Author Topic: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians  (Read 24839 times)

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Offline rakovsky

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #270 on: May 15, 2017, 09:39:57 PM »
Thank you for the notes to stay focused on the thread topic. I understand that this thread can be better continued on the Religious Topics section. What I will do below is summarize my goals, include a list of the works I covered, and end with a link where I will continue the reviews.

My purpose was to list and review the possible 1st century works by and about Christians, especially from an Orthodox angle. To give an example, I read about Archbishop Demetrios of America's book studying Eugnostos' Epistle, called The Transcendent God of Eugnostos. And in my last message I quoted St. Irenaeus' characterization of the gnostics' views on the relationship of Christ to Sophia, and I quoted the mainstream Christian D. Marshall on how the Sophia book's style proves the gospels have reliability as a historical narration of a real person and thus proves Christ was a real figure.

Below are dates and brief notes on works I have reviewed in this thread.

Probable Christian Writings Concerning the Old Testament Period
Early 1st to late 5th c. Lives of the Prophets (Was widespread in mainstream Church)
1st to 2nd c. Testament of Abraham (Was widespread among Christians)
1st to early 3rd c. Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah (Apostolic Constitutions consider it apocryphal; Numerous ancient and medieval translations; some find it Docetic)
1st c. - 300 3 Baruch (Origen might have cited it)
1st c. -300 4 Baruch (part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible)
70-200    Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Has Qumranite themes; St.Athanasius lists it among Apocrypha; 17th c. Armenian Bible includes it as apocryphal)
100-200    Odes of Solomon (quoted by Lactantius, 6th c. Synopsis Sacrae Scripture says it's read to catechumens)
2nd-3rd c. Testament of Jacob (Egyptian Jewish or Coptic; once widespread among Christians)
100-400 Testament of Isaac  (Egyptian Jewish or Coptic; once widespread among Christians)
100-400 Testament of Adam (maybe gnostic or Encratitic. Differs from canonical story, making Cain's jealousy to be over his sister)
100-400 Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers (from J. Charlesworth, "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha"; Part of Books 7-8 of the Apostolic Constitutions)
100-500 Apocalypse of Sedrach
100-900 Greek Apocalypse of Ezra (referred to in Canon of Nicephorus c. 850 AD)

Extra-canonical and Deuterocanonical mainstream Christian literature
50-120    Didache
80-120    Epistle of Barnabas
(Clement Alexandrine & Origen used it, Jerome considered its authorship genuine & Eusebius didn't, Vulgate Bible included it as apocryphal)
80-140    1 Clement
90-218    4 Esdras (Vulgate book numbering) / 2 Esdras (Protestant №) / 3 Esdras (Slavic №)
95-160 2 Clement (Part of Alexandrian Codex; Eusebius doubted its authorial authenticity)
100-150    Apocalypse of Peter (Muratorian canon has it, Accepted by Clement Alexandrine, not counted genuine by Eusebius)
100-160    Shepherd of Hermas (included in Codex Sinaiticus; Muratorian fragment says it "ought indeed to be read; but it cannot be read publicly"; Clement Alexandrine uses it but notes: "many people despise it")

Fragmentary, or Acceptance Varied, or Category of Heresy Uncertain
50-140    Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel (maybe part of the Gospel of Peter)
50-140    Gospel of Thomas (Hippolytus and Cyril of Jerusalem rejected it as gnostic; scholars debate if and how much it was)
1st-4th c.    Epistle to the Laodiceans (Maybe multiple versions eg. Paul's vs. Marcion's; Vulgate version: Apocryphal in Vulgate Bibles, St. Gregory the Great accepted it, Jerome said "All reject it")
70-120    Egerton Gospel (could be fragments from a rejected gospel that we only have in fragments like g.Peter)
70-200    Fayyum Fragment (too short to tell what writing it belongs to)
c. 79 Sator Arepa Tenet Opera Rotas puzzle (used in medieval Christianity; Scholars consider possible Mithraic, Christian, Saturnalian, or Jewish origins)
80-150    Gospel of the Hebrews (Fragmentary; Used by Origen, Jerome, Didymus Blind, Papias, Hegesippus; rejected by Pseudo-Cyril Jerusalemite & Philip Sidetes as heretical)
100-150    Preaching of Peter (Fragmentary. Accepted by Clement Alexandrine, not counted as genuine by Eusebius)
100-160    Gospel of Matthias/Traditions of Matthias (Clement Alexandrine respects it & Codex Baroccianus lists it as canonical; Eusebius & Gelasian Decree consider it heretical)
100-400    Gospel of Bartholomew / The Questions of Bartholomew (Maybe these Bartholomew works are the same. Rejected by Gelasian Decree. Unsure which category heresy it has, if any)

Messianic Jewish/Judaizers
100-160    Gospel of the Nazarenes/Nazoreans (Jerome used this book by a Torah-observant, theologically orthodox Christian sect; Note: 7th c. Trullo council banned Christians from praying in synagogues)
100-160    Gospel of the Ebionites / ?-250 Gospel of the Twelve (Origen calls the Gospel of the Twelve heretical, Jerome calls it the same as the Ebionites' gospel)

Celibate / Possibly Encratitic
80-150    Gospel of the Egyptians (Clement Alexandrine quoted it as having real Jesus sayings, Origen called it heretical)

Docetic (eg. Jesus only appeared to suffer)
70-160    Gospel of Peter (Including P.Oxy 4009 and P.Oxy. 2949. Rejected by Serapion Antiochene, Eusebius, & Philip Sidetes)

Note:
I also reviewed several gnostic works in this thread: Apocalypse of Adam, Gospel of Eve, Eugnostos the Blessed, Apocryphon of James, and a bit about Sophia of Jesus Christ.

My intent is to go through a few more gnostic texts that I listed in the thread's opening message in the way that I have for the thread's other works, and then to go through the non-gnostic non-Christian texts like Josephus, Pliny the Elder, Mar Bar Serapion, and Seneca, and others like them.

1st century Gnostic Christian, Judaic, and Pagan writings about Christianity
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,71438.new.html
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 09:41:33 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #271 on: May 15, 2017, 09:56:58 PM »
Thank you for the notes to stay focused on the thread topic. I understand that this thread can be better continued on the Religious Topics section. What I will do below is summarize my goals, include a list of the works I covered, and end with a link where I will continue the reviews.

