QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS/FAQ
Frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers concerning the Thracian Church
Q: Which is the Thracian Church of the Republic of Bulgaria?
A: The Thracian Church (the Church of Ancient Thrace, Ancient Macedonia, and Illyricum) is the first and oldest Christian community (Ecclesia = Church) in Europe. It was established personally by the Apostles Paul and Andrew the First-Called and their companions in Bulgarian lands in the 1st century AD.
Q: Is the Thracian Church a sect, and if not, is it subordinate to the Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarchate?
A: The Thracian Church is not a sect, because it has never separated itself from the Orthodoxy. It has its own hierarchical structure which is the world’s oldest church hierarchy ordained according to apostolic succession (something that is also testified in the books of the New Testament – The Acts of the Apostles) and predates the ecclesiastical hierarchies of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy which both separated themselves, at some point in the past, from that First Apostolic Church in Europe – that’s why they could be viewed as separatists and sects in regard to it, not the other way around.
Q: Who leads the Thracian Church: priests obeying a strict church hierarchy, or self-appointed Protestant pastors? Is the contemporary Thracian Church the same Thracian Church established even as early as the antiquity, and how has its historical succession under apostolic line been realised?
A: The higher clergy of the contemporary Thracian Church which has restored its hierarchical structure directly from the branches of the Roman Catholicism and the World Orthodoxy through ordination according to the apostolic succession of all its archbishops and bishops at the highest level is the legitimate continuer and fervent keeper of the oldest apostolic traditions of that Church dating back to antiquity, and the continuer of the most ancient liturgical sacraments (Thracian Ritual) in the same manner as they have been preserved even until today and performed in Old Thracian (Boharic/Bogarian) and contemporary Bulgarian (New Bogarian) language.
Q: What education and training do the priests of the Thracian Church have for their Christian mission among the people?
A: Besides their theological education the majority of the clergy of the Thracian Church have also another higher or special education in different branches of science, art, politics, business, law, etc., and are prominent figures in their fields as researchers, politicians, businessmen, creators: musicians, composers, directors, writers and other public figures, founders of popular business firms, institutes, academies and foundations doing various kinds of useful activities, all of which are organizations that are nonaffiliated and independent from the Thracian Church.
Q: Which are the holy books of the Thracian Church and what are its liturgical practices?
A: The canonical Bible of the Thracian Church is Biblia Bessica which is the true and accurate canonical Christian Bible written in Thracian (Boharic/Bogarian) language, and its principal liturgical practice is the oldest Alexandrine Liturgy of St. Basil – again in Thracian (Bogarian) language – which has also been performed until today in the Roman Catholic Church in Latin, in the Greek Orthodox Church in Greek and in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Slavonic-Bulgarian Language.
Q: Which type of Christian confession does the Thracian Church belong to: Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic, New Age, or any other? What is the attitude of the Thracian Church towards Orthodoxy and Catholicism, as well as towards church canons and Ecumenical Councils?
A: The Thracian Church shares all the established canons of both the Eastern Orthodoxy and the Western Catholicism because it predates them in terms of time of establishment; it has accepted all decisions of the Ecumenical Councils and the Symbol of Faith of the Historical Eastern and Western Christian Churches as legitimate and canonical; and it still maintains warm and close sisterly, ecclesiastical relations with their major branches.
Q: Then is the Thracian Church Orthodox or Catholic, and what is its connection with Bulgarian Orthodoxy?
A: Because of the above-mentioned characteristics, the Thracian Church may be rightly called both Bulgarian Orthodox Church – Thracian Ritual, and Bulgarian Catholic Church – Thracian Ritual.
Q: What is the attitude of the Thracian Church towards Protestantism and ecumenical dialogue between world Christian communities and denominations?
A: The Thracian Church is a fervent supporter of ecumenical dialogue between all Christian churches and communities both in the East and the West, including the historically newer streams and denominations of Protestantism and Charismatism, whom it highly appreciates as Movement of the Spirit of God for renewal and rejuvenation of Faith which was once for all given to the Saints, and the descending of the City of God among peoples.
