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Trailers from Christian movies

Volnutt

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rakovsky said:
In the Decoding the Past episode "The Anti-Christ", the narrator says that some Evangelicals see the creation of the Israeli state and mass immigration of Jews to Zion as a sign of the End Times and apocalyptic events of the Bible, such as Revelation.

1. Is this really the case, and if not, why?
Specifically rabbinical Jewish governments held power over Jerusalem in c. 70 AD (when the temple was destroyed), in c.135 AD (under Bar Kokhba who declared himself Messiah), in the 6th century AD when the Persians and their Jewish allies conquered Jerusalem, and now since 1948/1967 for the last 50 years. Yet we did not see the End of the World and Second Coming as the Evangelicals would expect it. Further, there were Christian states holding power over Jerusalem in Byzantine and Crusader times, and sometimes then there were sizable Jewish populations in Palestine, yet the End and the Second Coming didn't occur then either. So I think that having an Israeli State or aliyah doesn't mean that the End is happening.

Further, the interpretation that such prophecies that those Evangelicals take to be about Jewish rule would have in mind a nonChristian rabbinical state is also in question. Christian theology sees the Church as carrying on ancient Israel's spiritual legacy.

2. If the creation of the State and Aliyah are real End Times events, does this mean that we should support and advance those events as those Evangelicals do?
In the Evangelical scheme according to the movie, the antiChrist may be Jewish and the End Times and Second Coming will include Tribulations and destruction for the nonChristians. Wouldn't this kind of "support" for the SOI be in effect a setup knowingly directed at the state's and community's destruction?

3. How does Orthodoxy interpret the passages that Evangelicals use to see the creation of a specifically Jewish state to be apocalyptic?

Zechariah 12 says:

6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

7 The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.

8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
I take this passage to be Messianic and apocalyptic, in part because the inhabitants of Jerusalem are looking at God, whom they pierced. The passage could mean that the inhabitants of Jerusalem at this point are Christians because they are mourning for the pierced one. Could this passage be speaking of the world's Christian nation, those with the spiritual legacy of ancient Israel, as being defended in Jerusalem from the foreign "nations", the pagans who are not Christian?

Otherwise, what does the passage refer to when it talks about Jerusalem's rulers consuming its neighbors and God destroying those nations who attack Jerusalem? Is this some event in the pre-Christian era, or is this a reference to God attacking a Jewish state's political opponents and military invaders?

St Cyril of Alexandria says that the rulers of Jerusalem in the passage are the holy apostles and rulers of the church. Their consuming of the neighbors is their spreading of the sacred word to them and warming them spiritually with divine fire. He gives as an analogy Jeremiah 1, which he sees as God's word consuming the prophet's audience:
9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
St Cyril points to Matthew 3 and Romans 12 as speaking of spiritual fire. He also cites Isaiah 6 and 47 as speaking of the firey coal on the prophet's mouth that helps spread God's word through the prophet Isaiah.

St Cyril sees this metaphorical interpretation as explaining how the rulers are "like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf".
SOURCE: Commentaries on the Holy Scriptures, http://bible.optina.ru/old:zah:12:06

St Jerome also equates Jerusalem in the passage with the church and finds in Numbers 20 where those who go by the left and right instead of the middle are those who sin by either indulgence in riches or else excessive restraint. He sees those on the right being those of whom it says in Ecclesiastes 7:
15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself ?
I take this to mean people who are judgmental and self-righteous.

The usual rabbinical reading of this passage sees this in terms of Jewish rulers in Jerusalem fighting their adversaries, although I suppose that even nonChristian Jewish thinkers could give this a metaphorical interpretation:
Jewish Eschatology

The house of David shall be as God (Zechariah 12:8)[8]
God will seek to destroy all the nations that go against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:9, Isaiah 60:12)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_eschatology
A marginal note of one ms. of the rabbinical targum to Zechariah 12 says:
    ...the Messiah son of Ephraim will go out to do battle with Gog, and Gog will slay him in front of Jerusalem. And they shall look to Me and inquire of Me why the nations pierced the Messiah son of Ephraim.
In the book "Why the End of the World is Not in Your Future", Gary DeMar relates Zechariah 6 and 9 to the Jewish attack on their Persian enemies in the time of Esther, and finds it as describing events that have happened in the past.

