NationStates Jolt Archive

Understand Your Faith! Christian Conference on Truth. (Non-Christians Welcome also)

27-07-2004, 07:21
In these days of Apostacy and evil, what once was the truth has been labled the lie, and the lie labeled the truth. As Christians, we have a responsibility to contend for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, given to the Apostles, and recovered by Calvin and Luther. It is our duty to stand up to the evils of the world and put on the whole armour of God.

In order to do this, we as Christians must first better understand our Faith. Knowledge cometh by hearing. There are many misconceptions that people have about their faith. Lies that were taught to them either knowingly or unknowingly that skew their perspective. It is essential for the success of Christianity that these errors be set straight.

If you want to understand your faith, or if you aren't a Christian and want to see what this whole thing is all about, you are welcome to attend the Conference on Truth in Reichsburg, Reichskamphen. This will be a huge event including several keynote speakers; The Emperor of Greater Prussia, Rev. Ian R.K. Paisley, the leader of the Calvinist Party in the Republic of Right Wing Conspirators, Rev. Alan Cairns, and King Marcus Antonius II of Reichskamphen.

May God Bless you and keep you all of your days.
27-07-2004, 23:15
28-07-2004, 00:54
From, Prince Eccor
To, Organizers of the Conference on Truth

I will be sending oneof Zedra's cardinals to this conference. Seeing as how Zedra has been separated from the rest of the Christian comunity it will be an opertune moment to expand our knowelge about the currect state of the world.

From, Prince Eccor
To, Leader/Leaders of the nation of Reichskampen

I am interested in opening a dialog with you about the state of the world today. As it appears to have changed quite a bit since the days when my ancstors comunicated with the rest of the world. I would be greatfull for a speedy reply.
28-07-2004, 02:03
You are ofcourse welcome to attend. We would be delighted to have you.
God Bless.

Rev. Ian R.K. Paisley
Emperor of Greater Prussia
28-07-2004, 08:31
erm...yea....bump again I guess.
29-07-2004, 17:52
29-07-2004, 18:07
Aust would like to attend. We wil send one of our cheif religious studies advisors. of course Aust has no relion. But we are sure that it will be interesting. And we may convince others to sence.
29-07-2004, 19:00
NewYorkLand would like to join. I'll send the Hounourable Danniele Dionian, head religious affairs to speak. Is this a Christian-Protestant Conference, a Cristian-Catholic or Both? I personally don't think Catholics are Christians.
29-07-2004, 19:10
It is a Christian Protestant Conference. New York Land, you may want to consider joining Greater Prussia. It is the only Protestant region in NS. You would do very well there I am sure.

However, all forms of faith are invited to hear the true Gospel. We seek to help those who are saved already strenghten their faith and those who are not, to come to Christ, or at least gain a better understanding of Christianity as it was taught by the Apostles and not by a corrupt Church.

Rev. Ian R.K. Paisley.

OOC: newyorkland, check this out. This is the website of the guy my character is based off of. You may like it.
29-07-2004, 19:43
One of our Divinities professors, August Barrywater, has expressed an interest in attending. Though he is a staunch Christian, he makes it a point not to align himself with any particular denomination, though he does enjoy speaking and debating with with other Biblical scholars. He can be away on the train immediately, barring any adverse circumstances.

Director Melissa Kaikeon
Christus Victor
29-07-2004, 19:50
By Decree of His Catholic Majesty, Marcus Maximus, by the grace of God Emperor of Christus Victor--

WHEREAS We have been informed of a "Christian Conference on Truth" to be held in Reichsburg, Reichskamphen, for the promotion of heretical doctrines and the defamation of the Holy Catholic Church, and

WHEREAS said Conference has been promoted in Our domains, by persons seeking to undermine the authority of the Imperial Throne and the Holy Catholic Church of Christus Victor;

That no subject of the Holy Empire of Christus Victor shall be permitted the use of a Christus Victor passport to attend said Conference;

That any subject of the Empire, found to have attended said Conference
using the documents of another nation, upon returning to the Empire be subject to arrest and the penalties of Our laws;

That any foreigner found promoting the doctrines of said Conference, carrying any literature therefrom, be subject to arrest and expulsion, and be declared persona non grata in the Empire; and

That all literature, visual materials, or any media promoting siad Conference
be subject to seizure and destruction.