Q: What makes the Thracian Church different from the many other traditional churches?
A: Besides the traditions and the Covenant of the holy forefathers, the Thracian Church fervently keeps the contemporary Divine Revelation and is an ally of all progressive forces in the world today, which struggle for Peace and Understanding among peoples. It is an actual representative of God’s Will and Intention of building a really humane order of justice, legality and brotherly relations among all people on the planet, in whom are also God’s Favor and eternal Purpose.
(The answers of the above questions are cited directly from the modern Encyclical of the College of Thracian Bishops published by the Secretariat of the Thracian Church. Any other opinions and allegations about the Thracian Church in Bulgaria, expressed by other sources and persons, which contradict the written above, should be considered false and intentionally misleading.)
Q: The information I’ve learned from The Thracian Chronicles contains some facts which, according to me, don’t match the notions I’ve already built on the basis of reading other sources. What are the reasons for such contradictions between what those chroniclers said and the things written by other ancient authors?
A: Even during the initial work with many of the ancient texts in The Thracian Chronicles, our team encountered not only a lot of difficulties of a purely technical nature, but also a number of visible so called “contradictions”, or “discrepancies”, with other data and versions of various details and events known from other documents, as you have also rightly noticed. The question immediately arises for us: Are those “discrepancies” real or fictitious, and what could be the reasons for them? Here we present some possible answers to such kind of questions.
Q: In the book of Navvi, events and persons from the holy history are presented in different way compared to what we know from the Bible? Why is that so?
A: In the four canonical Gospels in the New Testament of the Bible, we also find discrepancies and differences in described events and their “details”. Entire passages of Christ’s Deed, revealed in some of the texts, are totally absent in the testimonies of the other gospel writers; besides, we see discrepancies in the descriptions of certain moments in their story, too. But that is easy to explain having in mind that the eyewitnesses (or those who retell their testimony) reveal the story from the perspective of their own place and participation in it interpreting it according to their personal experience and revelation in the Divine Reality. All that, however, not only doesn’t weaken the authenticity of the Gospel story, but on the contrary – as St. Paul the Apostle says: “…that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many rebound to the glory of God.” (2 Cor. 4:15) Due to the one-sidedness of human perception, no human description can recount the phenomena of Christ’s Life completely exhaustively – that is why the Holy Scriptures are the work of many witnesses (not of one man) of the Divine Revelation given by the Holy Spirit Himself in His manifold Grace and Wisdom (1 Pet. 4:10; Eph. 3:10). Because the Deeds Christ does among men and for men are countless, as is His Mercy – that is why it is also written: “There are also many other deeds which Jesus did, which if they should be written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” (Holy Gospel of John 21:25) That is why we understand the manifoldness in the Holy Traditions of the knowledge and the worship of Christ as godly traditions and following which reveal the One “picture” of the knowledge and manifestation of God among humankind. In that joint perception of the One Faith, the “differences” (for us they are mutually enriching reports and clarifications of the Infinite Wisdom in the Divine Knowledge) are not contradictions of mutually exclusive negation and destructive antagonism, but just the opposite – they obviously complement each other by mutually filling each other’s missing parts of the common heritage of the Divine Revelation. Due to the special privileges of his holy order, Habrozalmox, the ancient author of the book of Navvi, obviously had free access to the sources of the Divinely Inspired Tradition, having the opportunity to use – concerning the events of the Sacred History covered in his chronicles in which he was not a participant or