Verses in the Bible matching the combative ones in Zechariah 12:6 and 12:9 include:
like a firepot among pieces of wood: Isa 10:16,17 Ob 1:18 Rev 20:9
so they will consume: Zec 9:15 Ps 149:6-9 Isa 41:15,16 Da 2:34,35,44,45 Mic 4:13 5:5-8 Rev 19:19,20
on the right hand and on the left : Isa 9:20 54:3 2Co 6:7
I will set about to destroy: Zec 12:2 Isa 54:17 Hag 2:22
The documentary also interviews Dispensationalists who see Matthew 24 as using the image of the fig tree to describe the Jewish political community beginning to flourish and serve as a sign of the End Times:
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
I checked a few church commentaries on the Optina monastery website and they didn't equate the fig tree in this passage with the Jewish nation. They just saw the tree in the verse as a metaphor of how one knows that summer is coming, although one writer saw it as a metaphor for the Church and its successes.

Isn't the image of the fig tree in the gospels a reference to the Jewish political community, which did not accept Jesus as the Messiah when he came and hence was not found fruitful in the gospel stories in Matthew 21, Mark 11 and Luke 13?
The "Fig-tree" is a fit emblem of Israel. Its peculiarity is that the blossoms of the fruit appear before the leaves. Naturally, therefore, we should look for fruit on a tree in full leaf. This accounts for why Jesus cursed the Fig-tree that had on it nothing but leaves. Matt. 21:18-20. The presence of the leaves led Him to expect fruit, and when He found none He cursed the tree for its fruitlessness. Mark gives us another version of the incident. Mark 11:12-14.
...
In the Parable of the "Barren Fig-tree" (Luke 13:6-9) we have another picture of Israel. The "Fig-tree" is the Jewish nation. The "Fig-tree" was planted in a "Vineyard," which we have seen stands for the land of Palestine. The owner of the Vineyard and of the Fig-tree was God. He came in the person of His Son Jesus, and for three years of Jesus' ministry He had sought for fruit from the Jewish nation and found none.
https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/larkin/dt/29.cfm

Do Orthodox writers see the fig tree itself in Matthew 24:32 as having any meaning?


Luke 21 is another apocalyptic passage that some Dispensationalists take as referring to the times when the Jewish nation will have political rule over Jerusalem. Do you agree?:
23. How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers. For there will be great distress upon the land and wrath against this people.
24. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations. And Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Seeing this verse as making Jewish political rule to be apocalyptic seems to run into the same problems that I listed at the beginning of this post: Such rule has existed several times already since Jesus made this prediction. Further, in Orthodox Christian theology, the Byzantines were not "trampling" Jerusalem as hostile forces. The "time of the gentiles" could be "fulfilled" once the Romans accepted the Christian and Israelite God.
I feel like this could all be a thread in and of itself... and one that I don't feel like I have enough specialist knowledge to help with, sorry.
 

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I wrote a short review in the Romanian language section on some issues in the movie The Second Coming of Christ in the Romanian section, since it's a Romanian Orthodox movie and I want to ask about the Romanian language scene:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,74625.new.html
 

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Volnutt said:
rakovsky said:
According to the movie What Happened to the JC Bunch?, the followers of James were the Ebionites and didn't believe that Jesus was God. (https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Archaeologist-Episode-Happened-Tracking/dp/B00IQ3XQ90/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536861210&sr=8-1&keywords=What+happened+to+the+JC+Bunch%3F) But it doesn't seem to provide enough proof for why they were Ebionites as opposed to Nazarenes. After all, the Talmud says that there were two groups of Christians, the Nazarenes and the Ebionites. The Nazarenes are mentioned by Jerome as Jewish Christians who follow Torah but also accept the Church's theology.