My purpose was to list and review the possible 1st century works by and about Christians, especially from an Orthodox angle. To give an example, I read about Archbishop Demetrios of America's book studying Eugnostos' Epistle, called The Transcendent God of Eugnostos. And in my last message I quoted St. Irenaeus' characterization of the gnostics' views on the relationship of Christ to Sophia, and I quoted the mainstream Christian D. Marshall on how the Sophia book's style proves the gospels have reliability as a historical narration of a real person and thus proves Christ was a real figure.

Below are dates and brief notes on works I have reviewed in this thread.

Probable Christian Writings Concerning the Old Testament Period
Early 1st to late 5th c. Lives of the Prophets (Was widespread in mainstream Church)
1st to 2nd c. Testament of Abraham (Was widespread among Christians)
1st to early 3rd c. Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah (Apostolic Constitutions consider it apocryphal; Numerous ancient and medieval translations; some find it Docetic)
1st c. - 300 3 Baruch (Origen might have cited it)
1st c. -300 4 Baruch (part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible)
70-200    Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Has Qumranite themes; St.Athanasius lists it among Apocrypha; 17th c. Armenian Bible includes it as apocryphal)
100-200    Odes of Solomon (quoted by Lactantius, 6th c. Synopsis Sacrae Scripture says it's read to catechumens)
2nd-3rd c. Testament of Jacob (Egyptian Jewish or Coptic; once widespread among Christians)
100-400 Testament of Isaac  (Egyptian Jewish or Coptic; once widespread among Christians)
100-400 Testament of Adam (maybe gnostic or Encratitic. Differs from canonical story, making Cain's jealousy to be over his sister)
100-400 Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers (from J. Charlesworth, "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha"; Part of Books 7-8 of the Apostolic Constitutions)
100-500 Apocalypse of Sedrach
100-900 Greek Apocalypse of Ezra (referred to in Canon of Nicephorus c. 850 AD)

Extra-canonical and Deuterocanonical mainstream Christian literature
50-120    Didache
80-120    Epistle of Barnabas
(Clement Alexandrine & Origen used it, Jerome considered its authorship genuine & Eusebius didn't, Vulgate Bible included it as apocryphal)
80-140    1 Clement
90-218    4 Esdras (Vulgate book numbering) / 2 Esdras (Protestant №) / 3 Esdras (Slavic №)
95-160 2 Clement (Part of Alexandrian Codex; Eusebius doubted its authorial authenticity)
100-150    Apocalypse of Peter (Muratorian canon has it, Accepted by Clement Alexandrine, not counted genuine by Eusebius)
100-160    Shepherd of Hermas (included in Codex Sinaiticus; Muratorian fragment says it "ought indeed to be read; but it cannot be read publicly"; Clement Alexandrine uses it but notes: "many people despise it")

Fragmentary, or Acceptance Varied, or Category of Heresy Uncertain
50-140    Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel (maybe part of the Gospel of Peter)
50-140    Gospel of Thomas (Hippolytus and Cyril of Jerusalem rejected it as gnostic; scholars debate if and how much it was)
1st-4th c.    Epistle to the Laodiceans (Maybe multiple versions eg. Paul's vs. Marcion's; Vulgate version: Apocryphal in Vulgate Bibles, St. Gregory the Great accepted it, Jerome said "All reject it")
70-120    Egerton Gospel (could be fragments from a rejected gospel that we only have in fragments like g.Peter)
70-200    Fayyum Fragment (too short to tell what writing it belongs to)
c. 79 Sator Arepa Tenet Opera Rotas puzzle (used in medieval Christianity; Scholars consider possible Mithraic, Christian, Saturnalian, or Jewish origins)
80-150    Gospel of the Hebrews (Fragmentary; Used by Origen, Jerome, Didymus Blind, Papias, Hegesippus; rejected by Pseudo-Cyril Jerusalemite & Philip Sidetes as heretical)
100-150    Preaching of Peter (Fragmentary. Accepted by Clement Alexandrine, not counted as genuine by Eusebius)
100-160    Gospel of Matthias/Traditions of Matthias (Clement Alexandrine respects it & Codex Baroccianus lists it as canonical; Eusebius & Gelasian Decree consider it heretical)
100-400    Gospel of Bartholomew / The Questions of Bartholomew (Maybe these Bartholomew works are the same. Rejected by Gelasian Decree. Unsure which category heresy it has, if any)

Messianic Jewish/Judaizers
100-160    Gospel of the Nazarenes/Nazoreans (Jerome used this book by a Torah-observant, theologically orthodox Christian sect; Note: 7th c. Trullo council banned Christians from praying in synagogues)
100-160    Gospel of the Ebionites / ?-250 Gospel of the Twelve (Origen calls the Gospel of the Twelve heretical, Jerome calls it the same as the Ebionites' gospel)

Celibate / Possibly Encratitic
80-150    Gospel of the Egyptians (Clement Alexandrine quoted it as having real Jesus sayings, Origen called it heretical)

Docetic (eg. Jesus only appeared to suffer)
70-160    Gospel of Peter (Including P.Oxy 4009 and P.Oxy. 2949. Rejected by Serapion Antiochene, Eusebius, & Philip Sidetes)

Note:
I also reviewed several gnostic works in this thread: Apocalypse of Adam, Gospel of Eve, Eugnostos the Blessed, Apocryphon of James, and a bit about Sophia of Jesus Christ.

My intent is to go through a few more gnostic texts that I listed in the thread's opening message in the way that I have for the thread's other works, and then to go through the non-gnostic non-Christian texts like Josephus, Pliny the Elder, Mar Bar Serapion, and Seneca, and others like them.

1st century Gnostic Christian, Judaic, and Pagan writings about Christianity
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,71438.new.html

Even if we could ignore your endless pages of heterodox commentary, as you seem to be proposing we should, still, look at your list and try to understand that very few people would consider it a collection of "First-century Christian Writings."
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline rakovsky

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #272 on: May 15, 2017, 10:02:54 PM »
very few people would consider it a collection of "First-century Christian Writings."
Hello, Porter.
I understand that many of the 1st century writings are not mainstream or orthodox Christian ones. Perhaps you will find it helpful that the title is: "List of 1st century writings by or about Christians".

Regards.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 10:03:31 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #273 on: May 16, 2017, 12:19:53 AM »
very few people would consider it a collection of "First-century Christian Writings."
Hello, Porter.
I understand that many of the 1st century writings are not mainstream or orthodox Christian ones. Perhaps you will find it helpful that the title is: "List of 1st century writings by or about Christians".