To which We have set Our seal, this twenty ninth day of July, in the year of Our Lord two thousand four,

Marcus Maximus, Dei Gratia Imperator Christi Victori
30-07-2004, 00:43
Now this illustrates one of my many points that shall be made at the conference. If that faith were the true faith, it would stand up to scrutiny and be supported by the Scriptures it claims to represent. If such were the case, they would be very willing to allow others to contest their views as they would only be proved more correct through demonstration.

Now, it is been a principle almost from the inception of the Roman Church to forbid its subjects from going certain places and reading certain things. This says to me that it is hiding something. If the Church of Rome represents the true Christian Faith, it would allow such material as the logic it posessed would make the other material laughable. But it does not. When someone is hiding something, it always arrouses suspicion. Only the guilty hide things.

I call out to all nations of the world to allow your citizens to attend this conference in the spirit of not only religious freedom, but common sense as well.

Rev. Dr. Ian R.K. Paisley.
Esox Maximus
30-07-2004, 02:40
Wait a second. I thought this was supposed to be a Christian Conference of Truth. All I see is typical denominational bickering. This should not be.

I would personally like to attend said conference, but I in no way denounce the Catholics in this world as untrue Christians. I am a Baptist, personally, but it shouldn't matter. I believe the conference should include Catholics, or at least debate the issue. It really does not help our cause to be bickering. This should be talked out. Perhaps Rev. Paisley would allow a few chosen Catholic delegates to attend in order to argue their case. Shurely you would not deny them the chance to argue the truth?
30-07-2004, 02:54
OOC: Reichskamphen here
Personally, I would like to have a debate, but this is a conference. It is not denominational bickering. I am simply calling him on the unfairness of his decree. I propose that a debate take place on a differant thread. Perhaps after the conference is completed. (OOC: We can still do it at the same time in game time though. Just for RP sake it will be after the conference)

You are welcome to attend, there will be many very good points illustrated. Perhaps some you will not agree with. But it is good to listen regardless.

Rev. Paisley
30-07-2004, 03:15
Pio Magnus will be attending the conference.
30-07-2004, 03:53
Her Excellency, Maire Haru, First Lady of The Reich will sending a representative to the Religious Truth Conference. This representative has not been chosen as yet and will be representing HARU, not The Reich as such.

Fr. Sebastian Volk
Personal Advisor to Her Excellency,
Maire Haru
30-07-2004, 05:19
News Update - EIK Ehrana Informasieenkaistu (Ehrana's Public Broadcaster)

Ehranasyla - 2004 29 Julli (29 July 2004)

Archbishop Maiakila Ensaa of the Ehrana Reformed Church, in a press conference with Church leadership at the Church offices in Ehranasyla announced that she would be leading a delegation to the Christian Conference on Truth, to be held in Reichsburg.

Archbishop Ensaa said: "We're very excited to represent Ehrana in an international conference on Christianity."

Chancellor Ehrlan Ekaamu, himself not a Christian, but self-described as "extremely interested in Christianity," has expressed an interest in attending the conference. "It's a very interesting opportunity and I'd be pleased to take part."

He went on to say, "I was always off-put by Christianity because I had always looked at it as a system of faith that had been co-opted by the corrupt authority of a corrupt, manipulative central Church. But the fact that there is a philosophy of Christianity that shuns this is something I find extremely interesting, and I feel compelled to learn more."

When asked whether such participation could be perceived as a potential conflict of the separation of religion and state, the Chancellor responded, "I imagine that some may perceive it as such, but I view it as a diplomatic affair as much as a religious event. Discourse in both secular and religious arenas between nations is the key to greater understanding and peace between ourselves and our neighbours."

Chancellor Ekaamu is said to be awaiting word on when the Conference would be held, so that he may fit it into his diplomatic calendar.

More on this and other national and international news in the next editions of EIK World News, broadcasting at 22:00 in Ehrani, 23:00 in English and 23:30 in Mandarin, Ehrana time.


My name is Austin, I'm very interested in exploring Christianity and I've found Luther, Calvin and their ideas to be extraordinarily fascinating since I learned about them rather briefly in my AP US History classes.

I grew up in a very non-religious household. The only education I have in Christianity comes from a year in a Catholic preparatory school, which I found to be a rather off-putting experience as far as the establishment and institutions of the Catholic church are concerned. I share my character's sentiment when he talks about a corrupt, manipulative central church authority. I don't mean to offend anyone. That is just my general, personal perception.

