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Song of Solomon - What's it about?
  • Hi
    What is this book about?
    Is it about God and His People?
    Or is it about a husband and wife?

    Can it be about both?

    What does the COC say about this?

    If its about man and his wife, what are the symbolisms in there that refer to them?
  • Hey Dthoxasi,

    I'd really recommend you check out Have You Seen the One I Love by H.H. Pope Shenouda. Its a book of contemplation on the Song, and one of his works that has been properly and wonderfully translated into English.
  • this book is so awesome and so deep that i started it a few months ago and haven't finished yet.
    i am so glad u have read it, jg, may God bless u and yr studies and yr family.
    :)
  • I've been told it is a symbolism of the relationship of Jesus and the Church.
  • There are a lot of protestants who see it as something else.

    I'm not sure i can even discuss it on here.
  • it is really very deep, about God's love, our half hearted love, our repentance and our deep relationship with God through His sacrifice and His forgiveness.
    maybe you can find something on line from Pope Shenouda about it. i was blown away by his wisdom.
  • Does it have anything to do with sex?
    Between a man and wife?
  • When I asked my priest about it he said it is not a love letter from Solomon to a woman. It is a love letter from Christ to the Church. Each piece of it has a very deep meaning. He also said that his father of confession (when he was in high school) made him wait until college to read it so as not to perceive sexual thoughts. Under his guidance I am waiting til then as well but he said its very beautiful if you understand it fully. God Bless
  • [quote author=St. Pachom link=topic=14742.msg166661#msg166661 date=1386199175]
    When I asked my priest about it he said it is not a love letter from Solomon to a woman. It is a love letter from Christ to the Church. Each piece of it has a very deep meaning. He also said that his father of confession (when he was in high school) made him wait until college to read it so as not to perceive sexual thoughts. Under his guidance I am waiting til then as well but he said its very beautiful if you understand it fully. God Bless
    [/quote]

    Some protestants understand this book as to what is sexually acceptable between a man and wife.

    I dont know how they come to that conclusion.
  • [quote author=St. Pachom link=topic=14742.msg166661#msg166661 date=1386199175]
    When I asked my priest about it he said it is not a love letter from Solomon to a woman. It is a love letter from Christ to the Church. Each piece of it has a very deep meaning. He also said that his father of confession (when he was in high school) made him wait until college to read it so as not to perceive sexual thoughts. Under his guidance I am waiting til then as well but he said its very beautiful if you understand it fully. God Bless
    [/quote]

    Thanks.

    When your priest said its "NOT" a love letter from Solomon to a woman - then can we assume that this is the general consensus of the Coptic Church also?

    We don't do Sola Scriptura. For each verse in the Bible, the Coptic Church (and Catholic) has its own interpretation - protestants , on the other hand, are convinced about something else.

    I hate what they are doing and I hate how they interpret the Bible. I find their spirituality dangerous. I don't find them spiritual as the same way I find a Coptic Orthodox Spiritual.

    Anyway, excuse my rant.

    Thanks for your answer
  • The EOTC (Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church) translates it to different things.
    I do not have a full knowledge of the translations but it as my friend said above it is a message from GOD to church. it also has verses about Mother Mary.
  • zoxsasi, please just read 'have you seen the One i love' by H.H. pope shenouda.
    no sola scriptura there, you can be sure. his holiness explains many things about the writings of the early church fathers.
    the book is awesome, i am now on the last chapter.
    it is a really deep book, there is no way i can summarise it.
    it's about our relationship with God and each chapter (based on a series of his lectures) gets you a little deeper into prayer, repentance and deep love.
  • Does anyone have a link to this book? PDF format preferably.
    Thanks
  • http://www.amazon.com/Have-You-Seen-Love-Contemplations/dp/1419697056/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387561955&sr=8-1&keywords=have+you+seen+the+one+i+love

    The book is was only published int he last 5 years or so and was translated by people in the states so that's good. I doubt you'll find a pdf so recommend you get the kindle version. 


  • Seasons Greetings Everyone!

    This video is awesome in its explanation of the "Song of Songs". Truly profound!

    Enjoy

  • This video is another example of Protestantism with the label Orthodox on it. After 2 minutes, I had to turn it off. All I heard was "me, me, me, me". "Draw ME to you Lord". "Kiss ME", and "What do you see in MY eyes" and so on. Everything screams of a personal emotional relationship with God. To prove my point, I ask what is the point of the music in the background? Protestant tactics to emotionally charge a person. 

