Logique des Dogmes
This is Klaus Schilling's summary and translation of Jean Magne's Book "Logique des Dogmes" from 1989. Formatted, slightly copyedited, and uploaded by Michael Hoffman with Klaus' permission, August 17, 2005.
In the preface, M. Tardieu praises the unspeculative and unesoteric approach of Magne to such an unconventional view of the beginnings of Christianity.
Until the late sixties, Magne thought on the lines of Ernest Renan and imagined the origins of Christianity in the Jewish sect of the Essenes.
But revisiting once more the bread multiplication and the Emmaus/Genesis parallels, Magne came to the insight to look for them in gnostic exegesis.
The difference is that Essenes were stern Law observants, while Gnosis is antinomianist and ridiculing the pursuit of righteousness of orthodox Judaism.
It's in the late sixties when the NHL writings were translated systematically. The most relevant NH texts for this book are II:1, II:4, II:5, and IX:3
The distinction of pre-gnostic naive orthodoxy and post-gnostic reactionary orthodoxy in intertestamental and early Christian writings was then seen as the key to understanding early Christianity.
In Logique des Sacraments, the origin of the Christian eucharist was traced back to the gnostic thanksgiving to the snake of Genesis 3:4-7, paralleled in the Emmaus story of Luke's. Here the way is worked
forward: How did the gnostic exegesis that sees Jesus as the paradise snake in rebellion against traditional Jewish exegesis get turned into the Messiah according to Scripture venerated by orthodox Christianity.
The Emmaus story is found in Luke 24:13-36, unparallelled elsewhere. It must have been taken from a further source and linked into the context inbetween the resurrection seen by the women and the further witnesses of the resurrection.
Magne excludes the following as redactional:
v.13 "the same day", 18b-19a, 21b-24, 33-36.
The village name Emmaus is seen as derived from emmanu, with us, which appears in v.29. the burning, kaiomene, in v32 should rather be blinded , kammumene << katamumene
In the beginning, the disciples do not recognise the risen Lord.
Mark's in a harmonisation attempt says that Jesus appeared in a different form, but that's not what Luke means. The error of the disciples is concerning the nature of the Messiah they expect. Jesus is not a messiah of the kind of Judas Gaulonites or Simon bar Kohba, a warrior prince who sets out to defeat the gentile oppressors. Many have been around, all were caught and punished to death by the Romans, breaking the messianic hopes. Rather, the passion and death of Jesus is not a setback for the messianic hopes, but , quite the contrary, a necessary part of the salvific plot. This is supposed to be explained by chosen passages from Scripture. The Jesus of Paul e.g. I Cor. 2:8 is thus made acceptable to the Jews.
The turning point is when Jesus breaks a bread in order to feed it to the disciples. Their eyes were opened. This term first appears in Genesis 3:5-7, after Adam and Eve eat from the fruit dealt to them by the serpent. They recognised their nudity.
The recognition is not of the profane sort that one remembers something that one has seen before, but is mediated by the bread, as the fruit from the tree in genesis.
Magne now moves to Genesis 2:4-3:22. The stories are exposed in parallel columns:
Exposition of situation
Gen. 2:15f and :24
Blinding before an evidence
Interrogation by the instructor
Answer of the Blind
Lk 24:18 and :21
Dis-illusioning by the instructor
Justification of the answer
Positive appreciation of the dis-illusioning
This view of Genesis 2/3 puts God into a very negative view, which is consistant with the exegesis of Genesis mirrored in various NH writings, as will be seen.
It is concluded that the two disciples correspond to Adam and Eve, the former ignorants that turn knowledgeable, while Jesus corresponds to:
· The serpent as instructer
· Eve as mediator of the fruit
· The nudity of the first men as object of the knowledge
In gnostic context, the nudity is understood as the lack of perfection that real-existing mankind is subject to, alienated from its divine origin.
Didache 9:3 and 10:2 renders thanks to the Father for the knowledge bestowed upon the believers by mediation of his servant Jesus. This provides for a link between Eden and Emmaus.
The Eucharist is thus a ceremonial reminder as thankfulness for the Gnosis given to mankind with the fruit of the paradise tree.
Greek philosophers with exception of Stoics and Epicureans had a high theology with which the god of a direct reading of the Tanakh could not compete. This lead to a protest exegesis.
In the relevant chapters of Genesis, same god disallows man to eat from a certain tree, telling him that he'd the same day when doing so. When Adam broke the command and did not die, but rather knowledgeable, God became envious of man and upset and angry and vengeful. Elsewhere in the Tanakh God changes often his mind, requires sacrifices and massacres etc. The claim of being the one and only god (Isaiah 45) can be deemed as arrogance.
As opposed to that god, the serpent told truthfully to Adam and Eve, and thus can be deemed as enlightener and liberator.
Adam and Eve, upon eating the foul fruit, acquired the knowledge of good and evil, recognising their own nudity. The nudity can be deemed as awareness of missing something, precisely the perfection that pre-creational man had. This dress of perfectrion is subject of the Song of the Perl of the acts of Thomas.
These are the base tenets of Gnosticism:
· Theology: a supreme deity alien to imperfection and impossible to access by natural means is opposed to the pantheon of the gods of the peoples.
· Cosmology: a perfect, divine/celestial world is opposed to the real world. Intermediate regions are ruled by powers of destiny (angels, planetary spirits) who err around and oppress real world.