an eyewitness – the trustworthy sources of the Prophetic Tradition into which he was initiated. We should not forget that the texts of the Bible have not come to us in finished form, as a book written “at once”, either, but as a collection of books by various authors inspired by God, which in the course of time have been collected and preserved by the true guardians of the pure faith and the divinely revealed knowledge. The Holy Scriptures have come to us thanks to the Holy Tradition in the Church (Council) of Christ’s disciples. Although for the carnal mind the Holy Scriptures of the Divinely Inspired Bible are full of seeming contradictions, not a single honest scribe living with clear conscience before God and men would dare to alter the text so that the historiographical “calculations” of the popular historical “science” prove “true” – or the religious doctrines of any of the official, generally accepted confessions prove “right”. Being fully aware that some readers might doubt and even prematurely renounce the Holy Scriptures in the collection, the team working with the ancient texts in The Thracian Chronicles have left the seeming “defects” (the differences with other holy scriptures) without additional “enriching” or “polishing”. Preserving the authenticity and depths of the original Holy Scriptures (including senses and meanings that are elusive to human mind) has been upheld at any cost, consciously taking the risk of “losing” the superficial readers – who read a priori, with “cemented” prejudices in their minds – as connoisseurs of the collection. The divinely revealed answers hidden in the Holy Scriptures can be found only by the pure Mind (2 Pet. 3:1-2; Rom. 8:27, 12:2; 1 Cor. 2:10-16; Eph. 4:23) which the Spirit gives us in the following of Christ in the Initiatory Tradition and the Tradition of Grace in the Council (Church) of Christ’s apostles. Where for some there is a “mistake”, those who have understanding will see further Knowledge and Revelation about the Sacred History of the world. In such cases, the “mistake” is correct – profound analysis resolves the seeming contradiction completely, tracing meaning and conclusions in the text which not only do not deny the other Holy Scriptures, but explain, enrich and perfect our vision about Divine Providence in human history, reassert and give life to Christ’s Theophany and Divine Revelation.
Q: Isn’t the prophecy of the Delphian oracle about the city of Troy and king Rhesus actually in contradiction with what the prophet Ezekiel says in the Bible or what Melchizedek recounts in The Thracian Epistles concerning the forefather of Thracians?
A: I think that you yourself understand the complexity of such a question, and our inability today – thousands of years after the writing of the holy scriptures – to give a definitive answer to that question. We are compelled to refer only to what the ancient authors of those sacred texts left us, and we don’t have the slightest right today to neglect what was written by anyone of them because then we risk being partial towards Ezekiel or Habrozalmoxis or Melchizedek, and at present we don’t have other independent data – concerning what they wrote – which could make us more objective about their works. One thing, however, is certain: there was an exchange between priests and scribes in Ancient Thrace and Israel, which becomes clear in the book of Navvi in the Thracian Chronicles and is confirmed in the book of Nehemiah in the Bible.
Q: According to the author of Navi – Habrozalmoxis – it was prophesied about the city of Tiroya (Troy), named after the first king of Thrace, Tiras, in “the songs of Is-Ra-El” as well. Moreover, the biblical prophecy of Ezekiel (ca. 6th century BC) regarding the city of Tyre is almost identical with the much more ancient prophecy of the Thracian Oracle about the city of Tiroya (Troy), found in the book of Navi. According to the scholars, however, Troy was destroyed by the Achaeans (in about 1200-1100 B.C.), whereas the biblical city of Tyre is acknowledged by official history to have existed until much later (ca. 585 B.C.) when it was destroyed by the king of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar; and later still, Alexander the Great completely erased it, as predicted by the Palestinian prophets. How shall we interpret the time difference of six centuries between events that were predicted in an almost identical way?