    It's just like the Protestant song "Shepherd of my soul". All it says is "He calls ME", "have you seen MY beloved", "He is MINE, I am his", "I will wed with him". It is all teenage infatuation with no spiritual depth. It says nothing of the Church and God. It says nothing of the Trinity. It says nothing of repentance. Read Pope Shenouda's book. That is real Orthodoxy.
  • Despite with my agreement with the idea of being aware and cautious of personal emotional relationships with God, I do not believe the orthodoxy is free of it, neither would it be entirely wrong. This may be just my opinion, but seems to me we could look at psalm 12 and say the same. "How long will you forget ME, O Lord. How long will MY enemies triumph over ME. etc...". I agree orthodoxy is very rich and is not dependant on emotional screams, yet I do believe, and this again is my opinion, that they are not necessarily always unhealthy. I'd be interested in doing a more thorough search with you about that, even further the discussion if you disagree.

    PS. I did not listen to the sermon, I'm not perse referring to that, rather I'm referring more directly to your response. I'm actually personally a fan of Shepherd of my soul, so the response intrigued me quite a bit. Also, I quickly tried to find a source of Shepherd of my soul, but I do not seem to find any indication that it is protestant. Do you know it is protestant for sure, or you simply analyse it to be so? 
  • No I do not believe Orthodoxy is free from preaching a personal relationship with Christ. But the main focus of Orthodox is a reflection of God's relationship to all mankind, to all the heavenly orders, to revelation of the Trinity. St Cyril and St Athanasius' exegesis entirely centered around Christology and Trinitology in every passage of the Bible. So while there may be scriptural passage describing a personal relationship with God (like the stories of Jacob and Joseph), it was interpreted by the Alexandrian fathers as types and manifestation of Christ and the Trinity.

    Psalm 12, while appears as King David's reflection of his personal relationship with God, it is nonetheless understood by the Church as a reflection of mankind's relationship with God. It reflects BOTH a personal struggle with evil and a corporate struggle between mankind and evil. It is no different than Job's story which is clearly a story of both types of struggles. This is why the Church included Job, Psalms and Song of Solomon in the Bible. The problem lies where people ignore the corporate meaning of the 5 Poetic (or Wisdom) Books and interpret them as a personal message. This is exactly what Protestantism did. It removed Orthodox corporate interpretation (especially allegory famous by the Alexandrian fathers) and replaced it with a personal interpretation. 

    I do not know for sure that Shepherd of my soul was authored by a specific Protestant composer. But the content is definitely Protestant. And most Arabic madayeh (not found in Coptic hymnals) are almost always Protestant. As a general rule of thumb, if an Arabic Christian madeyah has an unknown author, it is likely Protestant in origin. Most Coptic authors who write songs, either include their names (like some of Pope Shenouda's poems turned into songs), or include purely Orthodox doctrine like the Trinity, intercessions, baptism, sacraments, salvation, etc. None of this is found in Shepherd of my soul.


  • Thank you Remnkemi, I appreciate your response.

    I completely agree with your statement. I simply wish to argue simply to further my understanding. If you read some of my previous posts, you will see that I completely agree, especially when it comes to protestant content. I, however, would like to be the devil's advocate this once, just to possibly learn something more, or understand different perspectives.

    • Psalm 12, while appears as King David's reflection of his personal relationship with God, it is nonetheless understood by the Church as a reflection of mankind's relationship with God. It reflects BOTH a personal struggle with evil and a corporate struggle between mankind and evil.

    Could we not say the same about Shepherd of my soul? That it is a reflection of mankind's inability and struggle to find the Lord. That, despite my dryness, I still must seek Him? I honestly believe the song is orthodox/ possibly catholic in nature, but I have nothing to support, nothing but instinct, so I understand that's worthless, but still..

    I may even extend this question to certain protestant songs, which at times invoke that struggle at which point, I would personnally believe the reason not to listen would not be the song perse, but the author in question?