· Anthropology: discrepance between human intellect/spirit and bestial flesh-oriented soul, between ascesis and passions of the flesh etc.
· Eschatology: the redemmed man will leave the flesh and blood behind and join the perfect world upon death.
· The necessity of a shocking knowledge (Gnosis) for redemption. This knowledge is not obtained by experience or reasoning, but meditative.
Philo went a completely different way by allegorising away the above difficulties for the identification of the god of Scripture with the god of philosophy.
Gnostics bridged the abyss between the god of Scripture and that of philosophy with myriads of angels , powers, archons etc., and an accident inbetween (fall of Sophia) that must have brought forth reality. The plurality is also inferred from verses where God say 'let us make ...'.
Also real man, work of the deviant powers, must be distinguished from an ideal man, work of the high god. This ideal was deemed androgyneous.
Also, a spark of divinity is parted on man.Eve (life) was seen as a copy of the personification of life (Zoe), the 'true mother of all living things'. It was also immagined that the Scriptural god or his angels raped Eve, giving birth hence to Abel and Cain, while Seth was seen as Adam's progeny (Son of Man) - tradition also reflected in the Talmud and the Cabala. Others preferred Cain.
As Gnosticism is straightly connected to the exegesis of Jewish Scripture, and interpreted it in a strange, procvocative sense, conflicts with the mainstream exegesis of Scripture was inevitable. This lead to a lot of apologetics and proselyting on both sides, and an evolution on both sides.
For example, talmudic Berakoth 5a and 8a have been established after 70 as a defense against the Gnostic Minim.
A stepwise return from the protest-exegetical stance to a more mainline stance , under the impact of above conflict, is now to be shown as the key to understanding the way from Gnosis to Christianity.
Thus NHC II:4 and NHC II:5 divide the god of Scripture into two personalities: an evil one , called Satan, and a good one, the repenting Sabaoth. Satan has been identified in this process with the serpent - this is not obvious from the Tanakh, where the fallen angels are only mentioned a few chapters after the paradise incident, and Satan is neither identified with the serpent nor any of the fallen angels under Semiaza. Satan = serpent can be seen only as a rejection of the serpent worship of the Minim, still alluded to in terms like Naassene (<< Nahash = serpent) for a later Gnostic sect, or the talk about the perfect serpent by the Pertic sect.
Of course the saviour personality must be supported by Scripture, and thus Jesus was finally, by historisation, turned into a Moses-type prophet, and finally the Messiah according to Scripture. Also Adam and Eve could not be deemed much longer as having received divine knowledge by rebellion and disobedience. This led to the original-sin-dogm. Also the strict ascetic ethics, in conflict with Jewish pragmatism, had to be softened towards what became mainline Christian ethics.
This sketch [incomplete and awfully compressed] now needs to be substantiated with references to early Christian writings that trace the various steps of the long way from Gnostic protest-exegesis to Christian theology.
The Apochryphon of John, best as NHC II:1 but also known otherwise from NH and outside, starts with a frame story confrionting John Zebedeus with a representant of Jewish orthodoxy, underpinning the heretical Jewish origin of Christianity. John retreats and receives a vision, where he's enlightened by Jesus. The vision contains the standard cosmic cosmogony with emanations of archons/rulers etc., involving a retelling of the paradise story of Genesis.
The first archon puts Adam and Eve int the paradise for their joy, but truly cheats on them as the fruits of the archon are bitter poison. Jesus claims to enlighten man about the essence of the archons' life. They do everything for preventing mankind from recognising their true essence. Their tree of life is truly a tree of death. They prohibit the eating from another tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which would bring them closer to divinity. Jesus incites man to eat from the forbidden fruit. Eve's mediating role is explained with the repentance of Sophia, the sister of Jesus, who descends into Eve = Zoe = Life.
Jesus appears as an eagle in the tree, and is opposed fundamentally to the serpent of Genesis who is turned into the devil: while Jesus' motivations from inciting Adam into eating are honest, the serpent is demed to incite people into rebellion against the archon for egoistic and dishonest drives, in order to corrupt man into fleshly intercourse and procreation. This is odd as it's originally the Lord of the Tanakh who orders to be fruitfull and multiply.
We see that some serious manipulation has been going on in order to keep pace with Judaisation, here: the condamnation of the serpent. A grammatical ambiguity is subsequently used to name Abel and Cain Yahveh and Elohim, instead, and to make Archon Yaldabaoth, not Adam, father of those. The blasphemy of cain and Abel being sons of a devil instead of Adam was already confronted and refuted by Targumic and Talmudic writings.
We see that judaisation of this text brought a shift from qualities formerly assigned to the Lord of the Tanakh to the serpent.
The Hypostasis of the Archons is only known as NHC II:4. The intro makes it appear to explain Ephesians 2:12. It contains a cosmology similar to the Apoichryphon. It ends with a revalation to Norea, daughter of Adam *and* Eve, by angel Eleleth, about the true essence of the evil archons under the guidance of Samael.
The paradise exegesis involves a spiritual Eve. The archons tried to rape it, but that Eve turned into the Tree of knowledge and escaped.
The archons raped the fleshy Eve instead, resulting again in the birth of Cain and Abel. Meanwhile the spirutual Eve entered the serpent and instigated Adam and Eve into eating the forbidden fruit, making them knowledgeable. As predicted by the serpent, Adam's Eyes opened, his nudity becoming apparent. And by recognising his deficiency, man overcomes it and becomes spiritual.