A: The author of Navi (Habrozalmoxis) lived in much later times than the Trojan epic, and probably knew of the subsequent fate (according to the Hebrew prophecies) of the cities of Tyre and Sidon that the Old Testament prophets had predicted. Besides, he knew well the history of the spiritual relations and kinship ties between the ancient Thracian and Hebrew literary traditions, which becomes clear from the text of Chapters 20, 21 and 36. We have to note that in chapter 11, verse 16, he (the author) says, “…it was written about him in the songs of Is-Ra-El…”, and the reference to the more recent prophecy by Ezekiel is a footnote – that is, it was made by the team who edited the ancient text, with the purpose of drawing the reader’s attention to the relationships and parity of the writings and the sacred history between the two nations. “The songs of Is-Ra-El”, as Habrozalmoxis calls them, obviously are not identical with the book of Ezekiel the prophet, but most probably we come upon a reference to an even more ancient source of a sacred narration, from which later biblical authors certainly got inspirations and integrated the ancient predictions with their own books of prophecies. Obviously that must have been the case with the ancient prophecy of the Thracian Oracle (chapters 12, 13-33) that was continued in the Palestinian prophetic tradition. Such borrowing of the Divine prophecies and revelations is astonishing, but only to the unknowing and unaware of the usual spiritual practice of continuity of consecration in the ancient times. The prophetical Spirit, manifested in the writings of the chosen secret-seers and writers, shows the same Will and moral characteristics of One and the same Divine Person; hence the prophetic understanding of, and attitude toward, the nature and specifics of the timeless Word of God, which is not subject to private interpretation by the prophets (2 Peter 1:20), but is God-inspired Revelation that is always valid because of the invariability of God’s Truth and Providence (as God Himself is invariable), enriched through the generations and among nations by renewing the Predestination and His just destinies, manifested within the times and limits of mankind. “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; … and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, KJV); “That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.”(Ecclesiastes 3:15, KJV). Ever since the times of Eden, God’s Words have been kept as sacred traditions by the faithful keepers; but this succession does not belittle at all the contribution by the following chosen prophets who manifested, guided by the Spirit of God, the Revelation in their own time and to their own people. We can see an example of such prophetic borrowing in the predictions regarding the ancient Babylon. The early Christians related it to the Roman Empire, and until today, the Old Testament prophecy about the rebellious city has remained valid for modern earthly kingdoms and spiritual realms. The same can be said about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, as an everlasting example of God’s pending doom upon the wicked ones. Christ’s Apostles have made numerous similar interpretations of prophetic words, events, and offspring, described in the Biblical books of Exodus, Genesis, and the Psalms (that once had been predicted and had already come true as a private case), taking them out of the context of time, in order to point them out as prophecies that materialized much later in and by the incarnated Christ (as well as in the Church – His mystic Body); and that does not deny their past partial and limited materialization in the ancient times. In other words, the fact that we find the prediction about the destruction of Tiroya (Troy) in Ezekiel’s prophecies related to the biblical Tyre and Sidon (about 600 years later) as well, does not contradict the prophetic tradition, but it rather enriches and explains it; we shall also add that God’s Word is still being materialized today and will be in the future.
Q: But then, could the seemingly one and the same prophecy concern three different cases, separated one from the other by many centuries in time and thousands of miles geographically? And is it really the same prophecy, and if it is, then where is its source – in Ancient Thrace or in Israel?
A: We have already shown that there was literary and religious exchange between ancient Thrace and ancient Israel, so it is obviously possible that there was also borrowing of former prophetic writings and that they were currently realized and interpreted in different events, in different geographic areas and in different ages. The best proof of this is that the same prophecy, described by the three ancient authors, was even later interpreted by some of the Fathers of the Church as relating to the coming and overthrow of the future Antichrist, and this stand is supported by a large number of researchers of the Bible even nowadays. So, it turns out, it is completely possible that what had been once written about Troy was later “seen by another prophet” as up-to-date regarding the city of Tiras and the King of Tiras, and later still – regarding the so called “last times” and the coming of the person called “Antichrist” in the Holy Scriptures.
Q: Aren’t the prophecies by the God-inspired authors unique manifestations of the Will of God, given just once (a single time) in the sacred history?