Regards.

Them they're not Christian ones. It's not complicated. Calling them Christian must be purely polemical.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline rakovsky

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #274 on: May 16, 2017, 12:32:48 AM »
I understand that many of the 1st century writings are not mainstream or orthodox Christian ones.
Them they're not Christian ones. Calling them Christian must be purely polemical.
Hello, Porter.
Let me address your concerns.
First, you earlier wrote to me:
Do you not know that Gnosticism was a Christian sect?
I took it that you were saying that those Gnostic writings do count as a Christian writings, as you counted those Gnostic sects as Christian.

Second, the title says "List of 1st century writings by or about Christians".

Third, in accordance with the moderatorial directives, I moved the discussion on Gnostic Christian writings to the Religious Topics section, where there are already some threads on things like gnosticism and paganism.(http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,71438.new.html) I am fine with the moderator moving the remaining information that you are still objecting to into that thread.

Regards.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 12:40:05 AM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #275 on: May 16, 2017, 02:41:41 AM »
Of course I didn't mean that. That's just a provocation.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline mcarmichael

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #276 on: May 22, 2017, 06:36:12 PM »
Thank you for the notes to stay focused on the thread topic. I understand that this thread can be better continued on the Religious Topics section. What I will do below is summarize my goals, include a list of the works I covered, and end with a link where I will continue the reviews.

My purpose was to list and review the possible 1st century works by and about Christians, especially from an Orthodox angle. To give an example, I read about Archbishop Demetrios of America's book studying Eugnostos' Epistle, called The Transcendent God of Eugnostos. And in my last message I quoted St. Irenaeus' characterization of the gnostics' views on the relationship of Christ to Sophia, and I quoted the mainstream Christian D. Marshall on how the Sophia book's style proves the gospels have reliability as a historical narration of a real person and thus proves Christ was a real figure.

Below are dates and brief notes on works I have reviewed in this thread.

Probable Christian Writings Concerning the Old Testament Period
Early 1st to late 5th c. Lives of the Prophets (Was widespread in mainstream Church)
1st to 2nd c. Testament of Abraham (Was widespread among Christians)
1st to early 3rd c. Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah (Apostolic Constitutions consider it apocryphal; Numerous ancient and medieval translations; some find it Docetic)
1st c. - 300 3 Baruch (Origen might have cited it)
1st c. -300 4 Baruch (part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible)
70-200    Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Has Qumranite themes; St.Athanasius lists it among Apocrypha; 17th c. Armenian Bible includes it as apocryphal)
100-200    Odes of Solomon (quoted by Lactantius, 6th c. Synopsis Sacrae Scripture says it's read to catechumens)
2nd-3rd c. Testament of Jacob (Egyptian Jewish or Coptic; once widespread among Christians)
100-400 Testament of Isaac  (Egyptian Jewish or Coptic; once widespread among Christians)
100-400 Testament of Adam (maybe gnostic or Encratitic. Differs from canonical story, making Cain's jealousy to be over his sister)
100-400 Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers (from J. Charlesworth, "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha"; Part of Books 7-8 of the Apostolic Constitutions)
100-500 Apocalypse of Sedrach
100-900 Greek Apocalypse of Ezra (referred to in Canon of Nicephorus c. 850 AD)

Extra-canonical and Deuterocanonical mainstream Christian literature
50-120    Didache
80-120    Epistle of Barnabas
(Clement Alexandrine & Origen used it, Jerome considered its authorship genuine & Eusebius didn't, Vulgate Bible included it as apocryphal)
80-140    1 Clement
90-218    4 Esdras (Vulgate book numbering) / 2 Esdras (Protestant №) / 3 Esdras (Slavic №)
95-160 2 Clement (Part of Alexandrian Codex; Eusebius doubted its authorial authenticity)
100-150    Apocalypse of Peter (Muratorian canon has it, Accepted by Clement Alexandrine, not counted genuine by Eusebius)
100-160    Shepherd of Hermas (included in Codex Sinaiticus; Muratorian fragment says it "ought indeed to be read; but it cannot be read publicly"; Clement Alexandrine uses it but notes: "many people despise it")

Fragmentary, or Acceptance Varied, or Category of Heresy Uncertain
50-140    Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel (maybe part of the Gospel of Peter)
50-140    Gospel of Thomas (Hippolytus and Cyril of Jerusalem rejected it as gnostic; scholars debate if and how much it was)
1st-4th c.    Epistle to the Laodiceans (Maybe multiple versions eg. Paul's vs. Marcion's; Vulgate version: Apocryphal in Vulgate Bibles, St. Gregory the Great accepted it, Jerome said "All reject it")
70-120    Egerton Gospel (could be fragments from a rejected gospel that we only have in fragments like g.Peter)
70-200    Fayyum Fragment (too short to tell what writing it belongs to)
c. 79 Sator Arepa Tenet Opera Rotas puzzle (used in medieval Christianity; Scholars consider possible Mithraic, Christian, Saturnalian, or Jewish origins)
80-150    Gospel of the Hebrews (Fragmentary; Used by Origen, Jerome, Didymus Blind, Papias, Hegesippus; rejected by Pseudo-Cyril Jerusalemite & Philip Sidetes as heretical)
100-150    Preaching of Peter (Fragmentary. Accepted by Clement Alexandrine, not counted as genuine by Eusebius)
100-160    Gospel of Matthias/Traditions of Matthias (Clement Alexandrine respects it & Codex Baroccianus lists it as canonical; Eusebius & Gelasian Decree consider it heretical)
100-400    Gospel of Bartholomew / The Questions of Bartholomew (Maybe these Bartholomew works are the same. Rejected by Gelasian Decree. Unsure which category heresy it has, if any)

Messianic Jewish/Judaizers
100-160    Gospel of the Nazarenes/Nazoreans (Jerome used this book by a Torah-observant, theologically orthodox Christian sect; Note: 7th c. Trullo council banned Christians from praying in synagogues)
100-160    Gospel of the Ebionites / ?-250 Gospel of the Twelve (Origen calls the Gospel of the Twelve heretical, Jerome calls it the same as the Ebionites' gospel)

Celibate / Possibly Encratitic
80-150    Gospel of the Egyptians (Clement Alexandrine quoted it as having real Jesus sayings, Origen called it heretical)

Docetic (eg. Jesus only appeared to suffer)
70-160    Gospel of Peter (Including P.Oxy 4009 and P.Oxy. 2949. Rejected by Serapion Antiochene, Eusebius, & Philip Sidetes)

Note:
I also reviewed several gnostic works in this thread: Apocalypse of Adam, Gospel of Eve, Eugnostos the Blessed, Apocryphon of James, and a bit about Sophia of Jesus Christ.

