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Thread: Unitarian Universalism

  1. #21
    tWebber Spartacus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    My view is to clarify the beliefs and history of UU and its philosophy and theology?, and not to get tangled in the trivia of sarcasm.
    Which you can't possibly hope to do without first gaining a functioning understanding of the history of Christianity and Christian theology generally.

  2. #22
    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    Which you can't possibly hope to do without first gaining a functioning understanding of the history of Christianity and Christian theology generally.
    Shuny has a good basic understanding of the history of Christian doctrine, and generally prefers to critique catechetical and doctrinal statements from a literalist perspective without getting into the subtleties of theological reflection. Even with respect to his own religious beliefs, he tends to identify as revelation that which I would consider mere theological reflection. For example, in his view, the Baha'i International House of Justice would not be free to decide that women may or should be admitted to this body without there being a new revelation about this.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  3. #23
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    Which you can't possibly hope to do without first gaining a functioning understanding of the history of Christianity and Christian theology generally.
    I have a functioning understanding and knowledge of Christianity and Christian theology, as well as the other religions of the world.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  4. #24
    tWebber Spartacus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I have a functioning understanding and knowledge of Christianity and Christian theology, as well as the other religions of the world.
    You've yet to demonstrate that to my satisfaction.

    Enough of this derail, anyway.

  5. #25
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    Shuny has a good basic understanding of the history of Christian doctrine, and generally prefers to critique catechetical and doctrinal statements from a literalist perspective without getting into the subtleties of theological reflection.
    Well, this is not totally correct. I recognize the subtleties of theological reflection, but from our previous dialogue we disagree as to what is the nature of theological reflection.


    Even with respect to his own religious beliefs, he tends to identify as revelation that which I would consider mere theological reflection. For example, in his view, the Baha'i International House of Justice would not be free to decide that women may or should be admitted to this body without there being a new revelation about this.
    Here again we most likely disagree as to the nature of theological reflection. Theological reflection would not change the Doctrine and Dogma of a given religion. It would reflect on the personal growth and application of one's life in the light of faith and the role Doctrine and Dogma of a given religion in ones life, which I define in agreement with the following.

    Source: http://www.ants.edu/pdf/Theological_Reflection_Handbook_Section_R_Dickey.pdf



    The term ‘theological reflection’ has come into prominence over the last thirty years in a variety of settings and serving a number of ends. It is used to denote a process in which an individual or small group reflects on their personal or collective experience(s) in light of their faith. The aim is not only to come to new understandings about the circumstances in which people live and the faith they profess, but to identify new ways of responding that validate their experience and give voice to their truth.

    To reflect theologically is an essential element in faith formation. It is a principal means of integrating faith and life. To reflect on one’s circumstances in life is as natural as breathing. It is that innate capacity and necessity that characterizes our human condition. It is that same capacity which enables us to recognize a reality greater than ourselves. To reflect on our life experiences in light of this greater reality is to reflect ‘theo-logically.’ It is to open us to the possibility of ‘knowing’ and ‘being known’ by what some call the ‘Holy Other.’ Such reflection draws us into the realm of faith. It grounds us in an unseen reality, alters our way of ‘seeing’ and shapes our responses in all of life’s relationships.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Theological Reflection is the contemplation and reflection of Theological questions among me. Revelation is Revealed Divine knowledge in terms the written Word of God in scripture and Divine Law.