Samael in turn is ignorant, both as his prohibition was due to cheating, and due to having to ask for Adam's whereabout after the 'sin'.
NHC II:5 is often referred as treatise on the orins of the world, already implying its cosmological character similar to the above.
Th3e paradise exegesis explicitly distinguishes 2 special trees. The first being the tree of knowledge, the second the tree of life. The archons banned Adam and Eve from paradise, after he ate from mthe former, in order to prevent them from eating from the latter, two, which would make man immortal. Already the first tree makes man similar to the gods. The Books of henoch contain a detailed description of various trees of the paradise, something flought into NHC II:5. Adam is seen on three levels: A pre-existant Light Adam, a terrestral Adam created by the Archons after the fleeting image of the Light Adam, and an intermediate Adam made by Sophia in order to redeem mankind.
Also here, the fruit makes man recognise that he has been so far 'nude', deprived of his true essence. Man recognisisng his former deficience becomes spiritual.
NHC IX:3, the Testimonium Veritatis, is a late (Valentinus is mentioned by name) treatise of a Gnostic hardliner against the falsification (Judaisation) of Christianity. It underlines the necessity of celibacy etc. for salvation and mocks those who lack his understanding of Jewish and Christian myths and don't try to understand them metaphorically in his ways.
The paradise tale of Genesis is recounted, emphasising the lie of God who prophibits eating from the tree, his ignorance, his envy etc., as opposed to the truthfulness of the serpent.
It is connected to an opposition of John B.to Jesus, the former born by a postclimacterial woman (like Anne and Sarah in the Tanakh), the latter by a perpetual virgin, a concept found also in the Ascension of Isaiah or the Protevangile of James. (Yet Marcion saw Jesus as not born at all in this world. Mark's has no birth narrative.) Jesus is seen here not as a real human, but an ideal one, a different form of the paradise serpent and the metal serpent of Moses in the desert.
These texts all underpin the origins of Christianity in the heterodox exegesis of Genesis, and the necessity of multiple phases of redaction accompanying the process of Judaisation.
It is important to recognise that orthodox Jewish exegesis unaware of the Gnostic one differs substantially from later jewish orthodox and Judeochristian one that is aware of the Gnostic position and in refutation of it.
The Tanakh itself does not comment further of Genesis 3 etc. (the Septuagint version does have cross references, though) Intertestamental literature, the New Testament, the patristic writings, [the Talmud too?] do comment on it to varying degree, and here we can make out the gap between unawareness and refutation.
Two topics are most important: The role of the serpent and the role of the nudity of Adam and Eve after the 'original sin'.
The identification of the serpent as Satan is not made in the Tanakh, and it's not stated that it was the decisive factor bringing evil among mankind. Philo doesn't make the serpent responsible all that much either. Rather, the fall of the angels seducing mortal women, a few chapter laters, is originally the usual source of corruption of mankind, urging God to severe counter measures like the big flood. Henoch extends haggadically the biblical incident.
Here it is not just fornication, but also the diffusion of magical arts etc. by Azazel that cause the trouble. Jubilees make the angels descend in order to teach righteousnes to mankind, but end up in fornication. Some of the epistles of the New Testament still connect the corruption of mankind with the fornication of the fallen angels, under the influence of Henoch's books. Paul in ICorinthians and Tertullian derive their order of veiling women from this fatal incident.
Satan isn't even mentioned as one of the fallen angels. When not used secularly as adversary, Satan denotes a solicitor in the court of God, see Hiob, sometimes also as the wrath of God (chron. 21:1) thus anticipating inadvertedly the later Gnostic protesting exegesis.
The cause of the post-biblical fall of Satan are not lust, but pride and envy. And it has been seen that both arrogance and envy have been assigned by Gnostics to the Jewish god who said "I am the only god, and there are no others besides me", and shifted gradually by Judaisation to the serpent identified with Satan. In Tertullian's writings, this shift was completed, w.r.t. envy. Pride as the reason is dominating in Origen's and Eusebius' works who compare Satan with the King of Babel.
But it's also clear in the Septuagint Book of Wisdom, where God is said to have created man uncorruptable, and only the devil's envy brought death over mankind, while Ben Sirah still sees the seductability of woman as the root of all evil, followed here by I Timothy.
Adam recognises his nudity after eating the forbidden fruit, but was he naked before or did he become so by the 'sin'?
The Gnostic Pearl Hymn from the Acts of Thomas describes the hero as having left behind his dress of splendor in heaven before the descent, and falls asleep on earth, afterwards regaining consciousness and becoming aware of his true mission. For the Gnostic exegesis it is essential to see nudity as predating the moment of awareness. The missed garments are of celestial nature. Classical Judaism had no sense for this, as it had no concept of a life of the saints in heavens etc. which is a later development. It could thus naively assume that Adam and Eve were naked also before 'sinning'.
The Ascension of Isaiah, quite contrarily, knows about
celestial garnments, as they are reveiled to Isaiah. Also the *Parabolae* of
Henoch, as opposed to the narrative, is familiar with the concept of redressing
the righteous ones in supernatural dresses. It's little wonder that the Parabolae
were not found in
While the Gnostic exegesis sees the garnments of splendor as something preceding the terrestrial existence of Adam, the orthodox Antignostic exegesis makes the 'sin' the cause of the loss of the celestial coat.
