Author Topic: Byzantine attacks on Unleavened (Azyme) Bread and 1 Cor 5:8: Catholic response  (Read 4475 times)

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Offline rakovsky

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Rakovsky, why would not the works of the Prophets which the early Christians were accustomed to read count as ancient works? Of course, St. Eusebius is not infallible, but can you find any Church Father that denies the reference? There are many early Christian works that say the Therapeutae were Christian monks "our Divine leaders have deemed them worthy of sacred appellations, some, indeed, calling them "Therapeutae," and others "Monks,"

I would have preferred to find that Philo was referring to early Christians.

On the other hand, the Therapeutae of Asclepius was a well-known pagan sect focusing on healing, Asclepius being a pagan deity ascribed healing attributes.

Therapeutae of Asclepius

 The term therapeutes means one who is attendant to the gods[1] although the term, and the related adjective therapeutikos[2] carry in later texts the meaning of attending to heal, or treating in a spiritual or medical sense. ... The term therapeutae may occur in relation to followers of Asclepius at Pergamon, and therapeutai may also occur in relation to worshippers of Sarapis in inscriptions, such as on Delos. The therapeutae of Asclepius were a recognized and designated association in antiquity that included the physicians, their attendants and support staff, in the larger temples of Asclepius. These healing temples were known as Asclepeions. Examples of famous therapeutae of Asclepius between 300 BCE and 300 CE include Hippocrates, Apollonius of Tyana, Aelius Aristides and Galen.

Aelius Aristides in the later 2nd century writes: "We Asclepius therapeutae must agree with the god that Pergamum is the best of his sanctuaries." - Sacred Tales (39.5) Galen used his designation of "therapeutae" to secure from the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius exemption from military service. In their book "Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World" the authors state: "Some therapeutae are known to have rented apartments within the sanctuary in order to be close to the deity (Apileius, Met, 11.19.1). Very little is known about the purpose of the therapeutae. Vidman thinks they were simple worshipers united in a loose association (1970:69, 125-38).

"Therapeutae" are a known pagan sect by that name throughout the Hellenic Mediterranean, and Philo identifies his "Therapeutae" as a sect by that name spread throughout the Mediterranean.

Nowhere are Christians given the title of the sect of Therapeutae outside of later identifications of Philo's sect.

Philo writes about their literature:
They have also writings of ancient men, who having been the founders of one sect or another have left behind them many memorials of the allegorical system of writing and explanation, whom they take as a kind of model, and imitate the general fashion of their sect; so that they do not occupy themselves solely in contemplation, but they likewise compose psalms and hymns to God in every kind of metre and melody imaginable, which they of necessity arrange in more dignified rhythm.
The Hebrew prophets were ancient, but were they "founders" of merely "one sect or another", since they were prophets for the whole nation?

Nowhere does this passage mention the gospels, which could not have been the writings of "ancient men" in Philo's time. Yet this is the passage that Eusebius sees as Philo pointing to the gospels.

Philo describes what makes someone respected among the Therapeutae:
and after having offered up these prayers the elders sit down to meat, still observing the order in which they were previously arranged, for they do not look on those as elders who are advanced in years and very ancient, but in some cases they esteem those as very young men, if they have attached themselves to this sect only lately, but those whom they call elders are those who from their earliest infancy have grown up and arrived at maturity in the speculative portion of philosophy, which is the most beautiful and most divine part of it.
The "elders" of the Christian Church in c.35-50 AD (Philo died in 50 AD) would not have been defined as those who from infancy (eg. 10-20 AD) studied "speculative philosophy", but rather those who were appointed by the apostles, had strong devotion, and knew well the scriptures, especially the gospel (at most, the synoptic gospels themselves may have just been freshly written).

Next, he writes:
And the women also share in this feast, the greater part of whom, though old, are virgins in respect of their purity (not indeed through necessity, as some of the priestesses among the Greeks are, who have been compelled to preserve their chastity more than they would have done of their own accord), but out of an admiration for and love of wisdom, with which they are desirous to pass their lives, on account of which they are indifferent to the pleasures of the body, desiring not a mortal but an immortal offspring, which the soul that is attached to God is alone able to produce by itself and from itself, the Father having sown in it rays of light appreciable only by the intellect, by means of which it will be able to perceive the doctrines of wisdom.
Philo is saying that this sect's emphasis and focus throughout is "contemplation" and "wisdom", features associated with groups like the gnostics, but not a particular feature of Christianity, which in 45-50 AD was focused on the gospel.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20