    Theological Reflection as defined above does play a significant role in the Baha'i Faith.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 10-21-2014 at 01:05 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  6. #26
    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Well, this is not totally correct. I recognize the subtleties of theological reflection, but from our previous dialogue we disagree as to what is the nature of theological reflection.
    I wholeheartedly agree that we have differing views on the nature of theological reflection. Also please note that I did not say that you do not recognize the subleties of theological reflection, but rather that you nonetheless prefer to critique Christian catechetical and doctrinal statements from an authoritarian or literalist perspective and prefer not to discuss the subtleties of various Christian theologians or schools of theology within Christianity that variously consider themselves empowered to interpret previous doctrinal statements as historically and culturally conditioned and hence still capable of evolving.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Here again we most likely disagree as to the nature of theological reflection. Theological reflection would not change the Doctrine and Dogma of a given religion. It would reflect on the personal growth and application of one's life in the light of faith and the role Doctrine and Dogma of a given religion in ones life, which I define in agreement with the following.
    Without yet turning to the citation from your link, your above description of the role of theological reflection is much too individualistic not only for my personal taste but also for describing its role in the Christian intellectual tradition. Within the Christian intellectual tradition, one has major schools of theology that have influenced the development of doctrine from the beginning and into medieval and modern times and, apart from doctrinal development, still provide for rather profound theological pluralism within individual churches, not to mention the differences that exist between denominations. (By the way, I am only speaking of the Christian theological traditions, but similar proceses may also be described within Judaism and Islam.)

    Source: http://www.ants.edu/pdf/Theological_Reflection_Handbook_Section_R_Dickey.pdf



    The term ‘theological reflection’ has come into prominence over the last thirty years in a variety of settings and serving a number of ends. It is used to denote a process in which an individual or small group [r: how small?] reflects on their personal or collective experience(s) in light of their faith. The aim is not only to come to new understandings about the circumstances in which people live and the faith they profess, but to identify new ways of responding that validate their experience and give voice to their truth.

    To reflect theologically is an essential element in faith formation [r: of the individual or within small groups?]. It is a principal means of integrating faith and life. To reflect on one’s circumstances in life is as natural as breathing. It is that innate capacity and necessity that characterizes our human condition. It is that same capacity which enables us to recognize a reality greater than ourselves. To reflect on our life experiences in light of this greater reality is to reflect ‘theo-logically.’ It is to open us to the possibility of ‘knowing’ and ‘being known’ by what some call the ‘Holy Other.’ Such reflection draws us into the realm of faith. It grounds us in an unseen reality, alters our way of ‘seeing’ and shapes our responses in all of life’s relationships.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Theological Reflection is the contemplation and reflection of Theological questions among me[n?]. Revelation is Revealed Divine knowledge in terms the written Word of God in scripture and Divine Law.

    Theological Reflection as defined above does play a significant role in the Baha'i Faith.
    I, of course, do not deny this. From what I understand of theological reflection within the Baha'i Faith, which is almost entirely what I have learned from you personally, it strikes me as terribly limited and limiting. I am not sure if that is a characteristic of you personally, what you have have absorbed from the Baha'i Faith, or a function of the the Baha'i authority structure, ie, the Universal House of Justice, as you have described it to me. Using the same example as above, my understanding from you is that the Baha'i International House of Justice, which I think is the supreme authority among or over Baha'i faithful, does not see itself as having the theological or pastoral authority to make changes within their own authority structure, eg, the admission of women to leadership roles. Such a change or development of doctrine or practice would apparently require a new Baha'i revelation from God and cannot be the result of theological reflection and progress in theological or pastoral dialogue.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  7. #27
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    I wholeheartedly agree that we have differing views on the nature of theological reflection. Also please note that I did not say that you do not recognize the subleties of theological reflection, but rather that you nonetheless prefer to critique Christian catechetical and doctrinal statements from an authoritarian or literalist perspective and prefer not to discuss the subtleties of various Christian theologians or schools of theology within Christianity that variously consider themselves empowered to interpret previous doctrinal statements as historically and culturally conditioned and hence still capable of evolving.
    The reason why emphasis the catechetical, doctrinal, and dogmatic statements of belief is that these are what are least likely to change in the efforts to change and evolve as you propose. I do not see you present an outside source that defines Theological Reflection in the manner you propose. As it stands I will have work around the context of your own personal definition for this.


    Without yet turning to the citation from your link, your above description of the role of theological reflection is much too individualistic not only for my personal taste but also for describing its role in the Christian intellectual tradition. Within the Christian intellectual tradition, one has major schools of theology that have influenced the development of doctrine from the beginning and into medieval and modern times and, apart from doctrinal development, . . .
    You have failed to present an academic source to give me something to work with concerning a definition that is not your own concerning 'Theological reflection.' As far as I have been able to determine that change in the fundamental Christian doctrine and dogma has never resulted in change by Christian Intellectual traditions, unless a group forms a new Church with different Doctrines and Dogma.

