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shlomo,

I've read this article published by AINA (an Assyrian News Agency), and surprisingly it seems to be filled with a lot of misinformation that go against the CoE's history (at least from what I know, based on the numerous discussions that were had on this forum)

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.aina.org/ata/20090706212654.htm">http://www.aina.org/ata/20090706212654.htm</a><!-- m -->

What do some of the CoE members on this forum think of this short history article?

push bashlomo,
keefa-morun
Greetings, abudar:

As a member of the CoE, I want to briefly comment on references made in that article on the issue of the CoE being in "full communion" and "isolation" with the other Christian denominations. Have you ever wondered about the unity that exists in Islam in regards to their theological understanding and interpretations within their own religion? Aside from the relatively minor differences between sunni and shi'a Islam, their differences pale in comparison to ours as Christians. Why is that? Sure, we can cite many reasons but perhaps it comes down to a very basic characteristic of humanity -- language. The language of Islam from day one was and remains Arabic. As you know, they would not tolerate its translation into any other language.

We, the Aramaic-speaking churches were thinking in Aramaic while the
Greek-speaking churches wanted to argue theology about an Aramaic -speaking Christ and his apostles from an Indo-European perspective. You are bound to have significant misunderstandings in translation. Islam never had this problem to their gain. Granted, they were able to enforce it with the sword while Christianity was never the religion of a powerful state until after the time of Constantine some 300 years after its founding. 300 hundred years was more than enough for the Greek-speaking world to muddy the waters, so-to-speak, of a simple Semitic-thinking religion. And as long as they remain stubborn in accepting the fact that Christianity can best be understood in a Semitic mindset, their theological arguments will continue and we can never truly be in "full communion". I'm sorry to say. Afterall, wasn't the confusion at the tower of Babel a result of the division of a single language?
Shlama Akhan Abudar,

I'm assuming you're referring to this quote:

Quote:Commonly referred to as the Church of the East, this community at first remained in communion with the churches of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. Yet, it grew under the watchful eyes of the Sassanid Persians ??? followers of the prophet Zoroaster ??? who suspected the church of harboring loyalties to Byzantium.

Yes, we very frequently encounter it. Unfortunately if what is implied by "remained in communion" with the other Churches meant any sort of jurisdictional/ecclesiastical authority...then of course that is simply a fabrication of history. It's hard for the West to imagine that a completely independent (jurisdictional speaking) branch of the Church existed from the Apostolic days. It does not fit in well with how they have written the history of Christianity.

However if what is meant by "remained in communion" is that we considered every other Christian a part of the One Church, then absolutely yes. That remains the case even till today where any baptized Christian, no matter who, is welcomed at the communion meal as part of the CoE himself/herself.

All depends on what they mean by "communion."
The article on AINA is quoted from <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.cnewa.org">http://www.cnewa.org</a><!-- m -->, which is the Catholic Near Eastern Welfare Association, so the article was written by a Roman Catholic. Now I do try to avoid jumping to conclusions and accusing different churches of bias, but if you really want to know the truth about a particular church's history and teachings, it's best to read that church's own writings in their own words. After all one would have a distorted view of the RCC if one would confine their research solely to Protestant writings. Since the majority of Assyrians are actually Chaldean Catholics, it's not surprising that AINA quotes a Catholic source.

Meshikhaya brings up a very good point of how language has played a significant role in dividing the Church. But we must remember that our Holy books were written in 2 languages, so we in fact have 2 "holy" languages - Aramaic as well as Hebrew. I believe that the primary reason why there have been so many misunderstandings and schisms is because no major Apostolic assembly has ever based their doctrines on BOTH languages EXCLUSIVELY. Even the Nicene Creed was formed with Greek terminology in Greek which is NOT a Biblical language! Oh how different Church history would've been, and how different the Church would be today if the Fathers had just based their teachings on the original languages LIKE THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO. It's no wonder the heathens mock us and don't take us seriously, it's only us idiots who put flawed translations on par with the original, which is something the heathens don't tolerate.