Next, he interviews Eisenman who says that James' movement was the Essenes and left their records at Qumran, and that they called their leader "The Just One" or "Righteous One" (Tzaddik). James was called "James the Just" (Tzaddik). But just because their leader is called Tzaddik doesn't prove to me that they were the same leaders, since Tzaddik was a common title of reverence in ancient Judaism.

Eisenman points to a letter called MMT in Qumran that is written to a foreign ruler and explains how to uphold righteouensness. However, I don't know why such a letter wouldn't be written by a nonChristian. He says that it has the same contents as James' letter in Acts 15 where he tells them to keep the Noahide rules. But even a nonChristian Jew writing to a foreigner would tell him to keep the Noahide rules. The Qumran scrolls also describe an unnamed enemy of their community.
I'm leery of anybody who tries to claim that the Qumranites and the Essenes are the same group. How does he deal with the fact that the DSS have no mention of the celibacy that Philo and Josephus tell us were so important to the Essenes?

I haven't seen the movie, but I agree with you that some of the claims sound far fetched.

rakovsky said:
He sees Paul and Paul's movement as being separate from and in conflict with James', and he points to the Clementine Recognitions for this. I remember reading that the 2nd or 3rd century AD Clementine Recognitions were Ebionite or Ebionite in some of their sources, but I don't know why this means that the Recognitions would be correct in separating Paul's from James' Christianity. The Recognitions do both respect James and Peter, and yet so does Paul in his writings. The Clementines speak of the Hostile Man or Enemy who throws James down from the Temple without killing him and who then gets a letter from the High Priest to chase them to Damascus. In Acts 9, Paul gets a letter to chase the Christians down to Damascus. The problem with equating Paul with this enemy such that Paul remained the enemy of a supposed Christian Qumran, as I see it, is that Paul reconciled with the Christians.

Eisenman says Paul chased James from Damascus but missed him around Jericho, and so it means James' community went into the desert like the Qumran community. The Clementines say that James' community went to a tomb around Jericho and housed the remains of two brothers that whitened every year, and Eisenman takes the narrator to a cemetery 10 km from Jericho that points to a promontory of bright earth. Where do the Clementines talk about this? Do you agree that Qumran belonged to James' community? I am skeptical because it isn't overtly Christian.
I haven't read the Oh My Darlin' Clementines, sorry.

rakovsky said:
The narrator then says that in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the Jewish and Christian communities rejected the Jewish Christians because on one hand they followed Jesus as the Messiah and on the other hand they kept the Torah rules.
Sounds about right. You can see the tensions even in St. Justin Martyr. Though I don't know how far back into the NT-era you can read a clean break.

rakovsky said:
To me though, this kind of division between Pauline and James' Christian communities is too severe for reality, wouldn't you agree? In Acts, Peter had a vision annulling the food rules. And Peter founded Christian communities in Rome and Antioch. Clement was Peter's successor, and yet it looks like Flavians Clemens was both a Christian and an observant convert to Judaism at some point. Meanwhile, John the apostle was close to well known Christians like Papias and Polycarp who became Church leaders. And Paul respected James, Peter, and John as pillars of the Christian community in Paul's letters. Besides that, the 12 apostles were evangelizing the known world and helping set up churches. Yet the church that came out of their efforts in the 1st and 2nd century wasn't teaching Torah observance but a Pauline-style look at the Old Testament.
I agree. There was some tension, but I think it's easy to make too much of it (like Fr. Paul Tarazi does, for example). I don't see anything more than innuendo to suggest that either Paul or James (or Peter) thought of the other as anything close to as bad as a Gnostic or other heretic like Cerinthus or Hymenaeus. They probably just had a few spirited debates like any other Rabbis of the day would.

rakovsky said:
Besides that, already in about 70 AD there was the Council of Jamnia where the same rabbis who formalized the books of the Tanakh/Old Testament also placed a ban on Christianity, so there must have been a split between the Nazarenes and the rabbinical establishment already in the 1st century. Besides that, already in Matthew we see Jesus taking a critical stance to the pharisees and the standard observance of the Torah, like when he plucked grain on Sabbath or stopped an execution in John's gospel. The movie says that the MINIM means "Others" in Hebrew, and this is the name of the group cursed as "the Heretics" in the ancient Jewish synagogue reforms.
As I understand it, it's better read as the "school of thought of Jamnia" since it took place in several places over the whole span of the closing decades of the first century. It was the results of many different Rabbis and Pharisees trying to come to grips with the destruction of Jerusalem (perhaps with some of them helping to lay the groundwork for the 135 Bar Kochba Rebellion).

