I'm not a big fan of St. Jerome, except that he preserves and summarizes things lost elsewhere. He has an interesting summary on St. Matthew:
Matthew, also called Levi, apostle and aforetimes publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed, but this was afterwards translated into Greek, though by what author is uncertain. The Hebrew itself has been preserved until the present day in the library at Cæsarea which Pamphilus so diligently gathered. I have also had the opportunity of having the volume described to me by the Nazarenes of Berœa, a city of Syria, who use it. In this it is to be noted that wherever the Evangelist, whether on his own account or in the person of our Lord the Saviour quotes the testimony of the Old Testament he does not follow the authority of the translators of the Septuagint but the Hebrew. Wherefore these two forms exist Out of Egypt have I called my son, and for he shall be called a Nazarene.http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/30091.htm
The throne of St. James still exists, St. Epiphanios (from Palestine, btw) says it will always exist, as I've posted:
For this group didn not name themselves after Christ or with Jesus own name, but "Nazoraeans." However, at the time all Christians were called Nazoraeans. They also came to be called "Jessaeans" for a short while, before the disciples began to be called Christians at Antioch. But they were called Jessaeans because of Jesse, I suppose, since David was descended from Jesse, but Mary from David's line. This was in fulfillment of sacred scripture, for in the Old Testament the Lord tells David, "Of the fruit of thy belly shall I set upon thy throne."
.....since the Lord had told David, "Of the fruit of thy belly shall I set upon the throne," and "The Lord swore unto David and will not repent," it is plain that God's promise is an irreversible one. In the first place, what does God have to swear by but "By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord?"-for "God hath no oath by a greater" [Heb. 6:13] What is divine does not even swear; yet the statement has the function of providing confirmation.
For God swore with an oath to David that he would set the fruit of his belly upon his throne. And the Apostles bear witness that Christ had to born of David's seed, as Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ indeed was. As I said, I shall pass ove most of the testimonies, to avoid a very burdensome discussion.
But someone will probably say, "Since Christ was physically born of David's see, that is, of the Holy Virgin Mary, why is He not sitting on David's throne? For the Gospel says, "They came that they might anoint him king, and when Jesus perceived this He departed....and his himself in Ephraim, a city in the wilderness." But now that I reach this place for this, and I am asked about this text, and why it is that the prophecy about sitting on David's throne has not been fulfilled physically in the Savior's case-for some have thought that is has not-I shall still say that it is a fact. Not a word of God's Holy Scripture can come to nothing.
David's throne and kingly seat is the priesthood in the Holy Church. The Lord had combined this rank, which is both that of king and high priest, and conferred it on His Church by transferring David's throne to it, never to fail. [mh dialeiponta eis ton aiwna] Formerly David's throne continued by succession until Christ Himself, since the rulers from Judah did not fail until he came "for whom are the things prepared, and he is the expectation of the nations," as scripture says.[Gen. 49:10]
With the advent of the Christ the rulers in line of succession from Judah, reigning until the time of the Christ himself, came to an end. Until His time the rulers were anointed priests but after His birth in Bethlehem of Judea the order ended and changed with Alexander, a ruler of priestly and kingly stock. After Alexander on this heritage form the time of Salina, who is also called Alexandra, died out under Herod the king and Augustus the Roman emperor. (Although Alexander was crowned also, since he was one of the anointed priests and rulers. For once the two tribes, the royal and the priestly, meaning Judah and Aaron and the whole tribe of Levi, had been joined together, the kings were also made priests; nothing based on a hint in holy scripture can be wrong. But then finally a foreign king, Herod, was crowned, and not David's descendants any more.
But because of this change in the royal house, the rank of king passed in Christ the kingly seat passed over to the church, the kingly dignity being transferred from the fleshly house of David and Israel, Judah and Jerusalem; and the throne is established in the holy church of God forever, having a double dignity because of both its kingly and its high-priestly character, both ranks of king and high-priest, for two reasons: the royal dignity coming from Our Lord Jesus Christ in two ways, from the fact that he is of King David's seed according to the flesh and from the fact that in Godhead He is, as is certainly true, a greater king from eternity in His divinity, and the priestly dignity coming from the fact that He is high priest and chief of high priests, since James having been ordained at once the first bishop immediately, he who is called the brother of the Lord and apostle. Actually he was Joseph's son, but was said to be in the position of the Lord's brother because they were reared together.
For James was Joseph's son by Joseph's [first] wife, not Mary, as I have said, and discussed with greater clarity, in many other places. And I find that he is of David's stock through being Joseph's son and moreover that he was a Nazarite (for he was Joseph's firstborn and hence consecrated), and we have found furthermore that he exercised the priesthood according to the priestly order of old. Thus it was permitted him once a year to enter the holy of holies, as the law ordered the high priests according to what is written. For many of the historians before me of him, Eusebius, Clement, and others have reported this of him. He was also allowed to wear the priestly mitre on his head [also said of St. John e.g. Eusebius III.31.3] besides, as the trustworthy persons mentioned have testified in the same historical writings.