I've been thinking about exploring Christianity further, so it's actually a really interesting coincidence that this came up right at the time that I was preparing to start my investigation. I look forward to the opportunity for discussion. I'm open-minded and I'm anticipating possibly learn something! Anyway, thanks Reichskamphen, for bringing this up.
30-07-2004, 06:44
OOC: You're welcome. You may want to consider joining Greater Prussia, the only Protestant region in NS. Quite proud of it too, I might add. I hope to be of service to you and I pray that you will find Christ just as I have.

Heres some good sites for help in your research. (seller of good Christian books) (Changes to OPC Church link) (You can listen to sermons by the Greatest Preachers of all time and even the preachers next door who have subscribed. I reccomend Cairns, Paisley, Spurgeon, and Denis Lyle.

Books you may want to pick up:

Alleine's Alarm to the Unconverted, by Joseph Alliene. Older language 1600s
Calvin's Insitutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin. Modern Lang Copies Can be found
King James Version Bible. The other Bibles have been horribly corrupted, an issue to be addressed in the conference.
Dictionary of Theological Terms, Dr. Alan Cairns (A good preacher btw, Dr. Cairns book will help you in understanding alot of what you read.)
History of Protestantism, by J.A. Wylie, available through swrb link above
History of the Papacy, ibid, also available through swrb
Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan. You can find an audiobook version on or buy a modern english version from your local Family Christian store (not sure how much I like those stores)

Good Luck my Friend.

Saint John Vianney
31-07-2004, 20:42
Saint John Vianney will be sending a delegate to the Conference on Christian Truth. Attending will be 45-year old Bishop Paul Schlisser, head of the SJVCCB Council for Christian Unity.
01-08-2004, 16:47
Your delegates will be welcomed. We will begin the conference tonight.
02-08-2004, 01:38
Conference Begins.
02-08-2004, 02:35
The Fathers Xavier and Daniel of the First Sect will be joining this confrance if only to promote understanding.
02-08-2004, 02:51
simply click on the thread and let me know that you are in.
Das Protoss Reich
02-08-2004, 04:54
Ehrana, don't become a Christian; their entire religion is one big contradiction. Jesus would not approve of many of the things that 'his' religion has done: Mormonism, missionaries, the Crusades? Christianity would be a wonderful religion if it were practised the way it was sopposed to be, but it's not.Christianity was hijacked by John, Paul, George and Ringo, or whatever they were called; don't let yourself be sucked in! If Christianity were truely how Jesus had imagined it would be, there wouldn't be fifty different sects, created because of the stupidest little things!
02-08-2004, 05:21
Ehrana, don't become a Christian; their entire religion is one big contradiction. Jesus would not approve of many of the things that 'his' religion has done: Mormonism, missionaries, the Crusades? Christianity would be a wonderful religion if it were practised the way it was sopposed to be, but it's not.Christianity was hijacked by John, Paul, George and Ringo, or whatever they were called; don't let yourself be sucked in! If Christianity were truely how Jesus had imagined it would be, there wouldn't be fifty different sects, created because of the stupidest little things!

Now, you would be right, if you were speaking of the Roman Church. There are more contradictions in the dogmas and practices of the Roman Church than you can count. Mormonism is bad, however this was the result of years of apostacy from the Gospel. Crusades, also a mistake, the result of many factors, namely a play for temporal power by the Pope. Missionaries...were commanded by lord Jesus though. "Go out and make disciples of the world." Christ commanded his apostles to spread the message of the Gospel to the corners of the earth.

Now, about if Christianity was truly how Jesus imagined it would be...

In the book of Revelations, in the Gospel of John, and in Corinthians, it is stated that there will be an apostacy, or falling away from the Gospel. Because of the fall of Adam, men are deprived of all good. They are essentially evil creatures. (Rom 3:10-20) This means that their reasoning is also impacted. All of their faculties are impacted and impeded by the sin inherant in them. This is how apostacy begins, men fall away from the scripture through misinterpretations and misquotations and flat out wrong counter Christian teachings, and will follow because they are blinded by their sin. At the very least, Revelations speaks of two Churches, one the true bride of Christ, and the other, represented in the Harlot of Babylon (the false Church) This false church, and the anti-christ will deceive men. God will "send down powerful delusion that they might be damned to believe a lie). So far, everything about the differant sects seems scriptural to me.