The minim thing sounds right.

rakovsky said:
The movie wants to say that Jewish Christians didn't accept Jesus' divinity and supernatural qualities, yet in the gospel of the Nazarenes or Ebionites, Jesus is given divine or supernatural attributes like when he had light coming out of his eyes in the Temple or in Gethsemane to stop his captors IIRC.
The idea that Judaism has always been completely impervious to anything like a plurality in God or an Incarnation seems like an anachronism to me (see all the weird stuff that goes on in the Pseudoepigrapha regarding "Metatron-Enoch," Moses getting to sit on the Throne of God, etc). Even if some Jewish Christians might have been timid regarding, eg. Logos Christology, that doesn't automatically mean that Jesus was "just a Prophet" or "just a great teacher" to them. Sounds to me more like modern secular liberals reading their biases into ancient history.

rakovsky said:
The movie also proposes that the Jewish Christians were in Capernaum's synagogues in the 5th century AD because one of its columns mentions names that could be found in the Christian NT, like John, Son of Zebediah, etc. (Compare with John the son of Zebedee).
Interesting. But are Zebedee and Zebediah actually cognates, or is that just a coincidence?

rakovsky said:
The narrator goes to a synagogue from about 300 AD in Tiberias. It has what looks like a mosaic of the Zodiac on its floor, as well as traditional Jewish symbols and pictures of pagan idols and maybe early Christian symbols. The narrator sees this as more evidence of Jewish Christians in synagogues. In the center of the Zodiac a picture looks like Sol Invictus, Helios, which the narrator says became Jesus resurrected for the Christians. In the picture, rays come out of his head and he has a halo. He says Roman emperors no longer wore a crown with rays once Christianity became legal. He says that this is a Christian symbol encrypted into the flooring because when the synagogue was built Christianity was still illegal. Do you agree with his view about this being a partly or fundamentally Christian synagogue?

Another drawing there on the floor is of an uncircumcised boy holding scales of justice. It looks like it is placed as one of the zodiac signs (It's probably Libra, the scales). He says that all the other signs of the Zodiac are fine except for 1. Aquarius standing next to the 2. fish, PISCES. He says that the word next to Aquarius is GLEE, meaning vessel in Hebrew, but that the words are written in reverse so that you need a mirror to read it, suggesting encoding. He refers to the story in the synoptics where Jesus says that the apostles should follow a man with a pitcher into the place where they will have the last supper. He says also that in PISCES' Zodiac symbol the G for the Hebrew word for fish is reversed, turning it into a symbol that looks like a Chevron. He suggests that it means that the viewer should flip everything - the viewer might think it's a pagan Zodiac but that the viewer should flip this idea and conclude that it's not pagan. Another archeologist whom he interviews named Motti doesn't believe that these are signs of Christian origins.

In the 1980's an archeologist named Dauphin found Christian-Jewish symbols in a village named Farj near the Golan that has early Byzantine ruins from c. 500 AD, such as a Menorah with a crossed bar in the middle making it look like a combination menorah and cross. The narrator finds a tree of life symbol on a door jam where in Judaism a mezuzah would be placed and he sees this use of the symbol as a sign of Jewish Christianity in the village.
Well, given that there are Crypto-Christian Muslims, etc. even today, it's certainly possible that there there were pseudo-Christian Jewish groups kicking around into the Early Middle Ages (though the expulsion after the Bar Kochba Rebellion probably would have made it a lot harder for them to survive). I think it's going to need a lot more than some Dan Brown-y readings of ambiguous architecture, though. And again, none of that is the same as "they didn't believe Jesus was God."
Frankly I am leery of watching a series entitled “The Naked Archaeologist.”  I very strongly prefer archaeologists who are fully clothed.  ;)
 

