christians, Jews and Muslims are equally protected. As the UN correctly proclaimed: Zionism is racism- and Israel is a rogue, apartheid state.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Peter, I see your point. It might have been better for the Ottomans to retain all of Palestine and Mesopotamia. Certainly Gen George C Marshall, the Sec of State under Truman thought that honoring the Zionist’s claims to Palestine would bring nothing but turmoil.

        Having said that, I don’t know if the general public is aware, but most Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are of Jewish descent. They being the remnant of those Jews driven out of Jerusalem during the Second Jewish War (AD 135). Having been banned from entering Jerusalem by the Roman/Byzantine successor state for almost 600 years, they were allowed to repopulate Jerusalem if they accepted Moslem suzereignity when the Arabs pushed out the Christians. Through a process of intermarriage and “soft conversion” to Islam they eventually lost their Judaic identity in much the same way that the Pathans of Afghanistan (also Jewish-origin) did theirs’.

      • No matter, past,present, or future, the Jews of Israel are there to stay, nothing short of WW3, will change that, and could bring the end of us all, and most likely the second coming of our Lord. This is what the Christian Zionist believe will occur. The irony is they love and support the Jews of Israel now, regardless of the Jews destruction when their beliefs of a “Rapture”goes down. Kinda their sacrificial lamb.

        Just to be clear I have no ill will against Jews anywhere, they are no different than any other group of people. They simply want to preserve and protect their own, just like we do. They remind me of the Russian mentality of always circling the wagons sort of speak, especially since the holocaust. Dont always agree with there methods, but you have to respect their intelligence, and self preservation.

        • “Today, the most pure temple of the savior, the precious bridal chamber, and virgin, the saved treasure of God, enters the house of the Lord, bringing the grace of the Divine Spirit. The Angels of God praise her. She is the heavenly tabernacle.”
          -Kontakion hymm for the Entrance of the Theotokos(into the temple)

          The reason I bring up this hymn is that I fear that my first post might bring out anti-semitic posts. I hope George will not let that happen.

          In the spirit of a life lived with chastity, virtue, prayer, righteousness, and love, by our Theotokos, so must we at least try to emulate her. Saints Ioakim, and Anna took her to the JEWISH temple to pay a vow of thanks. I highlight Jewish, because we must never forget our connection with our Jewish brothers, and sisters. We have all wronged each other in our long histories. Let the Judge of us all, Judge. That’s not to say we don’t seek the arrest of those who desecrate our holy sites, but let’s not vilify an entire religion on this site. That would truly tarnish Monomakhos.

          We must never forget many of OUR Saints, Prophets, Martyrs, and Theotokos were Jewish!

          • George Michalopulos says


            Truth be told, but I was wavering whether to allow that comment. I decided to do so to expose (via roundabout way) the absolute hypocrisy and intellectual vacuity of the modern Left. Let me explain: one of the great accusations hurled against Pres-elect Trump (I never get tired of saying that!) is that he was a nationalist with a lot of support from the Alt-Right, and thus an anti-Semite. Those who hurled this epithet either didn’t know, or didn’t care, that his eight grandchildren are part Jewish.

            • Peter Millman says

              Hi George,
              I believe that St. John Chrysostom would disagree with Dino for he said of the Jews,” But do not be surprised that I called the Jews pitiable. They really are pitiable and miserable. When so many blessings from heaven came into their hands, they thrust them aside and were at great pains to reject them. The morning Sun of Justice arose for them, but they thrust aside its rays and still sit in darkness….”The state of Israel is guilty of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by starting their war of aggression when they illegally declared themselves to be a state. The reason the Christians of Palestine have all but left is due to the illegal occupation of Palestine.
              Although I supported and voted for Trump, one thing that disappoints me is that his daughter and son-in-law are Orthodox Jews who seem to be followers of the Christ hating deceased Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbe contemptuously referred to our blessed Lord as” that man.” They call Christmas Eve Nitel Nacht and refuse to engage in Torah study because they believe kelipot are released on that night. They play chess on that night and engage in other activities such as cutting up toilet paper, and they abstain from sex on Christmas Eve because of the supposed evil that is unleashed on that holy night. They’re not our brothers and they’re not our friends. The Old Covenant has forever been destroyed, and the new Israel is the Orthodox Church. The Jews have done incalculable damage to America with their support of mass immigration, multiculturalism, and political correctness. Is there a more nefarious organization than the notorious Anti- Defamation League? As I previously state, Israel is a rogue, apartheid state; they have racked up more UN violations than all other states combined. Read The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by the Israeli Jew Ilian Pappe.

              • Peter Millman! Perhaps you also believe the Jews had the Holocaust coming to them. Stop in your disease which goes by the name of Hatred. None of us deserve what our savior did for us, Old Covenant or new Israel. Let the Judge, Judge, because YOU WILL be judged exactly, in the manner that you judge others. Perhaps Saint John Chrysostom would not agree with me 1600 or 1700 years ago, today he might agree with me, or perhaps with Saint Isaak when he wrote:
                “What is a merciful heart? It is a heart on fire for the whole of creation, for humanity, for the birds, for the animals, for demons and for all that exists. By the recollection of them the eyes of a merciful person pour forth tears in abundance. By the strong and vehement mercy that grips such a person’s heart, and by such great compassion, the heart is humbled, and one cannot bear to hear or see any injury or slight sorrow in any creation.

                For this reason, such person offers up tearful prayer continually even for irrational beasts, for enemies of the truth, and for those who harm him or her, that they be protected and receive mercy. In like manner, such person prays for the family of serpents because of the great compassion that burns without measure in a heart that is in the likeness of God.”

                Saint Isaak also wrote:”Do not say that God is just;He has not shown justice in his dealings with you.”

                Our hearts will be our defense, with the judgement seat of Christ, judge wisely, brothers, and sisters of Christ ,here on Monomakhos!

                • Peter Millman says

                  There is absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever with one word I have written. Every single word is 100% true. I won’t even dignify your idiotic question about the Holocaust by answering it.
                  For all you holier than thou phonies, I know more about Judaism than anyone on this site. I have thoroughly studied Judaism; you haven’t. How many of you…even know what Chabad or Chassidic Judaism is? What do you know about the Lubavitcher Rebbe? Notice not one person has refuted one word I have stated. All you have done is spout trite, tired, timeworn cliches. Is what I have said about Nitel Nacht true or false? Is Chabad Lubavitch a Jewish supremacist organization or not? Everyone of you dingbats who have had the temerity to criticise me just show your utter stupidity.
                  Show some humility by reading my posts and learning, instead of criticizing things you know absolutely nothing about. What did one of the popes say to the Zionists? He said, ” you haven’t recognized our Lord, therefore we cannot recognize a Jewish state. Oh, by the way, did any of you morons know that Jerusalem was supposed to be an international city, not the “eternal Jewish capital?” Also, Dino, you sanctimonious hypocrite, what did Jesus say to the Jews that opposed His ministry? He said, ” you are of your father, the devil.” Did our Lord refer to the Synagogue of Satan in the Book of Revelation? If you have problems with I have written, take it up with the Lord Jesus or the Apostle Paul.
                  One more thing, you poseurs, I am in excellent company; the Jews say the New Testament is an anti-semitic book, the Gospel of John is the most ant- semitic book in the New Testament, and that Jesus is no friend of the Jewish people. In fact, Jewish supremacists say of our Lord, ” May his name be blotted out.” Unlike you, I humbly stand with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…

                  • YES PETER! Many Jewish sects don’t think too highly of Christians. Last I checked many Christians, outside Orthodoxy, don’t agree with each either. Some Christians even think us apostates. Apostates? The Orthodox church? Guess what Peter? Even some Orthodox Christians find other Orthodox Christians followers of Satan. I’m sure Misha is not the only Orthodox Christian that would not be surprised The Patriarch in Turkey, prays to the Devil, or was it Archbishop Dimitri, can’t remember. Many Christians also believe The Pope is the anti-Christ, and so on and so forth.

                    Since you are 100% correct and true in everything you have stated, whom am I to argue with you. How could a “phonie”, “dingbat”, “utterly stupid”,”moron”, “sanctimonious hypocrite”, and “poseur(did I forget anything Peter) argue the likes of you! I’m glad you see yourself in excellent company, but HUMBLY Peter? Hmmm, perhaps Peter should ponder, Archimandrite Sophrony words:

                    “Sin is committed first of all in the secret depths of the human spirit, but it’s consequences involve the individual as a whole. Sin will inevitably pass beyond the boundaries of the sinner’s individual life, to burden all humanity, and thus affect the fate of the whole world. The sin of our forefather Adam was not the only sin of cosmic significance. Every sin, manifest, or secret, committed by each one of us affects the rest of the universe.”