You have also erred in another thing. There is a Christian Church that practices the Gospel as it was given to the Apostles. That is the Biblical Protestant Church. It sticks to the Bible, the true word of God, and the true Biblical Churches do not err from it. There will always be those that do, but those are not the true Christians.

Also, now there is more than one sect of Protestantism that is good. The Presbyterian Church has a synod, oftentimes synods misrepresent a large number of congregations. Differant elders and congregations believe differant things and the synod does not speak for them unless they want it to, unlike the Roman Church where the Curia and Council and Pope (mortal men) are the definitive word on the Gospel. Case in point. The PCUSA has recently voted to ammend parts of the Westminster confession of Faith in order to soften the doctrine of Predestination. Over half of the Churches disagreed with that.

Furthermore, God doesn't stick to a name. God sticks to beliefs. It is what you believe that counts. If you are a Baptist and you believe the Gospel as it was given to the apostles, you are set, if you are a Presbyterian and you do likewise, you are set, etc. etc.

You have a very skewed perception of Christianity that I am afraid has been forever smeared by the Church of Rome. Remember. Rome is not the ambassador of Christianity. The only correct Ambassador of Christianity to the world would be the Churches which teach the Gospel, the whole Gospel, and nothing but the Gospel without interference of tradition or Curias, or Councils, or Popes.
02-08-2004, 05:42
Actually, all Protestant churches are false churches. The only true Church is teh Church established by Christ, who asigned Peter as the first Pope. Therefore, whoever followed Peter as Pope would be the leader of the only true Church on Earth, with the blessing of God. Or, if you wanna verse sling, which is all Protestants do, then

Mathew 16 17:19.

And if Protestants are the true Christians, and the rightous, tehn maybe you should talk to your CoE buds who continue to opress the rights and dignity of the Catholics in Northern Ireland. And further, I appologize that the Catholic Church responded harshly to the sack of the Holy Land by Muslim Savages...You can bet your ass I'll have representatives at the confrence.
02-08-2004, 06:52
Ah, that verse. You are peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Now, in the greek, Peter is referred to as Petrus, and the rock is referred to as Petra. Petrus is a pebble and Petra is a large immovable shelf of Rock. It is quite easy for some to dismiss that as a matter of endings, but anyone who knows anything about Greek knows that it is a very specific language and according to the Greek Grammar rules, Christ could not have been talking about Peter. Peter has no primacy among the Apostles. You can give me all the verses you want about that, but you cannot prove that Peter had Primacy. He was only the most forward of the Apostles. Now the Keys of Heaven were given to him to found the Church on earth. This is a figurative reference. Keys are used for opening a door, and he was opening the door to the Church. Special powers and abilities were given to the Apostles, not just Peter, infact, Peter recieved the same thing as everyone else. These powers though were not passed down. There is no scriptural proof of such. Furthermore, Paul rebuked Peter for not wanting to preach to the Gentiles...hard to imagine an infallible Pope being rebuked by someone supposedly lower than him. Also questions frequently rose among the apostles as to which was the foremost. Christ said that they were all equal and the first among them would be the servant of all. In other words, there is no first. There are many examples to the effect that Peter was just the most forward of the Apostles. However, the concept of papal supremacy will be addressed at the Conference.

But I would like to keep debates separate from the Conference. I will link the debates to the thread incase people want to read them, but I would prefer to have the conference just go and not get into any all out doctrinal wars. There is officially supposed to be a debate at the end of the conference. This is the most appropriate time to address such matters.

I would furthermore like to make it clear, that I harbor no personal dislike of you or any Catholic. I may disagree with you, and point out the various deficiencies in dogma etc, but I will never belittle you with comments about what Catholics seem to do, that being in reference to Protestants liking to sling around verses. I understand this is a sensitive matter, but let us all keep as professional and calm about it as we can.

Also, in an answer to why Protestants like to "sling around verses", it is because the Bible is the inspired and inerring word of God. It is the only thing that Christianity should be based upon for it is the only standard, only book that contains all the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, and they were the ones who taught the word of God with an inspired and inerring voice.

Also, in relation to the Church of England. They have strayed from Biblical doctrine and very little can be found that separates the Church of England today from the Roman See. That is why there was and is such a push towards unity. The Pope is trying to bring them back into the fold. Northern Ireland is an issue where little goes right. People have been wrong everywhere both on the side of the terrorists and the overzealous british soldiers. It is an area of little right in the past but it now seems to be turning out better than it was.
02-08-2004, 07:04
Wait a second...first you say that Peter had no Primacy among the 12 (yet verses show how Jesus favored Peter), and that the Bible is figurative, yet you say that you verse sling because the Bible is true and inspring and what not. So let me get this straight->Whenever the Bible favors your false church its ok, but when it doesn't, then its figurative, and we really dont know what it says?