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At 2:15 into the documentary "Persecutions of the Jews against the First Christians", the documentary talks about the two arrests of Peter and Paul by the Sanhedrin, whereby the Sanhedrin was unsure of how to punish them for preaching the gospel. What is curious for me about this part of the documentary is that it shows a Greek written document whereby the words on the page are both centered and squeezed in descending order,​
whereby there are fewer and fewer words on a line as the document gets closer to the end.​
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_NOePX4vts​
What is the meaning of this writing format?
 

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The Missing Years of Jesus (Top Documentary Films)
https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/missing-years-jesus

The Missing Years of Jesus (National Geographic)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxkz_ygndLU

 

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In the 2001 Polish movie Quo Vadis / Kamo Gryadeshi, the betrayer of the Christians repents and gets baptized by Paul, and if I understand the movie correctly, it's the third time that the traitor is baptized because he kept falling into sin. This is at 1 hour 49 minutes into the Russian-dubbed version (https://ok.ru/video/265705884277). How could there be such a thing as a third baptism, even if the baptised person was insincere (eg. as a traitor) in the first two times?

At 1 hour 56 minutes into the movie, a power Christian servant grabs a bull in the Colosseum by the horns and twists the animal's head slowly and the bull dies. It doesn't make sense to me how this would kill the bull. Couldn't the bull just turn over if it needs its head to be always aligned with its body? Maybe the answer is that it's just artistic license in a movie.

The movie ends with Peter saying to his companion that they are going back to Rome, and it then shows them walking towards modern day Rome. I wondered if there was supposed to be some inner meaning hinted at when they showed modern Rome. Maybe they just mean that it's the same city in some ways many centuries later.
 

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Miracle of Faith: 2,000 Years of Christianity in the Holy Land (2000, on Amazon)
1. The Biblical Heritage
The first entry in this 3-part series tells the story of Jesus in his younger years, and how he came to become one of the most influential Jews in history.
 

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44 minutes into the 3rd episode on the Apostles of Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine, a professor says that normally under Roman standard practice, the Roman Magistrate would have given Paul a chance to run away to avoid being executed but that Nero prevented this from occurring by saying that accepting Christianity was enough of a crime for a death sentence. What Roman standard practice about magistrates letting people run away is he talking about?
 

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At the beginning of Episode 4 in Ancient Roads: From Christ to Constantine, the narrator says that Jewish Christians were involved in the fight against Rome in c. 70 AD. Nowhere in Josephus' narrative about the revolt do I find this claimed, so where did the narrator get the idea that Christians of Jewish heritage were revolting against Rome along with the known rebels?
 

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In Episode 10 (Explore Armaggedon Prophecies) of the Tales from the Bible series, the movie points to Luke 21:24 to suggest that the 1948 creation of the modern Israeli state is an End Times sign of the gentiles no longer trampling Jerusalem. But this interpretation doesn't appear to be correct, because the gentiles either stopped "trampling" or damaging Jerusalem much earlier (eg. during numerous post-100 AD Jewish, Christian, or non-hostile-pagan periods of control of the city), or because they still haven't stopped due to the Temple Mount's Muslim occupation, or because the fullness of the gentiles hasn't yet accepted Christianity.

Luke 21 says:

22. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

23. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

24. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down(πατουμένη) of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
...
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
In Greek in the Bible, the word "trod down" (πατουμένη) means to trample something with the feet, especially in a violating or damaging sense. For example, in Luke 10:19, the apostles are given authority to trod down serpeants and scorpions, and in Revelation 19:15, Jesus trods down or tramples the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God.