    Forgive me if my thoughts seems a bit all over the place.
  • Don't apologize, I enjoy the debate. I guess any Protestant song could be understood as a reflection of mankind instead of an individual personal struggle. However, the intent of Protestantism is not to reflect a process of mankind but to subvert mankind's struggle to a personal struggle, as well as corporate praise into a personal praise. This is clearly seen in the use of emotional triggers like musical instruments, corals, dancing, and other factors. It is also seen in a rejection of sacraments, hierarchy, the Church, and corporate theology. 

    This is not to say Orthodoxy excludes a personal relationship.The personal relationship is strengthened in the corporate worship of God and the corporate salvific work of God. It is in a personal relationship that I partake of the Eucharist but the partaking of the Eucharist is most understood as a body with many members reconciled and alive in God, each member needs the other for salvation. "For the life of the world," as St Basil's liturgy says, not "for the life for myself" or "for my personal relationship with Christ". Baptism is an individual personal act. But its efficacy is not exclusive to a personal victory. Its efficacy is also rooted in the need for all mankind to be born of the Spirit. 

    So while I may be able to convince myself that Protestant could be understood in an Orthodox way, that is not the intention of Protestants. Shepherd of my soul is no different. Let's be honest (and I'm not picking on you personally. I am saying this generally). When you sing Shepherd of my soul, do you think of all humanity struggling and wanting to be with God, or do you think of how you are personally struggling and wanting to be with God? If I took a survey of 100 people singing Shepherd of my soul, I would be hard pressed to find 1 person who understands the song in a corporate struggle or as a reflection of God and His Church. The use of emotional triggers excludes any understanding of a corporate communal act. 

    On the other hand, hymns like Omonogenes, which is very emotional, invokes a corporate worship of Christ's nature, passion and resurrection. If I surveyed 100 people about Omonogenes, how many people would view it as a corporate praise and not a personal praise? I think you will agree it is much more than 1. Hymns like these require a personal commitment to Christ to fully understand the words and music. That is why Protestant songs, or Orthodox songs with a Protestant tendencies are inadequate at best (poison is more accurate).



  • Well put. 

    " If I took a survey of 100 people singing Shepherd of my soul, I would be hard pressed to find 1 person who understands the song in a corporate struggle or as a reflection of God and His Church. The use of emotional triggers excludes any understanding of a corporate communal act. "

    If I were however to take the same 100 people and asked the same question about Aripamevi (Confession of the thief), do you believe the response that much different? I'm most likely wrong in comparing the two, but I'd still be interested in your response! 

    "That is why Protestant songs, or Orthodox songs with a Protestant tendencies are inadequate at best (poison is more accurate)."

    I personally wouldn't categorize Protestant songs and Orthodox songs with Protestant tendencies the same way, but I understand your point. 
  • Sorry for not responding sooner.

    You bring up a good point. I guess there would be 100 people out there who pray Aripamevi as if they were personally speaking to Christ without understanding the Orthodox meaning of communal prayer. This is different though because it illustrates a lack of education, rather than a lack of sound theology. Protestant songs are in essence a rejection of communal prayer in favor of a personalized, mostly emotional, prayer. This is the core of Protestantism. One can't separate the two. One can't say, "we can pray Protestant songs, with emotion, as a community in an Orthodox Church." This is what people are advocating and it violates Orthodoxy and Protestantism at the same time. (Although I don't know if there is such a thing as proper or correct Protestantism. It's all wrong to begin with.) 

    On the other hand, the words of Aripamevi - if understood properly - illustrate a theology of communal worship. The right hand thief represent man's desire to be with God, while the left hand thief represents the devil's deception and lies. Christ's response was not said to the thief merely to comfort him or give him an emotional "boost". It illustrates the result of Christ's grace on all who worship in truth and faith. Even the themes used in Aripamevi contradict an exclusive personal dialogue between Christ and one particular thief. The first verse says, "O King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, .... as You remembered the thief ... remember US in your kingdom." Each verse is a contemplation on the Good Friday event as if it happened to all humanity, not just Demas the theif. 

    Does anyone ever understand or view things this way with Protestant songs? I can confidently say never.

    I should have used better words on that sentence you mentioned. I meant to show that Orthodox Songs with Protestant tendencies are not Orthodox at all. Orthodox songs or hymns require a personal and communal understanding, faith and theology. Anything outside is not Orthodox. It is Protestant. As such there is no difference between the two and both are poison. That is why I think they must be placed in the same category: the "Don't do this under any circumstances" category.


Memorial for HH Pope Shenouda

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