                    You see Peter, words like yours, whether true or false, might inspire people to do harmful things, that will affect those who don’t see eye to eye with you.

              • Next month, Khanukkah starts on the night of 24 December, vigil of the Lord’s Nativity on the Gregorian calendar. Is that going to be this year’s ‘Nitel Nacht’ for the Jews, or do they follow the Julian calendar for fixed feasts?

                • Peter Millman says

                  Monk James,
                  What kind of a stupid question is that? How do I know? Ask Chabad Lubavitch, then get back to us.

                  • That was not intended to be a stupid question, but rather a light-hearted attempt to point out (1) how foolish such an idea is, and (2) how ridiculous it is for us Christians to take it seriously. And, actually, I do know what the consensus of at least some schools of ashkenazic rabbis has to say about this. It’s still meaningless and inane.

                    BTW: We should note that St John Chrysostom’s often cited criticisms of Judaism are mostly excerpted from his treatise KATA TWN IOUDAIZWNTWN (‘Against Judaizers’) which is not addressed to the Jews, but to Christians who adopt jewish customs and practices in a misguided effort to improve their Christianity.

                    It was not the saint’s intention to incite persecution of the Jews, but rather to educate Christians to understand that the revelation of God in our Lord Jesus Christ has ended the Old Covenant and replaced it. In spite of his efforts, there are some ‘messianic’ Jews even today who worship on Saturdays and observe the Law of Moses at the same time as they claim to be Christians.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                I’ve always thought it too bad that George allows these sort of occasional anti-Jewish rants. Quite apart from the kernel of supposed political discussion therein for “cover”.
                Anyway, I’ve been decades-long law partners with Jews, along with Italians, a Greek- who introduced me to Orthodoxy decades ago–Croatians, Chinese, a Cambodian, and a few others- an updated WWII movie platoon, you might say.
                No need to say more, only that.
                A sorry and pathetic diatribe, unworthy of the site.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Tim, while I share your concerns about “anti-Jewish rants” the unwillingness to call out these extremists (who happen to be Jewish) serves no purpose except to further entrench the notion that all groups can be criticized except for Jews.

                  That’d be hypocritical of me on a personal basis as Monomakhos has criticized the GOA, the Phanar and even the Greek state on occasion when they deserved it. And I’m 100% Greek. (Well, according to Ancestry.com like most people who fall within the “Greek/Italian” spectrum, I’m only 71% Greek/Italian, the rest Slavic, Caucasian and 2% Ashkenazi Jewish.) Point being that no group should be above criticism.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Well, George, that misses the essence of my complaint, doesn’t it? I don’t recall discussions of cutting up toilet paper and timing of sexual intercourse, etc. etc. among the Greeks or anyone else.

                    It’s obvious enough, I think.

                  • The thing with the Jewish angle is that on the one hand there are those who wish to use the epithet “anti-Semite” as a weapon and on the other hand there actually are Jews who engage in mischievous behavior. Yet you will usually find Jews on most sides of an issue or argument.

                    Hostility to neocon wars is certainly not incompatible with acknowledging the right of Israel to continue its existence which, in turn, is not incompatible with supporting a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine.

                    Moreover, it is not antisemitic to suggest that there actually are networks of Jews – just as there are networks of Russians, Greeks, etc. – which have, do and will exert influence for their own benefit.

                    There are Russian Jews who favor an American rapprochement with Russia, and there are neocons against it. Go figure. Jews are politically diverse.

                    There is a history of antisemitism in Russia, but it has been mostly a political/economic thing rather than racial animosity.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Right you are Misha. Regardless, the unwillingness to call out malefactors simply because of their race, religion or ethnicity is illegitimate on its own terms. That’s one reason we in America have suffered from Political Correctness for so long: we have refrained from justifiable criticisms because we dare not offend a PC-sanctioned group because they are viewed by the PC culture as protected.

                      That does nobody any good.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Misha, et al, I’m sorry but I lost the thread re the NT and St John’s Gospel in particular being “anti-Semitic.” That’s nonsense peddled by the anti-Christian bigoted faction of modern rabbinicism. All of the books of the NT (with the exception of Luke/Acts) were written by Jews. The words that Jesus used in the Gospels were prophetic/polemical in nature and addressed to the Jewish hierarchy of the day. They are essentially no different than the words that Churchill used to describe the Jewish role in the Bolshevik Revolution. Though Churchill’s words were unpleasant, nobody today ascribes an anti-Jewish animus to Churchill. Similarly Abraham Lincoln’s assessment of blacks. Neither man would survive a political campaign today based on their statements.

                      That the words in the NT was used by later Christians to incite hatred is not in dispute. That doesn’t mean that this was their intention. After all, modern anti-Semites use Churchill’s (or Lincoln’s) critique in a similar fashion.

                    • George,

                      You are right to let it all out and let the discussion sort fact from fiction. I do not dispute Millman on many of his facts. My attitude is a bit different but I agree that the Jews, and some of the more radical ones he mentions especially, have a lot to answer for.

                      Nonetheless, “salvation is from the Jews”. Much of the problem that the Jews have had, however, has been self-inflicted. Creating a tribal economic cooperative wherever they migrate, it is no wonder that they are often suspected of shady dealings, sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly. That and the fact that part of their self definition is the open and conscious rejection of the holiest centerpiece of their host cultures (Christ), their tragic history makes logical sense. That is not to excuse antisemitism, just to point out the fact that if you proudly maintain that your little tribe is better than the rest of humanity, reject the religion of your surrounding culture as false and offensive and then proceed to operate economic networks to enrich yourselves in contrast to those who surround you, you are asking for trouble.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Misha, you’re right. Anti-Semitic pogroms were usually the result of perceived shady financial dealings and/or predatory lending practices which oppressed the local peasant population.

                      It’s interesting that most pogroms took place in Northern European societies where the local population had no native mercantile and/or financial class. Jews were usually brought in by local nobles to serve as middlemen and given exclusive licenses for various and sundry duties necessary to maintain a state. In other words, legally sanctioned monopolies. Among these were tax-farming, the collecting of rents, pawn shops/small lending and liquor distribution. To add insult to injury, Jews were forbidden from owning land and thus farming. Basically you had two victim classes here: the native peasantry and the Jewish minority with the Jews being in a slightly superior financial position. Regardless, neither were stable and both were at the mercy of the nobility.

                      In England for instance, feudalism only took root after William I conquered the Anglo-Saxons and reduced the natives to peonage. Before that they were free-holders who possessed wide-ranging rights and who met in local councils and owed a kinship-based allegiance to a king. Feudalism upended this stable order. In order to help rule over them, William brought in Jews from Europe and gave them exclusive monopolies. (The Poles did the same thing in the Ukraine for example.) Likewise in Iberia, the Moors used the local Jewish population to keep the Christian majority in check.

                      It was only after the expulsion of the Jews by Edward I that the native population was forced by economic necessity to engage in mercantile activities. This was one reason why feudalism was able to be disrupted in England faster than in other European countries. In the older, more settled Mediterranean littoral, the natives had long occupied these economic niches, hence violence against Jews (and other minorities) was far less frequent. (That’s also why feudalism never took root in the Balkans.)

                • Peter Millman says

                  Those are extremely uninformed, meaningless stupid comments on your part One thing you have conclusively proven; a person does not have to be intelligent to be a lawyer. Prove that I am wrong. In other words, put up or shut up.