This shift is also noted when comparing various Targuma, such as thet Of Neophyte/Onkelos and Pseudo-Jonathan. The latter is strongly antignostic, the former not yet aware of the Gnostic exegesis.
The Apocalypse of Moses
Luke's parable of the lost and repentant son who is redressed in his original robes is reminiscent of this exegesis, also various patristic writings mention a garnment of Adam before his 'sin'.
Baptismal robes are also reminiscent of the loss and restoration of pre-sin garnments. Also (albeit late) cases of a dressed Adam before 'sinning' are known in iconography. It is sometimes understood that the coats of hide with which Adam is dressed by God after the 'sin' refers to the mortal body he received as a punishment for the error.
In any case we see both in the topic of serpent/Satan and the topic of the initial nudity of Adam and Eve a change in exegesis as a polemic reaction to Gnosticism
These homilies are a good example for the confrontation between the Judeochristianity and Gnosticism. Simon Peter, the author's speaker in this text, is refuting in a dialogue the objections of Simon Magus, often deemed as the archfather of heresy.
The interrelated topics of the dialogue are the unicity of God, the origin of the devil, the truth of Scripture, and the nature of Jesus.
Scripture often appears contradictory. Peter claims that God introduced inconsistencies in order to test the believers. The Mage insists in the inconsistency being the result of the interference of a Supreme Deity that tries to prevent the God of the Tanakh from consistantly hiding his own perversity.
For example, Peter maintains that Genesis is self-contradictory as Adam's eyes are opened only after the critical event, while God was able to show him the location of the evil tree (that Adam must thus have been able to see). For Simon, Adam was blind not physically, but mentally. Yet this is seen by Peter as contradicting Adam's ability to name the wild beasts. ...
Also the Gospels are seen as full of contradictions, making it hard for both opponents. Mt 11:27 is used by Simon Magus for his distinction of the Father, unreveiled before Jesus, from the well-known Lord of the Jews. Of course the Gospels contradict this view in many other occasions.
Concerning the origins of evil, Peter needs to retreat to a subtle polytheism himself. The Creator God, seen as the Father of Jesus, is seen as having two lower gods, one responsible for the Mosaic Law, called the Prince of the World, the other the Saviour Lord Jesus.
This reflects and reinterpretes in a more Judaising manner the Gnostic dualism forwarded by Simon Magus.
Simon Magus represents successively various Gnostic theologies that troubled the Jews and Judaisers, their only thing in common being the distinction between the God of the Tanakh and the Ineffable God.
Once the Lord of the Tanakh is plainly the Devil, later it is a righteous god as opposed to the good god of Gnosticism, yet later he's split into a lawgiver and a creator.
Peter needs to identify Jesus with both Moses and Adam, and not just see them as a second version of both of them, in order to be able to reconcile the conflicting attitudes of Jesus towards Law and Creation presented in the Gospels.
Simon Magus' theology ios often associated with Marcion, which in some aspects is correct, but neglecting the inconsistence of Simon Magus. Marcion is already quite remote from the gnostic hardliner theology shown in previous chapters, and a reaction to a progressed Judaisation expressed in the Gospels.
The solutions concerning the abovve problems shown by both sides of the dialogue are varying and change in corresspondance with each other's objections. They never become satisfactory for either side.
One thing becomes clear: The identification of the Jewish Cretor God with the Father-God of Gnostics and Hermetics involved on the downside by the identification of the same God of the Jews, the Lord of the world, with his loyal Servant Satan, otherwise charged tasked with ungrateful missions
Heresiologers used to file the authors and editors of the Clementine Homilies under Judeochristianity, thinking of the same as a movement starting withing traditional Judaism and not having yet reached the status of an emancipated religion on its own. Those scholars tend to see Christian Gnosis as a movement starting withing a fully-fledged Christianity. But while this development will be true for many individuals, it is not how Christian faith evolved historically.
Rather, the development was from Gnosticism via re-Judaisation towards mainline Christianity represented by the greater churches.
So-called Judeo-Christianity is more properly to be called Gnostico-Christiano-Judaism.
We've seen in the Homilies that Gnosis produced several ways of qualifiying the God of the Tanakh. A synopsis of the NH writings shows us systematically the steps in this evolution.
Either of the texts is of course of late redaction, and we can't do any more than discover traces of an earlier development.
In Genesis 1:26, a plurality including God decides to make man according to their counterfeit. This plurality is seen as a group of angels assisting God, often identified with planetary angels. Gnosis made of them the archons and exousia, rulers of destiny. Most of their names are biblic substitutes for the tetragrammaton, while Ialdabaoth, often their leader and father, is of unsecure origin. One may e.g. think of Iald (s)abaoth , generator of the powers.
Gen 1:27 says that man is built after God's counterfeit. God is ambiguous, once monotheism is dropped, and can be referred either to the creator or the ineffable deity.
God claims to be unique. This is repeated various times in the Tanakh, e.g. in Isaiah. Gnostics don't accept this boasting and add a refutation by e.g. Sophia. The consequence f this boasting in the Gnostic extension myths is the expulsion and casting out of the archons down the abyss. This is reflected in the Apocalypse of John, where Satan's group is punished violently for its misconduct by archangel Michael.