Now as I said Our Lord Jesus Christ is "priest forever after the order of Melchizedek," and at the same time king after the order on high and so may transfer the priesthood with its legal charter. But since David's seed through Mary is seated on a throne, his throne endures forever, and of His kingdome there will be no end. He would need now to reposition the former crown; for His Kingdom is not earthly, as He said to Pontius Pilate in the Gospel, "My Kingdom in not of this world." For since Christ fulfills all that was said in riddles, the beginnings have reached a limit.
For He who is always a king did not come to achieve sovereignty. Lest it be thought that He advanced from a lower estate to a higher, He granted the crown to those whom He appointed. For His throne endures, and there will be no end of His Kingdom. And He sits on the throne of David, and has transferred David's crown and granted it, with the high priesthood, to his own servants, the high priests of the Catholic Church.
...Not "nazarites"-that means "consecrated persons." Anciently this rank belonged to firstborn sons and men dedicated to God...John the Baptist too was one of these persons consecratd to God, for "He drank neither wine nor strong drink." (This regimen, befitting their rank, was prescribed for persons of that sort)....but besides as I indicated, everyone called the Christians Nazoreans, as they say in accursing the Apostle Paul, "We have found this man a pestilent fellow and a perverter of the people, a ring leader of the sect of Nazoreans." (Acts 24:5) And the holy apostle did not disclaim the name-not to profess the Nazorean sect, but he was glad to own the name his adversaries' malice had applied to him for Christ's. For he says in court, "They neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, nor have I done any of those things whereof they accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the Way which they call heresy, so worship I, believing all things in the Law and and the Prophets." (Acts 24:12-14)
And no wonder the Apostle admitted to being a Nazoraean! In those days everyone called Christians this because of the city of Nazareth-there was no other usage of the name then. People thus gave the name of "Nazoraeans" to believers in Christ, of Whom it is written, "He shall be called a Nazoraean." (Mat.) Even today in fact, people call all the sects, I mean Manichaeans, Marcionites, Gnostics and others, by the common name of "Christians," though they are not Christians. However, although each sect has another name, it still allows this one with pleasure, since it is honored by the name. For they think they can pren themselves on Christ's name; not on faith and works!
Thus Christ's holy disciples called themselves "disciples of Jesus" then, as indeed they were. But they wre not rude when others called them Nazoraeans, since they saw the intent of those who called them this. They did it because of Christ, since our Lord Jesus was called the Nazoraean" himself-so say the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles-because of His upbringing in Joseph's home in the city of Nazareth, which is now a village. (Though He was born in the flesh at Bethlehem, of the ever-virgin Mary, Joseph's betrothed. Joseph had settled in Nazareth after leaving Bethlehem and taking up residence in Galilee.)
But these sectarians whom I am now sketching disregareded the name of Jesus, and did not call themselves Jessanaeans, keep the name of Jews, or term themselves Christians-but "Nazoraeans," form the place-name, "Nazareth," if you please! However they are simply complete Jews...As to Christ, I cannot say whether they too are captives of the wickedness of Cerinthus and Merinthus, and regard Him as a mere man-or whether, as the truth is, they affirm His birth of Mary by the Holy Spirit.
Today this sect of the Nazoraeans is found in Beroea near Coelesyria, in the Decapolis near Pella, and in Bashanitis at the place called Cocabe-Khokhabe in Hebrew. For that was its place of origin, since all the disciples had settled in Pella after they left Jerusalem-Christ told them to abandon Jerusalem and withdrew from it because of its coming siege. And they settled in Perea for this reason and, as I said, spent their lives there. That was there the Nazoraean sect began.
But they too are wrong to boast of circumcision, and persons like themselves are still "under a curse," since they cannot fulfil the Law. For how can they fulfill the Law's provision, "Thrice a year thou shalt appear before the Lord they God at the feasts of Unleavened Bread, Tabernacles and Pentacost," on the site of Jerusalem. As the site is closed off, and the Law's provisions cannot be filfilled, anyone with sense can see that Christ came to be the Law's fulfiller-not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill the Law-and to lift the curse that had been put on transgression of the Law. For after Moses had given every commandment he came to the point of the book and "included the whole in a curse" with the words, "Cursed is he that continueth not in all the words that are written in this book to do them."
Hence Christ came to free what had been fettered with the bounds of the curse. In place of the lesser commandments which cannot be fulfilled, He granted us the greater, which are not inconsistent with the completion of the task as the earlier ones were. For I have discussed this many times before, in every Sect, in connection with the Sabbath, circumcision and the rest-how the Lord has granted something more perfect to us.
there's more there.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 04:33:23 PM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
and both come out of your mouth