                  • Peter Millman says

                    As I have previously stated, Rabbinic, Talmudic Judaism does not recognize our Lord as the Jewish Messiah. In the Talmud, they say our Lord is in hell boiling in excrement and that the Theotokos was a whore. They say that Jesus was a sorcerer; in fact, I listened to one Orthodox Jew who said that the reason our Lord was able to walk on water was because He wrote the Sacred Name on His foot. Judaism believes that the Messiah will not be divine, will marry, and lead Israel in their defeat of their enemies; they also believe that he will die. Period. They believe that Jesus fulfilled no Jewish prophecies whatsoever. Another reason they believe that Jesus was not the Messiah is because there is no world peace. If you try to convert a Jew to Christ, then you are an anti-semite according to them.
                    When our Lord walked the earth, they said He cast devils out by the power of Beezlebub. In response, He pointed out that if Satan cast out Satan, then his kingdom was divided, and coming to an end. He warned them of the grave danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
                    The Sanhedrin delivered Jesus up to Pilate for crucifixion; the Jewish crowd cried out to Pilate to crucify our Christ.
                    Having said all that, the same Jewish people who welcomed Him with hosannas in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, later demanded His crucifixion; they were also the the three thousand people who converted to Christ on the day of Pentecost. No one disputes that Jesus, Mary and all the original apostles were Jews.
                    I do not support the state of Israel; I support my brother and sister Palestinian Christians. When Israel illegally declared itself a state, they ethnically cleansed the Palestinian Christians and Muslims. Israel has also illegally annexed East Jerusalem. When I go to church on Sunday, I wear a Palestinian kufiyeh and a bracelet that says Free Palestine.
                    No state or country in the world has a legal or moral right to exist, let alone be recognized as a Jewish state. When Palestinian Christians are denied access to the Church of the Resurrection, that angers me- and it should anger you as well. When Zionists forces desecrate a Greek Orthodox monastery near Jacob’s Well, and murder the Greek Orthodox abbot of the monastery, going so far as to cut off his right his right hand because he uses that hand to make the sign of the cross, I am outraged- and you should be as well.
                    I strongly support the BDS movement, the designation of AIPAC, the ZOA, the American Jewish Committee, and the ADL as foreign agents of the Likud party. We should not give Israel one dime in military support, and should cease protecting Israel in the United Nations. The great Catholic peace activist Mairead Maguire sailed on a ship to break the Gaza blockade. She is a very staunch supporter of the Palestinians. If you don’t support our Palestinian brother and sister Orthodox Christians, then you are not a Christian, It’s as simple as that. I will add one final point;l know more about Judaism and the state of Israel than anyone on this site. Way more than anyone on this site.

                    • Peter Millman! Do have a point to make, other than you get to decide who is or is not a Christian, and Jews are bad people who hate Jesus. One other point, would it not be more beneficial for you to know more about the Gospels, and our saints, than Judaism, and the state of Israel, than anyone else on this site. I will pray for you brother. Another Saint Isaak quote for you Peter:

                      “QUESTION: When is a person sure at having arrived at purity?”

                      ANSWER: When that person considers all human beings are good, and no created thing appears impure or defiled. Then a person is truly pure in heart.”

                • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                  I share your concern, “Tim,” over the occasional anti-Jewish commentary that appears on this blog by Orthodox Christians perhaps out of solidarity with our fellow Orthodox among the Palestinians and Muslim nations in the Levant such as Syria–as well as Israel–who must survive in often inhospitable political cultures. I wince whenever I see “neo-con” employed as an anti-Semitic code word or gratuitous challenges to the very existence of the Jewish state, as if modern Judaism or the nation of Israel have nothing whatsoever to do with the Israel of the Old Testament.

                  At the other extreme are the many contemporary Protestant and Roman Catholic biblical exegetes (such as Krister Stendahl, one of my professors at Harvard Divinity School in the 1970s) who view rabbinic Judaism and the modern denominations of Judaism as self-sufficient, in no need of Jesus Christ as Messiah, Lord, and Savior, and, indeed, superior in some ways to the Church founded by our Messiah.

                  Surely there is a middle ground where we may respect Jews and Judaism–and even the modern Jewish state–without ceding the unique, decisive, and eternal revelation of Jesus of Nazareth as the Word of God incarnate for all of humanity.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    I completely agree Fr.

                    While I realize that there are many on the Right (and Left) who use this term as a proxy for overweening Jewish influence, as for myself, I use the epithet “neocon” not as a proxy for Jewish conservatives but as a thing in and of itself. Neoconservatism is the modern, American-Rightist iteration of Trotskyism. That many of its luminaries are Jews means nothing to me. All who uphold this abhorrent principle are suspect in my book, whether they be Jewish or gentile.

                    And of course I agree with you about the illegitimacy of believing that Jews are in no need of God’s salvation (which is the end-result of Stendahl’s theology).

              • M. Stankovich says

                So, what to make of the words of our Lord spoken to the Samaritan woman at the well: ““You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” (Jn. 4:22) Now who didn’t see this coming:

                Do not wonder that He numbers Himself among Jews, for He speaks to the woman’s opinion of Him as though He were a Jewish Prophet, and therefore He puts, “we worship.” For that He is of the objects of worship is clear to every one, because to worship belongs to the creature, but to be worshipped to the Lord of the creature. But for a time He speaks as a Jew; and the expression “we” in this place means “we Jews.” Having then exalted what was Jewish, He next makes Himself credible, and persuades the woman to give the greater heed to His words, by rendering His discourse above suspicion, and showing that He does not exalt what belongs to them by reason of relationship to those of His own tribe. For it is clear, that one who had made these declarations concerning the place on which the Jews most prided themselves, and thought that they were superior to all, and who had taken away their high claims, would not after this speak to get favor of any, but with truth and prophetic power. When, therefore, He had for a while removed her from such reasonings, saying, “Woman, believe Me,” and what follows, then He adds, “for salvation is of the Jews.” What He says is of this kind: neither, that blessings to the world came from them, (for to know God and condemn idols had its beginning from them, and with you the very act of worship, although ye do it not rightly, yet received its origin from them,) or else, He speaks of His own Coming. Or rather, one would not be wrong in calling both these things “salvation” which He said was “of the Jews”; which Paul implied when he said, “Of whom is Christ according to the flesh, who is God over all.” (Romans 9:5) Do you see how He commends the old Covenant, and shows that it is the root of blessings, and that He is throughout not opposed to the Law, since He makes the groundwork of all good things to come from the Jews?

                St. Chrysostom, Homily 33 on the Gospel of John

                Context, as they say, is everything, and to cast St. Chrysostom – a Cappadocian Father of the 4th Century – as an anti-Semite is foolish indeed. The “He” in the statement, “He makes the groundwork of all good things to come from the Jews,” is our Savior, a fact well known to St. John.

                • This is perhaps a good place to respond to George’s comment on the subject of the supposed “anti-Semitism” of the Gospel of St. John (that part of the thread has exhausted its ability to reply). It of course is no such thing.

                  But there are some things that draw attention to it in certain circumstances. The disputes recorded between Christ and the Jewish leaders are more contentious in many ways than those recorded in the other Gospels — the Jewish leaders especially come across as more actively and even irrationally hostile to Christ. There are also a few unique features in the Slavonic translation of the Gospel of John that might catch the attention of those who are on the hunt for anti-Semitism (even though they are in no way anti-Semitic).

                  I again categorically reject that the Gospel of John is anti-Semitic. St. John was recording events and conversations that really happened, and the Jewish leaders of the time really were actively and sometimes irrationally hostile to Christ.

                  But to nonbelievers who begin with the assumption that everything in the Gospels was concocted much later with agendas aforethought, I can see why the Gospel of John would draw a little extra fire.

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    Edward, I believe the consensus is that the Gospel of JOHN was composed somewhat later than the Synoptics. And in the RC and Protestant world it is mostly amongst scholarly believers that we find people holding to the assumption you mention.

                    • Ha! Vladyka, I stand corrected. Of course you are using the term “believer” with a great deal of latitude. While said individuals might believe in Christianity in some broad and general way, by rejecting a high view of Scripture, it is a different kind of belief.

            • George, What hasn’t President-elect Trump been accused of?! Every time I check my email, every single day, every other story on Yahoo reports what a as***le Trump is. Reminds me how the media lost it’s collective mind when Reagan was elected. Pictures of him and Bonzo the monkey. Screaming that a no name actor has no right to be our President. Reagan did not turn out too bad, did he? Hope Trump follows. I don’t remember the left’s concern when a near unknown man on his first term as senator named Barack Hussein Obama wanted to lead the free world. ALL HYPOCRATES! Trump’s leadership skills will show the world what a amateur Obama was.