A: God-inspired prophecy is not a mechanical act, void of spiritual learning and studious efforts in the mystical Way. On the contrary – the holy men have studied and know the Faith and Divine Revelations of their predecessors, whose acts on earth in the name of God they maintain and continue. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are manifested according to His Will and in His Will, which they explore, so that the followers of the Lord’s Way may comprehend it and adhere to it, manifested as imperishable inheritance by their predecessors. For example, in the book of Revelation by John the Apostle, the prophetic vision of the author contains numerous images and spiritual events, described in the much earlier predictions by ancient messengers of God, but that does not cast suspicion on the uniqueness of the Revelation in the Apostle’s writings, nor does it underestimate the prophetic heritage and succession. The Lord Jesus Himself commissioned His disciples (whom He chose to be apostles, prophets, and heralds of the Future World) to study God’s secrets and the prophecies in the Old Testament scriptures, and He opened their minds to comprehend, keep and proclaim them. Here is another example – according to the texts in the Bible, Moses was instructed in God’s Holy Wisdom (about which we can read in the Thracian Chronicles) before he worked the miracles that God gave him in order to lead his brothers out of Egypt. All the subsequent prophets in Palestine, even though individually moved by the Spirit of God, followed the same Revelation and commandments that God had given to Moses, as well as the predictions and lessons from the life of the patriarchs, described in the book of Genesis by Moses. He himself prophesized that God would raise another prophet in his place, so that God’s testimony would live among the people. This prediction was fulfilled many times in the service of the other prophets, and finally embodied in the Manifestation of Him “Who speaks from heaven…”, that is, the Son of God, who became a man and came down on earth for us people (Hebrews 12:25; 1:1-2), Whom the faithful among the nations heed even today, through the mouth of the apostles, prophets and wise men that He has sent (Matthew 23:34 & John 13:20). The very first Divine dedication and prophetic promise of the coming Saviour-God Jesus Christ was given as early as in Eden (see the book Atam), and the whole subsequent prophetic tradition of the God-inspired people follows the same line of mystery succession in discipleship of God the Speech (God the Word). The texts from the Thracian Chronicles reveal that even before the incarnation of the Son of God, the prophetic service was a keeper of the Revelation of God and the treasures of His Knowledge and Holy Wisdom, and the spiritual succession was provided by the community of the initiated into Christ’s mysteries that were uncovered to the selected men since the times of Eden (see the books of Atam, Navi, Arih). We can find such a testimonial of instruction and succession in the prophetic tradition in the Old Testament as well (2 Kings, Chapter 2), where there is a description of the prophetic school of disciples in which Elijah the Prophet (and later Elisha) instructed the faithful ones in God’s secrets and His Might.
Q: Does this prophetic tradition exist today? And if it does, how does the Spirit of God teach His followers?
A: The prophetic “torch”, before as well as after the Lord Jesus Christ came in human flesh, has been the work by the Spirit of Christ in His faithful ones among the people. As it is well known, in contrast to the prophetic “drought” in the Judaic religion, which originated after the Babylonian captivity as a teaching of human interpretations and comments on the prophetic writings by the men of old times, Christ’s followers have remained the only successors to the prophetic Spirit and to the Promises, given through the prophets and apostles of Jesus. The spiritual gifts and powers, originating from the True God, continue to abide in the faithful ones, who acquire them by exercising Piety and working diligently in Christ’s Grace. The practice of Christ’s disciples’ speaking “through the Spirit” (as seen in the book Acts of the Apostles that can be found in the collection The Thracian Chronicles, together with explanatory notes) continues even today as a promise to all who participate in the mysteries of Jesus. The prophetic Gift is an inseparable part of the liturgical and mystic life of the Lord’s disciples, where the acts (the mysteries) of the Epiphany make the Faith enlivened by the Holy Spirit, and the Speech of Christ exercises the Kingdom of God in its Might. You can read in more detail and in depth about Christ’s Teachings and His Spiritual Practice in the collection of ancient documents of Faith called The Thracian Epistles, where, along with the Preface and Conclusion to the book, you will get acquainted with the introduction to the mystic theology of Christ’s Church.
Q: Who were the first prophets or people to whom God revealed Himself?
A: The revealed Faith of the mystic all-time Christianity has been attested in depth in the Second Epistle by Michael to the Council from the collection The Thracian Epistles. From this God-inspired book, you can comprehend the ancient grounds of the Prophetic Faith (which is the same New Testament Faith in Christ) as a spiritual understanding of the Revelation to the first-born, which is passed on to the faithful to God in every generation.