    . . . still provide for rather profound theological pluralism within individual churches, not to mention the differences that exist between denominations. (By the way, I am only speaking of the Christian theological traditions, but similar proceses may also be described within Judaism and Islam.)
    The process in Judaism is resolution through the evolution of Midrash. Islam actually has no specific process to resolve differences and change in Islam.

    Source: http://www.ants.edu/pdf/Theological_Reflection_Handbook_Section_R_Dickey.pdf



    The term ‘theological reflection’ has come into prominence over the last thirty years in a variety of settings and serving a number of ends. It is used to denote a process in which an individual or small group [r: how small?] reflects on their personal or collective experience(s) in light of their faith. The aim is not only to come to new understandings about the circumstances in which people live and the faith they profess, but to identify new ways of responding that validate their experience and give voice to their truth.

    To reflect theologically is an essential element in faith formation [r: of the individual or within small groups?]. It is a principal means of integrating faith and life. To reflect on one’s circumstances in life is as natural as breathing. It is that innate capacity and necessity that characterizes our human condition. It is that same capacity which enables us to recognize a reality greater than ourselves. To reflect on our life experiences in light of this greater reality is to reflect ‘theo-logically.’ It is to open us to the possibility of ‘knowing’ and ‘being known’ by what some call the ‘Holy Other.’ Such reflection draws us into the realm of faith. It grounds us in an unseen reality, alters our way of ‘seeing’ and shapes our responses in all of life’s relationships.

    © Copyright Original Source



    I, of course, do not deny this. From what I understand of theological reflection within the Baha'i Faith, which is almost entirely what I have learned from you personally, it strikes me as terribly limited and limiting. I am not sure if that is a characteristic of you personally, what you have have absorbed from the Baha'i Faith, or a function of the the Baha'i authority structure, ie, the Universal House of Justice, as you have described it to me. Using the same example as above, my understanding from you is that the Baha'i International House of Justice, which I think is the supreme authority among or over Baha'i faithful, does not see itself as having the theological or pastoral authority to make changes within their own authority structure, eg, the admission of women to leadership roles. Such a change or development of doctrine or practice would apparently require a new Baha'i Revelation from God and cannot be the result of theological reflection and progress in theological or pastoral dialogue.
    I believe that you are misrepresenting 'Theological reflection' as far as the Baha'i Faith functions. Just because certain things cannot, or from your perspective appear to not change. therefore Theological reflection is limited. One point of error is that if there was a new Revelation, it would not be a Baha'i Revelation, it would be a Revelation from God. Actually I am not as certain as to how this change could take place as you are. I consider your knowledge and experience concerning the Baha'i Faith as limited and problematic, as you stated your only source on some aspects of the faith is me.

    Theological Reflection through consultation is very much a part of many aspects, which at many times impact scripture itself. The Harmony of science and religion requires that all scripture, including Baha'i scripture be interpreted in light of the evolving progressive knowledge of science. This requires theological reflection and consultation.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 10-22-2014 at 10:36 AM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  8. #28
    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    The reason why emphasis the catechetical, doctrinal, and dogmatic statements of belief is that these are what are least likely to change in the efforts to change and evolve as you propose. I do not see you present an outside source that defines Theological Reflection in the manner you propose. As it stands I will have work around the context of your own personal definition for this.