              Thanks for listening, and may our Theotokos hear, and intercede all your prays to her son, and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

              • Trump in the news, I wonder why that could be:

                * Trump, the President-elect of the United States, is paying $25 million to settle a class-action fraud suit related to his Trump University venture.
                * As President-elect, Trump in the past week met with Indian business partners discussing his business interests. This is already causing reverberations in India/Pakistan relations, two nuclear armed states, and the US relationship with each.
                * Trump’s DC Hotel has already held an event, a week after the election pitching its services to foreign diplomats. This, of course, raises tremendous conflict of interest red flags. Would you like to stay in the hotel owned by the President in town for DC business, or the one not owned by the President?
                * Trump as President-elect held a meeting with the Japanese prime minister in Trump Tower. Seemingly no with brief from State, or even anybody on the US side taking notes, without press, but his daughter, who is supposedly part of the “blind trust” running his business interests sat in on the meeting. Oh, and her husband, a chief adviser to Trump, with no actual government position.
                * Trump is conducting operations in Trump Tower that at least as of last week had no WCHA set-up nor a temporary SCIF, he is also conducting conversations with world leaders on unsecured phone lines and still using his private phone, the biggest intelligence agency technology target on the planet to tweet.
                * Trump’s daughter, a member of the transition team despite being a part of that ‘blind trust’ running his business interests, appears to be interviewing potential Cabinet members
                * Trump may have grossly under-reported his debt owed to the Bank of China and Goldman Sachs on financial disclosures, they are twice what he claimed.
                * Trump’s business partner in the Philippines is the new trade envoy to the US.
                * Trump’s pick for NatSec advisor, retired Gen. Flynn, while serving as an advisor to the Trump campaign sat in on classified national security briefings while also doing paid consulting work for foreign governments, including the Turkish government
                * Trump’s pick for NatSec advisor, despite being a paid consultant to the Turkish government, publicly praised the Turkish coup leaders as it unfolded.
                * Trump tapped Sessions as a AG pick. Sessions famously had his nomination for a federal judgeship sunk in the 1980s for being viewed as too racist, by 1980s standards, by a Senate Judiciary Committee controlled by Republicans and chaired by Strom Thurmond.
                * Steve Bannon
                * On top of ALL those things, either as a distraction from them, or just because he has impossibly thin skin and is a special snowflake, Trump delivered a barrage of Hamilton/SNL tweets over the weekend representing a truly unsettling lack of respect for the Constitution by the President-elect of the United States of America.

                And that isn’t even everything, I’m leaving quite a bit out. Which of these, exactly is not newsworthy?

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Yawn. Let’s see Hillary’s medical records and have a clean audit of the Clinton Foundation. How about all them emails? Then we can talk on an even basis.

                  • Whining about Clinton is going to get really old by 2017, to say nothing of 2018, when you’ll still be doing it with every new Trump scandal or grift. Clinton lost. So no, I think it is very relevant what the President-elect has done in the past week.

                    The sad thing is you rant about the Clinton Foundation not even understanding the level of documentation that currently exists concerning it, yet you are going to be happy as a clam letting President Trump not show you his taxes for the years he is in power, despite merrily using the power of his office to personally enrich himself.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      As long as Trump puts his assets in a blind trust (something the Clintons didn’t do for a long time in 93) and turns his business empire over to his children, then your concerns are specious.

                      The fact that he won’t take a salary however complicates things to my mind. Maybe one of our esteemed lawyer-commentators can explain if blind trusts can be used in such a situation.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      George! My word! You wrote THIS?
                      “As long as Trump puts his assets in a blind trust (something the Clintons didn’t do for a long time in 93) and turns his business empire over to his children, then your concerns are specious.”

                      PLEASE, LET US KNOW WHEN TRUMP PUTS HIS ASSETS INTO BLIND TRUST, Then you hinted that, well, maybe there’d be justification NOT to put his assets in a blind trust In either case, will you actually comment on Nate Trost’s “Trump in the news, I wonder why that could be” bullet points w/o adding, “But Mom, SHE did just as bad things?”?

                    • Trump is not going to put his assets in a blind trust. Having a blind trust would mean Trump would liquidate his holdings and hand over the proceeds and have nothing further to do with the money until he leaves office.

                      That is not what is happening. What is happening is that everything is functioning just as before, with the fiction that his children are managing the existing Trump Organization without any discussion or involvement on his part. Yeah right, the adult children are on the transition team and Ivanka has been sitting in on diplomatic meetings and calls.

                      Trump waiving the Presidential salary is meaningless in the context of using the power of his office to advance his business interests.

                      Heck, even in the context of the penny-ante grifting. I think my favorite was actually making the Secret Service pay for the cost of having them travel on the Trump jet. That is something that is actually set to continue for his family, since when they travel without Trump on the Trump jet instead of Air Force One, they can continue to bill the Secret Service for flying along.

                      And that’s not even getting into the giant snarl and potential of Trump branded properties in international cities across the globe in the age of the War on Terror. The name of the incoming President of the United States is on a lot of buildings/resorts/whatnot. Some of them he has direct interests in, some are just Trump name licenses. But, of course, that doesn’t make them any less targets of opportunity for terrorism. Or ‘terrorism’, since any incident on a Trump property will be used by Trump to equate his name and his business interest with America.

                      Somehow, the American taxpayer is going to be paying a security bill for Trump properties all over the globe. Just Trump wanting to have Trump Tower as a secondary base of operations is going to cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars a year, minimum.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                “Dino!” WHO IS THIS “HYPOCRATES?”
                Do we think that Trump will send a Bible and a birthday cake to Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL, as Reagan did to the Ayatollah Khomeini?

                • Bishop Tikhon, That a great idea, let’s bomb them with bibles!

                  Hippocrates are those on the left msm who did not dare to see or question Obamas lack of experience and leadership skiil yet were up Reagans and Trumps yazoos about theirs! Both who are natural leaders. Obama only wanted to lead from the rear.(his words, not mine)

                  May the Theotokos pray for us on her day of her entrance into the temple , Your Grace.

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    “Dino!” You are wrong. You wrote this:
                    “Hippocrates are those on the left msm who did not dare to see or question Obamas lack of experience and leadership skiil yet were up Reagans and Trumps yazoos about theirs!”
                    You see, Hippocrates, the ancient Greek M.D., is the author of the Hippocratic Oath that modern MDs swear to uphold.
                    Hypocrites, on the other hand, are those who pretend to a righteousness that is loveless, hence, NOT righteous!
                    Yes, President Obama did try to follow a policy of leading from the rear. Don’t confuse that with Douglas MacArthur’s WWII lifestyle! You KNOW what President Obama meant because he explained it himself! Or, maybe not,,,if you consistently confuse Hippocrates with hypocrites, maybe you just didn’t get it?
                    Dino, are you perhaps in college or a high school senior? If so, congratulations on your courage!

                    • Bishop Tikhon, AGAIN YOU WERE PLAYED! First was a typo, the next one you were punked, as the kids like to say. I won’t respond, in regards to your personal insult,(College or High School comment) as I was taught to respect, veterans , clergy, and senior citizens. Xronnia Polla on your belated bday. Your Grace.

                      PS. I never knew about the General, how does one learn such gossip,and as a good bishop is it not hypocritical to preach against gossip while spreading it?

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      “Dino!” So you were PRETENDING to be wrong in order to..what?There are several good biographies of General Douglas MacArthur, whom I never met. I did have a couple 2nd cousins who served in the Pacific theater during WWII. And I have NEVER met any enlisted man who served under him that respected him personally, only his rank as required. One 2nd cousin, Floyd, used to crack us up with his imitation of the General fleeing combat: “I’ll be RI-I-I-I-I-I-I-GHT Back!” I did my own tour in Japan under his successor there, General Lyman Lemnitzer. There were lots of anecdotes (what you label as gossip, as if all history were not gossip) of the “gay old days”. No one claimed that General Doug was gay: just that he liked to have gays on his general staff because he thought they’d never compete in the world of what George lustfully calls “Alpha Males.”

                    • Bishop Tikhon! Yes pretending, just to get you jump to out of your slippers, and spill your Irish whiskey, in your love of orthography.

                      Gossip whether true or not true is still a sin, Your Grace. Is it not?

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Dino! You asked a question: “Gossip whether true or not true is still a sin, Your Grace. Is it not?”
                      My answer is No! It CAN be a sin. But if is true and helpful,it is not!
                      The gossip that was passed around like this : “Christ is risen!” by the Myrrhbearing Women is that good gossip, sometimes called, like ALL GOSSIP, “news!