My intent is to go through a few more gnostic texts that I listed in the thread's opening message in the way that I have for the thread's other works, and then to go through the non-gnostic non-Christian texts like Josephus, Pliny the Elder, Mar Bar Serapion, and Seneca, and others like them.

1st century Gnostic Christian, Judaic, and Pagan writings about Christianity
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,71438.new.html

I appreciate the summary. I only wish it could have come earlier, and with proper html markup.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 06:38:37 PM by mcarmichael »
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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #277 on: May 23, 2017, 03:50:51 PM »
Thread locked.
This post gave me autism.

Since when has a Hierarch done anything for you? . . .

Apparently you can get the Juice or Power from a certain Icon.

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #278 on: May 25, 2017, 02:20:41 PM »
Thread unlocked for move to Religious Topics.
This post gave me autism.

Since when has a Hierarch done anything for you? . . .

Apparently you can get the Juice or Power from a certain Icon.

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #279 on: May 27, 2017, 01:23:02 AM »
So.... What's next for team Zissou?
Anonymous.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #280 on: February 23, 2019, 07:28:06 PM »
CARM says that Ode 21 gives an interpretation of the coat of skins in Gen. 3. Genesis says what happened after God found that Adam ate Eve's apple:
Quote
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Here is what the ode says:
Quote
2 And I put off darkness and clothed myself with light, 3 And my soul acquired a body free from sorrow or affliction or pains
Perhaps they mean the bit that results because of the passage in Genesis? The "coats" or "garments" of skin in Genesis are, in the eyes of many Fathers, symbolic of the taking on by humanity of hardships, sicknesses, bodily deterioration and grosser processes, etc. after the fall. Our reception of new garments and transformation of our earthly bodies in the afterlife is a reversal of the process humans underwent at the time of the fall, the glorification God had planned for people.
Asteriktos:
I think that CARM was probably referring to this comment by J.R. Harris, since Harris' book is one of the main translations of the Odes. James R. Harris writes in his book on the Odes (p.119): "the writer is assuming a mystical explanation of the 'coats of skin' in the third chapter of Genesis, which are held to represent the ordinary human body which has replaced a body originally clad in light." He notes that Philo and others took this to mean that this passage in Genesis refers to God creating human, material skinly flesh for Adam and Eve, who lacked it before the Fall. For this concept, Harris also looks to Psalm 104:2's description of God, "Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain". He wrote that there are Eastern European and rabbinical traditions about Adam and Eve being covered in light, like God, before the Fall.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 07:28:28 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #281 on: February 25, 2019, 04:11:45 PM »
Dear Rapha,
You wrote about the Odes of Solomon:
I can't find the original Syriac anywhere.
The original Syriac for the Odes of Solomon is here: https://syriaccorpus.org/browse.html?fq=;fq-Catalog:http://syriaca.org/work/8620;fq-Catalog:http://syriaca.org/work/8620&view=title&start=1&perpage=40

Let me please ask for your thoughts on two questions about the words' meaning:
(Question 1) Who is the "she" at the end of Ode 9? Does the author only metaphorically anthropomorphize Truth, Victory, or God's Book, or does he consider it a sentient being (like The Word and Wisdom are)?
Ode 9 is here in Syriac: https://syriaccorpus.org/152#

James Charlesworth translates Ode 9 as saying:
Quote
An everlasting crown is Truth; blessed are they who set it on their head.
It is a precious stone, for the wars were on account of the crown.
But Righteousness has taken it, and has given it to you.
Put on the crown in the true covenant of the Lord, and all those who have conquered will be inscribed in His book.
For their book is the reward of victory which is for you, and she sees you before her and wills that you shall be saved.
I think that this means that God's book sees you before herself.

The 1926 "Forgotten Books of Eden" translation puts "Victory" in parenthesis after "She":
Quote
8. An everlasting crown forever is Truth. Blessed are they who set it on their heads: 9. A stone of great price is it; and there have been wars on account of the crown. 10. And righteousness hath taken it and hath given it to you. 11. Put on the crown in the true covenant of the Lord. 12. And all those who have conquered shall be written in His book. 13. For their book is victory which is yours. And she (Victory) sees you before her and wills that you shall be saved.
It appears that the parentheses are the editor's insertion to show his understanding of "She". Without the parentheses, it looks like "She" refers to "their book" here too, since the book is victory. On p. 103 in his book on the Odes, James Rendel Harris explains that "Victory is personified" in this verse. (https://books.google.com/books?id=TRxVAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA103&dq=%22odes+of+solomon%22+%22ode+9%22+victory+book+%22she%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiFg4edo9HgAhVhUt8KHb2zByAQuwUIMjAB#v=onepage&q=%22odes%20of%20solomon%22%20%22ode%209%22%20victory%20book%20%22she%22&f=false)

I note that the translator wrote "she" instead of "it". In some languages like Spanish or Russian, the pronoun is literally feminine (she) and can refer to an inanimate object (victory or book), but is normally best translated into English as "it" when the pronoun (She or It) refers to an inanimate noun. There are exceptions like when the inanimate noun is anthropomorphized, like here when the book or victory sees you.

The passage overlaps with Revelation 3:4-5 about those who overcome/are victorious ans who walk with Jesus and have their names in his book: "4. Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."