In the Golden Chain commentary on Luke 21, Bede says that the times of the gentiles and its fulfillment refers to the period when the gospel will be preached to and spreading across the gentiles:
BEDE: Which indeed the Apostle makes mention of when he says, Blindness in part is happened to Israel, and so all Israel shall be saved. Which when it shall have gained the promised salvation, hopes not rashly to return to the land of its fathers.
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gcc/luke-21.html

Bede is referring to Romans 11:
25. I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not be conceited: A hardening in part has come to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
26. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come from Zion; He will remove godlessness from Jacob.
Lopuhin comments on Luke 21:
"Jerusalem will be trampled/made repulsive/violated by the gentiles". The city here is described as a person, with whom the gentiles will go around with extreme antipathy. (Compare Exodus 10:6, Rev. 11:2).

"So long as the times of the gentiles are unfinished",
that is, until the period doesn't pass given to the gentiles for the completion of the judgment of God on the Jewish people (St. John Chrysostom). These "times" are finished by the second coming of Christ (compare verses 25-27), which should come still during the lives of the hearers of this speech (verse 28: "raise heads"). Therefore, the speech is not about other periods and, consequently, this is not a prophecy .... about the conversion of the full number of the gentiles (Romans 11:25) in Christ. Understandably, the coming of Christ [in the passage] doesn't mean his coming before the end of the world, but his coming in the Holy Spirit or about the second coming spoken in the spirit of the Old Testament prophets (See commentaries on Matthew 24).

«Иерусалим будет попираем язычниками». Город здесь изображается как личность, с которой язычники будут обходиться с крайним презрением (ср. Ис.10:6; Откр. 11:2).

«Доколе не окончатся времена язычников», т.е. до тех пор, пока не пройдет период времени, назначенный язычникам для совершения приговора Божия о народе иудейском (св. Иоанн Златоуст). Окончиться эти «времена» (καιροί) должны ко второму пришествию Христа (ср. стихи 25–27), которое должно наступить еще при жизни слушателей этой речи (стих 28: «поднимите головы»). Поэтому здесь не может быть речи о долгих сроках и, следовательно, тут нет пророчества о падении язычества при Константине Великом и тем более об обращении «полного числа язычников» (Рим. 11:25) ко Христу. Понятно, что под пришествием Христа здесь нужно будет понимать не пришествие Его перед концом мира, а пришествие Его в Святом Духе или же считать речь о втором пришествии сказанной в духе ветхозаветных пророчеств (см. комментарии к Мф. 24).
https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/Lopuhin/tolkovaja_biblija_53/21

St. Anthony the Great (4th century) related the treatment of Jerusalem in Luke 21 to how the temple was destroyed, the city was dispersed, and the city's religious services ended. He interpreted Jesus' words about how the city would be trampled until the time of the gentiles was finished as meaning that the city wouldn't be re-erected until the end of the age:
God, having founded the city as something holding together (Judaism's religious) services, then dispersed it, and dismissed all the service in this city. And this city until the end of the century/age will not be erected by anyone. And the witness to this is not an Angel, nor an Apostle, nor a Prophet - but the Creator of Everything, God Himself. He, entering Jerusalem and seeing the temple, said: “Jerusalem will be trampled upon by many nations until the time for the nations/countries ends,” showing the time to the end [of the world]. About the temple He said: “There will be no stone unturned in the place of it; everything will be destroyed. " What for? Because of the senselessnes (or "lack of understanding") of the Jews. For they, having received grace from God, joined themselves to idols and demons, and again for this they were tormented.

Answer/Question 220 of St. Sylvester's questions to St. Anthony the Great.

http://bible.optina.ru/new:lk:21:24
 

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He Knows My Name (2015)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pL0YU4yyA8

Magdalena: Released from Shame
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlZGAnXcQ7g

No Ordinary Shepherd (About Jesus' birth)
https://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi2752557849?playlistId=tt3898698&ref_=tt_ov_vi

Saul: The Journey to Damascus (2014)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuhgCaqhUY0

The Sign of the Cross (1932 & 1944. resembles Quo Vadis)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXYjgKjZ39g

 

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I'm entertained.
 

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I am watching the extended version of GLADIATOR (2000, Ridley Scott: Director, with Russell Crowe). The movie is a fictionalized version of events of c. 180 AD, during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus.

