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Supersessionism

1,986 bytes added, 19:07, August 31, 2013
Orthodox Criticism of Supersessionism
In the "Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity", Prof. Eugene Pentiuc of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, called supersessionism a "danger" discernible in Biblical passages<ref>Cited are: Mat 21:33-46, Gal 3:24-5, Rom 10:4</ref>, adding that it was especially pronounced in writings about Old Testament [[Typology]]. He wrote that "many early Christian writings" portray the New Testament and the Church as superseding the Old Testament and what he calls the "old Israel".<ref>Prof. Eugene Pentiuc, “Judaism, Orthodoxy and”, cited in Fr. John McGuckin The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, p. 356.</ref> The entry claims that supersessionism fueled "anti-Jewish sentiment" and devalued the Old Testament, but that ''"the church as a whole has [kept] the two Testaments in a dialectical unity, in the main avoiding... supersessionism as [a] danger."''<ref>Id.</ref>
 
Fr. Yves Dubois of St. John Kronstadt Church pointed out that while in Luke 2:32 Simeon called Christ "the glory of thy people Israel", the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord has him call Christ "the glory of the newly-chosen Israel."<ref>Fr. Yves Dubois, "An Orthodox Perspective", cited in "Christian-Jewish Dialogue", edited by Helen Fry, 1996, p.34</ref> He wrote that this twists Scriptural texts to make ''"Judaism and the Jewish community redundant, substituting the Gentile Church for Israel."'' He defines "supersessionism" as this substitution of ''"the Gentile Christian Church for the people of Israel"'' after God had made promises to Israel. Fr. Dubois writes that it ''"is theologically untenable because it questions God's consistency."''
 
This hinges on the liturgy's insertion of the phrase "newly-chosen Israel", and whether it refers to a removal of the Old Testament Israel. The phrase "New Israel" is common in Orthodox writing. Herman Blaydoe, the Orthodox Monachos forum moderator, comments:
:The Church is the continuation of Israel. We call it the New Israel, not because it no longer includes the Jewish people, but because it now includes ALL people. It goes beyond what it was; it does not replace what was before.<ref>Orthodoxy and Supersessionism, Monachos Forum, http://www.monachos.net/conversation/topic/7236-the-orthodox-church-and-supersessionism/page-2</ref>
 
Another way to understand this is Fr. Thomas Hopko's explanation: ''"God then sends his only-begotten Son… to be the New Israel, or the real Israel, to show what Israel is."''<ref>Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Names of Jesus: Jesus- The Firstborn, http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/namesofjesus/jesus_-_the_firstborn/print</ref> This relates to St. Paul's distinction between an outward identity and an inner, spiritual one: ''"he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."''(Romans 2:29)
==References==
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