(Question 2) What do the "worlds/aeons/generations" in Ode 12 mean in Syriac? Does the composer describe them in a gnostic way?
Ode 12 (Forgotten Books of Eden translation) says: "8. And by it the worlds talk one to the other; and in the Word there were those that were silent;" In his book, Harris has a note that it might say "aeons" instead of "worlds". Charlesworth's translation says "generations":
Quote
1.    He has filled me with words of truth, that I may proclaim Him.
2.    And like the flowing of waters, truth flows from my mouth, and my lips declare His fruits.
3.    And He has caused His knowledge to abound in me, because the mouth of the Lord is the true Word, and the entrance of His light.
4.    And the Most High has given Him to His generations, which are the interpreters of His beauty,
    And the narrators of His glory,
    And the confessors of His purpose,
    And the preachers of His mind,
    And the teachers of His works.
5.    For the subtlety of the Word is inexpressible, and like His utterance so also is His swiftness and His acuteness, for limitless is His progression.
6.    He never falls but remains standing, and one cannot comprehend His descent or His way.
7.    For as His work is, so is His expectation, for He is the light and dawning of thought.
8.    And by Him the generations spoke to one another, and those that were silent acquired speech.
9.    And from Him came love and equality, and they spoke one to another that which was theirs.
10.    And they were stimulated by the Word, and knew Him who made them, because they were in harmony.
11.    For the mouth of the Most High spoke to them, and His exposition prospered through Him.
12.    For the dwelling place of the Word is man, and His truth is love.
13.    Blessed are they who by means of Him have perceived everything, and have known the Lord in His truth.
      Hallelujah.

Here is the Syriac: https://syriaccorpus.org/155#

The idea of worlds, generations, or aeons speaking to each other doesn't remind me of what I know of orthodox Christian thinking. In the New Testament, "aeons" just refers to periods of time, like "ages", or "eternity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeon)
Strong's Dictionary defines "aeon" as meaning "an age, a cycle (of time), especially of the present age as contrasted with the future age, and of one of a series of ages stretching to infinity." Note Luke 20:35 about the resurrected righteous: "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world (Greek: "aeon"; NIV: "considered worthy of taking part in the age to come"), and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:".
In gnosticism, an aeon is an emanation from God and contain a being that conceives of a second aeon, leading to a chain of aeons being created in this fashion. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeon_(Gnosticism))
In Ode 12, it sounds like the Lord gave Christ/the Word to the "generations", which interpret His beauty, narrate His glory, etc. A "generation" is something generated. When it says, "from Him came love and equality, and they spoke one to another that which was theirs", it sounds like God "generated" "love" and "equality", and that these two "generations" speak to each other. It isn't clear whether the "generations" in the Ode are actual beings or only metaphorical ones. But it sounds like they are actual beings or have a real substance of their own, because it says that he gave speech to the ones that were silent (love and harmony normally being understood as silent due to not being considered actual entities) and that "they" (apparently love and harmony) "knew" Him who made them.

Commenting on Ode 7:11,("For He it is who is incorrupt, the perfection of the worlds/aeons and their Father."), The theologian Edwin Abbot writes that the Odes' author, "to some extend personifies the 'aeons,' which indeed he elsewhere (Ode 12 4,8) represents as, some of them, 'speaking' while others are 'silent.' In this personification, he never verges on Gnostic follies, but he uses language that he would hardly have used had Gnosticism appeared distinctly above the horizon. ... As to the nature of the utterer, we may infer a highly original and concrete mind, a poet for whom abstractions were absorbed in personalities... As regards aeons 'speaking' or 'silent,' compare Lactantius on 'silent spirits' whom he differentiates thus from the Word (Inst. iv.8) 'They proceeded from God as silent spirits because they were not created to deliver the teaching of God, but for His service. But though He (ie the Word or Son) is Himself also a spirit, yet He proceeded from the mouth of God with voice and sound...' ...Lactantius... repeatedly quotes Hermes [Trismegistus the hermetic writer] in the preceding context as teaching about the unutterable NAME of the Son... A little later he says 'Trismegistus searched into almost all truth.' But if Lactantius borrowed from Hermes this doctrine, which certainly has a verbal resemblance to the language of the Odes, it raises the question whether our poet too many not have been influenced by what were called in Plutarch's time, 'the books of Hermes.'" (E.Abbot, "Light on the Gospel from an Ancient Poet", 1912, pp.198-199)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 04:13:05 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #282 on: February 25, 2019, 06:23:15 PM »
I can't really read Syriac, in the question you posed before it would be easy knowing the alphabet and having a dictionary and Hebrew knowledge at hand. The first one is off my possibilities. But in the second case the word you're looking for is ܥܠܡܐ. It's cognate to Hebrew עולם (same letters if you ignore the mater lectionis in each word). Both are exactly as ambiguous as Greek αἰών, meaning generation, eternity and world.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #283 on: February 25, 2019, 07:08:39 PM »
Thanks, Rapha.
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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #284 on: May 09, 2019, 03:05:18 PM »
The Synodal OT is based on the Masoretic Text, which is a different recension from the ones that generated most of the Septuagint. The Vulgate harmonises different versions, but it's mostly Masoretic. If you look at the Church Slavonic, though, it says "И взят бысть Илиа вихром яко на небо", which is the same as the Septuagint.

The Orthodox Church always held the Septuagint in greater esteem than the Masoretic Text, we can look at both once in a while. Fr. John Whiteford has a very nice text about this issue: http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/81224.htm
Let me clarify the translation issue here, Rapha.

The Russian Synodal version says:
Quote
2 В то время, как Господь восхотел вознести Илию в вихре на небо
...
11 Когда они шли и дорогою разговаривали, вдруг явилась колесница огненная и кони огненные, и разлучили их обоих, и понесся Илия в вихре на небо.
The Synodal for the Masoretic says "on the heaven" (ie. sky), whereas the Church Slavonic for the LXX says "like on the heaven"(ie. sky). Neither translation appears to specify that Elijah went all the way up into the heaven where God abides. You could argue that to get to God's heaven Elijah had to go through the sky, and so the Masoretic allows for that possibility, whereas in the LXX, Elijah is only carried by a wind as if he were in the sky, without any declaration that he went there.
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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #285 on: June 14, 2019, 03:50:40 PM »
I went through four non-gnostic Christian Greek language texts (The Didache, Barnabas' Epistle, the Apocalypse of Shedrach, and the Apocalypse of Ezra) and found the best answers that I could to the questions in bold that I asked earlier in the thread. Let me share them with you.

The Didache
<<Does the Didache's version of the Lord's Prayer differ from the Biblical version?>>
The Didache apparently says "Who art in heaven" and "Forgive us our debt" instead of Matthew's version, "Who art in the heavens" and "Forgive us our debts". The Loeb Classics version has the Greek on one side and the English on the other: https://archive.org/details/theapostolicfath00unknuoft/page/320 Some online typed versions that cite Loeb's incorrectly made a typo and dropped "Forgive us our Debt".