                    • BISHOP TIKHON! What is “true and helpful” in knowing that the general was not respected by many, and that: ” he liked to have gays on his general staff” hopefully no pun intended, Your Grace!

                      How is this especially” helpful” in any way ,since I never asked you about the general, and the “gay old days”. Sounds like sinful gossip to me , Your Grace, NO? But what do I know, I am not a Bishop!

              • Peter Millman says

                Dino, I just love your logic and reading comprehension skills. Please allow me to give you a taste of the irrationality of your fatuous comments and convoluted logic.
                According to the quote Dino gave me, all people are good. So in Dino’s benighted, dimwitted view, Adolph Hitler was good. See how stupid you sound, my friend?
                As far as the New Testament goes, I have literally read it hundreds of times. I read at least one chapter every day, and have done so for many years. In fact, I’ve practically memorized it. Can you say the same about yourself?
                Also, I really find your self righteous, smug, holier than thou attitude rather annoying. As Dale Carnegie said, ” Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain and most fools do.” Dino, you may want to read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It just may do you a world of good. Now, stop annoying me, my Beta male friend.

                • Peter Millman! You have read the New Testament literally hundreds of times, and have practically memorized it. Yet you seem to miss the central theme.

                  Peter! Who told you that I believe, ALL people, even evil ones like Adolf Hitler, are good? Peter, I DO NOT believe any human is truly good, and that is exactly the point . Read the words of Saint Isaak, I posted again, and try to comprehend why he instructs us to have love and mercy on all of God’s creation. Especially the evil ones, and those who hate us.

                  Peter you have thrown about a dozen personal insults my way, in your last two posts , yet you want to refer me to a book called HOW TO WIN FRIENDS, AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, By Dale Carnegie. Truly Hilarious! Yet truly sad, in that you are serious. Either read the book again, or get your money back. I will stick with Saint Isaak words, over Dale, my self appointed Alpha male brother, but certainly not friend.

                • Peter Millman. Done. You win.

      • I too would rather see Israel become something like, “The Republic of the Holy Land” where all the sons of Abraham are safe. I definitely side first and foremost with Palestinian Christians (Orthodox). I know many of them here in the States. Wonderful people. After that, I would side with the Israeli’s over the Sunni Muslims. This would not be the choice of many Palestinian Christians, but I doubt that they can see the big picture given the precariousness of their situation. One can negotiate and deal with Shiites (Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq) but Sunnis are Amalek. They have to be converted or defeated.

        It is odd that the Crits and Sunnis are allies, isn’t it? Politics makes strange bedfellows. Most Sunnis would enslave the feminists and execute the pervs. You can’t make this stuff up, it’s too precious.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Quite right, Misha! “The Republic of the Holy Land” would be a very good new name, after “Israel” would be wiped off the map just like “USSR” was! The Islamic REPUBLIC of Iran is mostly Shia Muslim, but Sunnis are tolerated, as are the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Jews. The captain of Shiite Iran’s National Football Team is an Armenian who sometimes crosses himself during international matches, The Armenians and Assyrians and the Jews elect their own representatives to the REPUBLIC’S Parliament, too! Try to imagine this in the Saudi Kingdom!!! There are about 400,000 Armenian Christians in Iran, and they have big, beautiful churches. The Assyrians are concentrated mostly in the Republic’s Azerbaijan province in the Northwest. And more people should know that Hezbollah drove the invading Israeli armed forces OUT of southern Lebanon which they had occupied. I pray our new government will not re=introduce Anti-Iran politics into our foreign policy, but I’m not optimistic: you have people like the Ivy League graduate and Senator from Arkansas, Tom Cotton, who composed that awful letter to Iran’s government trying to sabptage the nuclear accords, and who also uttered publicly, this immortal HOWLER:
          “Iran has become so aggressive that they have ALREADY taken over TEHRAN!”

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      That’s how the Catholics treated AgiaSophia in the 4th Crusade. And then we say Christians value love above all.

      • Well, true Christians value love since God is love. But Love is not a god. That Catholics acted badly during the Crusades simply demonstrates their blindness to doctrine and lust for power.

  2. Jacob's Well says

    There are no “Judeo-Christian” values. Wake up America! Many Jews hate Christians. There was no election. All three of Trump’s kids married Jews. Hillary’s daughter married a Jew. Bernie Sanders is a Jew. It all comes down to the original spiritual battle, and the Jews are on the other team.

    • Jacob’s Well,

      Wrong as wrong can be.

      Christian values emerged out of Judaism and Christ Himself was Jewish. In the end, many Jews will convert to Christianity. Sunni Islam is the enemy, not the Jews. Now, if some neo-cons wish to side with Saudi Arabia and ISIS, that is their affair. Their blood is upon their own heads. But the wiser sons of Jacob will see that it is the Sunni’s that are the enemies of Israel and of Christ. They must either be converted or defeated.

      • “In the end, many Jews will convert to Christianity.” Actually, Orthodox Prophecy has it that it will only be a “Remnant” in the End Times. This I believe comes from Book of Revelation and the Patristic teaching thereof. Has to do with the Prophesy regarding Elias and Enoch and when they become resurrected after being killed and dragged about the streets of Jerusalem and the “Remnant” of Jews who become witness to that miracle event convert. The “Jewish Elite” in the world of finance and media and Hollywood and the Globalists Rockefeller’s and Rothschild’s etc. etc. kind of hard imagining any of them converting to Orthodoxy and of course all the many Jews and non-Jews for that matter who are part of that society, NWO, they’re all going to be for the anti-christ, they will enthrone him at what will then be the newly built “Third Temple of Solomon.” Rabbinic Judaism though has it that currently the Islamic Dome of the Rock sits at that location where the old Second Temple was located before during the time of Christ where He turned over the tables of the money-changers and the Jewish Temple has to be at that location according to their law. So for time being the Third Temple cannot be constructed. We are not there yet. Some war happens or something then who knows what, that will be a “sign” at that point in time that we may very well be there at the threshold of End Times.

        • “Now, we see as if through a glass, darkly.”


          Many saints and monks have prophesied including Elder Paisios. If you look at all of their prophecies together, there is quite a bit that is mutually exclusive. What I mean is that these men had visions and things were revealed to them and yet they interpreted them as well. They are not Holy Writ at all.

          Some prophesy that many Jews will be converted and Orthodoxy will have a great period of evangelism before the final apostasy. Some foresee a Jewish antichrist, others a gentile.

          We’ll have to see.

          • Orthodox Eschatology is primarily derived from Scripture. Old Testament beginning with Genesis and Isaiah and then book of Daniel and others. Then of course New Testament Matthew 24 and other Gospel parallels and other Chapters as well. Then Epistles, Apostle Paul, and various passages from there. Then you have the early Church Fathers and then subsequent Church Fathers putting things together, giving interpretations. Then you have Saints of more recent times great ones the likes of St. Seraphim of Sarov and St. John of Kronstadt. St. John of Shanghai and SF. Obviously things that pertain to more recent times specifically like say Russia and the Revolution those are not going to be mentioned by name and discussed as such in older writings like the new for obvious reasons that Russia or Russian Revolution was not around back in the Old Testament days, right? So you you need to look at context when looking at one Eschatological writing of one time as compared to another of another time, the older ones are going to give you more of the basic fundamentals the newer ones by Saints may elucidate more on topics made known to us from worldwide historical events that have come to pass. Now on the topic of Antichrist which we were discussing you state:
            “Some foresee a Jewish antichrist, others a gentile.” No. He will be Jewish. Thats clear from all the basic major fundamental sources of Eschatology in Orthodoxy. He will be “Antichrist” meaning he will be a false religious-political figure who will try in every kind of way possible to appear like as Christ. “Anti” itself means more “instead of” or “in place of” rather than “against.” One basic aspect of Christ was that here on earth He was a Jew so then will the the Antichrist be likewise. This is basic. So if there are “some” giving “interpretations” that are not in accord with the fundamentals then those “some” are just practicing false teaching. Furthermore Antichrist like Christ will begin his “ministry” at a similar age as Christ began His ministry, he will come on the scene out of nowhere suddenly and rise to prominence very quickly and rapidly. He will “razzle-dazzle” like no one ever has before amongst men in the public sphere though all with false miracles and deceptive illusory spectacles and he will claim to be “messiah” …. “Jewish messiah” …. and in Jerusalem he will construct the Third Temple in which he will assume the “seat of David” and will require that he be worshipped as “lord.” They will restore animal sacrifices and old practices from Old Testament times and Judaism will assume primacy in world religion at that time, the Jews will celebrate him as the “messiah” they had been awaiting throughout the ages except for that “Remnant” of the Jews who will not accept him. The “Remnant” nevertheless could be a “considerable” number of people but that will become known around that time. He will have powers imbued to him directly from Satan himself so that will be scary. Then also at that time the heresy of “Chiliasm” will come into play, it will be “neo-Chiliasm” the heretical teaching about the “earthly 1000 year reign of Christ” and you can see a lot of that today, not just amongst the Protestants but in the Orthodox Church as well, the MP with all the glitz and glow and materialism and expensive watches and vestments and all that and the “robber Cretan Council” they are all primed to just jump on board with this “1000 year reign of Antichrist” and all the Ecumenism that will come with it “one-world” religion they are working on establishing. But the Bible warns us in Matthew that if you hear that there is the “Christ” don’t believe it because when Jesus does come it will happen real fast, there will be no time for CNN breaking news or anything like that though stocks may still trade to that very last day though I guess that will be moot at that point in time.