The NH texts II:4 and 5 report the repentance of archon Sabaoth which is rewarded with exaltation and glorification. This is modelled after Isaiah who sings a glorifying hymn on Sabaoth's behalf: Saint, Saint, Saint ...
Sabaoth's metanoia is similar to that of Sophia in the Apochryphon of John [and Valentinian/Barbelotic mythology a.t. Ireneus] and should be seen as not original, but rather Judaising deformation of the previous myth: The Apochryphon's repentance of Sophia reads smoothly, but that of Sabaoth appears clumsy, mor in II:5 than in II:4.
II:5 does not throw at this stage Ialdabaoth down the Tartaros, but some unspecified archon. It has parallels in th Greek story of punishment of the Titans etc. Rather, Ialdabaoth is eschatologically placed at the left-hand side of Sophia, Sabaoth at the right-hand side. Sabaoth functions as a judge and legislator, while Ialdabaoth is seen as a creator.
Ialdabaoth also receives secondary names, Samael (blind leader, but alluding also to poison) and Saklas (idiot). The Talmud uses Samael for the prince of the demons, somehow influenced by the Gnostic myths.
The repentance of Sophia in AJ, inbetween the boasting of Ialdabaoth and the penalty, reads itself more smoothly, but dublets etc. show that it is as well interpolated from a different source, which also influenced the accounts of the repentance of Sabaoth.
It is also shown that many different traditions, some taken from the Tanakh into a new context, are worked intio the Hypostasis and the Origins.
For example, Sabaoth in the Origins is placed, after repentance, on a Chariot of Glory taken from Esekiel, also the Chrubic figures drawing it. A seraphinic choir is employed from Isaiah. The myriads of angels are from Daniel. With Sabaoth, the archangels, and 64 cherubim, there are 72 powers on and around the chariot, akin to the 72 languages of *septuagintal* Genesis 10. The war in heavens is also from Esekiel and, like the Cherubim, resumed in the canonical Apocalypse.
There's also some volatile concept of trinity, from which the canical seems to have been evolved.
· First triple: Sophia-Ialdabaoth-Sabaoth.
· Left-hand derivative: Ialdabaoth-Word-Spirit.
· Right-hand derivative: Sabaoth-JesusChrist-HolySpirit.
The many dublets and vague references show the lateness and patchwork character of both of the texts dealing with the partial rehabilitation of the Jewish god. Yet the possibility and necessity of such a process is important for the formation of early Christianity.
By subdivision of the Jewish god, the latter already has been much rehabilitated in Gnostic literature. In order to get further and identify the Jewish god with the ineffable Father of Christianity, it is necessary to explain away teophanies of the Old Testament. This can be achieved by identifying Jesus with the aspect of God that appears visible to the Patriarchs and Prophets. This chapter shows that this has been done indeed. More specifically, it's Sabaoth that has been closest associated with Jesus.
Magne uses several pieces patrist literature by Theophile, Justin, Tertullian, Ephraim, Eusebius, and the anonymus Epistula Apostolorum and the De Sacramentis et Mysteriis. For sake of brevity we only deal with the most important witness, which is Justin Martyr.
The First Apology elaborates on the difference between Jewish and Christian faith. While Jews insist that the prophets have seen God himself, Christianity says that no one may perceive him directly, but only by mediation of the Son, (Mt 11:27) or the Logos. For example, Justin identifies Jesus with the god of the burning bush in Exodus. This is also a point of dispute in Justin's Dialogue with Jew Trypho who tries to save monotheism by introducing an additional angel that has been seen in the bush by Moses, the voice nonetheless being God's.
Justin deems God as too sublime to appear in whatever form in a limited part of his own creation. Justin later points to God's announcement in the Torah to bring forth an ultimate virtue appearing in Human shape as warlod [sabaoth?] Jesus, son of Nave with many names and titles of God's glory. Justin insists that the theophanies are appearances of the virgin-born Jesus Christ, and no king, Patriarch, or Prophet saw God in a different way than through Jesus. Justin employs Psalm 110, where "The Lord says to my Lord: sit down at my right-hand side ...", quoted excessively in the New Testament.
Also the New Testament identifies Jesus as the worldly appearance of God in the sense of the theophanies of the Tanakh.
Magne first points to the parallel between I Cor10:2-4 and Numbers 17:2-7 , the theophany in the rock from which a fountain is made spring forth magically. I Cor10:9 is more clear: let's not tempt Christ as some of those did who perished by the serpents ... alluding to Numbers 21:5-9, plainly identifying Jesus with God.
Most examples given by Magne are from John's Gospel. The most important one is John 12:37-41.
The Jews are said to have not recognised Jesus, fulfilling the prophesies of Isaiah who predicted that their capacity of feeling and understanding was taken away. Isaiah is said to have talked about Jesus when seeing his glory. Isaiah 53:1 , cf. Romans 10:16, think that barely anyone believed the preachings of Isaiah.
Paradoxically, Isaiah is aware of being on a mission that is doomed for failure according to his own preaching, Is. 6:9-10. The topic is knowm to the Synoptics, the Acts, and Paul as well, but solved in different ways. The question 'who makes the people irreceptive?' is to be answered differently here and there. In John's passage, it's neither God nor the Prophet nor the people's own fault, but that of an anonymous third one, most likely the Prince of the World. The subject of the healing in 12:40 must be Jesus, who corresponds to the Lord, and more precisely, Lord Sabaoth, in Isaiah's work.