    You have failed to present an academic source to give me something to work with concerning a definition that is not your own concerning 'Theological reflection.' As far as I have been able to determine that change in the fundamental Christian doctrine and dogma has never resulted in change by Christian Intellectual traditions, unless a group forms a new Church with different Doctrines and Dogma.
    I did not fail to give you an academic source--I never even tried to give you an academic force, nor was one requested. To me it is just common knowledge and general word usage. Not sure why it needs to be defined. In case you are not actually that familiar with church history (perhaps I should not have given you the benefit of the doubt), take a look at the importance of the schools of Antioch and Alexandria, especially, in the various approaches to theological formulations which were eventually accepted at some of the earliest church councils. Or consider the substantially differing Franciscan and Dominican schools of theological thought beginning in the Middle Ages, with the elements of the Franciscan school eventually being accepted as church doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church in the 19th and 20th century. All of this should be covered in any basic introduction to church history or the history of theology. None of this should require any specialized definitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    The process in Judaism is resolution through the evolution of Midrash. Islam actually has no specific process to resolve differences and change in Islam.
    Look also at the the important distinctions between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Judaism, and more recently the Orthodox, Hasidic, Conservative, and Reform branches of Judaism. All of this plurality is achieved without the need for claiming a new revelation that replaces earlier revelation. If you do not want to call it theological reflection, what term would you prefer? I'm sure you are more informed than me about some of the theological developments within various branches of Islam. I'm not sure why you are speaking of specific proceses to resolve differences. Is that an important or necessary element of theological reflection or revelation for you?

    Source: http://www.ants.edu/pdf/Theological_Reflection_Handbook_Section_R_Dickey.pdf



    The term ‘theological reflection’ has come into prominence over the last thirty years in a variety of settings and serving a number of ends. It is used to denote a process in which an individual or small group [r: how small?] reflects on their personal or collective experience(s) in light of their faith. The aim is not only to come to new understandings about the circumstances in which people live and the faith they profess, but to identify new ways of responding that validate their experience and give voice to their truth.

    To reflect theologically is an essential element in faith formation [r: of the individual or within small groups?]. It is a principal means of integrating faith and life. To reflect on one’s circumstances in life is as natural as breathing. It is that innate capacity and necessity that characterizes our human condition. It is that same capacity which enables us to recognize a reality greater than ourselves. To reflect on our life experiences in light of this greater reality is to reflect ‘theo-logically.’ It is to open us to the possibility of ‘knowing’ and ‘being known’ by what some call the ‘Holy Other.’ Such reflection draws us into the realm of faith. It grounds us in an unseen reality, alters our way of ‘seeing’ and shapes our responses in all of life’s relationships.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    I believe that you are misrepresenting 'Theological reflection' as far as the Baha'i Faith functions.
    Practically everything I know of revelationa and theological reflection within the Baha'i Faith, I have learned from you. If you want to clarify anything you've told me in the past, I would be delighted to be corrected.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Just because certain things cannot, or from your perspective appear to not change. therefore Theological reflection is limited. One point of error is that if there was a new Revelation, it would not be a Baha'i Revelation, it would be a Revelation from God. Actually I am not as certain as to how this change could take place as you are. I consider your knowledge and experience concerning the Baha'i Faith as limited and problematic, as you stated your only source on some aspects of the faith is me.

    Theological Reflection through consultation is very much a part of many aspects, which at many times impact scripture itself. The Harmony of science and religion requires that all scripture, including Baha'i scripture be interpreted in light of the evolving progressive knowledge of science. This requires theological reflection and consultation.
    Again, I am perfectly willing to hear whatever clarification you would like to offer regarding the role of theological reflection and Revelation in the Baha'i faith. I don't see anything new here or different from what you've told me so far.
    Last edited by robrecht; 10-22-2014 at 10:58 AM.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

  9. #29
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    I did not fail to give you an academic source--I never even tried to give you an academic force, nor was one requested. To me it is just common knowledge and general word usage. Not sure why it needs to be defined.
    It needs to be defined how you are using it, because you are using it differently then the sources I checked. I gave you the clearest most concise definition I could find. You are creating a high fog index.


