Greetings and Introductions from a Christian in Anchorage, Alaska and Soon to Be, Redding, CA
Greetings to all my Brothers and Sisters here in the House Church Network.
My name is Timothy Yeghian. Isn't it tough to introduce yourself. Folks want to know who we are, but it isn't about us; it is about Jesus.
I'll just tell you who I am and if people fall asleep ... well, serves me right?
I am 66 now and came to Christ in ... I am looking up, which means I don't remember. Let's see, ... 1973.
I am not from the Catholic side of the fence or the Protestant sea of denominations. Nope. I am one of the few Christians whom you might meet who comes from the Oriental Orthodox. And the largest of that is the Armenian branch. We kicked Rome to the curb in 451 AD. I don't think we helped them carry there bags either. The first New Testament that was translated from the Hellenistic Koine Greek was called Gabar, or scholars call this "Classical Armenian." If I ever get to meet a group of believers I will sing one of our chants for you from the 3rd century.
1974 the Vietnam War was winding down and after prayer I joined the army and asked for the Chaplain's Corps. I told God to put me anywhere, and He did. Without agreeing to it on paper, lol, God assigned me 2nd / 504 of the 82nd Airborne Infantry. I don't know how many night jumps I made with the men I served. I lost count after "2."
Familiar with the Armenian text, that was when I started to study Greek. Men were coming to me with one version and another with another version and asking me questions I couldn't answer. As not many folks read our scribbles, I started learning Greek in 1974.
I survived the 82nd Airborne and started college as a double major, almost triple major: Greek for one, with minors in Chinese and Japanese, and Ancient History, with minors in Russian and Astrophysics.
The Japanese government hired me right out of college, nobody was hiring veterans in those days, and the Japanese shipped me to Japan where I lived for 17 years, and street witnessed in Japan on the weekends. I used Japan as a base to smuggle Bibles into China.
After 17 years of life in Japan, the UN knocked on my door and offered me a job in the UN in Africa. That put me in reach of Iran and Saudi Arabia. I can't say much more about that. I will say, however, that there are two places where you can see the Holy Spirit setting things on fire: China and Iran
If it is of any help at all to any brother or sister here, I have been reading my New Testament in Greek for almost half a century. I started on extant manuscripts in the handwritten originals about 10 years ago. Yes, I have been to many fancy schools, etc., but never mind that.
I am writing this for this following reason:
If someone wishes to ask a question about the variations in translation, or rabbinic traditions behind Matthew, Mark, or Luke in the original Greek, I will be glad to be your servant on these matters. Moreover, our first translators were bilingual in Koine Greek, so when we peer at the Greek from the view of the Armenian, we get a lot of extra help on what we are looking at.
I especially think about my Christian sisters. I have many friends who are not Christians and they wrestle with Christians because of many of these traditions. Moreover, Christian sisters too have their struggles with many things. Consider me your brother, and you don't even have to bake me a pie.
However, I have a caveat. The Armenian Christian tradition is very, very different from Protestantism. I have visited these "Cruise Ship Churches" and listened. Reading from the Bible in the original language is a traditional form of worship for us. Yes, but, - we don't have "pastors" closing the Bible and then saying that "God thinks this," "God is saying this," or "God is saying the other thing." To us in the Armenian Christian tradition, we can't say "God thinks" anything.
We can share what we feel God is saying to "us," but more than that is considered blasphemy. Our reason is no one can know the mind of God. It is very much a part of why we split from Rome in 451 AD. That was a very big part of it. I have had certain people from certain denonminations go off like a bottle rocket with me on how what they were saying was "The Voice of God." I can share what the language says, within the context of our ancient culture, which was within Greater Greece, both before and after the Age of Alexander, but we can't then "close the Book" and say, "Here is what the mind of God is on this issue." Syrian and Armenian Christians don't do that kind of work, add smile.
I am pleased to be your brother in Christ from here in Alaska, and soon, Redding, CA.
As Paul said, in Romans 15:13
ΠΡΟΣ ΡΩΜΑΙΟΥΣ 15:13, Romans 15:13:
In his name
Redding + Anchorage