Here is a trailer for GLADIATOR:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owK1qxDselE

About 1/3 of the way into the movie, Russell Crowe is in a gladiator camp in the Roman provinces. There is what looks like a marketplace outside and in a sheep pen there is a man with a big two-color set of robes who looks like Jesus and is carrying a crossed-staff. It looks like a scene depicting the "good-shepherd". But it didn't make sense to me why the scene would be there. My best guess is that he directors were depicting someone in the marketplace making fun of Christianity as sarcasm, and that a real Christian preacher would not literally dress up as a literal good shepherd in a pen with sheep.

Last night I dreamed that I was talking with a Russian about strange things in the Soviet era, and I mentioned a photo that I saw of Minsk under Stalin's rule where a giant bill-board on top of a building advertised canned food to buyers and that it seemed strange because it reminded me of modern capitalist consumer culture. Today I was curious about the historical authenticity of GLADIATOR, and read:
As Ridley Scott wanted to portray Roman culture more accurately than in any previous film, he hired several historians as advisors. Nevertheless, some deviations from historical fact were made to increase interest, maintain narrative continuity, and for practical or safety reasons. Scott also stated that due to the influence of previous films affecting the public perception of what ancient Rome was like, some historical facts were "too unbelievable" to include. For instance in an early version of the script, gladiators would have been carrying out product endorsements in the arena; while this would have been historically accurate, it was not filmed for fear that audiences would think it anachronistic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladiator_(2000_film)#Historical_authenticity
 

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That's why Christian movies and films are successful
 

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The History of Orthodox Christianity
https://vimeo.com/118951881

The documentary notes the importance of Greek culture in the early Church. For example, the church in Rome used Greek liturgically even up to the end of the 3rd century. This was a surprising fact for me. Here is more information:
The language of Christian Rome was mainly Greek, down to the 3rd century. Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans in Greek. When Clement of Rome in the last decade of the 1st century wrote an epistle in the name of the Roman church to the Corinthians, he wrote in Greek. Justin Martyr, and the heretic Marcion, alike wrote from Rome in Greek. Out of 15 bishops who presided over the Roman See down to the close of the 2nd century, only four have Latin names. Even the pagan emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote his Meditations in Greek. If there were Christians in Rome at that period whose only language was Latin, they were not sufficiently numerous to be provided with Christian literature; at least none has survived.

http://www.bible-researcher.com/oldlatin.html
Another new fact for me that I came across recently was how the church in the first century in Rome observed the Jewish Law in ritual observance.
In the mid-second century A.D., Irenaeus envisions a founding role for Peter alongside Paul: “Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, laying the foundations of the Church.”60 Soon after, he refers to the “universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul.”61 Immediately, the problem surfaces that in comparing Peter to Paul, who arrived to Rome relatively late in the church’s history, Peter’s unique founding influence in the church becomes less likely. More likely, relatively obscure Christians made contributions to the church’s establishment, leading to a vital and growing community. As a parallel, Christianity surfaces in places like Cyprus and Cyrene without any apparent missionary journey by noted apostles (Acts 11:20). In the fourth century, the theologian Ambrosiaster shares a similar perspective on the beginnings of the Roman church:

“It is established that there were Jews living in Rome in the times of the apostles, and that those Jews who had believed [in Christ] passed on to the Romans the tradition that they ought to profess Christ but keep the law … One ought not to condemn the Romans, but to praise their faith; because without seeing any signs or miracles and without seeing any apostles, they nevertheless accepted faith in Christ.”63
https://bible.org/article/origins-church-rome

I note that in the Talmud, it is probably the same Clement who in the Christian church is a founding papal saint that is also portrayed as a convert to Judaism. Also, I note that if Paul, who emphasized that gentiles need not keep the Torah when converting to Christianity, came to Rome after the Church had already been brought to Rome,  this would help explain why the Church in Rome was still holding to the ritual rules of the Torah.
 

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Ironically, the Pope who switched it to Latin was actually making a concession to the local vernacular, I believe.
 

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rakovsky said:
I am watching the extended version of GLADIATOR (2000, Ridley Scott: Director, with Russell Crowe). The movie is a fictionalized version of events of c. 180 AD, during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus.

