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Iconography in the Assyrian Church of the East
Spyridon Wrote:The crescent moon was originally the symbol of Byzantium. It's a Christian symbol.

Actually, have you seen the crescent moon in ancient Mesopotamian carvings? The symbolism was quite ancient, portraying the ancient Sumerian/Akkadian moon-deity "Sin"

[Image: Khashkhamer_seal_moon_worship.jpg]

2100 BC was a little while before Byzantium, ay?

Spyridon Wrote:Another question I have is regarding the millenium. Does the CEO believe in amillenialism or a literal thousand year reign?

The CoE really goes out of its way to stay out of the end-times related topics. It is much more concerned with Mattai 28:19 than with Marqus 13:8.

Rafa Wrote:Is it correct to say that worship and veneration are two distinct things? Because if not it's a very thin line.

You bring up a good question, the answer to which I'm not sure. I'm just glad it's not really an issue over on our side.

Akhi Rafa,

Forget the Muslims or the Jews, we could really care less what either think.

I've seen priests refuse to perform a funeral because the grieving family insisted that the Assyrian flag drape the coffin. Do you know what's on the Assyrian flag?

It is not allowed in our Church - to the anger of many Assyrians.

Quote:Well, I don't know if I would be so extreme as to not perform the funeral.

Oh yeah, they were threatened with being thrown out of the building. Grieving family or not, we are sorry for your loss, but the Beth-Qanke (sanctuary) is not going to be defiled with pagan imagery. If we do not allow iconic imagery from the New Testament or a statue of Mary and Joseph, what makes people think the ancient false deity Ashur would be acceptable? Is this a temple to Ashur, or a Edtha of Meshikha? I would rather have a stature of Mary, at least that's a New Testament character!

Look at the Greeks, they have a Cross on their flag. They are a Christian nation. Could you imagine if the Greek flag had an image of Zeus on there? What would the clergy of the Greek Orthodox Church do? I don't think for one second they would allow that flag on their altar!

What do our idiots choose as a flag design? One that includes the disgusting image, not only of Ashur, Akhi, but also of Shammash. That star in the center is a very old Babylonian symbol of the sun deity, Shammash.

Absolutely revolting. And has no place in the Church.

Quote:By the way Akhi Paul- why do you guys yourselves "Assyrians" when you are actually Arameans?

Well, that's a very complicated question. As you may know, there is a lot of controversy within our community on the topic.

We are Assyrians, because we live in Assyria. Just like I am American. That's speaking geographically, not necessarily ethnically.

However, there are 3 or 4 schools of thought. The predominant one states that we are Assyrians geographically as well as ethnically. Secondly, there are those who hold to the Arameans theory. And, of course, the third theory is Chaldeans. After that, there are those who recognize the historical truth that the Assyrian empire consisted of many races and subjugated peoples, the "lost 10 tribes" including Arameans, Chaldeans, etc. That all these groups were integrated within the greater "Assyrian" identity. I belong to the latter school of thought.

Hmm...I can definitely see where you're coming from Paul. When I was in Athens recently I went up to Likavitos (the highest hill) and was looking at the Parthenon and you know what was going through my head? All those Bible verses about tearing down the high places! The fact is these kinda things bring bondage, my nation has become unbelievably godless and Antisemitc, they won't tear that high place to Athena down cause it brings in the money - they are slaves to Mammon and have forgotten that YHWH can provide for their every need if they would just trust in Him and obey His commandments. The spiritual state of the Church in Greece is very sick, people will take a candle to church for Pascha but that's it, it just tradition, there's no sincere love for Maran, and today most of them lead very sinful lives, they don't care about MarYah.
Rafa Wrote:That's it! It was the moon deity Sin! That was the Godess worshipped in the middle East which Hecate was the European equivalent. She is the deity of witches and such too, as in "sinful coven of witches". She is the dark form of the "good" deity, much like Kali is the dark form of Parvati in the Hindu religion.

Hey Rafa,

If you ever wanna do more research on this crescent-Sin issue, particularly its connection to Islam, I recommend this superb 2 volume set study called "Moon-o-theism" by Yoel Natan. Amazon sells the hardcopy version, but this is the one I have, it's a really good deal for a 2 volume work pdf file IMO.
"The dark goddesses" of "Europe" were (the) Morrighan, and Kerridwen.