<<What do you make of the fact that the Didache does not explicitly mention the Incarnation or the Real Presence in the elements of the Eucharist?>>
I doubt that the silence implies that the mid-first century church lacked these teachings. A better explanation is that the Didache's writings on the topic were not meant as a Catechism, but were meant primarily to teach observances. Phoebe K wrote to me: "the Didiache is not a liturgical or even theological text, rather it is a Church order text, concerned with the proper way of doing things both in Christian life and worship. The text sets out the principles of the common worship life and how to support both present and itinerant ministers."    

Further, the Didache does appear to talk about the Real Presence in the Eucharist and about Christ's Divinity. It says: "2) First, concerning the cup: We thank You, our Father, For the Holy Vine of David Your servant". Calling Jesus the "Vine of David" and saying that this "concerns" the communion "cup" implies to me that Jesus is the vine juice in the cup. Plus, the Anglicans and Reformed Protestants criticized the Catholic Church for referring to the Eucharist as a "sacrifice", but here in the Didache the Eucharist is called a sacrifice.
Kosta wrote to me on the Monachos forum:
Quote
"As far as the communion prayers, later on in the Didache it paraphrases Paul about first reconciling with our brethren before partaking of the "sacrifice". The didache in chapter 14 refers to Communion as the "sacrifice" that takes place on each Sunday (Didache 14:1-2). By 150AD the Church was calling the Eucharist the bloodless sacrifice confirming the real presence... Paraphrasing Matt 21:9 the didache says "Hoseanna God of David". So it acknowledges that the phrase in Matthew "Hoseanna Son of David" is very God."

<<In the last part of the Didache, quoted below, it talks about the Second Coming, but the sequence is confusing. How can one make sense of it?>>

Quote
then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead -- yet not of all, but as it is said: "The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him." Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.
The passage appears to refer to Thessalonians 4:14-17, when Paul says that God will bring those who sleep in Jesus, the Lord will descend from the heavens and the dead will rise and then those still alive will go up to the clouds with them. The Didache on the other hand specifies that not all the dead will rise (Thessalonians' passage does not refer to the fate of non-Christians), but rather the Lord will come with the dead saints, apparently citing the passage in Thessalonians.

<<What about the saints' bodies? Were the saints returning to earth from heaven in a bodiless form, and coming back to earth where their bodies were still laying, waiting for them? In other words, if their dead bodies were waiting for them on earth, in what sense were the saints "returning" and why aren't they "resurrected"? Second, isn't it Christ who resurrects the dead, and if so, wouldn't that require the opposite order of events, namely that Christ returned and then he resurrected the dead?>>
According to the Didache's scenario, the saints' bodies are in the ground and then they re-enliven when Jesus and the saints' souls return. The saints returned lacking their physical bodies. They returned in the sense of their souls returning, and they resurrected in the sense of being alive in their living bodies again. The passage doesn't actually deny that the saints resurrected, but rather it apparently interprets Thessalonians' passage about the saints' return to imply that their return won't involve the re-enlivening of those who don't accept Jesus. The passage glosses over Thessalonians a bit, but Yes, the author takes the view that Christ returns with the dead saints and resurrects the dead saints by resurrecting their bodies.

I welcome your own observations and will give the answers about the other three books soon.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 03:53:45 PM by rakovsky »
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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #286 on: June 14, 2019, 04:16:35 PM »
I went through four non-gnostic Christian Greek language texts (The Didache, Barnabas' Epistle, the Apocalypse of Shedrach, and the Apocalypse of Ezra) and found the best answers that I could to the questions in bold that I asked earlier in the thread. Let me share them with you.

The Didache
<<Does the Didache's version of the Lord's Prayer differ from the Biblical version?>>
The Didache apparently says "Who art in heaven" and "Forgive us our debt" instead of Matthew's version, "Who art in the heavens" and "Forgive us our debts". The Loeb Classics version has the Greek on one side and the English on the other: https://archive.org/details/theapostolicfath00unknuoft/page/320 Some online typed versions that cite Loeb's incorrectly made a typo and dropped "Forgive us our Debt".

<<What do you make of the fact that the Didache does not explicitly mention the Incarnation or the Real Presence in the elements of the Eucharist?>>
I doubt that the silence implies that the mid-first century church lacked these teachings. A better explanation is that the Didache's writings on the topic were not meant as a Catechism, but were meant primarily to teach observances. Phoebe K wrote to me: "the Didiache is not a liturgical or even theological text, rather it is a Church order text, concerned with the proper way of doing things both in Christian life and worship. The text sets out the principles of the common worship life and how to support both present and itinerant ministers."    

Further, the Didache does appear to talk about the Real Presence in the Eucharist and about Christ's Divinity. It says: "2) First, concerning the cup: We thank You, our Father, For the Holy Vine of David Your servant". Calling Jesus the "Vine of David" and saying that this "concerns" the communion "cup" implies to me that Jesus is the vine juice in the cup. Plus, the Anglicans and Reformed Protestants criticized the Catholic Church for referring to the Eucharist as a "sacrifice", but here in the Didache the Eucharist is called a sacrifice.
Kosta wrote to me on the Monachos forum:
Quote
"As far as the communion prayers, later on in the Didache it paraphrases Paul about first reconciling with our brethren before partaking of the "sacrifice". The didache in chapter 14 refers to Communion as the "sacrifice" that takes place on each Sunday (Didache 14:1-2). By 150AD the Church was calling the Eucharist the bloodless sacrifice confirming the real presence... Paraphrasing Matt 21:9 the didache says "Hoseanna God of David". So it acknowledges that the phrase in Matthew "Hoseanna Son of David" is very God."

<<In the last part of the Didache, quoted below, it talks about the Second Coming, but the sequence is confusing. How can one make sense of it?>>

Quote
then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead -- yet not of all, but as it is said: "The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him." Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.
The passage appears to refer to Thessalonians 4:14-17, when Paul says that God will bring those who sleep in Jesus, the Lord will descend from the heavens and the dead will rise and then those still alive will go up to the clouds with them. The Didache on the other hand specifies that not all the dead will rise (Thessalonians' passage does not refer to the fate of non-Christians), but rather the Lord will come with the dead saints, apparently citing the passage in Thessalonians.