And on the Northern Ireland situation->The Presbyterians and CoE is wrong in all ways. There is no right on their side of the line. The purpose of the presence of both churches is to only secure teh strength of the non existant British Empire.
02-08-2004, 07:10
No, the Bible is figurative when metaphors are used. When Christ calls people stones, that is a metaphor. If they were really stones, the whole thing would be reduced to absurdity. One must analyze the Greek text to figure this out. Here it is quite obvious that a metaphor was used. Give me the verses showing Peter's Primacy and I will address them one by one. Peter was only the most outward and forward of the Apostles. All were equal.

Like I said on the other thread, if you want to start a separate debate thread, I would be happy to join you there.

Also insofar as the Northern Ireland Conflict, Northern Ireland voluntarily remains part of the Crown. Terrorism is unChristian, just as brutal abuse by British soldiers is unChristian. I would tend to disagree with you very much about the Presbyterians always being in the wrong. Now, we can either debate this, or doctrine. We can debate Northern Ireland til the cows come home and get no where because it is all very objective and both sides are deeply entrenched. Why not debate doctrine where both sides have a mutual text that they can either come to an understanding on, or atleast better understand the beliefs of the other side, which is truly a chief purpose of debate, to understand the opposition.
GMC Military Arms
02-08-2004, 07:52
Wait a second...first you say that Peter had no Primacy among the 12 (yet verses show how Jesus favored Peter)

Matthew 16:23 'But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.'

Mark 8:33 - 'But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.'

Calling someone 'Satan' is a odd way to 'favour' them, surely?

Incidentally, Reichskamphen, do you want the OOC parts of this thread split into General?
02-08-2004, 08:00
~~What gets sent to the Foreign Office~~

Patriarch Dmitri II, of the Catholic Church of Novar Ohan, wishes to express his intention of sending his private secretary to glare unapprovingly at the Protestants.

~~What gets sent to Reichskampken~~

His Serene Eminence, Dmitri II, the Patriarch of the Catholic Church of Novar Ohan, has expressed a desire to send his most trusted servant to this conference as both a compliment to the Ecumenical spirit the Mother Church has always worked in, and also to provide an oriental viewpoint on the major doctrines.
Saint John Vianney
02-08-2004, 08:37
Bishop Schlisser breaks in, "My dear sir Kamphstadt, you don't know your Greek very well. The passage in Matthew, specifically 16:18, is a wordplay. Petros is simply the masculine nominative form of Petra, which does mean rock. All that is being done here is calling Peter by name, and because Peter is a male, it MUST be Petros, and not Petra, because Petra would be feminine, and it is improper in Greek to address a male as feminine. Moreover, Petros is NOT a diminutive form of rock, and does NOT mean pebble.

Jesus is using a double meaning (as He so often did) to say:
"I say to you, Peter, that you are Rock (his name), and upon this rock I will build my church).

So, he is addressing Peter by name, and then explaining the implications of Peter's name.

I remain interested in hearing your exposition of the doctrinal inconsistencies of the Roman Church."

If you'd like to see an online interlinear Bible with both Greek and English to see some of this, go here:
02-08-2004, 18:03
Sure, why not, GMC Thanks. This conference is going to be quite difficult to run at the same time as a debate, but I'll give it my best shot. I don't know how much I want anyone expressing ecumenical ideas to be at this conference. If your person wants to come, he can come to listen, but under no guise of ecumenism. He can even speak in the debate afterwards, but ecumenism is something I don't want anywhere near this conference. So just send him to listen for now.
02-08-2004, 18:06
Bishop Schlisser breaks in, "My dear sir Kamphstadt, you don't know your Greek very well. The passage in Matthew, specifically 16:18, is a wordplay. Petros is simply the masculine nominative form of Petra, which does mean rock. All that is being done here is calling Peter by name, and because Peter is a male, it MUST be Petros, and not Petra, because Petra would be feminine, and it is improper in Greek to address a male as feminine. Moreover, Petros is NOT a diminutive form of rock, and does NOT mean pebble.

