From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
andrewcriddle
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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by andrewcriddle » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:53 am

Giuseppe wrote:According to prof Stevan Davies, this talks about the inverse direction of dependence, i.e. from Odes to John.
I tend to think that Drijvers is correct in relating this Syriac tradition to the Diatessaron which brought together the birth of Christ from God in the beginning of John and the birth of Christ from Mary in the beginning of Luke.

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:29 am

So Davies about Ode 19 and 33:
Some might argue that there are specific references to Christian themes in Ode 19, which discusses a virgin birth, and in Ode 24 where a dove flutters above the Messiah. Buth in both cases the imagery in the Odes is utterly unlike any that has ever been associated with the Christian idea of Mary or of the Spirit-dove in the story of Jesus' baptism. In Ode 19 we hear that the Father's breasts are full and that He is milked by the Spirit so that his milk runs into the cup which is the Son. The milk from the Father's breasts is the metaphorical semen that ''the womb of the Virgin caught, and she conceived and gave birth''. This is hardly an expansion of the Matthean or Lukan account! It is something wholly different. While in later centuries some Christians occasionally spoke of the milk of Christ, this is the not the metaphor used here where the Son is the cup receiving the milk of the Father.
The only other reference to a Virgin comes in Ode 33, which is a reference to God's Wisdom; the passage reads ''The Perfect Virgin stood up proclaiming and crying out and saying ''Sons of men, turn back, and their daughters, come, and leave the ways of this Corruption and draw near to me...'' (5-7. This is not a reference to Mary but to the female Wisdom who speaks in passages such as this one from Proverbs 8:1-5: ''Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? At the highest point along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gate leading into the city, at the entrance, she cries around: 'To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it'.''.
Ode 19 also contains a trinity of the rterms ''Father'', and ''Son,'' and ''Spirit'', that became, of course, crucial to alter Christian theology, but the terms are hardly unique to Christianity. The use of the concept ''Father'' for God, and the discussion of God's Spirit are common in Judaism, only the ''Son'' is unusual in that theological context. This trinity of terms is unusual in earliest Christianity, occurring only once as such in the New Testament (Matthew 28:19), but it is not a set of concepts that is unique to Matthew. The Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the Father are conceived synonymously by Paul, who also refers to the Spirit of the Son (Romans 8:19-16, Galatians 4:6). It is entirely possible, however, that the Odes community preceded and strongly influenced branches of earliest Christianity and so the fact that both communities occasionally utilize seemingly Trinitarian vocabulary indicates ideological connection, but it does not give us evidence of chronological priority. Indeed, when the Trinitarian terms are listed in Ode 23, they may be a later interpolation, for while ilne 21 refers to a letter entirely written by the finger of God, line 22 lists its authors as the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
.

(p. 250-251, my bold)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

andrewcriddle
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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by andrewcriddle » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:53 am

Giuseppe wrote:So Davies about Ode 19 and 33:
Some might argue that there are specific references to Christian themes in Ode 19, which discusses a virgin birth, and in Ode 24 where a dove flutters above the Messiah. Buth in both cases the imagery in the Odes is utterly unlike any that has ever been associated with the Christian idea of Mary or of the Spirit-dove in the story of Jesus' baptism. In Ode 19 we hear that the Father's breasts are full and that He is milked by the Spirit so that his milk runs into the cup which is the Son. The milk from the Father's breasts is the metaphorical semen that ''the womb of the Virgin caught, and she conceived and gave birth''. This is hardly an expansion of the Matthean or Lukan account! It is something wholly different. While in later centuries some Christians occasionally spoke of the milk of Christ, this is the not the metaphor used here where the Son is the cup receiving the milk of the Father.
.....................................
It is not an expansion of Luke it is (probably) a combination of the ideas in Luke and John.

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:59 am

But in Luke and in John I don't find the idea of the Son as "the cup receiving the milk of the father".
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by andrewcriddle » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:33 pm

Giuseppe wrote:But in Luke and in John I don't find the idea of the Son as "the cup receiving the milk of the father".
Drijver translates the Curetonian Syriac of John 1:14 as the Father, as He was full of grace and truth . I.E. it is the Father whose is full of grace and truth bot the word. (It seems clear that it is not the word that is full of grace and truth in the Old Syriac but it may be the glory that is full of grace and truth rather than the Father.)

If Drijvers is right then the Old Syriac understands the passage as the Father being full of grace and truth which we receive via Christ (see verse 18) This would be close to the thought of the Odist.

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:40 am

J.M.Robertson, who thinks that the Odes are Pre-Christian, writes:
Dr. Harris pronounces that an account in the Odes of the Virgin Birth (xix) must be later than the first Century (p. 116). But this begs the question as to the source of that myth.
(The Jesus Problem, p. 110, note 2).
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by Giuseppe » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:24 am

According to Rylands, the conclusive evidence that the Odes are before the pauline epistles:
A comparison of
Paulinism with the doctrine of the Odes should have made
it clear that the latter is the more primitive. In the former
we find new elements which were absorbed from contemporary
religious ideas. It is easier to explain Paulinism as
a development out of the doctrine of the Odes than the
converse. Further evidence which seems by itself to be
conclusive can be given. In the Odes the Most High is very
rarely named God. The writer follows the usage of the
Psalms in employing the term " the Lord." And this term,
which in the Epistles appears as a designation of Christ, is
in the Odes hardly ever so used. The Pauline writer has
become familiar with Greek religious terminology, and is
much less dependent upon the Old Testament. The application
of the title " the Lord " to Jesus in the Pauline
communities proves that he had become to all intents and
purposes their " cult-god." In the community of the Odes " the
Christ " still retained its Jewish meaning of " the anointed."
It had not yet become a proper name ; and the " anointing "
was as figurative as the anointing of Adam with oil from the
tree of life probably was in the Clementine Recognitions. In
the Epistles Christ in conjunction with Jesus has become a
proper name. The time interval between the dates of
composition of the Odes and the Epistles respectively must
in fact have been considerable. The former stand closer to
the Wisdom of Solomon than they do to the latter. The
designation of God as " the Most High " both in the Wisdom
books and in the Odes is by itself an indication of this.
(Beginning of Gnostic Christianity, p. 220-221)

In short:

in both the Psalms and in the Odes God is named ''The Lord'', not Christ.