Q: It is explained in ‘The Thracian Epistles’ that the “anointed cherub who covers” of Tyre is the forefather of the Thracians – Tiras, the seventh son of Japheth – but it is written in The Thracian Chronicles that it was King Rhesus. Which one was it actually?
A: Regarding your question who is the “anointed cherub” – both authors of the texts you refer to (one of the texts is a spiritual instruction, and the other one is sacred history) have reasonable grounds for their theological assertions that they have stated clearly and truthfully, but the fall of the anti-God teachings is topical even today, as a prophecy and exposing the spirit of the Antichrist. Obviously, King Rhesus is an antichrist (‘antichrist’ literally means ‘instead of Christ’), because in his haughtiness (according to the text in the book of Navi) he proclaimed himself god instead of Christ and His Word, and demanded sacrifices and temple worship for himself. This is also fully valid for the forefather referred to in The Thracian Epistles, who became haughty in his heart and thus lost God’s grace – the Source of Immortal Knowledge and Strength. However, this prophecy is valid for anyone who falls under the same condemnation of the antichrists of all generations, nations, and boundaries. Prophetic words are not exhausted as a private prediction that concerns one person, but reveal the spiritual dimensions of the evil and the realities of the fallen beings that, unfortunately, may always (even today) find a ‘good soil’ amongst those striving against God.
Q: According to the Bible, Abraham’s father is a Semite, and I have read in the ‘Thracian Chronicles’ that he is of Thracian origin. Which of the two statements is true?
A: With regard to the contradiction you find concerning Abraham’s origin, it is important to note that discrepancies in genealogy (which, by the way, abound in numerous ancient documents and sacred writings; see for comparison even the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew the Evangelist, which is different from the one by Luke the Evangelist) can be explained with the striving of each tradition to emphasize on certain relations and legacies that are of utmost importance to it precisely.
Q: Isn’t this too partial and unobjective?
A: Probably we would be right to call such behavior of the ancient authors ‘biased’, but we should by no means hastily take it for ‘unobjective’ or for ‘distortion of the truth’, as sometimes the so-called ‘seeming discrepancies’ are due to the fact that some genealogy branches are followed on the paternal side, and others – on the maternal side, deliberately.
Q: Still, shouldn’t we find out which of the two genealogies is more trustworthy, in order to know the historic truth?
A: To determine the exact historical truth, this is of great importance, but unfortunately, if there are no other additional sources to confirm predominantly one out of several versions (including the version from the Bible), it remains impossible for the unbiased researcher to consider any of the parties as the ‘solely truthful’ one. For a Believer, however, there is no such problem, because incomplete ‘understanding’ of each detail or discrepancy should not and cannot obstruct faith in the divine inspiration of the Scriptures. At this level, the dispute soon becomes unconstructive, because as Apostle Paul teaches, disputes regarding different genealogies would rather cause needless squabble than serve as an example of Faith. We hope we have helped you to find an answer to some of the above questions as least to some extent. If you have any other interesting questions or additional insight regarding these or other topics related to The Thracian Chronicles, please feel free to share them with us. In conclusion, let us give you some sincere and friendly advice: to wish for and find in The Thracian Chronicles the Covenant of our ancestors with Christ, who is the source of all good; without this dedication no one can understand God’s secrets or intentions. If you already belong to a Christian church or denomination, may God’s Commandments of the Covenant (taken from the sacred texts and provided as an appendix to The Thracian Chronicles) be always close to your mind and your right hand! Many are the lessons from the upsurge and fall of our ancestors, and these destinies from God are the result of keeping or breaking God’s Law and Testimony. We wish you to find true spiritual content in the treasures of the Great Wisdom and Knowledge – namely, Christ’s Life. Because, valid for all sacred books that God has given us is what St John the Apostle writes in the Gospel: “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:13, KJV).