Jesus is using a double meaning (as He so often did) to say:
"I say to you, Peter, that you are Rock (his name), and upon this rock I will build my church).

So, he is addressing Peter by name, and then explaining the implications of Peter's name.

I remain interested in hearing your exposition of the doctrinal inconsistencies of the Roman Church."

If you'd like to see an online interlinear Bible with both Greek and English to see some of this, go here:

I am afraid it is you who do not know it very well. Petra is feminine of Petros indeed, however, they have two entirely differant meanings. Petra is a large immovable shelf of Rock, and Petros is a smaller rock. I will present to you examples from ancient Greek texts. Just give me time to gather them. Gender is VERY important in Greek and any good scholar would know that it is not merely some casual ending change still referring to the same person. No, these two things cannot refer to the same person or thing.
Saint John Vianney
02-08-2004, 19:09
I greatly look forward to these examples, as all of the Greek scholars that I've talked to would not allow for Petros to be a diminutive form of Petra. Rather, they would just simply say that it was a masculine form of the word, used simply because it isn't possible to address Peter with a feminine adjectival noun. This is very common in ancient languages, that nouns can be used similarly to adjectives, and what happens is that they simply change the ending, as from -a to -os to change it from feminine to masculine. If you look at the link to the interlinear Bible, you'll see that the same thing occurs in the Latin as well, though the Petra becomes Petram because of the use of "super" which requires a switch to the accusative case.
02-08-2004, 21:23
Don't worry they are forthcoming, but I am doing alot of work today, it will be tonight. Trust me, my ducks are in a row on this one.
03-08-2004, 06:40

Alright, the first message has been preached, and a question answered. I have decided to liven it up a bit, to make it more than a lecture series, we will debate after every message. There are certainly alot of people who hate what I have to say. Here is your chance to formally have at, so to speak.

Give me two seconds to gather my info on the Greek stuff and I will type it out.
03-08-2004, 07:18
First, you attempt to downplay the significance of the use of Petros, the masculine proper name given to Peter by Jesus, and the use of petra, which is the feminine form of the Greek word. You view this distinction as a pun, or a play on words manipulated by Matthew to achieve a desired result. Yet, consult any Greek grammar or speak to any proffessor of Classics and they will tell you that you cannot just dismiss such differences as meaningless or inconsequential. The Ancient Greek language is such a precise language simply because it was able to distinguish masculine, feminine and neuter genders when it came to declined noun forms. Therefore, one would have to break seveal of the most basic rules of Ancient Greek to understand Petros and Petra as referring to the same thing.

Now, I will admitt, in my previous posts, I mis-stated something. I accidentally referred to Petros as a pebble, I meant to refer to the size of the stone as being smaller, but not as of a pebble. Psephos is the word for pebble and if that were the intention it would have been used. So...many appologies for that little screw up there.

The Liddell and Scott large Lexicon offers this meaning for the word petros: "a stone." In contrast, the same lexicon offers this meaning for the word petra: "a rock, a ledge or shelf of rock, a rock or rocky peak or ridge, petra is a fixed rock." So as you can see, in the Classical sense there is a huge distinction between the two terms and that the theory that the two are virtually synonomous is completely erroneous. In Classical terms, the meanings are devoid of all theological importance because Classics scholars could care less about the Matthew 16:18 conflict. Therefore, I believe that their definitions are the most reliable and trustworthy for attempting to deal with this problem.

In Euripides' play Heracles, Hercules is lamenting his loss of his wife and children and is urging people to mourn with him. When Theseus tells him to rise and move, Hercules responds by saying, "Ah! Would I could become a stone(petros) upon this spot, oblivious of trouble." (line 1398) Now from the context, it is hard to determine the true meaning of Hercules' words, but it is interesting to note that petros is translated as stone and not as rock, as most New Testament critics would have us translate it. Second, by translating the word as stone it remains within the confines of the original Greek definition and thus would more likely mean an average stone or rock. From the context, the stone which Hercules would become is either an average stone or a stone similar in stature to him. Even if we do opt for the second possibility, which can be argued for, we are still not talking about a huge, immovable bulwark of a rock.

