Isaac’s name means “he will laugh”, according to Philo, and here would be the origin of the Christ's Laughter legend behing the docetic Gospel of Judas.
Philo considered Isaac not Abraham's son, but Son of God.
And for Clement, “Isaac is Christ”:
(quote of Clement in p. 279)The king, then, is Christ, who beholds our laughter from above, and
looking through the window, as the scripture says, looks at the
thanksgiving, and the blessing, and the rejoicing, and the gladness, and
furthermore the endurance which works together with them and their
embrace. . . . He himself [Christ] is Isaac [for the passage may be
interpreted otherwise], who is a type [typos] of the Lord, a child as a son;
for he was the son of Abraham, as Christ, the Son of God, and a sacrifice
as the Lord. But he was not immolated as the Lord. Isaac only bore the
wood [of the sacrifice], as the Lord the wood [of the cross]. And he [Isaac]
laughed in a secret way [egela de mustikôs], prophesying that the Lord
would fill us with joy, as we have been redeemed from corruption by the
blood of the Lord. But Isaac did not suffer, yielding the precedence in
suffering to the Logos. Moreover, his not having been slain hints at the
divinity of the Lord. For Jesus rose again after his burial, without having
suffered, exactly like Isaac was released from sacrifice [mè pathôn, kathaper
hierourgias apheimenos ho Isaak]
This remembers me the words of Rylands:
(Beginning, p. 151, my bold)And when we have noted that in the doctrine of various
sects the Christ was believed to have manifested himself in
Adam, Cain, Abraham, Enoch, Noah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph,
and Moses, we ought surely to find it rather surprising that
the list is terminated by Moses and does not include Joshua,
especially as Moses is recorded (Deut. xviii, 15) to have
promised the Israelites that " the Lord thy God will raise
up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy
brethren, like unto me." This promise, which of course
refers to Joshua, was referred by Christians of the second—
possibly of the late first —century to Jesus. If at that time
the promise was believed to have been fulfilled in a re-appearance
of Joshua, it could easily have happened that
we should have no clear and explicit record of the fact.
For if any early writer had intended to say that the Christ
had manifested himself in Joshua, or that Joshua was the
Christ, writing in Greek the only way in which he could
have made his statement would be that " Jesus is the
Christ," since Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua.
(p. 286, my bold)The conclusion seems to impose itself that there
existed in first-century Judaism, or at least in some trends in Hellenistic
Judaism, a conception of Isaac, alias laughter, Son of God, born of a
virgin. If Isaac had been offered in sacrifice by his heavenly Father for
the redemption of his people and had escaped death, all the elements
needed for the emergence of a docetic theology of Jesus, having escaped
suffering on the cross, were present at the very origins of Christianity
I would find suggestive in particular the words:
(p. 280, my bold)It is worth noting that Clement, as also Origen after him,
underlines the fact that at least in his divine nature Jesus did not suffer.
One can speak here, in a way, of a semi-docetic perception. A full-fledged
docetic perception, however, would contradict the central myth and the
central ritual of Christianity: a sacrifice. Such a full-fledged Docetism is of
course conceivable only in a religious system where there exist other
sacrifices; when the very notion of sacrifice is rejected, Docetism is meaningless.
Stroumsa is bound obviously by the academic dogma of the Sacrifice Expiatory at the Origin of Christianity. But if there was someone who didn't need a sacrifice at all, they were the Gnostics.
This fits perfectly with the thesis of Rylands of the Christianity as the fusion of the two separate cults: a Gnostic cult of Christ and a pre-christian cult of Joshua. The former was based on a spiritual Christ Revealer of Gnosis, and the latter was based on the sacrifice expiatory of Joshua.
What was decisive for the rise of Christianity, according to Rylands, was not so much the presence of the latter as of the former. It is surely expected that when the Gnostics adopted the name “Jesus” for their celestial Christ, they did so by removing in first place the feature of the expiatory sacrifice. And the best way (for the Gnostics) to remove entirely the theme of sacrifice is to have a “full-fledged docetic view” of the death of Jesus.
As reaction, the followers of the Joshua cult, i.e., the ebionites (and the author of Revelation, the Apologists, the proto-catholics, etc), would have judaized the Gnostic Christ by imposing the feature of sacrifice, firstly by adoptionism (Mark), and lastly by incarnationism (Matthew and Luke).