Coptic Library

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Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Mar 8 2019 8:24 AM

Do Coptic resources differ much from traditional eastern orthodox literature? If I was to learn about Coptic's what would be primary sources that I can read to learn about their beliefs? Are their resources included in the orthodox library? 

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 8 2019 8:56 AM

Blair, thank you for your query! I picked up the coptic gospel pair (older volumes, granted). I already have the usual coptics, which are kind of in-betweeners .. in between semitic vs hellenized, in-between catholic and african (early church), in-between eastern vs western, and finally in-between the modern church (take your pick) vs Ethiopian (ancient).

I also couldn't resist considering:

https://www.logos.com/product/38143/is-eastern-orthodoxy-christian 

which sounds insulting, but then the resource page intro suggests far more.

I really think your answer has to be 'when'?  Now? Around the time of Athanathias (sp) and the forcing of catholicism. Or the selection of the specific saints in-between.

I await MJ's expertise.

EDIT: Well, on the above book, Amazon reviewers really got wound up. Goodness.

https://www.amazon.com/Eastern-Orthodoxy-Christian-Robert-Morey/dp/1498435424/ref=sr_1_1?crid=M773X888REA7 


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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 8 2019 11:43 AM

The Copts have maintained an online free library for years see http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/thecopticchurch/index.html for how they choose to introduce themselves. You can view their services at https://www.facebook.com/pg/stmarkjc/videos/ For quick answers the Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia should help http://ccdl.libraries.claremont.edu/cdm/ref/collection/cce/id/844 

The Copts are Oriental (Syriac) Orthodox not Eastern (Byzantine) Orthodox i.e.  "pre-Chalcedonian" - but both the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholics have signed ecumenical statements negating this divide. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was granted autocephaly in 1959,  Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church in 1998. So the Tewahedo Church must be included in any overview.

Copts more broadly include Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, and Catholic churches. Egypt also has branches of other churches in communion with the Copts. Base churches in order of number of adherents: Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria; Coptic Catholic Church; examples of churches in communion: Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Armenian Apostolic Church, Latin Catholic Church, Maronite Church, Syriac Catholic Church, Armenian Catholic Church, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church . . .

From the ecumenical (Catholic) perspective documents regarding "Dialogue with the Oriental Orthodox Churches" are available at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/sub-index/index_ancient-oriental-ch.htm For the Coptic Church that is a rite of the Catholic Church see http://www.copticcatholicpatriarchate.net/ProvaJ/

Beyond a variety of Bible texts, Faithlife carries a few somewhat relevant resources which should not be assumed to be unique to the Copts:

That should get you started. Don't read books about rather than by them until you are comfortable that you have the basic outlines of the beliefs and practices. And before reading Robert A. Morey, read his credentials from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Morey_(pastor) 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 9 2019 5:04 AM

Denise:

I also couldn't resist considering:

https://www.logos.com/product/38143/is-eastern-orthodoxy-christian 

which sounds insulting, but then the resource page intro suggests far more.

Anything by Dr Robert A. Morey is worth reading and his book on Eastern Orthodoxy was particularly interesting. As you'd appreciate he's a conservative evangelical writer and in that book he makes clear his object is to inform and not to offend (see page 5). I guess he might be controversial in some of his writing, but I believe he's one author that's good to have in your personal library.  Keep well  Paul     

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 9 2019 6:00 AM

Paul:

Denise:

I also couldn't resist considering:

https://www.logos.com/product/38143/is-eastern-orthodoxy-christian 

which sounds insulting, but then the resource page intro suggests far more.

Anything by Dr Robert A. Morey is worth reading and his book on Eastern Orthodoxy was particularly interesting. As you'd appreciate he's a conservative evangelical writer and in that book he makes clear his object is to inform and not to offend (see page 5). I guess he might be controversial in some of his writing, but I believe he's one author that's good to have in your personal library.  Keep well  Paul     

Paul, I appreciate your comments. But I generally don't appreciate evangel-authors. I'm a by-the-book lady, not a by-the-traditions (various doctrines, creeds, opinions, hot sins, vote-for-King-David, and so on). I guess (I haven't really worried about it before), but MJ's frequent go-the-source is probably apropo.

But again, thank you.


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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 9 2019 2:37 PM

Paul:
his book on Eastern Orthodoxy was particularly interesting.


Immanuel Velikovsky is interesting - in my early 20's I devoured all his works. But interesting does not mean accurate or correct. If you have not read somewhat broadly in Eastern Orthodoxy, you have no framework to judge whether Dr Robert A. Morey (1) knows what he's talking about or is making it up as he goes along (2) or is appealing to the preconceptions you share with him i.e. out to make a buck and a name.