In another of Euripides' plays, the play Orestes, Orestes is dialoguing with Phrygian who is pleading for his life. In line 1520, Orestes responds to Phrygian by saying, "Are you afraid of being turned to a stone(petros) , as if you had seen a Gorgon?" To which Phrygian replies, "To a stone(petros) , no! but to a corpse; I don't know this Gorgon's head." Again, the word petros is translated as stone, but this time we are given more clues as to the meaning of this word. Now since Orestes relates the stone to the Gorgon, we can reasonably infer that he is talking about the statues that are created when an individual gazes into the eyes of the Gorgon. Therefore the stones are referring to people that have been turned into stones, and this means that Orestes is speaking of people sized stones, or in other words statues. Yet, the statues that were created by the Gorgon's evil gaze were in no means huge, indestructible, and immovable objects. Instead, they were rather frail and brittle objects. In Grreek mythology, when Perseus slew the evil Medusa, Perseus accidently destroys many of the statues residing in Medusa's lair. If these statues were gigantic, rugged, and hardy rocks, then they wouldn't have been so easy to destroy, but they ended being destroyed quite easily by Perseus as collateral damage during his battle. So again, we don't get the impression that the stones(petroi) being spoken of are massive and immovable objects, but we perceive them to be rather average and brittle entities.

Shifting from the realm of Greek drama for a moment, it's not time to examine how the word petros was used in Greek histories. In Xenophon's Anabasis, book 4, chapter 7, section 12, Xenophon describes a great Greek siege against the Toachians. Now within this passage all three traditional words for rocks/stones is used, those being lithos, petros, and petra; Yet, the context within which they are used gives us a clear and definite meaning about what Xenophon is describing. Xenophon writes, "Then they took counsel together, and when Xenophon asked what it was that prevented their effecting an entrance, Cheirisophus replied: “There is this one way of approach which you see, but when one tries to go along by this way, they roll down stones(lithous) from this overhanging rock(petra); and whoever gets caught, is served in this fashion”--and with the words he pointed out men with their legs and ribs crushed." Here we can obviously deduce that the stones being used as weapons are large stones, but not large enough to be immovable and unshakeable. If they were unmoveable then the Toachians would not be able to use them as weapons. It is even more intriguing to note, that the large rock from which they are dropping the smaller rocks is the petra. Therefore, the petra is the large and massive rocky ledge from which the Toachians are dropping smaller stones as weapons; Therefore the petra is the fixed and permanet rock.

Further down Xenophon continues, "Callimachus, however, when he saw him going by, seized the rim of his shield; and at that moment Aristonymus of Methydrium ran past both of them, and upon his heels Eurylochus of Lusi. For all these four were rivals in valour and continually striving with one another; and in thus contending they captured the stronghold, for once they had rushed in not a stone(petros) came down from above." It is blatantly obvious from the passage that the stone(petros) being referred to in this instance is the same as the stones(lithous) being spoken of before. The petros and the lithous are both describing the stones that were being used as weapons by the Toachians, and these very stones were being hurled at the Greeks from a rocky ledge called the petra. Therefore, it is not the petros that is the stationary, massive, and gigantic rock but that distinction belongs to the petra. The petros is a smaller stone, the stones being used as weapons to crush the Greeks and to stave off the assualt.

in Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris, the herdsmen is describing an attack and says that the people are being attacked with stones(petrois). The text reads, " [315] The stranger, now in his senses, started up from his fall and realized the surge of enemies close at hand and the present danger to them both, with a groan; we did not let up our attack with stones(petrois), pressing hard from all sides. [320] Then we heard his dreadful exhortation: “Pylades, we shall die, but let us die with glory; draw your sword, and follow me." The construction being employed here is a dative of instrument construction, meaning that the people were using stones as their weapons of attack. Now, let's be honest here, does anyone really want to argue that average people are trying to hunt people down and attack them with large, immoveable stones. Notice that the word petrois is the dative plural form of the masculine noun, so the stones being spoken of here are most definitely petros stones. To argue that they are attacking people with gigantic stones would be ludricous, instead it is obvious from the context that the stones being spoken of are small stones that can be used by average people as weapons.

I have many many more examples I can give, but these should suffice. I appologize for the longwindedness of my answer.
Saint John Vianney
04-08-2004, 03:12
*Bishop Schlisser nods*

"mmm... very interesting...."

OOC: I've now exhausted my knowledge of the Greek language. I'll send a note to my Greek instructor to make sure I properly understand what I'm saying. Thanks for all the sources.
04-08-2004, 03:24
OOC: I, Understand. And you're welcome. You're a good man, and a smart one. I have a good deal of respect for you. You defend your positions well.