        • Cy, thank you so much! Now I know not to lay the foundation of my bomb shelter, at least not until “anti christ Jews”, start their foundation of the third Temple.(sarcasm off)
          Cy, perhaps you should start a new church that warns us of other such future events, oh, nevermind, there’s already about five thousand of them out there !

          • Dino, with Trump in for the next 8 years we have a “reprieve.” I bet he is not ready yet. I bet he came out of his mothers womb at 9:11 AM Sept. 11th 2001. So then he’s only 16 now nothing to worry about. Trump, Putin, Brexit PM, those are the three horns that resisted Antichrist.

            • And George censors me!

              • George Michalopulos says

                Dino, be fair: every now and then I have to censor some comments!

                Forgive me.

                • George, no worries, but Cy, I worry about. Perhaps someone should introduce Cy, to Geda the Chinese Prophet Monkey?!

                  • Yes, and Geda the Chinese Prophet Monkey prophesies that Jill and Hillary will not win the recount. So anyone who may be writing a last ditch check to help fund that campaign its not going to happen. Also Geda sees Trump as two-term-prez so for all those in need of therapy dogs it should be a young pup. Gonna need to not only “get-over-it” but “used-to-it”
                    and “deal-with-it” as well?!

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          “Cy!” Where may we read this “Orthodox Prophecy” of which you so easily write? WHICH Holy Fathers commented HOW on the Book of Revelation [which the Holy Canons do not permit to be read aloud in the Orthodox Church]? You wrote “This I believe comes from Book of Revelation and the PATRISTIC teaching thereof.”

          • St. John of Damascus, as I recall, writes his entire section summarizing Orthodox patristic teaching on the end times barely citing Revelation, if at all. So I agree that to claim that there is a patristic interpretation of that book is highly questionable.

            But it isn’t exactly true that the book of Revelation isn’t allowed to be read in Church. It isn’t read today because it isn’t found in the liturgy lectionary or in any of the prophecies appointed in the Menaion or Lenten Triodion to be read at Vespers, but it was apparently once read at the “Great Readings” of Vigil between Vespers and Matins — a practice that has long fallen out of use. The only apparent remnant of the Great Reading is the reading of the Book of Acts before the Paschal Vigil.

            People more knowledgeable than me have told me that Revelation was read at the Great Readings during Sunday Vigils of Great Lent, thus ending the cycle that began with reading the book of Acts during the Sunday Vigils of the Pascha season, and continuing with the rest of the Epistles throughout the rest of the year.

            I understand that the Coptic tradition still reflects this cycle somewhat in that their last great reading before the Pascha Vigil is a reading of the Revelation of St. John, rather than the book of Acts, closing out the cycle.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              St. Andrew of Cesarea does a whole commentary on the Book of Revelations. It’s available on Amazon in the Ancient Christian Commentary series on the Book of Revelations.

              There is an IVP series called Greek Fathers on the Book of Revelations citing Oikomenios and St. Andrew of Cesarea as the two Greek patristic fathers that comment on the Book of Revelations and there is also Latin Fathers that comment on the Book if Revelations.

              Check them out. They are on Amazon.com.

              The commentary is also free on the net via Prof. Jeanie Constantelou’s PhD dissertation that is posted on the web. Oikomenios did the first full commentary on Revelations, but St. Andrew did the best one.

              Constantine Zalalas also comments on St. Andrew and Oikomenios commentaries of Revelations in his discussions of the end times.


          • Pamphlet I got at Cathedral Book store in SF “Joy of All Who Sorrow.”
            Before I forget though from Fr. Seraphim Rose and Archbishop Averky book
            on Apocalypse regarding the reading of Apocalypse in Service.

            “even though the Typicon does give it a place in a part of the services which is seldom if ever performed in our days. (At the Saturday night Vigil, all the New Testament Epistles and the Apocalypse are appointed to be read in order between Vespers and Matins, beginning with the Sundayh of All Saints.)

            • APOSTASY and ANTICHRIST

              Typographia prep. Iova Pochaevsko
              Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, N.Y.

              1. In the prophecy of the patriarch Jacob concerning each
              of his sons who became founders of the tribes of Israel, the
              fate of the posterity of Dan is portrayed in such a way as to
              relate to Antichrist: “Dan will be a serpent by the way, an adder
              in the path” (Gen.49:17)

              2. In the prophesy of Jeremiah: “The snorting of his horses was heard
              from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his
              strong ones; for they are come and have devoured land and all that is
              in it; the city, and those that dwell therein” (Jer. 8:16)

              3. In the prophesy of the Revelation which enumerates the REMNANT
              of all the tribes of Israel which are sealed by the angel for salvation, the
              tribe of Dan is completely excluded (Rev. 7:48).

              • George Michalopulos says

                The Antichrist is to arise from the tribe of Dan. The question is, where is the tribe of Dan today?

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  According to Archimandrite Athanasios Mitilinaios (1927-2006) the tribe of Dan represents symbolically everything that is anti-God and secular.

                  He will be a man totally devoid of God and even hate God. This is one interpretation. Are there others? Would love to know.


            • Cy, thanks for the citation regarding the liturgical reading of the Book of Revelation. My knowledge of the subject comes directly related by scholars of the Typikon, but I have never seen it in print.

              As noted, these “Great Readings” are seldom if ever done today. I have neither observed the practice nor even heard of the practice, even in the strictest cathedrals and monasteries.

              Originally, the blessing of loaves, wheat, wine, and oil was performed at the Lity at the end of Vespers, and the bread, wine, and oil were distributed to and consumed by the faithful while the Great Reading was done. Then, the faithful, refreshed, were prepared for the labors of the rest of the Vigil.

              The annointing of the faithful with oil is appointed by the Typikon to be done with oil from the lampada burning before the festal icon of the feast. Today, that oil instead comes from what was blessed with the loaves — quite a different use from what the Typikon prescribes.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Edward! You wrote: “Cy, thanks for the citation regarding the liturgical reading of the Book of Revelation. My knowledge of the subject comes directly related by scholars of the Typikon, but I have never seen it in print.”
                I can’t find any such citation. I missed it. Please, repeat it. I know that one of the very early differences between Rome and the Eastern Churches was in the New Testament Canon: Rome did not accept the Epistle of James, while the East did not accept the Revelations, In time, no doubt in order to insure the uniformity always desired by the Monarchy, both accepted what they had traditionally rejected. James always remained suspect in the Roman Church, and the suspicion burst forth dramatically when the scriptural maximalist, Luther, during his translation of Scriptures into German, cried that it was “an epistle of straw!” Revelations, however, was always suspect in the East because i t mystified more than it revealed, Nevertheless, all anarchists and revolutionaries adore the book as providing spectacular imagery for use in condemning their opponents. I found it rather piquant to note that St John is portrayed as receiving it on Pascha, WHILE KNEELING!

                • Sure, Vladyka. Cy quoted Bp. Averky’s book on the Apocalypse, of St. John.

                  Cy wrote:

                  “Before I forget though from Fr. Seraphim Rose and Archbishop Averky book
                  on Apocalypse regarding the reading of Apocalypse in Service.

                  “even though the Typicon does give it a place in a part of the services which is seldom if ever performed in our days. (At the Saturday night Vigil, all the New Testament Epistles and the Apocalypse are appointed to be read in order between Vespers and Matins, beginning with the Sunday of All Saints.)”