Isaiah's vision of the glory of Sabaoth, here transferred to Jesus, is in Is. 6:1-3, and very hymnic. Lord Sabaoth is thrice pronounced Holy by the choir of the Seraphim.
This identity of Jesus and Lord Sabaoth breaks the later mainline assumption that the Old Testament is solely the revelation of the Father, while only in the New Testament that of the Son appears. Some copyists and translators tried to deny this connection by changing 'while he has seen his glory' into a 'because he has seen his glory', trying to fool us into thinking that it were a different, undocumented vision without the obnoxious implication. Cyril of Alexandria did not get fooled, and thus wrote: And after the death of King Osiah, the time of silence was over and the God of all things endowed the Holy Prophets with visions.
Also prophet Isaiah said: "And it happened in the year of King Osiah's death that I saw Lord Sabaoth sitting on a very high throne. " That the prophet has seen the Son in the glory of the God and Father, this is beyond doubt as John wrote in all letters on this subject: "Isaiah said so because he has seen his glory and talked abou him".
One should expect early hymns on Jesus, based on the Seraphic choir of Isaiah 6:3, given the identification of Jesus and Lord Sabaoth. Alas, the shift of dogmatics towards monotheism made it necessary to change the object of the hymns from Jesus to either the Father or the Three Divine Persons as a unity. Basically, monotheism required one of the two options of patripassionism and cosubstantialism. The greater church opted for the latter, yet either urged for the transfer away from Jesus to the Father or Triunity.
In isolated churches, there's still achance of encountering a closer remainder of earliest liturgy unadultered by conciliar faith from Nicea onward.
The goal of this chapter is to see that several liturgical hymns, now directed to the Father or the Three, have been actually directed to Jesus, praising his holoness in the style of the Seraphic choir. This is tedious grammatical work and manuscript comparison between different tradition, and only incompletely carried out in this book, but was intented for later detailed articles in specialist journals.
The used liturgical poems are the Sanctus of the Mass, the Te Deum, the Gloria in Excelsis Deo, the Heis Hagios, the Cherubikon, the Trisagion, and the Phos Hilaron.
Magne shows that the Sanctus of the Mass supposes the prior availability of hymns derived from the Seraphic choir. The intros of the Sanctus of Eastern liturgies appear derivatives of Isaiah's Seraphic choir, Deuteronomial myriads of angels, and Esechiel's Cherubic choir. In the Western liturgy, the Sanctus is prefaced by the formula per xpm (<<christum), for Christ, which insinuates already that the Sanctus originally served to praise Jesus, not the Father of Triunity. Besides the introductions, the verse Hoseanna-Benedictus and Gallican liturgy's Vere Sanctus is considered by Magne to get to that conclusion. Also the versions of Gregory of Nazanze(Alexandrian
liturgy) and Addeus (Chaldean/Nestorian liturgy) are casually used.
Also the other examples turn out to have been changed for the sake of the Father or Triunity, judging according to inner grammatical problems and the context they are used.
I single out the Phos Hilaron (joyful light), an evening prayer, even though not influenced by Isaiah's choir, but significant for the shift of the object of hymnic adoration, and guiding towards an important observation concerning the Ascensio Isaiae.
Joyful light of holy glory
of the immortal heavenly Father, holy and fortunate,
oh Jesus Christ, having come at sunset,
seeing the evening light.
we chant the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit God.
You're worthy of being chanted in all instances by appropriate voices.
Oh Son of God, you who give life,
that's why the universe glorifies you.
The hymn is addressed to Christ, and the reference to the Trinity appears sophisticated and interpolated.
More importantly, Jesus is deemed to be the light radiating from the Father's glory or halo. Traditionally this light is even too strong for the angels, yet gnostics [other mystics too] claim to be able to stand it once they achieved the state of mystic union. It's not to be confused with the Nicean consiubstantialist formula 'lumen ex lumine', light that has come from light.
Rather, the Father has been inserted forexplaining the holy glory.
Glory shouldbe capitalised, as an ablasphemic substitute proper noun for the prohibited name of God. Examples for this substitution are found in Henoch, the Ascension of Isiah, and the Testament of Levy. Henoch connects it with the Deuteronomical picture of the fire too bright to be watched. ToL describes the seventh heaven.
Asc.Is. chapters 9-11 are most important, concerning already the descension and ascension of Jesus Christ which is important for next chapter. The New Testament epistles of Jude chimes in.
Magne corrects Phos Hilaron thusly:
Radiating light of the holy Glory,
immortal, holy, fortunate Jesus-Christ,
having come down at sunset,
flashed by the evening light,
we chant you.
This [many here deem it pre-paulinic] hymn is one of the most enigmatic passages of the New Testament. We will see that it fits well into the framework of the repentance of Sabaoth form NH II, and the descending and ascending Jesus of the Ascension of Isaiah.
In the Pauline context, it probably serves as an ethical example for the audience community. It is much disputed even after the Second Vaticanum, as it provides some difficulty for the Catholic consubstantiality dogm.
The hymn is composed of a first humillation of Jesus who turns human despite being of divine origin, a second humilation consisting in the obedient acceptance of a slave death, and finally the exaltation as reward for the endured humilations, being considered as Lord in the Glory of God Father.
The original context may be supposed to be inside an eucharist formula, as rthat of the Sanctus introduced by per christum, or the Didache's passage introduced by "through Jesus your servant".