    In case you are not actually that familiar with church history (perhaps I should not have given you the benefit of the doubt), take a look at the importance of the schools of Antioch and Alexandria, especially, in the various approaches to theological formulations which were eventually accepted at some of the earliest church councils. Or consider the substantially differing Franciscan and Dominican schools of theological thought beginning in the Middle Ages, with the elements of the Franciscan school eventually being accepted as church doctrine by the Roman Catholic Church in the 19th and 20th century. All of this should be covered in any basic introduction to church history or the history of theology. [/quote]

    The basic Doctrine and Dogma of the Roman Church once established does not change in all of the above variations since about 300-500 AD. The Trinity, Original Sin, the Fall, and the nature of the defined authority of the Roman Church has not changed. In fact in the Vatican II the authority of the church and the standardization of the catechism was more specific and not allowing variations like the Dutch Catechism

    None of this should require any specialized definitions.
    Nothing specialized here, simply a recognized academic source will do.

    Source: http://www.ants.edu/pdf/Theological_Reflection_Handbook_Section_R_Dickey.pdf



    The term ‘theological reflection’ has come into prominence over the last thirty years in a variety of settings and serving a number of ends. It is used to denote a process in which an individual or small group [r: how small?] reflects on their personal or collective experience(s) in light of their faith. The aim is not only to come to new understandings about the circumstances in which people live and the faith they profess, but to identify new ways of responding that validate their experience and give voice to their truth.

    To reflect theologically is an essential element in faith formation [r: of the individual or within small groups?]. It is a principal means of integrating faith and life. To reflect on one’s circumstances in life is as natural as breathing. It is that innate capacity and necessity that characterizes our human condition. It is that same capacity which enables us to recognize a reality greater than ourselves. To reflect on our life experiences in light of this greater reality is to reflect ‘theo-logically.’ It is to open us to the possibility of ‘knowing’ and ‘being known’ by what some call the ‘Holy Other.’ Such reflection draws us into the realm of faith. It grounds us in an unseen reality, alters our way of ‘seeing’ and shapes our responses in all of life’s relationships.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Practically everything I know of revelationa and theological reflection within the Baha'i Faith, I have learned from you. If you want to clarify anything you've told me in the past, I would be delighted to be corrected.

    Again, I am perfectly willing to hear whatever clarification you would like to offer regarding the role of theological reflection and Revelation in the Baha'i faith. I don't see anything new here or different from what you've told me so far.
    This where you have to put in some effort yourself. I am not your seeing eye dog. I gave a clear example of the relationship between science and religion where change is and will be taking place over the Millennia and you ignored it. So far you have been very selective on issues that do not reflect the over all character of the Baha'i Faith. My advice, you have a lot of homework, before you can make the judgments you are making
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  10. #30
    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    It needs to be defined how you are using it, because you are using it differently then the sources I checked. I gave you the clearest most concise definition I could find. You are creating a high fog index.
    High fog index? Your definition was concise? Theological: pertaining to God. Reflection: Thinking about stuff. Ergo, theological reflection: thinking about God. A bit more concise, don't you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    The basic Doctrine and Dogma of the Roman Church once established does not change in all of the above variations since about 300-500 AD. The Trinity, Original Sin, the Fall, and the nature of the defined authority of the Roman Church has not changed. In fact in the Vatican II the authority of the church and the standardization of the catechism was more specific and not allowing variations like the Dutch Catechism
    I guess I really should not have given you the benefit of the doubt. When was the Dogma of Papal Infallbility defined in the Roman Catholic Church? Nineteenth century. When was the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception defined? Twentieth century. Both products of the Franciscan school of theology.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Nothing specialized here, simply a recognized academic source will do.
    How about a dictionary? Look up 'theological' and 'reflection'. Should be in most dictionaries.

    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    This where you have to put in some effort yourself. I am not your seeing eye dog. I gave a clear example of the relationship between science and religion where change is and will be taking place over the Millennia and you ignored it. So far you have been very selective on issues that do not reflect the over all character of the Baha'i Faith. My advice, you have a lot of homework, before you can make the judgments you are making
    I'm am using an example that you yourself have given me. Woman and the role of leadership in the Baha'i Faith. According to you that is a spiritual law in the Baha'i Faith. It is a matter of Revelation and you say it cannot change without a new Revelation. What's wrong with using this example? Your other example, if I recall recall correctly, the evolution of scientific knowledge, does not pertain to spiritual laws in the Baha'i Faith, right?
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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