                  I haven’t pulled the book off my shelf — he could be quoting an introduction to the book written by Fr. Seraphim (Rose). But what is stated lines up with what experts in the Typikon (ROCOR, OCA, and Old Believer) have told me about the place of Revelation in the sequence of the Great Reading at Vigil. Which, again, has fallen out of use in more recent times to my knowledge.

                • OK, Vladyka, I looked it up. Cy’s quotation is from Fr. Seraphim Rose’s translators introduction to Bp. Averky’s commentary.

                  But I was bothered by him saying that it was appointed to begin on the Sunday of All Saints. I did not believe this is correct, so I bestirred myself to look it up, something I had never done myself.

                  If you go to chapter 2 of the Typikon, it clearly states that the readings are from Acts from Pascha to the Sunday of All Saints.

                  Then during the rest of the Sundays of the year, if I am reading the Slavonic correctly, the Typikon says we read the 7 Catholic Epistles, then the 14 epistles of St. Paul, then the Revelation of the Holy Apostle John the Theologian.

                  It is about 8 pages into chapter 2 in a section headlined in red “ведомо же буди” in my copy of the Typikon. Your Slavonic is better than mine — let me know what you read.

                  • Awesome. “Otkrovyenie” read in Old Church Slavonic must be of most eloquence and possibly Saints Cyril and Methodius wrote the original translation. Certainly the book of Revelation has entered the modern lexicon in manifold number of ways, has numerous references that have become significant Icons, Christ Enthroned, rich in .. symbolism .. then .. allegory.. then metaphor .. and then of course all the many parallels in New Testament and Old Testament Scripture. Thank you Edward for your expertise. I myself personally layman that I am would not know much about making heads or tails but am willing listener.

                    • Cy, I am hardly an expert, and I have never tried to work my way through Revelation in Slavonic, since the Gospel, Apostol, Psalter and the appointed OT readings at Vespers are of much higher priority (and the work of a lifetime for me, really), but I would imagine that as with everything else, reading it in an ancient liturgical language would shed much light on understanding it.

                      As to Sts. Cyrill and Methodius themselves, I would be surprised if they took on the translation of Revelation, since it would be a lower priority than the rest of the NT and the standard liturgical texts. The complete translation of the Bible in its entirety wasn’t completed in Slavonic for centuries. I think the full OT translation, for instance, wasn’t completed until the 17th or 18th centuries if I recall.

                      I was a bit surprised at first at Fr. Seraphim making such an elementary error, since his knowledge of Slavonic and Russian were reportedly first rate. But on reflection I wonder if he actually had a copy of the Typikon available to him where he worked up in the woods of Platina. Vladyka Tikhon would probably know more about the availability of copies in those days. Copies are today readily available from Russia, but back then, I imagine they probably weren’t exactly growing on trees. Fr Seraphim was likely working, as I had been earlier in thus thread, from his memory of word of mouth reports from others.

                      Revelation and its imagery of course loom rightly large for us in many ways, as you aptly point out. But at the same time, as I noted earlier, I think it is highly significant that St John of Damascus, THE preeminent Father who distilled and encapsulated the key elements of all Patristic teaching in an organized way, writes his entire chapter on end times with hardly a mention of anything from Revelation. As I recall, I think he mentions the 2 witnesses (Enoch and Elijah), but everything else is drawn from the Gospels, Epistles, and Old Testament. In short, everything we NEED to know is found elsewhere in Scripture. That said, I have indeed read Abp Averky’s book with great profit — he had good reason for writing it in these troubled times.

                      Abp Averky notes that part of the reason that Revelation isn’t found in the lectionary is that historically, readings are to be accompanied by explanation. Indeed, the Typikon prescribes a public reading in Church of the patristic commentaries for the appointed readings. Some Old Believers still do this, as I understand. These readings (along with lives of the saints of the day) are largely appointed at Matins. So by the time the Gospel and Epistle were read liturgically at the Divine Liturgy, the people would already have heard the readings AND the commentaries on them at Vigil the night before — the readings at Liturgy would be a grand finale of sorts that allowed a final formal reading “with great power.” Hence no sermon is prescribed at Liturgy in the Typikon or traditional service books.

                      Of course, we have all we can do to get people to come to Vigil at all today (and clergy and kliros to serve it), even when greatly shortened from their prescribed length. But we the faithful can make use of the ready availability of these Scriptural commentaries on our own at home, and thus accomplish the spirit of the Typikon. And priests and bishops who give sermons can draw from the wisdom of those commentaries to help them pass on what the Church wants the faithful to understand about those readings. Likewise, we faithful can read the whole Apostol and Revelation at home during the year, the latter particularly during Great Lent, also accomplishing the spirit of the Typikon.

                    • Parts of Revelation read like the Bhagavad Gita; i.e., they address the inner ascent of the soul towards God and the struggles that accompany this journey. Other parts may refer to events contemporary with its composition or future events. But the same parts can also serve more than one function and be true simultaneously on an allegorical level, contemporary (i.e., then) level and future level.

                      When one assumes that the true Author is God, one can appreciate that He could describe a dynamic taking place at St. John’s time, in the eschaton and in the human soul, all using the same words.

                      God is like that, The Artist-Author.

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    I rejoice that all this discussion of the Book of Revelations which ALONE of all the books of the New Testament may NEVER be read at the Divine Liturgy but is nevertheless SO IMPORTANT that it is prescribed to be read during a “Great Reading” which no one on Monomachos had ever heard of, let alone heard, until 2016, has shown the foolishness of defending ANY Orthodox teaching based on it. The Orthodox Church has never become one of those Apocalyptic sects that are so energized by that obscure, last to the Canon of Scripture, composition attributed to St John—so energized that they allow a wide-ranging, paranoid attack against perceived enemies otherwise unfairly exempted by intelligence and/or the Gospels from assault! The book as well provides manna to atheists who like to ask where the heavenly oysters that provide decorations to the pearly gates are to be found–in a heavenly river or a heavenly ocean.

                    • Vladyka, it is not my fault that no one on Monomakhos, apparently including yourself, has never heard of the Typikon prescription for reading the NT at Vigil, including the book of Revelation (not Revelations).

                      Tradition is clear that this book was authored by St John, and canons are clear that it is Scripture.

                      I sense that you have a strong distaste for the book because of the attraction it holds for certain chiliastic evangelicals. I suppose you will have to decide whether your dislike of conservative evangelicals (presumably at leaat in part because of their conservative politics) outweighs your desire to follow the tradition of the Church in according the Revelation of St. John even the modest place that the Typikon, about which you have written so eloquently in the past, grants it.

                    • Nevertheless it is the Mystical Text that has been read in services
                      in monasteries and places like Mt. Athos. Its for us lay folk too.
                      Figure out what 666 means. Getting the symbol on your hand and
                      your forehead. Antichrist will want you to take it voluntarily. Like
                      “unction” .. then at dread judgment you can’t say you were forced.
                      So you just got to know the devil’s game.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      Edward, you wrote: “Abp Averky notes that part of the reason that Revelation isn’t found in the lectionary is that historically, readings are to be accompanied by explanation.” Perhaps as important a part might be that the book was only accepted into the Canon of the Eastern Churches AFTER the lectionary was completed. I believe, Edward that some Orthodox luminaries of at least Archbishop Averky’s stature have commented on the difficulty of basing ANY Orthodox teaching on it. I’m not bothered by “apocalypticism” as such; however, I am bothered when an (I think!) Orthodox believer writes, “Its for us lay folk too.Figure out what 666 means. Getting the symbol on your hand and your forehead. Antichrist will want you to take it voluntarily” Edward! What’s to blame for such foolishness?
                      And who or what is responsible for someone,, like “CY”, imagining that monastics on Mt Athos are not laymen? Monasticism itself is a LAY MOVEMENT in origin: a reaction against the awful changes wrought on parish life by the tragedy of the Church being declared a civic responsibility, rather than a carefully guarded privilege for the Initiates (the Baptized).

                    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                      Edward, I echo your apologia for the enigmatic but quite magnificent and very canonical Apocalypse of St. John (Book of Revelation).

                      The retired OCA bishop in California and others who may doubt the utility or relevance of the last book of the Bible may be surprised to know that, in pp. 139-141 of my book, The Pacifist Option: The Moral Argument Against War in Eastern Orthodox Theology (1998), I marshalled the canonical Apocalypse in support of the Orthodox moral trajectory of absolute pacifism!