"Hecate" was GREEK.


Rafa Wrote:That's it! It was the moon deity Sin! That was the Godess worshipped in the middle East which Hecate was the European equivalent. She is the deity of witches and such too, as in "sinful coven of witches". She is the dark form of the "good" deity, much like Kali is the dark form of Parvati in the Hindu religion.
This is a painting based on the Shroud of Turin:
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Would it be appropriate to pray before this image?
Paul Younan Wrote:
Spyridon Wrote:Thank you. I've always wanted to visit an Assyrian Church. I visited our cathedral in Philadelphia, and I noticed that there were almost no icons aside from St. Thomas and St. Gregorios, our patron saints, in the back of the church, rather than the altar.

That's from your great-great-grandparents' CoE heritage.


Hi, I'm an ethnic Indian and member of the West Syriac Church ("Orthodox") in India, which was (as Shamasha suggests, above) by all indications a part of the Church of the East pre-16th century. Personally, I'm very interested in Syriac Christianity, which is why I'm delving further into studying the Church of the East (since, the oldest Syriac aspects of the West Syriac tradition were, in my understanding, imported to the West Syriac Church from the Edessan traditions of which the CoE is the direct descendant).

I'm also trying to understand the position of the CoE regarding images and icons because of a curious thing I've observed in the Kerala Syriac Church. In some of our older Churches there are images and murals that are quite prominently displayed behind the altar. For example, there is a Church in Cheppad, Kerala, India that is supposed to date to before the arrival of the West Syriacs and Roman Catholics in India (and before the separation of the "Chaldeans" from the CoE in West Asia). And in this Church there are murals behind the altar. Some of these images are quite similar to those of another old mural-laden Kerala Church, whose images can be found at: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> (scroll down to: "Paliakara").

Of course, I understand the other possibilities with respect to the Kerala, India Churches:
1. The murals may not be *that* old, and hence may be due to Chaldean, Roman Catholic, or Jacobite influence. (I don't think so, since these murals have been claimed to be quite old with some corroboration from archeologists.)
2. The murals may have been a purely local development. Mural artwork is a unique characteristic of Kerala Hindus, and the Kerala Christians might have adopted the practice, despite CoE standards.

But I thought I'd mention this, in case anyone has any information regarding past (pre-Islamic, perhaps) use of imagery by the Church of the East.

(By the way, in general, Indian Orthodox/Jacobite churches now make relatively abundant use of images; it doesn't seem that that our forefathers CoE heritage made much of an impact in this respect. Personally, I'm waiting for the day when the Indian West Syriac Churches allow celebration of the Liturgies of Mar Adai and Mar Mari---that would be immensely satisfying to me!)
Dear beloved brother Spyridon in Yashua,Berek Alaha! What a beautiful church you posted the photograph of from the Syrian Malankara Orthodox church(Indian Orthodox).The Armenian Orthodox church follows the same tradition with only an icon of St.Mary and the Christ child at the altar in the sanctuary,which is always elevated upon the bema.The Armenian church is also very sparing in its use of icons with only the one referred to above being present with the exception of maybe a couple of others in the back of the church in the rear narthex.One exception is the magnificent cathederal of St.James in Jerusalem where St.James,the brother of our Lord and first bishop of Jerusalem is buried under the altar.There are numerous ancient oil painted icons in this cathederal but it is still sparing compared to the Eastern Orthodox church.The only Oriental Orthodox churches who use icons alot are the Coptic and Ethiopian.I would like to share a picture of the beautiful ancient cathederal of St.James in Jerusalem.Notice all of the gorgeous hanging oil lamps! There are over 300 of them that the seminarians and Deacons tend and light before and after services as the cathederal has no electricity still.Simply gorgeous in honour of the Lord.As the psalmist prays,o Lord I love the beauty of thy house! I believe our churches sould be simple but as beautiful as possible as it is in honour of the Lord.Look at all the details MarYah gave in regards to the splendour of the ancient Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> In Yashua,D.Michael.

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