Wednesday, October 26, 2011

CHRIST AS AN ANGEL IN THE ANF BEFORE NICEA

Although this early Jewish-Christian sect of the Ebonites (circa. early 1st-2nd C.E.) was considered heretical, and their teachings on certain aspects have certainly deviated from pure Christian doctrine, what they said about Christ as an Angel is corroborative evidence of the antiquity of this tradition and teaching going back to the Earliest Christians and to the Jews themselves, as confirmed by writings among the DSS or Dead Sea Scrolls and Philo Judaeus.

Here is what Epiphanius had to say on what they taught in this regard:

GREEK TEXT: “...καὶ [16.] τούτου ἕνεκα Ἰησοῦν γεγεννημένον ἐκ σπέρματος ἀνδρὸς λέγουσι καὶ ἐπιλεχθέντα καὶ οὕτω κατὰ ἐκλογὴν υἱὸν θεοῦ κληθέντα ἀπὸ τοῦ ἄνωθεν εἰς αὐτὸν ἥκοντος Χριστοῦ ἐν εἴδει περιστερᾶς. οὐ φάσκουσι δὲ ἐκ θεοῦ πατρὸς αὐτὸν γεγεννῆσθαι, ἀλλὰ κεκτίσθαι ὡς ἕνα τῶν ἀρχαγγέλων [καὶ ἔτι περισσοτέρως], αὐτὸν δὲ κυριεύειν καὶ ἀγγέλων καὶ πάντων τῶν ὑπὸ τοῦ παντοκράτορος πεποιημένων...” - (Panarion 30.16, 4-5; Κατὰ Ἐβιωναίων, τῆς δὲ ἀκολουθίας. MPG.)

EPIPHANIUS OF SALAMIS (circa. 310-403 C.E.): “...And on this account they say that Jesus was begotten of the seed of a man, and was chosen; and so by the choice of God he was called the Son of God from the Christ that came into him from above in the likeness of a dove. And they deny that he was begotten of God the Father, but say that he was created as one of the archangels, yet greater, and that he is Lord of the angels and of all things made by the Almighty...” - (Pages 8-10, Panarion 30.16,4-5; Montague Rhode James in The Apocryphal New Testament, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1924)

EPIPHANIUS OF SALAMIS (circa. 310-403 C.E.):...They say that Christ was not begotten of God the Father, but created as one of the archangels ... that he rules over the angels and all the creatures of the Almighty...” - (Panarion 30.16,4-5; The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel Copyright © 1999-2006.)

My own translation:

EPIPHANIUS OF SALAMIS (circa. 310-403 C.E.): “...Wherefore on this account they also say, Jesus birth originated [only] out of [the] seed of a man and was called a son of God according to selection from above of the Christ that entered into him in the visible form of a dove. It is frequently alleged [that] he was not born of God [the] Father, but rather he was created as one of the Arch-Angels, yet extra-ordinary, [and that] he is Lord of all Angels and everything else that has been made by the ALL-MIGHTY...” - (Panarion 30.16,4-5; By Matt13weedhacker ( 26/6/09 ) Revised 27/6/09)

ALTERNATE VERSION:

EPIPHANIUS OF SALAMIS (circa. 310-403 C.E.): "... “...Wherefore on this account they also say, Jesus birth originated [only] out of [the] seed of a man and was called a son of God according to selection from above of the Christ that entered into him in the visible form of a dove. It is frequently alleged [that] he was not born of God [the] Father, but rather he was created as one of the Arch-Angels, yet greater than everything else that has been made by the ALL-MIGHTY [and that] he is holding Lordship over all Angels...” - (Panarion 30.16,4-5; By Matt13weedhacker Re-Revised 27/10/11)
[FOOTNOTE]: κυριεύειν = verb present infinitive active attic epic contr

COMPARE:

GREEK TEXT: “…κατὰ [146(b).] τὸν πρωτόγονον αὐτοῦ λόγον, τὸν ἀγγέλων πρεσβύτατον, ὡς ἂν ἀρχάγγελον, πολυώνυμον ὑπάρχοντα· καὶ γὰρ ἀρχὴ καὶ ὄνομα θεοῦ καὶ λόγος καὶ ὁ κατ’ εἰκόνα ἄνθρωπος καὶ ὁ ὁρῶν, Ἰσραήλ, προσαγορεύεται...” - (Chapter 27:146(b), ΠΕΡΙ ΣΥΓΧΥΣΕΩΣ ΔΙΑΛΕΚΤΩΝ, MPG.)