<<What about the saints' bodies? Were the saints returning to earth from heaven in a bodiless form, and coming back to earth where their bodies were still laying, waiting for them? In other words, if their dead bodies were waiting for them on earth, in what sense were the saints "returning" and why aren't they "resurrected"? Second, isn't it Christ who resurrects the dead, and if so, wouldn't that require the opposite order of events, namely that Christ returned and then he resurrected the dead?>>
According to the Didache's scenario, the saints' bodies are in the ground and then they re-enliven when Jesus and the saints' souls return. The saints returned lacking their physical bodies. They returned in the sense of their souls returning, and they resurrected in the sense of being alive in their living bodies again. The passage doesn't actually deny that the saints resurrected, but rather it apparently interprets Thessalonians' passage about the saints' return to imply that their return won't involve the re-enlivening of those who don't accept Jesus. The passage glosses over Thessalonians a bit, but Yes, the author takes the view that Christ returns with the dead saints and resurrects the dead saints by resurrecting their bodies.

I welcome your own observations and will give the answers about the other three books soon.

I don’t make too much of the variation between the Didache and the Gospel texts.

By the way, you left out something important: the Didascalia.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #287 on: June 14, 2019, 05:31:39 PM »
By the way, you left out something important: the Didascalia.
Alpha, I read that the Didascalia is commonly dated to the 3rd century. But I'm sure that it's valuable and thank you for your input.
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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #288 on: June 14, 2019, 10:17:24 PM »
EPISTLE OF BARNABAS
<<Do you think that the Epistle of Barnabas was actually written by Paul's student Barnabas from Cyprus?>>
It could have been. Scholars commonly date it to c. 70 AD-135 AD because Chapter 16 speaks as if the Temple had been destroyed (which happened in 70 AD) and was going to be rebuilt (there were supposedly plans for this in c.130 AD, but the city was destroyed in c.135 AD). Barnabas might have lived in the range of c.25-115 AD, considering his preaching with Paul. So if the rebuilding of the Temple refers to the plans of 130 AD, then it was written after his lifetime. But the theory that it was written in c. 130 AD is weak because (A) there could have been plans to rebuild it before 130 AD, and (B) the rebuilding of the temple could mean the building of the Church, as the rest of Chapter 16 might explain (eg. "This is the spiritual temple built for the Lord."). Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – c. 215) and Origen (c. 184 – c. 253) attribute it to the apostle Barnabas. It's hard to be more certain about its authorship than what this evidence gives.

<<Translation Note on Chapter V's suggestion that Psalm 118 refers to the crucifixion.>>
I think that the Septuagint's phrase in Psalm 118, "penetrate my flesh with fear", is a mistranslation of the Hebrew of Psalm 119, which has the phrase "bristle (or 'make erect') my flesh". Apparently the Hebrew word in question is samar, meaning to "bristle" or "go erect" like a hair. (The Strong's Dictionary entry for Samar is here: http://biblehub.com/hebrew/5568.htm)

<<Is the quote below from Chapter VI from "Knowledge" Gnostic or from an Oracle?:>>

Quote
And Moses also says to them, "Behold these things, saith the Lord God: Enter into the good land which the Lord sware [to give] to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and inherit ye it, a land flowing with milk and honey." What, then, says Knowledge? Learn: "Trust," she says, "in Him who is to be manifested to you in the flesh--that is, Jesus." For man is earth in a suffering state, for the formation of Adam was from the face of the earth.  What, then, meaneth this: "into the good land, a land flowing with milk and honey?" Blessed be our Lord, who has placed in us wisdom and understanding of secret things.
No, it's probably not either gnostic or from an oracle. The author cites Moses' promise for the new blessed land, but then asks what Knowledge says. The author means that Moses promised something wonderful about the land, but that the divine wisdom and knowledge that God gave the author tells the author to rely on Christ for salvation. He reasons that Moses' promise cannot be literally true, due to the suffering in the earth. The idea that man is earth in a suffering state appears in Genesis 3:19 ("In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust."). So the Epistle's author concludes apparently that the promise about "land" and its flowing with milk and honey was really a promise about the Blessed Lord and the divine wisdom (the milk and honey) that He bestows. He is probably not quoting the words of "Knowledge" in an oracle or gnostic work, since no such quote from those works is known, and because he generally doesn't quote from gnostic writings and oracles. The idea of divine wisdom is shared in Christianity, and is not limited to gnosticism, and his general theology (eg. Christ's atonement in the flesh) apparently isn't gnostic.
   
<<"Chapter VII discusses an interesting question about which of the two goats sacrificed at the Temple represented Christ, the one on whom the sins were placed and was sent into the desert, or the one who was sacrificed?">>
It appears that Barnabas says that both goats are like Christ.

<<In Chapter IX, the Epistle sees the first letters of the number of people Abraham circumcised (Greek letters I H T) to reflect Jesus Christ's name and the cross. What do you think about this? After all, would the Phoenician-like Paleo-Hebrew letters be the same as the Greek ones for these same words?>>
   First, I think that there really is Gematria in the passage in Genesis. It says that there were 318 servants born in Abraham's household whom Abraham circumcised and brought to rescue Lot, yet later on, Abraham complains to God that his only heir is the only servant born in his household, Eliezer. It's curious because the question arises of why the rest of the 318 circumcised servants born in his household aren't heirs. The Gematria of "Eliezer" is 318 in Hebrew, so it seems that the 318 servants are related to Eliezar in some mystical sense.
   Second, Barnabas reasons that the Greek Digit for 300 is T, for 10 is I, and for 8 is H, and he sees in these digits a pictoral reference to the cross (T), and to the first two letters of Jesus' Greek name ΙΗΣΟΥΣ. In the Old Testament, Yahweh's name is sometimes shortened to the first two letters, "YaH", as an abbreviation, so Barnabas is doing something similar with ΙΗΣΟΥΣ. Barnabas' interpretation of 318 is logical, I am uncertain of it for three reasons:
   (A) Genesis was written in Hebrew, rather than in Greek, which didn't become a Lingua Franca until 1000 years later. The Hebrew words composing the 318 in Genesis are: שְׁמֹנָ֤ה Eight, עָשָׂר֙ Ten, וּשְׁלֹ֣שׁ And Three. The Three is written with a Ш, which was also the letter used in the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet of Moses' time. So the writer's conclusion doesn't apply to Hebrew. I am skeptical about seeing pictoral and alphabetical meanings in Hebrew texts that rely on the languages into which the Hebrew text was translated. If the same result was found in a rarer language like Polynesian instead of Greek, I think that more people would be skeptical. I don't totally reject the idea of Gematria in the LXX though. The Israelites underwent 430 years of Egyptian slavery, and after they were freed they received the Law, called in Greek "Nomos", whose Gematrical value is 430.
   (B) It's not clear that the Old Testament recognizes the Messiah's name or title as Yeshua/Jesus/ΙΗΣΟΥΣ. "Yeshua" derives from either Yehoshua (Yeho + Shua = Yahweh + Cry for help), or Yesha (Salvation, ישע). In agreement with the first option, Joshua is called both Yehoshua and Yeshua in the Old Testament. But in favor of the second option, note that in Luke the angel says to name Christ "Yeshua"/Jesus, because He will save His people. If the second derivation of Jesus' name is correct, Isaiah 62:11 could treat his name as Messianic when it says: "Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation ('Yishek') cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." But even if the Old Testament didn't openly treat "Jesus" as a Messianic name, one could still make the argument that the Messiah's name could still be found there without the Hebrew authors' knowledge because the authors could have included mystical hints about Him as a result of their divine inspiration and guidance.
   (C) The quantity of digits used is small, and the Messianic interpretation of the passage that uses themt is circumstantial (ie. the passage doesn't explicitly use the numbers as a Messianic name or number). It would feel arbitrary to treat these kinds of numerical combinations as references to Christ whenever they showed up (eg. 3 and 18, or the numbers of other Christian abbreviations like the numbers for X.P. for Christ, I.N. for Jesus of Nazareth, etc.)

