edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
Hey guys, I have two questions...

-is monasticism biblical?? and where?

-when a monk is ordained, a belt is placed around him, why is that? I also understand the monks don't wear the belt after the ordination, why is that so??

thanks in advance

In Christ


  • Celibacy is very common in the bible, for example when St Paul was discussing marriage and he stated that if people cannot be like him (i.e. celibate) then its better for them to get married.
    As for monasticism, the only example I can think of right now is St John the baptist. He lived all his life in the deserts scarcely eating and he lived the life of the angels (worship and praise)
    The belt that they wear is actually something they wear throughout their life after they get ordained. It symbolises their control of their body, meaning that they subdue their needs and wants. This is because the fathers say that if you cannot control your stomach then you cannot control any other desire/sin. Plus the belt surrounds the back, which always refers to our will because without our back we cannot perform any actions.

    I hope that helped, pray for me
  • Monasticism is based off this verse I think:

    "Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
    Luke 18:21-23
  • funny, I'm actually doing a show just about this...

    Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin. ‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body. He shall not make himself unclean even for his father or his mother, for his brother or his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the LORD.

    “This is the law of the Nazirite who vows to the LORD the offering for his separation, and besides that, whatever else his hand is able to provide; according to the vow which he takes, so he must do according to the law of his separation.”

    this is the vow of separation... or consecration... you see it very early in the bible... where a person is ascetic, so we see monasticism very early in the bible, and something that God really likes, "All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the LORD."

    by the way Samson was a nazirite... that's why he couldn't cut his hair, even the pope wrote a poem about him, which in reality is about monasticism.

    But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.  And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb... So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.

    some of the sources say that Jesus was a nazirite, because Nazareth was taken from the term nazirite... I cannot pass such a teaching... but if you think about it, did Jesus live the monastic life or not?! (chastity, poverty, obedience)

    we see also St. Paul perfecting the single life... so there are many examples in the bible!

    insha' Allah when the show is complete it will cover most of these verses...

    there is a leather belt that is to be worn by the monks... and its for the controlling of the stomach... its tight, and will not allow one to over eat!

    except if you are talking about the eskeem (Schema) which means the "plan" its a very strict canon, and very high... like for example you have to pray the seven hours and their psalms... very strong restriction on food with fasting... a large amount of matanyas (metanoias), etc...

    hopefully you will like the show when its done... it will talk about everything in monasticism...

    neshkor Allah... akhadna el baraka!
  • What kind of show will it be? and where will we be able to see it?

    God bless your actions
  • for now I'm in the research stage... insha' Allah I will start shooting in the summer, in California, Texas, and NY... except if by then there is another monastery...

    its going to be for one of the coptic channels... I will make sure all of you know when it comes out have you all watch it...

    if you want to help... I will be working on the history, types, in the bible, life, and modern life of monasticism... if you have more ideas, or want to help in the research... jump on the wagon and pm

    neshkor Allah, akhadna el baraka!
  • Oh wow, you got me excited Superman! Here are some resources which may be helpful:

    I am especially fond of the last one, entitled "The Sublimity of Monasticism". I'm not sure if that's what you were after, but you might find it helpful.

    I hope God blesses your project and I cannot wait to see it!!
  • thank you user00... I have these books... I have some people researching... and I'm researching... so we have many books we need to read for this project... also there are the monks who i will be sitting with and discussing the life and problems the monks face, in daily life...

    please keep it in your prayers... and me also

    neshkor Allah... benakhod el baraka!
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