Here is a trailer for GLADIATOR:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owK1qxDselE

About 1/3 of the way into the movie, Russell Crowe is in a gladiator camp in the Roman provinces. There is what looks like a marketplace outside and in a sheep pen there is a man with a big two-color set of robes who looks like Jesus and is carrying a crossed-staff. It looks like a scene depicting the "good-shepherd". But it didn't make sense to me why the scene would be there. My best guess is that he directors were depicting someone in the marketplace making fun of Christianity as sarcasm, and that a real Christian preacher would not literally dress up as a literal good shepherd in a pen with sheep.

Last night I dreamed that I was talking with a Russian about strange things in the Soviet era, and I mentioned a photo that I saw of Minsk under Stalin's rule where a giant bill-board on top of a building advertised canned food to buyers and that it seemed strange because it reminded me of modern capitalist consumer culture. Today I was curious about the historical authenticity of GLADIATOR, and read:
As Ridley Scott wanted to portray Roman culture more accurately than in any previous film, he hired several historians as advisors. Nevertheless, some deviations from historical fact were made to increase interest, maintain narrative continuity, and for practical or safety reasons. Scott also stated that due to the influence of previous films affecting the public perception of what ancient Rome was like, some historical facts were "too unbelievable" to include. For instance in an early version of the script, gladiators would have been carrying out product endorsements in the arena; while this would have been historically accurate, it was not filmed for fear that audiences would think it anachronistic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladiator_(2000_film)#Historical_authenticity
I've heard that claim, but I don't see any evidence for it online. For one thing the claim is usually that in the movie, Maximus was going to be endorsing a particular brand of olive oil. But it doesn't seem like Ancient Rome even had "brands" in that sense. https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/4ip5d7/did_roman_gladiators_really_promote_products_from/
 

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In the documentary At the Roots of Faith: Christian Orthodoxy (Yuyu, 2015, https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B076MD2FKS), Despo Lialiou, theology professor, says that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is at the center of Orthodoxy and "looks after branches around the whole of the Mediterranean, in the Slavic world and in the New World." Marios Begzos of the Athens Theological University says "the Patriarchy of Constantinople is known as the heart of the Orthodox church", but he says that this is historical, symbolic, and honorary, rather than saying that it works like the Pope's role as all the bishops' bishop or as First Without Equals.

What Prof. Lialiou says about the EP "looking after" the branches in the slavic world and the rest of Orthodoxy is not how I learned Orthodoxy. This topic brings to mind Met. Ambrose's letter to me agreeing that there were some statements from within the EP that sounded like certain powers that the EP claimed for himself. Nor do such papal-sounding claims of powers for the EP square with Moscow's medieval "Third Rome" ideology. I only remember hearing such claims about his powers within the last year, although I know that they go back at least several years more. How common are such claims of the EP's alleged grand powers over the whole Orthodox Church, and how far back do they go in the 21st and 20th centuries?
 

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In The History of Christian Worship, Part 2 (https://www.christiancinema.com/digital/movie/history-of-christian-worship-part-2-the-body) , Lester Ruth says that after Christianity gained acceptance, baptism could happen quickly after a person started to believe, even where children were baptised soon after birth. He says that in contrast, in the 2nd to 4th c. Church, a long catechumenate process was required. His portrayal however misses that already in the late 2nd century we read in patristics about infant baptism.

It presents baptism as happening often at Easter, with preparation through Lent. But isn't there also a tradition of baptisms happening at Epiphany/Theophany in January?

The movie notes that at the Council of Trent, the RC Church continued infant baptism, but stopped infant communion.
 

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It turns out that there was a book called Judas Iskariot, a Russian novel written in 1917 by Leonid Andreev that has been given a lot of attention over the years in Russian literary circles and was made into films twice:
  • 1991 — «Пустыня» ("The Desert", based also on the story "Eleazar") I think that this might be the whole film (8 minutes?): youtube.com/watch?v=pOAQnWOl4

 

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Patmos (1985)
I saw it.
 
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