<<How would you translate the two sentences in Chapter XII about Christ not being the son of man and not called the son of David?>>
I found an interlinear Epistle of Barnabas, which has:
Quote
    Ἴδε πάλιν Ἰησοῦς, οὐχὶ υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου, ἀλλὰ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, τύπῳ δὲ ἐν     
See again Jesus, not a son of man, but Son of the God, a figure but in
   
σαρκὶ φανερωθείς.   
flesh having been revealed.
SOURCE: http://www.embarl.force9.co.uk/Other/Barnabas.pdf
So I would translate it as: "See again Jesus, having been revealed: not a son of man, but Son of God, a figure/model/form, but in the flesh."
I take the ending of this sentence to mean that God appeared in a form in the flesh. That is, God chose to take a fleshly form.
The end of the paragraph goes:   
Quote
Ἴδε, πῶς Δαυεὶδ λέγει αὐτὸν Κύριον, καὶ υἱὸν οὐ   
See, David calls Him Lord, and son not   

λέγει.   
he says
ie. "See, David calls Him Lord, and does not say son."

<<Do you interpret the passage above from Chapter XII as Docetic?>>

No, because in Chapter VI he implied that Christ is a man, taking the Promised Land to refer to Christ because humans are made of earth:
Quote
What, then, says Knowledge? Learn: "Trust," she says, "in Him who is to be manifested to you in the flesh — that is, Jesus." For man is earth in a suffering state, for the formation of Adam was from the face of the earth. What, then, means this: "into the good land, a land flowing with milk and honey?" Blessed be our Lord, who has placed in us wisdom and understanding of secret things.

<<So maybe such phrases in Barnabas like "not a son of man" mean that he is referring to Jesus in his divine nature?>>
Yes. The key to understanding this is 1 Tim 3:16, "God was manifest in the flesh". One wouldn't normally say that people "manifest" themselves in the flesh, because people by nature have flesh, whereas Christ-God took on flesh and manifested himself in it. (ie. Before the incarnation, He was God's Son, and then He became flesh and manifested as the God-Man in the flesh.) It's true that having flesh, humans "manifest" themselves to our eyes with their images, but that isn't what Barnabas 12 means when he says "Not the Son of Man, but the Son of God manifested, a figure/form, but in the flesh." So in referring to the incarnation, one could say that being God, the Son manifested in a fleshly form or figure, and by manifesting in the flesh, he became human. Nonetheless, when he says that the Son of God, rather than the Son of Man manifested, I think that he is making a simplification or writing ambiguously because one could say that fleshly humans also "manifest" themselves to us in fleshly forms. Also, he doesn't deny that Christ was a Son of David, but rather he points out that David didn't call Christ his "son", which Barnabas ascribes to David wanting to point to Christ's divinity.

<<Is the Two Ways doctrine still used in Orthodoxy?>>
Yes, one example being concepts related to the holy day of the Sunday of the Last Judgment. See also Fr. Ted's sermon on the Two Ways: https://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/isermon/the_sheep_and_the_goats
« Last Edit: June 14, 2019, 10:29:01 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline rakovsky

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Re: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians
« Reply #289 on: June 15, 2019, 01:02:29 PM »
APOCALYPSE OF SHEDRACH
<<Is it a Christian sermon and Jewish nonChristian vision or a wholly Christian document?>>
It is probably the latter, since Charlesworth writes persuasively:
Quote
The Christian elements are pervasive: "concerning...orthodox Christians, and the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (preface); "his only begotten (monogene) Son" (chp. 9); "and they obeyed neither apostles nor my word in the Gospels" (chp. 14). It is difficult to follow James' suggestion (Testament of Abraham, p. 32; Apocrypha Anecdota, p. 129) that this pseudepigraphon embodies two separate documents, one a homily on love and the other an apocalypse. The connection between these two, which James missed, is that God's actions are motivated mainly by love (chp. 8; cf. outline below).

James Charlesworth, The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research, pp. 178-179.
Davila said in his 1997 lecture on the Apocalypse of Shedrach:
Quote
[T]he one Greek MS in our possession is full of Patristic and Byzantine language. [Agourides's] arguments under Provenance seem at most to show that ApocSed comes from an unusual form of Christianity that had some knowledge of Jewish themes. The whole text is full of allusions to the NT and early Christian ideas, not just the sermon on love in chapter 1.
(https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/divinity/rt/otp/abstracts/apocsed/)

<<What does Shedrach mean when he says that God deposited Shedrach's soul in the womb of his mother in his holy dwelling place since he was born? Does this mean that the human soul pre-exists its physical birth, or that it is implanted into a human womb or into its own fleshly body?>>
It means that God put Shedrach's soul in Shedrach's mother's womb and in Shedrach's fetus, in accordance with  Ecclesiastes 12:7 ("Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.") It doesn't mean that the soul pre-exists its earthly life or not, but just that God puts the soul into the mother's womb and into the fleshly fetal body in the womb. This is like how God implanted Adam's soul into Adam when he breathed life into him.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2019, 01:04:20 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20