PHILO JUDAEUS (circa. 20 B.C.E to 50 C.E.): "...according to HIS FIRST-BORN WORD, THE ELDEST OF HIS ANGELS, AS THE GREAT ARCH-ANGEL OF MANY NAMES; for he is called, the Authority, and the name of god, and the Word, and Man according to God's image, and He who sees Israel..." - (p. 247, The Works of Philo, "On the Confusion of Tongues," translated by C.D. Yonge)

PHILO JUDAEUS (circa. 20 B.C.E to 50 C.E.): "...in relation to ( GOD'S ) FIRST-BORN AND ELDEST MESSENGER [GK., ( angelos )], THE WORD: THAT IS THE MULTI-NAMED ARCHANGEL (WHO WAS) AT THE BEGINNING. For he is also called "the Beginning" and THE "NAME OF GOD" and the "Word" and the "Man after his Image" and "Israel the Seer..." - (Philo, Confusion 145-146 (Perspective on the World of Jesus with new translations from primary texts 1999-2008 by Mahlon H. Smith)

PHILO JUDAEUS (circa. 20 B.C.E to 50 C.E.): "...according to [THE] FIRST ONE TO BE BORN, HIS LOGOS, THE OLDEST OF THE ANGELS, CERTAINLY AS [THE] ARCH-ANGEL HAVING MULTIPLE NAMES, WHO CAME INTO EXISTENCE FROM UNDER A BEGINNING. For he is also named: "Beginning" and "Name of God" and "Logos" and "Man according to His image" and "The Seer", "Israel"..." - (Philo Judaeus, Latin Tittle: "De Confusione Linguarum" Greek Tittle: ΠΕΡΙ ΣΥΓΧΥΣΕΩΣ ΔΙΑΛΕΚΤΩΝ or "Concerning [the] Confusion of Dialects" Translated by Matt13weedhacker 4/7/11-Revised 12/09/11)


PHILO JUDAEUS (circa. 20 B.C.E - 50 C.E.): “...If any one be not yet worthy to be called the son of God, yet endeavor thou to be conformed unto HIS FIRST-BEGOTTEN WORD, THE MOST ANCIENT ANGEL, THE ARCHANGEL WITH MANY NAMES; for he is called 'The Beginning,' 'The Name of God,' 'The Man according to the image of God,' 'The Seer of Israel'...” - (Page 96, “On The Confusion of Tounges,” The Works of John Owen: “An exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews,” By John Owen, William H. Goold. 1854.)

PHILO JUDAEUS (circa. 20 B.C.E - 50 C.E.): “...But if there be any as yet unfit to be called a son of God, let him press to take his place under GOD'S FIRST-BORN, THE WORD, WHO HOLDS THE ELDERSHIP AMONG THE ANGELS, THEIR ARCHANGEL AS IT WERE. AND MANY OTHER NAMES ARE HIS, for he is called 'The Beginning,' and 'The Name of God,' and 'His Word,' and 'The Man after His image,' and 'He that sees,' that is Israel'. ... For if we have not yet become fit to thought of sons of God yet we may be sons of His invisible image, the most holy Word. For the Word is the eldest-born image of God...” - (Page 282, “On The Confusion of Tounges,” Reading John: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Fourth Gospel By Charles H. Talbert. 2005.)

Also compare:

PHILO JUDAEUS (circa. 20 B.C.E to 50 C.E.): "...And the Father who created the universe has given to HIS ARCHANGELIC AND MOST ANCIENT [Gk., ( Logos )] WORD a pre-eminent gift, to stand on the confines of both, and separated that which had been created from the Creator. And this same [Gk., ( Logos )] Word is continually a suppliant to the immortal God on behalf of the mortal race, which is exposed to affliction and misery; and IS ALSO THE AMBASSADOR, SENT BY THE RULER OF ALL, to the subject race..." - (p. 293, The Works of Philo, "Who Is the Heir of Divine Things," translated by C.D. Yonge)

PHILO JUDAEUS (circa. 20 B.C.E to 50 C.E.): "...For as those who are not able to look upon the sun itself, look upon the reflected rays of the sun as the sun itself, and upon the halo around the moon as if it were the moon itself; SO ALSO DO THOSE WHO ARE UNABLE TO BEAR THE SIGHT OF GOD, LOOK UPON HIS IMAGE, HIS ANGEL [Gk., ( Logos )] WORD, AS HIMSELF..." - (p. 386, The Works of Philo, "On Dreams, I," translated by C.D. Yonge)

PHILO JUDAEUS (circa. 20 B.C.E to 50 C.E.): "...For God, like a shepherd and a king, governs (as if they were a flock of sheep) the earth, and the water, and the air, and the fire, and all the plants, and living creatures that are in them, whether mortal or divine . . . APPOINTING AS THEIR IMMEDIATE SUPERINTENDENT, HIS OWN RIGHT [Gk., ( Logos )] REASON, HIS FIRSTBORN SON, WHO IS TO RECEIVE THE CHARGE OF THIS SACRED COMPANY, AS THE LIEUTENANT OF THE GREAT KING; FOR IT IS SAID SOMEWHERE, "BEHOLD, I AM HE! I WILL SEND MY MESSENGER [ANGEL] BEFORE THY FACE, WHO SHALL KEEP THEE IN THE ROAD [Exo. 23:20]..." - (p. 178, The Works of Philo, "On Husbandry," translated by C.D. Yonge)