                      Far from a simplistic preview of end-times global politics or a clarion call to military action by the faithful, Apocalypse 12:11, in particular, depicts the role of faithful Christians in the cosmic struggle against evil as spiritual and non-violent: “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”

                      In addition, my most recent adult Bible study in Stafford, Virginia, delved into the Apocalypse of St. John. I utilized Archbishop Averky’s modern commentary, as well as those of the sixth century Byzantines, Oikoumenios of Constantinople and St. Andrew of Caesarea. All of the participants read the insightful, very readable, and highly recommended popular commentary by Fr. Lawrence Farley in the Ancient Faith Publishing series. Our exegetical approach was layered and scholarly, focusing, at once, on the historical context, perennial or existential themes and significance, and possible eschatological relevance. So inspirational and profound was the topic that the participants stayed with that particular Bible study for 63 weeks from 2015 to 2016!

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      I disagree with Fr Webster’s hypothesis: “The retired OCA bishop in California and others who may doubt the utility or relevance of the last book of the Bible may be surprised to know that, in pp. 139-141 of my book, The Pacifist Option: The Moral Argument Against War in Eastern Orthodox Theology (1998), I marshalled the canonical Apocalypse in support of the Orthodox moral trajectory of absolute pacifism!”
                      I’m not surprised by anything that I know.What an idea!

                    • Bp. Tichon maybe you should go back and review some of the writings of the Elders of Optina. In the Jordanville publication I mentioned previously regarding “End Times” there is mention of an even “more powerful demon” and when “force” doesn’t work then the “angel of light” demon, more powerful, appearing like “light” having all “the brotherly love” spell deception, ecumenical inspiration, thats
                      the “voluntary” acceptance of the “sign” so to say, departing from the Orthodox Teachings of the Fathers, re-interpreting everything, so that Orthodoxy becomes like the Beatles song “All you need is Love” ta ta ta ra, how that manifests of course we don’t know. Revelation is veiled. But it is there for a reason. Maybe just a “heads up.” For those who can SEE AND HEAR. It is not a company handbook. If Lord made all known like “hand-book” then all who don’t comply would have greater condemnation. And He knows by our “fallen nature” better for us not to know all the details. At judgment Day then you can say “well, I didn’t know that,” and that can stand, ignorance as a defense, Lord’s mercy.
                      In Matthew 24 Jesus said, verse 25, “See, I have told you beforehand.”

                    • An OCA priest once told me that there is a reader’s service in which a reading from the Apocalypse is also prescribed, but I’ve never followed up on checking it out.

                      It is indeed Scripture, in the prophetic tradition of Daniel, et al. The thing that makes modernists militate against it is that it reveals a very lucid vision of the End of the Story in Real Time. That is to say, believing in the truth of the Apocalypse of St. John, one cannot simply believe in a progressive secular humanistic Messianic era type of Second Coming, poetic more than literal, in which humanity comes of age, solves its major problems, perhaps extends life expectancy greatly, etc. – – the Sustainable Development Goals on steroids, basically.

                      For progressives who disguise themselves as Christians, that is their faith. Christ was an early progressive, the Scriptures are myths and allegories imperfectly constructed by the progressive artists of the time to point toward human progress in a completely “dialectical materialistic” sort of way.

                      But that is the faith of antichrist, not Christ. It is a baseless fairy tale malleable into whatever form one wants it to transmorph. That is how the Phanar rationalizes its apostasies.

                      There are two kinds of “Christians” in this world. One set believes in a completely literal, physical, materialistic, metaphysical and spiritual reading of the Law of God. Though it is myth and analogy, etc., nonetheless, in addition to that, and most importantly, it is true in the same sense as I say, “I exist.” or “I’m sitting here in a library typing this now.”

                      We believe that this world is sort of a “cyber world” of sorts that the Great Programmer constructed for our benefit and His Glory over which He exercises complete control, save only that He allows the free will of angels and men to complicate the Program with painful glitches, all of which can and will be resolved. We believe He can and does do miracles in a way analogous to a Programmer pushing a button and having characters in his cyberworld Matrix experience marvelous, supernatural events.

                      Now, some will say that is insane. Those are the second group of people to which I am referring. Many of them also call themselves “Christians”, observe this or that, dare to have a bit of faith in this or that little piece of the puzzle up to a point, but, at the end of the day, are functional atheists who “play” with the God concept and “do” theology. But for them, really, it is all a projection. Cold, hard material reality, divorced from any spiritual or supernatural significance, is at the bottom of Existence in the Real World. They sincerely believe or reluctantly “have to admit” that that is the sad, tragic truth. This second group has a certain tolerance, sympathy and indulgence for the practice and exercise of these mythical religious thingies, but they are just that – – ghost stories.

                      Some in this second group are clerics.

                      And that is how the matter stands at present:

                      “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
                      Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; ” – Ephesians 6:10-18

                    • “CY” is Cyril Bp. Tichon, not Cyrus, I think one time you mistake me for the latter. Famous pitcher Cy Young was Cyrus but like Cyril
                      the letter after the “y” is an “r.” So I think I can make Cyril “Cy.”
                      Now how do you throw a baseball ?? You have to with muscular
                      power thrust the shoulder. Forward, leaving elbow way behind.
                      Then that bicep muscle contracts and ligaments controlling elbowkey movement with power, push off back leg then contraction then make the throw, if you are a quarterback a 20 yard pass down the middle with receiver catching it in stride, and if you are a pitcher like Sandy Koufax his arm was permanently damaged from throwing curve balls you were doing the same thing, thrusting the shoulder.

                    • MISHA! Missed your posting of Ephesians 6:10-18. After reading that I got pumped up, adrenaline like that is dangerous at my age.

                      Breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, quenching the darts of the wicked, with my helmet of salvation, swinging my sword of the spirit….just waiting for the trumpets to sound and charge against the enemy, no quarter, no retreat!

  3. Mark E. Fisus says

    After her dormition, the Theotokos was brought up into heaven, so that isn’t actually her grave.

    Anyway, Mr. Michalopulos, did you hear the news coming out of Alexandria, that the Eastern Orthodox patriarchate there has approved the revival of the office of deaconess?

    • Are the Alexandrians also going to revive the practice of nude adult baptism? Because I can’t think of any other reason why we would have deaconesses.

    • She was laid to rest and the tomb was discovered empty. The Dormition is not the Assumption. We do not believe that she was assumed bodily into heaven at the moment of death but rather that she did indeed die and later was assumed into heaven. Roman Catholicism has varied in its teaching on the subject but that is not our concern.

  4. Peter Millman says

    Lest I leave people with the wrong impression, there are many things I admire about the Jewish people- and you should too. First of all, the Jews have made many notable contributions to the world aside from the Messiah. The Jews stress the importance of education- and you should too. They are very family oriented. They have done exceedingly well in business; they have tremendous business acumen. The Jewish entrepreneurs created Hollywood. Almost one quarter of the members of the Forbes Four Hundred are Jewish.
    There are no sacred horses with the Jewish people; they question everything- and so should we. The Jewish teachings on money and wealth acquisition are vastly superior to Christianity. Their teachings on charity are the best in existence; Christians should adopt the Jewish charitable teachings. The Jews teach that a person should give ten percent of their net to charity, but they call charity Tzedakah which means justice. They have a much broader perspective on charity than do Christians. Some churches falsely claim that a person must tithe ten percent of their income to the church. The Jews teach that charitable giving can be to one’s own family. The church practically bludgeons people about giving. Well, instead of pimping for money all time, why don’t they tighten their belts? People could have Orthodox church services in their own homes instead of these lavish, extravagant buildings with their expensive vestments and other church supplies. Part of the Talmud is called Pirkei Avot; this book of the Talmud has excellent advice for anyone. When it comes to philanthropy, the Jews have no peers.

  5. The great whore is mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. St John the Theologia
    n. Why? Here, by not serving God alone, people enter into the great whore. Here, the Vision Jesus Christ gave His Church is departed from, and the consequences are receiving Holy God sent plagues. Homosexuality is one of these plagues. Why recite it, if you can’t understand what is is clearly stating. Serve God Alone or perish. This desolates the relationship of man to man and the spiritual life contained in authentic Christian brotherhood.

  6. Robert G Pickle says

    Be advised and be aware.