Author Topic: List of 1st century writings by or about Christians  (Read 23220 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

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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.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20