Jesus starts out as divine, but not God. He doesn't deem it a theft to be like God, but anyways he decides to humilate himself into a servant's shape (morphe). This implies that he could have triied to usurp the status of the Father, but didn't. This links Jesus already to Sabaoth in the NHCII texts who repented instead of boasting, as Ialdabaoth did, to be the Unique God etc.
This servant's shape is as a human. Gods are served, sevants serve, so we have extreme opposites. This assumption of human shape is sometimes deemed as docetist and will have been understood this way, but it isn't really, as this would defy the aspect of humilation. Rather, it involves a supernatural incarnation.
Jesus is obedient into death by crucifixion. Paul's troubles in ICor with Apollos, Kephas etc. show that not all Christians have accepted the death of Jesus. The responsible ones for the crucifixion are the archons. So the one Jesus is obedient to may only be the Father. This confirms with the frequent submission of Jesus to God's will throughout the New Testament, which the Gospels recommend to all Christians.
For these humilations, Jesus is finally rewarded by exaltation into a position that, for making sense, must be above his original status as one of the gods: Jesus assumes the glory of the Father in equality. He's given the name most high, which must be the censored name of God.
The reward has a lot in common with the exaltation of Sabaoth by Sophia after repentance in the NHC II texts.
This name assignment is also motivated by comparison with the Ascension of Isaiah, where the prophet is told by the apocalyptic angel that the Saviour's name will not be revealed to anyone mortal, including the prophet himself, but on earth he will be called Jesus. Thus prevents from saying that Jesus is the proper name of the Saviour, but it must be The Name of God that is not allowed to be used. At this stage, the Jewish God was identified with the Father.
Originally, God Father was a term by the Gnostics and Hermetic philosophers for the ineffable one, and only later church dogm turned it into the proper noun of first person of the Triunity. This should be kept in the mind when reading later translation etc. influenced by church dogma.
Jesus not only receives the Name, but even becomes it. This is reflected also in the NHI text Gospel of Truth where the Father generated the Son in the beginning by pronouncing The Name.
A similar line is followed by Ireneus in his comment on Malachi 1:10-12. Here the Father even assumes for himself the name of the Son, who is properly YHWH Sabaoth: The Name is glorified by the glorification of Jesus as triple-saint Lord Sabaoth, who, according the early church fathers, is the same as the theophanies of the Old Testament.
Epiphanius, when refuting the Ophite herseies, claimed that, unlike the Ophitic claims, Jesus was not the serpent, but, quite to the contrary, came in order to combat it.
Now we've seen that originally the Serpent was the Saviour and object of the Eucharist worship. This chapter shows how this change of view concerning the serpent is reflected in the Gnostic legends according to the patristic heresiologies.
Magne uses Ireneus, Hippolytos (against Naasseni, Perats, Sethians, Justinians), bar-Koni (againstManicheans) and Epiphanius (against the Ophites). Again, not all can be treated here duly.
Usually the serpent is nowhere expressis verba identified as Saviour, but careful inspection and comparison often reveals what has been going on.
In Mani's excerpt, Jesus disguises in the tree of life (confused with the tree of knowledge) and incites Adam to eat the illegal fruit, thereupon getting his eyes opened and recognising his misery, woeing the demiurge and the archons.
The terms Ophites and Naasseni already mean serpentists, which upsets the church fathers even if the paradise serpent is not explicitly worshipped.
In the Book of Baruch assigned to some unknown Justin, there
are 3 principles: the Ineffable, the Father-Elohim, and Hyle, a composite of a
woman Eden and a snake named
We see that some role change must have taken place here. Later, Baruch possesses Jesus in adoptionist manner, after all prior heroes failed due to the temptation of the evil angels. Naas , alas, can't tempt Jesus as he could Adam, and crucifies him in revenge. With this sacrifice, the original temptation is cancelled. Jesus renders his mortal remainders to Hyle (mother, here's your son!), sends Baruch back to Elohim, and ascends to the Ineffable. Baruch is also associtaed with the tree of life, Naas in turn with the tree of knowledge.
Naasseni were strictly celibate, violating thus an early commandment by the Jewish God. They identify the serpent with the river through the paradise and the transfirmamental water , in Milesian manner. It is seen as the universal life force. They had a psalm-like hymn where jesus takes pity of the chaos-trapped soul and decides to descend as the Saviour.
The Perats expound on the role of the brass serpent of Moses, identified with Jesus. They use astromythology to underpin this. This great serpent is opposed to the evil serpents of the Egyptian mages, identified with the archons of Gnostic myth. The omnicreative (John1) Logos-Serpent is seen as mediating between the Father and the world.
The world is yet administrated and tuned by some 'murderer from the beginning' (John 8:44). Those who recognise their heavenly roots are subject to salvation, the rests are sons of the above 'murderer'.
Thus the serpent-god and the Old Testament-God were first conflated and then split into two personalities: the Logos and Satan.
Sethians derive from Seth, son of Adam, we've seen that Abel and Kain are deemed children of the first Archon, the Jewish God, by many Gnostic exegets. Hippolytos suggests, alas, that they identified the serpent with the demiurge, i.e. an already progressed judaisation. But still the gnostic concept is not quite gone out of sight.