I will also admit to extreme prejudice. When an author has to state "his object is to inform and not to offend (see page 5).", I assume he is misrepresenting one side. If he is accurate, he'll give no offense - merely invoke thoughtful counterarguments or consideration of the difference in presupposition.

I'm not saying everyone needs to share my personal guidelines and prejudices; just saying be very aware of your own. . .

Full disclosure:
I first became skeptical of this self-published book because the blurb contains errors that indicate lack of familiarity with the material

blurb:
Eastern Orthodoxy?To many Evangelical Christians, Eastern Orthodoxy is limited to such ethnic immigrant communities as the Greek, Russian, Syrian, and Coptic churches.

Given that the Syrian and Coptic churches are not Eastern Orthodox, he is off to a very bad start if he wants to appeal to me. I'm also not keen on the assumption that "many Evangelical Christians" are so woefully ignorant. In a very rural, very evangelical county: St. John's Monastery.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 418
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 9 2019 5:07 PM

Denise:

Paul:

Denise:

I also couldn't resist considering:

https://www.logos.com/product/38143/is-eastern-orthodoxy-christian 

which sounds insulting, but then the resource page intro suggests far more.

Anything by Dr Robert A. Morey is worth reading and his book on Eastern Orthodoxy was particularly interesting. As you'd appreciate he's a conservative evangelical writer and in that book he makes clear his object is to inform and not to offend (see page 5). I guess he might be controversial in some of his writing, but I believe he's one author that's good to have in your personal library.  Keep well  Paul     

Paul, I appreciate your comments. But I generally don't appreciate evangel-authors. I'm a by-the-book lady, not a by-the-traditions (various doctrines, creeds, opinions, hot sins, vote-for-King-David, and so on). I guess (I haven't really worried about it before), but MJ's frequent go-the-source is probably apropo.

But again, thank you.

Thanks Denise - I understand the approach of not feeling bound by the traditions and going 'by the book'. There's certainly truth in that path. Take care Paul

Posts 418
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 9 2019 5:52 PM

MJ. Smith:

Paul:
his book on Eastern Orthodoxy was particularly interesting.


Immanuel Velikovsky is interesting - in my early 20's I devoured all his works. But interesting does not mean accurate or correct. If you have not read somewhat broadly in Eastern Orthodoxy, you have no framework to judge whether Dr Robert A. Morey (1) knows what he's talking about or is making it up as he goes along (2) or is appealing to the preconceptions you share with him i.e. out to make a buck and a name.

I will also admit to extreme prejudice. When an author has to state "his object is to inform and not to offend (see page 5).", I assume he is misrepresenting one side. If he is accurate, he'll give no offense - merely invoke thoughtful counterarguments or consideration of the difference in presupposition.

I'm not saying everyone needs to share my personal guidelines and prejudices; just saying be very aware of your own. . .

Full disclosure:
I first became skeptical of this self-published book because the blurb contains errors that indicate lack of familiarity with the material

blurb:
Eastern Orthodoxy?To many Evangelical Christians, Eastern Orthodoxy is limited to such ethnic immigrant communities as the Greek, Russian, Syrian, and Coptic churches.

Given that the Syrian and Coptic churches are not Eastern Orthodox, he is off to a very bad start if he wants to appeal to me. I'm also not keen on the assumption that "many Evangelical Christians" are so woefully ignorant. In a very rural, very evangelical county: St. John's Monastery.

Hi MJ - You're certainly right  'interesting does not mean accurate or correct' and its always wise to read more widely rather than relying on a single author. Some time ago in the Logos sales I bought one of the larger Orthodox libraries and am able to make comparisons. Also my background has included studies in Roman Catholicism and more recently Orthodoxy. I've also got wider family within those persuasions. So while writers like Morey might indeed appeal to my preconceptions, I'm certainly happy to study both sides of an argument.

I'm of a different view to you regarding his object ('to inform and not to offend') as I tend to simply accept his stated motivation until I read more and see how he deals with his subject.  You suggest that "if he is accurate, he'll give no offense' but I suspect in our present day, people may sadly be more ready to take offense irrespective of accuracy. Its also possible for some to be offended simply by the title of Morey's book on Orthodoxy, which would be unfortunate. In the end, there's a place for books such as Morey's to provoke us to thought, whether or not we agree with him. Keep well Paul    

  

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 9 2019 6:34 PM

Paul:
In the end, there's a place for books such as Morey's to provoke us to thought, whether or not we agree with him.

Yes

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 12 2019 7:29 AM

This entire thread of comments was interesting and informative.  Certainly got my interest in the Coptic and Eastern Orthodox Churches and theology awakened.  Thanks.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 14 2019 4:56 PM

Just ran into this in my dead tree library ...Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity by Otto F.A. Meinardus

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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