...while in the epistles Christ is named ''The Lord''.

in both the Wisdom of Solomon and the Odes of Solomon God is named ''the Most High''.


Another difference:


in the Odes ''Christ'' is not a proper name.

In the Epistles ''Christ'' is a proper name.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:08 am

Lord does seem to be used in the Odes as a title of Christ

Ode 7
For there is a Helper for me, the Lord. He has generously shown Himself to me in His simplicity, because His kindness has diminished His dreadfulness.
He became like me, that I might receive Him. In form He was considered like me, that I might put Him on.
And I trembled not when I saw Him, because He was gracious to me.
Like my nature He became, that I might understand Him. And like my form, that I might not turn away from Him.
Ode 17
Glory to You, our Head, O Lord Messiah.
Hallelujah.
Ode 24
The dove fluttered over the head of our Lord Messiah, because He was her head.
And she sang over Him, and her voice was heard.
Then the inhabitants were afraid, and the foreigners were disturbed.
The bird began to fly, and every creeping thing died in its hole.
And the chasms were opened and closed; and they were seeking the Lord as those who are about to give birth.
But He was not given to them for nourishment, because He did not belong to them.
But the chasms were submerged in the seal of the Lord, and they perished in the thought with which they had remained from the beginning.
Ode 27
I extended my hands and hallowed my Lord,
For the expansion of my hands is His sign.
And my extension is the upright cross.
Hallelujah.
Ode 31
Chasms vanished before the Lord, and darkness dissipated before His appearance.
Error erred and perished on account of Him; and contempt received no path, for it was submerged by the truth of the Lord.
He opened His mouth and spoke grace and joy; and recited a new chant to His name.
Then He lifted his voice towards the Most High, and offered to Him those that had become sons through Him.
Ode 39
The Lord has bridged them by His Word, and He walked and crossed them on foot.
And His footsteps stand firm upon the waters, and were not destroyed; but they are like a beam of wood that is constructed on truth.
On this side and on that the waves were lifted up, but the footsteps of our Lord Messiah stand firm.
Ode 42
I extended my hands and approached my Lord, for the expansion of my hands is His sign.
And my extension is the upright cross, that was lifted up on the way of the Righteous One.
(Some of these are probably more clear-cut than others).

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:07 am

This has all the air of being a smoking gun for the Rylands'thesis of the priority of the Odes:

Wisdow, understanding, knowledge are then fused together into that very special form of life-giving knowledge with which the term "Gnosis" is been connected. The writer's conception of Gnosis is fundamentally the same as that of the later Gnostics. It was brought to men by the Word; but the earlier Wisdow is not entirely superseded. In the Wisdow of Solomon she is a holy Spirit; and in the Odes she continues to be the Spirit of the Lord. But since under one aspect wisdom is Gnosis, and the Word is also "the Spirit of the Lord", there is an indefiniteness in the characterization which is evidence of early date. Further evidence of this is the fact that the name of the Word has not yet been specialized. Just as in Greek there are two terms rhema and logos, both meaning word, of which the latter became specialized as the title of the divine Word, so also in Syriac. One of these always signifies the written or spoken word, the other in Christian writings is invariably used to designate the personified Word, the Logos. But whereas in some of the Odes the second of these terms is found as the designation of the Word, in others the first is found. Similarly, as Harris pointed out, in Syriac translations of the prophetic books of the Old Testament the two terms are employed indiscriminately.
(Beginning, p. 117)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: From a dying Christ to Jesus Christ

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:07 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:07 am
This has all the air of being a smoking gun for the Rylands'thesis of the priority of the Odes:

Wisdow, understanding, knowledge are then fused together into that very special form of life-giving knowledge with which the term "Gnosis" is been connected. The writer's conception of Gnosis is fundamentally the same as that of the later Gnostics. It was brought to men by the Word; but the earlier Wisdow is not entirely superseded. In the Wisdow of Solomon she is a holy Spirit; and in the Odes she continues to be the Spirit of the Lord. But since under one aspect wisdom is Gnosis, and the Word is also "the Spirit of the Lord", there is an indefiniteness in the characterization which is evidence of early date. Further evidence of this is the fact that the name of the Word has not yet been specialized. Just as in Greek there are two terms rhema and logos, both meaning word, of which the latter became specialized as the title of the divine Word, so also in Syriac. One of these always signifies the written or spoken word, the other in Christian writings is invariably used to designate the personified Word, the Logos. But whereas in some of the Odes the second of these terms is found as the designation of the Word, in others the first is found. Similarly, as Harris pointed out, in Syriac translations of the prophetic books of the Old Testament the two terms are employed indiscriminately.
(Beginning, p. 117)
Discussion in Mingana
This probably requires an early date, i.e well before 200 CE. It does not require a pre-Christian date.

Andrew Criddle (Edited to Clarify)

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