Epiphanius' Ophites are said to have worshipped the paradise serpent as jesus, and it also contains traces of the identification of Jesus with sabaoth. They used a peculiar ritual in their Eucharist, where tamed snakes are used to bless the bread. This underlines the origin of Christian Eucharist in the adoration of the paradise serpent, via Emmaus, as pointed out in Logique des Sacraments.
Logique des Sacraments showed that Jesus as the Paradise Serpent institutes the Eucharist, which brings supernatural knowledge, while John the Baptist as the hermetic Herald of Conversion of CH IV institutes the Baptise, which brings the capacity to know. The former thus requires the latter. This is underpinned in Mark 1 multiple times by Tanakh quotations like Exodus 23:20. Thus the mythical herald became historicised and Judaised by Tanakh quotations. Furthermore, John is depicted as Eliah returned, according to Malachi. John is deemed slightly older than Jesus in order to precede him, and dies before Jesus so that the time of prophesy is declared over, and fulfilling begins. It also marks the end of the regime of the Law and Prophets.
The historicisation of Jesus, the other main mythical figure of Christianity, is more elaborate and subject of the Gospels.
Reimarus in 18th c. started the separation of the Historical Jesus from the Christ of faith. Schweitzer declared around 1900 that the quest for the Historical Jesus is pointless, and one can't get more than minimal results. Loisy only accepted the crucifixion under PP. Besides being a church affiliate, the only reason Loisy had for still assuming an Historical Jesus was the problem of imagining how the Christianity could even have started without. Drews, Couchoud, and Alfaric, the LMers he knew, could not explain it, nor did since then Fau, Ory, Las Vergnas, Stephane, or Wells [apostated by now].
It doesn't suffice to point out that there are no proofs for the historicity or that the whole life of Jesus is constructed from prophesies, but it must be known why it was necessary to invent a life of Jesus, and how it was possible to start Christianity without an Historical Jesus. Magne gives a key solution for these problems. The whole exegesis of the New Testament depends on it.
etc.) and researched the influence of the community dynamics on them. Bultmann was minimalist like Loisy. After WWII, this minimalism was frustrating, and JM Robinson and other post-Bultmannian New Testament scholars turned to redactional criticism, establishing criteria for the authenticity of statements from and about Jesus [dissimilarity, embarassment etc.] thinking to be able to arrive at a bigger corpus of authentical stuff.
We see that there is an abyss between existence and non-existence, and not only a psychological one.
There are several irreconcilable christology categories fopund in early Christian writings: the gnostic christology of a God appearing in human shape, the judeochristian christology of a man chosen uniquely as the Messiah according to Scripture, and the Catholic composite full man and full god.
The gnostic position originally identifies Jesus with the serpent of paradise, as has been seen from many NH texts and patristic reports. This is reflected in Luke's story of Emmaus. Jesus descends from beyond the world and manifests as instructor, mediating Gnosis and freeing from the Law. The Eucharist is originally thanksgiving for this event.
Even in non-gnostic texts like the Asc. of Isaiah, Phil. 2:6-11, and the Ep.to the Hebrews we find traces of the descending and then gloriously ascending godling. Also John'sd prologue chimes in.
This was based on Antijewish exegesis, and for bringing the new Saviour in line with more orthodox thinking, it was necessary to align Jesus with Scriptural heroes, like Moses, Eliah, and ultimately the Messiah. This lead to the Davidic bloodline emphasised particularly in Matthew's. Jesus also gets a Jewish mother named like Moses' sister, and a bunch of siblings to fulfill Genesis 1:28. Luke's retains some of the Gnostic concept by tracing Jesus back to Adam, Son of God, while Matthew only is isterested in the Jewish patriarchy and King David.
The Catholic doctrine is a compromise between Gnosis and Conservative Judaism. It maintains Jesus as being born of a woman, but this is seen parthenogenetically. Matthean genealogy is paternal, according to Jewish costums, which would conflict with parthenogenesis, showing that it was not originally intended.
For Gnostics, neither a human mother nor father are acceptable, but insist in preexistence, using e.g. Psalm 110, reflected in Mark 12:35-37 par. Also, the connection to the Law and Prophets can't be swallowed, as Jesus is originally seen to obsolete Law and Prophets. The apochryphal Acts of Peter and those of Archalaus underline this: human birth is impure and disgusting, not worth of the Saviour. Luke 14:26 jibes with this anti-family dogmatics, followed by Thomas and Matthew's. Jesus is made explicitly denying having a mother, and motherhood is woed upon.
The next step is the acceptance of Mary as mother, but with the extension of virginitas ante partum to virginitas in partu. Jesus is seen as going through Mary like through a pipeline, without affecting anything. This is underscored e.g. by the Protevangile of James. Jesus becomes the human-shaped condensation of the light of the star.
While originally orthodoxy allowed for Mary having quite naturally children after Jesus, this is denied straightforwardly by later dogm, the virginity being extended post partum. Orthodoxy inherits Gnostic monastic cult. This is underscored by the writings of Jerome who also sees Joseph as a monk.
Gnosis also brought forth different concepts, such as in the Psistis Sophia and the Acts of Thomas (the twin). The Odes of Salomon know a virgin that conceived and gave birth like a man by will, akin to Logion 114 of the Gospel of Thomas where masculinisation of women is required. Like other gnostic concepts, this leads to the cancellation of the splitting into genders described in Genesis, thus the restitution of the primordial unity of man.