Good News According To Orthodox Christians

Orthodox Christians have many denominations. Key types of Orthodox Christians include Greek Orthodox, Egyptian or Coptic Orthodox, Russian, and Armenian Orthodox (among others).

Greeks gave us the New Testament, Egyptian Coptics were started by Mark and Armenia was the first nation to make Christianity its national religion.

The Greek Orthodox church considers itself to be the Mother Church of Christianity and has had an unbroken presence in the Holy Land since the first centuries of Christendom. They claim their first Bishop was James. Perhaps, of interest is that James was Jewish, his Hebrew name was Jacob. Biblically, Jacob means Israel. Somewhere along the way the Orthodox church lost this Jewish connection and its rituals and practices became less Jewish.


Some claim an alleged Council of Jamnia in 90 excluded Christians from the synagogues, but this is disputed. Jewish Christians continued to worship in synagogues for centuries. During the Jewish-Roman wars, in 136 AD, Jewish Christians hailed Jesus as the Messiah and did not support Bar Kokhba (who some Jews claimed as a Messiah), yet the Jewish-Christians were barred from Jerusalem along with the rest of the Jews. The war and its aftermath helped differentiate Christianity as a religion distinct from Judaism. Martin Buber summarizes this tension well.

Today, the Greek Orthodox Church has extensive property holdings in Jerusalem  and throughout Israel and the Palestinian territories. In addition to numerous churches, seminaries and other properties used for religious purposes, church property holdings include the land on which the Knesset  and the prime minister’s residence are located, as well as an array of historic buildings in Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Imperial and Petra hotels inside the Jaffa Gate of the Old City.

and the Orthodox lead worship at the church that commemorates the ascension of Jesus.


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2 Responses to “Good News According To Orthodox Christians”

  1. Miguel Muelle Says:

    I would point out that Orthodox Christianity does not have denominations, but is pre-denominational. There are branches of the 5 original Patriarchates (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, – Rome broke off and started its own Church, you may have heard of it), and there are dioceses like the Russian, Greek and Orthodox Church in America, among others. Some are also “autocephalous” or self-governing churches, such as the Serbian, and Bulgarian among others. To call them denominations is wrong, because they do not differ on ANY theological and canonical beliefs, although there are always, unfortunately, all-too-human disagreements, misunderstandings and political diferences. The only Orthodox churches in full communion are those that ratified and confirmed the 7 Ecumenical councils up to 787 AD (2nd council of Nicea). Some Orthodox churches fell out of communion along the way at various councils with which they did not agree, and are known by various adjectives (pre-Calcedonian, Monophysite, Syriac, Oriental, etc.)

  2. goodnewsto Says:

    You make some good points. IMHO, yes I see that one could say Orthodox Christianity WAS pre-denominational.

    What’s your definition of “denomination”?

    More importantly what does it mean to be in “communion” with another church?

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